Does Apple's apparent willingness to just "lie there and take it" ever bum you out?

in General Discussion edited January 2014

I've had a most eye-opening and telling weekend so far, on the topic of Apple and Macs.

Two days ago I was talking to a friend of a friend about computers and all. He's a PC guy. He knows my background and what I do so of course the subject eventually turns to Macs. I was telling him about OS X and my music collection and all.

And he said "you know, I actually think they're pretty cool...but I need a computer that I can run Office on. A Mac doesn't really help me there...".


Guys, here we are...going into about the third or fourth year of the existence of OS X. And into the second or so year of Office v.X.

And this guy - who by all accounts is a fairly savvy, knows-his-way-around-tech-gear fellow - has NO IDEA that he could (and, frankly, SHOULD) use Office on a Mac.

Whose fault is that? His? No. He's just a guy, working a job.

Apple's? Bingo.

I can't help but think that had they spent the previous year or so creating commercials and print ads that showed things like Microsoft Office being used, the iApps in all their cool glory, the delicious styling of the hardware, the slick intelligence and power of OS X (augmented with a generous helping of "myth busting" and "setting the record straight" on a few things) INSTEAD of foisting an ever-increasing parade of schlumpy-looking goons on us (singing off key and recounting lame-ass, uninspiring stories about how they "saw the light"), things might be incredibly different right now.

Here we are, a year or so later after the whole big "Switch" thing.

Honestly - in hardcore, truly relevant and meaningful terms - has anything truly changed? Is Apple any closer to "grabbing that other 95%" than they were before? Do families in the middle of Beavernut, WY pile into the minivan on a Saturday and make the 4 hour drive to the nearest Apple store?


Talk about a "pissing in the wind" platform to be a proud member of...

Apple, I love you dearly...but you absolutely SUCK - if I may use such a juvenile, street-level term - and drop the ball EVERY CHANCE YOU GET when it comes to making the rest of the world know what we here at AI and other places know and feel.

WHAT is your $#%^#@% problem? Honestly? Are you simply trying to remain an afterthought? Every company on the planet would give their left eye to have your incredible products and vibe. Not to mention your legendary customer loyalty and devotion. You OWN, hands down, the world's greatest operating system. No argument. You MAKE the sexiest, most sensible hardware. You CREATE the friendliest, easy-to-use apps ever known to man.

And I could walk into my local mall today and guarantee that hardly ANYONE would know or give a shit.

That's on you, Apple. That's your fault and yours alone. I hope one of you suits at Apple are reading this...I really, really do. We (the faithful and loyal customers, flagwavers and so forth) bust our collective asses to turn our friends and family onto a "better way" (ie YOUR stuff).

How about HELPING us a little?


How irked do you guys get over this stuff? A little? Not at all? Livid? Does it get on your wick that you have to sit and debunk and explain crap that was old-hat 5 years ago? When you launch Office on your Mac and show a PC-using buddy "okay, there's Word, Excel and PowerPoint..." and he almost has a heart-attack brought on by sheer shock, who do you want to strangle most? Gates or Jobs?



  • Reply 1 of 55
    ryukyuryukyu Posts: 448member
    You've hit the nail on the head.

    Apple has not done a good job of letting the masses know about what can be done on their computers.

    I still hear PC users say things like "There's hardly any software available.", and the ever popular "But you only have one button on the mouse." (Alright, there is only one button with the supplied mouse, but they don't realize that you can use a third party USB mouse.)

    Everyone that I have showed the iApps are amazed. Take for example, my boss. We were in Manhattan and I persuaded him to go into the Apple Store in Soho. I showed him iMovie and how easy it is the edit video and he was blown away. Most people have no idea how easy this stuff is to use, or how stable.

    And the kicker was when I mentioned that iMovie comes with the system! He couldn't believe it.

    So, yes, I know where you're coming from. I guess it's the old "can't see the forest for the trees" syndrome.

    They did do the myth debunking a while back, but the problem was, it was on their website. Preaching to the choir. They need to get the word out on television, radio and even in PC magazines. Places where non-Mac users will see it.

    I really believe that with all of the security problems and distrust that MS has built up, that Apple is in a position to increase their market share. They have the most kick-ass OS and some pretty smokin' hardware.

    But they don't seem to be able to market it properly.

    Let's hope they see the light.
  • Reply 2 of 55
    au contraire my dear...

    i love the fact that i'm in a minority.

    i love it when people ooh, aah, and ogle my powerbook with a kind of quiet reverence.

    i love it when i can be in a 'club' where i get terrific hardware and software at a reasonable price.

    as long as apple stay afloat and keep doing what they do, i don't care about the other 95 percent!
  • Reply 3 of 55
    satchmosatchmo Posts: 2,699member

    Originally posted by tokenfirstyear

    i love the fact that i'm in a minority.

    I think most here would agree but wouldn't mind a bit more marketshare which translates to more software/hardware development.

    As far as Apple's efforts, I've been waiting since Jobs claimed that he was after that other 95% marketshare.

    My friend just this weekend, was gushing over how cool he thought the Apple store in Buffalo was. I had to tell him there were about 50 stores across America! So, although the new Apple Stores are helping, most PC folks still are pretty much in the dark.
  • Reply 4 of 55
    pscatespscates Posts: 5,847member
    token, that's not really where I'm coming from.

    I too enjoy those things. And if Apple simply just came out and said "hey, we're a niche company, making a niche product for a niche crowd...carry on!", I wouldn't be the least bit irked.

    But THEY (Apple) bring up the whole "increasing marketshare" and "putting retail stores in high traffic areas" and so forth.

    But they don't really seem to be backing it up with any sort of true, real-world muscle behind it.

    The first little batch of Switch ads were cute and different. But seriously, after 3-5 of those types of stories, who honestly gives a damn? There was NOTHING there of any sort of impact or "meat". Several of them (that goofy teen chick) became punchlines and geek culture icons. But I don't think she helped sell a single Mac or get a PC-using person to seriously consider the platform.

    It just gripes me that, on one hand, Apple seems to place a high priority on "going after the other 95%" (whether or not we like that or agree isn't the point). But to turn around and NEVER produce an ad showing the hardware, showing the hardware doing cool stuff, showing the OS and software doing cool stuff, debunking the horrible, idiotic long-standing myths (which, I assure you, are STILL floating around and I hear them nearly on a monthly basis from PC-using people), showing things that drive home that Macs really can use popular, common apps (Office, AOL, etc.), can "play nice" with Windows-based machines, come with FREE digital media apps pre-installed and ready to go and are easier and more elegant than anything I've seen elsewhere, etc.

    That IS a problem. Somewhere in the corporate structure at Apple resides a problem...some sort of weird aversion to even HALFWAY aggressively touting their wares in any sort of meaningful, impactful way.

    Sometimes I think to myself "do they just not want to 'let the cat out of the bag?'" or appear "boastful" or like they're ringing their own bell?

    It's called "marketing"'re SUPPOSED to ring your own bell a bit, goobers! Otherwise, how are people going to know?!?

    For the past couple of years I sit and watch the keynotes, keep up with the progress of OS X, the evolution of the wonderful iApps, etc. and think "okay, they're all in place now...they'll soon embark upon a cool campaign to get this stuff known to the masses...".

    Never seems to come. And for two years now I've heard people (some here at AI, in fact) say stuff like "well, 10.1 wasn't really ready...". So Jaguar comes out. "Well, it's not really as full-featured and fast...". Or "they're waiting on the hardware...".

    It can almost be heartbreaking in a weird way if you stop and think about all the iMacs and iBooks that WEREN'T sold because - for whatever reason - Apple and the various powers-that-be simply didn't throw anything behind it.

    You know, Steve Jobs walks on stage twice a year and routinely brings us (the supposed "been there, seen it...impress me NOW, Steve!" segment of the Mac using community) to cheers and whoops of laughter and wild applause. Hell, I don't even mind saying that on a couple of occasions over the years I've actually gotten a bit misty-eyed during a particular keynote segment when he showed the photo album thing or putting a family book together or whatever.

    WHY is that only reserved for us? Why should only us Macheads be impressed by that stuff?

    I would simply be happy if Apple would AT LEAST make my job easier by dispelling the myths and laying some firm groundwork for me (and others like me who are surrounded by PC-using friends and family who always seem to be struggling with their gear) to build on and perhaps more easily persuade people to give Apple a serious look.

    It's sad but true, but some people (my Mom and sister included) probably would be more impressed by a campaign showing them what they can do with their digital cameras and camcorders than me - their own son and brother, respectively - telling them about it. I can only do so much...I don't have any sort of budget!

    Either do or don't, Apple. That's all I'm saying. If you want to go after more people, then act like you mean it and go balls out, for crying out loud. If not, then quit talking about it and quit embarking on empty, cutesy campaigns that a) get old after the third viewing b) do NOTHING to actually get the non-Mac using population excited or intrigued. That's all.

    Case in point: knowing what all we know about the G5 - and the power and elegance it represents and means in real-world terms - do you really, truly think the best thing that can be done with it, marketingwise, is showing some idiot flying into a tree, then spending the middle chunk of the ad cruising through a destroyed house, only settling on a brief shot of the G5 itself in the closing minutes.

    I mean that going to get anyone truly curious and excited? Put aside your Apple loyalty and just think objectively about it. It's lame. Think of what COULD be shown in 30 seconds instead!

    I do find it funny as can be that the company most known for their award-winning industrial design and product styling seem so reluctant to show their stuff in their ads! The Switch campaign? Not a Mac to be seen...

    Pure genius...

  • Reply 5 of 55
    As a windows user and can definitely see where you are coming from. The first computer I ever wanted was a Mac Performa, but we bought an Acer instead because my parents thought there was no software. Well 7 years and 2 Windows computers later I'm ready to switch to a Mac. It isn't because of the ads or because some loyal Mac user pushed me in that direction. I got tired of the blue screen in Win 95/98/Me. I got tired of never getting Win XP to run just right. (Although it runs great after much tinkering). I'm only interested in getting a Mac now because of my mom, who doesn't do much on a computer, own one, or care to look to buy one.

    When she told me she wanted a computer she was ready to call Dell and order a PC. Why shouldn't she, I have a Dell laptop, so something must be right. I said "Mom, lets go look at Fry's Electronics." So we did and you know what she walked up to first, an eMac. And then it all came back to me. I used Macs in school. They were easy. They were reliable. Needless to say she loved it and she doesn't love machines of any kind.

    Well I'm going to the Apple store tomorrow to look around. I must say that after looking at Macs for the past month or two I can say two things.

    1. I NEVER see commercials for them.

    2. If you want to know about them you are gonna have to figure it out for yourself.

    I just found this website, and it is nice to have people who use Macs, comment on Macs. I think pscates is right. And I for one who give up my Dell laptop to see on Mac commercial where the mac isn't moving across the screen, spinning, and generally running around with loud music playing around. If they would told me 2 years ago about Office on a Mac I would have bought one then.

    Brett -- finally getting a Mac, better late then never.
  • Reply 6 of 55
    cowerdcowerd Posts: 579member

    but I need a computer that I can run Office on....Whose fault is that? His? No. He's just a guy, working a job.

    Apple's? Bingo.

    Doesn't Microsoft own Office. Wasn't MS complaining about poor sales of Office OS X (and also blaming Apple)? If MS spent .01% of the $$ marketing Office for OS X that they spend on MSN don't you think more people would be aware of the product.?
  • Reply 7 of 55
    ahh pscates - i can definately see your point. it's irritating i 'spose knowing that apple could pull their finger out and actually get their point across, but don't.

    still, as long as apple keep on keeping on, i couldn't give a proverbial...

    <aside>pscates! months ago, i remember reading your opinions/rants, and actually enjoyed them so much i did a search for 'pscates' and read previous posts, enjoying every minute. hail to the rant!</aside>
  • Reply 8 of 55
    I thought the iPod commercials were in the right direction. They actually showed the product, for one, and showed it in action. Then they had a band follow this guy around even while he was on the can.

    Half the PC-using friends I know haven't even seem OS X's GUI. Can you remember the last time they ever showed it up close on one of their commercials? I don't think they ever have.
  • Reply 9 of 55
    lucaluca Posts: 3,833member
    It would be cool if other companies would put at least a small amount of marketing money behind ads for Mac products. Microsoft has money to burn, they could easily advertise Office v. X. In fact, now would be the perfect time because they just came out with Office v. X Professional Edition with Virtual PC 6.1. Apple could do an ad focusing entirely on Office and VPC, maybe a joint ad with Microsoft. It could even blend the better elements of each company's ads together. Apple's minimalistic style and Microsoft's boldness. I'm thinking of it now... "Thinking about getting a Mac, but afraid there won't be any software available? Worried that you'll be cut off from the Windows world?" and then it could introduce Office X Professional Edition and go through how you can work seamlessly with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents created on Macs and PCs, and then it could say that if that's not compatible enough, the new Professional Edition comes with Virtual PC, which emulates a PC running any Windows OS right on your Mac. Maybe add a little humor, you know... it's always good to have a couple people that are either really different or really similar. Maybe you could have twins talking about how they always do the same thing except one is a PC user and one is a Mac user, and Office lets them connect better. Or you could have two very different people and the same sort of thing. I don't know, but I'm sure there could be some ad that would be beneficial to both Microsoft and Apple.

    As far as myths... I have a friend who is entrenched in his belief that Microsoft "pretty much owns Apple" and ignores me when I tell him it's not true. I mean... it's not. They're two different companies, and Microsoft got some non-voting stock a while ago that they have since (probably) sold off. I'm sure there are some people who think Apple went out of business long ago.
  • Reply 10 of 55
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by pscates


    Talk about a "pissing in the wind" platform to be a proud member of...

    I thoroughly enjoy your posts pscates but I kinda wish I hadn't read this one. I think we might have to go a bit stream of consciuosness here.

    Firstly, YES! I mean you just want to grab an Apple marketing person, give them a good shake and say "you're supposed to be selling computers, remember?"

    In their defence, seems to me computers and software in particular are tricky ones to sell. I'm sure I read somewhere that you're getting some version of the cheesey Windows ads currently airing in here in Oz - the "Amazing" ones. One of the them shown here featuring a surfer (don't spare the cliched images guys), does pretty much what you suggest Apple do in your second post. But for Windows. Did it convince me - nope. Would it convince you - nope. Does it convince PC users to stick with Windows or upgrade to XP. It doesn't seem to have to. Because a lot of them just don't seem to get it no matter what. Maybe they've all been using Windows so long they can no longer even conceive a computer can be easy to use.

    I've had very little exposure to PC's and Windows over twenty years of using computers and when I do use a PC, usually at a friend's place, frankly I find it quite a bit of a struggle. But this is what gets me. When I ask my PC using friends to explain something that apparently works differently on a PC to a Mac, nine times out of ten they can't help with things I consider so basic it's ridiculous. This is a typical conversation:

    Me: How do I open your system profiler?

    PC Using Mug: What's that?

    Me: (Thinking: maybe they call it something different) It tells you all about your computer and what's on it.

    PC Using Mug: <Blank stare>

    What the? Never have found it on a PC. Do they have one? Which reminds me that the search function never seemes to be able to find anything and what the hell is that Start Menu thing all about? Gotta be one of the stupidest ideas of all time.

    I digress. About a year ago, I sat one of said PC Using friends down in front of a Powermac 7500 running OS 8.5 and fired up ClarisWorks (yay Claris, I still love ya). After about 5 minutes, she's grooving away doing a home budget speadsheet (off one of the templates for heaven's sake) and she's popping up pie charts of her monthly expenditure and wacking in formulas all on her own. This is someone who considers herself technologically inept. She thought it was fabulous, blew her away (I'm serious). A couple of months later when she was buying a new home computer did she take my advice and at least consider a Mac? 'Fraid not. Is the PC she bought still working? Unfortunately, no. What is her conclusion? That I am really clever with computers. Which on the one hand is hysterically funny but it also makes me despair because it's totally wrong and no amount of telling her "it's not me, it's the computer, I don't know how it works" will convince her otherwise.

    I think there are a lot more PC users like this than people on these boards give credit to. How do you switch these poeple who are so blinkered in their position?

    Apple seems to have decided the hands on experience is pretty much the only way to sell software. Yeah I think they should do more, a lot more. But what, when, how? How do you get through to PC users?

    There are two other possible explanations to the great mystery of our time "How come Apple can't figure out how to sell the stuff?" Firstly, Steve's decided he's got enough money to last until he shuffles off this mortal coil so he's just doing whatever he damn well likes and who cares if anybody buys the darn things. And it's only the bean counters who are actually worried about 10%, 20% or the other 95% market share.

    Secondly (and I'm starting to think this might just be closest to the truth), there are only 4 - 5 % of people on the entire planet with good taste and Apple is alraedy at a point of market saturation.

    Sorry for rambling.

  • Reply 11 of 55
    pscatespscates Posts: 5,847member

    Originally posted by tokenfirstyear months ago, i remember reading your opinions/rants, and actually enjoyed them so much i did a search for 'pscates' and read previous posts, enjoying every minute. hail to the rant!</aside>

    A fan!

    Well, any "ranting" (I don't know why I hate that word so) is pretty much confined to Mac-oriented topics, seeing as how I removed myself from AppleOutsider several months ago.

    But, on balance, all is good. I'd rather praise Apple than kick then in the jewels. Only on this one issue/topic do I think they're lacking. Otherwise I think they're the cat's meow and I dig pretty much everything they do!

    I'd just love to see them design and implement a campaign(s) so compelling and effective that it eventually just became par for the course for even diehard, longtime PC users to honestly consider Apple and the Mac for any future purchases. I know, right now, that most people don't even give them a moment's thought when thinking of buying a new computer.

    And that's just tragic.

  • Reply 12 of 55
    It's funny because I've actually had a couple of PC users recently tell me that they thought Macs were harder to use.

    Talk about misinformation!!

    Another reason that some will never "get it" is price. There will always be those that buy everything based solely on low initial price. No thought to cost of ownership, or quality of experience.

    And some follow along because all of their friends have PCs.

    With that said, I still think that Apple could do a better job at selling their products. Although I could really care less if the majority of the world's PC users switched to Mac, it would be nice to see them gain some market share, just so that more developers would take the platform more seriously.

    If not for just one application, I would never have to use a PC, and as many times as I've bugged the developer about an OSX port, they just kind of shrug it off. So I keep hoping that sooner or later they will see some value in it. If Apple's market share was bigger, maybe they would look at it more seriously.
  • Reply 13 of 55
    Aside from running a multi-million dollar TV, radio and advertising blitz campaign on behalf of MS, Apple promotes this stuff as much as would seem reasonable to me. The Switch ads, and Switch materials on their website mention Office a LOT. They put Office stuff on the Apple front page. Hell, MS even has a Macs-and-MS magazine ad campaign that has been in Wired and other publications (inside cover and back cover in many cases no less). While I suppose you could argue that both MS and Apple could be more aggressive or at least more frequently tout this stuff, it's a far cry from lying around and doing nothing. Apple can't grab people by the chin and turn their heads and pry their eyes open to make them notice this stuff. Maybe they could focus more money on TV instead of magazines, or come up with a catchier and more effective branding scheme beyond the logo and look-n-feel of the ads, a la the Pentium jingle (annoying as it is).

    I wonder how much Apple sets aside for TV and radio ads, as a percentage of their revenue compared to other companies in their field? How does it compare relative to their sales and profits, or even their R&D money?
  • Reply 14 of 55
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    Well, my previous attempts to explain the dilemma Apple faces in advertizing appear to have failed miserably, so I'll try another tack:

    Let's assume for a moment that advertizing doesn't work. Just for the sake of argument. Let's assume that what Apple has to tell people can't get across in an ad; or, that people's PC-centricity simply blocks off Apple advertizing as not relevant to them. What do you do then?

    You do everything you can think of to put Macs in front of people. This is what Apple has finally learned, and this is why they're finally targeting enterprise. How many of us have heard the line "well, I'll just get what I have at work. I don't want to learn two kinds of computer?" Apple is now struggling uphill on all fronts because theirs isn't the platform that people are familiar with - or even comfortable with, if only in a devil-you-know sort of way. People talk to computer "experts," who generally either hate or fear Macs for variously silly reasons, and, again, a lot of these so-called experts work in information technology.

    You can see it on these boards, on blogs, in reviews: The absolute #1 most effective way to dispel the myths around Macs is to get people using Macs. The most reliable way to get Macs in front of the greatest number of people - and to get them familiar to the greatest number of "experts" and experts alike - is to get them into business. Small business and big business both. Then Apple can think seriously about retaking the education market. They'll get the same boost in the consumer market that the PC vendors have long enjoyed at Apple's expense. And, of course, they'll get enterprise sales and techie credibility.

    What's Apple just about to launch in earnest? A push into enterprise. If that works, you'll be seeing a lot more press about Apple, and a lot more buzz about Apple, and it'll be the best kind - the kind Apple can't buy. If it doesn't work, Apple has a real problem on its hands. But early signs are promising.
  • Reply 15 of 55
    ast3r3xast3r3x Posts: 5,012member
    I think Apple should go on a marketing blitz. I like the idea of 30-60 second commercials. Just show features and speed, even if they are pointless and just boasting bout superiority.

    What could be showed:

    -Burning a CD with iTunes

    -Making a movie about Apple (then it plays at the end)

    -Using each of the Office apps...find a way not to make it boring

    -G5 commercial listing specs! can think of more, just a very small list.

    Hell I'd even be happy if for 60 seconds the icon and name of the application came up on the screen of all the major apps. That would be interesting.
  • Reply 16 of 55
    ast3r3xast3r3x Posts: 5,012member

    Originally posted by segovius

    SJ ain't gonna be on welfare ever - whatever happens and I bet Cupertino is one of the world's coolest workplaces. Our only problems as macheads are the occassional aggro over stuff like this PB15 (let's not go there).

    Well when your bonus is half of what apple makes...
  • Reply 17 of 55
    mimacmimac Posts: 871member
    Damn you Apple!

    Yes I totally agree with the general feeling here.

    I'm currently "talking 'round" two people at work who want to buy a new computer soon.

    One wants a PC for the family and the other for personal use and mucking about with music.

    They seem to come to me for computer advice (which is always about their problems with Winblows) and I can usually help.

    Now they are both pissed off with their whole "computing experience" and I asks them if they had considered an Apple?

    "Whats that?" says one, "Erm, thats the thing with the screen on a steel arm" says the other.

    So I explain the workings of the Mac, the OS, the iApps and what a better user experience the Mac offers.

    They are considering my advice and arranging to come to my house and actually gain some experience of a Mac.

    Now, this is all well and good, but what really gets me is the fact that 1: They had'nt even heard of Mac 2: Apple is relying on people like myself to sell their hardware.

    Come on Apple! Start advertising properly here in Ireland (your European headqarters is based in Cork for gods sake!).

    Apple have'nt had any proper TV or magazine coverage here forever!

    Why not a proper Apple Store in Ireland?

    Get with the program Steve!
  • Reply 18 of 55
    andersanders Posts: 6,523member

    Originally posted by Amorph

    Let's assume for a moment that advertizing doesn't work.

    then Apple is dead, dead, DEAD. Think about it.
  • Reply 19 of 55
    Amorph, I agree the whole hands on thing is effective but it's only happening in the States. The Mac buying experience in Australia is abysmal and Europe doesn't sound much better. I mean what's the plan? Switch the US and eventually everybody else will follow? I don't even expect them to open Apple stores outside the US I just don't understand why a company run by a control freak can't exercise a little more sway over how it's OS resellers conduct their business.

    It seems this discussion points to at least 5 reasons why people don't buy Macs:

    1. the price thing

    2. complacency

    3. they believe the myths and/or they lack current knowledge about the platform

    4. their computing experience thus far on PC's has been so god awful that they confine themselves to email, internet and WPing - they're too scared to try anything new on their existing systems let alone consider a whole other platform

    5. the Microsoft behemoth - can't get over it, can't go round it, can't get under it

    5 is a fact of life. The hands on thing can work well with 1 & 2. The 4 people don't go into any computer stores unless they absolutely have to so I don't know what the answer is there - Apple-run rehabilitation centres perhaps. The 3's are absolute bastards and should all be shot.


  • Reply 20 of 55
    majormattmajormatt Posts: 1,077member
    I dont understand it either, we know Steve and Co. arnt dumb people, they bring us remarkable products. So it makes it hard to fathom why they dont advertise.

    I remember seeing the original think different ad in 1996? with just the pictures of famous people. I was appalled, but when 97 and 98 rolled around with the burning-bunny and steamroller came I thought Apple was finally on track for good advertising. Then it degraded again. Flying iMacs and colors and kermit the frog commericials.


    No one knows what a G5 is

    No one knows what Mac OS X

    No one knows what an iApp is


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