The other day I got really excited because Apple released updates to Pages and Numbers for iOS. I checked out the version update notes and was sorely disappointed: bug fixes.
Then I started to think how pathetic is was to get excited about minor updates to Apple's apps. But, really, no wonder I got excited. There's been nothing truly new from Apple in, like, forever. And that's when it hit me: Apple is petrified. The company is in some sort of state of post-Jobs paralysis where it sort of puts on a brave face and carries on, but at the same time it's too afraid to try anything new.
I got an image in my head of a young boy standing at the edge of a pool. He's wearing his bathing suit, but his skin and hair are dry. He's looking at the water, considering diving in. People around him are coaxing and encouraging him to swim. “He was such a strong swimmer,” they're all thinking. “But ever since his father died, he's been afraid to get back in the water.”
To me, that boy is Apple, too afraid to dive back.
Which is sad, really. I read a blog post recently about the rules of character building in Pixar movies. Rule number one had something to do with admiring characters for their willingness to try, regardless of their ultimate success of failure. I sure would like to see Apple try something – anything – new.
As it stands, though, Apple seems petrified, physically unable to dive back in to the water.