By admin | October 10, 2011
Let’s face it, Apple will never be the same company without Steve Jobs. So many people are saying that it won’t affect Apple sales and that the company is greater than the man, but that’s just not true is it? Steve Jobs was Apple, without him they nearly went under. All the charisma is gone, Apple is just another gizmo maker now and a hugely over priced one at that. It now has huge competition in the smartphone market, growing competition in the slate market and the Mac is all but dead as a major pc platform.
Not that any of these products are bad, it’s just that the market is jammed and packed with better value for money solutions and without Steve Jobs charisma, they simply don’t have the same personality driven energy behind them anymore. Of course there will be a lot of ‘homage to Steve’ purchases in the near future, but in the longer term and without the personality cult, well, mass market consumers are fickle creatures and money counts more these days than ever before.
Add to this the rather insane ‘we want to own everything you do’ mentality of the mega corp and a recipe for decline has already been set in place. Does Tim Price have the personality to drive new sales and loyalty? I think the answer is a resounding NO. Apple desperately needs a new young icon to drive them forward, but Steve jobs was alone in the industry as a personality. There are no other characters out there who could take his place. Y gen’s are fickle and often feckless, they give no regard to history, they thrive on instant digital gratification and the course of their affections can change on the whim of a new youtube vid.
I would go further to say that the whole gizmo driven, hand held, cell phone market is due for a huge shake up, if not collapse, now that Mr jobs has left the stage for the last time. The crazy blood sucking pricing and contracts of the big players are chasing fewer and fewer disposable dollars in the market place. That spells disaster for the overcommitted.
Am I saying the Mac market is not worthy or that iPhones and iPads are just fleeting stars in the electronic night sky? Of course not! they are all great consumer products, else they would not have sold so well, people are not that stupid with their money. However, Apple has already shown an unprofessional lack of support for all the millions of professional Mac users, witness the Final Cut Pro fiasco.
It’s clear to see where Apple as a corporation sees its commercial future and this is what bothers me about the new uber profitable Apple, they are forgetting their roots and playing in a market that is patently over saturated already and while they remain flavor of the year, all is well and good but claiming electronic Mercedes Benz status for plastic, metal and glass depends entirely on the market energy of the times, simply put, the times have changed with Mr Jobs’ departure.
There will always be a status market for the luxury minded, but in case you didn’t notice, huge profits needed by mega corps come from the middle ground and the middle ground has fallen on harder times. A new market that doesn’t rely on the overpaid and overpriced is waiting to be plucked from the tree. Steve could have addressed this new market over time, but what is Apple without a Steve? just another hybrid fruit on a supermarket display, all shiny and waxed but regardless of the skin, they all kind of start to taste the same.
The new market will see aggressive pricing with devices more suited to particular needs. The enterprise market has never been the same as the mass consumer market and products are emerging which are better tailored to each consumer need. The big players will need to get it right or they will sink like an iphone with a broken glass front and a wonky antenna.
Companies like Netflix are going to make a huge impact on the way we use media online, they are smart to keep their online pricing low and give huge competitive value to their product, they are changing the game. The current cell phone market is due for a huge Netflix type shake up, the days of hypercharging for every bit of imaginary bandwidth and stray unaccountable kilobyte are fast falling into the vast void of failed tinker toy apps.
It was fun while it lasted, but consumer pockets are getting tighter than ever before. Consumers are choosing to keep their devices longer and longer before upgrading and with it profit margins go down, the sleak and lean will survive but some of the big players are already on their last legs. The last bite of the Apple? Perhaps a new cherry will appear to tempt our digital palettes, but it only takes one lemon to sour the shiny consumer loyalty button.
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