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2D: Apple’s tech breakthroughs

Hold up!

See that little date above?

This post was published years ago.

My opinions have changed over time: I think it's quite fun to keep old posts online so that you can see how that has happened. The downside is that there are posts on this site that express views that I now find offensive, or use language in ways I'd never dream of using it today.

I don't believe in airbrushing history, but I do believe that it's important to acknowledge the obvious: some of what I've written in the past has been crap. Some of it was offensive. Some of it was offensively bad. And there's may be some brass among the muck (you can make up your own mind on that).

Some of what I've presented as my own views has been me—wittingly or unwittingly—posturing without having considered all the facts. In a few years, I'll probably think the same about what I'm writing today, and I'm fine with that. Things change. People grow. Society moves forward.

The internet moves on too, which means there might be broken links or embedded content that fails to load. If you're unlucky, that might mean that this post makes no sense at all.

So please consider yourself duly warned: this post is an historical artefact. It's not an exposition of my current views nor a piece of 'content' than necessarily 'works'.

You may now read on... and in most cases, the post you're about to read is considerably shorter than this warning box, so brace for disappointment.

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!

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12:30
20th November 2013.

This post has been referenced by another on this site:
sjhoward.co.uk » 2D: Apple (again)




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