The Macalope Daily: Breaking up isn't always hard to do

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Congratulations, Joe Wilcox! You’re the first person to write a “I didn’t leave Apple, Apple left me!” post since Jobs stepped down as CEO!

The previous one was a week before. They come out every week.

Earlier this month I sold my 11.6-inch MacBook Air (using Samsung Series 5 Chromebook now) and iPhone 4 (switched back to Google Nexus S).

Bon. Voyage.

This explains something the Macalope was wondering about. Apparently Wilcox was the “player to be named later” in the dubious Mike Elgan trade. Frankly, the Macalope doesn’t fully understand a trade where you’re just swapping one guy who hacks at the ball for another. Maybe we got some salary or something.

I don’t miss either Apple product.

That’s interesting, because the Macalope spoke with the MacBook Air and iPhone earlier, Joe, and they said the feeling was mutual.

In reflecting, I realize that the spell is broken. Without Apple Chairman Steve Jobs driving innovation or inspiring passion—the oft-called “reality distortion field”—my Apple enthusiasm is gone. Perhaps it’s return to sanity.

Or maybe you’re still insane and your insanity is just further manifesting itself. Did you consider that?

The Macalope seems to remember you challenging Jobs to return to work full time. Is this your new defense? Insanity plea? It does have a certain charm to it.

But on reflection, I now see how much simplicity, one of Apple products’ best attributes, is giving way to complication creep. Mac OS X 10.7 Lion and iTunes 9 and 10 are glaring examples of increased complexity, as are iOS 4 (and soon v5), Safari 5.1, iLife `11 and most other Apple software.

Uh, really? iLife is complicated? Did you take a blow to the head recently?

Wilcox’s contention about Lion also flies in the face of the complaints of most long-time Mac users. If anything, the complaints the Macalope has seen are that things like Launchpad and Versions are an oversimplification. But there’s a reason Joe’s forcing this idea: He’s building to a wicked boss Star Trek simile.

Jobs and Cook couldn’t be more different leaders.

Well, there’re both extremely talented. That’s something they share that sets them apart from their competitors.

Like James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock from “Star Trek”. Kirk is the leader, the charismatic one. Spock is the empowering sidekick but not as effective leader. That’s how I see Jobs and Cook.

Well, no one would accuse you of complication creep, Joe.

Cook hasn’t even been on the job for a week and Wilcox has somehow divined what his leadership style is like. Wilcox argues that you can see Cook’s Vulcan death grip in Apple’s moves over the past two plus years, but if that’s true it sure hasn’t shown in the company’s sales. Or its financials. Or its stock price.

And it’s not like Joe’s been particularly prescient. Ever.

Apple won’t find feature compromises—the kind good for keeping them in balance—as easy in the post-Jobs-CEO world, either. Response to Final Cut Pro X is one example of that.

Wait, wait, wait. Final Cut Pro was a perfect example of Apple simplifying something, not making it more complex. And you were just telling us the Cook era is all about over-complicating things. Your arguments have no logical consistency.

Jobs had a knack for making people believe in his company’s products…

Jobs gives a terrific presentation, there’s no doubt about it. But people could still tell when he was trying to feed them a sandwich full of something you should never, ever make a sandwich with. Like when he said in 2007 that Apple’s slick solution for developing for the iPhone was Web apps. Nobody bought that.

Well, maybe you did, since you’re using a Chromebook.

Apple feels quite different to me now in 2011 than it did in 2008. It’s all corporate now. Just dollars and cents on a ledger. What Jobs imbued already is gone, at least for me.

Come on. It’s not like your heart was ever really in it in the first place. You’ve been trying (and failing) to second guess Apple for years. Speaking of insanity, you know how some people say the definition of it is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result? Probably not.

I predict it will fade for many technophiles.

Well, that’s certainly damning, Joe, as your analysis is always so spot on.


[Editors’ Note: In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]

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