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Brave Ulysses
Veteran Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
2016-11-21, 21:57

Originally Posted by chucker View Post
I think this is mostly good news. Their access points have been highly-priced niche products for about a decade now. You can get good-enough alternatives for a fraction of the price, and yes, I do recognize that they won't be as polished, their UI won't be as good, yadda yadda. Even then, brands like Ubiquiti and Eero seem to offer products for that segment.

It's mostly a commodity market. That's never been Apple's strength. Have 'em focus on stuff they're actually good at.

Because management is hard, and one of the most important things Steve was to make sure the company is focused. Within two or three years, he killed the tablet (Newton), the scanners, printers, and even most of the Mac models. This wasn't just (or even mostly) about Apple being too small to afford it.

Yes, they're larger now, and have plenty of cash. That doesn't mean managing a more vast swath of products becomes that much easier. You still have scaling issues, and there's little wisdom on how to solve them. You can delegate and create a deeper hierarchy, but then you have to worry about infighting, communication, vision, and generally losing touch. One aspect Windows Vista / Longhorn had to be rebooted (and still ended up being poorly received) was such a convoluted organizational structure, and part of the reason Apple could taunt Microsoft about it by shipping Panther, Tiger, and Leopard in the meantime — iterating quickly on features — was that they were lean about it. They didn't attempt huge-picture problems like WinFS did, nor worry too much about backwards compatibility like Win32 continues to.


Cool, so should Apple start producing displays again? How many models?

Printers? Scanners? If not, why not? At what point do you draw the line of "products that play nicely together"?

Oh bullshit. Does Microsoft make desktops now? No, not pricey niche-market digital easels. Desktops. Mac mini-like, iMac-like, just a regular minitower, anything. Bueller? Oh, right, no, they don't. In fact, they don't make any mass-market computers at all, so why is it relevant what they have to say on the matter? They're providing interesting concepts, and products perhaps useful for some segment of the market. Not much more. They can't even ship a desktop OS with a sensible UI framework any more, and their smartphone story makes less and less sense (why not just team up with Google for some Android-Windows integration?).

Apple is currently the only company that has both a successful mass-market desktop/laptop operating system and one for smartphone/tablet. (Their smartwatch and TV stuff still strikes me as not-quite-there-yet.) macOS has some quality problems, and iOS is beginning to have growing pains (does anybody really intuitively understand the differences between long-pressing and 3D Touch? Don't we have too many swipe gestures with overlapping meanings by now?), but they continue to iterate at a pace that seems just right. Any faster, and the quality would be worse; any slower, and we'd want more features. We both keep whining about the quality and about how boring the products have become. You can't have it both ways.

Their visions of Continuity (how data and your workflow gets transparently shared between devices you use), of how macOS and iOS starkly differ in their UI paradigms, of how we can eventually extend some of this to other platforms like a TV, of how privacy / your data sovereignty should be handled? Those are fairly strong. Name a company that offers something comparable.

The company you are describing is not one that inspires or that "thinks different". Apple is quickly becoming nothing more than a high volume mobile device maker whose direction and decisions are driven by bean counting and what might positively affect their stock price.

It's very very troubling, especially considering many of us and others depend on the ecosystem they created but that they are seemingly killing and forgetting about day by day.

People like to say that Steve jobs simplified Apple to just four products but that is missing the entire point of what he did. He created a lifestyle and ecosystem around those four products that was almost entirely Apple and focused on solutions and not necessarily the specific specs and features of the products. Software (iLife and iwork and OS X), routers, displays, cables, MP3 player, then a phone, internet services, an Apple TV to play the same content from all those devices on your own tv. It was incredibly cohesive and progressed together as a whole. As the iPhone became a run away success and after Jobs passed it seems as if all of those pieces are being run and managed and judged indepdent from each other and apple no longer sees and values the indirect benefits of developing amazing consumer and professional software, or the value in having a beautiful apple display next to their beautiful laptops, even if the margins are smaller than they want. Or see less integration with a wifi router and a time machine backup.

Plus, it's not like you can possibly make the argument that Tim Cook values simplicity. Look at the product line up these days and their refusal and or inability to commit to things... the MacBook Pro lineup is ridiculous. The non touch bar model should never have existed and then they are too scared to leave any $100 price point untouched so they keep two year old models mixed in the lineup without any price cut but also remove the ability to upgrade them similar as before.

Last edited by Brave Ulysses : 2016-11-21 at 22:51.