Steve Jobs 1955-2011
Steve Jobs- 1955-2011
An era ends: Steve Jobs, rebel icon and merchant of cool, is dead
Steve Jobs, innovator extraordinaire, who started up Apple Inc in a Silicon Valley garage and built it up into the world’s most innovative company, died on Wednesday. He was 56.
Apple said in a brief statement: “We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today.” (Read Apple’s statement here.) “Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve.” “Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve.” Jobs had stepped down from the chief executive role in late August, saying he could no longer fulfill his duties, and became chairman. He underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer in 2004, and received a liver transplant in 2009. Jobs’ family issued a brief statement: “Steve died peacefully today surrounded by his family. In his public life, Steve was known as a visionary; in his private life, he cherished his family. We are thankful to the many people who have shared their wishes and prayers during the last year of Steve’s illness; a website will be provided for those who wish to offer tributes and memories. We are grateful for the support and kindness of those who share our feelings for Steve. We know many of you will mourn with us, and we ask that you respect our privacy during our time of grief.”
Reuters adds: The Silicon Valley icon who gave the world the iPod, iPhone and iPad was deemed the heart and soul of a company that rivals Exxon Mobil as the most valuable in America. Apple paid homage to their visionary leader by changing their website to a big black-and-white photograph of him with the caption “Steve Jobs: 1955-2011.” The flags outside the company’s headquarters at 1 Infinite Loop flew at half mast. Jobs’ health had been a controversial topic for years and his battle with a rare form of pancreatic cancer a deep concern to Apple fans and investors. In past years, even board members have confided to friends their concern that Jobs, in his quest for privacy, was not being forthcoming enough with directors about the true condition of his health. Intimations of mortality Six years ago, Jobs had talked about how a sense of his mortality was a major driver behind that vision. “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life,” Jobs said during a Stanford commencement ceremony in 2005. “Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.” “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” Watch this inspirational commencement address by Steve Jobs at Stanford University in 2005:
Will Apple stay creative? Now, despite much investor confidence in his successor Tim Cook, who has stood in for his boss during three leaves of absence, there remain concerns about whether Apple would stay a creative force to be reckoned with in the longer term without its visionary. Jobs died one day after the consumer electronics powerhouse unveiled its latest iPhone, the gadget that transformed mobile communications and catapulted Apple to the highest echelons of the tech world. His death triggered an immediate outpouring of sympathy. Outside an Apple store in New York, mourners laid candles, bouquets of flowers, an apple and an iPod Touch in a makeshift memorial. “I think half the world found out about his death on an Apple device,” said Robbie Sokolowsky, 32, an employee for an online marketing company, who lit a candle outside the store. Cook said in a statement that Apple planned to hold a celebration of Jobs’ life for employees “soon”. How it all began A college dropout, Buddhist and son of adoptive parents, Jobs started Apple Computer with friend Steve Wozniak in 1976. The company soon introduced the Apple 1 computer. But it was the Apple II that became a huge success and gave Apple its position as a critical player in the then-nascent PC industry, culminating in a 1980 initial public offering that made Jobs a multimillionaire. Despite the subsequent success of the Macintosh computer, Jobs’ relationship with top management and the board soured. The company removed most of his powers and then in 1985 he was fired. Apple’s fortunes waned after that. However, its purchase of NeXT — the computer company Jobs founded after leaving Apple — in 1997 brought him back into the fold. Later that year, he became interim CEO and in 2000, the company dropped “interim” from his title. Along the way Jobs also had managed to revolutionise computer animation with his other company, Pixar, but it was the iPhone in 2007 that secured his legacy in the annals of modern technology history. Forbes estimates Jobs’ net worth at $6.1 billion in 2010, placing him in 42nd place on the list of America’s richest. It was not immediately known how his estate would be handled. Tributes to Steve Jobs: Microsoft founder Bill Gates: I’m truly saddened to learn of Steve Jobs’ death. Melinda and I extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends, and to everyone Steve has touched through his work. Steve and I first met nearly 30 years ago, and have been colleagues, competitors and friends over the course of more than half our lives. The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of
which will be felt for many generations to come. For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg: “Steve, thank you for being a mentor and a friend. Thanks for showing that what you build can change the world. I will miss you.” Google co-founder Larry Page: I am very, very sad to hear the news about Steve. He was a great man with incredible achievements and amazing brilliance. He always seemed to be able to say in very few words what you actually should have been thinking before you thought it. His focus on the user experience above all else has always been an inspiration to me. He was very kind to reach out to me as I became CEO of Google and spend time offering his advice and knowledge even though he was not at all well. My thoughts and Google’s are with his family and the whole Apple family. Google’s Sergey Brin: Steve, your passion for excellence is felt by anyone who has ever touched an Apple product. On behalf of all of us at Google and more broadly in technology, you will be missed very much. President Barack Obama: Michelle and I are saddened to learn of the passing of Steve Jobs. Steve was among the greatest of American innovators – brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it. By building one of the planet’s most successful companies from his garage, he exemplified the spirit of American ingenuity. By making computers personal and putting the internet in our pockets, he made the information revolution not only accessible, but intuitive and fun. And by turning his talents to storytelling, he has brought joy to millions of children and grownups alike. Steve was fond of saying that he lived every day like it was his last. Because he did, he transformed our lives, redefined entire industries, and achieved one of the rarest feats in human history: he changed the way each of us sees the world. The world has lost a visionary. And there may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented. Michelle and I send our thoughts and prayers to Steve’s wife Laurene, his family, and all those who loved him. If you’d like to share your thoughts, memories and condolences, Apple encourages you to write in at [email protected]
- FP Staff
Why Steve Jobs’ love affair with India ended very, very early
If first impressions are very difficult to dislodge, Steve Jobs’ studied avoidance of India for most of his working life can probably be traced to his first tryst with the country in late 1973.
That was before he had even thought of launching Apple, creator of the iconic MacIntosh computers. Jobs, then 18-and-odd years old, came to India with a hippie mindset along with a friend, Dan Kottke, after dropping out of Reed College in Portland, Oregon. What brought him to India? Was it a karmic connection? We know very little about that, except that after he dropped out of college he earned his keep by returning Coke bottles and sought a weekly free meal at a local Hare Krishna Temple. Said Jobs: “I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, I returned Coke bottles for the 5-cent deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the seven miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it.” One can’t say for sure, but those free meals were probably what got him and friend Kottke, who was later to become Apple’s first employee, to backpack in India in search of enlightenment. But whether he found what he wanted or not is not clear. He did find something in Buddhism, for he shaved his head and wore loose-fitting Indian clothing often and experimented with psychedelic substances. But the one guru he came to meet – Neem Karori Baba, a Hanuman devotee who had some American followers in the 1970s – died before Jobs and Kottke made it to his ashram. Clearly, Jobs’ peregrinations in the India of the 1970s were less than enlightening. He was prob-
ably psyched by the extent of poverty and chaos he found here. His biography says he found India “intense and disturbing,” and his search for enlightenment ended abruptly. After his India trip, he concluded: “We weren’t going to find a place where we could go for a month to be enlightened. It was one of the first times that I started to realise that maybe Thomas Edison did a lot more to improve the world than Karl Marx and Neem Kairolie Baba put together.” That statement tells a lot about who Jobs really was – and why his Indian connection never really happened beyond a broad interest in Buddhism. If Jobs believed that what you do helps others more than all the giving philosophies of the world (as the reference to Edison exemplifies), he well and truly lived the life that only he could live. Back in America, he created the company he wanted to create, and the product he was passionate about. That was his true enlightenment. But Apple in its first avatar was a niche player, and he was duly chucked out of the company he founded in 1985 when its fortunes plummeted and he was ousted in a power struggle with CEO John Sculley. He returned to Apple only in 1996, when the company bought Jobs’ next company called NeXT. A year later he became the boss again. The rest, as they say, is recent history. It was probably in his second coming at Apple that Jobs truly achieved all that he wanted to by following his own heart on the products he wanted to create – the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. But India was a country he had fallen out of love with a long while ago – and he never seriously considered it worth his notice. At one point in the mid-2000s, when the whole world was raising a toast to India, and when every IT company worth the name – from Bill Gates’ Microsoft to IBM, Oracle, Dell and Accenture – was making a beeline to our shores, Jobs appears to have briefly convinced himself that maybe (just maybe) he ought to give it a try. But his heart was clearly not in it. In early 2006, the talk was that Jobs would set up a 3,000-worker Mac support centre in Bangalore and had even hired around 30 people to ramp up the organisation. The media then began speculating that Jobs might do a Gates and come on an Indian tech pilgrimage. It never happened. Officially, it seemed Jobs didn’t like the quality or the costs of an Indian operation. This is how BusinessWeek reported it at that time: “He (Jobs) is…a tough-minded executive who knows when to cut and run… Just three months back…there was talk of the company hiring 3,000 workers by 2007 to handle support for Macintosh computers and other Apple gear. Many in India even speculated that Jobs might travel there this year to publicise Apple’s commitment to the country. It wasn’t meant to be. In late May, Apple dismissed most of the 30 new hires at its subsidiary in Bangalore.” Quoting sources, BusinessWeek speculated that Jobs wasn’t happy about the costs. “India isn’t
as inexpensive as it used to be,” the magazine quoted the source as saying. “The turnover is high, and the competition for good people is strong.” Apple felt it could “do (such work) more efficiently elsewhere.” Jobs, clearly, carried his late teens India baggage with him all his life. This is why even when he launched his world-beating products, India was nowhere in his strategic thinking. He treated India almost like a pariah market – and he ended up pricing his products higher in India than else where The iPod, the iPhone and the iPad, therefore, sell almost nothing in India compared to what the Nokias and Blackberries do. As Bloomberg reported recently: “The cheapest iPhone 4 costs $705 at Reliance’s iStore, while the cheapest iPad 2 sells for about $603. In Apple’s US online store, the iPhone 4 starts at $199 with an AT&T contract and the iPad starts at $499.” Little wonder, Bloomberg concludes that Apple is barely a player in the Indian market. While Nokia and Blackberry are being thrashed in the developed world markets, their Indian operations are flourishing – thanks partly to Apple’s unwillingness to give them a run for their money. India was probably Steve Jobs’ blind spot, but one can’t fault him for that. And unlike many of his fellow millionaires, he did not believe in making a show of charity. Jobs believed in living life as he thought fit, and he got his kicks from developing “wow” products that he was passionate about. In his 2005 commencement speech at Stanford, Jobs advised students to follow their hearts since we all have only one life – and it is short. He said: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” Jobs’ heart did not lead him to India after 1973. Both Jobs and India have lost out as a result. But then, Jobs had to lead the life he wanted to. India was simply not in his script.
- R Jagannathan
Steve Jobs and Apple: The crazy one who changed the world
“Here’s to the crazy ones, the rebels, the troublemakers, the ones who see things differently.
While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”
Those words launched Apple’s 1997 Think Different campaign. It came shortly after Steve Jobs returned to the company that he founded, and it marks that beginning of one of the greatest comeback stories in corporate history. Sadly, it also makes a fitting eulogy for the tech visionary. Steve Jobs is dead at age of 56. Steve Jobs did change the world. When Bill Gates said that he worried about the future of Microsoft because of some guy in his garage in Silicon Valley, college drop out Steve Jobs was one of those guys. He and with his friend Steve Wozniak, an engineering, wizard, helped launch the personal computer revolution, building what would be the first Apple computer in Jobs’ parents garage. In 1977, before many people had their first computer, they launched their second, the Apple II. It’s widely seen as one of the first commercially successful computers. It was four years before IBM created the familiar computer we now all refer to as the PC, and you could still find Apple II computers in US classrooms into the 1990s. Jobs was not first to market, but he can rightfully claim to be the first to bring so many things to a mass market. Yes, there were computers that used a graphical user interface before the Macintosh in 1984, but the Mac was the first to bring the ease of point-and-click to the masses. More often, his Apple didn’t create markets as much as define them. The iPod and iPhone joined crowded markets for digital music players and mobile phones. Now iPod is synonymous with dig
ital music, and the iPhone has completely up ended the market for smartphones. Since the iPhone launched in 2007, it has grabbed 18% of the worldwide smartphone market. Steve Jobs was not only a technology visionary, but also a design and entertainment visionary. In terms of design, Apple stands out in a thicket of identi-kit PCs and laptops. He was legendary in some of his obsessions. It was said that he hated the noise of fans. It led him to push to create the Cube, a radically different design that was one of the few times when his sense of design was too far ahead of the market. It was said that he wanted sign off on the tiniest details, down to the screws that were used in the computer cases. Like all creative geniuses, he could be volatile. To create the Mac, he created almost a company within the company. The Mac team literally flew a pirate flag, and Jobs told them that it was better to be a pirate than to join the navy. His pirate band raided other teams at Apple. It gave the world the Macintosh, a computer far ahead of its time, but it was launched just as the computer industry was hitting its first soft patch. With sales declining and his volatility perceived as a liability instead of an asset in1985, he was pushed from the company he helped create. Steve Jobs life story has many themes of the mythical hero, complete with the fall from grace and a second coming. Occasionally, he was guilty of stunning hubris, but he was not a static tragic figure but one who learned and grew. That’s what makes his story so compelling. After Apple, he launched NeXT computers, which was never successful selling its expensive computers, and he bought a computer animation company from George Lucas, Pixar. Both floundered, but after Pixar released Toy Story, the studio has never looked back. Its films gross on average $600m, the highest level in Hol lywood. In 1996, Apple bought NeXT, and the second coming of Steve Jobs began. When he returned, the company he founded was on the brink of collapse. It was rumoured that Sun Microsystems tried to buy Apple three times, but with Jobs back at Apple, its fortunes turned around. Apple went from a takeover target to the most valuable company in the world. Jobs launched the colourful iMac, the first in a series of i-branded products. The company moved on from computers to sell a range of gadgets. Apple is now the biggest music retailer in the world with its iTunes music store. However, as Apple’s fortunes rose, Steve Job’s health declined. By earlier this summer, it was clear that he was a very sick man. At his last product launch, he was gaunt and thin. Technology journalists took a sharp intake of breath at his skeletal appearance. It was not a surprise that he stepped down as CEO in August, but the technology world is still grieving at how quickly cancer has taken his life. Bill Gates, once seen as the arch enemy of Steve Jobs and Apple, paid possibly the best tribute to his fellow technology trailblazer. Referring to another of Jobs favourite lines, he said that working with the Apple founder had been “insanely great.” He was insanely great, a creative visionary who grew into an iconic figure. Sadly, the last chapter of this great story — of rise, fall and redemption
— has come far earlier than most people expected, but it is not too grandiose to say that he was one of the people not only crazy enough to think he could change the world but did. Watch Youtube video of Steve Jobs announcing the crazy ones Apple campaign
- Kevin Anderson
Mac with a Soul: Steve helped us to do our Jobs better
Last morning, I woke up to text messages, BBMs, Facebook status updates, tweets, emails and
blogs on the iPhone 4s. And little by little, as the day unfolded, I contemplated, in all seriousness when to finally get myself an iPhone. Despite the negative reviews, the undelivered high expectations and the lacklustre design rants from technocrats across the globe, my mind was made up by about midnight. I would dump my Hangberry. And get myself the real phone for creative professionals. Cut to 24 hours later. My vivid dreams of asking Siri dirty questions and expecting factually correct answers were interrupted violently by the same steady flow of virtual pokes and tweets. Only this time, the news wasn’t so great. It’s easy to misread communication. Especially when you are one-eyed and still groggy. “RIP. Steve Jobs”, read the status update of a friend. OK. I know he’s upset with the new iPhone, I thought. But Jobs is retired, right? The voice in my head spoke up. I felt a sudden chill in the room and a knot in the stomach that I just couldn’t ignore. So in my same dilapidated state, I reached for and fired up my MacBook Pro. Yes, I sleep with it. Not that you never have. I hit Wikipedia. And stared. This had to be dream. I sat up. There right after his name someone had keyed in an end date to the man. Like the reign of an ancient king, from one AD to another AD. Gandalf is dead. As a creative professional, I remain devastated. As a human being, I feel cheated. Devastated, because I do not know who will understand my needs better. Cheated, because now we will never
know what our lives could become. Numb. I don’t know what to do and where to go next. I have not grown up with Apple. That is not my generation. I grew up playing with my 486DX and PCs with similar complicated names like that. By the time, I hit my fifth PC, I was a certified hardware geek. I could rattle of names and specs of motherboards and video cards. Overclocking CPUs made me feel special. I was in a complicated world where only the learned survive. I was the systems settings savior. And when I got my first iMac, it looked complicated. Once after installing Photoshop, I waited patiently for the system to ask to reboot, for a good hour. Finally, when nothing happened, I gave up and restarted it myself. It was then that I realised. This is not a computer. It is a device designed to better my life. And that remained the man’s obsession. The reason why many do not look at Apple as a technology company, like they do for instance with IBM or Dell. It is more of a design house that hires a lot of artists who also love science. And use it liberally and in new ways to make their art better. The only difference being that this art becomes personal. Every brushstroke makes our hearts sing. Every colour gets our pulses racing. It seems alive. And true to our very primitive and basic traits as humans, we tame it with our touch. We pinch, we swivel, we tap, till such time this magic doesn’t merely change us. It becomes us. We had just about reconciled to the fact that we would not see the black turtleneck and blue denims any more. Year after year, the keynote was by far the most downloaded clip the next day. Creative people who otherwise cannot sit through a five-minute product demo would be transfixed with a glassy look in their eyes watching a man alone on a stage with a giant screen behind him. And not just creative people. Entrepreneurs, Apple haters, Television Evangelists, Technocrats, college kids – everyone had something to take out from it. Hell, TED made a million dollar idea out of it. His contribution to a creative professional’s life is invaluable. From musicians to painters, photographers to writers and even filmmakers. Steve Jobs worked relentlessly in his pursuit to make technology achieve progress in the field of liberal arts and humanities. A decade earlier, many companies produced mp3 players. Apple made the iPod. And didn’t stop at that. It took the file format that threatened to ruin the music industry and converted it into one of the most profitable revenue models for Apple as well as musicians, great or small on iTunes. That’s because he was a creative mind himself. He often wrote and rewrote the ads with Lee Clow at TBWA (where I started my career). The language used on the Apple website was just like the way he spoke to us at the annual keynote. His love for typography and fonts ensured that every Mac user had access to a rich library of looks. The way the MacBook looked inspired us. It made sitting at our desks for hours a rewarding experience. Apple in itself can be looked upon as a company that was obsessed with graphics. And so it
ensured that the graphic quality on every Mac is never compromised upon. As an erstwhile nerd, I am ashamed that I still do not know what is the precise configuration of my machine. And you know what, I don’t need to. As a photographer and a creative director, I cannot live without my Mac. Every colour, every word looks better on it. I don’t know why. Perhaps, it scrolls better. The colours are true. The Mac is faster. And it doesn’t misbehave in the middle of something important. There are enough reasons. But the biggest is the fact that I feel it understands me. It wants to make me a better artist. It has a soul. This is the exact nature of the shift that Steve Jobs managed. A creative professional, he thought, should spend more time bettering his craft than worrying about what hardware permutation is best suited to his needs. You’re creative? You work on graphics based stuff right? Get a Mac. It will change your life. The wicked witch is dead. And we have to move on. To lead our lives with whatever he left us. Hoping that somewhere, there are more like him. Who will dedicate their lives to bringing us more little pieces of mass-produced aluminum and glass. Welded together to make our hearts soar.
- Trilok Sengupta
Steve Jobs Steps down as CEO
The irreplaceable charisma and vision of Steve Jobs As Steve Jobs steps down as CEO, Apple is in the best position in its history, but with the company’s stock dropping so quickly after the announcement that trading was halted, investors are obviously concerned about its future.
Apple’s current position is impressive, especially considering that when Steve Jobs rejoined the company in 1997, it was a shadow of its former self and a takeover target. “It would be hard to conceive of a better time to say “Mission Accomplished” and hand the keys to the next generation,” technology journalist Peter Lewis said. What a difference a decade has made. Since the launch of the iPhone in 2007, Apple has gone from zero to the number one maker of smartphones in four years. The company has created a new computer market with its iPad, and Apple is now the world’s most valuable technology company. It is worth more than Intel and Microsoft combined, and it challenges Exxon Mobil for the title of the world’s most valuable company. “One of the true tests of a great CEO is whether you can build a company that can thrive after you’re gone, and Apple, at least at the moment, seems well-positioned to do that,” said the New Yorker’s James Surowiecki. Apple’s success has attracted a lot of talent, and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak told Bloomberg, “For a company as large as Apple, corporate culture doesn’t change overnight. The quality of the people doesn’t change.” Apple already has plans in place for existing and new products for years to come. Technology consultant and commentator Tim Bajarin said: “What people don’t realise is that Apple does not work like most companies that operate on a quarter-to-quarter basis or planning cycle. Instead, the products they have in the works now are designed through 2013 and the current roadmap extends well through 2015.” The iPhone 5 is expected to be released soon, and the third generation of the market leading iPad is expected by next year. Investors pointed out that Apple’s stock was already trading at relatively low price-earnings ratio compared to its peers. MetaFilter.com founder Matt Haughey said, “Hey, looks like tomorrow is national Buy Apple Stock At Discount Day. If I had spare cash, I’d get shares pre-iPhone 5 release. It’ll go up!” What does Apple lose? No one is worried about Apple in the short term. Jobs will remain chairman of the board, and his
successor, Tim Cook, has been running the company during Jobs’ leaves of absence. In his letter of resignation, Jobs said, “I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.” It’s clear that he won’t be able to carry on in the same capacity that he has since 1997. Jobs will most likely continue to help drive product direction as long as possible. When his health no longer allows it, the company will lose one of few figures in technology who can truly be described as visionary. He seems to know what people want before they do themselves. Months before the release of the original iMac, Jobs said, “It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” Apple has design skills, but Jobs was the final hurdle before a product was released to the public. We’ll see in the coming years if the company can continue its design leadership.
One thing Apple has started to miss already is Jobs’ charisma, showmanship and marketing. Many in the technology industry speak of the Steve Jobs distortion field. Some of the comment is born of jealousy. No other technology company has its fans stand in line outside their stores for hours if not days to get their latest gadgets. Apple’s design is only part of the formula. Steve Jobs’ salesmanship is key as well. Google’s Eric Schmidt, who served on Apple’s board, said of Jobs: “He uniquely combined an artist’s touch and an engineer’s vision to build an extraordinary company, one of the greatest American leaders in history.” Apple’s success isn’t threatened anytime soon, but in losing Jobs as CEO, it loses an irreplaceable technology pioneer.
- Kevin Anderson
From Steve Jobs to Anna Hazare: Why we need personal heroes
In a recent repeat episode of The Simpsons cartoon on British TV, Lisa becomes obsessed with
getting a “Mapple” product. When she downloads 12,000 tracks to her “MyPod”, she has to appeal to the firm’s boss, “Steve Mobs” for leniency. . . from inside his underwater glass cube where he controls the entire company and all its customers. The obvious spoof of Apple seems apt with the news that Steve Jobs is quitting as CEO of Apple and will become chairman of the board, with chief operating officer Tim Cook set to take over at the helm.
For centuries, humanity has looked to the individual as hero, saviour, icon or even simply a reduction of an otherwise complex situation. For centuries, humanity has looked to the individual as hero, saviour, icon or even simply a reduction of an otherwise complex situation. Thousands of people may have had their phones hacked by the News of the World, but it was the hacking voicemail of the murdered school girl Milly Dowler that captured Britain’s attention. Almost a century ago, as millions died in the trenches of Europe in the First World War, it was the war poets such as Siegfried Sassoon or Wilfred Owen who came to represent the nameless and faceless millions. We couldn’t access the scale of the horror without the individual figure. In the “Arab Spring”, Google executive Wael Ghoneim became a symbol for many fighting for a more free Egypt after he was detained for 12 days. There were countless problems with the regime its structures beyond former president Hosni Mubarak, but it was the removal of that president that was seen, initially, as key to Egypt’s future.
Today in India, Anna Hazare continues his hunger strike to fight for strict anti-corruption laws. Battling corruption is nothing new in India or anywhere else for that matter, but it is the personal commitment and unique personality of the 74-year-old that has been essential to pushing the movement as far as it has to date. Some might ascribe this to “cult of celebrity” of today, as we obsess ourselves with an individual, frequently as a form of escapism. Even in the days of Ancient Rome, “bread and circuses” easily centred around the gladiatorial heroes of the arena. They were personalities you wanted to see win. . .but secretly wanted to lose. Think of the classic 1960 film Spartacus. When each freed gladiator stands up and says, “I’m Spartacus” to protect their friend, it isn’t merely an example of repetition. The individuals identify with the hero, the central personality. They win with him, they mourn lost comrades with him. It is similar to mob mentality in the almost switching off of individualism for the sake of a strong central figure. Obama tapped into that very effectively in his 2008 presidential campaign. The words “hope” and “change” are so nondescript that almost anyone can apply to them their own hopes and ideas for change, even if they didn’t match those of the then candidate. Even when the healthcare bill was enacted by Congress in 2010, it has continued to be branded “Obamacare” because of his personal push for it, and because it is easier for opponents to attack the man, rather than a 2000-page document. In a world of endless information and constant bombardment by news via Twitter, Facebook, news websites, radio, newspaper, television, we need ways to reduce and summarise. The famous Live Aid concerts of 1985 in response to African famine coalesced around the 1984 reports by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation of little Birhan Woldu who survived. We can’t process “millions dying of hunger” but can connect with a starving child held by her father. In Canada this week, there was an immediate outpouring of public sympathy and grief at the passing of Jack Layton, leader of the left-of-centre and official opposition in Canada, the New Democratic Party (NDP). Within 30 minutes of the news breaking, the “RIP Jack Layton” trend had climbed Twitter and within another hour or so, it was the most talked about item in Canada, number four in the world. The 61-year-old was already known to be struggling with a second bout of cancer, but the fact he succumbed less than four weeks after he announced he was undergoing treatment came as a shock. Even political opponents recognised that it was the personal brand of “Jack” that won the NDP 59 seats in the province of Quebec in May’s Canadian elections – 58 more than they had previously. The party became the man. And without him, questions abound about the future of the movement. Political leaders, gladiators, anti-corruption campaigners. . .and the CEO of a company that makes
our phones and computers – why do people ascribe such devotion to an inventor and corporate entity? There is no doubt Steve Jobs has been instrumental in some of the most groundbreaking and innovative pieces of technology of the past 30 years. The New York Times showed off many of the 313 Apple patents that list Steven P Jobs amongst the creators. But of course it takes teams of designers and experts and even marketers to make Apple the powerhouse it is today. The celebration of Jobs, by both investors and the wider public, comes from the desire to find success in the individual. Part of this is our own jealousy or aspiration to achieve through an invention that will change the world and make us millions. And part of it is to personalise the technology we use. The fact that less people use Mac computers than the PC variety has long created this sense that Apple users are somehow special or more unique, and many profess more devotion to the product and company than you would see on other corporate products. Even with millions of iPhones and growing numbers of iPads, people buy into the style, the brand and man behind it. We want to work for a company where the boss makes excited announcements in tshirt and jeans. We want the glass stair cases that are replicated in Apple’s signature stores around the globe. And most of all we want the products that look cool and represent status. Aspiration, envy and the desire to connect people has made Apple a global powerhouse of technology because they are very human qualities, and Apple expertly tapped into them. Whether we reduce movements to an individual, or companies to an apple logo, we will always try to identify with the solitary, because we too are solitary beings. There are billions of us, but we each want to be special, as Anna, or Jack, or Steve.
- Tristan Stewart-Robertson
Jobs scores a perfect ten, stands tall among iconic CEOs New York: The question is not whether Steve Jobs is an iconic CEO, but where Apple Inc’s cofounder ranks in the pantheon of business leaders who have carved out a place in history.
Jobs would surely pass the Times Square test, meaning many people walking around the New York City tourist mecca would know who he is, while they might not recognise the names of other business legends such as General Electric’s former chief executive Jack Welch. And Jobs’ technological innovations, among them the Mac computer, iPod, iPhone, and iPad, have brought him the same one-name recognition as Carnegie, Ford, Gates, Murdoch, and others. But 50 years from now, will the Nano be considered as revolutionary as the Model T? “What Ford did for the automobile — just look at the suburbs and highways that developed from him, the assembly lines. Ford had a tremendous effect,” said Mike Carrier, a professor at Rutgers School of Law in New Jersey, who has written extensively on innovation and intellectual property. “I would put Jobs up in that category in terms of how he revolutionised our concept of music, of phones, of the computer, of literally everything.” But others say the jury is still out on the lasting influence of Jobs’ creations, given the breakneck pace of technological innovations and the fickleness of consumers. Motorola’s Razr, for example, was thought to be revolutionary just a few years ago. “I’m not sure how all these innovations will stack up in the long term,” said Peter Cappelli, a management professor at the Wharton School of Business. Jobs has long been a larger than life figure inside and outside the company he co-founded, even though for years he was surrounded by superb talent who deserve at least some credit for runaway successes such as the iPad, iPhone and iPod. Enter newly minted CEO Tim Cook, design genius Jonathan Ive, mobile software guru Scott Forstall and product marketing maestro Phil Schiller. The quartet have stayed in the wings for years, operating in relative anonymity. But within the tightly knit Silicon Valley community, they have built formidable reputations in their fields. With Jobs’ departure, they now have an opportunity to take center stage, former Apple executives and experts said Between Edison and Disney When Jobs first started out more than three decades ago, there were some who thought he would not make it. Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, associate dean of the Yale School of Management, remembers vividly how Jobs awkwardly introduced himself to Polaroid CEO Ed Land during a lunch at Michela’s in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1985.
“He came over to Ed to thank him for his wisdom in marrying progressive management with technological advancement,” Sonnenfeld said. “After he left, Ed shook his head and said, ‘That guy is never going to make it. He doesn’t get technology. He’s just a salesman.’” Jobs is a salesman, one of the most successful of the last half century. But the magnitude of his technological brilliance — The New York Times pointed out that his name appears as inventor on 313 patents — and his penchant for theatrics place him on a historical spectrum somewhere between Thomas Edison and Walt Disney. “There are few CEOs who can compare to Jobs in terms of breadth of activities, length of time in command, and connection with consumers,” said Harvard Business School professor Anita Elberse. Part of Jobs’ mystique is owed to a confluence of factors either unique to him or to our times. The attention paid to CEOs by financial analysts and the media far exceeds what it was during Henry Ford’s day, for instance. And Jobs’ career trajectory as a pioneer, failure, and comeback success has the narrative arc that journalists love. Walt Disney or William Randolph Hearst hit on one or two of those plot points, but not all three. “You can’t underestimate the massive impact the press has had in building up the concept of the celebrity CEO,” said Eric Abrahamson, professor of management at Columbia Business School. He pointed to the reinvention of Kimberly Clarke as a case in point. That company began as a lumber manufacturer, then moved on to pulp before hitting it big with gas masks during World War I. After the war, Kimberly Clarke’s fortunes began a downward spiral and did not recover until the company introduced Kleenex. Though that turnaround is akin to the one Jobs’ pulled off after returning to Apple in 1996 — its stock is up roughly 9,000 percent over that time — Abrahamson said, “I couldn’t tell you who the CEO was who led Kimberly Clarke’s turnaround.” Pixie dust Jobs diverges from his peer group in two key aspects: the number of industries his company’s products have fundamentally changed and consumers’ identification of him as the singular force behind those products. Ford helped create the automobile industry. Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone. Jobs designed aesthetically pleasing, easy-to-use devices that changed the way computing, music and movies were made and enjoyed. By accident or design, consumers have made a visceral connection between Apple products and the guy in the blue jeans, black turtleneck, and wire-rimmed glasses. They know Jobs did not create the devices on his own, but they desperately want to believe that he did. They have sprinkled some of Disney’s pixie dust on him, in a manner of speaking. “Consumers personally believe that Jobs is solely responsible for the products in their house,” Elberse said. But they do not think that Murdoch alone puts out News Corp newspapers, for instance. “Fifty or a hundred years from now, they’ll look back on Apple products and think, ‘Steve Jobs made this,’” she said. “That’s his cultural impact.” And his legacy.
Steve Jobs vs Bill Gates: Who will have the greater legacy? Apple is within striking distance of becoming not only the world’s most valuable technology company but the world’s most valuable company full stop. It is now worth more than Intel and archrival Microsoft combined.
The epic battle of the tech world—Microsoft versus Apple—seemed decided long ago, with Bill Gates clearly the winner, but Steve Jobs stands ready to cap one of the most amazing come-back stories in business history. Jobs might be able to claim victory over Microsoft, but from his worryingly gaunt appearance, he might be losing another more important battle, the fight for his life against an undisclosed disease. It is no wonder, then, that our thoughts turn to Jobs’, and thus Gates’, legacy. What will these tech giants leave behind? Jobs and Gates can both claim their place in tech history, but who deserves the higher position will never be decided. The Mac versus PC debate is one of the great religious debates of technology. Apple fans are known for their devotion, so much so that one of the most well known columns to follow the company is Leander Kahney’s Cult of Mac. PC owners profess a more pragmatic admiration, but if you ever want to kick off a good argument online, pick a side in the Mac versus PC battle and stand back. Aside from their business and technology achievements, the two men have taken very different paths in the last few years. Bill Gates has pulled back from corporate life, stepping down from day-to-day operations at Microsoft in June 2008. He wanted to work full-time on his charitable work, devoting his energy to important causes including eradicating polio, fighting HIV/AIDS and ending the scourge of malaria. For more than a decade, Gates has been committed to giving away much of his fortune to charity after being shocked by poverty and illness in the developing world. Gates was the richest man in the world almost continually from 1995 until this year. He’d still be the richest man in the world if he hadn’t donated a third of his wealth to his foundation. And Gates, alongside his close friend Warren Buffett, has used his philanthropy to encourage others to give. Together they have called on the richest Americans to follow their lead and give away a majority of their wealth in a campaign called the Giving Pledge. As for Steve Jobs, he has also pulled back from his day-to-day responsibilities at Apple but only because of his health. One of a handful of public appearances since taking a third medical leave of absence was to lobby the local city council to allow Apple to build a huge new headquarters, which a local official called it a “legacy building”. In addition to this sprawling headquarters, Jobs will leave behind a number of iconic computers and gadgets, but he has faced criticism for not being as generous with his wealth as Gates or even
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who recently pledged $100m to support a school district in New Jersey. Kahney of Cult of Mac said of Jobs: “On the evidence, (Jobs is) nothing more than a greedy capitalist who’s amassed an obscene fortune. It’s shameful. In almost every way, Gates is much more deserving of Jobs’ rock star exaltation.” Jobs did establish a foundation in 1987 to support social entrepreneurship, but it closed after a little more than a year. Apart from some donations to the Democratic Party, Jobs has no public record of philanthropy. But Apple and Jobs are famously secretive, and some believe that this secrecy extends to any possible charitable giving. In 1993, Jobs told the Wall Street Journal: “Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful … that’s what matters to me.” Does doing something wonderful mean creating iconic gadgets or quietly giving to charity? If it comes to light that Jobs has been giving away his wealth, would you admire him more for not seeking publicity for it? Both men will be remembered for their technical innovation. Who do you think will leave the most lasting legacy?
Steve Jobs testifies before Cupertino City Council
- Kevin Anderson
Bill Gates last day of work
Can Apple stay technology’s cool trend-setter without Jobs? What happens to Apple now that its iconic co-founder Steve Jobs has passed away? Jobs, who died after a long battle with cancer at the age of 56 on Wednesday, transformed Apple into the world’s most valuable technology company by creating path-breaking, cool devices that made millions of consumers salivate over digital technology in a way they had never done before. With his design and marketing brilliance, Steve Jobs was not just the face of Apple Inc, he WAS Apple, as one consumer speaking to BBC TV put it. “He made technology personable,” she said. Now that Jobs’ vision will no longer drive the company, will Apple be able to retain its tag of the technology’s world top purveyor of cool? No doubt, it will be a challenge. To stay on top, Apple will need to continue developing the next generation of “must-have” gadgets while battling growing competition in the markets it has pioneered. Over the short term, updated models of the iPhone and iPad, as well as potential new products like a television, will keep the company growing. Even as the rest of the world was dragged down by slowdown gloom, Apple’s profits for the quarter ended June more than doubled to $7.3 billion, helped by record purchases of iPads and iPhones. Sales soared 82 percent $28.6 billion. But competition is rising. One of the biggest threats to Apple’s dominance is Google, whose Android has been rapidly gaining ground among smartphone and tablet users. Another rival is Amazon, which recently debuted the Kindle Fire, a tablet computer that some analysts think could pose the first real challenge to the iPad. In a bid to expand its markets, Apple is looking aggressively at overseas markets such as China, where, it seems, young fans are ready to do outrageous things just to lay their hands on an Apple product. While the infrastructure within the company to grow had already been put in place when Jobs handed over the reins to new chief executive Tim Cook in August, it remains to be seen how effectively Cook uses that to innovate and introduce new products, services and applications. As recently as Tuesday, Cook led the debut of the iPhone 4GS, which disappointed reviewers and shoppers. For the doomsayers, the downbeat reception was a sign of more disappointments ahead. However, for now, investors are staying put with Apple’s shares, which are recommended by 49 analysts, with no sell ratings, according to Bloomberg data. On average, analysts predict the shares will rise another 32 percent to $499.40.
With booming sales and profits, Apple’s market value has zoomed past rival technology companies. Its valuation now exceeds the combined worth of Microsoft and Intel, two companies that once relegated Apple to the fringes of the personal-computer industry. How Apple manages to hold on to that top spot without Jobs will be interesting to watch. While Apple’s reputation and profits seem intact in the short term, it will take time to judge whether the company, without Jobs, will continue to have that ability to ‘change the rules’ in whatever industry it enters as before.
- FP Editors
iPhone 4S: Apple follows instead of leads It was opening night for Tim Cook as CEO of Apple. He had a tough act to follow: the legendary Steve Jobs. As Bhuvnesh Chawla said to FirstPost Tech on Twitter before the announcement: “media would be judging star of the evening -Tim Cook or iPhone5” The flash verdict is in – the stock market reviewed Cook’s debut and they think he flubbed his lines. Apple’s stock dropped like a fainting diva after the company failed to deliver an iPhone 5, instead announcing only an upgraded iPhone 4. To get a sense of why markets are so disappointed, let’s look at a study from inMobi ahead of the launch announcement. It Pro Portal said the study found: “BlackBerry users are, according to the study, the most enthusiastic new customers. 52 percent of them will make the switch to the iPhone 5, but only 28 percent would buy an iPhone 4S if that model hits the shelves . Even if owners of Android devices seem more loyal, 27 percent of them plan to switch sides when the iPhone 5 is comes to the market, but only 11 percent are interested in an iPhone 4S.” That’s why Apple’s stock was down 5% at one point after the announcement. Apple definitely underwhelmed, and the failure of the company to release another game-changing design at the first launch announcement after Steve Jobs announced he was stepping down as CEO will filtered through fears that, without his obsessive drive, the company will lose its edge. Steve Jobs was about inspiring design, not about faster hardware stuffed into last year’s gadget. This announcement felt like Apple catching up with the market, not pulling head of the pack as it has for the last few years. From a hardware standpoint, Apple’s move to a dual-core processor trails its Android competitors by several quarters. Apple announced an 8 megapixel camera for the 4S, while Nokia’s N8 boasts a 12 megapixel shooter. Some tech pundits pointed out, quite rightly, that the smartphone market isn’t driven by hardware but software. But apart from the Siri personal assistant, many of the features announced felt like Apple saying “me too”. The announcement of notifications allows the iPhone to catch up with Android. The iMessaging announcement seems a clone of Blackberry’s BBM. Launching only a speed-bumped iPhone 4 when the competition is moving aggressively forward is going to really hurt Apple. The rumoured iPhone 5 was supposed to have a larger screen, but Samsung’s Galaxy S2 and several other Android handsets already have larger, bright screens, and in that market the iPhone 4S now seems a little small. The rumour mill expected data speeds of up
to 21Mbps, but the iPhone 4S will top out at 14Mbps. It’s still twice as fast as the model that it replaces and, truth be told, a lot of people won’t ever experience faster speeds because their networks don’t support them. However, this launch undershot the hype at almost every turn.
In some ways, this might have been Apple’s legendary secrecy coming back to haunt it. Rumours can build excitement and anticipation, but they can also build unrealistic expectations. This isn’t the first time that the Apple rumour mill has got a little carried away. But big questions remain about Apple, post-Steve Jobs, and this lacklustre announcement will raise doubts rather than quell them.
- Kevin Anderson
How much higher can Apple shares go without Jobs? New York: As far as investors can see, the outlook for Apple’s shares remains as bright as an iPad screen despite the resignation of Steve Jobs, the company’s legendary co-founder, as chief executive.
But many investors worry that the outlook for the medium- to long-term has become very cloudy. Jobs exits as CEO at Apple’s high, with revenues having steadily grown each quarter over recent years and analysts expecting a terrific performance in the next holiday season. Shares fell just 0.65 percent on Thursday, withstanding steep falls in the broad market. But with many equating Jobs’ vision with Apple’s success, there is a fear that competition will finally gain on the company years down the road. “In the long term, if Steve Jobs’ health deteriorates or if he becomes more disengaged and does not lead the strategic aspect of the company, we will probably cut back our position by half,” said Channing Smith, co-manager at Capital Advisors in Tulsa, Oklahoma. “Guys like Jobs don’t come very often.” While Apple’s product lineup should hold an edge over the competition in the next couple of years, it is the long-term outlook that has investors worried. “The impact of Steve Jobs’ absence will be limited at least for the next two years because all the products that come out during this period will have his finger prints all over,” said James Meyer, chief investment officer at Tower Bridge Advisors in West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. Even after passing the baton to Tim Cook, Apple’s chief operating officer, Jobs will remain on investors’ radar. Most still hope that from seat as the company’s chairman he will provide guidance on key projects. But the stock could take a dive if it becomes clear that he is no longer able to contribute to Apple’s strategy. “In the long-run, considering that he is an irreplaceable icon, … is Tim Cook the man? We don’t know,” Meyer said. “We’re witnessing a business legend moving toward the exit door. Time only will tell if the company maintains the innovation and the creativity that he put in place there,” said Keith Wirtz, chief investment officer at Fifth Third Asset Management, with $16.3 billion in assets. Wirtz, who like many other fund managers has Apple as one of the largest holdings in its portfolio of large-cap companies — about 6 percent — is sticking with his existing commitment to Apple
shares. He is betting that Jobs’ culture will continue to inspire the company, especially if in his new role as chairman he remains involved in major development projects. And a number of investors said they’d be more likely to buy shares if the stock stumbled. David Rolfe, chief investment officer at Wedgewood Partners, said he was buying on the dips for his new Riverpark/Wedgewood Fund . “It just so happened that we got some cash inflows in the last 24 hours so we have been buying Apple in the fund. If the stock had been hit harder, we would have added to it in our separate accounts as well,” he said. Bank analysts overwhelmingly kept “buy” recommendations on the stock, with price targets ranging from $460 to $525 for the next 12 to 18 months, although many warned of increased volatility risk. So far, selling Apple’s stocks after each of Job’s health scares has proved to be a bad investment decision. The stock has taken a hit right after the announcement of each of his three health-related absences, but quickly recovered. In January 2009, the shares dropped almost 11 percent within the first week after Jobs announced his medical leave, but by end of that month they had more than recovered all their losses. “This is the lesson for the last seven and a half years because Steve Jobs has been sick or recovering or in remission for all of it: Wall Street cares less about Steve Jobs’ health than it does about Apple’s health and Apple is healthier than its ever been,” said Stephen Coleman, founder of Daedelus Capital LLC, which manages $4 million, 75 percent of which is in Apple.
Why Steve Jobs chose Tim Cook
hile it cannot come as a surprise that the iconic Steve Jobs has stepped down after prolonged illness, as CEO of Apple, the importance of this moment in Technology History simply cannot be denied. The stock tanked 5 percent and understandably so (except that five years ago it might have tanked 15 percent), as the most visible and well-known innovator chose to call it a day. There are very few companies in the world you would associate as viscerally with one person as you would Apple with Jobs. So why has Jobs chosen Tim Cook? He is the ops man. Whether the iPhone launch or the the next version of the iPad, Cook has made sure they got to the stores on time. He’s managed the end-to-end supply chain as the COO of Apple. So yes, if you were worried about marketplace response, this one’s taken care of. In the past, when Jobs took his periods of time off, Cook was the man who had stepped in as acting-CEO. In a market that is driven by distribution, retail experience, and delivery as much as it is by innovation, Cook is likely the man who has made Apple products hard to beat and the product pipeline, breathtakingly full. The other person to watch is also Scott Forstall who is SVP of iOS. The person some would have expected to become CEO. Probably familiar to most of us because he was one of the few faces on stage with Jobs. That he hasn’t also signals that Jobs will likely continue to be closely associated with product strategy or that upsetting the creative apple cart is not something the company wants to do at this point in time. In-charge of the Mac OS, Forstall will probably play the most crucial role in Apple’s competitive future.
- FP Editors
Why didn’t Apple just call it the iPhone 5? Here’s why
The Freakonomics blog has a post where the author wonders if the stock price of Apple would
have dipped as much if they had just said that they were launching the iPhone 5 instead of calling their product the iPhone 4S. As evidence, the blog reproduces the chart at the bottom of this post, and argues that since the market climbed a little later and on the next day, it shows that the market realised that it was a great product and the name didn’t matter. Freakonomics concludes that this was a case of bad marketing on the part of Apple. Well, I disagree. For, two reasons. One is that I am writing this on the day that Steve Jobs died. And I refuse to accept criticism about Apple on this, of all days. But the second reason is that I think it would demean the brand to do so. Let me explain. Marketers are used to changing brand names without much provocation. Older readers will remember the good old Ambassador which would change its model from Mark II to Mark III to Mark IV with no change to the product other than a few cosmetics like the shape of the tail lights. In packaged goods, brands get restaged from time to time. From ‘High Power Surf’ to ‘Extra Action Surf’ to ‘God knows what Surf’. Consumers have learnt to tune out from all these name changes even when the communication for the brand called it a “revolutionary” change. At the other end of the spectrum is a brand like Honda Accord. The Accord was launched in 1976 and was a hatchback. The Accord has been through several changes and the current model is the 8th generation product. In this time, it has evolved from a hatchback to a mid-size car to a full-size car. For 15 years it has been the highest selling Japanese car in the US and for two years (1991 and 2001), the largest selling car in its class in the world. Currently it is sold in sedan and crosstour versions. Yet the name has stayed the same — Honda Accord. In all markets across the world. So which of the above two strategies is right? Should one tweak the name of the brand at the slightest provocation or take the view that products change, but a brand is timeless?
There are obviously arguments for both sides and no reason to believe that there should be one right answer. However let us try to work out the logic used by Apple. Steve Jobs has said that he believes that Apple is not just a technology company, but is at the “cusp of technology and the liberal arts”. A technology company would focus on the insides of their product. By that yardstick, the iPhone 4S is a revolutionary new product. It has the ‘Siri’, which is likely to change the way in which we interact with our mobile devices. Plus a host of other new features that make it way superior to the iPhone 4. Any other technology company would have seen this as enough reason to call this a ‘next generation’ product. But not Apple. Apple is about design as well as about technology. That’s what differentiates it from every other tech brand. The new product is in the same chassis as the iPhone 4 and so, of course, it cannot be called an iPhone 5. For that we need to wait for the new tapering shape (a la MacBook Air) which we shall probably see some time next year. A brand creates a long term relationship between a company and its consumers. It should not be changed for short-term goals. (The stock price on one afternoon has to be a new record in short-term goals). We all need to have a clear idea of how our brands are going to evolve over time and communicate that to the consumer. In the long run, this will create brand successes.I would love to hear your views on the branding strategies of Apple, Honda and packaged goods companies. Do you think brand names should be timeless or change every season?
- Suman Srivastava
iPhone: Game-changing the world, just not India
In 2007, then Apple CEO Steve Jobs told a packed developers conference that he was proud to
announce three revolutionary products – a wide screen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone and a breakthrough Internet communications device. As the crowd applauded, Jobs kept repeating the the three products over and over again until it became clear. “Are you getting it? These are not three separate devices! This is one device! And we are calling it iPhone!”, said Jobs.
This was probably the most iconic announcement of the mobile phone industry as we know it today.
The iPhone went on sale in the United States on June 29, 2007, at 6:00 pm local time, and hun-
dreds of customers lined up outside the stores nationwide. The passionate reaction to the launch of the iPhone resulted in sections of the media christening it the ‘Jesus phone‘. The original iPhone was made available in the UK, France, and Germany in November 2007, and Ireland and Austria in the spring of 2008. On July 11, 2008, Apple released the iPhone 3G in twenty-two countries. In an attempt to gain a wider market, Apple retained the 8 GB iPhone 3G at a lower price point. When Apple introduced the iPhone 4, the 3GS became the less expensive model. Apple sold 6.1 million original iPhone units over five quarters. Recorded sales have been growing steadily thereafter, and by the end of fiscal year 2010, a total of 73.5 million iPhones were sold. By 2010/2011, the iPhone has a market share of barely 4% of all cellphones, but Apple still pulls in more than 50% of the total profit that global cellphone sales generate. Approximately 6.4 million iPhones are active in the U.S. alone.
India and Steve Jobs
In India however, the iPhone is struggling to gain ground having been held back by a mixture of high prices, a lack of appropriate infrastructure and stiff competition from other touch control phones at lower price points. A touch screen phone in India can be bought for around 6000 INR while the lowest priced iPhone is 20,000 with a subscriber lock. There have been allegations that Apple is not really serious about the Indian market, but there continues to be massive interest in Apple products and the launch of the new iPhone later today is generating a lot of buzz in India’s social media circles. Here is a Timeline of the history of Apple iPhone
- FP Staff
India wasn’t the apple of Steve Jobs’ eyes By now you’ve seen the adulation, semi-biographical tributes and lavish praise being heaped
upon Steve Jobs. Here’s one that covers nearly everything he’s ever done. But as the dust of applause settles, it’s worth looking at the hard facts about how Apple was run by Steve Jobs, and more specifically at how the Indian market was treated by one of world’s most valuable companies. Hence, I would like to give you a myopic PC enthusiast’s take on why the vast majority of Indians have never experienced the full power of Mr Jobs’ vision and products. Premium and overpriced — most of us just can’t afford them! There is no arguing that Apple products have never appealed to us beyond their design and aesthetics. Ours is a very price-sensitive society where practicality and economy win over heart-dominated buying decisions. So, a Mac will always remain an oddity, and stay perpetually at the bottom of anyone’s shopping list. A number of Indian consumers continue to believe that Apple products are overpriced, under-configured, inflexible and with fewer (read pirated) options. A MacBook Pro is priced 30-40% higher than a similarly configured notebook; the MacBook Air, on the other hand, costs nearly twice as much! This policy of high-end pricing has only just started to wane, but for most of the decade past, Apple products have been prohibitively expensive for most Indians. Steve Jobs never loved gaming While it is ironical that Steve Jobs’ first job was at a gaming company — and none other than Atari — it is no secret that he didn’t particularly enjoy gaming. Here’s a quote from John Carmack himself, maker of the ‘Doom and Quake’ series: “The truth is Steve Jobs doesn’t care about games. This is going to be one of those things that I say something in an interview and it gets fed back to him and I’m on his s***head list for a while on that, until he needs me to do something else there. But I think that that’s my general opinion. He’s not a gamer.” So let’s be blunt about this one: Steve Jobs was never into gaming. And for nearly a decade, that translated into products that alienated gamers. iTunes continues to be hobbled for India It has been 10 years since iPod and iTunes launched. And till date, Indians cannot access the full iTunes store. That’s not all. We are deemed as not good enough to buy a song worth 99 cents (Rs 45) . To date, 10 bn songs have been purchased and downloaded on iTunes, but not a single one from an Indian iTunes account. Sure piracy is rampant in India, but to not extend a viable alternative is even worse. So while a large part of the world is happily buying music and creating their custom playlists, we are stuck
with what we had back in the 90s. Buying CDs and ripping them, or better still — downloading! Piracy: we love it, Jobs hates it Piracy is as rampant as corruption in India, and that’s an understatement. In India, if you can’t use a device without pirated content, then it instantly loses its marketability. Indians don’t like paying very much for software too. And that’s probably the only reason why Android flourishes in India. With this backdrop, Apple’s products fly in the face of regular Indians. Steve Jobs systematically and successfully engineered an ecosystem where we have to pay for content and software. This is the number one reason why iTunes and the App store are so hated among Indian enthusiasts, not just because they are unwieldy, but because they force you to buy and sync. We’re a dumping ground This one gets every self-respecting Indian’s goat. Not only has Apple used India as a “dumping ground”, but has also charged us full price for end-of-life products. The iPhone 3GS and iPad are classic examples of this policy. Forget that the products made it to our shelves a year after launch, the older ones were sold for their full retail price while the newer versions were sold abroad also for the same price. So there you have it, over the last decade while Steve Jobs was busy transforming the world of technology with his idiosyncratic and inflexible attitude, he never really made any difference to the regular Indian geek.
- Hatim Kantawalla
Apple’s iPhone: Priced for the the next billion and India The launch of the iPhone 4S marks an important shift in Apple’s strategy. After running away
with the high-end of the market, now Apple sees the opportunity in the next billion, showing how the company might be finally taking India seriously. This explains the numbers heavy announcement that marked Tim Cook’s debut as Steve Job’s successor. Ticking off numbers reflects Cook’s previous role as chief operating office, but he was also making the case that Apple still had a lot of room to grow. When he flashed the pie chart that showed that Apple has only 5 percent of the global mobile phone market, he was highlighting it not as a failure but as an opportunity. It’s an opportunity he sees in markets like India where Samsung, Nokia and RIM’s Blackberry are much more successful than the iPhone. As of the end of June, Apple has a meagre 2.6% of the Indian smartphone market, while Nokia has 46%, Samsung 21% and RIM’s 15%, according to IDC. As it has in the past, Apple now plans to keep older models around and sell them at lower prices. This time though, we’re hearing that three models will be available. The iPhone 4S, the iPhone 4 and some remaining iPhone 3G S models. The thinking is that the iPhone 3G S will be available free from some carriers. The Porsche of gadgets now is willing to ship a few Volkswagens, but to mix my luxury metaphors, Apple will do this not by selling cut price gadgets but by selling last season’s fashion at lower prices.
It makes a lot of sense as Apple comes under increased pressure from an army of Android phones. Apple cannot compete with all of those Android devices, all those Blackberry handsets and Nokia’s wide range of smart phones and high-end feature phones with a single pricey iPhone. It’s not a radical departure for Apple. The company is not going to go after Nokia’s stronghold on the feature phone market – feature phone being the industry term for non-smart phone handsets that mostly have only text and calling features. Apple is just demonstrating that it realises that not everyone in the world is a Silicon Valley millionaire or a fast-rising Asian entrepreneur. Apple could help its iPhone fortunes in other ways than simply cutting the price. To get serious about India, Apple will have to bring its retail magic to the country rather than relying on resellers. Apple hasn’t cultivated its cult of chic in India as it has in other countries. Some of Apple’s success in in India is out of its hands. Until 3G becomes faster and more widespread in India, Apple’s iCloud will be nothing but such stuff as dreams are made on. Research by Forrester found that only 8% of mobile users in urban India access the mobile web on a regular basis. Compare that with 22% in the US or a staggering 43% in urban China or 47% in Japan. That might explain why the iPhone is a runaway success in China but at the back of the pack in India. So much of the iPhone experience is tied to onthe-go internet access. Not only do Blackberry and Nokia have cheaper devices, they also have handsets that
aren’t as dependent on always on, always accessible data. In a Forbes article, research group Trefis said that it believes that despite these issues, price remains the main stumbling point in India. Apple knows that it can make a lot more money selling lots of phones, different phones, than sticking simply trying to fight for the ultra high-end of the market. With his comment about 5 percent phone market share, Cook was not only making a case to Wall Street that Apple’s growth story has legs, but that the with the success of the iPhone they are now going to focus on building its market by selling iPhones at prices for the rest of us.
- Kevin Anderson
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