'A Tale of Two Apples'

Jason Snell, writing for Macworld:

As a close observer of Apple before, during, and after Jobs’s tenure, I can tell you that the Apple of today is not playing by the Steve Jobs playbook—except for the bit that demanded that everyone stop asking what Steve would do. Tim Cook and his lieutenants are immersed in the Apple culture created by Steve Jobs, of course, but they’re applying that culture to an ever-changing world—rather than going to the 2011 playbook. [...] The evidence is clear: Apple is taking Steve Jobs’s advice to heart and not remaining static in the wake of his death. I have no idea if Apple and Beats will end up being a good match—I’m interested to see if Apple truly embraces music subscriptions, or keeps Beats Music at arm’s length from iTunes. What I’m excited by is the fact that the Beats acquisition is not a move that Apple would have made a few years ago. I believe that if Apple stuck by the What Would Steve Do playbook, it would truly be doomed—by looking backward and second-guessing key decisions based on strategies that are increasingly out of date. Steve Jobs famously changed his mind all the time, but his posthumous wisdom doesn’t have that capability. Instead, Apple executives are making interesting and risky decisions—just as Steve Jobs once did. Whether the Beats acquisition ultimately succeeds or fails, the fact that it happened at all is a good sign for Apple’s future. While Snell's take is optimistic, there are others who (stupidly) assert the sky is falling.