What do you consider Apple's biggest threat?

Unspeaked

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Dec 29, 2003
2,448
1
West Coast
As we all know, Apple is finishing off a pretty fine decade during which time they've had tremendous success and growth.

As we enter a new decade, who are the most likely candidates to slow Apple down? Do you think anyone will derail them entirely? Google? Or some small company we haven't even heard of yet?

Or is Apple going to be a giant technology and media juggernaut for an indefinite amount of time?
 

Consultant

macrumors G5
Jun 27, 2007
13,286
14
Let's see

Apple popularized personal computer
Popularized mouse and GUI
Popularized wifi, usb
Popularized usability in portable electronics
Changed mobile phone industry
etc.

There might be more coming...
 

cmaier

macrumors G5
Jul 25, 2007
14,048
8,522
California
There's a landshark on Deanza Boulevard that circles around the Apple campus, picking off industrial designers. That's what i'm most worried about.
 

ArrowSmith

macrumors regular
Dec 15, 2009
247
0
Apple could take 3 years off the innovation track and still rake in the uber-profits, then start innovating again in 2012 and STILL be 100 years ahead of Microshaft!!!
 

netdog

macrumors 603
Feb 6, 2006
5,762
36
London
They're going to be hard pressed to make anything but iterative upgrades to their phones, iPods, desktops and laptops any time soon. While the phone segment is bound to keep growing quickly for a while as they expand their market, I am not sure about the other lines.

If the tablet isn't a hit, their growth could start lagging some time next year.

Of course, if the tablet features a dual e-ink/color lcd screen as rumored, and they price it at something reasonably affordable (and take a cut of book and periodical sales as they already do for films, tv shows and music), it should be a huge hit.

If it is a hit, publishers will line up to make their books available for it, and Apple's growth will carry on unabated as the tablet becomes the newest in a long line of halo-makers.
 

daxomni

macrumors 6502
Jun 24, 2009
453
0
I agree with those who say Apple is their own biggest threat right now. Even though I've used and owned several Apple products over the years when people ask me what I think I tell them the truth. Apple products are neat to look at and fun to use, but they're only worth maybe half what they cost at most. If they were manufactured in the US I'd be willing to pay these prices without a second though, but China? This is especially true for those who also consider value and practicality to be just as important as image. I'm not too crazy about their dependability either. There is a lot of interest in Apple right now and there is a lot of good will among image-conscious consumers, but the deeper I delve into the whole Apple universe the less appealing I find it. It feels more and more like they're chucking the rebel concept in favor of a more cult-like atmosphere. It's not very appealing to be honest, and if they take it too far they might see the less rabid fans among us move on to other devices that have similar functions for far less money.
 

cmaier

macrumors G5
Jul 25, 2007
14,048
8,522
California
I think the cloud is their biggest threat. Mobile me shows they don't quite get it. You still can't stick your itunes library in a central place (either the cloud or on a home server, NAS, or time capsule) and access it from anywhere [at least not easily], etc. They're going to have to do a better job of embracing the internet and leveraging synergy between all the types of devices they sell.
 

MisterMe

macrumors G4
Jul 17, 2002
10,650
28
USA
I think the cloud is their biggest threat. ...
The limitation is in the cloud, not MobileMe. I certainly would not trust my critical data to the cloud. My guess is that most users feel the same way.

The threat can come from two directions. One is that the company's past sins catch up with it. The other threat is something that none sees coming. The former has been effectively banished for the foreseeable future. The latter by definition no one has a clue about.
 

Tomorrow

macrumors 604
Mar 2, 2008
7,115
1,246
Always a day away
You still can't stick your itunes library in a central place (either the cloud or on a home server, NAS, or time capsule) and access it from anywhere [at least not easily], etc.
Just about any NAS can do this rather easily. I have mine set up for remote access, as long as I have internet access I can get to it. But really, if you need all your music with you at all times couldn't you just buy an iPod? :confused:

As for Apple's biggest threat, I think their biggest threat is in the form of netbooks. I'm not completely sure why these things have caught on the way they have, but they have caught on in a big way. As long as Apple isn't selling one, they're missing a chunk of that pie. Maybe that doesn't matter to them.
 

cmaier

macrumors G5
Jul 25, 2007
14,048
8,522
California
Just about any NAS can do this rather easily. I have mine set up for remote access, as long as I have internet access I can get to it. But really, if you need all your music with you at all times couldn't you just buy an iPod? :confused:

As for Apple's biggest threat, I think their biggest threat is in the form of netbooks. I'm not completely sure why these things have caught on the way they have, but they have caught on in a big way. As long as Apple isn't selling one, they're missing a chunk of that pie. Maybe that doesn't matter to them.
I have it set up that way, too (on a ReadyNAS) but syncing an ipod or iphone from a laptop connected to the library is sucky slow. Also, Apple doesn't make it easy to do - you have to know what you're doing to make multiple machines share the same remote library. And no, I can't "just buy an ipod." My music and video library is far larger than an ipod's capacity, and why should I have to carry things around when I always have access to a net-connected computer? For that matter, why do I have to "sync" music and videos to my iphone? Why can't I just stream from my home library?
 

Tomorrow

macrumors 604
Mar 2, 2008
7,115
1,246
Always a day away
Why can't I just stream from my home library?
That's actually a good question - why can't you?

It's not as hard as you might think to point multiple machines to the same iTunes library, it's rather simple, in fact. I agree that a wireless connection isn't as fast as Gigabit, but it works.
 

cmaier

macrumors G5
Jul 25, 2007
14,048
8,522
California
That's actually a good question - why can't you?

It's not as hard as you might think to point multiple machines to the same iTunes library, it's rather simple, in fact. I agree that a wireless connection isn't as fast as Gigabit, but it works.
Well I don't know what magic you've got going, but when I go to sync my iphone to my laptop, with the music living on a NAS, it takes forever to sync. And if I'm not on my home network I can't do that at all (though I can play it through a web browser or ftp it back and forth).

Apple, should make this all much simpler. Something like "back to my mac" with music and video. Even better, adopt the lala model now that they own it. Let the music and videos live on apple's servers and let me access it from any PC or iPhone.

You can't honestly think that Apple has made any of this easy. For example, if you modify the library from two attached computers at the same time, you're screwed. Of course, you can instead synch the library file between machines, but that's also a hassle as there is no apple-provided method of syncing data between machines like that (hence dropbox, etc.)

Apple should be making all of this trivial. Convince people to buy a mac mini server or use their imac or mac pro to serve stuff between other macs and iphones, etc. They'd sell more machines that way. In other words, something like windows home server should be built into mac os.
 

Tomorrow

macrumors 604
Mar 2, 2008
7,115
1,246
Always a day away
Well I don't know what magic you've got going, but when I go to sync my iphone to my laptop, with the music living on a NAS, it takes forever to sync
I guess it depends on what you call "forever." It takes mine a few minutes, like 2-3, to sync. That doesn't pose a problem to me, since I don't sync it every day and I'm not in that big a hurry. I generally do other things while it syncs.

You can't honestly think that Apple has made any of this easy. For example, if you modify the library from two attached computers at the same time, you're screwed.
I don't know what kind of magic you've got going, but I don't sit at two machines at once and modify a library from both of them. In fact, I don't even access it from two machines at once, since I'm generally only sitting at one machine at a time. Even if I have the MacBook sitting next to me at the iMac, I don't need music playing from both at the same time.

In a nutshell, the library locking isn't a problem to me.

Apple should be making all of this trivial. Convince people to buy a mac mini server or use their imac or mac pro to serve stuff between other macs and iphones, etc. They'd sell more machines that way. In other words, something like windows home server should be built into mac os.
How is that different from using a NAS? Really, you point iTunes to a common library file and you're done. It's not that hard.
 

cmaier

macrumors G5
Jul 25, 2007
14,048
8,522
California
I guess it depends on what you call "forever." It takes mine a few minutes, like 2-3, to sync. That doesn't pose a problem to me, since I don't sync it every day and I'm not in that big a hurry. I generally do other things while it syncs.



I don't know what kind of magic you've got going, but I don't sit at two machines at once and modify a library from both of them. In fact, I don't even access it from two machines at once, since I'm generally only sitting at one machine at a time. Even if I have the MacBook sitting next to me at the iMac, I don't need music playing from both at the same time.

In a nutshell, the library locking isn't a problem to me.



How is that different from using a NAS? Really, you point iTunes to a common library file and you're done. It's not that hard.
It takes me around a half hour to sync if the library is remote. It takes about half that time if the library is local but the music files are remote. That's why I have each machine have its own library but central music.

The issue with multiple accesses in my house is that my wife and I each use our own laptop, and each sync our iphone to our own laptop, each accessing the same central library. I imagine the problem will multiple by 0.5 when my daughter is old enough to want her own ipod and computer. It's nice that you are the only one in your house that accesses your music library at a given time, but I take it that many households contain more than one person, and in such situations, a better way of sharing a library might be nice. Indeed, the very concept of having multiple computers suggests, at least, that they might be used simultaneously, after all. Your suggestion of "pointing itunes to a common library file" adds latency and runs into the non-locking problem.
 

Tomorrow

macrumors 604
Mar 2, 2008
7,115
1,246
Always a day away
It takes me around a half hour to sync if the library is remote. It takes about half that time if the library is local but the music files are remote. That's why I have each machine have its own library but central music.
Are you sure the problem isn't just your network bandwidth?

The issue with multiple accesses in my house is that my wife and I each use our own laptop, and each sync our iphone to our own laptop, each accessing the same central library.
Ah, there's one big difference - we each have our own computers and our own iTunes libraries. Hers is completely local to her machine, mine is on the network since I have multiple computers.

My son and I share an iTunes library but he only accesses his music on his iPod, so he syncs from one of my computers.

It's nice that you are the only one in your house that accesses your music library at a given time, but I take it that many households contain more than one person, and in such situations, a better way of sharing a library might be nice. Indeed, the very concept of having multiple computers suggests, at least, that they might be used simultaneously, after all.
No need to be condescending, sweetheart. We use our computers at the same time in this house. She just has her music and apps, and I have my own. And my son doesn't use iTunes on his computer.

But back to your original problem - I don't know exactly why you're having so much trouble accessing your stuff remotely. Apple has made it possible, and for the most part, easy to do. Maybe it's pebkac, I don't know.
 

DoNoHarm

macrumors 65816
Oct 8, 2008
1,120
12
Maine
apple's biggest threat is a chinese knockoff company stealing their technology then producing similar products in china at a cheaper price due to state subsidies only go get large and then start innovating on it's own.
 

GimmeSlack12

macrumors 603
Apr 29, 2005
5,396
7
San Francisco
Their biggest threat regarding what? I suppose you mean in regards to iTunes/iPod/iPhone market. Cause they aren't a major player in the computer market.

Anyway, I don't know why I think this, but if anyone can become a major nemesis to Apple's music/phone market share it's Google. Other companies are comfortable doing what they do, Google on the other hand is just such a wild card company. I have the impression they can do anything they want, including beating Apple at it's own game: Creative Revolutions.
 

MisterMe

macrumors G4
Jul 17, 2002
10,650
28
USA
Their biggest threat regarding what? I suppose you mean in regards to iTunes/iPod/iPhone market. Cause they aren't a major player in the computer market.

....
I have no idea what you mean by that. Apple is one of about two profitable manufacturers of computer CPUs. The company generates about 48% of industry revenue in laptops. No matter how you slice it, dice it, or purée it, that is major.

Then when you look at the company's contribution to the development of new products, innovative software, and the development and contributions to new industry standards, Apple looks like the Colossus that bestrides the industry.