iStock_000055716736_SmallApple has taken many more hits in the post-Steve Jobs era, and these misses have especially been apparent in the past year.

Sadly, I also write this as a loyal iPhone user of over five years. While many will be quick to point out the hardware flaws of Apple’s iPhone (remember ‘Antennagate,’ or ‘you’re not holding your phone correctly!), many of the company’s woes as of late have actually been on the software and services side. What was once the hallmark of Apple — having a tightly integrated package of hardware and software that ‘just works’ — has been tarnished with software not becoming of Steve Job’s legacy.

In fact, I think Jobs would have fired some people by now.

With Apple’s software quality under close scrutiny this past year, here are three big iOS issues I see that may (in addition to Android Marshmallow on the horizon) propel Android into stealing even more of the mobile OS market share.

iOS 8

While iOS 7 was a major re-imagining of the mobile OS, 8 was designed to put more seamless power and functionality under the hood. However, with several releases of the successor to 7, “seamless” wasn’t synonymous with 8.

This was never more apparent than with the 8.0.1 release in September 2014 that effectively turned the iPhones of those that downloaded it into glorified iPod touches — disabling cell service altogether. I was almost one of these people, until I happened to get a well-timed email telling me not to upgrade. Apple quickly sent out 8.0.2 — the only purpose of this release being to correct the abomination of 8.0.1. How did this get past QA, again?

See more Android and iOS Coverage:

Beyond this early version of iOS 8, there have been numerous reports of plagued battery life and WiFi reception issues that have never fully gone away for many users. With 8, for many frustrated iPhone users, it has been a long-term case of ‘woe is me.’


When you think security of mobile operating systems, Android first comes to mind for many as the likeliest of targets. After all, it has the biggest opportunity for strike (the most users worldwide by far), and its platform is built on “openness.” However, you’d be wrong if you thought iOS was the “safe” choice when it comes to the security of your personal data.

In fact, recent research from GFI Software points to Apple’s iOS as the problem child that CIOs and IT managers need to pay attention to in their BYOD-laden workplaces. In fact, iOS placed second in the number and severity of security vulnerabilities in its operating system in 2014, with 127 reported vulnerabilities.

By contrast, Android only had six in the same timeframe. The number of iOS vulnerabilities can’t be anything but scary news for enterprise CIOs and IT managers already on the edge about security breaches — the iPhone is by far the darling of the enterprise.

Apple Music

Like Apple Maps before it for navigation (remember cities that disappeared into oceans?), Apple’s foray into music has been a disaster. It has decimated thousands of others’ music libraries — and I can speak from experience here.

For example, I had decided to see what this Apple Music business was all about, especially with a 3-month trial as quite the carrot to be dangled in front of me. After signing up, to my horror, 30 gigs and a decade-and-a-half’s worth of music instantly became associated with Apple Music, even though it was my own music as part of iTunes Match. This meant that I could only stream it — if I had tried to re-download from the cloud, it would be impossible, because the phone read the music as if it were still taking up space on my phone. Even though it wasn’t. It was in iCloud.

Following all of this? It’s just as confusing and disastrous to me! And the fact that Apple has dedicated an entire Constitution-sized page to the differences between Apple Music and my iTunes Match music — well, it just tells you all you need to know right there. For something that’s supposed to “just work” — Apple’s mantra — Apple Music is maddeningly and unnecessarily clunky and buggy.

Beyond the technical issues, I can’t think of much of a value proposition for Apple Music’s feature set over Spotify, either. Not only does Spotify offer a deep library of music, but its social capabilities are a revelation, allowing users to discover numerous amounts of new music via friends’ shared playlists.

On the other hand, remember Apple’s first social music endeavor in iTunes Ping? We won’t fault you if you don’t. Apple is trying its hand at artist-to-consumer connection with Connect, but aren’t consumers already connected with their favorite artists via social media? What differentiates Apple’s Music — something that is increasingly becoming more of a “me-too” business endeavor over a legitimate streaming contender?

Are we blowing this out of proportion, or has Apple’s quality taken a noticeable dip in the Tim Cook era? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Additionally, for more information on how the Best-in-Class deal with mobility in their organization, check out all of Aberdeen’s Information Technology research — 100% free of charge for registered community members.