Apple Kremlinology - a non-developer’s perspective by a developer

Recent changes in Apple’s executive team were hurrayed by many of my fellow developers, indies, and tech podcasters. Especially the fact that Phil Schiller will overlook the App Store.

“Phil Schiller, senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, will expand his role to include leadership of the revolutionary App Store across all Apple platforms.”

Although being a developer and indie myself for the last 20 or so years, I would like to take a slightly more pragmatic view. Last two years Eddy Cue got too many new responsibilities and perhaps this is the reason “Mr. Fix It” (as someone at the fruit company called him few years ago) is now “Mr. Mess It”. We all know that Apple is talking to the TV industry, and this is undoubtedly a major and very time consuming task. What many completely forget is Pay and the slow expansion of the service worldwide. I spent the last 20 years talking to banks at any level. I have no idea how painful it is to talk to movie studios, but my suspicion is that bank managers are at least as hard nut to crack. They are often bullies, testosterone exhibiting egocentrics, with huge egos, and insufficient technical understanding. Expanding all these payments and media operations is a huge task and I can imagine Eddy Cue being very thankful, that he has one annoyance  less to think about - us, demanding, vocal, and also often with huge egos and with insufficient management skills developers. 

So, now our pains and complains are overseen by Phil Schiller. In many ways nothing has changed, and I believe nothing dramatic will change in future. Yes, third party developers might receive a bit more SVP attention and the “message from above” might get more coherent. But here is where my expectations end.

Until Craig Federighi is not in charge of all software engineering (including server software), until Apple is not producing their own server hardware, and until Apple stops outsourcing many infrastructure services, I will probably not get very excited. Why? Because only coherent, modern, well designed, scalable, and flexible infrastructure can support our rapidly changing needs and evolving technologies.