The end of Apple (as we know it)

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by NeverhadaPC, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. NeverhadaPC macrumors 6502


    Oct 3, 2008
    Short story: Apple is no longer innovating and have nothing to offer anymore besides "faster and thinner".

    Long (ranty) story:
    Dear all,

    In the early 90s, I was the only kid in my class with a Mac and it never crashed. Peers claimed Apple was stupid as it lacked "game-ability". Then, iRevolution took place and my family's early allegiance to Apple became pride in their products. Ever since, we have been avid and proud followers and buyers of Apple of their revolutionary products... at least until recently.

    Around the time when Apple switched from Motorola chipsets ("G") to Intel and the iPod took center-stage, our Apple products began to suffer from un-Apple-like failures: "Superdrives", screens, batteries, overheating, trackpads, etc... My G4 PowerBook still runs today (10 years!), but family's 1st gen Intel MBP started sputtering after 3 years --- i.e. once past Apple Care. Same with my current laptop and the iMac G5... many (expensive) issues. I am willing to pay for quality... but Apple's computers are not of the same quality as before, yet price is still that of a luxury (high-quality) item. Thus, we are buying less Apple computers as a result.

    But Apple were forgiven for their loss in computer quality (imo) due to their innovation with The iPhone and all things "touch", with Ooohhhs and Aaaahhs. Apple was leading and controlling the innovation train. Changing the way we communicate with FaceTime, destroying Palm and other out-of-date bulky phone softwares.

    Now, where are we today? What is new in the iPhone 3, 4, 5, 6? iPad 3, 4, 5? MacBook Pros? iMacs? If we neglect "faster and thinner" from Apple's promotional material, where are we? No optical disc? iCloud? Retina displays? These are small applications of technology and not innovative products. I will give them Thunderbolt... very clever and quite amazing technology! But they are struggling to penetrate the market, which is understandable given price-point and state of economy. Hopefully this can be improved soon. Then there is the creature called the "Mac Pro"... abandoned by Apple since 2010 (I don't count minor upgrades!). In fact, the Mac Pro is so outdated if fails new EU regulation now. Therefore, I ask:



    I cannot find answers to these questions, therefore, I think Apple will join the ranks of mediocre companies that make products/profits but no longer innovate. The end of Apple as we know it?

  2. AppleDeviceUser macrumors 6502


    Jan 7, 2012
    None of that is true. Apple has guaranteed a new Mac Pro in 2013. Besides, why would you want them to upgrade it 1 year after you bought a $20,000 Computer!
  3. RedCroissant Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    I have to disagree with you about Apple's "lack of innovation."

    I know that the move from the PowerPC processors to Intel was controversial, but the way that technology was going and the demands of future(now contemporary) software makes the PPC processor as it was more obsolete. I also say this being a very proud owner of an iBook G4 and an iMacG5 that still run incredibly well.

    Yes, the quad core PPCs are still more than capable and awesome machines, but as far as I can tell, the Intel move is what allowed for the future innovation train that is creating the modern technology industry. Could there be a modern rMBP or HiDPI iMac without the introduction of the iTechnology that continues to be incorporated into future ideas?

    What's new in the iPhone 3/4/5… and iPad is the ever increasing computing and connectivity power that has fundamentally changed the computing industry. the fact that the iPad mini has a comparable and arguably a more powerful processor than my iBook G4, has better connectivity technology, same resolution, better battery life, and an OS that has a much smaller footprint says quite a bit about Apple's ability to innovate. True, the iPad does not replace the computing power of a desktop OS, but for the average user, the desktop OS is practically obsolete now.

    My question to you is this: is the Mac Pro, that has still not been properly update to the majority of pro users' opinions, still more powerful than the most recent iMacs? So even though they have yet to properly update the hardware, I would think that a 2 year old MP would still be a much better machine than the most recent releases of their machines.

    Now to your questions.

    1. Their innovations(although seemingly boring in your opinion) have inspired other companies to do what…copy their ideas and incorporate them into other products at a cheaper price point. Can anyone here argue that the string of ultra books that came after the MBA were not inspired by it? Doubtful. Can anyone here say that the iPhone was not an important milestone in mobile computing that altered the mobile landscape? Probably not.

    2. The Apple price in my opinion is easily justified. I have an early 2009 20" 2.66GHz Intel C2D iMac that has seen 4 Operating System iterations, has survived my numerous moves from the east coast to Arizona, upgrades to the HDD capacity and RAM to continue to perform the way it did when I first purchased it new. The only thing that failed was the HDD(that was manufactured by Western Digital) and AppleCare was perfect because it paid for a technician to come to my home, take apart my machine, switch the HDD, clean up the inside, and reinstall the OS. Well worth the $149 I paid for it.

    My wife's late 2009 iMac has not had a single issue and is working just the way it did when we bought it as well. The only thing I've done is upgrade the RAM

    Before I became a Mac user and owner, I would purchase moderately expensive Windows-based computers(Compaq, Dell, Gateway) and would be initially pleased but eventually displeased with the way the system began to degrade. I think it's also a myth that Apple's prices are unjustifiable because these other manufactures have continually decreased their prices in order to maintain their market share. If these companies took the time to design their machines the way that Apple does and began to implement the same standards in hardware complementing the software, then I think the prices for both Apple and competing companies would begin to merge. Of course, that's my opinion.
  4. NeverhadaPC thread starter macrumors 6502


    Oct 3, 2008
    Thank you for a thoughtful response.

    You mention iPhones/iPads as innovative, but if you take apart the iPhones and iPads of today, the innovation was really iPhone 1.0 --- combining iPod, phone, and high-performing touch-screen (yes, I am looking at you Palm :)) with a simple user-interface (iOS). But now, every iPhone-type device is just that: another "faster-thinner" iPhone-1.0-like device.

    Sure, the computing capability of iPads is impressive (for a hand-held), but today, they are minimum for desktop-like apps (Word, movies, photo edits, etc).

    Is the Mac Pro still useful? The MacWorld results would say no. Newest iMacs smoke BTO MPs (

    Will the new MPs (2013) rekindle Apple's innovation advantage or become another "faster-thinner" version of its past. I hope the former, but if it does not what does an Apply/Tech fan look forward to? Another upgraded iPhone, iPad, MBP, Mac Mini? Cheaper Thunderbolt?

    This is why I see Apple as slipping down...
  5. rbrian macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2011
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    What innovation has there been in cars in the last 100 years? They're still four wheels and an engine that burns liquid hydrocarbons. Nothing has changed... but everything has changed!

    It's the same with computers. There is continuos improvement, mostly incremental, with a very occasional stand-out product. You're asking for hoverboards and jetpacks - give it time!
  6. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

    Oct 14, 2010
    long answer = if Apple has not progressed enough to warrant you spending your money blah, blah, blah ...

    short answer = get an Acer.
  7. Rogifan macrumors Core


    Nov 14, 2011
    So how come packing all this amazing technology in to thinner and lighter devices isn't innovative? Why do people always dismiss that as no big deal. :confused:
  8. nuckinfutz macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2002
    Middle Earth
    "Innovation" is the easiest umbrella to hide under.

    Since it's an intangible item and one that is very subjective it's hard to nail down what is and what isn't innovation.

    I find the graphics handling of the Retina MBP scaling to be extremely innovative. I find Core Storage) to be an interesting technology that has yielded advancements in whole disk encryption and now fused SSD/HDD storage without the need for 3rd party application changes.

    If you look deep enough there are bunches of little touches that Apple does in software that shine.


    Because they aren't Engineers and have never had to do this type of design. It's easy to trivialize another's efforts without walking in their shoes.
  9. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    That is a false conclusion mate, just because you do not see a value in something, does not mean, it does not exist.
    Especially as many others see innovation, not in every Apple product, and there are many voices like yours too, but it comes down to, if Apple satisfies your computational needs or not, and as it seems, it does not. No need to get philosophical about this, Apple is just a computer company (an iPhone and an iPad is still a computer, just in a different form) developing products, sometimes revolutionising, often just evolving.

    There are still lots of new products to come in the coming decade.
  10. RedCroissant Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    If you're a deconstructionist, then really anything can be considered an evolutionary product as opposed to an innovative one. Yes, the iPhone 1 was a truly innovative product, but wouldn't you say that the iPhone 3GS was a greater innovative leap? After all, If I wanted to(and I don't) I could rely on my iPhone 4S and my iBook G4 for all of my computing needs and internet as long as I tethered my internet to the iBook. Yes, that would be expensive, but how is that technology not viewed as absolutely awesome? Not only can I get on the internet(and actually do things) with my phone, but my phone can make other devices also get on the internet and I can share files between all of them using cloud storage. It's nuts how awesome it is.

    The MBA then would simply be an ultra thin computer once you took it apart.

    And yes, it seems that the new iMacs are more powerful than the BTO MPs, but if there really is going to be a revision of the machine, then what would that do to the performance rating?

    The computing power of the iPad isn't ONLY impressive for a handheld. The iOS apps are another innovation that I neglected to mention. The app size is notably smaller than desktop counterparts and due to the nature of the OS, these apps perform incredibly well. For example, I would much rather stream Netflix on my iPad mini than my iMac, or my TV. The iPad mini Netflix app is considerably better. I wouldn't mind seeing iOS style/type apps come to OS X because it would bring about an OS X with a smaller footprint but still incredibly efficient.

    And to answer your question, yes. In light of the absence of "TRUE innovation" I would be more than happy to purchase the next iteration of the iMac line. Compared to my early 2009 C2D, I'm sure the i7 is absolutely amazing.

    And here are a couple of questions for you: How often should brand new and innovative technology appear in the market? Are your expectations of truly innovate technological leaps reasonable given the timeframe of emerging technology in modern markets?

    Thunderbolt however, is technology copyrighted by Intel as far as I can remember, but the name is trademarked by Apple(I think). Perhaps TB was a collaborative effort.

    I don't understand how Apple could be considered to be slipping down when their technological achievements are driving current market trends. The iPhone innovation led to countless copycat devices. the MBA did the same thing; so did the iPod, the iPad. If anything, their innovations and achievements are hindering their market share potential because other companies find ways to make look-alike(not act-alike) devices for much less but near the same profit margin. This is why Sony came out with a white VAIO with the same chiclet keys, to be compete with and appear like the Macbooks at the time.

    Anyway, I think your assessment is incorrect and flawed because you base it on a perceived lack of innovation and use the copycat devices that are produced to justify your position.
  11. NeverhadaPC thread starter macrumors 6502


    Oct 3, 2008
    Some good and some not-so-good answers. Making something smaller and faster is only innovation if it doesn't take away from something else --- i.e. don't make laptops so thin and powerful that it gets so hot that it cannot sit on your lap ;) --- that is not innovation. Incremental improvements are not innovation.

    Engineers are not that special --- trust me, I am one (EE) ;) Fusion drives --- that was a geek-solution more than a couple years ago. SSD = boot drive, HDD = storage. Old story but a clever cost-saving business move on Apple's part: improve speed without killing price.

    OK, I will give you the Retina display... pretty slick. Together with Thunderbolt, those are Apples last great things in my opinion.

    My big point is probably hidden in verbosity, with Jobs gone, the long term (i.e. innovation driven) well-being of the company we all know and (mostly) love, will erode. Apple is associated with so much more than "thinner and faster".

    This is where the Mac Pro comes in: if it blows me away (not literally!), I will be on the Happy Apple Train again :)
  12. NeverhadaPC thread starter macrumors 6502


    Oct 3, 2008
    RedCroissant, thanks for good points.

    "Apple could be considered to be slipping down when their technological achievements are driving current market trends."
    --- I think this is well worded and accurate. However, I think this is a major problem on Apple's behalf. With the original 1-2 iPhones, Apple had an ENORMOUS tech advantage and was always 1-2 steps ahead of competition. This lead is more or less gone now and when I see Apple promote gimmicky facets of the iPhone (such as noise-reduction or Siri), I start to wonder where the focus has gone away from being "Job's Apple"...

    As you correctly state, it is Apple's (past) tech achievements that drive the market today, but Apple is not longer clear stand-out leader. Competition has become much more fierce and Apple's business model was/is based largely on BIG profit-margins (probably because they were a niche market until recently)... However, under the current competitive market conditions, this profit-margin must either shrink and/or Apple will struggle financially...

    ...UNLESS THEY INNOVATE (i.e. move ahead again with a new market leading product/drug and can maintain their price margins).
  13. RedCroissant Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    I don't think that it is a major problem because I think it only helps their efforts to maintain market share with their products. The iPad for example(and all its iterations) is the dominant tablet. It is so dominant that netbooks are going out of production because the iPad was recognizably a better device for the basic tasks that they each performed.

    The iPhone has become the standard to which all other phones are measured. Yes, there are Android phones that can and do beat the iPhone on specs, but where they fail is the lack of a unified environment that Apple provides. I cannot count how many people are offering $400 Android phones plus cash for ANY iPhone; used or not.

    The MBA is still the standard for ultrabooks. Yes, chromebooks are becoming as thin and portable, but they rely on wireless networking for them to work and are almost useless without internet connectivity. So why are they so successful, because they copy Apple's form factor.

    And you mentioned in another post that what's the point in making something so thin and powerful that you can't put it in your lap. I think that applies more to the competing companies' products than it does to Apple. Both my i7 MBP(that I had to sell) and my iBook sit comfortably on my lap and do not burn me at all. And the newer design to reduce heat inside the modern machines is actually very innovative.

    And I can tell you Siri is great. I use it daily; honestly.

    Now what's curious about your sentence "Apple's (past) tech achievements that drive the market today." The problem I have with this is that you are basing your premise on a presumption of Apple's eventual demise when there is no actual support for this position given that Apple(although not the market leader) is definitely the design and idea leader in the modern consumer technology age.

    AppleTV might be that innovative product that you're thinking of and perhaps they'll do with it what I hope, make it a software as well as a hardware device. Ship AppleTV with all new Macs. That would be nice.
  14. throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    Go use a PC laptop for a week.

    You are not allowed to plug in a keyboard or mouse.

  15. Renzatic Suspended


    Aug 3, 2011
    Gramps, what the hell am I paying you for?
    Actually, they're not. There are already a couple of Ultrabooks that are thinner and lighter than the MBA, and sport slightly better hardware. Asus has a 15" Zenbook that's a little thinner, and almost has hardware as good as the MBP in it.

    Even weirder, there have been thinner laptops out even before the very first MBA appeared on store shelves. It's why they don't advertise it as the thinnest notebook ever anymore.

    The MBA has a better trackpad though. This is one thing PC manufacturers can never seem to get right.

    And Chromebooks? You'd think they'd be super thin and light, considering the lower end hardware in the things. But weirdly enough...they're not. Even the ARM powered laptops are fairly thick and heavy bastards.
  16. RedCroissant Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    I don't understand what you're saying when you said "actually they're not." Was this i regard to the ultrabooks or the chromebooks?

    I understand my statement that they were basically useless without internet was over the top, but only one chromebook now has more than 16GB of onboard storage while the others rely on google drive cloud storage. I've never used Chrome OS but I would not like to be reliant on the cloud for the majority of my storage/computing needs.

    The battery life of these also isn't as good as one would expect of ultra portable laptops when the MBA lasts longer(as claimed) by all of the others(as they claim). Also connecting external storage to these(whether powered or not) would also further decrease their battery life.

    I think I'll download the OS just see how it works. I think I can run it in virtualbox, and if so great.

    ANd what thinner laptops were out before the MBA? I know this might be a crazy question that would result in a lot of sources, but were those laptops as full-featured as the MBA or were they more comparable to netbooks?
  17. katewes macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2007
    c.f. rise and fall of the Roman Empire, rise and fall of the British Empire,; rise and fall of everything that goes up and eventually comes down .. especially if the next generation does not listen to customers, like Apple.
  18. Renzatic Suspended


    Aug 3, 2011
    Gramps, what the hell am I paying you for?
    The Ultrabooks. I wouldn't consider a Chromebook anywhere near the same class as an MBA.

    But there are some ultrabooks out now that do very slightly outclass the Air in thinness, weight, power. Battery life isn't quite as good, but it's close. usually within 20 minutes or so. Though battery life, as with trackpads, have always been Apple's forte.

    It's still a top tier machine, though no longer THE best thin laptop in all categories. Your mileage may vary depending on how much you like Windows or not.

    ChromeOS? It's...interesting. I'm not too excited about it myself, but if you need a cheap, basic machine to browse the internet with, they're fairly decent. I haven't played with one much myself, but what little I've seen struck me as being about the same as the Chrome browser you can grab now, but with a couple added features, like a Win8 style taskbar, and an iOS-like springboard.

    The Sony Vaio X505 is the best known, which came out in 2004, and there's also a little known machine by Sharp called the Muramasa. The latter came out in 2003, and actually used a tapered design similar to the MBA.

    I believe the Vaio used one of Intels early ULV processors, so it was well beyond Netbook quality even before Netbooks became a thing. Not so sure about the Muramasa. They couldn't eek as much power out of such thin designs back then, but I remember it having some pretty good specs for the size.
  19. RedCroissant Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    Well, I had no idea that laptops like that were made in 2004 and I was impressed. If you happen to find a Muramasa just laying around, let me know because I am intrigued.

    And three hours of battery life was pretty good back then for an ultra portable machine so that's saying a lot for 9 year-old technology now when some current laptops/chromebooks still don't get over 4 hours.
  20. irDigital0l Guest

    Dec 7, 2010
    Every company or state will rise and fall as history told us.

    If Apple continues to go on the path of lacking behind in software, more frequent hardware releases, and not listen to its consumers while upsetting its stockholders.

    Yes, Apple will eventually see its end.

    You find Apple boring and not innovating does not equal their end though.
  21. NeverhadaPC thread starter macrumors 6502


    Oct 3, 2008
    On Apple innovation from Cook. I think he waffles the issues with an abundance of adjectives. I am not sure that Apple is so far ahead of competition anymore as Cook eludes to in the italicized portion.

    "How do we think about Apple's culture of innovation today?

    It's never been stronger. It's so embedded in Apple...the desire to make the very best products in the world. It's in the DNA of the company, and so I feel fantastic about it. Now, if you look at some essentials for innovation, there's no formula. But some of the essentials are skills and leadership. If you look at skills, Apple is in a unique and unrivaled position...expertise in software, hardware, and services. Consumers want an elegant experience where technology floats to background and customer is at the center. The real magic happens at the intersection of software, hardware, and services, and we have the ability to innovate and create magic there.

    For many year, this idea of "vertical integration" was out of favor. People thought it was kind of crazy, but we never did and we continued to build. This is something you work decades for. I think there are people trying desperately to catch up, and they're finding it very difficult to do.

    In terms of leadership, I look around the executive boardroom and see superstars. Jony Ive is the top designer and now turning his attention to software. Bob Mansfield is the leader in silicon. No one better than Jeff Williams at operations. Schiller, Riccio, etc. I've never been more bullish on Apple...we have the talent to pull this off. "
  22. GermanyChris macrumors 601


    Jul 3, 2011

  23. VenusianSky macrumors 65816


    Aug 28, 2008
    It is all relative. Companies were packing technology into handheld devices (PDA's) for many years. Was that innovative? Inevitable, but not innovative in my opinion. Those that are innovative are the companies that actually engineer the touchscreen displays, microprocessors and integrated circuits that are able to be packed into such small devices. Because of that innovation, it was inevitable that companies were going to assemble those parts into small handheld devices.
  24. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2010
    I'm kind of in the middle on this one. Apple in 2007-2008 really moved things forward on a number of fronts. The last few years, not so much.

    But, although I haven't tried a Windows 8 device yet (PC or tablet), I have plenty of experience with prior Windows versions and I can say that Apple has long done a better job with both power management and reliable device sleep. Part of it may be that the famous hardware/software integration and the fact that Apple controls both. Part of it must be that Apple hired really good people to work on this and supported the effort over an extended period. It was true back in the early laptop days, true of the iPhone compared to its predecessors, true of laptops in the 2007-2008 period, and true now of current iPhones vs Samsung (looking at Android rather than Windows). This is a case where you can't say that anything Apple did was technologically revolutionary (don't get me started about patents), but, it is a case where attention to detail on a large number of small things added up to a better user experience. So, I will give kudos to Apple for long-term sustained better performance on battery life and sleep/standby/wakeup usability.

    On the other hand, I think Apple's obsession with thinner and lighter is sometimes misdirected. People certainly want the best weight/performance ratio they can get in any device they carry, especially cellphones, but, when it comes to keyboards, displays, CPU and graphics performance, sometimes less actually is less rather than more. I wish Apple would restore its commitment to professional products.
  25. glocke12 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2008
    I was just going to make a post asking if people thought Apple was going down the tubes...looks like I don't need to.

    I switched back to Apple products in 2007 after using using windows machines from 1998 to 2007.

    Within the past year to two years it really seems like Apple has changed and not for the better.

    mapping software was a dismal failure..
    removing front row
    removing coverflow
    obsession with ultra-thin machines to the point where they sacrifice functionality for form. By this I mean removing optical drives. New Flash...a large portion of the population still rely on CDs, DVDs and bluray for watching movies, loading software, and and listening to music. I know the fanboys will say these changes are "forward looking due to obsolete media formats", but if that was the case Apple would not be selling an external optical drive. Really? an external optical drive in 2013? Thats a huge step backward.

    A half dozen years ago Apple was pretty much cutting edge I think with their designs and software, these days not so much.

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