There is no denying that since the death of Steve Jobs, Apple has not been the same. They may still command a large share of the tech industry but there is just something about the company in general that is not the same. Jobs brought a level of passion and trust to the brand that Tim Cook has simply not managed to cultivate.
It seems that the public, in general, has felt a lack of passion and trust. A survey conducted by The Verge in partnership with Reticle Research was released today showing how people view the "big five technology companies" - Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft (oddly enough, Twitter was also included in the results). The survey showed that when it came to trust and passion, Apple did not fare as well as its fan base might expect.
As a matter of trust, Apple did rather poorly. Amazon was found to be the most trustworthy which could help it win customers for its new "Key" in-home delivery service. Apple ended up on the lower end of the scale, just ahead of Facebook and Twitter, which were fifth and sixth, respectively.
It is interesting that Google, a company that makes its bread and butter by selling the public's browsing information to advertisers, was higher than Apple in terms of trust. What is it that the company is doing that gets it a lower ranking than Google on this factor? This question is one that Cupertino should probably consider at the next board meeting.
What is even more concerning is how respondents reacted to the question of how much they would care "if the company and its products disappeared tomorrow."
The survey query intended to gauge consumers' level of "passion" for the brands. Surprisingly, Apple came in dead last in this category. Only 40 percent of those surveyed said that they would care "very much" if Apple and its products all vanished overnight; 20 percent said they "wouldn't care at all."
"Despite its track record on consumer privacy, record-breaking revenue and market valuation, and reputation for premium hardware and top-tier design, Apple appears to have been eclipsed by companies that are becoming more deeply embedded in the fabric of everyday life," concluded The Verge.
So is Apple in trouble? Probably not. The numbers it turns in each quarter do not indicate any trouble in paradise. However, that does not mean that metrics like these should be ignored.
As an Apple user, I cannot say that my trust has waned for the brand, but I can say that there has been a noticeable dip in the passion behind the product since the days of Jobs. It can be felt in Apple events and it can be seen in the years of reiterative and unimaginative products since his death.
Graphics courtesy The Verge