On the long-term viability of Apple’s customer-first strategy

“This is my biggest long-term concern regarding Apple. They’ve gotten to this pinnacle by focusing on making great products for us, their customers,” John Gruber writes for Daring Fireball. “I believe Tim Cook and his executive team are consciously aware that they need to maintain that focus — that maniacal focus on great products and doing right by their customers is foundation of the machine. And while the profits continue to grow, ‘the market’ seems to agree that for Apple, this product-driven customer-first focus is aligned with shareholder value.”

“But eventually they’ll hit a dry spell. Slumps are inevitable. And I worry that eventually, during such a slump, ‘the market’ will put irresistible pressure on Apple’s future leadership to start acting more like a typical company — one that only pays lip service to creating great products and putting customers first,” Gruber writes. “For just a small taste, consider all the 2013 pieces, written at the time with straight faces, about Samsung ‘out-innovating’ Apple.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The value of Apple University cannot be overstated.

As long as Apple continues to create products that they themselves would want to use, putting themselves in their customers’ shoes, the company will be fine. May Tim Cook’s obsession with “customer sat.” never flag.

Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves. — Steve Jobs

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

72 Comments

  1. Let’s face it. Steve Jobs is gone. You guys have spent the past several years making excuses for Tim Cook… for Apple. And while SOME GOOD has come out of Apple, it’s not the same company anymore. And that’s not in a good way. Cook and co. have been riding the coattails of Steve Jobs all this time, but that time has been running out.

    -Software has slipped: iOS and OS X are buggy as hell.
    -Apple’s marketing (commercials) are terrible… from the Christmas ads to the now focus on a bunch of hipster Americans that people could care less about.
    -Apple Retail hasn’t gone anywhere, and while it’s still decent, people have been wanting/expecting change.
    -New products… Apple has bungled Retina. Why, after so many years, are their products not Retina across the line? This has never made sense and we are way past due on this.
    -Apple buys Beats, a crappy headphone maker, and continues to sell them. Complete brand confusion. When have you ever bought an Apple product that was a totally different brand and a product not designed by Apple in California where those products are crap?
    -Lack of new products and ability to make deals. Steve Jobs said he cracked the TV code years ago. But Tim Cook hasn’t made it a reality. If Jobs were around, it’s safe to say that there’s a good chance we’d have the holy grail Apple TV by now. Tim Cook may have been unable to make deals and manage the final product. Yes, we now have the Apple Watch, a product that even the biggest fanboy Gruber said that it might not be something that Apple should be doing right now.
    -Non consumer focus: Apple offers a gold watch for $17,000. This would never happen with Jobs. This is crazy. A consumer company has no business doing this. It’s confusing and unnecessary. And it implies that they’re going after status. That’s not staying true to Apple’s mission to change the world for people. It’s just focusing on being materialistic, which is worthless in and of itself.
    -Bungled product launches (Apple Watch). Apple Watch ships in July, and it’s May 8. Likely yield issues. Can’t buy an Apple Watch in store. I live in a large Canadian city that is very skewed Apple products and I have yet to see even one person wearing an Apple Watch. Hiring a luddite fashion woman to run the Retail of the biggest Tech company in the world was, to me, a stupid idea. No, it’s not just her fault but she’s part of the mess. Tim Cook is ultimately responsible, and the Board should be all over him for this.

    Yes, we love Apple’s balance sheet. Who wouldn’t. But the company isn’t the same, and eventually, things may change where people start looking eleswhere and growth curtails. I see what’s happening as Apple riding Jobs’ coattails where there’s a lag in the tech industry from the competition right now.

    I think over the next 2 years we’re going to get a lot of answers about Apple. If the Watch fails, if they don’t do much in the way of new products… if there’s no Apple TV… etc. Or, if the Watch succeeds and they delight us… only time will tell.

      1. It must be frustrating for the poor little schmuck, having to repeatedly grasp at straws and pull the same old baloney out of his well used toot hole.

      2. He made some good points, though I don’t agree with all of them. He’s right that the quality of OS X is slipping, but I don’t agree that iOS is “buggy as hell”. Everyone you don’t agree with isn’t a troll. Some of us just have different opinions, and we’re not shy about speaking them. Calling people trolls seems like you’re trying to silence them. I will quote quote the First Amendment for you since you’ve obviously never read it: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

        1. What you don’t understand, Howie, is that when his complaints are “across the board” with nothing good to say about a company that has plenty of “good”, then you KNOW everything is made up and NOT an opinion.

          When he says that iOS is “buggy as hell”, which we all know isn’t true, then that is your CLUE to the fact that you are dealing with a TROLL.

          Two main types of TROLL (there may be others):

          1. A TROLL that says everything is bad, and because nothing (not even Apple) is 100% flawless, he will hit on something you might agree with. That however, DOESN’T mean he is giving an unbiased opinion.

          2. A Troll that starts of by praising Apple (normally for some minor accomplishments) and says he owns most of their products and ends by criticizing everything major.

          DFTR is definitely the number 1 type.

          Lookout for these two types and don’t be fooled.

          1. Paul, et al.:

            What you don’t understand and what I’ve repeated is that part of me being on here is to keep fanboys honest. You fanboys are all the same: vicifioursly defend a corporation no matter what. Never bring them into contempt. FOLLOW everything they do and treat what they do and the decisions they make as gospel. Never aknowledge anything good from any other competitor and attack any competition through sociopathic approaches such as reveling in bankruptcies, product struggles, etc. Engage in a corporation like it’s a cult, and anyone who doesn’t agree with your worship of such a cult is an “enemy”. Anyway who brings that corporation into disrepute is an “enemy”.

            See and hear only what you want to see and hear.

            And here’s a great example. In my post above that you’re referring to, I said this:

            “And while SOME GOOD has come out of Apple, it’s not the same company anymore.”

            You said:

            “What you don’t understand, Howie, is that when his complaints are “across the board” with NOTHING GOOD to say about a company that has plenty of “good”, then you KNOW everything is made up and NOT an opinion.”

            I made SOME GOOD all caps to try and ensure that even the most hopeless of Apple worshippers would see that I think there’s some good coming from them. But with you, like so many other fanboys, you choose to not see that and make a blanket conclusion that I NEVER point out anything good about Apple. Aside from this, you have an inability to suspend your worship of a corporation and confront criticisms rationally.

            Your logic: faulty. You’re conclusions: irrational.

            Just because someone is critical of a corporation doesn’t mean that person doesn’t “like” the company. It doesn’t mean that person doesn’t buy products from that company. And etc. I like Apple. I buy Apple products. I use them a lot and everyday. I have done so for many years. I develop software for iOS and OS X.

            As a user I am concerned about the direction of the company and the leadership in place. I have NO IDEA what will happen, but given what’s happened over the past few years, I have concerns about their products and where they’re headed.

            Is iOS buggy as hell? I have used every single version and this version, and in my experience, it is buggy as hell. My opinion is more than just an average user. It comes from someone immersed in Apple products, who’s used every version of iOS since the first, and who develops software for it. It’s not just me who thinks it’s buggy either. I have business associates and other developer friends dealing with it too, saying the same thing. I have people pointing out landscape orientation freezes, issues with Safari, camera freezes, etc. etc. just like I experience asking me how to fix these things.

            I have never had to restart my iPhone more than with this current iteration. And when it comes to Mac OS X, even your buddies here at MDN point out how buggy it is.

            There are many, many bugs in iOS that we’ve discovered. You point out ZERO evidence to refute these experiences and think that you discounting this as a trollish opinion has any weight. it doesn’t. Your commments are effectively worthless. If anyone is a troll, it’s you. And I don’t mean to start a fight with you it’s an ugly term. But you need to look in the mirror.

            1. Obviously he is not saying get Microsoft or Android!!!! But that does not mean that there are not problems with OSX after Snow Leopard (no it wasn’t perfect either, but I still run one machine with it as my workhorse) iOS? the number of bugs are about the same as the last few upgrades, but they are different ones. We used to call Windows spaghetti code because you had the feeling that Microsoft had lost track of all of the file and feature connections within the code, and that there was no human being who could actually decipher them all. Will I buy Windows because I think Apple is now mired in spaghetti code with the relationships between OSX and iOS? NO, but I won’t worship them either.

            2. “part of me being on here is to keep fanboys honest”
              Oh, how noble of you to give of your time in this way!

              “Your delusion is going to stop.
              First, to pontificate about luxury watches isn’t going to work.”

              Nice — accusing someone else of pontificating. Good one!

              Actually, of course, you should realize that for any actual “fanboy”, your arrogant prick tone will not get through to them.

              And for the vast majority of people here, who are not these hypothetical fanboys, your arrogant prick tone will not get through to them.

            3. Sean, Well said. I am not an Apple fanboy, yet I much prefer to use Apple over Dell, HP etc Microsoft. It just works… better.

              And I have my complaints and issues with Apple… Why can’t we use a bluetooth mouse with my iPad??? the bluetooth keyboard works great. then I need to poke my finger on the screen to correct error.
              But HEY, its way better than an android tablet. LOL

            4. Thanks, eldernorm.

              And Dftr, note eldernorm’s manner of writing. He notes a couple of complaints without ANY of your over-the-top, bombastic, arrogant manner. Read and learn how to make a criticism in a constructive manner.

            5. Dftr, you are a friggin windbag. You seem to believe that only Apple fanboys disagree with you. You seem to believe that you are the sole voice of reason on this forum. Wrong on both counts.

              You are an annoying troll and your words have no value.

            6. Dftr, we do not need you to “keep us honest” and you are not a “mirror” for people on this forum. We understand that Apple has some issues and that there is room for improvement. What you apparently fail to understand is that Apple has always had problems, just like every other company. That was true under Steve Jobs, as well. So you can quit your self-appointed role as the would-be conscience of this forum. We do not need or want you here.

        2. Good gawd, Howie!!! Don’t haul out the first amendment to try to say somebody shouldn’t use the word troll. Maybe READ what you typed, as in “make no law”.

          “Make no law” does not come anywhere remotely close to calling somebody a very mild, one-word name. Get real.

        3. Congress, not individuals. Those trolls add no value here. They don’t spark a healthy debate. It’s little different than typing a slew of random vulgarities, and if that’s what they did I presume even you would rather they just shut up. And that’d be OK, because you’re not congress.

            1. So he gets free speech, but we don’t?

              And that is really a stretch. Calling somebody a troll is “trying to intimidate”! Come on.

              But even if it were, it’s still way, way inside the bounds of free speech. Free speech is free speech. Nobody is threatening him, or carrying out any other kind of illegal “beyond allowed free speech” action. And besides, the arrogant prick that is Dftr has WAY thicker skin than that.

            2. Well. Sean, what purpose does it server to call people trolls or attack them personally? That’s juvenile behaviour that makes the entire Apple community look like a religious cult. YOU are one of the arrogant pricks of this forum. If you mother disagrees with what you say, how do you speak to her? Hiding behind the concept of “free speech” to libel & slander someone else is not defensible.

            3. Mike — if you want Dftr to be addressed with respect, how about suggesting to him that he addresses others here and writes about Apple management with respect.

              E.g.
              riding the coattails… crappy… fanboy… luddite fashion woman… stupid… keep fanboys honest… You fanboys are all the same… But with you, like so many other fanboys… Your delusion is going to stop… to pontificate about luxury watches isn’t going to work… Right, you don’t have the money, how could I have guessed: you’re broke… You’re an apologist…

    1. “Apple offers a gold watch for $17,000. This would never happen with Jobs. This is crazy.”

      The next computer introduced in 1988 for $6500
      that’s $12,962 in 2015 dollars

      1. It’s interesting how some people dwell the price of the gold Apple Watches. It’s as if they have no comprehension of the materials that went into making them. Personally, I don’t like gold, but if I did, and I could afford a gold Apple Watch, I would buy one. Let ’em bitch and whine about it.

      2. Artist:

        Your analogy/comparison doesn’t work. The NEXT computer was an industrial grade, powerful desktop computer that served vertical markets. The pricing was more in line with what something like that would and should cost. Multi-core processor desktop computer loaded with RAM and hard drive space that could work as a server and process complicated instructions for graphic design, etc. This was a high high end computer, like a loaded Mac Pro is today which itself costs several thousand dollars.

        If Jobs were to line the NEXT computer in gold and sell it for 28 times the price, now that would be the correct analogy/comparison. But he didn’t. And he never would. It’s absurd and I am willing to bet that the market will speak and in a few years people will look back and wonder what that was all about.

        1. 17,000 watch serves a niche.

          a rich dude might wear a sport version when playing golf with his pals but when he goes for important dinner to meet clients (who are wearing watches worth thousands) does he go in wearing a $350 watch? (Imagine he wants those clients to buy millions of dollars worth of stuff from him) . Apple is giving this guy a choice. The guy wants an Apple watch because he’s grown attached to its functions, apple doesn’t want to force him to take it off and put on a Rolex.

          Whether we like it or not impressions count, the real world is built like that. Try walking into a bank in Shanghai, Tokyo, Milan etc for a 10 million (or something) bank loan with cheap jeans and a $50 Seiko…
          or even easier to understand when you apply for a job as a senior manager DO YOU PUT ON AN EXPENSIVE SUIT or wear a cheap T shirt? Why do you need to waste money on an expensive suit? — like a 17,000 watch — when the T-shirt at $5 is JUST AS FUNCTIONAL?

          Actually the criticisms from the fashion industry is is that the 17,000 watch is TOO CHEAP for many people.

          at the end of the day all the criticisms is moot as the watch is SOLD OUT.
          ——

          Also the argument that Apple “should not be doing a watch” is silly as companies need to change. Jobs said he didn’t want to build a small iPad either. Apple needs to evolve as new situations and opportunities arise. Apple is moving into fashion, fine, its a whole new field. If apple didn’t move into new fields like MUSIC there wouldn’t be iPod or iTunes (or probably even apple today) — apple was roundly criticize by many techies for the iPod as they saw it as abandonment of the Mac PC focus. Today apple is stupid rich, the iPod has successfully morphed into iPhone and Macs are selling well and take 50% of the PC profits of the world. Win, win, win.

          1. Davewrite:

            You’re not getting it. I have no issue with companies making expensive watches. We’re talking business here. I have an issue when a consumer technology company all of a sudden offers a luxury jewelery item that’s upwards of tens of thousands of dollars. It doesn’t make sense. This is not what their company is built on. This is not what they’re doing with any other product. This is not who the company is: to offer overpriced luxury items that only a small number of people can afford as a material status symbol.

            It isn’t in their brand or their mission. And worst of all, the product itself does NOT lend itself to being that expensive or competing in that “niche” market with Rolex and others. This is a ~$400 product where they line it with gold and charge $17,000+ for it.

            It’s not ornamental. It’s not a handmade piece. It’s the same thing as every other Apple Watch but gold. My understanding of this “nice” market is that people buy because the items are handmade. Because they’re ornamental. Because they’re studded with diamonds. Because of the Swiss movement. Perpetual movement. Face design. Very few of each made. Etc. Should Microsoft line its fitness watch in gold and sell it for $15,000? Should Dell line a laptop in gold and sell it for $15,000? Should Samsung line a smartphone in gold and sell it for $20,000?

            If they did this, you’d laugh and criticize them. But the reality is Apple doing it is no different from any of these others doing it. And when you step outside your delusion, you’d see this makes little sense and is in some ways absurd. At the least it’s confusing from a marketing and branding perspective. To have one product that ranges from $350 all the way over $20,000 especially consumer tech is insane.

            My comments here will either be proven or disproven to be the case over the next several months in terms of the gold Apple Watch falling flat on its face.

            And Apple is NOT SOLD OUT of anything. Stop buying the marketing BS and what you want to see and hear. There has been ZERO releases from Apple regarding sales figures. What we do have, however, is that they may have yield issues which has effectively delayed their ability to really sell the Apple Watch in quantity. Which explains why within minutes after going up shipping times were pushed weeks away.

            1. you are not answering my question

              if a rich dude meeting people who expect him to dress up and he wants to wear an apple watch what are his options?
              One more time does apple want him to take off his Apple Watch and put on a Rolex?

            2. “It’s not ornamental. It’s not a handmade piece. It’s the same thing as every other Apple Watch but gold. ”

              A lot of watches have the same ‘guts’ inside of them even brands like rolex and with the same guts they can cost thousands in difference.

              What makes handmade precious? did you know a lot of luxury brands like handbags selling for thousands are made by a labour in Asia etc which costs a few f bucks or less an hour. What makes those things so precious? The leather is a fraction of the price (I watched a video where shoeless workers in shorts were processing leather in a slum in Asia — the effluent was going into an open drain — the leather was destined for luxury shoes and handbags). I worked in Asia for years.

              And the idea that watches like Rolex necessarily hold their value is Bullshit:

              article : “Rolex President sells for. Brand new ones seem to sell for between $18,000 to $32,000. In the pre-owned market, we see a much different story, with some models selling for under $10,000. ”

              why is a used one 10k or thousands less, did the GOLD DISAPPEAR? nope , because it’s NOT the gold that makes it worth the price.

              Also lux watches like Roiex being heirlooms is mostly a myth. Warranties for Rolex is 2 years and you are recommended to get regularly services for $ hundreds a pop. After 25 years Rolex no longer guarantees availability of spare parts (i.e if breaks and no spares it’s dead, if you put in fake parts it’s value sinks).

              Also today a rolex is a watch, 25 years it’s still a watch, today Apple Watch is a watch, change the replaceable battery and in 15 years the Apple Watch is STILL FUNCTIONAL as a watch.

              ——-
              “And Apple is NOT SOLD OUT of anything”
              when it’s backordered it’s sold out.

            3. Davewrite:

              Your delusion is going to stop.

              First, to pontificate about luxury watches isn’t going to work. I am well aware of handbags. We’re talking about watches here. The difference between Rolex’s et al. here is that they’re established as TIMELESS luxury pieces that effectively do two things and do them very well: TELL TIME AND SERVE AS A STATUS PIECE. These things are passed down from generation to generation and continue to work and there’s a healthy collector’s market. The craftsmenship, unique design, and movements are what’s valued by the market.

              The Apple Watch is nothing like this. It’s a little computer that’s an accessory to an Apple iPhone which it requires to fully function. The components of the Apple Watch do NOT hold up well over time. Batteries degrade and die and leak. Motherboards corrode. Technology gets outdated quickly and becomes irrelevant. What works today won’t typically make sense 20 years from now. The Apple Watch is not valued for the same reasons a Rolex/luxury timepiece is. Technology depreciates terribly, and according to the Canada Revenue Agency, about 25-50% in the first year. That’s the point.

              Second, enough with your Apple being sold out of the Apple Watch bit. It’s embarassing. You’re implying that because the Apple Watch has shipping times several weeks from now that they’re backordered and therefore sold out is absurd. You and me have NO IDEA how many watches Apple has actually sold. This is an important point because the whole point of your rhetoric here is to argue that the Apple Watch is successful because it’s sold out.

              Sold out of what? Success is measured by Apple getting a large number of sales and meeting internal sales targets. I can tell you that Company XYZ had 1000% growth last year and that you should put all your money on it. If you continued with your delusional way of thinking, you’d put what little money you have on it, without asking for precise data on 1000% of what number…

              Every indication at this point is that Apple has yield issues with the Taptic engine and cannot sell the Watch meaningfully at this point. This is also evidenced by the fact that the Watch has been for sale for a few weeks and they’re rarely seen in the wild. When a new iPhone etc. comes out, after a few weeks you start to see them pop up all over the place. Not the case with the Watch.

              Back to the gold Watch. I am willing to bet you $5000 USD that the Gold Watch will fail. I am willing to put this money in escrow with a lawyer that we choose, and you put $5000 USD in as well. The term is 8 months. I have a few metrics that we can discuss about what we agree would be successful and what wouldn’t. So let’s do the bet. I’ve set up an Email at applegold484944 at yahoo.

            4. “TIMELESS luxury pieces ”

              since you are not reading my posts I’m not reading your completely either.

              I pointed out that the warranty on a Rolex is TWO years.
              after 25 years Rolex does not guarantee repairs or availability of spare parts. 25 years isn’t ‘timeless’ in my book. In 25 years like i pointed out if you change the battery (and service it like a Rolex) your Apple Watch will still function as a WATCH like a rolex is just a watch.

              Also my argument was that the MATERIALs of the watch don’t make up all or most of the price (which was you original argument). Whether it is made in Europe or asia is the same. You are not paying for the ‘amount of gold’ etc in the product as I pointed out and gave an excerpt from a magazine : new Rolex 32,000, used 10,000 : same amount of gold etc .

              “Back to the gold Watch. I am willing to bet you $5000 USD that the Gold Watch will fail”

              LOL . Rolex etc fail as well , go read the watch forums, there are THOUSANDS of complaints :

              5 min of cut and paste:

              “I dropped it off with Central Watch in NYC (where I live) and their estimate for service was $895”

              next:
              “Rolex Submariner.. appraised and “tuned up”. This cost me (well, I had the estate pay for it) about $650. I got it back 3 months later, and within a few days, the date-adjust function failed

              next:
              “t always costs at least 500 to have it checked out …. Servicing it every 5 years is way more than what it cost new!”

              next:
              ” I was already in more than $600 to the Madison one, I felt I had to push them into making it work. Which they ultimately did by sending it back to Rolex and not using their own guy who had already screwed it up twice. ”

              next
              “I have a beautiful Rolex Datejust Ladies Steel 18k White Gold Watch. yesterday I dropped it on the bathroom floor and smashed th face. I thought they were virtually indestructable. I was wrong.”

              next:
              $5000 rolex… The reason I am considering this is now my Rolex is losing about 20 seconds a day in time. Rolex says that for the $500 service fee they will take the watch apart… ”

              next:

              “650 for a full service, which is necessary after a crystal smash.
              200 + for a crystal and dial”

              next:
              :”n my youth, I foolishly bought a $10K Pieget Polo… I’ve had a couple of big service jobs.”


              shit… I got most of that just a couple of pages of thread!
              there are THOUSANDs of similar posts around.

              lol.

            5. Davewrite:

              Your post is irrelevant and fails to address the many points in my posts. You’re nothing but a fanboy who’s trolling. You go off on the Web and copy and paste people complaining about Rolex? That demonstrates nothing. It says nothing. It does nothing. It DOES NOT address the FACT that LUXURY WATCHES, ALL OF THEM, ARE LOOKED AT AS “TIMELESS” PIECES. Nobody said they don’t ever need servicing. The point is that they’re meant to last several lifetimes and actually work and serve as status symbols. Period. They are valued for things that the Apple Watch is NOT valued for. No amount of your trolling is going to change this.

              Nobody gives a crap about micro-processors and ram and batteries from 2 years ago, from 5 years ago, or from 25 years ago, etc. They find their way into the junkyard because they’re effectively worthless. People want and use NEW tech, not OLD tech. The value of tech is in this way inverse to the value of jewelry like quality luxury watches. And unlike these watches which can be serviced all over the world with parts readily available, Apple products are effectively NON-SERVICABLE because of how they’re made and the type of components used. They’re effectively throw aways if they malfunction.

              I am still waiting for you to accept my bet. Or is it that you don’t have the money? Right, you don’t have the money, how could I have guessed: you’re broke. And if you have the money, then you have no conviction, because all you’re doing is trying to argue on the Internet and you’re not getting anywhere.

            6. “LUXURY WATCHES, ALL OF THEM, ARE LOOKED AT AS “TIMELESS” PIECES”

              lol,
              you look at them as timeless, I look at them as 2 years warranty, after 25 years no spare parts or repair guarantee

              mind is FACTS , yours is opinion NO MATTER HOW BIG THE CAPS ARE.
              You opinion “timeless” , mine : “not”
              but I’ve got facts , you zero.
              lol.

            7. typo:
              “Also today a rolex is a watch, 25 years it’s still a watch, today Apple Watch is a watch, change the replaceable battery and in 15 years the Apple Watch is STILL FUNCTIONAL as a watch.”

              should be … “in 25 years the Apple Watch is STILL FUNCTIONAL as a watch”

            8. Dftr… There is WAY too much to address or fix. Let me do just a few sentences to illustrate…

              You’re not getting MY POINT.

              I have an issue when a consumer technology company all of a sudden STEPS OUT OF WHAT I THINK THEY ARE.

              It doesn’t make sense TO ME.

              This is not what their company WAS built on, AND THEY SHOULD NEVER CHANGE THAT.

              This is not who I THINK the company is:

              It isn’t in their brand or their mission AS I UNDERSTAND IT. (Apparently your understanding is quite different from Tim Cook, the rest of management and the Board.)

              And one last point. On:
              “I am still waiting for you to accept my bet. Or is it that you don’t have the money? Right, you don’t have the money, how could I have guessed: you’re broke.”
              Could you possibly try to be less of a fucking prick.

            9. Davewrite:

              There is no opinion. There is no anything. You are a troll arguing on the internet. To say that people don’t look at luxury jewlerly as timeless status pieces is absurd. You know it, and everyone knows it.

              Imagine a company like Apple offering 25 YEARS of repair guarantee. You’ll get a standard 1 year warranty and a small handful of years of “support” and then it’s over. ~4 years and the software will no longer update, warranty long gone, etc. Companies like Rolex have been around for over 100 years. It’s ridiculous that anyone would even criticize any company for “only offering 25 years repair guarantee”.

              Rolex will likely be around for a long time. They have lawyers, and they’re a company. They cap their repair guarantee for legal reasons. But I have never met or seen anyone with a Rolex or anyone with a luxury watch for that matter who can’t get it repaired. From 50+ year Rolexes to Sturmanskis… they’re servicable all over the world.

              Nothing you’ve said addresses anything here. Even people on MDN… typically Apple skewed people, don’t like your posts. You’re alone, and embarassing yourself.

              THESE ARE THE FACTS, NOT OPINIONS, MMMMKAY:

              -APPLE PRODUCTS ARE NOT VERY SERVICABLE. THEY ARE THROW AWAYS WHEN THEY MALFUNCTION.
              -THE APPLE WATCH, QUOTING IFIXIT: REMOVING ANY OTHER COMPONENT OTHER THAN THE SCREEN, BAND, AND BATTERY IS BASICALLY IMPOSSIBLE.
              -NOBODY HAS ANY IDEA HOW MANY APPLE WATCHES HAVE ACTUALLY BEEN SOLD, LET ALONE GOLD ONES. THE SUCCESS OF THE APPLE WATCH IS STILL FAR FROM A FOREGONE CONCLUSION.
              -PEOPLE VIEW LUXURY JEWLERLY AS TIMELESS STATUS PIECES. THEY DO, WE CAN TAKE JUDICIAL NOTICE OF THIS. YES, GO LOOK UP JUDICIAL NOTICE PUNK.
              -PEOPLE VALUE LUXURY WATCHES PRIMARILY FOR THEIR MECHANICAL MOVEMENT AND DESIGN AND BRAND.
              -PEOPLE DO NOT VALUE TECH OTHER THAN ITS USE AT ANY PARTICULAR POINT IN TIME. OLD TECH IS NOT VALUED BY MOST PEOPLE BECAUSE IT’S NOT USEFUL.

              TECH IS NOT VALUED FOR THE SAME REASONS AS PEOPLE VALUE THINGS LIKE LUXURY WATCHES. THEREFORE, THE APPLE WATCH DOES NOT SERVE AS A GOOD PRODUCT TO COMPETE WITH LUXURY WATCHES.

    2. Nice effort, dftr. Some of your points even have some merit. But you are exaggerating each situation in an attempt to generate “more credible FUD.”

      iOS and OS X are converging and Apple had added new functions. While I share your desire for perfection, the OS growing pains are somewhat understandable. Rather than declare disaster now, as you seem so eager to do, I am willing to wait and see how Tim and company handle the situation.

      It has been a long time since Apple had really good commercials, and the slide started long before Jobs died. Apple recently made some changes and, again, I am willing to give them time to work it out. Besides, Apple depends far more on peer-to-peer propagation than conversion through commercials.

      Apple retail is undergoing a transformation as well. Once again, I am willing to give Ahrendts some time to put her plan in place. The Ron Johnson era (which was admittedly a bad hiring call by Tim) did some serious damage.

      The lack of new products that you allege is ridiculous. In addition to a series of great evolutions in the iPad, iPhone, and Mac lineups, Apple recently released a brand new product category – the Apple Watch. It has a tremendous future ahead of it and, along with Apple Pay, will pull the entire Apple ecosystem along with it. On top of that, Apple is working on new media distribution strategies. Apple is also working on enterprise strategies with IBM. Apple had never had such a broad and deep approach to the commercial and consumer spaces.

      You example of a “non-consumer focus” completely misses the point. The Edition is the ultimate consumer focus because it lets people with a lot of disposable income spend it on Apple products with gold cases. Profits from the Edition will likely help finance the whole Apple Watch development and enable mass market distribution of the exact same technology and functionality (minus the fancy gold case) via the Sport. This approach gives regular people the ability to purchase premium technology (think Lamborghini) at affordable prices (think Honda Civic).

      You mention bungled product launches, but I do not agree. Apple is doing a pretty good job of modifying its commercial product releases to address massive demand while also addressing past concerns – product scalping, etc.

      You work so very hard in your attempts to convince people on this forum that Apple is doomed. While Apple certainly has room for improvement, I believe that your message of doom and gloom is vastly overstated.

      1. KingMel:

        You’re an apologist. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but when it comes to business, there’s no place for it. Your post is loaded with a host of assumptions (e.g., Apple Watch as a bright future ahead of it)… we have no idea if the Apple Watch will take off. None. Nobody knows. Time will tell.

        You can give Apple as much time as you want. I’ve been watching for years and hearing the same thing: give them time. Give Cook time. Etc. It’s been years since Jobs died. We’ve got the Apple Watch. We don’t have Retina across the board. We have no Apple TV: you can’t tell me that even you can’t see having an App ecosystem on the TV with games, etc. would be huge for Apple. We have a botch new product launch.

        What Apple has done with software is a paint job where quality appears to have gone down. I’m looking at my Clamshell iBook running OS X 10.2… I see very little change in the OS… seriously.

        I hope over the next few years there are major revamps to software and products where they get a lot smarter. Right now, it’s the same old and has been for many years.

        1. Apple made 18 b profit from 74.b sales in Christmas quarter.
          13.6 b from revenue of 45 b in the following quarter.
          Both are record breakers. IPhone alone is bigger than Microsoft.
          these are numbers Steve Jobs never saw. Jobs would be proud.

          They are selling tens of millions of phones etc every month.
          user Satisfaction rating typically top the polls.

          With those numbers beating up on Apple is LUDICROUS.

          It’s like a coach (Tim Cook) with 3 Superbowl rings, and is indoctrinated into various Halls of Fame and with those stats you say “he’s a shit coach”… well whatever, everybody is entitled to an opinion… 🙂 .

    3. It DOES NOT MATTER whether Apple “fails”. It doesn’t matter if they don’t release some product that is in your mind. It doesn’t matter if they have a bug in some piece of code.

      It doesn’t matter because there is NOTHING ELSE better out there. Until that changes, Apple is KING.

      What’s that saying? A one eyed man (or woman*) is King (or Queen*) in a world full of blind men (or women*).

      * everything with a star is said in Eric Idle’s Monty Python voice.

      1. Paul:

        I totally agree with you. But what happens is with what I experience as a slippage it affects the experience and I am now wishing/hoping some more competition hits to give us all more choice. But yes, right now, until someone comes along with something better, Apple will remain KING. The world is all relative.

        1. Should Gaagle diversify before their search platform dies? The desktop is next to death and Gaagle will go down with it. Gaagle is a one trick pony. At least MS has two tricks. Apple is all business and the what is it, where is Apple in the hierarchy of companies? Oh yeah, the largest public company by income and every other metric. Now go away troll, you still have nothing to troll about.

        2. Then DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

          Get your finger out of your tight butt and do what Steve Jobs did. There is no one better than Apple and there aint goin to anyone better if Samdung/MS/Gaggle is all there is.

    4. 3. Apple Retail : I agree. People want more

      6. Lack of new types of products; I agree. Watch is one new hardware product. I presume some changes in television.

    5. Apple is a company that has done well based on a simple principle: strive for excellence. You have demonstrated the ability to find all the areas where your measure of excellence is higher than Apple’s. Good for you! When designing and manufacturing and marketing a product, a company has to make choices about when to stop building it ‘better’ and when to actually build it and ship it. You seem to have little appreciation for these practicalities.

      1. The remarks are constructive in their spur to Apple apologists, who must explain away more and more blots on the brand. The exercise of doing that keeps them sharp. All clans need their defenders, their sharpshooters. Also constructive is forcing debate instead of allowing an inbred lovefest. Debate challenges fans to consider their beliefs instead of placidly sipping the Kool-Aid.

        1. Suuuuuurrre, fraka. Tim and the rest would be coasting along in a delusion that everything is perfect if it weren’t for a few rude generalities from Dftr.

    6. Oh look it’s Dftr at home looking over some SJ photo’s …

      … Oh my god! that’s disgusting!

      Hey! Fsck Tard! … We All love Steve “Arhat” Jobs, but you seem to be taking the whole “love” thing a bit too far.

      I “love” Steve, we all do, but Steve has passed on … God Bless Steve!
      Steve is not forgotten, Steve is held in our highest of high thoughts, even with Steve’s capricious idiosyncrasies taken into account.

      Not one; none, zip, nought of your “points’ hold any import or validity. You seem to think of yourself as the doyen of all things regarding Apple, you’re not, you’re just another schmuck!

      Get out of the basement and start interacting with people; normal people, educated, rational people.

  2. The most profitable company in the world
    The largest company by market capitalization
    The most successful retailer by far
    I could list a few more

    Apple has continued to be successful as it was under Steve Jobs. We forget the problems that happened earlier but they definitely did. That doesn’t mean they should be resting on their laurels. At this point the only segment that is doing poorly is the iPad. In six months everyone will forget how long it took to get their Apple watch. As for acquisitions apple have always taken the long view and the strategy behind beats will become apparent at some point.

  3. Gruber ignores what Dr. Drucker (& Apple) spent a lifetime promoting at the school of business at the Claremont Colleges: ‘business is all about satisfying the customer.’

  4. The only way Apple will stop growing is if the economy collapses. It is crystal clear now that Apple is the technology leader. They have the most advanced and easy to use mobile devices, their smart watches are light years ahead of the competition and their computers work seamlessly with all devices. Soon they will introduce a home entertainment and smart appliance hub which will catapult the living room into the 21st century. In a few years the Apple Watch will be a personal medical assistant which will save countless lives, they could introduce a well-crafted AR device for entertainment and enterprise and reveal the most advanced car ever imagined, etc.

    To me, the most exciting advancement over the next several years will be faster than lightspeed craft which will shuttle space tourists and colonists around the Galaxy. Even though there is much debate in scientific circles, it appears NASA, China and others have recently developed an EM drive that can possibly bend spacetime using relatively low power. Some say an Earth to Mars travel will only take three minutes. Space travel and expansion of humanity into the Universe will be a huge area of growth for our species and companies that build the ships and provide the resources. This is not pie in the sky. If the EM drive space tests prove successful then this is doable now.

    Here is a link to “get up to speed”:

    http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/04/evaluating-nasas-futuristic-em-drive/

    The bottom line is, barring any calamity, Apple has the money and the brainpower to achieve many great things. I see these next few years of advancements make the last 35 years seem like a drop in the bucket.

  5. Apple makes great products, but the quality and stability of OS X has been going down. Case in point… the long standing wifi issues experienced by a lot of people, including me. When I opened a case about this with AppleCare, I found out that this is an acknowledged bug with the discoveryd process. We’re on 10.10.3 with 10.10.4 soon to be released, and a new version of OS X that will be announced next month. Exactly when is Apple going to fix this bug? I love the features of OS X, but I hate this bug.

  6. ‘Viability’ is NOT the correct term at all. Apple’s strategy, as it was with Jobs, both times, and continues to be under Tim Cook, is OBVIOUSLY ‘viable’ forever specifically because it is THE ideal (mostly) collaboration between customer and business.

    These ‘typical’ companies are NOT viable, as I consistently rant every day. They are blatantly SELF-DESTRUCTIVE. Therefore, THOSE companies constantly force themselves to worry about their ‘long-term viability’. If an observer of business does not understand this concept of self-destructive business, you haven’t studied enough business.

    This self-destructive quality comes right out of primitive, basic human behavior where negative-reinforcement is the instant default whenever anything goes wrong, strange of scary. It also comes directly out of insecurity. If you see a company using negative-reinforcement, you’re watching them enact a response to THEIR OWN INSECURITY.

    Secure and sane companies that comprehend and adhere to the tenants and ideals of actual capitalism, treat the customer as a collaborator by default. That is a constant. It never changes. If you’re reading this and think I’m speaking a foreign language, you were NOT taught about actual capitalism. My guess is that you were instead taught the very common corruption away from capitalism that I descriptively call PARASITISM.

    It’s hot here again today, so I’ll cut my lecture there. I’ve chattered about this endlessly in the past. The above is enough of a summary to spark discussion.

    So, sorry John! But you got it BACKWARDS, so to speak. Think about whether Target, now universally berated for ruining the credit accounts of millions of ‘customers’ (read ‘victims’) through blatant carelessness, has ‘long-term viability’ compared to Apple. I say obviously NOT. To hell with Target. My wish will be granted.

  7. Why do people get so cranked up about the existence of a gold Apple Watch? I think of Lexus/Infiniti/Acura cars – those brands were each created to satisfy folks who wanted the known quality of Toyota/Nissan/Honda vehicles but also wanted something a bit more upscale and/or visibly more expensive. (“I want people to know I can afford a BMW.”)

    The market has shown pretty clearly that there is a place for such products, even if everybody doesn’t share the mindset behind ’em (or, maybe, just can’t afford ’em.) I put a gold Apple Watch in the same category. And if Apple can sell a few of ’em at a profit, I think they’d be crazy NOT to do so.

  8. I am not so concerned about ‘shareholder pressure ‘ (most shareholders like myself or even the giants like Icahn seem to like Apple’s management on the whole) or entering new fields like Watch (apple needs to enter new fields like it did with Music — which at the time irritated a lot of Mac PC techie types).

    The real danger when Jobs passed and which Cook recognized was that Apple had a NEXIALIST in Jobs.

    A Nexialist is person who has knowledge of many fields and can pull together the information from many different specialists to create a solution. (It was a concept invented by sci fi writer AE Van Vogt).

    Jobs was a the ultimate Nexialist as he was techie, a person with great artistic sensibility, a genius marketeer (salesman) and a media expert (as in working with Media folks, see his work with iTunes and Pixar).

    Cook recognizes this and he’s been trying to shore up his own abilities by hires: Ahrendts for marketing, a whole bunch of designers to help Ive whom he made head of design, music people from Beats etc.

    The thing is whether he Cook can act as a sounding board for arbiter for example with Design. Jobs although ‘close like brothers’ apparently also had strong arguments with Ive (Ive said he actually walked out sometimes) over design direction. On the other hand FREEING designers and letting them expand might actually push the envelope. It’s fine high wire act fraught with dangers but great possibilities. I don’t want to voice ‘good’ or ‘bad ‘ but just look at the new Macbook: wonderfully light, brilliant new engineering but only one port… . (There are naysayers but it does seem to be selling like crazy. )

    for at the end of the day (as both user and shareholder) apple has be ‘Consumer Focused’.
    not focused on the ego of the engineer, designer, bureaucrat manager or marketing guy but on the consumer, i.e the ultimate aim of Apple is to ‘please the Apple user’ — all those different Apple’s employees aim is to do that. If they remember that everything will be fine.

    1. to be absolutely clear , I’m comfortable with apple is at right now. It’s not flawlessly but it’s performing great in so many areas — products are cutting edge and ground breaking — and of course making incredible amounts of money.

      Jobs like I postulated was a Nexialist but like I said Cook recognized it and addressed it by hires and so far on the whole it’s been working tremendously well.

      ( The Watch launch issue? The whole Swiss watch industry built up over decades sells about 30 million watches a year. Apple will sell probably millions, maybe tens of millions this year so ramping up production — where is all this ‘extra’ watch making capacity? — is not easy. In end selling out is better than bargain bin. )

  9. Dftr,

    It is clear that your primary complaint with Apple is that you aren’t running things, that management isn’t doing what you think is best. Of course, reality is that Tim Cook is the CEO of the world’s most profitable company, and whatever you may be in charge of isn’t even close. While you and I may have ideas that appear “common sense” to us, we are simply out-classed at this level of business acumen.

    Will Apple last forever? No, it simply won’t happen; history is a good teacher that nothing will last forever. Nonetheless, rather than complain that Apple will eventually fail, I am going to watch and marvel at its success until that downfall.

    1. Nothing lasts forever—except, perhaps, for really good ideas, which are emulated generation after generation, like sexual reproduction. Apple’s singular focus on user experience has a shot at the same kind of replicative longevity.

  10. as a longtime Mac owner, it is abundantly clear that Apple has done nothing to fundamentally improve the platform. Customer experience is taking a back seat to iOS app sales, which of course makes crazy money. Yippee. I wish the Mac OS wasn’t so ugly and that it would JUST WORK.

    Silver and others — if you disagree, you could try to offer FACTS instead of deflecting issues and attacking posters like the fanboys you are.

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