How Apple Has Changed Over The Years

How Apple Has Changed Over The Years

I’m one of those people who think that without Steve Jobs Apple is fairly dull. Still a great company with great products and better than anyone else, but not insanely great as they were before. I mentioned that in my ‘Has Apple lost its crazy side?‘ article.

As far as the iPhone 5 is concerned, NFC is missing which for me is the next big thing. I’m sure that it would have been much more exciting if we’d known nothing about it before hand, but we knew everything they announced with all the leaks, so not exciting.

I admit that Apple and me are not as close as before. Now I actually take a step and look at it. I don’t just buy it because it’s Apple. Having said that, I do mostly buy Apple products as they are mostly superior.

Apple closing off Mac upgrades for example, I think is pretty terrible. But that also highlights my inherent fear, and links to what I said before about OS X/iOS. Apple are going from being completely open and user fixable to as closed as possible, which is pretty depressing. Having said that, it’s a business and it will allow them to make even more money.

I would also say that if OS X didn’t exist, and Apple were designing a brand new desktop operating system from nothing today, based on its business model, it would be closed with an App Store, like iOS is. It wouldn’t allow free app development and publishing with no Apple interference.

Of course, a closed environment comes with many advantages, like no viruses, and everything is controlled. That’s fine, but it’s all about compromises. It depends on who you are as well.

There’s no denying that Steve Jobs did oversee Apple becoming more closed, in fact he was the person who started it, but it’s odd. Certainly in the early 2000s he was open to people tinkering and upgrading parts on Macs, but he seems to have changed his mind more recently, with the Macbook Air. Don’t know why, but it’s interesting.

Certainly when Steve Wozniak was at Apple, everything was open. When he left, things became more controlled and limited, it has to be said. In that sense, I much prefer Woz’s approach to Steve Jobs’s.

One was keen to provide for the pleasure of doing it and being geeky, while the other had a business plan and greater ambitions. Jobs brought Apple to where it is today. You would be nuts to say otherwise, but it would be nice if some of Wozniak’s approach remained in the company today.

Those are some pretty disorganized thoughts, but I thought it might be interesting to put out. Of course this is my opinion and nothing more. Some of you might think I’m crazy or agree completely, but how do you think Apple has changed? Positively or negatively?

  1. Chris Hanson says:

    Will NFC in phones really be a big deal within 12 months? I doubt it. It’s almost non-existent to the masses at this moment in time.

  2. Anthony Grant says:

    Evident you haven’t read Steve Jobs’ biography in its entirety – or at all. He’s always been against an open approach and has always focused on closed systems that are completely intuitive. As long as Jon Ive is part of the company, everything should be fine. Great aesthetics, new technology, closed and intuitive systems have always been the model and still is.

  3. @Ralphy99 says:

    Woz still works at Apple, just not on a day-to-day basis.

  4. Ingo Repinz says:

    Well, I would say Apple is becoming more like IBM as they “feared” it in their own 1984-ad. Apple is evolving into some company who has not only a focus on great design and durable products, but also to lock people into the walls of their “paradise” but leaving the Apple-tree away :-).
    And one fact, that matters, Apple is not longer the underdog like Jobs took it over again. He had great vision and at the moment I would say, bean-counters are comming back. If Sir Ive is leaving the company, they will be in deep troubles.

  5. Alfredo says:

    For me, I never thought you’d see the changes so fast. First, the Apple TV design was dull and then we found out Steve actually rejected it ( which wasn’t a surprise for me ) But what happened yesterday with the iPod nano sets a new precedent. The device looks exactly like a Nokia Lumia, which is definitely not a compliment. It worries me because even if Apple’s design standards goes to the shitter, there’s no one out there with a great design sense like Steve making the decisions. If this continues and gets worse I just see myself buying Apple products for what it once was, because I’m used to them and because it sucks less than the rest. =(

  6. andyrusty says:

    The benefit of open architecture is nothing like it was 20 years ago. Now pretty much everything you want comes with the computer unlike the past when you had to specify printer serial video and sound boards as extras. The wide spread use of external usb devices for special applications has reduced this need further. For specialised applications that require additional internal hardware it is unlikely that a Mac would be able to be used anyway.

  7. MRonin says:

    Well my only issue with Apple is the same one I’ve had for a while now. It’s their stance toward the Enterprise market. We are still out here and still evangelizing to companies. However Apple isn’t giving us much to go on now except iPhone and iPad and frankly that’s no where near sufficient. Their software licensing and delivery model is fine for consumers and privately I like it. However for my company and the users I support, it sucks big time.

    Now is Apple’s increasingly monolithic structure inherently a bad thing? Well as one person already said, so long as Ivy is still around I think it’ll be fine. I’ve never had an issue with Apples closed eco system, my worry though is they are placing ALL their eggs in the iOS basket and that move is going to bite them square in the ass within the next ten years. Especially if they continue to cut out and ignore their user base that NEED Apple’s pro level hardware and software as well as a more business oriented licensing and delivery method.

    Do I lament the lack of Steve in the picture? Yes I do because he knew how to walk the Apple product tight rope like no one else can or will. Am I afraid of some of the other changes I see coming down the line for Apple? Yes I do, but to be honest they would have to really totally utterly and completely screw the pooch before I would stop buying their products. The hardware and software work now the way they did way back when I first got my hands on an Apple 2, in other words they work and work together the way I think. My Apple products are like my kitchen knives, my guns, my car, etc. They act as a natural extension of myself and right now I’d no more trade in my Apple for something else, than I would give up my Global chefs knife for a Ginsu.

  8. Ictus75 says:

    Any system or company that grows, changes. Apple cannot be the same company they were when the iPod or iPhone came out. They have become one of the biggest companies in the world-that changes everything. When you’re that big, you have to grow up some, and can’t just act like you are the crazy underdog anymore. It also becomes much harder to top yourself with each new release. Any new device will not have the same “wow” factor as the first one.

  9. MRonin makes a great argument I totally agree!

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