Apple After Steve Jobs

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A Story About Two New (Worthless) Android Users

Yesterday night, we had many people at my house for easter. One of the invitee came in with its new Android phone. I asked him to have a look at it. Then, I asked him if he could get to his voice messages because we tried to reach him all day long without any succes. It happens that this new Android user (he used to have a flip phone before) just didn’t know how to get to his voice mail. Nor did he know how to configure his new phone for anything. But he was a proud owner of a smartphone, just as good as the iPhone (in his own words).

Today, I went to a local mobile shop in order to get my iPad on a new data plan. While I was waiting in line, a couple in front of me was looking to get an iPhone. The girl asked what would be the cost of the phone. The salesman replied, 80$ for the 16 gigs iPhone 5c. She replied that she expected the phone to be free on contract. So the salesman replied, no problem, here are a bunch of “other smartphones” that will cost 0$ but will be as good as the iPhones or even better (bigger screens). He was, after all, a well informed person as he was a proud owner of a Nexus 5. The girl asked her boyfriend if this was ok with him. He said, yeah, why not. They settled for an HTC I think (I could see the device he chose). So the salesman filled in all the papers and near the end of the process he stared to do some upsale. He suggested the couple to get earbuds as the phone didn’t come with it. Then, he suggested to get a charger for the car. He couldn’t sell a case as the phone was “so new”, he didn’t have them yet. The couple ended up buying.. 80$ of accessories, for an Android smartphone. Obviously, they didn’t care what the smartphone really was in itself and they weren’t very good at maths obviously.

What can be concluded from all this? First, I cannot generalize but I have a feeling that sellers of smartphones are really pushing Android phones just because they can, whatever the customer really needs. I also understand that these two new Android users are just worthless to the ecosystem. They will probable end up making phone calls, Facebook and that’s about it. These two Android users are prime examples of why Android has become what it is. And this is a place where there is no sustainability for Apple in the long term. 

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About This Steve Jobs’ Email

Apple Outline

Before going with my observations based on this email from Steve Jobs back in october of 2010, I want to state a few historical facts.

Back in 2010, Apple was selling the iPhone 4 and the iPad came out in march. The iPhone 4S, an upgraded version of the iPhone 4, was released in the fall of that year. The iPad 2 came out in march the following year. The iPhone 5 was a work in progress and was released in 2012. iCloud replaced MobileMe services in 2011. 

Now, back to Steve Jobs email. Here are my observations.

  • Apple was (and is IMHO) very aware of the competitive landscape (much more than I thought). They don’t do much of user survey but they do survey the market landscape.
  • Apple is aware that Google is much more a cloud company than Apple is and they must do something about it. There answer seemed to be iCloud. I think it was a pale answer to that. As of 2014, this is still a pale answer to Google’s advanced in the field. Apple isn’t a cloud company. Period. 
  • The iPhone 4S was a stop gap between the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 5 with minimal upgrades. LTE wasn’t ready in 2011 one of the main feature after the screen size.
  • They were already thinking of the iPad 3 back in 2010 as they we’re having a working screen (the main selling point of the iPad 3). Apple seems to be working two generations of devices in advance.
  • On iOS side, Apple is clearly already playing catchup back in 2010. They tried to leapfrog Google with Siri. Did they deliver? I’m ot sure at all.
  • New iDisk for Mac is mentioned but we’re in 2014 and iCloud still doesn’t provide a competitive feature on the Dropbox/Box/SkyDrive landscape.
  • Apple TV is seen as an accessory for the iPad and a must be presence in the living room. Still, this product received only one update since 2010. This is what happen when your play the role of the hobby product. But in order to make it a real accessory for all iPad users, Apple must improve this product faster. They failed at doing so. Why?
  • Back in 2010 Apple is talking about Apps for the Apple TV but 4 years later and we are still waiting for those to be a reality. Apple is being coucht by Amazon, Roku and Google. They lost the lead on this one.

This emailis a rare look inside Apple internal working. 

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