I love Walt’s writing, but can’t help feeling he’s holding back a little (even though he does stick his finger in some of the wounds Apple has wrought in its customer base).
Personally, I think Tim Cook has done a stellar job of scaling the company but an absolutely lousy one at ensuring all its products stayed at the far end of the inspirational and quality scales.
I wouldn’t worry about Apple being able to churn out another blockbuster device–but I do worry about their ability to deliver excellent user experiences, because iOS and macOS are both crumbling at the base (i.e., in both stability and reliability).
Yes, the iPhone is (still) the best smartphone out there on many counts, and that is largely due to a combination of huge momentum and vertical integration that Tim has kept polishing. And yes, the Watch is a great product, and many people subscribe to the notion that more sophisticated content services is a next logical step (again, largely building upon the iTunes user base).
But the Mac (and software quality in general) have degraded to a point where many people are not just beyond being openly critical, but starting to question if someone else shouldn’t be running the show.
Because, all things considered, none of the above are worth squat if your customers stop being your advocates–and the Mac was a huge part of that for many years.