Tim Cook has tried to reassure everyone that there will be “great” new desktops from Apple. The big question, of course, is what will those desktops be? Apple has focused more and more on portable computing, and desktops have been largely neglected. The MacBook has become their mainstay in the PC world. So what can we expect? I don’t know, but I am allowed to guess (and I’m allowed to be wrong, too).
Apple is wandering in the wilderness, lost and without direction. If you don’t believe me, just look at any of the product announcements they’ve made in the past few years. The lack of focus and clarity, and the 1970’s variety show feel, are a clear indicator they don’t know what they are or what they want. That former employees are speaking up only reinforces this. They’re even becoming a punchline.
My most recent post discusses the real story behind the disruption of the music business. In it, I assert that the iPod and the iTunes Music Store were instrumental in putting Apple on the path they are on today. Are they really that important? Are the iPod and iTunes really central to Apple’s eventual success?
A common narrative about the music business is that Apple single-handled disrupted it. It was Apple, and in particular Steve Jobs, that used iTunes to “break the back … of music majors” (see JLG’s Monday Note). My problem? It isn’t actually true, at least not in the form the myth has taken. It’s close, but it isn’t the whole picture.
Apple announced a new app called TV, and they announced new MacBook Pros. The TV app does not surprise me. The new MacBooks look pretty nice overall (with some caveats), and didn’t really have anything we didn’t expect. It was an “okay” announcement, and about what we have come to expect from Apple today.
Okay, so I ranted about the flawed logic about the missing headphone jack, attacking the most common comparisons (floppy drives, optical drives, Ethernet). But there is another that I expect to be brought up, and that was the iPhone itself. There were features absent that some considered essential, and that absence didn’t hold it back. But there were reasons why those weren’t as big a deal.