Apple Culture.

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by TSE, Jul 21, 2014.

  1. TSE macrumors 68030

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    #1
    This isn't a thread about Apple's innovation. This isn't a thread saying "Holy crap Apple sucks without Steve Jobs." Just a simple premise of the culture surrounding Apple and Apple products.

    Just watching old Apple TV ads, flipping through MacWorld magazines of the 90's-early 2000's, etc. has given me a real feel of nostalgia. I remember as a kid when my school got iMac G3s. Holy god did I feel cool using those.

    Apple had a culture of being the artist, of being the small guy with big ideas, that sort. Their ads, while some of them were pretty awful, "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2-UuIEOcss"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2-UuIEOcss, they still were memorable.

    Even the "I'm a Mac, and I'm a PC" ads were memorable and rebellious in a likable, dorky way.

    Has this been lost in Apple, or am I just being nostalgic? If you guys agree, do you think Apple will ever go back?
     
  2. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

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    #2
    It sounds like you're just being nostalgic for an old marketing technique Apple used. Saying that, I think the PowerPC Macs were 100x better than the Intel models sold today and I don't think Apple put as much effort or quality into their products as they used to. Especially the software.
     
  3. maflynn, Jul 21, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2014

    maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #3
    Apple's culture did change, but it wasn't because Steve left, but because Apple's focus changed and became more consumer focused with the iPod, iPhone and iPad.

    Its growth and popularity was what made it change, not one individual.

    On a similar note, I miss the early days of computing, it was an exciting time, to see what was going on. This excitement and culture is gone, which is natural since the sector has matured.
     
  4. MacDawg macrumors P6

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    #4
    We always have a tendency to look back at the "good old days" in most areas and compare them to the here and now

    However, depending on our perspective we tend to romanticize or demonize the past

    Apple's "good old days" were not always so good and there have been plenty of missteps along the way, even by Jobs, but they tend to be glossed over by those who want to paint a golden era

    IMO claims of a decline in innovation, build quality, quality control, software design, etc. are all overstated. We hear more about them today due to the rise of social media, internet use, etc.

    Apple was never as "good" as some remember and they are not as "bad" as some claim today
     
  5. TSE, Jul 21, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2014

    TSE thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #5
    I agree with this sentiment, it's probably just because nothing exciting has really happened in mainstream PCs in awhile, innovation in this sector save for the occasional CPU update is pretty much over with... for now. That combined with Apple being a top dog.

    And maflynn, I definitely agree with you on PowerPCs being somewhat better. I think it's over-exaggerated by PowerPC fanatics, there definitely was a shift in quality and uniqueness.
     
  6. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #6
    Apple used to make the products that enabled cool people to create or design cool things.

    Now they just make screens that let you watch movies that people made in Avid. :p


    And yes, like roadbloc sai, Apple stopped putting as much effort into their products, especially in software. Software used to drive their hardware sales. The "pro" level software wasn't an afterthought. Now, they're just trying to sell to the masses, which never gives ANY company the same sort of "cool" factor.

    Doesn't matter. My wife loves her new iPhone 5C. ;)
     
  7. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

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    #7
    People don't make cool things on Apple products any more? Or is it that the people who make things are no longer cool? Or that nothing cool is created or designed any more? Or...?

    Sure, Apple has a huge consumer products business, but if there's no music, who needs iPod? Arguably, more people are creating and producing than ever before. Of course, the sheer quantity makes that uncool. It's only cool when a handful of people possess an arcane body of knowledge and skills unattainable by the masses.

    Which is the greater achievement, Final Cut, or iMovie? Logic Pro or GarageBand? What budding photographer starts off with a Nikon DSLR, what guitarist a Martin D28, what filmmaker an Arriflex? Children play with toys, toys stimulate their creativity, and when/if they outgrow their toys they eventually migrate to professional gear.

    What "pro level" Apple software drove hardware sales? Mac was introduced in 1984. Final Cut came along in 1999 (and it was an acquisition). Logic Pro, acquired by Apple in 2002. Claris (Apple) acquired FileMaker in 1988. What did Apple have in the early days? MacPaint, MacDraw, MacWrite, HyperCard...

    PageMaker was not an Apple product. Quark, Photoshop, Pro Tools... not Apple. MS Word, MS Excel (need I say it). The history of Apple's applications software is not "developer of pro apps." It's as a developer of "anyone can give this a shot" apps.

    It's incredibly cool that tens or hundreds of millions of others love their iPhones. They're marvelous devices, and they don't stop being marvelous because so many people own them. It just doesn't make the people who own them special.
     
  8. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #8
    Apple catered to the professionals, before the iPhone/iPod regardless of the software being used, i.e., PS. Now they cater to the consumer, which is alot more fickle. Right now apple is on the top of the heap, but that won't last. Just look at Sony as a prime example. They were on top of the world with the walkman back in the 80s, they failed to keep that momentum going.

    Back to apple, they were more focused on the professionals now with the latest upgrades over the past few years, its clear they've made even the pro apps they're focusing more on the consumer then the pro.

    Take Aperture, originally geared to the professional photographer, it's been withering on the vine for 4 years and now word is that apple is killing it for a new app with iCloud integration. They'll probably follow the path of FCPx in that they will release the app with less features and then slowly add some as time goes on.

    Apple has changed, some for the better, some for the worse. I like their products, and will continue to use them, but there's no denying the fact that they have largely moved away from the various professional sectors that kept them in business during the 90s and early 2000
     
  9. Martin29 macrumors 6502

    Martin29

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    #9
    +1
    And our expectations as users have moved on too.

    What we're seeing is a maturing of the consumer IT sector. Whereas a few years ago we saw revolutionary products released relatively frequently, we're now in a phase where we see an evolution with each release. That's no bad thing, and there will be new revolutionary products in future too. In the immediate term, it looks like TV and iWatch type devices are going to lead the way, but Apple have hinted at more integration of household devices over the coming year or two.

    While these quiet revolutions are occupying our minds, we can be sure that engineers and designers at Apple, and elsewhere are busy developing the next generations of computer devices, who knows what the next big thing will be? My own guess would be changes to the way wen interact with the machines, the end of the keyboard perhaps, changes to displays certainly, and of course continuous 24/7 access to all our data wherever we are.

    Computer technology is still in it's infancy and it will be fascinating to see the direction it takes over the next 20 years or so.
     
  10. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #10
    I think its well beyond the infancy stage. During the infancy stage, we saw some very cool things come out, as people were learning what they could do with these things. Now its a lot different as the sector has matured.

    I still remember seeing the Amiga being rolled out during the Boston Computer Society meeting, and talking with other hobbyists at various times at what they're building. Its totally different now.
     
  11. Martin29 macrumors 6502

    Martin29

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    #11
    Unfortunately I'm old enough to remember those early machines too, and who would have thought then how the market would democratise and how virtually everyone would be using desktop, laptop and mobile devices, all with a generation?

    And that's the point.. We have only had these technologies (the oldest ones) for a little over a generation. What will the next generation bring? If we could not foresee the explosion in capability and usability, then what chance do we have of foreseeing what the IT world will look like 20 years from now?

    Companies which don't even exist today, products devices and software we can't even begin to think of.. Who knows?
     
  12. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

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    #12
    This isn't an matter that can be resolved in one way or the other. To borrow from an old Saturday Night Live bit,

    "It's a floor wax!"
    "No, it's a dessert topping!"
    "You're both right!"

    It's not a matter of consumer vs. pro. I'm a publishing professional. InDesign, Aperture, Pages, Numbers, Maps (and Google Earth), and several dozen browser tabs are open on my desktop at all times. Yet all I, and many other professional users of Macs need, is a "consumer" iMac. My 27" Late 2013 (Core i5, Fusion, 16gb RAM) barely breaks a sweat. For years, my partner-in-publishing really did need a Mac Pro. Now? It's a much harder case to make.

    Hey, I was doing pro audio on a Quadra 950 back in those halcyon "professional" 90s. There weren't a lot of us who were. Trouble is, Apple was struggling for survival. Macs weren't a solution for every desktop in an organization, they were a solution for the art department. Film and video production had just begun to move from physical media to hard drives, and minicomputers from the likes of SGI were getting the lion's share of that business. So just what professional sectors of the 90s has Apple abandoned? What was done on a Mac then that can't be done on a Mac now?

    And now we're in the age of mobile computing for business. It's not a matter of whether there's a computer on every desktop, but a smart phone in every pocket and a tablet in every briefcase (and on every school desk). There's a MBP on the concert stage next to the keyboards and drum kit, and at or near the heart of nearly every musician's studio. That's professional use, even if it may not be your kind of professional use.

    On that basis, the basis of the (relatively) mundane rather than the cutting edge, Apple is absolutely killing in the professional market, thriving in the consumer market, and there's no risk of bankruptcy in sight.

    And as to the question of whether Apple has abandoned its traditional professional audience... If you want Apple to just crank out a new annual version of the same thing, then yeah, you're being abandoned. If you want an Apple that continues to "think different," then change is inevitable.
     
  13. Armen macrumors 604

    Armen

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    #13
    Do you remember the race between Amd and Intel to reach the 1Ghz cpu clock speed? Those were exciting times indeed. :D
     
  14. Abstract, Jul 22, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2014

    Abstract macrumors Penryn

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    #14
    Final Cut and Logic Pro may have been bought, but developing those two products helped Apple's brand and reputation as one that will enable users to get the job done. It cemented Apple's reputation as a brand for creative types, even if "creatives" had already been using Macs before people noticed again.

    Apple has done a poor job with Final Cut Pro, neglecting the product far more than they did in the past. That's all I meant.


    I never said anything about the number of users, or the number of creative people using Macs, making it uncool. I said Apple is only aiming to sell large quantities of toys to consumers, which makes the company less cool now. It's just like camera companies and their highest-end DSLRs, or car companies and their most expensive models: their goal isn't to sell large quantities of those products. It's to maintain an image.
     
  15. VI™ macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    Not only is it that the focus of Apple changed, the entire industry changed. Owning a computer and knowing how to use one used to be something that took a bit of smarts and was something that people used to be proud of, regardless of if it was an Apple, IBM, Etc... Now computers are like toasters; they are appliances that people can use without really thinking about it and if something physically breaks they're apt to replace it entirely instead of fixing it on their own. When you can buy a laptop for $250, it's indicative of how times have changed. A $250 laptop would probably have been a $2000 computer 20 years ago.

    And how many people would be using computers today if they were still required to use a command line only operating system?

    In fact, the appliance thing really follows that you can have a computer to watch movies, listen to music, and do other things that you used to have to have a TV & VCR for, a stero system, and other actual electronic appliances to use. Hell, there's a thermometer out now that plugs in to your iDevice to give you a detailed cooking history and alerts when cooking food. It's pretty cool.
     
  16. Felasco Guest

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    #16
    I would put it this way. The realm of computing has matured technically for sure, but seems to have regressed philosophically, which perhaps explains some of the loss of excitement. Big ideas like "power to the people" which were such a part of Apple's founding have been replaced with small ideas like new features for the latest gadget gizmo.

    It's probably a cultural phenomena larger than just the computing sector. Public computing arose out of the 60's and 70's, which were quite philosophic big picture times across the entire culture. The focus has shifted in recent decades to more mundane concerns such as consumerism.

    But, the pendulum is always swinging, and philosophic times will come again, probably fueled by dramatic revolutionary challenges awaiting us in this emerging century.
     
  17. aaronvan Suspended

    aaronvan

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    #17
    Apple Computer's culture changed when it became Apple, Inc.
     
  18. coyote macrumors member

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    #18
    I loved those ads because Justin Long is so cute. :)

    But if Apple were still running those ads, or using the same marketing messages that they used in the 1990's, I would say that the company had a problem. Companies, like cities and individuals, should change and evolve over time. What is more important is that Apple continue to develop high-quality products that I want to use.
     
  19. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

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    #19
    Phrases like "power to the people" are rallying cries only when people don't have (or feel they don't have) access to power, or when that power is threatened.

    We've had the power of personal computing for longer than many visitors to this forum have been alive. Now that we have it, how we apply it to our lives has become the concern. Call that consumerism if you will, but that's the story of every technology since fire - people are far more concerned with how those innovations affect their lives/livelihoods than they are about the societal big picture.

    In matters of this sort, the only time the pendulum swings back towards the "philosophic big picture" is when access to that power is threatened. I don't see access to the hardware (and most software) likely to ever be under threat. It's too deeply embedded in the economy (how do you ban the wheel?). However, the use of that hardware as a means of communication has proven to be another matter entirely.

    I remember the heady days when computing became "personal," and yes, part of that was political - power in the hands of the masses. But that was never the philosophical underpinning. It was just one more example of humans acquiring a new tool. Every major technology transforms society, and nearly all major technologies find their way into the hands of the masses in one form or another.

    "Pendulum" is the wrong metaphor anyway. Technological and societal change tends to acquire momentum and travel in a straight line in classic Newtonian form. While there may be forces that affect its speed and direction of travel, they are not fixed constraints that can predictably describe its future course. Pendulums, though they obey the same Newtonian principles, include a fixed constraint - they reverse direction because they are anchored to a stationery pivot point.

    If we see technology or society head off in a direction we don't like, we can hope we have enough gravitational pull to eventually reverse its course and that there's a firmly-anchored middle ground to provide the pendulum's pivot. But more likely than not, the pivot point is also in motion, and the pendulum bob never does return to the same location (yeah, in the cosmological sense a pendulum bob never returns to the same point, but I'm also citing Newton rather than Einstein... every debater needs some poetic license).
     
  20. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #20
    Oh yeah, the competition between AMD and Intel certainly pushed intel to innovate faster and stay ahead of AMD.

    ----------

    To a degree, I agree, the name change epitomized the new culture, it wasn't the cause of the change but as a result of Apple's new focus.
     
  21. hellowulu macrumors newbie

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    #21
    There is still lots of excitement in the start-up space. Yes, there is some cynicism, but individuals are doing great things. Look at the Apple design award winners, or what hackers are doing with things like Kinect. Tech may be past the early days, but it still has a bright future to look forward to.
     
  22. grahamperrin macrumors 601

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    #22
    I don't think so.

    I used one for the weekend a few weeks ago. Fun, and nostalgic.

    Everyday use of a 2009 Mac, with a preference for Mavericks, might seem nostalgic to some people, but it's not. Not nostalgic; for me it's realistic.

    The Yosemite experience did made me think more analytically about Apple's past. http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=20400431#post20400431 recalls a 2009 style of writing by Apple, a style that I treated as sincere.

    I like progress.

    I dislike the nature of the Apple's recent progress, but the dislike of that nature is not a wish for the company to 'go back'.
     
  23. Tsuchiya macrumors 68020

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    #23
    I'm not as old school as some of the posters here. My first Apple product was an iPod back in 2003, and I didn't switch to Mac for another four years.

    However, the magic was still there. The products still felt fresh and exciting. Just unboxing them was an experience. Discovering how the software worked, and appreciating the subtle sophisticated design was something else. The products weren't quite mainstream either, so finding someone else using the products was a novelty and it felt personal.

    That isn't really the case anymore, with all the popularity Apple are enjoying, they've become generic.
     
  24. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

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    #24
    I find my iOS devices more exciting to use everyday. There's a few problems here and there, but I've had to deal with worse.

    The current ads are not just aiming to sell the product, but to get you to do something with them. Which when you look back at the other ads throughout the years, it really isn't any different. They're presented differently, but they are still trying to provoke you to do something.

    And they work for both the person who already bought the iPhone, iPad, Mac who can then check this stuff out, and for the people who might buy one.

    That was the beauty of the iPod + iTunes ads back then too. We saw the ads, and we went to iTunes to buy the music featured.

    I don't care that everyone has Apple devices now. To me that's great.
     
  25. steveyo macrumors regular

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    #25
    I remember when the Motorola Razr was considered the cool must have phone:cool:
     

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