Apple's Dangerous Contempt

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacBytes, Jan 18, 2007.

  1. MacBytes macrumors bot

    Jul 5, 2003
  2. pth-webdev macrumors member

    Dec 20, 2005
    right here
    I know ... I know ... it's theStreet, so why bother a response on some negativity. It's their niche to never be positive. But you can be negative and still use your brain:

    Has this man even seen the introduction and read some of the specs? I mean, features like visual voice mail and chat-like messaging alone will make those people want to switch. Especially voice mail can potentially replace all their emails now they can more easily manage the messages (can you download them and save them?). Perhaps it's over a network that isn't the best (I have no opinion of my own on this, but that seems to be a common comment), but the time saved by the UI alone can easily offset the speed of the network.

    Why do reporters give the impression that all that smartphone users do is edit attachment or use apps written for them specifically?

    The iPhone is in a categorie all by itself. It will take those "experts" a long time to get their brain in sync with the changes that are happening.
  3. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    It's deja vu time all over again. These critiques sound remarkably like the complaints voiced against the iPod, when it first came out. What, no FM radio? Doesn't play WMP? How arrogant! Nobody will want such a limited device!

    Sure, Apple thinks they know what people want, and there's a certain arrogance at work in the design of the iPhone and its feature set -- just as there was with the iPod. But that's no more contemptible than some journalist believing he knows what people really want and need, and declaring a product dead before arrival.
  4. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    This is so very true, and I've already brought it up in other threads. I don't have the best memory, but the similarity of the criticisms are so close it's scary...I really think that that iPhone will not only take the "smartphone" market by storm, but it may very well take a chunk out of the UMPC market as well, since those devices are more featureful but suffer from a crap UI. The iPhone's touchscreen may very well be the way when it comes to keyboardless gadgets.
  5. jettredmont macrumors 68030

    Jul 25, 2002
    Rebuttal from someone without a stick in their nether regions

    The "new phenomenon" is actually more along the lines of labeling anything that does more than make phone calls and take pictures a "smart phone".

    While last-generation smartphones (Treo 650, for example) are below $300, new smartphones continue to range from $400-$700 prior to carrier discounts ($200-$500 with 2-year contract). The Apple phone is strongly at the top of that scale ($500-600 with 2-year contract), but it's nowhere near the "free" phones (which, btw, are more like $150-200 prior to discounts, not just "below $300").

    As I said above, the iPhone is nowhere near double the price of its competition. It is at the top of the range, but nowhere near double the price.

    "Yanking basic features": I don't consider the tiny screen and grain-of-sand buttons of my Treo to be great features. I'd strongly prefer a larger screen and an effectively 8x larger button area, and trading that for the tactile feedback of the buttons might well be worth it. It might not as well, but I certainly am not willing to say that the onscreen keyboard combined with Apple's technology is a worse solution for me than Palm's.

    I'll address 3G separately.

    Open access to third-party developers isn't so much of a feature as a means to developing features. I'd much rather have a competent shopping list program built by Palm and/or Microsoft on my Treo than ListPro (which is nice, but really clunky, and cost real money). I'd much rather have a good PDF viewer than the half dozen competing "ebook" readers, all of which I have installed, and all of which require a soft reset of my Treo after a few sessions. Third-party access is great for "niche" applications, but I'd rather my phone do the mainstream stuff well.

    Methinks you are way overstating the quality of these three items.

    I have yet to see a functional music system on a phone, by which I mean a music system which syncs flawlessly and silently with my computer (extra points for my Mac, but a Windows box qualifies), produces iPod-quality sound, and has a UI that makes sense. Maybe Europe and Asia are way ahead of us here, but I certainly haven't seen it here.

    "high-end cameras"? What kind of crack are you smoking? Have you looked at the output of these so-called "high-end" cameras? They look like crap. Period. Which, when you consider the laws of physics and the state of CMOS sensor technology, is exactly as one would expect. 5MP cameras get a great amount of play, but quality-wise you are trading 3 or more times the file size for <i>maybe</i> 5% increase in clarity (after the 5MP image has been reduced and filtered to a point that the color noise gets evened out). IMHO, this is the biggest scam in the industry, doing a great job of racking up per-byte data network charges but at net sorely hurting the user (slower transfers, more post-processing required, for negligible end quality increase).

    And third-party software is great, when it works with your phone. You have to be very careful about this, as any user of a smartphone powered by Windows knows: if the application wasn't directly targeted for your specific version of Windows Mobile, at a screen size exactly the size of your screen, it stands a VERY high likelihood of making the phone unstable and/or unusable. Caveat emptor. Personally, I'd rather have the bulk of my needs satisfied well and stably, than to have all my needs satisfied poorly and at the cost of my phone crashing in the middle of a phone call.

    Again, these three "features" might be important on a sales sheet, but to my mind, the large touch screen, intuitive interface, voicemail usability, and syncing that actually works (assuming, based on Apple's track record there) stand head and shoulders above these.

    I don't want a crappy phone that is also a crappy camera and a crappy calendar and a crappy music player. I want a great phone (again, visual access to my voicemail takes this from an okay phone to a great phone!) that is an extension of my computer. The rest is all gravy.

    Okay, here's the crux of the article. He appears to be royally ticked off that Apple's phone doesn't support the 3G networks which are common in Asia and Europe, instead supporting only the slower US networks.

    Let me state this very clearly: Apple is not releasing this phone in Asia. Apple is also not releasing this phone in Europe. Apple is releasing this phone in the (relatively small) US market.

    Should Apple support 3G networking? Why not! Of course! Would I as a buyer get any benefit from buying an Apple phone with 3G support? No, because I'm not in a 3G-capable area. Would it cause me any problems? I doubt it, although there are possible problems there; it would just be hardware that I bought and paid for, but never used.

    So, while adding 3G capabilities to their phones would benefit a handful of customers (those who live in 3G areas), it's not an issue for the majority. Of US customers.

    Now: why is Apple only targeting the US? Apple likes to start in a "protected" environment. It's easier to get partners to play along, it allows you to make a few mistakes without significant cost, and it tends to foster a rabid community. This is very similar to the iPod and iTMS: both started out Mac-only, which allowed Apple to improve the initial offerings quickly, convince music companies to play along, and led to a situation where few Mac owners would consider buying any MP3 player aside from an iPod.

    Of course, Apple has already stated that the iPhone will be available in Europe late this year and in Asia in 2008. Do you think that, just maybe, when those markets are opened up, Apple might launch an update to the phone including the features critical to those markets?

    As for the Korean knock-offs: why should Apple play their game? Seems a dubious suggestion from a financial analyst to say that Apple needs to release its phone into the Korean market so that it gets a month or so of sales before rip-offs appear on every corner for $99. Seems like a loser of a game when your primary advantage is UI. A month later, the iPhone has little to offer; why spend the capital to launch there when the window for profit is so small?

    I never got a RAZR, but the feedback I always heard from it was that the UI was atrocious. That's what killed sales, far more than the LG Chocolate and whatever trendy phone-of-the-moment Samsung has out (seems like they hawk a new "hot thing" every week). When the only thing going for you is that the marketing campaign says you are cool, you'll fall at the advent of the next fad. Hint: that's why the iPod is still around. It's more than just marketing.

    It's a "rookie mistake" only because the author is of the belief that one can't be in the cell phone business without aping Nokia and Samsung. The bigger "rookie mistake" would be trying to battle head-to-head with the giants of the industry before you've had the opportunity to hone your portfolio and skills. That's a classic mistake, one so old the Greeks wrote about it endlessly, and I for one am glad Apple didn't make it.
  6. rjwill246 macrumors 6502

    Feb 22, 2003
    USA (often) and Adelaide, OZ
    Perfectly thought out

    A great breakdown and it underscores the idiocy of some of the pundits who seem that think that any current Apple release is the final word for all time with no evolutionary changes even mooted. I have yet to fathom out the reason for these stupid anti-Apple analyses-- they don't serve the potential users, nor the market they are purporting to enlighten. Apple has made so few mistakes recently, has a great sense of the market and marketing and are not going to let this phone go the way of the Newton. I concur with you that the US is the best test market there is: control, here is key to the success of the iPhone. Trying to do what SamSung and Nokia do in the rest of the world is suicide. Hey, think of this: while you and I will be using our iPhones happily and productively, think of the stares you will get as you switch to a TV show you want to catch up, while sitting on a plane etc. Let's hear from the sour grapes crowd then.
  7. iW00t macrumors 68040


    Nov 7, 2006
    Defenders of Apple Guild
    On a phone that doesn't even support 3G?

    Tell me again when you finally made enough money to buy over Cingular. Even at the threat of firing everyone in the company I doubt you can do what you just described.
  8. Marky_Mark macrumors 6502a


    Sep 30, 2005
    I wouldn't want to download a TV show over 3G (or any other mobile network to be fair) - the costs would be extortionate and when we already have regular network drops on voice calls, you can imagine the pain you'd get having to restart streaming halfway through an episode. This stuff is a few years away unless you're going to use half your storage as a cache. In the meantime, you're more likely to download via iTunes and sync across to the device. If you're talking about streaming via wi-fi, then 3G is not involved.

    I've found the local majority view is that 3G is currently overpriced and of little value. Most people in the UK who have a 3G phone shudder at the thought of making video calls or downloading 'clips' (waste-of-space film trailers for example) because the costs are prohibitive. They might do it for a few days when they first get the thing and think, 'Hey, that's groovy', but it usually stops when the first bill arrives and they regain control of their limbs following the shock.

    There are many hearts and minds still to be won in the 'enlightened' and 'sophisticated' European market.

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