Do you ever feel this way too?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by ajonesman, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. ajonesman, Aug 24, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2011

    ajonesman macrumors newbie

    Sep 6, 2004
    I was just sitting here today reading my daily does of Apple news and I started to think to myself, what happened?

    A little about me, I've been a long time Apple user, in fact my first Apple was a IIe. Yes boys a girls, it was before the time of Macintosh and had a beautiful black and white display! As I type on my 13" MacBook Pro ... I realize how far the computing has come, simply jaw dropping amazing when you stop to think about it. Anyway, except for a Toshiba Satellite laptop I owned briefly for a week in 2002, I have never owned anything other then Apple.

    Lately, I am looking at the computing world outside of Apple, and I am beginning to feel jealous. When I look around I see so many choices, options and configurations ... many of them are good too. It is possible to build exactly the system to your specifications, with the software you desire. While this has always been the case, to me, it seems more compelling then ever to look outside of Apple. The argument has always been with pc’s, yes you have more options … but do you really want all of those options?

    Even in the "dark days" of the 90's I stuck with Apple, I felt it to be a superior product to the windows world (what was I thinking Quadra 610!). I can't explain it, other then to say as an Apple user you always felt like you had Apple on your side to navigate the sometimes turbulent world of technology. Things just worked. And who could forget the excitement of seeing Jobs coming back to Apple and single handily bring Apple back from the doldrums to the powerhouse it is today.

    Think Different.

    As an Apple user we were different, we trusted that Apple would create technology for us, the user while other companies were creating technology to further computer science and to make a dime. But finally here was a company making products for us and we were grateful.

    What’s changed?

    I don't know. I can say I feel a bit like I'm sitting alone at Perkins restaurant two weeks after my girlfriend broke up with me, or coming home after taking my dog to the vet and they put him down. Instead of collaboration with Apple to push the boundaries of what is "good" useful computing, I feel as if my mom is taking me shoe shopping and picking out a pair of dress shoes instead of those cool Air Jordans in the corner. I'm reading about Apple's new lawsuit with Samsung over the Galaxy products, perplexed why they refuse to up grade IO components while their users are demanding USB 3 (yes, I understand the thunderbolt argument) and finally the conditions about their manufacturing facilities in China and I realize this is not the same company that declared big brother the enemy in 1984.

    Who could forget after the tech bubble crashed and Apples stock tanked like the rest of the industry (anyone remember Apple stock dipping below 10 bucks?) and Steve stood on the stage at Macworld explaining to everyone, "We will innovate our way out of this." while everyone else was slashing jobs. Apple didn't just talk the talk, they were different. And they did it in a way you felt as if you were part of the team.

    Today Apple is at the top of their game; arguably one of the most powerful and profitable companies in the world and my hat is off to them. Yet it feels as if I'm listening to a sad Ben Harper song every time I read a story about their earnings report or hear about how Apple as launched another lawsuit. It all feels very HP to me.

    About a month and a half ago I built a hackintosh for the first time. And honestly it’s been a great experience. It's stable, fast, and designed to do what I want with the hardware I want. At some point I plan on installing Windows and possibly a Linux variant onto it, but it’s been something I have not felt in a long time with Apple … it’s been fun. Recently I was looking over an Asus Laptop thinking what a great machine it looked like and I was wondering if I’m ever going to buy a mac again.

    The community that has grown around making hackintosh possible feels familiar, comfortable ... one for all - all for one. I wonder if its any coincidence that the hackintosh community has grown stronger at the same time Apple has grown in dominance and big business. The spirit of the two guys in the garage that made something cool seems absent to me and replaced by shareholder demand. In a since, the hackintosh community embodies the ones who are thinking different today, it feels very much like the two guys in a garage creating something cool. As if they are the woman running down the aisle with an hammer in their hand … only at this time there is no Macintosh on her shirt. Apple is locked down, the walled garden. True, they always have been, but all of a sudden there are armed guards at the gate saying think twice before trying to leave, go smell the flowers ... march. Roger that! Even Microsoft is starting to generate excitement and as they figure out how to raddle the big dog.

    I’m getting excited about new things, non Apple things and really starting to see the value in them in a way I never did before. The possibilities of software such as songbird, flirted with Ubuntu and trying to figure out what exactly it is about the mac I’m still using it for. Honestly I can only think of one … one killer app that is hard for me to replace on any platform. I’ll say it and I know many will disagree, but is iPhoto really worth the price of staying with the mac? And as soon as a strong competitor (like songbird is for itunes) emerges what then?

    Anyway, I’m at my favorite coffee shop at the moment and I wanted to share my thoughts for the day. I guess my question is to you … do you ever feel this way too?

    Off to play with my bios on my overclocked mac!
  2. TheSideshow macrumors 6502

    Apr 21, 2011
    I think a lot of people feel that way. Most people who sit in coffee shops with their Macs also feel the need to share their thoughts with everyone, just like you. :D

    But yeah. I know what you mean. Apple is no longer the one who's got your back, releasing shotty updates, problem plagued products, backwards "upgrades", and doing whatever they can to keep the money flowing in. They are Big Brother.
  3. *LTD* macrumors G4


    Feb 5, 2009
    No. And not enough do. Because as interesting as your post is, and as interesting as your case against the "new Apple" is, you're in the vast minority.

    If you think Apple is too mainstream now, that they're no longer the underdog, that you no longer feel special . . . that quite frankly is part of your own neuroses that you need to come to terms with, and not an accurate reflection of the the reality that is Apple in 2011.

    What Apple is up to now is a natural extension of their vision. This was always the plan: to disrupt the market, replace whatever was there with something better (across the board), and become the new defacto power - but maintain it by creating great products that consumers love. We're seeing that now.

    Did you ever think Apple was going to change their litigious ways? They were *always* very litigious and very protective. They just have more products to be litigious over these days, so we see more of it. Back then it was about their computer line and software. Now it's much, much more.

    If Steve Jobs wanted to change lives and make an impact (he always did), he's achieving that now, his way, more than ever. Did you think he was going to do it by just making Macs forever? SJ's vision was always to dominate - either by share or by sheer prestige, and do it in all areas. Back then Apple couldn't. Today they can.

    Your beloved Apple has always been this way. The Apple you love and remember, was never actually the way you loved and remembered them.
  4. mscriv, Aug 24, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2011

    mscriv macrumors 601


    Aug 14, 2008
    Dallas, Texas
    - The problem with being the mysterious "cool kid" who is different, yet attractive and inviting, is that eventually more kids become like the cool kid and instead of being "different" anymore, they're now just like everyone else.

    - When the "special" gains momentum and becomes popular then it ceases to be special.

    - When the underdog becomes the favorite the underdog appeal is lost.

    The above statments are true. It doesn't necessarily mean that Apple products are worse, less innovative, or fail to meet needs. It simply means things have changed. Success changes people's perception of things. Apple will never again be viewed as the "think different" geeks in a garage. That is its history and heritage, but now it's an international tech giant. That's just how it is.

    Nostalgia isn't always what it's cracked up to be. Typically it's more about you and your feelings than it is about the facts of what actually happened.

    Let your computer be what it's supposed to be... a tool to help you get things done. Different people like different tools, but let your overall decision be guided by what's going to meet your needs as opposed to "what's cool".

    OP, please take LTD with a grain of salt. He's our resident Apple apologist and means no harm; he's just passionate about Apple and takes umbrage to anyone who he perceives to be insulting them.
  5. fireshot91 macrumors 601


    Jul 31, 2008
    Northern VA
    To you, my good sir. If he was in the 'vast minority', would not the majority be siding with Apple? As far as I can tell, Windows still has a majority. Therefore, he is in the majority.

    *Not looking to start a Windows vs Mac debate*.

    To the OP. Yes, I can see how you feel that way. Every other kid is now sporting a Macbook Pro, and therefore the 'uniqueness' of Apple is gone. But, I still continue to use my Macbook Pro, not because everybody else is, but rather because it suits me.

    I feel that Apple is changing (Not to say for the worse nor for the better. Just...different) as they are becoming more mainstream. They're catering to a different market. Times change, and the company is changing. As they should to produce maximum profits.

    It's akin to this:

    You go to a small coffee shop where the owner knows you and your family, maybe gives you a decent discount twice every week. Somewhere you go in everyday, owned by somebody who lives down the street from you. And think of the quality of service you get. You get great service. There's maybe two customers in the shop at one time, and therefore, the owners/employees are being completely hospitable to you.

    Then, imagine that company suddenly going corporate, and having 100+ stores (Obviously not overnight, but over the course of time), all across the state. The owner isn't there anymore, the new retail employees don't know you, they don't treat you with the same sort of service. To them it's just a job. To them you're just another one of the thousands of customers, where before you were one of the few, so they cared about you.

    But alas, did they ever actually care about YOU? No. They cared about the money you gave them.

    Just a thought
  6. G4er? macrumors 6502a

    Jan 6, 2009
    Temple, TX
    In the past I was always looking at each new Mac model and wishing to own it. Now I find myself looking at the current Mac models and wishing there was one I wanted to buy.

    Only the Mac Pro seems to offer the owner ease of use but few Mac users need that much computer.
  7. arcobb macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2005
    I totally agree about your comments about the small company becoming big. However, I don't think the OP said anything negative about the service received from apple or the quality of their products. To me it seems he is saying how we as user feel about Apple, which has changed. Also Apple is moving in a new direction these days, still the direction Apple wants to go which is what Apple has always done. Some will like the direction, some will not. But it is different then its long time users have followed up to this point.

    There was a time for many when it was about being apart from the mainstream was the reason to be an apple user. Apple actively promoted this point in it's culture and marketing as a reason to be a mac user. That is very different then it is today. It seems this post is less about how apple views its customers, but how customers view apple, which I agree with the OP, it is different today.

    For every release I can remember (back to OS ... 8 maybe 7?) there was a 'cool' intro video to greet you ... for lion we get a graphic showing us how to scroll a trackpad. As a long time user I was looking forward to it! I know its small, but a deliberate change as to the first experience you get when you turn your mac on for the first time. This is a major change that speaks to how Apple wants to greeted it's users into the OS and mac experience. Still a great OS, great service ... but different from the start.
  8. *LTD*, Aug 24, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2011

    *LTD* macrumors G4


    Feb 5, 2009
    We all know why Windows has always had majority share. Don't act like you don't know.

    And it isn't helping much:

    It isn't because Apple has changed for the worse in some way.

    Apple are the darlings of the industry and consumer market. There is really no evidence that is to the contrary. However there is plenty of evidence in support of it.

    That's all we've been seeing from Apple of the past couple of years. Record quarters. All the time. In nearly every segment in which they compete. Macs sell in greeter numbers each time, especially in a recession. Apple's Mac business has been expanding, far outpacing the the industry in growth for God knows how many quarters now. I believe we are way past 20 consecutive quarters. Don't forget that the entry fee is $1000. And given consumer satisfaction with Macs year after year, you get what you pay for.

    Consumers line up for Apple gear. Very few can claim that. Demand is sky high.

    This just in:

    The tech-loving minority on Apple fansites always make me chuckle when they assume that they represent majority sentiment, as in the average consumer on the ground (most of them don't post on MR.) This minority is made up of the same folks who said Mac sales would tank in a recession if Apple didn't slash prices drastically. Guess what happened. These are the same folks who said if Apple didn't introduce a cheap, headless, expandable Mac, clone-makers would destroy the Mac market. Guess what happened.

    Get with REALITY. The reality in 2011 is that Apple is increasingly setting the industry agenda and has the lion's share of consumer satisfaction and positive mindshare.

    iPad sales projections for next year are running into the 70 million mark. iOS dominates mobile OSes. The iPhone is the #1 selling handset. Even the 3GS outsells some newer Android models. Macs set the bar in consumer computing. Lion reviews have been stellar, some bordering on gushy. The list goes on. Apple has never in their entire history been this influential and successful, and from what we're seeing, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

    In one way or another, the majority is siding with Apple in all the metrics that actually have meaning.

    OP is feeling nostalgic and is projecting that onto the market. That's all that's really going on here.
  9. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    I don't really care about being "different". I want to be "correct". I only care about being "different" if the "majority" is doing it wrong and "different" is the "correct" way.

    What Apple has done is taken computers and technology and transformed it from voodoo black magic into mainstream, everyone-can-use it technology. Everything they've done, from the Mac onward, has been some variation of a single message: "this stuff used to only be for the <insert minority group here -- geeks, professionals, power users>, but now you can have it too".

    They did it with the GUI interface in a world of command-lines, making computers a household device rather than just the office. They brought in the iPod in a world where Discmans reigned supreme but only the geeks toyed with 32 megabyte Rio mp3 players. They brought everyone the iPhone in a world where only business professionals had Palm Treos and Motorola smartphones. They brought in the tablet when previously only professionals and vertical markets had any use for handheld slate PCs. They brought music and video downloading to the masses when it used to be strictly in the realm of college dorms (and illegal to boot).

    I never felt that using an Apple product made me "different" or "better" than the average. That was all Apple marketing. I use my Apple products because they work, they work well, they get the job done. If I'm the lone "think different" guy in the crowd, so be it. If everyone else has them too, all the better. Doesn't matter to me.
  10. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    Meh. I just use what works, just like the majority of people do I imagine. One thing for sure is, Apple's products are increasingly not doing for me. Lion to me seems a very messy and not well thought out operating system. Like Vista was.

    Apple's products don't seem to be as well thought out and feature filled as they used to be. But hey, that's just my opinion as an Apple user since Tiger. I'm sure many users of this forum will disagree with me.
  11. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    No, actually, I think you're right on the money.
  12. (marc) macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2010
    the woods
    I'm feeling pretty nostalgic about Apple. I remember when using a Mac was so different and so much more fun than using a Windows machine. Since then, Microsoft has caught up and Apple has stopped innovating.
    Maybe I'm just getting used to a superior standard, but using Apple products isn't special anymore.
  13. ajonesman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 6, 2004
    Wow! Thanks for the replys and discussion everyone! Interesting points welcome by all. Yeah, I do feel nostalgic from time to time, particularly more in the last 24 hours regarding the news. One thing that is clear to me is that Apple and Mr. Jobs have been innovators in this industry while others have created business models. If not for apple we maybe we may be using machines no more capable then a Windows 3 box. How many form factors, functions/standards and methods has Apple set the bar leaving the industry just trying to catch up to that standard while Apple moved to the next one? Mr. Jobs has brought to fruition the concept of the digital lifestyle in regards to music, movies and photos. We probably would have the internet with out him. But I would wager we would still be using film, cd's and movie making would probably be still relegated to highend machine and firm. Apple's influence has reached far beyond apple and computer tech and actually changed the way culture communicates and does things. Likely these changes would have come anyway, but Apple pushed the boundaries of what the computer could do, not technically, but what the average Joe could do with them.

    I totally agree, I will use what works, for many years that has been Apple products for me. My intent of my article was to say there are some new things on the horizon that are exciting and interesting to me ... that are non apple. But I suspect for many years to come you will continue to find an apple product or two in my bag or pocket.
  14. villicodelirant, Aug 28, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2011

    villicodelirant macrumors 6502


    Aug 3, 2011
    Okay, I see it this way:

    1. There still are good computers, and bad computers, and Macs.
    I like Macs.
    Can work with an XP box, can feel comfortable with a Ubuntu box tweaked so that it behaves kind of like a Mac (top menu bar, dock, expose...), but I only feel at home on a Mac.

    2. I kind of wish the hip college students didn't all have Macbooks.
    I wish the platform I like was still some sort of underdog. I feel a bit more like an idiot carrying a Mac around. But heh, price you have to pay.

    3. And, if any, I wish they were clamshell iBooks
    Because they made sense, somewhat.
    At least they didn't look horribly expensive.
    But those were the 90s, and... gosh, it's been more than 10 years already?
    Oh, well, this is the 21st century.
    The age of hunger, debt, SUVs, luxury items, social networking and brushed aluminum.

    Well, at least we can still get a Mac.
    I wish I'll be able to afford one again soon, because my PC at home is a pain.

    Or maybe they cared about their work.

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