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Old Jan 4, 2013, 08:59 AM   #1
alec1951
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Is Apple Losing It's Way

I have just come from a meeting with some of my students. I was there with my Iphone and Mac Air, five of the students we laptop/tablets, and three had Galaxy Note 2's (the new must have device on campus)
and they had no problems doing what the rest of us were doing on laptops and full sized tablets.

To me the Note 2 seems to be a genuine advance in mobile technology, an easy to carry device that does the lot. To do what it does, I would need a couple of Apple devices.

Being Android it also has access to genuinely useful bibliography apps that are not available on IOS, and won't be because the developers say it is to much like hard work to get them into the app store. Which seems to be an increasing phenomenon with apps that have a relatively small audience.

To me Apple is closing off its system, and as a consequence beginning to atrophy?
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 09:15 AM   #2
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I wish Apple would add similar stylus support to the iPad. It's the one thing in the Note 2 that gets my attention. I find the iPad styluses frustrating to use, reminiscent of finger painting; I grew out of that a good few years ago. I proper stylus would transform note taking.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 09:16 AM   #3
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I'll try to hit it on the nail with what is deeply wrong with Apple's philosophy:

Apple thinks that it can make its computers/OS designed for a target market, and can get away with ignoring other segments.

We hear this in platitudes such as "we can't please everyone, we just focus on making great products ... "

Take the iPad, and its non-existent filing system, or its in-app filing system. That is designed for, gosh, I have no idea, but they say that people nowadays don't need a filing system, and can rely on search to find their files. That blows my mind. Even a student needs to file their essays, projects in folders. Accountants, lawyers, etc who work on critically important documents need to file their matters in clearly defined areas. Sure, I can use Dropbox to be my defacto iPad filing system, but why can't Apple provide something so fundamental as a filing system.

Sure, there are some people who are flummoxed by a multi-level filing system -- but why couldn't Apple have created a simple and advanced mode in their OS? so that a wide range of users are catered for? Why shaft the work/business users, and say "we can't please everyone"?

So Apple thinks it can ignore that segment of the market, and justifies it because Apple keeps making a ton of money.

But something is lost along the way.

Every plus can become a minus, and I think this "we can't please everyone" will become like blinkers to Apple that I can't see that its products are no longer meeting people's needs.

The sad thing is, there's no competition to Apple right now that would lure me away from OSX - and Apple knows that, and is complacent because it knows it can make billions more even whilst ignoring major segments of the user spectrum.

And don't get me started on Apple's stubborn refusal to offer anti-glare screens on ALL its desktop hardware. By anti-glare, I mean a screen where I cannot readily discern the details in the background reflection -- and, by that definition, the Retina and new iMac screens fail to totally diffuse the background reflected detail. So how Apple has gone 6 years in thumbing their middle finger at people who need anti-glare screens on desktops.

I think Microsoft can get its Windows 8/RT act together in about 3 years -- and Microsoft won't go under in that time. Remember it took Apple about 3 years for its iPad/iOS to get to a plateau where recent updates are trifling in their modifications. When Microsoft gets to that level of fine-tuning, Apple might rue the day when misunderstood that "dumbing down their software" is not the same as having "focus".
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 09:17 AM   #4
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No, Apple aren't losing their way.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 09:38 AM   #5
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I don't think so. Are Apple products something for everyone? No. There will always be those out there who loathe the fact that Apple is trying to minimize the importance of the file system. For a lot of folks that is a great convenience as a lot of people are not diligent when it comes to saving files and having an organizational structure. So when it comes time to find a copy of their resume they have 6 different copies of it and they are spread out in various places all over the machine.

And that is assuming you want to use all of the Apple products (iWork and things of that nature) on your iOS devices. Me personally.....I like the file system and having access so everything. So I use Dropbox and have everything synced across devices.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 10:15 AM   #6
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Um. No. Apple is not losing its way. At least, not at the moment.

Look at the history of the company:

Apple develop something groundbreaking (or, at least, bring it to market). We then have a period where the competition sees what has gone before and starts to compete. After a while, they catch up. Occasionally they overtake. Then Apple comes up with something new and the race starts again.

The real question to be asking is what's Apple's next big thing? They're still sufficiently in the lead that they don't need it right away - but can they repeat the iPhone/iPad/iPod/iMac etc. thing again? Time will tell - at the moment, the rest of the market is still, mostly, playing catchup.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 11:32 AM   #7
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Inovation

Apple devices just work, but they work in the way Apples wants them to. You have to make them work for you. I cloud works, but Dropbox fits the way I work. Mountain Lion works, but I have to download a load of non Apple software to make it work for me.

The Iphone 5 works, but I have seen that I can make a Note 2 work for me more effectively than the Iphone.

Apple is increasingly locking down its devices to make an Apple ecosystem that 'just works', but the more they lock things down the less likely they are going to make a device that works for me.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 11:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alec1951 View Post
Apple devices just work, but they work in the way Apples wants them to. You have to make them work for you. I cloud works, but Dropbox fits the way I work. Mountain Lion works, but I have to download a load of non Apple software to make it work for me.

The Iphone 5 works, but I have seen that I can make a Note 2 work for me more effectively than the Iphone.

Apple is increasingly locking down its devices to make an Apple ecosystem that 'just works', but the more they lock things down the less likely they are going to make a device that works for me.
I completely agree, it's the reason I have a note 2 rather than an iPhone. I hope these methods don't move to lock down mac too.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 02:13 PM   #9
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Innovation - a completely overused word. This is the meme - everything Samsung et al are doing is innovative; everything Apple does is iterative or incremental. If Apple doesn't come out with touch screen desktops and laptops, a 5" phone and a tablet with stylus for students to take notes with they're doomed.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 02:20 PM   #10
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Losing it's way? No. Going in a direction that alienates some? Yes. They won't let it hurt their bottom line in the long run though.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 02:37 PM   #11
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We Are All Doomed

I don't think Apple are necessarily doomed but I don think that they have lost there way at this time. I am an Apple user, with a Mac Mini, Mac Air, Apple TV and Iphone 4s. In essence all my devices are Apple at this time.

However Apples current direction has drawn the Iphone increasingly away from my needs. It works, but not as well for me as competing devices.

On top of this, I am increasingly worried about being able to tailor a Mac to my needs. Sandbox already means that one aspect of my workflow is less fluid than under Lion. I can see why Apple wants to make the app store the only source of software you can use on the Mac, but that is just making the Mac work for Apple not for me.

Apple is not doomed, it is just moving away from me, as I am sure it is doing with a large proportion of the market - especially those who have to work efficiently and effectively with the devices we buy. Not just play with them.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 03:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post
Innovation - a completely overused word. This is the meme - everything Samsung et al are doing is innovative; everything Apple does is iterative or incremental. If Apple doesn't come out with touch screen desktops and laptops, a 5" phone and a tablet with stylus for students to take notes with they're doomed.
You're putting words in the OP's mouth he never said. The OP is specifically talking about his use case and needs.

And frankly, the opposite attitude of "Apple is innovative, the rest copies" is just as tired a meme as the "Everyone else innovates while Apple stagnates" meme.

Both are simply untrue and daft and reek of partisanship.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 03:34 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by alec1951 View Post
I don't think Apple are necessarily doomed but I don think that they have lost there way at this time. I am an Apple user, with a Mac Mini, Mac Air, Apple TV and Iphone 4s. In essence all my devices are Apple at this time.

However Apples current direction has drawn the Iphone increasingly away from my needs. It works, but not as well for me as competing devices.

On top of this, I am increasingly worried about being able to tailor a Mac to my needs. Sandbox already means that one aspect of my workflow is less fluid than under Lion. I can see why Apple wants to make the app store the only source of software you can use on the Mac, but that is just making the Mac work for Apple not for me.

Apple is not doomed, it is just moving away from me, as I am sure it is doing with a large proportion of the market - especially those who have to work efficiently and effectively with the devices we buy. Not just play with them.
This is more or less where I'm at. I'm still happily using my macs and I love my iPad and jailbroken 4S. I'd rather not shift to Android as I'm quite invested in iOS apps. I can't see myself switching to Windows anytime soon because I like that I can use unix-type apps (php, apache, etc) whilst still running commercial apps (Adobe stuff).

Still, the sandboxing and potential for dumbing down does worry me. I stomach the dumbing down on iDevices because I don't actually want to fiddle with their workings too much. BiteSMS and NC Settings are almost my sole reasons for jailbreaking. If Apple ever do the same to their computers then, reluctantly, I'm gone. I'll be forced onto Windows.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 03:43 PM   #14
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Can we merge all of these same style threads? There seems to be a new one every day.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 03:44 PM   #15
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No, Apple aren't losing their way.
I agree. It's just drifting about as they adjust to the new era. Having lost their magic bullet & master showman, Apple's got to work harder to keep up.

Anytime one single person is responsible for the lions share of sales, once that person vanishes, the company's loss of identity takes its toll.

The good news is... Apple already had massive momentum. In turn that buys them time to recalibrate to market forces. With a very well respected brand they have a distinct advantage. It's what they do with it that counts.
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 12:17 AM   #16
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No, Apple is fine. They know their market and they execute the strategy for profitability.
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 02:28 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by alec1951 View Post

To me Apple is closing off its system, and as a consequence beginning to atrophy?
I think this is all you really wanted to say. You feign interest in others opinions but there's not much we can say about your anecdote. Some people have a budget for one device and the Note 2 fits in that tweener area. Wether Apple is "losing it's way" can only be substantiated with concrete sales numbers. If they are losing their way there will be a decline in sales if they are not there will be an increase in sales. It's really pretty simple.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by katewes View Post

I think Microsoft can get its Windows 8/RT act together in about 3 years -- and Microsoft won't go under in that time. Remember it took Apple about 3 years for its iPad/iOS to get to a plateau where recent updates are trifling in their modifications. When Microsoft gets to that level of fine-tuning, Apple might rue the day when misunderstood that "dumbing down their software" is not the same as having "focus".
Problem is the people that like a more simplified user experience are in greater numbers and thus generate more profit/revenue than the geek that wants it all. Consumers used to be with Microsoft and now they buy Apple stuff.
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 09:15 AM   #18
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Agree

In some ways I agree with what most people above have said. The future is an interesting place, the pity being that we have to wait to find out what will happen.

The only thing that is certain is that if you don't try to influence the future, so that it unfolds in a way that you can support then you are partially to blame for things happening that you can't support.

The only place we have to act in the case of companies like Apple is in the forums and in the shops.

I have a lot invested in Apple products and I want to keep them working for me. To do that I have to be able to implement ways of working with the technology that suits me. Apple seems to me to be bent on implementing 'The Apple Way is The Only Way' you can use Apple devices, and I think that is a mistake because universal solutions very rarely fit individual cases. We will see.
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 12:48 PM   #19
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I don't know about Apple "losing their way," but I will say I tried Windows 8 the other day. I was completely at a loss on finding everything at first, and I'm a pretty computer-savvy person. All I kept thinking was, "Wow, this is kind of complicated."

It just solidified my thoughts that I can never go back to Windows.
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 12:54 PM   #20
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I don't know about Apple "losing their way," but I will say I tried Windows 8 the other day. I was completely at a loss on finding everything at first, and I'm a pretty computer-savvy person. All I kept thinking was, "Wow, this is kind of complicated."

It just solidified my thoughts that I can never go back to Windows.
I think that only adds to my worry. If, one day Apple lock down their OS to a stupid amount I will be forced to move to something like Windows 8. I don't relish that possibility at all in its current form.
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 01:03 PM   #21
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I don't think I can ever go back to an iphone unless they come out with something really special in the future. I picked up an ipad mini and that will do as my huge iphone while I sell my soul to Samsung
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 01:50 PM   #22
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I think that only adds to my worry. If, one day Apple lock down their OS to a stupid amount I will be forced to move to something like Windows 8. I don't relish that possibility at all in its current form.
Why worry about something that is infeasible? iOS is locked down to a certain extent but it's a mobile platform and that's not too much of a problem. Locking down the Mac is impractical on so many levels it's not worth the worry.

I know Apple is not losing it's way because we only need to look at the Jailbreak community to see what features are missing. Right now the most obvious thing is a quick reply SMS feature like BiteSMS. All the rest of the stuff is eye candy.

Apple has gotten iOS to the point where it can get the job down without headache for most people. The edge cases are dwindling and we're pretty much now down to fringe cases were some people have workflows so unique that they cannot be replicated easily on iOS.

Apple has most definitely not lost their way and if they can nail and I mean absolutely nail the next big obstacle which is security they'll have the market cornered for the near future.
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 02:03 PM   #23
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Why worry about something that is infeasible? iOS is locked down to a certain extent but it's a mobile platform and that's not too much of a problem. Locking down the Mac is impractical on so many levels it's not worth the worry.
I guess what worries me is the push towards the mac AppStore. Apple just seem a bit control freaky, it worries me.
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 02:04 PM   #24
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I guess what worries me is the push towards the mac AppStore. Apple just seem a bit control freaky, it worries me.
Me too but only a little bit since Gatekeeper is a nod towards wide distribution directly from vendors with a bit of added security.
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 02:09 PM   #25
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I think the OPs comments have been echoed over the past few years. I thought apple was playing it safe a few years ago. We weren't seening any new designs from them with regard to the iPhone and they were letting their Mac line seemingly languish. Then they came out with the iPad and boom - innovation.

I think apple is at a point in there life cycle that they've had some great success and are tweaking what they have, but their competitors are swinging for the fences in taking some serious risks. The Galaxy Note is one great example. Love it or hate it, win8 is another example of Microsoft taking some big risks.

Apple needs to keep innovating but also be mindful of its customer base. A very difficult balancing act imo.

I think its time that we see some serious updates to iOS and the iPhone the design is getting stale for both and its time that apple keeps up with its competitors.

They're recently refocused attention on their Mac line and I think it shows with the introduction of the retina based MBPs and the MBAs.

Overall they're doing great but they have to avoid sitting on their laurels because their competitors are not resting.
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