Too many ‘Cooks’ spoil the broth

Another Apple launch, another display of iHubris. As I did not watch ‘the event‘ I do not have first hand knowledge of what occurred, but I’ve heard whispers that the word courage was used when describing the iPhone7. Seriously? I equate courage with the actions of soldiers, firefighters, law enforcement, and everyday people facing life and death situations. Not CEOs trying to justify dipping deeper into their customers pockets.

Now I’m an unabashed BlackBerry fan, the company, the employees, the products. Probably not much separates me from Apple loyalists. But there is one core difference – Corporate Philosophy. Under Steve Jobs Apple created a phone that was innovative and different. But their Corporate Philosophy was to convince everyone that this phone was cool and if you owned one you became cool too. And to ensure that once you bought-in you would never leave (aka Hotel California) they created an ecosystem (what others call a walled-off-garden). iTunes, Mac, Apple TV, iPods, iPads, miniPads, iPhones, lightning chargers, etc… and they were built to communicate with each other seamlessly.

The problem is the products were fairly well built (never-mind antenna-gate, exploding battery-gate, lack of security, a screen so fragile it would crack if a mouse farted, phones that bend, and battery life that is beyond pathetic). As time went on the iPhone became the major revenue earner (accounts for almost 60%) and the other products were somewhat relegated to tertiary status.

In order to keep the revenue stream flowing they released a new iPhone every year. That may sound easy but it’s quite the nightmare. From designs, to raw materials, to parts, to manufacturing, to distribution, labor,and logistics – keeping the most profitable corporate machine fed is not an easy task. Trade offs had to occur and that was in the form of innovation, or lack thereof. To quantify the changes from 5 to 5s, 5s to 6, 6 to 6s, 6s to iPhone7 you would need a microscope as they are truly minuscule.

Since folks were tied into the ecosystem/walled-off-garden it became extremely difficult not to keep up with the hardware and software changes. As new software rolled out older models had difficulty working properly. Every year or two a change would be made to a connector or cable. Cases became a necessity as the screens were so fragile. And once you filled up your memory with those all important pictures of meals and selfies you could try their porous cloud (see The Fappening) or worse yet buy a phone with more memory. To double the size of a microSD card runs about $20. Doubling the size of your iPhone memory is about $100. Not only were you locked in you were constantly being asked for $30 here, $50 there just to keep your seat at the cool table.

Sooner or later it had to stop. And today was that day. Tim Culpin, a contributor to Bloomberg wrote a scathing article entitled, “Tim Cook Stop Annoying Your Customers“. While the article makes valid points it’s the fact that the press has turned on Apple so quickly – within a day of the iPhone7 Launch! But it didn’t stop there. TechCrunch reported that Apple would no longer be disclosing the first weekend sales figures. Is the mighty giant quaking in its’ boots? I wouldn’t go so far as to say they’re in trouble-

For the record, here’s a list of iPhone first weekend sales figures from all prior years:

Selling 10 or 12M units in a weekend is a quota anyone would love to make, only selling 9M does not make them a failure, it just further cements that Tim Cook may be a good businessman but he lacks the vision to truly make a difference.





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