NEW YORK – According to Tim Kobe, founder and CEO of retail design studio, Eight, Apple is ‘not evolving as fast as it could be’ since Steve Jobs died. Kobe was the designer who co-developed the design concept for the Apple Store along with Jobs. Speaking at a festival of interior design, Kobe made the comments in conversation with the editor-in-chief of Dezeen, Marcus Fairs.
Kobe added that ‘it’s imperative Apple shifts again. They should really refresh [their retail offering] every five years.’ The first apples stores were opened in 2001, and since then Kobe has helped the company refine the stores ever since. The distinct stores featured spacious, minimalist stores, with signature sandstone floors and glass staircases, were unlike any other computer store when they first opened.
However, times have changed and more and more companies are copying the Apples design ethos, making it harder for the company to differentiate themselves from other competitors.
Kobe is the latest to join the chorus of those who were close to Jobs, but are concerned about the company’s current lack of direction. In the two years since Job’s death apple has gone from a design and technology trailblazer to a high-end competitor in a commodity market – not a pleasant place to be.
In an attempt to catch up with Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Apple announced on Friday that they had agreed to acquire personal assistant app Cue for $ 40 million. According to TechCrunch, Dropbox was at one point interested in acquiring Cue, but negotiations fell through. Cue was backed a group of investors including SV Angel, Sequoia Capital, and Index Ventures to name a few and the company started as Greplin, a social search startup.
According to tech analysts, the acquisition is intended to help Apple fight off Google’s Now personal assistant. It is believed that Apple will probably debut the product in iOS 7, with Cue’s email and social network magic used to more accurately represent what you’ve got going on and coming up in the “Today” section of the Notification Center.
Shares of Apple closed down on Friday at $ 483.03.