Does Apple still care about us? (people, not $$)

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by Dnilo, Oct 26, 2015.

  1. Dnilo macrumors newbie

    Dnilo

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    Sep 10, 2015
    #1
    Is it just me or is anyone else disappointed by how Apple is running nowadays?

    I mean, I've been an Apple fan since the early 2000's, my first Mac was a PowerBook, and after that an iMac, a bunch of iPods/iPads, Mac Minis, and vintage Macs that I have been collecting. But lately I have been wondering about where the hell are those powerful Macs we used to have.

    I've also been a gamer since my first console the Atari 7800 and the NES, but even though I used to follow the Nintendo line I was mainly a PC gamer, I sold my last gaming PC I built in order to buy the iMac Alu 2007 24", everything was a smooth transition from playing games on High-tier PC to mid-tier power of the iMac, which I didn't care because I was happier for having that gorgeous screen and OS X.

    When the Mac Mini 2012 came along my primary computer was a MacBook Air, which I chose because of mobility, and I thought "well, I'll get the 2013 Mac Mini to be able to play some games" By that time, the 2011 Mini had discrete graphics, but not the 2012.

    2013 came along and almost 2014 went away too until they unveiled the 'Late 2014' Mini, so I got the top tier one.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy with this Mini, and I also know that the niche that the Mini covers is a very small population. I'm able to play many games in mid-high @ "720p" but I thought it was time to invest in something better for gaming, I've been thinking about buying a PS4 for some time, but I did some research and I found that I could build a PC with twice the power of a PS4 for ~$450, it will be the first PC I build/buy after ~10 years.

    But all this came after seeing nothing new from Apple for a long time, no "new and amazing" things in the Personal Computer area, the iMacs, MacBooks, Minis.. all of those used-to-be-amazing innovations are pretty much dead.

    I know that mobile stuff is where they get the money, everything turns around the iPhone, but Apple used to innovate, create, improve, and nowadays we have nothing new, no big improvements.. Just a "watch" that is not better than others in the market.

    On the dark side of this, Apple is now trying to shove services up our asses, being subscribed to iTunes Match made me happy, but now after less than 2 years I don't get support for it and they try to force you for Apple Music by being utterly intrusive inside iTunes and even your own iPhone Music app.
     
  2. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

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    #2
  3. mw360 macrumors 65816

    mw360

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    #3
    Sounds like gaming support is a source of your gripes. Take a look at Tim Cook, Phil Schiller, Craig Federighi and the rest. Which one of those looks like he ever played a game of Battlefield in his life? That's why we get a 'games console' from them with a controller optimised for playing Minesweeper.
     
  4. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #4
    If gaming is a primary concern, get a PC First, consol second, Mac third. My 2011 MBP just died on me, a computer that has been more than adequate for mobile gaming for almost 5 years. I'll be taking it into the Apple Store next week for a prognosis. The screen went blank and when Imtry to restart it, it hangs 50% into startup, the screen goes blank, and then it restarts endlessly if I let it. I'll ask in the hardware section.
     
  5. iphonedude2008 macrumors 65816

    iphonedude2008

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    #5
    They care about money. They have never catered to people with intense gaming needs. The computers are overpriced compared to Windows and don't offer expandability. They're a business who's target demographic is slowly moving away from professionals.
     
  6. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #6
    If you think any capitalist enterprise cares about you except insofar as it can separate you from your money, you're in for a rude awakening.
     
  7. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    Oct 14, 2005
    #7
    I also have been an Apple fan since the days of the PowerBooks and first minis.

    While I do occasionally think fondly back to that time, my recollection of performance was that it took overnight to rip DVDs, forever to export clips from iMovie, and good-freaking-God was "emulating" Windows an exercise in both patience and frustration. Even launching apps on those pre-SSD drives took foooooorever compared to nowadays.

    "Where the hell are those powerful Macs we used to have" isn't a phrase that's entered my mind when thinking about those old Macs. :)

    IMO, the era of "computers" has pretty much run its course. I'd be surprised if any manufacturer does something "amazing" to computer design in the next few years.

    I'm kind of intrigued by the Surface Book design, but that sort of seems like a fresh take on the dockable tablet design, so not sure that's "amazing".
     
  8. Scepticalscribe, Oct 27, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2015

    Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #8
    Sigh. (Agreed).

    Many of these threads - or posts - the ones which ask "Does Apple still care….?" while attempting to acknowledge with bewildered incomprehension why "Apple may not care.." have fallen prey to a fallacy. One of a number of fallacies.

    Now, this first fallacy was one promoted most adroitly and effectively by Apple itself, by means of some of the most impressive and persuasive advertising seen in the whole field of tech, and tech innovation.

    This was because it suggested, in a most attractive and engaging - and effective - manner that those who bought Apple products were members of an elite, or a passionate cult, a priesthood of those who were technologically knowledgeable and aware.

    And it implied that this was an elite recognisable by its love of really impressive technological innovation, and prepared to be impressed by the sort of thought put into designing computers that were both beautiful and elegantly functional (that fusion of form and function which is the mark of all really good design).

    Above all, it suggested that these individuals would be able to recognise one another by their shared membership of this esoteric elite - or covert cult - one that was very much a minority at the time - by the simple fact that they admired and bought and used Apple's computer products.

    As it happened, this worked for a number of reasons. Firstly, the computers were beautifully made, and technologically exceptionally advanced.

    Moreover, secondly, the marketing tended to be aimed at nerds, who might have felt inadequate in other walks of life, but rejoiced in, and welcomed the chance to feel superior in an area - their understanding of, and appreciation for tech - that was the 'coming area' where progress and social change were to be measured. Hence, Apple cultivated the sense they - 'we' - are an esoteric elite, a cultivated cult, a body of sophisticated individuals defined by excellent taste and a profound respect for - and understanding of - the importance of & the power of technological innovation.

    And thirdly, Apple held a sufficiently small percentage of the world computing market for buyers of the brand to be able to feel themselves part of the membership of an esoteric elite.

    Fourthly, Apple computers were always at a price point where the vast majority of people - and businesses - were simply not going to be in a position to be able to afford them. It was an unashamedly premium product.

    Apple's advertising encouraged this feeling of cosy comradeship, changing the world while feeling quietly superior at your superb taste and ability to recognise superlative tech expressed through your ownership of Apple products.

    But, things changed. Apple changed, and with it, changed the world, and things were never the same.

    Firstly, take a look at the life and career of the late Mr Jobs (yes, the eponymous Founder) with an eye a little more objective than might usually be found on a forum dedicated to discussing matters related to Apple.

    Mr Jobs made a fortune with the original Apple, got fired, reinvented himself (and made another fortune) with Pixar, and then returned to Apple and rescued it, and revitalised it - again. That is not the 'they all lived happily ever after' at the closing credits, - which is what it was considered to be in the late 1990s, but rather, that was just a stop on a very inventive life's journey.

    This is because I don't for one minute imagine that Mr Jobs - and his followers - ever expected to confine themselves to the manufacture of computers, even though they changed the world with that. Their horizons went beyond computers and cutting edge tech.

    From 2000, Apple pioneered the marketing, sale, purchase of, and - above all - consumption of music (destroying the old music & recording studios in the process) with the development of the iPod, and iTunes.

    Following that, mobile telephone technology - and the consumption of online media - was revolutionised with the development of a mobile phone - the iPhone - which was really a carrier and a means of delivery of apps, and other forms of online media consumption, but was also - almost as an aside - a device which could make phone calls.

    Then, you had the development of the very successful iPad.

    Now, Apple has moved - quite emphatically - into the field of consuming & delivering information, - and storing it, too, - and selling and delivering apps, and entertainment, and brand & image - along with much else into the iWatch, a device which has been designed to do a lot of things, very attractively, and yet manage to tell the time, too.

    In essence, since not long after 2000, Apple has made the bulk of its income from devices other than computers. These days, it is a massive money making business that can afford to carry the computing arm as a loss leader. The upshot of that is that it doesn't need computing innovation - this no longer defines what Apple is really about, - and the company can afford to be less energetic in pursuing research that is at the cutting edge of computing technology.

    Now, for the nerds who bought into the idea that they were members of an elite cult, there is a harsh and reluctant truth to face, and it is this: Apple is a business, and - worse - it is a business that does not necessarily share a belief in the belief system it so persuasively promoted via extraordinarily effective marketing. Apple no longer subscribes to the message it used to sell. In other words, Apple's sales are such that it no longer needs the nerds, and it no longer needs to sell itself as the badge of an educated and sophisticated minority who can view themselves as an elite.

    Selling the idea of membership of a high priesthood of the elect, or membership of an esoteric elite, who are the only people who can understand what Apple is all about is not what Apple is in the business of doing today. These days, Apple is a big player in world terms - just not in the business of computing technology - and it markets itself accordingly to a far wider market than the technological specialists who were its first disciples. While it is still a premium brand, it is a premium brand that sells itself as a fashionable brand, that does interesting things, and allows of the consumption of a wide variety of marketable content.

    So, to answer the question posed by the OP, @Dnilo - who has asked almost in the wounded and baffled tone of an abandoned, or jettisoned, lover: "Does Apple Still Care About Us?", I would have to answer, that, no, not really, it actually doesn't. For, truth to tell, Apple has moved on.
     
  9. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

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    Oct 31, 2009
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    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    #9
    I think if they didn't care, they would have given us a Surface type MacBook and not something like Force Touch.
     
  10. Dnilo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dnilo

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2015
    #10
    First of all, Thank you, every single one of you for your objective comments, this is one of those time where there is no troll (yet, hopefully never) among the replies.

    I created this topic to find commenters that I might relate to, to have this kind of talk, more than trying to find the answer to the title. It is harsh and obvious that no company cares about the costumers, only money. But this is my point, there are ways to handle that money income. In the past Apple gave everyone something, there were computers for the professionals, for the semi-pros and home users, they had every level covered, thus, everyone was happy to jump into the expensive 'premium' computers, or cult, or anyway you want to call it.

    That is my point, to share experiences around that, what we had, what we have, and what we will have in the future, because trying to figure out if a company loves me is for kids that love Disney, the title of this thread is metaphorical, the content is what matters.

    As many of you mentioned, yes, gaming is one of the main things of my concern, but I also work with graphics, not as intensive as the required for a workstation or a Mac Pro, that's why I still use a Mini, but a discrete gpu would help. I've also been thinking about building an e-gpu but it is around the $400.

    About the new products, the Surface Book is a very good example, and if you compare it to the pretty much useless watch from Apple... Keep in mind these are examples of improvements (the Surface, not the watch), not innovation.

    Again, thanks for all the comments, no exception.
     
  11. Scepticalscribe, Oct 27, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2015

    Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #11
    Actually, I disagree somewhat with your take on this. To be honest, I don't think that 'everyone was covered' - rather, everyone who could see, (and afford) and appreciate, and be impressed by, what Apple had to offer 'was covered'. This was still aimed at the premium - and not the mass - market.

    In fact, there was a time when Apple's arrogance was such that they didn't even integrate with what the rest of the world used - which was the vast majority of what the rest of the world used - namely, Windows.

    For that matter, I remember students of mine in tears in the 1990s because what they had written on their personal Apples was unreadable and completely incomprehensible in a Windows format - (and no, we are talking about people who became brilliant lawyers, not tech geniuses; you shouldn't have to be a tech genius to be able to render something written in one format comprehensible in another).

    Apple's argument was that their software was better; doubtless, it was, but if that couldn't be read, or integrated easily with what the rest of the world used, there was little point to it, unless you wished to remain in a bubble of technological perfection while bestowing benign contempt on those who failed to share your vision. Anyway, by the late 1990s, when Mr Jobs returned to the helm, that nonsense had been knocked out of Apple; Office for Mac was developed, and Apple was able to integrate - seamlessly - with the rest of the world.

    However, for what it is worth, I think the real game changer happened once Apple came up with the iPod; that introduced millions - who were not a part of Apple's ecosystem - to what it had to offer, and many converted to the Apple computer ecosystem as a consequence - and, as you will see, I am deliberately using religious imagery here.

    That cracked open the well heeled consumer market for Apple, placing them well to become more than a brilliant niche computer company which made superb products - but ones which didn't sell as well as those made by other companies. Granted, at that time, only Sony matched Apple for style, and none of the others matched it for technological innovation and chutzpah.

    Now, for the best part of over a decade, Apple managed to straddle the divide of remaining on top of its game - ahead of the game indeed, defining the game - in computer terms, while extending its reach elsewhere. It did this while redefining and revolutionising how music was consumed, bought, sold, marketed and stored, - and from that - how telephone communication, and indeed, how entertainment and information were consumed and marketed and sold.

    However, since the death of Mr Jobs, I think the company has realised it no longer needs to define itself by the development of stunning computers & operating systems; in the past decade and a half, other areas have proven to be far more profitable and remunerative. Nevertheless, the company will still sacrifice market share - just a different percentage of market share - for profit margin, as it always did.
     
  12. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    Location:
    Boston
    #12
    Exactly.

    "Does Apple still care?' No- they never really cared about "you" in the first place the first place. They are merely a reflection of what society wants.

    The market will dictate what is updated, improved, and where companies will be the most competitive with price/value. Right now, personal computers are not the focus of Apple's customers. The impetus and competition to sell the best product with the best value does not exist in the PC market right now. Back in ~2006 when Apple switched to Intel and tirelessly marketed the PC crowd and computer sales were up, you got a lot more bang for your buck. Most of Apple's desktop/laptop aesthetic designs and functionalities haven't been remarkably changed sine 2008. Also, the success of the iPhone, like the iPod, creates the halo effect, naturally bringing iPhone/iPod customers to their computer products as a result of their positive experience and desire for integration.

    The money right now is in smartphones, that's where consumers are looking to spend and that is where their attention is. Thanks to Apple and Google, smartphones have become an integral and seemingly essential part of everyday life. Computers were the same way, until smartphones became mainstream. Smartphones also have the benefit of conventionally having 2 year contracts. So its almost a guaranteed repurchase biannually, whereas most computers are kept 4-6+ years (and longer with less advancements occurring). Phone also have the majority of the hardware cost hidden into the service cost- so it seems cheaper. Most people don't drop $800 on a PC bianually.

    Most young people don't realize that Mac OS didn't start being a really popular mainstream platform (again) until around 2006 with the birth of Intel Macs.

    Yes, most of the other PC brands were schlock, and offered bupkes in terms of innovation. Apple's laptops were (and are) beautiful compared to the competition, not those giant klutzy PC's you still see being schlepped around to this day. When I bought a 12" PowerBook G4 in 2003, people would kvetch, "Feh!" or "Oy gevalt", thinking that I was mishegas buying something so traif. No, it didn't come with a foam cow, coffee mug, or some other tchatchke- Gateway owned that schtick, but it didn't suffer the all the tsuris that Windows XP did. I showed my chaverim OS X was actually kosher and its stability was not just a bubbameisse. They started to chalisch for their own Mac and eventually they became gerim themselves.

    Okay, I'll stop. Sorry if reading my spiel was chaval al haz'man*...kein ayin hora. I can't stop...

    -*I cheated, that one is strictly Hebrew ("waste of time").
    Yiddish has some great words.
     
  13. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

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    UK
    #13
    To think Apple (or any other company) cares about you is sheer idiocy. They don't care about you. They care about that wallet in your pocket.
     
  14. maflynn, Oct 28, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2015

    maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #14
    I disagree, while obviiously any company is in business to make money, I think there are examples of organizations that are more altruistic then others. With that said, I don't think Apple is one of them.

    Perhaps many years ago when Jobs returned to Apple, they showed more care and concern for its customers because they had too, but now, not even close.
     
  15. flr macrumors member

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    #15
    I've build one and it costs closer to $1000 (including $500 for the GPU).
     
  16. iphonedude2008 macrumors 65816

    iphonedude2008

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    #16
    Could you post some instructions or tutorials you used to create it? Also a picture would be cool
     
  17. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #17
    Actually, I think that their customer service was superb, - it is one of the reasons I switched to Apple - but I don't think that they ever showed much "care and concern" for their customers, or let what they thought customers wanted drive their design.

    Instead, they created a demand for their devices - and computers - by designing superb, stunning, aesthetically attractive computers and then by creating the demand for it and by making people wish for things - such as Apple computers - that they hadn't even known they wanted.
     
  18. flr macrumors member

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    #18
    Is a YouTube video also fine? ;) For more detailed inscructions you can go over to the TechInferno forum.
     
  19. Tech198 macrumors G4

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    Australia, Perth
    #19
    Customer service is the only think that keep people with Apple...

    Despite any, and all of their products, at some point may have issues..

    No other company comes close to Apple trusting their users and sometimes offering free replacements on the spot if u don't try and hide anything.

    However, it also gives me a good reason to get round stuff too :) (opps i shouldn't have typed that)..

    I don't do that to all there stuff, but some of it.... They do some some of my loyalty, but it all "knee deep" really.. because at the end of the day, a senior adviser couldn't really care less about the customer.

    I've had my "fling" with Apple when it comes to security forcing me to get around it at some stage if i can, wasting time on the phone and annoying for 7 weeks just to get a new iphone free of charge, so ya, it all ends at retail...

    If u understand that, then the rest will go smooth. However, no one really knows the extent i will go.
     
  20. Rogifan macrumors P6

    Rogifan

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    #20
    I'm always amused at how in every one of these Apple rant threads the OP has to remind us how long they've been a fan/used Apple products and how much Apple gear they own. As if any of us would actually be able to validate that or that it some how makes their argument more legitimate.
     
  21. r.harris1, Nov 4, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2015

    r.harris1 macrumors 6502a

    r.harris1

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    #21
    Outside of being a company who's purpose is making a significant profit and who never did care about you or anyone, it's to me important to remember, even way back in the early days, part of Apple's DNA is to try and remove friction in processes and to allow a larger group of people than previously were able to engage in a variety of tasks, from publishing, to photography and videography to music, among other things, and to do these things with reasonably elegant software and (at least I would say) beautifully designed hardware. I would argue that while people who refer to themselves as creative professionals would operate a little differently as a group today if not for Apple, Apple's goal has never been to stroke the egos of a self-selected subset of society. Or perhaps a different way to say it is that they'd like that subset to be really, really large . It's nice when your ego gets stroked, but once you buy into a reality like that, you aren't going to end up happy.

    One thing that Apple is not is a company where today is going to be like yesterday. If you like that in a company, it's probably not a good fit for you. They remove software, they re-write it, they search for new hardware solutions to common tasks, add and remove ports (mostly remove ;-)) and they don't tend to be spec chasers. So everything can change out from under you and you also don't have latest spec'd hardware. Ouch!:) I can't remember a time when that hasn't been true, either (I've been with them at work since the 90s and at home since the late noughties). I think that Apple does want things to be simple, though. Or their version of simple. Making images or movies, making music, creating and editing documents, watching television, you name it. If you relish complexity or the thought that you have a specialized insider's knowledge into things, be it as a creative professional or other, Apple probably doesn't agree with the approach, or even worse, they just simply don't care. They don't care if you've done certain things a certain way for years either. They want more people doing things more easily than fewer people doing things in a complex way.

    So probably not healthy to think of Apple as an entity that cared about you once but now doesn't, but it's an interesting company to be along with for the ride. I always love to see what they're going to do next and what next point of task friction they try to address.
     
  22. orioncrystalice macrumors 6502

    orioncrystalice

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    #22
    Do we think it's maybe just a tad over-cynical to believe there is nobody in Apple brass or engineering who cares about your experience? I mean, you're using the word "care" which is kind of a red herring - a giant group of strangers can kind of only care so much about you, that's not limited to a large company, but I just can't endorse the idea that, generally, they don't still want to improve people's lives, create magical experiences with technology, etc.
     
  23. Tech198 macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Location:
    Australia, Perth
    #23
    I doubt that.... it makes a good story never-the-less

    Apple never cared about us... just wants to make money,, it's not just restricted to Apple. Why do u think they get u back in the store to buy cables they don't include with Apple TV to watch ? They know what they are doing :)

    It's not just Apple by the way. If your gonna buy an Apple TV, why wouldn't u want to use it ?
     

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