Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 23rd Apr 2013 22:35 UTC
Apple "Apple just posted its hotly-anticipated Q2 2013 earnings, and the company posted a profit of $9.5b on revenues of $43.6b, compared to $11.6b in profit on $39.2b in revenue this quarter last year and $13.1b in profit on $54.5b in revenue last quarter. That's right in line with the company's guidance from last quarter. Most importantly, iPhone sales are fairly flat year-over-year. Apple sold 37.04 million in Q2 2013 versus last year's 35.1 million, a modest growth of seven percent. iPad sales for the quarter were 19.5 million, up a massive 65 percent from last year's 11.8 million, but the average selling price (ASP) dropped fairly steeply year-over-year, likely due to the introduction of the cheaper iPad mini."
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What's going on here?
by WorknMan on Tue 23rd Apr 2013 23:27 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

I don't see the kind of excitement for Apple products (esp iOS) as I used to. Even the Apple fanboys in the tech press are kind of going 'WTF'? But I think I have an idea of what's going on here. The problem for Apple is that they don't have Jesus Jobs around anymore. That guy was a master snake oil salesman. He could put out a product with half the functionality of the competition, but make it idiot-proof to the point that a 90yo could use it, and then somehow convince the iTards that it was a premium product and a status symbol. Even before the iPhone was capable of running 3rd party apps, that guy had people lined up around the block. That takes talent to pull off.

I don't think Tim Cook has that sort of charisma, so you see the reality distortion field starting to wear off.

Edited 2013-04-23 23:29 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: What's going on here?
by UltraZelda64 on Wed 24th Apr 2013 00:30 UTC in reply to "What's going on here?"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

That, plus it seems that Apple's... ability to "innovate" has long been flat. Now they're just sitting on their popular iBrands and using their rounded-rectangle patents to bully other companies around with the legal system instead of actually getting off their asses and thinking of something new for a change.

No doubt their weakening iReality Distortion Field has been weakening as you pointed out since The Almighty Steve croaked... his successor is just unable to sustain it. But they have really fallen from actually trying new things to just bringing out boring, new models of the same old shit.

Edited 2013-04-24 00:34 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: What's going on here?
by moondevil on Wed 24th Apr 2013 08:26 UTC in reply to "RE: What's going on here?"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

They are slowly going back to the Apple without Jobs that I remember of, with the benefit that now they have loads of cash and can survive longer.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: What's going on here?
by Tony Swash on Wed 24th Apr 2013 10:21 UTC in reply to "RE: What's going on here?"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

The issue of whether Apple's rate of innovation has slowed and if so how important that is for the future health of the company is an interesting one. I have posted before, and I will again if anyone is interested, a simple chronological list of Apple key breakthrough product releases with dates and it clearly shows that the speed of innovation at Apple appears erroneously fast in the rear view mirror and that the gap since the introduction of the iPad in 2010 is not anomalous.

But let's consider the worst case scenario and that Apple has nothing up it's sleeve except the continuous iterative improvement of it's broad product and service lines. How bad is that scenario? Certainly looking back at the PC era one can see that by around the late 1980s pretty much every major innovation, except for the internet, that shaped the PC era was already in place and that other than internet related innovations nothing very new appeared in the PC arena other than simple continuous iterative improvements. That still didn't stop the industry, and those that were successfully in it, such as Intel and Microsoft, from growing hugely in the two decades after 1990.

It's certainly possible that the key features of the mobile device revolution, flat, powerful and networked devices in various sizes that you touch with your fingers, is now in place and all that one will see from now on for many years is continuous iterative improvements (lighter, faster, better batteries, UI tweaks, more bundled services etc). If that is the case then Apple seems, on past performance, to be able play that game as good as anyone.

There is lots of speculation and teasing about the next step to wearable devices but nobody has anything that looks like a breakthrough innovation in that field yet, so all that there is right now is just speculation and we have seen that before (web TV, gaming consoles as gateway devices in the living room, blah, blah). When a paradigm shift happens, such as the PC, the Internet and the arrival of powerful mobile devices, innovation and change happens very quickly and during such periods of paradigm shift it's easy to come to believe that the rate of innovation of the transitionary period will continue into the stable growth and consolidation phase but once the shift is over it becomes clear that the pace of innovation has slowed to a much more sedate pace, until the next big shift comes along. Big paradigm shift don't happen that often, the PC happened in the early 1980s, the internet happened in the mid to late 1990s and the mobile revolution started in 2007. I would love for the next big shift to happen sooner rather than later but it might not.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: What's going on here?
by MOS6510 on Wed 24th Apr 2013 11:24 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What's going on here?"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

The problem is that people don´t have any patience anymore it seems.

Apple needs a breakthrough product every year, music bands need a hit every month, a sports team that loses 2 in a row needs an mayor overhaul.

It seems every day we have reports, financial ones, sales figures, etc... and they spell either doom or glory for a number of companies.

If Apple sells less iPhones than yesterday they are doomed, Steve Jobs can´t be replaced, bugdet/bigger iPhone needed, fire Tim Cook, etc... when they sell a few iPhones more the next day they are briliant, it was their plan all along, untouchable.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: What's going on here?
by tylerdurden on Wed 24th Apr 2013 16:19 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: What's going on here?"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

The problem is that people don´t have any patience anymore it seems.


Yeah, because "impatience" is something completely new to the human condition. Perhaps the problem has more to do with basic lack of comprehension, by some, of how public corporations are supposed to work under a capitalistic system (hints: growth and return on stockholder investment)

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: What's going on here?
by MOS6510 on Thu 25th Apr 2013 04:43 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: What's going on here?"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

Lack of comprehension is certainly a factor. Even a lot of tech people seem to think Apple brought out new products every year or so.

Perhaps impatience doesn't truly cover what I mean. Probably it's more a wanting for something new and when this isn't delivered fast enough the end of the world is near.

My guess is that because the world has become so small because of the Internet (news travels very fast from all corners of the planet) you get to read about new stuff every day, every hour. So when Apple doesn't come with something new a lot of other companies do, giving you the feeling Apple is standing still.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: What's going on here?
by WorknMan on Wed 24th Apr 2013 14:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What's going on here?"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

But let's consider the worst case scenario and that Apple has nothing up it's sleeve except the continuous iterative improvement of it's broad product and service lines. How bad is that scenario?


I dunno, they could probably survive, but nobody gets excited about iterative improvements. You notice that people don't lose their minds when a new flagship Samsung or HTC phone is about to be announced. It is expected that Apple will blow the doors off the industry every time they release a new product, which of course is a completely unrealistic expectation, but still people go 'maybe next year'. That's the kind of fervor that Jobs could instill in people.

So if nothing else, they'd simply become a 'me too' company, and the days of having a cult following and people lined up outside of their stores on launch day would be over.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: What's going on here?
by majipoor on Wed 24th Apr 2013 16:17 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: What's going on here?"
majipoor Member since:
2009-01-22

"I dunno, they could probably survive, but nobody gets excited about iterative improvements. You notice that people don't lose their minds when a new flagship Samsung or HTC phone is about to be announced. "

So, the worst case is that Apple will be as successful and boring as Samsung?

What is the worst case scenario for Samsung? Microsoft? Intel? HP? Dell? Google? Amazon? Blackberry? Nokia?

If Apple is doomed because they *may* become a boringly profitable company, what about the fate of others companies?

Reply Score: 0

RE[5]: What's going on here?
by WorknMan on Wed 24th Apr 2013 17:51 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: What's going on here?"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

If Apple is doomed because they *may* become a boringly profitable company, what about the fate of others companies?


I wouldn't necessarily say they're doomed... if nothing else, they make decent laptops. They'll probably survive as a shadow of their former self. Kind of like how Sony was a premium electronics brand back in the day, and now they're just an also-ran.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: What's going on here?
by majipoor on Wed 24th Apr 2013 17:58 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: What's going on here?"
majipoor Member since:
2009-01-22

If Apple is an also-ran company now, who is the leader? The company which replaced the glorious Apple?

Samsung with their amazingly innovative Galaxy S4? Google with their Glasses concept? Microsoft with Surface? Blackberry with their brand new BB10 OS? Nokia with the colorful Lumia? Amazon with the Kindle Fire? Who?

Seriously.

Edited 2013-04-24 17:58 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: What's going on here?
by WorknMan on Wed 24th Apr 2013 20:46 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: What's going on here?"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

If Apple is an also-ran company now, who is the leader? The company which replaced the glorious Apple?


At the moment, none of them are, really. They're all pretty much about the same. Just releasing iterative products every year or so, almost all of which are yawn-inducing. And when somebody tries to branch out (like MS with Windows 8/RT), they generally fail miserably. Like I said, none of them have the brainwashing capability that Jobs did. That man could put turds in a box and sell 30 million units, and have people waiting in line overnight for it.

Reply Score: 2

RE: What's going on here?
by galvanash on Wed 24th Apr 2013 00:32 UTC in reply to "What's going on here?"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

I don't see the kind of excitement for Apple products (esp iOS) as I used to. Even the Apple fanboys in the tech press are kind of going 'WTF'? But I think I have an idea of what's going on here. The problem for Apple is that they don't have Jesus Jobs around anymore.


Ill probably be modded down but what the heck...

In my opinion, the "character" of Apple as a company is being slowly transformed from the Jobs-era. This is being done by Tim Cook, and it is completely intentional.

Jobs ran the company like it was a zero-sum game - to win everyone else had to lose. He didn't want to compete with anyone, he wanted to own a market lock, stock, and barrel. Success was going through the slow, meticulous, and risky process of perfecting a new "game changing" product in secret so that it could be sprung upon the world, instantly marginalizing any competing products to the point they had to spend years scrambling to catch up. Once the lead was establish you protect it (i.e. patents, legal actions, etc.) as long as you can and milk it for all that it is worth, until finally it has run its course and you rinse and repeat for the next huge influx of cash.

Jobs finally hit pay-dirt with the iPod using this strategy. Then it was iPhone. Then it was iPad. Apple made gobs and gobs of money and everyone is happy...

Well not really. The thing is if you keep doing this you pigeon-hole your company. You become dependent on the next big thing to motivate investors - it doesn't matter how much money you made already, investors are more concerned with whats coming, and since you do it is secret they don't know what is coming until is comes. Sure, they know something is coming, but they don't know if it will make money until it is released. In short Apple demonstrates it has an almost supernatural ability to gamble successfully, but it is still gambling.

Apple has not been bitten by this as of yet (at least in their current incarnation), because they haven't dropped a real dud on the market yet...

Tim Cook, imo, doesn't want to run a company that way. It certainly worked for Jobs, but it is a dangerous game... He wants Apple to calmly and intelligently manage the life cycle of their products. He wants to build on what they have, and he wants Apple to develop a bit of zen and slow the f*ck down a bit. More importantly, I think he would like Apple to finally become a grown up company, i.e. something investors think of as stable long term investment.

So yeah, excitement is down a bit. I don't see that as a problem though - I think it is completely intentional. I think Apple will still "innovate", but the pace will slow down and more focus will be put on capitalizing on their existing products - less hype and more straight up business sensibilities.

I think the recent stock repurchase announcement is very much inline with the new "grown up" Apple. Jobs would have never threw 60 billion in cash back at investors unless the stock was completely tanking... But it isn't tanking by a long shot - unless your a short term investor. This kind of buyback program is aimed to weed out those kind of investors (i.e. buy their stock back) so that Apple can resell it later (at a profit) to investors who will stick it out and believe in the company over the long haul - all Cook has to do is convince them Apple is a strong ship that won't rock too much.

That is something Jobs could never do.

Reply Score: 11

apple stock purchases
by shotsman on Wed 24th Apr 2013 06:53 UTC in reply to "RE: What's going on here?"
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

I agree with you. If Apple has declared that they were going to issue 'new' shares then I'd be worried about the future of the company.

most major corporations do buy back lots of shares. IBM has been doing it for years. It keeps the share price high but can provide a better ROI than just dividends.
The difference between a Growth stock and an Income stock perhaps?

disclaimer: I bought $50K of Apple at $32 and cashed out at $190 years later. I also lost a load on Compaq/HP over the same period.

Reply Score: 3

RE: apple stock purchases
by galvanash on Wed 24th Apr 2013 23:37 UTC in reply to "apple stock purchases"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

most major corporations do buy back lots of shares. IBM has been doing it for years. It keeps the share price high but can provide a better ROI than just dividends.


It also does a number of other things... It demonstrates confidence from the board in the company's ability to grow relative to their current stock price. It is in effect saying "we are betting 60 billion dollars of cash from our own pockets on our ability to make our stock price go up from where it is now".

Also, it is very attractive to smaller short term investors who will see it as a quick win and will happily trade some stock for $$$. Apple can stockpile the repurchases and reissue later when the stock price is higher, making money along the way.

Lastly, it helps maintain earnings per share - the more stock they sell the more eps drops...

All in all I think Apple wants to make itself more attractive to fund managers, and to do that they need to pay dividends and demonstrate some intent to stabilize.

They don't want flighty investors, and to make yourself attractive to long term money you have to have a long term plan.

Tim Cook thinks long. Steve Jobs didn't.

Edited 2013-04-24 23:38 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: apple stock purchases
by unclefester on Fri 26th Apr 2013 06:20 UTC in reply to "RE: apple stock purchases"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

The real purpose of most buybacks is to artificially raise the stock valuation by reducing the total number of shares. This in turn increases the bonuses of senior executives. It is legal but totally unethical.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: What's going on here?
by HappyGod on Wed 24th Apr 2013 07:48 UTC in reply to "RE: What's going on here?"
HappyGod Member since:
2005-10-19

You're absolutely right. I really do believe that's the game plan for Apple by Tim.

Unfortunately that excitement is like crack for some people. They've had a fair bit of it, and they want more.

If Apple stops providing it, they'll look elsewhere. And they are looking elsewhere. Just look at the latest product launch for the S4. It was right over the top, in the kind of way that Steve Jobs was like to do in the past. It wasn't quite as slick as Apple, but you could clearly see what they were trying to do.

But, most importantly; grown-up, boring companies make grown-up, boring products. It's the irresponsible, risk-taking companies that make the stuff you actually want to buy.

Just ask Microsoft.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: What's going on here?
by unclefester on Fri 26th Apr 2013 06:23 UTC in reply to "RE: What's going on here?"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

The word on Wall Street is that an active search is on to find a replacement for Tim Cook.

Reply Score: 2

RE: What's going on here?
by majipoor on Wed 24th Apr 2013 08:38 UTC in reply to "What's going on here?"
majipoor Member since:
2009-01-22

You are a brilliant example of an Apple hater: congratulation.

Reply Score: 1

RE: What's going on here?
by kovacm on Thu 25th Apr 2013 21:47 UTC in reply to "What's going on here?"
kovacm Member since:
2010-12-16

I don't see the kind of excitement for Apple products (esp iOS) as I used to. Even the Apple fanboys in the tech press are kind of going 'WTF'? But I think I have an idea of what's going on here. The problem for Apple is that they don't have Jesus Jobs around anymore. That guy was a master snake oil salesman. He could put out a product with half the functionality of the competition, but make it idiot-proof to the point that a 90yo could use it, and then somehow convince the iTards that it was a premium product and a status symbol. Even before the iPhone was capable of running 3rd party apps, that guy had people lined up around the block. That takes talent to pull off.

I don't think Tim Cook has that sort of charisma, so you see the reality distortion field starting to wear off.

Only on this kind of blog you can see "4+" points for such a comment...

Reply Score: 1

It's a funny old world
by siraf72 on Wed 24th Apr 2013 12:04 UTC
siraf72
Member since:
2006-02-22

Listening to some of the coverage you'd think Apple had a bad quarter. The company makes an insane amount of money and is the second most valuable company on the planet (which from a philosophical perspective is bizarre) , and yet people are talking about it as if it's sinking.

As was pointed out in a BBC interview, if Apple continued it's rate of growth from the last 10 years over another 5, it would be worth more than Australia. Utterly unrealistic.

Putting down Job's contribution to salesmanship is disingenuous. Phones sucked till the iPhone (despite it's glaring faults) caught an entire industry off guard. The prolific use of Apple laptops by qualified techies in all industries should point to the fact that the company isn't just about selling dumbed down products.

Aside from his RDF super powers, Jobs instilled an uncompromising focus on a vary narrow product range in the company. He also had a fundamental philosophy of "betting the company" every couple of years on a new product. The comment about his zero-sum game is right, it was all or nothing. The product will be amazing or the company dies, no other way around it.

Apple without Jobs will quite possibly be a different animal. I agree that Cook will take a more measured approach.

This bizarre spectre of doom due to a lowering of share price, that's cast on a company that is sitting on more money than it knows what to do with just doesn't make sense.

Reply Score: 5

RE: It's a funny old world
by Carewolf on Wed 24th Apr 2013 14:51 UTC in reply to "It's a funny old world"
Carewolf Member since:
2005-09-08

Well. The problem with news and the stock market is that everybody expects growth and nobody seems to care about profit.

Remember Nokia: They also made huge profits before they decided things were so bad they needed to panic and throw everything out. What was so terrible? Their huge profits was getting slightly less huge.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: It's a funny old world
by tylerdurden on Wed 24th Apr 2013 19:24 UTC in reply to "RE: It's a funny old world"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

First off, Nokia never ever reached the levels of profit that Apple has.

But more importantly, the expectation of growth is not a problematic "side effect" of capitalism... it is the whole core point of it. Publicly traded corporations exist for one thing and one thing only: to generate as much profit as possible (under current legal conditions) to maximize the return on the investments in the company. Any corporation that fails in that fiduciary duty gets penalized by the "market forces."

If apple can't maintain a specific level of growth, some investors will look for alternatives, talented employees will seek more lucrative employment positions elsewhere, etc, etc. Which eventually leads to a negative compounding effect, that makes a corporation less valuable, the minute its growth starts to falter.

(I'm not saying I morally approve of such a socioeconomic system, but that's the system under which Apple et al operate).

Edited 2013-04-24 19:27 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: It's a funny old world
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 24th Apr 2013 19:04 UTC in reply to "It's a funny old world"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

The prolific use of Apple laptops by qualified techies in all industries should point to the fact that the company isn't just about selling dumbed down products.


I beg to differ. OSX is getting dumber with each release. OSX isn't the awesome product of yesteryear. IMHO, Linux has improved to the point where techys don't need OSX to babysit them, and actually is a real hindrance to getting work done. There are a number of people that buy OSX just to put linux on it. I kind of understand that.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: It's a funny old world
by tony on Wed 24th Apr 2013 19:16 UTC in reply to "RE: It's a funny old world"
tony Member since:
2005-07-06

"The prolific use of Apple laptops by qualified techies in all industries should point to the fact that the company isn't just about selling dumbed down products.


I beg to differ. OSX is getting dumber with each release. OSX isn't the awesome product of yesteryear. IMHO, Linux has improved to the point where techys don't need OSX to babysit them, and actually is a real hindrance to getting work done. There are a number of people that buy OSX just to put linux on it. I kind of understand that.
"

I beg to differ-differ. If that was true about Linux, techs would be using Linux on their laptops more than they are now, which is rare. And Macs don't hinder anything for me, it actually makes things really easy and seamless. The backup function in particular (Time Machine) makes it a breeze.

And if you do anything multi-media, the workflow is often obnoxious or non-existent. Even the Linux Action Show can't do their full show production workflow in Linux (at least the last I heard, about 9 months ago). To say nothing about mic drivers, mixer board drivers, and video editing is a joke (and a breeze on a Mac).

I've got Linux on my Mac laptop, but in a VM to do webapp development.

Reply Score: 4

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

I think you and I have different ideas of who techs are. Hint: mine are not multimedia masters.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: It's a funny old world
by tony on Fri 26th Apr 2013 02:57 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: It's a funny old world"
tony Member since:
2005-07-06

I think you and I have different ideas of who techs are. Hint: mine are not multimedia masters.


Doing a bit of video, audio, photos, these days that's not a multi-media master. That's just using the Internet.

Even Miguel de Icaza said: "Computing-wise that three week vacation turned out to be very relaxing. Machine would suspend and resume without problem, WiFi just worked, audio did not stop working, I spent three weeks without having to recompile the kernel to adjust this or that, nor fighting the video drivers, or deal with the bizarre and random speed degradation that my ThinkPad suffered."

Reply Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Yeah Miguel is an odd duck (in terms of his journey founding gnome to abandoning the free software movement completely). I can't speak to his experience, only my own. I haven't had to do any of that muck on my thinkpad in a long time. And when I did, it was on installation, not in the middle of a vacation.

I either no what I'm doing better than him ( unlikely), I'm just lucky, or I do different things than he does in a different environment.

Now that I think about it, UEFI non mac systems are a bit flaky to deal with in liunx right now ( due mainly to secure boot & implementation issues with the manufacturer), so maybe not on those right now.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: It's a funny old world
by moondevil on Wed 24th Apr 2013 20:31 UTC in reply to "RE: It's a funny old world"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Apple was only selling OS X UNIX roots to get developers onboard.

Similar to when they were not sure if Java or Objective-C should be the way to go.

Now they have a stable position on the market and are free to model OS X and iOS to be as they feel like it.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: It's a funny old world
by leos on Wed 24th Apr 2013 20:38 UTC in reply to "RE: It's a funny old world"
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

"The prolific use of Apple laptops by qualified techies in all industries should point to the fact that the company isn't just about selling dumbed down products.


I beg to differ. OSX is getting dumber with each release. OSX isn't the awesome product of yesteryear. IMHO, Linux has improved to the point where techys don't need OSX to babysit them, and actually is a real hindrance to getting work done. There are a number of people that buy OSX just to put linux on it. I kind of understand that.
"

Name one thing that you can't do in OSX now that you could do before. Nothing about OSX has gotten dumber.
Some of the apps on top has been updated, and some iOS features have been integrated, but nothing was taken away. You can still take advantage of the unixy goodness underneath while having an integrated notification center, chatting with iMessage, and getting stuff from the app store.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: It's a funny old world
by MOS6510 on Thu 25th Apr 2013 05:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: It's a funny old world"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

I believe "dumber" is tech jargon for "easier" and "more user friendly".

It means you don't have to be very smart to use something, even "dumb" people can now too.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: It's a funny old world
by Neolander on Thu 25th Apr 2013 09:31 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: It's a funny old world"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

I believe "dumber" is tech jargon for "easier" and "more user friendly".

It means you don't have to be very smart to use something, even "dumb" people can now too.

I beg to differ. At least when I use the "dumber" word myself, it specifically means "increased newbie usability, at the expense of power user usability".


As an example, if you provide a GUI alternative to a CLI system administration tool, and then stop supporting the CLI tool, I could call your software dumber, because it is easier to discover software features but infinitely to script them out. In this case, you have moved from something that was usable by a group of users and unusable by the rest, to something that is usable by another group of users and unusable by the rest. So in the end, little has been gained.

To the contrary, if you take the time to extract an interface-agnostic backend from your CLI administration tool and build both a CLI and GUI front-ends for it, then you have a net usability gain: new users have it easier, and seasoned users are not left out in the cold. So such software would not deserve the criticism of being dumber, in my opinion, and yet it's easier to use for newbies and power users alike.


Another example would be overuse of animations. If a mail client started to throw windows randomly throughout the screen, it would make life easier for newbies, because they'd have something to distract them from the pain of learning a new OS, but also make life harder for power users, because it would also distract them in the work which they are doing, which becomes the only thing that matters at that level of expertise. So I'd call that dumb.

On the other side, mail software which would give status information more visibility than through a tiny status bar, without resorting to such childish and distracting tricks, would on its side not qualify as dumber as far as I'm concerned. It improves usability for everyone, without discriminating between different levels of user expertise.

Edited 2013-04-25 09:43 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: It's a funny old world
by MOS6510 on Thu 25th Apr 2013 12:50 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: It's a funny old world"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

I was being a little bit sarcastic, but I do think there is some truth in it.

Regarding OS X, I think OS X 10.8 can do what 10.1 could and much more. So I don't think it can be called dumber or more limiting.

As over time a lot more features have been added I'd even say it's less easy to master/use than it used to be in the early years.

I agree that removing powerful features and replace them with more limited GUIs can also be called dumbing down, but from my experience when something becomes more user friendly people are quick to play the dumb card.

If OS X dumbs anything down it's the user who has to know nothing about computers, kernels, drives, file systems, etc... to use the computer. When I used Linux I knew every bit of hardware my PC had. I have no idea how many Ghz my iMac CPU is clocked at. I do think it has 8 GB of RAM, although I'm not 100%. Don't know about the graphics, sound or network controllers.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: It's a funny old world
by Neolander on Thu 25th Apr 2013 17:49 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: It's a funny old world"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Okay, here's my rant regarding what's wrong with OSX today.

I would say that the user-facing part of OS X did start to go in a pretty awful direction from Lion onwards. From an explosion of ridiculously over-the top animations and real-world visual metaphors in Lion, combined with a disjointed file saving experience between Apple and non-Apple software, to Mountain Lion's "Gatekeeper" that makes decentralized software distribution a power user feature....

Then the ecosystem around the OS is getting pretty rotten too. When official Apple retailers are not even allowed to own or sell OS X installation discs or pen drives for professional reasons, you know that something is smelling bad. The gradual shelving of any kind of hardware serviceability also feels worrying. More and more, Apple are tightening their grip on users. They want these to rely on them, all the time, for every task, and only them, and they hide their actions towards that goals in the middle of heaps of unnecessary fluff. I don't think that's a healthy attitude for a platform owner to take.

The official justification for this Orwellian behaviour is that it helps newbies. They don't have to learn about what differentiates shady software from regular one anymore, because Apple will take care of that issue for them. They don't have to take the time to find a cheap replacement battery for their laptop anymore, because they'll need to go to Apple for the repairs anyway. And so on.

Myself, I call it official dumbing down for the barely hidden officious sake of ever-increasing platform lockdown. And that's why myself, as someone who cares about controlling the machine rather than falling under its control, I'll stick with Linux for now, even if it means having to know about silly trivia like which GPU is in my computer. While looking for a better solution in the long run, if possible.

Because as you say, with Linux you are still getting a bit controlled by the machine, only in a different way. Here, it's because of technical limitations stemming from developer incompetence, rather than ethical ones stemming from a conscious will. There are many things which I still have to deal with on Linux, that I shouldn't need to care about. The good thing is, incompetence-bound problems can be solved, so I'll continue to look for a solution to these other problems even if I have to create it myself.

Edited 2013-04-25 17:58 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: It's a funny old world
by MOS6510 on Thu 25th Apr 2013 19:11 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: It's a funny old world"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

I guess there are a number of reason not to like Apple and OS X like the ones you named.

But it depends on who you are and what you want. With Apple stuff little goes wrong, because they make it hard for you to mess things up and if something does happen they'll help you out.

So it's ideal for people who either don't have any IT skills, don't have the time or just don't want to be bothered with it.

A number of OS X users I know are former Linux users and that includes me.

I still like Linux and like to fiddle around with it, but I don't want to use it as my main system.

I bought an iMac G5 in 2005 with Panther, I upgraded it to Tiger, to Leopard, bought a new iMac and did a system transfer, upgrade to Snow Leopard, upgrade to Lion, new iMac and system transfer and upgrade to Mountain Lion. No problems, it still works and you can still find stuff from the G5.

I've wasted many hours fixing my Linux system. Sometimes I disabled it myself, sometimes it was some software/system upgrade that left me with a crippled system. You learn a lot fixing it, but after a while you just want it to work. So I sacrifice some freedom and flexibility for something that just works.

But nothing stops me from also using a PC with Linux or Windows. I've been playing around with Windows 8 the last few weeks. My Linux PC just had a fresh install (because the previous install was messed up(...)).

The notion that Apple captures you in a walled garden is a bit extreme. You can walk out anytime you want.

Reply Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

No, not really. It means certain things that made it an exciting playground of technologies is gone. The interface isn't thought of. They aren't continuing to improve using the desktop at all. Its like how people praised the Apple II back when it was released. If you tried marketing a competitor today, well you wouldn't make it far. It was, for a time, the best environment you could have. Now its not, that wasn't meant to be a put down to how it once was, just that it hasn't improved as much as linux and (gasp! ) even windows have.

Reply Score: 3

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Ok, maybe dumb was a bit harsh. What annoys me with OS x, is the windowing interface and the state of included utilities. Darwin ports and Fink are pretty bad repositories, they rarely have the tool I'm looking for. It inhibits the way I want to use the computer. Even cygwin on windows is better in many cases. KDE on windows is in better shape, for God's sake! Security updates for Java and flash have scared me off as well. Windows seems to be better on that front, too.

It also kind of ticks me off how they haven't improved things that I really liked, and thus devs have abandoned products. Like dashboard. Why didn't they ever start pushing those as standalone desktop Widgets? They're pretty much dead now. No one really updates the ones I liked.

Are these normal user complaints? I'm guessing not. They're issues that I and others I know have with it.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: It's a funny old world
by tylerdurden on Thu 25th Apr 2013 00:39 UTC in reply to "RE: It's a funny old world"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

There are a number of people that buy OSX just to put linux on it. I kind of understand that.



That strawman made such little sense that it's now lost in Oz looking for a brain...

Reply Score: 3

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

No, its more of a true scotsman argument. If you don't agree with me, you must not be part of the "in" crowd. We're arguing about what technical people use. If you disagree with me, then we aren't talking about the same group of people. I mean, people who can upgrade windows are considered techy by some people. And in some sense they are, just not my sense.

Reply Score: 3

the past is irrelevant
by unclefester on Thu 25th Apr 2013 05:07 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

Investment fund managers don't really care about the past. They are interested in future earnings.

Fund managers are looking for potential "10 bangers" (companies that will increase 10-fold in value) or high yielding dividend stocks. Apple is neither.

Therefore the only future for the Apple stock price is down. Expect brokers to downgrade AAPL to hold or sell within six months.

BTW in stockbroker parlance Buy means only keep your existing holdings, Hold means sell quickly and Avoid means dump immediately.

Reply Score: 3

RE: the past is irrelevant
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 25th Apr 2013 08:16 UTC in reply to "the past is irrelevant"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Very few people seem to understand that investors aren't just looking for growth - they're looking for more growth. Meaning that if you had 20% growth yesterday, but 15% growth today, you'll be punished. This is the danger of crazy growth figures such as Apple has seen. It's obvious the kind of rapid growth they saw was wholly unsustainable in the long run - and yet, so-called Apple bloggerexperts are surprised they didn't.

On top of that, there's Apple crazy money pile. They've got a gazillion dollars sitting in the bank, not earning any investor any money whatsoever.

So, Apple's crazy growth is settling into normal, regular growth, and yet, Apple is letting its gazillion dollar stockpile go to waste instead of using it to spur growth. As an investor, I'd do a double-take too.

Edited 2013-04-25 08:16 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: the past is irrelevant
by majipoor on Thu 25th Apr 2013 10:26 UTC in reply to "RE: the past is irrelevant"
majipoor Member since:
2009-01-22

"They've got a gazillion dollars sitting in the bank, not earning any investor any money whatsoever. "

Come on: the money is not sitting in the bank!

Ever heard about Braeburn Capital?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Braeburn_Capital

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: the past is irrelevant
by leos on Fri 26th Apr 2013 03:52 UTC in reply to "RE: the past is irrelevant"
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

On top of that, there's Apple crazy money pile. They've got a gazillion dollars sitting in the bank, not earning any investor any money whatsoever.

So, Apple's crazy growth is settling into normal, regular growth, and yet, Apple is letting its gazillion dollar stockpile go to waste instead of using it to spur growth. As an investor, I'd do a double-take too.


Good example of techies not understanding business.
1. It's not "sitting in the bank"
2. They are initiating the biggest share buyback in history, which is good for investors.
3. They are increasing the dividend, which earns investors money
4. They've massively increased R&D spending, which spurs growth.

Reply Score: 2