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View Full Version : Independent: Apple Mac: Is the rebel brand faltering?


ppnkg
Aug 3, 2006, 10:10 AM
Have you read this?

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/science_technology/article1211622.ece

SteveRichardson
Aug 3, 2006, 10:12 AM
ouch.

IJ Reilly
Aug 3, 2006, 10:22 AM
This is just a little alarmist. Apple never has been quite so "different" as a company as many might like to believe, except that they are expected to hit a home run at every opportunity and will be counted out by many any time they don't.

MODS: Can this thread be moved to Industry Discussion, where it belongs?

jMc
Aug 3, 2006, 10:23 AM
When I switch on my Apple Mac, the first thing I see on the screen is a smiling face...

Maybe he should update to a more current OS version.

jx

thedude110
Aug 3, 2006, 11:51 AM
This is just a little alarmist. Apple never has been quite so "different" as a company as many might like to believe, except that they are expected to hit a home run at every opportunity and will be counted out by many any time they don't.

Agreed.

Though, as some member posted a few months ago, there's this aching feeling for real, consumerized innovation amongst the Macheads. I don't want to see new processors and bigger hard drives from WWDC (if those are there that's fine) -- I want to see a machine that appears to be revolutionary.

Blue iBooks, lampshade iMacs, click wheels, aluminum, pretty operating systems -- these are the bones of cult of Mac (or at least the aesthetically driven cult of Mac).

Hope I didn't just start a flame war with the tech folks ...

Maxiseller
Aug 3, 2006, 12:05 PM
This is why I don't read the Independent.

It's nothing but FUD! Honestly - a paper going out of its way to insult brands to gain a little levarage and cover a "decent" story is pretty poor if you ask me. The "Sun" over here does the same thing. Instead of having opinions, they just slate anything and everything. People listen though thats the point. After reading a Sun article my dad was once heard remarking "iPods can't play ANY music if you don't buy it from Apple"

Don't you love the media?

baleensavage
Aug 3, 2006, 12:19 PM
Maybe he should update to a more current OS version.

jx
LOL, my thoughts exactly. Apple got rid of that smiley face with 10.2 if I remember right. If you're going to base your first couple of paragraphs on a pun, then at least make it current.

And of course the whole kicker of the article is this statement, "and there are those who love their iPods, but who, like me, have never really liked Apple." At least he's not hiding his bias, though if you're going to write an article like that, then you really should say something like that first, you know like "Is the rebel brand (which I never really liked) faltering." Much more direct.

risc
Aug 3, 2006, 12:36 PM
It reads like a rant you would see on a forum, so I'll file it under * YAWN *.

Apple going out of business for 3 decades now.

dextertangocci
Aug 3, 2006, 12:46 PM
Apple has had reason to be cheerful. But the happy face on the screen of my MacBook laptop is starting to look more like a pained grimace.

WTF!?! I think I have to have my eyes tested, I see no smiley face when I turn on my Macbook:rolleyes: :confused:

Also: Last March the firm won its legal battle to make the Mac user websites AppleInsider, PowerPage and Think Secret reveal sources of leaks about forthcoming products from its employees

Didn't they lose:confused:

That article is long and veeeerrrrry boring:rolleyes:

jholzner
Aug 3, 2006, 02:13 PM
Maybe he should update to a more current OS version.

jx

What's even funnier is that he says he has a MacBook...which never had the smiley face.

Yep, they must be losing it. After all, they sold more Macs last quarter than ever before. Doooooooooomed!!

macFanDave
Aug 3, 2006, 02:28 PM
This is a ridiculously bad article.

If you went by anecdotal evidence, you'd think Apple's customer service was horrible. Keep in mind that people who get good service from Apple don't go around shouting it from the rooftops.

The statistical evidence always puts Apple at the top of the computer industry. Individual horror stories always make more compelling reading than boring, sterile statistics, but often they are misleading and, in this case, suggestive of a situation that does not exist for the vast majority of customers.

solvs
Aug 3, 2006, 04:30 PM
Meh, if you think of Apple as just another greedy corporation that happens to make cool products, the points he's raising become pretty much moot.

Killyp
Aug 3, 2006, 05:34 PM
the launch of the iMac in 1998 and the Mac OS X operating system the following year



Mmmmmm, no I don't think so.

This guy hasn't done any homework at all, which is rediculous for an article which really is saying some pretty profound things.


Nope, that's all nonsense to me...

Lixivial
Aug 3, 2006, 07:15 PM
Uhm... the article is riddled with hipster overtones. It has undertones of "I'm not special anymore because, you know, Apple is becoming more popular. I hate the iPod." One of the sub-headlines even says as much. "It's not special anymore." Who's "Doublethinking Different" now?

The "rebellious" Apple has been dead for years, anyway. Once Jobs was ousted, Sculley and Markkula were free to really drive it toward a marketing-driven company.

I think Apple has done quite well, given everything they've had on their plate. That's becoming more and more difficult to say in tech companies these days -- look at Microsoft and Adobe, for instance.

Mord
Aug 3, 2006, 07:45 PM
apple is in the spotlight and that 5% fault rate will turn up a plenty of people to bitch and whine like apple needs to recall the whole line, my macbook suffers from near every fault very slightly but it does not really bother me (though the staining is easily removed with some methylated spirit) the mooing is way quieter than any dell laptop fan, the whine is barely audible and i only hear it when i make an effort to try to hear it, 90% of problems are reported by analy retentive people and the other 10% have rare cases.

winmacguy
Aug 3, 2006, 11:15 PM
If the writter of this article is wanting hits I imagine they are getting them now.:rolleyes:

Mmmmmm, no I don't think so.

This guy hasn't done any homework at all, which is rediculous for an article which really is saying some pretty profound things.


Nope, that's all nonsense to me...
I think Julia Pierce the woman who wrote the article must have some image issues.;)

Cloud9
Aug 3, 2006, 11:54 PM
I do see that the article in and of itself is nothing more then the vehicle for his opinion. For one thing he is actually not really reporting on any specific event, just reciting a litany of consumer anoyances.

But I must say, I agree with the anoyances. I have not had good experiences in the apple store the last three times I've been in there. They have screwed up my repair jobs, and both apple products I own have gone faulty. For the amount of money I've given the company I definately have not felt like a "valued customer", and I find the genius's, (or as I like to call them i-diots) unknowledgable, uncreative with solutions, administers of their big brother, and at worst rude. I also think their ads are patronizingly stupid, which amount to macs or cool, pc's are old slow and uncool. We all know this just is not true.

They are not having to be as innovative and they do not have to risk as much. They've got the ipod. And no one is competing with them. If you want osx you dont have a choice.

Kayembi
Aug 4, 2006, 08:25 PM
To those who commented on the writing of this article one way or another: thank you. To those who decided to launch personal attacks on the writer: could we please drag this out of the gutter? The writer of this article happens to be the mother of my children. Go ahead and disagree all you want; it is an opinion piece in a respectable British national newspaper about a computer manufacturer - it is hardly an affront to humanity or to a religious belief as some would seem to have it. Whatever you do, please do not descend into personal insults against the writer; it is genuinely hurtful to see someone you love degragated in such a way when they are merely trying to prompt a useful debate (and it is a useful debate if you care about Apple computers).

I would just like to clear one thing up: the whole first couple of paragraphs, which waffle on about how the first thing you see when you turn on an Apple Mac is the "Happy Mac icon", were not written by Julia - they are the work of Independent subs who for some unfathomable reason altered the original draft. When we picked up the newspaper yesterday (Julia did not get to see the altered version before publication), the first thing I said was, "I cannot believe they changed that. Every Mac user out there is going to say, 'The first thing you see when you switch on a Mac is a grey Apple'!" This poorly-altered opening is bound to detract from the article as a whole, but I ask you to read past that. The writer _does_ use a MacBook (it's mine!) - she is not lying, although anybody reading those first published paragraphs could be forgiven for thinking so.

The main point, though, is this: I develop shareware software for OS X. Both myself and the author of the article use OS X as our OS of choice and we are a three-Mac household. Neither of us would even consider returning to Windows: the article was not written by a Mac-basher, as some have (reasonably) assumed. But that does not make Apple infallible. Apple is not a religion; it is a computer company. They happen to make an amazing operating system and some very solid computers; they also happen to have some amazing software engineers who are incredibly helpful (I could name several Apple software engineers who have personally made very useful contributions to my shareware app; I doubt there are many major companies about which you could say the same). Unfortunately, for all of the amazing things they do, Apple also happen to have a very arrogant attitude when it comes to dealing with the press or with customers with out-of-warranty machines or with unrecognised problems. If you've never had to deal with this, then I envy you.

Apple get away with a lot because they have a vocal fanboy following who are more than happy to make personal attacks on strangers who dare to question their brand-of-choice; they also have a maturer, more thoughtful customer-base, though, and therefore cannot remain unchallenged forever. And this was the point of the article (which _was_ well-researched), as anyone who read past the first few paragraphs will realise: Apple have not dealt entirely well with its increased market share. The article was about calling Apple to account. Apple is a big, corporate business - it is not, as another writer recently pointed out, a worker's co-op.

Oh, and it seems that some people have got two different articles mixed up. Beneath Julia's article there was a separate piece by somebody else who said that they liked their iPod but didn't like Apple - this should not be the "kicker" of the main article, as they are by different writers. It seems the writer of that second piece does not use a Mac; the writer of the main piece does, I can assure you.

I hope this debate can continue without further personal insult, as I have found this forum most informative and useful in the past. Disagreement is great; unnecessary insults are just distressing.

P.S. dextertangocci - No. If you do some research (or just read the article), you will see that those internet sites won on appeal.

seenew
Aug 4, 2006, 11:36 PM
But as music downloaded from iTunes can only be played on an iPod, those whose machines have expired face either reassembling their music collection or buying another iPod.

That's not entirely true. You can download songs from iTunes, and burn them to a CD to listen to. You could also then take that CD and rip the songs from it, and ~voila! Mp3 files to be played on any mp3 player.

Lame.

IJ Reilly
Aug 5, 2006, 01:15 AM
Apple get away with a lot because they have a vocal fanboy following who are more than happy to make personal attacks on strangers who dare to question their brand-of-choice; they also have a maturer, more thoughtful customer-base, though, and therefore cannot remain unchallenged forever. And this was the point of the article (which _was_ well-researched), as anyone who read past the first few paragraphs will realise: Apple have not dealt entirely well with its increased market share. The article was about calling Apple to account. Apple is a big, corporate business - it is not, as another writer recently pointed out, a worker's co-op.

Thanks for the post. I don't know if you're here to discuss, but I have to register my disagreement with some of these statements. Apple in fact, historically, gets away with far less than the typical company, because they are expected to perform perfectly with every new product they release, or they will automatically be counted out. Apple is very unlike, say, Microsoft, which can dither for years over a new operating system, push back delivery dates a dozen times, abandon feature after promised feature, and even have publicly-demonstrated product failures, and the collective shrug from everyone in the industry and the public is almost audible. Microsoft can spend billions developing products that have virtually no hope of ever showing a profit, and the analysts still throw rose petals at their feet.

If, on the other hand, Apple delays shippment of an announced product by even a few weeks, or fails to beat analyst's profit expectations by at least 10% every time, then a general calamity is officially declared. In short, each time Apple succeeds (e.g., fails to go out of business), everyone who notices proclaims themselves amazed. I have seen this happen far too many times over the years to have it denied.

Additionally, I think the "fan boy" affect is highly overrated. As someone who's been quite attentive to Apple's history for nearly 25 years now, I recognize that this is a company that not so long ago had close to a 15% share of the PC market, and is just now bouncing off of a 3% share of the same market. I guess those boys weren't such fans after all. Any company that watches close to 80% of its customers walk away is not going to count much on their "fan boys."

Finally, I believe it is always important to remain mindful of the fact that corporations are corporations. All of them. Not only are they not "workers co-ops," they are virtually by definition, not lovable. They are out to make money, and nothing but. They do this by manufacturing products that perhaps we will like well enough to exchange for some of our hard-earned cash. They are not moral creatures. I will argue with anyone, Apple critic or fan-boy, who tries to hold them to that artificial standard.

Mord
Aug 5, 2006, 05:50 AM
the point is that resistors are resistors capacitors are capacitors and intel cpu's are intel cpu's, apple failure rates are below average due to better internal designs but due to things out of their control like a dodgy batch of inverters or a problem with ALL core duo boards which causes a high pitched whine which unlike other manufacturers have tried to lessen the problem with logic board revisions, if you compare a macbook to an equally specced out dell the dell drowns out the macbook moo from the solid loud fan.


apple gets all the attention because they use near ascetically perfect designs people expect them to use magical electronic parts that never fail, hence when apple recalled a bunch of batteries, dell, HP, tiny and gateway all had a similar recall but apple got the limelight because they are psychically know which batteries contain impurities.

Maxiseller
Aug 6, 2006, 12:12 PM
To those who commented on the writing of this article one way or another: thank you. To those who decided to launch personal attacks on the writer: could we please drag this out of the gutter? The writer of this article happens to be the mother of my children. Go ahead and disagree all you want; it is an opinion piece in a respectable British national newspaper about a computer manufacturer - it is hardly an affront to humanity or to a religious belief as some would seem to have it. Whatever you do, please do not descend into personal insults against the writer; it is genuinely hurtful to see someone you love degragated in such a way when they are merely trying to prompt a useful debate (and it is a useful debate if you care about Apple computers).



I concur with your argument regarding personal insults, however:

A debate implies a two sided argument in which other people have chance to voice their opinion.

This paper goes out to millions of people. People which read it and throw it away when they're done with it. At what point during that news-dictatorship process do people have chance to respond? "They write in" you say - well, they don't. At least, not many.

And so, in my opinion this article is, for want of a better word, pretty useless in so far as the word "debate" is described. What it does (and I'll stand by my original post) is look great for people browsing through it thinking "ohh Apple - i knew they wern't that good" and thus sells papers. It IS Fear, Uncertainty and doubt. Moreover, it is a play on a company that is high profile in order to gain profit. There are (and I know this may not be Julia's fault) no logical facts, and in fact I would argue there are many more sheer incorrect facts! Again, I'm sure it was edited - but honestly how is the MR community supposed to know that?

*Wheels out soap box*

zap2
Aug 6, 2006, 12:30 PM
about a computer manufacturer - it is hardly an affront to humanity or to a religious belief as some would seem to have it.



You semm to like saying Apple is not a religion and making relgious comments about it.. there is more truth in Apple then there is in some religions

But really anyone who is only using something to be cool, really doesn't know what there talking about.."wait Apple's not cool pfff i'm going to get a Zune" People dont use stuff because its cool.. they use it because it works

Maxiseller
Aug 6, 2006, 03:10 PM
You semm to like saying Apple is not a religion and making relgious comments about it.. there is more truth in Apple then there is in some religions

But really anyone who is only using something to be cool, really doesn't know what there talking about.."wait Apple's not cool pfff i'm going to get a Zune" People dont use stuff because its cool.. they use it because it works

Exactly.

I'm glad to see people aren't backing away from the sheer illogical nature of the entire article.