“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes…the ones who see things differently…You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things…while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” This quote from Rob Siltanen was made famous in Apple’s “Crazy Ones” TV commercial that aired in 1997 with Steve Jobs himself doing the narration, and since that advert first aired, a lot has changed with Apple.
Between the rapid advancement of consumer technology and Jobs’ passing in 2011, the company has been through numerous ups and downs since it praised the crazy ones 18 years ago. Apple is the undeniable leader in the consumer technology industry, but according to a recent interview that Peter Theil (PayPal’s co-founder) was subject to recently, the entrepreneur believes that the age of Apple is over. That’s a rather bold claim to make for a company that’s currently valued at $586 billion, and while some agree with Theil’s recent statement, I firmly disagree with him. Apple has been up to a lot over the past few years, and while we’ve seen both revolutionary and barely evolutionary products from the company since that 1997 TV commercial aired, the age of Apple is far from over.
PayPal co-founder Peter Theil
Peter Theil is an incredibly smart individual, and while I can understand where this thought of his came from, it’s a bit unfair to say that the age of Apple is completely over when you consider what’s taking place right now in the consumer technology world as a whole. When Theil was asked to confirm or deny whether or not “the age of Apple is over”, Theil replied by saying, “Confirm. We know what a smartphone looks like and does. It’s not the fault of Tim Cook, but it’s not an area where there will be any more innovation.” In Theil’s defense, we do very much so know what a smartphones looks like and does. However, to single out Apple regarding the stagnant smartphone landscape is a bit one-sided.
This past year of 2016 was a rather boring one for many smartphone OEMs, as a lot of the main flagships were very incremental upgrades and updates to their predecessors. This is something that was seen with not only Apple, but Samsung, HTC, Sony, and many others. Incremental updates are fine, and while they may not be the most exciting or groundbreaking thing in the mobile landscape as opposed to what we’ve seen in the past, they help push technology forward to bigger and better things that are likely to come down the pipeline at some point in the future.