Editorial: Could Apple's lock on premium luxury be eclipsed by an era of good-enough gear?...

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  • Reply 41 of 148
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 4,071member
    I don't understand the bitter resentment that runs through all these pieces.

    "Could the profits that are currently driving Apple at some point shift to instead support vendors like Samsung and Huawei who offer cheaper access to new tech faster, in a sloppier but "good enough" beta technology form?"

    Sloppy? Beta? Good enough?

    You mean like keyboard designs that are Russian Roulette particle accumulators? That is sloppy design in my book. You mean iOS 11 sloppy?

    You mean like actually shipping Portrait Mode in beta?

    You mean like shipping a 5W charger is good enough? Like going back to a single camera is good enough? Like going 'full screen' but including big bezels on the XR is good enough?

    On the subject of handset profits, does anyone have information on they latest industry profit split?



    elijahgmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 42 of 148
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 989member
    Most people do seem to prefer iOS - certainly my friend group does, I have plenty of friends who are on Android and would like an iPhone, but complain it's simply too expensive. Several have switched away from iOS to Android in the past few years. One friend got a £300 Android phone at the same time I got a 6s, in 2015. It had a 5000mAh battery that lasted for days. He had it for three years and got a replacement last year. The camera in the new one stomps all over the £800 iPhone 8 that was out two years ago, and as well as my 6s's one. So that's just £250 for three years, then he got a new one last year for £250 with all the tech advancements that the 8 doesn't have. That's £500 for 4 years (assuming a hand-me-down after, rather than an eBay sale and not taking into account how long this new one will last). My 4 year old iPhone 6s is now feeling pretty creaky, and was £699 when new. I could have had two new Android phones in the time that I've had my 6s, spent £200 less, would have had a camera that far surpasses the one in my 6s, and wouldn't have had to fork out £90 for a new battery 2 years in. 

    An iPhone may last longer (as long as you don't drop/damage it), but is the extra year or two over an Android phone really worth it? I think the OS is good enough that it is worth that premium, but more and more people feel Apple is ripping them off. I got a new Apple Watch 4 a few days ago, and was annoyed to see Apple has chopped the charging puck cable length from 2 meters to just 0.75m. So now I have to rearrange the power supply or fork out for a USB extension cable to keep the same setup I have. Another example of Apple nickel and diming again.
    edited April 21 avon b7gatorguy80s_Apple_Guymuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 43 of 148
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 989member
    In the beginning Android was crap.  It’s good enough now, to give Android devices a look.  I remain concerned about the security of the Google Play Store, but I’m not a kid that downloads a bunch of junk. So, it’s less important...

    The iPhone and IPad don’t have me in an “ecosystem lock” but if I owned an Apple Watch the convenience factor would be compelling.  I don’t like watches... 

    I’m watching what Microsoft does with Android/Linux.  If they get better integration than what’s offered on Apple, that might move the needle...
    Good luck. You wont be missed.
    And that is exactly what people were saying in the 90's. And look where that left Apple. Are you actually an anti-Apple troll that is double bluffing to see their demise?
    [Deleted User]muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 44 of 148
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 989member

    Good article. “Good enough” will always be popular with the budget crowd, which uses price as the primary purchase consideration. Affordable luxury brands like Apple will continue to do fine with those who do not select based on price alone, and consider the value derived from better built systems and devices. 

    This is fine. There will always be both, likely in any product category from smartphones to hammers. Tho only in this product category will we see the price people creating accounts and posts to spin the narrative of decreasing sales to somehow imply their knockoff brands are “winning”. 
    I hope you're right and their recent blip is just that. But remember they were once the market leader in PCs, but now barely register on the needle internationally.
    edited April 21
  • Reply 45 of 148
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 989member
    Johan42 said:
    Diminishing returns is here. Apple’s planned obsolescence as well. Who will prevail? The customer who has no sense will.
    You’re high. Apple devices have the longest lifespan in the business — both in official support terms (iOS), and in real world useful lifespan. My primary desktop is a 2011 iMac. I have an iphone 4s that was used as a primary device by a family member until a year or two ago and now is a backup device. What other brand has the same support and lifespan longevity? 
    My Lenovo Thinkpad T60P laptop is over 12 years old and runs like it was new -- but with a modern OS and I'm thinking swapping its main harddrive for an SSD.  How does Apple have the "longest lifespan" ?
    Same here buddy. My MacBook is from late 2008. It is 11 years old, running smoothly , and it does so looking 5 times better than your machine.
    How well are all those security updates installing for you?
  • Reply 46 of 148
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 989member

    danvm said:
    Johan42 said:
    Diminishing returns is here. Apple’s planned obsolescence as well. Who will prevail? The customer who has no sense will.
    You’re high. Apple devices have the longest lifespan in the business — both in official support terms (iOS), and in real world useful lifespan. My primary desktop is a 2011 iMac. I have an iphone 4s that was used as a primary device by a family member until a year or two ago and now is a backup device. What other brand has the same support and lifespan longevity? 
    My Lenovo Thinkpad T60P laptop is over 12 years old and runs like it was new -- but with a modern OS and I'm thinking swapping its main harddrive for an SSD.  How does Apple have the "longest lifespan" ?
    Same here buddy. My MacBook is from late 2008. It is 11 years old, running smoothly , and it does so looking 5 times better than your machine.
    The difference is that the good looking machine is running an old OS X 10.11 while the ugly one is capable of running the latest version of Windows 10.  Following the original post about longest lifespan, the ugly one is ahead considering it's running a modern OS.  Still, both devices are to old for modern applications.  
    Nonsense. The capabilities of a machine depends on the CPU. You cannot override CPU’s physical limitations with the OS, no matter how modern it is. Windows support of earlier machines is because those were crap in terms of security. This a just a burden on Microsoft, not progress.
    Not quite. At a cost of speed, "physical limitations" of CPUs apart from speed can oft be "overridden" with software emulation. If the CPU is 64 bit, and it's running Windows 10, it can run pretty much all modern software, albeit much more slowly than a modern CPU. Oh, and it gets security updates. 
  • Reply 47 of 148
    gbdocgbdoc Posts: 67member

    If what Apple has done with Macs is any indicator, Apple’s “premium” shine will begin to dull. Their services may still add up to big business, but their hardware will not be hard to beat, and the prices will be too high for the hardware they make.

  • Reply 48 of 148
    burnsideburnside Posts: 16unconfirmed, member
    When I buy an Apple product, I know it will work. I've bought products running Windows and various flavors of Android that never, ever worked quite right. They'd be close. Close enough that I'd keep tinkering, installing/reinstalling, thinking we'd find a point of stability, only to end up with hours and $$ wasted. I've never had that happen with an Apple product (well, post-OS9). That's a BFD for people who need to get things done, not learn how to troubleshoot.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 49 of 148
    designrdesignr Posts: 524member
    First, I don't think Apple is necessary a "luxury" brand. Many people have like to make the car comparison to BMW, Porsche or Mercedes. But I've always felt this comparison missed (a more stylish Honda or Toyota might be a more apt analogy...today Tesla might be just because of the more forward pressing technology). Apple has offered a more premium experience but not exactly "luxury". They've excelled at a well-design, refined hardware-software integration experience with pretty solid fit and finish. Not always perfect of course. But again I would not characterize it as "luxury".

    Second, the short answer to this article is...yes. This is the basic story of products and technology...it basically "trickles down"...it gets "democratized" and commoditized. Furthermore there comes a point where for most customers (not just the "budget-minded" as some posters suggest) good enough is...good enough and they are start pointing their dollars at other pursuits.

    Spending more and more of these devices (phones, tablets, computers) does reach a point of diminishing returns to where it is actually an unwise use of money to keep spending at the top end. I mean you're not shooting movies and professional photos shoots on your phone...so more lenses and better cameras...okay, fine...but just not that important for most people holding up the camera to shoot a group selfie at the nightclub or ball game.

    This is all just reality.

    While services will help Apple extend their tight hardware-software integration beyond the device itself and maintain some customer stickiness, Apple's core competency, in my opinions is well design digital hardware/software devices that bring new, better value to my life. First computers, then digital music players, next phones, tablets and watches. These are all variations of one another. The question is where and how else can this skillset be applied next?
    edited April 21 elijahgmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 50 of 148
    bb-15bb-15 Posts: 265member
    Imagine a company looking through your mail, tracking where you go & what you buy to send advertising to you. In the past that would have been intolerable.   
    But that is what Google does. It mines data on its apps, ties it to the user and uses that data to send individualized ads to the customer. 
    This is how Google makes most of its money. 

    https://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/020515/business-google.asp ;

    https://bgr.com/2016/02/11/why-facebook-and-google-mine-your-data-and-why-theres-nothing-you-can-do-to-stop-it/ ;

    I minimize that kind of data tracking as much as possible & part of how I do that is to carefully use Apple products to reduce data tracking for ads.
    In addition, Apple has top notch customer service & devices which have OS support/updates for many years.  
    The Apple ecosystem works well across its devices. 
    Apple products by & large are simple to use & yet are very powerful. 

    For all those things which benefit me, I’m willing to pay a reasonable amount more. 

     
    rotateleftbyteGeorgeBMacbrucemcwatto_cobra
  • Reply 51 of 148
    danvmdanvm Posts: 791member
    bb-15 said:
    Imagine a company looking through your mail, tracking where you go & what you buy to send advertising to you. In the past that would have been intolerable.   
    But that is what Google does. It mines data on its apps, ties it to the user and uses that data to send individualized ads to the customer. 
    This is how Google makes most of its money. 

    https://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/020515/business-google.asp ;

    https://bgr.com/2016/02/11/why-facebook-and-google-mine-your-data-and-why-theres-nothing-you-can-do-to-stop-it/ ;

    I minimize that kind of data tracking as much as possible & part of how I do that is to carefully use Apple products to reduce data tracking for ads.
    In addition, Apple has top notch customer service & devices which have OS support/updates for many years.  
    The Apple ecosystem works well across its devices. 
    Apple products by & large are simple to use & yet are very powerful. 

    For all those things which benefit me, I’m willing to pay a reasonable amount more. 

     
    I suppose Google cannot be as bad as you said, considering Apple agreed to accept billions of dollars from Google to make their search engine default in iOS and macOS devices, right?
    avon b780s_Apple_Guymuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 52 of 148
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,888member
    elijahg said:

    danvm said:
    Johan42 said:
    Diminishing returns is here. Apple’s planned obsolescence as well. Who will prevail? The customer who has no sense will.
    You’re high. Apple devices have the longest lifespan in the business — both in official support terms (iOS), and in real world useful lifespan. My primary desktop is a 2011 iMac. I have an iphone 4s that was used as a primary device by a family member until a year or two ago and now is a backup device. What other brand has the same support and lifespan longevity? 
    My Lenovo Thinkpad T60P laptop is over 12 years old and runs like it was new -- but with a modern OS and I'm thinking swapping its main harddrive for an SSD.  How does Apple have the "longest lifespan" ?
    Same here buddy. My MacBook is from late 2008. It is 11 years old, running smoothly , and it does so looking 5 times better than your machine.
    The difference is that the good looking machine is running an old OS X 10.11 while the ugly one is capable of running the latest version of Windows 10.  Following the original post about longest lifespan, the ugly one is ahead considering it's running a modern OS.  Still, both devices are to old for modern applications.  
    Nonsense. The capabilities of a machine depends on the CPU. You cannot override CPU’s physical limitations with the OS, no matter how modern it is. Windows support of earlier machines is because those were crap in terms of security. This a just a burden on Microsoft, not progress.
    Not quite. At a cost of speed, "physical limitations" of CPUs apart from speed can oft be "overridden" with software emulation. If the CPU is 64 bit, and it's running Windows 10, it can run pretty much all modern software, albeit much more slowly than a modern CPU. Oh, and it gets security updates. 

    To increase your signal to noise ratio please go to ark.intel.com, find Intel Core Duo under Legacy Intel Processors, compare it to today’s 9th generation Intel. Then please tell us what capabilities can you implement via software emulation to make it run as 9th gen Intel !...

    A Core Duo will always run as Core Duo regardless of the OS or whatever software emulation you implement. In most cases a legacy machine will run faster under its native OS, XP Vista or whatever, not to mention also the legacy driver support. Windows 10 forums are full of people screaming because of the lack of legacy driver support and reverting back to their legacy OS for that reason. Yes you get a modern OS and most probably better security but you lose the fingerprint reader or the sound card...

    edited April 21 watto_cobra
  • Reply 53 of 148
    doggonedoggone Posts: 184member
    1. Apple still takes all the profit. Other companies will rise and fall as they chase market share.  Samsung have deep pockets so can alway ride out the lean times..  Others cannot.
    2. Security / Privacy is going to be a big issue - at some point Android will fall down like M$ did back in the late 90s.
    3. Apple will continue to innovate at their usual pace.  The AppleWatch and AirPods are excellent examples  - they just don't grad the headlines like the iPhone and iPad did.

    My main concern is that Apple is not putting the pressure on the competition.  They wiped out the music player competition by offer multiple products are every level and gradually dropping the price to squeeze the competition into the very lowest revenue sector of the market.  They need to do this more for the Mac and the iPhone.  This means not just high end units but "good enough" low end units that appear modern.  Apple needs to be more aggressive and I don't see much evidence of that at the moment.

    firelockLatkowatto_cobra
  • Reply 54 of 148
    Good enough for me. Just bought more Apple shares. Next quarterly report should raise price and next dividend payment should cover my next “Good Enough” iPhone upgrade. 


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 55 of 148
    henrybayhenrybay Posts: 105member
    The main factor now driving Apple profitability is the software (iOS, MacOS), not the hardware. 

    Apple’s hardware is being destroyed by a ‘design extremism’ that prioritises thinness and minimalism over functionality. This results in faulty keyboards, lack of ports and the removal of much loved features Ike Touch ID and MagSafe cables. 

    Jony Ives has much to answer for in this respect. But Tim Cook won’t challenge him because he is basically a supply chain management guy, and feels out of his depth when it comes to design aesthetics and functionality. 

    If Steve Jobs we’re alive today he would tell Ives, ‘I don’t care how elegantly thin the new MacBook is, if the keyboard doesn’t work it’s trash! And stop removing stuff from our products that people really like - like ports, and TouchID. We’re not creating art here, we’re trying to make products that folks love to use and can rely on! If this means they have to be a little thicker - make them thicker, God dam it!’ 

    If Jobs was in a particularly bad mood, he might add, ‘Look Jony, you’ve had a good run here at Apple, but all this adulation and success has gone to your head. You’ve become a design extremist, and our products are suffering for it. If you don’t prioritise functionality over thinness it’s time for you to move on.’ 
    edited April 21 [Deleted User]LatkoGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 56 of 148
    boredumbboredumb Posts: 1,416member
    Johan42 said:
    Diminishing returns is here. Apple’s planned obsolescence as well. Who will prevail? The customer who has no sense will.
    You’re high. Apple devices have the longest lifespan in the business — both in official support terms (iOS), and in real world useful lifespan. My primary desktop is a 2011 iMac. I have an iphone 4s that was used as a primary device by a family member until a year or two ago and now is a backup device. What other brand has the same support and lifespan longevity? 
    All true, and good examples...My desktop is the same vintage.  I just replaced a 2011 MBAir with an MBPro.  I still use the original mini, and my wife uses the first iPad Air.

    None of which 'proves' that Apple isn't gradually settling for "a bit better" than competitors instead of the traditional 'utter excellence' standard.  

    I've felt that way for a few years with hardware/software/services - as an example, customer service may still lead the pack, but it simply isn't what it was.  'Communities' is useless, most phone reps don't use some of the equipment they talk to you about, so that a long-time user is likely to be better informed than the person they are turning to for help, and the result is that the stores are swamped for help (at least the few that I visit).  

    That MBPro I referred to?  I have the space grey, and the aluminum is much softer than the older Air, which is virtually unscratched, while the MBP has several small "nicks" despite the same type of usage, but 7 1/2 years less of it.  And a few letters on the newer keyboard are already going 'mushy'.
  • Reply 57 of 148
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,117moderator
    Good article. “Good enough” will always be popular with the budget crowd, which uses price as the primary purchase consideration. Affordable luxury brands like Apple will continue to do fine with those who do not select based on price alone, and consider the value derived from better built systems and devices. 

    This is fine. There will always be both, likely in any product category from smartphones to hammers. Tho only in this product category will we see the price people creating accounts and posts to spin the narrative of decreasing sales to somehow imply their knockoff brands are “winning”. 
    I'm not at all sure that "good enough" is only popular with the "Budget Crowd". 
    No responsible person should want to pay more for something they don't need or want.
    ...  Although I could afford a Rolls, Bentley or Porsche, I'm happy with my Honda.  It serves my needs well.

    In the case of laptops or smart phones, why would a person who sits at a table and  browses the internet or checks email or facebook need or want an expensive, high powered, high end product?  In the case of laptops, a $2,000 laptop would simply be a waste of money.
    Oops, you compared high priced car brands to Hondas.  You should have realized that Honda in your comparison is Apple.  Affordable and with a good balance of form and function, plus better build quality than a Rolls Royce, and maybe even a Porsche.  
    kruegdudepscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 58 of 148
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,117moderator
    danvm said:
    bb-15 said:
    Imagine a company looking through your mail, tracking where you go & what you buy to send advertising to you. In the past that would have been intolerable.   
    But that is what Google does. It mines data on its apps, ties it to the user and uses that data to send individualized ads to the customer. 
    This is how Google makes most of its money. 

    https://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/020515/business-google.asp ;

    https://bgr.com/2016/02/11/why-facebook-and-google-mine-your-data-and-why-theres-nothing-you-can-do-to-stop-it/ ;

    I minimize that kind of data tracking as much as possible & part of how I do that is to carefully use Apple products to reduce data tracking for ads.
    In addition, Apple has top notch customer service & devices which have OS support/updates for many years.  
    The Apple ecosystem works well across its devices. 
    Apple products by & large are simple to use & yet are very powerful. 

    For all those things which benefit me, I’m willing to pay a reasonable amount more. 

     
    I suppose Google cannot be as bad as you said, considering Apple agreed to accept billions of dollars from Google to make their search engine default in iOS and macOS devices, right?
    Oops, you forgot what Tom Cook said on that very issue.  iOS/Safari has controls that limit the data even Google can collect.  
    kruegdudewatto_cobra
  • Reply 59 of 148
    danvmdanvm Posts: 791member
    danvm said:
    bb-15 said:
    Imagine a company looking through your mail, tracking where you go & what you buy to send advertising to you. In the past that would have been intolerable.   
    But that is what Google does. It mines data on its apps, ties it to the user and uses that data to send individualized ads to the customer. 
    This is how Google makes most of its money. 

    https://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/020515/business-google.asp ;

    https://bgr.com/2016/02/11/why-facebook-and-google-mine-your-data-and-why-theres-nothing-you-can-do-to-stop-it/ ;

    I minimize that kind of data tracking as much as possible & part of how I do that is to carefully use Apple products to reduce data tracking for ads.
    In addition, Apple has top notch customer service & devices which have OS support/updates for many years.  
    The Apple ecosystem works well across its devices. 
    Apple products by & large are simple to use & yet are very powerful. 

    For all those things which benefit me, I’m willing to pay a reasonable amount more. 

     
    I suppose Google cannot be as bad as you said, considering Apple agreed to accept billions of dollars from Google to make their search engine default in iOS and macOS devices, right?
    Oops, you forgot what Tom Cook said on that very issue.  iOS/Safari has controls that limit the data even Google can collect.  
    Oops, I remember Cook answer in the interview,
    “Look at what we’ve done with the controls we’ve built in,” Cook said. “We have private web browsing. We have an intelligent tracker prevention. What we’ve tried to do is come up with ways to help our users through their course of the day.  It’s not a perfect thing. I’d be the very first person to say that. But it goes a long way to helping,”   

    Could it be that the "no so perfect thing" is the enough information Google need from Apple customers to pay billions of dollars per year?  Taking that aside, way is Apple, who praises their privacy POV make business and accept money of one of the worst companies in business privacy-wise, and makes them the default search engine for their users?  Does it makes sense to you? 
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 60 of 148
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 989member
    elijahg said:

    danvm said:
    Johan42 said:
    Diminishing returns is here. Apple’s planned obsolescence as well. Who will prevail? The customer who has no sense will.
    You’re high. Apple devices have the longest lifespan in the business — both in official support terms (iOS), and in real world useful lifespan. My primary desktop is a 2011 iMac. I have an iphone 4s that was used as a primary device by a family member until a year or two ago and now is a backup device. What other brand has the same support and lifespan longevity? 
    My Lenovo Thinkpad T60P laptop is over 12 years old and runs like it was new -- but with a modern OS and I'm thinking swapping its main harddrive for an SSD.  How does Apple have the "longest lifespan" ?
    Same here buddy. My MacBook is from late 2008. It is 11 years old, running smoothly , and it does so looking 5 times better than your machine.
    The difference is that the good looking machine is running an old OS X 10.11 while the ugly one is capable of running the latest version of Windows 10.  Following the original post about longest lifespan, the ugly one is ahead considering it's running a modern OS.  Still, both devices are to old for modern applications.  
    Nonsense. The capabilities of a machine depends on the CPU. You cannot override CPU’s physical limitations with the OS, no matter how modern it is. Windows support of earlier machines is because those were crap in terms of security. This a just a burden on Microsoft, not progress.
    Not quite. At a cost of speed, "physical limitations" of CPUs apart from speed can oft be "overridden" with software emulation. If the CPU is 64 bit, and it's running Windows 10, it can run pretty much all modern software, albeit much more slowly than a modern CPU. Oh, and it gets security updates. 

    To increase your signal to noise ratio please go to ark.intel.com, find Intel Core Duo under Legacy Intel Processors, compare it to today’s 9th generation Intel. Then please tell us what capabilities can you implement via software emulation to make it run as 9th gen Intel !...

    A Core Duo will always run as Core Duo regardless of the OS or whatever software emulation you implement. In most cases a legacy machine will run faster under its native OS, XP Vista or whatever, not to mention also the legacy driver support. Windows 10 forums are full of people screaming because of the lack of legacy driver support and reverting back to their legacy OS for that reason. Yes you get a modern OS and most probably better security but you lose the fingerprint reader or the sound card...

    To decrease your ignorance level, please go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emulator .

    You'll note I said 64-bit. Core Duos are not 64 bit. But in any case, it is possible for a 32-bit CPU to do 64-bit calculations, but they are much slower as they're done in software. Like I said, if an older CPU doesn't support an extension of x64 that a modern piece of software uses, the missing extension is emulated in software. It is much slower, as I said, but it allows modern software to run on older CPUs. If this wasn't the case, it would mean software would always have to be written for the lowest target CPU that the developer thinks may be used. Otherwise the software would crash as soon as an unsupported instruction was encountered. No developer would specifically target a 9th gen i9, as it would only be supported on a tiny subset of systems. 

    Driver support is a different beast entirely, that's up to the manufacturer of the peripheral on a PC. If a manufacturer keeps the peripheral updated, even a 15 year old peripheral will run just fine in Win 10. Apple supplies all the drivers for Macs and could keep old drivers updated to ensure they worked on newer OSs, so your point is moot; the same issue would not pertain to Macs.

    And to prove my point, the Church-Turing thesis corroborates exactly what I said above.
    edited April 21
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