Dirk Knemeyer

The Next Lifestyle Brand Leader

The Next Lifestyle Brand Leader, December 28, 2014

I think that in 2015 that some other company will replace Apple as the preferred, trendy lifestyle brand. Apple, ever since the death of Steve Jobs, they really haven’t launched even one exciting product. The most exciting launch was the iWatch, but to me, there’s not a whole lot exciting about the iWatch. It may be a good product. I may end up getting it, even, if the utility seems to be there, but God, it’s not the sort of thing that an iPod or an iPhone or an iPad can do. It was only in that innovation, in that redefinition of categories that Apple was able to really hold that sweet, trendy position. It’s been weakening ever since Steve Jobs died. I’ve talked many times, I’m no big fan of Steve Jobs, but you just can’t deny the impact and the success that he had in leading Apple to the vanguard of innovation, success, and leadership.

Since then, again, Apple has released nothing exciting. The stuff they do is shoddy. The software is crap. The new iPhone with the ridiculous camera that sticks out, it’s not all soft edges. Steve never would have shipped that. The cracks are showing all over the place, and it’s further been complicated by … Since the iPad or even I’d go back farther and say since the iPhone, Apple went from being this thing that just the cool kids knew about and had this cliquey-ness to it, to something that’s just mainstream. The people who are walking around now with iPhones, I’m just shocked. “Wow, that person would never have had an Apple device before.” That contributes to it, too, where now it’s more like Walmart, where before, it was more boutique-ish. There’s all of this erosion on the foundation of Apple.

Because it’s gotten so big from a financial perspective, it’s still going to be the biggest or second biggest or top five or whatever in terms of market cap in the world for awhile, but I think we’ll be able to palpably see some company from a cool perspective replace Apple, whether it be Google or Amazon, those would be some of the two, I think, most obvious candidates. One of those type of companies who are one of the second tier behind Apple right now, from a coolness, from sort of like the best lifestyle brand, the best computing lifestyle brand perspective, it’s going to have a great release. It’s going to string some things together, and the tide is going to change. Momentum is going to shift and we’ll be able to say, “hey, it’s not Apple anymore, it’s this company.” I don’t know what company that will be, but I think the time is right. I think the time is now for that change to happen.