MOSSBERG: TIM COOK’S APPLE HAD A GREAT DECADE BUT NO NEW BLOCKBUSTERS.
The pressure was on for Cook’s Apple to bring out the next beautiful, premium, innovative product to maintain Apple’s streak, its margins, and its growing ecosystem of devoted users.
Cook’s first big all-new product was the Apple Watch, which was released in 2015. But it took until the third generation of the Watch in 2017 for Apple to find the right hardware, software, and functionality. It was essentially a reboot.
The other major hardware success under the Cook regime has been AirPods, the wireless earbuds released in 2016 that seem to be everywhere, looking like white plastic earrings.
Respect to Mossberg. A calculated fair assessment from a seasoned veteran with a solid understanding of the consumer tech industry.
One can argue the AirPods and Apple Watch could’ve been the blockbuster new products of the past decade considering how they’ve dominated their respective categories. What they lacked, perhaps, is Steve Jobs’ mind-blowing marketing gasconade that would’ve elevated them beyond their current status. Tim, isn’t a product guy, as Uncle Walt describes him. Jobs, as he was known, was an astute salesman. And perhaps that’s one of the missing puzzle pieces why none of the new product categories released in the past decade had the same blockbuster effect as say, the iPhone.
I’m not the least worried about Apples ability to produce another blockbuster product in the coming decade. What I’d rather see first and foremost as we enter that period, is stability across the board; from company culture to products and services.
We know that customers have been concerned by recent reports of people listening to audio Siri recordings as part of our Siri quality evaluation process — which we call grading. We heard their concerns, immediately suspended human grading of Siri requests and began a thorough review of our practices and policies. We’ve decided to make some changes to Siri as a result.
Following the suspension of using human contractors to listen to Siri audio snippets for its Siri grading program to improve Siri’s effectiveness in providing accurate responses to queries, Apple have now temporarily terminated the program and offered its apologies for failing to live up to their high ideals and upholding the level of privacy its users are accustom to.
However, the practice will resume in-house when upcoming software updates are released, and a few evaluation process changes have been made:
First, by default, we will no longer retain audio recordings of Siri interactions. We will continue to use computer-generated transcripts to help Siri improve.
Second, users will be able to opt in to help Siri improve by learning from the audio samples of their requests. We hope that many people will choose to help Siri get better, knowing that Apple respects their data and has strong privacy controls in place. Those who choose to participate will be able to opt out at any time.
Third, when customers opt in, only Apple employees will be allowed to listen to audio samples of the Siri interactions. Our team will work to delete any recording which is determined to be an inadvertent trigger of Siri.
I’m glad to see Apple continue to take ownership of its responsibilities in addressing the situation, offering its apologies, and putting forth changes that align with their strong privacy stance and the respect it has for its users. I will be sure to opt-in to help with improving Siri.
Source: Apple Newsroom.
I started Chambyte back in 2012/13 intending to document my experiences using Apple tech since I spend a great deal of time geeking out on Twitter about Apple in general. Due to time constraints and other commitments blogging fizzled out of my daily routine and in late 2014 updates ceased and eventually I closed the site. The desire to blog never left and I can’t let lack of time be a reason not to, any more.
I’ve come to the realisation that I don’t have to commit to a stern posting strategy, but rather take time to collect my thoughts and deliver an articulate write-up expressing my experiences and understanding – this may also be in the form of commentary posts – which I’m hoping will generate a healthy educative discussion around subjects regarding Apple and its technologies. I’m open to learning and gaining different perspectives on any particular topic regarding Apple, so please do get in touch with your commentary. The better the understanding, the better the respect we place on the technology in our hands.
I recently rebuilt my ecosystem of Apple devices and switched over from a few third-party services permanently to Apple services, and that ignited the desire to start Chambyte again to document my experiences but with a different approach; to post as and when I can rather than adhering to an expected unrealistic schedule. Granted, I have no academic, technological background, so what you’ll read here will be based on pure, raw experiences from an average end-user consumer, and I hope you follow along.
Welcome, to Chambyte 2.0.