Apple's 2016 in review

I know we've all read 1,001 articles about the state of Apple, but I really enjoyed this piece from Chuq Von Rospach. It's really critical, but fair and honest and the author really makes solid points.

The bad:

The Airport is a great example of the problems of not putting effort into updating your products: Apple is now at the point where they have significant work simply to match what’s already on the market from competing devices. That’s likely why Apple seems to be closing down these products and I expect over the next few months you’ll see the Airport line go away and be replaced with a partnership with some company — hopefully Eero, since the design is clear “so Apple”. A similar thing has happened with monitors, where Apple has stepped out of the market and partnered with LG.

The good: 

For instance, if you ignore the manufacturing challenges, the Pencil and the AirPods both seem to be truly innovative marvels. It may be Apple needs to slow down pushing their manufacturing capabilities, since it seems they’re creating things that are a bit too hard to reliably build at times — but once they work out those gremlins, the products themselves are incredible.

And if you fall within the user base that they’re designed to support (I am) the new MacBook Pros are incredibly nice machines. I’ve fallen in love with Touch ID on the desktop, and I like the Touch Bar. I really enjoy being able to carry around roughly the same processing power in my new 13” machine that my big 15” machine had, but without the size and weight.

If I were Apple’s boss, and at some level I am because I keep buying their products, I think my annual review would boil down to “meets expectations with some areas that need improvement”.

Is Apple broken? Nope, not even close. It’s not firing on all cylinders, though, and it needs to do some internal thinking and realignment to get back to where it was a few years ago.

It was hard to pick quotes so I recommend reading the whole thing.