Henry Ford’s inclusion in this chain of attribution is interesting as it follows a similar trend to what Steve Job’s actually did. Ford is quoted as saying: “I invented nothing new. I simply assembled the discoveries of other men behind whom were centuries of work. Had I worked fifty or ten or even five years before, I would have failed. So it is with every new thing. Progress happens when all the factors that make for it are ready and then it is inevitable. To teach that a comparatively few men are responsible for the greatest forward steps of mankind is the worst sort of nonsense.” If this sounds familiar you are not alone, others have likened the way Jobs “assembled” past discoveries and technologies into the massive marketing giant that Apple is today. To be honest with you, there is nothing wrong with that at all. To build on others ideas or to find a better way to make an existing product is great. However, to claim that you created it out of thin air and then try to legally corner this is not so great.
Now, why are we bringing this up now? After all Jobs has been covered ad nauseam since his death. The reason to bring this up is that Jobs was so good at distorting reality in the eyes and mind of the consumer (and market analysts) that many st5ill believe he was a creative genius and visionary. The belief is so strong that after he passed Apple started to decline. Without Jobs in the lead many people are wondering if Apple can continue to create and develop new products. This point has been hammered home by a series of basic refreshes and “me too” products like the iPad Mini.
Now, Apple expected the iPhone 5 to do much better than it did; although it was still a success it was not the same as previous releases. Many felt that the iPhone 5 failed to match current offerings from Apple’s competition including LG, HTC and their nemesis Samsung. In some cases the iPhone 5 was not even able to match previous models let alone current releases. Some of this was (and still is) due to Tim Cooks’ lack of leadership as a visionary Icon. The market simply does not see Cook as a creative person; he is a business man first and foremost. Cook is quickly learning that Apple is all about appearances and that without the iconic personality of Steve Jobs and the mythology that was built around him Apple does not hold up (as we mentioned above).
It is for this reason that Apple has let slip that they are working on products inspired by the late Steve Jobs. This leak comes from Michael Foulkes who is Apple’s Government Liaison. The comment was during testimony about device Kill Switches (itself a hot topic), where he intimated that the next generation products were developed by Jobs or at the very least that Jobs oversaw development. To many of us that have been watching Apple’s slow decline this is an interesting release of information. It was not relevant to the line of questioning that Foulkes was responding to and it was given in an environment that was sure to get leaked to the public. Was this an attempt to bolster failing consumer confidence in Apple? It would be a great way to do so on many levels, but it has a serious drawback. If these devices were indeed developed by Jobs, when do we run out of them? At what point are we really seeing “new” products? I have a feeling that this is a marketing attempt at this point, the statement is quite vague and does not really tell us much other than they were planned before Cook became CEO. It does not really mean that Jobs designed them at all. We are quite sure that Jobs did not design the iPad Mini as it was a form factor that he very publicly denounced. So where does that leave the iPhone 5, next gen iPad and future products from Apple? Our guess is that we are looking at new products on a draft roadmap that Jobs envisioned. The actual products that we are going to see were probably not developed by Steve Jobs at all, but planned at a time when Jobs was very ill and he was not as active in the company. He was still CEO so it is “his” roadmap, but the products and their innovation most likely belong to someone else.
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