Why is it that Apple is behind the curve?

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
I've been thinking lately (and that is a very dangerous thing), about Apple's hardware. There is no question that they are innovative when it comes to overall design....the PB TI, the eMac, iMac, etc. are all examples of this.





But, it seems Apple used to be "first" with new and upgraded technology. Now, not so much. I can deal with the megahertz thing, but the rest of the components just don't measure up. Apple could preach the megahertz myth more effectively if their bus speeds, RAM speeds and video cards were up to snuff with the competition.



OSX is now a triumph. Jaguar runs spectacularly. Apple now has the best OS on the market....no question. But, the hardware, Apple, the HARDWARE! even with modest upgrades expected to the portables next week.....it's not nearly enough. Don't get me wrong here....I LOVE my Mac. I'm never going back to Windows.....but selling a 700MHZ laptop in the year 2002? Please. The PowerBook tops out a 800MHZ.....after I bought a 500MHZ Pismo in February 2000? No SuperDrive expected in the PB yet? What happened to Apple leading the pack?



When I bought my Pismo, it was nearly the best thing on the market. The video card, the display, even the processor speed were all superior or equal to the competition. Now, we are all hoping for a 64MB video card in the PB while Windows laptops have had them for months. They have even gotten SuperDrives.



Do you suppose Apple is holding off until the market improves?
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    mrmistermrmister Posts: 1,095member
    "Do you suppose Apple is holding off until the market improves?"



    No.
  • Reply 2 of 24
    spartspart Posts: 2,060member
    In a word: Motorola.



    A high-speed bus and the latest DDR-RAM are no use at all if your processor doesn't support them.



    As for the video cards and SuperDrives: Apple is on a rough internal update schedule. They have a very specific corner of the market. Say they give the PowerBook a big boost, and then a month later they shove in a new video card and boost the chip 100MHz. Doing that would really piss off people who bought the previous incarnation. In the rest of the PC industry this doesn't matter as much, people expect this sort of thing. As for the SuperDrives, show me a laptop (not a luggable, I.E. less than 8 pounds) that has a SuperDrive, hell, show me any laptop at any weight that has a SuperDrive. There aren't any.



    [ 11-03-2002: Message edited by: Spart ]</p>
  • Reply 3 of 24
    spartspart Posts: 2,060member
    My bad...hit reply instead of edit.



    [ 11-03-2002: Message edited by: Spart ]</p>
  • Reply 4 of 24
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 16,937member
    "show me a laptop (not a luggable, I.E. less than 8 pounds) that has a SuperDrive, hell, show me any laptop at any weight that has a SuperDrive. There aren't any."





    <a href="http://www.mediaworkstation.com/2002/10_oct/news/sonyvaiodvdrqw.htm"; target="_blank">Sony</a>



    One



    <a href="http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1103-961131.html"; target="_blank">Toshiba coming soon</a>





    Two



    More coming, I suppose. You are probably right on the weight thing, though.



    [ 11-03-2002: Message edited by: SDW2001 ]</p>
  • Reply 5 of 24
    alcimedesalcimedes Posts: 5,486member
    sounds like it's an external DVD burner add-on. not sure if Apple supports this, but i can't imagine it would be more than a software update to iDVD. doesn't seem like much innovation there.
  • Reply 6 of 24
    spartspart Posts: 2,060member
    [quote]Originally posted by SDW2001:

    <strong>"show me a laptop (not a luggable, I.E. less than 8 pounds) that has a SuperDrive, hell, show me any laptop at any weight that has a SuperDrive. There aren't any."





    <a href="http://www.mediaworkstation.com/2002/10_oct/news/sonyvaiodvdrqw.htm"; target="_blank">Sony</a>



    One



    <a href="http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1103-961131.html"; target="_blank">Toshiba coming soon</a>





    Two



    More coming, I suppose. You are probably right on the weight thing, though.



    [ 11-03-2002: Message edited by: SDW2001 ]</strong><hr></blockquote>



    ...Those aren't SuperDrives, they only burn DVDs, not DVDs and CDs.
  • Reply 7 of 24
    mcqmcq Posts: 1,543member
    If you read on the Toshiba laptop, it's expected to use "Toshiba's new mobile DVD-RW/R drive", which when you follow that link is described as supporting "DVD-R and DVD-RW formats as well as the CD-RW format, allowing it to record data on both DVD and CD discs."
  • Reply 8 of 24
    spartspart Posts: 2,060member
    [quote]Originally posted by MCQ:

    <strong>If you read on the Toshiba laptop, it's expected to use "Toshiba's new mobile DVD-RW/R drive", which when you follow that link is described as supporting "DVD-R and DVD-RW formats as well as the CD-RW format, allowing it to record data on both DVD and CD discs."</strong><hr></blockquote>



    If you are talking about expected to use then that is still future hardware.
  • Reply 9 of 24
    bogiebogie Posts: 407member
    Apple isn't behind the curve. Apple used to innovate and be first? When is used to? What a couple weeks ago? Rendezvous just went open source.



    See its funny. Apple is first and people are like ... well yeah but it won't have impact until MS and PC OEMs support it ...



    If any PC OEM does anything before Apple does then Apple is falling behind. Think about that. The fact is that Apple is first with the best perhaps 65-75% of the time, maybe more. But the rest of the time when someone else comes up with it or when someone else uses it first then people conclude that Apple is stalled.



    Don't people get it? You can't be first 100% of the time, there will always be something that someone else does before you, that is just statistics.



    Whoever said Motorola is wrong. Sorry but Motorola is not keeping Apple from innovating or including new technology. The fact that G4s are at 1.25GHz does not impact the use of DVD-RWs in PowerBooks ... the size of the drive vs the size of the case does. Apple will include them as soon as they can make them fit.



    Get realistic and look at the big picture, Apple is fine.
  • Reply 10 of 24
    Sure the slow G4s hold Apple back. I wouldn't doubt for one second that if Apple's low end was a 1.5 GHz PPC, and their towers were all dual 2+ GHz G4s, then Apple would discover a way to leverage that sort of power in a unique way.



    But I also think Apple's management shares some of the blame for not getting this PPC 970 off the ground sooner. I don't know what transpired between Apple and Moto, but it seems like Apple stayed in the sack with Moto a bit too long and got stuck with the wet spot.
  • Reply 11 of 24
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 16,937member
    MCQ:





    [quote]If you read on the Toshiba laptop, it's expected to use "Toshiba's new mobile DVD-RW/R drive", which when you follow that link is described as supporting "DVD-R and DVD-RW formats as well as the CD-RW format, allowing it to record data on both DVD and CD discs." <hr></blockquote>



    I second that.



    Bogie:



    [quote]f any PC OEM does anything before Apple does then Apple is falling behind. Think about that. The fact is that Apple is first with the best perhaps 65-75% of the time, maybe more. But the rest of the time when someone else comes up with it or when someone else uses it first then people conclude that Apple is stalled. <hr></blockquote>



    You are sorely mistaken. Apple was not first with:



    1) Optical Mice

    2) Processor Speed wars (not their fault, fine)

    3) Wireless input devices (still none)

    4) Bus speeds

    5) Ram Speeds



    and so much more.



    This is in reference to HARDWARE, not software. We aren't talking about open source. There is no reason for Apple's specs to be what they are. None. Don't give me the "G4 won't support the speeds" line either. Apple has been on the ass end of the speed wars for 3 years. That is more than enough time to fix the problem. Jobs should have found a way to make it happen. Pentium laptops are now running at 3X the clock speeds of the PowerBook. Fine, Windows sucks......that isn't the point. you can't tell me Altivec and OSX can compensate for a 300% clock speed difference.



    If anybody out there knows what they're talking about, please explain to me why Apple cannot use higher Bus speeds witht he G4. I know there are some things it can't support....does anyone know speciffically?
  • Reply 12 of 24
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    The drives would fit if there was a slot loading portable drive or anyone really intersted in making one. Style over substance yet again.
  • Reply 13 of 24
    [quote]Originally posted by SDW2001:

    <strong>You are sorely mistaken. Apple was not first with:



    1) Optical Mice

    2) Processor Speed wars (not their fault, fine)

    3) Wireless input devices (still none)

    4) Bus speeds

    5) Ram Speeds



    and so much more.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Seems like about 25% of the time, so Bogie's numbers are probably right. Apple was first with:



    - Hard Disk Drives

    - 3.5" Floppy Disk Drives

    - CD-ROM Drives

    - DVD-ROM Drives

    - Flat Panel LCD Displays in Desktops

    - RISC Technology in Processors

    - Optical Mice standard on Desktops

    - Universal Serial Bus (USB) Ports

    - IEEE-1394 FireWire Ports

    - SCSI (and all the sub-types) ports

    - Ethernet in Desktops

    - ...and much more.



    <strong> [quote]Pentium laptops are now running at 3X the clock speeds of the PowerBook. Fine, Windows sucks......that isn't the point. you can't tell me Altivec and OSX can compensate for a 300% clock speed difference.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Of course I can. Have you used a so-called 2.4GHz Pentium notebook? Sluggish, hot, short battery life, heavy, slow to sleep, slow to wake up (hell, some notebooks just power down the display when closed instead of sleeping, because it wouldn't work anyway!). Oh, but I'm sure it runs Notepad real fast! And most of these "64MB VRAM" notebooks steal that memory from the system RAM anyway....



    - Johnny Dangerously
  • Reply 14 of 24
    [quote]Originally posted by Johnny Dangerously:

    <strong>- Hard Disk Drives (Available with IBM PC in 1981)



    - 3.5" Floppy Disk Drives (First used in the Apricot, a PC Clone from England in 1983)



    - CD-ROM Drives (First introduced in a desktop PC in Tandy 286 systems from Radio Shack)



    - DVD-ROM Drives (I bought a PC with a DVD-ROM in 1996)



    - Flat Panel LCD Displays in Desktop (Sharp in the Mid-1980's)



    - RISC Technology in Processors (IBM)



    - Optical Mice standard on Desktops



    - Universal Serial Bus (USB) Ports (USB introduced in 1994 by Intel, not supported until Windows 95 OSR.2 in 1997)



    - IEEE-1394 FireWire Ports



    - SCSI (and all the sub-types) ports (Developed by IBM and Shugart)



    - Ethernet in Desktops (Compaq)

    </strong><hr></blockquote>



    [ 11-04-2002: Message edited by: Stagflation Steve ]</p>
  • Reply 15 of 24
    quaremquarem Posts: 254member
    [quote]Originally posted by SDW2001:

    <strong>MCQ:









    You are sorely mistaken. Apple was not first with:



    1) Optical Mice

    2) Processor Speed wars (not their fault, fine)

    3) Wireless input devices (still none)

    4) Bus speeds

    5) Ram Speeds



    and so much more.



    This is in reference to HARDWARE, not software. We aren't talking about open source. There is no reason for Apple's specs to be what they are. None. Don't give me the "G4 won't support the speeds" line either. Apple has been on the ass end of the speed wars for 3 years. That is more than enough time to fix the problem. Jobs should have found a way to make it happen. Pentium laptops are now running at 3X the clock speeds of the PowerBook. Fine, Windows sucks......that isn't the point. you can't tell me Altivec and OSX can compensate for a 300% clock speed difference.



    If anybody out there knows what they're talking about, please explain to me why Apple cannot use higher Bus speeds witht he G4. I know there are some things it can't support....does anyone know speciffically?</strong><hr></blockquote>



    It takes an incredibly long time to design and manufactuer a new CPU. I'm in Electrical Engineering right now, 3rd year. And the complexity of the circuits you are talking about designing quickly are horrendously complex. They aren't developed quickly. I don't know when Apple realised that the G4 was a dead end, but it wasn't the day the G4 towers are realised. There had to have been a lag time between the release of the G4 and Apple deciding to find an alternate to Motorola. I don't know what happened. It is a problem, but it's being worked on, and you have to beleive that Apple is aware of the problem and is desparately trying to rememdy the issue.



    There has been a lot of talk about why the G4 won't support faster buses. Basically, everything in a clocked computer has to march to the beat of the clock. The CPU has to be ready for data at the same time the bus is giving it. Because Motorola hasn't designed the G4 with DDR in mind, it's just impossible for Apple to make it work. The new motherboards in the current Powermacs are an excellent attempt at working around this limitation. But nothing will beat the real deal.



    I know it sucks and it bugs me as much as anybody else the Apple has slow systems (I have one of the new DP 1 GHz so I can quantify this). I'm just hoping that the 970 makes an summer deput next year, and then we should be back on track, if they release it in a DP config.
  • Reply 16 of 24
    [quote]Originally posted by Stagflation Steve:

    <strong>

    - Hard Disk Drives (Available with IBM PC in 1981)

    </strong><hr></blockquote>



    The original IBM PC did not have a HD as standard. This became common at around the AT (286 and up), I think.





    [quote]<strong>- CD-ROM Drives (First introduced in a desktop PC in Tandy 286 systems from Radio Shack)

    </strong><hr></blockquote>



    Any link to back that up? I don't think Apple pioneered here either, but 286 seems to be way too early for CD-ROM.





    [quote]<strong>- DVD-ROM Drives (I bought a PC with a DVD-ROM in 1996)





    [QUOTE][QB]

    - Flat Panel LCD Displays in Desktop (Sharp in the Mid-1980's)

    </strong><hr></blockquote>



    Note the "in Desktop" - I'm pretty sure Apple have been among the first to actually sell LCDs as standard with their computers.





    [quote]<strong>- RISC Technology in Processors (IBM)

    </strong><hr></blockquote>



    Again, they were among the first (not [i]the[/] first though, afaik) to employ RISC processors in plain desktop machines (as opposed to 50k$+ workstations and servers).





    [quote]<strong>- Universal Serial Bus (USB) Ports (USB introduced in 1994 by Intel, not supported until Windows 95 OSR.2 in 1997)

    </strong><hr></blockquote>



    The first MS OS to really support USB was Win98, 95OSR2.5 wasn't even half-assed. Also, Apple were definitely the first computer maker to actually use USB - on x86, it was just two more unused ports.

    Also, Apple had the functionally very similar ADB before.





    [quote]<strong>

    - SCSI (and all the sub-types) ports (Developed by IBM and Shugart)

    </strong><hr></blockquote>



    Again, Apple were one of the first computer makers outside the server and workstation market to actually put it into widespread use.

    Also, if "innovating" implies "originally developed by" for you, hardly any other PC maker has ever innovated - they mostly take others' parts and stick them together.





    [quote]<strong>

    - Ethernet in Desktops (Compaq)

    </strong><hr></blockquote>



    Change it to "built-in networking capability", then (AppleTalk).



    Bye,

    RazzFazz
  • Reply 17 of 24
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 16,937member
    [quote]There has been a lot of talk about why the G4 won't support faster buses. Basically, everything in a clocked computer has to march to the beat of the clock. The CPU has to be ready for data at the same time the bus is giving it. Because Motorola hasn't designed the G4 with DDR in mind, it's just impossible for Apple to make it work. The new motherboards in the current Powermacs are an excellent attempt at working around this limitation. But nothing will beat the real deal. <hr></blockquote>



    ohhh...straight from the mouth of a third year electrical engineering student! WOW! No offense, but my brother is a microproessor product engineer.....and I don't think HE knows. Can anyone answer?



    And guys....give up with the "my history balls are bigger than yours debate". This is about the last couple of years. Apple is getting shalacked in bus, processor and ram performance. Their video cards always seem half a generation behind....one or two on the laptops.
  • Reply 18 of 24
    spartspart Posts: 2,060member
    [quote]Originally posted by Bogie:

    <strong>Whoever said Motorola is wrong. Sorry but Motorola is not keeping Apple from innovating or including new technology. The fact that G4s are at 1.25GHz does not impact the use of DVD-RWs in PowerBooks ... the size of the drive vs the size of the case does. Apple will include them as soon as they can make them fit.



    Get realistic and look at the big picture, Apple is fine.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    I am being very realistic, I never said that Motorola was the reason that Apple can't put in such and such drive or such and such new input connection.



    Rather, you can only do so much with what is given to you. Processors wont work on busses they don't support, and wont make use of RAM they can't use. Slow RAM, a slow bus, and slow processors are why Apple is perceived to be behind the curve, not because they don't have such and such fancy light pen serial ata printer/scanner/copier/fax combo laser etched into the iBook's shell.
  • Reply 19 of 24
    [quote]Originally posted by RazzFazz:

    <strong>

    The original IBM PC did not have a HD as standard. This became common at around the AT (286 and up), I think.

    </strong><hr></blockquote>



    I still have my original IBM PC with it's 4.77mhz 8088 Processor, 32KB of Memory, 160KB Floppy Drives and 10MB Winchester hard drive,



    Hard Drives were introduced in the late 1970's



    [quote]Originally posted by RazzFazz:

    <strong>Note the "in Desktop" - I'm pretty sure Apple have been among the first to actually sell LCDs as standard with their computers</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Sharp made PC desktops sold in Japan and Germany with LCD displays as early as 1985



    [quote]Originally posted by RazzFazz:

    <strong>Any link to back that up? I don't think Apple pioneered here either, but 286 seems to be way too early for CD-ROM</strong><hr></blockquote>



    What were would consiter a CD-ROM drive was first introduced in 1985, Apple introduced their first CD-ROM drive in 1987



    I still have the PC Magazine with the Tandy ad in it



    [quote]Originally posted by RazzFazz:

    <strong>Again, Apple were one of the first computer makers outside the server and workstation market to actually put it into widespread use.

    </strong><hr></blockquote>



    That title goes again goes to Compaq or depending on your perspective DEC.
  • Reply 20 of 24
    I feel like I am being held hostage by the Apple Marketing Department. I know that the Engineering Department has the IBM 1.2 GHz G3 iBook with Bluetooth and 13" UXGA resolution from a 32MB mobility graphics chipset ready to go. Lame Marketing Spin Doctors can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.



    Apple should divide up the marketing departments and the engineering departments so that they begin competing with each other for market share. It's the lack of competition in the marketplace along with the lack of competition within the Apple Corporation that is giving us this pathetic "progress" path that makes the economy look robust compared to what Apple is offering it's loyal following.



    If it wasn't for loyalty and love for the OS (9 or X), Apple would already be out of customers. They'd still have billions of dollars in cash. But their stores would be abandonded and their phones would stop ringing. So why do we have to put up with this level of creeping speed bumps and sub-standard "progress"?



    Because we have no choice. Apple has decided that the customer is not as important as it's FEAR and COWARDNESS. It is running without any courage. Failure to put an IBM 1.2 GHz G3 in the iBook with a 133 MHz bus and bluetooth is pure and simple abandonment of it's customer base.



    All Apple really cares about is serving people who have never owned a Mac before and don't know any better than to boycott these underpowered "options" that they portray as the best they can do today when the truth is that the engineering departments are all muzeled men and women with families to support and mortgages to pay. They offer marketing the world and marketing says: "No thank you. Screw the loyal base and the horse they rode in on. Let's just keep tapping into new users and switchers with medocre products they will settle for because they don't know any better."



    Apple's Mind Games confuse technology with marketing opinions and guesses as to what will sell and keep the sales volume among the 4 segments balanced. This deprives the market from deciding among the best of breed in each market segment. Too few people at Apple are not allowing each segment's engineers to offer their best effort to the market ASAP.



    [ 11-05-2002: Message edited by: Multimedia ]</p>
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