Is Apple’s Teflon Skin Wearing Thin?

Since Steve Jobs’ celebrated return in 1997 has played, mostly successfully, by its own rules. Along the way, the company has weathered mistakes that would have badly damaged or sunk other organizations, including faulty phone designs, strategic missteps and failed efforts in new products and categories. In fact, its ability to avoid punishment was often linked to Jobs’ supposed ability to conjure up a “reality distortion field” at will.

That obviously hasn’t been available in the half decade since Jobs’ death but it’s not like Apple needed an excess of mojo to sustain a Teflon-like, problem-resistant quality. Under the leadership of former COO Tim Cook, the company has become a far more stable and predictable organization, and a far, far more profitable enterprise. That’s not to say Apple hasn’t suffered disappointments, including its inability to launch a product or category as successful as the iPhone.

But in spite of that, Apple seemed to be essentially on track, at least until recently when it tripped over issues that should have been relatively easy to avoid or resolve. Let’s look at this in greater detail.

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NOTE: This column was originally published in the .

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