At the risk of offending some of my readers who believe that Apple can do no wrong, let me put my cards on the table. Apple is not your friend, even though the company is widely admired. It is a great money making machine, too, with products that have become cultural icons, such as the iPhone and iPod.
Certainly Apple has messed up big time on more than a few occasions. The dark days of the 1990s nearly signaled the end of the company as we know it. In those days, the company’s leadership actively sought merger partners, and I bet most people — other than Apple’s competitors — are glad that it didn’t happen.
When Apple does screw up these days, you have to wonder what they were thinking and what sort of market research they conduct in order to decide on products and product features. Or is it simply a matter of Steve Jobs being the decider on everything without regard to practical value?
Surely the Cube is an example of what may have been nothing more than an indulgence on the part of Jobs. At the time, commentators regarded it as a modern day version of the original NeXT personal computer, which was also cube-shaped. It’s also certain that Jobs didn’t want to see it discontinued, but ultimately how to bow to the reality of ongoing sales shortfalls, even after the price was sharply reduced.