Under Steve Jobs, Apple had a leader with extraordinary instinct who could make things happen by sheer force of will. "Steve’s vision, strength and charisma made him the benevolent dictator – able to align all the forces within Apple," says Segall.
While Apple may never be the same under Tim Cook, Segall believes it can still succeed. Much of Apple's growth under Jobs can be attributed to his love of simplicity. Looking at Apple now, one might wonder if the company has lost that simplicity.
Apple's array of products has grown and its naming conventions are somewhat convoluted (we're hoping Apple finally renames OS X to MacOS at WWDC). Segall cites the iPhone with its current 6S, 6S Plus, and SE versions noting that the 'S' designation has absurdly trained customers into thinking there is an off year iPhone. There's also inconsistencies in which products start with 'i' and which start with 'Apple'.
Apple has also gone from a very small group of people working directly with Steve Jobs to create award winning advertising campaigns to a large in-house marketing group that competes to produce new campaigns.
Despite this, Segall believes Apple is still focused on simplicity but is having a problem presenting a simple image to customers.
There is serious work to be done in rebuilding the perception of simplicity that helped Apple become the world’s most valuable company. Existing problems need fixing, as do the internal processes that have allowed complicated products to make it into the hands of customers. That said, it’s important to put Apple’s issues in context. Despite its current challenges – and its lapses – I don’t see any other technology creating a simple experience as well as Apple.
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