Has Apple jumped the shark?
I'm going to start this off by saying that I have an iPhone 4, had an iPhone 3G and have been a big fan of Mac OS and the iPad. Apple has a lot going for it because their products do 'just work', set design to a new level in consumer electronics and are so simple that a toddler intuitively knows how to use their devices.
Also in the interest of full disclosure I have to admit that I work for HP which makes competing devices although I work in the services division not in any of the hardware groups. So, I while I receive a paycheck from a rival hardware manufacturer I also do not receive an income from hardware or software products that are in competition with Apple.
Now, to the question in the title: Has Apple jumped the shark? Why do I bring this up? Because for the last year plus look at all of the developments that Apple has deployed for themselves rather than their user community. Sure, iOS4 gave us multitasking but left out a notifications and any form of new UI. In addition, they left out any way to make your information easier to use. They point out that by going with Android you need to become a systems integrator by having to make your Android apps work for your version of Android OS. However, Apple leaves out how much effort you need to put in to manage your data from various sources on the web as the web becomes more and more important to our everyday lives.
And in the same span of time what have they give themselves? Well, with the advent of the iPad they gave themselves iBooks to generate revenue when users of the iPad and later the iPhone purchased books or reading material. Sure, there are many classics for free but their objective was to generate revenue and end competition from Amazon and the other book sellers.
With iOS4 they also gave themselves iAd to add more revenue and prevent Google from dominating ads generated from eyeballs on products running iOS. And most recently, Apple gave themselves a subscription service to again take 30% revenue from newspapers and magazines readers who just happen to own an iPhone or iPad.
Today, we're close to the eve of the iPad2 release. Judging from the past we know that Apple will deliver a device that is lighter, faster, has better battery life, is built to even more demanding standards and likely with upgraded Apple applications which are a leap forward in usability from the previous generation. We expect that iTunes will somehow appear on the web and MobileMe will be free. Good to keep up with Google and other free services on the web but is it enough for the Apple user.
Is Apple going to give us another incremental advance or are they going to knock the cover off of the ball and give us something truly remarkable. Truly remarkable is hard to do on a regular basis, but it is long over due from Apple. We've seen little more than incremental from Apple for quite some time. Sure, Steve Jobs had been absent from the company twice since the iPhone launch. He's managed to ensure the company's products keep getting better but are they so far ahead of the competition that they cannot be beaten? We will know soon by what they give their customers - something for the customers or something for themselves.
- 02-27-2011, 11:04 PM #2
- 02-28-2011, 05:25 AM #3
- 02-28-2011, 07:55 AM #4
I don't quite get the OPs thoughts either.
In any case, Jumping the shark is an idiom used to denote when a particular production effort has surpassed its relevance and reached a point of decline in quality that it is incapable of recovering from.
The phrase jump the shark comes from the climactic scene in "Hollywood," the third part (written by Fred Fox, Jr.) of a three-part episode opening the fifth season of the American TV series Happy Days in September 1977. In this story, the central characters visit Los Angeles, where a water-skiing Fonzie (Henry Winkler), wearing swimming trunks and his leather jacket, jumps over a confined shark, answering a challenge to demonstrate his bravery.
I know exactly what 'jumped the shark' means, I saw the Happy Days episode when it originally aired and didn't need Wikipedia to look it up.
Think about it for a moment. iOS is becoming dated and more a vehicle to launch Apple vehicles to sell product with 30% going to Apple than it is something that is for the user. Apps are nice but they're not a strategy given the fact that too many apps function in a silo. Android & webOS are giving users more opportunity to de-silo those apps. Apple's best attempt was multi-tasking which is a nice first step but is lacking.
If you don't want to call this jumping the shark - fine. But until I see Apple do something that betters my user experience on my iPhone 4 and continues to want to sell me stuff I'll find it difficult to conclude that they truly care about the customer.
- 03-01-2011, 10:26 AM #6
In any case, I don't agree that they've jumped the shark. If you need non-sandboxed apps that's what Android and webOS are there for, choice. For me I like the setup and my only desire is an improved notification system. The iPhone is still highly relevant and not in decline, only getting better each year. I would say RIM has jumped the shark but not Apple.
Last edited by sting7k; 03-01-2011 at 10:28 AM.
- 03-01-2011, 11:24 AM #7
- 03-01-2011, 12:44 PM #8
If Apple was saying that the iPhone 4 could grill steaks (cause there's a meat timer app), then I might agree that they were "jumping the shark." (And yea, I was already an adult when I saw the original episode of Happy Days, too.)
If you are saying Apple is lagging behind other mobile operating systems while stating that they remain on the cutting edge - this is not shark jumping. At best it would be exaggerating. But iOS is still cutting edge, and with the exception of notifications, way ahead of WebOS.
So without using metaphors that will confuse everyone - what is it you think Apple has done (or not done) exactly?
- 03-01-2011, 01:18 PM #9
Apple may not be "bleeding edge" in a lot of things (the 3G version of the iPhone was a year late, for example), they do offer solid products. In other areas, they ARE leading edge - the first truly usable tablet on the market, for example.
Looking at their bottom line, you will see that they are clearly meeting the expectations of their shareholders... and doing that means they are meeting the needs/demands of their customers as well. Look at market share increases for their computers, their market share with the iPhone and their sheer domination of the tablet market and tell me that the consumer's needs aren't being met.
To say that they have put their income above everything else, that may very well be true... but it's necessary to say in business... and from their place in the various technology products in the markets, I'd say they are successful in both areas.
- 03-01-2011, 01:24 PM #10
I've been using Apple products since I got my first iMac in 1999. Only had one Windows laptop for a brief time. I've never been disappointed with an Apple product, but I definitely can't say the same for the Toshiba Windows laptop I had. I think they still care about customer satisfaction more than any manufacturer of Windows machines.
- 03-01-2011, 07:13 PM #11
- 03-01-2011, 08:22 PM #12iPhone Intermediate
- 206 Posts
I do not really understand what it is they are supposed to be "giving back". When I go buy a DVD player, I don't expect a regular upgrade. When I bought my PS3, I wasn't surprised that it would cost me more if I wanted to "upgrade" certain things.
I've certainly never received any improvements with any of my Laptops, Cell Phones, -insert electronic device name here-, so I wouldn't expect Apple to give me more for my already purchased iPhone4. The fact that they DO in the way of iOS updates is really more than most companies do.
Android releases an update to the OS, and the users get to download it "free of charge".
Apple release an update to iOS, and the users get to download it "free of charge".
I fail to see what is wrong with this scenario? For years, we have invested in electronic gadgets which got NO upgrades after the initial purchase. Why the sudden surprise that a gadget already owned doesn't morph into something revolutionary over the devices lifetime?
- 03-02-2011, 04:53 PM #13
- 03-02-2011, 05:05 PM #14
- 03-03-2011, 05:49 PM #15
- 03-04-2011, 06:24 AM #16
- 03-04-2011, 11:25 AM #17
- 03-04-2011, 01:21 PM #18
- 03-04-2011, 02:42 PM #19
I think that for business, the standard test is two down quarters. We need not speculate. It will be in all the papers and on TV. For the time being, Big Mo is definitely on their side. Get over it.
Last edited by whmurray; 03-04-2011 at 02:48 PM.