Apple had a great 2014, but it still faces problems
Don't let the pro-Apple media wave fool you; Cupertino has a lot of work to do
Over the course of just a couple of weeks, the global technology press has done something amazing. As 2015 reared its head, mainstream technology sites reversed their attitudes, refraining from posting over-blown, anti-Apple click-bait garbage (because anything Apple does is wrong and the company will inevitably fail). And instead, they began posting over-blown, pro-Apple, click-bait garbage.
You'd be forgiven for thinking that Apple deserves a little bit of slack after all the rubbish that's been written about it over the past couple of years. After all, it was a tremendous year for Apple. The new iPhones experienced record sales (a year after the previous set of new iPhones experienced record sales); a new version of OS X, Yosemite, was released, as was a new version of iOS; the Apple Watch was unveiled; as was Apple Pay, which should make some serious waves during 2015. And the company dug deeper into Asian markets, again taking an enormous chunk of the global smartphone profit share, despite its relatively small market share.
In 2014, Tim Cook seemed exonerated as Apple's CEO - he was no longer living in the shadow of the late Steve Jobs, and was forging his own path for the company. Shares are almost at an all-time-high level (adjusted for last year's stock split), and it seems things couldn't be rosier. And what makes the narrative just that little bit sweeter is the fact that all of these wins were done in the face of an increasingly nasty, and increasingly deranged, media bent on calling out Apple for imagined slights. But that same media has now taken the against-all-odds narrative, and is hailing Apple as a hero of our time. Cupertino is untouchable, they say, and anyone who disagrees is simply slandering Apple for clickbait, just like everyone else in 2014.
As software engineer and Ignore The Code author Lukas Mathis notes, news and debate around Apple has degenerated into mindless partisanship. Both camps nurture a vehement hatred for one another, meaning any serious analysis quickly descends into mindless mudslinging. Mathis beautifully explains that, actually, if we want a better Apple, we need to become better at covering the company.
Now, I've been accused of being a blind defender of Apple on some occasions - certainly, in casual debate with friends, I've lazily pointed out that "Apple's products are just better", and just left it at that. And while I mostly agree with that all-sweeping statement, there's no getting around the fact that Apple has some serious issues to address in 2015 - not only to keep its current crop of highly valuable customers satisfied, but also to ensure its growth stays the course.
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629 days ago
If you think Apple's still has its problems, wait until earnings season kicks into high gear in less than two weeks. Then you'll witness first hand the devastation the iPhone 6 and 6 plus has had on Samsung, HTC and others. Trust me, Apple's problems will pale in comparison.