I’m not one of those people who feels that the iPad was a failure – or that it failed to live up to its potential.
In fact, how anyone can describe a platform that sells 45 million units each year, 20 million of which are to new iPad users, as anything less than a rousing success is somewhat baffling to me.
From what I can tell, there are a few common themes:
The iPad wasn’t/isn’t the revolutionary device that the Mac and the iPhone were.
The iPad hasn’t spawned the app ecosystem it needed to be revolutionary.
The iPad suffers from software that isn’t good enough.
There’s a lot to unpack there and a previous draft of this post racked up 2600+ words which I then realized was me rambling. There’s a more cohesive MacStories-like article somewhere in the depths here, but I feel like I want to address this general sense of disappointment about the iPad with a rebuttal.
In 2017, Tim Cook came as close as he ever has to publicly addressing the issue. “In the US,” he said, “you could have a meeting of tooling engineers, and I’m not sure you could fill the room. In China, you could fill multiple football fields.”
I’m prepping a custom installer for Nessus since it requires some unlinking/relinking to the cloud-based service. I grabbed the installer off their site. It was a DMG with a .pkg inside it. NBD, right?
The installer is just a 34kb stub. It references an invisible .pkg sitting at the root level of the DMG.
Seriously? Why? It only took me a few minutes to figure out but seriously, why?
And then there’s the actual process of installing this on a computer that had it previously installed. You have to unlink and re-link the binary from the service. Which, again, not much of a pain, but I still have to ask: WHY?
And don’t even get me started on the issue around wrong hostnames.
Apple fully controls drivers for Mac OS. Unfortunately, NVIDIA currently cannot release a driver unless it is approved by Apple.
I don’t have strong opinions of NVIDIA as a company, but I do like their graphics cards. I build a PC with a GTX960 a few years back to give myself an affordable video editing machine a while back. Apple’s intransigence – if that’s what it is – is somewhat confusing on this issue.
It was the debut of the iPhone in 2007 that spurred what some in tech call a “Cambrian explosion,” a reference to the era when the first complex animals appeared. There would be no Uber and Lyft without the iPhone (and later the Android version), no Tinder, no Spotify.
Now all of tech is seeking the next major platform and area of growth. Will it be virtual and augmented reality, or perhaps self-driving cars? Artificial intelligence, robotics, cryptocurrency or digital health? We are stumbling in the dark.
I’m sure Cook had to reissue all aspects of their adjusted guidance for legal reasons, but the only one that is off is revenue, and it’s off by a lot: $7 billion from the middle of Apple’s projected range, and $5 billion from the lower bound.
This is bad news, pure and simple, and for Apple, truly extraordinary. The last time Apple issued an earnings warning was in June 2002 — which is so long ago that it predates Daring Fireball by two months.
This part also jumped out at me:
But there’s a limit on the number of people in the world who (a) want an iPhone and (b) can afford one, and the iPhone reached that 3-4 years ago.