Apple: One year without Steve Jobs
It was October 5, 2011 when the unparalleled and unconventional entrepreneur took his last breath and bid goodbye to the world to whom he had given so much during his life. From the daunting Apple computer in 1976 to the path-breaking Macintosh in 1984, and then the amazing iPod in 2001 to the revolutionary iPhone in 2007 – Steve Jobs means so much to the world that it can’t be fathomed. We all herald Internet as the dawn of the modern age of information explosion, but what we fail to see is that it was Apple under Jobs which made that Internet available to each and every one of us, first through personal computer and later through the phone. It’s absolutely no idol-worshipping, or ‘fanboy-ing’ as they call in the case of Apple, but then that’s the truth. Today, as the Cupertino giant has sustained almost one year without the great leader, we see what Steve Jobs meant for Apple (and what Apple meant for him), and how has that one long year been sans him.
Steve Jobs started Apple in 1976 along with two of his friends in his father’s garage. After launching Apple I and Apple II computers in quick succession, Jobs led his team to make the Macintosh, or Mac as its current avatar is called, that turned the whole computer industry upside down and made millions for Apple. When Jobs got ousted from the company, Apple went into the ashes and almost came to the brink of getting sold out. Steve Jobs stepped in the emergency situation and eventually bailed out the company, developing a cool music player called the iPod which turned the music industry upside down this time. And from then onwards both Apple and Steve never looked back.
Steve Jobs was highly instrumental in making Apple what it today is (or, was till last year). He was charismatic, and at the same time, intimidating. His employees used to consider him a tough boss, one who would push them to their limits to get the work done. He was an innate marketer and knew how to entice the customers to create a positive ambience for Apple’s products. He was known to take personal interest in crafting every single advertisement and billboard in order to ensure that the image stayed right. Not hesitating to take digs on other companies and their CEOs during Apple’s conferences, he helped the consumer see what was better for him. He is also highly regarded as a remarkable visionary, one who could foresee the future and take the right decision just at the right time. Be it the PC, the animated films, the smartphone market or even the budding tablet market – somehow he exactly knew what was going to happen.
Steve Jobs passed away on October 5, 2011, exactly one day after the iPhone 4S was launched. He had been ill from the past few weeks and naturally wouldn’t have been highly involved in the phone’s development lately. The effect was clear – no design change from iPhone 4, they didn’t even call it a new generation, just an update that added an S to it. Probably that would’ve meant Siri, the sole major refresh in the new iPhone then. Then early this year, we saw the third generation of the iPad, called just ‘the new iPad’. Seriously, were they just short of names? The device did boast of features like Retina Display, 4G LTE and enhanced processor. But again the previous design was carried forward. Apple could do nothing more than just puffing in new features and pixels. The latest of the lot is iPhone 5, launched on Sept. 12 and sporting a 4 inch screen and a more advanced processor. The speed has dramatically increased, but barring that there is no real difference between it and iPhone 4S, not even with iPhone 4.
Probably the best thing that has happened to Apple since Jobs is the magnanimous victory over Samsung regarding some copyright infringements by the latter. Steve Jobs was always of the opinion that innovation and product development must be protected, and even dared to wage a war against Android over this. Company’s recent courtroom win was in perfect alignment with that. But we all know the fiasco that has occurred over Apple Maps, company’s own maps service developed with an intention to ditch away Google Maps. But that has terribly failed the purpose. Then there were worries shrouding the production of iPhone 5 in Sharp’s factories due to its economic crunch.
Does Apple have started choosing the wrong partners? Does Apple have started making wrong decisions lately? What can be more humiliating than the instance of Apple itself getting accused of plagiarism, regarding the design copy of Swiss Clock and Android’s face detection technology! Not before have we witnessed a plethora of leaks regarding a new iPhone (and now the iPad mini), as Jobs used to exercise strict control over the flow of information within the company. What exactly is going wrong? Was it the presence of just one person that elevated Apple to such highs? Is it the absence of just one person that is creating a sort of turmoil in Apple?
Well, not all is lost. The visionary has gone but the vision is still intact. Steve Jobs, while motivating fresh graduates from Stanford to “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish”, might not have thought that Apple will need that message too. This is a company that has been known for innovation and benchmarking since decades. It cannot lose the baton now. I hope Apple will resurrect itself again in all glory. RIP Steve Jobs.
Reactions on Twitter
Apple’s Tim Cook remembers Steve Jobs’ life on the anniversary of his death -engt.co/SOkDbE
— Engadget (@engadget) October 5, 2012
— TIME.com (@TIME) October 5, 2012
— Forbes (@Forbes) October 5, 2012
Abhishek Mittal is an engineering student by profession and a creative writer by passion. Pursuing his B.E. in Electrical and Electronics from BITS Pilani Hyderabad, he is the Co-Editor of Gadgetronica and is deeply interested in the latest happenings of the gadget-world. Often targeted as an Apple fanboy, Abhishek closely follows the business strategies of all the tech-giants, and sometimes predict the future too!
4 October, 2012