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Jony Ive is leaving Apple!
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2019-07-12, 17:41

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave View Post
… the “thinnest & lightest” people tend to ask the “thicker & more ports” people for advice on which hardware to get…
From my experience, the "thicker & more ports" people tend to give the "thinnest and lightest" people very bad advice, because those people do not need the feature set of thicker laptops.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave View Post
…Or license macOS…
We all know this is not going to happen, nor do we want it to. That strategy nearly destroyed Apple in the '90's.

Who let the creeper in?
  quote
chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2019-07-12, 18:26

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
From my experience, the "thicker & more ports" people tend to give the "thinnest and lightest" people very bad advice, because those people do not need the feature set of thicker laptops.
Yeah, I'm inclined to agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
We all know this is not going to happen, nor do we want it to. That strategy nearly destroyed Apple in the '90's.
It was another nail in the coffin, buuuut there was certainly so much else broken at the time.

Like… toying around with technology for the sake of technology, e.g. with OpenDoc. Like Microsoft's WinFS a decade later, it was technologically interesting, but hard to explain, hard to conceptualize, and hard to ultimately find use cases for.

And I'm not sure it's that binary.

Clones as executed in the 90s? A dumb idea. So you have one company that does all the work of developing an operating system, and sells hardware. And then you have other companies who just sell hardware and only need to license the operating system. Short of making the operating system so expensive to license that they'll just consider going with licensing Windows instead, how is that supposed to work?

But, that's for hardware in categories you produce yourself. There's a few Apple isn't currently making. A 2-in-1 convertible laptop/tablet. A mid-range tower. A gaming desktop (or heck, laptop). A rackmount server. Or, as discussed here, a thicker & more ports computer. If you make the distinction hard enough that nobody would be tempted to buy from that third party over Apple, that could work. (But, for example, if Apple lets Razor do macOS gaming computers, but then people just buy those as a substitute for a cheaper Mac Pro, that screws Apple.)
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PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
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2019-07-12, 19:48

What, you haven’t spent a fortune on thunderbolt docks to fix the limited number of ports yet, shame on you!

More ports is better. It blew my mind when the 2018 Mac Mini had 6 USB. I was thinking maybe Apple was off its rocker. When I built my last PC, I picked a motherboard with 8, yes 8 USB 3.1 ports (mix gen 1&2 and type C), with an addition 4 USB2.0 ports. Do I use them all, all of the time no, but I do have a minimum of 7 in use at all times, mice, keyboard, external RAID array, card reader, external backup drives, a 900w UPS. You get the idea.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2019-07-12, 23:13

There is a place for a more-ports-thicker-battery laptop, and there is a place for a $2000 headless Mac.

I don't think the place is the issue. I think the actual customer segment is too low. A titanic majority of people who say "I need more ports" are just looking for USB. Just USB! We carry a USB-C 3-port hub with power pass-through for $40. One thing to plug in. People bitch until they use them. Then, they don't bitch any more. It's just one thing to unplug and they're on their way.

I'm not saying there aren't any people out there who travel and work from their computers and have every stupid thing to plug in you can imagine, but oddly enough those folks represent a significant portion of the "It's too heavy" crowd. They want thin and light, and they want all the ports, and they want a built-in CD, and they want 4TB of storage, and they don't want to carry a power adapter, and they want a 17" screen, and they want RAM sockets, and they want a mouse, and they want …

And then all they do is Word and Powerpoint.

What they actually use is not what they actually need.

Personally, I would love to see Apple make the two computers in question. The $2000 headless Mac would sell well (but Apple would need to also offer a very good 4k display for $750). Not so sure about the laptop. I have one client that would buy an average of 10 per year (very few of their employees take them home, so they should be buying desktops ) , but 99% of consumers wouldn't even look. The Air represents about 75% of our laptop sales, and the 21" iMac about 75% of desktop sales. 15" MacBook Pro's are probably 15%, and 13" Pro's 10%. 27" iMacs then bring in about 20% of desktops, and the Mac Mini about 5%. Mac Pro sales, at about 1 every 2 years, represent a number close enough to 0% that we'll go ahead and call it that (It's probably about .1%). When 17" MacBook Pro's were a thing, about 90% sold to rich people using Word, and the remaining 10% to actual, you know, pros! (I once sold a $9000 Mac Pro to a day-trader ).

The problem for Apple is profitability. Can they build these things and have them be profitable (yes, I know Apple would be profitable, but would the segment?). I don't think they would be, which is why Apple does not make them. Demand is there, just not enough to drive segment-profitable sales.

And, yes, Apple could make cheap beige boxes, but we all know that is not what they do, nor do they want their name stamped on cheap beige boxes, which is why they are highly unlikely to ever license Mac OS again.

Who let the creeper in?
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PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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2019-07-12, 23:32

Hubs are fine, unless of course your USB device is saturating the BUS. I’ve also never found a hub that doesn’t crap out after a year or so, other than the ancient USB1.0 hub we got for our G3 Power Mac in 1998 that is still in use today. Why? No idea, but it works, so why not since it’s fast enough for any keyboard and mouse.

For things like USB thumb drives, mice and keyboards hubs are great, not so much for data hungry connections. Less of an issue with thunderbolt, but let’s be honest, most people using USB hubs aren’t using thunderbolt and are limited to USB3.1 gen 1 or 2 speeds.

As for the computer, we know Apple will never make the DYI Mac some of us dream of. I make do with a hybrid Windows/Mac world. The OS is no longer the driving force of my purchase choice, as long as the computer does what I need it to do it’s fine.
  quote
kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2019-07-16, 10:16

Quote:
Originally Posted by PB PM View Post
Hubs are fine, unless of course your USB device is saturating the BUS. I’ve also never found a hub that doesn’t crap out after a year or so, other than the ancient USB1.0 hub we got for our G3 Power Mac in 1998 that is still in use today. Why? No idea, but it works, so why not since it’s fast enough for any keyboard and mouse.

For things like USB thumb drives, mice and keyboards hubs are great, not so much for data hungry connections. Less of an issue with thunderbolt, but let’s be honest, most people using USB hubs aren’t using thunderbolt and are limited to USB3.1 gen 1 or 2 speeds.
1) Data speeds can be a concern for some, but not for most. In those situations, a single, direct connection is preferable. Better yet would be a daisy-chainable TB3 drive so the port is not lost entirely.

2) The little hub I linked to has proven to be very reliable. I think we have replace2 2 failed units of the ~500 we have sold since 2017 when we first started carrying them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PB PM View Post
… as long as the computer does what I need it to do it’s fine.
For techie types, this will always be the case. For everyone else, however, the maintenance requirements for an OS like Windows or Linux are beyond the desirable scope for a large number of people. The single remaining issue here is price. I would venture to guess that 90% of Windows users would switch to Mac were the price of an iMac around $500. But that is not the computer Apple wants to make. With Apple's margins consistently around 40%, a low end iMac costs at least $600 to build. And that's for the bare-bones clunker that is the base iMac. Considering Apple sells very few of those, I'm guessing the margins are much lower—probably around 20%, which means it actually costs Apple $800 or so to build the $1100 entry level iMac, which is the worst seller (at least in our shop) and not by some small margin. I think their quality/design choices automatically alienate most Windows users, and it isn't because of greed. They simply are not willing to build cheap crap.

Who let the creeper in?
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