1997: Steve Jobs Was Wrong and Microsoft Saved Apple
Posted 06 August 2009 - 03:52 PM
Yep, mindshare... the apple faithful certainly had a significant say in apple's recovery, I'd say... plus steve's return and his edict to his engineers to 'make a computer that looks like an appliance'... resulting in the iMac line... which really saved apple...
Re 'mindshare' (read: the typical apple user's mentality) here's an interesting article written in 1997 by the pre-eminent Canadian writer Robert Fulford (linked with permission):
"... Apple's reputation demonstrates the triumph of romantic mythology and clever advertising over reality. It appears to stand for individualism in a world of rigid conformity.."
"Its followers are unshakeable. They are besotted. They have discovered enchantment, and even a whiff of moral purpose, in a device for organizing and transmitting data. There have been infatuations with consumer equipment in the past: people were loyal to certain automobile manufacturers, occasionally to the point of fanaticism, and high-fidelity fanatics of the 1950s drove their friends crazy by demonstrating the sonic range of their equipment. But these passions never approached the levels of commitment and anger we can find in the world of Apple. Devotion to Apple is unprecedented in the history of technology."
Message was edited by: artzy65
Posted 06 August 2009 - 04:50 PM
I can't imagine how you could even consider that particular statement by Jobs as wrong. It was right.
Second, your conclusions about the Mac having nothing to do with Apple's success is laughable. They made more money on Macs this past quarter than iPhones or iPods.
Get your facts straight.
Posted 07 August 2009 - 04:57 AM
Didn't mean to come off as an attack. I probably didn't read between the lines enough. However, I've had great luck with my Dell desktop which was a pretty advanced unit when I bought it around 2003. It's still running strong with no virus issues thanks to the free version of AVG. My Gateway laptop has held up well considering what I've tried to get it to do (FYI, a weak AMD dual-core with only 1GB RAM DOES NOT handle a full Server 2008, SharePoint 2007 environment well :P). Now that it's back to Vista Premium, things are better.
That said, I would like to try a MBP triple-boot environment that some Microsoft devs have. I just can't justify dropping money on it. I just priced out a 15" MBP and it's about $700 more than the comparable Lenovo W500. That savings will buy me one hell of a desktop as well.
I'm not anti-Apple, anti-Microsoft, or anti-Google. Hell, I rely on all three demon-masters. MS pays the bills (SharePoint, .Net), Apple stores my music (8GB Nano), and Google allows me to make calls (TMO G1). To each his/her own. I'm an equal-opportunity hater/lover. None are perfect, but none are too horrible to use.
Posted 07 August 2009 - 05:04 AM
Posted 07 August 2009 - 09:12 AM
Neither of these markets are over. PC's will always be needed as will phones. I could see MS losing a lot of ground if Win7 fails miserably. Hopefully it's better than Vista. Apple took an early lead in the phone war, but they are far from owning the market. Google's Android OS is going to push them to be better. I like the iPhone, but Android is hardware agnostic. HTC, Samsung, Lenovo, Motorola, and several other manufacturers are making Android devices. I believe the number of Android phones world-wide by the end of the year will be about 24. T-Mobile has 2 phones already, Sprint is adding a few, and rumor has it that Verizon will be getting Android as early as the end of the year.
Some see 24 models of phones as a good thing. But that in fact has proven to be a weakness, and the key reason the iPhone has taken over. When there are 24 different Androids, people are confused on which is the best one for them. Different hardware leads to confusion (just like way too many versions of Vista and Windows 7 being confusing and ridiculous artificial differences) compared to OS X which has two versions. Client and Server. But notice, the client has nearly everything Serve does, mostly not a gui interface to the server stuff. Postfix is in the standard install of OS X, as well as apache and many other UNIX tools.
The point being is give the users the most value, without artificial distinctions and the user will choose. Phones are different than computers, so that principle is much stronger than with computers. One piece of hardware (or two during transitions like now, and differentiate with software. I hope that a developer for Android can create one application that runs on all 24 phones, but I doubt it. And how are they going to get to those apps when they're developed for different vendors' stores? Apple's key value is it slices through the biggest weaknesses of the thinking of phone vendors who have been consumer-hostile since their inception. Apple knows how to treat customers (who are willing to give them an open mind and give it a try) whereas Verizon and T-Mobile and AT&T (until the iPhone) dictated what would and would not be on phones - and their idea of a good user experience is what wastes the most minutes.
Apple, for all its faults, is consumer oriented, and that attitude has been rewarded by the smashing success of the iPhone. It's not like there's no room to improve. They could do many things way better than they are. They just have to remain better than the competition. And up to this point, people are voting with their dollars and giving all the vendors a customers service wakeup call. Unfortunately, the vendors can'g break old habits. So I see the iPhone not having real competition for a few more years.
Posted 07 August 2009 - 09:45 AM
With the iPhone, it is Apple that decides what is on your phone to some degree...or rather they decide some things that you CANNOT have on your phone.
I agree that Apple has been more consumer oriented in the past and catered more to what their consumers wanted or needed...but they are starting to show signs of succumbing to their belief that they know what is best and the devices they sell are more about THEIR image or bottom line than what consumers might want or need.
Posted 07 August 2009 - 10:53 AM
But first some background: There was a time when I despised Macs, thinking of them as toys for children and suitable only for fussy librarians. I had a PC that I had built for me and decidedly did not like the look and feel of Apple's OS 7, 8 and 9.
Then, in 2002, I went to the Mac Expo in NYC. It was free and I figured I would score some mouse pads and other freebies.
I got the shock of my life when I put my hands on a G4 iMac (the so-called "iLamp") and I liked it!!! But it was more than that. It felt natural, almost like a hand in a glove. It didn't take much time for me to whip out the plastic and buy one, on the spot.
At that moment, a Mac fanboy was born.
My experience has been replicated millions of times, with PC owners going to Apple Stores, and emerging as Switchers.
Why is this happening? Yes, Apple makes great hardware (but so do other manufacturers), but Apple has something none of the competition has and that is OS X, seamlessly integrated into the hardware so that everything just works. And Apple sells emotion. You can't unbox a Mac without experiencing the same reaction you felt when you unwrapped a memorable Christmas present.
Contrast that to buying a PC and spending hours to remove the crapware installed on it.
Which is the better experience?
Posted 07 August 2009 - 11:47 AM
Contrast that to buying a PC and spending hours to remove the crapware installed on it.
Which is the better experience?
Well that depends. One man's junk is another's treasure. I personally like ultimate performance, and especially the price/performance equation. I find that to achieve the absolute highest performance can only be gotten from customized specific high-performance parts, not available from any general purpose mass producer, such as Apple, HP or Dell...
As for the OS, anything will do, but I have found Windows more than satisfactory, and customizable with a fine level of granularity. Crapware? What's that? I always do pristine bare metal installs, with hand selected software components. Including open-source offerings.
Regardless of the brand or OS type. After all, we're not talking about religion or holy wars... It's only an Operating System on a quickly becoming obsolete computer system. (Big Deal!) ;)
But I am happy others have found Nirvana in Apple. To me, it's no big deal at all. I couldn't care less about how well any manufacturer does financially. Completely useless to me.
You know, feeling a lot of gratitude actually makes things taste better?
~ Bridgett Walther
Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
~ Abraham Lincoln
Posted 07 August 2009 - 12:41 PM
The operating system choice is moot. Its just a way of utilitizing hardware, and software. Each may be different, and each is genred to a different type of user base. Eitherway, they all have their strong points and weaknesses. The whole point though is to get a particular userbase. I personally use Windows XP/Vista and Ubuntu Linux. I enjoy the atmosphere it generates and the overall productivity of each OS fits my personal needs. But to say any manufacturer is better than the other (Windows vs Mac vs Linux vs ???) isn't relevant. The performance of any machine is guided by the hardware, the software, and primarily the user. When speaking in terms of production quality, any user with enough motivation and knowledge, can easily and cheaply assemble a customized machine for their personal needs which surpasses the quality produced by companies such as Hp, Dell, Asus, Alienware, Apple, etc.
So what you call crapware, I call an attempt at finding and promoting products and a userbase. Eitherway, it can be removed very easy. We're not living in the days of 8 GB standard hard drives or 128 mb Ram anymore. The general Pc is more than capable of handling a few more optional applications that run at startup.
Posted 08 August 2009 - 06:53 AM
I believe that, in practice, this is a contradiction. The incremental increase in performance comes with a steep price. (However, overclocking is free.)
"After all, we're not talking about religion or holy wars... "
Actually, we are. There are those who regard Steve Jobs as a deity, who are in awe of his glorious Steveness. It is Jobs who brings forth a magnificent bounty of products for those few mere mortals who can afford them.
The fact is, we are dealing with the human condition. We all want "the best" (however it is defined) and, failing that, we rationalize with "value" ("I got it cheap and it works").
And it isn't just computers. We do the same thing with everything, even something as prosaic and utilitarian as kitchen knives. There those who swoon over Shun and go ga-ga over Global. They even seek to have their choices confirmed.
Try to find a parent who doesn't believe that his/her children aren't all above-average.
Posted 08 August 2009 - 07:24 AM
You have got to be joking. It has nothing to do with enhancing the "quality of the user experience". Because if it did, it would not consist of trial programs. The box makers get paid for including that crap. The user gets stuck with removing it, requiring time, effort and skill to do it.
And there is nothing "optional" about it. No customer was ever asked if he wanted to opt-in.
Yeah, it is "promoting products." It is advertising, but unlike the commercial on TV that go away after 30 seconds or a minute, this garbage sits on your hard drive unless you remove it. Apple doesn't include this stuff. Maybe because Apple respects its customers, a lesson the PC box makers could learn.
Posted 09 August 2009 - 05:42 PM
Like someone else said, Apple is not very consumer friendly with their arbitrary app denial. How's Google Voice integration treating you w/o jailbreaking? Oh, yeah...don't have it, do you? I'm enjoying in on my G1. I don't doubt that AT&T may have had something to do with it, but that's just one of the many issues with the iPhone. Why deny all these apps that could compete? Who cares? Apple, like Google, probably has some "switches" it could throw in apps it builds to utilize part of the OS that 3rd party devs can't so their apps should be better. If Apple is being consumer friendly, then we have very different definitions of that term.
The iPhone ushered in a generation of consumer smartphones. Android is picking up on that and offering a truly more open environment. No crazy NDA, no unexplained app denials. A real consumer friendly interface and system.
Posted 10 August 2009 - 06:13 AM
I'll take exception to your use of the word, "arbitrary." IMHO, Apple's decisions are purposeful. While, no doubt, some mistakes may have been made in vetting more than 65,000 apps there are some factors Apple must consider for the good of more than 40 million owners of the iPhone/touch and (as you correctly point out) the contractual arrangement Apple has with ATT.
Apple has drawn some clear lines that are pretty obvious (at least to me): no apps that might compromise security (perhaps the reason there is no flash), no obscenity, nothing that will undermine the revenues for ATT.
Google Voice falls in that latter category. ATT would have to be insane to permit its data service to be used for telephone calls that undercut ATT's own price structure for making calls.
Posted 10 August 2009 - 08:11 AM
You are correct and it is even worse than you describe. When Apple announced the new iPhone GS recently, ATT was booed by the audience. Apple pointedly criticized ATT by showing slides of other cell phone service providers around the world that would be immediately implementing all of the new iPhone's features. Conspicuously absent from the slides was ATT.
It is worth remembering that, two years ago, the best deal that Apple could get was with ATT. Verizon had looked at the iPhone and would not agree to Apple's terms. Sometimes, you take whatever you can get. That is what Apple did with ATT.
If ATT loses the iPhone franchise, it will be because they brought it on themselves with inferior service. Look for ATT to cut the cost of data plans to keep iPhone customers who threaten to defect.
In 2010, look for Apple to come up with a new marketing plan, one where Apple permits any cell phone service provider (anywhere in the US) to sell the iPhone. Apple terms will include standardizing the selling price of the iPhone, standardizing the cost of the data plans, and determining the fee paid to Apple by participating service providers. Even small regional players will get a piece of the action.
Posted 10 August 2009 - 11:13 AM
Posted 10 August 2009 - 01:27 PM
Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't the iPhone still the cellphone for the competition to beat?
The Palm Pre (largely a copy of the first generation iPhone by ex-Apple engineers) had gotten off to a good start, but once initial demand was satisfied, it has largely languished at 25-30,000 sales a week. Neither Palm nor Sprint will release any sales figures, so the results are probably not good.
I don't see where anything currently offered is a threat to the iPhone.
Posted 11 August 2009 - 06:46 AM
Please forgive me for disagreeing with you on this one.
I see Google's Android running HTC, Motorola, and all 50 Open Handset Alliance (OHA) firms (and continually growing) working together towards open-standards. I'll just name three firms IMHO, that each have the clout to oust Apple from the phone market for good:
- Samsung (They make over USD $100+ Billion dollars in revenues each year since 2007, nothing to sneer at -- Apple doesn't want to and cannot fight Samsung...)
I see that as the nail in the coffin for Apple's closed-market business type approach, which worked somewhat in the past... But hype never lasts.
I see Google Android, taking over Apple's hardware as well... Just look at all the 'jailbreaking' going on already.
The problem for Apple, is they do not make raw chips; They only buy them... Intel, Motorola, Texas Instruments, Samsung, LG, Nvidia and many others do. They are all part of the OHA. Notice the (omnious) pattern? The proverbial calm before the storm?
As for non-Android, Nokia and BlackBerry are still formidable competitors on their own. Bottom line is competition and wide variety of choices are good for the consumers, thus good for the entire industry. Captive and closed markets are naturally doomed from the start. High profits. Take the money and run! It won't last...
Apple may currently have a significant share of the mobile market in North America. But the World is a much bigger place than NA...
Were are the "new kids on the block" music band now?
PS: I do have an iPhone 3G and a BlackBerry Bold 9000... Next one? Simple, it's going to be something running Android! So I can honestly say I tried them before becoming a fanatic of any platform.
It is not who is right, but what is right, that is of importance.
~ Thomas Huxley, 1825-1895, English Biologist
People cannot discover new lands until they have the courage to lose sight of the shore.
~ Andre Gide
The superior man does not set his mind either for anything, or against anything; what is right he will follow.
To unparted waters, undreamed shores.
~ William Shakespeare
Resistance is futile; you will be assimilated...
~ The Borg
The Open Handset Alliance (OHA) is a business alliance of 50 firms including Google, HTC, Intel, Motorola, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, Samsung, LG, T-Mobile, Nvidia and Wind River Systems to develop open standards for mobile devices.
Pretty pictures of HTC mobile phones here.