‘Sometimes Apple acts like a spoiled brat’

About those rainbow arches that frame Apple’s inner-spaceship stage…

From Cult of Mac’s How (and why) Jony Ive built the mysterious rainbow Apple Stage:

The structure’s aluminum frames include custom curved tops and bottoms individually rolled by a machinist over a 12-day period. Then workers wrapped the segments in a polycarbonate liner “that extends over the edges to create a seamless look once it’s in place,” the [internal to Apple] AppleWeb articles says.

The custom processes employed make the brilliantly colored pieces extremely fragile, though. Since they couldn’t touch the ground or lay flat after fabrication, Apple needed to create custom carts to transport them.

From “4aapl,” former Apple QA inspector and a moderator of the excellent AAPL Finance Board:

Sometimes Apple acts like the spoiled brat that has way too much cash in his pocket. I’d rather Apple focused on the things that matter most (usability, performance, functionality, features, stability, upgradability, etc….for software and hardware, current and upcoming), instead of trying to push the envelope on some of these minor things (stage backsplash, giant glass— curved and flat—milled instead of stamped aluminum cases, etc).

But that’s the thing, deciding when something is enough.

On some things, it’s more apparent, such as the maximum ability of the eye to see pixels (though originally the “retinal displays” were at standard usage distance, I could see exceeding those when trying to inspect something closely).

On other things, it’s a tougher line to find. But like Buffet just said, while money is important, time (and love) can’t be bought and are even more precious (sounding like the country song). Unless there is a surplus of top notch designers, the time spent by the team on making its own colorful arches is time not spend on other projects.

Apple repeats how it focuses on its projects, setting aside a lot of interests in order to maintain that focus on the important software and hardware products. It seems like the design team needs to adopt this focus too.

My take: That was my first thought. But perhaps maintaining morale and retaining the best designers and engineers is a higher priority for Apple than I—or 4aapl—imagined.

See also: Apple Park’s inner spaceship rainbow stage (video)


  1. Neil Shapiro said:

    I love the arches. At the heart of Apple remains the original colors of the astonishing, original Apple logo. They still think differently. Sure they cloak it with the new black, silhouette of the old still-bitten apple in order to better blend with corporate America and at least to look like they think like a business. But flick on the lights and you see the rainbow still. You see Steve and Steve once more with their long hair and their calm but challenging looks at one of their first public events. You remember that Apple was designed (the Apple II) because it was something Woz wanted to play with and that Jobs wanted to market to everyone as his own startling vision for the world. You remember that Jobs chose the pirate flag for the Mac lab. So much, so many memories, and, yeah, so many promises for the future. Those of us who still bleed those colors we love that arch because we love Apple!

    May 17, 2019
    • Jerry W Doyle said:

      @Neil Shapiro: you captured it beautifully -:)

      May 17, 2019
  2. Fred Stein said:

    4aapl needs to see Duncan’s video.

    Toni Sacconaghi needs to read Horace’s article.

    Thanks Philip for bringing Duncan’s and Horace’s visions forward.

    May 17, 2019
  3. Fred Stein said:

    Actually the money and effort spent on the aspirational technology and the inspiration art is a great investment. Talented artists and artisans love a challenge. The arches are gorgeous, especially as shown in Duncan’s video. You have to see his video to understand the artist’s Jony Ives’ vision. They glow. Employees and visitors will love them.

    The technology: Who knows where and when Apple may use it or a derivative? Maybe they will use the same artisans for something else.You can bet all the contractors will put those arches on their web sites and presentations and brochures and….

    May 17, 2019
  4. T R said:

    How about they water that big lawn a bit?

    May 17, 2019
  5. Chris Ferebee said:

    “… instead of trying to push the envelope on some of these minor things (stage backsplash, giant glass— curved and flat—milled instead of stamped aluminum cases, etc)”

    The road to mediocrity is paved with a list of things it’s OK to not be passionate about.

    May 18, 2019

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