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Whatever Apple throws at its customers, they come back more evangelical than ever
Tags: Steve Jobs
I am starting to understand why you can't see why people react to Apple products.
It is not because they are good looking, but because I think you have failed to see how revolutionary they tend to be.
Its like the Bugatti Veyron of its products: it pushes what was previously possible, and the bar of what to expect.
( about the Veyron: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jk1t6S737Cs )
As the Veyron is the first commercial, road safe car to reach 250 miles per hour, Apple have made products that have made a huge profound change to the world and what to expect of what is possible.
First, Mac was the first PC to be user friendly for an average consumer, with its graphical user interface. Windows tried to copy it, but any person that uses both, have to agree that the failed to get it to the same quality in every aspect.
The iPhone was the most web usable phone that has ever been, and every single statistic about it, proves it by miles.
If the Bugatti Veyron gets a convertible, that is news.
If a VW beetle gets a convertible, its not that of a great news.
You are upset or fail to see why people react to Apple products, may it is because you are failing to see that the base is already incredible; its about the Veyron they are talking about.
I try hard to find better phone than the iPhone. Have you tried? I tried with many OSs, still try and look every day for anything better, and I would love you to tell me if I missed someone that it actually better, faster, easier to use, with more useful and bigger set of apps and better games when I have to wait for something.
I would love that there where products better than Apple's, and I will keep looking for them. Until then, I have to admit that Apple does remarkable products and that if people flock to them, maybe it is not that because they are blind fans, but have it ever occurred to you, that it is something normal for people that have this gene, that some people seem to lack, that allows to you see something that is better than anything before it, once you see it?
I remind you that it is not Apple fans that are now a days buying Apple products, actually, it is NEW people.
So why you don't accept that maybe, it is not that people magically become a fan for no apparent reason, and accept that maybe its because Apple tends to make things look like Flintstone products, while theirs as the Jetson's more successfully than others, and maybe for a good reason?
If people are about 30% more productive statistically speaking with a Mac, than people with PC, it can only mean to things: Smarter people but Apple products, or their is something of more thought put into them than the others, that maybe its worth its price?
It had the most beautiful gorgeous phone in my had, a new HTC, with Glass Capacitive screen, 5 megapixels, 1000 mhz (iphone 3gs only 600mhz), yet I tried to download a better browser to see flash (skyfire), yet the built in browser downloaded the file, and it took so much time to find where did it burried it to install it, remembering the level of thought put not only on the hardware, but in the software of Apple products.
Wow, reading the comments almost brought tears to my eyes. It is amazing how every comment was from people who 'get' Apple. Nicely done. I'm a chauffer, and often times if I'm in the mood, and the client seems receptive, I go into 'uppaid Apple salesperson' mode. One of my pitches goes like this... "You have the desktop, the laptop, welcome to the palmtop, as I slowly turn my hand around with my iPhone 3GS glistening in my palm." No if only I'd put my money where my mouth is regarding buying AAPL a few years ago.
Just to be clear Sean, and I know you didn't say I did, I did not use the phrase "over priced" about Apple's products. Commenters here have, it's true.
I actually think considering you are buying top-drawer design, and much more of an 'experience' than just a beige or black box in many cases, the prices of Apple products are usually justified.
That doesn't mean they're always the best products though, and commentators should have the courage to point out comparative failings as they do with any other company's products or customer relations. Not just repeat the marketing line because it's popular with the Apple faithful.
Jason: You may be right that Apple doesn't get criticized, but what hardware manufacturer does get close scrutiny? Do you ask why Dell or HP products are not as good as they could be? Do you ask why Motorola, Sony Ericsson, Nokia, RIM, HTC, Samsung and other smartphonesare not as good as they could be? No, all hardware manufacturers are celebrated when they put out something new. Specific products may be critiqued, but not the manufacturers themselves. Microsoft in this sense is a victim of its ubiquity and market power, and perhaps gets what it deserves for its [past?] monopolisticbehavior.
Why do people say Apple products are overpriced?
Doesn't it appear to be more likely that other products are underpriced?
Apple is charging what people seem to be willing to pay for for a particular product. Their competition is trying to undercut them to bring similar or lesser quality products to market.
That's not Apple overpricing - they are pricing dead on for the market to provide a particular level of quality and customer experience.
The others are undercutting and in the process, cutting their bottom line and ability to provide or sustain a great customer experience.
They fine tune to their market and modify prices accordingly. What's the problem here?
Its about time THAT needed to be said.
Oh and iPhones DO multi-thread. That's different to restricting running background apps to save battery power.
'They fine tune to their market and modify prices accordingly. What's the problem here?'
By they I mean Apple...
Ha ha ha. So you really really don't like Apple. I get it. And they pay you to write this? Guess is draws page views...
The lack of critical scrutiny for most hardware manufacturers is not a conspiracy, but a reflection of some unstated assumptions about the computer market. Manufacturers of cheap and open source products do not need to justify their decisions. They can be forgiven for doing "the best they can" under competitive pressures. How do we know that their success or lack of success, though, is a measure of wisdom and not a measure of incompetence?
What Apple has shown is that an entire industry can make tradeoffs that alienate a large section of the market. For example, when Microsoft decided to chain its operating system to the needs of large businesses for complete backward compatibility, they chose to ignore aspects of consumer needs that didn't fit that model. When cellphone manufacturers decided that subordinating design to the demands of cellular carriers and big business users (Blackberry), they alienated other consumers. When Linux designers decided to foreground variation and manipulability and background standardization, they limited their market to those who could and would spend a lot of time adapting and adjusting the operating system to specific devices
Should those industry decisions be critiqued more thoroughly? Yes, and not be give a free pass on grounds of low cost or industry popularity.
Do you ever read the information on how many iPod or iPhone buyers are new to Apple products? A rather stunning number.
If you exclude iPod only previous apple buyers new to iPhone, iMacs and Macbooks a more amazing number. All Apple coolaid drinkers?
I think not.
Dell can sell products all day long at little or no profit until they fail. To bring back an old statement from Michael Dell about Apple - maybe it is time that Dell ... should just close their doors and return all the money to their shareholders.
You are wrong about the iPhone/Touch not multitasking - Apple's apps do - music, etc., it's just 3rd party apps that are blocked, for good reason which not all agree with - security, battery life, application responsiveness, etc.
Apart from that, your article was a typical Windoze fanboi type of sour grapes. Counseling can help you.
Paul Johnson: some good, sensible points. One of the few making them on here ;-)
But I don't share your view that Apple gets the same level (or same lack) of scrutiny as other vendors. As analyst firm Strand Consult put it so well, "In reality, the iPhone is surrounded by a multitude of people, media, and companies that are happy to bend the truth to defend the product they have purchased from Apple."
You just want a lot of hits. Silly article.
The wholy one: Yes, excellent point. You are clearly a genius. Most magazines, newspapers, websites and indeed their writers, would far prefer to write opinion articles of zero interest to anyone anywhere!
Jobs is a monopolist wanker. At this point, like Bill Gates from 1983 forward, anything Apple does acts more as a brake on moving technology state of the art forward than as lubricant.
Let us not forget that Apple's initial success arose from publishing it's motherboard and adapted S-100 bus pinouts.
How far they have fallen. How many People still use Texas Instruments TI-99/4? Texas Instruments threatened to sue any third party who made a plug to attach to their box.
Now Steve Jobs has forgotten this bit of history. Or thinks he is so powerful the fools that follow his proprietary crap will never find out.
Good Luck with that, Apple. Hey, if it doesn't work out, maybe You can invent an Open Platform phone. I'll begin holding my breath in anticipation, now.
Some of the Apple products have teenage appeal but there are also the many grown-ups who use Apple computers just to get work done efficiently. The former may be hypnotisable, but as for the latter, your comments are just insulting. I have used Apple computers to get work done since 1986 (yes, I am old) and for completely rational reasons. Pick any MS/Windows stuff and watch your efficience drop way down. And most low cost non-Apple hardware to run it on gives you nothing like a tightly integrated system but a collection of bits that may or may not limp along on good day. You end up spendning more time getting the computer to work than to get the work you needed to do get done.
Ok so I've found reference to quite an old study by Arthur D Little that allegedly found users of Macs 44% more productive than Windows users in a controlled test. Not sure how scientific that was, but I know it was used in some Apple adverts as 'evidence': http://bit.ly/7z0cfj. Anyone got anything wider-ranging and/or more recent?
Alex Australia: exactly which comments that I made do you find insulting? I'm intrigued.
Another article from someone with buyers remorse. If you are so sick of using Redmond products just switch. Dogging on people that prefer a better product is just lame. Got it? Lame.
What on earth is "only" about Apple refunding $100 to early iPhone buyers. How many for-profit corporations would have refunded anything under the circumstances?
What percentage of the profit has Apple's 8.5% market share produced? Dell or HP would trade business models with Apple in a second if they could.
It seems like all you are saying is that Apple makes some good products and does good marketing and apparently knows how to run a business, since their stock price has skyrocketed but that if people only knew better, they'd buy other products?
Problem is, many people have predicted the imminent failure of Mac, iPod, iTunes, Apple retail and the iPhone because of all kinds of real or imagined shortcomings and many people have pointed out all the real or imagined shortcomings for years but simply miss the fact that Apple makes products that people enjoy using in spite of the lack of subscription music, FM radios, "multitasking," copy/paste, SDKs, "freedom of choice," not enough options, etc. Guys like you have been pointing this stuff out for years, but no one cares about your anti-fanboi gospel.
As far as your "facts" go, you left out the fact that Apple is making boatloads of money even through the recession, HP and Dell are not.
And the iPhone 3GS did usher in new tech through the OS 3.0. In app sales, full access to the peripheral slot for example.
Then you go off on a rabbit trail berating some other analyst over their misuse of the term smart phone?
BTW, the iPhone can multitask, Apple simply restricts which apps can multitask right now, because of memory, battery life, etc. They don't think the trade off is worth it for the majority of their users and apparently, they are right because the iPod, iPhone is still selling like gangbusters.
Also, you fail to mention one of the major reasons iPhone is beating the crap out of everyone else. They completely overhauled mobile apps and even Android is going to have a hard time catching up.
So there are two (or more) Jonathon Ives?
And "inarguable"? And "form factor"?
Does the author have any qualifications or particular experience in writing?
You don't like Apple, don't buy the ****ing products, and let the market decide whether it will succeed long-term. Leave those of us who choose Apple products alone, for God's sake. Hey Jason, who are you trying to reach with this BS? Do you really have an audience in mind? Or are you just another glorified troll with a bully pulpit?
At 66 years old, I now have learned enough about gadgets to choose what to spend my money on. Apple produces the best looking, best performing and best supported electronic machines in the world. They are a joy to use. So what if they cost more. They get the job done efficiently with the least amount of hassle and that is something I could not say for Windows. Yes I have been around and have used both type of platforms when I was working in a large university environment and I can tell you that with the mac, I was virtually free from having to run to IT for help unlike my experience with using Windows.
Lovely...regurgitated tripe. Does your new employer know you are regurgitating old stories? And just chestbeating old biases, after setting up snowman arguments?
It's pointless to even point out all the mistakes, as the writer will just write off any criticism as brainwashed fanboism. There is no winning any of these religious arguments. Best to ignore them, as anyone with half a braincell will see past all the vitriol and dismiss it for the tripe that it is.
The author has obviously never owned an Apple product.
Might the success of Apple's have something to do with the likelihood that their products actually live up to their marketing hype, perform surprisingly well, and provide a user experience which far surpasses that of any of Microsoft's solutions? FYI, iPhone's OS X is indeed hyper-threaded, as it does multi-task among apps such as the iPod music player, Voice Recorder, Safari, Text Messages, and E-mail.
As for Jonathan Ive, he would undoubtedly prefer to be addressed in the singular.
Might the success of Apple have something to do with the likelihood that their products actually live up to their marketing hype, perform surprisingly well, and provide a user experience which far surpasses that of any of Microsoft's solutions? FYI, iPhone's OS X is indeed hyper-threaded, as it does multi-task among apps such as the iPod music player, Voice Recorder, Safari, Text Messages, and E-mail.
As for Jonathan Ive, he would undoubtedly prefer to be addressed in the singular.
I think the rest of the posters have made some cogent points, so I won’t rehash them However in your response you say:
“But I wouldn't expect an Apple fan to take kindly to such news”
You see Jason you make my point. Anyone who disagrees with an Apple bashing article, must be a fanboi or one of the iSheep.
For the record I couldn’t care less what people buy. It’s called consumer choice.
Time to see past the Jason Stamper delusion.
See what I did there.
FYI peeps -
The New Statesman - Champagne socialists, aka: the Bollinger Bolsheviks.
The New Statesman - British left wing political magazine, guardians of the proletariat however despite that apparently 15 of its 16 journalists being members of the National Union of Journalists, it does not formally recognise the union.
So Jason, now that you are hang'n with the New Stateman in the "mainstream" (If you call 23,000 subscribers mainstream) and that your article was primed with explosive comments that were bellicose and odious ... are you a "Bolshie" Bolshevik or just 'bolshie" as in combative and uncooperative, I think a bit of both.
Anyway as Staggers is now acting as your embouchure, it's no wonder your polemics are oozing with dribble and flapdoodle drivel. But not to worry, you are in good company sir -
Kim Taylor Bennett
Mary Jo Foley
These perps are also worried that "Apple and Jobs get a suspiciously easy ride in most media channels" ... and they too "think there needs to be a little more interrogation and a little more constructive criticism."
And lets face the facts, the majority of the British media are antipathetic towards Apple, I see that nearly everyday from the Beeb right through to the Times - especially the Guardian. Be they Left, Old Left, New Left, Centre Left, Left of Right, Centre, Right of Left, Right of Center, New Right, Old Right, Right ... Yet in spite of their leanings politically, they are all amiss (not to be confused with that other Kingsley bloke, Amis).
However this rehashed article of yours seems to be at odds with itself, as nearly all of the examples that you give regarding "Rotten Apple" have already been analyzed and dissected, not only by the hacks mentioned above but by hundreds more, You have not offered anything new, you just blabber on about semantics, dredge up stuff from 1992, twist words from Jobs, cite unresolved litigation and belittle people who buy Apple products, nothing new here, in actual fact your are only covering the same tired old ground by countless others ... gossiping to the already converted, but I suspect that you already know that.
Also, as you keep bang'n on about the "army of loyal fans" / "When it comes to Apple, buyers of its products are often more than mere customers. They are usually brand ambassadors too:" / "blind loyalty that they feel for the Apple brand." You DO YOU REALIZE that the majority of Apple users, that "army of loyal fans" do not run Mac OS.
Yet 90+ million iPhones, 220+ million iPods would imply that a lot of people who use Microsoft Windows everyday, are perfectly happy with their experience of Apple products, so stop inferring that people who buy Apple products are vacuous and gullible.
Matt Asay's short n sweet article focused on Apple's growth within the States of 38% in Q2 of 2008 ... Yes his headline was an aggrandizement of the reality of Apples share of the SOHO computer market, but HEY!!! that's what you media characters do every single day, in the quest for eyeballs, look at your own headline. Hyperbole, the Narrative Hook has a long and sordid history in the press. Media malaise indeed.
Or maybe Matt's line "is Windows the new cheapskate strategy? Do people only buy it if they're looking for something cheap and "good enough"?" grated you?
Regarding how IBM's Simon and Matt Warman,s comment apropos "That may be an idea Apple invented" just scrub out invented and insert "made commercially viable" - fixed.
And to add to your credibility you are an advocate for John Strand, amazing stuff.
I think you have grasped the wrong end of the dystopia stick regarding nefarious IT companies and you certainly are no Winston Smith (more like O'Brien) ... well you couldn't be Winston at the New Statesman, have a chat with your new friends at Staggers, Just don't mention Orwell tho, you might get fired ... or shot ;)
Apologies for typo 'Jonathan Ives'. Getting it corrected.
"Inarguable" is OK though Ian, to the best of my knowledge. So is "form factor", at least in tecchnical circles.
More of what Strand Consult called Stockholm Syndrome from the iPhone users I see: "The iPhone can multitask, Apple simply restricts which apps can multitask right now". It can, it just can't. Brilliant.
Sorry, meant to say technical, not 'tecchnical'. Too much caffeine, mea culpa.
This article is childish. We don't buy Apple products because we are brainwashed, but because they are the ones which best suit our needs. If better ones come along made by someone else, then we'll buy those instead.
Stuart: "time to see past the Jason Stamper delusion" -- not bad! You've given me an idea. My next piece: 'Time to see past the Bill Gates delusion'?
Wow not only do I disagree with your view of Steve Jobs (the most significant business man of our time) but your facts are simply wrong.
The Simon was not an IBM work. And Apple is not the one coddled by the press it is Microsoft who is. They make / Steel bad products and the press does not even question it.
If business changed from windows to PC's then not only would productivity increase but a whole layer of expense (and IT departments) would be eliminated increasing overall productivity massively.
This does not happen because industry and the press never question the need for windows.
It is in this space that MS reinvents the truth. They invented server operating systems. Like Unix, Novel and others did not exist before it.
Share point is just a bad version of notes and on and on.
They tell told the industry to go with OS2 and then did windows 3.0 and only their applications worked with their secrete API's. And the same API's are the reason their operating system are insecure today!
The press never tells the truth - they tell what they are told by the people with the most money!
You obviously do not know about computer history or else you are blinded by years of FUD!
Apple simply makes a better product (not perfect by any means).
With regard to your "data" you will find upon further things:
1. investigation that recent data shows that Apple makes more profits from their sales than any other compute maker.
2. Apple has over 50%market share of consumer computers over $1k - as in real computers that are above commodity junk.
3. Computers of comparable power / features from Dell and HP sell much less and are of similar or greater price.
4. Apple has no significant share of enterprise system (what keeps Dell and HP in biz) because the layoff of people who try and prevent people from buying what they need (IT departments) to keep their jobs running the high priesthood.
I could go on and on but there is not point - I am only sorry I responded at all as this article was a simple attempt to get viewers by being controversial - something I applaud you for as once you get marketing you will understand just one of the the things Apple does better than the competition.
My next piece: 'Time to see past the Bill Gates delusion'?
Go on, I dare you.. :-)
If you're looking to get the page hits, that should do it.
Ken Berger, "The Simon was not an IBM work". Who on earth was it then? Santa's little helpers? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_Simon
'Time to see past the Bill Gates delusion'
Jason Slater claims every one who disagrees with his article is an Apple fanboy
RT @jasonstamper Proof that Apple & iPhone fans can't read? See the comments below this http://bit.ly/4P8LCP < wouldn't mind if had slated the products
While I realize I am one of the brainwashed converts you describe Jason, all I can say is that I haven't been as excited about computing devices since the era of the BBC Micro. You turn it on, it works, it's exciting, it's sexy.... The iphone is nice but as a regular emailer I need the blackberry keyboard - although it is vile in comparison otherwise. And PCs and Windows do not excite. It's really feeling excited and proud to use computing devices that is the appeal. We want to have a champion like Jobs. We want to be moved.
Pass that coolaid ;-)
Aren't you Jerry? You don't like Apple or its products? C'mon don't be coy now.
Is someone passionate about Apple, or its products, not now allowed to be called an Apple fan? Are you the Apple brand police or something?
I love my Ricoh camera and am happy to be called a Ricoh fan. What are you afraid of exactly?
Now I know what is meant by "hostile media phenomenon". A synonym for Apple fans.
You article is hilarious. You call apple smug and all knowing, in a smug all knowing article.
However, your website doesn't design in my opinion, the best laptops and phones in the world.
So i'll continue thinking they are the ones doing work in the world and people like you just leech off them, to sell ad space with your "tech journalism"
Apple haters: your more boring than Apple zealots.
So, the point of this article is that you think Apple gets a free ride in the press. To support this, you cite a couple of examples.
First, as pointed out above, it was not always this way for Apple, the famous Wired "Pray" cover, the Michael Dell quote, "Sell it and give the money back to the stockholders". And poor Walt Mossberg, who's often derided as an Apple shill, told the WSJ readers to buy Windows 95 machines, because the Mac OS was "unstable". Apple was almost NEVER mentioned without the word "beleaguered" attached in some way.
In large part, the media have changed their tune, because Apple is -succeeding-. When Apple was in deep trouble, there was one tone, and now that Apple is a huge success, there is another. Mostly, this just follows from this thing we call "facts". Looked at Apple's market cap lately?
And you'll see, not the death of an American icon, but its rebirth.
Second, some of your examples don't hold up. Apple gave a rebate to early iphone purchasers. What did Microsoft do when they abandoned "plays for sure"? Did the poor saps with Vista get Windows 7 for free?
And the Fox News "journalism" technique of posing a "question" is really lame. "Rotten Apple"? No, just a hackneyed technique that fools no one.
"But I do believe Apple and Jobs get a suspiciously easy ride in most media channels. I just think there needs to be a little more interrogation and a little more constructive criticism. I'm certainly not the only one doing it, but much of the mainstream media has fallen into an Apple love affair that has robbed it of any meaningful independence."
For constructive criticism, you can go to any of hundreds of blogs that run by the Apple sycophants you deride. I like Daring Fireball and Roughly Drafted. For starters, these people often disagree, not the lockstep PR machine you say it is. Also, they are usually out quickly with meaningful criticism, because the, unlike so many of the technical press, actually know what they're talking about.
When I was younger (about 10) I wanted to buy a laptop. And I wanted to buy one type of laptop in particular, a Mac Laptop. Every week, I would build my dream laptop on the Apple Website, and see that it would cost £1200. Of course, this is widly out of the buying range of most 10 year olds, and so I went without the Mac PowerBook (as it was then called).
A few years later, while shopping for a new laptop, I decided to see what the competition from PCs was like. £1200 seemed like the 'going rate' for a medium-spec laptop. So you can imagine my suprise that in the PC market, £600, maybe £700 is the going rate for a decent medium spec laptop. £1200 buys you a high-end gaming laptop.
To this day, I still cannot fathom why Mac is able to sell its only 17" laptop for £1900, whilst I picked up a similar spec PC laptop (17" also) for just over £1000.
This is the confusion that most informed consumers have when looking at Apple products. To be clear, they are not all the same - I have treasured my G5 Ipod Video since the day I bought it, and I think it was worth the £170 asking price.
The reason Apple's share price languished between $3 and $10 for the years 1988-2003 (excluding the tech boom of 2001) is because investors thought Apple offered a low-growth opportunity. It was only with the take-off of the later-gen iPods that Apple became mass market in some sectors, and this growth is reflected in its share price now being way over $150.
So the people who say "let the market decide", when it comes to Apple Macs (not iPods/iPhones), the market has decided. The market says they're glossy, overpriced, inferior products - which is why Apple's market share for Macs is so low, and has been so low for so long.
Take Safari, its browser. Safari has been around for longer than Firefox, yet Firefox has a substantially larger market share. Why? Because Firefox is better.
Apple products operate on the same business model of luxury goods. Tissot or whoever's £5000 offering isn't really better than Casio's £50 alternative, just people feel that the price and nice design in itself justifies the purchase.
Apple products have the property of "price inelasticity of demand", that is, people are quite happy to pay whatever Apple tells them to, as opposed to standard generic PC alternatives (Dell etc) - where people start looking elsewhere when the price goes up. People were quite happy to buy the iPhone at $599.
However, not many people are willing to pay through their noses for Apple Products - Apple sells its products not to the mass market, but to the fanboy few. Fanboys are cash cows, because they pay whatever price Apple tells them to. Sadly for Apple, they aren't that many fanboys, which means that Apple will never challenge HP, Dell, Windows etc because its core business model depends not on selling to as many people as possible, but milking its core buyers as much as is possible.
So whenever people say Apple products are always better, I think back to the first laptop I bought, I think back to the confusing and unintuitive operating system, I think back to the lack of games and software that doesn't cost the earth and I quietly chuckle to myself, safe in the knowledge that I have everything Apple offers, but for half the price.
The real question is why this discussion evokes such strong passions.
Some good points from yoctobarryc, IMHO.
Chuck, that wouldn't be the Daring Fireball who took one Microsoft quarter during a recession and extrapolated that to "Microsoft's Long, Slow Decline", would it?
I'm a Apple customer. I am also a Yankee and a Christian. That said, it doesn't matter to me what people say about me or what I know is right. Im not for or against anyone who don't like my choices. They are faceless to me. I will leave you with this, if this article makes you happy then I am so glad I don't the problems you have.
"The real question is why this discussion evokes such strong passions".
No, the real question is why does anybody care?
This article is incredibly stupid on many levels. But, on the technical level it's terrible! He says the iPhone 'isn't even multi-threaded'. The guy can't even know what that means to say that.
Pure ignorance on show here. Shame on the new Statesman for publishing it.
Jason Stamper is editor of Computer Business Review