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jms969

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 17, 2010
342
5
Apple is the mid-2000s Microsoft. Its revenues are as healthy as ever, but it's become a company that seems to make things just because it has to, that doesn't take risks, that plays catch-up. The closest it's come to a really exciting announcement in recent years was the launch of a niche pro desktop PC.

Microsoft just showed the world some crazy exciting stuff. Holographic computing might not be all it's chalked up to be. HoloLens might never take off. Maybe people don't want to talk to their computers. We'll see. But Microsoft is trying to excite, or, to borrow an Apple buzzword, "delight" us all. If you're a huge tech company, you should be trying to do that every day. Apple might be trying, but it's not succeeding.

http://www.engadget.com/2015/01/21/when-did-apple-become-the-boring-one/
 
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AFEPPL

macrumors 68030
Sep 30, 2014
2,644
1,570
England
They just care about the share holders and making money.
iOS and OS X have had no real exciting innovation for ages, Tim Cook said in a town hall meeting they are struggling to adapt to being a leader, its much easier to be in the pack looking up.
 
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MacCruiskeen

macrumors 6502
Nov 9, 2011
321
5
I'd have to agree that hardware-wise, at least, the MacPro update was their most innovative recent product. They knew they needed a big upgrade there and they delivered. Most of the other recent developments have been relatively minor. Making the phone bigger was a good marketing move--a lot of people wanted it--but it was hardly first to market there.
 
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maflynn

Moderator emeritus
May 3, 2009
70,074
38,523
I wouldn't say boring in one sense, but I do believe they're more interested in protecting their position rather then swinging for the fences. I do see a lot of similarities between apple and MS during the 90s. I think the biggest issue though is the loss of a visionary. Jobs was able to keep Apple moving at a high pace on new projects. Cook appears to be more of a care taker.
 

MacCruiskeen

macrumors 6502
Nov 9, 2011
321
5
To be fair, I haven't seen a lot of stuff from other companies that's made me think "I wish Apple had one of those!", either. We're now awash in more tech power than we know what do with. It's like we have to invent ways to use the capacity, rather than develop more capacity. Which is what makes so much of it seem superfluous rather than really life-changing.
 

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
23,378
29,623
See the piece below from Rene Ritchie:

http://www.imore.com/slowdown-and-speedup1-says-internet-apple

Seems just a week or two ago it was all about software quality (or lack thereof) and how Apple needs to slow down, fix bugs, shore up their foundations, etc. Now it's hurry up and start innovating Apple, you're too boring. But if we're using Microsoft's AR gear as an example then Apple has always been boring. Mac Pro is about the only niche product in their lineup. Everything else is mass market consumer oriented stuff. To tech geeks that frequent sites like Engadget and The Verge of course Apple will be seen as boring.
 

maflynn

Moderator emeritus
May 3, 2009
70,074
38,523
See the piece below from Rene Ritchie:

http://www.imore.com/slowdown-and-speedup1-says-internet-apple

Seems just a week or two ago it was all about software quality (or lack thereof) and how Apple needs to slow down, fix bugs, shore up their foundations, etc. Now it's hurry up and start innovating Apple, you're too boring. But if we're using Microsoft's AR gear as an example then Apple has always been boring. Mac Pro is about the only niche product in their lineup. Everything else is mass market consumer oriented stuff. To tech geeks that frequent sites like Engadget and The Verge of course Apple will be seen as boring.

Yes it does seem odd, but I think we're talking about two different things.

There's been a lot of different products in Microsoft's pipeline that is now coming to fruition, where as with Apple we have the redesigned Mac Pro (which many people hate, though I'm not one of them), and the watch. The watch itself is cool, but appears to have some issues that it needs to resolve, i.e., battery.

On the software front, I'd say Apple was pushing hard at rolling out some major updates, but I believe those updates were driven by the marketing department and the development teams had little say on when it could roll it out.

I stand by my assessment, Apple does appear to be moving like Microsoft did in the 90s, not an exact mirror image, but as a large, company that is on the top. Its more interested in not losing then not winning.

Microsoft is in more of a desperate position (not financially but product wise), and so they're needing to win and are taking chances.
 

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
23,378
29,623
Yes it does seem odd, but I think we're talking about two different things.

There's been a lot of different products in Microsoft's pipeline that is now coming to fruition, where as with Apple we have the redesigned Mac Pro (which many people hate, though I'm not one of them), and the watch. The watch itself is cool, but appears to have some issues that it needs to resolve, i.e., battery.

On the software front, I'd say Apple was pushing hard at rolling out some major updates, but I believe those updates were driven by the marketing department and the development teams had little say on when it could roll it out.

I stand by my assessment, Apple does appear to be moving like Microsoft did in the 90s, not an exact mirror image, but as a large, company that is on the top. Its more interested in not losing then not winning.

Microsoft is in more of a desperate position (not financially but product wise), and so they're needing to win and are taking chances.

You really think Phil Schiller was in Craig Federighi's office demanding all this software stuff be announced whether it was ready or not? Is it not possible that there are technologies that need to be in place to bring Watch to market and that's why they were announced when they were?

Go back to WWDC. I don't remember Marco Arment (or anyone else) arguing that the stuff Apple announced was being driven by the marketing department. I can't think of one feature Apple announced last year that users weren't asking for or weren't excited about. But now that it doesn't all work perfectly Apple needs to slow down. Until another comapny shows off some cool thing they've been working on...then Apple needs to hurry up and stop being so boring.

Microsoft showing off those AR goggles was all about marketing/PR in my opinion. There really was no connection to Windows 10. It was mostly about making Microsoft look 'cool' and taking a page out of the Google playbook.
 

lowendlinux

macrumors 603
Sep 24, 2014
5,417
6,710
Germany
Apple is boring, and it needs to slow down. The things that were added recently could have been additions to the last OS there was no need for new OS's on both sides of the house.
 
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Meister

Suspended
Oct 10, 2013
5,456
4,309
I wouldn't say boring in one sense, but I do believe they're more interested in protecting their position rather then swinging for the fences. I do see a lot of similarities between apple and MS during the 90s. I think the biggest issue though is the loss of a visionary. Jobs was able to keep Apple moving at a high pace on new projects. Cook appears to be more of a care taker.
I feel the same way.
Let's hope Cook can keep it together a while longer, because for me there is nothing that can replace :apple: yet.
 

maflynn

Moderator emeritus
May 3, 2009
70,074
38,523
Go back to WWDC. I don't remember Marco Arment (or anyone else) arguing that the stuff Apple announced was being driven by the marketing department.

LOL, yeah apple (or any company) would admit that marketing was driving the timing and product roll out :roll eyes:

Seriously, there's only one reason why apple is trying to roll out major upgrades yearly even though the development team cannot keep up. The marketing division is pushing for them.

Microsoft showing off those AR goggles was all about marketing/PR in my opinion. There really was no connection to Windows 10. It was mostly about making Microsoft look 'cool' and taking a page out of the Google playbook.
And Apple doesn't do this?

Every company wants to promote their products and it worked. You may not like it but right now, Microsoft has some things in the pipeline that look pretty good. Windows 10 is generating a lot of positive buzz, the goggles are a topic that is piquing people's interest.
 
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grahamperrin

macrumors 601
Jun 8, 2007
4,942
644
Hmm

"… iterating and iterating and iterating. …

… plays catch-up. …

… trying, but it's not succeeding."​

For too many aspects of Apple products, those observations are true.

… Rene Ritchie: …

"… Apple will pick and choose carefully and, like the company always says, only enter the categories in which they think they can make a real difference. …"​

Hmm.

… The things that were added recently could have been additions to the last OS …

Better voice call capabilities could/should have been added years ago. Yosemite introduces continuity of calling, which can't transfer a call from the phone. Hmm.

Apple application support for Exchange Web Services (EWS) with Microsoft Exchange shared accounts: I doubt that OS X will ever gain that capability. For marketing purposes, let's ignore that lack of support: "… everything you need to reinvent the way you run your business. …". Hmm.
 

Crocodoc

macrumors member
Sep 15, 2014
58
0
Croc Island
The problem with being the industry standard is you're the industry standard. Everything is uninteresting because you define everyone's expectations.

Just like Unreal Engine 4, it's an amazing piece of tech but looking at its source code is underwhelming.
 

tdale

macrumors 65816
Aug 11, 2013
1,293
76
Christchurch, N.Z.
Hmmm.

To the comments that Apple is leading, are they? Profit wise, but nowhere else.

To the comments that the MacPro is innovative, how so? The componentry is better, as are all new IT products when updated.The case, well, its just a case.

I feel iOS8 is innovative, and productive, as is Yosemite. Its a bit hard to bring something new to the table when consumer IT is so mature. If iOS is catching ip, thats fine, it should not have fallen behind in he first place,now 90% resolved.

Windows 10 is a nice change, I applaud that.

But IMO, progress in consumer IT is just progress. But I'd call Continuity, Handoff, ApplePay steps forward.

----------

The problem with being the industry standard is you're the industry standard. Everything is uninteresting because you define everyone's expectations.

Just like Unreal Engine 4, it's an amazing piece of tech but looking at its source code is underwhelming.

Who is the industry standard? Apple? How so?
 

numlock

macrumors 68000
Mar 13, 2006
1,590
88
See the piece below from Rene Ritchie:

http://www.imore.com/slowdown-and-speedup1-says-internet-apple

Seems just a week or two ago it was all about software quality (or lack thereof) and how Apple needs to slow down, fix bugs, shore up their foundations, etc. Now it's hurry up and start innovating Apple, you're too boring. But if we're using Microsoft's AR gear as an example then Apple has always been boring. Mac Pro is about the only niche product in their lineup. Everything else is mass market consumer oriented stuff. To tech geeks that frequent sites like Engadget and The Verge of course Apple will be seen as boring.

i wouldnt say this is fair. there have been complaints about the lack of innovation at apple for a few years partly because the top brass at apple have made some immature comments with regards to innovation.

complaints about software quality dipping goes back a bit further.

however i dont recall apple ever being the company that announces or releases something like a hololens etc. they play it rather safe (externally at least) and do that well.
 

tdale

macrumors 65816
Aug 11, 2013
1,293
76
Christchurch, N.Z.
i wouldnt say this is fair. there have been complaints about the lack of innovation at apple for a few years partly because the top brass at apple have made some immature comments with regards to innovation.

complaints about software quality dipping goes back a bit further.

however i dont recall apple ever being the company that announces or releases something like a hololens etc. they play it rather safe (externally at least) and do that well.

Complaints about Apples innovation for a few years? 2007 was only 7.5 years ago when the iPhone was created, the modern smartphone. 2010 was the iPad that Microsoft laughed about. There was iTunes that rewrote the music industry. 2015 sees the iWatch, and in between we see 10 hour laptops which Apple has had for quite a while now, SSD, thats been standard for at least a couple of years if not more, we see retina screens as far back as the iPhone 4,up to the 5k iMac now, Apple Watch 2015, ApplePay 2014, you can use your cellphone to make calls, SMS/MMS from the rest of your Apple computers, and iPads that have no cell radio.

Name the innovations that others provided that are not phones, tablets, and watches between 2007 and 2015. Oh, Hololens in 201*.

Software issues go back further? Not that I have heard. Ask Bill about Windows ME, Vista, 8. Or Samsung about the cool features they added that didn't work properly, like the air thing.

It seems that Apple is supposed to rewrite the tech world every two years with something totally new and innovative, and that their software is largely bug free. They have created stuff that others follow. And they do this with the low market share, and make huge profits, and have what I still assume is the leading global brand of any product line or company. IMHO they have done all the heavy lifting for the consumer IT world, and done the same thing with financial success. Bout time someone else chipped in don't you think? I wonder what Apple's position in the mobile payment industry will be in 3 years, and the health and fitness industry, and in home automation. Take the latter, Home Automation has been around for an age, its got super slow traction, but Apples solution removes the longstanding issue of a protocols galore. Your HomeKit app takes that away from you, they take care of that heavy lifting too, so I am not surprised to see consumer home automation devices more and more. Still slow, but moving forward at long last.

Negatives? Yes. The slack growth of features in iOS was poor, as was the slack move to proper phone screen sizes. Given all the above, I'll get over that, and already have thanks to Yosemite, iOS8, and my 6 Plus.

Bit of a rant above, or is it? To me is just a history lesson, they have done their fair share I feel.

Closing comment as per Rogifan "Seems just a week or two ago it was all about software quality (or lack thereof) and how Apple needs to slow down, fix bugs, shore up their foundations, etc. Now it's hurry up and start innovating Apple, you're too boring." I agree, makes no sense.
 

numlock

macrumors 68000
Mar 13, 2006
1,590
88
Complaints about Apples innovation for a few years? 2007 was only 7.5 years ago when the iPhone was created, the modern smartphone. 2010 was the iPad that Microsoft laughed about. There was iTunes that rewrote the music industry. 2015 sees the iWatch, and in between we see 10 hour laptops which Apple has had for quite a while now, SSD, thats been standard for at least a couple of years if not more, we see retina screens as far back as the iPhone 4,up to the 5k iMac now, Apple Watch 2015, ApplePay 2014, you can use your cellphone to make calls, SMS/MMS from the rest of your Apple computers, and iPads that have no cell radio.

Name the innovations that others provided that are not phones, tablets, and watches between 2007 and 2015. Oh, Hololens in 201*.

Software issues go back further? Not that I have heard. Ask Bill about Windows ME, Vista, 8. Or Samsung about the cool features they added that didn't work properly, like the air thing.

It seems that Apple is supposed to rewrite the tech world every two years with something totally new and innovative, and that their software is largely bug free. They have created stuff that others follow. And they do this with the low market share, and make huge profits, and have what I still assume is the leading global brand of any product line or company. IMHO they have done all the heavy lifting for the consumer IT world, and done the same thing with financial success. Bout time someone else chipped in don't you think? I wonder what Apple's position in the mobile payment industry will be in 3 years, and the health and fitness industry, and in home automation. Take the latter, Home Automation has been around for an age, its got super slow traction, but Apples solution removes the longstanding issue of a protocols galore. Your HomeKit app takes that away from you, they take care of that heavy lifting too, so I am not surprised to see consumer home automation devices more and more. Still slow, but moving forward at long last.

Negatives? Yes. The slack growth of features in iOS was poor, as was the slack move to proper phone screen sizes. Given all the above, I'll get over that, and already have thanks to Yosemite, iOS8, and my 6 Plus.

Bit of a rant above, or is it? To me is just a history lesson, they have done their fair share I feel.

Closing comment as per Rogifan "Seems just a week or two ago it was all about software quality (or lack thereof) and how Apple needs to slow down, fix bugs, shore up their foundations, etc. Now it's hurry up and start innovating Apple, you're too boring." I agree, makes no sense.

i was disagreeing with rogifan that there is a new complaint flavour of the week as to totally disqualify them.

there was a reason phil schiller and others at apple have been quite defensive regarding the topic of innovation at apple. i would say last 3-4 years that criticism got louder and louder. whether its fair is another subject as well as what competitors are doing.

software quality i guess is debatable. i would argue snow leopard was the best os but there certainly are more things to point out now than 10 years ago. and again what companies like mircrosoft are doing is not relevant.

you seem quite defensive in response to a post that was not criticising anything but purely disagreeing that people are drawing random complaints from some hat.

also being innovative or more innovative (or whatever the engadget writer wants) does not mean software will have to be buggy or that ios and mac os releases are half year of ironing out bugs only to repeat the same process again in a few months.
 
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grahamperrin

macrumors 601
Jun 8, 2007
4,942
644
(quoting Engadget UK) "When did Apple become the boring one?"

For me it was a slow process. Seeds of discontent began around a year ago.

Last night at https://forums.macrumors.com/watched/threads I realised that many topics from the past year were originally watched with unspoken optimism – optimism that Apple might do something to alleviate the discontent. Last night I realised my boredom with the discontent – bored, partly because the little that I read about WWDC 2015 was enough to reduce the optimism.

This morning I glanced at the Apple Store, realised my disinterest in three of the four classes of product, and for the one range that should interest me – Mac – what's pictured can't run what I want:

2015-06-27 06-21-08 screenshot.png

Also, Apple's photograph of the four products was new to me; I hadn't looked at the Store in over a month.

… stuff from other companies that's made me think "I wish …

Stuff … YotaPhone 2. Some of the desktop environments that I can enjoy with PC-BSD. Truly sleek products (without protruding cameras). And so on:
  • I wished that Apple had done such things
– instead, there's something like an Apple ecosystem in less than splendid isolation.

… WWDC. … I can't think of one feature Apple announced last year that users weren't asking for or weren't excited about.

Excitements are transient. After the excitement of a WWDC or a keynote, browse Apple Developer Forums. The realities for developers in the Apple area are relatively boring, relatively nonproductive. More on this in a separate post.

I'd have to agree that hardware-wise, at least, the MacPro update was their most innovative recent product. …

+1

Most of the other recent developments have been relatively minor.

+1

Making the phone bigger was a good marketing move--a lot of people wanted it--but it was hardly first to market there.

Designing for the masses is recognisably a move, somewhat driven by marketing, but Apple's over-focus on pleasing mass markets is inconsistent with the company's intention to make the best, not the most.

(Customer bases that are both massive and apparently loyal may be unexpectedly transient in their loyalties.)

Better voice call capabilities could/should have been added years ago. Yosemite introduces continuity of calling, which can't transfer a call from the phone. Hmm.

Apple application support for Exchange Web Services (EWS) with Microsoft Exchange shared accounts: I doubt that OS X will ever gain that capability.

Maybe OS X 10.11 or later will offer an improvement. But my interest in future versions of the OS decreases, daily.

… The problem with being the industry standard …

Apple as a brand may be a standard for many readers of MacRumors content, but many Apple products are far from industry standards.

Costs and profits

Consider the screenshot above. And a more recent snapshot of front of store. Those four things might work together beautifully for some potential customers. Oops, something missing:
  • what's the starting price for that ecosystem?
I have greater respect for stores that show costs in appropriate places.

To the comments that Apple is leading, are they? Profit wise, but nowhere else. …

That'll be debatable for years to come :)
 

Ulenspiegel

macrumors 68040
Nov 8, 2014
3,212
2,481
Land of Flanders and Elsewhere
As Meister put it, "for me there is nothing that can replace :apple: yet".
If it is the starting point then for me :apple: can be boring and whatever. I have my opinion about :apple:'s policies, their products, but what I use from their product line satisfies my needs more than anything else. One of the main problems hardware and software wise is that are rushing in all fields like being chased by Batu Khan's Golden Horde.
 
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grahamperrin

macrumors 601
Jun 8, 2007
4,942
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As Meister put it, "for me there is nothing that can replace :apple: yet". …

With what I expect to replace Apple software, I intentionally use hardware that's not entirely comfortable. Most recently: a mediocre trackball instead of a good mouse, a massive Macally ikey that's usually under the table or set aside on cushions, with the notebook (Ergo Vista) higher than I'd like and somewhat faraway (on a laptop stand, behind a MacBook Pro).

So when the time comes for replacement, I'll have not only the pleasure of the software; I can add the pleasure of appropriate hardware.

One of the main problems hardware and software wise is that are rushing in all fields like being chased by Batu Khan's Golden Horde.

Those problems are exacerbated by Apple's closed approach to development.
 

iFitzgerald

macrumors regular
Jul 20, 2011
198
27
Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal
I haven't felt really excited for an Apple product (Hardware/Software/Services) for some time now...WWDC, even though it's meant for developers hasn't been really exciting for me. I used to look at the new features and feel amazed and think that they were awesome. The past 2 years (maybe 3) I just thought...meh...

I won't even get started on what I think of the current Mac lineup...
 
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