Space Ramblings

Following up on the MacStorm

With the incoming traffic flood from MacSurfer in response to my post on Apple’s surge being doomed in the long run, there have also been two comments to individually answers. The responses and counterarguments break down primarily into claims of how easy Macs are to use and how superior the OS is.

Again I would argue that this is something entirely subjective. I’ve used Macs and no I don’t find them easy. I find them frustrating and annoying. Too much is dumbed down and too much feels schoolmarmy as if designed for some not very bright children. I don’t like an operating system that feels both awkward and dumbed down. It’s not my flavor but that is a subjective view. I certainly don’t see anything there or in the iLife suite that’s worth all the noise over it. And if you want a free software suite so badly, there’s no shortage of great open source products for the PC. Especially OpenOffice. I use it and it works great.

But the supposed superiority of the Mac remains a sidenote. Apple’s name change is a sign of Steve Jobs trying to expand Apple as a consumer electronics company. And again I’ve noted that Apple has had one real success and that’s the iPod and technologically the iPod has a distinct sell by date because over the long run a standalone MP3 player makes no sense. Apple has taken a good crack at the cell phone market but has no real shot of dominating it the way it has the MP3 player market.

Once the iPod goes, iTunes becomes a loss leader with no real product. The iPhone isn’t enough and attempts at moving content beyond music and into movies and TV shows have been weak and Apple TV is certainly not going to be able to do for movies and TV shows what the iPod did for music.

In other words Apple is indeed doomed to be what it was all along, a purveyor of overrpriced computers to a small demographic of users.

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Comments
  • BobM August 15, 2007 at 9:19 pm

    Hello again from Mac land. I think you got so much reaction from the Mac fans (and for the record, I’m one as well) partly because you came across as insulting and condescending when you said, in effect, they were duped by Jobs’s Svengali-like spell, or by some mystical process known as “branding,” into thinking they enjoyed their computers and saw some value in them, when in fact they were buying “overpriced junk,” as you put it.

    This contradicts what most knowledgeable tech publications are now saying. If you read the broad tech press, most agree that Apple’s products, feature-for-feature, are competitively priced with the major Windows machines manufacturers. Granted, they don’t make cheap machines. They just don’t compete for the low end of the market.

    As I understand it, part of “branding” means that people are loyal to your product because they value the difference between your product and your competitors’. This perception can be objective, subjective or both, but if it lasts over a period of years, it’s more than just some marketing mumbo-jumbo. There has to be some substance to make it last. Whatever Jobs says, if users’ experiences don’t back it up, he’ll lose them. On the other hand, if customers think his products live up to the high bar his words have set, they’ll enthusiastically support him. Over the years, Macs have consistently outscored Windows machines in reliability, efficacy of tech support, and customer satisfaction surveys. Voila, Apple has a loyal fan base.

    Your perceived condescension (which Apple fans have listened to from a variety of sources for years) makes people eager to jump on what they see as factual errors or uninformed speculation. I won’t go into those issues because other have and no doubt will continue to discuss them.

    So if you feel like you’ve been blind-sided, take it as an opportunity to be a little more thoughtful about what you say. Try to imagine a contrary point of view, or at least realize that you may be putting out an unintended message. Of course, if you meant to be condescending, then don’t be surprised by whatever reaction you get.

  • BobM August 15, 2007 at 9:21 pm

    Hello again from Mac land. I think you got so much reaction from the Mac fans (and for the record, I’m one as well) partly because you came across as insulting and condescending when you said, in effect, they were duped by Jobs’s Svengali-like spell, or by some mystical process known as “branding,” into thinking they enjoyed their computers and saw some value in them, when in fact they were buying “overpriced junk,” as you put it.

    This contradicts what most knowledgeable tech publications are now saying. If you read the broad tech press, most agree that Apple’s products, feature-for-feature, are competitively priced with the major Windows machines manufacturers. Granted, they don’t make cheap machines. They just don’t compete for the low end of the market.

    As I understand it, part of “branding” means that people are loyal to your product because they value the difference between your product and your competitors’. This perception can be objective, subjective or both, but if it lasts over a period of years, it’s more than just some marketing mumbo-jumbo. There has to be some substance to make it last. Whatever Jobs says, if users’ experiences don’t back it up, he’ll lose them. On the other hand, if customers think his products live up to the high bar his words have set, they’ll enthusiastically support him. Over the years, Macs have consistently outscored Windows machines in reliability, efficacy of tech support, and customer satisfaction surveys. Voila, Apple has a loyal fan base.

    Your perceived condescension (which Apple fans have listened to from a variety of sources for years) makes people eager to jump on what they see as factual errors or uninformed speculation. I won’t go into those issues because other have and no doubt will continue to discuss them.

    So if you feel like you’ve been blind-sided, take it as an opportunity to be a little more thoughtful about what you say. Try to imagine a contrary point of view, or at least realize that you may be putting out an unintended message. Of course, if you meant to be condescending, then don’t be surprised by whatever reaction you get.

  • BobM August 16, 2007 at 3:08 pm

    Sorry for the double post. I’ll be damned if I know how that happened. Feel free to delete one of them. Oops, now I do (just clicked “say it.” I had a problem reading the code on your spam blocker and hit “refresh” or “back” or something.

  • JJ December 6, 2012 at 12:21 am

    hmmmmm… 5 years later, 2012… Apple is the world’s largest and most tech savvy company. Ooops typo, I meant the world’s largest company, and most respected tech company. Itunes grew by innovation into the largest online shopping site in history, and the App store , a sibling, sells more apps than all other sources combined…. the Apple TV spawned a paradigm shift in television product offerings and along with netflix, dooming forever the energy expended in the simple act of driving to rent movies on media. The iPad did more for the environment by almost single handedly reducing to a shadow of its former self the clear cut forestry industry, and more people purchase Macs than any other single computer brand, not to mention the iPhone, that expanded and innovated a mobile computing product that if just the copycat ‘also rans’ are counted outsells the blackberry multiples to one, let alone its own market that dominates all them again combined ….. and the author of this article, where is he now? probably predicting a shrinking Microsoft’s continued dominance of the ‘hard to use’ category led by the XBox … wait a minute, that would make him right on one thing at least! LOL

    • Space Ramblings December 11, 2012 at 4:27 am

      The snark would have been with you a year ago, before Apple began sinking down and going down the same road it did with Android as the new PC.

      Enjoy the memories while you have them.

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