Apple is one of the most prominent companies in the world, and arguably, it's the most visible technology brand in the world.
It's hard to believe that little more than a decade ago, Apple was potentially on the brink of disaster. While many people were involved in turning Apple around, one man, Steve Jobs, provided the vision that led the company to new heights.
But the Steve Jobs era at Apple is officially over. Yesterday, the visionary leader of the world's richest technology company resigned from his post as CEO.
Apple's WWDC events are always big news, and yesterday was no exception.
Steve Jobs himself took to the stage as the company unveiled its first official
look at iOS 5, which is now available in beta to iOS Developer Program
When you combine the world's most popular mobile and tablet computing devices with an advertising model that Steve Jobs himself was said to have called "revolutionary", you might expect overnight success.
But that hasn't exactly been the case for Apple and its iAd offering. Although it is far from a failure, it hasn't exactly upended the mobile advertising space -- yet at least.
The battle to bring the internet to the small screen is heating up. And the fight to control when and how the internet is brought to the small screen is heating up too.
After finding Google TV blocked by a number of television networks, a Google product manager for Google TV recently stated that the company hasn't done a good enough job communicating what the product is to content owners. And it doesn't seem to be improving in that effort.
For advertisers looking for the holy grail in mobile, the iPhone is one of the most attractive targets. And with iAd, Apple is aiming for nothing less than the perfect mobile ad.
But sometimes perfect is the enemy of good, and if rumors that have been circulating are to be believed, Apple's quest for the perfect mobile ad is driving advertisers crazy. It's also driving them away from the advertising solution that's supposed to help them.
Apple's press conference last Friday was a notable event for the company. Not simply because Steve Jobs took the stage, but because the purpose of the press conference was to address problems being reported with an existing product, the iPhone 4.
It was unfamiliar territory for Apple and Steve Jobs. Jobs, of course, is used to introducing new products, not dealing with an existing one that is the subject of customer complaints, class action lawsuits and a media firestorm.
When Apple made it clear that apps created with Adobe's Flash Packager
for iPhone would not be permitted in the App Store, Steve Jobs had an
explanation: "We know from painful experience that letting a third
party layer of software come between the platform and the developer
ultimately results in sub-standard apps and hinders the enhancement and
progress of the platform."
Many, myself included, found Jobs' explanation to be somewhat
disingenuous. Tools that facilitate cross-platform development aren't necessarily responsible for bad code and poor software; bad development
practices and poorly-skilled developers almost always are.
Imagine: you're getting crummy reception on your brand new smart phone when you hold it a particular way. You fire off an email to the CEO of the manufacturer. To your surprise, you get a response back: "Just avoid holding it in that way."
Soon, you learn that you're not the only one having problems. But you also discover that the company, rather than admit to a problem, has allegedly instructed its customer service representatives to use "positioning statements" to ensure consumers that everything is fine.
Earlier this week, Apple made an announcement that produced many headlines: in the 80 days following the debut of the iPad, the company has sold 3m tablets. For those of us who wondered if the iPad would sell, the answer is clearly a resounding "Yes!"
Not surprisingly, Apple's early success with the iPad has given a new form of ammunition to those who believe that the PC's best days are behind it. Even Steve Jobs stated earlier this month, "PCs are going to be like trucks. They’re still going to be around,
they’re still going to have a lot of value, but they’re going to be
used by one out of X people."
In April, Apple CEO Steve Jobs explained in detail why consumers aren't
going to see Flash support on the iPhone and iPad. Long story short:
Adobe Flash "is no longer necessary." Although Apple's lack of support for Flash is often cited as an
iPhone/iPad drawback, Flash certainly isn't going to win a whole lot of
popularity contests either. But the question remains: is there a place
for Flash in the mobile market?
We may soon have an answer.