Following Ken Segall’s recent piece in the Guardian regarding Apple’s current product offerings, it appears that Apple has indeed abandoned the simplistic vision of its late visionary Steve Jobs. To reflect on how times have changed since the passing of Jobs simply take a look at the latest Apple gadgets, which exist in stark contrast to the relatively limited products previously offered under Jobs’ tenure. For instance, Apple branded phones and tablets are now available in multiple colours and sizes, while the Apple Watch is customisable with a dizzying array of options.
As a further example take Apple’s confusing stance in the music download/streaming segment. On one hand customers purchase single tracks and albums through the iTunes store, yet alternatively we are given the choice to subscribe to Apple Music, a subscription based service whereby users stream tracks and albums. It could be said that customers are presented with the unwanted question of which route to go down, something that goes against Jobs’ core value of simplicity regarding all things Apple.
While music downloads remain a steady source of income for Apple, figures are declining in the face of competition from streaming services (including their own), meaning iTunes and Apple Music are essentially at loggerheads with each other. Consequently, a high propensity for consumer confusion in the marketplace provides an undesirable factor for Apple’s marketing department to consider when pitching their products and services moving forward.
Due to some questionable decisions in recent years, Apple undoubtedly faces pressure from its loyal customer base to return to its simplistic roots and recapture the magic of Steve Jobs. In spite of a history of award winning advertisements, it remains to be seen if Apple’s marketing team is up to the task.