Everyone loves a good story. Some people need a good story.
Tim Cook, for example. When Jony Ive decided to leave Apple in June 2019, Tim’s job was to reassure Wall Street that the departure of Steve Jobs’ spiritual partner was only a superficial wound.
The goal was believability, not transparency. After all, this is business. Very, very big business.
And so a story was spun.
Let’s give Tim credit for manufacturing a credible and effective tale. Then let’s wonder why no one ever poked holes in it.
One thing Apple unveiled in its recent Spring Forward event was enough to make me believe in miracles.
After nearly six frustrating years—six years!—one of the company’s most inexplicable design blunders was finally corrected.
Hello, new Siri Remote.
The shock got me digging into the past to examine Apple’s track record when it comes to fixing things that need fixing. Sorry to say, it isn’t pretty.
Here’s a look back at the more notable Apple mistakes—and how long they went uncorrected.
All hail the M1 processor!
No question, Apple Silicon is a very big deal. But—it’s an even bigger deal in the context of Apple history. Monolithic even.
Cue the 2001: A Space Odyssey metaphor.
In the movie, an enigmatic Monolith is discovered beneath the surface of the moon. Planted by extraterrestrials eons ago, it’s actually a marker of human evolution. When exposed to the sun, it emits a signal to notify its makers that humankind is no longer bound to this earth.
The M1 chip is Apple’s very own Monolith. Exposed to the world, it sends a signal that Apple, after decades of evolution, has reached an epochal milestone.
To explain, a little archaeological dig is in order…
Damn, HomePod mini looked pretty great in Apple’s unveiling last week.
They had me from the first image where it sat elegantly on the side table. Simple. Clean. Not a cord in sight!
It was my ultimate music-player-intelligent-assistant fantasy come true. A gorgeous device I could put absolutely anywhere.
Until it wasn’t.
Silly me. I made the unforgivable error of believing my eyes. At the very end of that scene, for just the briefest moment, came a glimpse of a cord trailing away from mini.
From there, Apple took us on a winding path visually, with the vast majority of shots showing a “cordless” HomePod mini. A casual viewer could be forgiven for drawing the wrong conclusion.
Out of curiosity, I went back for a re-viewing.
I am eternally grateful that no one ever asked me to write a PR release for a company in trouble.
It’s a thankless job, and nobody believes what you write—but write you must.
That’s why so many surrender from the start, dipping into a reservoir of classics like, “He’s leaving to pursue other opportunities.”
This was the challenge served up to the spokeswoman at Apple’s agency, Media Arts Lab, to explain the recent layoffs of 50 people.
Thankfully, she didn’t ask us to believe that those 50 simultaneously decided to pursue other opportunities. What she did ask us to believe was something equally absurd.
Somewhere in an alternate universe, Tim Cook is busy rehearsing his September 10th event.
He’s nervous. He’s about to do something incredibly bold. Maybe even crazy.
Going through his show, he pauses when he gets to the iPhone branding slide, imagining how the audience’s collective jaw will drop.
Despite the rumors, there is no number 11. There’s no X, R, S, SE, Plus or Max in sight. And that’s just the tip of this boldness iceberg.
Alternate Tim takes a deep breath, then drops the bomb.
“Our new iPhones are so new, so totally amazing, so far beyond any iPhone we’ve made before, we’re not even calling them iPhones anymore,” he says. “Meet the new Apple Phones.”
After a 21-year run, the i is finally dead.