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Apple Management Rebelling Against Steve Jobs

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- After Apple (AAPL) announced iTunes Radio at the Worldwide Developers Conference Monday, freaking Nokia (NOK) of all companies released a statement effectively referring to Apple as an also-ran.

CNBC's Julia Boorstin reprinted it in an article that does a short and sweet, but oh-so-complete job of summing up the non-event that was Apple's streaming music announcement at WWDC:

We launched our streaming radio service in 2011. It's interesting to see Apple react now and it seems they continue to play catch up. Nokia Music will stay true to our mobile-first approach and continue to deliver an extremely simple, personalized and contextual way to discover and enjoy music on the go ... blah, blah ... blah, blah ... blah, blah ...

Nokia? Seriously??

It's one thing to aim up. That's what Reed Hastings does when he makes those inane Netflix (NFLX) to HBO comparisons. It's entirely another to come off half-cocked from a position of extreme weakness like Nokia.

Apple "continue(s) to play catch up." If Apple is playing catch up to Nokia then what does that say about Nokia's marketshare in ... Forget it. I see the point. Nokia just shouldn't be making it.

I make it -- quite clearly and with hair almost as nice as Boorstin's -- in an appearance with Jake Tapper on CNN's "The Lead" Monday afternoon:

Can't innovate any more, my ass. Apple's SVP of Worldwide Marketing actually said that -- verbatim -- as he introduced Mac Pro, a computer that could quite possibly double as a generator.

Like we put Nokia's bravado in context, let's do the same with Schiller's and Apple's in general.

Like I told Tapper (I think I have said that in a bar before at two in the morning), Schiller uses Steve Jobs-type bravado to tout non-Steve Jobs-like innovation. For goodness sake, Jobs would strangle the entire lot of these guys. The B-players -- or maybe A-minus guys -- have grabbed control of the asylum. And there's nothing anybody can do about it. Even Al Gore appears to be on board.

It was just over two years ago when Jobs gave one of the best talks of his career. The 2011: Year of the Copycats greatness.

And that's what Apple has become. You have TechCrunch's solid list of Apple's "new" unoriginality in iOS 7. They're ripping off specific features from BlackBerry (BBRY) for heaven's sake.

However, Jay Yarow at Business Insider might have said it best with respect to iOS:

Everyone considers Jobs to be a genius who understood design. Now, Apple is not only abandoning his design style, but it's also openly mocking it.

Witness a classic case of the children rebelling against an abusive father after he's long gone. It's sick. Steve Jobs wasn't always nice to Apple executives. Now it's payback time. And it will kill the company. Not only doing the opposite of so much of what Jobs did to make Apple great, but doing it while spitting on his legacy.

It's not that the stuff Apple showed us at WWDC won't be any good. As a Mac-only guy, I'm pumped. The new operating systems both look fantastic. Nice moves. They fixed quite a bit of what was broken. (I think). And added several cool and potentially useful bells and whistles. But that's not innovation. It's not the next big thing. iTunes Radio certainly isn't.

And Mac Pro is innovation inside of a vacuum. Sure, as usual, Apple ups the ante on computing power and such. That matters to geeks who pay to go to WWDC and several dozen others around the world.

Phil Schiller and his fellow A-minus players at Apple ought to save the bravado -- the "my ass" style rhetoric -- for something that actually respects Jobs' legacy and ensures Apple's continued dominance.

You're not going to move Apple along and ahead by turning your back on a legend who's no longer here to defend himself and, more importantly, stop this tragedy from happening.

--Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Rocco Pendola is TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola's daily contributions to TheStreet frequently appear on CNBC and at various top online properties, such as Forbes.

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