Why Apple is the boldest and perhaps the most notorious company in history?

The most valuable, most admired and almost the greatest company in history, can be given another title to add to it’s hall of fame. Apple is the boldest company ever in history. The dictionary puts the meaning of bold as “so confident as to suggest a lack of shame or modesty”. Ofcourse everyone is bold, but none of them tread a path so unconventional, that it risks their very foothold, as Apple does. The later is never going to happen for the Cupertino based behemoth, atleast not soon.

Everyone want’s to be successfull and some of them have thier tested formula for success and are eventually successfull. But how about being super successful. There are some who try to be awfully different and that pays. Apple is one of them and most probably the only one.

No, I’m not an i-fanboy.

All Apple products differ atleast in dozen ways from their more tried, tested and successful counterparts. And almost many of the differences seem silly or otherwise seem to be made that way, just to show the world that they are different. In today’s competitiveĀ  world being this way requires a lot of grit.

Apple is very well known for it’s policies like lack of flash support, proprietary software for content transfer and no bluetooth file transfer support in it’s devices. Even newer devices of other brands don’t have these features, but still they were implemented by Apple at a time when they were like the unavoidable standard features. I can still remember how the internet cried when the Macbook released without an optical drive. Poeple freaked out “How on earth will we be able to watch all of our DVDs and listen to our CDs?”. And sure, totally disowning optical discs with disk drive less laptops was very much preemptive of Apple way back in 2008. But still the Macbook sold like hot cake’s. Apple couldn’t have been more bold to sell a product that differed so much from the coventional.

The Iphone is one gadget, that wrote the way Apple would live the rest of it’s life, much like what it’s predecessor the Ipod did. The phone possibly has more fans than any other thing on the planet. So naturally for such a product, the expectations are high when a new version of it is announced. The expectations pile up, even months before the announcement. The rumour mills start working full time. Some of them going to the extent of creating imaginary computer renders of the yet to be announced product. All this buzz only increases the expectations from the company. But after the release you are left only with a whimper. The last 3 generations of the ‘Jesus Phone’ have been just as identical as each other, ofcourse slightly improved than their older counterparts. But still a company of such caliber known for it’s innovations(?), putting out the ‘same’ product on a grand launch event, is just unthinkable. Yes Apple is bold enough to do this. But is this something to brag? That doesn’t matter. What matters is their sheer boldness (read notoriety) to unveil a taller, thinner, lighter, faster clone of their old machine again, before the already overexpecting world, the media, the people, and perhaps the aliens too…

Coming on to more recent times. The Apple maps fiasco is already the talk of the town. Reports suggest that, even before it’s launch Apple was warned by their developer community that the maps data were not up to the expectations. But still, the way Apple ditched Google maps and went ahead with their own application is strange and also stupid, since the company is known all along for it’s attention to quality. This, by all means is a ridiculously stupid act, yet Apple was bold enough to do it.

No other company in the history has been so unconventional and yet tasted so much success, as Apple has. But perhaps, that is the reason behind their success. So the mantra to success is, break the rules and rewrite them yourself, let the world follow you.


Do we need it?

Guy 1: Hey! Have you checked out the new nanosoft creamface??
Guy 2: Yeah! That was awesome man. I’ve waited for this all my life. I’m gonna get this one before christmas. How about you?
Guy 1: Me too..
Guy 3: I agree it is super. But any idea how it differs from our ‘ear’pad??
Guy 1 & 2:Umm..well it’s kinda different..you can do..this..that..but it’s completely super and differnt. I’m getting one surely…

Do we need it or want it? That’s the question which popsĀ  in my mind every time I see one of those shiny new gadgets getting unwrapped before millions of eyes waiting to set their hands upon it. Never mind I’m one of them. But lately I’ve been thinking too much, and thats the problem.

Almost in each quarter we’re surrounded by half a dozen new flagships, boasting of cliched jargons like six times faster, 20 % thinner (that reminds me of someone) etc. But does that even matter? Yes it does matter. To whom? To the companies themselves, as to proveĀ  ‘who is the leader and the numero uno?’ among the pack. Sadly, that crown doesn’t last long enough, even with one of them. So who is the real winner? And perhaps the loser?

The silicon valley gaints are ofcourse the winners. Yes, you already knew the answer. But new products are innovation right? No, not essentially. In fact most of them are’nt, barring a few. They are only evolution. And there’s a big difference between evolutionary and revolutionary. Technological advancements and breakthroughs are needed, but at whose cost. People don’t need to update their phones every quarter to get their work done, but still majority of them do. Why? Just because thats the latest peice of metal (plastic) around.

For example, consider the world’s greatest company (pun intended), which refreshes (yes!,refreshes) it’s lineup every year. And all of us know, it’s nothing more than a paint-job and there’s almost no innovation (atleast for the last 3 generations of their products). But still the world famous queues line up before their stores weeks ahead of the actual sales. Does it have something to do with loyality or other wise called fanboyism colloquially? I don’t think so. Inspite of their products being just taller, thinner or bigger (okay faster), they break all records in terms of sales.

I’m not a droid guy or even an apple fanboy, which you might have already guessed. I’m as much excited about new gadgets as you are, and would like to own all of them myself, but still after all this where are we heading? Consider Microsoft’s Surface, which is touted to be their answer to the immensely popular Ipad and other Google slates. The point is what can the surface do more which the Ipad or some other top dog Google tablet not do? Ofcourse the surface tablet looks gorgeous and is definitely going to be winner performance wise(?). But still, is it relevant to buy the surface tablet, when you already own one that can do all your chores pretty well.

Okay, I’m not against Microsoft or Windows Phone OS. Infact, I love the Windows 8 UI as much as anyone. And yes it’s super fast and buttery smooth even on mediocre hardware, so that’s a winner. I love all these products and even use (or used) many of them. The point is are we overloaded (forced?) with too much options and made not to think? This is infact proved by no one other than Microsoft themselves. The software giant very well knows that it’s latest shiny bezel the Surface can’t be advertised as the-one which-does-this-which-none-other-can-do. So in one of their recent ad which supposedly advertises the tablet, dozens of people jump and dance holding the tablet in hand, by the way of advertising the product. It’s more of a music video than a useful product ad which focusses on the capabilities of the product being advertised. The ad tries to impress the viewers and make the product seem like a must-have fun machine. This is a tried and tested method which Apple follows, as Apple products are known for their pre-release buzz that they create, for which the company itself contributes a lot. Post launch, the sales ride upon the buzz created earlier.

Instead of having a market where the terms are dictated by the seller, and consumer caught in the wave of being unsure of whether to go for the product, ends up buying the ‘best advertised’ one even if he already has an equally capable one with him, products should have a lifecycle within which they should be unrivalled or atleast be ‘one among the best’. For this to happen the release dates of the flagships of various hardware makers should coincide, so that consumers can choose the best one from the crop. In the present scenario there’s no definite time of unveiling new products. Every company wants to somehow force there products to unwary consumers, most of whom are not tech geeks. But yes, the ultimate aim of every company is to sell more and earn more, but what about the care for their customers.

Windows Phone 7 OS (7.5) was literally ditched by Microsoft, even when their biggest smartphone partner Nokia had it up and running in it’s flagship the Lumia 900 and highly successful Lumia 800. This shows that the companies don’t care about their customers. It’s like once you buy my product, I dont care whatever happens to you. Yes WP 8 and WP 7.5 are entirely different from the ground up and use differnt kernels, but still an average consumer who buys a phone without knowing all these rocket science, is made the scapegoat. Okay, that was entirely Microsoft’s notoriety, but then nokia decided to push of all it’s stock of lumias at ultra low prices as if mocking at the Lumia 900 owners who had spent their hard earned cash buying one. You might be thinking that I had bought a Lumia 900 just last week and this is a way of venting my anger, NO…

Let us be responsible consumers and choose what’s really important and useful based on our priorities rather than someone luring us, just to rob us of our money!