For quite some time I’ve been less than excited about Apple. It wasn’t long ago that various activities they were engaging in was a smoke and mirrors routine. Innovation seemed to be dead but they kept it on life support through sophisticated advertising and name churning (iPad Air becomes Pro). All of this added up to an expensive product that was loosing its luster.
On Tuesday March 21, 2017 Apple made some product announcements that were actually very good. They decided they don’t have to be in the high end market solely. They could span a range of product pricing making the line more affordable. Although Apple has some wonderful high end products, you have to pay a pretty penny for them. With little real innovation going on, this is, to say the least, discouraging.
However, with their revamping of the product line they committed new muscle to make their products more widely accessible. I’m not suggesting they went over board with this. However, they showed renewed energy towards making the products more generally accessible to a broader section of the market at prices that were more reasonable to all.
The iPad became the iPad at a lesser entry level price. Apple already leads substantially in the PAD market. They didn’t really need to do what they did but they did. This device was definitely a welcome relief.
The iPad makes for a good alternative for some as a computer and for others as an adjunct for those that have always wanted an Apple computer but couldn’t afford one, this was a way to get the foot in the door. Although not one of their full blooded computers, the iPad now, with its keyboard, acts like a computer.
The SE, rather than being abandoned, was beefed up with far more memory in a device priced the same as previously. Although the screen is smaller, for some they see this as a plus; for others just as a way of procuring Apple iPhones at a reasonable price and yet for others having the best of both.
Even if none of the above fully meets what the user really wants, say the iPhone 7 with it’s larger display, it’s a way of getting your foot in the door. Eventually, the cost may alter enough so that a person doesn’t feel they are taking out a mortgage to get an iPhone.
The Result; Bolstered Pride
I was beginning to feel that Apple, this cash cow of corporations, to be nothing more than a miserly, money grubbing company. They mouth the words “what the consumer wants” and deliver what Apple wants; to get wealthier and wealthier through the use of deceptive advertising taking advantage of the overly addicted tech user (addiction enabled by Apple directly and indirectly).
However, with these recent moves by Apple I am feeling a bit of pride again in the company that I loved under Steve Jobs’. Regardless of whether their products are all primarily stamped by Jobs’, they still make a fine product.
Further, Apple is beginning to show signs of opening up. This is important. Computing etc has to assist the user. One way it does this of course is through the software tools it brings to the table. Another way is by enhancing communication. Apple’s ecosystem is well understood to enhance communication within but it is important to step beyond the walls so that those that say have an Android are communicating also. Not everyone can afford an iPhone nor wants one. Yet, in an open systems world, people communicate beyond one platform. Apple’s moves towards this, although very subtle are happening.
Systems that are becoming easier to understand in the lineup with other systems that are less costly being bolstered by open communication all leads to a company I can certainly feel good about. The Apple of days gone by was one in which you felt good about it to that of outright enthusiastic. Whether the latter will happen again remains to be seen but the first side of the equation in which you generally can feel good about the company trying once again to be consumer driven is definitely there and that’s good news.