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Apple Needs a 20/20 Vision

Image result for tim cook

Coupled with recent news of the viral FaceTime bug, the opening paragraphs of a CNN article titled “It’s clearer than ever Apple’s iPhone problem isn’t going away” by Seth Flegerman clarified the slightly sinking feeling surrounding the smartphone and tech giant during the past few years.

Apple’s iPhone business is in decline — and there appears to be no end in sight.

Apple (AAPL) said Tuesday that iPhone revenue for the all-important holiday quarter fell 15% from the same period a year ago, a steep drop for a product line whose sales growth defied gravity for years.

The shrinking iPhone sales led to Apple’s first holiday quarter revenue decline since 2000. Apple posted revenue of $84.3 billion for the quarter, slightly better than it had warned investors to expect earlier this month. But it nonetheless represented a 5% decline from the same quarter a year ago.

When will that Steve Jobs aura and thrilling innovation return to the stage of the Steve Jobs Theater? Will it ever return?

To be fair to Tim Cook, running Apple’s company in the traditional sense parallel with the company’s global branding phenomenon created in large part by Steve Jobs, was an impossible task.

Mr. Jobs was a brilliant showman and Mr. Cook is a good businessman.

Mr. Jobs was a dynamic innovator (idea wise, anyway) and Mr. Cook is good at extending existing innovation with minor upgrades.

And it seems these minor tech upgrades have finally materialized into not-so-minor revenue loss for Apple regarding the steadily-modified iPhone. This uneasy feeling of Apple’s shortcoming from its absence of any eye-opening, drastic changes to its smartphone has been hovering over Apple’s Silicon Valley home for years. Similar to its new spaceship-like headquarters, it went from just a thought to a growing reality on the ground. But it’s not the close encounter with reality Apple workers and fans alike were hoping to see.

What does this mean for Apple? Tim Cook?

Simply put, Apple and Tim Cook are at a pivot point in which they need to decide what kind of tech company they are going to be moving forward. Mr. Cook and Co. need to determine and put into action whether Apple will be an exciting and innovative company again or a tech giant that delivers on a past vision of ingenuity.

Perhaps it’s fitting that in a few years when Apple’s response (and identity) to this significant revenue decline can be fairly judged as a success or failure, the year that may very likely define Apple’s rise, fall or stagnation for the next generation will be 2020.

Mario’s Kart Will Reach a New Gear

Kids, teenagers, college kids, adults Everybody rejoice!

“An app called Mario Kart Tour is set to be released in the next financial year, meaning anywhere between April 2018 and March 2019.”
-“Nintendo is bringing Mario Kart to smartphones,” Sam Byford (The Verge)

The eternal gaming favorite Mario Kart that knows no age limit is finally expanding into the mobile space. Given Nintendo’s delayed entry into the smartphone sector for users around the world with this specific game, it begs an important question:

Will the Mario Kart experience seamlessly translate on an iPhone and/or Android phone?

That’s really the pivotal inquiry Nintendo should be concerned with answering pre-launch. Can Mario Kart be played successfully on a mobile device without gaming hiccups? Certainly, the cloud-based gaming prospects are exciting. Yes. However, again, will the quality transfer and/or even improve on our handheld supercomputers that are occasionally used as phones? What about the lack of physical buttons on smartphones? Will the size of a phone screen correctly scale the Mario Kart experience in a satisfying manner?

As a lifelong Mario Kart fan, I hope the answer to these questions is yes. Either way, I know my nephew is already planning my gaming demise in our next round of Mario Kart races and challenges.

He’s no Luigi…he’s a Mario.

X Marks the (To Be) Bought?

Have you ever seen a shinier apple Apple in your life?

Whoa!

In a phrase, the iPhone X looks, “insanely great.”

Apple’s major product advancements yesterday, most notably its iPhone X (not the letter, but the number) ended with a surprising bang. And, in doing so, with a rather curious statement. At around $1,000 (monthly payments are available) for the iPhone X, Apple is celebrating its 10th iPhone anniversary with a serious question of not what the phone can do (seems incredible), but rather who they envision paying for this phone?

Next month and, equally important, in the years and many subsequent models to follow.

A $1,000 floor, not ceiling, is a gutsy price (although, give ’em that its a simplistic price tag, in quintessential Apple style) to determine if an Apple smartphone will be affordable. Akin to high-definition TVs with all the bells and whistles (in some cases, literally), too high of a starting price could, well, price out major portions of its valued market. Will that hurt its profit margin? Who knows. But, it might damage something the tech giant holds just as dear as a defining part of its amazingly successful brand…

Part of the legacy of the late Steve Jobs is that he put/led his team’s effort to put 1,000, 10,000 and x number of songs in our pockets, along with a smartphone that’s literally a handheld supercomputer for each of us to define ourselves. Interestingly, yesterday’s exciting presentation (new iPhones, Apple Watches, etc.) took place center stage in the new Steve Jobs Theater at Apple’s new spaceship campus. However, what would Steve Jobs say about the $1,000 price tag?

Hmmm…

How many of Apple’s x -umber of consumers will say the iPhone X is insanely great?

How many of Apple’s x-number of consumers will say the price of the iPhone X is insane…great?

The Even More Unlimited and Extended Labor Day Blog Post

Hopefully, you had a nice, relaxing Labor Day.

Following a long holiday weekend, it can be laboring to return to the working grind. There are several (even countless) tasks that need to be sorted out on a Tuesday that puts on a rare mask and acts like a Monday, characterized by moments of exhaustion and stress.

And yet, because this workweek started on a Tuesday, there’s this feeling within us that it’s not really a Monday in approach and tendency. Despite the routine being similar to Monday, there’s an extra breath of relief because Wednesday is tomorrow…and then Thursday arrives…and then Friday is here before we know it!

Coming off a long holiday weekend, kicking off our weekly routine on a Tuesday gives us a bounce in our step. We don’t sweat (as many of) the small things. However, those ever-present Monday traits find subtle and bold ways of reminding us exactly what day it really is.

Like this.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is any Tuesday after a long holiday weekend.