Apple's looming brand perception problem

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by thejadedmonkey, Apr 25, 2010.

  1. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    #1
    Lets face it, brand perception is everything right now. And Apple's beginning to have a problem with it of late. Sure, the media may be on Apple's side, as are many clueless customers. However, there's a growing number of enthusiasts who are becoming increasingly disenfranchised with Apple.

    I'm one of these customers who doesn't think that Apple is going in the right direction - regardless of how I feel about their hardware/software.

    What does Apple need to do to fix their perception among enthusiasts, and better yet, can it be done with Steve Jobs at the helm?
     
  2. DeSnousa macrumors 68000

    DeSnousa

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    #2
    We need the Mac platform to be devolped for, really updates are not like they used to be and hardware updates are slow and seeing they are the same as Windows we can actually see the lag going on.

    I love the iPod/iPhone/iPad but the Mac is still very vital for the company!
     
  3. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #3
    Apple has no looming brand perception problem. All evidence (quarter after quarter of growth, increasing market share in all markets they play in, continually atop customer service ratings, continually at or near top of brand awareness/image polls and more) points to the opposite.

    Some day, computer forum geeks will realize that they are but a small piece of the market and hardly representative of the buying public at large.

    [/*LTD*] :D
     
  4. jb1280 macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    Apple would have a pending brand perception problem if all of this angst was building towards how people are treated in Chinese manufacturing facilities.

    This isn't the reality though.

    I have a difficult time that what goes on at Apple is brutally more extreme than at other top level firms. All of these stories I think are merely a function of Apple's high profile.

    At the upper echelon of any discipline, it is full of ruthlessness, vindictiveness, and brutality. This starts at the university level.

    The only real perception problem Apple would have is if top students from top universities decide that Apple is not a company worth working for.

    I don't think the general polity is going to boycott Apple due to perceived mistreatment of Silicon Valley engineers.

    If Apple enthusiasts who bought into the hagiography of Apple as a force for good against evil are disillusioned - so be it.
     
  5. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #5
    Highly doubtful.
     
  6. Hmac macrumors 68020

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    #6
    Nah...they'll do fine.

    The MacRumors technobubble has nothing to do with their actual customer base. Most people don't know about any of that stuff, nor would they care if they did.
     
  7. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #7
    Since I was quoted in the OP, I'll throw in my $.02 :D

    I do see apple having some issues, For instance, Steve Jobs being rather vocal lately. I think too local in giving his opinion on matters that may be better left kept to himself or rather at least to his friends not the customers of apple.

    The spat with adobe is disturbing on a number of fronts.

    Apple's increasingly desire to control and approve of applications on the iphone. The whole debacle about rejecting a Pulitzer prize winner's iphone app because his political cartoon app was, well political.

    Apple possible desire to control applications on OSX.

    On the hardware front, apple has been been playing it safe - too safe. We're paying a premium for an apple laptop yet some of the components are less then premium, i.e., the current GPU, TN display panel as opposed to IPS, slow SSD, etc.

    I'm, sure I'll get flamed by a number of folks but in the end apple is losing some of its luster and allure. Yeah, I'm still an apple customer and think their apps are better the their competition, and their laptops are still very good, albeit very expensive.
     
  8. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #8
    When has Apple ever been fast with the updates? Wasn't there a time when the hardware updates were a year apart or longer? How is this any different?

    Hasn't Apple had spouts with Adobe before? I mean the whole premiere/after effects vs final cut was pretty vocal. Not on the internet (really wasn't one like there is now) but I remember reading about it in Tech/video magazines etc.

    I think we hear about it now more then ever because the company is doing so well across the board.

    I don't think they are losing anything right now. They may lose a customer here and there but then again, name a company that doesn't lose customers who are not happy with one thing or another.
     
  9. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #9
    That's been spats before with adobe, but I don't recall the CEO of apple saying that adobe is lazy. That's not really conducive to building (or repairing) a relationship.

    There's another aspect to consider and that was mentioned in a link in the another thread here and that's apple backlash. I see a building increase in users who particularly like apple, just because. I'm seeing that more and more on various forums and such. I see this increasing as time goes on.

    It happened to sony, it happened to Microsoft, it happened to Lotus. Companies that ones were firing on all cylinders started getting more backlash from customers. Some of them were "cool" or at the very least very popular found themselves on the opposite side in a short amount of time. I can see the seeds of this occurring with apple right now.
     
  10. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #10
    Do you think you are just seeing this on forums only or do you feel or think this is also happening outside the realm of forums? I have said it before, companies lose customers all the time. You can't please everyone every time. I have no doubt Apple's time will come however I just don't think in my opinion it will happen sooner then later.
     
  11. tigres macrumors 68040

    tigres

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    #11
    Top this off with the rumors that OSX 10.7 is going to be locked in like a turtles pecker. Or like the iphone os. This direction may not be the one that is currently loved by developers and followers alike.
     
  12. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #12
    On various internet forums, not just here, technology sites, that offer comments to their news stories and then outside, face to face interactions. I'm seeing some anti-apple sentiment.
     
  13. *LTD* macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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    #13
    Therefore, no brand perception problem.

    It simply doesn't exist in mass to be of any consequence. But you can always keep wishing for it. After all, unicorns exist in the millions and it's easy to conceive of them . . . in your imagination.

    There has always been an anti-Apple movement that has allegedly been "growing." Apparently, it has only resulted in record sales of Apple gear.

    It might be more useful for the OP to be discussing real problems (if he can find them) rather than imaginary ones.
     
  14. Hmac macrumors 68020

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    #14
    OMG there has never been a time in the last 25 years when there WASN'T anti-Apple sentiment. This is the same as it's ever been. Given Apple's much higher profile these days, it's amazing that it's not worse.
     
  15. ARF900 macrumors 65816

    ARF900

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    #15
    It just doesnt matter at this point, average consumers will keep apple doing well no matter what the tech geeks think or want.

    Everyone wants the touch, and by now a good percentage of people have one, they see that Apple on the back and it makes them want a mac, ipad, or iphone. Thats how Apple works, get people to buy and love cheap products, to make them want the expensive ones.
     
  16. KeriJane macrumors 6502a

    KeriJane

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    #16
    Very probably 10.7 is going to be very developer unfriendly. It's almost certain to be very "locked down".

    This is likely to annoy many followers, developers and enthusiasts.
    There will be an outcry and a "brand perception problem".

    BUT....

    Only among the vast MINORITY of users! Most people won't even know. Or Care. Or even care to know!

    Nearly all of their "normal" customers will appreciate the fact that the Macs mostly just work and won't even realize the limitations.
    Those that are apparent to the user like iPhone's lack of Flash will generally be put up with and accepted.

    I feel that "locking the OS down" is probably a good idea for Apple. It will help ensure that the average user doesn't end up in trouble and will help blunt the coming tide of Apple specific malware that is likely to appear as Apple takes over more of the computer market.

    Apple has already "solved" the ages-old complaint of: "My 500GB hard drive only shows 468GB (or whatever) in Finder". This has angered many if not most developers but appeased nearly all of their "General Public" customers. Guess who spends the most money?

    Look for Apple to be more and more "Consumer Friendly" and less and less "Developer Friendly".

    Is this catering to unworthy Idiots and Rubes? Why, Yes it is.
    It's also the best way to stay in business when most of the public isn't very technical and when all of your competitors DO have consumer unfriendly features like "where's my 37 missing GB" and "wide open to every hacker on the planet OS architecture".

    Developers are smart enough to figure things out. They'll be fine though a little grumpier than usual.

    Predicting Apple Market Share over 50% in under 5 years,
    Keri
    PS. I'll betcha an LOL on that.... If I'm wrong, you can laugh at me. :p
     
  17. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #17
    The problem is if that is the case, some developers may not think its cost effective to develop for OSX, especially given the small market share the Mac has.

    Take adobe for example, what if the recent spat continues, and apple yanks their chain with approving photoshop for 10.7. Who will be hurt the most if they (adobe) walks away from the mac platform. Apple. Yeah adobe will be hurt short term, but all those people want to continue to use the latest and greatest photoshop will need to switch to windows. Additionally, adobe could make incentives to switch people over, i.e., highly discounted cross grade licenses.

    The lack of depth and breadth of applications for OSX is bad enough (compared to windows) why in the world will apple make it even harder. Greed and control comes quickly to mind.
     
  18. djellison macrumors 68020

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    #18
    You owe me a new keyboard. This one got coffee all over it somehow.
     
  19. thejadedmonkey thread starter macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    #19
    I think what Apple needs to be concerned about is 1) annoying developers, and 2) annoying the media. If you annoy developers enough, you'll end up with a problem. However, as Apple has in-hose development of all necessary programs short of an image editing program, I don't see developers as important as they could be.

    However, if Apple continues pulling media stunts that aren't spectacular, or sets precedent for suing grokster for their iPhone leak, I could see a media backlash against Apple... But I also understand that, because Apple buys ads on all of the major networks, the mass media will play nice with Apple.

    So where does that leave us? 5 years from now, when Apple has a "50% market share", and it's obvious that people are displeased with Apple, but there is no discourse, it will become cool or hip to have a PC, because it's so open, or better yet a linux machine, because it's like OS X but open... or something like that.

    You may disagree, but I see it already. Some of my geekiest friends are abandoning OS X for Linux, I myself left for Windows 7. My friend who's in nursing and wants a macbook pro soooo bad, started to not like Apple because they're trying to charge her $80 to fix her $150 iPod. She thinks they're out to get her money and run. If she found out that Apple fired an engineer for showing an iPad prototype 2 hours before it was released, she's think even less highly of Apple.

    My point is, it's not just the geeks who can decide whether they like a product or an entire brand, and buy accordingly. It's the same tactics that Apple used to become "hip" that are beginning to lead to their downfall.

    I'm not saying that Apple has fallen - far from it - but I am saying that as Apple grows as a company, people are looking closer at how they operate, and it's becoming a problem.
     
  20. Gaelic2 macrumors 6502

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    #20
    The self importance of so many on this forum keeps them from realizing they are not the market. They are just a drop in the bucket when it comes to marketing and sales to the public. All the moaning and histrionics they put up, and all the negativity they push out just causes me to bypass the forums altogether since they aren't really pertinent.
     
  21. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

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    #21
    The problem really is that if you go to an Apple Store these days looking for a computer, it's like going into a time machine. You're seeing a "new" MacBook Pro with a Core 2 Duo that predates the election of Barack Obama, predates Snow Leopard and predates Windows 7.

    Problem is, the age of the hardware isn't reflected in the price. So you can buy a MacBook Pro these days and get two year old hardware and pay the same price that it was two years ago.

    On the software side, Snow Leopard is still unstable and the UI is decidedly dated. Until Apple sorts out all aspects of its Mac offering it's going to continue to see comments like these.
     
  22. Hmac macrumors 68020

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    #22
    The point is that that is only a problem for a small minority of computer users. Outside of MacRumors, nobody really cares.


    :/
     
  23. KeriJane macrumors 6502a

    KeriJane

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    #23
    Glad I could help! :D :eek: ;) :eek: :p :)

    But if it's all full of coffee, how did you just type that?

    Have Fun,
    Keri

    PS. My bet's still on.... you can't laugh at me for 4 years, 364 days.
    C'mon, Steve, I know you can do it! Only 40% to go!
     
  24. *LTD* macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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    #24
    The media love Apple (except for Gizmodo.) They feed off Apple news. Apple keeps throwing the media fodder, and they respond by flooding the tech news with Apple news, right down to the most insignificant ephemera. Even Steve's e-mails make headlines.

    As for developers, the way things are rolling for Apple you'd think Apple was the only game in town. As long as developers can make $$ off Apple, they aint going nowhere. And Apple has the coolest sh*t in town. It's pretty simple.

    These "risks" have always existed, for every tech company. "Don't annoy people." Such penetrating insight.
     
  25. thejadedmonkey thread starter macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    #25

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