Jackassery Never Goes Out of Style

Daniel Newman, writing for MarketWatch, with “7 reasons investors should worry” about Apple:

3. Apple has an identity crisis. When Apple was a challenger brand, it disrupted. It innovated. It had to “think different” and be a rebel. The moment Apple became the incumbent, it lost its identity, its sense of purpose and its vision. That’s why Apple is trying to be everything now: a credit-card company, another Netflix, the Reader’s Digest of news (leading HSBC to downgrade the stock), maybe an AR company, maybe a car company… Worst of all, Apple keeps looking to the past for ideas instead of the future. Steve Jobs had vision. Tim Cook has spreadsheets. Spreadsheets don’t make great Apple products. Vision does.

I read this piece a few hours ago and decided to ignore it. But this one paragraph kept gnawing at me. In one paragraph Newman argues that during Apple’s good old days, it disrupted and innovated. And then one sentence later he’s arguing that the company is lost because it’s entering the fields of AR and cars. And how are AR and autonomous vehicles “the past”? It’s one thing to contradict oneself paragraphs apart, but it takes quite a mind to contradict oneself so completely in a single short paragraph.

In for a penny, in for a pound, so let’s look at Newman’s next “reason” too:

4. Apple keeps missing the boat on innovation. Steve Jobs was a market-creator. His model was to build entirely new markets out of new product categories with potential. Apple’s success was predicated on a mix of calculated risk and impeccable timing. Today, Apple no longer seems able or willing to create new markets in which to grow. It should have been the smart home company, not Amazon or Google. It should already be the Mixed Reality (XR) company, but for all the rumors, Apple has yet to produce a revolutionary XR product leaving the likes of Microsoft, Facebook, and Magic Leap to lead in this category.

To write this paragraph, Newman had to ignore Apple Watch, which is now a bigger business than the iPod ever was — and is still growing. AirPods are another ignored hit. With the “mixed reality” stuff I guess he’s talking about headsets, which, yes, Apple doesn’t make. But it’s not like Microsoft’s or Facebook’s VR headsets are hit products. And I guarantee there are more people using AR thanks to ARKit on iOS than on all other platforms combined.

And Magic Leap? Really?

Friday, 12 April 2019