As many had feared, the demise of Steve Jobs seems to have left Apple in the hands of the cost cutters – the bean counters – the people who know the cost of everything and the value of nothing. One of the latest manifestations of this is the decision to discontinue the 17 inch MacBook Pro – because sales were not high enough. Now that the 17 inch has gone (and many people are pretty annoyed about this) the 13 inch and 15 inch will have to slug it out to avoid extermination. It’s a slippery slope – there will always be a model that has lowest sales, but as anyone with even modest education in business or economics knows there are secondary effects that might mean keeping some less popular models on the shelves.
It is also fairly common to see complaints about the quality of the keyboard on the new MacBook Pros – no doubt there has been some cost cutting here too. The quality of Apple’s products has never really been questioned – until recently.
Steve Jobs knew how to create value. It’s the hardest thing of all, and no business can exist without it. The easiest thing of all is to cut costs – it requires no imagination – just a spreadsheet. I hope I’m wrong about Apple, but I fear that I’m not. The people with no imagination seem to be in charge – and it only leads to decline.