the courage to insert one’s head into the clouds

I’ve gone on record in multiple forums that I consider Apple as the most overrated business entity since the East India Company.  And yet they continue to mint money faster than the planet’s drunken central bankers.  Just walk by an Apple store at any mall to observe armageddon in progress as perfectly reasonable people assault one another with tied stick bundles in an effort to acquire the next model power adapter for $134 each.

Can this Apple insanity last?  I don’t think so, but what do I know?  I spent last night filling 42 individual sandwich sized plastic bags with dog kibble in preparation for a forthcoming family wedding / vacation / work trip.  Do you have any idea what it takes to label, open, fill, and reclose 42 individual sandwich sized plastic bags?   I have no life.  On the other hand, I have now discovered the fiercest of torture techniques for use in future interrogation procedures when we need the aliens to tell us where they hid the fusion bomb.  (hint: it’s in Brussels, so we’ll laugh and just shrug at them)

So Apple did their product launch thing yesterday.  The weirdo goons of the Internets were so into this event that even reputable (in theory) sites like The Washington Post live streamed the event.  Really?  It’s that important to hear about a minor update to the iPhone?  And then this morning the decision to remove the audio jack from the new phone is more important than, well, a whole bunch of stuff.  It’s way higher on the news banners than NFL opening day, which angers me immensely.

Anyways, these product updates don’t really interest me so much.  What I get more into is what is says about where Apple is headed.  This is important because they’re the world’s largest company and have more money in the bank than all but five nations on Earth.  Tim Cook brushes his teeth with plutonium every morning, and then gets the scientists to remove the radiation immediately afterwards, just because he can, he can afford it.  In a world where the planet’s 0.01% wealthiest want to pay for experience over possessions, nobody beats Tim Cook’s dental care.

So I’ll just focus on this nugget from Apple Lord Protector, Marketer, Hi-Ali Extraordinaire, and Amateur Bridge Player Phil Schiller as he explained what’s what with turning hundreds-of-millions of existing Apple headphones into future landfill:

Some people have asked why would we remove the analog headphone jack in the iPhone. I mean, it’s been with us a really long time. I’m sure you know that the source of this mini-phono jack is over a hundred years old, used to help quickly exchange in switchboards. Well, the reason to move on … really comes down to one word: courage. Courage to move on, do something new, that betters all of us. And our team has tremendous courage.

That’s got to be about the most pretentious corporate shill I’ve ever heard.  How far up its own ass does Apple have itself?  So what Schiller is trying to say here is that Apple is taking a big risk by dumping wired headphones.  Most companies wouldn’t have the balls.  He’s right.  But who would have the gall to use the word ‘courage’ to describe it?  Nobody else.  Eh, maybe freaking Goldman Sachs, them too.

How about instead, “Apple is a company not afraid to take risks.  We’re the leading edge of society’s technological curve.  So we’re taking the leap, we’re embracing the future of sound.”  Etc, etc.

No, no, they’re courageous.  Oh, well, good for you all.  [stares wide eyed at blank cubicle wall]

Hey there was this company once upon a time.  It made elite products that it sold at an exponential markup relying on brand loyalty, reliability, and straight hype.  It was blindingly successful, had a bright future, but began to slowly lose market share because all its competitors offered similar capability for 1/5 the cost.  But this company was counting on its reputation and ability to hold the world’s attention and overpower the growing loss of sales, but simply didn’t possess the innovation it once had to capture the imagination of consumers.

That was Apple in oh, say 1995.  What saved them back then was that Steve Jobs dude who came back.  He brought this company back to life.  Who’s going to bring it back to life in 2019?

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Apple displays photograph of it shoving its own head up own ass.  [perfunctory excited clapping]

 

 

 

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