Random Apple Thoughts, Loosely Joined

I have been struggling for a while how to write a post to tie these things together but just can’t seem to get there. These things are all related to my pure conjecture, speculation and general feelings about some of Apple’s short and long term strategy moves so they are pieces loosely connected in that respect. Then, I had the dilemma of whether or not to post this today, a day when the internet is rife with fake news and clever pranks. I was afraid that no one would take me seriously. But then, I had an epiphany – This is exactly the reason to post this today.

Therefore, without further ado, here are just some random thoughts, observations, and, in the words of Arseno Hall, things that make you go “hmmmmm”:

  • If I were Apple, and I was considering creating an App Store for the Mac, I might start by making the Mac Developer program the exact same price as the iPhone program (and by “iPhone” I mean any iPhone OS based device). It would certainly be the step I would take before I merged the two programs. In fact, perhaps the best reason for doing so would be that, eventually, the tools would be in place for developers to write one application and have it behave in device specific ways. In other words, install it on an iPhone and it looks and runs like an iPhone app. Install that same application on a Mac and it magically works and feels like a Mac application.

  • I don’t think enough emphasis has been placed on the real and advantageous reasons (in their mind at least) Apple might have for creating a Mac App Store and making that the only way to install Apps on a Mac as it is with the iPhone/iPad. This is not only about control for the sake of control – which they clearly prefer. It is also about control for the sake of quality and security. The Mac OS only remains fairly secure and virus/malware free mostly through obscurity. The folks who would want to exploit the many known security holes just don’t see enough money in it for it to be worth the time. That said, as Apple’s marketshare increases, so does that metric. Certainly, if the only way to get any executable on the Mac required going through the App store, or installation of a specific Ad Hoc Profile that requires the user supply their UUID, and then that had a forced expiration date and creating such required Developer Program membership… I think you see where I am going. The system in place for the iPhone is an incredibly secure one in comparison to the Mac OS. There is a lot of value in that – especially from a marketing perspective.

  • The fact that Tim Cook has been increasingly more visible as a public face of Apple has not escaped my notice. Also, I have noted that so many of the times he has spoken at some event, he goes well out of his way to talk about the “culture” of Apple is what allows it to perform at the level it does. Not any one person and, in a sense, not specifically people at all. It is, in his mind, the culture that powers the success machine. Good ideas develop at one end and magic comes pouring out the other and it is the culture that drives that. Once thing that a lot of people don’t think about is how incredibly flat of an organization Apple is compared to most others like it. By flat I mean that the number of people between, say, a retail store employee and Steve Jobs himself is quite a bit less than say, at Microsoft. Such flatness works very well for maintaining and instilling a unique culture. Simply hire the right people that fit well into that culture and the machine will keep churning out successful products.

    • The subtext of the above: Everything will be fine when Steve leaves and Tim Cook takes over, it is the culture that drives Apple’s success, not any one individual. So every time you hear an Apple executive mention “culture”, this is what they are saying.

    • Pixar is a good example of a post Steve Apple. Put the good stories at one end, let the culture develop them, watch the magic happen.

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