This weeks product announcement from Apple was great showmanship. A slew of new products and options will flood the market in time for the holidays. As a huge Apple fan I couldn't be happier if their wouldn't be this foreboding sense of doom that I can't quiet explain.
Well, let me try. What was the first thing Steve Jobs did when he returned to Apple? He looked at the product portfolio of dozens of variations of the same thing and cancelled everything but four products. Four wer eenough to fulfil his vision at that time and he rightly recognized that Apple was confusing even its fanbase with far too many options. Sounds familiar? Fast forward to 2017. There is no iPhone anymore. There are eight of them. Why? They need some with headphone jacks because those had to go (for no apparent reason), they need each size (hence the SE), they need every pricepoint and I guess while they are at it just keep the model from two years ago for fun. From a business point of view where you want to reach the whole market it makes sense but from Apple's unique marketing position ("We make one really good product and that's what you just have to use.") they have lost their way. I see this as the beginning of destroying a brand, and after all that brand is what makes Apple unique.
However If they would have settled on the iPhone X that would not have been the answer either. Its a niche product and people will find out that design sometimes is lee important than functionality. Design mandated that their would be no Touch ID on the device. Face ID is cool and I totally trust in Apple that they can take this technology farther than eanyone else. I love Windows Hello on my Laptop, so why is Face ID a bad idea? Let's start with the one thing that will literally kill people: Face ID while driving. I know, you should never look at your phone or even use it while driving - but the reality is people do this and when using Face ID they have to give their phone attention. People will do this and not look at the street for as long as Face ID needs. The first lawsuit when (not if) a driver kills someone else while doing this will give Apple the worst publicity since Scully ran the company into thr ground.
But Face ID has more issues than being a potential harbinger of death. Even worse than that, I wont be able to use my phone in meetings anymore for a quick glance at my emails or other stuff with out directly looking at it to unlock it. People will get real mad when they realize how little attention they have from their audience when everyone looks attentively at their devices several times during a meeting.
And not to get political - but this is racist technology. How will this device be unlocked by anyone who is required by his religious beliefs to wear for example a Burka.
I wont even go into the other announcements, like LTE for Apple Watch which is great, but being abused by the Carriers to charge more for nothing - they dont even have to distribute SIMs as Apple has wisely chosen the eSIM path.
I know I will be wrong, the most powerful company on earth will have again the best quarter in company and world history this christmas, but I still feel that weird nagging feeling that I am watching a company that has lost its way one misstep at a time.