What is equally sad is that people put up with this substandard implementation of a core smartphone functionality. That Nokia 920 looks more and more appealing at this point of time with Navteq maps an OIS enabled camera, the two most used functions on a smartphone.
If those two were the most important smartphone features, Nokia would have never have gotten to the trouble they're now in. They've had pretty much the best camera and navigation features ever since the circa 2007 N95.
So, camera and maps are clearly not the primary features influencing smartphone buyers.
I'm sorry, but the Cube is the single most important and consequential machine Apple ever made. Its design cues pervade everything from their flagship store to the individual keys on the keyboard on which I'm typing this. Nearly everything they've sold in decade-plus since bears the stamp of that glorious and utterly unprecedented machine. It's the entire Jobs/Ive aesthetic and philosophy in one box, a prototype for an entire company - one which has since grown into the most valuable one on the planet - and they SHIPPED it.
@philwelch is right. It's a work of bloody art. It's in MoMA's permanent design collection for a reason. It's the Neil Armstrong of personal computing. If it's a mistake then so was Newton's Principia, the Declaration of Independence, and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Seriously, it's that good.
If you're going to slag on something, slag on the hockey puck mouse. THAT really was a POS.
Sorry but I'm not buying that. I can see that squares with rounded corners are everywhere in apple's design. I don't think that comes from the Cube. It was just a result of this love for the rounded corner square.
Take a slice of that rubbish bin's midsection, and you have the Mac Mini. Tilt that Mac Mini on its side, perforate either end, then add some handles, and you've got the G5.
You can play this game with just about everything Apple has sold since this machine was introduced. Virtually all of it has some design cue that can be traced back to the Cube, and no further. It really was the Genesis Box.
Ive's work in plastics hasn't held up as well since the switch to metal and glass, but at the time it was a remarkable, groundbreaking example of industrial design. The next year, of course, they launched the titanium PowerBook that spearheaded that transition, though it would take about a decade for plastics to be phased out entirely.
All of those were relatively minor projects, and likely off Steve's radar, which is why he could only berate the teams after the release. But maps is a major part of any smartphone experience - everyone knows it. And Steve would definitely would have paid close attention to it, especially since it involved trying to outdo a competitor's product.
MobileMe was – and is, as iCloud! – a major corporate initiative. It touched almost every product Apple was working on at the time, affecting iOS, OS X and iTunes. It required significant capital investment in back-end infrastructure, and was announced by SJ himself and demoed by Shiller at the WWDC '08 keynote.
At the announcement it was couched as "Exchange for the rest of us" – it was trying to outdo a competitor's product. (To say nothing for how it countered many of the features Google was trumpeting for Android…)
SJ was absolutely aware of MobileMe, and was intimately involved with many parts of the product.
And, given all of that, it still was a flop of a launch. A launch that was so bad, I'm sure it was a motivating factor in the iCloud rebranding.
And to claim the G4 Cube was a minor product is just amusing. SJ was incredibly proud of that machine when he announced it. And you know he was deeply involved in its design, from day one.
I think it was the MobileMe team he humiliated and necked out of the door.
Part of Apple lore.
Now everybody knows that Apple's history with cloud-based initiatives have been less than stellar, and no time was that more clear than during Apple's klunky MobileMe rollout a few years ago. Server down time and extremely slow loading times had many wondering how Apple let a product that seemed beta at best roll out to the masses - for a $99 fee no less.
The MobileMe fiasco was of course not lost on Steve Jobs who reportedly told members of the MobileMe team that they "should hate each other for having let each other down."
At one point, Jobs asked his team what MobileMe was supposed to do. Upon receiving an answer he quickly fired back, "So why the f doesn’t it do that?" Jobs even invoked the name of trusty ally Walt Mossberg - who was critical of MobileMe - to drive home the point that the MobileMe rollout was a flop.
"Mossberg," Jobs said, "our friend, is no longer writing good things about us.
I know many people who were and are on that team, and am well familiar with the described meeting. That meeting doesn't change the fact that Apple shipped MobileMe while SJ was CEO. It was a bad product that had a horrendous launch; SJ could have delayed the launch or killed the product, but didn't.
Jobs was a marvelous CEO, but Apple made many missteps – some larger than the current uproar over iOS 6 maps app – while he led the company. Without having personally knew the man, one cannot claim what SJ would have done in this situation. Plain and simple.