Apple’s competitors just don’t get it

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by Bernard SG, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. Bernard SG macrumors 65816

    Bernard SG

    Jul 3, 2010
    Reading the responses that Google and RIM were able to come up with after Steve Jobs’ barbs, I can’t help thinking about that too famous Chinese proverb: When Steve points at the moon, they can’t do better than look at Steve’s finger. It doesn’t bode well for their future.

    The thing is that they seem unable to understand the very simple paradigm that makes Apple so successful.

    When RIM’s Co-CEO (Why does a company need co-CEO’s??) says some thing like "We think many customers are getting tired of being told what to think by Apple", it just shows how he misses the point entirely. There is no company in this world that is nearly as consumer-centered as Apple. The not-so-secret weapon behind the impressive history of blockbuster products that Apple designed (iPod, iPhone, iPad, and currently the Mac itself which is growing against all odds) is Apple’s unique ability to put itself in the consumers’ shoes and understand what they will love. So it’s absolutely the other way around: Apple is actually trying to know the consumers’ mind and develop the products accordingly. It’s Apple who’s willing to be told what to do by the consumers because they actually listen, even though Steve may show some (fake?) stubbornness on the occasion.

    Case in point, the 7” “tablet” silly idea. Yes, there might be a niche for such devices but I’m having a hard time dubbing them “tablets”. They would be more like PDA’s or something like that, and the screen estate would be a huge restriction to their usability. People make a conceptual mistake viewing the iPad as merely a device for content-consumption – that’s somehow due to the media’s tunnel vision that only focused on the idea that iPad would be the savior of newspapers and magazines. That’s not what Apple intends it to be, I mean not only that. Their destination for the iPad is to make it a productivity device and the iPad hardware is ready for that (and even software to some extent: see iWorks for iPad). The iPad can be what the buyer wants it to be, from a gadget for leisure to a full-fledged professional tool. At 7”, a device can be the first one but will struggle to be professionally useful. And that’s where RIM is being inept with its (not yet existing) Playbook: they claim it will be targeting business users but I don’t see how this can work out. If you have to do real work on the go, a spreadsheet, a report, a presentation or whatever, you won’t be eager to do it on a 7” screen, while the iPad form-factor is allowing you enough room in such way that you don’t feel compelled to fire up your laptop. Hell, you could even go sans laptop when on the move.

    And that Google guy who doesn’t know better than tweeting “mkdir android ; cd android ; repo init -u git:// platform/ manifest.git ; repo sync ; make” to make a point… All I can say is “Oh, dear!” … Sure, the point is correct as to Android being open source but did Rubin get the memo that Android is a platform for a generic consumer’s product and that using geek language is not exactly the best way to woo those consumers? He’s defeating the purpose of being “open” by using arguments that makes the non geek feel excluded.

    Steve Jobs tells a lot of BS but he tells it in a way that’s understandable to everyone. And “it just works” PR-wise.
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Are you implying that RIM is not successful? Because last I checked RIM had a larger smartphone market share than Apple did, and is far and away dominating the much more stable enterprise market in which Apple has yet to make serious inroads.
  3. Tarzanman macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2010
    .....most of your opinions and conclusions fall short of what I would consider insightful.

    Apple excels at two things. Marketing and timing the market. That explains their success since the iPod.

    They didn't make the first mp3 player... they made the first mp3 player with an mp3 store after broadband (cable/dsl) was widespread.

    They didn't make the first touchscreen phone, they made the first touchscreen phone after symbian on dumbphones (the RAZR2, etc) had hit a wall.

    Apple innovates (prodigy, newton, et al), but they do not innovate any more than other hardware companies who are more gifted than they are (motorola, texas instruments, etc)....

    What they "get" is that spending almost as much on advertising their product to make people think that their devices are trendy works most of the time.

    They don't make bad stuff... but their stuff has just as many warts on it as their competitors' offerings. MacBooks eat hard drives for breakfast, iPods are chained to horrible, DRM ridden software and iPhones have always dropped phone calls like bad habits.

    Everyone is picking apart Uncle Steve's statements lately. This is because the whole iPhone4 antenna debacle showed everyone that the guy is willing to lie through his teeth on the record to his customers and the public.... and when backed into a corner (as he finally was), he will drag down as many of his competitors as he can rather than assuming culpability for any missteps.

    I'm not surprised that Uncle Steve is talking a lot of smack lately. His company is still making money, but this whole situation probably feels familiar to him because he is going toe-to-toe in the mobile market with 5-6 companies whose offerings are strong where his are weak (openness, integration, customization and availability).

    Apple got destroyed in the 80's when CHEAP, IBM-compatible computers started being made by half a dozen different manufacturers that all ran the same OS made by software company (Microsoft)....making this competing computing platform very cheap and very prevalent Sound familiar? Google is in a very similar position relative to iOS.

    Even if you don't want to take the Android route, RIM has blackberry which is a secure, orderly, and tested platform that "just works" even better than iOS... which is the entire reason businesses LOVE blackberry phones. Even the POTUS has one. Blackberry phones have lower end, but proven hardware inside of them. If RIM ever had a hardware issue that made it past engineering or QA, then they would recall that phone because they place importance on their reputation for robust devices.

    I have no hate for Apple, but I eagerly await them becoming marginalized again. All of you apple fans with stars in your eyes that can't see their flaws are really annoying, and the entire reason I foster a dislike for the cult-of-mac. Blackberry users love their phones, but you don't hear them walking around talking about how awesome RIM is all the time.... but perhaps that is because their company isn't headed by a turtlneck-wearing douche-bag.
  4. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium


    Jan 28, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    Really, I couldn't help thinking that maybe Steve should have consulted with the Tweetdeck people before shoving words in their mouths. Maybe then he wouldn't have looked like such a fool. :rolleyes:

    What did he think was going to happen ? That the Tweetdeck people would just back up his stuff even though it was a blatant lie ?
  5. allmIne macrumors 6502a


    Sep 17, 2008
    United Kingdom
    Let's be honest, nobody but geeks and financiers is even interested in this, anyway, so the geeky tweet is just a concise way of showing that there's really nothing clouding the issue. Open is simple. I disagree with your comment that Android is for, essentially, non-geeky types. I'd imagine most forum users, on both sides of the mobile OS fence, would largely disagree with that statement. It's certainly more attractive to geeks than iOS, from a personalisation and customisation point of view.

    Interesting you didn't mention the Tweetdeck issue; Jobs came away from that looking a bit daft.
  6. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I disagree with this sentiment. I think apple's success is more tied to their ability to see technology and products in a way that doesn't exist yet. Take the iPod, it was wildly successful, but it was a device that had (for that day) gobs of storage, i.e., hard drive instead of some meager flash ram, and had iTunes to easily sync the music, they were the first to get music labels to support this. There was no competition, and they cleaned up.

    The iPhone is similar, there was no phone remotely similar

    The iPad is history repeating itself. While there were/are tablets out there, apple was the first to see that running a desktop OS on a tablet was not going to work.

    Apple and Steve have a long history of being stubborn, arrogant and NOT listening to their customers/consumers. I'm not sure where your pulling that though out of, but its certainly not based on reality.

    That's Steve's opinion and as an evangelist for apple his role in these calls is to marginalize and minimize the competition. He did just that. There may very well be a market for 7" tablets. I don't know, but only time will tell.

    Yes that was a silly retort that failed to hit the mark

    The point that he was making is android is open and offers the consumer a choice. His tweet failed that but still the point of openness is a fair critisiscm towards apple. Just look at apple's recent patent application to block/censor sexting. So it may be that apple is going to "approve" or censor your communication if it does not deem it appropriate. Android on the other hand gives you the consumer the choice on what's appropriate and what's not

    Yes he does and his rant during the earnings call did little to further apple's message any more then the google's tweet on android's openness.
  7. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    Open is open, closed is closed; there's not much more to it than than. Granted, my best friend just got a droid X, downloaded just about every single free app for it, and then had to reset it to factory settings because of a rogue app, but still... it's not like she's a geek or anything. My ex has a droid 2, she's even less technologically adapt. and us geeks will prefer android OS to iOS because of its "openness".

    I will give you 1/2 a point about RIM, however. Their Storm and Storm 2 got some pretty bad reviews, and I've heard that the blackberry server is a pain to set up. Never the less, their product performs better in enterprise than and iOS device.
  8. Bernard SG thread starter macrumors 65816

    Bernard SG

    Jul 3, 2010
    I don't think "open" is that simple. I mean it depends open for whom? For developers? Then Apple's platforms is not less open than any other one. For the end-user? Then, in practice Android versions are as much closed as iOS. How about some consumers, depending of the carrier and/or the phone maker not being allowed to upgrade their version of Android?
    A smartphone is a consumer product that's not aimed specifically at geeks. Google wants millions of Android users to expose them to GoogleAds and all that jazz. So their segment target is not the geeky types.

    And Steve Jobs didn't really have to put words in the TweetDeck developers'mouths; here's EXACTLY what they say on the official blog :

    That's pretty explicit in my book. They are the ones looking foolish contradicting themselves in the mitigation tweet. Steve Jobs didn't say that developing TweetDeck for Android had been a hell, he just quoted the numbers mentioned in that blog.
  9. Hakkera macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2009
    I could not have put it better myself. Excellent post.
  10. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    At least you get variation when you buy something that's non-Apple. That is something I hate about Apple. I'm not going to buy a computer that only has different specs and a different keyboard, I'm not going to buy an Apple TV now that I can't use it OFFLINE, and I'm not buying a device that looks exactly the same as the other but is thinner. The only thing REVOLUTIONARY about Apple at this point is that they came out with the magic mouse and that whole new trackpad thing.

    I still think they're going to regret the whole Nano watch thing, AppleCare will be busy with screen replacements because of screen scratches/dying/etc.
  11. kdarling macrumors demi-god


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    TweetDeck didn't contradict themselves at all. They were pointing out how neat it was that their app worked across so many custom phones.

    "From our perspective it's pretty cool to have our app work on such a wide variety of devices and Android OS variations."

    That's pretty clear. Fragmentation didn't affect them.

    No, Steve Jobs said that TweetDeck "had to contend with a hundred different versions". Then he claimed that this made developing for Android into a "daunting task", which it is not.

    Jobs is not a programmer and doesn't have the expertise to talk on the topic. He's basically a salesman, and that's why he spoke up, even though spending so much time on the competition unfortunately simply pointed up that he must be worried.

    You can hear his TweetDeck speech starting around 1:40 in this YouTube audio clip.
  12. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Are you kidding me, Apple is the poster child for closed systems. They were dictating to the developer what libraries, compilers they are allowed to use. Apple is approving apps, or rather rejecting apps they don't like. Apple is also closed to the consumer, as my earlier post about their patents. Apple is the very definition of closed. They and only they have say in every single aspect of the platform.

    Android plays the open card a lot but its not completely open. The source is open, the marketplace is open but google still retains control on a number of the components and of course carriers/manufacturers also retain control, like AT&T only allowing apps from the official marketplace. Because the platform is open, the consumer has a choice in choosing what they like, i.e., not going with AT&T but another carrier and finding a phone say with senseUI instead of motoblur.
  13. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

    Oct 14, 2010
    my 2 cents ... what makes Apple awesome are the Macs and only the Macs.

    I have worked in the Printing Industry for 25 years ... The Macintosh Computer is just hands down the only real option.

    There are next to ZERO Printing Companies that are running only PCs.

    In fact most Printing Companies had to buy a Token PC because people thought Oh Boy ... I can create my own Printing Projects using my Dell.

    they get to the Printer and the first thing the Printer says is ... you created this on a PC right?

    Not so much the case anymore because the standard print requirement today is "Send us a Hi Res PDF file" ... they do not want all the layered files you created on your PC.

    The Printing Industry using Macs is what kept Apple going when Microsoft tried to squeeze them out of the PC market.

    iPhones and Androids are in a similar position trying to squash RIM ... which is NOT going to happen.

    Blackberries are just a better Smart Phone if you are a running a Business. It is all about your EMAIL ... not text msg, ping, pong or whatever else iPhone Android people want to do with their 300,000 apps on their phone.

    iPhones are trying to fight off Androids while trying to KO Blackberries.

    I say to Mr. Jobs ... you cannot be everything ... so please do us a favour and Never stray away from the original focus of the Macintosh Computer.

    RIM is like Apple was before they tried to do it all ... they have a product that serves up the Business Community better than anyone else.

    And my last One Cent ... I laugh at every Company that says please follow us on Facebook or Twitter ... it is just so silly and very predictable how FB and Twitter will end up in the has-been pile.
  14. H. Flower macrumors 6502

    Jul 23, 2008
    What Apple's competitors don't get and the major secret to their success:

    It's not what you's how you do it.
  15. H. Flower macrumors 6502

    Jul 23, 2008
    I have a hard time believing Apple's remarkable success is mostly due to spending more advertising dollars than other companies. And can you verify their ad budgets are bigger?
  16. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Really? I hardly see any commercials for apple and print ads are almost as rare.

    I don't think advertising is why apple is beating is competition, if they had we'd see those same competitors ratcheting up their ad dollars.

    Yeah apple did have the successful, "I'm a mac" campaign and MS recently started their own as well, but generally speaking apple hasn't focused on getting the word out over making great products that nobody else is doing.
  17. Bernard SG thread starter macrumors 65816

    Bernard SG

    Jul 3, 2010
    ^you are in agreement, actually ;)
    As well as am I.
    When haterz come up with the tired "Apple's marketing" argument, I don't even bother to respond. It's trollism at its worst.

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