After Hours optimize

Looking ahead to Apple's next big product innovation

As Apple readies new product and software releases, is there a surprise on the horizon? Wil Limoges looks ahead and makes some predictions about a new product line.
September is upon us, and with the eminent release of iOS 5, a new iPhone, iCloud, iTunes Match, and hopefully, “One More Thing,” right around the corner, I thought I would take a look ahead at what’s next for Apple, especially in the wake of Steve Jobs' departure. So, what is it that we can expect from Apple in the future?

Post-PC era?

I ask “what is next for Apple” because we've been hearing so much about living in a post-PC era. It's significant when you think about what it means for Apple in the enterprise. We've already seen Mac OS X Server lose emphasis in Apple’s product line up by having both it’s pricing slashed and its dedicated hardware, the Xserve axed. Does this mean that the desktop is dead? Possibly, although, I don’t see it happening for several more years. To better understand where Apple may be headed we need to consider where it draws its direction, rather, what its DNA is composed of. First, as a technology company, Apple loves to innovate and revolutionize in markets that are stale. We’ve seen this with the iPod, the iPhone, and iTunes, to name a few. Second, Apple is now more than ever a consumer-driven company. It doesn't mean that they are shedding off the enterprise completely, but as far as their products are concerned, the consumer seems to be is its primary focus. Apple offers a myriad of consumer-oriented services and support; there has been a lack of updates to a significant portion of Pro Apps; and again, Apple has essentially demoted Mac OS X Server to little more than a consumer-obtainable product. Finally, Apple is dedicated only to making best-in-class products. Arguably there is much more that makes up Apple’s DNA but these are the major strands for much of Apple’s motives. With this mapping in mind, it's easier to see a path emerge that I think hints at what Apple’s next steps may be. It is highly unlikely that Apple will develop products outside of the realm of consumer electronics. Furthermore, it is unlikely for Apple to enter into a market until they know they have a proven product and one that is likely to change the way we live and think.

Let’s have some fun

Armed with the knowledge that I’ve laid out, lets have a little fun. It’s rumored that Apple will be launching a radical new device soon and that it will be a significant departure from it’s current product line up. Apple has also expressed in their earnings report that there will be a “Product Transition” in the fall. What do you think this all means? What could this radical new device be or are we just going to see the iPod and it’s brethren finally be put out to pasture? My thoughts? The obvious choice would be the transition away from iPods to all touch devices, however, more and more I find myself leaning toward the idea of an HDTV coming out of Cupertino. It fits all the aforementioned prerequisites: it’s a consumer device; it’s a market that needs revitalization; it can easily be improved upon; and it can change the way we live and think. Consider if you will what is wrong with televisions today: They are complicated and home systems are increasingly difficult to set up and interact with. The non-standard resolutions of today's HDTVs leave consumers perplexed. We’ve been told for over a decade that video conferencing was coming to our homes, and although the technology certainly exists, few if any manufacturers have successfully brought it to market. Lastly, it’s a perfect way for Apple to sneak right on into that first input of your HDTV instead of settling for number two. If you ask me, the HDTV has Apple opportunity all over it, and although I was once on the fence about the idea, I’m all but on the wagon at this point. If Apple believes that we live in a post-PC world, then Apple must be considering other markets to invade where its devices can live and integrate while its PC market will slowly kneel to the tablet.

Personally, I see this as a boon for both consumers and for businesses with products that simplify communication and can still perform important work functions -- an Apple HDTV would be welcome in our office, for sure.

So what new products do you think are on the horizon and how do see Apple’s persistent push into the consumer market affecting your business, if at all?

About

Wil Limoges is a Louisville, KY freelance web designer and Digital Savant at the vimarc group. He has had the pleasure of working for Apple as a Genius, loves science, and aspires to make great things!

148 comments
robahee
robahee

Whether we think the next Apple product is a good idea or not, chances are that millions of people will believe it is. An iTV, running iOS 5 (or 6) on an A5 (or A6) processor, will give consumers hundreds of thousands of existing apps and games to choose from, and the iCloud will effortlessly bring apps, games, music, movies, and podcasts into the same ecosystem for all iDevices. Brilliant or evil, it seems inevitable.

adornoe
adornoe

and the facts are that, whatever Apple can produce, can be done by others, and at a more reasonable price, and with equal or better quality. They hype about the superiority of Apple products is just that, hype.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

You talk about Apple's so-called "hype", yet you have yet to prove that anybody else does what Apple's devices do "as well or better."

adornoe
adornoe like.author.displayName 1 Like

that being that Apple has made their products "usable", as if that too hasn't been done in the past, and by all others. Most products and services that stick around for years, would not have done so if they weren't easily usable by those that need or want them, especially on the consumer side, where most people do want "easy to use" and without a lengthy learning curve. There is nothing special about Apple's "easy to use" gadgets, especially when most other comparable products offer the same kind of usage experience. However, one of the reasons that some gadgets from Apple seem to be easier to use, is the fact that, some of those products have been created with fewer features in hardware and software. A tablet would, of course, be a lot simpler to operate than a full-blown PC, but, other tablets are just as easy to use as the iPads. Furthermore, if a product from Apple comes with a feature that prevents other OSes from being loaded, and other equipment to be used in conjunction with the Apple product, then, of course, the ease of use is present because there won't be that much more to have to learn or deal with. That's called the "Apple lock-in".

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

I have never claimed that Apple was first at creating anything; as you say, there is nothing in the current set of products that hasn't been done one way or another in the past. However, what Apple has done is make them usable by anyone, not just techies. That is their strong point.

adornoe
adornoe

and what Apple made that is "currently" popular is essentially the same as what other manufacturers and software developers provide. There is NOTHING in the current set of products that hasn't been done in the past or in the present. The only difference is the marketing and the hype.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

If that were true, Apple would have never made USB popular; it was essentially ignored before the iMac. Apple would have never made digital media players popular; Creative and others already had models out, but they simply were not selling in any numbers. Apple would have never made the consumer smart phone popular; RIM and Nokia were too focused on the enterprise and too complex to use to be a popular consumer device. Apple would have never made the slate/tablet popular; Microsoft had been pushing tablets for over ten years, with no success. Through all of this, those other brands did these things "better", at least according to techies--yet those 'better' things never sold. Apple has demonstrated one thing in particular over the last ten years plus: they know how to take existing technology and make it so anybody can use it--without training; and if training is needed, they make it readily available at their stores. It's not the color or appearance that makes it work better; it's real improvements on the inside. Those improvements become obvious when benchmarked against supposedly 'equivalent' machines even when it comes to running Windows itself.

adornoe
adornoe

continue staying in denial about the truth. Whatever Apple does, has been done in the past, and whatever Apple can do, others can do, as well or even better. However, what others seem to lack, is the marketing strategies of Apple, who could create a dung-colored device, and sell it at a a high-price, while hyping it as if the color would make the device perform many times better than the competitions' standard colored devices.

jpdemers
jpdemers

Putting Xerox PARC's GUI (which ran on a mainframe) into a small personal computer was like turning a hand-cranked model T into a modern sedan*. The "same functionality" -- it gets you from A to B -- is hardly the issue. Ditto for turning homely beige boxes into sleek works of art. As for "hype", take a look at Apple's ads - they merely show the device, and people want it. No hype whatsoever. (None needed for these products: Apple says they're announcing a product, and people flock to see what they've come up with.) Tiresome MS apologists whine endlessly about the "hype" and the enthusiasm and the fandom, but they never ask themselves why the whole Apple phenomenon exists in the first place. It's the product, guys ... deal with it. *I played with the Xerox system in the late '70s, and while it was certainly a novelty, even the first Mac OS was a significant improvement.

joncowden
joncowden

I love it.... Apple takes their rather weak Apple TV(which is like any TV or DVD/BluRay player out, with OS), and slaps it into an HDTV with a built-in sound bar(which are already out) and uses its patented "OLED" name for what is pretty much RAZOR LED TV's now.... BRILLIANT!!! Repackaging and Marking it up.... Gotta love their marketing.. I see another M$ real soon. It sounds like "Segway Hype"

onamish4life
onamish4life

Post-PC era? What about "FreeCom"..... The complete freedom and accessibility of the globe/internet with the various forms of communication devices available for Joe and Jane Average. Technology no longer the realm of Sci-Fi or Military Industries. As for the entity of Apple... there is always to sides to every coin. Have the masses forgotten that Apple was a dirty word for so many years with a "re-badged" windows format speaking an alien language, only used by creative types and out of the price range of the common man. Apple have constantly told us they were different than Microsoft and have become a doppelganger themselves. There is no denying that the devices aren't clean and sharp but unfortunately still handcuff your arms behind your back... "It's our way or the highway!" should be their slogan. Haven't we heard that all before? Check out some of the truly innovative devices being sold on the web and you will see where Apple is heading. They are "un-innovative", just slick marketing and production houses that have cornered Joe and Jane Average wanting to live the dream. Didn't God say in the Bible... "You can have anything except the Apple?" .... My humour, I couldn't pass up the opportunity. ;) PS: Whoever can make the next evolutionary step with the humble battery, will be the true leader of mobile technology! --------------------------------- For another topic??? ...Linux/RedHat. China has silently been building a global network, ready to flick the switch on. An East Vs West Tech War in the not too distant future???

LarmanI
LarmanI

All Apple really do is inject style. I'm not denigrating, I like the look and feel! But their products are far too expensive and put many youngsters at the mercy of greedy insurance and telephone companies. Their systems are too proprietary - protecting their investment ( I guess fair enough in our capitalist societies) but creating stupid diversity in design. I bought a dock for my IPad, but when I got it home realised it was for the Ipad 2, now why couldn't clever old innovative Apple make an insert to alter the shape of the dock so it could fit both? We all know why of course!

jpdemers
jpdemers

Reminds me of the time I bought a 35 mm roll of film, and when I got home I realized it didn't fit in my Polaroid camera. You'd think clever old Polaroid would have seen that coming, too.

johnpall
johnpall like.author.displayName 1 Like

What a Negative Piece of work you are,listen this is what WILL HAPPEN Apple will bring out a fantastic product millions upon millions of people will buy it yes it will be an easy product for average consumers to use, no it will not have everything but the kitchen sink so there may eventually be other companies that end up copying it (like ex: A Samsung) to give the product an extended amount of features for complete frugal tech headz like your self, now you can jump up and down as much as you like and say Apple too much cash Apple no good Features but you'd be lying! so get real we in the industry all know the sweet spots on pricing for these types of products and Apple certainly studies this area very carefully. You can't keep denying their attention to detail when their products sell so well.

bezerkus
bezerkus

Their attention to detail is in the package, not the functionality, if ya can't easily make a soundbyte about it then screw it. What you can't deny is a company that gobbles innovation and spoon feeds it. To come in here and say they make better products is like telling a muscle car owner that the Honda Civic is better and sells more than any one of your muscle cars. Just agree we like what's in a computer and you guys like the packaging. Although I am a sucker for these BMW designed cases... http://www.thermaltakeusa.com/Product.aspx?S=1341&ID=2039

jpdemers
jpdemers

... the Civic really is a better car than a souped-up Mustang -- for the vast majority of people. The geek with the home-built-overclocked-32GB-of-RAM gaming beast (with a $1,000 video card) might sniff at the 'inferior' iMac, but he's in the minority. Ditto for the gearhead who's got his muscle car up on the blocks every weekend: most people just want to get to work in the morning, and their ideal car requires ZERO time under the hood. That's not "packaging" -- it has everything to do with what's inside. I'm not saying that the gearheads and geeks are fools, but I think they're missing the point: what's "better" depends on what you want. Apple seems to be good at figuring out what MOST people want, and then delivering it, usually in a gorgeous package that qualifies for a pedestal at MOMA. My guess is that most people want a TV that does a lot, AND does it easily ... which is something that Apple could deliver.

bezerkus
bezerkus

Maybe a little harsh with the civic, maybe an Acura would be a better analogy (and I like Acuras) that has it's hood welded shut. But relying on cute acronyms from the 80's and 90's, I prefer to see modern day facts. http://car.pikimal.com/ford-mustang/vs/acura-rl I think the pricing is the biggest eye opener... The thing is I can buy almost any other car at any other price at any other style and get more car for the money. Or you can buy Acura. I prefer choice and not being overcharged for the same internals. Not saying that about Acura.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

You are right, Windows-based PCs are #1 on the internet--at about 51% as of the last Gartner report I read--followed by iOS, OS X and Android in that order. Windows numbers are falling while iOS is growing rapidly and even OS X is growing faster than the general PC market. These numbers are readily available from many sources. The iPod still holds 70% of the digital music player market. The iPhone still doubles its sales year over year and is still the single best-selling device, followed by the previous model iPhone. The nearest single competitor draws a distant third. The iPad still holds a commanding lead over all competitors both individually and combined. You seem to confuse Apple's former "Cult of Mac" to mean "all of Apple's customers." I have a question for you: How can a mere 700,000 Mac Cultists in 1996 buy 30 MILLION Macs a year only 15 years later? How can a mere 700,000 Mac Cultists in 1996 own in excess of 60 million iPhones? How can a mere 700,000 Mac Cultists own hundreds of millions of iPods? Apple creates its loyal base by giving the people what they want--a reliable, easy-to-use product. Apple is growing that loyal base at the cost of Microsoft's Windows. Apple is growing that loyal base at the Cost of RIM's Blackberry. Windows used to be the only game in town. That's no longer true and the numbers are proving it.

adornoe
adornoe

Apple seems to be good at figuring out what MOST people want For that statement above to be correct, MOST people would have opted for Macs and MOST people would be using iPods and iPhones and iPads. But, as we know, that's not exactly the case, is it? Last time I saw any survey, the regular Windows-based PCs were the number one computers, and those PCs weren't just being used by "MOST" people, they were being used by an overwhelming majority of people. Likewise, the iPhone is not being used by MOST, not after Android phones have overtaken Apple's iOS-based smartphone. However, Apple can't do any wrong when it comes to its loyal base, and so, anything they do produce will automatically be "better" to MOST APPLE fanatics.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

Really? They why does Ford, for instance, have the acronym "Found On Road Dead"? I know three different people with the new-model (2005+) Mustang and all three have...had problems. One of those three just traded her Mustang to go back to a Honda, a brand which had never given her problems. I can't say the same for Camaro or Challenger; I've not heard any complaints about them mechanically yet. But the point is that for the person who needs an everyday driver, that Honda really does seem the better car. I will agree though that some people, myself included, don't look at their cars as "just transportation." The simile with computers can be made because Apple's computers and other devices do seem to be more reliable though as many have declared they don't necessarily have "cutting edge" components. So maybe Apple is the Acura of computers, hmm? They still have some 'sportiness' to them in performance but demonstrate the ability to grind away day in and day out without the user having to crawl under the hood on a regular basis. Like your car dealer, you can have option packages installed to make it more comfortable, faster and maybe a bit more fun--but like those car dealerships, once you go under the hood and start tweaking on your own, you lose the warranty. Since most people don't 'tweak', most people don't care. Only the geek/gearhead cares.

bezerkus
bezerkus

Without common standards to keep you from hooking up to anything not apple. Muscle cars I meant were the modern day (not 60's classics) and they aren't up on blocks and are just as reliable as your honda civic. It might use a little more gas, but if you need something less powerful and saves energy buy a mac. Most people's dream car is not a civic. Yet somehow Apple's made it desireable to conform to one brand one model, all under the lie that it just works. That might be true to someone who just switched to MAC from older windows 98 or XP, but dollar for dollar Mac does not make it more reliable, better performance, or less expensive in the short or long term when you need peripherals. It gives you a style that someone wants and that's great...it's just ridiculous to come into a performance like car forum and say your civic is better for everyone, oh and you need to pay the same or more than your 2011 Toyata 4 Runner or 2011 Ford Mustang, or a Hummer, or it even beats out your Astin Martin DB9 cause the civic is easier to use. Most of the higher end cars are not practical for people but in the PC world you can have that Astin Martin for less than double the price of a MAC. It's really that simple and when Apple gets backed into a corner about reliability, performance, functionality...out comes the standard simplicity is genius and you don't have to worry about malware. Your comment about a civic being better than a Mustang shows that you belong in a MAC. Most people would buy the higher end car if it was the same price and wouldn't listen to the garbage that a civic is better. But in the mystery's of the computer world for everyday people, there is room for Apple techs to sandwich their lies between half truths. Like at least Apple has Blu-ray. Do the research on that and you'll find the truth. Think Apple is better with audio media, watch your MP3 collection get dumped next year so Apple can have an netflix-like audio streaming. Only reason they opened up to rip your CD's a bit back because they know soon they won't support it anyway.

adornoe
adornoe like.author.displayName 1 Like

Look, you can continue with your love affair with Apple. Nobody is going to stop your adoration for all things Apple. But, from the sounds of it, you sound like you'll take whatever Apple produces, even if it's just a souped-up HDTV, and no matter what the price. That's fanatical. Now, most people who own TVs already find them easy to use, even with the remote they may be using, but, according to you, Apple will be making their "souped-up" TVs even easier to use. Never mind that we still haven't heard about what area of our lives Apple feels they need to make simpler or better. I'd be more impressed with Apple or anybody giving us something that we really need, like easy to use iToilet, with iToiletPaper. ;)

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

"Now, most people who own TVs already find them easy to use, even with the remote they may be using,..." Pardon me, but quite honestly you are wrong. 90% of the people who own a current flat-screen TV never use the additional features available in their TVs. They get confused by the menus and quite honestly prefer to ride with a single, serial input where signal comes in through their cable box, maybe passes through their DVD player and goes straight into the TV. Anything more complicated than that drives them batty. Why else would Best Buy, for instance, have their "Geek Squad" to install and set up TVs for their customers? My own 52" flat-screen has three different kinds of inputs with a menu screen that would do worse than confuse a first-time user just to set it up! Sure, turning one on and off, changing channels and volume is easy, but try to actually use some of those additional features and they're lost. A simple example might be the old rear-projection TVs that included PiP and other advanced capabilities--where is Picture in Picture today? I'll bet you you couldn't find 1 person in 100 that uses PiP today even if it's available on their set. No, while I don't know what Apple has in mind for the future, if they do go into creating an Apple-branded TV it's going to be a lot easier to use than currently-available models across the board. It might even eliminate the tangle of wires I have in my own entertainment center.

adornoe
adornoe

and the HDTVs that they use, are as "complicated" as you mention, but, they're able to use the different features provided with the TV and the connectivity that can be used with them. They simply have the techs from the cable companies install and connect whatever devices they need, and instruct my mother and sister about what buttons to use and when. Not overly complicated and they get as much enjoyment out of their newer and more "complicated" sets, and they don't find them any harder to use or control then the older non-digital and non-HD TVs. It's all a matter of how complicated one wishes to make things. Using the old music players and the older tablets and the older PCs and the older phones/smartphones wasn't really that complicated. Besides, not all features provided with many new gadgets are so necessary that they "must be used". Sometimes, overkill is wasteful and an excuse for charging more for what people don't need.

bezerkus
bezerkus

a bionic iBall - only downside is you might no be able to see for short periods of time while it's hooked to iTunes, that's if it actually sees it as one of it's own devices...one of my favorite apple errors though...we see you plugged an ipod in but we don't know what kind cause your iTunes hasn't been updated for a few months. Also only compatible with the official iBrow and iLid or your whole setup won't match or work together and you'll have an iSore. On the upside it is easily upgradeable to the new iGlasses when it gets older.

jpdemers
jpdemers like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

I can't see Apple competing in the big-screen market: margins are too thin, competition is too fierce, and Apple doesn't have a competitive edge. (Nothing on which to hang that Apple premium price.) Plus, nobody wants to lug a 50" behemoth to the Apple store if it goes on the fritz. What consumers do desperately need is a replacement for the tangle of boxes, cables, remotes, and media players that are piled up on the shelves beneath that big screen. In the years that have passed since the first VCR sat there perpetually flashing "12:00", things have only gotten worse. Fixing this mess with an elegant device is right in Apple's wheelhouse: one box to replace them all, with an intuitive interface that just works. HD, BR/DVD/CD, tuner, modem, router, WiFi (and optional matching WiFi speakers, making it your stereo system), media server .... all of it ... in one sleek box. Power, coax, fiber, and Thunderbolt cables, and maybe an ethernet port. And of course it talks to your Mac and iPad and iPod and iPhone, and can host a Time Machine volume, and most especially it talks to the iTunes store. (Netflix, watch your back!) I know I"d buy it.

dogknees
dogknees

I've had this for years now. No tangle of wires and boxes. Just one PC that does it all. One interface that does it all, Windows. So simple.

bill_tisdel
bill_tisdel

A big market plus here is lesser connection to a TV and using your other apple products such as iphones, ipods, ipads, and i whaterever to interface with one of these TV's. Why have a new box when a Apple TV with simple connections, built-in surround sound speakers, HD and 3D in all formats, wireless connectivity to internet,compatible accessories and bluetooth like devices, which could also double as a desktop with some type of virtual desktop format ( ioffice). It could be the be-all media and computing device.

Wil Limoges
Wil Limoges like.author.displayName 1 Like

I agree. The Apple HDTV does seem a little far fetched in some regards and developing the Apple TV out more seems far more reasonable. Still it does seem intriguing when you think about things such as Apple's extreme purchasing power and that they can actually undercut the manufacturer. You also pointed out that Apple could make an all in one box to replace them all. Wouldn't it make more sense for it to be inside of a TV? If you think about the Apple TV in it's current form it would still require external components such as a receiver, a camera, speakers, monitor, etc all big when Apple is about small, however, Apple could potentially make all of those things fit right into a single package with no other external devices needed and still sell the Apple TV for people with other televisions only lacking in video conferencing and recording features. Most importantly Apple would then be able to control the interface used not just for the Apple TV functionality but for cable. Imagine recording shows that can play on any of your devices wirelessly from your TV. The form that the Apple TV takes now would likely never incorporate a cable card. It's to small and few people would connect a cable to it anyway. I've been known to be wrong though. We'll just have to wait and see!

jpdemers
jpdemers

Given how many things can go funky with a computing device, I don't want to be lugging a giant screen to the Apple store in order to get the HD looked at. And I'd like to be able to upgrade to a larger/better screen without having to replace all those fancy electronics. I see Apple giving us the box, and letting us choose from the huge variety of displays already available. For me, the display is a separate investment, especially if it's a thousand-dollar-plus investment. Then again, they do sell more iMacs than Minis ... as you say, wait and see!

mattmuir
mattmuir like.author.displayName 1 Like

Apple already make the most incredible 27-inch monitors. They are overpriced. They are however, desirable, and that makes their "over-priced-ness" vanish for some people. iPods weren't (and aren't) the cheapest, but they revolutionised the market by providing an ecosystem. iPhones weren't the cheapest, but again, provided as ecosystem. AppleTV is a great step forward -- but isn't forward enough in the face of SmartTV from Samsung & the like (which Samsung now offer a plug-in box similar to AppleTV). Apple CAN do this better - they already have the store setup with iTunes, and the technology from their PCs. I still think there are other ecosystems that Apple would like to get right first - including School texts on iPad, but they can't afford to not stamp their authority on the TV market.

adornoe
adornoe like.author.displayName 1 Like

inch HDTV, and with prices going much higher for the bigger sets. Remember, if it's from Apple, expect out-of-this-world prices. You'd have to wait for the competition to release their competing products.

Wil Limoges
Wil Limoges

If it does come to fruition I bet it's well under 2k.

jpdemers
jpdemers

Apple doesn't need to make/sell the display at all. As I said in my original post (which someone forgot to actually read), I don't see Apple competing in that area. What they CAN make is the box that crunches and stores all the data, and puts out the video signal. You'll hook it up to your 52" plasma display, or whatever other display you choose. Get it from Sony, get it from Samsung, it doesn't matter ... there's nothing inside one of those things that needs Apple's engineering, or re-engineering. Some purists might shell out extra dough just to have an Apple logo on the bezel, and perhaps Apple will oblige them, but it'll be like the Cinema Display: a nice product if you can afford it, but there's no actual need for it.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

I remember all the arguments about the iPad before it was announced, where everybody assumed Apple would plant a $1000 price tag on it. In fact, nearly every other manufacturer thought they'd be able to undercut Apple's prices with a $600-$800 device and were totally blown away when Apple announced the iPad at only $500 starting price. Do you really believe Apple would announce such a ridiculous price as you project?

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

... "less expensive" brand. I've been using my 3G iPad for 18 months without issue. My wife has been using her Wi-Fi-only iPad for even longer. How long have you been using your 'less expensive' model? You get what you pay for. I'm interested in how much you end up paying for what you got.

adornoe
adornoe

While it's true that even Microsoft can have overpriced products, it's not even at the same level of what Apple does. Microsoft Office may be "overpriced", to use your example, but, when compared to the competition, especially the "free" competition, it offers a lot of value and ends up paying for itself eventually. I've tried to use the free and open source packages out there,and I've always ended up regretting the decision, and ended up going back to the more expensive but reliable Office. The same could be said of some things Apple provided, like a good quality smartphone and a good quality tablet, but, in those areas, the competition has caught up with equal quality and features and even with extra features. So, in the case of Apple, people may perceive superior quality, but not for a real good reason. Likewise, I tried to use different Linux distros at different times, believing that, I didn't really need to pay hundreds of dollars for an OS when I could get a comparable or better product for free. I always ended up going back to Windows for many things I needed to do, and Linux wasn't going to cut it if I still had to keep windows around for many of the things I needed to do. So, paying for something that simply does what I need, without jumping through hoops, was quite worth it to me. Value and price are related, but, if there is no real value in free and/or open source, then I won't mind paying for the much better and higher priced option.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Works for Microsoft as well. [i]there are people who will always believe that they need to purchase the better known brands to get better quality, and so, they end up spending a lot more than they need to.[/i] Could be why so many people think that if they buy a computer it has to run Microsoft Windows and have Microsoft Office when there are plenty of other choices. It's also why so many other systems that came preloaded with other offerings didn't sell and where done away with. [i]they end up spending a lot more than they need to. So, yes, the [u]Microsoft Software[/u] is way overpriced, not only in comparison to other [u]Operating Systems[/u], but because of its limited capabilities[/i] I'm no fan of Apple but then again I'm no fan of M$ either. Col

adornoe
adornoe like.author.displayName 1 Like

iPad and others that are just as expensive. But, there are people who will always believe that they need to purchase the better known brands to get better quality, and so, they end up spending a lot more than they need to. So, yes, the iPad is way overpriced, not only in comparison to other tablets, but because of its limited capabilities.

jpdemers
jpdemers

...yet nobody else makes a comparable tablet for less? You're overdue for a reality check.

adornoe
adornoe

over-priced, even if it's not $1000 or more. And, yes, no matter what "new" product Apple "reworks" to create a new hype around, it will still be way overpriced.

mattmuir
mattmuir like.author.displayName 1 Like

The Apple 27-inch screen with Thunderbolt and an amazing 2560-by-1440 pixels, retails for $999, so a lesser resolution product, even with a bigger screen size, would retail somewhere around $1,000.

Wil Limoges
Wil Limoges like.author.displayName 1 Like

Keep in mind that a large majority of iOS users are completely new to Apple. When you compare the number of people that use iOS devices to Macs, the iOS device numbers devour that of the Macs. If all those users were fanatics I suspect there would be an equal number of Macs flying off the shelves. Apple doesn't cater to Apple fanatics, they make products for any one.

adornoe
adornoe like.author.displayName 1 Like

"mere" $999 is because, it's NOT loaded with the goodies mentioned in the article above. That 27 inch HDTV could end up costing a lot more than $999 and more like $1500 to $2000 after Apple got done with it and released it as a "redefined TV experience" and called it "iHDTV". And, if that TV were to come in the bigger 32 inches or more, you could end up spending a fortune for them. But, when it comes to Apple fanatics, money is no obstacle and having anything branded Apple would be enough to make them part with their money.

jsepeta
jsepeta like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

Apple loves making disruptive technology. They may not have invented the smartphone or MP3 player, but they certainly made them better. For Apple to make something worthwhile with television, they should find a way to disrupt the cable companies - provide streaming movies & shows via wifi, think they already do that with the AppleTV, check. OR how about turning on IOS's ability to run apps on the AppleTV? Hmm, if it could also play IOS games, GOODBYE, NINTENDO.

dogknees
dogknees like.author.displayName 1 Like

They need to provide all the same free-to-air services we might have. able doesn't replace FTA any more than iTV will replace cable.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000 like.author.displayName 1 Like

Apple taking on the Game Consoles and winning the Market. ;) Col

bezerkus
bezerkus

Plus they don't like guns.

adornoe
adornoe

Imagine if XBOX and Kinect had been "invented" by Apple. You'd be paying between $1000 and $2000 for the combo.

adornoe
adornoe like.author.displayName 1 Like

Hype can be a very powerful thing when it comes to sales, and it's the equivalent of 'word of mouth', where somebody buys a product, and then goes about telling his/her friend about the great purchase, and about how he/she made a great decision, touting it's greatness and features and superiority, but not realizing that, perhaps it's not that great and it's probably the equivalent or not much better than the other competition. I see that kind of hype everyday, and it happens in forums such as this one, and in everyday life. Marketing can drive a lot of success, but they hype that comes into a product or into a company in general, can be quite as effective. Some hype is deserved, but a lot of it is just people justifying their decisions and bragging about how smart they were in their choice(s).

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

... since all the 'hype' only appears on tech boards like these and not in the general marketplace. After that, you're quite right--except that Apple's own customers have seen how much better Apple's products are than Dell or HP. Toshiba actually has some quality to it which is why it has risen to #3 (or #4 depending on analyst). Advertising and Hype don't explain customer satisfaction numbers, they only offer an excuse to the anti-Apple zealots. Customers won't claim they like or love something that gives them constant problems, whether it be a product itself or the support environment behind it. I like a Toshiba, I would probably own one if I only wanted to use Windows. However, for me Windows itself is the problem, not the hardware. So for me, the Mac--with OS X--is the much better choice.

adornoe
adornoe

player in the field of computers, like Dell or Toshiba or HP or Lenovo. Without the marketing and hype strategies which take them over the top, the Apple products would be just "very good and great looking" [products. There are other "very good and great looking" products out there, but, they aren't marketed as well, and they're not hyped up as a "mysterious" new iGadget "coming out next month" by the Apple marketing machine. Marketing and hype do work wonders in the marketplace, and that's why people fell so foolishly, in the political arena, for a "boy wonder" who had less experience than anybody else that ever ran for president.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

Marketing is NOT the biggest reason for Apple's success, though I won't deny the success it has given them. Apple, for over 10 years now, has spent less money as a percentage of income than any of its competitors, whether you speak of computers, music players, phones or even tablets. No, Apple's recent success is a result of seriously reduced costs and remarkable management by Steve Jobs and his staff. His primary manager, COO Tim Cook, is now the CEO. We'll just have to see where the company goes from here. The 'hype' you so complain about isn't generated by Apple itself, but by people like us who try to out-guess each other as to what the next new product will be. The iMac's change from the stereotypical 'beige box' computer merely started the Apple resurgence. The iPod, iPhone and now the iPad have carried Apple over the top in many, many ways. No longer is it just Microsoft trying to play catch up with Windows, it's the other OEMs that are struggling to keep up with Apple's hardware as well. If marketing were Apple's ONLY reason for success, they wouldn't have been seeing double-digit growth in sales--triple-digit in some cases--over the industry average.

adornoe
adornoe like.author.displayName 1 Like

because, without it, their products would just be "also rans". The Mac Cube was a long time ago product, and before the Apple marketing started having the "hype" that is so prevalent with anything that Apple has produced lately. That marketing and hype has been so good in the last few years that, if Apple announced an innovative "iToilet", people would line up around city blocks, 2 days ahead of release, wanting to get their hands and tooshies on the new "must have" Apple crapper. People did buy into the Apple hype for the "iTV", but, even with the marketing of Apple, a dud is still a dud, and people only find out about it after the hype and marketing has gotten them to make a purchase. The iPhone and iPad were good products, and they did stick, but, people would not have even tried them to begin with, if the Apple marketing machine and the all powerful hype was not in place. Marketing is what drives people to "want" a product, even if they don't need it. The hype that had been built up from the Mac quality, is what drove a lot of people to want to try the new gadgets from Apple.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

Lie--with proofs. Remember the Mac Cube? Great marketing; a beautiful product, but it didn't sell well. Apple dropped it after only a year. AppleTV (Original): A good product and one I like very much, but it simply didn't sell in the kinds of numbers Apple is now used to, so it was replaced by a more compact, less expensive model that doesn't include a hard drive but now uses iOS. No, if it weren't for Apple's reputation for reliability and good customer service, Apple simply would not have become the world's #1 technology company. Marketing alone simply can't take you there.

adornoe
adornoe

sell well. With Apple, marketing doesn't even matter anymore, because, people will jump on a product just because, it's made by Apple. Forget performance, forget that it's not really better, forget that it doesn't really perform better, forget that it's priced much higher than the competition. The only thing that matters with Apple products, is that, it's "made" with the Apple logo on top. That's advertising that repeats, free of charge. And people continue falling for the hype and strategy.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

Marketing only goes so far. If the marketed product does not perform as advertised, that product stops selling. Apple's products don't stop selling.

adornoe
adornoe

Look, nothing you said makes the Apple that much better or different from other manufacturers or players out there who make or sell products similar to what Apple provides. Apple manufactures a product, packages neatly and nicely, and sell it with a lot of hype and marketing strategy that is superior to the competition, and because people are easily fooled, many of them are willing to pay a much higher price for what they could've had from the competition at a much lower price. People are beginning to catch on to Apple's tactics, and it's only a matter of time before people realize that, there really is nothing magical about Apple or its products. The Apple Macs are not materially any better than comparably equipped PCs which cost a lot less and have, basically, the same internals as a Mac, and people are also realizing that, the OSes within the PCs are superior to what the Macs contain, with the only difference being the marketing hype from the past which still lingers in the minds of many people who remember the "PC fat ugly guy vs the Mac cool and handsome dude". So, stop being such a shill and start facing reality. Get a life already, and start a romance with some woman somewhere, because, Apple is not that much into romance, and even if you have unrequited love towards them, they're not paying you back (unless you're working for them and have been hired to defend them in these types of forums).

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

"Apple is in business to extract as much money from a product as they can." What you seem to overlook here is that Apple gets those prices without having to run fire sales, 2fers or other mega deals that drag profits down. The majority of Apple's competitors are lucky if they make 3% to 5% profit on their devices while Apple sells millions at a reported 30% profit or higher. Why? Well, it's certainly not because those other companies have the customer in mind--they're scrambling just to remain profitable as they compete with each other. The only reason Apple can make those kinds of profit is because they do offer a better product--even capable of running Windows on their computers better than an equivalent Windows-only PC. Yes, Apple could, I believe, extend their integrated ecosystem into console gaming. Personally, I don't think they want to, but considering the number of games out for iOS already I could see them expand that to the AppleTV (current iteration) using an iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch as a controller. Maybe the overall price of Apple's ecosystem would be higher, but it also wouldn't be a single-purpose system the way those other consoles were. I'll acknowledge that all three consoles now offer Netflix and other movie connectivity, but they're still narrow-purpose devices compared to even the current iOS package. Personally, I don't agree that Apple has to play in the same stadium to compete; the iPhone/iPad has already put pressure on Nintendo and Sony's Playstation for at least hand-held gaming without even trying. Whether or not Apple is even trying to compete with the gaming consoles is another question entirely. Apple is trying to integrate the entire computer experience. Nearly everything in the home today is computerized one way or another, from your TV to your stove to your refrigerator. Your water, gas, electric meters are all digital reporting now. Your security system is a computer (if you have one) and for many people even their 'toy train' is computerized today. PCs have the ability to control all those devices but as long as they each run their separate OSes and don't have some sort of integrating interface they're all JBODs (just a bunch of devices). Just as RAID technology brings multiple hard drives together as a single package, it appears Apple is trying to bring these other technologies together as a coherent whole--creating an easy-to-set-up "home of the future."

adornoe
adornoe

into other electronics areas. The success of a product is only guaranteed until the rest of the market catches up, and that catching up is already happening. If they remained "successful" with their current offerings driving that success, that success wouldn't be as high as it's been for the last several years. Success can be defined as simply making a profit, even if the success is not what is used to be. Redefining the TV experience or redefining the gaming world won't be enough to continue Apple's high-flying success.

adornoe
adornoe like.author.displayName 1 Like

You start by stating that,"Apple is not that company anymore", but then forget the current company that is Apple. Apple is in business to extract as much money from a product as they can, and have you smile as you walk away after you pay their outrageous prices for anything they make, They didn't get to be the highest market-cap company in the world by selling their products at prices that are comparable to the competition. Their profit margins are higher than the competition, and it's not because they're that much better with the products they do offer. There is no way that Apple is going to create a gaming echosystem from joining all of their separate products to create the "same gaming" experience as can be found in gaming systems such as the XBox/Kinect and PS3 and WII. That would be defeating the basic principle of Apple of trying to extract as much wealth as they can from as many different products as they can. To compete in the gaming arena, they'll have to create their own gaming system. Patching together a "gaming echo-system" from their existing products and services, won't cut it. No matter how cool that idea may sound, it won't even begin to compare to what the Xbox/Kinect/Xbox Live and WII and PS3 systems offer. It's okay to feel the love for Apple, but, the reality is that, to compete against the current gaming systems, they'll have to come up with something "in the same category", and not a patchwork of gadgets and services. Apple is now a full-fledged electronics manufacturer, and I don't doubt that they'll enter as many electronics areas as they can in order to maximize profits and grow the company. If Samsung can be in so many areas, I'm pretty sure Apple wants to play the same games. As of now, Apple is a mobile electronics company, with a "PC" tossed into the mix.

seanferd
seanferd

Not that I'd pay anything anywhere near that amount to play games on a system that doesn't self-destruct as soon as the warranty is up. Would be interesting to see how many developers would port their games to a Unix-like system, if Apple stuck with its current OS core for a console.

Wil Limoges
Wil Limoges like.author.displayName 1 Like

Good Point! The Xbox only just made Microsoft money this year and how long has it been around? Don't get me wrong, I love my Xbox but in comparison every iOS device makes Apple money and at the advertised price point.

Wil Limoges
Wil Limoges like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

Your right, if you were talking about the Apple from the 90's. And it was called the Pippin. Haha. Apple is not that company anymore and has proven its hand at reducing hardware costs for consumers ($99 Apple TV, $49 iPhone 3GS, $229 iPod Touch). Here's the thing, with the Apple TV and all other iOS devices being less then a generation away from the graphical capabilities of an Xbox 360/PS3 which are still priced at $200+ don't you think that a $99 Apple TV which I speculate will soon be running most if not all iOS Apps in one form or another make buying a existing game console seem somewhat trivial? I'd trade in my Xbox 360 for an $99 device that has comparable graphics, all the same capabilities such as voice chat, online gameplay, game network, online store, doesn't require disks, and that uses my iPad and iPhone as a controller which is confirmed for the next version of iOS. Look at games like Real Racing 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GaT9EGsLrk slated for iOS 5 Airplay. The games I buy will transfer to other iOS devices when compatable as well. The only requirement that would prevent me making the jump right away are the lack of big titles but they are waiting in the wings I assure you.

adornoe
adornoe

The whole idea is to get people to play games and make money for the product provider. The idea behind developing a product or service is to make money from it. The means of monetizing the product/service is immaterial, as long as there is a return to the developer. In the case of Microsoft, it does make money on the system, and the games developers also make money on their games. It's an interdependence which has worked well in most other technology products, where, both the developers and the support network down the line, all make money. Besides, you're going off on a tangent. My mentioning Xbox/Kinect was as examples, and not to steer the discussion into a fanboish battleground.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

Isn't that expensive. If you want a Bargain Basement product Apple isn't a Supplier to look at but if you want Good Reliable Hardware Apple Computers are no more expensive than the equivalent PC. As for the M$ offering of X Box 360 and Kinect I just wonder how much the Software Devisions are subsidizing the Gaming side of the business. After all if there was no X Box just how many M$ Games would be sold? I see the X Box as a loss making devision to sell more of the M$ Games which doesn't mean that M$ is wearing much a a loss per unit but it's proved better for them to carry a small loss per unit to sell more games that they otherwise wouldn't have a Hardware Market to sell to. ;) I can not help but wonder how much of the X Box development costs are incorporated into the console I would say little to none at the moment and with their Opening up the Development of the Kinect they may even make a massive profit out of it yet. Col