About Apple's so-called confusing product lineup

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by Rogifan, Mar 24, 2016.

  1. Rogifan macrumors P6

    Rogifan

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    #1
    Jan Dawson has a good piece explaining why Jobs 2x2 grid doesn't work anymore and why Apple's lineup today isn't the same as the 90s.

    https://techpinions.com/why-2016-isnt-1997-for-apple/44434

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    In my opinion what makes some of these product lines look bloated is Apple's decision to keep older models around to hit certain price points. In some cases I think they keep things around too long but it's for price reasons more than anything else. I hope Apple does with the iPad what they did with the iPhone SE. Get rid of older models and just have one really nice entry level iPad and then step up to the Pro line. Same with laptops. Get rid of the Air, make the MacBook the entry level device and the Pro for people who need more ports and power. And if the iPhone SE gets refreshed about 6 months after the flagship iPhones then I think that's when the year-old discounted flagship should leave the lineup. It seems weird that the 6 and 6 Plus are more expensive than the SE but internals of SE are better. What's the point of 6 and 6 Plus in the lineup now? Anyway I don't think 2016 is like the 90s but there are areas where Apple can clean-up its lineup.
     
  2. smacrumon macrumors 68030

    smacrumon

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    The reason the 2x2 grid doesn't work anymore is because it's completely irrelevant in this particular case. The grid applied to four completely different category of device. Variations of iPhone or variations of iPad aren't different categories.

    Why does Apple even need to have a pro and consumer model for iPad. Why can't they just make three great iPads, with the same main features, and differentiate by size.

    The consumer only needs to decide on the size of the device and not have to consider whether it will work with a smart keyboard or if the 3d touch is available or not. Keep it simple. Having a pro line for iPad is just an example of wasted time overthinking.

    The different names, mini, air, pro. Really, is that all necessary? Jobs would have extinguished this nonsense behaviour before it proliferated and spent time focusing on things that matter like clean design. Protruding camera on the iPad. Is Apple kidding us?
     
  3. I7guy macrumors G5

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    SJ is dead, nobody could know what he would do today unless they can reach beyond the grave.
     
  4. Rogifan thread starter macrumors P6

    Rogifan

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    I don't disagree that Schiller is not Jobs when it comes to product marketing. But Apple is trying to position the iPad as a PC replacement and they've always had consumer and pro PCs. I think the iPad Air name wasn't necessary. Just have iPad and iPad Pro. One as a cheaper general purpose consumption device and the other as a more powerful, capable productivity device. This is why I wish the 9.7" Pro had more than 2GB RAM. if Apple continues to update the non-Pro iPads I wouldn't be surprised if Apple drops the Air name. We know the MacBook Airs will be gone in a few years so that would keep Mac and iPad naming conventions consistent.
     
  5. smacrumon macrumors 68030

    smacrumon

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    I don't know about iPad as a PC replacement. Actually, I do know, in my experience working on iPad slows down my productivity at least 2x compared with the iMac/PC.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 26, 2016 ---
    Past behaviour is usually a good predictor of future behaviour. No disrespect but the nonsense would have been called out for what it is. It almost seems that a marketing narrative is being woven, but that narrative doesn't seem to match up with reality.
     
  6. I7guy macrumors G5

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    Past behavior is just that; past behavior. The reality is the mgmt. team is taking apple in a new direction and SJ is not leading the team. So far, based on their financials they seem to be headed in the right direction.
     
  7. Rogifan thread starter macrumors P6

    Rogifan

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    #7
    I use Microsoft Excel at work every day. An iPad would never replace my laptop for what I do at work. But since I started using an iPad I never turn on my home PC. I think Apple's comments about iPad being a PC replacement are focused on the masses. I also think iOS 9 was a precursor to Apple baking in more iPad specific features. I'm not convinced we'll see an iPad specific OS like we have with TV and Watch but I do think Apple will continue to add iPad specific features to iOS.
     
  8. smacrumon macrumors 68030

    smacrumon

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    Financials are just one aspect, and long term irrelevant. It doesn't mean the products are inherently good. Lot and lots if people buy Samsungs, but many people here would suggest they are rubbish but their sales figures are high. Course correction required on the trajectory at Apple. I repeat, course correction required on the trajectory at Apple.
     
  9. I7guy macrumors G5

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    #9
    Sales are high for Samsung but the galaxy is in bogo mode weeks after its release.

    Financials are everything; repeat everything. It's irrelevant where the products land on a scale of 0 to 100; Apple seems to be hitting its target market. You can argue the products are crap but don't diminish the recent record breaking quarter.
     
  10. smacrumon macrumors 68030

    smacrumon

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    A record breaking last quarter is just that, last quarter, old news. If the product quality dimishes, and continues to diminish, the financials will follow that trend inevitably. No marketing can fix that. Once the original user base begin to leave, the original structure will begin to crumble. Apple need to focus on the best designs again, the simplest route for users to the best product and best experience and quit cutting corners and creating a fragmented guessing game. There are already loud rumblings from the structure beneath, does Apple really want to test the structure?
     
  11. I7guy macrumors G5

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    If this, if that, if the other thing, rumblings...etc? Apple could lost $15B a quarter for years and still be viable. Doom and gloom says apple is doomed, just doesn't mean it really is and you are misreading the tea leaves. Of course, and I said this before, if enough people predict an earthquake in San Francisco it will eventually happen. If enough people predict a down quarter at apple, it will eventually happen.

    Of course the management team at apple gets paid several hundred million dollars a year to run the company, and our arm chair CEO skills are worth exactly what we get paid for espousing them on an anonymous online internet forum.
     
  12. yep-sure macrumors 6502

    yep-sure

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    #12
    It's all well and good to say "hey Apple are clearly still doing amazing, look at their profits, seems like they are making the right decisions", but the reality of this is that a large percentage of these profits can be attributed to Apples reputation and because of the devices the Steve Jobs era created.

    Incremental updates to iPhones and iPads will only take them so far. Issues with iCloud, Photos, Apple Music, botched iOS updates, etc...are now part of public conciousness, as is people's confusion with the product lineup.

    People bought into the Apple ecosystem because of the reliability and simplicity. These aren't as relevant as they used to be, so that reputation and legacy will start to fade and see an impact in how successful Apple continues to be.
     
  13. I7guy macrumors G5

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  14. yep-sure macrumors 6502

    yep-sure

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    #14
    Great contribution to the discussion. Well done.
     
  15. maxsix Suspended

    maxsix

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    #15
    Despite the outward appearance of an uncertain company adrift at sea, Apple's uncanny manipulation of the market and it's expertise in marketing and sales remains unparalleled.
     
  16. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

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    Back to the original premise.... I think Dawson is spot on. Simplification was a survival necessity, a strategy specific to the 1997 reality.

    Companies (and sports teams) that stick to the same play book year after year eventually crash. You can't address the present and future by looking back. Sure, there are always lessons to be learned from the past, but if Steve Jobs was alive today, you think he'd be saying, "Hey, it worked for me in 1997?"

    Companies that depend on a dead founder for new ideas, or avoid change because he might not have approved are simply following that leader into the grave. Look at what happened to the Walt Disney Company between the time Walt died in 1966 and Michael Eisner took the helm in 1984. (Hmmm. Why does that number seem so familiar?)

    I just realized why Steve approved the new headquarters design! He wanted everyone to join hands and hold a daily seance!

    And I found out why Jonny Ive wasn't at the most recent media event... He's in seclusion, sculpting a five-story tall statue of Steve. It's being fashioned from a single, gleaming black ingot of monocrystalline silicon (in honor of the Valley), and will stand upon a revolving platform of brushed, anodized al-you-MINI-um in the *dead center of the new complex's courtyard. Loudspeakers hidden in the encircling fruit orchard will play, "Just one more thing," when someone walks past.


    *Yes, this is an allusion to Disney's Haunted Mansion. Thanks to Steve's long association with Disney, his years on the Disney Board of Directors, and his status as a Disney Legend, it's rumored that Walt Disney Imagineering will collaborate with Jonny. Famous theme park theme Grim Grinning Ghosts will play behind Steve's voiceover, royalty-free, and Madame Leota's famous, "Hurry back... hurry back..." may randomly alternate with Steve's voice, in shuffle play. We expect that Ming Chi Quo will predict that Walt Disney's frozen head will be relocated to a secret chamber in the statue's base in fall 2019.

    Sticking to the Disney Parks theme... There's a persistent rumor circulating around One Infinite Loop that another design team had proposed a statue entitled, "The Partners." It would have been a life-sized bronze of a visionary Steve pointing into the distance while holding the hand of a half-sized Woz. Seven, 12-inch statues honoring Silicon Valley history, "Hewley," "Packy," "Noycy," "Sergei," "Gordy," "Larry," and "PARC," were to have been arranged in a surrounding ring. The project fell through when all the living honorees (and the estates of the deceased) refused to cooperate. Talks with PARC broke down when its management insisted on adding the inscription, "It all started with a mouse."
     
  17. Tech198 macrumors G4

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    #17
    It's called 'competition'

    If u have the same line up of iPhones, all with exactly the same features, just different sizes, that would be too boring...

    What if people want a basic phone without Touch ID ? U can't get one and u'll have to turn of useless stuff u never intended to use anyway. Basically throwing money away on a "budget" small screen phone and 99% of features u know u will never use... No point in getting what u'll never use..

    The same reason i don't get an iPhone 6s because i'll never use 3D Touch... May be convenient, but its a FAD since Apple controls which apps have access to it, and not all apps on the app store support it, and may never will.
     
  18. I7guy macrumors G5

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    #18
    Well sir, I was just paraphrasing your original, excellent arm chair analysis.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 28, 2016 ---
    Let me try, they give their customers what they want. Peter drucker 101.
     
  19. maflynn, Mar 29, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2016

    maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #19
    Agreed, Apple was running out of money, and they were spread too thin, trying to make too many products with such a limited set of resources.

    As for Apple's line up. I do understand the idea, that they need to tap every possible market segment especially as iPhone sales are no longer enjoying double digit numbers. I do think however they do seem to have too many products that overlap. Just take their laptop product mix.

    They have MacBook Airs, MacBooks, and MacBook pros. Within those families of computers we have 11", 12" 13" (three distinct 13" models; MBA, Classic and Retina) and 15"
     
  20. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

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    #20
    Nobody said that. Apart from you. Learn to read.
     
  21. maxsix Suspended

    maxsix

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    #21
    I do give Apple credit for finally providing some variety and choices, where once there was but a single model. As a company that can't help but be full of themselves, they're always going to experience the scrutiny that accompanies the chest pounding "look at me" attention seeking attitude that's deeply ingrained in the boys at Infinite Loop.
     
  22. I7guy macrumors G5

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    They do manage to turn massive profits for all that they do.
     
  23. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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  24. Zirel Suspended

    Zirel

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    #24

    Exactly, the 2x2 grid was from almost 20 years ago, and from a time where people didn't carry devices in their pockets.

    Also, with SJ at the helm, the product line didn't look that less confusing with mature products.

    For example, in 2009, you could chose between 3 different MacBooks, all designed for consumers, and all 13.3": MacBook Air, Polycarbonate MacBook and the Unibody MacBook.
     

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