All last weeks, Apple stocks rocked up and down and consumers shook in fear of what would happen next with the company if Steve Jobs’ medical leave of absence would leave him out of the day-to-day operations. All this concern over a very successful company’s future leads me to this question. If the company is so brilliant, the jeweled emerald of innovation in product after product year after year, why so much concern about what will happen next?
I certainly am not an Apple fanboy, and I don’t think that Apple products are as perfect as much of the tech community, however in this case I must make a point for and a point against Apple regarding this issue.
First the point for Apple: as a company Apple has found a way to take an expensive and heavily proprietary ecosystem and make it so valuable that people will pay anything that Apple chooses to charge for their products. On top of this, Apple makes one of the most stable computerized devices in existence. That having been said, the company will still be able to accomplish this without Steve Jobs at the helm. The wheels are already in motion for Apple to continue for years as the premium designs for devices in their classes. All this unrest is uncalled for over a man stepping back, and not even stepping down as CEO.
Second, the point against Apple: perhaps all the unrest is proof that people perception of Apple has been, for far too long, dominated by a fog of perfection and supremacy that is starting to clear. Apple mobile devices are quite stable, to be sure, but not flawless. They are responsive and alluring, but not without bugs and security issues. All too likely, the market is reflecting the fact that too much of Apple’s success is based on the idea of Apple’s products instead of the realities of what they are. Like the housing bubble, we are probably looking at an overinflated ecosystem that people are starting to give a second glance, and without Steve Jobs’ charismatic reassurances over every little thing, will Apple’s consumers continue to buy first and ask questions later?