Apple Park: Magnum opus of a legend

Published 22.09.2017 01:28
Updated 22.09.2017 01:29
Apple Park, which opened in April, is considered one of the masterpieces of Steve Jobs.
Apple Park, which opened in April, is considered one of the masterpieces of Steve Jobs.

Apple's new campus, Apple Park, which opened in April and where the iPhone 8 and iPhone X were presented, is deemed to be the company's legendary founder Steve Jobs' dream project as described in hislast presentation six years ago

There was one last thing Apple's legendary founder Steve Jobs presented on June 7, 2011: "Apple Park." While touring the company's new campus, the latest work of the legend, we looked around trying to understand Apple's story.

In the presentation of Jobs' last dream, he spoke about Apple's new campus, which looks like a spaceship, during a speech he gave in 2011 at the Cupertino City Council. The first step was taken toward realizing the dream after legendary founder Jobs was allowed to build a larger building than the Pentagon in an area where the world's most expensive real estate pool is located. Here, you can see how optimistic his expectations were and how highly expectant he was that his dream would come true. Apple Park's construction, expected to be completed in 2015, has now been extended to 2017.

However, pay attention to what Jobs says to city council members.

"We will build the most beautiful office in the world! People from all over the world, architecture students will come here to visit," he said, revealing his anticipations for Apple Park. Pay attention to the questions asked by people of color with different educational backgrounds to the city council. While thanking a legendary name for his contributions to the city, people continue to ask questions to make sure that their natural surroundings in the area will not change, with council members especially underlining the traffic problem.

80-percent landscape

We drove around Apple Park two times. Even if you walk around the building, you cannot see its exact shape. You can only get an idea of the curved areas where the entrance doors are located. However, you are not allowed to stand in front of them. "Please do not film here," the workers say politely, not wanting to cause traffic congestion. You cannot see the grandeur of this gigantic building without entering the campus. So, Apple Park is not screaming "I'm big."

"I am in harmony with the light, the air and the nature of where I am," Apple Park's theme says. All the environmental arrangements of 9,000 trees; carefully selected from 309 kinds of indigenous species, are placed on the campus, made by arborist Dave Muffly from Stanford University. A significant portion of the trees were grown elsewhere and brought here. It is natural for us to inhale the scent of natural fertilizer when we enter the campus because the last landscape arrangements were the lawns.

A shrine-like structure

The press conference for the introduction of new products was held at the Steve Jobs Theater, which attracts attention with its roof made of airplane equipment hanging in the air, above glass walls, in a hilly area 300-400 meters away from the main building. The glass used in the construction of Apple Park was specially produced by German Seele. The same brand's products are also used in the Apple Store. For example, the Apple Store to be opened in Chicago by the river is built from a similar type of glass. The smooth, white marble on the ground was brought from Italy. On the curved cascade down the marble staircases on both sides, we seem to descend into a shrine. You would not expect to see such a huge conference room but at the entrance of the conference hall filled with 1,000 people, "Steve Jobs Theater" is carefully carved in marble in a very simple and modest manner.

iPhone X: Special for the 10th anniversary

Tim Cook starts his presentation at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. Not because Apple is the most valuable company in the world but because of the process of doing business from product design to the store shelves and because of the reputation management of the brand itself. Even though Steve Jobs could not see it himself, his work was crowned on Sept. 12. Jobs was commemorated prior to the introduction of Apple's iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, the Apple Watch Series 3 and the Apple TV 4K. A memorial ceremony of a dream come true was given in the words of Steve Jobs himself. We have already seen that the shrine-like structure of Steve Jobs Theater was not constructed in vain. Yet, what lies behind the unique reputation management? Although all preparations for an immaculate presentation are made, the iPhone X face recognition demos are problematic, even though they operate in a perfectionist manner just like in Jobs' period. Moreover, it is the most critical feature of the product. I do not judge as a person who saw Steve Jobs throw a product that did not work at the product manager.

Journalists look for errors

I went to an Apple Mac World meeting held in New York for the first time in 1999 and I cannot express to you the shock I experienced back then. I saw AirPort, the first flying capsule design that is close to the heart of Steve Jobs. And, in addition to iMacs, the iBook series was introduced for the first time. In the following period, I attended iPod and MacBook presentation meetings intermittently. From 2009 to 2014, as the only journalist from Turkey, I observed the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 5S meetings, generally held in the congress centers in San Francisco. Following the opening of the Apple Store in Turkey, two journalists began to be called and five journalists from Turkey participated in the last two introductions. After each meeting, 30 to 40 journalists attended the demo event. In the last three meetings, hundreds of journalists competed to shoot with a few demo products. At the last iPhone X introductory meeting, on the other hand, there were only a few products but many journalists. Since first comers would get seats, it was necessary to be positioned correctly. The demo area at the back of the conference room was full.

iPhone X or iPhone 8?

How do you choose between the iPhone X, which was launched by Apple for its 10th anniversary, and iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, which came to the fore with their processors, front cameras, and fast, wireless charging features? Even though price seems to be the first important factor when choosing between iPhone X, which will be sold for around TL 6,100 in Turkey, the iPhone 8 Plus worth around TL 5,000 and the iPhone 8 which will be sold for around TL 4,500, the iPhone X has become the most talked-about product. Despite its 5.8-inch screen, the iPhone X, which is virtually closer to the iPhone 8, fits comfortably in the palm of your hand. With the exception of facial recognition capabilities, the phone can be used by swiping your hand from the bottom to the top of the screen.

Predictions were entirely true

The predictions regarding the products were not the only ones that were correct. Even the Chinese prototypes produced previously have proven very successful. What is the reason for this? The prototypes sold for TL 75 in China each had the same design. These simple prototypes, complete with inactive screens, included a vertical camera, screen and frame. Only the color of the frame was not. For months, everyone seemed to be sure that the name of the new device would be the iPhone 8 - and that Apple would be releasing the iPhone X series specifically for the 10th anniversary.

During the presentation on Sept. 12, while Tim Cook was introducing the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, everyone was looking at him with hungry eyes. The anticipated iPhone 7S was announced as the iPhone 8 and, then, Tim Cook said that magic sentence: "One more thing."

There was a round of applause. There was almost the same design as the prototype product produced in China almost one month ago on the stage. Moreover, even the price estimate of $999 was accurate. Yet how did this happen? Apple has hundreds of companies in the supply chain for the iPhone. It is a company that is investigated thoroughly by the companies and patents it has purchased to the garbage at its doorstep. Predictions were even made before the announcement of the iPhone X and iPhone 8 regarding the shape of the phone in the pocket of Tim Cook's pants. Alas, there was plenty of chatter on many websites about the phone in his pocket.

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