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  • A very false narrative: Microsoft Surface vs Apple iPad, Mac

    The article makes a fair point about the numbers, but the same argument could have been used about the Mac platform in comparison to the large number of Windows users. The point was, a dedicated core of pro users chose the Mac and these opinion formers influenced others to go out and buy the same. They believed the hardware was well made, fully featured and the software was often more stable, more thoughtfully designed and 'just worked'. In short: it looked like the future.

    I think it's fair to say it's unfortunate that the party that has helped to erode their narrative is Apple itself. Many Mac users face the choice of buying underpowered hardware without the features they want, but have to pay a premium for doing so. This led to the extraordinary situation where there was increasing demand for the older MacBook Pros. At the same time, desktop Macs have not been updated, leading to that bizarre announcement that Apple is 'starting' to develop a new Mac Pro. This is just as well, since being able to install an NVIDIA 1080 graphics card into either a 2012 Mac Pro or a Hakintosh makes their current hardware offerings increasingly irrelevant.

    I don't think anyone is going to pretend Windows 10 is the go-to platform, but many Mac users have began to look again, chiefly because Microsoft seem committed to improving it and trying new approaches. Although Sierra is an improvement on previous releases, many users complain Apple's software has decreased in quality and some developers complain about out of date APIs and software tools. Many are familiar with complaints about pro software being pulled or new versions lacking features. All of this has pros and cons, but rightly or wrongly the perception this that Apple really isn't taking the Mac platform anywhere. The other perception is that it is making computers based on making things look nice, rather than how they are used.

    You make the fair point that perhaps this isn't for Surface to win (yet), but it certainly is for Apple to lose. If other companies innovate or try new approaches, Apple increasingly looks like it's resting on its laurels: the age of the Mac hardware freeze suggests this. The ire of pro users has already peaked online, while interest in Surface and an increasing negative attitude to Apple means they could just as well rescue defeat from the jaws of victory.

    There's a great video on youtube about the Mac Pro and ex-Apple staffers apparently contacted the vlogger to say the 2013 Mac Pro had been a disaster from the start. It was instructive to hear that an education institution had been given some of these machine to feedback to Apple prior to release and after assessing them, went out and bought 2012 cheese grater Macs instead: the new Mac simply didn't meet their expectations. Even though this got fed back, it was probably already too late. Apple had built a huge factory to make these things and was now committed come what may. To nip interest in Surface in the bud, it will need to change the narrative that is no longer responsive to users nor innovating in desktop computing.

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  • New EU laws could soften Apple's grip on App Store content and revenue

    Some very silly comments on here about Europe, which are nothing more than a parochial view and polarised politics and debating style of some in the US - the weakest of which resort to insults. Accusing people of communism, particularly of a free trade block, is really very silly. Europe has a very keen sense of individual rights, that is, of consumers to get a good deal. This has included removing roaming fees when travelling between countries in the block. 

    Its sounds like the commission wants to make sure these app stores don't control or restrict in an arbitrary fashion. 

    App stores are not products, they are effectively media platforms. They throw up lots of complex issues around power, influence and citizen rights. There's been lots of straw man arguments about weaker products etc. - it says nothing about banning gatekeepers from providing products. If anything, it could encourage investment by providing clearer rules for how these entities operate. If you know the rules will be applied fairly or you have the right to reply, you're more likely to invest in that app. 

    Lastly, if we didn't question market dominance or monopoly behaviour, we'd probably still be using IE. Democracy is eternal vigilance and transparency is good for everyone. If you make a great product, you don't need to act like a monopoly do you? I seem to remember a time when I bought Apple product because they were innovative and great. In addition, I can see a time when a platform will probably not be American (e.g. China) and those rules, especially around political expression are all important. 

  • Apple debuts affordable 13" MacBook Pro model, axes 11" MacBook Air

    $1499 is affordable? For an i5 with 8gb of ram. Hahahaha. 

    Well, my 17" MBP is almost dead. Will I replace it? Hell no. For the money I'd want more than this. At the very least the charger should contain all the ports they removed. Not compelling at all. Unlike Steve Jobs, there's no logic for what they are doing. Steve would have constructed an argument. This just came across as weak. Less for more rather than less is more is the new design philosophy. 
  • Apple CEO Tim Cook calls EU tax ruling 'total political crap,' cites potential anti-US sentiment

    The decision is political, just not in the way he's saying. He wants political to mean 'arbitrary' with a them and us situation. But actually money filtered through these tax havens is through complex subsidiaries is associated with money laundering, tax evasion, organised crime and terrorism. That's the background. I think taxes owed to the US government is the point - Apple keeps its profits off-shore and even tried to lobby for a lower rate before repatriating any of it. Imagine if a Russian or Chinese company did that? Cook has let Apple exceptionalism go to his head. 
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