Apr 27, 2010

Apple doesn't learn

As anyone who knows me at all can tell you, I have little love for Apple. However, that said, they do some things very well. UI design, marketing strategies, and being innovative as can be about once every 5-7 years (iPod, aluminum casing for laptops, iPhone, etc.). The iPad is not one of those times however. It's an iPhone with a 10" screen, slightly better specs, and a few small improvements in the core apps. Nothing more. Not to mention the markup is nearly 100% on the baseline version (probably more on the higher end versions) which is just plain theft. But, this post really isn't about the iPad or it's failures.

No, what I'm talking about Apple not learning on is from it's past. In the early 80's, Apple was king of the world. Schools used their computers, so did law enforcement, and basically everyone in between. Then IBM/compatible took over. I would say this is due to choice. People like choices. Apple eventually got smart and conformed to the idea of choice in a small way by using Intel chips (making their computer capable of running windows). Let's not kid ourselves, Apple would sell a lot less units to college students without this ability. So many programs that college students use & need don't run well or at all on Macs. But, since you can use windows on it, you can still do those assignments on a Mac now. Apple now cuts a large slice out of Microsoft's pie in this demographic.

iPhone was an extremely revolutionary idea (much like the iPod was at it's time). There were things that did similar activities with similar functionality, but nobody quite had hit like Apple did. It's flown off shelves through 3 generations, despite being left behind in many departments. Such as multitasking and the depth of Exchange support given. And now, they are going to finally add some of those features (similar to adding landscape keyboards, MMS, and tethering before this). They continually leave things out. Simple slip of the mind, or a strategy to give you something new and fun about the time you're bored of your new toy? Or are they playing catch up? Well, they're doing the last even if they don't want to admit it.

Now, Apple decides to start buying up chip makers. This way they can have the "best technology" for the chips that are put into mobile devices. This is also the same thing as using the PowerPC chips for years in their desktops/laptops. That went well, didn't it?

The #1 challenger for smartphone dominance? Google and it's Android OS, which is the king on choice. Don't like a particular cell phone company like Motorola? Fine, don't buy Motorola, you can get the HTC. Want a new UI? No problem, since companies are making their own UIs for Androids and there are a few on the marketplace. It's all about choice and personal style and flavors.

In the face of this, Apple is tightening up the proprietary shield and hunkering down for a long war. A war it's going to lose, just like it did in the desktop/laptop market for years due to the same thing.

"Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it." - George Santayana

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