Defending Apple's choices on the iTouch

Discussion in 'iPod touch' started by wongulous, Sep 24, 2007.

  1. wongulous macrumors 6502a

    Dec 7, 2002
    I have been an Apple fanboy since like first grade, and I'm 23 now, so don't even try the fanboy stuff against me. I love Apple just as much as you, and I've probably defended their choices more than you know. I've converted dozens upon dozens of people, including two small businesses, and I've never been one to complain much. The only complaint I ever had before was when my old iBook logic board croaked, but that was eons ago and I didn't say too much about it.

    Anyhow, I just don't see how anyone can defend some of Apple's choices on the iPod touch, especially the removal of SOFTWARE FEATURES.

    It's not the removal of hardware features--that has a few good reasons for it, between price margins and size and feasibility. For instance, I'm not lamenting the lack of Bluetooth or A2DP because I have tried two different headsets with several PMPs, a desktop, and a Treo, and not a single implementation was convenient nor was it reliable--A2DP just seems half-baked to me, so I'm not sweating it. I'll use real headphones. I'm not talking about hardware differences.

    It's not that Apple DIDN'T make the software that I'm looking for--I don't expect amazing miracles like Final Cut on iPod or something. I'm not upset that there's no lyrics implementation or games on the iPod touch... because those would be new programming and new interfaces and new game development that would need to be worked on--the iPod touch is a different beast from the iPod classic, obviously! However, it's not different from the iPhone.

    Which brings me to my real point, how the iPod touch has specifically and intentionally had software features--which would not have cost Apple any MORE money to implement into the iPod touch--and that I think it's a position for which there is no defense that doesn't involve posturing itself to force customers to make choices they DON'T want in order to artificially boost profits. All I can think of comparing it to is Microsoft, because it is a software issue, and how they specifically removed certain key features of the operating system in Vista (though it's happened in the past as well) in order to force people who wanted xyz basic features or abc audio quality to buy the ultimate version that was overkill for their needs. Now, yes, the flaw with my analogy is that they can't make a billion variants of Vista for every set of 'needs,' but that doesn't apply to this situation anyway.

    At the same price point, but one choice (iPhone) has a mobile phone and mobile internet, and the other choice (iPod touch) does not have anything but WiFi but has more storage, sales would not cannabalize each other--but rather, better satisfy customers that would have each individual need (need AT&T phone service, or don't; need 16gb, or don't).

    Instead, for those of us to whom simple email and calendar were actually REALLY IMPORTANT, we're stuck. To those of us who can't get AT&T, don't want AT&T, had a bad experience with AT&T, live in another country that doesn't have AT&T, don't want to void our warranties by hacking the iPhone, or can't agree to a contract (and don't want their awful prepaid pricing), we have no option. Like it or lump it, because the iPod touch is what you get. No calendar or email? None of the widgets that were on the nearly identical iPhone? Too bad, says Apple. You should get an iPhone, says fanboys. It's just an iPod and those features are unnecessary, says the purists.

    Well you know what, I'm tired of people making excuses for Apple. Am I the only one who feels that this was totally messed up of Apple? Meanwhile we're expected to wish and hope or potentially void our warranties hacking it because Apple chose to short us on software that already existed because they wanted more money (it's obvious that with the carrier $$$ the iPhone has GOT to be more profitable)? Stop defending this! Tell Apple this IS NOT okay!

    And I hate that all of this got drowned in the midst of the negative blacks issue... genuinely important, but not exactly the same page. Now everyone's up in arms about that, and it's slowly but surely getting resolved, but where does that leave the issues with the iPod touch that weren't defects, but intentional?
  2. jmpage2 macrumors 68040


    Sep 14, 2007
    On the software side the decisions are pretty indefensible. Since ALL of the reviews are lampooning their slimming down of software features it's always possible they can be added back in later.

    On the other hand, if the device sells well then I doubt they will do anything.
  3. jackc macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2003
    As a consumer, I sure hope that the Touch will be getting the same software.

    But don't kid yourself about other companies not doing the same type of thing to differentiate their products when it's not strictly necessary. It's not just Microsoft.
  4. dagored macrumors 65816

    Sep 18, 2007
    Depends on what you want!

    Depends. I have been a fanboy as long as you, if not longer. I am 56. I have an original iPod. Yeah, the wheel goes around and it is as big as a pack of regular cigarettes (can't come up with anything else). It holds 5 gig.

    It is still running. I am still using it. I think I need to replace the battery. About $29, I think. Do it myself.

    I am looking to buy the Touch on my birthday in about 2 weeks. I can play music, watch movies, store photos, sync and add contacts, and surf using Wifi. It has a big color screen and 16 gig of storage. (14.something?)

    On my old iPod, I can listen to music and view contacts. It has a tiny black and white screen, but does sound good to me.

    I paid about $460 for my original, I think. My new and improved one will cost a little less. I think I will be happy.
  5. erasr macrumors 6502

    Sep 18, 2007
    I am an amateur of Apple products compared to most on this forum. But I'm big on design and techy stuff.
    One simple argument to that against the iPhone is...

    1. In the UK the iPhone contract is £35 at least a month, with 300 less free minutes and texts than what the normal £35 contract will get you. That, surely makes the decision easy for us, why would I want to pay a hell of a load more for a phone that isn't even really that practical for a mobile phone. Which leads me to...

    2. Personally, if I want a calender and bluetooth I will get a phone, the iPod touch to me is an IPOD, not a PDA or phone, some of the things that Apple have taken out to me seem logical in a way. I personally just want a music player, video player, WiFi and ability to look at my photos. If I want the other apps I would use a laptop, Phone (as you carry it everywhere) or blackberry.

    3. The iPhone doesnt suit me at all, it's great yeah and I'd love one, but I can't imagine taking it like...camping or to play football and leave in my gym bag. I take my mobile everywhere, I want a slimline lightweight and perfect for texting mobile phone. The iPhone isnt that at all and so I would stick to the Sony Ericsson 4GB phone, which is more durable too. Oh and free. Oh and more minutes and texts free per month.

    I am not even bothered about anything, or not a fanboy, I just know what's best for me and I want in life a SLIM, big screen, simple, touch screen music and video player and the Touch is just that!!! I don't want a calender function even, contacts, camera, no other MP3 player has all of those so why would Apple need to add them on, until now surely not enough people have cried out for the apps on an MP3 player.
    It has 16GB! Thats double the iPhones. I am gladly paying £269 for all that because I could pay £300 for a crappy PS3 and have to spend £40 every time for a game making it far more expensive, when I know I would use my iPod far more.
    Im just a newbie, mr Average, wanting average things. I think I have the attitude of MOST people out there who don't surf this forum or ipod forums.
  6. Arisian macrumors 68000


    Sep 14, 2007
    two points

    I agree, but I want to point out two things

    1. Apple, like every COMPANY(insert def. of company here), is out to make a profit. That’s why they are a company and not something else. You have to realize, or at least try to recognize that this is an incredible marketing scheme on their parts. Yes, they are differentiating the product lines. Yes, it was intentional (thus no real need to defend on some grounds). Yes, it will make them money. Making money is what makes a company a company. You have great products, customer service, marketing, etc so that you can MAKE... MONEY.

    2. I am also pissed that they didnt add the iphone apps when it seems so simple, so intuitive, so easy. I really wish they had done that for all the reasons that have been listed and the reasons that are to come. However, however much I can point my finger at Apple for those reasons, I have to refer to my previous comments. It's almost like we are mad at Apple (or at least some people are) for being a company and doing things that remind us of that.​

    I do think that Apples marketing schemes have been very different than they were in the past. If you look at where M$ is right now, I have no doubt that Jobs is trying to capitalize on that, which is smart... and good for Apple and in the long run, good for us. That's why you see Apple aggressively promoting and differentiating their products right now. Maximize profit in the holiday season. I wouldn't be surprised if Apple is planning on selling us applications on these phones in January (after most people get their hands on them).

    Believe me, I'm not trying to defend Apple; I want me some good ol' iphone apps on my ipt. I think it was dumb of them not to put them on the ipt. I think it was a tradeoff between making us happy and making profit and increasing market share (and btw, everyone is still buying the ipt while they know fully it doesn’t have the same capabilities).

    As upset as I could be or may become, I can't get mad at a COMPANY for doing something that is an inherent attribute of a COMPANY.
  7. RumMunkey macrumors 6502a


    Nov 3, 2006
    I get the feeling (completely unsupported by any fact mind you) that Apple's agreement with AT&T is worded in such a way as preclude Apple from putting "message relaying" type software on devices other than the iPhone.

    Hence no real e-mail, no VOIP, no iChat, etc etc, even though they're all totally possible.

    Now, this business with changing the video-out components to only work with Apple-branded cables.... that's just low.
  8. Arisian macrumors 68000


    Sep 14, 2007

    interesting, if thats the case Apple is dumber than we all thought
  9. wongulous thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 7, 2002
    Oh, you're right. It's not just MS. It's just not really been Apple before. It's something I'd expect from MS. I'd expect GM to limit the horsepower inherent to an engine in a mid-size sedan to sell a higher-end sportscar. I'd expect Omaha Steaks to save the absolute best meat for their "Private Reserve," even though they say all of their steaks are the absolute best quality and perfectly cut and amazing to taste. Business choices like these aren't 100% wrong, but they're not 100% right. And not all businesses feel the effects, or even care. Apple knows that you're not going to go buy an Archos, and you're not going to get an iPhone anywhere else. Either you'll get the iPt and like it, or you'll get the iPhone and hand them more profits... unless consumers have the guts to RESPOND.*cough*thatswhatthisthreadisfor*cough*

    Of course. No one is arguing that the iPod touch isn't an amazing product, that does more than ever before compared to an iPod. But it is no more than an iPhone without the phone--it runs the same operating system--it runs close to the same chips (essentially the same for the sake of argument since it functions exactly the same except for Bluetooth integration).

    And yes, you should be happy. It's a great piece of work even if crippled. You might not even be bothered by the crippling because it's still such an amazing device. That is, if you just ignore that Apple has tiled over the perfectly-functioning fireplace in your new apartment to try to force you to upgrade to the 2 bedroom unit, even if you don't need it and can't afford the monthly costs.

    I would give you this, but there's two issues.

    First, in the US, smartphones are the fastest growing device segment behind iPods--faster than even the next fastest PMP (Zune). So I think people want more than just the average things, and people who don't surf this forum or iPod forums still want a calendar and mail client.

    Second, in the US and other countries, mobile phones, including their calendars, are just not as advanced. We don't have laws saying there has to be portability between devices, and we use CDMA for the vast majority of our services compared to GSM, so there are less phones and there's more control by the provider which stagnates development and gives companies another opportunity to do similarly to what Apple has, and disable features or not select certain handset models because they would cannibalize the more expensive Blackberries and HTC Touch smartphones, even if they are overkill for the particular customer they worry would opt for the lesser model. SO what this means is that people are looking to Apple and the iPod device to fill this hole. Furthermore, most already know or would soon realize that Apple's implementation of a calendar and email, even if not a part of a tiny mobile phone you can throw in a gym bag, would be LIGHT YEARS AHEAD of what's on your Nokia or Samsung or Motorola. Seriously. LIGHT YEARS.

    So I respectfully disagree, but again you prove my point partially--there have got to be plenty of people in Europe's iPhone-introduced countries that don't want the iPhone now because of the rate plans, but need features of the iPhone which are absent on the iPod touch.

    Wow. Intelligent addition to the conversation.

    Ultimately you're right, but this isn't just charging less for a lower-cost product. The cost would be the same regardless. There aren't many analogies between the digital/software world and the physical world that are equal in order to show how unethical this is, but the closest would be throttling a car's horsepower or speed in order to force someone to upsell to a ritzy sportscar that costs a whole lot more and requires an additional monthly fee and you can only live in a certain area and etc etc... It's a gray area, as I've said. Not 100% right, but indeed, it's not 100% wrong. They're being intelligent capitalists--but the result is consumer backlash.

    My only question is--where's the backlash? There are so many other fanboys defending this with stupid excuses. "Stop whining," "Who needs a calendar," "Buy it and hope they'll upgrade it," "Hack it (even though no hacks exist yet," etc. Hold the company producing the item accountable for this choice! Sheesh!
  10. PowerFullMac macrumors 601


    Oct 16, 2006
    I agree, we should send a petition/open letter to Steve Jobs!
  11. wongulous thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 7, 2002
    [conspiracy theory mode=on]

    I agree--definite possibility of this. It's either this, or Apple's planning a new revenue stream--iPod OS upgrades.

    I mean, it is OS X after all... and the iPod touch is practically a mini-laptop now. There's a whole non-freeware software ecosystem for other PDAs, though usually the OS-maker isn't involved.

    Or maybe it has to do with accounting. Remember when Apple said that they're spreading the revenue/profit for the iPhone over 2 years, and that way they'll continue to upgrade the iPhone's software and make it better and better? Sure, that makes sense--AT&T is paying them a chunk of the monthly charges, and there is a 2-year contract for being with AT&T, so part of your bill EVERY MONTH is buying a little bit of better software from Apple. Where's the iPod touch's chunk of this? Where's the guarantee that the iPod touch will get more than bug fixes?

    The answer is that there is none. No one posed the question if Apple would treat the iPod touch like the iPhone with 2 years of software improvements. Therefore, there's no guarantees, and IMHO all bets are off. I bet upgrades to the iPod touch will be just like iLife and such. $29-79, or maybe it'll be closer to iPod games and on a feature-specific basis. That's just theorizing, but it can't be argued that we are not guaranteed updates like the iPhone. Apple has already demonstrated their interest in manufacturing differentiation between the two nearly identical devices' software...
  12. TonyHoyle macrumors 6502a

    Sep 14, 2007
    Manchester, UK
    Won't do a damned thing. You think he reads them? Or even knows they exist?

    If apple makes a bad product, stop buying apple. That's the language companies speak.

    As far as the touch doing 'more than ever compared to an ipod' that's the RDF kicking in lots of ways it does *less*. The notes app has gone, there are no ipod games, you can't use it in your pocket any more, and it has less space.

    In exchange for the loss of functionality you get Safari (and occasionally youtube when it works).

    I'm not saying one is worse than the other - it's a different market segment entirely... but it's not better either.
  13. PowerFullMac macrumors 601


    Oct 16, 2006
    All good points and in a way I agree with people saying that its just a iPod music player HOWEVER by taking these useful features off he is crippling a otherwise great device.
  14. wongulous thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 7, 2002
    This is ultimately true. I will be holding back on buying 2 of them until there is a calendar upgrade at least, and I won't be completely happy until it has reasonable parity with the iPhone. But if I wait too long, I may spend the money budgeted for an iTouch on the next Treo 800 or new Blackberry or whatever and just keep my old iPod and lump it--at least then between the two devices my needs will be met, if not as gorgeously as with the iTouch. After all, if I upgrade my mobile phone in 1-2 months and the iTouch isn't up to par software-wise, and I invest in something different, where am I going to find another $300-400 (times 2, one for the ball and chain), for just the novelty of multi-touch and the icing on the cake of Safari? I doubt I'll be able to justify it.

    Maybe Apple only wants early adopters right now, or people that have thousands of dollars to spend on duplicitous gadgets, and the rest they want to get in bed with AT&T. I don't know.

    I can't disagree--these features seem overkill for a music player. But Apple has grown the iPod in a way that broadens its uses without causing bloat or a feeling of overkill--it runs a full OS, it's not difficult to navigate to anything, nothing is limiting the music-playing features or reducing them. So to add in the calendar is not going to detract from the music features.

    Furthermore, why is this argument only valid for the iPod touch but not applied to the iPhone? If the iPhone is just an iPod and a phone, why does IT need editable calendars, editable email, or anything more than just Safari and YouTube? Surely an iPod+phone doesn't need notes, so why would an iPod? If an iPod "music player" doesn't need a calendar, why does it need editable contacts? If it doesn't need a mail client, why does it need a webbrowser?

    The point just doesn't hold water very well and it's an extremely poor excuse.
  15. yetanotherdave macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2007
    Bristol, England
    The thing hasn't even been "officialy" released yet (yes it's in stores, no my pre-order isn't here yet, thankyou apple). I suspect we'll see changes to software soon after the 28th.
    Everyone who has bought one has known the feature set at the time of purchase (or should have done!). Lots of people (myself included) bought recognising the massive potential of such a device. When it's hacked or apple opens it, I will be using that potential.
    Hell, even if apple start selling apps over iTunes, I will buy them (if there are good ones), that's not an issue. I think people just don't like seeing such great potential go to waste. It's like buying a MacPro and only using it for email, iTunes and browsing.
    If apple open it up, or start selling apps via itunes (they could even sell third party approved apps) it would turn the touch into one of the greatest gadgets ever.
  16. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

    Dec 17, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Even taking that into account, it still seems like a stupid move to gimp some random software features from the Touch. That's what's so bothersome about the whole thing. There are already plenty of HARDWARE difference between the Touch and the iPhone. Think about it- in order to take away calendar editing on the Touch, they actually had to do more work than if they simply included the iPhone version to begin with. (not a lot of work, but the main point is nothing is saved by eliminating calendar editing.)

    It's not a big deal, yes it is an iPod and not a PDA. But does anyone thing that Apple is going to drive a bunch of potential iPod Touch buyers into buying iPhones just because they gimped Notes and calendar editing on the Touch? No way.

    Differentiating your products is a good thing. Unnecessarily gimping them is not, it leads to customer dissatisfaction and lower profits in the long run.
  17. Arisian macrumors 68000


    Sep 14, 2007
    I agree, try reading what else I said and stop isolating that last sentence.
  18. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

    Dec 17, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Don't worry, I just took one of your points as a starting point for my post. Why are we speaking in bold? ;)

    Besides, I can get mad (or at least annoyed) at a company- not for profit motive (as you pointed out), but for making bad decisions that end up dissatisfying customers and reducing profits. Removing Notes and calendar editing just seems unnecessarily petty to me, that's all. Apple can do whatever they want.

    Some people may argue that it won't matter, Apple will still make a lot of money. Which is true. But had they not gimped the Touch, I bet they'd still make as much money (and actually have better reviews of the Touch and a bit more sales as well.)
  19. RobK7 macrumors newbie

    Sep 13, 2007
    I think all the responses that are like "it's an doesn't need calander / notes etc etc" are like saying iTunes shouldn't sell videos because they are not "tunes".

    iTunes has grown and developed.

    iPod's have also grown and developed.

    Deliberately removing functions that were already there is hurtful. That's NOT development. Extra functions SHOULD be there because we've gone from, say, 80 gigs back down to 16 gigs. Its different technology (flash) but they HAVE removed tons of storage from the iPod with the Touch. Removing functions on top of that is plain hurtful. Yes we have the new big screen etc, that IS DEVELOPMENT, but I think it's unfair to remove features deliberately.

    "It's how they stick it to ya" is a phrase I wish we didn't have to use for Apple.

    Its gonna sell, its selling out all over the place. But word of mouth and customer talk (about crippled functions etc etc) should count for something too.
  20. Sweetbike40 macrumors 65816


    Aug 29, 2007
    Having Wi-Fi and Safari make it so enjoyable in my opinion and huge difference compared to the Classic. Not a laptop owner, i love being able to sit in bed with my kitties and surf the web. Cuddle next to my girl as she sleeps and surf the web. It's so cool. BUT it would be EVEN MORE COOL if they would JUST ADD the IPHONE APPS already! Please APPLE. THEY EXIST, GIVE IT TO THE TOUCH. I don't think it would stop someone from getting the phone. The phone still has, well, the phone, bluetooth, speaker, volume control (i think) and a camera. Those things i do not need but MANY think this all in one device is what they prefer.
  21. pjo macrumors regular

    Feb 20, 2006
    choices or methods?

    I don't really have a problem with the choice - let's face it. We all live with quicktime which unless hacked bought won't do something as simple as play movies in fullscreen. Heck, the quicktime API to do that is utilized by other apps without having to get QT Pro. However, many people will claim (with good reason) that the extra you pay for quicktime pro is worth it.

    What I do have a slight problem with, is the way the iTouch was announced with the capabilities of editing the callendar events and then the feature was pulled. I think that most people wouldn't even notice the presence/absence of that feature w.r.t whether they were getting an iPhone vs an iTouch.
  22. wongulous thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 7, 2002
    Oh, absolutely it's got massive potential. That's why this is so frustrating... the intentional limitations placed on the device by removing pre-existing functionality to reduce parity between two products with different profit margins. It's more low-down than any analogy because it's not like making a lower-grade toilet paper and selling it for $2 less, but it's taking away something free to make a fake rift in customer value. That's my point... they are faking a software difference just to force people to upgrade. But will anyone? Maybe. Not as many as they would think.

    Now, as we have covered, it is arguable as to who "they" are. It might be AT&T, but we may never know.

    The other problem with your Mac Pro analogy is that in your analogy, Apple would have to void the Mac Pro's warranty if any non-Apple software was installed. Apple IS voiding warranties and blacklisting for jailbreaked/hacked products, even if it's only software... but there have also been instances of people overcoming this attempt at voiding warranty during the return period, but we don't know what will happen in 2 months when jailbreak gets fixed and suddenly the proximity sensors fail--where's your warranty guarantee then?

    Bad business is what this is.
  23. TheSpaz macrumors 604


    Jun 20, 2005
    Stop and think about what the iPod is for a second. It's a MUSIC player. It plays music and movies and that's what it's built for. It's not a PDA and it never claimed to be a PDA. Also, it has Wifi built in because of the Music Store and it has Safari built in so you can log into wireless networks to use the Music Store. I'm sick of hearing about people complaining that it doesn't have tons of software like the iPhone. I see how the iPhone is more like a buisness product than a music product anyway. The iPod however, is more of an entertainment product and that's what it's made to do. I'm not against Apple for NOT adding the features but, if they do add them in the future, I won't complain.... it's just not a big deal. The iPod touch has plenty in it already and it works beautifully. I am about 99% happy about my purchase.
  24. wpwj40e macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2006
    For the most part I agree with the sentiment of the OP.

    I would simply ask Apple that if they were giving me a "choice" - to let me but the iPhone and use it as an iPod. As Seve said - the IPT is training wheels for the iPhone - great. If you (Apple)insist that I need to purchase an iPhone to get the features you left out of the IPT (obviously excluding those that are simply phone related) - then let me have the choice!!!

    Why can't I buy and iPhone and pay for the phone features and choose not to use the phone itself? Why is there not an Apple sponsored activation that allows me to have the choice of the two devices...iPhone or iTouch?
  25. yetanotherdave macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2007
    Bristol, England
    If you believe that maybe you'll be interested in my new line of flying pigs?

    It would have been trivial for apple to allow loging into wireless networks through a page in itunes. But they didn't, because they knew the touch HAD to have more value that just a big screen for the huge loss in capacity from the classic for the same price, or no one would buy it.

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