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I just started getting Google Search result pages using the Roboto font. Maybe I ought to give it a try…but…I hate it.
I was just thinking about something John Gruber said, that “Apple is a company of patterns.” Gruber mentions this in the context of iPhone and OS X names, but it makes a lot of sense as a general statement. Apple is a company that hates to make promises — a company that delivers products when they’re ready, and doesn’t like to give indications of what’s coming up. So establishing patterns — not just promising patterns, but establishing them by example — is a strategy that allows Apple to maintain customer and investor confidence, while remaining tight-lipped about any specific plans (and their timing). Of course, Apple staying tight-lipped is part of the pattern: it means they don’t have to break any specific promises, but it also helps them deliver quality products when they’re ready, thereby strengthening their implicit promises.
Really, there are two sets of patterns for Apple. There are the specific ones, like the pattern of delivering updates to iPhone hardware and software about once a year; that lets consumers plan their purchases, and expect that their devices will stay relevant for several years. Then there are the general ones that Apple tries to cultivate — that they’re a company that delivers, consistently. I think Apple is careful about trying to establish both kinds of patterns, because, unlike many other tech companies (which can sell their stock and sell their products with more direct messaging), Apple’s interaction with customers and investors is built largely on these patterns.
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