Steve Jobs January 8
Steve Jobs December 31, 2015
The view that Apple lost its innovative edge with the sad loss of Steve Jobs has been one of the oft-repeated criticisms of the company in recent years. But this idea is based on an entirely mythological view of Apple as a company that was constantly launching ground-breaking new product categories.
The reality is a little more mundane. The Macintosh, a truly revolutionary computer, was launched in 1984. We had to wait 17 years for the next groundbreaking product: the iPod in 2001. We had to wait six years after that for the next major product category: the iPhone in 2007. And a further three years for the iPad in 2010. (If you wanted to push things a little, you could argue that the MacBook Air was also so revolutionary that it deserves to be included; if so, we’re up to five new product categories in 26 years.)
Note, too, that none of the product categories were invented by Apple. Xerox, of course, invented the graphical user interface for personal computers. There were MP3 players before the iPod; touchscreen smartphones before the iPhone; tablets before the iPad. What Apple did in each case was what the company does best: take something clunky and used only by techies, and turn it into a slick product that will appeal to the masses.
So no, Apple never has churned out revolutionary new products on an annual basis. If we’re going to assess its performance today, it has to be against a realistic background. Zac recently reminded us of Apple’s product timeline for 2015. Looking at this in the context of a company whose true history is occasionally taking a new product category and doing it better than anyone else – and in between times merely refining its existing product ranges – how did Apple do this year … ?
Steve Jobs December 30, 2015
Apple, which was accused by the Italian government of failing to declare more than $1.3B of income when paying corporation tax in the country, has now agreed to pay the full €318M ($347M) claimed by the Italian tax office. The company has 16 Apple Stores in Italy.
Apple was accused of funnelling profits from Italian sales through its Irish subsidiary in order to benefit from the lower tax rate the company had agreed there. (Those tax arrangements are the subject of a separate EU investigation.)
La Repubblica (via The Local) reports Apple Italia was listed as a “consultant” for Apple Ireland, enabling the company to book profits through Ireland, paying just 2.5% tax under the terms of an agreement said to have first been reached with Steve Jobs back in the 1980s …
Steve Jobs December 28, 2015
This may not be widely known, but it’s an interesting piece of history that’s now confirmed: Steve Jobs personally tried to recruit Kevin Lynch to Apple after the big Flash debate in 2010. Lynch, of course, was Adobe’s chief technology officer at the time and had just went head-to-head with Apple CEO Steve Jobs over Flash and iOS.
Apple later hired Lynch away from Adobe in 2013, giving him the title VP of Technology and a project that would later become the Apple Watch, a hire that was widely seen as a bizarre move. Tim Cook’s Apple hired the guy that Steve Jobs basically destroyed…
Steve Jobs December 22, 2015
Steve Jobs famously said that people don’t know what they want until they see it. To which I’d add that sometimes we don’t know what we want until we’ve used it for a while.
I’m old enough to have been around when the first Macintosh was launched. In that case, I knew I wanted one the moment I saw it. This was how computers were supposed to work. The total cost of the Macintosh plus second floppy drive plus ImageWriter printer was a frightening amount at the time, but I didn’t care – I had to have one.
The iPad was a different story. I originally bought one intending it to be nothing more than the movie equivalent of the Kindle, yet within a very short time it became my primary mobile computing device.
The Apple Watch was different again. As someone who started out as a total smartwatch skeptic and has now been fully assimilated, I thought it might be interesting to briefly look back on that journey and also think a little about what the future might hold for the device …
Steve Jobs December 16, 2015