How Do You Like Them Apples?

Apple’s recent press launch of the Apple 5C last Tuesday September 10, 2013 has perhaps given true definition to the word “underwhelming”. While the press and the mildly anticipating public was quite curious to see the latest and greatest plastic phone made by Apple, the rest of the online population has been quite happy and even more amused by the constant waves of humorous parodies. It would be great to post a picture of the latest array of colors of the 5C but perhaps the following picture paints a better picture of what is the latest with Apple.

According to Mail Online, AAPL drops 5% the next day after the release of its iPhone 5S and 5C. “Underwhelming” is an understatement. This is a catastrophe! The same picture above highlights the next day’s drop with an “X” annotated: “Apple Takes Key Merril Lynch Analyst Downgrade: The iPhone Dud!” Many opportunistic traders seem to be taking advantage by saying that AAPL is selling at huge discounts but I do not think they could sell Apple for what it used to be. The stock may be selling at a discount but many reviewers have opined that the new line of iPhones is anything but cheap. Some of the commentaries that I used as my bases are found on this Google Finance link: Google Finance. The parodies keep rolling in as I type and I could not help but feel sorry for my once beloved Apple that I wrote so fondly about in the past.

I was worried for Apple even before the launch. With many rumored images of the new iPhones circulating weeks or even months before the launch, the buzz (not even slight) created by these rumors was already an indicator of disappointment. They were “quite” successful with the iPhone 5, but these latest iterations are a complete dud and “ahem” – Lacking in imagination. Steve Jobs must be turning in his grave.

The iPhone was once Apple’s symbol of revolutionizing the mobile industry; unfortunately it has succumbed to commoditization. Selling at discounts is always a sign of an eroding proposition. It is sad to quote an adage that says leaders lead and managers manage. I believe that the case with Apple resembles the latter. They seem to be just managing and managers always seem to be wired towards managing competition rather than making bold steps in innovation. I am sorry Mr. Cook but you just can’t do the “Jobs”. While Apple might be winning in the patents court, Samsung has gained ground where it really matters.

Is Samsung the next Apple? Not quite. We should not compare Apples with oranges. I would’ve come to the defense of Apple saying that it is perhaps locking on to its defensible niches. Along their other lines (and perhaps understated), they still have the best looking desktops and perhaps still the dominant share in the tablet market (a category that they practically created). The design, material and build quality of their products are still definitely premium and built for those who are willing to pay for such details. Making a once premium product out of plastic is a bite out of that Apple. Perhaps this is Cook’s original sin. Mediocrity and status quo was a bit easier to forgive but cheapening a brand’s premium position prompts this fan-boy to write this somewhat angry blog.

There’s a new iPhone 5S? Really?

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About John Bay

John is a Senior Management Consultant for Strategy and Planning and has consulted with some of the most famous local and international companies. He has a combined experience of 15 years in the area of Enterprise Development and Corporate Strategic Planning. He has been a Professional Manager, a Management Consultant a Development Economist and an NGO Executive Director.