Down with the anti-Appleists!

29 May, 2012
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In the media I think there’s a natural tendency to bash Apple, or at least insert ‘Apple’ in a headline to generate additional page views. Here are some of the common arguments you’ll see against Apple: They’re too successful; they’re too big; if you buy an Apple product you’re buying into an ecosystem of products that mean you’re locked in; and on and on. These kinds of comments and undertones are everywhere – in Australian mainstream media, on blog posts and from commentators on radio and TV. Sometimes the truth is just too boring.

I’ve been a strong advocate of Apple for many years, and I continue to be. My critics think I’m not open to other brands and products.

On occasion I’m labelled as ‘mis- informed’ but mostly I’m branded as a ‘Fanboy’ – someone who blindly loves anything and everything Apple makes, without a good understanding of the market.

The IT industry is awash with buzzwords, marketing glitz and hype. Traditional IT comparisons are done with feature grids and checklists. Common thinking is defined by this equation: The more checkboxes your product gets in a product comparison table, the better your product is. The ‘speeds and feeds’ way of measuring product performance is the de facto standard in the IT world.

That Android phone with a 4.5in screen must be better than the iPhone because the screen is bigger. And it’s got a quad-core processor, and it’s also 4G. But that misses the point. The big screen means the battery life sucks, the quad- core processor might be good for something but in reality scrolling is still jerky in Android, and 4G isn’t available where I live.

From the day the Apple IIe hit the market, Apple was fighting to redefine the role and the definition of a computer and technology in the world. Apple was the only company at the time (and arguably still today) that cared more about the product from an experience perspective. The whole product was greater than the sum of its parts.

Fast forward to today and the same is true. If you happened to listen to Tim Cook on the most recent quarterly conference call, you would have heard him repeat the mantra that building the best products in the world is what Apple is all about.

Consider iCloud. iCloud as a product is an enormous undertaking. Massive server infrastructure, massive investment and deep integration in all Apple products.

But Apple thinks about iCloud as a value add for customers, not as a single product that has profit responsibility. iCloud enhances the value of all other Apple products and doesn’t need to function on its own.

iCloud means different things but to me it means I never have to worry about backing up my phone again. That’s peace of mind.

Which other consumer-focused tech company that produces hardware can afford to invest billions of dollars in a product like iCloud without any immediate or short-term benefit?

If you’re against Apple that means you’re actively against buying into an ecosystem that just works. It means you have (or think you have) the knowledge or can afford to invest the time and resources to get all of your technology working seamlessly together; and if you don’t, then you’re comfortable chalking that down to the fact that it just probably can’t be done.

Years ago I used to get frustrated by people who were anti-Apple. I used to waste my breath trying to convince them they were wrong and they should choose the Apple product.

But over time I’ve realised that people who don’t choose Apple because they just don’t like Apple actually just don’t want life to be easier. The struggle with technology is what they’ve known, and if stuff actually just worked they’d have nothing to do with their time.


4 people were compelled to have their say. We encourage you to do the same..

  1. Savas says:

    Anonymous, there’s a difference between irrational and emotive Apple bashing and well deserved criticism.

    You claim that iCloud has deep integration and the Apple ecosystem just works. Last time I checked, to edit a Pages document created in iOS, it had to be either emailed, exported or downloaded from a web browser, opened in OS X, saved, then reexported back again.

    Deep integration? What if I want to share files amongst multiple apps, or worse still, “mix” documents/data from different apps? iCloud and the iOS file paradigm is fundamentally flawed.

    And yes, I am aware that Mountain Lion will have some slightly more ‘integrated’ way of dealing with document data. I gather however Anonymous, you consider it reasonable that this only be delivered with a paid update.

    The “feature grid” is a very standard and common way of comparing features and capabilities that Apple uses itself to compare features between iPhones and environmental checklists.

    Oh and why cant I get Siri on my year-and-a-half-old iPhone 4? Please don’t tell me because it is not capable or supported.

    Your lack of research or justifications of Apple certainly does make you a fanboy. Perhaps your anonymity is because you’ll be screaming with joy if Apple does indeed release a phone with a larger screen.

  2. Tiby says:

    Savas, you miss the point(s) entirely. Moving away from a traditional file system is yet another area where Apple is pushing things a different way. Documents belong to their apps – no need to find them in a cluttered directory tree that is different for each person. Open the app and the documents are there. Want to use them in another app, choose “Open in…” and do so. Simple.

    As for the extra steps currently required to work with iWork on the Mac and on iOS, the syncing feature was developed for iOS with Apple’s move into mobile. Adding it to the next version of OSX makes sense, but you somehow reduce a whole new operating system to a paid update for one feature.

    The feature grid is marketing – pure and simple. Use something and determine whether it is for you – don’t rely on what the marketing department tells you.

    As for Siri, the iPhone4S has different hardware inside significantly improving the noise-cancelling when using Siri, especially without putting the phone to your ear. I bet you’d be first in line to complain that Siri didn’t work for you properly if it was on your iPhone 4, without researching this fact, as you plainly did not research here.

    If Apple’s way was not better or more attractive, why then does every other tech company copy it, and have done so for years?

  3. Savas says:

    Tiby, you have failed to justify why moving away from a “traditional file system” is such a good move. Limiting files into certain apps proves a big headache for anyone wanting to do anything practical.

    A “cluttered directory tree” is actually extremely simple and has worked for decades. An accountant may keep all their files for one client in a folder, including spreadsheets, emails, database files etc. A writer may keep transcripts, drawings and sketches together. This proves extremely easy when it comes to archiving as one can simply pick the whole folder up and compress it or store it elsewhere without having to locate every single file within an app, some of which may be locked in the app and not exportable.

    Hence, I and millions of others will continue to use “traditional file systems” and extensions of traditional file systems such as Dropbox which operate and sync seamlessly.

    I suggested whether it is reasonable to expect a paid upgrade to be able to use a portion of iCloud. It would be akin to charging for extra MobileMe features back in 2008. I made no reference that there were no new features or improvements in Mountain Lion, so I don’t see it fair that you try and pin that suggestion on me.

    I personally tried the jailbreak for Siri on my iPhone 4 which worked without a problem as you will find with many on the internet. That ‘hardware’ argument for a complete lack of Siri is laughable. I just couldn’t warrant constantly searching/paying for proxies to get around Apple’s wall.

  4. Bill says:

    What a terrible article. If anything there is a pronounced positive bias towards Apple in the media.

    I agree with what you say about Apple and adding value for little or no profit. However as someone who has made a real effort to buy into the Apple ecosystem – it doesn’t “just work”. It, kinda works. The first time you set everything up it works great, however when you use it all consistently in the real world things fall apart pretty quickly. It is as if they develop something, test it once and then send it straight to market. The less said about Apple TV, the better. When it works its great.. when it works. If anything Apple are forced to value-add since their offering is just not strong enough and they have to entice users to stay.

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