Monday, 29 August 2011

Two goodbyes in one week Part 1

Sorry! I've been away! I've spent a lot of time writing hardware guides over at forums, but I'm back now and that's what is important.

I can't backfill the last few months with articles that have been drifting round my head, never to be penned, but in the constantly changing world of mobile, yesterdays news is yesterdays news today, so lets look at what has happened just in the last week.

Did you see that AMD just appointed Rory Read as their new CEO? Nope, didn't think so, I read the article a few days ago, but still had to go back to look his name up. Usually a company CEO stepping down is something you end up reading about because The Economist was the paper left on your seat between Kings Cross and Holloway Road, but its interesting to see the kind of mainstream coverage that the inevitable end of Steve Jobs tenure at Apple has garnered. So, love him or hate him you have to respect the work he's done at Apple, and the way they have shaken up the entire mobile industry since the launch of the iPhone. Ultimately, that's the way the industry was headed, but its also fair to say that because of Jobs and Apple we are about 5 years ahead of where we might otherwise have been.

So where do Apple go from here? Despite what I suspect will be minor share price drops, going forward Apple fans have little to be concerned about. Tim Cook, while potentially unable to match Jobs revered status on the catwalk, is an old hand, and it seems unlikely that Jobs would have made a final mistake in his endorsement of Cook, after doing so much right for so many years. Roadmaps will have been layed out, deals for coming generation ARM chips will have been shaken on, and assuming that the iPhone 5 launch goes as planned, we'll see very little that will rock the boat in the next year or so.

What is more interesting, is Apple's continued diversification. Yes, Jobs is a perfectionist, with a real passion for the company, but what really differentiates Apple under Jobs is the way they are so successful at diversification. Apple sceptics will have in their armoury a whole raft of tablets that proceeded the iPad. And yet, none of them enjoyed any kind of mainstream success. Again, maybe the iPad is where tablets would be in 2013, but ignoring the dubious success of Apple TV, what Apple are really losing is Jobs Vision. His ability to take in the landscape and produce a product that is ahead of its time. Sales of the once revolutionary iPod classic are down 17%. No real concern, since Apple has replaced them with the iPod touch, and then the iPhone, but where do Apple go from here, and does the word 'innovative' appear anywhere on Tim Cooks CV?

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