Editorial: Will Apple's 1990's 'Golden Age' collapse repeat itself?

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 30
Once, long ago, Apple Computer, Inc. commissioned a new headquarters in Northern California just as it began losing its position as a leader in personal computing tech in the early '90s. Could history repeat itself in our modern era?


1 Infinite Loop (top) was the first of Apple's three largest California campuses

History repeats, always with a twist

As Apple more recently embarked upon its massive second modern expansion at Apple Park, pundits crafted a narrative claiming the company was fated to suffer from an 'arrogant construction hubris' and ultimately fail.

There's certainly no sign of that supposed "Curse of the Edifice Complex" today, a few years later as Apple expands even further beyond Apple Park with surrounding buildings--including its monumentally lavish Visitors Center in Cupertino--and the nearby third facility known as Wolfe Campus.

The tech media's future outlook for Apple appears to have always been pretty wrong. The same kind of handwringing that hung over Apple Park during its construction did not occur over thirty years ago when the company was completing its first major campus back in 1993, just prior to a period of actual uncertainty and upheaval that really did result in a dour Beleaguerment Era for the Mac maker.

To better understand some of the reasons why pundit advice and prognostication are so frequently misguided, take a look at the Old Apple during its first major campus project--in the context of what was happening at the company in contrast to what outsiders imagined was occurring based on a superficial understanding of the market--and consider what's different this time around.

Apple's 1990s "Golden Age" campus

Apple's first major campus project in Northern California, known as 1 Infinite Loop, had just finishing completion in 1993 at the tail end of what at the time had been commonly called Apple's Golden Age: the pinnacle of its then highly-regarded Macintosh business that was just approaching its ten year anniversary--not unlike today's iPhone.

The Macintosh-centric Apple had pioneered the development of advanced concepts including QuickTime digital video editing, voice synthesis and recognition, ultra-fast desktop computer hardware, new hyperlinked worlds with explorable nodes of virtual reality, and the promise of a new generation of mobile Newton personal digital assistant tablets.

Across the '80s, Apple had achieved a pattern of distantly outperforming the collective mainstream of commodity copycat cloners in the industry by seeking to achieve something much greater than just incremental hardware advancement. While almost entirely forgotten after its fall in the mid-'90s, Apple was commonly described at the time as having entered a Golden Age, a period of time where everything it delivered was impressive and exciting and desirable.

The new headquarters of 1 Infinite Loop reflected that Golden Age optimism while figuratively planting a nostalgic homage to representations of how it got there in its campus Sculpture Garden, a feature depicting cartoonish, low-resolution Mac icons sprouting from the lawn. The Apple of the early 90s could easily be mistaken for today's Google.



Apple's Sculpture Garden. Source: 512 Pixels

Apple's Golden Age meltdown

Anyone who lived through the 1990s, however, will no doubt recall a different descriptive phrase attached to the company. By the mid- to late-'90s it was virtually impossible to read anything about "Apple Computer, Inc." without a specific introductory adjective that was, at the same time, wistful, disparaging, infantilizing and dismissive. The company was, and always was, referred to as the beleaguered Apple Computer.

Despite suffering the consequences of both internal issues of its own making and outside problems beyond its control, Apple wasn't so much branded as being incompetent or victimized as it was just Beleaguered, as if it were inherently fated to always be chained to a hopeless dream and unachievable utopia that the company could envision and articulate but not instantiate in a viable, sustainable, commercially significant form.

But Apple's problems weren't really a romantic curse. There were solid, rational reasons why the company began drifting sideways, even if much of the media lacked any understanding of this--or even knew that things were headed in a bad direction at all.

Across the '90s, Apple had defined airy visions of the future. Those included its Knowledge Navigator demonstration of a voice-based assistant concept and the nearly magical Newton Message Pad tablet, both championed by Apple's late-80s CEO John Sculley.

The company actually defined the outer realms of possibility in computers by developing software powerful enough to anticipate the needs of non-technical artists with its intuitive Mac user interface. It then promised to allow them to author multimedia with QuickTime, the first non-linear digital video editing platform for personal computers. That futurist technology appeared for Macs at a time when commodity PCs were still struggling to play back simple audio.

QuickTime
Apple developed non-linear video editing for Macs before PCs could reliably play back audio


Apple promised to usher in the same kind of future-forward upgrades for advanced page layout and printing with QuickDraw GX; for 3D graphics with QuickDraw 3D; for sophisticated local document search with V-Twin; for advanced OS and User Interface development with Copland and Gershwin; for non-proprietary files with the document-based OpenDoc, and for tools to create and explore virtual reality worlds with QuickTime VR.

The company also delivered major hardware-based Mac upgrades enabling advanced AudioVisual capabilities using Digital Signal Processors from AT&T and later RISC-based PowerPC chips in its partnerships with IBM and Motorola. This allowed Apple's computers to digitally ingest, edit and output video from a camcorder and to play or record CD quality audio right out of the box long before PCs could do either.

However, as the '90s dragged on Apple's consistent inability to actually deliver upon what it was promising at a price mainstream users would pay set it up for real-world failure. At the same time, the Mac maker began running into intense competition from generic DOS PCs.

Apple had been struggling with its own development plans for Copland, its modern new Mac operating system. It was still fighting to finish its Newton OS tablet software. And it had grown increasingly distracted with a series of other moonshots and side projects--including the Mac-based Pippin games console--that various teams of engineers were inventing within their personal fiefdoms inside Apple's Advanced Technology Group and other think-tank silos funded by the revenues from the Mac's Golden Age.


Newton and Pippin, harbingers of today's side-project moonshots


Apple wasn't just fudging things internally. It had also embarked upon three large-scale, ultimately ill-fated joint efforts with Motorola and IBM to design PowerPC chips, to develop a new next-generation cross-platform OS known as Taligent, and to build multimedia tools development tools at Kaleida Labs.

It had also launched a separate new mobile processor architecture for its Newton Message Pad, known as ARM, with partners Acorn and VLSI. There was a lot going on outside of Apple's core Mac business, but none of it was making enough money to sustain itself.

Across the company's first five years at 1 Infinite Loop, Apple appeared to be caught in the vortex of a swirling drain, losing its customers and market share to cheaper commodity PC makers while being forced to frantically delay and ultimately cancel failed initiatives such as QuickDraw GX and OpenDoc after they had wasted the time and resources of its third-party developers.

After a period of constant beleaguerment that seemed to last for a generation (but really only stretched from 1994 to 1998, shorter than either Microsoft's Windows-Zune mobile meltdown a decade later, or Google's increasingly bleak implosion of hardware attempts from Motorola to Nest to Nexus and Pixel today, two decades later), Apple began to emerge anew under the returned leadership of Steve Jobs, who slashed away failed experiments and underperforming business segments to focus on ones that customers would want and could afford and which could sustain Apple itself.

Could an Apple again fumble its Golden Age?

Today's Apple under Tim Cook is wildly different from the Apple of the early '90s. In part, that's because much of the executive team -- including Cook--experienced first hand the results of the lack of curation and focus that nearly doomed Apple in the mid-'90s as they began working to salvage the company under Jobs in the late '90s. Jobs recruited Cook to Apple in 1998, at a time when many still dismissed the company as an unredeemable failure.

Other companies, including Microsoft, had only watched from afar as the Old Apple began rolling on its side. That allowed Microsoft's executives to blissfully preside over a series of ill-considered and poorly planned and managed projects like the Zune music player, the KIN initiative aimed at building a new kind of phone from scratch targeting the youth demographic, and the ambitious but poorly conceived and implemented Surface RT project to make PCs lighter, thinner and more mobile using ARM chips that couldn't run existing Windows software.


Microsoft's Newton


Beyond those internal failings--which included Microsoft's own Copland-like struggles with Vista, Windows 8, Windows Mobile and Windows 10--the company also engaged in dramatically bad partnerships and acquisitions. It spent $15 billion buying Nokia and aQuantive, with nothing remaining to show for either one apart from layoffs and losses.

Everyone one of those missteps was worse than Apple's fall in the mid-'90s. Microsoft had enjoyed a much more resplendent Golden Age than the Old Apple had, but then lost its key market position and relevance as the world shifted to mobile devices. For Microsoft, there was no return of its founder Bill Gates to put the company's old business back together again.

Following Microsoft, another Golden Age meltdown in tech

Microsoft wasn't the only company to fail to learn anything from Apple's mid-'90s brush with death: Google today has similarly spent billions on far-off ideas that failed to materialize as real businesses. Like Microsoft, Google also spent $15 billion to acquire two massive businesses, Motorola and Nest, then failed to do anything very productive with them as it fired thousands of workers and eventually sold off much of the remaining assets to China at a massive discount.

Google similarly had grandiose ideas about the future of computing but failed to deliver much more than a copy of Apple's original work. Many of the novel parts of Android were removed and replaced with ideas taken from iOS. Chrome OS was initially envisioned as a PC web-based netbook but is now trying to morph into an iPad-like touchscreen tablet.

Even Google's far off future "Fuchsia" OS strategy is abstractly named after a color, which not so subtly calls to mind the Blue and Pink cards Apple used while trying to lay out some deliverables for its Copland releases. Google has now been struggling to find a significant customer for Chrome OS a decade after it was outlined as a strategy in 2009. That's reminiscent of Apple's nebulous Newton strategy under early '90s CEO John Sculley and Microsoft's Tablet PC initiatives under Gates in the 2000s.

Rather than describing the failure of Chrome OS to find any traction anywhere apart from the very small, very unprofitable K-12 as being a Newton or Tablet PC type failure, today's tech journalists have portraying Google's struggling netbook as a problem for Apple, even though shipments of Chromebooks have had a minor impact on Apple's U.S. sales in K12 and no real impact at all on iPads among consumers, the enterprise, and in massive new emerging markets including China.

In parallel, Google's self-branded hardware efforts have been a mess despite double-digit billions in acquisitions and investment. Google's Nexus offered low-priced devices that sold in disappointing quantities, much like Apple's own ill-fated attempt at low-end Performa Macs from 1992-1997. Google's subsequent Pixel products offered premium-priced devices that sold in disappointing quantities, much like Apple's Newton and fancy vanity projects like the company's Twentieth Anniversary Mac.


Google's Newton


Google is also today pursuing a dual OS strategy involving two entirely different architectures (JavaVM-based Android and its web-based ChromeOS), not dissimilar to Apple's Mac-Newton rift, or the problems Microsoft slogged through with DOS/Win95 vs NT, and again with the kernel disparity of Windows for PCs and Windows Mobile.

Three samples of failure exposed to varying amounts of criticism


For Apple, Microsoft and Google, launching a series of wild, unrestrained moonshots while having multiple, competing platforms all vying for attention in the same space while not actually selling much of anything turned out to be a really bad strategy with terrible results. But our science experiment subjects here also show the effects of outside stimulus.

The tech media initially cheered all on three because they didn't seem to realize that making news is not the same as making money. Once reporters discovered that a decade of moonshots and wild, unrestrained spending without sustainable sales was actually a big problem, they turned on Apple and reviled it.

There has been less criticism of Microsoft despite its massive loss of control over the future of technology, and very little of Google at all. A lack of criticism results in a lack of course-correction. Relentless criticism of Apple has greatly improved the trajectory of the company, as demonstrated by its fixes for iCloud, Maps, and the App Store in response to media castigation. Apple has also materially changed the direction of Siri.

Tepid assurances by the media that Microsoft could reassume its monopoly control over mobile devices and take back tablets by simply copying elements of Apple's strategy cooed the company to sleep. Today Microsoft has zero phone business and its tablet and PC sales are a low-profit busywork distraction that haven't grown across many years of trying, not unlike Performa Macs of the 90s or Google's more recent Nexus and Pixels.

Apple's non-golden age

Today, Apple is focused on fewer products that sell in massive quantities at sustainable profits. The company's software updates have achievable, short-term goals, rather than charting out far out future dreams or trying to deliver grandiose notions such as a voice-first ambient computing or an advertising-based social surveillance network that people may not even want once they see what it really means.

Apple's modern developer APIs are generally stable enough to rely upon, rather than being promises that don't ever fully materialize that are then thrown out once the focus changes. Yet Apple isn't praised as sitting on a Golden Age today. It's generally ridiculed by the media for not pursuing ambitiously entertaining public stories and moonshot ideas.

Apple Carrousel du Louvre
Apple today is defined by solid products customers can buy, not grandiouse vaporware the media can write about


Rather than declaring Apple's wildly successful recent history as a Golden Age, pundits have been giving their lethal applause to Microsoft and Google. But those fun moonshots to nowhere--including blood sugar monitoring contacts that don't actually exist, its Andy Rubin robot initiatives that had little real commercial value, its stabs at social networking that nobody cared about and its radical efforts to shift society and industry--from Wallet to Glass to Project ARA to Tango--have been an unbroken series of expensive projects that never went anywhere.

Across the 2000s and early 2010s, Apple far exceeded the accomplishments of its previous Golden Age of the late 80s and early 90s. And did so while being severely constrained operationally in its corporate office space.

The new Millennium Apple, under Jobs, focused on a flexible, new eye-catching material he made more valuable than gold as he and his hand-selected team turned Apple around, as the next segment will examine tomorrow.
bakedbananaswatto_cobra
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 62
    Amen Brother Daniel.  Spot on as usual :p
    StrangeDaysradarthekatbakedbananasbadmonkwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 2 of 62
    Amen Brother Daniel.  Spot on as usual :p
    Hahahahaha in the 80s, Apple has no $billion in cash hordes, now making mistakes won’t have a dent on their pocket. New Buildings are aimed at directing moving back to america w their billions tax breaks. 
    mwhite
  • Reply 3 of 62
    I think the difference between Apple then and Apple now (and this problem was shared by many failed companies/services) – these were all companies that weren't actually using their typical hardware and software in their day to day tasks. AKA "Eating your own dog food."

    Anyone with a long enough memory will recall that the Macintosh "Macintrash" lineup from the mid 90s was vast and garbage. Crashes were frequent, the default configurations were underpowered for the software of the day and the products were far more expensive than very similar competition. Apple had relatively little control over many of these factors, and certainly having most of their IP near-duplicated by Microsoft was a huge blow to the company's value proposition. The result was inevitable.

    Since then Apple has had a major re-focus on the end user experience of their devices and services - this helped the company significantly, and it's something Jobs was notoriously demanding about. While Apple doesn't sell cheap hardware, what they do sell is dollar-for-dollar competitive and they are making serious efforts to take control of their supply chain and owning the technologies which their devices depend upon. The A-series is the most obvious of this, with the expectation of switching away from Intel as performance gains continue to flow.

    Even in recent history: Look at all the companies that were making smartphones (e.g. Microsoft), yet the staff kept using iPhones. Companies like these don't make smartphones anymore despite their massive budgets - if their own staff won't use them, how do they expect people to keep buying them.
    cornchipChampionPowerpscooter63watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 4 of 62
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,988member
    Chilled. History don't repeat the same way as perceived by worried people. Long as Apple has still Steve Job/s DNA running, Apple is will be fine.

    The day Steve Jobs no longer inside Apple's DNA, Apple is doomed.

    edited April 28 watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 62
    Don’t get me wrong. I’m an Apple user, an AI daily reader, and I also quite like DED’s work. The article is spot on... just like the last half a dozen times it was published here! The only difference is the newer context, which still leads to the same (right) conclusion.

    See you guys next year!!! ;)
  • Reply 6 of 62
    bulk001bulk001 Posts: 481member
    A much more balanced and nuanced article than some in the more recent past. But why the constant obsession with how the media treats Apple? When it comes to making a statement about what they want, consumers have spoken. The rest - the media, Wall Street analysts etc are just noise. Enjoy the success Apple has (and will continue) to have - it is like my dog who always wants to go out for a walk but then is constantly looking back at the others dogs in the park and can’t relax and enjoy the time outside. 
    sirlance99watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 62
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,361member
    In school (specifically the creative arts & design), the teachers (the good ones anyway) usually push the best students to do even better. The mediocre students generally don’t get driven as hard or minor details called out as being in need of correction.

    it simply comes with being the best. If you regularly dish out so-so work it’s hard to know where to start critiquing, and student gets a b or b-. For the student that regularly cranks out amazing work, it becomes easier to call out specific flaws, and will get an a or even a b+, even though the work compared to the b student is obviously far superior. It’s tough being the best.
    cgWerkspscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 62
    It's like waiting for IBM or Microsoft to die. It isn't going to happen.
    mwhiteStrangeDays
  • Reply 9 of 62
    Article starts off well and then descends into the usual anti Microsoft/Google rant.
    Looking forward to part 2 actually answering the author's own question. 
  • Reply 10 of 62
    The difference between the direction for Apple since the passing of Steve Jobs is that of invention.  Steve took bold chances and was not afraid to take them.  Let us not forget that when the iPhone was introduced to the world in front of millions that it was still in beta form.  But for release it was a solid viable product.  Steve invented the personal computer and the iPhone (of course with an amazing team).  What Apple needs and can afford to hire are bold inventors.  So far since Jobs passing we have only had bigger screens, smaller screens on all major products (besides Airpods and HomePod). I’m a huge Apple fan.  Been visiting this site every day since 1997.  Apple is my absolute favorite company.  I want to see them survive forever 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 62
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,169member
    bulk001 said:
    A much more balanced and nuanced article than some in the more recent past. But why the constant obsession with how the media treats Apple? When it comes to making a statement about what they want, consumers have spoken. The rest - the media, Wall Street analysts etc are just noise. Enjoy the success Apple has (and will continue) to have - it is like my dog who always wants to go out for a walk but then is constantly looking back at the others dogs in the park and can’t relax and enjoy the time outside. 
    Very few people base their opinions on reality (experience) these days, instead they go for plausibility so perception of Apple is heavily dependent on their  portrayal.
    We could all idly pass by these deceptions without challenging them and, when our societies collapse, point the finger at others.  But readers of this blog aren’t THAT kind of person.
  • Reply 12 of 62
    sirozhasirozha Posts: 573member
    Google and Microsoft are tremendous cash machines. The fact that Google isn’t making money on Chromebooks doesn’t mean
    thay Google is not making money. By offering Chromebooks Google prevented Apple
    from making many additional billions of dollars by not being able to sell as many iPads to schools as they could have, had there not been a cheaper alternative available. Google also denied Apple more than 75% of the smartphone market. Google may not have made much money on Android, but they surely prevented Apple from making hundreds of billions of dollars more. At the same time, Google is killing it in its core business, which is advertising, and Apple can't touch Google there no matter how hard Apple tries. 

    Microsoft failed in mobile OS, but Microsoft is killing it in the Enterprise software while steadily approaching the 1 Trillion capitalization after a lost decade under Ballmer. So, whereas Microsoft’s mistakes are behind them, Apple seems to be walking into the lost decade now. For one, I do not understand what all those tens of thousands of Apple engineers are doing because nothing revolutionary that should take so many engineers to create has come out of Apple lately. 

    Maybe we are about to see a new revolutionary product come out of Apple this year. Otherwise, I simply don’t understand what Apple has been doing lately. 

    As for the improvements in iCloud and Apple maps, they are simply laughable. I try Apple maps every six months, but it’s just as bad as it has been for years. It gets me lost every time without a fail. As for iCloud, the storage portion of it is so rudimentary! I still can’t share folders with my wife, who is on the same Family Sharing account. Hence, we can’t work on the same project (like taxes) in parallel. This is such a basic functionality that Apple can’t figure out that iCloud storage is not even suitable for simple tasks done by traditional families. 


    elijahgnubuswilliamlondon78BanditdewmeSanctum1972
  • Reply 13 of 62
    flydogflydog Posts: 328member
    cornchip said:
    In school (specifically the creative arts & design), the teachers (the good ones anyway) usually push the best students to do even better. The mediocre students generally don’t get driven as hard or minor details called out as being in need of correction.

    it simply comes with being the best. If you regularly dish out so-so work it’s hard to know where to start critiquing, and student gets a b or b-. For the student that regularly cranks out amazing work, it becomes easier to call out specific flaws, and will get an a or even a b+, even though the work compared to the b student is obviously far superior. It’s tough being the best.
    Did you post this here by mistake?  
    pscooter63
  • Reply 14 of 62
    flydogflydog Posts: 328member
    Kuyangkoh said:
    Amen Brother Daniel.  Spot on as usual :p
    Hahahahaha in the 80s, Apple has no $billion in cash hordes, now making mistakes won’t have a dent on their pocket. New Buildings are aimed at directing moving back to america w their billions tax breaks. 
    Apple did in fact have cash on hand of at least $1b in the late 80s and it’s been over $1b each year since except 1993 and 1995.  
    bakedbananas
  • Reply 15 of 62
    analogjackanalogjack Posts: 1,069member
    To paraphrase John Maynard Keynes "in the long run we are all doomed"
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 16 of 62
    sirozha said:
    Google and Microsoft are tremendous cash machines. The fact that Google isn’t making money on Chromebooks doesn’t mean
    thay Google is not making money. By offering Chromebooks Google prevented Apple
    from making many additional billions of dollars by not being able to sell as many iPads to schools as they could have, had there not been a cheaper alternative available. Google also denied Apple more than 75% of the smartphone market. Google may not have made much money on Android, but they surely prevented Apple from making hundreds of billions of dollars more. At the same time, Google is killing it in its core business, which is advertising, and Apple can't touch Google there no matter how hard Apple tries. 

    Microsoft failed in mobile OS, but Microsoft is killing it in the Enterprise software while steadily approaching the 1 Trillion capitalization after a lost decade under Ballmer. So, whereas Microsoft’s mistakes are behind them, Apple seems to be walking into the lost decade now. For one, I do not understand what all those tens of thousands of Apple engineers are doing because nothing revolutionary that should take so many engineers to create has come out of Apple lately. 

    Maybe we are about to see a new revolutionary product come out of Apple this year. Otherwise, I simply don’t understand what Apple has been doing lately. 

    As for the improvements in iCloud and Apple maps, they are simply laughable. I try Apple maps every six months, but it’s just as bad as it has been for years. It gets me lost every time without a fail. As for iCloud, the storage portion of it is so rudimentary! I still can’t share folders with my wife, who is on the same Family Sharing account. Hence, we can’t work on the same project (like taxes) in parallel. This is such a basic functionality that Apple can’t figure out that iCloud storage is not even suitable for simple tasks done by traditional families. 


    I want products that work really well together, not something all together brand new that works half-ass. Checkout Samsung's folding tablet.

    Apple gives me seamless integration and 5-7 years of updates for all of there products. 2013 MBP running the latest OS and a slew of other Apple products keep on ticking. I bet my discontinued Apple TimeCapsule keeps getting updates long after Netgear gives up on it's shitty R8000 router with it's half-ass and unreliable Time Machine functionality. Recently, I just sold my 2008 MBP with no battery and a taped up power supply; try that with a 11-year old PC laptop or Chromebook.

    Sure, Apple Maps isn't as good as Google Maps but the reason is simple. Google doesn't care about your privacy so it's able to suck every last bit of location data out of any device it's connected to. I recently read a report that Google's server query Android devices 100s of times more a day that Apple does with its devices. See, it's not a matter of skill, rather it just theft. Google is happy to give you all the free shit you need, if they can have your privacy up for auction to the highest bidder. Free is not free.
    edited April 28 StrangeDaysbadmonkwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 62
    sirozhasirozha Posts: 573member
    sirozha said:
    Google and Microsoft are tremendous cash machines. The fact that Google isn’t making money on Chromebooks doesn’t mean
    thay Google is not making money. By offering Chromebooks Google prevented Apple
    from making many additional billions of dollars by not being able to sell as many iPads to schools as they could have, had there not been a cheaper alternative available. Google also denied Apple more than 75% of the smartphone market. Google may not have made much money on Android, but they surely prevented Apple from making hundreds of billions of dollars more. At the same time, Google is killing it in its core business, which is advertising, and Apple can't touch Google there no matter how hard Apple tries. 

    Microsoft failed in mobile OS, but Microsoft is killing it in the Enterprise software while steadily approaching the 1 Trillion capitalization after a lost decade under Ballmer. So, whereas Microsoft’s mistakes are behind them, Apple seems to be walking into the lost decade now. For one, I do not understand what all those tens of thousands of Apple engineers are doing because nothing revolutionary that should take so many engineers to create has come out of Apple lately. 

    Maybe we are about to see a new revolutionary product come out of Apple this year. Otherwise, I simply don’t understand what Apple has been doing lately. 

    As for the improvements in iCloud and Apple maps, they are simply laughable. I try Apple maps every six months, but it’s just as bad as it has been for years. It gets me lost every time without a fail. As for iCloud, the storage portion of it is so rudimentary! I still can’t share folders with my wife, who is on the same Family Sharing account. Hence, we can’t work on the same project (like taxes) in parallel. This is such a basic functionality that Apple can’t figure out that iCloud storage is not even suitable for simple tasks done by traditional families. 


    I want products that work really well together, not something all together brand new that works half-ass. Checkout Samsung's folding tablet.

    Apple gives me seamless integration and 5-7 years of updates for all of there products. 2013 MBP running the latest OS and a slew of other Apple products keep on ticking. I bet my discontinued Apple TimeCapsule keeps getting updates long after Netgear gives up on it's shitty R8000 router with it's half-ass and unreliable Time Machine functionality. Recently, I just sold my 2008 MBP with no battery and a taped up power supply; try that with a 11-year old PC laptop or Chromebook.

    Sure, Apple Maps isn't as good as Google Maps but the reason is simple. Google doesn't care about your privacy so it's able to suck every last bit of location data out of any device it's connected to. I recently read a report that Google's server query Android devices 100s of times more a day that Apple does with its devices. See, it's not a matter of skill, rather it just theft. Google is happy to give you all the free shit you need, if they can have your privacy up for auction to the highest bidder. Free is not free.
    Because I don’t rob banks or cheat on my wife, I’m okay with Google querying my device hundreds of times as often but getting
    me to my destinations reliably every time. 

    By by the way, when I go to Quebec for summers, Apple maps is much more accurate there than Google Maps. Apple can do accurate routing, but in the part of the US where I live, Apple Maps is dismal and has been such since its inception. It’s one of the largest cities in the US.  It was so bad that when I would ask Apple Maps to navigate me to the Jewish Community Center, it would try to navigate me to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. No, I’m not kidding. Apple finally fixed that blooper years later. When I ask Apple Maps to navigate me to Firestone, it tries to navigate me to the one 32 miles away, whereas there’s a Firestone 3 miles from my house. That’s how incompetent Apple Maps navigation is. 
    edited April 28 williamlondon
  • Reply 18 of 62
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,151member
    bulk001 said:
    A much more balanced and nuanced article than some in the more recent past. But why the constant obsession with how the media treats Apple? When it comes to making a statement about what they want, consumers have spoken. The rest - the media, Wall Street analysts etc are just noise. Enjoy the success Apple has (and will continue) to have - it is like my dog who always wants to go out for a walk but then is constantly looking back at the others dogs in the park and can’t relax and enjoy the time outside. 
    Reminds me of Donald Trump supporters (including my mother) who are constantly obsessed with how he’s being covered by the media. To me it shows a real insecurity. If DED thinks everything with Apple is great and the company is heads and shoulders above its competition why the constant obsession with how the company is covered by the press? If a product is good it’s good no matter what the media says about it.
    78Banditholyonedysamoria
  • Reply 19 of 62
    jdwjdw Posts: 774member
    The Golden Age of the MacBook Pro lasted until late 2016 when "Pro" was gutted from an otherwise great machine.  Funny how today, several years after the debut of USB-C, USB-A is still ubiquitous and dongles are still required left and right for those with newer MBPs.  (Think about all those USB-A thumb drives you have.) And even those who don't mind dongles have to contend with that horrid butterfly keyboard.  MagSafe is gone, as is the LED on the charging cable.  And speaking of cables, there's no extension power cord in the box anymore either.  Glowing Apple logo that Apple even now still shows in its videos because it is so iconic is gone too.  Yep, the Gold is gone.

    Apple simple has too much cash in the bank to falter they did in the 1990's, but while the company may survive despite bad decision-making, that doesn't mean they are keeping The Rest of Us happy who love the Mac.  It's time for Apple to Think Different once again, give Jony Ive a firm kick in the pants, and restore practical functionality to the MBP.  Seriously.  I like my iOS devices, but I still want a Golden Age style renewal for notebook Macs.
    dysamoria
  • Reply 20 of 62
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,945member
    Apple was so tiny back in 1990, as was the rest of the PC industry. It was kind of like the automobile industry prior to the model T. 

    Today Apple, and the industry, are all grown up. Apple and Microsoft today are kind of like GM and Ford in 1960 — big, powerful, and nearly invulnerable. It would take decades of consecutive bad decisions to place these companies in any real peril. 
    pscooter63cornchipwatto_cobra
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