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The Macalope Daily: We didn't start the fire

#1 User is offline   Macworld 

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 07:30 AM

Post your comments for The Macalope Daily: We didn't start the fire here
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#2 User is offline   jdb8167 

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  Posted 21 November 2012 - 07:40 AM

Florian is consistently inconsistent in his writing. When he publishes factual articles they tend to be well researched and full of interesting details about the world's legal system(s).

When he tries editorializing though, he is usually laughably wrong--just as in this case. He is just another blogger with a bit of expertise on patent laws.
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#3 User is offline   Stewsburntmonkey 

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 08:02 AM

Apple's strategy has, at least since Jobs came back, to provide premium products and charge according for them. Apple is relying on its ability to produce premium products and to convince customers than an investment in quality can pay off. This flies in the face of modern business theories which revolve around a rather lazy reliance on cutting costs and offering deeply discounted products based on a feature checklist rather than customer experience. This has allowed a generation of companies to make a massive profits by exploiting existing lines of business, but it hasn't fueled innovation or ultimately made for a particularly good consumer experience. More and more customers are coming around to the belief that short-term savings on a cheaper devices isn't necessarily a long-term value. Many "analysts" and pundits (Mueller appears to be among them) don't really understand this difference in philosophy and are still baffled by Apple's success. Hopefully they and the wider business community will catch on at some point and we can extract ourselves from the general economic listlessness the prevailing business philosophy of cost cutting and superficial focus has bred.
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#4 User is offline   ingus 

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  Posted 21 November 2012 - 08:38 AM

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Apple's strategy has, at least since Jobs came back, to provide premium products and charge according for them. Apple is relying on its ability to produce premium products and to convince customers than an investment in quality can pay off. This flies in the face of modern business theories which revolve around a rather lazy reliance on cutting costs and offering deeply discounted products based on a feature checklist rather than customer experience. This has allowed a generation of companies to make a massive profits by exploiting existing lines of business, but it hasn't fueled innovation or ultimately made for a particularly good consumer experience. More and more customers are coming around to the belief that short-term savings on a cheaper devices isn't necessarily a long-term value. Many "analysts" and pundits (Mueller appears to be among them) don't really understand this difference in philosophy and are still baffled by Apple's success. Hopefully they and the wider business community will catch on at some point and we can extract ourselves from the general economic listlessness the prevailing business philosophy of cost cutting and superficial focus has bred.

All your points are correct, but here's Apple's (potential) problem as I see it. They are far too insular. The products are well built and well designed and the entire insular ecosystem integrates them well. But they offer an optimized subset of features. As well as that is, it can be restricting. Do we need thinner all in one PC's at the sacrifice of maintainability? Could the market be served by an iPad Pro? A mid-tower Mac? Would it be a catastrophe to include a memory slot in an iOS device? Being insular carries a cost, in that one company can't do it all. The sheer volume of innovation (some of it even quality innovation) coming from outside of Apple is staggering. Apple should count it's blessing that most other companies are clueless as to product development. Stick a bunch of parts together, and there you go... There are notable exceptions such as Asus (of late), Samsung, and Lenovo (of late). Other ecosystems offer far more hardware latitude that the (by necessity) few that Apple can offer.

Admittedly, I ignore profitability. What Apple is doing if absolutely fantastic for their profits, but as a consumer, and device enthusiast, I don't care.
I'm more of a "Woz" guy...
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#5 User is offline   bastion 

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 09:28 AM

View Postingus, on 21 November 2012 - 08:38 AM, said:

Quote

Apple's strategy has, at least since Jobs came back, to provide premium products and charge according for them. Apple is relying on its ability to produce premium products and to convince customers than an investment in quality can pay off. This flies in the face of modern business theories which revolve around a rather lazy reliance on cutting costs and offering deeply discounted products based on a feature checklist rather than customer experience. This has allowed a generation of companies to make a massive profits by exploiting existing lines of business, but it hasn't fueled innovation or ultimately made for a particularly good consumer experience. More and more customers are coming around to the belief that short-term savings on a cheaper devices isn't necessarily a long-term value. Many "analysts" and pundits (Mueller appears to be among them) don't really understand this difference in philosophy and are still baffled by Apple's success. Hopefully they and the wider business community will catch on at some point and we can extract ourselves from the general economic listlessness the prevailing business philosophy of cost cutting and superficial focus has bred.

All your points are correct, but here's Apple's (potential) problem as I see it. They are far too insular. The products are well built and well designed and the entire insular ecosystem integrates them well. But they offer an optimized subset of features. As well as that is, it can be restricting. Do we need thinner all in one PC's at the sacrifice of maintainability? Could the market be served by an iPad Pro? A mid-tower Mac? Would it be a catastrophe to include a memory slot in an iOS device? Being insular carries a cost, in that one company can't do it all. The sheer volume of innovation (some of it even quality innovation) coming from outside of Apple is staggering. Apple should count it's blessing that most other companies are clueless as to product development. Stick a bunch of parts together, and there you go... There are notable exceptions such as Asus (of late), Samsung, and Lenovo (of late). Other ecosystems offer far more hardware latitude that the (by necessity) few that Apple can offer.

Admittedly, I ignore profitability. What Apple is doing if absolutely fantastic for their profits, but as a consumer, and device enthusiast, I don't care.


But you understand, I hope, that Apple does care about profitability. That they are, in fact, required to. You, as a consumer and device enthusiast, are a tool in their achievement of that goal. With that in mind, the answers to your questions about specific products basically comes down to: Apple can absolutely do that, but does it benefit them and their owners to do so?

Do we need thinner all in one PC's at the sacrifice of maintainability? Most of us don't. Some do. Some additional consumers don't need such a thing but want it. I don't share their priorities and fetishes, but I don't need to.

Would it be a catastrophe to include a memory slot on an iOS device? Catastrophe is a strong word, but it would increase size, cost, complexity for everyone to benefit very few.

Could "the market" be served by a mid-tower Mac? Frankly, no. "The market" could not be. There is a small part of the market that wants such a thing - and minuscule part that needs one - but the problem with that machine doesn't end with the fact of its small market. It's exacerbated by the fact that there's little consensus within that small market one what the configuration of the mid-tower Mac should include, and many of the requirements are mutually exclusive. If Apple were to ship a machine that actually met the demands of the majority of the mid-tower market it wouldn't fit in a mid-tower form factor.
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#6 User is offline   genovelle 

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  Posted 21 November 2012 - 09:34 AM

Quote

Apple's strategy has, at least since Jobs came back, to provide premium products and charge according for them. Apple is relying on its ability to produce premium products and to convince customers than an investment in quality can pay off. This flies in the face of modern business theories which revolve around a rather lazy reliance on cutting costs and offering deeply discounted products based on a feature checklist rather than customer experience. This has allowed a generation of companies to make a massive profits by exploiting existing lines of business, but it hasn't fueled innovation or ultimately made for a particularly good consumer experience. More and more customers are coming around to the belief that short-term savings on a cheaper devices isn't necessarily a long-term value. Many "analysts" and pundits (Mueller appears to be among them) don't really understand this difference in philosophy and are still baffled by Apple's success. Hopefully they and the wider business community will catch on at some point and we can extract ourselves from the general economic listlessness the prevailing business philosophy of cost cutting and superficial focus has bred. All your points are correct, but here's Apple's (potential) problem as I see it. They are far too insular. The products are well built and well designed and the entire insular ecosystem integrates them well. But they offer an optimized subset of features. As well as that is, it can be restricting. Do we need thinner all in one PC's at the sacrifice of maintainability? Could the market be served by an iPad Pro? A mid-tower Mac? Would it be a catastrophe to include a memory slot in an iOS device? Being insular carries a cost, in that one company can't do it all. The sheer volume of innovation (some of it even quality innovation) coming from outside of Apple is staggering. Apple should count it's blessing that most other companies are clueless as to product development. Stick a bunch of parts together, and there you go... There are notable exceptions such as Asus (of late), Samsung, and Lenovo (of late). Other ecosystems offer far more hardware latitude that the (by necessity) few that Apple can offer. Admittedly, I ignore profitability. What Apple is doing if absolutely fantastic for their profits, but as a consumer, and device enthusiast, I don't care.

Apple's biggest failures come when they try to accommodate a certain group of consumers. I remember when they made that cheaper striped down Mac Pro that all the enthusiast demanded because they wanted upgradeability. They dropped it like a hot potato because it didn't sell. Apple will alway do better when they go their own way and remain ahead of the noise of crowded markets doing it the same way.
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#7 User is offline   bastion 

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  Posted 21 November 2012 - 09:38 AM

I'm kind of surprised the Macalope let pass without comment the factual errors in "Those who make this point ignore that because of the problems the Mac had in a 'Wintel' world, Apple was on the verge of bankruptcy and was saved by a Microsoft investment."

Apple was not close to, let alone on, "the verge of bankruptcy" and the investment they got from Microsoft was a token. A tiny fraction of Apple's market capitalization at the time. It was also a settlement effectively forced on Microsoft after getting caught red-handed in Apple's cookie jar.
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#8 User is offline   NeuroticNomad 

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  Posted 21 November 2012 - 09:47 AM

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Admittedly, I ignore profitability. What Apple is doing if absolutely fantastic for their profits, but as a consumer, and device enthusiast, I don't care.


Well, you should. Profitable companies tend to stick around - and ones that are profitable because of a focus on user experience rather than on discounting their wares tend to improve quality and add to the intangibles like "responsiveness to gestures" and "ease of app discovery in the store" because 1) they have the money to, and 2) the customers that already HAVE spent money with them become repeat customers because of the intangibles - thus creating a virtuous circle.

To put it another way: If your customer draw is to kiss ass, you can always kiss more ass, kiss ass longer, kiss ass better, and kiss ass differently. if your customer draw is to be cheaper, there is a finite level to how cheap you can get and keep the doors open.

Ask Gateway, or Alienware, or Packard Bell, or Commodore, or Atari, or Coleco, or Acorn, or SGI, or Osborne, or Cray, or DEC, or Compaq, or any of the other of the hundreds of PC makers that either went out of business or got bought out by competitors... or IBM, or Radio Shack, or Texas Instruments, or any of the other dozens of companies that jettisoned off that section of the business in order to survive. HP, the #1 PC maker, is dangerously close to being added to this list.

The smartphone/tablet market *is* mirroring the PC market, but at 2 to 4 times the speed. It took 20 years to go from the introduction of the IBM PC to the point we are now - a half dozen companies who make generic hardware for someone else's OS fighting for the scraps of profit that aren't being eaten up by the companies that write their OS in-house. The smartphone market is already there in 5 years, and the tablet market in 2 and a half.

Marketshare without profit is meaningless and unsustainable. The companies competing with Apple need to learn to start focusing on the latter rather than the formet - especially if they are just generic hardware makers for someone else's OS. Customers trained to go for the cheapest easily-interchangeable product have no loyalty to anything but price. Customers trained to care about build quality, fit-and-finish, the texture in your hand as you hold or gesture on it.... will continue to complain about your price even as they pay it again and again.
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#9 User is offline   Dennistrator 

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  Posted 21 November 2012 - 09:49 AM

Happy Thanksgiving, Macalope, and thank you for bringing us a turkey and a smile almost everyday through the year :)
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#10 User is offline   williamneildrake 

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  Posted 21 November 2012 - 10:47 AM

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Happy Thanksgiving, Macalope, and thank you for bringing us a turkey and a smile almost everyday through the year


Yeah... What do Macalopes eat on Thankgiving?
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#11 User is offline   wardoggie 

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  Posted 21 November 2012 - 11:03 AM

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Customers trained to go for the cheapest easily-interchangeable product have no loyalty to anything but price. Customers trained to care about build quality, fit-and-finish, the texture in your hand as you hold or gesture on it.... will continue to complain about your price even as they pay it again and again.


I would agree 100% if you replaced "Customers trained..." with "Customers who appreciate...." I forget the author, but "Cynics know the price of everything and the value of nothing" expresses the difference in PC vs. Mac markets.

I do think smartphone and tablet manufacturers are catching on, however. I was checking out a friend's Nexus 4 and it looks really nice. I prefer its face/bezel over the Samsung GS3. Slap a case on it (which is what a lot of iPhone owners do) and you won't see the plastic back, just a huge screen that equals, if not surpasses, the Retina Display.

So if the competition is catching up, and I think they are, Apple has to step on the gas, go in a different direction, or both.
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#12 User is offline   wardoggie 

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  Posted 21 November 2012 - 11:10 AM

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I'm kind of surprised the Macalope let pass without comment the factual errors in "Those who make this point ignore that because of the problems the Mac had in a 'Wintel' world, Apple was on the verge of bankruptcy and was saved by a Microsoft investment." Apple was not close to, let alone on, "the verge of bankruptcy" and the investment they got from Microsoft was a token. A tiny fraction of Apple's market capitalization at the time. It was also a settlement effectively forced on Microsoft after getting caught red-handed in Apple's cookie jar.


Not close to bankruptcy, but they were vulnerable to an acquisition or hostile takeover. The frequent rumor back then was "When is Sony going to buy Apple?" IIRC, the Microsoft investment was significant not because of the cash infusion, but because it meant that it was in MS's financial interest to keep producing MS Office for the Mac. If Redmond had dropped that product line at that time, it would've been the death knell for Apple. As it stands, I bet that stock paid off pretty well! :)
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#13 User is offline   DocNo 

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 11:35 AM

View Postingus, on 21 November 2012 - 08:38 AM, said:

They are far too insular.
[emphasis added]

LOL - For those outside the techie bubble let me translate ingus's meaning: "Apple doesn't cater to my every whim and desire like a schizophrenic fairy godmother on crack. Also my sense of self entitlement is so strong I'm offended they don't feel compelled to cater to my every whim. Have they no shame?!?"

"But they offer an optimized subset of features."

Wow - you nailed it - the secret to Apple's success: Don't try to be everything to everyone, but do what we can do as best as we can. And as we can take on more features, add them in incrementally. It's brilliant, no?

Oh - sorry, you meant that as a weakness, not a strength. Do you perhaps think this might be the foundation of your frustration?

"As well as that is, it can be restricting."

Yup! Because, despite what many delusional people wish to believe, there are limits on what can be done. Ever hear of the fast/cheap/good triangle - pick any two but you don't get all three? That's what's at work here. We've had the whatever you want for dirt cheap but with crappy experience for DECADES in the PC world and to certain extent the Android world too. Apple offers something DIFFERENT. You can CHOOSE. So stop beating up Apple for not BEING LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. If I wanted everyone else's experience I would go buy it. I don't. I'm willing to sacrifice mostly irrelevant "choice" and pay a little bit more in order to have allot more "good".

If you don't agree - fine. More power to you. But because you don't agree it doesn't mean Apple is doing it wrong! Sheesh!

"Do we need thinner all in one PC's at the sacrifice of maintainability?"

While I do agree that Apple's obsession with thin on desktops is now approaching, if not past, the point of absurdity - what exactly do people "maintain" on their computers these days? I grew up in the "glory days" of PC's from 286/386/486/Pentium (remember that fiasco?) and on - and back then computers were EXPENSIVE. Like to fully assemble a system of any reasonable power you were in the $3,000 range easy. So recyling cases, hard drives, memory, video cards (I came across my 3DO Voodoo Extreme the other day - that was an ADD ON card to my existing VIDEO CARD and it was over $400 new - by itself!) made sense.

But today? When I can get a whole new computer for $500? Seriously who is "maintaining" anything? Windows users toss out machines to upgrade Windows or when they get slow from Windows registry rot. I laugh at this talk of "maintainability" - only the most hard core are swapping parts or doing upgrades beyond changing memory or hard drives. And far more laptops have been sold than desktops for some time now. Other than the hard drive and RAM what exactly are you going to "maintain" in a laptop anyway?

Memory is still ridiculously easy to change on ALL Apple computers - hard drives may take a little more work but it's far from impossible. As for everything else - even if we agree that desktop sales are still significant, exactly how many memory and CPU socket standards are there out there? Incremental upgrading just doesn't make sense these days like it did back in the 80's and 90's. The computer shopper days are long gone. I miss the nostalgia, but I don't miss the headaches of trying to make all that crap work reliably! And I certainly don't miss the pricing.

You sound like those whiny people from iFixit who have some vested interest in maintaining the old model. Whoops! Sorry - paradigms change, efficiencies change and markets change. Adapt or perish - isn't there some well known theory that talks about this? Why is this surprising still?

"Could the market be served by an iPad Pro?"

Setting aside whatever you mean by "Pro" - in a way that is profitable? If Apple though so they would do it. And pssst: it already exists - the iPad. The iPad mini is now looking to be the default consumer iPad. Although I suspect that to you "Pro" means slots and all the other checklist features the other guys already have. Why you'r still pining for something Apple has made clear they will never produce is beyond me. Just go to the other guys already!

"A mid-tower Mac? "

This is one I do agree on. Apple needs a single socket tower that doesn't rely on the ridiculously expensive multi-socket Xeon chipsets (and expensive multi-socket Xeon CPUs) as well as their snail like update cycle. Mainly so I can slap one or two GPU's and another card (RAID controller or SSD Array thank you) for massive IO that Thunderbolt, despite being awesome, simply can't deliver (Thunderbolt is 2 PCI lanes, my slowest slot in my Mac Pro is 4 lanes and I have two full 16 lane slots as well). Alas I don't see Apple ever releasing the equivalent of the old IIci or Quadra 8500 - but I can dream. And no, a one CPU Mac Pro isn't a "solution" since it still relies on the same expensive chipset's and CPU's - indeed, it's the WORST value since you paid for that expensive multi-socket technology, but didn't use it. Brilliant!

"Would it be a catastrophe to include a memory slot in an iOS device?"

In and of itself? Yes it is. Even if you discount all the UI complexity and layers of file management that have to be grafted on to support all the complexities of removable media, most people simply don't need it. Between cellular or wifi, data should be easy to transmit without media (I say should because even though I do buy into this overall model, iCloud has a long way to go still and I am dismayed at it's lack of progress). And sure, there are a lots of things like a micro USB, HDMI, removable batteries and the other laundry list of pet features that some people insist are "must haves" that individually truly aren't that big of a deal. However on aggregate they are a big deal indeed - so where do you draw the line?

Well, Apple has. And despite all the protesting from the likes of you they seem to be doing just fine. And at the risk of beating a dead horse - you have alternatives. Today. Right now.

"Being insular carries a cost, in that one company can't do it all." [emphasis added]

LOL - you keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. And it's irrelevant anyway as it's not their goal. Never has been. Ever notice the only people obsessing about marketshare are either pundits or competitors? Yes, Apple pays attention to marketshare in as much as they are judging their overall relevancy - but they certainly don't obsess over it like the Microsoft of the 90's in that they feel they have to crush all competitors. And for some reason plenty of people are still thinking in the same, tired way too.

It's not relevant because it's pointless to try to crush all competitors, and in the end it's completely unnecessary. Yup, "Android" has higher unit sales volume. But Apple has higher profit volume. I know which one I'd rather have. So focusing on market share is far from a winning strategy. I'd say focusing on making products that are appealing as possible is a winning strategy - things like marketshare and more importantly profit will take care of themselves. Gee - I wonder who has talked about that strategy in the past? Who's still talking about it now? More telling is who isn't talking about such substantive issues but focusing on superficial markers like market share?

And Apple's not the innovative company? Ugh...

Right now the only one making money on Android is Samsung - ironically because Samsung is the closest vendor to Apple in the vertical integration in how they produce their phones. Is Android as a product from Google even sustainable? Funny that for being such a market share leader you are seeing some smart people waking up and asking that question. At what point does Google loose enough money on Android that the whole "open" thing goes poof? Even Amazon's subsidized model with the Kindle Fire more resembles the underpants gnomes from SouthPark than a proven and sound business practice. I'll probably be labeled a fanboy by many for stating the obvious for which my retort is - fine: let's compare quarterly earnings for these companies and see how the scorecard that counts most fares. At some point you have to turn a profit or companies simply can't stay in business. Why so many readily disregard this fundamental law of business is mind boggling. Then again, the vast majority of people have ZERO business experience so I guess I shouldn't be too surprised. Sad and worried about our society, but probably not surprised :P

"The sheer volume of innovation (some of it even quality innovation) coming from outside of Apple is staggering. Apple should count it's blessing that most other companies are clueless as to product development."

LOL - once again the irony in your two sentences is just HILARIOUS. You have, I think unintentionally, nailed another not so secret to Apple's success: The most innovative idea(s) in the history of the world are meaningless if you don't have sound business practices to get them out there while remaining profitable. Execution is a real b$tch - and as they say, the devil is in the details. Just because Apple makes it all look frighteningly easy doesn't mean that it is. People that dismiss Cook as "just" an operations guy really are the most ignorant of them all. Talk about not seeing the forest for the trees....

That most other companies are clueless is why Apple doesn't have to be too worried. Not that I expect them to set on their laurels - no one competitor ever overtook the iPod. Instead, when a current iPod was taken over by the new market leader it was.... Apple that obsoleted it with the next iPod. Look at the iPod Mini - most popular iPod of all time and they replaced it at it's hight. Unheard of! And yet the nano went on to be even more successful. And then the iPod line itself - Apple obsoleted it with the iPhone (about the time MS released the Zune. Which was a good product - just years too late). There are "analysts" wringing their hands that the iPad will cannibalize Mac sales. Well duh! That was going to happen anyway. The next evolution in computing are mobile, personal devices. It's more obvious now than it was when the iPhone and iPad were first released - such is the problem of getting to the next big thing first and well in advance of everyone else. Nope, PC's are dying any time soon - but they certainly have peaked and we see that as Apple - ironically - is the only PC vendor still growing (even without counting iPads).

Even if most other companies can come up with something new, they often lack the guts to threaten their existing products until their existing products are all but completely milked out. Classic example is Microsoft with tablets. When they announced their tablets would still be "Windows" that told you all you needed to know about how successful they were going to be.

Fortune favors the bold - not the safe and conservative (just ask Mitt Romney). Apple has a long and well demonstrated history of being bold and not afraid to challenge their current success. I know of no other company that so routinely and aggressively updates their product lines before being driven to do so by their "competitors".

All this hand wringing over the future of Apple would be funny if it wasn't so obvious that people sincerely believe it. Talk about another overused cliche: those who are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it.

"Stick a bunch of parts together, and there you go... "

Yup, the same dreck that has been offered literally for decades. And techies and pundits are astonished at how well the iPod, iPhone and iPad resonate with normal people? Really? Again, that so many are astonished at Apple's success because they do stick out from the crowd so starkly just boggles my mind. And then to double down and insist that because they are so different it's a weakness? Simply breathtaking... and sad...

"There are notable exceptions such as Asus (of late), Samsung, and Lenovo (of late). Other ecosystems offer far more hardware latitude that the (by necessity) few that Apple can offer."


What exactly are Asus, Samsung or Lenovo supplying other than shipping a mishmash of varying hardware configurations wrapped around someone else's generic OS? Where's the services integration (cloud if you must cling to over tired lingo), sales experience (apple store), curated experience (app store), support (Apple Care, AppleStore Genius Bar), customer targeting (end users vs. carriers for phones); in other words the end to end management of the entire user experience that focuses ultimately on the consumer?

If your an Android user your a commodity to be sold. With Amazon, your a commodity to be sold to. Microsoft seems to be going down the advertising path (you are commodity to be sold) but they haven't made up their mind yet. And they certainly aren't overly focused on the ultimate usability by they consumer or they wouldn't insist of dragging the desktop to tablets but have the boldness to cater to tablet's strengths rather than trying to homogenize the experience (similar to dragging touch to the desktop with Windows 8). Apparently a decade+ failure wasn't enough for them...

"Admittedly, I ignore profitability."

Spoken like someone who gets a paycheck from someone else. Obviously someone else who does worry about profitability - otherwise you wouldn't have that nice paycheck! How profit managed to become such a dirty word and a slander in our society still baffles me. And how so many can quickly dismiss it is equally baffling. Just because something is inconvenient to your world view doesn't make it suddenly irrelevant.

"What Apple is doing if absolutely fantastic for their profits, but as a consumer, and device enthusiast, I don't care."

Well, you are a subset of a consumer - a device enthusiast. And it's a tiny subset. Luckily for you, there is a whole world of other companies that operate exactly counter to Apple's model. Feel free to choose one of them. Seriously - have at it. But stop whining that Apple isn't like everyone else - NO DUH! I prefer them EXACTLY BECAUSE they aren't like everyone else. And I would wager the vast majority of their customers do too. Otherwise all that's left to explain Apple's success is trickery, irrational fanaticism or other equally inane and illogical explanations. People buy Apple devices because they want to - not because they were tricked into it. Trickery only goes so far and then it falls off quickly. Very quickly. That's not what we see reflected in Apple's sales.

So rather than focusing on all the ways Apple is wrong how about focusing on what they got right? Unfortunately that's a problem for you since the biggest thing they got right - providing a balanced set of features - runs counter to your stated most important want - no limits! No wonder you are so disappointed - you have completely irrational and unrealistic expectations of Apple.
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#14 User is offline   ingus 

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  Posted 21 November 2012 - 11:37 AM

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Admittedly, I ignore profitability. What Apple is doing if absolutely fantastic for their profits, but as a consumer, and device enthusiast, I don't care. Well, you should. Profitable companies tend to stick around - and ones that are profitable because of a focus on user experience rather than on discounting their wares tend to improve quality and add to the intangibles like "responsiveness to gestures" and "ease of app discovery in the store" because 1) they have the money to, and 2) the customers that already HAVE spent money with them become repeat customers because of the intangibles - thus creating a virtuous circle. To put it another way: If your customer draw is to kiss ass, you can always kiss more ass, kiss ass longer, kiss ass better, and kiss ass differently. if your customer draw is to be cheaper, there is a finite level to how cheap you can get and keep the doors open. Ask Gateway, or Alienware, or Packard Bell, or Commodore, or Atari, or Coleco, or Acorn, or SGI, or Osborne, or Cray, or DEC, or Compaq, or any of the other of the hundreds of PC makers that either went out of business or got bought out by competitors... or IBM, or Radio Shack, or Texas Instruments, or any of the other dozens of companies that jettisoned off that section of the business in order to survive. HP, the #1 PC maker, is dangerously close to being added to this list. The smartphone/tablet market is mirroring the PC market, but at 2 to 4 times the speed. It took 20 years to go from the introduction of the IBM PC to the point we are now - a half dozen companies who make generic hardware for someone else's OS fighting for the scraps of profit that aren't being eaten up by the companies that write their OS in-house. The smartphone market is already there in 5 years, and the tablet market in 2 and a half. Marketshare without profit is meaningless and unsustainable. The companies competing with Apple need to learn to start focusing on the latter rather than the formet - especially if they are just generic hardware makers for someone else's OS. Customers trained to go for the cheapest easily-interchangeable product have no loyalty to anything but price. Customers trained to care about build quality, fit-and-finish, the texture in your hand as you hold or gesture on it.... will continue to complain about your price even as they pay it again and again.

I'm more of a "Woz" guy...
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