Monday, June 25, 2007

The death of Apple Computer inc.

It was a move that had a strong impact on few. Jobs, in his turtleneck and jeans, using those impressive/superfluous visual effects and carefully chosen vocabulary, informed all of us that this company was now simply Apple inc.. It has little meaning for those who can't read between the lines, but for those who can, it's a devastating change. To see beyond the mere erasure of a word from the title of what is, quite possibly, the most prominent electronics company on earth, we need to look back to a time far removed from the present, the invention of the personal computer.

Who knew that a quiet boy with a slightly odd last name would grow up to change the world? Who wouldn't? As they say, it's always the quiet ones. But, technicalities aside, Steve Wozniak did for the computer what an experienced agent does for his young talented client. A budding artist can be more intelligent than the world has ever known, but he will get nowhere without the experience of those who know what to say and when to say it. Wozniak did not invent the computer, he invented the personal computer. He took the technology of the elite and brought it to the masses. He implemented the obvious intelligence of a computer in a very unobvious way, and for that, Apple Computer inc. was founded. For over 30 years, Apple Computer set the standard for consumer level technology. They did it with the computer. They did it with the mouse. They did it with the iPod. They didn't do it first, but they were the first to do it right.

For 30 years, they redefined the rules of supply and demand; they told us what to demand, and supplied it. For 30 years, they catered to the unapparent needs of every customer, showing us what we really wanted, that which we didn't know we couldn't live without. For 30 years, even the computer geek could stand together with the average consumer in the eyes of Apple Computer inc.. But 30 years is up, the alarm has sounded, and Apple Computer informed us in the form of a glowing apple that this 30 years was only the beginning. The beginning of what, we ask? We may never know. But this last one year was the beginning of something more: the beginning of the end.

For 30 years, Apple Computer inc. redefined the computer, now Apple Computer redefined itself. Apple Computer is now just Apple, no computer, nor the geeks that they serve. Apple has changed its target market, and the geek demographic is in a frenzy assumed to be unconnected. What is this iPhone? Why is Leopard so unappealing? The answer is not what you think. It's not Apple's problem, not anymore at least, it's you. It's who you are, the technology zealot that you claim yourself to be. It's the fact that you are so obsessed with Apple that you are now excluded from their focus. Apple wants to cleanse itself of the "nerd" image, which means getting rid of you. That's right, you were once Apple's most beloved child, now you're being disowned.

For 30 years, Apple was the company we once knew. Though they have morphed into a still-misunderstood entity today, some things never change. Apple has always, does now, and will continue to bring technology to the masses. The iPhone is fantastically revolutionary from the standpoint of the average person. Leopard will enable countless people to do seemingly impossible things, like accessing their computer from a remote location, imagine that. Yet, you fail to see the magic in all this. All over the 'net, there is Apple hype in unprecedented form, yet you're left in the dark like the rest of us. You've been using VNC for years, and your phone is already free from the "watered-down" web. Why is this Apple's greatest moment? Because now is the time that Apple inc. sheds its last obstacle to virtually limitless success. Apple has stopped appealing to the computer geek. Now, you, me, and the rest of us reading this are the "other" people. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. And now, Apple isn't fond of us.

Apple's products have always been the perfect balance of complexity and simplicity. They appeal to the beginner in all of us, the part of us that just wants to use their computer without the hassle of problems, but still wants to be able to have problems to solve if we want them. Now, Apple has removed the complex side of their products, the balance that only the true computer geek could truly appreciate. We are no longer the masses that Apple appeals to. Apple Computer inc. claims that it has simply changed its name and no more. But Apple Computer has died an undeserving death. The Apple that has been the subject of many a nerd's passion has been replaced with an all-too-undeserving substitute.

Rest in peace, Apple Computer inc., one of many victims of the unfortunate importance of the almighty dollar.

No comments: