As the whole world knows, Steve Jobs, former co-founder, CEO, and visionary leader of Apple, passed away in 2011. Now, the common refrain is that when Jobs died, any magic Apple may have had died with him.
In some ways, this argument is impossible to dispute. Few people have the sheer charisma and public speaking skills Jobs possessed (study him well, fellow Comm Studies majors), and Tim Cook, Apple’s new CEO, certainly runs the company differently, particularly in regards to its performance in the stock market.
Interpret these changes as you will, but the important question remains: is Apple now doomed?
Despite the naysayers, I have yet to see any signs that the company is declining. It definitely isn’t the case based purely on sales. In their last quarterly earnings results, Apple announced profits of $7.7 billion (the highest they’ve ever had in the fiscal quarter from April to June); the pre-order sales for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, the replacements for the 5C and 5S that sport bigger screens and better battery life, are already through the roof; and there’s certainly no shortage of Apple logos to be seen on campus at CSU. Furthermore, Cook has successfully launched quite a few new iDevices in his three years at the helm with minimal supply constraints and hardware issues. He oversaw the botched launch of Apple Maps, but Jobs was in charge when MobileMe and Ping flopped, so it’s not as though the old Apple was flawless.
But what about innovation? Jobs was indeed at the helm for the launches of the iPod, iPhone, and iPad, while Cook has yet to release a game-changing new product line. I feel that it’s asking quite a lot to expect a company to spit out revolutionary new product lines every few years, and the fact it took Jobs 13 years as CEO to release those three is testament to that.
Nonetheless, Cook may be about to pull one off. On Sept. 9, he announced that the next addition to Apple’s lineup, the Apple Watch, will launch early next year. Sporting a new interface using a touch screen and a crown (the dial found on the side of watches) to scroll through and zoom in on apps, a heart rate sensor to provide health feedback, the ability to use apps both familiar and new, and dozens of combinations of watches and wrist straps available, it looks like a huge opportunity for Apple to make another big splash. The fact that the company spent more time announcing the Watch than even the new iPhones at its press conference is a testament to their confidence in the product. Only time will tell how the $349 gadget will perform when it launches early next year, but if you ask me, those who claim Apple is going downhill may have spoken a bit too soon.
Collegian Columnist Dan Rice can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @DanRiceman