Bet a lot of people are feeling nostalgic about good ole’ days at Apple – those were the days when Apple was the underdog (and who doesn’t root for the underdog?) against the big bad Microsoft, and later, Blackberry or Nokia.
Not any longer. Now Apple has joined the ranks of massive companies the underdogs fight against. But simply having no Goliath to your David can’t be the reason for loss of mojo. But Apple on the other hand surely seems to be losing it.
Look at the recent events – almost immediately after launch of iOS 8, iPhone users started noticing slower wifi speeds and battery draining issues. Apple even had to pull their much-touted HealthKit apps from app store because of performance issues. The issues were so many that only a week after launch of iOS 8, Apple had to release another version (ver.8.0.1) to fix them – but this version also had to be pulled almost immediately because this version caused issues in network and TouchID.
I mean, come on Apple!
Then came #bendgate – iPhone 6 plus bends in certain circumstances – need I say more?
And now this is really new – hairgate. Apparently, in the new iPhones, there is fine gap between glass and aluminium casing which causes hair to get caught in it. This just started trending on twitter – check out #hairgate.
Honestly I think hair and bend-gates are not that severe from both a reputation and revenue perspective – these things have happened with many device / OS versions of reputed companies and they still survived fine (looking at you, Microsoft).
For me, the fundamental issue is the launch of iPhone 6 Plus.
Why did they do it? Apple has been a company that creates device categories. Think about iMac, iTunes, iPod, iPhone, and iPad – these devices fundamentally changed our relationship with our devices – a mobile phone became a smart phone that is tied to our life, iPad changed how we consume content, iTunes even led to people buying music, iMac was the first time a computer became an attractive device and so on.But to me, with iPhone 6+, Apple became a follower, a maker of phablets. Well, may be it will still deliver the best phablet experience but it still feels like playing a follow-up to Samsung. If we didn’t know Apple and if we take the OS issues, gates and phablets together – it’s a company that screws up its OS, has poor build quality and builds devices which a couple of years late to market.
Apple fans are usually very forgiving (10 million phones in the first few days) but Apple should remember that now there is no longer a cult around the CEO – and however ardent, the fans won’t be forgiving forever.