The Apple Customization Revolution

We are on the cusp of a major shakeup at Apple; a move away from static, prescribed and “opinionated” set of use cases, to a new, customized, un-opinionated and “bespoke” generation of iOS, Mac and Apple devices.

When I think about Apple, I think of a rigid company with a static view on how consumers should use their software and devices. This “benevolent dictatorship”, knitted into the very DNA of Apple is about to be shaken in the most profound and pervasive way.

I love the way that Apple does things and most of the time I am happy with the “default” setting, but there are times when I want something a little bit special, the ability to make a change that only I could make.

At this stage in Apples evolution, their style has been marked by a one-size-fits-all approach.

  • The single iPhone released each year with only one screen size.
  • The constant trickle of very two dimensional operating system updates that allow for very little customisation
  • No “home screen” customization
  • One size fits all – it’s our way or the highway

Why is Apple about to change so profoundly?

Apple just bought a company that makes no sense until I realised what they will do with it.

For Apple to compete in wearables and the “internet of things”, they must embrace the most fundamental change to the company since Steve took over as CEO in 1997.

It’s the customization revolution.

It’s a change they could never make on their own, so they have engaged with outside help to make this happen. Everything from a new retail boss with an interesting background, to poaching watch makers from Switzerland, to Apples biggest acquisition ever.

Why would Apple want Beats by Dre?

Answer: It’s not for their product offering.

Here lies the real answer; Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine were promoted to Apples board.

It seems like a very large amount of money changed hands to add a few new faces to the Apple board.

These two board positions I believe are very important to the future of Apple. For Apple to compete they need Jimmy and the Dr to bring an A game an approach that no-one at Apple could bring. By inviting these guys to the table, someone (Tim probably) just opened a window that’s allowed some fresh oxygen back into the board room and Apple.

We are about to see a very different Apple in tomorrow’s keynote

Tomorrow (2:30am Australian EST) we will see the beginning of Apple’s first steps toward allowing their customers use Apple products and services on their own terms.

Will it be mean cheaper Mac’s running on Arm? Will it be the oft rumoured iWatch? Will it be a set of home automation technologies? Will there be a new iOS that allows an infinite number of customisation possibilities?

I don’t know what will happen, but I do know one thing; Apple does not promote two very individual personalities to the Apple board without a very intentional reason.

The customisation revolution with “infinite possibilities” is about to begin… and it’s going to be a wild ride.

Stay tuned.

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