Everyone around me knows how I’ve gone off the deep end with my Apple fandom. I’ve gone as far as buying a mini-macbook air pocket mirror and photoshopped Call of Duty on the screen. Why? Because it makes me happy. Because the neurons in my brain don’t always fire correctly. So when an article comes across my lap with any message other than “Apple creates world peace and happy babies,” it gets my attention.
To summarize the opinion in question it’s – “you will hate Apple one day.” Now this person acknowledges that Apple can choose to sell pies and the masses will fall in line for a slice but one day this beloved company will make you angry. I respect the thought and to a degree we are witnessing small cases already. Tim Cook has had to deal with fallout from the overseas labor practice review and then there was the recent Greenpeace stunt. Scrutiny over the speed in which security updates to recent flash/java disguised trojans surfaced over the web. “So this is the ship they say is unsinkable.”
It’s easy to dole out an opinion that contains the words “one day.” This form of statement can be tossed into infiniteness where 250 years down the road one would still be able to say “just you watch, one day it’s going to happen.” Let’s shrink that view and say “you will hate Apple within the next 25 years.” Great that sounds more like a respectable opinion. And I disagree.
Apple is still in second place. This is a good thing. Target fed off Walmart’s shadow and continued to grow while the smiley face was hit with negative media reporting. The same goes for Lowe’s second fiddle to Home Depot and AMD’s silver to Intel’s gold standard. Being in second place allows the type of legroom to be original. AMD had to strengthen its server CPU business and continues to set the standard in GPU’s through its ATI division. Without the weight of maintaining a lead, Lowe’s continually impresses consumer polls with it’s attention to organization and customer service. With an accented pronunciation, Tarzhay’s innovation in design and use of celebrity often gets hyped when it’s competition is scrutinized over labor standards. That’s effort, energy and resources that Walmart could have used in preparation for a more important battle with online retailers. Taking into account the post-PC market the figures back-up Apple’s placing. Windows accounts for 40% of market share, Android 35%, iOS 22%, and Mac OS X 2%. Apple comes behind in both mobile and standard operating systems. Let’s face it, leaders in the market Apple competes in have plenty of problems that Apple doesn’t. This frees up the resources necessary for Apple to remain innovation and design leaders.
The once loved list of IBM, Walmart, Nokia, and more recently Facebook, Best Buy, and Netflix never had a guy named Steve Jobs. Do not underestimate his leadership within Apple posthumous. He was a legitimate rockstar. A model for Iron Man’s Tony Stark. He was a legend that died well before his time. Let’s look at that list. Kurt Cobain, Jerry Garcia, John Lennon and Bruce Lee all passed away at too young of an age and, in part, that’s the reason their enterprises are still strong. They remain above long lasting scrutiny. Game of Death was a shitty movie but the Dragon was in it and it’s an inspiration for movies today. Hollywood will make Steve the subject of several biopics which helps to further entrench his mystifying aura. I’m not saying Apple gets a free pass but they get a certain leeway and cult status that won’t evaporate anytime soon. Don’t underestimate Steve Jobs.
In another way, Job’s manic work ethic and control issues ensure that Apple’s pipeline is fully stocked. He notably delegated the iPhone 4S to another team so he’d be able to focus on the next iteration. In 2010 he locked up the rights to use Liquid Metal which will slowly be appearing in upcoming devices like the MacBook Pro refresh. Don’t forget about the vaunted Apple Television that will help the company completely take over the living room. Even on accident Job’s opened a pathway into becoming THE dominant player in the the gaming market. Do you think Microsoft and Sony are worried about each other? They’re captive to the plans outlined by Job’s before his death. This is the pipeline that piqued China’s interest, we all know how important they are and Apple is one of just a handful of American companies they like.
AAPL’s one of the few companies that zombifies it’s buyers. It’s a huge brand like Coca-Cola and Disney. People buy AAPL shares just to have it. Their happy when the stock goes up and they don’t worry when it does go down. Apple no longer needs a person like Guy Kawasaki to be an evangelist, the buyers do that. Write an anti-mac comment on a forum to see the flame war blaze. I’ll be one of them that come out of the woodworks with digital fatigues ready to defend the thing I type on. I think that’s why I’m compelled to write this. That and my brain not working right thing.
Now I’ll be realistic here and admit that labor practice standards are a significant issue. So is the Greenpeace stunt in protest of Apple’s coal use. Tim Cook, if history is correct, will be well suited to transform some of these issues into net positives. Nike had a similar situation when the sweatshops were exposed and they remain a top ten global brand today. Even if Cook chooses to do the bare minimum in responding to media concerns, Apple has positioned itself for longevity.
The hippy haircuts may be gone but so long as Apple maintains some core mantras the future looks bright. I’ll leave you with number 12 of Guy Kawasaki’s list of things he learned while working for Steve Jobs. “Some things need to be believed to be seen.” I believe I’m right, you’ll see…..one day.