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Editorial: King Apple is dead. Long live King Apple!
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Apr 20, 2016, 11:52 AM
 
Stop me if you've heard this before: Apple releases a computer. "Fans" flip out, because the computer doesn't have everything that they wanted to see in the new version. Enthusiast forums light up with complaints, claiming that Apple is doomed because of this, that the company isn't listening, or that this never would have happened if Steve Jobs was still alive. While there is a nugget of truth from a certain point of view in the statements, the core behind the fan arguments are demonstrably wrong. Let's cover them one at a time, shall we?

"Apple is doomed because of __________"

This is the most profoundly wrong statement about recent Apple hardware releases out of the big three. Examining Apple's last quarter, Apple revenues rose to $75.9 billion in its first 2016 fiscal quarter, following the usual holiday rush. Profits were $18.4 billion, while earnings per share was reported as $3.28. Gross margin increased incrementally, from 39.9 percent in 2015 to 40.1 percent.

Picking a year randomly, but retaining the quarter, from when Steve Jobs was alive, we've chosen to look at 2010. In the same time period, the company posted revenue of $15.68 billion, and a net quarterly profit of $3.38 billion, or $3.67 per diluted share. Going back to 2009, Apple had revenue of $11.88 billion, and net quarterly profit of $2.26 billion, or $2.50 per diluted share.

As far as units shipped, in the first quarter of 2010 encompassing the 2009 holiday season, Apple sold 3.36 million Macs, and 8.7 million iPhones. In the same quarter this year, Apple sold 5.5 million Macs, and 74.8 million iPhones.

It's not the industry overall that's causing this. The global PC market is contracting, affecting all vendors, but yet, Apple continues to sell more and more machines per quarter, and continues to gain PC marketshare.

So nope, not doomed.

"Apple isn't listening to us, its biggest fans!"

You're right -- it isn't. However, in this case, the "biggest fans" don't add up to the most revenue, and it's not even close. Let's look at the 2016 figures for a minute. The company sold 74.8 million iPhones, and 5.5 million Macs. Don't forget, iPhones aren't given away by Apple with two-year contract, and higher-end models aren't sold for $200. The average selling price for an iPhone was $690.50 in the first quarter as reported by Apple -- up a bit from the previous quarter.

While I have no doubt that this number will fall a bit this quarter, because of the iPhone SE, for the Mac to have comparable financials as the iPhone, the average selling price per Mac would have to be $9,390.80. Apple doesn't report average selling price for Mac sales, but in 2013, analysts expected that it was $1,300 per Mac. No matter what the actual number is, it isn't $9,390.80.

The company no longer needs to say that it's got the best powerhouse computer that exists, because its fortunes lie elsewhere. Apple hasn't made an xMac tower (remember that rumor?), not because it isn't listening, but because there are louder and more profitable voices. Remember, Apple isn't a charity; it is a business, that has to report to its investors and shareholders. I'm sure it hears enthusiasts crying out for this mythical tower, but it just isn't where the company's money is anymore.

So, it is listening to customers -- as we have the iPhone SE and before that, we got the iPhone 6 and 6 plus series. However, Apple's listening maybe doesn't equal doing what you want it to do. Steve Jobs once said that "you can't just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they'll want something new." This leads us neatly into...

"This never would have happened if Steve Jobs was still alive."

This particular path, the exact route that the company's taken? True. However, it would be remarkably similar. Steve Jobs was a marketer, and good at seeing trends. He was also good at seeing when the market was shifting, and when it was time to let something go. Tim Cook is the same, and just because he's made decisions that alienate the Apple users from a decade ago, doesn't mean he's making bad decisions for the company.

Tablets have existed since the mid-90s, if you count Palm and Newton. Popularized, if you can call it that in a PC-form by Microsoft in the early 21st century, they grabbed a very small audience, typically in food service and medical industries before fading away in 2008 or so. Jobs killed the Newton when he returned to the company -- not just to refocus Apple, but because it was an unprofitable and unpopular device, lampooned by fans and foes alike.

In 2001, Apple announced the iPod. Tech press and enthusiasts, including many in our own forums, were famously skeptical about it, but it went on to drive the company's revenue for a decade, and lead to the iPhone, which led to the iPod touch just a few months later, and ultimately the iPad. Steve Jobs and company saw the writing on the wall with Motorola and IBM's PowerPC issues in the early 2000s, and migrated the full OS X experience to Intel-based processors. He then shifted the OS over to Intel in 2006, to the dismay of Apple fans. It was a good choice.

Steve was nimble, and he gave Apple culture that. The Apple II stopped being worthwhile, and so did the Newton, so Apple stopped doing both. The minute that Macs stop becoming worthwhile, Apple will move on to something else. The minute that the iPhone isn't relevant for whatever the reason, Apple will move on from that too.

If Apple had stuck with the Mac, and refused to expand mobility past the iPod, would we be having this discussion today? While OS X is still bringing in buyers, the Mac Pro isn't worthwhile right now, and that's why we haven't seen a new one in nearly three years; I'm not confident that we'll ever see one. However, the sales numbers for Macs are indisputable, and prove that the company is serving the larger market well, if not the hardcore "fans."

People calling for the ouster of Cook aren't going to get Jobs back from the dead. Jobs wasn't the King of Apple, and still listened to advisors like Tim Cook, Eddy Cue, and Jonny Ive for many, many years before he died. The product design cycle can take many years. Apple's road map is probably within two years of reaching the end of what was established before Jobs' passing, so the Jobsian influence is still very much alive.

Sure, the statement that the company isn't the same without Jobs is true, but serves no useful purpose in discussing the company. Of course the company isn't the same -- companies never are when a CEO leaves for whatever the reason.

And to answer a proclamation that I get a lot about this subject:

You're such a fanboy. You defend Apple even when they're wrong.

I like Apple as a company, I like the products they make, and the engineering work that goes into them is second to none. The company is not infallible, however, and I will confess that it is not my Apple anymore, and hasn't been for some time.

I want a mini-tower OS X machine, but I'm not going to get it, and I know it. I want more attention paid to quality assurance in software, specifically OS X, but given the market that Apple serves, I'm not sure that I'm going to get that either.

This commentary is in fact a defense of Apple. In this case, with the path that they are taking, they're not wrong. Even if this quarter is financially bloody for Apple, it will still be at the top of the heap. What this editorial does is lay out the facts surrounding the company's nimbleness and success, as it relates to decisions that they have made along the way, and humanity's migration to a new mobile mindset. Feel free to disagree with my assessment of the situation, but the facts are just that -- facts.

Apple is what Apple is. It is a company. It wasn't born to serve you, or me, and frankly doesn't care much about us as individuals. That's fine, and how it should be. The decisions Apple makes may not be great for "us," the veteran Mac users, and I understand that the MacBook has its detractors because of the one port, but that is how it is. Apple doesn't have to make every product to tailor to "us," and in fact is under no obligation to make any product at all to honor long-time users, regardless of how long we feel that we've manned the trenches in the platform wars.

I know you care, because you're complaining about the new Apple. An old adage from the Navy claimed that "a bitching sailor is a happy sailor," with the theory being that if you opened your mouth about something, it's because you cared enough about it to complain about it. However, the choices are clear: "we" can stick with Apple, or not. "We" can leave, and Apple won't even miss us when we go -- because like a hydra of lore, there are 13.6 more customers to take our place.

-- Mike Wuerthele, managing editor
( Last edited by NewsPoster; Apr 21, 2016 at 08:40 PM. )
     
Inkling
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Apr 20, 2016, 01:01 PM
 
Actually, Apple's long-term troubles run deep. The Windows to Apple gap is no where near as wide as it was twenty or even ten years ago when Vista came out to much controversy. Both the cloud and subscription services now make changing platforms in either direction easy. Almost all my professional work is done on a Mac using Adobe's Creative Cloud. Were a replacement Windows computer to arrive at lunchtime today, by five p.m. I could be doing all that work on it. Adobe would not charge me a penny for that move and downloading all the apps I need would take mere minutes. Those apps are virtually identical on both platforms. All my documents, images, and preferences would transfer over seamlessly. That is why it does matter when 'creatives' get frustrated with the limited offers from Apple: an anemic Mac mini, an aging Mac Pro, and all the limitations of an iMac. Even iPads have changed the game. No longer are users locked in by a need to run their laptops and desktops on the same platform. Given the nature of my work, I no longer need a laptop at all. Adobe's iOS apps let me do design and layout and transfer the results to either platform. Also, your claim that if some group, say design creatives, leaves, "13.6 more customers" will take their place is bosh. There's no limited seating at either the Windows or Mac tables. No one is waiting in line for admission. Not only does someone's departure mean their loss, it means the loss of all those he or she influences. That's why Apple's don't care attitude toward many users, which you oddly seem to praise, does matter. Anyone who has been in computers as long as I have (early 1980s) can detail how the company and OS that's on top has changed again and again. All that is certain is change.
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Mike Wuerthele
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Apr 20, 2016, 01:03 PM
 
You don't get any extra credit for tenure, here, Inkling. 1978 for me, 1980 for Charles, 198something for William.

Sorry, man. There are things you say that I respect, but this drum beating? You can't be more wrong about it, and you've cited why in this comment. The iPad has changed the game. Downloadable software has changed the game. Apple doesn't have to be about the Mac for creative professionals anymore, as that's not where the money is.

Don't forget, if one person leaves, then all they influence go with them. It works the same for the 13.6 that are joining as a result of Apple's mobile-centric focus.
     
drbroom
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Apr 20, 2016, 01:24 PM
 
Mike:

I am one of the many former "fanboys" you talk about in this article. Not that I ever thought Apple was doomed, I didn't, I don't... more that I wish there would just stop. Stop making bad products; not the products they make but bad versions of ALL the products they make.

You see, I have been around Apple for the LONG haul; when I say long I mean my first computer was an Apple 1. My childhood friend's father bought him (and I) the kit after we saw it at a tech show back in 1976. I was hooked! Over the years Apple wasn't just a company to me but it became more like my religion.

Like many of the devout we stuck around in both the good and bad times because we always believed that when Apple took over the world (and we knew they would, especially when Steve was brought back) they would continue to make "insanely great products". Today that just can't be said to be true.

It's not the hardware so much, although I will have to say that the current version of laptops and iPhones are just not up to snuff, it's the software! Even Mossberg says so.

You see it's not the hardware so much but to paraphrase; 'it's the software stupid'...

We now have OSes that have become hard to use; Apple changed the interface is so many ways that the systems (iOS & MacOS) have become UGLY (IMHO). They have built versions of programs that are indispensable that I (and others) just no longer want to use (iTunes for example). And they have also build so much bloat into their apps that on an iPhone, for example, if we don't have a 64GB version we can't fit anything on it. My 12GB (opps I mean 16GB (NOT)) iPhone can now only fit 600+ songs on it, all because of the software I am forced to have (iCrap) and the software I NEED to have.

To me (and others I have spoken with) the real problem with Apple is they have forgotten their core. Not the core users but the beliefs in the companies standards. The software standards they choose all those years ago. Standards! Apple made developers live by them. For example, "The Human interface Guidelines". We had to write software that allowed users to find their own way with multiple ways of doing the same thing, standards that were not to change just because we thought it was better, make sure "legacy" controls were always available because if a user learned a particular way of doing something making them change would confuse and frustrate them.

Look I know that NOTHING I say here matters to a hill of excrement, at least not to Apple. What I do know is someday (sooner rather then later I hope) someone will come up with a radically different system that will give people a real reason to change and at that point, if Apple is still in the business of computers rather then mobile information delivery systems and content creation (movies, music, public cloud and cars), I for one will have found my next tool that will help me make computing fun again.

db (USED to bleed in 6 colors)
     
MitchIves
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Apr 20, 2016, 04:24 PM
 
1978 for me.

I see a huge hole in your argument... one big enough to drive a truck through. One of the reasons that Apple is selling so many iPhones, iWatches and iPads, is because they are part of our entire eco-system. If the eco-system goes, so can the iToys that (as you point out) are making all the money.

Apple's failure to make the machines we want... their failure to show any kind of commitment to major software that people build businesses around, like FCP X, Aperture, etc. is either allowing or forcing us (depending on your POV) to consider going elsewhere. Once I stop using Macs and things like FCP X, I no longer have an automatic tendency to buy an iPhone, iPad or iWatch. I'm, for lack of a better term, "open source" and free to go anywhere.

Add to the new trend of buggy software releases (have you ever seen so many maintenance releases), and outright disappointments like iTunes, and the incentive further grows.

Yes, I have a Mac Pro, and no the 5K iMac won't do. Yes I use the languishing FCP X, and having just seen Resolve 12.5, which caught up and surpassed FCP X in damn short order, and my need for Apple is languishing. Part of all these sales your counting are all the iPhones I've bought, the iPads I've bought, and the iWatches... so when I go, so do those sales.

Yes you can replace me with 13.6 new customers, which is what it will take for them to spend the same amount of money on Apple as I do, but is that a good thing. All the third world customers and single purchase pajama boys may not be enough to sustain he company long term. I'd like to see this article written again in 10 years... then we'll all know...
     
Mike Wuerthele
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Apr 20, 2016, 04:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by MitchIves View Post
1978 for me.

I see a huge hole in your argument... one big enough to drive a truck through. One of the reasons that Apple is selling so many iPhones, iWatches and iPads, is because they are part of our entire eco-system. If the eco-system goes, so can the iToys that (as you point out) are making all the money.
I did consider that. However, there's far more evidence that new iOS purchases drive OS X sales, than data pointing to the other way around. OS X drove iOS in the beginning, but at this point, that was a long time ago.

Mobile pushing computing is also suggested in OS X machines, like the MacBook, being made with less of an emphasis on raw horsepower and more on thin-ness and simplicity.

Apple's failure to make the machines we want... their failure to show any kind of commitment to major software that people build businesses around, like FCP X, Aperture, etc. is either allowing or forcing us (depending on your POV) to consider going elsewhere. Once I stop using Macs and things like FCP X, I no longer have an automatic tendency to buy an iPhone, iPad or iWatch. I'm, for lack of a better term, "open source" and free to go anywhere.

...

Yes you can replace me with 13.6 new customers, which is what it will take for them to spend the same amount of money on Apple as I do, but is that a good thing. All the third world customers and single purchase pajama boys may not be enough to sustain he company long term. I'd like to see this article written again in 10 years... then we'll all know...
I'd like to re-visit this in 10 years, so, challenge accepted, I guess.
     
kserman
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Apr 20, 2016, 05:34 PM
 
from what you are saying in the article there is no difference today from when Steve was running the company. Then you mention revenue from the iPhone and iPad to back it up. Scully was able to run Apple without Steve for more then 10 years and grow revenues as well. I don't think you have a clue on what the point is here.

Look at the product line up today. It's all over the place with new and old products mixed together, all with different names. This is the first serious problem. So serious that the 1st thing Steve did as soon has he was back, was to reduce and simplify the product line.

Then there are the products themselves. Having super skinny fonts, no clearly defined navigation buttons, transparency on title bars, background, foreground etc. ? iPad pen with male connector instead of female ? Mouse with charger port at the bottom ? Mac mini with the same chassis but soldered ram and 2 cores istead of 4 ? Iphone and iPad with camera buldge ? Battery bump ? the list goes on and on and on. Every mac user has complained about these issues not just the hardcore fans. It's just common sense. These are clearly mistakes, not opinions related issues.

Ive has no clue about software, this is why Scott Forestall was in charge of it. So Tim fires Scott because he doesn't apologize about maps ? and the Jony takes over and changes everything Scott did out of spite? or it is incompetence? Either way Jony is no able to run the software division.

Cook and Ive are always giving intervies for no reasons. Watch the latest Ive interview and will be in pain for 1 hour, one hour of nothing. The same with Tim, they have nothing to say.

Apple needs a new CEO that will bring back design and functionality at the same level, not design at the expense of functionality or functionality at the expense of design, as well as give Apple customer a great value like when Steve was around.

We all know we pay a premium for Apple products but each product since to have 2 or 3 issues that no one likes.

For example do the iPhone mini, medium and large. Same eveything, just different in size and memory option.

Do the Macbook mini, medium and large.

Do the Macpro slightly larger and taller so you can slide in Hard disks.

Make the back of the iMac bigger to accommodate 3.5" hard drives.

Hire a CEO like Elon Musk or Jack Dorsey or whoever has the special spark that Steve had.
     
Charles Martin
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Apr 20, 2016, 06:07 PM
 
On the matter of Ive changing what Forstall did; he mostly didn't change anything (hint: software is more than just looks), but what he did change, he changed out of TASTE. I don't agree with every single one of Ive's decisions, but since I lack a slew of design awards, and have noticed that decisions I initially thought not the best have very much grown on me, maybe just maybe Ive knows something of what he's talking about/doing (that said, all OS appearances evolve; compare 10.1's "Aqua" to Mavericks, and see which one you prefer).
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Mike Wuerthele
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Apr 20, 2016, 06:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by kserman View Post
from what you are saying in the article there is no difference today from when Steve was running the company. Then you mention revenue from the iPhone and iPad to back it up. Scully was able to run Apple without Steve for more then 10 years and grow revenues as well. I don't think you have a clue on what the point is here.
That's not what I said at all. In fact, I specifically said the opposite.

Look at the product line up today. It's all over the place with new and old products mixed together, all with different names. This is the first serious problem. So serious that the 1st thing Steve did as soon has he was back, was to reduce and simplify the product line.
I'm not really sure what you're talking about here. New and old? Like what? The only thing that hasn't been refreshed within the last 18 months is the Mac Pro. That makes everything new, by definition.

"Reduction and simplification" following Jobs' return was elimination of more than 100 Performa SKUs, and I talked about the Newton's death in the article. That's not even close to the relatively few that there are now.

Then there are the products themselves. Having super skinny fonts, no clearly defined navigation buttons, transparency on title bars, background, foreground etc. ? iPad pen with male connector instead of female ? Mouse with charger port at the bottom ? Mac mini with the same chassis but soldered ram and 2 cores istead of 4 ? Iphone and iPad with camera buldge ? Battery bump ? the list goes on and on and on. Every mac user has complained about these issues not just the hardcore fans. It's just common sense. These are clearly mistakes, not opinions related issues.
Where did I talk about design? Design is always an opinion related issue.

I don't like the the battery case bump. The camera bulge is a necessity for the optics in the lens, and it doesn't matter to most, as they keep the device in a case. The Pencil box has a gender adapter included, but yes, I'd rather have had a female plug on the pencil -- not a showstopper. I don't like the charging port on the mouse on the bottom, either, but again, its not a showstopper.

What about the hockey puck mouse? Apple has always made mistakes, yes, even under Steve's tenure.

Cook and Ive are always giving intervies for no reasons. Watch the latest Ive interview and will be in pain for 1 hour, one hour of nothing. The same with Tim, they have nothing to say.
What does this have to do with the point of the article, or the ability of Cook to run the company?

Apple needs a new CEO that will bring back design and functionality at the same level, not design at the expense of functionality or functionality at the expense of design, as well as give Apple customer a great value like when Steve was around.
You have a rose-colored vision of when Steve was around. The $2500 G4 was anything but a bargain, and a great value.

Steve was good, and bad, simultaneously, but like I said, he wasn't king.

For example do the iPhone mini, medium and large. Same eveything, just different in size and memory option.

Do the Macbook mini, medium and large.

Do the Macpro slightly larger and taller so you can slide in Hard disks.

Make the back of the iMac bigger to accommodate 3.5" hard drives.
Right here, this here, this is the entire point of the article. This is what YOU want. Some of this is what I want. It is NOT what Apple's new customer base wants. Did you read our Apple customer polling we did a few months ago? You keep saying "all" Mac users -- that is really not the case, though. Take a look:

https://www.macnn.com/articles/16/01...hought.131986/

The new Apple customer wants thin, and appliance computing, and they outnumber "us" at least 10 to 1 and perhaps greater. They don't care about soldered-in RAM, or unserviceable machines. They don't care about 2.5-inch hard drives, versus 3.5-inch hard drives or the difference between processors designed for laptops versus desktops. They want to hold something attractive, or plunk something down on their desk that looks nice.

When it breaks, they want to plunk it down on the Genius Bar, and say "fix it." They're not that interested in getting out the screwdrivers and doing it themselves.

Hire a CEO like Elon Musk or Jack Dorsey or whoever has the special spark that Steve had.
You and I both know that this isn't going to happen.

--------

Look, what you're not getting here, is that I know what I want from Apple, but I'm a realist. We can argue that Apple has gone astray, and perhaps it has, but its only gone astray from the ideal path that we want in our own minds, not in actuality. The company is stronger than ever, and the numbers on user base and demographics of the Apple customer are clear, if you just take a minute to look at them.
     
kserman
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Apr 20, 2016, 08:26 PM
 
It seems you think everything is an opinion and there are no facts.

These are facts, not mine, not yours or some mac fan boy customer opinions:

1. FACT: The mouse charger port at the bottom is a design mistake, it should be on the side. (design overrides functionality)

2. FACT: The iPad pen male tip is a mistake, it should be a female.
(design overrides functionality)

3. FACT: Soldered-in RAM and removing 4 cores in the mac mini is a big marketing mistake.
Apple is removing the ram option not to make the mac mini skinnier but to force customers into spending a lot more money upfront.
Unlinke what you said, customers are beyond alienated.
I don't know anyone that would say: if I had an option of soldered or non soldered ram, I would pick the soldered version. Again this is a mistake not an opinion.(greed overrides customer loyalty)

4. FACT: the battery bump is a design mistake. Everyone laugh at it and it is unconfortable to wear and hold it. (functionality overrides design)

5. FACT: camera bumps on the iPhone and iPad is a design mistake. Besides being ugly these are devices you put on tables and all the pressure goes to the camera bump. They should have made it 1mm thicker and remove the bump or talk to the camera people until a solution is fund.
(functionality overrides design)

There are so many more facts your head will spin.

And that's when Steve comes in. He would have sent these products back to the drawing board until they were great. Ive and Tim don't do that. They just do what's easier, ship the product and see what sticks. Not even, since they know people are locked into the Apple ecosystem they ride the inertia wave like John Scully did back then. I don't think Tim even know the difference between a phone with a camera bump and one without it.

Jony right now is in a philosophical dream into building the headquarter when he should let the architects do their job and concentrate on these bumps.

So Jony is unsupervised and Tim has no clue about products. A disaster.

Let's get a new CEO asap.
     
Mike Wuerthele
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Apr 20, 2016, 09:00 PM
 
Did you even read my response to your comment? Did you miss the part where I agreed with your assessment of design choices? I didn't talk about design choices in the article, because assessments of Apple's design successes or failures, are objective and dependent on use case. What doesn't work for us, as long-time Apple users, the new Apple target audience does not care one whit about.

Here: about design from the response above: "I don't like the the battery case bump. The camera bulge is a necessity for the optics in the lens, and it doesn't matter to most, as they keep the device in a case. The Pencil box has a gender adapter included, but yes, I'd rather have had a female plug on the pencil -- not a showstopper. I don't like the charging port on the mouse on the bottom, either, but again, its not a showstopper."

What you're still failing to notice is we, meaning you and I, AREN'T APPLE'S TARGET AUDIENCE ANYMORE. You keep saying "all mac users," but your assessment isn't accurate. It may mean "all long-time Mac users" but it certainly doesn't mean "every Mac user, ever, including the ones that have come along in the last five years."

That is the point of the article.
     
Charles Martin
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Apr 20, 2016, 09:11 PM
 
ksherman: it would appear that you do not, in fact, know what the word "fact" means.

Each and every one of your six points is an opinion. Some of them are ones others, like myself, might agree with -- but even if everyone in the world agreed with them, that still does not make them facts. They are still opinions (and probably much less popular than you think, but you clearly haven't done any polling. We, on the other hand, actually have).

You are confused about what is a "belief" and what is a "fact." Have you been in politics for long?
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kserman
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Apr 20, 2016, 10:08 PM
 
it has nothing to do with how long a person has been a mac user. if products are designed badly, old or new user will still have do deal with bad designed products. The CEO needs to go, that's basically it.
     
Mike Wuerthele
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Apr 20, 2016, 10:23 PM
 
Well, it will happen eventually, but probably not in the timetable you're looking for.

And it has everything to do with new or old Mac user. The new Mac users simply don't care about the things that the old ones do, and vice versa. Each group of users has a different priority and set of expectations for what they get from the Apple experience.

Out of curiosity, have you gone over to Android or Windows? What's your day-to-day computing look like, kserman?
     
kserman
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Apr 20, 2016, 10:27 PM
 
It has nothing to do with how long someone has been a mac user. A new customer or an old customer will still have to deal with bad designed products. It has to do with making mistakes in designing product and getting away with it. Tim should be fired and the new CEO has to give orders to Jony since he can't be left alone. The bump has been there for two years now. I was just thinking about the Apple display, a disgusting, old, expensive mirror with less resolution then a macbook pro, years and years on the market and never updated. Any other CEO would have been fired a long time ago for this. I love apple but please have someone replace Tim Cook asap.
     
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Apr 21, 2016, 12:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by kserman View Post
It seems you think everything is an opinion and there are no facts.
1. FACT: The mouse charger port at the bottom is a design mistake, it should be on the side. (design overrides functionality)

2. FACT: The iPad pen male tip is a mistake, it should be a female.
(design overrides functionality)

3. Soldered RAM

Let's get a new CEO asap.
Ok, I understand some of the frustration. Though I can't afford a $3000+ Mac Pro, it needs to be updated more frequently. I'm not crazy about the loss of user-upgradable RAM because of $$$. And I'm not sure why the iMac needs to be so thin, without upgradable hard drives (and RAM in the smaller model).

But some of this is silly.

The soldered RAM is more reliable. That's primarily why they did it. The sealed systems are more reliable, too. The latest reliability study I saw showed Apple notebooks once again in the lead for reliability. They were not always so.

The mouse charger on the bottom is dumb, but so was the puck!!!!!!!!! And as much as it pains me to say it because I own and love it, the G4 iMac was pretty impractical. Why? 1.) If you pulled the screen down enough, it would block the optical drive. 2) When displays got bigger (from 15" and 17 to the 20), the arm had more and more trouble. 3) The arm loosens up in machines that are heavily used. I've seen them.

That. Was. Steve. Jobs. 100%. Steve Jobs would NEVER have . . . oh, wait. He did. Cracks in the cube. Mac plastic that turned from white to yellow over time. The pricier black option didn't hold up well either. I've seeeen it (sounds like Mamma Murphy in Fallout 4)! Other problems? Corinthian leather and the refresh booger to name a few minor but garish ones.

This Pencil charger is male so that, in a pinch, you can charge it by plugging it into the iPad Pro. Haven't you noticed how nice and convenient it is to be able to juice it up just by plugging it in? No need to look for a cord. And, of course, there's an included gender changer if you want to dedicate a cord to charger, you can use that. In my opinion, there's no reason to complain about the Pencil's Lightning jack. It was a good design choice. And it's a fantastic stylus; probably the best. Steve would NEVER . . .

Finally, updates. What? Apple didn't used to put out point bug release after point bug release? I know I've *only* been using Apple products since 2001, but I remember lots and lots of bug fixing releases (OS X 10.4.11!!, iOS 4.2.10!!) And then not enough in iOS 5 and 6. Apple's doing what they should be doing: full steam ahead to keep up with intense competition.
---

I hear the pain of the long-time Apple users because *that* Apple is gone. What's in its place is different. Some parts aren't as good. I worry about some of it.

Still, in many other ways, today's Apple products are **much** better, such as the beautiful aluminum and glass hardware construction. The "unibody" MacBooks Pro are amazing and virtually unmatched. I marvel at the construction quality of my 12.9 iPad Pro and iPhone 6 Plus, too. And I'm not the only one who really enjoys modern Apple products. Replace Cook? With which Bozo would you replace him? Because there are lots of Bozos out there that would drive Apple into the ground. Cook isn't one of them.
     
kserman
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Apr 21, 2016, 02:24 AM
 
Charles Martin,
I guess you love the look of the battery bump.

I guess you love the Apple display, with thunderbolt 1, usb 2 and a beautiful super glossy mirror at the price of $1,000.

Having a female plug on the pen means you can keep working when you draw instead of stopping and waiting for the pen to charge.

Ditto for having a side plug in the mouse instead having it at the bottom.

I guess you love to have to wait until the pen and mouse are charging since it's just an opinion.

I guess you prefer a fixed power connector on the 12" Macbook instead of a Magsafe since to you everything is an opinion.

You also love to have an iPhone and iPad camera bump (instead of having both 1mm thicker or a camera that is flush with them) so when you lay them on a table you will put so much pressure on that camera until it breaks. To you these are just opinions.

I also guess you also love to have soldered ram on your desktop, it's just an opinion!

I think either you are clueless or you are a troll !
     
kserman
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Apr 21, 2016, 02:42 AM
 
does anyone like the facts that all these products from the same line are released at different times and they are mixed up with old and new features. Like the iPad mini is now old, the iPad Pro 13" has no bump, USB 3 but not the light adjustment feature, the iPad 10" has the bump, USB2 but has the light adjustment feature. The macbook has retina, the speediest ram and USB C for charging, the air is faster but has slower memory, no retina and magsafe to charge. The iMac 21" has soldered ram, 27" has upgradable ram and the mini has soldered ram. The mac pro is slower then the consumer iMac and the Apple display still doesn't go up to 4k. They should release all the updates for each product line at the same time. I also would prefer to have one charger for the macbook and macbook air, instead of having to keep 2 separate chargers.

     
Spheric Harlot
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Apr 21, 2016, 03:54 AM
 
Originally Posted by MitchIves View Post
1978 for me.

I see a huge hole in your argument... one big enough to drive a truck through. One of the reasons that Apple is selling so many iPhones, iWatches and iPads, is because they are part of our entire eco-system. If the eco-system goes, so can the iToys that (as you point out) are making all the money.
iOS is the eco-system, not the Mac.

BY FAR the vast majority of iOS users (and iPod users before them) have never owned a Mac, and never will.

The Mac hasn't sold any "iToys" at all since iPod became available for Windows in 2003.
Conversely, iPods and iOS devices have demonstrably resulted in plenty of Mac sales through the famed "halo effect", though.
     
PolyEx
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Apr 21, 2016, 06:02 AM
 
Jon Ive removed a lot of the charming quality from Apple products. Perhaps that is the goal, to make it seem more elitist, such as bringing Ahrendts on board. It's not fun anymore, and the products are not particularly innovative like they used to be. I suspect the reason is because most of the NeXT folks are not with Apple anymore, What you have left are people surfing on the previous wave of innovation from the NeXT people. There is still that little "poof" cloud that used to be there when you removed an app from the dock. I suspect they want to stomp it out , but some developer slyly left it (sort of) hidden. I purchased my first Apple in 1982, an Apple II and developed software for that machine , the NeXT machine I bought later and even bought thousands of shares of Apple (with a cost basis of $7.00!!) in the 90's when everyone hated Apple. I have recently sold the majority of my shares, so I have nothing to complain about, Apple made me really wealthy, but I do worry about this dull version of Apple surviving the next inevitable downturn when people get sick of the same old iphone with just a different color and a slightly faster processor.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Apr 21, 2016, 06:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by kserman View Post
It seems you think everything is an opinion and there are no facts.

These are facts, not mine, not yours or some mac fan boy customer opinions:

1. FACT: The mouse charger port at the bottom is a design mistake, it should be on the side. (design overrides functionality)

2. FACT: The iPad pen male tip is a mistake, it should be a female.
(design overrides functionality)

3. FACT: Soldered-in RAM and removing 4 cores in the mac mini is a big marketing mistake.
Apple is removing the ram option not to make the mac mini skinnier but to force customers into spending a lot more money upfront.
Unlinke what you said, customers are beyond alienated.
I don't know anyone that would say: if I had an option of soldered or non soldered ram, I would pick the soldered version. Again this is a mistake not an opinion.(greed overrides customer loyalty)

4. FACT: the battery bump is a design mistake. Everyone laugh at it and it is unconfortable to wear and hold it. (functionality overrides design)

5. FACT: camera bumps on the iPhone and iPad is a design mistake. Besides being ugly these are devices you put on tables and all the pressure goes to the camera bump. They should have made it 1mm thicker and remove the bump or talk to the camera people until a solution is fund.
(functionality overrides design)
What is so amusing here is that you are presenting ONLY opinions and labeling them as "facts".

You have absolutely no clue as to the design processes and decisions that resulted in the designs you criticize.

Just as an example:
Soldered RAM is, as I understand it, a necessity of the extremely low-voltage, high-speed RAM used in portable machines. It doesn't handle socketed designs well at all.

FACT: soldered RAM is a trade-off resulting from prioritizing portability, speed, and reliability in a mobile device. Anything else would be a MISTAKE.

FACT: a better camera is a huge priority for cellphone customers. Judging from sales, it seems to be more important than the camera bump. A lesser-quality camera would be a MISTAKE. They COULD (not "should") have made it 1mm thicker. And heavier. And bulkier. But they opted not to. Probably thought going that way would be a mistake.

FACT: at least one review I've read actually states that the case with the battery bump is actually a pleasure to hold and use, and that the lump makes for MORE comfortable holding of the phone than without the case - despite LOOKING weird.

FACT: Apple are the ones making money hand over fist building - and selling - these products. Not you.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Apr 21, 2016, 07:02 AM
 
Originally Posted by kserman View Post
does anyone like the facts that all these products from the same line are released at different times and they are mixed up with old and new features. Like the iPad mini is now old, the iPad Pro 13" has no bump, USB 3 but not the light adjustment feature, the iPad 10" has the bump, USB2 but has the light adjustment feature. The macbook has retina, the speediest ram and USB C for charging, the air is faster but has slower memory, no retina and magsafe to charge. The iMac 21" has soldered ram, 27" has upgradable ram and the mini has soldered ram. The mac pro is slower then the consumer iMac and the Apple display still doesn't go up to 4k. They should release all the updates for each product line at the same time. I also would prefer to have one charger for the macbook and macbook air, instead of having to keep 2 separate chargers.

Expecting all the hardware teams to develop and release all items at the same time is the most boneheaded thing I'm going to read all week. Quite apart from supply-chain management and shipping logistics, that's just not how the real world works. Unless you really expect Apple to delay already-overdue product updates for months and months until other lines are ready to be upgraded as new internals become available?

Also, FWIW, the next major update to the MacBook Air line will probably be its termination.

Updating the design to move the power connector to USB-C doesn't make sense if you're only keeping it alive to sell a budget laptop until the MacBook can drop to below $1000.

On USB-C vs. MagSafe: there comes a point where machines become too light for MagSafe to make sense: its primary point was to come off when tripped over, before the laptop got dragged off the desk. I suspect the MacBook would be pretty close to getting pulled off the desk before MagSafe ever snapped off.
     
Mike Wuerthele
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Apr 21, 2016, 07:18 AM
 
Well, clearly, it's time for more polling.
     
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Apr 21, 2016, 11:27 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
What is so amusing here is that you are presenting ONLY opinions and labeling them as "facts".

You have absolutely no clue as to the design processes and decisions that resulted in the designs you criticize.

Just as an example:
Soldered RAM is, as I understand it, a necessity of the extremely low-voltage, high-speed RAM used in portable machines. It doesn't handle socketed designs well at all.
Socketed LP-DDR3 RAM does not even exist. You'd have to move to the higher-energy DDR3L to be able use socketed RAM. Apple wanted better battery life and decided to sacrifice the ability to upgrade memory for that feature.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
panjandrum
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Apr 21, 2016, 02:21 PM
 
Just a couple very quick comments;

a) Unfortunately, while a reasonably well-written article, it just proves once again that fanboys almost never know that they are fanboys. If it is a subject you are not capable of being objective about, and let's face it, we ALL have those (for me? Leonard Cohen is the greatest songwriter (and one of the greatest poets) of all time, and nothing you could ever say would change my mind... I'm absolutely a Leonard Cohen fanboy.) My point being that if you can't be objective about a topic you can simply twist your arguments into whatever knots you wish in order to pretend that your point is objective, when it really isn't. Apple fanboys have historically been especially religious in nature. It's a distressing trend we now see in many other walks of life; a strange association between one's purchasing decisions and self-worth.

b) I do not now, nor ever have, judged the success of Apple (or any artist, or company, or.. or... or...) by their profits. I would a thousand times rather have a small somewhat-profitable company making truly fantastic products than a behemoth making stuff, rather it is software or hardware, which is just "meh; it's good enough".

c) Mike is correct. Many of us aren't Apple's Target Audience anymore. Personally (since the early 90's) and professionally (since the mid-80's) I have looked to Apple to consistently make great stuff. It didn't always happen. I was in the process of fully jumping-ship during the nightmarish 7.5 crashtastic days, because Macs were, at that time, very close to unusable. They brought out the 7.6.1 update just in the nick of time. Over the past few years I've had to stop looking to Apple, in small doses and later at pretty much ever turn. Why? Because I'm still looking for that next great thing. I'm looking for consistency, reliability, legibility. I don't want a giant, overwhelmingly profitable Apple with a slogan like "Apple; Still Good Enough!" We have that company, it's called Microsoft (and, let's face it, while Apple UI's have been making leaping strides, backwards, in terms of usability, Microsoft has been willing to completely turn-about, fix their disasters, and turn out some very good UIs). The problems is that I still want "Great".
     
MitchIves
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Apr 21, 2016, 06:39 PM
 
I'm surprised that no one mentioned the pen for the iPad Pro? What are you supposed to do with it? Why doesn't it attach to the iPad Pro? Even MS got that right with the surface pad. This isn't the Apple I knew... it's completely inelegant and poorly thought out. You may argue it's a small thing, but I'll suggest it's symptomatic of Apple missing all the finer details that used to set them apart.

And I agree about the protruding cameras in iPhones. Again, what were they thinking?
     
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Apr 21, 2016, 08:36 PM
 
Uh, one quick nitpick-- the iPod Touch came AFTER the iPhone. The iPod Touch is an iPhone without the cell radio.

You couldn't have done it the other way around or the iPod Touch would have stolen ALL the thunder of the iPhone.
     
Mike Wuerthele
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Apr 21, 2016, 08:39 PM
 
So it did. Just a few months apart in 2007. That's all messed up in my mind.
     
   
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