Why is Apple so secretive?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by mrviga, Mar 26, 2004.

  1. mrviga macrumors member

    Jan 13, 2004
    I don't know if I'm going to be made a fool of by asking this question, but why is Apple so secretive about what they are doing, particularly with the new G5 Powerbook? I want to buy a new Powerbook, I really really do. I just don't want to get burned with a new upgrade a month few months ater I buy it. If Apple came out and said, no new Powerbooks with G5s until January '05, then I would stop at the Apple Store today and buy a G4. Its not like the people who buy Macs are going to buy a PC because of a delayed release date, they would just be more likely to buy a current model. But there is so much uncertainty surrounding release dates that I am just holding on to my money until I know for sure.

    I understand that new technology, such as the iPod when it was first thought of, needs to be kept top secret, but a G5 Powerbook is hardly a secret. Everyone knows they are working on it.

    So whats the deal Apple? You don't want my money today?
  2. sonofslim macrumors 6502a


    Jun 6, 2003
    because if they said "no new [insert updated product] for the next x months," the remaining stock of the current item would sit on the shelves as people put off a purchase, knowing something better was coming. sure, not everyone would put it off, but enough people would to make a difference. they want to sell as many units as possible before releasing a new model, so they don't end up with unsold inventory.

    ...and also we'd have nothing to talk about if we knew the exact date of the next powerbook.
  3. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    There won't be new powerbook G5s for the next several months. Maybe before January, but not much before. If you need a new powerbook, you should buy it now.
  4. jxyama macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2003
    why do some people treat apple as if they are not a company, but a "buddy" who puts out awesome computers or something? :confused:

    intel doesn't announce about every single product development cycle.

    neither does dell. not ibm. etc.

    all of them announce news on their own terms at their own convenience.

    apple has dropped hints about PB G5 - back in late-2003, i think someone said "it's a while away" or something to that degree. i'm sure G5 PB is in the works - that's obvious, it's the next logical step for that lineup.

    it's up to us to speculate all we want, but apple is under no obligation to disclose its product development just like any other companies. and it's NOT because they are being "secretive." it's a natural part of doing business.

    if you don't want to get "burned" by an update a month after your purchase, then buy when updated. (or don't buy a computer - because update or price drop will happen usually within 6 months anyway.) it's your choice to wait and by making that choice, you've implicitly accepted that you will not know how long to wait. if you don't like not knowing how long to wait, then just decide to buy now - no wait at all.

    unfortunately, a different mechanism takes over once you've waited a while. the eventual update, unless quite significant, will not live up to the agony of waiting and you may decide that the updated machine was not worth the wait - and wait even longer for a "real" update. (for example, i imagine that many who are waiting for the PB update will scream bloody murder when the next PB will contain speed bumped G4s. and they will decide to wait even longer for the G5 PB because they think G4s are crap and will be outdated in a year. so the waiting continues... :rolleyes: and i'd further bet that even if it's a G5 PB, many will shun purchasing it saying it's a rev. A. :rolleyes: )

    in my opinion, the only time it makes sense to wait is right before big announcements - MWSF and WWDC - for example. otherwise, it's better to take your chance and just buy because i feel life is too short to wait around.
  5. blue&whiteman macrumors 65816


    Nov 30, 2003
    I bought my blue and white G3 about 2 weeks before the yikes G4 came out. you could tell they wanted to sell off the G3's because mine came with a 150$ rebate and a free hp 810c printer and a 64mb ram upgrade. this was 99 so 64 mb was a lot more then.
  6. rainman::|:| macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2002
    apple is secretive because they want to remain in business.

  7. blue&whiteman macrumors 65816


    Nov 30, 2003
    plus if you go around telling everyone what you're doing then some companies could steal your idea(s) and have a similar product out before you. could happen
  8. mrviga thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 13, 2004
    I agree that Apple should be very secretive about new products. I used the iPod as an example, however a G5 powerbook is not something that is new, everyone knows its coming. I just want to know when to expect it. I dont need exact release dates or to know how the project is going. I want to know a ballpark estimate. Not BS statements a year prior to any release saying "before the end of 2004." Thats crap.
    I dont think giving estimated release dates would put them out of business either. I know lots of people who wouldnt feel so afraid of spending their money if they know about product updates. Apple will probably charge more for a G5 powerbook anyways, at least when they first come out, and offer the G4s at slightly discounted prices. That would help get rid of overstocked G4s. Its not like they make them in HUGE volumes anyway, they will only have about a thousand extra if they time production dates properly. And they wouldnt sell them at a loss either. I highly doubt it costs $3000 to make a 17" PB.
  9. jxyama macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2003
    if "before the end of 2004" is crap and not a "ballpark estimate", then you are effectively asking for "exact" date.

    you chose to wait - you might as well accept the consequences instead of ranting about a policy that's a part of doing business...

    by the way, of course 17" PB doesn't cost $3000 to make. it called margins.
  10. gwuMACaddict macrumors 68040


    Apr 21, 2003
    washington dc
  11. stoid macrumors 601


    Feb 17, 2002
    So long, and thanks for all the fish!
    Part of the problem with talking about unreleased products is because the timeline for releases is rather fluid. Right now, it looks like Apple may not make the 3.0Ghz G5 that Steve promised. If Apple announces planned updates and doesn't make them, people will see Apple as a failing company regardless of the power of the systems that are released.
  12. mrviga thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 13, 2004

    I think you missunderstood my post. I meant that giving such a wide gap for a release doesnt constitute a very good conjecture in my mind. It's like saying it'll happen when it happens. Before the end of 2004 could mean July, and it very well could mean December. Who knows what kind of advances Apple engineering may have made since that statement. Also, the point was made that Apple would lose money because it wouldn't be able to sell existing stock of computers. However, Apple could simply bring the price down and still make a profit, although a smaller profit, on those overstocked machines.

    I dont want this to turn into an argument or anything, just a discussion.
  13. flyfish29 macrumors 68020


    Feb 4, 2003
    New HAMpshire
    Apple is secretive because they are an innovator! Innovators have to be secret or else their competition gets a head start. when something comes out that is innovative other companies begin reverse engineering their product...taking it apart piece by piece to see how it works, what they did differently, etc.

    also, Apple need to sell most of their products at full profit for all those involoved...resellers, distribution, etc. If a product comes out in January and they sell at full price for three months until they announce an update in July then they are only selling full price for three months...if they keep it secret then most of the products they sell are at full price...even up to the day before a product release...it is only this type of a community forum that knows about (sometimes) releases before, then general public doesn't know and probably doesn't care much about a new speed release on June 30 when the new one is coming out July 1. That is how companies make money and survive! it sucks sometimes for a few people who get "screwed" by the situation, but for most it works well not to mentiion keeps the company alive!
  14. FuzzyBallz macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2003
    Home of Al-Qaida
    Like the 2nd poster said, those Apple bastards won't have old stuff pile up when new stuff comes out.

    My poor co-worker bought a top model G3 14" iBook a couple of weeks before they introduced the G4 iBooks. Man, that one hurted.
  15. jxyama macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2003
    or they could not announce anything except on their own term and keep on selling at regular prices... just like they are doing now.

    sorry if i missed your point, but i don't think there's much to discuss - it's the way they and most businesses operate. they are not trying to personally screw you and no matter what "logical reasoning" you give it, apple never asked you to wait. so it's your choice to agonize waiting...

    would you give a substantial deposit to apple (say 50%?) if they promised to tell you when it will come out? (and you obtain that info under NDA.) *that* would make more business sense to me than taking a hit on overstocked "old" computers.
  16. djkny macrumors 6502

    Sep 30, 2003
    Apple is secretive because they are, in fact, a CULT. Remember Jonestown based in S.F. -- aka The Peoples' Temple -- in the 70s? Now we have the modern day reincarnation -- Jobstown. No longer called the Peoples' Temple. Now called "The Apple Store."

    No longer multiple partners/commune poligamy, only computer swapping, powermac/book promiscuity.

    No longer mass exoduses to Guyana, only pilgrammages to worldwide "Mac WORLD" "conferences" -- sermons preached and offerings taken of a different sort.

    The ending of Jonestown was the tragic fate of Kool-Aid overdoes. The ending (let's hope not) of Jobstown is the tragic fate of iPod mass consummption.
  17. portent macrumors 6502a

    Feb 17, 2004
    1. To keep larger competitiors in the dark
    2. To avoid making "promises" that cant be kept (Due to, for example, supply constraints; witness iPod mini worldwide release delay)
    3. So that customers keep buying current products at full/nearly full price right up until major releases
    4. To create a sense of novelty, excitement and urgency when new products are released

    Apple is a company; it's policies are calculated to maximize current and future profits. If you are an investor, and you think this is not a profitable direction, perhaps you should contact their Investor Relations department.

    On the other hand, if you are a customer, and you are unhappy with Apple's products, you are free to buy a ThinkPad, or delay your purchase until Apple's lineup is better suited to you. But that's about all you can do.
  18. arogge macrumors 65816


    Feb 15, 2002
    Apple is already behind in the 64-bit laptop market. AMD has a mobile Athlon 64 processor now, which HP sells in the zv5000z laptops.

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