Steve Jobs never left anyone in any doubt as to what he thought. He spoke his mind and was pretty brutal which his opinion. Let's delve into the massive archive of Steve Jobs keynotes, speeches, and interviews to uncover a handful of quotes that might shed light on what Apple's co-founder might think about the current state of the company.
#1: "What ruined Apple wasn't growth … They got very greedy. Instead of following the original trajectory of the original vision, which was to make the thing an appliance and get this out there to as many people as possible, they went for profits. They made outlandish profits for about four years… What that cost them was their future. What they should have been doing is making rational profits and going for market share."
This quote goes back to a 1995 interview, a couple of years before Jobs returned to Apple, where he hit out at the company for profits ahead of market share. As Apple issues its first profits warning since 2002 at the beginning of 2019, has the company once again fallen foul of greed?
#2: "Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice."
Apple used to look forward, but now the company feels like it is increasingly looking sideways at what its competitors are up to, in particular, the premium Android device maker and arch-rival in and out of the courts, Samsung.
Samsung has a "throw it against the wall and see what sticks" attitude when it comes to hardware, and over the past few years, we've seen Apple take a similar approach, especially with the iPhone. Some of these moves have been successful (for example, it's clear that there was indeed a pent-up demand for larger and more expensive iPhones) while others have flopped (the iPhone 5C springs irresistibly to mind here).
#3: "Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It's not about money. It's about the people you have, how you're led, and how much you get it." -- Steve Jobs
Apple's R&D budget has increased over tenfold since the iPhone was released in 2007, yet the company hasn't come up with anything that comes close generating the same revenue as that of the iPhone.
#4: "I'm as proud of what we don't do as I am of what we do."
Apple is clearly on a mission to simplify its Mac lineup, and one way it wants to do that is by eliminating as many ports as possible and standardizing on a single port where possible, as it has done with the new MacBook Pro.
Problem is, while one port might work for the iPhone and iPad, when it comes to a computer it's a real pain, and it forces many users to carry with them an array of different dongles and accessories (such as this Anker Premium 7-in-1 USB-C hub) to get work done.
#5: "The problem with Bluetooth headphones is that it's not just recharging your iPod, you have to recharge your headphones too. People hate it. There are quality issues -- the bandwidth isn't high enough, and even if it does get there some day, people don't want to recharge their headphones."
While there's little doubt that Bluetooth is now more than capable of delivering crystal clear audio, Apple's solution to how to charge the AirPods would have no doubt upset Jobs. Not only do AirPod owners need to pop the AirPods into a case to charge, but they also have to remember to charge up the case itself!
#6: "Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it's worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains."
When the iPhone was unveiled a decade ago the operating system (then called iPhone OS, the iOS name didn't appear until 2010) was sleek and simple. Everything was a couple of taps away and the user interface was intuitive and a snap to use.
Fast-forward a decade and things have changed dramatically. While iOS 12 retains some of the looks and feel of the early iPhone OS, Apple has bolted on, shoehorned in, and otherwise added to the mobile operating system so much that the once elegant and streamlined platform has become a kludgy and awkward mess.
#7: "Who wants a stylus. You have to get 'em and put 'em away, and you lose 'em. Yuck. Nobody wants a stylus."
I know many would argue that the Apple Pencil is more than a stylus, but many of the problems with the stylus -- finding it, putting it away, and losing it -- haven't been solved by Apple.
#8: "You've baked a really lovely cake, but then you've used dog s--- for frosting." -- Steve Jobs
Apple employs some of the smartest people on the planet, and the company is capable of doing wonderful things.
But it's also come out with some howlers. For example, the battery case for the iPhone that has a charging indicator on the inside where you can't see it. Or a rechargeable mouse that has the charging port on the bottom. Or a rechargeable pencil that has a tiny cap that's easily lost.
These are just the sort of design howlers that you don't expect from Apple.
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