Yes I know… it sounds odd doesn't it. Worrying about Apple. But it's true. I can't help worrying. After all, I reckon they're in a mighty tricky position.
Historically, they've always been the “technical underdog" to a very dominant Microsoft. That inevitably leads to a hard-core of avid followers who will forgive the company anything and at the same time criticise all others. I'm very much the same with certain brands of classic British sports car, which are undeniably technically very poor but I still love them. It also leads to another great benefit. Being the underdog, you tend to be left alone by the hackers of this world, which leads people to think that your offering is more stable, less virus infested and so just much better.
However, Apple then got themselves a saviour, a figure head and a cool one at that… Steve Jobs appeared and transformed what had always been a rather nerdy walk of life, the personal computer, into an aspirational “must have” purchase. He added cool to the mix, providing images of cool looking people lounging around in cool coffee bars doing deals via their iPads and hanging out with cool Facebook friends. And who wouldn’t want to be part of that? Suddenly, to be that successful all you needed was a roll-top jumper, a pair of Ralph Lauren jeans and your oh-so-cool iPad. Oh, and a bustling Starbucks I guess.
Now let’s roll forward a few years, to a world in which Steve Jobs is sadly no longer with us and Apple is no longer the “technical underdog” of yesteryear. Suddenly the scene starts to shift. Suddenly, hackers are closing in on what was once their “cool techni-friend” and is now just another huge multinational corporate. Users no longer forgive the occasional technical shortcoming and that cool figurehead provided by Jobs is now unable to lead the way to cooler climes.
We have to accept that Apple, along with all other manufacturers in this world, will always have technical issues with new products (here's a case in point). It’s called innovation, after all. What they will need in order to survive the next five years is release 2 of Steve Jobs. That, however, is a much harder nut to crack.