Has Apple changed since Steve Jobs died? | Mobile Devices | Mobile Entertainment

Has Apple changed since Steve Jobs died?

Steve Jobs
Mike Shaw

by

Devices / iPhone / October 5th 2012 at 4:38PM

Steve Jobs passed away one year ago, but as tributes pour in from all corners of the internet, is Apple still the same company...

On this day in 2011, Steve Jobs died.

Although everyone was aware it was only a matter of time until he succumbed to the pancreatic cancer that had plagued him since 2003, it was still a shock, and the outpouring of grief on websites, social media and even traditional media was stunning in its volume. 

Today, thousands upon thousands of tribute articles are piling up on the internet, like binbags on Boxing Day, each one saying the same as the last: "RIP Steve, the world isn't the same without you".

And it's this that led me to think; just how much has Apple changed since Jobs left?

The Apple founder and CEO died on October 5th 2011, but he stepped down as CEO in August 2011 and since then, Apple seems to have lost its way.

Now, whether you agree with Jobs' business practices, behaviour towards others and his status as an innovator, there's one thing that cannot be denied: for more than five years his company dominated the mobile industry, not to mention the way it shook up the music and home computing markets too.

Can the same still be said of Apple today?

The company is certainly as lucrative. New CEO Tim Cook has worked hard to make sure new products continue to roll out and the PR and marketing machine is as relentless as ever. 

But is there still that sense of magic?

Think of Apple now, and what's the first thing that comes into your mind? The Apple maps debacle, the underwhelming iPhone 5, the endless litigation?

It's impossible to say these problems wouldn't exist if Jobs were still here, but it's hard to imagine that the issues would be piling up in the way they are.

Perhaps it's the lack of Jobs' uncanny ability to wave problems away ("You're holding it wrong"), or maybe there is just more focus on Apple now that there are a number of serious rivals, but that aura of invincibility, that specialness, is missing.

Later this month we're going to get the iPad Mini - a device that would not have made it past Jobs. He said that a seven-inch tablet would be "dead on arrival" and that they are "too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with the iPad".

Of course, a company cannot stand still and only ever act in the manner an ex-owner would. That way madness lies. But Tim Cook's eagerness to rush out a smaller iPad and the speed with which rumours of the device leaked, feel all wrong.

Many of these issues smack of "me too". Other companies are doing it, why aren't we? Nokia has its own maps service, why don't we? Google Voice seems cool, let's do Siri. Amazon has a seven-inch tab, we should have a seven-inch tab.

In 2012, Apple doesn't have to release anything groundbreaking to be successful, no matter what, the money will pour in, but that seems at odds with Jobs' way of thinking. Even if the product or feature wasn't innovative, at least he tried to make it appear as if it was.

And now I find myself looking at more of the Steve Jobs tributes, crushing my Twitter feed and clogging up Reddit. Even Apple's getting in on the act and carrying a tribute video on the homepage - I've embedded it below. 

It's a classy piece of work, but I can't help but think it's the sort of sentimentalism that Jobs himself would have classed as a waste of time. Get back to work. Why are we focusing on the past when we should be looking at the future?