The decline of Apple

Back in the 90s hardly anyone used Macs or Apple products. They had a small foothold in schools and graphic design shops but that was about it. The iPod was the beginning of their post-millenium rise – the 3rd generation iPod released in 2003 was the first Apple hardware I’d ever wanted, and I eventually purchased a 4th gen iPod in 2004.

ipod
The fourth generation iPod “photo” model

A few years later in 2007 the iPhone came out and completely changed what a smartphone was. Prior the the iPhone the best smartphone was probably a Blackberry, with it’s clunky little keyboard and tiny screen. But the iPhone with it’s giant glass screen and intuitive gestures was revolutionary.

history-of-iphone-3gs-hero
The iPhone 3GS (2009), the first iPhone I owned

There’s hardly any products I can think of that I could afford to purchase the best in the world of. Take cars for example. I can’t afford a brand new Ferrari. Or TVs – I couldn’t afford (or couldn’t justify buying) a top of the line whizz-bang TV. But a phone – yes! The iPhone at the time was the best phone any money could buy. Not that I gave a shit about having an awesome phone, all I wanted at the time was to have wikipedia in my pocket so that I could be a know-all at parties.

Both the iPod and later the iPhone made people, especially us geeks, open our eyes to how good Apple’s products could be. The Macbook Air made us realise that the lightest and sexiest laptop/notebook was also made by Apple. Apple started shipping with Intel processors! Within a couple of years Apple laptops were everywhere, even at conferences for us Windows developers.

I never considered myself an Apple fanboy, but here I am in 2017 typing this on my trusty Macbook Air, with my aging iPhone 5 alongside, and an iPad sitting on the windowsill (which I still never use). At the time of each purchase it wasn’t that I wanted to buy an Apple product, it was just that I wanted the best laptop/phone/tablet on the market at the time, and each of those happened to be made by Apple.

Amongst my geeky friends it was pretty much the same pattern. Mac laptops and iPhones for the most part. Not all though – some swore by Android phones.

In the last couple of years though, Apple have made a few key mistakes with their products which have seen my geek friends desert them, and I think it won’t be long before I too leave Apple products behind.

iWatch sucked

The first big Apple let down was the Apple Watch. Rumours had abounded for years that Apple would be bringing out a smartwatch that would change the world, just like the iPhone did. I was excited about it. Then when it was finally released, it was expensive and gimmicky. Hardly any of my geek friends bought one (hi Andy J, Alan, Alex).

No headphone port

Yep, another mistake was omitting the headphone port from the iPhone 7. Not a single iPhone buyer thought that was a good idea or a step forward. That small error was enough for us geeks to doubt that Apple knew what they were doing, and look at Android phones.

Downgrading the Macbook Pro

The killer mistake though was 2016’s Macbook Pro

  • More expensive
  • No USB 3.0 ports
  • No HDMI port
  • No SD card reader
  • No magsafe power
  • Similar spec CPU, memory and storage to the 2015 model
  • Lame touch bar

Although most users don’t use the F1-F12 keys on the top row of a QWERTY keyboard, us developers DO use them, so getting rid of those keys was a big deal.

See Benjamin Button reviews the new Macbook Pro

Now what?

In summary, Apple haven’t released anything amazing since Steve Jobs died.

So what’s a geek to buy in 2017 then? I don’t know – it’s not as straightforward as a couple of years ago. I usually go on my geek friends recommendations – on the phone front, Google Pixel phones are well regarded. iPhones are hanging on by their fingernails.

On the laptop front, NONE of my friends are buying new Macbooks. Microsoft(!) Surface Books or Surface Pros are looking like a good option. Windows laptops are making a comeback.

What now for Apple

For now, they’ve lost the geek crowd, and in technology where the geeks lead the world follows. Apple needs to release a new killer product to get us back. Or just drop the prices on their bloody phones and make a decent laptop again!

They have enough $$$ in the bank that they’re not gonna die any time soon, but until they win the geek crowd back I predict shrinking profits, maybe even losses, and a dropping share price for Apple (currently USD$132).

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14 thoughts on “The decline of Apple

  1. One thing Apple have been doing great is moving/improving new tech between their gear. For example, the iPhone touchscreen tech made the iPad possible. I predict that this lame touch bar you mentioned will go in the next iPhone or iPad. The iPad seems more likely as currently there is a ton of wasted screen space surrounding the home button.

    • Since Steve Jobs left Apple in 2011, Apple products have sucked much ass! Made a huge mistake and bought an IPad Pro. Garbage! My low end LG smart phone putn s the IPad trash to shame. I can access websites on my phone that my IPad Pro just freezes or will not even load a tenth of the page especially when the page has numerous graphics. Apple’s decline occured when Chief Idiot Officer Tim Cook was put in charge.
      Since my disability requrrires me to use Apple’s more accomodating operating system, my IPad is in the garbage, my cat uses it for his litter box. I use my vintage Macbook built before the decline of Apple in 2011. Only purchase Apple products from the years 2011 and below and you will be fine

  2. You wouldn’t know that Apple is declining where I work at a community college – every student that comes through my door this academic year has a MacBook of some variety, and they are crying at the lack of ports, and of the awful warranty, but have bought one thanks to marketing. I am not going to say they don’t last – they do. But, PCs can last too. It’s all in how you look after your things. My preference is for the PC. I have a 2-year MacBook Pro, and programs crash on the thing all the time, which leads me to conclude that they just aren’t that great for me.

  3. I agree completely. Typing this on a trusty 2012 Macbook Air. If/when it dies I don’t know what I’ll get to replace it but it definitely won’t be one of the new Macbooks. Same with my iPhone 6. It’s great but I have no desire for a 7 or an 8/X. I will miss iOS and OSX but not enough to spend all that money replacing my old apple gear with models that aren’t even as good.

  4. I stopped buying phones after the model 6 got released. still got that and i see and feel no incentive to buy another phone until this one disintegrates. the iphone x does absolutely nothing for me. the phones are the one thing… i recently bought a new macbook pro. and i am beginning to think maybe this was the final macbook i bought. the keypad is a pain to work with. the missing usb ports will stop hurting when in 5 years also windows will have abandoned them. right now i am disenchanted from everything apple. never thought i would say this. but at one point (death of jobs) they stopped being innovative.

    • Well, the iPhone X fulfills my aforementioned desire for a bezel-less phone, but hell, my old iPhone 5 still runs fine so like you, I think I’ll stick to that until it dies.

    • Stick with products around the years 2011 and below and you will be fine. Any year above and everything sucks. I have repaired my Macbook Pro at least 2, and I am going to keep repairing it until I can repair it no more. After that, I do not know what I will do.

  5. Until a better alternative comes out, Apple will continue to dominate. The technology has gotten so incredibly hard that we may never see new breed of industry to compete with Apple or Samsung on this. It may be like TV. They will expand until their price reaches a point where people will not pay for an upgrade, and that’s when the decline sets in.

    • That’s a really good point. Me personally, I never buy the latest £4000 TV, I’ll buy the cheaper £400 model which is based on tech from 1 or 2 years ago. The iPhone X has been out for months, and was the phone I was waiting for (no bezel!), but I’m not going to pay that much for one. I’m actually harking for a dumb phone, partly to force myself to use it less.

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