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Old Jan 16, 2013, 01:23 PM   #26
notjustjay
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Originally Posted by KnightWRX View Post
I'd argue this change never occurred because "using Apple products" never "made you look good". And they don't make you look cool either.

That's just the perception some Apple users wanted in the 90s and that others want today. But it wasn't true then and it's not true now.
Depends on how you define it. I define "Using Apple products made me look good" in the sense that I easily got professional looking results done without going through unreasonable time and effort.

For example, to burn a custom DVD with a slideshow of photos, with Ken Burns effect and music, and a matching themed menu. Exactly what iDVD was built for, and iPhoto and iTunes integrated into this fairly seamlessly. You could put together such a DVD in a few minutes of effort, and the tools necessary to do it were included free with every Mac. I made and sold these for years, and frequently got compliments.

Could I have done the same with a PC? Sure, but it would have cost me hundreds of dollars in DVD authoring and video editing tools, and the results still would not have had the same fit-and-finish as the results from iDVD. (And I'm not just talking about warm fuzzy feelings, but quantifiable touches such as the menu fading out and the video fading in, little details that Apple programmers were careful about, but were absent in most PC software packages.)

I remember once making a Keynote presentation to a group. I never once "flaunted" the fact that it was not PowerPoint, or that I was not using a PC. Yet, at the end, people came up to me and kept asking HOW did I make my presentation so much more professional looking than they'd ever seen. Again, technically attributable to small quantifiable touches like smoothly fading slide transitions, well-designed templates (and granted, probably some points for not using the same-old templates everyone is used to seeing in PPT) or anti-aliasing around photo clip art. End result: made me look good as a presenter.

Or other little things like being able to pop open my PowerBook/MacBook, connect to the local network, and get working, while my PC friends were still waiting for Windows to boot/reboot/wake up, and fiddling with network settings. Or my laptop battery lasting 5 hours when typical PC laptops only lasted 2. The field has become much more even these days, but again I speak from experience, at hotel conferences etc. I simply got my work done faster and with less hassle than I did when I had a PC. I never looked at my Apple stuff as a status symbol, but I definitely appreciated the productivity boost.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 01:41 PM   #27
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What I miss about Apple was its focus on that magic phrase "it just works".

That's what got me sold on the brand in the first place, was the way people who used Apple products seemed to be able to get things done faster and better than people who didn't.

To me Apple was all about being able to quickly and easily edit videos, make slideshows, burn custom DVDs, make professional-looking presentations and newsletters, etc. The hardware was powerful enough and included all of the stuff you needed to get it done (like integrated USB and Firewire back when other companies charged extra for those), the software was quick and intuitive.

That's related to the statement about Apple catering to the creative types, because Apple made it easy for the creative types to do their thing.

The whole reason I switched was because I saw people with older, outdated Macs do better work, faster, than I did with my top-of-the-line Dell. Then when I had a Mac, it was my turn to do better work, faster. Using Apple products made me look good.

Not to say that Apple's not still trying to doing that today, but that's not their primary focus anymore. Now they seem to want to focus on making it quicker and easier for you to give them money -- by buying apps, movies, songs, books, cloud services, ... they have found the golden cow, of course they are going to milk it.

I was OK with Apple trying to come up with new technologies, interfaces, etc. when the goal was to facilitate that "it just works" mantra. I was blown away when I bought my first Rendezvous-enabled printer and very literally it just worked as soon as I turned on the power. THAT moment, of smiling and thinking "This technology is COOL!" is what Apple should get back to.

Now all I see is new interfaces and technologies with the simple intent of breaking old ones. Making you buy upgraded software, hardware, new adaptors, new accessories, and milking you for more dollars. They've become good at that lately.

There was also a change from "using Apple products makes me look good" to "owning Apple products makes me look cool" which didn't help things any, and like any fashion trend, that's now on its way out.
I couldn't have said it better myself - it definitely seems like the "it just works" motto doesn't always apply anymore. Instead, Apple has decided that milking the cow to the extreme is more advantageous in the long term (hubris perhaps?).

Even a "chief evangelist" like myself, having converted more than 20 people to the Mac over the last five years, struggles sometimes with the lack of polish or ease of use for some OS aspects that have been mentioned for years and years by native customers and Windows switchers alike (i.e., lack of zooming of UI elements, no merging of Apple IDs, no simultaneous updating of multiple Apple ID-licensed apps, no native codec support, no support for innovative/new file systems, dumbing down of apps like Airport Utility).

Rendezvous/Bonjour? Check. USB/Firewire? First in the mass market, check. Fast sleep? Couldn't even compare with most Windows PCs.

On the other hand, the latest example was clear: I gave (finally) a MBP to my wife, who has always been a staunch Windows user. Next up, I try to use the "easy" AirDrop to transfer one specific file from my Mac. I was only able to do it after some 30min researching for solutions on the web, as BOTH windows need to be open at the same time and only work under certain specific circumstances.

Traditionally, I would have never needed such an effort to use a new OS feature with a Mac...it would just work. Besides, Apple seems to be lacking some intellectual honesty even when it releases new features, i.e., Fusion Drive. It has been more than confirmed already that it does NOT require the newest Macs to work. So why not just announce a wider support for it in a more transparent manner?

Perhaps a smaller, niche Apple could come back to its senses and prove its worth again...not that I am even remotely considering a Windows PC, of course...

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That's just the perception some Apple users wanted in the 90s and that others want today. But it wasn't true then and it's not true now.
To disregard this perception as a minor element behind Apple's success nowadays is absolutely ludicrous.

And yes, the Keynote and iDVD examples mentioned above are also spot on, because I've seen them myself in many personal situations...this is what "look good" means, in a wider context.
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 05:53 AM   #28
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BRLawyer, if it makes you feel any better the majority consensus/prediction is that Apple will no longer be a "behemoth" nor a #1 in anything within the next couple of years. Samsung is quickly becoming The New Behemoth.

Of course, most people still believe that Apple will remain competitive and relevant for years to come, and occasionally releasing some impressive new thingamabob or thingamajig or two every now and then. But in terms of hard business statistics, Samsung will likely claim the top spot for... market share (in smartphones, tablets, phablets, everything electronics-related, even futuristic TV sets), sales numbers, shipments, etc.

Samsung is subsidized by the South Korean economy and pampered by its government, an advantage that Apple will never get from the near-bankrupt American government. So nothing can ever stop or slow down Samsung explosive growth. Regardless of what Apple does or what next great thing Apple comes up with, Samsung can always outgrow and outpace Apple sales and growth.

Then again, does Apple really want to remain Top Dog, king of the hill? Or just settle for a comfortable #2 or #3 spot that doesn't have to worry so much about what the world expects from the King of the Hill? Apple only has to worry about continuing to make great products that their loyal customers deserve. They should just surrender the cheap Mass Market to Samsung.

I'd rather have that #2 or #3 Apple. Settle for second or third place among tech giants, but throw off the pressure of always having to cater to the unwashed hordes of the planet and always being the prime target of everyone's criticisms and expectations. Again, they should just stick to focusing on quality products rather than always playing the rat race of market share and stock value.

Trust me. Once the global perception is that Samsung is the CLEAR undisputed leader in everything (electronics/mobile), then the hatred, ranting, bashing and constant criticism will turn towards Sammie, and away from Apple.

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Old Jan 20, 2013, 07:37 AM   #29
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Solomani, you make a number of good points, even though I do not believe that Samsung will be able to reach the top spot in terms of innovation and market-leading expectations. They will just sell a lot of units of whatever, just like Nokia and Dell did...and see where they are now.

But for me, the biggest unfortunate sign of a paradigm shift at Apple (i.e., following someone's advice and not believing in the company's potential) was Cook's decision to issue dividends, an idea loathed by SJ and others for many many years.

And why? Because on that occasion, Cook stopped believing that the company could grow and innovate more (despite the low P/E ratio and the great opportunities in terms of desktop, home theater and tablet markets) - instead, it reverted back to a company dependent on "perks" to attract investment. And this, among other things, is why I do NOT think Cook should be the CEO of Apple.
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 07:47 AM   #30
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If only Apple would make a mini tower with user replaceable parts, I'd buy in a second
You would not be alone, a Mac mini tower would sell like hotcakes.
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 08:00 AM   #31
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Apple has made plenty of crap products XD The iPhones (and some iPods) are perhaps the most solid product lines they've ever made. I can forgive them for that because they've made so many darn good products to balance the karma, and it's been a great time otherwise.

Great stuff: The aluminum powerbooks, unibody macbook pros, wedge shaped macbook airs, various imacs along the line. iMac DVs come to mind, so do the DVI cinema displays. Also the current airport extremes and the iPhones.

Not so great: iMac G5s, PowerMac G5s, MDD G4s (quite noisy!), ADC cinema displays (because there's so many awesome usable LCDs laying around that nobody uses because they have a connector that nothing works with unless you buy a ~$100 used power supply for them), the UFO airport routers (which usually overheat and die), iMac G3s (the originals had issues), TiBooks (the paint flaked off and the plastic frames cracked), pretty much every white/black MacBook ever made, and I could keep going.

I'll probably keep buying Macs until they stop making them, and there's a good chance I'll eventually just buy an iPhone and stop feeling so offended by the people that post android hate here.

Still, hard to say they've never screwed up.

One other thing: They've improved massively on service! It's crazy how you can get a mac back from repairs in ~3 days tops, and half the time they'll just exchange it anyway. I've never dealt with another company that had service even close to approaching that :\ Back in the day you had to duke it out with authorized service providers, and some were good.. unless you went to say, compusa or something.

Still, I'd buy a new mac without question Although I admit the newer versions of OS X seem less and less impressive. As far as mobile devices go, I still look at WebOS and see what could've been - it seems like it had more of an OS X vibe than iOS does.

In a way, I think Apple has been plagued by the success bug. It's like the iPhone is a corvette. Have you ever seen the documentaries about how Chevy is paranoid of making significant changes to the Corvette in fear of losing their loyal customers? Or how Chrysler didn't change the PT Cruiser and ended up abandoning it, because they didn't know what to follow up with? It's kinda like that.

Apple could keep making small, incremental changes and continue to keep the #1 spot in the US smartphone profits & market. What do they have to lose? Until someone REALLY hits them where it hurts, they would be better off with small improvements, instead of making a big awesome thing that might scare off tons of customers.

It's not like the iPhone hasn't changed though - the current ones are very fast! The dual core iPhone 5 acts faster than an S3 most of the time, and there are very few quad core phones out there. It's not like they're selling a 3 year old architecture, like the Mac Pro....The original iPhones look like fat, slow old bricks now. Tacky, too! (but I always thought the original was XD)
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 08:14 AM   #32
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BRLawyer, you're upset about Cook issuing the dividends?

That's not a big deal to begin with. Not like Apple is losing much money by "giving back" dividends to its investors. If I recall it's a paltry percentage, like 2%, compared to other companies like Microsoft who has historically given back double (or more).

Secondly, dividends actually makes sense to a certain degree for Apple. Dividends is simply a reward for LONG-TERM investors who retain their AAPL stocks year after year. In the simplest explanation, it's simply a token reward for investors to remain loyal in and keep the faith in the company. Were you expecting the investors to always have blind faith in Apple year after year without anything to show? That's faith bordering on cult-like religion. Unreasonable in the post-SteveJobs era.

At least the Dividend is a fiscal incentive that helps to keep their investment in the company. Really. That's all there is to it. Tim Cook handing out dividends to AAPL investors is not some evil greedy SJ-loathed Wall Street scheme that you seem to think it is. SJ loathed a lot of ideas within Apple. Doesn't mean he was always right. You know the story about how Steve Jobs initially thought the name "iMac" was a stupid name for product? Jobs originally wanted to call it the "MacMan". But another executive pleaded with him to go with the name iMac. Steve Jobs eventually backed down, and the rest is history. I rather like the iMac name and most everyone who has used one couldn't imagine it being called anything else.

You say that Cook is the wrong man for the job. I think he is doing fine. He's no Steve Jobs. He never will fill Steve's shoes, and no one else can. But in a post-SJ era, Apple really needs a pragmatic leader, at least for now. And Cook is a pragmatic and progressive CEO. He even raised the salaries and perks of regular Apple employees, something rarely seen during Steve's stingy years as CEO. Cook quickly addressed the issue of worker conditions in the Chinese factories. Cook apparently cares about his employees, and is willing to give a bit more respect to the investors who invest long-term in the company. I find nothing wrong with this.

We can just agree to disagree.
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 09:49 AM   #33
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According to Ken Segall (who I think came up with the iMac name), it was Phil Schiller who offered up MacMan and Steve liked it because it was in the vein of Sony and Walkman. Imagine if they has gone with that.
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 02:03 PM   #34
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You would not be alone, a Mac mini tower would sell like hotcakes.
Agreed! But Apple seems to think differently. This is one of the reasons I will never give up my PC's.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 05:36 AM   #35
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Agreed! But Apple seems to think differently.
Minus the -ly
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 06:17 AM   #36
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Yes, I miss the Apple Computer Company
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 07:47 AM   #37
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Yes, I miss the Apple Computer Company
Last time I checked, smartphones and tablets are computers.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 07:52 AM   #38
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Last time I checked, smartphones and tablets are computers.
So are routers and Set Top boxes, Cars, Was machines ........

You know what he meant

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Old Jan 21, 2013, 10:08 AM   #39
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So are routers and Set Top boxes, Cars, Was machines ........

You know what he meant
My washing machine is not a computer. It uses a digital timer and heat control, but it really isn't using a fully programmable, turing complete computing engine built from a general purpose CPU, with a full operating system on top.

What kind of awesome washing machine do you have ?

A car also isn't a computer. It's a vehicule. But. The car's ECU (Engine Control Unit) though is a computer. Most run an OS (VxWorks comes to mind for those applications), are programmable and turing complete.

The only thing the original poster meant to me is that he misses the days before Apple Inc., when Apple was called Apple Computer Inc. Apple still pretty much only sells computers today, same as they did before. It just happens to be that 70% of their revenues is from computers that aren't desktops or laptops.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 10:11 AM   #40
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Last time I checked, smartphones and tablets are computers.
And what's the name of the company? When did it change? What I said has nothing to do with product.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 10:20 AM   #41
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Hold on a sec. There is a simple explanation to why Apple doesn't seem innovative. Competition caught up. In the 80's and 90's (where I'm no expert), there was minimal competition, with Microsoft launching not too long beforehand. That's why they don't seem to be innovative. If Apple were the only company that did this "tech stuff", their stock would be over $2k right now, with consumers expecting the next big thing - since, in fact, if there was no competition, any small upgrade would be huge (like Siri).
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 07:46 PM   #42
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Apple bought Siri, they didn't invent it. The app already existed for iOS and was simply reskinned and improved.



They also bought the company that was responsible for most patents and work on multitouch, and adapted capacitive touchscreen tech just as it hit the market.

Of course, credit needs to be given where it's due, and Apple has done more R&D on mobile devices than just about everyone else combined. Even Palm ripped a page out of the book Apple made with Newton. Still, it's not like they make alien technology or anything.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 08:10 PM   #43
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They also bought the company that was responsible for most patents and work on multitouch
fingerworks was not responsible for most patents, but did work on multi-touch surfaces like trackpads. Work on multi-touch started in the early 80s.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 08:13 PM   #44
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My washing machine is not a computer. It uses a digital timer and heat control, but it really isn't using a fully programmable, turing complete computing engine built from a general purpose CPU, with a full operating system on top.

What kind of awesome washing machine do you have ?

A car also isn't a computer. It's a vehicule. But. The car's ECU (Engine Control Unit) though is a computer. Most run an OS (VxWorks comes to mind for those applications), are programmable and turing complete.

The only thing the original poster meant to me is that he misses the days before Apple Inc., when Apple was called Apple Computer Inc. Apple still pretty much only sells computers today, same as they did before. It just happens to be that 70% of their revenues is from computers that aren't desktops or laptops.
Stop being so pedantic. You know what he meant.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 09:04 PM   #45
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The imac G3 was the first computer I ever used I came in during the end of the 90s but I do miss Apple making their own hardware things declined when they brought in Intel and with Steve Jobs gone things like the 7 inch iPad exist. It sells but they turned and followed everyone else instead of continuing to innovate I can see a large change in just the past decade.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 09:19 PM   #46
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And what's the name of the company? When did it change? What I said has nothing to do with product.
Why do you care what the name of the company is? You don't need the word computer in your name to be a computer company.
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 01:43 AM   #47
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I just hate iOS and everything it embodies.
iOS is awesome! I really think it's one of the great leaps in computing that Apple has accomplished. It's so awesome it's the industry standard and competitors just savagely ape it.

But not on my Mac please. I think that all of this focus on iOS has led to the sub-par OS X releases 10.7 and 10.8.

Another thing that bugs me is the move towards non-upgradeable/non-repairable Macs. Obviously, it helps Apple's bottom line. Tempted to go Hackintosh for my next desktop Mac...
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 02:15 AM   #48
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I think the idea that Apple was once innovate and aren't anymore is silly, especially if it's because they imitated the competition and made smaller tablets and larger phones.

Being bull-headed is NOT innovative. Refusing to adapt is not innovative, and Steve Jobs was not a bull-headed person. There were a number of times that he made a statement and then completely contradicted it a few years later. After all, he was a really good salesperson and he wanted to show that what he was selling was THE BEST, and anything else was irrelevant.
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 06:14 AM   #49
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Stop being so pedantic. You know what he meant.
Yes, contrary to you and the guy I was replying to, I perfectly understood what GermanyChris meant :

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And what's the name of the company? When did it change? What I said has nothing to do with product.
He was simply talking about the company changing names, because obviously, 90% of Apple's revenue is still derived from computers. You and that other missed by the point in your attempt to dismiss both the iPad and iPhones as computers, which they are.

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Why do you care what the name of the company is? You don't need the word computer in your name to be a computer company.
The company name represents a shift in their focus from Mac products to the iOS device products for most people. While as far as "selling computers" goes nothing changed, it's the actual computers Apple puts most on their focus on that changed and some people are just Mac aficionados and do not really like the iOS stuff.

I'm pretty sure that's the angle GermanyChris is coming from.

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I think the idea that Apple was once innovate and aren't anymore is silly, especially if it's because they imitated the competition and made smaller tablets and larger phones.
It's not like Apple never drew inspiration from the competition before. The whole "Macbook Air! It fits in a manila envelope!" comes right out of Sony's catalog. In fact, it seems Steve really had some kind hard-on for Sony, considering quite a few bits of Macs are actually stuff Sony came up with.
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 06:28 AM   #50
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Yes I need to more clear, but folks being obtuse has become norm if they don't care for the post or poster.

Apple changed it's name from Apple Computer Company to Apple Inc in 2007 to according to Steve "to better reflect their steady but relentless move into the wider field of consumer electronics." Again this has nothing to do with HW but is a philosophical change.

I miss the Apple Computer Company though the time may not have been the best financially for Apple.
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