Apples treatment of the Pro market.

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by zedster, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. zedster macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    #1
    I've been having this conversation with a lot of friends and colleagues and thought it would be interesting to bring it here. The following is from my blog;
    The worm in the Apple.
    In the last month I’ve had a play with Apples new FinalCut Pro X. My experience has led me to ramble on about Apples current treatment of the Pro market.

    FCP-X received quite a lot of hash reviews immediately upon its release, wether they where fair reviews or just negative hype, I wasn’t sure however the missing features where reason enough for me to hold off upgrading. Recently a small project came up so I download the demo version (10.0.1) and with an open mind I launched the app and got into doing what I do. Injest from the EX1. Hmmm, no good. Few work arounds later and I have the files in the bin and ready for editing. But whats this stupid little clip viewer and psychotic canvas? The disappoints continued, and I must agree with the word on the street, this is iMovie Pro. This got me thinking. Whats with Apple and the professional market?

    Apple appears to be abandoning its pro market, a market that got Apple through the tough times and continues to promote the platform as a serious computing platform. The pro users where originally from the the print industry but over the years has scooped up many others incl, Architects, Scientists, Musicians, and the Film industry. They’ve been a loyal Apple sector however over the last few years we’ve seen pro software and hardware either disappearing from the shelfs or gathering dust; The Xserve, Shake, Finalcut Server, Color, the current mac pro was released 17 months ago [at time of writing] and now Final cut pro appears to have been derailed.

    At the same time apple has heavily pushed into the consumer market, just as Steve Jobs wanted with the original Apple II and Macinosh. To be fair, under the hood OSX is very much a PRO machine, however it would appear that apple is no longer focusing on the pro market like they have in the past. Why should they? The pro market is small and very demanding, and Apple appear to be leaving it instead to the third parties to cater to. Not a silly idea, however I think they’ve got it wrong.

    Apples consumer base isn’t little boxes like whats been presented at keynote extravaganzas in the past, its more like a pyramid. With your general consumers at the base and the professional market at the top. Why does a student film maker/architect/musician etc choose Apple? It’s not because it’ll go great with their iPhone, its because the pros use them and if the Pro’s use something else so will students, teachers, friends, and so on. If you lose the top of the pyramid you expose the base to erosion.

    The pro market can move quickly if they have to; when Adobe stalled on a release of Premiere for OSX the newly released Final Cut stole market share and then acted as a catalyst bringing video editors over to apples hardware. When Quark wavered Adobe InDesign stole the scene. Apple bought Logic (and later released garage band) which they captured the music industry with (ok the iPod may have influenced this group a little too). So my plea to Apple is this; Sort out the Pro sector.

    I have a lot more to say on the subject, but i’ll cut it there.
     
  2. macingman macrumors 68020

    macingman

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    #2
    They're abandoning the pro market because a huge majority of their users these days are average consumers, it's not worth spending millions developing products for only like 5-10% of their users when they can use that money to create products the other 90% would buy.
     
  3. zedster thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 24, 2002
    #3
    I'm in the Tertiary education sector and we use dual booting Mac's. There are some apps that are PC only and some that are Mac only. Most of our students arrive as PC users and leave as Mac Nuts because we use Macs every day. However I could switch platforms quite easily if need be. If I stop using Macs (because of the lack of pro support) so will our students. These students go in the industry and have a big influence on what they adopt. That 5-10% just started eroding the 90%.
     
  4. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

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    #4
    I resent the dumbing down of software as well. In Lion, the user's Library folder is hidden. :confused:
     
  5. Stella macrumors 604

    Stella

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    #5
    If it produces a profit then why not support the 10%?

    Having Macs in the enterprise is a trojan horse - exposes people to Macs and if they like them -they'll buy them for the home / other uses. Not to mention, opens the opportunity for businesses to buy Xserves ( not now - they are gone ) to support those Macs.
     
  6. interrobang macrumors 6502

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    May 25, 2011
    #6
    Imagine you have ten dollars. There are two slots in front of you. One slot will turn a dollar into two dollars. The other slot will turn a dollar into five dollars.

    How many dollars are you going to put into the first slot?
     
  7. G4er? macrumors 6502a

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    Temple, TX
    #7
    Not a pro but I did get my computer start on Macs in a print shop back in the early 90s.

    The mini and iMac lines do not offer the features I want but the Mac Pro is much more than I need. I've been holding on hoping Apple might offer something in between. But while waiting for the right desktop Mac I haven't spent any money on the other products from Apple.

    Why buy music players and phones from Apple if the real reason I can to Apple isn't available?

    I do believe that letting the Pro market languish hurts Apple's bottom line. Maybe not much but what if the real professionals start doing what I'm doing?

    If the Professionals are forced to Windows and also stop buying iDevices Apple might finally notice. And what if it spreads? The next batch of Professionals that are learning their trades will be learning on Windows. What if they stay away from all things Apple? And they will be younger where they have more influence on their peers. What if their non professional friends stop buying?
     
  8. *LTD*, Dec 6, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011

    *LTD* macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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    #8
    The Pro market is neither that important anymore, nor that profitable.

    The big market today are Prosumers. And frankly, it's probably the most important and vibrant market in tech today.

    ----------

    If it is, it isn't easily quantifiable. All those billions they're making from the consumer/prosumer market are getting in the way.
    Oh, now there are "real" professionals? As opposed to the "sorta real" guys? You guys don't even know who the hell you are. The market segment you're in is not just niche, it's shrinking. Prosumers are muscling in.

    Nothing will happen when the "real" Pros start doing whatever it is that you're doing. The "real" Pros switched to Avid or something else years ago. And in case you're wondering or you're under some false impressions, there is no Pro market pastiche anymore. Pro tools and consumer tools have been and are merging to an unprecedented degree.

    ----------

    What if you reach so far in your wild scenarios that you knock the ISS out of orbit?
     
  9. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

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    #9
    (Emphasis added.)

    That is the crux of your argument, and it's simply wrong. In fact, the opposite is true - and Apple themselves have said so. Consider the purpose that Jobs said was behind the iPhone - to draw more people into the Apple system. Guess what? It worked FAR better than making a smaller Mac Pro tower would have.

    You can bemoan the "pro" market all you want, but the reality is that Apple is successful today because it has marginalized the pro market. As others have said, the "pro" market is small, demanding, and hence not very profitable. Apple has succeeded in getting into the enterprise through the front door via the iPhone and iPad - not through the back door with the Xserve and Mac Pro.

    Also, for the overwhelming majority of people, "pros" included, the hardware made today is more than capable - the tiny percentage of people for whom it is not do not, by themselves, obviously do not constitute sufficient justification to divert substantial resources to making a different solution. If there were a sufficient true demand, Apple would build a solution. From the fact that Apple has not, I conclude that Apple has determined doing so does not meet their internal ROI requirements (whatever they might be).
     
  10. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    Oct 14, 2005
    #10
    So what if the pyramid that is the old Final Cut Pro is such that the base (foundation) layers couldn't continue to support the added weight from the new upper layers (features) that you Pros keep asking for?

    What do you do? Keep adding on new layers anyway?

    Or do you knock the whole thing down, and rebuild, with stronger, bigger base layers that will support the addition of new layers for years to come?

    I think Apple is in the process of sorting the Pro sector out. It's way too early to tell if the method they've chosen to do so will be successful or not.

    Personally, I think Apple made a mistake by pulling the old Final Cut when they released the new one. I don't necessarily think that they made a mistake by starting over with Final Cut.

    As for students/future professionals, ... a good many of them are already likely familiar with the iMovie environment, and the Final Cut X clip viewer to them probably isn't 'stupid and little", nor is the canvas "psychotic". IMO, Final Cut X is a paradigm change to old-timers like you, not the next generation of video professionals. Now the question is, how quickly can Apple achieve feature parity with it, compared to Final Cut?
     
  11. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

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    #11
    To be fair, it isn't hard at all to access it or unhide it. And it does prevent users who have no clue how to use a computer from deleting something they shouldn't.

    So at one point it was important? Where have all the pros gone then? Have they just vanished in thin air? The pro market may not be as big as the 'prosumer' or consumer market and Apple may have shifted priorities, but pros still want to buy professional software. Apple were once regarded as a company that made some excellent, polished, professional products for the pro market. They've been rapidly loosing their place in the market for the past three to four years now.

    If that is what they want, then so be it. And no doubt you will reply that it is what they want and its the best road to take and Apple is amazing by doing this and etc. But be aware that the many pros of this world will be more and more upset with Apple and you'll be seeing more and more of that image below on online forums.

    There is no reason why Apple can't cater for many markets.
     

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  12. *LTD*, Dec 6, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011

    *LTD* macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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    #12
    It doesn't actually matter.

    There is: profit and focus.

    We believe that we need to own and control the primary technologies behind the products we make, and participate only in markets where we can make a significant contribution.

    We believe in saying no to thousands of projects so that we can really focus on the few that are truly important and meaningful to us.

    --- Tim Cook, 2009


    I believe that answers your question.
     
  13. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #13
    I'd agree to that. While I think Lion is a good OS with some improvements, I see apple "dumbing" it down for no real logical reason.
     
  14. Stella macrumors 604

    Stella

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    #14
    Both at the same time. I have enough resources to do both at the same time because I know the payback is worth it. I'm not putting my eggs into one basket ( that being the consumer only basket ).
     
  15. *LTD* macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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    #15
    Really? You think Apple did that for "no real logical reason"? You think Apple's entire philosophy about usability exists for "no real logical reason"?

    It has to do with addressing the needs, concerns, problems of, and (potentially damaging) habits of the average user.

    It's best not to project your own attitudes onto the market.
     
  16. AppleScruff1 macrumors G3

    AppleScruff1

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    #16
    Nor yours.
     
  17. arkitect, Dec 6, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011

    arkitect macrumors 601

    arkitect

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    #17
    I'm sorry but coming from you that's a bit rich.

    So you think all pros in all fields (there is more to the pro market than just video editing you know) will just move over to iPads and iToys?

    Many months ago you were spouting the same stuff telling us pros we have no need of a computer other than an iPad.
    I challenged you then to tell me where I could find replacements for my pro software — you know Rhino 3D. Maxwell render… Autocad etc — so I could ditch my Mac Pros and get to work earning a living using iToys.

    Your reply even admitted as such.
    Link
    Months have passed and there are no apps.

    So please *LTD* to quote yourself again:
     
  18. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604

    MacsRgr8

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    #18
    That's what the discussion is about:

    Do you really have enough resources? Or do you need to focus?

    Does it cost you to build Mac Pros because you take away some of the resources needed to build MacBook Airs? Would it be easier, thus cheaper to build OS X just for mobile units?

    Of course, if maintaining the Mac Pro doesn't cost much and you still make a decent profit off them, surely Apple will continue to build and sell them.

    OTOH, its easy to understand that the time, effort, research and people required to make a next generation of Mac Pros could be redirected to hardware that easily makes more profit....

    No one's resources are unlimited. Even if your wealth is.

    Time shall tell if Apple feel the Mac Pro worthy of another update.
    I think there is one more in the pipeline. After that...
     
  19. zedster thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 24, 2002
    #19
    Well smack a nail. Sounds like words directly from Mr Jobs own mouth. Lets hope the reality distortion field fades quickly.
    Unfortunately Apple has gotten so big that instead of selling off software they've stopped developing they hold on to it like some kind of cadaver, hacking bits off and using it elsewhere. But if your lucky enough (+ some $$'s) you maybe able to licence the source code (i.e. Shake).
     
  20. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #20
    Hiding the Library folder, yes, no logical reason. Apple creates its own philosophy about usability and then breaks those philosophy. Just look at when apple changed the traffic lights from horizontal to vertical in iTunes. Was there a logical reason for that, if so why did they go back to horizontal.

    Just because apple does something doesn't instantly mean that the heaven's opened up and suddenly they saw the light. They make the decisions that sometimes doesn't make sense or makes more work for the users. Hiding the Library folder is just that. Its easily rectified but the point is that there's no reason for hiding it
     
  21. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

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    #21
    I think what's more annoying about it is that there hasn't been a clear announcement from the company, it's all just been a very gradual erosion of the tools we used to like to use.

    Things like the Library folder going missing, the scrapping of iDisk, Final Cut Pro turning into something more akin to iMovie, trackpads being turned upside down by default - even for users upgrading.

    I know one thing is for sure - I won't be buying another Mac desktop. There's now not a single feature that makes me say "that's why I use Mac OS over Windows" and when the hardware in a desktop is the same as the hardware in any other desktop, there's no longer a compelling reason to spend so much extra on a desktop from Apple.

    Notebooks are different, because build quality is much more important there, but I can see that going the same way if companies like Dell and Lenovo continue improving what are already really nice machines.
     
  22. Bonch macrumors 6502

    Bonch

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    #22
    My ex-wife who is not computer savvy accidentally deleted a bunch of Applications, like iTunes, iPhoto, Safari, etc. I have absolutely no idea how she did this, nor does she. She called me and said she could not listen to hers songs or get on the internet. She said the Dock Icons didn't work. I go over there and half the Applications are gone.

    Apple is dumbing it down to cater to people like her, which is the main market segment. It seems foolish to you and I, but we are not the majority.
     
  23. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

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    #23
    So by the same argument, cars should come with a lock on the bonnet that only a mechanic has a key to?
     
  24. GermanyChris macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

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    #24
    I think that if the mac pro is not updated I'm going to spring the big kahuna of Mac Pros just so I can keep my "truck" as long as the wheels stay on it.
     
  25. GermanyChris macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

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    #25
    There will always be cause to say that...but there will be little reason to say that about the next generation Linux desktops...

    Canonical has made Linux pretty and convenient..combine Ubuntu One with a package manager that looks like the app store and top it with the Ubuntu studio GUI you have a rock stable, attractive OS with most of what you need and more coming everyday...

    Linux heads will argue the purity of Ubuntu but it's simply the most approachable Linux package out there..It lets you focus on work and not compiling drivers etc.

    Sorry for the Linux evangelism, I use Mac but my heart will always lie with the Open Source community.
     

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