Apple has had its up and downs over the years even with Steve Jobs at the helm. The company rose up from nothing to become a real threat to Microsoft and the PC, then everything fizzled out after Jobs’ departure. Upon Steve’s return, the company still struggled to find its footing until they happened upon the idea of the iPod. No, the iPod wasn’t the first mp3 player, but it was one of the first successful marketing campaigns launched by Apple after Jobs’ return. Then came the iPhone and iPad and the continued improvements to their Mac lineup.
Steve Jobs gets major credit for where Apple is today and Tim Cook has gotten a lot of hate for not being Steve Jobs, but that’s not really fair. Apple is still doing what Apple does best, marketing and selling itself through visuals but it’s all becoming stale. While Apple has happily been making creative marketing videos, voiced over by senior designer Jony Ive, Microsoft has been actually making useful stuff. Microsoft had a hiccup with Windows 8 but they ironed out a lot of issues to release Windows 10, which has turned out to be a gem.
While much of the Windows 10 world is moving to an integrated touch and keyboard interface, Apple’s latest offering (the TouchBar) has failed to impress. The latest MacBook Pro was also underwhelming in its processor, interface, and removal of legacy ports. Microsoft’s Surface Book has been a hit among the media and consumers alike giving the MacBook its first taste of Microsoft hardware competition.
I will even admit to being more intrigued this year about a piece of Microsoft hardware than ever before. If it wasn’t for the large amounts of Apple gift cards that I had, I probably would have ordered a Surface Book instead of the 2016 MacBook Pro. I still am contemplating actually selling the MacBook Pro (not even opening it) to purchase the Surface Book. Microsoft is clearly doing something right in not only its operating system but also its hardware.
In the meantime, Apple is still focusing on marketing their brand, which seems to be less effective than in the past. It used to be Jony Ive‘s voiceovers sold the product almost instantly, but that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. With so many computer alternatives on the market that are priced much less than Apple’s computers, and are just as capable, users are opting to save some cash yet add a lot of functionality.
Microsoft is currently doing things right with its software, it’s clear that consumers like and enjoy the combination of touch interface and desktop which is something Apple is clearly pushing against. Apple will have to wake up a bit and realize that their flashy marketing just isn’t getting them where it used to and maybe they need to come to the table with something to compete against Microsoft and Windows 10.