Saturday, April 14, 2007

Leopard Spotted Running for Cover

Apple blunders its way into the future. Earlier this week, Apple announced that Leopard, the nickname for the next great operating system from Apple scheduled for release in June, was intentionally delayed until October!

In a highly controversial decision to rank development of the iPhone as more important, Apple stated that Leopard was put on a proverbial back burner in order to push the iPhone into the market by June of this year. Apple stated that a choice was made to shift staff from the OS development team, to that for the iPhone, thus delaying OS development.

What in the world was Apple thinking? The cell phone market isn't like the iPod market. Sure, other manufacturers are behind Apple's lead, but that lead isn't much--and Apple knows it. That's why Apple cannibalized its own staff in a frantic move to get the iPhone to market.

This is very bad news. Apple no longer considers the computer operating system a core business as the company launched the ho-hum Apple TV, and now wastes precious resources on the iPhone. Even if the iPhone is more successful than the already-forgotten Apple TV, the company appears to be suffering the common malady of expanding faster than can be managed successfully. This is the first sign of the disease "expansionitis" where the "boring" core business is neglected.

Ethical Digression: Accepting that iPhone is to blame is what Apple wants us to believe. Maybe so; or maybe the OS has deeper, unreported functional problems as some analysts suggest. We live in a society where corporate lying is the norm; where PR staff are paid hefty sums to craft out-right lies. We all know this, and accept this as routine. I am still naively aghast that a phrase such as, "If you're not cheating, you're not trying" has become the motto of professional sports. Perhaps I shouldn't be so disoriented, given that professional sports is just another corporate business, therefore lying and cheating are considered elemental at Apple and the A's.

As you can tell, I think this is a very bad move from Apple. The message to those of us who use an Apple computer (remember us?) is that the computing business is no longer top priority as we watch Apple make promises to users that the company doesn't meet. Doesn't this sound all too familiar? Doesn't this sound like "the other" computer company?

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