I think mouser said it the best, and in the most rational way so far. We powerusers scoff at the importance of UI. I mean, we know it's important, but we're so good with computers that it's easy for us to latch on to just about any interface. We almost take it for granted. So when we see something like a ipad, we don't really care about the interface, we just want to know what it can DO. But like many others pointed out (Zaine) most people don't think that way. It really is about the presentation for them. And it's not a bad thing for them. Some of us are computer geeks, some of us are not. One is not better than the other.
Now, let's say apple foucses a lot on marketing, user interface, etc. and it is working brilliantly for them. My question still stands: if other companies see this, why don't they give it a good effort to do that also?! So what if apple already did it? So what if it's nothing new? Apple doesn't care. Why should they?
You KNOW most people care about the UI, so put some effort into it! Geez, I mean seriously. Even if I were SOny's CEO and I was a poweruser, it would stupid of me to keep seeing apple succeed because of UI, and Sony keep failing because of UI (or other similar issues). if there's a problem, fix it! If you can improve yourself, then do so!
it doesn't have to be either/or with UI vs. solid functionality. You can have both, they are not exclusive. The whole PC vs. Mac thing assumes that you can't have both, but you can very easily! UI is a very easy thing to fix. You have to get some people together who understand what normal people want, and give their input on the UI. Look at all the amateur reviewers that intelligently and very quickly can analyze and criticize all the gadgets that come out! It's not hard! It's very obvious when you use an iphone, ipad, etc. that it is a nice, pleasant, fun experience. Don't say it isn't. You may not care for it in the long run, but don't deny that it's fun and nice. Now, go to some other device (like the older tablets) and you don't get the same thing at all. It basically feels like Windows Xp running on a monitor without a keyboard.
I mean, same thing with the new touchpad on Mac laptops now. PC companies spent over a decade without even attempting to do anything innovative with the touchpad. And it sucked to use. That's why everyone attaches a regular mouse to a laptop. But here comes Apple 10 years later and adds some really amazing and wonderful features to the basic touchpad. Why? Because they know what people want. Did the PC companies ever sit in a room and ask, "Why does everyone feel like attaching a mouse to the laptop?" No. Maybe they did, and they didn't care.
I'm not saying apple doesn't do things that pisses me off. I'm saying, why don't other companies try to ramp up their effort in providing a pleasant customer experience? I still hate that Apple has dictator control on all their stuff, so that's why I'll never willingly get one, but I'm not going to deny that their UI is brilliant.
Even things that don't seem to matter. Like Zaine pointed out, if you go into their store, it's REALLy nice. It's a hell of a lot nicer than walking into a shitty Fry's store. Now, I never go into Apple stores, and I go to Fry's a lot more. but I'm not normal, and I know what I'm doing. I walk into Fry's, I walk to my aisle, I pick up my product, and walk out...bam, 15 minutes. I'm not there for the experience. But, there are tons more people who walk into Fry's and are intimated and confused. But if you go into an Apple store, you'll feel very comfy and excited. Don't lie. Even all you haters...I know you've walked into an Apple store and had fun trying out the gadgets. Don't lie!!