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2D: Apple’s tech breakthroughs

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Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 5 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. Not everything that is old is bad. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured.

But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views might very well have changed in the 5 years since I wrote this post. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find pretty embarrassing today.
  • This post might use language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate or offensive.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken; embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

A couple of weeks ago, Apple announced the iPad Air. You probably noticed some of the extensive media coverage which always follows Apple’s carefully choreographed product announcements these days.

One thread that’s often spun after the announcement of a new Apple product is “Apple isn’t what is used to be under Steve Jobs”. I could’ve chosen any number of articles following any of Apple’s recent product launches to illustrate this point, but Hartmut Esslinger’s piece for Time magazine is a particularly fine example:

The company already has fallen back toward a marketing-driven strategy, not an innovation-driven one. What we’ve seen from Apple since Steve Jobs passed away implies that Apple largely may be done innovating in any groundbreaking fashion. It’s all been refinement since then.

But are these claims true? Amusingly, Harry McCracken in a different edition of the very same magazine says not:

The golden age of Apple never existed. Steve Jobs didn’t change the world every two years like clockwork, and he was incrementalism’s grand master. For every great leap forward Apple ever made, it accomplished at least as much through small steps that made its products easier, faster, thinner, lighter, more polished and/or more useful. Tim Cook has been CEO of Apple for only a little over two years, so there’s nothing deeply troubling about the fact that he hasn’t boiled any oceans yet.

I personally find Harry’s argument the more convincing of the two, but perhaps you will disagree. If you get chance, it’s also worth watching Doug Aamoth’s video at the bottom of Harmut Esslinger’s article – it’s a rare example of a self-consciously amusing technology video that actually made me laugh.

2D posts appear on alternate Wednesdays. For 2D, I pick two interesting articles that look at an issue from two different – though not necessarily opposing – perspectives. I hope you enjoy them!

This 2,079th post was filed under: 2D, , .

More posts worth reading

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What I’ve been reading this month (published 6th October 2018)

A Little Knowledge… (published 20th November 2003)

For the good of Labour, Brown should battle on (published 18th September 2008)

Only the good-looking need apply (published 9th February 2005)

And the winner is… David (published 4th December 2005)


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Trackback received at 12:30 on 20th November 2013.

This post has been referenced by another on this site:
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