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Author Topic: Why do we always wait for apple's stuff before making a i[blank]-killer??  (Read 10817 times)
superboyac
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« on: June 05, 2010, 10:18:33 PM »

Why do companies always wait for Apple to come out with a very popular product before finally competing in that market?  Why did all the mp3 player companies wait until Apple invented the ipod before they started seriously thinking about better products?  I'm talking about companies like Sony.  They had almost a decade head start in the portable music department.  They had discmans, walkmans, they had the minidisc...they had it all in place, and did nothing about it.  Then Apple came out with the ipod way later, and finally did other companies start coming up with better products.

Now everyone is asking about what will be the ipad-killer.  Why did they wait so long?  Tablets have been the talk of the town for 8 years or more, from what I remember.  But now, everyone is trying to compete with ipad.  I just wonder why the non apple companies wait until they are kicked in the ass by apple before attempting legitimate contenders.

Same with the iphone.  What took so long there?

I don't get it.  Apple's ideas and inventions are implemented magnificently, but in no way are they even close to being creative to the point where i would think "Why didn't I think of that??"  To me, it would seem like the other companies don't care to push the envelope until they are forced to.  If the discman is bringing in enough dollars, why bother changing it?  Are they not able to predict somewhat what is over the horizon?  Are they really that poor of businessmen?
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rgdot
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« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2010, 10:28:27 PM »

I think those products existed and in many ways were just as good, I am not implying any body is dumb or everybody just forgot about the other, older, products but I believe Apple manages to redefine the perception of mp3 players, tablets, etc.
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JavaJones
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« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2010, 11:04:45 PM »

To me, it would seem like the other companies don't care to push the envelope until they are forced to.  If the discman is bringing in enough dollars, why bother changing it?

Looks like you have a pretty good answer for your own question...

- Oshyan
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Paul Keith
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« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2010, 11:22:31 PM »

Sometimes that's the case but sometimes it's the opposite.

I could recall reading a Lenovo article where Apple beat them to the Mac Air.

I also wouldn't call it pushing the envelope. More of making an interface for the casual user to drool upon.

Eventually the interface wears off and these companies jump at the chance to "improve" the product with features rather than interfaces. Sometimes they add features but they make it buggy. Other times it's a mere case of cynical marketing.

With regards to the Apple I-Pad in particular. I think after that Techcrunch project fell into pieces, companies realized that unless they had Apple's marketing, no one was going to touch that kind of gadget pre-Apple. If they pre-release it, Apple marketing would just override their first entry and at the same time, if they wait for Apple, they can better test the consumers' reaction to the product.

It's really a case of marketing and acceptance IMO. Many companies don't create cultures, they create common products. Then there's the fact that many companies don't attempt to create user interfaces beyond functional (and often times not so functional). Even for freeware developers, many of them are very wary of adding rounded corners or large buttons and if they have a mac look, they copy the brushed look rather than invent any new skin that combines functionality, simplicity and aesthetic.

In the end it's like asking why citizen journalism don't push the envelope to beat out Fox/CNN/MSNBC/etc. Some of it is cost but sometimes it's the simple issue of how you tell your culture what twitter news entry you got and making it more appeal-able to watch. It's a double edged gambit though.

Eventually people will move on to something other than Windows OS or be satisfied with the current Windows version. Eventually people will get sick of all the white. Eventually someone will come and make a better but cheaper alternative to fill the niche. Eventually the Apple culture will die out and prompting a new culture who will swoon over someone other than Steve Jobs.
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« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2010, 11:39:47 PM »

one possibility is that Apple *creates* the market for their products in ways that other companies simply cannot do -- for various reasons including financial resources, brand loyalty and reputation, free publicity, chutzpah.

what apple does better than anyone else is SELL their products as being life changing -- even when they are selling something that already exists in another form.  i've made this point before but when you watch a standard pc ad, you see them advertising the specs of the pc.  when you see an apple ad, you see them selling the amazing mind blowing life changing things you can do with your apple computer, like listen to amazing music, burn amazing cds, etc.

tablets have existed for a long time.  it seems to me apple did 2 main things -- first, they put the effort into the software user interface that few other companies are willing to do.  second, they marketed the hell out of it as a life changing device, and the media decided to join them in the effort.  apple deserves all the credit for having the guts and brains to make it work.. and they benefit from some incredible advantages in terms of marketing, that very few companies if any share.
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« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2010, 12:13:23 AM »

e.g. Apple can polish a turd and their drove of fawning accolades will flock in mass (like lemming) to buy the silly POS. While the rest of the industry is stuck doing things the old fashioned way - Trying to come up with a useful product that people actually need.
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Paul Keith
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« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2010, 12:51:20 AM »

I'm starting to lean less towards the hyperbole nowadays.

To me, lately, Apple products have been less like turds and it's the other companies who make turds but can't polish them.

I-Pad for example was a huge gamble. Even the Iphone was. Only the Ipod was the safe entry and even there it can be said at that point few had foreseen the power of music collection prior to that.

Iphone though was particularly gutsy since Nokia was a major player on par with Microsoft and the Palm was planning it's last hurrah at the market.

Still... a phone is a phone.

But I-Pad... no one really gave it a chance until Apple stuck to it's stubborness. I'm not saying it was pure genius or it doesn't have lots of flaws but let's refer to Google for another reference:

http://www.donationcoder....m/index.php?topic=22968.0

Quote
Bookmarks are managed in a humane and sane way now with a simple file manager/folder view.

Single sentence but for a brief moment this sentence made me search for the new version of Chrome without realizing I already had the latest version of Chrome.

Why?

Cause the bookmark manager didn't really feel like a humane and sane way of organizing bookmarks compared to what Opera offered and to some extent, people who are used to IE may also prefer Firefox's right click context menu bookmark options.

Yet Chrome even if it's software rather than hardware has the same criticism prior to it's entry and can we say the major players weren't trying to make a useful product?

They were but Chrome caused the major players to shift to their uglier minimal interface. In the same way, the Ipod, the Iphone, the I-pad succeeded so far because they always brought something "shiny" like scroll wheel, touch screen/power, screen size/touch screen when the pragmatic view of useful at the time didn't respect these features enough.

If these were turds, then every other offer at the time would be smellier turds from a consumer perspective.


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Renegade
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« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2010, 03:01:35 AM »

I think that there is a fundamental difference between companies like Apple and Sony.

Sony is a consumer electronics company.

Apple is a religion cult.

Seriously.

Apple is very far from being the innovator that the fanboys tout it to be. Apple is good at 1 thing, and 1 thing only. It takes good ideas that failed, repackages them in a super-sexy outfit, then pimps them out to its followers.

The tablet isn't new. The iPad is just a tablet with better marketing to the Cult of Apple followers, and those that are wannabe cult members.

The iPod was very far from revolutionary. Apple merely packaged a half-assed piece of hardware (the iPod cannot even play WAV files properly without crashing -- I have test files THAT WERE PRODUCED ON A MAC if anyone wants to try...) with a sexy interface, hooked it up to a store that rapes its customers with some of the most obscene EULA terms in the industry, breaks all those sales with crippling DRM, and touts is all as something God would be proud of. The same obscene EULA terms have been around for a long time in spyware, adware, and other unseemly products. The store itself is one of the worst implementations of an ecommerce system that I've ever seen. The single click purchasing has been around for a long time. The poor format support has been seen in other players. Rich format support like you get in COWON players will never be seen in the iPod, because COWON is all about providing a superior product to consumers, while Apple is about seeing just how much money they can squeeze from their customers.

The big consumer electronics companies are too conservative to try major marketing offensives that could alter their brand image. They have reputations that they need to consider. Apple doesn't have that worry because their design skills are simply outstanding and their fanboys take up the slack in evangelizing how Apple can do no wrong.

Microsoft is unlikely to ever pull off anything remotely like Apple because they are a platform company. They are not a religion/cult.

Apple's modus operandi is to find an existing market that is highly profitable and create 1 product with 3 configurations that is simply a stunning piece of work to look at, and then market the hell out of it as the cure for cancer, or in Apple-speak, "revolutionary".

OS X is nothing more than a BSD with some sexy tweaks that fails to bring the user-friendliness of Windows to the UNIX world. It is not "revolutionary". It is easy to do SIMPLE things on, but that's it. If you're not capable of doing anything beyond surfing the net and emailing, then OS X is a great choice. If you want to do much more, then you need to learn UNIX. How is that "revolutionary"?

BACK TO THE OP:

Other companies are always in the market before Apple. Apple doesn't lead in any market. None. Not a single one.

COWON had MP3 players/PMPs that far outdo the iPod in every way long before the iPod came out.

The iTouch is far below the iPaq. No comparison. The iTouch is way outclassed in every way.

The iPhone has no advantage over any high-end smartphone. It has only disadvantages compared to Android phones.

The iPhone display technology is far from new. Microsoft has had better technology for years.

The iPad is an oversized mobile phone without the phone. For feature sets or possibilities, it is really very far behind other tablets. It's just "sexy" because that is what Apple does -- the make things sexy.

*IF* (and that is a BIG IF) Apple is innovating something truly new or pioneering a new market, it is in aesthetics, and not in functionality or feature-sets.

Sony can't pull off what Apple does because it's not a technology issue. It's a brand issue. Apple has the cult following for its brand that no other consumer electronics company has. It's unique. The closest thing to it is Google and how Google gets people oogling over it. No other company that I can think of has anything like that kind of loyalty. I suppose there are "Coke" and "Pepsi" loyalists (and the like), but to me that seems a bit different.

Sigh... I simply cannot resist ranting about Apple... Sad Stop tempting me~! tongue smiley

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superboyac
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« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2010, 03:33:51 AM »

Nice, Renegade.  I have to agree with probably everything you say.

The only thing I will add and question is, if sexy sells and is so successful, why won't the other companies give that strategy a shot?  is it because they don't have the cult following and they know without it they can't succeed?  That's one answer.  But I don't even see them trying until after Apple sucks in the market.

I mean, for example, take the ipod.  Fine, the ipod came in a and surprised everyone.  But then you'd think companies would catch on:  "Oh, we have a great technology here.  Why don't we concentrate on a nice, sexy, simple user interface."  I remember for years hearing about people complain about how the early mp3 players were somewhat klunky to use.  Then apple showed up with the wheel.  people complained for years about all sorts of things about minidisc players...bigger screen, more info, why is it so difficult to use?  Sony never seriously addressed those issues.

And with tablets, I heard the same thing.  People didn't want to use it because it was klunky.  And if you ask me, the designers were lazy.  All they really did was package a laptop running regular Windows into a touchscreen monitor.  To me it seems like they didn't think about how the experience of regular windows might be different on a touchscreen.  but whatever...it was touch screen, it ran windows...what more could you possibly want?  And for years, nothing happened, until the ipad.  Now, a bunch of companies are planning on releasing comparable tablets and I'm sure we'll find one that is much better than the ipad and runs windows or linux, and we powerusers can configure just the way we want.  but why wait until now?  They could have done this easily in 2005.
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« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2010, 04:04:48 AM »

why don't other companies innovate? why waste time and money when you can let Apple create the market for you. if the Appleheads aren't going to buy that piece of techno-junk then who else is? better to see what the fanboys (and girls) will lap up and then let the media trickle it out to the rest of the population in easy to understand sound bites. after that, the market is now ready for every other company to come and play.

Apple is a cult. not to everyone, of course. but to the people that have influence. the media loves Apple; makes a great news story - which equates to fantastic advertising for Apple. if other companies could get that kind of unjustified attention then i'm sure they'd be a bit more daring in releasing new "revolutionary" gadgets - but they'd still need their disciples to prop up the risk involved. after all, the product may genuinely be not what the public wants.

p.s. i hate Apple. so much.

p.p.s. sorry, didn't add anything to what Renegade said. i guess i just wanted to say, "i hate Apple".


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Paul Keith
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« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2010, 04:44:18 AM »

They do but they have a different image from Apple and often times it involves understanding the culture as much as making it sexy.

I think Renegade's post shows exactly why the Chrome analogy is fitting. Was Chrome fitting? Was Chrome revolutionary?

From a power user or developer perspective it's not but from a casual user perspective, it showed what Opera fans wanted Opera's marketing direction to go for a long time and it showed how many fans often expressed how powerful a lite version of Opera is even though Opera's memory consumption is lighter than Firefox despite the added native features.

Similarly, the I-Pad was precisely a tablet which no power user/developer wanted to mass release/pay attention to except for TechCrunch before they lost their rights and Apple.

Even for Apple, the legion of fans prior to the release weren't as hyped about this as say the Iphone or the Ipod.

As a culture there is notably some noise but for the most part the noise from the I-Pad was "will it sell outside of the hardcore base?".

Compared to the Ipod and the Iphone, this time it was the casual consumer market who mostly flocked towards the I-pad. It was this same casual consumer market who don't know how major the I-Pad's flaws where because they were looking for that specific design no matter how outdated.

Basically compared to other products Apple made, few developers saw the I-Pad as revolutionary and that's true but this time it's also true that there's a huge perspective gap between the casual consumer culture and power user culture because unlike the Iphone and Ipod, there really wasn't a revolutionary feature that would attract a borderline Apple user and it was prior to the release perceived as for the hardcore Apple consumers only.

As far as Cowon, the support and firmware for Cowon were very questionable especially early on. This is based on anecdotal accounts I have found over the internet back then.

More importantly, from my perspective, the earlier Cowon were exactly what I wanted but Cowon never built upon that.

Instead like many post-Ipod mp3 manufacturers, they went with sexy and extra features that in the end, lost me compared to what their earlier products were all about. I'm not saying I've personally tried it but similarly I'm also speaking from a guy who wasn't impressed by the Ipod in the first place.

One thing I could respect Apple in that area though was that they built upon the image of the Ipod. For every "sequel" of Ipods, they catered to different needs while staying true to what appeals to the Ipod. They didn't suddenly add touch screen for touch screen's sake. They didn't make a shuffle when people wanted a Nano. In that sense as a casual consumer, they were still the "safest" and most consistent mp3 product releaser despite not being ahead of many opponents.

It's not even that the manufacturers are getting it right now.

Let me refer to this recent review ofthe Cowon V5 HD:

http://www.anythingbutipo...05/cowon-v5-hd-review.php

Quote
What do you get when you pair decent quality audio/video hardware with a head-scratchingly bad user interface, backwards usability, and disregard for anything that makes sense to the average user? Well, a Cowon PMP, of course. While this was true for the Cowon O2 I reviewed a bit over a year ago, I’ve taken it upon me to go through the same pain again, this time with the Cowon V5.

Grahm already wrote a short preview article about the V5. While I agree with his evaluation that the V5 is a nice upgrade to the O2 on the surface, the mess that is hidden beneath when one tries to use the V5 on a daily basis is even worse.

Cowon had a legitimate niche here.

Even as these reviews were written, people understood that Cowon represented quality music. Slowly but surely.

It's for the same reason Creative is respected despite problems with the Zen firmware earlier on or Sandisk Sansa Fuze/Clip (I think) getting a late resurgence.

...but what does Cowon do?

Cowon goes "sexy".

Here are just some red marks:

Quote
but Cowon never made much sense with their naming/numbering scheme, so calling the V5 “O3” would have been too logical.

Why? Companies often build products on image. Apple builds image on their product.

The end result is that companies often try to rename a product to appeal to an audience where Apple just stays consistent. They're far from perfect but it's almost possible to separate the image of I-products from Mac-products because of this and it feels less threatening to purchase an Ipod without owning a Mac compared to switching from Windows Mobile to Palm OS.

Casual consumers kind of want that. They want stereotypical labels to comfort their taste and it doesn't hurt that Apple creates the delusion of cool which helps alleviate peer pressure but for the most part it's consistency of labels.

What is an Iphone? An Apple cell phone. What is an Ipod Touch? An Apple mp3 player with touch screen. What is a Nano? A mini-Ipod.

The worst or best part is that they have culture on their side. When Apple messes up with naming their fanbase is there to pick up the slack.

Other companies for the most part don't have that. That's where Apple and Google gets majority of their appeal. They bring their products back to the image of the company rather than the product.

Quote
Cowon never seem to care for logical, natural improvements of their housing designs, they appear to rather go at it trial-and-error-style and make every new player iteration slightly different than the last one – for no apparent reason other than for the sake of being different.

Another frustration. Cowon doesn't have a single image like Apple's scroll wheel so it's not that bad of a choice but it is annoying if you found an item that has potential and you're just waiting for the more stable upgrade and what does the company do? Kill your expectations or make do with an upgraded sexier and more expensive item that feels like Vista to 7 when said companies aren't household names yet.

Quote
It also comes with yet another unique proprietary USB cable, as is the usual modus operandi of Cowon. Barely any two of their players use the same cables. Comparing that to the standardized world of iPod or Sony Walkman connectors, Cowon’s topsy-turvy approach of seemingly randomly picking their players’ plugs and jacks is very inconvenient. Currently I have five Cowon players in my collection, and I need five different cables to connect them to my PC.

Other companies just don't want to beat the leading product it seems. They want to "imitate" them while adding their extra frustration.

Why Cowon why?! You're so damn close to being the best mp3 player and you pull a stunt like this especially when you're finally getting recognition!!!

Quote
The firmware is extremely bad, even by Cowon standards. Mind you, I haven’t tested the infamous Q5W, but I doubt it can have that much lower usability than the V5. The following chapter is about firmware version 1.08, which is already the 8th upgrade since December 2009 – but it doesn’t feel like there was anything of importance fixed since the initial 1.00 firmware.

Windows CE 6 is the underlying operating system on which Cowon superimposed their counterintuitive user interface. Those familiar with ancient Pocket PCs and Windows-powered phones know that Windows CE 6 is an outdated mobile OS resembling Windows 95, with barely working touch screen controls and finger-(un-)friendliness duct-taped on as an afterthought. I assume Win CE is part of the problem the V5 feels rather sluggish and unresponsive at times. It’s just not specialized enough for the V5’s main tasks, audio and video playback, it burns too many cycles on irrelevant background processes and the like. Every time one starts the V5, one sees the Win CE desktop for a few seconds before Cowon’s UI starts. This looks amateurish and not well integrated at all. Not to mention the boot procedure is quite lengthy, despite the V5 not having to build a tag database for its files, as other, faster, players do. It’s borderline amazing that the V5 manages to play 720p videos – since Win CE takes almost a minute to display a folder with about 100 files in Explorer. In that aspect the Cowon O2’s embedded Linux firmware certainly appears to be more polished.

Firmware! Firmware! Firmware!

It'd be nice if every mp3 player comes with "in case we screw this up, you can install Rockbox on this" but no...

Rockbox runs on this:

Quote
   * Apple: iPod 1g through 5.5g, iPod Mini and iPod Nano 1g
    * Archos: Jukebox 5000, 6000, Studio, Recorder, FM Recorder, Recorder V2 and Ondio
    * Cowon: iAudio X5, X5V, X5L, M5, M5L, M3 and M3L
    * iriver: iHP100 series, H100 series, H300 series and H10 series
    * Olympus: M:Robe 100
    * Packard Bell: Vibe 500
    * SanDisk: Sansa c200 series (not v2), e200 series (all models), and Fuze v1 (not v2)
    * Toshiba: Gigabeat X and F series

or unstably at this:

Quote
Cowon: D2

...and guess what?

Cowon releases D2+ with minor upgrades, but why?

http://asia.cnet.com/blog...nter/post.htm?id=63009116

Quote
Cowon seems to have made a great move with its latest models, the Cowon S9 and O2, in the current economic situation where consumers are not spending much money on buying gadget stuff. Local media have reported that Cowon is having a tough time with demand for the Cowon S9, which lets us know that sales for the player is going well here.

All of a sudden, Cowon released the Cowon D2+ with a few upgrades like JetEffect (BBE+ from BBE), GUI and colors. These three features are the only differences I can spot from the specifications.

Quote
I guess most of us were expecting the Cowon D3 and not the D2+ since we saw what kind of performance Cowon can create from its devices lately

Quote
After Win CE finishes booting, the unsuspecting user is slapped in the face by the visual insult that is the main screen of the V5. It’s basically the color-scheme equivalent of a Disneyland parade, paired with the cheerfulness of an episode of the TV show Pokémon. It would fit perfectly as the main screen of a Nintendo game, but for a portable video player it’s rather inappropriate in its gut-wrenching tackiness. I can’t even imagine what target demographic the designers had in mind when they created that stuff – but I probably wouldn’t want to know that anyway. Somehow I can’t imagine 12 year old Korean girls having much use for a player that sports a 5-band semi-parametric audio EQ or handles 720p Matroska containers. While the Cowon O2 looks antiquated like a ten years old Linux distro, the V5 overshoots the mark by trying to be “funny” and “cute” – yet only results in giving me stomach cramps when I look at it.

Quote
Ones step forward, two steps back. I’m very disappointed by the Cowon V5 as a whole. One would think Cowon would have used the last year or two to rethink their PMP plans and improve on the botched O2. Yet the V5 has just a better screen, working 720p playback, and better battery life – but most of the usability shortcomings of the O2 are still here, and a few new, aggravating flaws have been added. Oh, and the V5’s kitschy interface design is just too insulting to even mention.

Story of other companies' inability to beat out Apple products despite their none-revolutionary flaws.

The worse part is that there's always something justifiably right about the companies action.

Example: assuming what this commentor said is true:

Quote
This is a... well a review. I feel obligated to speak up for Cowon. (well a little) I don't think this is a replacement or upgrade of the O2, instead I think it's the replacement for the Q5W. I say this because this is how the player is being marketed. Also, the Q5W (which I own) has a LOT of the same flaws. but the user interface is much easier to use and actually makes sense. Also the Q5W has a pretty good implementation of CE-5 and WiFi so I can actually use it to play music off of my laptop when both devices are on on my network. It kind of works like a netbook. The Q5W even has a mini version of windows media player that can be used to play videos that the Cowon media player won't play. It is also a USB host so I can add a mouse and keyboard (kind of needed to get the most out of windows media player), or a usb drive for additional storage. It has little word processor (word pad I think) that can be handy for taking notes. The Q5W also has a mobile version of internet explorer so it can be used to surf the web, I have actually done online banking on it, and even ordered a Domino's pizza with it. It boots up MUCH faster than my windows machine so quick browsing to simple sites like gmail or google are pretty easy. The browser has flaws a plenty but when used as intended its kind of cool. The Q5W also has a digital output that works with both music and video, and it uses a common USB cable for connection to a PC. From what I read on the Cowon Korean site there is a P5 that is pretty much the Q5w with a slightly modified body. After reading this I guess I might have helped make the reviewers point the V5 isn't a replacement for anything in the Cowon line. The Q5W has it's issues, but because of it's better implementation of CE and WiFi, Bluetooth (stereo!) and USB host feature. it has some virtues that sort of redeem it from it's lousy audio player features. the V5 doesn't seem to have any of the Q5W's virtues but has all of it's flaws. Kind of a mess of a player, but oddly, I still kind of want one....

The big problem? They never convey that to their buyers and sometimes it's not about what Apple polishes as a turd but Apple simply being more open to the media about their turd assuming what they're releasing are turds.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2010, 04:54:50 AM by Paul Keith » Logged

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Renegade
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« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2010, 05:40:46 AM »

p.s. i hate Apple. so much.

Hahahaha~! cheesy

I suppose that it's really no surprise that so many people loathe Apple around here. The Apple marketing machine basically spits venom in your face if you don't use a Mac. It's insulting.

On the Apple site, they try to sell you on a mac by mentioning PC and Windows no less than 12x.



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« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2010, 05:49:20 AM »

I think Apple has the touchscreen done better so far.

the competition is moving in-

http://www.computerworld...._rivals_shown_at_Computex
« Last Edit: June 06, 2010, 08:09:59 AM by cmpm » Logged
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« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2010, 06:34:24 AM »

I think Apple has the touchscreen done better so far.

I'm wondering why you think so. Apple's version of "multi-touch" means 2 points. Microsoft has had more than 2 points for quite some time. They've had multi-user multi-touch. Granted, Apple is the posterboy for popular consumer electronics.
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« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2010, 06:41:52 AM »

I'm wrong most of the time.
But that's what I saw from the reviews of others.

Ipad seems so limited compared to these others for more programs and functions.
And sheesh, no usb or card reader on ipad!
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« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2010, 08:16:40 AM »

I'm not an apple user, but it seems to me, a lot of people (quotes below) agree on one thing - Apple do a lot of work on the user interface. This is an area that is extremely neglected by everyone else in my limited experience of electronic apps / software.

If I could change an app, 99 times out of a 100 it's the interface I'd change.


> apple did 2 main things -- first, they put the effort into the software user interface that few other companies are willing to do.
mouser

> the Ipod, the Iphone, the I-pad succeeded so far because they always brought something "shiny" like scroll wheel, touch screen/power, screen size/touch screen when the pragmatic view of useful at the time didn't respect these features enough.
If these were turds, then every other offer at the time would be smellier turds from a consumer perspective.

PaulKeith

> Apple is good at 1 thing, and 1 thing only. It takes good ideas that failed, repackages them in a super-sexy outfit...
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edit: minor corrections
« Last Edit: June 06, 2010, 08:32:20 AM by tomos » Logged

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« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2010, 08:52:49 AM »

I think it's also important to highlight how focused Apple is on providing a good experience to it's customers -- which explains partly why their is a kind of cult-ish devotion to Apple.  They have set up their stores to help people deal with problems and they make a real effort to help people feel comfortable with their products and guide them through problems when they have them.  Apple computer users know that if there is a problem they aren't going to be left alone to solve it; sure they may have to pay more for such benefits, but for them it's a price well worth paying.

Now why more companies don't go the same route as Apple.. One reason is surely that Apple already has this area of the market fairly well covered -- it's hard for other companies to make headway into it.  It's much easier to make headway in a market where customers aren't so loyal to one brand and are more objectively attracted to features, and less concerned with getting long-term support.

Apple is *very* good at what they do.. A good part of that success has to do with marketing.  The same thing could be said of google.  Maybe the common thread in all giant successful corporations is how good they are at marketing themselves and developing a cult-like reality distortion field around them.

However i think it would be a real mistake to chaulk it all up to marketing -- Apple takes very very seriously the idea of creating a complete user interface experience in ways that other companies cannot be bothered to do, and they back it up with a support system that their customers appreciate.  That's not a trivial thing.  In many ways it's a lot more rational that those of us who are more focused on squeezing out a few more cpu cycles or mb of free memory, or saving a few bucks.
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« Reply #17 on: June 06, 2010, 09:15:29 AM »

Mouser, you hit it on the head. They don't sell a product. They sell an experience. From the design of their stores to the design of their packaging, it's meant to make you feel special, pampered, and people love the feeling. It's not just about hardware, software, or customer service.

There was this toy store in NYC that had a similar approach to business. You could buy your Legos at Toys-R-Us for less money, or you could get your Legos from this toy store and pay a lot more. They were the same Legos, and people bought them there for the higher price, because of the whole experience the store gave them. They made kids feel like they had just visited a magical world where everything came directly from Santa's workshop, and they made adults feel like kids again. And for that experience, people were willing to shell out the bucks. It really wasn't about the toys.

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« Reply #18 on: June 06, 2010, 09:25:19 AM »

The idea that setting up stores makes it more comfortable for users is theoretical. People trained to be salesmen are not too likely to be helpful in terms of product support. I doubt, in fact I am pretty sure, many employees are qualified technically. A franchise kind of place or small store perhaps selling exclusively PCs is more likely to employ someone who by chance or by design knows PCs inside out. You can buy Apple Care which I have heard good things about so may be that's good.

I think one of the roots of the majority (safe assumption I hope) opinion here is what Apple offers you. There are 8 or so year old Fujitsu (not the biggest tech innovator ever) tablets that have USBs, docks, drives and even the thing to view landscape or portrait, I don't even know what it's called.
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« Reply #19 on: June 06, 2010, 09:55:59 AM »

There was this toy store in NYC that had a similar approach to business. You could buy your Legos at Toys-R-Us for less money, or you could get your Legos from this toy store and pay a lot more. They were the same Legos, and people bought them there for the higher price, because of the whole experience the store gave them. They made kids feel like they had just visited a magical world where everything came directly from Santa's workshop, and they made adults feel like kids again. And for that experience, people were willing to shell out the bucks. It really wasn't about the toys.

And that (customer service) is good up to a point. But the flip side of the same coin is more of a pedicure analogy.

The whole point of trimming ones toenails (aesthetics aside...) is to keep them from ripping holes in ones socks. - (e.g. it's strictly a practical matter) - Now one can either simply grab the clippers and be done with the task in short order for free. Or... One can run down to the local ego massaging boutique, and have them done for you for only (*Snicker*) $100 ... This is much the same justification for charging $20 for a friggin hamburger; ambiance.

The point is unfortunately that one just paid $100 to protect a $2 pair of socks. ...Why?
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« Reply #20 on: June 06, 2010, 03:59:17 PM »

There used to be a (possibly apocryphal) story told during the fast-food heyday.

It said that McDonalds routinely spent millions on research and demographic analysis before siting and building new restaurants.

BurgerKing, on the other hand, supposedly did nothing other than to keep track of the locations of any new McDonalds restaurants - wait and see how well they did - and then open one of their own franchises as geographically close as possible should any turn out to be a popular location.

hmmm....

Maybe it's true the early bird catches the worm. But experience shows the tardy bird often eats just as well - and gets to sleep a lot later!

Grin
« Last Edit: June 06, 2010, 04:07:30 PM by 40hz » Logged

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« Reply #21 on: June 06, 2010, 04:35:22 PM »

e.g. Apple can polish a turd and their drove of fawning accolades will flock in mass (like lemming) to buy the silly POS. While the rest of the industry is stuck doing things the old fashioned way - Trying to come up with a useful product that people actually need.

I think that there is a fundamental difference between companies like Apple and Sony.

Sony is a consumer electronics company.

Apple is a religion cult.

Seriously.

Apple is very far from being the innovator that the fanboys tout it to be. Apple is good at 1 thing, and 1 thing only. It takes good ideas that failed, repackages them in a super-sexy outfit, then pimps them out to its followers.

The tablet isn't new. The iPad is just a tablet with better marketing to the Cult of Apple followers, and those that are wannabe cult members.

If so, then why do so many non Apple people that I personally know 'get it' as far as the iPad is concerned?  It's not a cult thing- it's a usability thing.  I know a guy who already has a Kindle, a Zune, a non iPhone, a netbook... and was not going to get an iPad.  He had no intentions.

Then he used it.  Now he has one.

And I've seen that story over and over again.  Indeed, as I said, I plan to get one myself.

There are cult-ish Apple afficionados just as there are cult-ish windows people, etc.  But if you can market to the non-cult members, doesn't that say that there might be something more than you're seeing from the surface?
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« Reply #22 on: June 06, 2010, 05:15:27 PM »

ipad review

http://www.engadget.com/2.../04/03/apple-ipad-review/
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« Reply #23 on: June 06, 2010, 07:05:37 PM »

If so, then why do so many non Apple people that I personally know 'get it' as far as the iPad is concerned?  It's not a cult thing- it's a usability thing.  I know a guy who already has a Kindle, a Zune, a non iPhone, a netbook... and was not going to get an iPad.  He had no intentions.

Then he used it.  Now he has one.

And I've seen that story over and over again.  Indeed, as I said, I plan to get one myself.

There are cult-ish Apple afficionados just as there are cult-ish windows people, etc.  But if you can market to the non-cult members, doesn't that say that there might be something more than you're seeing from the surface?

I think that you are indirectly pointing out that pathetic portion of the population (of which I am part) that we call 'technophiles'. We buy just about anything, for any reason, at any time. I have software licenses that I have never used. I have gadgets that I have never used. Yes. I even own Apple products too!

It's a compulsion. We need help~!
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« Reply #24 on: June 06, 2010, 07:31:08 PM »

It's the ccd in us.

Computer Compulsion Delights

No help groups I'm aware of.

smiley
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