Linked by David Adams on Wed 6th Oct 2010 16:51 UTC
Apple Let me tell you, when what you teach and develop every day has the title "Innovation" attached to it, you reach a point where you tire of hearing about Apple. Without question, nearly everyone believes the equation Apple = Innovation is a fundamental truth--akin to the second law of thermodynamics, Boyle's Law, or Moore's Law. But ask these same people if they understand exactly how Apple comes up with their ideas and what approach the company uses to develop blockbuster products--whether it is a fluky phenomenon or based on a repeatable set of governing principles--and you mostly get a dumbfounded stare. This response is what frustrates me most, because people worship what they don't understand.
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You can't innovate like Apple but...
by Koakuma on Wed 6th Oct 2010 17:36 UTC
Koakuma
Member since:
2009-07-02

You can still do a better job at designing a product than they do.

Take a look at what Notion ink (http://notionink.wordpress.com/) is trying to achieve :
creating the product, with great specs, good software/UI, that lots of people are waiting for...

Till they actually release/sell their products, the Adam is technically vapourware, yet this start up of young indians is focusing on creating/selling a great product, taking good design decisions, raising funds, growing their business, doing the necessary steps to beat Apple and other big companies in the race to sell a good tablet.


I hope that they'll succeed and that at one point that it will be possible to buy this product.

If they do, they will have beaten Apple in their own field (innovation/designing great products) and will shine as examples for other to follow...

(looks like the pixelQI guys are doing great too)

Reply Score: 2

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Wow, I wish all engineers took the time to write such a blog...

-Interested viewers learn a lot about the industrial design process. Aside from the obvious benefit of knowing how it works, they can make suggestions from the outside to help the team.
-All viewers know that the project is still alive and see how much care the team puts in it. Because I agree with the article, care matters. A lot.
-Engineers themselves learn a lot. Apart from the aforementioned "viewer remarks", putting their ideas in textual form forces them to think about them, define them better, catch mistakes in their reasoning and correct them, basically define their project even better.

That's why I started a blog for my own pet project that won't ship something useful until a decade if it does ship something someday, actually ;)

Edited 2010-10-06 20:21 UTC

Reply Score: 2

tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

It is not a feat for something that does not exist yet to be "better" than a currently shipping product.


Don't get me wrong, I really liked those renders and the specs. But I can render something that is 10x better with 100x better specs on paper. Wether or not I can execute that design and ship it is a whole different matter.

Edited 2010-10-08 22:20 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Wed 6th Oct 2010 17:41 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

Really good article--rubbish suggestions at the end, but really spells it out. This would be of interest to readers: http://blog.danilocampos.com/2010/10/04/the-importance-of-giving-a-... Apple basically give a damn, and so few companies do. They do just enough, and that’s all. Apple push themselves, even when there’s no competition.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Kroc
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 7th Oct 2010 01:56 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Its obviously more then apple caring and no one else giving a rats ass. They have capital and a steady revenue stream to keep them afloat while they can take 2-5 years to develop a product. They can afford to wait until the technology that enables their vision to flourish exists. Joe start up does not have those luxuries. So you can blame the large companies for not doing the same, but smaller ones are often faced with a ship or die deadline

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by Neolander on Thu 7th Oct 2010 05:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Yup. See the Witcher : an excellent game from many point of view, but performance of the first released version was absolutely terrible, requiring a monster PC to make it work even at lowest detail level.

After the game has been extremely successful, the team released a major patched version which greatly improved optimization, making it run properly on much less powerful machines. Know of other devs who support their product that much ? Knowing that this game is made by a small studio, my guess is that they had to rush the product on the market because they needed the money now. It's probably the same for many other products...

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by rhyder on Sun 10th Oct 2010 10:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
rhyder Member since:
2005-09-28

They can afford to take chances because they know that they will get a billion dollars worth of free publicity thanks to the media hype.

Reply Score: 2

SuperDaveOsbourne
Member since:
2007-06-24

if ( Apple's success == true ) then it's steve.jobs is alive
else steve.jobs = dead

Its a cult, truth be told. When the messiah goes so will the religion. At some point customers will end liver research.

Reply Score: 6

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

if ( Apple's success == true ) then it's steve.jobs is alive
else steve.jobs = dead


Not sure why you were voted down when many wall st analysts have expressed concern over this.

His death would certainly spook investors and the stock would dive. Even if the company remained profitable wall st would still panic.

Reply Score: 2

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Not sure why you were voted down when many wall st analysts have expressed concern over this.

His death would certainly spook investors and the stock would dive. Even if the company remained profitable wall st would still panic.


Because stock prices are not based on current profitability... Stock prices represent investors' confidence of future gains. If SJ goes, that confidence is gone...

PS: Do you really think that Apple is actually worth more than Microsoft or IBM at this moment? Stock prices say "Yes".

Reply Score: 4

tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Stock price does not mean that a company is "worth more" overall, you are thinking of market cap.

Reply Score: 2

siraf72 Member since:
2006-02-22

I wouldn't put too much stock on what Wall St. analysts say. ... and by too much, i mean any.

Reply Score: 1

Priest Member since:
2006-05-12

If you have money in a stock the opinion of the value of that stock is directly tied to if you gain or lose money, more so than even the performance of the company.

Reply Score: 2

siraf72 Member since:
2006-02-22

Whilst that statement is absolutely correct, it doesn't change the fact that Wall St. analysts didn't have Jack Bauer to say about the world economy going down the pan until it was too late.

Yes, their opinion matters. Despite the fact that its rarely more than educated (highly paid) guesswork.

Reply Score: 1

Hey, it's just like....
by Soulbender on Wed 6th Oct 2010 18:07 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

people worship what they don't understand.


Just like with science and religion.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Hey, it's just like....
by JAlexoid on Thu 7th Oct 2010 05:23 UTC in reply to "Hey, it's just like...."
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Just like with science and religion.


WOW! There are people that "worship" science without understanding it!?!?!?!? That's, frankly, unscientific :-D

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Hey, it's just like....
by phreck on Thu 7th Oct 2010 08:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Hey, it's just like...."
phreck Member since:
2009-08-13

Well, someone who's watching some popular science shows on TV (very, very popular) once said to me:

"Air weighs 1 kg".

He was very zealot about this, and after he was annoyed enough by me trying to tell him that this phrase is incomplete and meaningless, he ended up choking me (seriously!).

P.S.: that was in school back in the day

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Hey, it's just like....
by t3RRa on Thu 7th Oct 2010 09:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Hey, it's just like...."
t3RRa Member since:
2005-11-22

That sounds like that person had collected some pieces of information from that TV show (was it anything a confident source of science I wonder..) and was thinking to know something.. rather than was "worshipping" science.

Reply Score: 1

High Plains Drifter
Member since:
2008-11-02

I liked the article. But a key thing to remember about Apple is Apple wasn't always the Hollywood darling the author says it is today, and Steve Jobs didn't always have a cult of personality around him pulling a happy haze over consumers everywhere.

First, recall that when the Mac first came out, there was no mass loyal following ready to adopt it on faith. The Mac succeeded because it was a really, truly innovative product that was better than everything else out there. Even in its crippled, 128K form, it was clear that this computer was leaps and bounds better than a green-screen, text-based PC. It was the kind of product that any consumer could readily see as superior, and it also offered things for developers to get them excited too.

Second, recall that 10 years after the Mac came out, Apple was inches from bankruptcy or acquisition by IBM or Sun or somebody. Jobs, meanwhile, was a disgrace, a laughing stock and a poster boy in the business world for how NOT to run a company (how, indeed, to get kicked out of your own company). Too arrogant. Too un-businesslike with his attitude and his blue jeans.

It's not long ago that Apple had a negligible stock price and was being written off by Wall Street as a bit player in a rapidly consolidating tech world where large-volume commodity players like Dell and Sony were destined to take over. Apple didn't have a foot-hold in some niche market like science, research, finance, or industry. And the fanbase was eroding fast as better and better Intel chips made Windows PCs run, well, pretty well.

There was a time shortly before and after Jobs returned to the company that Apple was NOT anyone's darling, and HAD to come up with an insanely great consumer product or the company was going to perish.

That's where their "culture" was born. Design something insanely great that's better than all the consumer-grade junk out there and that you'd be psyched to have yourself. Or quit, and do something else. There was no other choice. With the profit margins that consumer electronics typically make, there's just no room for a small company (i.e., tiny compared to Sony or Panasonic or Samsung) to exist.

The "genius" that is Apple, then, is somehow getting the money behind the company to back all that it takes to do something really innovative. It's cheap and easy to do focus group tests and make whatever the focus group wants. Safe, too, 'cause if the product bombs, the product manager can blame the market research. But Apple didn't have any choice to do that... not being Sony, Samsung, etc., they wouldn't be able to compete and make a profit. Hence, innovate or close shop.

Apple paid up. Jobs (or whomever) convinced the money at Apple to make long-term investments in the company and TRUST them to design and build products that would turn the company around.

That's not how business is typically done in this country. So many companies are unwilling to innovate, scared to voice a new idea, forced to resort to market research before the executives are willing to invest money and reputation in something for fear of falling flat and looking foolish. Sucks the life out of working at a tech company, doesn't it?


Thus, Apple isn't magic. Steve Jobs is not the Messiah. Steve Jobs saw the writing on the wall and realized that no Mac fanbase was going to keep Apple alive with overpriced PC alternatives. I believe that Apple was just big enough for their investors not to sell out, so they agreed to let Jobs hire and pay and invest in whatever it takes for designers and engineers to make something right.

You want to be Apple? Hire the right people, pay them what they deserve, give them the best facilities to work in, and encourage them to make a great product that can and will actually get made and sold. That way, said people really want to come to work and do their best.

That's expensive, and real risky. You risk falling on your professional face and becoming a pariah like Jobs was when he was kicked out of his own company, all those years ago. But no focus group or market study is any substitute for taking risks.

Reply Score: 9

Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

You want to be Apple? Hire the right people, pay them what they deserve, give them the best facilities to work in, and encourage them to make a great product that can and will actually get made and sold. That way, said people really want to come to work and do their best.

That's expensive, and real risky. You risk falling on your professional face and becoming a pariah like Jobs was when he was kicked out of his own company, all those years ago. But no focus group or market study is any substitute for taking risks.

I thought the article was the ravings of an informed fanboy and was far too long. But your comment made it worth it. I hope you will make a longer article from your comment to submit to osnews.

Reply Score: 2

Apple
by tetek on Wed 6th Oct 2010 19:40 UTC
tetek
Member since:
2010-10-04

I think it's just different kind of philosophy. I like them for that "switch on and work". My friend likes to compile and configure Gentoo from scratch. It's a matter of perspective and your needs.
In few years it won't matter anyway - everything will be in cloud (google reader, gmail, docs - I can't live without them today ;)

What you can say for sure is that they do things well. I.e. iPad. Tablets are around from 1999 - 2000. But no one used them if he doesn't had to. And now every mum can check recipe for duck in oranges @web. Just like that. Sure - it has no SD slot, no USB etc. It's different. But it works fine. And opens way for other great market and products which will come in time from other producers.
Other example is iPhone. No one before did it right (2007 - treo was the best: http://www.business-opportunities.biz/wp-content/uploads/2007/07/tr...)
They didn't invented touch phones. But they reinvented it.
My friend always jokes that when apple make a car - it will have only one pedal and it will probably be touch based. Then in a year all cars will have them and everyone will think "why no one did it before? it's so obvious".
As colleague above wrote - they care. And they have unique internal structure - like big start-up. I know how it's important because I witness how my company grow up from 8 to 30 and how it changed relations and products.
It can go one and one - they are just different and it transposes to it's products. People feel it and like their products. They spend almost no money for ads etc. But people speak about them. It's unusual - don't you think?
Their products are being used not only by lamers but by pros too. And pros are demanding and aren't blind lambs.
You have to admit - something is "in the air".

And fanboys ... well - there always be. Someone likes android (look at polish blogs - theres a lot of android fanboys there, mainly because iPhone is damn expensive in Poland and android phone is around 0.33$ with plan), someone Windows (7 is the best.... how many times you heard it?), other MacOS.

I know that this blog is "apple no no" for reasons I don't understand - but really? It's only hardware and software. Come on...

Reply Score: 1

RE: Apple
by l3v1 on Thu 7th Oct 2010 12:32 UTC in reply to "Apple"
l3v1 Member since:
2005-07-06

mainly because iPhone is damn expensive in Poland


It's a good enough reason.

Reply Score: 2

What about the ipod?
by nt_jerkface on Wed 6th Oct 2010 19:45 UTC
nt_jerkface
Member since:
2009-08-26

It sure as hell wasn't innovative and there were much better mp3 players on the market. I have a 5g laying around somewhere and the interface is cumbersome and looks like it is from 1996.

The first few generations were sold entirely thanks to marketing. I still can't believe how many people bought into that white earbuds trend. The recent ipod touch and nano are far better than their earlier models but I think their marketing department really deserves the most credit for getting that product line going. I couldn't believe how many people wanted one for Christmas thanks to those shadow dancing commercials.

The iphone was pretty innovative but I think as a company they are overrated when it comes to innovation. A lot of people have no idea as to how much of OSX was taken from somewhere else. I think they are good at taking existing tech, refining it, and then convincing people that it is a completely new product. Refining and marketing is really where they excel.

Edited 2010-10-06 19:46 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE: What about the ipod?
by tetek on Wed 6th Oct 2010 19:53 UTC in reply to "What about the ipod?"
tetek Member since:
2010-10-04

It wasn't so bad:

http://www.doobybrain.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/first-gen-ipod...

They all look alike in that year:

http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Mini-Yepp-Player-YP-20T/dp/B00005B4BS

Their innovation was that they used a hard drive. Other mp3 player had 32MB of Flash memory. And now you have 5GB in small case.

A lot of people have no idea as to how much of OSX was taken from somewhere else

Everything was taken from something else i.e. icons - Xerox anyone?

It's not about where is it from - is't about how it's used.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: What about the ipod?
by Kroc on Wed 6th Oct 2010 20:02 UTC in reply to "RE: What about the ipod?"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

There was the Creative Jukebox, hard drive, colour screen, FM radio.

The reason the iPod destroyed all the other MP3 players was 1) it was easy to use and 2) it was easy to sync. The rest reacted too late and were sunk.

http://www.engadget.com/2005/01/12/creatives-ceo-disses-the-ipod-sh...

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: What about the ipod?
by nt_jerkface on Wed 6th Oct 2010 20:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What about the ipod?"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

The reason the iPod destroyed all the other MP3 players was 1) it was easy to use and 2) it was easy to sync. The rest reacted too late and were sunk.


I disagree, I think it was mostly marketing. The early ipods had annoying syncing issues due to their weird DRM limits and the AAC format. People would just keep all their music on the ipod and never bother with burning cds or streaming from the computer. With other players you could just keep your mp3s in "My Music" and the software would keep it synced.

They have since changed their policies and improved their ipod line but those early ones were junk and were overloaded with DRM.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: What about the ipod?
by Kroc on Wed 6th Oct 2010 20:51 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: What about the ipod?"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

"The early ipods had annoying syncing issues due to their weird DRM limits and the AAC format"

Were you born in 2003? "The early iPods" worked only on a Mac over firewire (infinitely faster and more reliable than USB1) and there was no iTunes store, no DRM, no AAC.

“People would just keep all their music on the ipod and never bother with burning cds or streaming from the computer.”

Uh, no. The iPod synced as soon as you plugged it in. It was the only player, anywhere, that did this. It required zero effort to get the content on it, and keep it up to date.

"With other players you could just keep your mp3s in "My Music" and the software would keep it synced."

No, manual copy and paste was usually the only option, and if syncing software was provided it was horribly unwieldy. Microsoft only added syncing to Windows Media Player *after* iTunes had shown the way.

I owned a number of MP3 players before the iPod came out, even wrote my own media player software and I know quite well what the iPod did that the rest of the market didn’t. You’re trolling based on the already established market in 2003-2005, not 1996-2002.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: What about the ipod?
by nt_jerkface on Wed 6th Oct 2010 21:44 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: What about the ipod?"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26


Were you born in 2003? "The early iPods" worked only on a Mac over firewire (infinitely faster and more reliable than USB1) and there was no iTunes store, no DRM, no AAC.


Early ipods as in early generations.


Uh, no. The iPod synced as soon as you plugged it in. It was the only player, anywhere, that did this.


You mean it syncs after installing itunes and only from the pc to the ipod. Going the other way is still a problem:
http://reviews.cnet.com/transfer-ipod-songs/

But congrats one being the first person I have ever met to have rosey view on the early ipods. Everyone else I have met has complained about all the DRM limitations and reliability issues.


I owned a number of MP3 players before the iPod came out


Well you must not have owned a Creative Nomad because they could sync before itunes was released.

Reply Score: 6

RE[6]: What about the ipod?
by VManOfMana on Thu 7th Oct 2010 00:34 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: What about the ipod?"
VManOfMana Member since:
2006-11-01

I don't get it. How more "older generation" do you want to go to the very first generation that didn't sync to PCs and had no DRM at all?

You want to think of the 2005 market as if it was the same as the 2001 market? By the fifth generation, the iPod already was an unstoppable force.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: What about the ipod?
by nt_jerkface on Wed 6th Oct 2010 20:09 UTC in reply to "RE: What about the ipod?"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26


They all look alike in that year:

I was talking about the 5th gen that came out in 2005.
They also had problems that went past the interface
http://www.macintouch.com/reliability/ipodfailures.html


Their innovation was that they used a hard drive. Other mp3 player had 32MB of Flash memory. And now you have 5GB in small case.

They were not the first to do that. See my earlier comment about refining and marketing.


It's not about where is it from - is't about how it's used.

I have no problem with them refining existing tech, and I already said they are innovative in some areas. I just think they are overrated when it comes to innovation.

Reply Score: 2

RE: What about the ipod?
by Kroc on Wed 6th Oct 2010 20:04 UTC in reply to "What about the ipod?"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

"Refining and marketing is really where they excel."

If only more companies could do that. I’m tired of companies pushing out half finished products and spreading FUD.

Reply Score: 2

Interesting read
by Neolander on Wed 6th Oct 2010 20:09 UTC
Neolander
Member since:
2010-03-08

Very interesting read, though when I read it twice it seems to me that there's much less content than text.

I'd put all interesting content I rode inside the following list :

1-Work on OOB experience -- and the box itself
2-Put care in everything you do. A lot. Even in design drafts.
3-Try different approaches, see how well each behaves, then select the best (note : this is for big teams, but not only Apple does this. At least, I know for sure that they do this at Renault too)
4-Meet for brainstorm and production
5-Do not try to understand what customers want, try to see what you want and THEN see if it applies to your customers. Humans are fundamentally better at this.
6-Keep the team small and concerned (see point 2)

I wish John Gruber would spend less time trolling and more time doing speeches like this one. This is what I call proper use of a human brain ;)

Edited 2010-10-06 20:10 UTC

Reply Score: 3

dont "own" its hardware
by fran on Wed 6th Oct 2010 20:14 UTC
fran
Member since:
2010-08-06

Apple don't "own" all its hardware. The new macs processor's is based on x86 IBM and runs Intel chips. The memory is bit different but still DDR.
The harddrives is also sata based.
The apple iphone A4 processor is an arm based processor.
Apples operatings system is UNIX based.

I don't say Apple is not inventive but never over estimated the power of cool sounding fruit name, with an high fashion boutique image and high priced perceived as high tech image.

Reply Score: 1

Apart from the obvious
by dvhh on Thu 7th Oct 2010 00:13 UTC
dvhh
Member since:
2006-03-20

I am not a fan of apple product ( mostly because of the hype and distortion field), and that they are not tweakers oriented product (I agree that it is mostly for the users safety).
They aren't from my point of view great innovator as I(put any chipmaker) or Sony are, in term of technology wise.
But I agree that in most of the case they rarely appear to sacrifice their product design for the price or the sake of backward compatibility, and are clevery advertising for the features of their products. And apparently have reasonable licence price for accessories and and yearly cycle that help their partner to sell more product.
But right now I feel that their design is kinda turning bland, probably because thei product are now popular and you see them everywhere ( it mostly concerns the Iphone), although they are very good in conveying this image of "simple perfection".

Reply Score: 2

Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Thu 7th Oct 2010 07:11 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't want to sound negative but why is this even an article I've read it and it is simply pointing out the bloody obvious. If you're sitting there and thinking, "I never thought of it like that" then god help you and your organisation.

The lack of fit, finish, polish and refinement is something that I see time and time again; people thinking that 'good enough is near enough' but when the market is given it, the company is chewed up and spat out. It truly is amazing how amateurish so many companies are when it comes to delivering a final product to the market - you'd swear they were organisations run by 15 year olds with bad eye sight and in a rush to get home to play their XBox based on how little time is spent on the niceties.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by kaiwai
by Neolander on Thu 7th Oct 2010 08:05 UTC in reply to "Comment by kaiwai"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Be extremely cautious when using the "obvious" word. Everything is obvious when explained in a clean and simple fashion, and when you're thinking about it right now and reading it currently.

Many people think that usability is common sense when making websites. And that's precisely why there are so many crappy websites around. The rules of usability can be summed up in 12 simple, "obvious" words. But actually thinking about these words in the design process, constantly challenging your inventions against them, that's far from being obvious. The human brain can only keep concentrated on one thing at a time.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by kvarbanov
by kvarbanov on Thu 7th Oct 2010 07:47 UTC
kvarbanov
Member since:
2008-06-16

Couldn't agree more ;) I have to say that I haven't used any of their products, besides some Mac computer floating around for testing purposes, but there's one thing that bothers me most - the price. Yesterday I was looking at a brochure of tech shop, selling iPad for 600 euros (the lowest spec), and beneath was modestly sitting an Acer laptop, which was way better in tech/hardware specs and it was less than 400 euros ... That's pretty much enough for me, I promise to myself not to comment anymore on Apple like articles - the more comments and buzz they get, the longer the noise will be. And last, a quote from Apple mocking video clip - "We reinvet what was already reinvented ;) If you want revolution - put a second camera on it. Heck, we could even put three cameras, but they didn't fit ;) " Just for fun purposes :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26ELpS3Wc4Q&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMl_71dqeR8

Reply Score: 4

axilmar
Member since:
2006-03-20

Apple is not an innovator. Where did you see real innovation coming from Apple?

The GUI was invented by Doug Engelbart and perfected by Xerox.

The web was invented at Cern.

Touch screen devices have been around for ages.

Apple produces the most polished products, that's a given. But in no way they are innovators.

Reply Score: 4

l3v1 Member since:
2005-07-06

Apple is not an innovator.


Reinnovator.

Reply Score: 2

funny_irony Member since:
2007-03-07

True.

Apple look at other innovative products and figure out the reasons why that products sucks ;)

Then they build a team to refine it and find the best marketing team to sell it ;)

Edited 2010-10-08 10:37 UTC

Reply Score: 2

WHAT INNOVATION?!?
by deathshadow on Thu 7th Oct 2010 10:04 UTC
deathshadow
Member since:
2005-07-12

Well, I see the RDF is in full swing again. It's funny - people talk about Apple using words like "innovation", "design" or "quality" -- and I honest to god wonder what the hell is in the kool-aid.

In terms of innovation I can't think of one thing they actually came up with. Licensed the GUI from Xerox then claimed it was their own -- lagged five years behind the PC on graphics while claiming to be superior on that front, claim to be this great audio platform when the ONLY way to do it pro quality is using external boxes from other manufacturers (which are drying up faster than a tear in the desert), make all sorts of claims about other companies technologies they claim to help innovate (I'm sure Phillips and Mitsumi might have something to say on the whole computer optical drive thing)... tablets have been tried and failed a dozen times over with NOTHING in their new tablet being the least bit innovative (or even worthy of the patents issued due to prior art). Slapping nextstep atop BSD isn't exactly innovation... I think the only innovative thing was using their gorrilla style leverage to bring the recording industry to the table for iTunes.

In terms of design, I'm not exactly having my skirt blown up with products that have all the artistic appeal of a recently sanitized hospital ward.

In terms of quality, their history of half-assed designs that take a degree in rocket science for even the most mundane of repairs -- proprietary componants manufactured as cheaply as possible under the hood -- Everything they make is like fiberboard with a birch veneer over it. Of course the toxic fumes off the Mac Pro's, piss poor/outright lack of ventilation, underclocking chips so they could stuff them in with ZERO cooling in designs like the G3 iMacs, switching pins on standard interfaces like IDE just so you HAD to use their drives (or solder the two pins together on the plug), selling 262K color displays labelled as 16.7 million, the repeated 'striping' issues with the displays because of cheaping out on the ribbon cable/edge card connections in the displays, cracked hinges on the G4's worse than any Toshiba (that takes talent!), locking the discussions on their forums of anyone daring to point out ANY of these issues... These do not say "quality" in my mind!

Much less model after model of blistering plastic and warping metal from Apple having no clue what the word 'cooling' means. They wouldn't know proper cooling if it stripped naked, painted itself purple and hopped up on a table to sing "Look at what a big cooling fan I am!"

Figure in their absurd markup (hence their absurd margin per sale) and I still have trouble believing ANYONE is DUMB ENOUGH to buy anything Apple makes in the first place - much less believe they have innovation, design or quality.

I swear, they are about as innovative as Thomas Edison. No, that's NOT a compliment. What, you never thought it suspicious that a former patent clerk suddenly had a dozen patents on things it's public knowledge he didn't invent and barely made any changes to? Let's face it, he was the first major industrial patent troll - Just ask Westinghouse.

Edited 2010-10-07 10:06 UTC

Reply Score: 8

RE: WHAT INNOVATION?!?
by Shkaba on Thu 7th Oct 2010 15:13 UTC in reply to "WHAT INNOVATION?!?"
Shkaba Member since:
2006-06-22

If my memory serves me right he (Edison) just stole them (innovations) from Tesla. Apple on the other hands steals from everyone (as indicated by the number of law suits against Apple)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: WHAT INNOVATION?!?
by tylerdurden on Fri 8th Oct 2010 23:28 UTC in reply to "RE: WHAT INNOVATION?!?"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

No Edison did not steal from Tesla. He (Edison) is documented as being a monumental Jerk. But he was a better businessman than Tesla was, among other things because Tesla had no interests in business. The opposite also is true, Tesla was a better scientist than Edison.

Furthermore, the real "battle" was not between Edison and Tesla, but rather Edison and Westinghouse.

Reply Score: 2

RE: WHAT INNOVATION?!?
by lezerno on Thu 7th Oct 2010 20:34 UTC in reply to "WHAT INNOVATION?!?"
lezerno Member since:
2009-09-02

Edison was a patent clerk?
So was Einstein.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: WHAT INNOVATION?!?
by Neolander on Thu 7th Oct 2010 21:31 UTC in reply to "RE: WHAT INNOVATION?!?"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Edison was a patent clerk?
So was Einstein.

Yeah, but someone who is known for quotes such as "There are two things I know that are infinite..." and "Do you really think the moon doesn't exist unless you look at it" can't be fundamentally bad on the inside ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: WHAT INNOVATION?!?
by z. vukman on Sat 9th Oct 2010 02:19 UTC in reply to "WHAT INNOVATION?!?"
z. vukman Member since:
2008-10-26

Just ask Tesla ;) .

Apple is nothing but a design and marketing factory. They are a good selling BRAND. And they are a good selling brand because they overprice their products.

I'm going to tell you a story and you will see how it works. Many years ago I had a friend who was an excellent painter. But he had a problem. He underestimated his talent and the value of his paintings. He was unknown and poor. One day he came to me and asked me if I could help him with selling his artwork. He offered me 50 %. I refused the deal but I accepted to help him.
I booked an art-gallery and arranged the exhibition. I put the prices on the paintings and the minimum price was 500.000 $. I gave an anonymous tip to some journalists that an unknown lunatic is going to have an exhibition and that he thinks his paintings are min. 500.000 $ worth. When the opening day came everybody was there - TV, newspapers, painters, people with a lot of money, all kind of snobs etc. There was a 200 meter queue. Everybody wanted to see paintings 500.000 - 3.000.000 $ worth. He got famous over the night. And why? Because of his paintings? Nope. Because of the pricing.

The same with Apple. There are many snobs out there.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: WHAT INNOVATION?!?
by deathshadow on Sat 9th Oct 2010 06:51 UTC in reply to "RE: WHAT INNOVATION?!?"
deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

The snob factor has a lot to do with it -- it's why like four or five years ago over on the parallels forums I made the joke of Apple being the Ikea of the computing world. Alleged quality that doesn't exist with artsy fartsy followers who don't put any thought into the fact they're spending three times as much for lower quality furniture than you could get at the purple building.

Which is when one of the users there (brettW) explained Ikea thus:

"IKEA is a fully immersive, 3D environmental adventure that allows you to role-play the character of someone who gives a **** about home furnishings. In traversing IKEA, you will experience a meticulously detailed alternate reality filled with garish colors, clear-lacquered birch veneer, and a host of NON-PLAYER CHARACTERS (NPCs) with the glazed looks of the recently anesthetized."

Remove the garish colors and go with bland boring hospital ward white, and you've got an Apple store.

It's bad when one longs for a return to the ugly beige just for variety. At least the G3's were colorful - even if it did give them the "Fisher Price my first computer" reputation.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: WHAT INNOVATION?!?
by mkone on Mon 11th Oct 2010 02:30 UTC in reply to "RE: WHAT INNOVATION?!?"
mkone Member since:
2006-03-14

Just ask Tesla ;) .

Apple is nothing but a design and marketing factory. They are a good selling BRAND. And they are a good selling brand because they overprice their products.


This is the reason many geeks fail to make their products successful. Design is the most important thing when it comes to creating products for consumers. Take a look at touch interfaces. When Apple created the original iPhone, they had a product that did not have as much functionality as other smartphones at the time. However, the little it did, it did in ways that were 10 times easier and better, and a lot of the interface language has since been copied by other phone manufacturers, and not always successfully. And that is innovation! You don't have to create everything anew, just put it together better, and make it work better. Apple obsesses over the details, and makes sure that their product does what they want it to do very well.

And people do not want crap looking phones either. It's an important feature for most gagdets.

Reply Score: 1

the thing about apple
by graig on Sat 9th Oct 2010 02:21 UTC
graig
Member since:
2010-09-18

is they will take something that already exists. a tablet computer, a regular computer. a mp3 player a phone. and just make it like apple makes it. there will be touches of genious. and they like what they do to have a certain perfection to it. example, the iphone. everything actually works on it. the gps works. you can't say that for every android phone. sometimees the gps wont work, sometimes the alarm fails. you just don't see that kind of thing with an apple product out of the box. the out of box experience with apple is that you get a product that just works. i think all that happens is apple spends a little more on the design. a little bit of good design goes a long way.

Reply Score: 1

a matter of design
by rafaelnp on Mon 11th Oct 2010 07:27 UTC
rafaelnp
Member since:
2009-06-03

Apple is basically a design company, what innovation comes from Apple ? Apple is a hype, is only "cool", is a Fashion.

Reply Score: 1

RE: a matter of design
by _xmv on Mon 11th Oct 2010 10:21 UTC in reply to "a matter of design"
_xmv Member since:
2008-12-09

They do make innovative design from time to time, gotta give them that.

Now the true innovation is not really at Apple of course. Could they make an iPhone without the extreme progress of the components inside? And don't let them fool you, the Apple A4 has next to nothing to do with Apple.

Do you know which company holds the most patents, gets the most patents per day approved, etc?
It's Samsung.

Samsung makes the memory. The CPU. The GPU. The components in between. The screens. You name it.

They're not dumb components either, they absolutely fundamental and have usually a long engineering process behind. The nand chips are smart and self regulating the data for wear management, support any file system.
The GPU has new innovative instructions and faster than anyone elses. Yada yada.

These innovations while necessary and on a far greater scale and complexity than what Apple does (physically design stuff and figure out how to make it look good) are invisible to the general public.

However, they do call themselves the most innovative company in the world due to this, and in a way they're likely to be correct.

Reply Score: 1