The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. -Albert Einstein
I. Exciting Underdog to Yawn Inducing Titan?
The company was mocked by many then, and funny enough are still mocked by many now, from those who do have no idea as to why it really just sums up to "if the cool kids are doing it then I have to fit in". There was a time when it was popular to write positive articles about the company as they were doing positive things, now's a time where it's popular to write negative articles about the company as they...continue to do positive things. It's a headscratcher no doubt but for many sites that have begun to operate like a digital national inquirer it's business as usual with relation to Apple. There are many questions that currently surround the company (political climate aside😔), many come from those that question the company's focus which is interesting considering that a company aith a worth of half a trillion dollars seems to continue to do just fine based on the decisions that have been made thus far. But Apple is now viewed as just another company pushing out products that aren't as "inspiring" as they used to be.
This is a frame of thought I question, could it be that those that don't find the products as exciting as they once were have been spoon-fed so much they now take the company for granted? Likely, could it be that the group is aging and becoming more cynical toward the company because they aren't being "wowed" like they once were, in a sense have become ridiculously entitled? Obviously, it's interesting that the company is simply considered to be nothing more than a run of the mill tech titan unbothered to do anything groundbreaking reagardless of the implementations in the new MacBook Pro with the touchbar, the advacements made by their silicon and engineering teams behind the A10 Fusion chip in the new iPhones and the T1 chip powering the Touchbar, and the yet to be released wireless AirPods with the same engineering teams developing the W1 chip for instantaneous wireless connectivity and pairing.
Apple isn't and will never be above critique though those leveling the critique do so at levels of hubris, and the group leveling the dialogue conveniently make up a specific metric of individuals. Outside of this rhetoric most that have suggested that Apple has said "f*** you to developers" or whatever other whining click-bait headlines have been developed have never touched let alone used the machine that they're leveling their anger at, it would be sad if I were to expect more from people in general. Consider the recent rumor of Apple investigating making glasses similar to Spectacles from Snapchat or Google Glass from Google, there have been several pieces online that has suggested how much of a failure this will be, and all from a rumor of something a logical individual who hears about this would conclude is simply being researched. I fully expect for the ignorance behind much of the rhetoric disguised as critique of the company to increase and become more vile in nature, when a very specific and certain group ages it's clear their misguided anger and unabashed entitlement goes unchecked.
II. Rough Transitions in 2016
The story has shaped up to be an interesting one from the company so far, smartphones across the board have likely peaked back in late 2014 early 2015, in terms of individuals that can afford and find them more useful for their everyday lives. Sales of the iPhone would likely come from Android converts, as the Postmillennial generation comes of age (born in 2000 now or currently turning 16) have likely been given hand-me-down phones from their parents. So when you have reached the highest point in phones that can be sold there are angles such as services that would and should become a cornerstone of keeping users within your ecosystem. Much of this story has been written on and off pertaining to the services story from Apple, and it's clear that the area is seeing growth, keeping developers happy will likely become a focus and goal for them in the coming months and years, though keeping them happy doesn't mean holding back from technological "evolution".
The iPhone 7 ditched the headphone jack, not sure if this would necessarily be "courageous" though it was an intriguing move to see them make. The internet had a collective freakout as usual and as usual millions upon millions have still purchased and are still purchasing the device so clearly it wasn't that much of an issue though the transition of a technology so many are comfortable with to something that still needs a lot of work can be a shock to one's system...in some cases, and the many that mocked such a move will be surprised when Android OEM's remove the same headphone jack instead offering a USB-C variety. It was clear the AirPods were to be the device that weened people off of the wired life, and it's extremely unfortunate that the device has been legitimately delayed considering it was announced with a specified time frame of availability upon its introduction. The lack of a physical home button was also a slow evolution of moving to no buttons at all, though yes other phones haven't had a home button for some time but obviously Apple is a meticulous company when it comes to their design decisions, if the technology isn't there to apply their ID and Engineering methodology that they believe is the best approach then it won't be done until the technology has arrived.
Then there's the MacBook Pro, the new device that has drawn so much ire from people that haven't even touched the device let alone put it through it's paces is being deemed a failure or a company that has lost its way. Much of what's being said is that Apple has thrown up their middle finger to Pro users, many of the people saying this are centering themselves in this conversation, Pro users aren't centrally described as video editors and engineers, the definition has expanded, the world has evolved, the use case has become more than what it once was, the entitled that have been screaming in caps at the top of their keyboards are no longer the center of the universe (sorry to tell them they never were). If anything this device looks to be one that Apple likely intended to release around WWDC, the best assumption to make is the yield rates for the Touchbar weren't up to their standards, though the best bet is intel delayed the chips they were dependent upon to place into the device, though again that is the best assumption behind why this device wasn't released sooner.
From the lack of availability of the AirPods with the launch of the iPhone 7 to the hyperbolic response to the MacBook Pro, discontinuation of Apple branded monitors and rumored discontinuation of the networking hubs which can be argued that the company has the ability to develop a product that exceeds that of Eero and Lumi, no updates to Mac hardware outside of the mobile counterparts, to the company branded design book capturing the intricacies of Apple products over the years that have those in the tech bubble shouting at the top of their lungs about the supposed arrogance at delivering such a product. It's not an exageration to say Apple has faced more scorn, condescension, and blowback from the tech press and media at large than Samsung has and their mobile devices and washing machines have been literally exploding...go figure.
From the outset it appears 2017 will be an interesting one to take note of what the company delivers, the rumors are we'll see a new iPad that could likely have an edge to edge screen with no home button along with an updated iPad line in the March quarter, potentially updated and/or discontinued Mac hardware in the desktop variety, AirPods (?), and iOS 11, that's just what's been expected and what has been rumored for the first half of year. There's still the iPhone 7S (or 8), improved and possibly lower cost MacBooks and potentially the rumored Siri Home device to compete with Alexa and Google Home, there's really no telling if we'll see something/anything new though a Series 3 Apple Watch isn't too far fetched either.
How will Apple respond to the constant barrage of negativity from the tech press and media at every single angle? They could simply do what they continue to do, ignore the noise and release whatever it is that's in the pipeline when it's ready. There's also the eventual completion of Apple Campus 2, the likelihood of a celebration of some sort as well as product announcements on the new campus. Everything else is hazy, there's one certainty with any rumor or review of a patent filing there will be several artices related to how said device that simply has a patent with no product release or introduction is bound to fail and doesn't give consumers what they really want. Look no further than the recent filing pertaining to the supposed glasses, and the suggestion that from a simple filing and report the company is doomed to fail.
Apple will forever face backlash over things that don't warrant it, many "pundits", "analysts", and "reporters" will write the company off as losing touch of the market, losing ground to competitors that honestly haven't done much but announce vaporware that remains unavailable to the masses, or a device one of their OEM's developed three years ago. Competitors will be graded on a curve as always, because of the nature that the company's secrecy and the seemingly regular pace that rumors come out there will be an increase in the lack of enthusiasim because the constant trickle has effectively informed most of what to expect. They should remain curious of what can be acheived by their ID & Engineering teams, steadfast on filing patent after patent as they have been to explore the considerable possibilities and probabilities. In the end it's not the company, rather it's the critical analysis and logical balanced reporting of Apple that's doomed.