Apple Innovative No More, Says Man Who Helped Shape the Company

The scrappy, disruptive Silicon Valley company that revolutionized the way we think of the personal computer is no more, says the man who helped Steve Jobs design the Mac in the 1980s.

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At January 2002's Macworld Expo, Steve Jobs unveiled a dramatic redesign of Apple's bestselling iMac. The new version was an exuberantly whimsical computer with a flat screen, a dome-shaped case and an articulated neck. More than one observer noted that it looked like Luxo Jr., the desk-lamp mascot of Jobs' Pixar Animation Studios.

The scrappy, disruptive Silicon Valley company that revolutionized the way we think of the personal computer is no more, says the man who helped Steve Jobs design the Mac in the 1980s, Quartz reports.

Harmut Esslinger was an established industrial designer who had worked on hundreds of Sony products when he signed a million-dollar-a-year contract with Apple in 1982 to help Jobs design the Mac. Esslingers “Snow White” design paradigm defined the look and feel of the Mac. But innovation at Apple is a thing of the past, Esslinger told Quartz.

“Steve Jobs was a man who didn’t care for any rational argument why something should not be tried,” he said.

Esslinger, who, it should be noted, is promoting a book, Keep it Simple, about his time collaborating with Jobs at Apple, says disruptive ideas of the future are likely to come out of China, where he teaches.

And what might those disruptive ideas be that Esslinger says Apple isn’t exploring? Flexible, non-square screens, for one. “I think flat screens have reached a level of saturation,” he said. “Screens don’t have to be all right angles….Not every country on earth likes square shapes….There is much more freedom than we think we have.”

[Quartz]

3 comments
wdfc
wdfc

That's what I've been trying to tell them, but they won't listen. It seem that Apple is on a pedestal and blind.

PaulDirks
PaulDirks

Flexible, non-square screens, for one. “I think flat screens have reached a level of saturation,

If someone came out with a pad that folded in half to fit in your pocket, I'd buy it in a heartbeat!