When will Apple stop neutering their products?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by R.Youden, Jan 15, 2007.

  1. R.Youden macrumors 68020


    Apr 1, 2005
    I have been doing some thinking!

    Apple has a habit of neutering their products. Take the iPod for example. A fantastic product. How much better, how much more user friendly, and how many more units would they have sold if they made the software open to developers? It could have been huge. They could have sold / made avalibale for free download small applications on iTunes. Each application could be vetted by Apple first for a small cost.

    Apple is always saying how great their developers are and how they make the mac platform special. Well let them work their magic with you.

    Take iWeb. For a 1st generation application it is pretty good. You can make some nice look websites very quickly. But how much bettery would it be if developers could make 3rd-party plug-ins. Take Rapid Weaver, great application but not integrated with iLife as iWeb. For Rapid Weaver you can download and buy loads of plug-ins. One of them that I think is fantastic is Accordion. How cool would that be with iWeb.

    Also the iPhone. Apple have to open that to 3rd party apps. If it can't open office documents it is dead in the water sorry to say. It will sell well as it is but they can break huge markets if they let game developers produce games for touch screen, how cool would they be!

    I just fear that Apple is limiting the possible success of its products by not opening them up to a huge independent development market.

    Come on Apple, you know it makes sense.
  2. Queso macrumors G4

    Mar 4, 2006
    I'd be happy if they'd just license FairPlay to other content providers. It's getting stupid now.
  3. clevin macrumors G3


    Aug 6, 2006
    apple is not a company that do the things the way u mentioned, is that so difficult to figure out?
    By using apple's product, u only supposed to do what apple allow u to do. :p

    wth, maybe apple is right, open up the code will sure have security risks, safety first
  4. R.Youden thread starter macrumors 68020


    Apr 1, 2005
    I know that there is the potential for security holes but if they made proper SDKs then I am sure that this problem could be overcome.
  5. clevin macrumors G3


    Aug 6, 2006
    well, ask apple why they don't want to do so

    1. security hole
    2. no resource to response if the problem cause by third party plugins or addons
    3. majority users didn't ask them to do so

    I think the biggest reason is #3, most mac users either didn't even think about it, or afraid the "just work" apple product will stop "just working" because of 3rd party plugins, and "virus free" will "vaporized".

    Remember, this is business, no demand, no action. ;)
  6. MacVault macrumors 65816

    Jun 10, 2002
    Planet Earth
    Hey Youden, that's a great question! When will Apple stop neutering their products? I've been wondering the same thing. Examples of this neutering...

    1) "Locking" iPhone to Cingular, or anyone for that matter.
    2) No third party development for iPhone. Heck, let them develop all they want and let the one who payed all the money to buy the gadget to decide whether or not to install the third party apps!
    3) 10/100 port on Airport Extreme - pure stupidness of Apple to not make it Gigabit! WTF!?
    4) $h1ty GPU in MacBook.
    5) DRM in iTunes...
    6) ...but they insist on it anyway and refuse to open Fairplay to the world, thus all iTunes content is shackled to be played only by Apple products - not that I'd buy anything else but I still want the freedom to do so.
    7) etc. etc. etc.
  7. UserofMacOSX macrumors member


    Jan 12, 2007
    Luray, VA
    If they allowed just any John Doe to write stuff for their products, and it didn't work out right or ruined something, who gets the blame in the eyes of onlookers? Not John Doe but APPLE!
  8. R.Youden thread starter macrumors 68020


    Apr 1, 2005
    If people read my original post I did say that Apple would have to control the plug-ins and development of add-ons but it would greatly advance the products that they are selling and they don't have to pay development costs themselves. Just test the software to ensure it is safe. If small groups of people can find holes in software then I am sure Apple are more than able.
  9. whooleytoo macrumors 603


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    For the iPod example - they could allow limited 3rd party development, without risking the iPod user experience much, or the security of the device.

    For example, they could enable Flash development only, which would enable rich-media applications or games.
  10. R.Youden thread starter macrumors 68020


    Apr 1, 2005
    Thats the one!
  11. QCassidy352 macrumors G3


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    all excellent points, and you can't overlook the power of #3. Here on this board, we love mods, add-ons, and alternative apps or other solutions. Not so for most users. They just use whatever came with the computer - why do you think IE has a huge market share over firefox despite firefox being much better?
  12. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Oct 14, 2005
    Here's the answer:

    Apple will stop neutering their products when people stop buying them. Until that happens, Apple has ZERO reason to change anything.

    iPods, even with no flash games, are selling like crazy.
    The MacBook, with its $h1ty GPU, continues to sell well.
    The iTunes store, even with DRM, sold 1.2B songs in '06, double what was sold in '05.

    Who knows how well the iPhone and new Airport Express, but I don't think Apple's worried that they'll flop.

    A lot of the ideas in this thread would be great to have, but since Apple's not exactly hurting for ideas to make their products sell well, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for them any time soon.
  13. Edge100 macrumors 68000

    May 14, 2002
    Where am I???
    Apple will stop neutering their products when people stop buying their products. End of story. You think someone just woke up one day and said, "Hey, let's create the iPod, but let's not open it up to outside developers" or "Let's make a great little notebook, call it the MacBook, but cripple its video capabilities with a crappy GPU"


    They analyzed the market, and determined that not opening up the iPod would still give them a whole lot of users (ie. not too many people will miss the feature...clearly they were right about this) without jeopardizing stability and integration.

    Same with the MacBook...yes, the GPU sucks, and I wouldn't buy one because of that, but clearly the cost-benefit ratio is right where Apple wants it: some people don't buy MacBooks because of the GPU...a few of them will buy Windows laptops instead. A lot of them will buy MBPs instead.

    Apple isn't dreaming this stuff up; they're a business, and they will only do as much as it takes to maximize profits. Once people start demanding more, Apple will give us more. But not a moment sooner.

    The Airport Extreme 10/100 ethernet thing is something that will keep me from buying it to share my external drives. I need Gigabit ethernet for that purpose. If there are enough people that share my view, then the next revision will have 10/100/1000, and then I'll consider it. But Apple has done its research, and they know that there aren't enough people like me to justify the extra expense.

    Cost/benefit is the ONLY thing that matters here.

    Edit: Didn't see aristobrat's post before posting my similar take on this.
  14. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a


    Sep 18, 2006
    I think that it's just because of the security issue and not one of wanting to thwart innovation on the part of their customers or other developers. If an iPod gets screwed up, who gets called to fix it? Sure, there's Apple Care and the device isn't exactly priced as a disposable, but who wants to be standing there at the Genius desk explaining why a messed up iPod can't be fixed under warranty because a plug-in screwed it up?
  15. apple_iBoy macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2003
    Philadelphia, PA
    I don't really lose any sleep over Apple holding a relatively tight rein on its stuff, in terms of letting 3rd parties get their fingers in the pie. When it comes down to it, Apple's most important product, OS X, is a open playing field for an awesome collection of 3rd party apps for almost any conceivable want or desire. If Apple's own implementation doesn't cover all the bases you want it to, there are tons of other great choices.

    When I saw your title post, I thought you were talking about Apple disabling specific functionality in its products, which I do have a beef with. What I can call to mind, from my personal experience:
    • iPods without high-quality recording options (is this still true?)
    • iBooks without screen spanning
    • Mac Pros with disabled Front Row

    The above hardware are all quite capable of doing what I wish they natively would. But getting these things to happen requires a trick or a hack.
  16. emptyCup macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2005
    In what way? What do you want to buy from other music stores that you can't find on iTunes or that can't be put on an iPod?
  17. fall3n macrumors 6502

    Aug 17, 2006
    as many have already stated above, if there is no demand for it then Apple will not cater to it. Things are going great for them right now, so why add something that could potentially complicate things for them. If a third party app on the iPod messes things up guess where the average consumer is going to call....Apple! Do you know how much it costs to provide proper customer support? Why do you think many, many, companies relocate their customer support devisions to India?? Because it's cheaper! It costs companies less money for long distance charges then it does to have local North American based customer support....anyway, that was a bit of a ramble, but basically if Apple lets the average consumer start "beefing" up their iPod with random third party apps and of course, not know what they are doing, they break it they will straight away call Apple. Apple likes to keep things simple and as user friendly and easy to use as possible. For the average consumer this works perfectly.
  18. Edge100 macrumors 68000

    May 14, 2002
    Where am I???

    This I can agree with. There is no reason to take existing features out. But not adding them in is another thing altogether.

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