A pair of Beats headphones (Photo: Andrew Burton, Getty Images)

Jimmy Iovine? Apple’s new partner? To judge by the media hurrahs, Apple’s future?

What’s wrong with this picture?

Apple is a top-down, buttoned-down, lockstep enterprise managed, after Steve Jobs’ death, by his apparatchiks and other relative automatons. Iovine, a producer and impresario from the music industry’s bad days, is a promoter and publicity seeker who has often veered toward outré practices and personalities.

So, Apple, teaming up with Iovine, seems either to have a Machiavellian plan of extraordinary vision and incalculable nuance and subtlety, or is taking a wild roll of the dice.

Or both. That is, the Apple of sui generis design and savant marketing, offering among the most singular visions of consumer desire, is over. And now it begins a force-of-will effort to build a more broad-based, if less exceptional, consumer products and entertainment content company. Kind of a Sony (in its better days), with lots of products, some good, some not so good.

Still, Beats Electronics, Iovine’s company, which Apple is acquiring for $3 billion, makes headphones and has a minor streaming music service. It’s a peculiar rather than an audacious expansion.

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SOURCE: Michael Wolff
USA TODAY

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