Last week, The Guardian published a negative-sounding article by Ken Segall with the title "How Apple lost its way: Steve Jobs' love of simplicity is gone".

Ken Segall worked with Steve Jobs as his ad agency creative director for 12 years. In that time he led the team behind Apple's famous 'Think Different' campaign, and helped Apple create its 'i-brand' with the naming of the iMac, therefore Segall's overall evaluation of how the company has evolved since Jobs' death is likely to be a point of interest to many.

Think Different
Interestingly however, yesterday Segall criticized The Guardian for its choice of headline, which he says misrepresents his views and the subject matter of the article. Segall has now published the complete article on his own website with the original title, "Has Apple lost its simplicity?", which he says is a question, not a conclusion, followed by thoughtful opinion.

Segall notes in the article that Apple's product naming used to be extremely simple – computers were Macs and consumer products were i-devices. But now "the consumer products are offered as i-things and Apple-things (Apple Watch, Apple Pay, Apple Music)," writes Segall, who claims that "the i is obviously on its last legs, and a transition like this doesn’t happen overnight".

The article also covers a number of other topics related to the idea of simplicity, including the differences between Steve Jobs and current CEO Tim Cook, who "certainly knows how to make Apple run efficiently" but recognizes he "doesn't have Steve's many talents" and relies on the expertise of others in areas of product design and marketing.

Segall also compares simplicity versus complexity in Apple product lines, the challenge of finding simplicity in software (he calls Apple Music "bewildering" to use), the evolution of Apple's marketing group (which has "changed dramatically" since Jobs' leadership), and how he thinks the company currently fares in these areas.

Segall is the author of the books Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple's Success and Think Simple: How Smart Leaders Defeat Complexity.

Top Rated Comments

japanime Avatar
79 months ago
iThink he's correct. :D
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
oneMadRssn Avatar
79 months ago
current CEO Tim Cook, who "certainly knows how to make Apple run efficiently"
I dispute that Apple is being run efficiently. Compared to 5-7 years ago, Apple has grown in size dramatically, hired a lot more engineers and other staff in pretty much every department. Yet Apple's output in terms of quality products seems to be about the same or less, and Apple's output in terms of services is larger, but not necessarily better. What are all these engineers doing? You know that expression that COE types always say, do more with less? Well, it seems Apple is doing meh with more. The output per engineer is much lower than it was.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
maflynn Avatar
79 months ago
I want to see the i-naming convention die a horrible fiery death so hard.
Its going away, but it would be foolish for Apple to abandon the name iPhone, given its brand recognition.

Additionally, I like how Segall pointed out that the S version of the iPhone was under Steve's watch. I think they should have simplified that scheme years ago
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SeattleMoose Avatar
79 months ago
I have been using Macs and Apple products since 1989. Macs used to be super-intuitive with easy to understand menus and options. Unfortunately I have seen a move away from simple user-friendly GUIs to elegant but confusing GUIs where functionality is hidden or available only if you "know the trick". While it may make for sleek looking GUIs, hiding functionality is getting more and more confusing to a lot of us older Mac users.

Here is an idea...why not hire some midwest folks over 60 to test your GUIs. They would come fairly cheap and would point out where the GUIs could be made more intuitive. Using 20 and 30 year old tech gurus to evaluate user friendliness is not advisable as to them everything is intuitive. Like the IT person who snickers when you say "I don't know how to....".

It is like when they removed the click wheel on the iPod...left me scratching my head. Tactile and intuitive replaced by unintuitive touch screen that requires your eyeball to do anything. I could navigate my click-wheel iPod in the dark.

And iTunes....what a mess!!! What started out as a simple music program to go with the iPod has evolved into a hall of mirrors. As iTunes evolved to try and keep pace with the iDevice revolution, rather than redesigning the whole thing from the ground up, Apple just keeps tacking on functionality. Result is that iTunes is the "urban sprawl" of software.

Apple is losing its identity. While the iDevice revolution has been great for profits, I worry about the long term viability of a company that just keeps doing tweaks and adding emojis in lieu of stepping back and saying, how can we get back to making the end user experience simpler and more intuitive. I love Apple but they can do better...or at some point a fresh young company will eclipse them.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Crosscreek Avatar
79 months ago
Tim is definitely not Jobs when it comes to product design. He's a bean counter with out vision. 5400 HDD lol Watch Bands? Outdated computers..........
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Borin Avatar
79 months ago
I'm using Google Music so I honestly don't know. Is Apple Music noticeably hard to learn how to use?
No. People simply don't want to.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

2022 back to school apple

Apple Launches 2022 Back to School Offer: Up to $150 Gift Card With Mac or iPad

Friday June 24, 2022 5:08 am PDT by
Apple today launched its annual "Back to School" promotion for college/university students in the United States and Canada. This year's promotion offers a free Apple gift card with the purchase of an eligible Mac or iPad, rather than free AirPods like last year. Apple is also offering students 20% off AppleCare+ plans during the promotion. Apple is offering a $150 gift card with the purchase ...
widgets ios 16 feature

Gurman: iPhone 14 Pro to Feature Always-On Display Showing iOS 16's New Lock Screen Widgets

Sunday June 26, 2022 7:36 am PDT by
iPhone 14 Pro models are widely expected to feature always-on displays that allow users to view glanceable information without having to tap to wake the screen. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter for Bloomberg, Mark Gurman said the feature will include support for iOS 16's new Lock screen widgets for weather, fitness, and more. "Like the Apple Watch, the iPhone 14 Pro will be...
m2 mac mini screen feature

Gurman: Apple Planning M2 Pro Mac Mini, New Apple TV With A14 Chip, Revamped HomePod With S8 Chip, and More

Sunday June 26, 2022 6:31 am PDT by
In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter for Bloomberg, Mark Gurman outlined additional M2 Macs on Apple's product roadmap, including new Mac mini models with M2 and M2 Pro chips, new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with M2 Pro and M2 Max chips, and a new Mac Pro tower with M2 Ultra and "M2 Extreme" chips. Following the M2 series of Macs, Gurman said the first M3 series of...
13 inch macbook pro m2 mock feature 2

Base 13-Inch MacBook Pro With M2 Chip Has Significantly Slower SSD Speeds

Sunday June 26, 2022 2:52 pm PDT by
Following the launch of Apple's new 13-inch MacBook Pro with the M2 chip, it has been discovered that the $1,299 base model with 256GB of storage has significantly slower SSD read/write speeds compared to the equivalent previous-generation model. YouTube channels such as Max Tech and Created Tech tested the 256GB model with Blackmagic's Disk Speed Test app and found that the SSD's read and...
M2 Pro and Max Feature

Apple's Upcoming M2 Pro Chip for High-End MacBook Pro and Mac Mini Will Reportedly Be 3nm

Monday June 27, 2022 7:31 am PDT by
TSMC will manufacture Apple's upcoming "M2 Pro" and "M3" chips based on its 3nm process, according to Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes. "Apple reportedly has booked TSMC capacity for its upcoming 3nm M3 and M2 Pro processors," said DigiTimes, in a report focused on competition between chipmakers like TSMC and Samsung to secure 3nm chip orders. As expected, the report said TSMC will...
airpods pro 2 1

AirPods Pro 2 Said to Feature Upgraded H1 Chip, Find My, Heart Rate Detection, USB-C and More

Friday June 24, 2022 9:48 am PDT by
The next-generation AirPods Pro could come with a long list of new features that include heart rate detection, the ability to function as a hearing aid, and a USB-C port according to a report from 52Audio. The site claims that it has received new information on the AirPods Pro 2, and it has used that information to provide some renders on what the earbuds might look like. Design wise, there...
tesla carplay hack

Tesla Apple CarPlay Hack Updated to Work With Any Tesla Model

Monday June 27, 2022 3:38 am PDT by
Polish developer Michał Gapiński has released a new and improved version of his "Tesla Android Project" which brings Apple's CarPlay experience to more Tesla vehicles than ever before. According to Gapiński, version 2022.25.1 provides "100% functional CarPlay integration for any Tesla," and comes with several new features and bug fixes. The project now supports DRM video playback so that...