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  • Why Apple Will Repeat History And Plunge Into The Abyss: Time To Call It Quits  [View article]
    iTunes in OSx on the Mac works differently and in my opinion more elegantly than the IOS music player on the iPad and iPhone. Forrestal
    was in charge of IOS at Apple until they fired him. I think for reasons we just discussed here.
    May 28, 2013. 07:12 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Apple Will Repeat History And Plunge Into The Abyss: Time To Call It Quits  [View article]
    You may be right though the history you illustrate is largely irrelevant. In the late 80s and early 90s the PC market was largely businesses and geeks. Ease of use was not terribly important configurability and ability to use commonly available software was. I know I was a business software developer during that time. PCs were decidedly difficult to use relative to the Mac but that fact was largely irrelevant. Most PC software was off the shelf or custom, I was on the custom side. The main point is the market then was not a consumer market.

    Today the exact opposite is true. Smart phone and tablets are decidedly consumer devices. Consumers want ease of use and will not write customized code of their own for their devices. They want a consistent reliable platform. They do not for the most part to spend an hour configuring their device to do what they want, no more so than they want to return to the early 60s color TVs that demanded significant effort to get the color right. Samsung throwing
    15 new "cool" features into a phone is not the same as people wanting to take the time how to figure out how to use them.

    Apple is not doomed to repeat history. Will they maintain 75% market share in the devices they made popular - of course not. Will they maintain a large niche of people willing to pay for elegant design and ease of use - yes, if they remain elegantly easy. They will, as they did with notebooks 4 years ago keep enough market share to be relevant and take the majority of the profits. My concern with Apple is not the next "WOW" product, it is creeping complexity in IOS.. Examples include the requirement you to leave the music player and go to the iTunes store to download already purchased music - why not allow access to purchased music in the player? In fact Apple has struggled with networking in general. I think that is why Forrestal was fired. The real key to Apple's future will be IOS 7. We should get our first hints at the WWDC coming in June. Pay attention to that as a tell for Apple's future.
    May 28, 2013. 05:08 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Microsoft: More Evidence That Windows Phone 8 Is A Great Success  [View article]
    The fact that PC Mag users and therefore respondents to the survey are more tech savvy is an argument against said survey. Smart phones and tablets are consumer devices. Most Consumers are not very tech savvy which argues against the survey's results usefullness. Windows 8 may well be a fine OS but using survey results biased toward tech savvy users is not the most valid argument that it is a "Great Success".
    Mar 18, 2013. 01:58 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Too Cheap To Ignore?  [View article]
    Apple is ridiculously cheap only if the future resembles the past. Until Apple unveils a new wow product the future looks iffy. Their flagship product, the iPhone, has been copied to the point it is now basically a commodity. The iPad will soon be in the same place. Apple is now a spec. The bet is now Apple will indeed come out with that wow product. It is due. It was five years from the iPod and iTunes for Windows and the iPhone. It was three years from the IPhone and the iPad. This year will be three years from the iPad's introduction. If Steve Jobs was still alive they may have received the benefit of the doubt. He is not and the world is waiting.
    Mar 7, 2013. 08:51 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Secret Weapon Will Yield All-Time Highs  [View article]
    Unfortunately the iWatch, if it indeed is released and is extremely well designed and is another must have revelation to world, will create a short term earnings bump. Within a year Samsung will copy it and that will be that. The 79 patents do not mean a thing. The iPhone was supposedly patented every which way from Sunday and Samsung worked around them or ignored them knowing patents are virtually unenforceable. Design means little in the long run because design cannot be effectively protected.
    Mar 6, 2013. 03:24 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Apple Almost Pulled It Off  [View article]
    My point exactly - they are not that bad and in fact good enough. The problem I have with consumer devices needing configuration is they are not usable out of the box. A friend received the newest Samsung tablet for Chistmas. The touch screen was barely usable - it was way too sensitive. Now that was configurable with great difficulty using an overly sensitive screen but it was eventually usable. The point is that should not be an issue. We bought a gen 1 iPad nearly 3 years ago and it worked perfectly out of the box.

    The other issue with Android devices is while nicely usable now, the operating system you get is the OS you are stuck with unless you get a new device. The Android device makers rely on the carriers to send OS updates which of course they never provide. They will let you get new device and extend your contract. Now that Samsung is getting some marketplace clout perhaps they will take control of OS upgrade from the carriers.
    Mar 4, 2013. 05:06 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Apple Almost Pulled It Off  [View article]
    I have been to a store recently and tried a new Samsung phone. They are a definite improvement over older generation Android phones. I did not think they were as elegantly easy to use as an iPhone but probably good enough. They were still a bit busy in my opinion. Though I was a developer on mainframes and Windows I try to look at systems as if they were used by a complete novice. They are after all supposed to be consumer devices. The Android phones still have a bit much configuration needed - great for a geek but not so good for computer illiterate novice. This is not to say Apple is perfect in that arena, they are having trouble keeping their network (iCloud) novice usable.
    Mar 4, 2013. 03:19 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Apple Almost Pulled It Off  [View article]
    This article nails it in my opinion. I have commented to other articles that innovating is largely a fools errand. Unless you have rock solid patent protection such as the pharmacy industry you are wasting resources innovating.

    Apple did a great job innovating and for a few years had a great run but in the end patent protection for design was virtually non-existent and everything they did was copied. Apple had a run of innovation that may be unique in history and even with that they are beginning a quick trip to irrelevance and a return to the 1990s and probable death.

    Whether this begs a question for improved patent protection is another discussion but in the world as it exists today innovating outside the box is good only for a short term gain and probably not worth the effort. My regret is when Apple is gone we probably begin another dark age of design akin to the computer market in the 1990s and early 2000s with no new innovation and successively unusable and difficult to use devices. There will be no one left with design and elegance as a priority.
    Mar 4, 2013. 01:51 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Apple Is Still A Buy Even Though Amazon And Google Have Better Products  [View article]
    I have found the same thing with Google search. I too tried Bing but it is little better. I did find a way to improve Google results. I search for DuckDuckGo on Google. DuckDuckGo is a search engine that does not track you. Google saw I had searched for DDG and low and behold it was now filter bubbling my requested search results ahead of most of the pay for search placement advertisers.

    By the way I use DDG for search also. Sometimes it is the only search engine that will give a result since the others search engines totally lose the result in ratings and opinion sites.
    Jan 27, 2013. 02:23 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Apple Is Still A Buy Even Though Amazon And Google Have Better Products  [View article]
    Android and Kindle being better is definitional. Having the same or even additional features is nice. There is on area they do not excel - usability. A good friend received a Samsung tablet for Christmas and hated it. Why - because the touch screen was so sensitive to be virtually unusable. There was a setting to help with that and I helped her with the adjustment. The question is why sell a device with an unusable setting to begin with? I have an iPad and it worked perfectly right out of the box. The person with the Samsung is reasonably happy now with tablet but why put someone through that grief. It is nice that Android devices are so configurable - so were color TVs in the sixties. Most people don't want to buy a consumer device and spend 45 minutes getting it to work the way they want - they just want it to work.

    That is why to the author's point Apple is not yet dead. The core group that buy their products just want things to work. I was an IT guy and Microsoft developer for years. My wife was fed-up with Windows and we bought a Mac. It was a revelation. I am now one of those "I'll never go back" stories. Apple stock is now priced that there will be no more growth and there will never be another thing innovated at Apple. That all died with Jobs. It might be true but at $400 a share I'll take a flier on the opposite bet.
    Jan 27, 2013. 10:31 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Cheaper Phone Means Cheaper Stock?  [View article]
    I am truly amazed with what some people declare as advanced technology that everyone needs to "catch-up to". Your earth shattering freehand notes ability was available in the original Palm Pilots from the late nineties. How exactly is that Samsung earth shattering tech?
    Jan 18, 2013. 01:42 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Android Is Dead - Part 6: Nokia Triumphs  [View article]
    Samsung is Google's problem not its salvation. I do not think Google expected Samsung to take over Android device market share. The point of the open platform was to have a number of vendors creating different devices with the one commonality that Google could control the data and hence the possible advertising profits. Samsung becoming the only viable Android platform threatens Google. Suddenly Samsung could fork Android to their own use and profitability. This is why Google is now using Motorola to create a high end Adroid phone to compete directly with other Android vendors - meaning Samsung. I'll guarantee the new Google phone will use non-open aspects of Googles own unique fork of Android to compete with Samsung.
    Jan 11, 2013. 11:45 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Mobile Manufacturers Part III: Apple Makes More Money  [View article]
    Always enjoy your opinions.

    Your point about Apple not trying to interrupt Microsoft's other cash flows is excellent. I think there are tentative steps in that direction with the iWork suit.

    The competitor they should be trying to disconnect from their revenue stream is Google. I believe Google is at more risk than Microsoft to this strategy. Search engines are relatively easy. Apple should develop/buy a good search engine and eliminate bribery for placement in search results. Immediately it is a better search than Google and hits Google where they dare not compete. Siri is a step in that direction also. Where they really could hurt Google is advertising Safari and Apple maps will not sell your tracking information to outside parties (advertisers). They should push Safari and Apple maps hard into the marketplace with this promise. Then the coup de grace is allow people to opt into tracking. If you opt in Apple will sell the tracking data to advertisers but return 80% of that revenue to the users that opted in with credits to the Apple store. There are enough horror stories already about tracking and if you don't care about that at least you get paid for your information being sold to advertisers. Apple makes money money on user experience, design and economies of scale. Google is an advertising company.
    Jan 10, 2013. 03:19 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Slow And Steady Search Attack  [View article]
    You make a good point. I think Google search has improved recently. Partly I think because of the Microsoft Bing "Don't get Scroogled" campaign and partly because of a discovery we made. My search results were as I said in my earlier post until recently. My wife did a search for DuckDuckGo in Google search when we were looking for a small university in California and could find nothing but school ratings sites on both Google and Bing. I found it immediately using DuckDuckGo. Ironically, after my wife's search for DuckDuckGo her search results improved dramatically with the site we were searching being first most of the time. Google had filter bubbled us to better results based on our search of DuckDuckGo - frankly a little unnerving.
    Dec 29, 2012. 11:15 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Slow And Steady Search Attack  [View article]
    Enjoyed the article. I have been stating recently that Apple developing maps was step one in its war with Google. Step two will be search, and not just Siri. Google search is bordering on useless with its paid search result priorities. I use DuckDuckGo to get useable search results. We search for a restaurant website on Google and eventually find it on page 4 of the results after all the ratings and Yelp sites that pay for their place.

    Here is my one issue with your article. You are looking for Apple to monetize search. They don't need to monetize search they sell hardware and user experience. Apple needs to provide search without paid results and no tracking. Google makes its money selling information to advertisers. Apple should make a big deal about you not being tracked and having useable search again with Apple devices. The real nuclear option would be to allow owners of Apple devices to opt-in to tracking. Apple would monetize the tracking by selling the information to advertisers but instead of booking the profits would return 80% of the cash flow to the people that opted for tracking. Pay the person that opted into tracking the money made by their information. Buy an Apple device and get a credit every quarter on Apple products. Google would have to compete on design not giving away an operating system to sell information to advertisers.

    Dec 28, 2012. 11:05 AM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment