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MacRumors
Aug 2, 2011, 03:03 PM
http://cdn.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/08/02/ipads-design-efficiencies-make-it-tough-for-other-tablets-to-compete/)


Apple's control over the iPad's hardware and software gives it "design efficiencies" other tablet manufacturers can't match, says Wayne Lam, an analyst at iSuppli (http://www.isuppli.com/teardowns/news/pages/comparativetablet-teardowns-reveal-ipad-design-advantages.aspx).
"These efficiencies become obvious in areas like the memory and the battery, where Apple maintains advantages in cost, space savings and performance compared with every competitor in the business."

Other tablet makers employ operating systems from third-party firms--such as Google Inc., which provides the Android software used in most competitive products on the market today. Many of these tablet makers also outsource the blueprints of their products to third parties, employing reference designs and design services from contract manufacturers.

This contrasts with the model employed by Apple, which uses its own operating system and maintains tight control of its design, components and contract manufacturers.http://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2011/08/044443-applelcd.jpg


Lam argues that comparing the amount of RAM between the iPad and other manufacturers misses a key point: because Apple writes the software specifically for hardware they have custom built, it doesn't need as much horsepower as competing tablets.
In the current-generation iPad 2, the density of synchronous dynamic random access memory (SDRAM) is 512 megabytes--half that of the 1 gigabtye used in competitive designs... Likewise, the original iPad contained half as much SDRAM as comparable competitive devices with single-core applications processors.

"The iPad's efficient memory usage stems from the fundamental difference in the architecture of the operating system," Lam said. "Apple's iOS handles multitasking differently than other tablet operating systems, allowing it to reduce the amount of memory required to support the microprocessor."It also helps that Apple has the cash to secure favorable terms from suppliers, like in 2010 when it spent $3.9 billion on LCD panels (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/01/20/apples-3-9-billion-investment-was-in-lcd-displays/), most likely for the iPad.

Apple currently has the second highest market capitalization in the world, second only to ExxonMobil. Like XOM, Apple has grown its profits by controlling the entire pipeline, from conception to delivery.

ExxonMobil handles exploration, drilling, pumping, refining, and delivery of petroleum products, and captures profits at every step. ExxonMobil eliminates inefficiencies in the market by having one company handle everything instead of having four different companies combining forces to deliver a product -- like Google and the Android hardware manufacturers do.

Apple designs the software (iOS), the hardware (A4 and A5 chips), controls the sales channel (Apple Retail and Online Stores), and decides the fate of how buyers use the iPad via the App Store. The company streamlines pricing and the experience to such a degree that no other company can even come close.

Article Link: iPad's 'Design Efficiencies' Make It Tough For Other Tablets to Compete (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/08/02/ipads-design-efficiencies-make-it-tough-for-other-tablets-to-compete/)



Eddyisgreat
Aug 2, 2011, 03:10 PM
But but but but but I thought people liked when their computing experience was wild wild west-esque and no one called the shots for the sake of the greater good (the user).

Is that not the case?

xraydoc
Aug 2, 2011, 03:15 PM
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Just like the Mac since forever.

nuckinfutz
Aug 2, 2011, 03:16 PM
The iPad competitors are way behind the iPad and they know this which is why the trump features that are really superfluous to what consumers need.

i.e the Playbook bragging about Flash technology. Wow...how cutting edge

Or the other tablet makers waxing on about USB ports, HDMI ports and other portage. Wow ..so it's a Netbook missing a keyboard.

If you're a company that thinks you're going to be Apple with a reference design hardware running run of the mill ARM chips and the same Android OS that your competitors offer then talking about USB or HDMI ports and how many megagigapixel your camera offers is about all you can do.

Dr Kevorkian94
Aug 2, 2011, 03:20 PM
this is there argument (maybe not an argument but its a big point) for every apple product, oh and don't forget they look good too!

gnagy
Aug 2, 2011, 03:23 PM
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Just like the Mac since forever.

Not quite. This was the key sentence from the article "Apple designs the software (iOS), the hardware (A4 and A5 chips), controls the sales channel (Apple Retail and Online Stores), and decides the fate of how buyers use the iPad via the App Store."

The macs use the sandy bridge chipset with intel CPUs, seagate hard drives,..etc. On the inside, it's not much different from a Dell.

Also, you can install and buy software for the mac outside of the App Store.

So it's definitely not like the mac. It's a lot more integrated and controlled, and maybe that's adding to why nobody can compete with it.

Btrthnezr3
Aug 2, 2011, 03:30 PM
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Two points here:
1) the iPad and other iOS devices are benefiting from the same system macs have been living in for years. "Yeah, my iMac doesn't have blah blah like your pc but it doesnt need it because it's tailor made to run OSX."

2) Controlling all aspects of design, manufacture and distribution is called vertical integration. My History kids learn about it every year. It works because it is so simple. It makes everything more simple and you reduce costs and problems at every level. Walmart does a lot of this too. When you can secure the cash, vertical integration is kind of a duh no brainer.

LastLine
Aug 2, 2011, 03:37 PM
False. If 'Design Efficiencies' made it tough for others to compete we'd have Windows sitting on around a 5% market share, not OS X. Sad, but true.

The iPad is winning because it's got solid software, a huge app base, and more importantly - is an excellent product in an emerging market.

DOn't get me wrong, Design efficiencies don't hurt, but it's not everything.

TheOrioles33
Aug 2, 2011, 03:38 PM
The iPad competitors are way behind the iPad and they know this which is why the trump features that are really superfluous to what consumers need.

i.e the Playbook bragging about Flash technology. Wow...how cutting edge

Or the other tablet makers waxing on about USB ports, HDMI ports and other portage. Wow ..so it's a Netbook missing a keyboard.

If you're a company that thinks you're going to be Apple with a reference design hardware running run of the mill ARM chips and the same Android OS that your competitors offer then talking about USB or HDMI ports and how many megagigapixel your camera offers is about all you can do.

You hit the nail on the head my friend!

res1233
Aug 2, 2011, 03:39 PM
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Two points here:
1) the iPad and other iOS devices are benefiting from the same system macs have been living in for years. "Yeah, my iMac doesn't have blah blah like your pc but it doesnt need it because it's tailor made to run OSX."

2) Controlling all aspects of design, manufacture and distribution is called vertical integration. My History kids learn about it every year. It works because it is so simple. It makes everything more simple and you reduce costs and problems at every level. Walmart does a lot of this too. When you can secure the cash, vertical integration is kind of a duh no brainer.

Yep. It's very difficult for non-vertically integrated manufacturers of tablets to advertise the advantages of buying their specific tablet, because all the tablets are running Android, so from their point of view, the only thing they have to differentiate their product is specs, something that the average Joe is not going to care about, nor understand. Apple can advertise the entire experience to differentiate itself.

Edit: Keep an eye on WebOS/HP though. They may be Apple's one true competitor in the tablet market.

Diode
Aug 2, 2011, 03:44 PM
But, monopolies are bad for the consumer!

NAG
Aug 2, 2011, 04:00 PM
But, monopolies are bad for the consumer!

You're conflating vertical integration and monopolies. They are, in fact, separate things. You can have a monopoly in either vertical or horizontal markets (e.g. Apple is vertically integrated but lacks a monopoly in the iPhone market and Microsoft is horizontal and was found to have committed monopolization in the computer market).

ChrisA
Aug 2, 2011, 04:01 PM
Apple designs the software (iOS), the hardware (A4 and A5 chips), controls the sales channel (Apple Retail and Online Stores), and decides the fate of how buyers use the iPad via the App Store.

Younger readers may not know that in the past ALL computer companies were like Apple. If you bought an IBM mainframe you bought it from an IBM sales rep and ran an IBM operating system and IBM software and IBM techs installed the serviced the machine. Same exact thing if you bought a CDC computer or one from DEC or any of a dozen other companies. All of the computer companies up until the 1970's were vertically integrated, just like Apple is. Today I think there is only a few of these. Apple is one. Oracle (With their SPARC/Solaris based servers and workstations) is arguably another. IBM has gone back to the vertical model after selling off their PC business.

IBM is an old company. They built mechanical "computers" in the early 1900's. Later they added vacuum tube and transistor based equipment and then integrated circuits or "chips" were invented. At one time IBM was the world's largest chip maker and they never sold chips, they were their own customer. This is how the industry was until about 1980.

It seems that maybe we will see more of this because controlling the entire device from the chips to the apps that run on them does offer an advantage.

ChrisA
Aug 2, 2011, 04:09 PM
Yep. It's very difficult for non-vertically integrated manufacturers of tablets to advertise the advantages of buying their specific tablet, because all the tablets are running Android, so from their point of view, the only thing they have to differentiate their product is specs, something that the average Joe is not going to care about,.

No, you missed one very important way to have your product stand out: "Price". This is the one thing all consumers do understand. If has been the biggest problem for PC manufactures for many years, that buyers care mostly about price and everything thing else is just "technical geek-speak" So PCs are designed to be cheap first and something else second.

This is a HUGE problem for non-Apple tablet makers. Apple can cut ccosts by using their "design efficienies" but everyone else has to run their margins down to near zero as that is the only price they can control. It's the same in the PC industry.

2 Replies
Aug 2, 2011, 04:15 PM
The down-side to Apple's tight "design efficiencies" is that it leaves little flexibility "wiggle-room" for iOS developers to innovate. :rolleyes:

And Apple is VERY MUCH aware of this. It's VERY MUCH intentional.
It's the main reason they are so iron-fisted with the apps they allow in their walled-garden.
It's also why they don't allow non-apple compiled code to be submitted to the app store, or apps that execute non-native code (eg Java & Flash).

*LTD*
Aug 2, 2011, 04:27 PM
Vertical business model. When it's done right, it is unbeatable. Apple does it right.

Thread title is too limited. It should read:

Apple's control over their products gives it "design efficiencies" competitors can't match.

Apple hardware + Apple software. Let's call a spade a spade and give credit to the totality of their platform.

Yamcha
Aug 2, 2011, 04:32 PM
This is very true, thats probably one of the great things about iOS, it doesn't require the monster amount of ram in order to function without lag.. Other comptitors of the iPad these days all pretty much have 1GB of memory, and even then the performance on some tablets are poor, likely due to software issues..

I think the other tablets that perform about the same as iPad are playbook, and the touchpad...

darbus69
Aug 2, 2011, 04:34 PM
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so, tell us "fanboys" something new?

slrandall
Aug 2, 2011, 04:43 PM
The down-side to Apple's tight "design efficiencies" is that it leaves little flexibility "wiggle-room" for iOS developers to innovate. :rolleyes:

And Apple is VERY MUCH aware of this. It's VERY MUCH intentional.
It's the main reason they are so iron-fisted with the apps they allow in their walled-garden.
It's also why they don't allow non-apple compiled code to be submitted to the app store, or apps that execute non-native code (eg Java & Flash).

I'm sure that every skilled iOS developer would disagree with you. Language constraints are merely another of Apple's efficiencies. But with any language, all room for innovation rests with the developer's creativity.

applefan289
Aug 2, 2011, 05:23 PM
That's about right.

NAG
Aug 2, 2011, 05:27 PM
I'm sure that every skilled iOS developer would disagree with you. Language constraints are merely another of Apple's efficiencies. But with any language, all room for innovation rests with the developer's creativity.

Personally, I mostly liked how his "post" had lots of "vague references" to provide him plenty of "wiggle room" if he was ever replied to.

Mak47
Aug 2, 2011, 05:51 PM
The down-side to Apple's tight "design efficiencies" is that it leaves little flexibility "wiggle-room" for iOS developers to innovate. :rolleyes:

And Apple is VERY MUCH aware of this. It's VERY MUCH intentional.
It's the main reason they are so iron-fisted with the apps they allow in their walled-garden.
It's also why they don't allow non-apple compiled code to be submitted to the app store, or apps that execute non-native code (eg Java & Flash).

You're absolutely right, it's completely intentional. The main reason for such tight control is that Apple understands the idiosyncrasies of the average consumer.

The average consumer doesn't care about code, tech specs or anything else that goes on under the hood of the device. They just want it to work--all the time. If an app is written poorly, or in a format that doesn't play well with the OS or the hardware, the consumer doesn't blame the app developer, they blame the device. If an app causes major battery drain, they don't delete it and move on with life, they assume that Apple is just lying about battery life and may choose a different device the next time.

If the ecosystem is so clogged with varying code languages and unpredictably performing apps that it becomes overly complex to use, consumers don't blame themselves for not understanding how it all works. They blame the device and assume it is broken.

The endless accusation that Apple only does things the way it does to ensure that consumers have to buy from them is getting tired. To date, Apple has paid out just over $2 Billion to iOS developers. That means Apple has made just under $1 Billion in App Store revenue. (they keep 30%) When you factor in the cost of labor to keep it all running, the cost of hardware, maintenance, real estate to house it all etc...That $1 Billion is pretty much wiped out. It would certainly be easier for them to just let an open source App Store open up and walk away from it.

But that doesn't happen, because if it did, the end user experience would be crap and iOS devices wouldn't have the reputation for quality that they currently enjoy.

MacAddict1978
Aug 2, 2011, 05:57 PM
Yep. It's very difficult for non-vertically integrated manufacturers of tablets to advertise the advantages of buying their specific tablet, because all the tablets are running Android, so from their point of view, the only thing they have to differentiate their product is specs, something that the average Joe is not going to care about, nor understand. Apple can advertise the entire experience to differentiate itself.

Edit: Keep an eye on WebOS/HP though. They may be Apple's one true competitor in the tablet market.

Every one else having Android doesn't mean they can't market their tablet better. The iPad commercials show how it can be used, work in your life, your families life, etc. Samsung could just as easily make a commercial doing the same thing, or any other tablet maker. This was the Xooms nail in the coffin. They had a clever launch ad campaign, but.... well, you never saw the Xoom do anything in the commercial except make stick people.

WebOS had the most potential... but this botched launch is a critical blow to HP. (Palm already screwed it up once with bad hardware, and HP does it again with bad hardware and unforgivable bugs and performance issues that got them spanked in every review around the world). No one is buying their tablet, several carries are rumored to have turned down the Pre-3, their echo system isn't seeing developers flock to it (actually some are leaving it), and most people don't care. Their only hope is to get a better device in the marketplace in the next 6 months, and to pray that integrated WedOS in HP pc's stirs more interest, because outside of tech nerds like us, crickets are all that can be heard in the world in regards to WebOS.

Superken7
Aug 2, 2011, 06:08 PM
This is seriously uninformed.

First of all, vertical integration is not everything.
But furthermore, it takes significantly less time to adapt an OS which you have full control on (Android) than to write & maintain one, especially these times where mobile technology moves forward at such a fast pace. Not that this is not taking a black box and installing it onto your device. Android is open source and you can adapt it to your hardware all you want. Also, it just so happens that it runs just fine on existing mobile platforms, because it was designed that way. But you can still adapt it and make it "more efficient".

Also, that stuff they wrote about the RAM is just laughable. It has NOTHING to do with vertical integration. As the article describes, it has more to do with how the OS manages multitasking. Apple chose not to offer multitasking to devs, and thats why it requires less RAM. This allows for less cost.
Anyone could write an OS based on Android that is not Android that does this exactly the same way as iOS, and this would be MUCH MUCH easier to do than writing and maintaining their own OS.

One could argue that Android is usually more laggy than iOS, which is mostly true. But again, this has NOTHING to do with the "Apple controls hardware to software" thing. It is just a design choice for how you handle running code on different computer architectures. This problem is not only there on Android, every platform will be run on different architectures, and stuff will need to be recompiled or virtualized.

I'll tell you the REAL reason why comparing RAM between iOS and, for example, Android devices needs to be taken with a grain of salt:
Other that the fact that each handle multitasking differently (mostly, iOS doesn't offer an API for the devs to launch background processes), one does virtualization, which requires a lot more memory (and BTW, that is the cause that Android is usually sluggish, it uses a Garbage Collector which interrupts the UI thread and causes lots of frame drops). Plus, Android allows background services and stuff like that to be launched and drain your battery. But even then, you can see how Android devices have more RAM and usually need to "reload" far less. If you measure available RAM on either system, you will see how iOS usually has far less available memory than an Android device.
Depending on which Android device you use, you will se how some take ages to multitask compared to an iPhone, others will just instantly switch tasks (a Nexus comes to my mind), mostly even faster than on iOS, because all apps are still in memory - having 256MB free RAM leaves a lot for browser tabs and open apps.

Also, note how Apple is the largest phone manufacturer, they only produce one phone and put significantly more resources into it than anyone else. THAT is different to how others do it. Look at motorola or samsung, they do lots of different phones. If they just did one high-end phone, maybe they could handle every little detail and efficiency like Apple does with the iPhone. HTC can't usually use super expensive parts like the iPhone's touchscreen because they are not going to produce that many parts since they have lots of phones in the market.

To each his own strategy, but please leave this whole "apple designs HW and software, and therefore its better" argument alone, I think that is mostly exaggerated. My macbook pro is running on hw that is not that different from others' hw, its the software which has been very carefully designed which makes the difference. Others could do it just as well, but they don't. They do it their way, which works out quite well for many people, I should add.

pyro008
Aug 2, 2011, 06:17 PM
1) First to market. (Well first one to convince people they actually need a tablet)
2) Price competitive with competition.

The two reasons the iPad and iPhone are so wildly successful while Macs are falling flat on their faces. Mostly the second.

andreiru
Aug 2, 2011, 06:18 PM
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That's the best way forward. I have always said that Apple's business model is very good. Something to strive for with your own business.

VitaminD
Aug 2, 2011, 06:27 PM
I'll add this about the "competition's" Android tablet differentiation;

The only thing they really have to differentiate between one another is the company logo they put on their devices.

Without it, you couldn't even begin to guess which one of them made it. :D

flipperfeet
Aug 2, 2011, 06:32 PM
But, monopolies are bad for the consumer!

I am sure you are a very bright individual, but your understanding of a monopoly is incomplete. :o

If you are thinking there is a monopoly because only Apple can manufacture the iPad, that is no different from only Motorola being able to manufacture the Xoom. If you are thinking they have a monopoly because only Apple can authorize applications to run on iOS, that is no different than only Sony being able to authorize applications to run on PlayStation, or MS certifying an App is Windows ME compatible.

This is not a monopoly situation and the consumer has at least a dozen manufacturers of tablets, and no less than three operating systems to choose from.

Apple currently enjoys no monopolies, right down to having Steve Jobs, as he serves on the boards of other corporations and organization simultaneously. ;)

res1233
Aug 2, 2011, 07:30 PM
Every one else having Android doesn't mean they can't market their tablet better. The iPad commercials show how it can be used, work in your life, your families life, etc. Samsung could just as easily make a commercial doing the same thing, or any other tablet maker. This was the Xooms nail in the coffin. They had a clever launch ad campaign, but.... well, you never saw the Xoom do anything in the commercial except make stick people.

WebOS had the most potential... but this botched launch is a critical blow to HP. (Palm already screwed it up once with bad hardware, and HP does it again with bad hardware and unforgivable bugs and performance issues that got them spanked in every review around the world). No one is buying their tablet, several carries are rumored to have turned down the Pre-3, their echo system isn't seeing developers flock to it (actually some are leaving it), and most people don't care. Their only hope is to get a better device in the marketplace in the next 6 months, and to pray that integrated WedOS in HP pc's stirs more interest, because outside of tech nerds like us, crickets are all that can be heard in the world in regards to WebOS.

What I mean is, as a tablet manufacturer you have to give the consumer a reason to choose your tablet. The only thing that makes each Android tablet unique (save for a few UI tweaks) is the hardware it's running on. If you market the experience delivered by Android, you have failed at showing the value of your specific tablet. The consumer might just as well buy a competitor's Android tablet at that point. At the same time, the average consumer won't know or understand what a gigahertz/megapixel/RAM is, nor why they need it, or how much of it they need.

nylonsteel
Aug 2, 2011, 07:45 PM
re aapl "tight control" over product design

"...This contrasts with the model employed by Apple, which uses its own operating system and maintains tight control of its design, components and contract manufacturers..."

Just like the girls I play with - I like em tight

good job aapl - keep doing what you're doing

davidgrimm
Aug 3, 2011, 12:05 AM
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The story also missed the whole support issue. Apple supports all of their products very well at any Apple store. Where are the Samsung geniuses?

Soliber
Aug 3, 2011, 01:24 AM
1) First to market. (Well first one to convince people they actually need a tablet)
2) Price competitive with competition.

The two reasons the iPad and iPhone are so wildly successful while Macs are falling flat on their faces. Mostly the second.
Macs are falling flat on their faces?
The installed base is growing, year after year; where have you been?

SandynJosh
Aug 3, 2011, 01:55 AM
But but but but but I thought people liked when their computing experience was wild wild west-esque and no one called the shots for the sake of the greater good (the user). Is that not the case?

In the previous century it was more normal. People would take classes in how to use the operating system and not mind that they had to duct tape a fan to the outside of the CPU case.

Now it's more important that the device makes your life easy or fun.

The iPad competitors are way behind the iPad and they know this which is why the trump features that are really superfluous to what consumers need.
<snip>
If you're a company that thinks you're going to be Apple with a reference design hardware running run of the mill ARM chips and the same Android OS that your competitors offer then talking about USB or HDMI ports and how many megagigapixel your camera offers is about all you can do.

I agree. Sputtering about specs is the last century's way of selling tech products. "Will it do what I want to have it do without driving me crazy." is the question on buyers minds today. Apple's ads are the only ones making that pitch today.

Not quite. This was the key sentence from the article "Apple designs the software (iOS), the hardware (A4 and A5 chips), controls the sales channel (Apple Retail and Online Stores), and decides the fate of how buyers use the iPad via the App Store."
<snip>
So it's (iOS devices) definitely not like the Mac. It's a lot more integrated and controlled, and maybe that's adding to why nobody can compete with it.

I agree. However, Apple is moving the Mac in that direction. During the introduction of Lion, iOS5, and iCloud, Apple demoted the Mac/PC to the level of the iDevices. I think Apple will have everything under the iCloud highly controlled in a couple years or more.

This will make the Mac portion of their line more desirable, and I'd expect this to boost market share significantly. Don't forget, Windows is running on a lot of dedicated industrial control equipment doing one task. Apple is not targeting that segment, but rather targeting the segment that involves a lot of user interaction.

False. If 'Design Efficiencies' made it tough for others to compete we'd have Windows sitting on around a 5% market share, not OS X. Sad, but true.
The iPad is winning because it's got solid software, a huge app base, and more importantly - is an excellent product in an emerging market.
Don't get me wrong, Design efficiencies don't hurt, but it's not everything.

Yes, I don't think any one on this board would disagree with you: "Design efficiencies don't hurt, but it's not everything." Apple has put all the important pieces of the puzzle together which synergesticaly strengthens each other, and THAT'S why Design Efficiencies for Apple is so powerful.

Yep. It's very difficult for non-vertically integrated manufacturers of tablets to advertise the advantages of buying their specific tablet, because all the tablets are running Android, so from their point of view, the only thing they have to differentiate their product is specs, something that the average Joe is not going to care about, nor understand. Apple can advertise the entire experience to differentiate itself.

That's correct, but if any one of the manufacturers of Android-based devices were to create some killer apps that only ship with their devices, they could begin to offer an user experience closer to the Apple iDevices.

None of them will likely do that because their marketing is still lodged in the previous century. Apple is moving iOS, iDevice hardware, in-house apps (like iWork and iLife), iCloud, and iTunes Store forward all together. It's this synery of everything working as one that will kill competition in the near future.

IBM is an old company. They built mechanical "computers" in the early 1900's.

I'd hardly call them mechanical computers, they were time clocks.

No, you missed one very important way to have your product stand out: "Price". This is the one thing all consumers do understand.

In the iDevice markets that Apple has created or controlled, "price" plays second fiddle to "perceived ease of use." Apple has never been the least expensive iPod, or the music from the iTunes store has never been the least expensive. Yet Apple by shrewd marketing has taken first place in both after entering the market after it existed.

In the cases of the iPhone and iPad, Apple get their ducks in a row before creating the market and has done better then anyone expected. In these two areas they lead the market in many ways and also set the bar for pricing.


You're absolutely right, it's completely intentional. The main reason for such tight control is that Apple understands the idiosyncrasies of the average consumer.

The average consumer doesn't care about code, tech specs or anything else that goes on under the hood of the device. They just want it to work--all the time.

If an app is written poorly, or in a format that doesn't play well with the OS or the hardware, the consumer doesn't blame the app developer, they blame the device.

If an app causes major battery drain, they don't delete it and move on with life, they assume that Apple is just lying about battery life and may choose a different device the next time.

If the ecosystem is so clogged with varying code languages and unpredictably performing apps that it becomes overly complex to use, consumers don't blame themselves for not understanding how it all works. They blame the device and assume it is broken.

The endless accusation that Apple only does things the way it does to ensure that consumers have to buy from them is getting tired. To date, Apple has paid out just over $2 Billion to iOS developers. That means Apple has made just under $1 Billion in App Store revenue. (they keep 30%) When you factor in the cost of labor to keep it all running, the cost of hardware, maintenance, real estate to house it all etc...That $1 Billion is pretty much wiped out. It would certainly be easier for them to just let an open source App Store open up and walk away from it.

But that doesn't happen, because if it did, the end user experience would be crap and iOS devices wouldn't have the reputation for quality that they currently enjoy.

Your comments were so spot on that I highlighted them. I hadn't thought about it as clearly as you stated it, but it is the essence behind the allure of Apple iDevices.

kiljoy616
Aug 3, 2011, 05:17 AM
Not quite. This was the key sentence from the article "Apple designs the software (iOS), the hardware (A4 and A5 chips), controls the sales channel (Apple Retail and Online Stores), and decides the fate of how buyers use the iPad via the App Store."

The macs use the sandy bridge chipset with intel CPUs, seagate hard drives,..etc. On the inside, it's not much different from a Dell.

Also, you can install and buy software for the mac outside of the App Store.

So it's definitely not like the mac. It's a lot more integrated and controlled, and maybe that's adding to why nobody can compete with it.

If you really believe that a Mac computer is just like a Dell ROFL then buy a Dell oh please buy a Dell.

Lesser Evets
Aug 3, 2011, 07:11 AM
Lam argues that comparing the amount of RAM between the iPad and other manufacturers misses a key point: because Apple writes the software specifically for hardware they have custom built, it doesn't need as much horsepower as competing tablets.

I was always weirded by the logic of computer freaks. They somehow believe cross-platform specs matter. No. Ultimately you want the device to do what you need to do. "Does it do the job well?" should be the prime question, not if RAM or processor speed is tops.

Storage space is, of course, tangible in most comparative cases.

kdarling
Aug 3, 2011, 08:43 AM
Yep. It's very difficult for non-vertically integrated manufacturers of tablets to advertise the advantages of buying their specific tablet, because all the tablets are running Android,

Unique hardware is easy to advertise if they have any. Some have a pen. Some have 3G or LTE radios. A choice of screen sizes. Different quality and price ranges.

so from their point of view, the only thing they have to differentiate their product is specs, something that the average Joe is not going to care about, nor understand. Apple can advertise the entire experience to differentiate itself.

Likewise, the main differentiator between many iPhone (and other Apple product) models is their relative hardware specs, and people do just fine understanding, and often very much caring about, those differences, whether current or predicted :)

That's correct, but if any one of the manufacturers of Android-based devices were to create some killer apps that only ship with their devices, they could begin to offer an user experience closer to the Apple iDevices.

Yes, and HTC already does that to some extent. Many people are already loyal to their Sense UI overlay, and their full screen widgets for tablets are a clever way of running almost full featured apps in homescreen.

As for tablet killer apps, Apple didn't write the ones that attracted me to the iPad. For Android, I'd like to see Flipboard (and Netflix running on every tablet). Everything else I use daily is pretty much available on both iOS and Android. YMMV.

Thomas2006
Aug 3, 2011, 08:51 AM
1) First to market. (Well first one to convince people they actually need a tablet)
...
I think being able to run iPhone/iPod touch apps on the iPad was a major plus for the iPad. It might not have been as nice looking but at least users could use them while the developers worked on getting their apps to take advantage of the iPad hardware. Also, Apple rewriting the iWork apps to run on the iPad showed it can create content, not just consume it.

res1233
Aug 3, 2011, 09:32 AM
Unique hardware is easy to advertise if they have any. Some have a pen. Some have 3G or LTE radios. A choice of screen sizes. Different quality and price ranges.



Likewise, the main differentiator between many iPhone (and other Apple product) models is their relative hardware specs, and people do just fine understanding, and often very much caring about, those differences, whether current or predicted :)

The only product differentiation in terms of specs Apple ever advertises openly is storage size, making a total model count of... 2(4 with colors) That is something that either people understand, or can be easily explained. This amount of storage can hold this many photos/movies etc. You're thinking like a geek. The fact of the matter is most people don't really know what 3G/4G/LTE is. Most people just want the device they buy to work fast, and well. How it does that is of little concern to them.

itsalexaye
Aug 3, 2011, 09:35 AM
I was playing with an android tablet yesterday, and honestly its worse then a first gen iPhone using 1.0 software. The touch screen is horrible, the OS is so slow.

davidgrimm
Aug 3, 2011, 09:46 AM
I was playing with an android tablet yesterday, and honestly its worse then a first gen iPhone using 1.0 software. The touch screen is horrible, the OS is so slow.

Its hard to generalize about droid products because the manufacturer can modify parts of the OS for its product. Also some hardware problems in some models are not evident in others because that manufacturer used better performing parts.

So just because one droid product sucked doesn't mean that they all will.

I used a Motorolla Cinc last fall and it did suck. Don't know if that was Motos fault or Google's, but it did suck big time. Almost sucked so bad as to make me sign up for another 2 years of ATT hell. Almost.

mandis
Aug 3, 2011, 10:10 AM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8H7 Safari/6533.18.5)

I totally agree with this. If you want something done right you need to have control over the entire process.
Another reason for their runaway success though has to be their vastly superior design culture.

Doctor Q
Aug 3, 2011, 11:33 AM
I guess we should start referring to ExxonMobil as the "Apple of the oil industry."

I wonder which company would find that more annoying.

mar2194
Aug 3, 2011, 12:18 PM
You're conflating vertical integration and monopolies. They are, in fact, separate things. You can have a monopoly in either vertical or horizontal markets (e.g. Apple is vertically integrated but lacks a monopoly in the iPhone market and Microsoft is horizontal and was found to have committed monopolization in the computer market).

Yes correct, many other companies have vertically integrated product manufacturing, such as American Apparel and most car companies (which control all parts of manufacture and raw materials sourcing). Usually companies with such a diverse range of assets have very stable market volume and can make big changes to design quickly.

giaotze
Aug 3, 2011, 12:47 PM
I just want to say this..
RIM is also vertically integrated, at least in terms of they make their own hardware and software. Yet they are hardly unbeatable.

Eric5h5
Aug 3, 2011, 01:39 PM
It's also why they don't allow non-apple compiled code to be submitted to the app store, or apps that execute non-native code (eg Java & Flash).

Except they do allow those things. Apparently you missed the part last year where they backpedaled big time after much outcry from developers (Apple does listen to their users if they're vocal enough), but don't let facts get in the way of a good argument....

The two reasons the iPad and iPhone are so wildly successful while Macs are falling flat on their faces.

Outpacing industry growth quarter after quarter for years is considered "falling flat on their faces"? Everybody should fail so hard, then.

--Eric

erialvzz805
Aug 3, 2011, 02:22 PM
I just want to say this..
RIM is also vertically integrated, at least in terms of they make their own hardware and software. Yet they are hardly unbeatable.

In the late 90's and 2000's they were unbeatable. It took Apple to do what RIM did and make it 10x better with iOS to dethrone RIM. Your comparison about vertically integrated companies is not correct; the fact that another such company made a better product would be more appropriate.

cryingrobot
Aug 5, 2011, 11:04 AM
In the late 90's and 2000's they were unbeatable. It took Apple to do what RIM did and make it 10x better with iOS to dethrone RIM. Your comparison about vertically integrated companies is not correct; the fact that another such company made a better product would be more appropriate.

Iphone is really the first true threat BB has had on the enterprise market which is amazing considering how it refused to budge on its outdated design and OS. If you look at their newest phones, they look just like their original BB devices but just smaller...which is not really a good thing.