Seeking Alpha

"You’ve got to start with the cus­tomer expe­ri­ence and work back­wards...

"You’ve got to start with the cus­tomer expe­ri­ence and work back­wards to the technology," Steve Jobs once said. Tristan Louis is worried Apple (AAPL) is straying a bit from Jobs' philosophy, even as its engineering work remains top-notch. Apple's decision to release a MacBook Pro with a retina display before updating all its apps to support it is cited as an example, as is its decision to use a power adapter for its next-gen AirPort Express that's different from MacBook adapters. (yesterday) (also)
Comments (98)
  • Is it me..or does everyone seem to look for some flaw with the Apple products, Apple management team, and everything associated with Apple?
    16 Jun 2012, 06:04 PM Reply Like
  • Apple problems are fairly new. Apple has forgotten how they were able to take over a big chunk of Microsoft's customer base. I know, since I've had to work on both platforms since 1979.

     

    I've stuck with Apple over MS for years, if given a choice, for a few simple reasons and the Steve Jobs statement above is certainly "key".

     

    The reasons have been: elegant, intuitive GUI, relatively non-buggy software/OSs at 1.0, very few forced updates/upgrades and little if any collusion with people like Adobe and MS, who constantly force unwanted updates and upgrades that become incompatible with hardware that I own. I work a lot and I do not have the time/money to be replacing hard-drives and workstations all the time. Most of the stuff MS forced on me I didn't even want. They filled up my PC hard drive with patched together, bloated XP Professional system code.

     

    The game changed when Apple recently announced that I would have to upgrade to Mountain Lion OS 10.8 and iOS5 to keep my mac.com email account. Like they don't have the cash to support us long-time users who don't need the latest OS or iPhone technology that requires all new hardware right now?

     

    I revolted, started looking for Android and Google smart phones. I dug in my heels. I don't like bullies! I posted/tweeted everywhere what they're up to.

     

    Then came the Apple e-mail. Okay, I can keep my mac.com account, but I have to download everything I have from my iCloud before June 30, 2012, since my hardware (tower, power book, iPhone) is no longer compatible with their newest technology -- the technology I don't want or need right now anyway.

     

    So I'm NOW open to alternatives to Apple hardware, smart phones, software and Clouds. That's how they shoot themselves in the foot.
    16 Jun 2012, 06:57 PM Reply Like
  • The real test of whether they're shooting themselves in the foot will be whether you can find the experience you are demanding in another ecosystem. Check out what Win8 has to offer this fall (oops you'll need to update your hardware). So go with Google/Android. See if it gives you the support for legacy systems that you insist on. If in a few years you have managed to somehow solve your problems cheaper and easier than just sticking with Apple, then indeed they will have shot themselves in the foot. But I don't see your story ending well. No matter what alternative you expect to pursue it sounds like there is some new hardware in your future... And if you're spending new money just to avoid Apple's insistence that you spend new money, you'd better be sure you'll be happy with the new setup.
    16 Jun 2012, 07:35 PM Reply Like
  • 2 words come to mind: ankle bite
    16 Jun 2012, 08:18 PM Reply Like
  • I don't mind buying new equipment when something in my work requires or needs it. I've been updating regularly since my Apple II ran on audio tape software. The difference is, I want to do it on my schedule for my needs, not be forced to by Apple's need to suck $$ billions every year to satisfy their investors.
    16 Jun 2012, 09:26 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting perspective. I used to find that maddening about windows -- it was always designed with the assumption that your hardware was the latest and greatest. Crippling an older system to a crawl was not much worse than having it not work at all. There is always a trade off between legacy considerations and cutting edge performance. It is unclear to me that any system provides a perfect solution for those who wish to upgrade infrequently. There will always be vendors which drop support for older OSs even in open systems.
    16 Jun 2012, 09:47 PM Reply Like
  • This is really distressing to me; I am an Apple user since 1982, bought my 2002 G4 desktop that I am still using when OS X came along—the change from “Classic”, OS 9, to “Tiger”, was handled so well, with both systems included in the computer, so that the user could make the change at his/her own pace, testing OS X until ready to make the plunge/purchase the software. Apple products have always been backward-compatible, something that I have often mentioned when suggesting a Mac purchase over a PC purchase to others. I really, really hate to see them join the madness!
    16 Jun 2012, 10:09 PM Reply Like
  • Bravo! Exactly my thoughts, what I have been doing, and what Apple has been facilitating all along—apparently until now, but the E-mail that they sent may indicate that they have realized their mistake. I know that with some upgrades, the versions are so different that a new purchase is needed—such as what happened with systems 9 and 10—but they have always seemed to consider the effect on the user more than other firms.
    16 Jun 2012, 10:12 PM Reply Like
  • It is the frequency with which the old systems implode that is maddening to me; I can accept some drop-off on an occasional basis, but when it is happening every time you turn around. . . .
    For instance, the change from PowerPC to Intel chip made possible on the new machines things that had not previously been possible, so I had to make a choice to stay with my old versions and fewer features, or make a switch. O.K. When InDesign 4 came along, I needed Snow Leopard to run it, but I could still open my InDesign 3 files on my laptop—but it was one-way conversion only; once the file was in ID 4, there was no going back.
    Those sorts of upgrades, if infrequent, I can handle. I have recently noticed that one of my investment sites is “plain vanilla” on my Tiger/Camino desktop, more features on Mom’s iPad—but it works on both, I can see my portfolios, etc., just a simpler home page. It sounds as though Apple did not look into that sort of backward compatibility with this, although it may be that the technology is just too different—I do not know enough about how it all works.
    16 Jun 2012, 10:21 PM Reply Like
  • I agree with the thought behind DM's post and would deposit that the pace of upgrades due to competition is not the same as even 5 years ago. Yet everyone wants Apple to stay up to date and not "fall behind".

     

    Well these type of decisions w/r to legacy OS and devices is part of the trade off,

     

    It's a brave new world and all OEM, as DM surmised will and do have the same issues to contend with. It has yet to be proven that there is a more reliable OEM out there with a better upgrade model, or an OEM who supports legacy products better.
    16 Jun 2012, 10:36 PM Reply Like
  • You said all that so well, Sally G. So true. Apple needs to continue to support their installed user base with some backward-compatibilities, while voraciously going after more of MS minions with aggressive wizardly new technology.

     

    Being a technical illustrator for lab manuals presently, rather than wild and groovy Flash science animations and Dreamweaver web pages, I love and prefer my PowerMac G5 with OS 10.4.11 and OS 9. And yes! I run them simultaneously with some really old Deneba Canvas software because it cuts my drawing time in half over Illustrator CS4, 5, 6 or whatever buggy overkill Illustrator has to offer me. Sometimes I crank up Illustrator CS4 or Photoshop CS2, simultaneously, if I have to. Sorry, but to keep upgrading, it's gotta be better/easier to use than what I'm presently using.

     

    The Mac box with old software is a tool and easier to use, with less issues, so the faster I can work and for the best price for my client who has looked into India. I beat the outsourcing supplier in a 'draw-off' so for now, I'm still drawing for the client daily.

     

    I really do not need anything more at the present and revolt with forced upgrades because it's not just the new box, but my favorite software won't work either. Goodwill has plenty more of these G5 boxes should this one conk out. Maybe I'll get a spare. :)

     

    Then with aggressive FB and Adobe disallowing old OS's for Flash Player, I just go up on YouTube to watch the Flash video that FB and a bunch of websites won't display on my old box -- YouTube displays it just fine OR I move over to my Power Book with Snow Leopard.

     

    I sit surrounded by a group of daisy-chained older Macs and one PC with XP Professional, which MS is dropping so I may get a new PC with Win 8 and I need a new smart phone. What I have is all I need so why toss money at stuff that I don't need yet? Unless Adobe or someone creates a really good WYSIWYG (like QuickDraw) drawing program with elegant but simple, intuitive interface like Canvas 3.0.6, I'm not buying anything this year except maybe a new smart phone. If it ain't broke...
    17 Jun 2012, 02:20 AM Reply Like
  • I'm very much in the same boat as you BML. My computers (circa 12-05) G5 Quad 2.5 Tower running OS 10.4x & 9.22 simultaneously for my Graphic Design Biz. Hate Illustrator, Love Freehand MX (Adobe now owns it and killed it off). Work daily in 10.4 but have to tap into 9.22 to run some type twister apps and vectoring tools. Use CS4 only when necessary and now that I want a new iPhone (own the 3G) when it comes out I can't unless I upgrade the computer. My G4 laptop at least runs OSX.5.8 so I can migrate my iTunes but am waiting to get the Macbook Pro w/ Retina if I'm buying new. I know I shouldn't complain considering with my Macs I only feel the need to upgrade every 5-7 years. Much better then most windows units. Been Mac since '92 and don't expect to EVER switch... just don't feel the need for windows. Good Luck!
    18 Jun 2012, 02:33 PM Reply Like
  • IGUART: Are you my long lost twin? I'm thinking that this story we share is one that is shared by many in the graphic art business. I too preferred Freehand or Canvas over Illustrator any day of the week. Adobe puts out buggy, hard to use, non-intuitive software and then charges $180. for a bug fixed version. Like my feelings about MS, I would rather become a Realtor than to give Adobe or MS another dime, because they both waste so much of my time with their crappy OS and software.

     

    The only reason I need a PC Win box is for an fave avocation that has an abundance of software in Win, but only one app on Mac.

     

    If Apple wants me to upgrade my 3G iPhone (like you have) and get an iPad and maybe a new Mac box, then they need to start doing the Apple developer thing again. New/better Mac software is needed to drive their hardware market at least in the graphics fields.

     

    Then maybe ACDSee will get some help developing a new Canvas 14 Mac version. That's mostly what's holding me back, besides we don't get paid enough in the graphics world to upgrade software and hardware every year or two. If we charge more, our clients will outsource our work overseas. So we're in a quandry!
    19 Jun 2012, 12:32 PM Reply Like
  • The problem with Apple is there is no problem. This frustrates many who thought the passing of Mr. Jobs would be the downfall of the company.

     

    No signs of slowing down from this investor's viewpoint.

     

    If people are looking for a tech company that imploded, they could check out Research in Motion.
    16 Jun 2012, 06:15 PM Reply Like
  • dude, we dont think it will change the day after jobs died, or the year after. Business doesnt change like that. You are the same type that said we were NUTS if we said Nokia wouldnt be #1 forever. Now you would say we are nuts if we say Nokia wont go under. Nokia was #1 till AAPL came along. And when AAPL was at 12 you were a seller, correct? Well thats when we bought. Now we get ready to sell, because you are still buying. Rinse lather repeat.
    16 Jun 2012, 09:52 PM Reply Like
  • whipsawKid,

     

    I will assume that I am "dude" and let you know that I stand by my comment.
    I could care less about Nokia and never called anyone "nuts" for feeling one way or the other about it.
    I have never based my investments on how a company ranks.
    I am not a seller of Apple. I hold it long in my portfolio and have for years. I have taken profits along the way and bought shares when I felt the time was right.
    My point is simple: Apple isn't going anywhere.
    Sell, buy, short, what do I care about you or "we" are doing?

     

    Thanks for the lesson on how business works. Now if you would just share investing lesson, that would be really special.
    17 Jun 2012, 07:29 PM Reply Like
  • Deercreekvols, In your rebuttal, it was especially kind of you not to point out that the instructions to "rinse lather repeat" would leave one kind of soapy! I'd feel better taking advice from "kids" who could get the basics down first...
    17 Jun 2012, 08:08 PM Reply Like
  • Dialectical Materialist,

     

    I wasn't sure what shampooing advice had to do with Apple, and this is why I chose not to address said advice.

     

    I am still confused about the Nokia comments. Not sure how this company ties to holding and believing in Apple.

     

    "Why is youth wasted on the young?" - man on porch in It's a Wonderful Life

     

    Back to the NBA and a few cold drinks.

     

    Where is Jon Corzine?
    17 Jun 2012, 10:41 PM Reply Like
  • DM,
    You write,
    "Why is youth wasted on the young?" - man on porch in It's a Wonderful Life

     

    My dad had a friend who thought the world was organized backwards, one should get one’s nest egg upon maturity, as that is when money was most needed—education, house, kids, etc.—and dwindle to less and less as needs decreased in retirement. Somewhat tongue-in-cheek, no doubt, but worth a thought or two. . . .
    18 Jun 2012, 09:15 PM Reply Like
  • It was Deercreek, but I agree with the premise.
    18 Jun 2012, 10:09 PM Reply Like
  • Imagine the parties with 18 year olds with a lot of money. I say the money is gone by 25!!!
    19 Jun 2012, 12:53 AM Reply Like
  • How is this a market current?
    16 Jun 2012, 06:19 PM Reply Like
  • are u kidding? the other day there was a "market current" on how it was a great thing for obama to keep blaming Bush.
    16 Jun 2012, 08:17 PM Reply Like
  • Well, you clicked and commented, didn't you?
    16 Jun 2012, 08:25 PM Reply Like
  • Sure I did. To make exactly the comment I made. I come here for investing news and opinion. Not dribble.
    16 Jun 2012, 10:50 PM Reply Like
  • Fair enough. No disrespect intended! I totally agree. It's just a link generator.
    16 Jun 2012, 10:55 PM Reply Like
  • I just can't take it anymore!!!

     

    It's DRIVEL...not dribble. Dribble is what you do with a basketball or when you leak liquids such as saliva from your mouth.

     

    Drivel is nonsense.

     

    Please make it stop!!!
    18 Jun 2012, 11:33 AM Reply Like
  • Bahahahaha!!!
    18 Jun 2012, 02:36 PM Reply Like
  • Steve Jobs and Tim Cook are two completely different people. Jobs had the "reality distortion field" speaking style, hence the cult of MAC. Maybe the cult will self perpetuate for a while, maybe it won't, but Tim Cook won't be the reason. The excitement around the company is well deserved right now, but it can't last. The products are exceptional, but lets face it, they are toys. I'm not saying a Mac book pro doesn't work well in a business application, what I'm saying is a retina display is not necessary and does nothing to enhance the effectiveness as a business machine. An Iphone is nice also, but a Razor functions just as well in most, and better in some applications. When the time comes that you have to pay full price for an Iphone I know I won't be buying one. Siri is neat for about a day, after that it's just as easy to Google something myself. Apple has never been about giving the customer what they want, it's been about telling the customer what they want. Jobs was able to do that, we will see if Tim cook can do it.
    16 Jun 2012, 06:21 PM Reply Like
  • No, they're not toys. They are sometimes as much fun as toys, but they are computers. As such they can be used for things that are just as serious or just as trivial as the user requires.

     

    We at starting to use iPads at my business for inventory control. I haven't found any "toys" that can do that. Could another computer work just as well for our needs? Well let's see. We have someone walking around a parking lot punching in plate numbers and hanger tag ID numbers which are checked against our database of paid customers. If we find a violation, we take a picture of the car for our records and email the plate number to our towing company to remove the car. So we need a portable computer that can be used standing up and carried around for hours at a time. It needs to have a camera and wi-fi. So, no, a laptop will not do. Neither will anything sold by Hasbro or Fischer Price.
    16 Jun 2012, 06:39 PM Reply Like
  • Of course you can find a use for something new if you try hard enough, does the tablet you use need to be an Ipad? I doubt it, and at some point when there is enough demand at a business level for a tablet device there will as much competition as with all things. Apple is servicing our wants, not our needs. If you remember, desktop PC's used to be very expensive especially if you wanted the latest technology. I remember paying 2000.00 for a 233mhz Pentium based product. I bought an AMD quad core based product six months ago for under 600.00. Tablets will eventually do the same thing, as will phones. At some point Apple will be Microsoft and there will be another Apple doing something new, unfortunately this article will be gone and I won't be able to prove my theory, but I'm satisfied having history to back my opinion.
    16 Jun 2012, 06:59 PM Reply Like
  • Try hard enough? I have been looking for a solution to the mobile inventory problem for a decade. The hand held ticketing systems that meter readers use are not cheap and they're cost prohibitive for small businesses. We used a PDA years ago but the data entry was a pain, and the data had to be checked against the database back at the office. By the time we could alert the tow truck, we had no idea if the violator was still on the lot. No, this is not a matter of my "trying hard enough" to find a non-toy use for the iPad. This is a matter of technology finally getting to the place where an affordable portable computer with digital camera and wi-fi finally exists.

     

    Does it have to be an iPad? Maybe not. But how is that relevant? If you say my Ford pickup is a toy and I explain I use it for hauling stuff at work, the idea that I could get by with a Chevy or Toyota is beside the point. You're just reaching to find negative things to say about Apple. Even if I accept your argument that tablets will come down in price and will become more versatile this does nothing to support your claim that Apple products are toys.
    16 Jun 2012, 07:47 PM Reply Like
  • LOL! Last appointment I had at the "genus" bar, someone checked me in on an ipad. I thought that was pretty cool until I was informed I hadn't been checked it...

     

    Sounds like they are good for the "big brother" thing. Sounds like a phone app might have have worked just as well though.
    16 Jun 2012, 08:00 PM Reply Like
  • I think part of what would have meaning to me is if that is what they are being used as, would not a $200 android device save a lot of money if it did the same thing? My $299 Toshiba thrive took better pictures than my sisters (in her own words) $499 ipad2.
    I found angry birds to be about the same on both toys, oops, pads.
    16 Jun 2012, 08:04 PM Reply Like
  • You could call it a "big brother" thing. But we sell parking to folks who work in the law office, investment office, copy center, restaurants, etc. in the area . These folks pay us to ensure that they have a place to park when they come to work. They don't want one of two things to happen. They don't want us to turn our back and let any Joe Schmoe park in the spot they are paying for, and they DON'T want to be towed when they forgot to take their hanger tag from their car and put it into their wife's car which they drove in today.

     

    So it is actually a function that supports private businesses, and checking plate numbers against our database in real time in order not to tow the guy who is a partner at the law firm who leases 70 spaces from us is a vital business function for us. We could tow first and ask questions later, but I am the guy who has to take that call, so that is not a good thing...
    16 Jun 2012, 08:10 PM Reply Like
  • As our "toys" are increasingly capable of meeting our professional needs, people will continue to satisfy their serious and "playful" impulses simultaneously. There is nothing more attractive than a toy which you can pass off as a serious work device, and a work device you can pass off as a toy. Apple capitalizes on our desire to have the best of all possible worlds!
    16 Jun 2012, 06:33 PM Reply Like
  • Yes, good point, but I think it is similar to leasing a BMW as your company car, it will certainly meet your professional needs, but it's hardly necessary. I see more and more companies moving towards lean manufacturing and cutting costs, do you really think they are going to buy a parking lot attendant an I pad to do a job that can be done with a pencil and notepad?
    16 Jun 2012, 07:04 PM Reply Like
  • I own my own business and the cost of the inventory management system I use comes right out of my own pocket. If you think the task I am describing can be accomplished more effectively with a pencil and paper, I would welcome you as a local competitor. That is the way it was done 40 years ago. If it worked so well, computerized ticketing systems would not exist today. When you have no idea what you're talking about, it is a good idea not to compound the problem by pretending you do.
    16 Jun 2012, 07:52 PM Reply Like
  • Actually, I apologize for the last sentence. Parking is my livelihood and it is as unglamorous as it gets, but it pays the bills. Most folks think there must be nothing to it since it's just parking, but we have the same cost benefit and inventory management (and customer service) issues that any business has, so I have a thin skin when others talk about how I could be doing my job with a pencil and paper. The money is made at the margins in parking, so anything that improves efficiency goes right to the bottom line.

     

    An android tablet may have worked, but I already had an iPad for personal use which allowed me to test the project without any cost except for my development time. I'm sure in a few years there will be a cheaper and easier way to do the same thing.
    16 Jun 2012, 08:35 PM Reply Like
  • I wasn't looking for an argument, nor do I pretend to know or want to know the specifics about operating a parking lot. I will assume that since this was your "test project" you probably operated the business before tablets existed. Maybe a tablet makes the job a little easier I honestly don't know, but I'll take your word for it. That being said, how many million tablets will you be buying next year? Exactly! You can say what you like, but the truth is you didn't buy the Ipad for business, you bought it for personal use, as you said yourself, and so did the majority of those who purchased them. As far as tracking inventory in a general sense I do know something about that, and using your personal Ipad in a test project is a far cry from handing out a dozen Ipads to the average employee to do inventory on a regular basis. The company I work for considered using tablets for storing manuals and diagrams but considering they will eventually get dropped or damaged some other way we decided against it, at least until an industrial version is released, and if that does happen I don't see Apple as the one to do it. A commercial tablet would be designed more for durability, functionality, and cost, with the cool factor being irrelevant.
    16 Jun 2012, 11:00 PM Reply Like
  • I don't disagree with everything you said, so that is something. Just to be clear, I did a proof of concept on my personal machine and then purchased one for the business. But no, I am not going to be buying millions next year. Still, I can't help but think my story is not terribly uncommon. Tablets are going to prove to be very useful in many different specific settings.

     

    I agree some folks will need and use more durable tablets. But army jeeps never would have been developed if Ford hadn't popularized the individual automobile. Cars existed before he made them "cool". In the same way I think Apple performed an important function in making tablets (which had existed for years) achieve acceptance. Now that the notion of a tablet is more widely accepted, there will certainly be some built for durability and some built for affordability and to perform only the most basic tasks (like touch screen "you are here" maps in the mall -- at least until even 70 year olds have smart phones). There is a lot of room in this space. But it was a very stagnant space until Apple brought the funk. They get bashed for their style, but without it no one would be talking about the upcoming Windows 8 tablets.
    16 Jun 2012, 11:18 PM Reply Like
  • I agree, to give credit where it is due, Apple is an innovator.
    16 Jun 2012, 11:26 PM Reply Like
  • I have 70 year olds in my family and it's easier for them to use their iPhones then any other feature or smartphones. Add to that the iPad and now that they can sit on the sofa and Facebook! The world is becoming closer then ever before. Now maybe Apple didn't "create" it but like everything Apple touches it makes it "just work" and easier! The guy that keeps beating you up about "why it's gotta be apple?" is just trying to push your buttons. These are the kind of people that question everything. Don't stoop to his level and whatever you do don't go to lunch with him cuz the bill will be the next quibble!! LOL
    18 Jun 2012, 02:49 PM Reply Like
  • Apple is often a choice because of the "cool" factor, more than anything else. I have my reasons for using Apple computers for the last 18 years, but it is very reasonable for someone to question that. If you cannot come up with a good answer to "Why Apple?", then it's because you only see the "cool" factor. When Apple use to run open seminars, they had ROI (Return On Investment) figures to justify their computers in work conditions. I think they have moved past that now, but not because that ROI is obvious. Instead, Apple products have become status symbols and objects of desire.
    18 Jun 2012, 03:13 PM Reply Like
  • First of all I wasn't "pushing buttons" we were having a conversation. I respect his point and was simply trying to point out that as the tablet market moves toward the business world there will be more competition for the commercial customer. I don't see how your 70 year old family member is relevant, maybe if you read the whole conversation you will realize it isn't. Your entitled to your opinion as am I, but if you want to join a conversation please try to make a relevant point and refrain from attacking me personally. Statements like "stooping to his level" and "these are the kind of people" are totally uncalled for. You don't know me, and obviously can't communicate your opinion without disrespecting someone else. If you can't make your point intelligently please stay out of my conversations.
    18 Jun 2012, 04:26 PM Reply Like
  • LOL; bought my 80-something-year-old parents (really, Mom; Dad and I bought our first Apple [IIc] together in 1982, but he has long since given up; recent light dementia) an iPad (they have a Mac mini, but I thought we could load up the iPad with photos for when Dad needs a visual reminder; has not been used for that, but lots else)—and Mom, who hates my laptop’s trackpad, every once in a while gets totally frustrated moving the cursor and tries to “swipe” my laptop screen. Game changer, for sure!
    18 Jun 2012, 09:20 PM Reply Like
  • I opened a new AirPort Express today. Just that explained a lot: white box with plastic overlay that was easy to unpeel; unit with a plastic band protecting its ports, also easily removed; hole in cardboard on which unit rested, above a beautifully coiled and wrapped power cord (I may just leave it coiled if I do not need more length); instruction booklet at the bottom—beautiful, ergonomically correct presentation. Now, with my two older systems, installation was not the traditionally Mac “plug and play”; needed a couple of calls to 800-SOS-APPL, but ultimately successful. They are losing the backwards-compatibility and knowledgeable salespersons of the past, and I intend to write to the company about that, but the design and quality are still there, status or no.
    P.S.: Does anyone mind if I send a link to this page with my E-mail to customer service/investor relations? I think they could use the input.
    18 Jun 2012, 09:26 PM Reply Like
  • Only Apple watchers can complain about that new power adapters are different than the older ones. Has ANYONE looked at what PC makers do for power supplies? It's a mess.

     

    And as far as the "toy" comment goes, I'll quote Steve Jobs: "If you don't like what we make, don't buy it...it's that simple!" The MARKET has spoken, and people are voting with their wallets. If Apple made crap, or made useless, overpriced products, their sales would reflect that. Look at RIM or Nokia. When they made products people wanted to buy, they prospered.

     

    Apple has moved beyond the "techie" phase of products, and into the "consumer" phase. Apple makes products that have a combination of features that people seem to like. That doesn't mean that other products aren't similarly featured, and perhaps cheaper. By all means, go buy those if you want.

     

    At my office, we just bought several Windows 7 HP laptops for $450 each. Are they as good as a Retina MacBook Pro? No. Do they get the job we need done? Yes. Would I buy one at home? No. I am WILLING and ABLE to pay more for the build quality, etc. Not all would want to do that. So what? That's called choice.

     

    N
    16 Jun 2012, 06:50 PM Reply Like
  • I agree totally with the Steve Jobs quote, that is the Apple way. The market has spoken, but the market, and the world is changing. People tend to buy what they can leverage, not what they can afford. Apple's mainstay is the Iphone, if the carriers start charging full price for the phones I think it will hurt them in a big way. If the economy doesn't pick up in a real way I think that will also hurt earnings. You may be able to afford to pay for the quality, but your not going to buy all of them. Your depending on a big part of the middle class to keep their jobs so they can afford the "choice".
    16 Jun 2012, 07:14 PM Reply Like
  • I don't know about Rim but Nokia made one of the best phones I have ever used (as a phone). It was the E71 and it is the only "smart" phone I have ever bought outside my contract for full price. The reception was amazing and the BT headsets all worked.
    Unlike ether of my iphones (3G and 4).
    Just today, a friend called me from an area on his iphone that I get great coverage in and was complaining about my signal. I informed him I had no problem hearing him after I thought he was pocket dialing me due to his not responding to me. He finally got through on the third try from a place we could talk (I was getting a little peeved at that point) and then I remembered he was on a iphone 4.
    You can't really compare $450 HP laptops with $2000+ macbook.
    That really is Apples and oranges.
    Give me a 17" MBP with a non glare touch screen and the software to interface, super duper bootcamp or VM drivers and I will buy it and sell my MacPro.
    How about a 28-30" LED touchscreen I can plug into ether with TB?
    I want a BIG ipad!
    16 Jun 2012, 08:26 PM Reply Like
  • I predict Mac clones (again) by 2015.
    16 Jun 2012, 07:50 PM Reply Like
  • Last time, the only interest there was in cloning Macs was in creating high-end graphics machines; wonder if there will be any interest in budget versions in 2015?
    16 Jun 2012, 10:27 PM Reply Like
  • All the apps are not synced with RD and a different power supply? If that's all the nattering nabob Apple trolls can find kudos to Apple.
    Prettiest design synergistic computer we have seen 25 percent thinner and lighter RD state of the art Jobs would have introduced it right away has four times the number of pixels and resolution crushing all others.Simply thinnest lightest best display of any pro computer that has existed for a great price for a pro from $2K.It has two USB 3.0 ports, two Thunderbolt ports and one HDMI port, allowing for seamless viewing on many television and external HD displays. Speakers/Camera/Mikes have all been upgraded. 6GB of RAM.Quad-core 2.7GHz Core i7 processor. 768 GB of solid-state drive (SSD) storage.Battery life seven hours. Sir Jony Ive has outdone himself here simply the best.At 50% less priced well under and lighter than the new ultrabooks,the Air upgrades look great too to us especially the new more powerful Intel chips and they knocked $100 off on the entry price under $1k. We think new Mac sales will soar and will stay stay long (http://bit.ly/pFSoX2) short their "WinTel" competitors.
    16 Jun 2012, 08:08 PM Reply Like
  • Dude! You cannot even write a proper sentence, nor can you read a spec sheet. Do some proper research before spouting off.

     

    http://vrge.co/LlLz4w

     

    There's a proper review for you. Maybe you can type the specs correctly next time.
    16 Jun 2012, 08:25 PM Reply Like
  • 2.3GHz Core i7 8GB 256GB flash $2,199
    2.6GHz Core i7 8GB 512GB flash $2,799
    2.7GHz Core i7 16GB 768GB flash $3,749

     

    I don't think they will sell too many of the very top of the line MacBook Pros. It's quite the premium to pay, compared to almost any other laptop.

     

    Apple revenues are more heavily dependent upon iPhone and iPad revenues. It makes no sense to load up on shares of AAPL based upon the latest MacBook Pros.
    16 Jun 2012, 08:30 PM Reply Like
  • Wait time for new MacBook Pro is 3-4 weeks.
    17 Jun 2012, 08:43 AM Reply Like
  • Steve Jobs was a genius dictator who cared about design and user experience and forced the rest of the company to align against these values. He could do it by ranting at people and getting what he wanted because he had the power and track record.

     

    Now we get into the more democratic and politically charged approach where nobody has that unbridled power and genius and it will probably not be as wonderful as before albeit likely better than other choices. Nothing like compromise amongst average people to create average products.
    16 Jun 2012, 08:17 PM Reply Like
  • @Tomasview point- good points. Ive noticed no-one has mentioned Steve Wasniac. He actually invented the apple pc, not Jobs. I heard something that he might be in the background at Apple still working? I dont know, but he might be able to keep AAPL stock going up if he can continue to bring ideas in. The reason AAPL stock has been stellar, is because they have created whole new markets, then were the first and best in those markets. NOT because they have the best PC or Tablet. All the other companies can make the best and cheapest products, just look at HP...
    17 Jun 2012, 05:17 PM Reply Like
  • No, to my knowledge Woz is no longer involved; he has done a lot of things since leaving Apple, including hosting music concerts. I HIGHLY recommend his autobiography, iWoz, as a great story, from his work at HP (Steve Jobs had to talk him into leaving a job he really liked, working on cutting-edge, high-quality products [how the mighty have fallen!] to be an Apple partner [he was promised no business-management responsibilities]) to his post-Apple activities.
    17 Jun 2012, 07:37 PM Reply Like
  • Woz is a good guy and is a brilliant engineer but he is not doing much with Apple. He never ran it either so his impact is limited even if he did choose to engage.
    17 Jun 2012, 10:41 PM Reply Like
  • Agreed, he is supportive of the company but not involved daily. Check out his page http://www.woz.org if you are a fan (perhaps even if not). He liked SIri before Apple (thinks it will improve again, though, in time), is a philanthropist who gives money without strings, but says that giving time is more valuable, is still doing engineering for a new company (vision-io, or something to that effect; I would have to go back to check), and does not have broadband access at home (would have to subscribe to cable TV, which he does not). Certainly a unique individual.
    18 Jun 2012, 09:31 PM Reply Like
  • Woz is a classic Silicon Valley geek and a good guy!
    18 Jun 2012, 09:49 PM Reply Like
  • War of the Clones!
    16 Jun 2012, 08:27 PM Reply Like
  • If you like Apple products and have the financial means, then buy Apple. If you don't care about aesthetics, quality, and resale value then buy a generic.

     

    End of story, time to move on.
    16 Jun 2012, 08:40 PM Reply Like
  • Apple is the best company with the best products on earth, and the lowest priced stock in the SP 500 relative to earnings and value.

     

    All this nit-picking ignores these basic facts. Buying Apple around this price is free money for the next few years. Yes, it may bob up and down, but remember Google, Amazon and even Verizon are much lesser companies (though great ones) but have much greater PE's. Why would that be? Don't know,but it makes no sense. I could easily see Apple at over 1000 within 18 months. And don't worry about Samsung. They are the only real competitor left (no I dont count MSFT) and they can grab the low end sphere. Given a choice between a Samsung for $400 and an Apple for $500 most people will chose the Apple unless they are hard up for funds. And I have heard first hand that Apple is the ultimate status symbols for Chinese yuppies. Look out above. Greece and Spain be damned. They cannot even slow it down. Apple, best bargain in the entire stock market and ironically also the best known success story. Why? if Apple split to $57 a share would the mentality change? iPhone 5 alone should generate a half trillion dollars. Name any company anywhere that can come close to that.
    16 Jun 2012, 09:26 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting that none have commented on the poor use of the Airport Express as an example of poor engineering, " as is its decision to use a power adapter for its next-gen AirPort Express that's different from MacBook adapters."

     

    This is just wrong. First of all the "new" Airport Express is a considerable engineering change from the prior plug in an outlet model. Don't confuse the with extreme router. Allegedly the new Express is a mini Extreme! That's quite an update! Further, it has the same power cord as the Extreme, which has nothing to do and never has been similar to the adapter for the MBP!? Not to mention that the cited article does not allude to the AE as an example of a problem rather something from WWDS that was left out of the news.

     

    So I submit this as evidence that a few of the posters are totally correct it appears that authors are searching for any reason to find fault with Apple under Cook. It appears there is concerted effort to nail nails in the coffin of Apple post Jobs at any cost! Hmm?
    16 Jun 2012, 10:26 PM Reply Like
  • I sure hope the express is better than previous editions. Mine stopped working after a year and became e waste. I had to use it since the main airport wouldn't make a reliable connection to the living room even when mounted 5 feet up on the wall. It looked really cool though and the wall bracket was ingenious.
    I upgraded the next version and it was a little better but not great.
    Had to double sticky tape 8 feet up on the wall to get the living room (25 feet and 2 walls away).
    My Asus one goes to the kitchen and it is on my desk (Ahh, the EMF's).
    19 Jun 2012, 11:02 AM Reply Like
  • My prior Express is now at my parents’ house; it used to commute with me but my sister moved in temporarily and I left it permanently for her—now it would be rude to leave them without the wireless, hence the new purchase for myself—bonus being that I may be able to print wirelessly. (good karma?)
    19 Jun 2012, 04:20 PM Reply Like
  • @berylrb Great response!
    16 Jun 2012, 11:50 PM Reply Like
  • Galaxy iterations and Samsung make the iPhone look like an abacus.

     

    Its getting almost time to consider shorting.
    17 Jun 2012, 02:31 AM Reply Like
  • I have an example of a toy company. Let's call it a $40B in sales networking company HQ in San Jose, CA.

     

    Said toy company is migrating to said toy lap tops because it reduces IT cost 66% per toy.

     

    This helps out toy company to go out and buy new technology through M&A.

     

    Call em what you want. This toy company isn't the exception. Mac sales are outpacing PC sales in terms of growth. But they only serve our wants and not our needs (A+ in analytical skills)

     

    What is a toy?
    17 Jun 2012, 04:13 AM Reply Like
  • Yada, Yada, Yada.......
    17 Jun 2012, 10:39 AM Reply Like
  • If I have to buy new hardware and new software every 3 years because the new Apples are sealed and cannot be opened for upgrade or hard drive replacement, then my publisher (publically traded) will outsource my income/work to India. Why? Because I can no longer charge the rate I'm charging due to the extra costs of my Macs/software upgrades, and they're forced to cost cut every year to show the BOD 'their profits'.

     

    Now that Win 8 box and ACDSee Canvas 14 at $600. may be my only alternative. Or I head out to Goodwill and buy them out of G5 towers/22" monitors and keep going for the next decade.
    18 Jun 2012, 11:38 AM Reply Like
  • If you can do your work on a $600 system and spend less money per year because that system proves stable, reliable, and does not need to be upgraded, then you would be a fool not to do it. But the question remains whether you are trading one headache for another.

     

    I still use XP at work on the last computer I bought while XP was still an OEM option. I did not want to keep upgrading through Vista and Win 7. I feel your pain. But hardware and software makers don't let the idea that the old solution works just fine keep them from selling new solutions for more money. And eventually they stop supporting the old system. Support for XP is going away. When I finally have to retire this old box I will have to buy an Apple machine because I am done with Windows. The only thing worse than running on one company's hamster wheel is running on two of them!

     

    I have found that owning AAPL stock is a great way to take the sting out of the upgrade expenses :)
    18 Jun 2012, 05:32 PM Reply Like
  • I still use XP for work with Quickbooks. Works great for 2008!
    Would not use for daily surfing or here on alpha unless on a deserted island with no other options.
    I remember when the stock was $16! Can you imagine backing up the truck then?
    19 Jun 2012, 10:45 AM Reply Like
  • BML, is that G5 with the ADC display adaptor?
    I might have a 23" DVI up for grabs if I can figure out a way to use the TB LED 28" for more real estate. I kind of doubt it though...
    Got a nice Quadra 700 in the basement ;-).
    19 Jun 2012, 10:49 AM Reply Like
  • PS: Don't think Apple hasn't made bad missteps of logic before. Remember when they licensed their OS to those PowerPro box manufacturers. I bought a couple of those. I'm in publisher's science and educational graphics -- low price point on the pole. Operating costs have to be kept way down or my work is outsourced.

     

    Even so, I've bought maybe 100 Macs in the past 2 decades. But will I continue to do so? The stock is flying, but we'll see how they keep their customer base -- like me for instance.
    18 Jun 2012, 12:00 PM Reply Like
  • I remember my ill fated 5300 laptop. Got an even better Pismo as a result though. Got rid of my G5 cause it sounded like two 747's taking off simultaneously. Also, it was a pain to have to repair disc permissions frequently. My current Macpro is 3+ years old, silent, fast enough (might throw another SSD in there) and easy to upgrade. I'm hoping for another 3 years with 10.6 as my OS of choice.
    19 Jun 2012, 10:37 AM Reply Like
  • @Lockman. Yes, and I just bought a 256 megs nVIDIA graphics card, but now I need to buy the DVI to ADC the $99. adapter.

     

    Let me know if you want to sell the 22" DVI. It's the shipping and potential damage from it that's an issue

     

    The 747 sound is because it's having a hot flash. ;) Take off the metal door and keep the ambient temp normal like 78-80 degs max. with a fan in the room and it runs silent.
    19 Jun 2012, 01:11 PM Reply Like
  • A DIFFERENT power adapter?

     

    The Horrors!

     

    Short the stock! STAT!
    18 Jun 2012, 03:18 PM Reply Like
  • Hahaha, well when you had to shell out $79 (more in Canada when I bought mine) because you forgot it on a trip, it is nice to have an extra one. Now I leave one in my laptop case.
    19 Jun 2012, 10:28 AM Reply Like
  • Just noticed this:

     

    http://zd.net/LC0Jhm
    19 Jun 2012, 12:37 PM Reply Like
  • @lockman If you're an astrologer like Arch Crawford and a few other analysts and hedge fund mgrs., that announcement chart for the MS Surface is terrible. Don't know what all is wrong with it, but I'll wait until 2.0 if ever.
    20 Jun 2012, 10:27 AM Reply Like
  • Interesting MSFT have been working on this for three years. Basically they got to watch the success of the iPad launch, then decided to get into the game. I'm not so sure uptake on these would be that great, considering the limited sales outlets, and the need for people to see one in person to really get a feel for the build quality. Interestingly financial analysts who have not seen one in person are already claiming that the price, not yet disclosed, will be too high. I think the real reasoning behind this is to light a fire under the collective asses of the OEMs and get them to bring out well made devices. As I wrote in my Windows 8 article, bad or so-so hardware could kill the Windows 8 experience.
    21 Jun 2012, 02:22 PM Reply Like
  • Well I hope it is all it's supposed to be, but if not maybe it will light the fire you speak of so I can finally buy a tablet with Windows.
    21 Jun 2012, 02:31 PM Reply Like
  • My view is that tablets and mobile strategies are interwoven so if you don't have a good tablet strategy which is basically a mobile device then you are desktop only. Not in the game.
    22 Jun 2012, 09:31 AM Reply Like
  • I think I would find more concern in HD screen larger smartphones eroding the low end of the tablet market. However, it doesn't look good for Dell, HP, Lenovo, Acer or other laptop and desktop makers to try entering the tablet market. This is a low margin segment compared to many laptops.
    22 Jun 2012, 12:49 PM Reply Like
  • I agree with you Herr. Strictly from a consumer standpoint I hope this new tablet does everything it claims. I have been using Office since the 90's and honestly I'm too lazy to learn something completely new unless I have to. I also want to be able to run Etrade pro on it, which uses Java. As far as the display is concerned I care more about a larger size than HD or retina, my eyes aren't good enough to tell the difference.
    22 Jun 2012, 01:30 PM Reply Like
  • My view is that the tablet and mobile device will merge or at minimum be seamless in their interaction which is what Apple is doing with the cloud offering. People will dial from their tablet for phone calls and perhaps carry a phone. The size of the tablets will also vary to the point where we don't even know why we call on device a mobile phone and one a tablet.

     

    Apple is going to win big. MS needs to think hardware, software, mobile, cloud and seamless integration.
    22 Jun 2012, 04:48 PM Reply Like
  • I don't know if phones and tablets will become interchangeable, I personally wouldn't want an overly large phone or small tablet.
    22 Jun 2012, 05:02 PM Reply Like
  • You mean like the Samsung Galaxy Note?
    22 Jun 2012, 05:05 PM Reply Like
  • Exactly
    22 Jun 2012, 05:16 PM Reply Like
  • Well if you have to carry 2 devices why not just carry 1 that is a little bigger? I think the merger of these devices will be very interesting in that the market will segment into people who cannot afford 2 devices or don't need much functionality and people who can afford 2 devices and have reasons for and against carrying 1 or 2. This is the sign of a mature market when it splinters into all kinds of niches.
    22 Jun 2012, 06:12 PM Reply Like
  • It's probably a ways off, but it occurs to me if screens become cheap enough, they will be found everywhere and all individuals will need is the bit that sends the data that needs to be displayed. So I can use my tiny device in my car on the car display, in the doctor's office waiting room on the screens they have sitting there (like zombie tablets), at the kitchen design place where they will mock up my kitchen for me and send the data to my device so I can look at it on the screen in my den. Well, you get the idea. The device will converge because there will only be one device. It will be "you". It will be your library and your browser history and your social network and your medical history and you bank account and, well, your identity. And it will fit in a device the size of your watch and connect wirelessly at will with any system or display that you are near.

     

    I'm not saying this will be wonderful or horrible. I simply think it is the logical extension of mobile.
    23 Jun 2012, 02:52 AM Reply Like
  • It IS a logical extension, if security and privacy concerns can be met. Will be interesting to watch, and at the lightning speed of technology changes, us Baby Boomers will be around to observe a fair amount. Though by the time our grandkids retire, who knows what the world will be? if the human race can keep moving forward in some sense, and not nuke or pollute ourselves out of existence.
    23 Jun 2012, 02:54 PM Reply Like
  • I think the real question is not if the technology will advance, but how the human race will advance with it. If you look forward far enough "we" will undoubtedly have the technology to create a world where there is nothing lacking for anyone on the planet. The question in my mind is, will the above mentioned "we" include everyone or will it be the top one percent enslaving the rest of humanity. The gap between the middle and upper class is getting bigger every day.
    23 Jun 2012, 03:56 PM Reply Like
  • Well, do you mean that that it will change?
    Part of the enslavement is to have enough persons to "herd" into the believing they got the best deal going for one or more reasons and keep them ignorant of other reality's. It is already here.
    I don't think the 2% is very enthusiastic at the prospect of "sharing " their privileges with the 98% unless it is on their terms since they already run the world and have for sometime now.
    I think as technologies get even more advanced, they well have built in "parent safeguards" to try and prevent us from learning too much. They probably already do...
    However, if you met some of my neighbors, you might figure that without a system, they would ether be dead or stealing your food, water, possessions and pissing on your dead body.
    Nature and tech are day and night. No matter how far out technology gets, it will never hold a candle to the divine in its content.
    Sure keeps me occupied though... ;-)
    24 Jun 2012, 02:48 PM Reply Like
  • "Nature and tech are day and night."

     

    I am of the opinion that technology arose very naturally from natural conditions. What are we if not products of our surroundings? There is increasing evidence of other animals using primitive tools

     

    http://bit.ly/LKas6R

     

    And technology is simply the constant refinement of tools, made possible by the intellectual and cultural leverage the use of those tools affords us. Technology is perfectly natural. It can be as "divine" as anything else in nature.
    24 Jun 2012, 04:25 PM Reply Like
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