Anyone else think Apple is selling out?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by coupdetat, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. coupdetat macrumors 6502

    Jul 11, 2008
    I'm sure this has been brought up a million times before, but I just can't help asking again: Is Apple selling its soul for its current prosperity?

    I'm wondering that as I just had to implement a hack to disable to iTMS arrows in iTunes 8. I find it sadly unsurprising that Apple forced commercialism into the user's space like this... I don't think the Apple of a few years ago would have done so. It just seems like a slimy move.

    Obviously, the neglect of its computer lines also shows that Apple is not its innovative self. The iMac has not changed form in years. Even more true for its notebooks. Not to mention that it has apparently given up on iPods and is content to ride its momentum through the next year. And on top of that, its flagship, the iPhone, is only accessible to a small fraction of U.S. customers using AT&T, and only if they pay exhorbitant access fees.

    Also, the treatment of iPod Touch customers as second-class citizens is obnoxious. iPhone users got the 2.0 software for free, yet they charge Touch users $10?? It's the same software for the same operating system!

    Am I just being a big whiner? Or does anyone else think Apple is losing its way? Maybe mainstream customers would freak if Apple made another revolutionary computer like the iMac G3, and that's why they are keeping things the same. That would be a heavy price to pay for success.
  2. Trajectory macrumors 6502a

    Nov 13, 2005
    Apple isn't selling out, they are selling up.

    Why do you think the iPhone is Apple's flagship product?
  3. TEG macrumors 604


    Jan 21, 2002
    Langley, Washington
    The links to the store is not a bad thing, it makes it easier to get the correct title, album, and artist so you can get the Album Art. The iMac has not changed form because there isn't much more they can due until OLEDS or another display system comes out.

    Also, the iPod Touch upgrade fee is due to the new accountants and that the price of the iPod is realized at time of purchase, so if they add features, they must charge for them. Whereas the iPhone's price is annualized over the two year contract on Apple's books, so they can upgrade it at no charge.

  4. BaldiMac macrumors 604


    Jan 24, 2008
    I agree with you about the ubiquitous tying of new features to the iTunes store. It's especially evident of the AppleTV, where there are almost more menu items to purchase content from iTunes then there are to access the content that you already own.

    The rest of your post, however, I think is a bit of a rant.

    Macs are hardly being neglected. Just because there hasn't been a major change in form factor, doesn't mean there is no innovation. OS X continues to be regularly updated. The MacBook Air is relatively new. The iMac changes every couple of years. Multi Touch track pads are fantastic. And the most significant update to the laptop line in years is expected in a month. If that proves disappointing, maybe you are right about this one.

    AT&T customers are not a "small fraction" of the US wireless market. They are the largest fraction. And the iPhone is "accessible" to anyone in the AT&T service area. Which is a really big fraction. You just have to be willing to switch. As far as "exorbitant access fees," thirty bucks a month is pretty much the going rate for 3G access in the US. It isn't special to the iPhone. In fact, it's pretty comparable to the cost of broadband access from home.

    Don't get me wrong, it is more than I am willing to pay. But I anticipate the rates dropping as 3G becomes more and more popular.

    The iPod Touch charge has been explained over and over again. It has nothing to do with second class citizenship. Apple has chosen to account for the iPod Touch the same way it does all iPods. At the time of sale. If the revenue was accounted for the same way as an iPhone, it would have to be recognized over a period of two years. This choice would dictate a significant drop in iPod revenue for the latest quarter, which would negatively impact Apple stock.

    As a result of the way they chose to account for the Touch, they cannot add new, unadvertised features for free without restating their financials for previous quarters. By charging for the update, they are able to offset the costs of the new features in the current quarter.

    I think Apple does make some missteps, as does any person or company, but I hardly think they are losing their way. Their mistakes are just magnified because of their current string of success.
  5. soberbrain macrumors 65816


    May 9, 2008
    Apple is in business to sell their products for our money.

    Innovation, instead of discounts, is what makes Apple products attractive to consumers. It would not be cost effective for Apple to out innovate themselves, it's better just to make sure they are ahead of competitors. Apple admits this with Snow Leopard saying that they are so ahead that they can focus on stability rather than new features.

    I agree that the iTunes store links are annoying, but the fix is relatively easy. Though, I wish they left the option in preferences.

    It would be nicer if the iPhone is available in other carrier's, but Apple and the other carrier's couldn't work out a deal. Now the other carrier's have they're own touchscreen phones to catch a ride the iPhone media train, as iPhone killers/competitors in headlines.

    Let's look at the glass as half full on the iPhone software. It's free which is nice considering the attached carrier subscription fees, which is similarly priced compared to other phones and carriers. A software upgrade isn't always free, but updates/bug fixes are, just like with a computer OS.

    Overall, businesses are there to make money and sometimes that means making less popular decisions to succeed, but I think Apple has a good "soul" relative to other companies.
  6. yetanotherdave macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2007
    Bristol, England
    I'm not sure it's possible for a corporation to sell out...
    A musician, an artist, a comedian, yes, but a business exists solely to sell.
  7. coupdetat thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 11, 2008
    We've always been able to choose whether to use the arrows or not. Apple removed the option for iTunes 8.

    They did a damn good job packaging the LCD in an innovative manner with the iMac G4, they can do it again. Being limited in screen technology shouldn't be an excuse, especially not for a company with great designers like Apple.

    That doesn't make any sense to me. Lots of companies add features through new software and don't charge for them.

    I definitely understand that Apple exists to make money, but many of those who came pre-Intel did so because of Apple's corporate philosophy. They were seen as a creative, user-centric company.
  8. Raid macrumors 68020


    Feb 18, 2003
    Agreed, but recently I've been wondering if Apple is too willing to push things out to make money before they are really ready (the iPhone 2.0 software, MobileMe come to mind); and they seem to be choosing new revenue streams over updating technology (..the old Apple TV DVR debate). (Not that we have to discuss that here. ;) )

    While a multi-billion dollar company can't really "sell-out" they can loose sight of why they became popular in the first place. The appeal of Apple is the user experience, and they've been messing up on that a bit lately.
  9. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    I believe his point is that the iTMS link used to be an option. It was on by default but it could be turned off.
  10. BaldiMac macrumors 604


    Jan 24, 2008
    I don't think they pushed the software out too early in order "to make money." Of course, that is the ultimate reason for any decision a corporation makes, but I don't think it is the specific reason for the buggy software. I think they misjudged how long it would take them to complete the 2.0 software. It happens. After a couple of well publicized delays, they wanted to avoid the negative press of another significant delay. Unfortunately for Apple, the bugs were more significant than they anticipated, and it bit them in the rear.
  11. Unspeaked macrumors 68020


    Dec 29, 2003
    West Coast
    I think you're onto something here.

    I think Apple may be growing too fast for their own good.

    Moving away from computers is fine, but first it was music players, then it was music stores, THEN it was speakers, DVRs, mobile phones, movies. Now they're trying to market their products as gaming systems... where does it end?

    I'm not saying a company can't do this - look at Sony - but look at what they've done in the past five years and it just seems like there's more focus on new revenue streams and less on the products themselves.
  12. coupdetat thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 11, 2008
    You said it a lot better than I ever could have. Just look at how many people are looking for them to update their computers! And the iPod update was, frankly, pathetic.
  13. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
  14. BaldiMac macrumors 604


    Jan 24, 2008
    Change for the sake of change is something that great designers avoid. If the iMac has the smallest footprint possible with the current technology, why change it?

    The latest change was to move from plastic to aluminum to make it lighter, cooler, and more recyclable.
  15. Kwill macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2003
    Certainly. Twice this Apple sold out of iPhones.

    Apple released a boatload of software and product last week and children are still whining about not getting their desired action figures. In the real business world, product releases must be spread across the entire fiscal year. More will come will come in October/November and then again in January.
  16. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    Yes. Yes, you are :rolleyes:
  17. coupdetat thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 11, 2008
    Oh, okay, so everyone else is totally cool with Apple not updating its core lineup in ages?
  18. iMacmatician macrumors 601

    Jul 20, 2008
    Just because Apple neglects their computer lines doesn't mean it's not innovative overall. Apple is diverting attention to innovation in the iPhone and iPod segments.

    Only if "years" somehow means 1 year.

    Let's wait until next month first. ;)

    MacBook Air. ;)

    And don't forget many people criticized the revolutionary iMovie '08 (although many praised it too). Same with the MacBook Air.

    So people complain when Apple is not revolutionary, then complain when Apple releases revolutionary products?
  19. NT1440 macrumors G5


    May 18, 2008
    apples core hasnt been their laptops for a good while now. Watch the WWDC keynote and youll notice steve has decided macs, ipods, and the iphone are the 3 parts of apple now.

    and the ipod refresh was pathetic? IT WAS A REFRESH. it happens every year

    what were u honestly expecting??
  20. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    Doesn't this thread prove the point I was making in the MWSF thread? It's entertaining to consider what Apple might be doing some time in the future, but the new products they do release should not be graded on the rumor or wishful thinking curve. Many do. That's why we get so many threads suggesting that Apple is "selling out" or that they've "lost it."
  21. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    OS X is not Windows, Apple is not Microsoft, and the Mac is not a Wintel PC.

    Microsoft makes money from selling copies of Windows. Therefore, they need to keep selling you a new version of Windows. However, since it takes Microsoft (about) four to five years between releases, they need to sell you more then one copy of each version to keep that revenue stream flowing. The margin is high (it costs them nothing in production and packaging), but the revenue is low (about $75 per OEM machine sold). So they want cheap Wintel PCs that don't last more then 18 months so you're forced to replace it with something new - which comes with another paid copy of Windows in the price.

    Apple, on the other hand, makes money from the hardware, not the software. The margin is low (since some 65% of the revenue goes to pay for the machine), but the revenue is high ($400+ per unit). The software is there to sell the hardware. iTMS, OS X and MobileMe all drive sales of the iPod, iPhone, :apple:TV and Mac. And that hardware they sell you will last 36 months, instead of 18, so you can keep it and use it longer to extract more value out of it which makes you (rightly) feel the decision to buy it was the correct one and the decision to get another will also be the correct one.
  22. Groocifer macrumors newbie

    Sep 11, 2008
    Changes and Futures

    The thing that bothers me about Apple today is how proprietary their software and hardware is. For instance try exporting some content for a non apple product or .mac account. There aren't any options for it and/or they are very difficult to work out. Same thing with the millions of ways to click on iTunes store buttons or other apple sales links. To mention of the new iMovie 08, I personally hated it, and had to watch the tutorials to figure out how the now counterintuitive program works, even though I was quite capable and comfortable with the previous iMovies.
    I would also like to thank CWallace for that wonderful link about apple's and microsoft's ideals and directions, good stuff.

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