Apple: Game over or room to grow?

APP22 apple

Watching Apple stumble is a little like witnessing a just-over-the-hill prizefighter wobbling on his feet or a once-eloquent orator stammering for the right word. But there's no question: Apple has lost a step since the death of Steve Jobs. That this observation is as inevitable as the effects of gravity doesn't make it any less shocking or lamentable.

How has Apple fallen? Let us count the ways. It has been three years since the release of the iPad, the company's last breakthrough product. The latest version of its mobile software reminds design critics more of the edgier features of Google's Android or Microsoft's Windows Phone than anything associated with Apple's penchant for leapfrogging-the-competition boldness. Apple's management is defensive, its people are less committed, and its competitors are resurgent. Apple's ferocious profit growth has stalled, and investors have lost faith in its ability to restart that engine. Apple's stock price is deflated, sure, but that's merely a symptom, not the disease.


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