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Have Apple Jumped the Shark?

Calendar October 8, 2014 | User Paul Saunders

Do you remember the episode of the ’50s nostalgia show “Happy Days” in which the Fonz is challenged to water ski jump over a shark? Re-live it here on YouTube. The show became increasingly preposterous from then on, and the “jumping-the-shark moment” is widely accepted as signalling the show’s demise. It’s a term that’s since been coined to mark the decline of any TV show, brand or franchise.

The Fonz Jumping the Shark

Some of the issues that have jaded Apple’s recent launches and updates got me into thinking that maybe, just maybe, Apple’s powers have peaked.

The aluminium casing of the new iPhone 6 and 6+ is so wafer-thin, that there have been reports of the phones bending in users’ pockets. This claim has been backed up by several experimenters showing how easy it is to warp the body in their bare hands.

This test is definitely not recommended, as the stress of bending the phone back into shape tends to shatter the screen. However, this problem is not exclusive to Apple.

Several ultra-thin Android phones, including the Samsung Note, have been plagued by the same problem. Despite this, the phones have had such a strong market demand that lines to purchase the new phones have been beset by a new phenomenon.

Supply constraints and modified international rollouts now mean that lines of eager tech nerds queuing to be the earliest of early-adopters of the new release on launch day have been replaced by something more sinister, as this video by Casey Neistat shows. The iPhone 6 is currently not available in mainland China and demand has meant that resell prices have reached crazy levels, upwards of 300 percent.

As for the release of iOS 8 and other back office shenanigans: The much publicised news of celebrity iCloud accounts being hacked has done little to promote Apple’s enterprise security credentials. Furthermore, the release of the iOS 8.0.1 update patch and its hasty withdrawal have not helped in this regard at all.

Apple’s market share of the phone and tablet markets are still on the decline, and Windows 8 is certainly stealing a march in the cockpit, with Windows Surface and Panasonic ToughPads enjoying several high profile EFB implementations.

Finally, the hoo-haa over the U2 album giveaway on iTunes has amused me somewhat. Quite why anyone at Apple would assume that everyone would appreciate a free album from a band who were in their prime when Happy Days was still on our screens is beyond me.

This goes to show that a music collection, like all the curated content on our devices, be they personal or company-issued, are unique to each one of us and reflect our tastes and our preferences. This is one of the reasons why consumer devices like the iPad have been so successful in Flight Ops. We like to use these devices, so we look after them and treat them as if they were our own. Forcing content on users is seen as an affront to good taste.

On the plus side: There is obviously plenty of appetite for the latest Apple products. iPhone 6 sales topped 10 million in the first weekend alone, beating last year’s record of 9 million for the 5C and 5S in the opening three days. Watch the frenzy.

This year’s record is more even more impressive as the phones were not available in China as mentioned earlier. Plus, we have the Apple Watch to look forward to in the New Year. Is this going to mark a reinvention of the wearables market?

One thing’s for sure, there’s still some life in Apple.

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