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Old Jan 8, 2011, 10:04 PM   #1
NebulaClash
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Why Apple Doesn't Give Us All Features at Once, Such as in the iPad

We all wish Apple would give us every feature at once, that each new release of a product such as the iPad would leapfrog all possible competitors. Or when they come up with something totally new (such as the iPad), why not give us the camera, for instance, that is rumored for iPad 2?

One reason, of course, is a balance between cost and supply and the sheer physics of putting these things together.

But I really think there is another factor at work here. It's something I've been thinking of as I watch CES and see all the me-too tablets getting announced. Whether Apple invents a feature or merely popularizes something that someone else invented, once Apple has a hit the industry starts to copy what Apple did. That's why most smart phones now look like an iPhone (but none did before the iPhone), and why most tablets now look like iPads (but none did before the iPad).

Apple knows this will happen. So they release the iPad and know the next year will be a feverish attempt to catch up and surpass iPad 1 specs. Then just as the competition releases their tablets that trump the iPad on the spec sheets, Apple releases iPad 2 and suddenly the industry has to chase Apple again.

In other words, the more Apple puts into the first version, the more the industry is tipped off as to what they have to copy. If you hold back a few features for the second release, the industry can pat themselves on their backs for "beating" the first release, and then Apple comes along and makes a second release. Apple knows the tech world watches them, so they control what gets out and when. We might want more but from a business strategy perspective, Apple keeps everyone else chasing them, and that's pretty smart.
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Old Jan 8, 2011, 10:12 PM   #2
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You don't have to over think it - Apple limits features on its devices so that you will upgrade to the next version and they can keep selling products. Tons of people will, too. It's not evil, it's just how business works.
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Old Jan 8, 2011, 10:15 PM   #3
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You don't have to over think it - Apple limits features on its devices so that you will upgrade to the next version and they can keep selling products. Tons of people will, too. It's not evil, it's just how business works.
Absolutely, that's another benefit for Apple to be sure. All I'm saying is that it also benefits Apple by limiting what competitors can copy. It lets Apple be proactive while keeping most others reactive.
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Old Jan 8, 2011, 10:19 PM   #4
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Not to mention if you waited to introduce a product until you finished implementing all of the features you can think of, you'd never finish it and it would never make it to market.
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Old Jan 8, 2011, 10:33 PM   #5
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It's not evil, it's just how business works.
Then business is evil.
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Old Jan 8, 2011, 10:52 PM   #6
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Then business is evil.
Perhaps amoral is the better description, and amorality can lead to bad outcomes.

What's nice about companies such as Apple is they realize they can maximize profits by making products that delight most of it's users.
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Old Jan 8, 2011, 11:22 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by NebulaClash View Post
We all wish Apple would give us every feature at once, that each new release of a product such as the iPad would leapfrog all possible competitors. Or when they come up with something totally new (such as the iPad), why not give us the camera, for instance, that is rumored for iPad 2?

One reason, of course, is a balance between cost and supply and the sheer physics of putting these things together.

But I really think there is another factor at work here. It's something I've been thinking of as I watch CES and see all the me-too tablets getting announced. Whether Apple invents a feature or merely popularizes something that someone else invented, once Apple has a hit the industry starts to copy what Apple did. That's why most smart phones now look like an iPhone (but none did before the iPhone), and why most tablets now look like iPads (but none did before the iPad).

Apple knows this will happen. So they release the iPad and know the next year will be a feverish attempt to catch up and surpass iPad 1 specs. Then just as the competition releases their tablets that trump the iPad on the spec sheets, Apple releases iPad 2 and suddenly the industry has to chase Apple again.

In other words, the more Apple puts into the first version, the more the industry is tipped off as to what they have to copy. If you hold back a few features for the second release, the industry can pat themselves on their backs for "beating" the first release, and then Apple comes along and makes a second release. Apple knows the tech world watches them, so they control what gets out and when. We might want more but from a business strategy perspective, Apple keeps everyone else chasing them, and that's pretty smart.
Apple is no longer a company that is all about pushing the envelope. They're all about the money now that they're rich.
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Old Jan 8, 2011, 11:58 PM   #8
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Apple is no longer a company that is all about pushing the envelope. They're all about the money now that they're rich.
Yet they keep pushing the envelope in key areas anyway. Which is why they got rich.

And if you think Steve Jobs cares only about the money, you're not paying attention.
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Old Jan 9, 2011, 12:06 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by NebulaClash View Post
Yet they keep pushing the envelope in key areas anyway. Which is why they got rich.

And if you think Steve Jobs cares only about the money, you're not paying attention.
If he didn't care about the money, he wouldn't have said no to Flash. If he cared about the customers, he wouldn't have cancelled AirPrint via network sharing. If he was still about pushing the envelope, he wouldn't have crippled the iPad 1st Gen's hardware on purpose just so that he could release a second generation with all the missing features and make it look so good.

I don't know which Steve Jobs you're talking about, but you're wrong about this one.

Apple doesn't push the envelope in anything anymore. iOS is virtually unchanged since it was first released. Apple TV only goes to 720p. A device worth over three thousand dollars still has no Blu-Ray. There's still no Flash.
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Old Jan 9, 2011, 12:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mKTank View Post
If he didn't care about the money, he wouldn't have said no to Flash. If he cared about the customers, he wouldn't have cancelled AirPrint via network sharing. If he was still about pushing the envelope, he wouldn't have crippled the iPad 1st Gen's hardware on purpose just so that he could release a second generation with all the missing features and make it look so good.

I don't know which Steve Jobs you're talking about, but you're wrong about this one.

Apple doesn't push the envelope in anything anymore. iOS is virtually unchanged since it was first released. Apple TV only goes to 720p. A device worth over three thousand dollars still has no Blu-Ray. There's still no Flash.
And year after year, millions of sheeple with guns pointed at them are forced to buy this overpriced, crippled product?

You phrase your complete and utter speculation in a very factual manner, which I find perplexing.
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Old Jan 9, 2011, 12:21 AM   #11
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And year after year, millions of sheeple with guns pointed at them are forced to buy this overpriced, crippled product?

You phrase your complete and utter speculation in a very factual manner, which I find perplexing.
Your desperate defense failed to recognize that I wasn't saying that the devices were bad. I was saying that Apple doesn't really push the envelope anymore.

Apple although is a special case in that it has a very loyal fanbase that will literally go out and buy everything they make. They're one of the few companies that are lucky enough to have that kind of fanbase and it seems they're using it to their advantage.

But yeah, it used to be that Apple was about choice and being nice to the consumer. Just look at their big campaign earlier in the company's life. Right now they're taking as much control out of the users' hands as possible. It's sad that they took a turn in this direction. I can't wait until Steve retires. Maybe we'll see old Apple again. We'll see.
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Old Jan 9, 2011, 12:37 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mKTank View Post
Your desperate defense failed to recognize that I wasn't saying that the devices were bad. I was saying that Apple doesn't really push the envelope anymore.

Apple although is a special case in that it has a very loyal fanbase that will literally go out and buy everything they make. They're one of the few companies that are lucky enough to have that kind of fanbase and it seems they're using it to their advantage.

But yeah, it used to be that Apple was about choice and being nice to the consumer. Just look at their big campaign earlier in the company's life. Right now they're taking as much control out of the users' hands as possible. It's sad that they took a turn in this direction. I can't wait until Steve retires. Maybe we'll see old Apple again. We'll see.
Not desperate, and not a defense.

Since when was business ever about being "nice?"

Is "nice" replacing my six-month-old iPhone after I dropped it? How about replacing two iPods, out of warranty, that I bricked with my Windows AV/Firewall software? Giving me the education discount on my MBP even though I haven't been in school for years?

And on "pushing the envelope" - well, my MBP is a pretty neat thing, what with the unibody construction and all... My iPhone is pretty snazzy, too.

I didn't have to buy any of the Apple stuff I have. That was the inherent "choice" in all of this. That said, the technology (as I view it) and subsequent behavior of the Apple organization have converted me into part of their fanbase. That's what successful companies do - not necessarily "nice" companies. When the things that impress me fade away, I'll move on.

And frankly, as a shareholder, I'm NOT looking forward to Steve retiring because a) he does a bang-up job at what he does, and b) it will probably mean a huge medium-term dip in stock value, whether justified or not.
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Old Jan 9, 2011, 02:54 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by NebulaClash View Post
Or when they come up with something totally new (such as the iPad), why not give us the camera, for instance, that is rumored for iPad 2?

One reason, of course, is a balance between cost and supply and the sheer physics of putting these things together.
I think you've just addressed the big part. Apple is greedy and trying to minimize the BoM. The iPad was a relative bargain and was aggressive priced as it was. Apple probably didn't want to eat away at its margin. Also all electronic components get cheaper as time passes so it makes sense to put them when they are cheaper.

One thing you didn't mention is Apple's reluctance to put hardware features when they don't have the underlying software. I suspect they probably didn't have Facetime fully ready at that time of the iPad launch. Their usual philosophy is, if a feature isn't fully ready, don't put it there at all as evident with the iOS copy&paste debacle earlier. It took a while but when it came out it was much more usable than other touch phone OS' copy&paste functions.
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Old Jan 9, 2011, 03:22 AM   #14
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The way I see it:

Step 1. Apple releases a 1st gen product with "stable" features and standards.

Step 2. Competitors copy Apple and add new features that are based on new and upcoming standards or technologies (sometimes more, sometimes less).

Step 3. Apple watches these competitors and these technologies to see which ones are worthwhile implementing into their 2nd gen device. That way Apple doesn't stumble or trip or make as many mistakes as their competitors and yet guarantees satisfaction to a large group of users.


- Ams.
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Old Jan 9, 2011, 03:33 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by filmbuff View Post
You don't have to over think it - Apple limits features on its devices so that you will upgrade to the next version and they can keep selling products. Tons of people will, too. It's not evil, it's just how business works.
I agree, apple owners are doing these for business purposes to sell no wonder why apple owners are earning such a huge amount because of these tactic.
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Old Jan 9, 2011, 04:05 AM   #16
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Apple is no longer a company that is all about pushing the envelope. They're all about the money now that they're rich.
Hmmmm

What about the iPhone and iPad, which are/were total industry changers still being copied to this day.

If those products didn't push the envelope, please tell us what company and corresponding product does.

I still hear the phrase "iPhone killer" 3 years after the initial release.

I've never heard the phrases: Android killer, Windows Phone killer, Blackberry killer.
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Old Jan 9, 2011, 09:58 AM   #17
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The answer to this question is sadly the answer to most questions: Money.
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Old Jan 9, 2011, 10:11 AM   #18
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What about the iPhone and iPad, which are/were total industry changers still being copied to this day.

If those products didn't push the envelope, please tell us what company and corresponding product does.
If the iPhone and iPad had come out ten years ago when cell service was just starting, when cpus were slow and LCDs and memory were expensive, and when other tablets and slates first came out, that would be an example of pushing the envelope.

That's what other companies did... they took the initial chances and huge R&D expenses, then ended up with lots of legacy devices and UIs they thought they needed to support.

Apple waits for the right combination at the right time, one with little risk, and they had no legacy devices to worry about. (Now they do, and we're seeing the same old UI longer than necessary.)
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Old Jan 9, 2011, 10:34 AM   #19
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So much hate for Apple once they became successful. Right about the time a coordinated campaign against them in the media was started by competitors. Propaganda works.
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Old Jan 9, 2011, 11:02 AM   #20
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Then business is evil.
\

But nowhere near as evil as politicians.
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Old Jan 9, 2011, 11:17 AM   #21
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All apple has to do is add features(widgets possibly) to the search page and make it the home screen. A new notification system would make a world of difference too. I think people are just getting a little anxious now because of honeycomb for tablets. Before CES most were still excited about iOS 4.2. Just having apps in the shape of little blocks as the only UI does look a little dated.

I'm confident Apple has something up their sleeve. Maybe we can see something in 5.0. That's only if they have planned for 5.0 to be game changing all along though.
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Old Jan 9, 2011, 11:19 AM   #22
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\

But nowhere near as evil as politicians.
May I respectfully ask that we tone down the extreme rhetoric on this weekend of violence? Let's talk about Apple and its business strategies without descending to talk about evil or hate.
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Old Jan 9, 2011, 11:32 AM   #23
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If the iPhone and iPad had come out ten years ago when cell service was just starting, when cpus were slow and LCDs and memory were expensive, and when other tablets and slates first came out, that would be an example of pushing the envelope.

That's what other companies did... they took the initial chances and huge R&D expenses, then ended up with lots of legacy devices and UIs they thought they needed to support.

Apple waits for the right combination at the right time, one with little risk, and they had no legacy devices to worry about. (Now they do, and we're seeing the same old UI longer than necessary.)
I call ******** on that. RIM sure thought that Apple had pushed the envelope: http://www.electronista.com/articles...phone.in.2007/

Making something first doesn't mean you made it right.
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Old Jan 9, 2011, 11:40 AM   #24
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"Push the envelope": "to move beyond the limit of what has usually been done or was the accepted standard"

Apple continually does this, which is why the industry tends to chase Apple instead of the other way around.

I think some people are mad at Apple if they don't give them everything they want at once. That is not the same as pushing the industry envelope.
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Old Jan 9, 2011, 11:41 AM   #25
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I believe that the premise here is somewhat faulty. It takes years to develop things and then improve upon said things. If you waited until you had a device that did everything on the design board then it would never be produced.

A product is typically developed, produced and marketed. Feedback from the consumer drives the next revision.

Taking this into account people will say that Apple could have included cameras in the iPad as well as USB. Since apple has a 30 pin connector that goes to USB, why would USB be necessary then? Also, since the iPad is truely a mobile device I would not expect to see cameras incorporated until there is a 4G version.
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