WSJ: Apple’s rapid pace of innovation could lead to buyer’s remorse

Nick Wingfield writes for The Wall Street Journal that there’s “a downside to the pace of innovation at Apple Inc.”

“By constantly redesigning its products, introducing new ones and trumpeting the changes in high-profile marketing campaigns, Apple has habituated many of its customers to living in a semipermanent upgrade cycle for new gadgets. The risk is in disappointing consumers who feel their new purchases are instantly outmoded. Someone who got a Mac laptop over the holidays, for example, could feel bitter if Apple, as expected, introduces a new portable Mac at Macworld,” Wingfield writes.

“Apple users may feel the sting of obsolescence more acutely than those of other companies’ products. In recent years, Apple has averaged about one major new release of its Mac operating system a year. In contrast, about five years passed between major releases of Microsoft Corp.’s Windows XP and Vista operating systems,” Wingfield writes. “‘Given the fact that the pace of Apple product improvements is between two times and four times faster than PC-based products, Apple buyers will always have a higher degree of buyer’s remorse,’ says Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Citymark” for the heads up.]

Apple’s rapid pace of innovation could lead to buyer’s remorse, but what’s the alternative? We’d much rather experience technology the Apple way than wait forever for badly-faked versions of Apple’s old products.

Apple leads because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward. So, here’s to the crazy ones. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.


Direct link via YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dvn_Ied9t4M

As Wingfield himself quotes in his full article, here’s what Apple CEO Steve Jobs had to say on the matter just a few months ago, “Being in technology for 30+ years I can attest to the fact that the technology road is bumpy. There is always change and improvement, and there is always someone who bought a product before a particular cutoff date and misses the new price or the new operating system or the new whatever. This is life in the technology lane. If you always wait for the next price cut or to buy the new improved model, you’ll never buy any technology product because there is always something better and less expensive on the horizon. The good news is that if you buy products from companies that support them well, like Apple tries to do, you will receive years of useful and satisfying service from them even as newer models are introduced.”

88 Comments

  1. There’s a huge difference between an OS that’s updated/improved and hardware. What applies to both is that you have a choice to buy. If the product you bought serves your needs, then there’s no need to upgrade other than to say you have the latest and greatest.

    Upgrading the OS every year or so doesn’t lead me to buyer’s remorse. I still have the choice to upgrade, and my current OS (Tiger) doesn’t stop working just because the new one comes out.

    Kind of a stupid article.

  2. Same can be said about Dell, Sony, HP, or __ . Apple dose a good job of making you want the next system not just putting it out. Look at the iMac or ibook they were on the market for years with only internal updates before case changes. How about 8 core Mac pro looks just like the g5 Power Mac. I say Apple should run like Hell and don’t look back. As a consumer buy when you need it and can afford it.

  3. Nick Wingfield the anti-Mossberg. The best part:

    “Apple users may feel the sting of obsolescence more acutely than those of other companies’ products. In recent years, Apple has averaged about one major new release of its Mac operating system a year. In contrast, about five years passed between major releases of Microsoft Corp.’s Windows XP and Vista operating systems.

    “Given the fact that the pace of Apple product improvements is between two times and four times faster than PC-based products, Apple buyers will always have a higher degree of buyer’s remorse,” says Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray.

    Some Apple watchers have come up with elaborate methods of reducing the risk of badly timed purchases. MacRumors, an Apple news site, has a buyer’s guide (http://buyersguide.macrumors.com/) that discusses the probability of imminent upgrades to Apple products, based on historic product announcements by the company.

    The site’s recommendation for people interested in Apple’s MacBook Pro laptop: “Don’t Buy — Updates soon.””

    This pustule actually brings up the the half a decade between XP and Vista as a positive!

  4. Duh!!!!!!!

    Welcome to the world of technology!

    (Written on a G4 PowerBook. It was the hottest thing from at the time I bought it, and it is still going strong and kicking Windows’ ass. I don’t on replacing it anytime soon.)

  5. That’s crazy as an ashtray on a motorcycle.
    I liked my iPod. I didn’t get buyer’s remorse because Apple came out with a better one later. It still does what I wanted it to do and even more. Plus the upgrades are primarily driven by the software now.

  6. Every car maker in the world does the same thing. Next year, next model. Just because people expect the MS model of 10 years with the same ol’ crap doesn’t mean everyone should be happy with it.

    If you want to buy– considering everything that may limit you– buy. Afterward, when new stuff comes out, stay quiet. Ugh.

    I had an opinion… once.

  7. I’ve bought several iPods, a Macbook, and an iPhone. I haven’t had buyers remorse with any of it. Although, a new iPhone could give me a little buyers remorse, but not too much. I found out about MacRumors from one of my professors and I’m very glad i did.

    I’ve been extremely satisfied with ALL of my apple purchases. (Including my AAPL stock).

  8. CONSTANTLY REDESIGNING – say what?
    Yes, I understand Apple general IMPROVES every 6 months.
    BUT – re-design, does this guy know what that takes?
    Maybe, Nick Wingfield is speaking about IMPROVEMENTS?
    Ohhhhh – I bought an iMac Extreme – it was great… perfect for my Apartment. But, I needed the Power.

    The MacPro line hasn’t changed it’s design appearance since mid 2003 with the extremely well engineered G5. It’s 2008 and basically the components have been updated as needed to stay at least above or equal to the competition.

    The MacMini still looks like a MacMini, has had a run since 2005. The XServe still appear to be the same since mid 2002 – again cosmetically. Component changes are natural. So this author ain’t talking about FACE VALUE.

    Since Apple has had the Intel processor inside there has been less of changes on the outside.

    “if you buy products from companies that support them well, like Apple tries to do, you will receive years of useful and satisfying service from them even as newer models are introduced.”

    I will confess – that this is absolute the truth.

    I suggest to buy machines to last you FOUR to FIVE years.

    I still keep several machines running. Just part of my collection. A G3 laptop Pismo. And it runs 10.4.11 beautifully. A iMac G3 slot loading, running 10.4.11 just fine. A Macintosh PowerBook 145 running System 7.1. A Macintosh LC with sytstem 7.
    And two brand new MacPro 2.8 Ghz 8-cores with 10.5.1.

    Apple use to build MILITARY grade… and they still make rock solid machines. THEY last!!!!!

    ——-

    “In contrast, about five years passed between major releases of Microsoft Corp.’s Windows XP and Vista operating systems,”

    THIS is a non issue. Apple has made well and stuck to supporting older machines. You can’t compare an OS. Specially since, MacroSloth doesn’t make PCs. Besides, Vista is a failure!
    Lets talk service packs…. hmmmmm well I am no Winblows user so I can’t speak about that.

    The corporate businesses still run Office 95!!!! And XP. That’s 13 years of FEAR – locked to junk. If they upgrade a machine it isn’t running to it’s maximum potential. AND then, there are those bleeding edge PCs OVER priced… FRANKENSTEIN custom jobs out there – powerful machines by far. But have TONES of issues with 32bit / 64bit versions of VISTA. The support isn’t there.

    WHAT is MacroSloth doing? Do they not see our PASSION? Do they not write software? SO where are these drivers.
    NO – I think people have been left in the DARK on the WindBlows side. AND they are PISSED off.

    —-

    Like what should Apple have done? Stuck with Motorola?
    Steve returned and had a plan. Its paying off.

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