Skip to main content

Apple: Change isn't always good.

Late in the evening on a October day last year, I remember sitting down to watch the evening news.
Apple had just won a huge legal battle against Samsung worth about a Billion dollars, launched their latest iPhone ( iPhone 5 ) and launched a mini tablet for the first time,  iPad mini. Raking in profits as usual, for any normal organization, those would've been good times.  But apple had come under severe criticism. Their share prices had dropped considerably since the 700$ peak it had reached in September of that year.
For an apple fan ,watching this unfold was quite hard. Apple seemed to be making the same mistakes it had made when it almost went bankrupt a little over a decade earlier when it tried to beat Microsoft in volumes. Only this time, apple was trying to outsell samsung.  But Samsung played it smartly. Pulling apple down to its level and beating them there, giving out a sign of  superiority.

The problem can't be found in the balance sheets. The solution won't be there either. The numbers will show that 5 million iPhones ( iPhone 5 ) were sold in the opening weekend. Easily apple's best selling phone at the time. The iPhone 5 went on to break quite a few sales records. And that's something iPhones generally do. And that's because they are genuinely great products. Expensive but absolutely great.
And then there is the iPad mini. A device launched, presumably, with a single intention of competing with Samsung in a market that Samsung and the others created to sell cheaper tablets. Smaller screens, slower processors and every other trick in the book to lower costs. It's what they did with the netbook market. To be fair, that worked for those companies. But by principle, apple shouldn't have gone there. Apple didn't enter the netbook industry for a reason. Because those devices were just crowd pleasers. They had no class because there was nothing new about them.
But with the mini tablet market,
Apple succumbed to corporate peer pressure. Following others blindly.

And recently, Apple made another blunder. The iPhone 5C.
What they got right though, was the other iPhone. The iPhone 5S. An absolute beast. A killer 64bit architecture processor, a much improved camera, and to cap it off, a finger print scanner for improved security. Brilliant.

The iPhone 5C is basically the iPhone 5 with a larger battery and a plastic back. Ok it's some polycarbonate material or something but  it certainly looks like plastic and there's no justifying that.
If that was done to reduce cost they failed. They've withdrawn the iPhone 5 and placed the 5C in its place. Generally when apple releases a new phone, the price of the previous phone drops anyway. The iPhone 5 would've cost almost the same as the 5C once the 5S released. And the iPhone 5 remains a great phone interms of look, feel and performance. Without the look and the feel, the phone isn't apple at heart. Had they left it at the 5S and  possibly released the iPhone 5 with a larger battery for iOS 7 they would've been so much better off.

Apple, for no presumable reason, has changed. Principles compromised for profits. Values forgotten in popularity. The heart, ignored in competition. The 5S has out sold the 5C by 4 devices to one. That itself speaks volumes in favour of quality over low prices.
The sooner the top managers at apple realize that, the better.


Post a Comment

constructive criticism welcome !

Popular posts from this blog

Diwali: Be a Hero

In India, we celebrate a lot of festivals. We celebrate so many festivals that at times it is difficult to keep count of what we're really celebrating. Different people look at this differently. For school kids, it means plenty of holidays. For their teachers, it means less time to complete the syllabus. For employees, it means a day away from work. For their employers, it means a drop in productivity. But there is one festival that really stands out in a calendar year. For years, I've been told it's the “festival of lights” but that isn't an accurate description of what it is any more. I'm,of course, talking about Diwali. The story is familiar to everyone. (For those who aren't familiar with it, there's a VERY concise version here : The Diwali Story). Diwali is, like almost all other festivals, a time to celebrate. And at least for as long as I can remember, it is also the time when environmentalists everywhere feel like they have the most hopeless job…

Aarushi, we're sorry

The Aarushi-Hemraj double murders or the Noida double murders was one of the most famous crimes in recent times in India. The subject of an enormous amount of media gaze, the investigation in the case was unprofessional, to put it mildly. The truth is, the investigation was shoddy, incoherent and provided very little answers. In the end, after multiple twists and turns, the court found Dr Rajesh Talwar and Dr Nupur Talwar guilty of the most sacrilegious of crimes. That of the murder of their own daughter. Before getting to that, here's a quick recap of the incident itself.

14 year old Aarushi Talwar was found dead in her bedroom in the morning of the 16th of may, 2008. Her parents suspected their domestic help, 45 year old Hemraj, who was missing and filed a complaint with the police. Police started the investigation in the case and collected evidence from the scene. Among those, was a bloodstained bottle of scotch on the dining table. The door to the terrace was locked and Dr Ra…

Are Digital Technologies Making Politics Impossible?

This article was originally written as part of my unfinished submission to the nine dots prize. Maybe next time I'll actually submit something. 

“The internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn't understand, the largest experiment in anarchy we've ever had.” -Eric Schmidt, Co-Founder and CEO,
In the year 1947 when John Bardeen and his team at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, New Jersey were busy inventing the first transistor, Harry S Truman was on the campaign trail with almost every prediction indicating that he would be defeated by Republican Thomas E. Dewey in the elections that would be held the following year. Meanwhile, somewhere in Illinois, Hugh Rodham and Dorothy Howell were celebrating the birth of their first child, a baby girl they named Hillary Diane Rodham and nearly 7000 miles away, 300 million Indians were celebrating their hard-fought independence from over 200 years of British colonial rule.

The invention of the transistor…