10 Signs the Apple Ship is Sinking!

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Over the years, Apple has always been the leader in the innovation. However, lately, Apple has begun faltering in a lot things. Here are the top signs, the “Apple Ship” is sinking.

  1. Root, This is a major, absurd flap by Apple, and a one of many cracks forming in their tight ship.
  2. The iPhone X. The iPhone X is frankly terrible looking. It has a noticeable notch on the top, and they removed the finger print reader. The iPhone X looks like a prototype phone to be honest
  3. Mac OS: Mac OS is stuck in the 2000s with it’s dated UI. Many UI elements have not changed in 15 years.
  4. It’s product lineup. Apple has a frankly lackluster product lineup compared to others. They have the regular iMac, Macbook, iPad, and iPhone. This is the same lineup from 7 years ago. They have not made anything truly revolutionary.
  5. The slowing of iPhones. This is definitely a big crack in Apple’s ship. To slow down people’s phones, without them knowing, is terrible. Isn’t iOS a lightweight mobile OS already?
  6. The Macbook Pro keyboards. The new Macbook Pro keyboards are truly awful. They offer no tactile feedback or resistance. To implement such a keyboard on a “Pro” device, is another crack in the Apple ship
  7. The regular iPhone. Apple is still selling the dated looking iPhone 8, alongside the improved iPhone X with the edgless display. If Apple wants to innovate, they should go all in, and retire the old iPhone design
  8. Headphone jack. There is no rationale to remove a tried and true IO port on a phone, like the headphone jack. Especially, if the USB C offers the same audio quality. Also, now users have to buy a dongle to charge their phone and listen to music, simultaneously.
  9. The iPad Pro. Apple continues to tout the iPad Pro as a PC replacement. Yet, it can’t do a lot of the things a Macbook or Windows PC can, like heavy duty tasks.
  10. Value and competitiveness of their products. Back in 2007, the iPhone and Macbooks, were like the Mercedes of tech products. A Dell Inspiron felt like a cheap Hyundai Accent in comparison. Now in 2017, there are so many other excellent laptops and smartphones, that really give Apple’s bread and butter products, a run for their money!
Comments (51)

51 responses to “10 Signs the Apple Ship is Sinking!”

  1. pecosbob04


    10 Signs the Apple Ship is Sinking! 

    Fantastic list with a magnificent title. I can't thank you enough for posting this. Now I know what to do when the market opens on Tuesday!


    One little quibble; these two items seem logically inconsistent but I am sure I must be reading it wrong. Probably this darn notch.


    2. The iPhone X. The iPhone X is frankly terrible looking. It has a noticeable notch on the top, and they removed the finger print reader. The iPhone X looks like a prototype phone to be honest

    ...

    7. The regular iPhone. Apple is still selling the dated looking iPhone 8, alongside the improved iPhone X with the edgless display. If Apple wants to innovate, they should go all in, and retire the old iPhone design"


    DOOMED! DOOMED! I tell you!



  2. Daekar

    They're still making money at incomprehensible rates regardless of the competition and the capability of their products. If they abuse consumers too much they might eventually suffer some consequences, but at the moment the ship is hardly sinking.


    Don't get me wrong, Apple products have no place in my technology life because I demand more capability and control than they're willing to grant their users. For people who don't care... meh. It's good-enough technology with a price premium for social image and reliability that people are willing to pay for. As long as they are willing to pay for those things and they can keep their costs down, Apple will keep making money hand over fist.

  3. Darekmeridian

    If Apple is a sinking ship it's a very very slow leak.

    As far as being a leader in innovation they have never heald that role but they are the leader in getting things right, and setting a high bar that everyone else ends up chasing.


  4. rob_segal

    Interesting topic. Let's take this point by point.


    1. The root security bug was a bad one, but Apple plugged that hole. Any software the size of macOS will have security issues. They fixed it in a reasonable amount of time.
    2. Average consumers purchasing the iPhone X seem to be fine with the notch. It's something people will get used to. Some will not like it. Most will be fine with it.
    3. Apple is modernizing macOS where it needs to modernize. It's consistent, unlike what Windows 10 has become.
    4. Their product lineup is fine. If Apple needs to do anything, they need to streamline it a little. Remove older iPhones from the stores, for example.
    5. Smartphone sales are plateauing. IPhones still sell really, really well. Revenue from services sold to iPhone users is increasing quite a bit. Both go hand-in-hand.
    6. I expect Apple to fix their butterfly switch MacBook Pro keyboards this year or next. Too much bad press. There are already patents that may fix its unreliability.
    7. I expect Apple to go all-in on their iPhone X design at some point soon. Maybe, this year. If people like the older iPhone design, I think it would be great for Apple to keep a model of it as an option (similar to iPhone SE).
    8. The headphone jack is gone and Apple's world didn't end. That justifies their choice to remove it. Consumers had a choice and they chose to continue buying iPhones. I wish it had a headphone jack, but I can live without one. I own a Pixel 2, so I had to adjust to not having one. Life continues to be fine.
    9. Most people do not need their day-to-day computing device to do heavy duty tasks. I do because I'm a developer, but if I had a good enough keyboard case, I can get pretty far with an iPad Pro.
    10. The touchbar MacBook Pros are a little overpriced compared to their marketplace competitors. A Dell XPS 15 with an i7 H Processor and a 4k screens runs about $2000. ThinkPads are expensive. An X1 Carbon with an ultrabook CPU and the HDR WQHD screen is well over $2000. A ThinkPad P series with similar specs is about $2000. Also, Apple is not the only company with a crazy expensive smartphone.
    • hrlngrv

      In reply to rob_segal:

      #1 the root screw-up required some Apple developer to change something to bring that bug into existence, so all Apple had to do to fix it was undo that change. It's legitimate to wonder how anyone with any experience with Unix-like systems could have made the initial change as well as why Apple didn't have an effective review process for such changes. This really should never have happened, and it does indicate that at least for a short while, Apple had ineffective controls on macOS changes.

      • curtisspendlove

        In reply to hrlngrv:

        I believe the root bug was an unintended consequence of coding the security for the iMac Pro’s T2 enclave. No, it shouldn’t have happened. Yes it should have had automated tests surrounding it. But test cases can also have bugs.


        I van can assume there was enough embarrassment around this one that developers are allowed and encouraged to be slower and more careful with security code.

    • wright_is

      In reply to rob_segal:
      1. The root bug should have been picked up in rudimentary testing. Every test suite should have such a simple test in it. That this mistake happened is foreseeable, that it got past unit testing is unfathomable.
      2. I agree. Although so far, I have only met 1 person who has one and they didn't have it with them at the time (company Christmas party).
      3. But, like Windows 10, there are still lots of bits that feel really old. It is slowly being overhauled, but you can definitely see that macOS has become the unloved sibling.
      4. Sorry, but not. The product lineup is not fine. The MacBook Pro has the worst keyboard I've used in over nearly 40 years of computing, with the exception of the ZX81 keyboard, although it is close. Then there is the Mac Pro, or lack thereof. They are slow to implement current generation technologies. How many of the current range are using Core i-8000 series chips?
      5. iPhone still sells really well in the USA. Over here it just manages to scrape into double digit percentages.
      6. Hopefully! As I said above, I have not seen a worse keyboard on a device. Even the Psion 3 and 5 series keyboards were better!
      7. No idea, I don't know enough iPhone owners to get a feel. The Android owners I know have so far derided the "me-too" designs coming from other manufacturers.
      8. The headphone jack is an anachronism. It is an old, analogue port that is too bit for modern designs (it is often the limiting factor in case design). My Mate 10 Pro only has USB-C and that is fine, I use Bluetooth headsets or speakers most of the time.
      9. I can't see the iPad Pro taking over in any company where I have worked - its lack of Windows support is the biggest hurdle. It might work in a California start-up, but for a company with a Windows based workflow, it is a non-starter and most companies are still not ready to throw out decades of investment in workflows, just so employees can work with a touchscreen. Where I work, there would be the following problems - VOIP client for our telephone system is Windows and MacOS only and no desktop phone. ERP system is Windows or Linux only. Simple things, like wordprocessing and email might be acceptable, although the keyboard doesn't really lend itself to lots of typing. The other problem is, most of the users currently have 2 or 3 large desktop displays, you'll pry them out of their cold, dead hands, unless the new solution provides a better workflow alternative.
      10. If you want Apple, you don't really have a choice and, as you say, the equivalent Windows models are similarly priced... But you can go down market and pay $500 and still get a decent experience on Windows. Just with a plastic case and lower quality display, but it is quick and it works. Choice for entry-level users is where Apple doesn't have a good offering, and that probably won't change, because they don't care about "poor" users, because they can't earn as much from them off their eco-system.
  5. obarthelemy

    I don't know if Apple's ship is sinking, but I know there are things wrong with them:


    • form over function has reached unbearable extremes. Those $300 failing keyboards are only the latest manifestation of dysfunctional design that prioritizes looks over everything else. And they're being stingy with the aftersales service, which is adding insult to injury. I used to recommend MacBooks when money was no object and there was no gaming, now I can't recommend MacBooks at all.
    • services keep being lauded as Apple's new frontier. Yet I know of exactly no one that buys Apple services independently of an Apple device, nor buy an Apple device because of Apple services - except for in-store service. Lock-in doesn't count, since it's not a choice and doesn't prove Apple services are superior to anything. So if Apple's way forward is to sell rather more expensive, rather inferior, Apple-only services to their iPhone customers... I'm dubious: it's basically raising iDevice prices, not a new business.
    • Apple really seems to be struggling to handle their product catalogue. Mac fumbles multiply as Consumer products proliferate. Apple seems unable to shepherd more than a handful of product lines, and any diversification happens at the expense of existing products. That's bad news for anyone who needs mDevices along with iDevices.


    Apple have a firm handle on iPhones, iPads and iWatches. I wouldn't trust them for anything beyond that.

  6. curtisspendlove

    Hahaha. I love the ongoing doom and gloom articles.


    I’ll give you #6.


    That said I have decided I love my iPhone X. The notch doesn’t bother me and is an obvious compromise. I look forward to the phone without a notch, but I accept it for the tech it contains. Every time I go into a secured app and see the FaceID animation, I’m quite happy to live a little bit in the future, today. It will be nice when all our systems are biometrically secure, with instant unlock...but we have to bridge that gap first.


    Regardless Apple has enough cash in the bank to just slide into first, and walk the rest of the bases until they circle back around to home plate with the successor to the iPhone in hand.

  7. jimchamplin

    I’m back to embarrass this a second time.


    The whinefest surrounding the “loss” of the fingerprint reader still continues, even months after OP created this. Now, take a deep breath. Repeat after me.


    ”It was replaced by a different biometric security tool.”


    It was removed because with having FaceID, it was no longer needed. Why waste space in the machine with a redundant part? That would be stupid.


    Should televisions have kept analog tuners and rotary dial controls alongside their digital replacements? No. Why? Because that would be stupid.

  8. MikeGalos

    To be fair, the statement "This is the same lineup from 7 years ago. They have not made anything truly revolutionary. " isn't really true. The Mac Pro (trashcan) was an innovative design. It was just a disastrously bad innovation.

  9. TEAMSWITCHER

    I love posts like this ... It usually means the polar opposite will happen ... and that Apple is poised for significant growth. Thanks for this!

  10. Minke

    Ha! I'm old enough to remember when Apple was really sinking and almost went under. The iPod and then the iPhone are what saved Apple and the rest is almost irrelevant. I was a huge Apple fan until I got fed up with paying more for equipment that was less powerful and broke a lot. The value equation just wasn't there. However, I think that iPhones still provide "value" for most people, even at their inflated prices. There is a huge advantage to using a device that is also used by almost everyone else at your job, or among your friends and family, and you can walk into an official store where you will probably receive good service. That is huge for most people. I know people who are terrified of tech who love iPhones.

    • pecosbob04

      "Ha! I'm old enough to remember when Apple was really sinking and almost went under. The iPod and then the iPhone are what saved Apple and the rest is almost irrelevant."


      Except you are ignoring two factors that pre-dated both of those items and were critical to Apples renaissance. The Original iMac in Bondi blue and its rainbow of follow on devices, and the retail Apple stores a huge gamble that paid off big time. And it should be evident that the one single event that "saved" Apple was the return of Steve Jobs and his first big decision to slash the product line to a four device matrix.

  11. YouWereWarned

    Aware of the likelihood of taking on water in the post-Jobs era, Apple had the foresight to design the new headquarters such that one BIG cork can save the ship.

  12. 2ilent8cho

    Hmm, i have read the list and its mostly lies or subjective, but i have a few minutes to spare so i will comment on a few points.


    The iPhone X. The iPhone X is frankly terrible looking. It has a noticeable notch on the top, and they removed the finger print reader. The iPhone X looks like a prototype phone to be honest


    So bad looking most Android manufactures are now doing a notch?



    Mac OS: Mac OS is stuck in the 2000s with it’s dated UI. Many UI elements have not changed in 15 years.


    MacOS looks amazing compared to Windows, it looks like it is actually designed to be used by a mouse and keyboard, and the fact it looks a lot like it did 15 years ago is one of the best things, users learn where things are and like them to stay there. Want to see what happens when you mess around with the GUI? Windows 8. Worst OS in history.


    It’s product lineup. Apple has a frankly lackluster product lineup compared to others. They have the regular iMac, Macbook, iPad, and iPhone. This is the same lineup from 7 years ago. They have not made anything truly revolutionary.


    Conveniently forgotten about their Apple Watch? and basically being the biggest in the new Smart Watch category ?


    The slowing of iPhones. This is definitely a big crack in Apple’s ship. To slow down people’s phones, without them knowing, is terrible. Isn’t iOS a lightweight mobile OS already?


    This one is subjective, but thottling a phone to stop the phone shutting down when loading an app due to current battery tech is hardly terrible.


    Headphone jack. There is no rationale to remove a tried and true IO port on a phone, like the headphone jack. Especially, if the USB C offers the same audio quality. Also, now users have to buy a dongle to charge their phone and listen to music, simultaneously.


    Actually you don't have to buy a dongle to charge and listen to music at the same time, my headphones and earphones are bluetooth. You are not seriously using 3.5mm audio jack headphones for music on the go are you in 2018? Apple got the same flack when they removed the serial and PS2 ports, floppy disk , and the dvd drive. They have also shown how to do wireless earphones properly with the AirPods.


    Apple is far from doomed, more Mac users than ever before, almost 200 million! Microsoft only have 3x this running Windows 10 and Mac's are not exactly bargain basement devices, iPads sales are growing again and seem to have found a stable market, iPhones still selling well in a market that has hit its peak, AirPods that they struggled to make fast enough and the Apple Watch selling better than people think.





  13. John Scott

    Apple always manages to make good margins on all their products and people still buy them. Yeah they have definitely made some missteps but they still manage really good earnings. Their services are doing very well, and while the iPhone has slowed a bit but their sales still gave Apple a healthy last quarter. Some of these arguments like no headphone jack and USB C are being done by a lot of Windows PC premium products too. Just because you don't like it doesn't mean its a bad decision.

  14. hrlngrv

    #1. Agreed inexcusable. However, given the level of absurd embarrassment, unlikely to be repeated. I figure Apple has learned (or relearned) the benefits of release checklists.

    #3. Has that hurt Mac sales or more importantly Mac profits? Perhaps Mac users want stability. Tangent: I'd love to see MSFT's telemetry on the number of XP users who used the Classic Theme rather than Luna.

    #5. Similar to #1. Stupid, but now they've been exposed, unlikely to be repeated.

    #7. Apple prefers selling a lot of units to selling far fewer units of only the latest model. The older model is their economy offering. Seems to have worked well for Apple to date, so unlikely to change.

    #10. Agreed. For myself, I'd never buy an Macbook rather than spend the same money for a Lenovo X1 Carbon or more likely a Dell Precision 7520 (get my exercise carrying it too). That said, to me the stagnant state of the Mac Mini is even worse; drop the product or update it already.

  15. seapea

    #1 - Windows PC's have this issue as well. When a pc arrives at work from the store. it has W10 Preinstalled and ready to go for setup.

    As an admin.

    With no password.

    with no requirement to enter a password.



    • hrlngrv

      In reply to seapea:

      Rather different situation on Macs before Apple fixed this.

      Under Windows, once you give your first (admin) account a password, you'll always need to enter that password when using that account for admin tasks. If you choose not to give your admin account a password, that's your choice foolish as it may be.

      Under macOS recently but no longer, there's always a root account (UID 0, like any other Unix-derivative OS), but initially it has no password. The bug was that macOS allowed one to log in as root without a password since few Mac users would know they should give the root account a password.

      Under Linux (for comparison) there's also always a root account and initially it has no password. However, Linux's login command won't allow users to log in as root without root having a password. [This may seem like a conundrum, but the first account added on a Linux system is added to the sudoers group, so the command sudo passwd allows accounts in the sudoers group to add/change the root account's password.]

      Apple fubarred royally by changing something so that the root account was treated like any other account without a password, decidedly different behavior than any current Linux distribution or BSD variant.

    • Lauren Glenn

      In reply to seapea:

      I sell PCs like that too on eBay. It saves someone from doing a return.


      I put a note in there telling them to change their password. I don't care what happens to it as long as they don't return it.

  16. jimchamplin

    In re: Number 3, it's not a bad thing that the UI hasn't changed. The UX has evolved slightly as the appearance has been redesigned and tweaked.


    But overall, it's good that it hasn't changed much. Things like Mission Control, Launchpad, the overhauled Spotlight, and pervasive tabs added a lot without changing the core UI.


    Hilariously enough...


    ... The same is true of Windows! While the appearance of Windows changes more drastically with every release, the core UI hasn't changed in 22 years.

    • curtisspendlove

      In reply to jimchamplin:

      “Hilariously enough...

      ... The same is true of Windows! While the appearance of Windows changes more drastically with every release, the core UI hasn't changed in 22 years.”


      I’ll go a step further. Windows 8. I actually liked windows 8. And I was impressed with the taking a chance, trying to figure out a new way to do stuff (similar situation with Windows Phone).


      People dont seem to want their familiar OS to change much. And most seem to complain quite bitterly when it does. I don’t blame Apple for keeping macOS fairly consistent.

      • karlinhigh

        In reply to curtisspendlove: People dont seem to want their familiar OS to change much. And most seem to complain quite bitterly when it does.


        I believe navigational interfaces should change slowly and rarely, if at all. Who wants to live in a world where we need to figure out which color traffic light means "stop" this season?

        • curtisspendlove

          In reply to karlinhigh:

          “Who wants to live in a world where we need to figure out which color traffic light means "stop" this season?”


          I agree overall, but I wouldn’t compare a desktop operating system to public traffic safety systems.


          But yes, I get your point. I’m not saying people are wrong to not want their computing systems to change.

  17. PincasX

    If Apple is sinking I’m guessing just about every other company on the planet wishes they could sink like Apple. Every company has its challenges and missteps but Apple sinking? That is wishful thinking on your part given they just wrapped up their most successful quarter to date.

  18. jimchamplin

    All displays have edges. All of them. If it had no edge, it would continue to the boundaries of existence.


    Also, I imagine Tim Cook’s reply to this, and all other such “articles.”


    ”If this is failure, I don’t wanna be a success!”

  19. Paul Nelson

    1. No real excuse for this, I'm sure who ever decided to do it had a reason that made sense at the time.
    2. That's personal opinion. I personally like the iPhone X design and so do many others.
    3. Again, Windows hasn't changed much either in the same time. The basic UI and UX is the same.
    4. I don't know what you want them to do, they sell desktops, laptops, tablets, phones, watches, smart speaker and TV boxes. The more products they release the more they have to update and the more thinly they spread their personnel out to maintain them.
    5. Again, you can look at this two ways. A good idea which was badly implemented OR a method to force people to buy new devices.
    6. I quite like my MacBook Pro keyboard and typed this out using it. It takes a while to get used to, but once you do it's just another keyboard.
    7. Nothing wrong with the existing design, they sell that one to pacify the people that don't like or want to pay for the iPhone X. If they had just released the X then they could have priced a lot of people out of getting the newest tech that they sell.
    8. I use bluetooth headphones so not an issue to me, to others it could be. But they do include the dongle in the box so that does reduce the pain a bit.
    9. I use my iPad Pro most of the time. I can do quite a lot of my work on it. Admittedly, I do not do much heavy lifting with my devices. I use AutoCAD and sometimes Photoshop/Lightroom. All of which the iPad Pro can do to certain extent.
    10. Apple charge the prices that they do because people will pay it. If everyone stopped paying the prices then they would have to reduce the cost. Until then, they will not move. Apple have also proven they will happily cannibalise their own products when releasing new ones (iPod for one, MacBook and/or the iPad)
    • hrlngrv

      In reply to Paul_Nelson:

      #1 was the fruit of ignorance, plain & simple. It's one thing for standard user accounts to lack passwords, quite another for the root account to lack a password. This smacks of some developer taking foolish consistency to its logical extreme.

  20. vjvvh

    Their most recent earnings report would say otherwise.

    • Paul Thurrott

      In reply to vjvvh:

      Yeah, this is the thing. I have my own issues with Apple---quality is way down, too many products sit unimproved for too long, etc.---but it's hard to argue with the financial results.

      • MikeGalos

        In reply to paul-thurrott:

        That would be the important consideration if this were a financial journal. It's not. Every item listed in the article is quite valid and a serious warning sign that Apple is floundering and coasting on lock-in more than innovation.

        • curtisspendlove

          In reply to MikeGalos:

          “Every item listed in the article is quite valid and a serious warning sign”


          I disagree. At *most* three or four items are valid. And most of those are easily fixed.


          The rest of the points are simply opinion. And opinion is a very strong selling point for Apple.


          I think they they have made several missteps (keyboard) and miscalculations (Touch Bar was not the success they thought it would be)...but floundering is a little strong.


          I do grant that that Microsoft has definitely been more innovative than Apple in the past 5-6 years. But all of those innovative products have been plagued with either real or assumed problems.


          I would absolutely love a Surface (Pro or Studio) that ran a simultaneous boot of iOS / macOS.


          If I could buy a 12 or 13” iPad Pro, use it like an iPad while on the go, and dock it to activate macOS ... I would be in heaven. (I haven’t thought through a dual-OS Studio-style device thoroughly, but I love the idea of a huge, desktop-scale iPad that could run iOS or macOS depending on for what I wanted to use it.)


          Apple is very good at making products that work fairly well and convincing people that they need the products.

  21. Lauren Glenn

    Apple has always been this way though. And people still buy them.


    Ever have an iPod Classic that randomly does not work with a video cable because of the Apple authentication chip they put in the cable? Steve Jobs did this and it was the only annoying thing for me about the iPod Classic aside from the 128GB limit of the 6th generation Classic which they fixed in the 7th. Just lazy programming there. Although Zune had the same limit with Windows CE.... notice how there never was a 160GB Zune? People tried to put a 256GB SSD in it and it wouldn't work. Meanwhile, my iPod has currently 1000GB in it.


    #7 -- not everyone can afford the newest tech and many people don't want it yet.


    #8 -- Most people listen to highly compressed music and are fine with it. I remember having a 30GB iPod and having it not be enough. My boss at the time stored his music on the network and most of it was in 96kbps and 128kbps because it sounded fine to him.



    Basically, Apple is sinking because of one reason... Steve Jobs. I have no interest in AR... FaceID is probably the most interesting thing they've done lately because as TWIT.TV showed with Mac Break Weekly, they can do 3D scanning of someone's face.... and it looks absolutely amazing.... and that's with iOS devices. But unless anyone is going to use that, what's the point with upgrading?



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