Why I’m Mad At Apple

February 5, 2008

So.
I’m a Canadian. As an Apple fan, that means no movie rentals, few Apple Stores, and no iPhone. Us Canadians have been waiting patiently for the iPhone to come here since its announcement at Macworld 2007 over a year ago.

Many impatient iPhone fans have bought and unlocked their iPhones in the grey market, but there is a huge fanbase of people like me, patiently waiting for an announcement in Canada. I write for another Apple blog and after today’s announcement of a 16 gigabite iPhone as well as Rogers announcement of new data rates, I decided to call both companies and ask what’s going on and if we’re getting an iPhone here soon.

As expected, I got the default response of “We do not know anything and couldn’t tell you if we did” although the guy at Rogers was really friendly about it and assured me that “I’d know as soon as it came out, because it would be in every newspaper and every billboard”. After hanging up with Apple, it dawned on me.

Why the hell do I care? Why should I be hopelessly waiting and begging Apple to take my money? I’ve given them over $8000 this past year alone on my two computers, I have money waiting here for the iPhone, but why should I beg them to take it? If they want it they can have it, but as far as I’m concerned I give up trying to beg them to sell me something and make more money.

Apple, my money is here for the taking. I’ve been waving it in front of your faces long enough so if you want to give me an iPhone that’d be great, but I’m done with begging you to take my money.

Is anyone out there with me, or has everyone already bought and unlocked their iPhones and playing the cat and mouse gave with Apple and their SIM card restrictions?

Microsoft?

April 26, 2007

Now I’m no Microsoft hater. I don’t think that in order for Apple to be successful, Microsoft has to fail. I don’t like Vista, but I can understand why others do. In fact, I installed it onto my mom’s computer (until I got sick of it and gave her Linux Ubuntu… Ya my mom’s pretty cutting edge.)

Anyway… It’s just a shame that on my Mac, the only programs to ever crash so far are Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, and now… Microsoft Messenger, which I recently installed.

Admittedly, Firefox has crashed as well… but that was because I was mucking around in the settings.
I just don’t get it. It seems like their quality control standards are just too low. They rush and come out with a product they haven’t fully tested. And it’s been OK for the past few years because they were a monopoly. People are taking notice now. Why do you think there are so many switchers? Some even chose Linux over Windows, which I myself did during my transition to OS X.

This isn’t a blast to Microsoft. It’s just a little thing I was thinking of. Hopefully Microsoft can restructure itself and come out with some new products that work well and are bug free.

The iPod’s Future

April 26, 2007

The ubiquitous music machine that has taken the world by storm seems to be stuck in time.
Since its last update, it seems the iPod has yet to decide its fate.

The last update to the iPod was on September 12, 2006.
This was the update to the Fifth Generation iPod, the “iPod with Video Features”.
It was an upgrade to the headphones and a software update.

Since the announcement of the iPhone, it seems that iPod will be playing second fiddle in Apple’s marketing.
When will the iPod be updated though? It can’t be updated before the release of the iPhone. If Apple is planning on coming out with a “phoneless iPhone” (That is, a widescreen, touchscreen iPod), it would only come out after the iPhone. If it came out before, it would suck some of iPhone’s market share, as well as confuse the hell out of customers who think they’re looking at an iPhone and are actually looking at a new iPod.

How much longer will the iPod be around for though? Will they move it over to a iPhone interface, or is it scrollwheel to the death?
As it stands right now, it seems the scrollwheel is here to stay, at least for a while. Customers need more of an incentive to purchase the iPhone, and I don’t think a phone feature is a big enough drive. I know personally that if they came out with a phoneless iPhone, I would buy that and keep my current phone. I don’t need to spend the extra money to get a phone and I don’t mind carrying around the phone I own now and my iPod in my other pocket like I do now. The cool multitouch feature is extremely revolutionary, and making it iPhone exclusive will make people pay the extra to get that exclusivity. That’s the same reason people that don’t need a Powerbook buy one. The silver machine and Powerbook name is more exclusive and thus they want to up their image with it. (Intel fanboys, replace Powerbook with Macbook Pro).

Above this… There’s a simple proof I have that the iPod will retain the scrollwheel:

The iPod icon is for a classic Fifth-Generation iPod.
So what is the fate of the iPod? Well… It’ll be around for a while longer… But I sadly say… It seems like the beginning of the end for our scrolling friend.

Sorry for the lack of updates. Things are hectic right now but I am looking to update everyday.
Apple Financials have come in for the second quarter of 2007, and here’s how they’re doing.

Apple posted a revenue of $5.26 billion and net quarterly profit of $770 million, or $.87 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $4.36 billion and net quarterly profit of $410 million, or $.47 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter.
Gross margin was 35.1 percent, up from 29.8 percent in the year-ago quarter.
Macs represented 56% of Apple’s products this quarter. Portables accounted for 59% of Macs sold.

Then, of course, they moved on to their moneymaking machine, the iPhone.
Apple plans on developing new applications and features for the iPhone. Some of these new features will be free upgrades. Earlier this year, Apple charged (and continues to charge) a nominal fee to upgrade the Airport Extreme cards in Intel Macs to the new wireless standard, 802.11n. There was a backlash from customers about this issue, who did not feel it justified to pay more money to get an already existing feature of their computer to be unlocked. Apple’s reasoning was that in fair accounting practices, you cannot charge something for a product and then change the features of the product after. Fortunately, they learned from this mistake and they will use subscription-based-accounting so they don’t need to charge for new features for the iPhone as they come out.
The same goes for the recently released AppleTV, which is interesting as I personally was not considering feature updates other than small compatibility upgrades.

Interesting note: Apple reportedly wants to ‘surprise and delight’ iPhone customers. The phrase ‘Surprise and Delight’ is an old adage Apple uses, generally for their retail sector. A few years ago, while trying to get a job at Apple retail, the interviewer told me that Apple’s goal is to ‘surprise and delight’ their customers during every shopping experience, and put emphasis on this phrase. I wonder why these terms were chosen in particular.

At the time of publication, Apple Shares are at a staggering after-market price of 101.96 per share, which I believe is the highest it has ever been.

(Sources: Yahoo.com, TUAW.com, Apple.com)

Current State of OS X

April 23, 2007

So as many of you know, Apple is delaying the newest iteration of OS X, called OS 10.5 or OS X Leopard, until October 2007 rather than releasing it in June / July (WWDC, or World Wide Developer’s Conference, Apple’s biggest event for pro users). What does this mean for the Mac, OS X and Apple in general?

Here’s what Apple has to say:
iPhone has already passed several of its required certification tests and is on schedule to ship in late June as planned. We can’t wait until customers get their hands (and fingers) on it and experience what a revolutionary and magical product it is. However, iPhone contains the most sophisticated software ever shipped on a mobile device, and finishing it on time has not come without a price — we had to borrow some key software engineering and QA resources from our Mac OS X team, and as a result we will not be able to release Leopard at our Worldwide Developers Conference in early June as planned. While Leopard’s features will be complete by then, we cannot deliver the quality release that we and our customers expect from us. We now plan to show our developers a near final version of Leopard at the conference, give them a beta copy to take home so they can do their final testing, and ship Leopard in October. We think it will be well worth the wait. Life often presents tradeoffs, and in this case we’re sure we’ve made the right ones. [Apr 12, 2007]

This is featured on Apple’s website at http://www.apple.com/hotnews/

Are we entering Windows Vista territory here? What is going on, Apple?
They dropped the “Computer” from their name, and now it seems like Apple is turning into some type of Sony Brand, using the power of the brand name to delay a long overdue operating system and start slapping a little stylized Apple logo onto things like the iPod Hifi and Apple TV?

So great, here are now TWO of the biggest Apple events of the year, (Macworld 07 and WWDC) which should be focused on MACS, now given to Apple peripherals – namely iPhone. Now I’m all for iPhone, I myself am looking forward to eventually owning one, but Macworld 07 gave no mention to the Mac, and now it doesn’t seem like WWDC will either.

Their only saving grace will be making an ultraportable flash based notebook and release it at WWDC… But that’s just because I want one.

Killer strategy Apple. After the switch from PowerPC (Do Mac users even know what that is anymore?) to Intel processors, there were tons of Mac switchers (I was one of them). Apple built up this huge revenue with Macbooks flying off the shelves, and now ended up screwing over the very people that gave them a second chance, to develop the iPhone.

Apple also screwed themselves up a bit with this one. I have tons of friends who are holding off buying a new Mac because they want Leopard pre-installed. They are all going to school next year and need a portable for school, and now they might not buy a Mac because of this holdup. School starts in September, and with Leopard coming out in October, who knows what Apple will be missing in revenue from education sales.

My solution:
Apple, you already admitted a) your mistake b) the release date for Leopard. You have nothing to hide. Why don’t you start selling all new Macs with a certificate for a free copy of Leopard once it comes out. You will make your money off hardware and yes you might be losing money off software but better that than all those Macbook sales your losing out on.

That’s just my take.

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