Over the last few months I have read a number of articles about Apple, its visionary past and its rather staid and predictable present.
Depending on what you read, Apple is either providing some of the best computer technology around today, (PC & Tech Authority-February 2017, talking about the iMac i7) or it has lost its way.
A general thread is that Apple is no longer sure if it is a producer of phones, tablets or computers.
Many commentators are bemoaning the fact that Apple’s recent product releases have been underwhelming.
More than one points to the fact that its flagship computer, the Mac Pro, has remained static for several years.
Like Yeats, they cry out, “Surely some Second Coming is at hand!”
What do the figures say?
Currently the pundits are announcing that Samsung has been overtaken by Apple as the iPhone re-takes the lead in the last quarter. However, when you clear away the dust, you find the difference is 0.1%. Interestingly, that’s about the lead that Samsung had in the previous quarter.
One pundit sagely reminds us that Samsung plan a new product release in March, so we can expect a swing back the other way.
Apple generally has its releases in September, so you can guess what the pundits.
History of Doom
In the 1990’s I was responsible for a school’s ICT curriculum development and future purchase plans.
Where did we want to be by the turn of the century.
When I started, the Internet wasn't a reality.
By 1998 we had two internet connections of 28k, meaning two computers had internet access.
Within a few short years we faced the information revolution.
Suddenly I was teaching information skills where before I’d been teaching how to code to get the Turtle to move in Logo!
The talk was all about acceptable user policies and internet safety.
During this time the Apple talk was about whether they would survive to the following year.
This topic was rehashed with monotonous regularity.
Meanwhile Apple hired back Steve Jobs, introduced the iMacs and OSX.
I still have my beige G3 desktop and first Wall Street G3.
In over 20 years of purchasing Macs for schools, the G3 desktop was my only casualty.
A month or so after the Applecare Warranty expired, the hard disk died.
From that moment on I never bothered with the extended warranty, figuring the money I saved would more than pay for any repairs.
My greatest hurdle was that management genuinely believed the harbingers of Apple Doom.
You know, those people strangely silent until recently? The demise of Steve Jobs seemed to encourage these timid souls to reappear from the woodwork.
Maybe Steve scared them off for a while.
Timid creatures, easily frightened by steely gazes and turtlenecks, it appears.
Nevertheless, burgeoning coffers and profits have not diminished their enthusiasm for predicting the end of Apple.
I’m not really sure I understand them.
Maybe Tim Cook doesn't scare them the way Jobs did.
Today however, their calls of doom and destruction resound from within their Windows 10 powered hearts.
Deep inside, I harbour the sneaking suspicion that these cries come from a deeply hidden recess of 1 Cuppertino Way, HOD (Harbingers of Doom) division.
Paid a modest retainer and supplied with windows tablets with shoddy add-on keyboards, these myopic creatures churn out the propaganda, culminating with another understated September revelation.
Tim doesn't quite pull off the Jobs prestidigitation, but he tries valiantly.
Shortly after, the queues form at Apple Stores everywhere awaiting the midnight release of some new iteration be it iPhone, iPad or Macxxx xxx.