Apple is on a downward spiral, claims former Apple exec

News Paul Briden 15:59, 7 Nov 2012

A former Apple manager has outlined publicly why he believes Apple is on a slow downward spiral

Dan Crow, a former engineering manager at Apple has given a damning verdict of the company’s future declaring that ‘it’s all downhill from here.’

The very public dressing-down came in the form of a column Crow wrote for UK newspaper The Guardian, in which he assessed the company’s current state of affairs as demonstrating a ‘slow but real decline.’

‘Why do I think Apple has passed its peak? There are a number of signs,’ Crow writes, ‘The most visible recent one is the Maps debacle. Replacing Google Maps with an obviously inferior experience shows how much Apple has changed.’

Crow argues that Apple’s success has entirely hinged on offering the most refined, premium-level experiences and services, the very best of the best, and that the inclusion of a sub-par Maps service is representative of the change in leadership to something a bit fuzzier under Tim Cook, since the loss of the late Steve Jobs.

Another major touchpoint in the piece is the recent leadership shake-up: the departure of Scott Forstall and John Browett’s brief but tumultuous stint at the company, both of which are cited as evidence of a company on a questionable trajectory.

Crow also points out the incremental nature of Apple’s recent products, he compares the new iPhone and iPad as being less significant updates than previous devices, claiming that in the old days the hype was justified, but now the veneer is wearing off as Apple runs out of ideas.

Many of these arguments are not new, but what’s interesting is hearing them from a person who still has a lot of affection for the company he worked for, in his closing paragraphs Crow asserts that he hopes he’s wrong in his assessment, but he genuinely appears to believe Apple is running out of steam.

As Crow admits, however, it will be a ‘subtle downward trajectory’ owing to the big pile of cash the company is sitting on.

Apple’s decline, if real, won’t be obvious for some time to come and there will be time for it to pull itself up from the mire too, but certainly the argument is there that, as Crow puts it, Apple has ‘passed its peak’.

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