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Thread: Who should Apple acquire?

  1. #21
    root Array Harold Mansfield's Avatar
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    True, Apple people are going to buy Apple stuff because they like the brand and it's products. It's just it always feels like Apple is only talking to people who already have their stuff.

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    I suspect it's more that it doesn't appeal to you personally. I don't think it's that they only talk to people who already own Apple stuff. I'm pretty sure they want as many people as possible to buy their products and services. Naturally they'll appeal more to people who already own their stuff because those people have preferences that favor the way Apple does things. There are absolutely people who just buy Apple because Apple, but that's not everyone who buys Apple products.

    I'll use myself as an example. Granted I'm one person and I don't represent how all Apple customers feel. I think the devices from most companies and the operating systems that run on them are all really good. Obviously some cost more to make and those devices are generally better in specs and materials, etc. When comparing devices in similar parts of the market they all do the basic things we want them to do and regardless of device we can usually figure out how to add the things we need and want from games to tools we use for doing paid work.

    The different hardware and software companies make different design decisions, which lead to different devices and operating systems. Most of the time the different decisions aren't better or worse than each other. They're just different and appeal to different people. For example Apple often brings a new technology to the iPhone after the technology has been introduced on Android phones. It's different priorities. Usually the first iteration or two of everything isn't great. Not necessarily bad, but not great. It takes a little time to get to great. You put things out early to get feedback that helps you improve the product and continue to improve based on feedback. Some people really enjoy having the new technology even if it isn't yet great. They don't mind finding workarounds to some things. They probably like being part of the feedback loop and helping shape future development. Other people do mind the workarounds and aren't interested in being part of the early feedback loop. Two different directions for companies to go and two different sets of people they'll appeal to. Neither is better or worse than the other.

    You like new technology. I think that's safe to say. It makes sense you would prefer a device and OS from a company that releases things sooner. You like the pros and don't mind the cons. I used to feel the same way. I enjoyed technology for technology's sake. I still do, but not in the same way. Now I'm more into technology for what it enables me to do than the tech itself. I actually want the technology to stay out of the way. When I switched from a Windows machine to a Mac it was in large part because I'd grown tired of managing Windows, which I did enjoy for a time. I understood switching to a Mac meant I was going to give up a little control and have to do some things the way Apple decided I was going to do them. To me the trade off was fine at that time. It wouldn't always have been, but at a certain point that became my preference.

    That said I don't plan on getting a new iPhone. I wasn't that impressed watching the keynote. I reserve the right to change my mind, but I didn't see a compelling reason to get a new one and there was one compelling reason not to get one.
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  3. #23
    root Array Harold Mansfield's Avatar
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    The reason I say that is because every time they do a keynote or product launch it's only view-able on the recent version of Safari, which isn't available for Windows, or via iOS devices like Apple TV. If that's not speaking ONLY to people who already have Apple products, what is?

    I have other reasons for saying that too.

    You can't publish a book to iTunes unless you have a Mac. Or else you have to pay a 3rd party upwards of $300.
    You can't develop or publish an iOS app unless you have a Mac. It's not enough to own an iPhone you have to also buy a computer.
    You can't post a podcast to iTunes without a Mac or a 3rd party.

    As opposed to Android, Windows and pretty much every other development platform which makes those things accessible to everyone and all developers.

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    I think @turboguy is right about Tesla...:P

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    Post Impressionist Array vangogh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold Mansfield
    The reason I say that is because every time they do a keynote or product launch it's only view-able on the recent version of Safari, which isn't available for Windows, or via iOS devices like Apple TV.
    I don't know how they set things up for the live stream, but I just tested the complete video of the keynote in both Firefox and Chrome and it plays fine. I am looking on a Mac. I also had a friend check in Chrome on Windows and it plays there too. You don't need Safari to watch. Here's the link to the keynote.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold Mansfield
    You can't publish a book to iTunes unless you have a Mac. Or else you have to pay a 3rd party upwards of $300.
    You can't develop or publish an iOS app unless you have a Mac. It's not enough to own an iPhone you have to also buy a computer.
    You can't post a podcast to iTunes without a Mac or a 3rd party.
    None of these have anything to do with the keynote. I agree that Apple should make it easier to do these things, however what you've said isn't exactly true about all three items. You do need a Mac to publish a book to iTunes, but you don't have to pay a 3rd party $300. Apple provides a list of 3rd parties and with a few clicks I found a service for $150. Seems like a reasonable business expense to me.

    It is true you need a Mac to publish an iOS app. It's because they publish through Xcode, which is currently only available on a Mac. I think it's coming to iOS, but it's not there at the moment. I doubt it's coming to the phone, but it will probably come to one of the iPad pro models. I think a few years ago this wasn't an issue, because it was unlikely iOS developers didn't also own a Mac, but now there are people who will work exclusively on iOS and I think Apple should definitely let them submit apps without the need for a Mac.

    You can publish a podcast to iTunes without a Mac. You can use iTunes or you can submit it through the web.

    I'm not trying to suggest Apple is perfect or better or anything like that. I just don't get why people get angry at technology companies. Why is it that when someone buys a product from company X, it has to mean that company Y and company Z must now be evil companies with stupid customers? I think too many people decide they either like or dislike a company and then spend a lot of time rationalizing why every decision the companies make is right or wrong. I see lots of comments criticizing Apple, Google, Microsoft, whoever based on incorrect "facts" about the companies. Let me emphasize this happens with "fans" of every company. I'm just as tired of Apple "fans" who make misleading claims about Android or Windows as I am the reverse.

    I think all these companies have done good things that contribute to some great technology that improves all our lives. I think all these companies have made bad decisions that weren't in the best interest of their customers. I also think whatever product you buy or service you join, good for you. If you like it, keep using it. If you don't, buy something else next time.

    I realize some of this is just human nature. We rationalize our purchases. We become tribal. It's who we are. It seems to me it's more frequent where technology is concerned than it is with other types of products, though. I have a can of Campbell's soup in my cabinet, but I don't think that makes Progresso an evil company. I have a can of their soup in my cabinet too.
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    root Array Harold Mansfield's Avatar
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    I'm not by any means angry. I like Apple. They just don't make it easy to do business with them or use their services. I wasn't able to see the keynote directly, I watched it on TWIT.

    Your example of $150 to publish a book if you don't have a Mac..sure, not a completely terrible "business" expense, but compared to free on every other digital content seller like Amazon and Google Books (which is currently down) it makes Apple seem a little tone deaf.

    Microsoft used to be the same way. However, I think the device wars are over and most companies have realized that most people aren't going to choose based on proprietary services because not many services are the only game in town anymore and pretty much all are cross compatible.

    So it seems a little weird to have this major company still keep things like Apple Music and iTunes limited. Had there been an iTunes app for Android I'd still be using it. I'd used it for years and used to spend $100's a year on music there. Probably would have even tried Apple Music. But other services just become a lot more convent for me to use everywhere, across all of my devices, regardless of what OS they were on.

    Yes, there is an Apple Music App for Android now, but unfortunately they had already lost me from iTunes. And why is it still so cumbersome to import my music? When I installed Google Music, it immediately grabbed my iTunes music. I didn't have to jump through hoops, install another program, or drag and drop anything. It just worked.

    Kind of like when you walk into a restaurant. They could have the best food in town, but if your first impression is dirty tables and slow service, now you look at everything else with extra scrutiny.

    They had the entire music market.Seems like they play hard ball. I mean iTunes was good, but it wasn't great. It was just first and I was used to it. Everybody who has been purchasing digital music for at least the last 7 years at one point was an iTunes user. It's where it all began. So why did they lose them? Why were competitors so attractive to others? What made people leave?

    Apple didn't market iTunes as an Apple only exclusive. They marketed as a music solution for everyone. I think they should have actually made it that.

    I'm just questioning why they seem to telegraph that unless you're all in on everything that they don't want to make it easy for you to use anything. As a consumer, that's how it feels. I guess I just question how long that exclusivity to non proprietary products only working on Apple devices will last.

    We discuss business issues like this here all of the time at the small business level..making it easy for people to do business with you, so I think it's a valid point. I'm not Apple bashing just because they are Apple. Android isn't perfect. MS pisses me off sometimes too. And I hate music streaming services just on GP. Just contemplating some of their decisions to stay closed off.

  7. #27
    Post Impressionist Array vangogh's Avatar
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    I didn't mean to imply you were angry. Sorry if I did. It was more of a general comment than one directed specifically at you.

    I don't think Apple's goal is to keep things limited. Their view is that if they control the entire stack, hardware and software, they can make better products and they believe if they make better products they'll sell more of them. Given how much money they make, it's hard to argue they've made the wrong business choices. I'll also say as someone who owns multiple apple products, they do generally play nice together.

    You mentioned iTunes. Apple didn't immediately launch iTunes on Windows when they launched it. It was a couple of years before iTunes originally came to Windows. Then Apple needed to do that. Today it doesn't. That's the big difference.

    Sire, we talk about making it easier for people to do business with you, but it's a completely different context. We talk about it for a small business looking to grow and not one of the largest companies on earth. I wouldn't expect Apple to follow the advice we give a startup anymore than I would expect a startup to think they could copy how Apple does things. Different business, different strategies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold Mansfield
    I guess I just question how long that exclusivity to non proprietary products only working on Apple devices will last.
    The answer is as long as people keep buying Apple products and services. They don't need to make their stuff work everywhere. Again, they believe that their proprietary way makes for better products and services. We can disagree with them, but the proof is on their side at the moment. If people stop buying their stuff, they'll have to change and one of those changes will likely be opening up more. Right now they don't have to. What they're doing is clearly working.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold Mansfield
    most people aren't going to choose based on proprietary services because not many services are the only game in town anymore and pretty much all are cross compatible.
    Most people are never going to even consider whether something is proprietary or not. I can guarantee the word proprietary has never entered into the thought process when my family has been making decisions about what phone or computer to buy. Those of us who are more tech savvy and follow tech sites read about this stuff and talk about it all the time. It's easy for us to forget that most people don't care. Some do, but the vast majority don't.

    Take the whole thing about Apple removing the headphone jack. If you read tech sites you'd think the world was going to come to an end. I'd be willing to bet that very few people will actually care in practice. Most will just plug the headphones that come with the phone into the lightning connector. Those who have specific headphones they like will use the included lightning to to audio jack converter. And then there will be some people who complain for the next 10 years about it because Apple.
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  8. #28
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    Ha!. I'm going to resist the removal of the headphone jack about as long as I resisted going from CD's to digital downloads, but I'll get over it.

    Apple actually wasn't the first. The Motorola Moto Z doesn't have a jack, and you're right..not as much (if any) backlash about it, and then Apple did it and it's been news for weeks. As my Mom says, "It costs to be the boss". Apple has made a persona for themselves as the innovation company, so naturally people are going to pick apart anything they do that's new. Which I'm sure they actually want.

    Kind of unfortunate that he called removing the headphone jack "brave", but it made for some good joke memes.

    I was listening to a tech pundit yesterday talk about how big the module is for the headphone jack and that's what prevents phones from becoming any thinner, adding image stabilizers on the cameras, having larger batteries and so many other things that device makers would like to ad, but are limited on space. It could makes sense, but I've opened a tablet up for repair ( I know it's a larger device) and there is a lot of room in there. The weight of the thing is mostly the glass and the battery. Not the other components.

    If removing it gets us close to those thin, transparent, hologram phones like you see in sci fi movies I'm all for it.

    And you're definitely right about one thing, hard to question anyone's business decisions when they're still making gobs and gobs of money.

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    The word was actually "courage" and it wasn't said well. It was referring back to something Steve Jobs said at a conference a few years back. He used the word courage, but there was a broader context around it. I forget what Jobs was specifically talking about so I'll use the headphone jack as an example. The basic idea being that the future is wireless and not the headphone jack. At some point it's going to be removed. Apple doesn't mind taking the heat for removing it (or the floppy drive or optical media). Jobs' line was something about having the courage to make decisions you know will be unpopular because you believe it's the right decision. Phil Schiller didn't do as good a job explaining it.

    I haven't plugged anything into the headphone jack of an iPhone since maybe 2010. The very first iPhone I owned developed a problem with the external speaker a couple months before I was going to get a new one. It's the only time I used the headphone jack. I've been using wireless headphones for years. When I first heard they were removing the jack I thought something along the lines of it's about time. Then I noticed lots of people getting upset.

    If you use the jack, you might as well hang on to it for as long as you need it, though it's probably time to look for other options.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold Mansfield
    If removing it gets us close to those thin, transparent, hologram phones like you see in sci fi movies I'm all for it.
    Me too. There was one I see in a presentation from Microsoft a few years ago. It was a 5-10 minute video of what they predicted about the future. The phone looked like a piece of plexiglass about the size of a phone. One of these companies will have to figure out how to build the chips directly into a piece of glass or plastic, but I can't wait.
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    I read the other day Apple is getting into making their own movies and tv shows. Which, if I were at their helm, we would have begun doing back in 2010/2011 when we acquired Sony.
    I hope they are successful with their attempt.

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