How did Apple do in 2019 in the eyes of those who pay the most attention? Jason Snell of Six Colors has once again released his annual Apple report card, with ratings and comments from 65 Apple observers, including a number of TidBITS staffers and contributors. The Apple Watch and Wearables excelled in the report (as well as in Apple’s financial results, see “In Apple’s Q1 2020, iPhone Rebounds and Wearables Soar,” 28 January 2020), while the grades for Apple TV, HomeKit, and overall software quality suffered. No huge surprises there.
Snell took the trouble to chart the differences from 2018, and you can observe some clear trends in the chart below. The two categories that took the biggest hits were software quality (thanks to shoddy work with iOS 13 and Catalina) and environmental/social advocacy (due in part to Apple’s actions related to the protests in Hong Kong), while Services saw a big uptick, reflecting Apple’s big investment in services in 2019.
As always, the full report is well worth reading, particularly for the pithy quotes from your favorite Apple pundits.