Freshly Squeezed OpEd: The Bad Penny Returns

Jan 17, 2013 | OpEd | 0 comments

The famous story goes that Steve Jobs, then chief at Apple Computer, asked John Sculley if he wanted to change the world or spend the rest of his life selling sugar water. Sculley would eventually force Jobs out in 1985, oversee a large period of growth for Apple and then ultimately be ousted himself in 1993 after sales began to dwindle, until the computer company became a technological footnote. So, who better to discuss Apple’s future iPhone plans (analyst’s latest guessing game) than the Candyman himself.
Apple execs have repeatedly said that the company was not preparing a low-cost iPhone. But the Shanghai Evening News, published a report all the same, only to later backpedal after Phil Schiller flat-out denied the story. You can still feel the breezes as far away as Honolulu.

“There’s only 4 percent penetration of smartphones in India at this time against almost 50 percent in the United States,” he said. “As people start to adopt these products in emerging markets … there’s bound to be new price points. That requires really re-thinking the whole supply chain and how you price and how you make money.”
Remember, this is the CEO who eventually led Apple to manufacturing over 9,347 different models of the Mac. That number may not be precise, but you get my point anyway.
Apple has never really chased market share. To be honest, they have always successfully pursued margins. All the while still leading the computer world in innovation. (And now that I think of it, doesn’t the iPad smart cover “click”?)
What has the former CEO been up to since his ouster? Well, he’s dabbled in several start ups. But according to Wikipedia, “Sculley has been noted privately by many American business leaders as a “CEO Most Likely To Fail” after his string of failures since leaving Pepsico.” This is whose ‘insights’ analysts site to bolster there baseless opinions.
The most unfortunate thing is that we listen to these analysts who validate themselves by simply finding someone who will lend credence to their story. And it has gotten to the point that they’re not only playing with our heads but also with our economy.
Be fair, Apple users and some media did bad mouth Microsoft when they were the 800 pound gorilla in the room. We now have that title and all these potshots aimed at Apple simply come with the territory.
But to listen to analysts and fanboys alike claim that Apple is no longer innovating (particularly at a pace fast enough to suit their technological lust (ergo, Apple’s failing) is purely absurd. Their separation from reality reminds me of that line from that old (reduancy) SNL skit where William Shatner chastises a Star Trek fan by asking. “You, … have you ever kissed a girl?”
I think that a few people need a date. 


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