With the rollout of the Apple Watch finally happening, one would expect Apple Inc. and its CEO Tim Cook to experience positive publicity once again about its new product and the free (or stealth) hype typically awarded new products from this marketing and design genius of American companies. But in a surprising decision Apple did not ship its watches to its stores, there will be no long lines outside; instead, customers must call for appointments to touch and feel a prototype after which the product can be ordered for shipment at a later date. Or apparently, one can order online. This subdued sales decision is happening at the same time that a woman just announced her candidacy for president using Twitter and a rather private gathering of non-critical media. It’s as if they both are convinced that their product is so attractive they will just make the public drool, with direct access to the public limited, and by controlled invitation. It’s the new attempt at mass-marketing: broad public exclusivity. I suspect Apple will be more successful than Hillary. After all, they actually have an evident track record. But, perhaps they will both fail this time, with Hillary and Tim having decided to do it their own way.
So much has been written about Steve Jobs’ influence over the success of Apple, he became its icon along with the apple logo he created. He was difficult to work with because he was so incredibly focused on products and their every detail. He had little time or interest in anything or anybody that didn’t help the development of Apple’s current and next big thing. The public didn’t know (or care) if he was married, single, straight, gay or Cherokee.
But Jobs is gone, Tim Cook is now in command. Although he holds the same title as did Jobs, and despite Apple’s continued financial success these past two years, he is a very different leader than Jobs. Although Jobs admonished those he was leaving behind to not ask what he would have done, the comparisons were inevitable between Jobs and whoever would follow him. Recently, Cook decided to no longer be a homosexual content to keep his private life in a relatively classic closet mode; he publicly came out, and followed that announcement by recently writing as Apple CEO a socially aware op-ed for media distribution. It’s a new Apple, willing to out-do even Starbuck’s CEO in an effort to have Apple become more acceptable to a media world swimming with interest in dividing people by their skin color, sexual proclivities or the latest created status. Perhaps Apple’s products will soon automatically open not with Racetogether but with iGay.
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