Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 10th Oct 2013 16:37 UTC

Insightful article by John Gruber.

So the irony here is that iOS vs. Android (or, if you prefer, iPhone and iPad vs. commodity smartphones and tablets) is in fact a replay Mac vs. Windows - but not in the way that most who make the comparison would have you believe. Judging by its actions, Apple is keenly aware of the lessons to be learned from 20 years ago. To wit, this has nothing to do with focusing on raw market share, and everything to do with keeping the pedal to the metal on design and quality. If Apple maintains a lead over its rivals in those regards, the Mac suggests that Apple can occupy a dominant, stable, long-term position as the profit leader in the mobile market as well - a market that is already bigger than the PC market ever was, and unlike the PC market, is still growing.

As insightful as the article is, it does pivot on the assumption that Apple does, indeed, "[maintain] a lead over its rivals" in design and quality. Design is largely a matter of taste, but as far as quality goes, Apple has, in my view, been surpassed in almost every aspect by Android - at least, when it comes to software. And let's not even get started on internet services, where Apple is a complete and utter joke compared to its competitors. As far as hardware goes, however, Apple's supposed lead is harder to debate - I've held a lot of phones and tablets in my hands over the years, and while many come close to Apple's, I've never held anything that outright surpassed it (save for maybe the HTC One which no one is buying).

Unsurprisingly, Gruber believes Apple does maintain that lead, and as such, arguing his point becomes relatively easy. However, if you ascribe to the view that Android has surpassed iOS in quality (and certainly in design, in my view), it becomes a lot harder to accept that Apple can, this time, avoid the trap it fell into in the '90s.

Now, before people will twist and turn this into me saying Apple is doomed - I don't believe for a second that it is. However, that doesn't mean a repeat of the '90s is somehow magically off the table - Apple has a lot of work to do in order to avoid it. As Tom Dale stated so aptly almost a year ago, "Google is getting better at design faster than Apple is getting better at web services". With Motorola and the Moto X, design might not be the only thing Google is getting better at faster.

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RE: Customer service
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 10th Oct 2013 17:28 UTC in reply to "Customer service"
Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:

My Apple store experiences haven't been that great. They're as good or bad as best buy, in my experience. I've had them say just completely bogus stuff to me to try and entice additional sales. Case in point: the time I tried buying a usb micro cable from an apple store. I had a guy try selling me a lightning cable. I explained it wasn't for an apple device, but he insisted that it would work.

(Edit: to be fair I was trying to buy something that in an apple store for an android phone. And I've heard many people say the same stupid thing)

Edited 2013-10-10 17:30 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Customer service
by ze_jerkface on Thu 10th Oct 2013 18:06 in reply to "RE: Customer service"
ze_jerkface Member since:

Apple store = Best Buy + pastel t-shirts.

I knew someone who took their pc there after the genius bar told her they would transfer everything from her hard drive without any problems. I'm still not sure what happened exactly but they returned it non-booting and claimed they were unable to transfer anything. I took it apart and found cables unplugged and a boot disc left inside the case. Anyways I fixed it and transferred everything in less than an hour. She had taken it back 3 times only to have them give her the run-around.

Microsoft stores are no better. I asked a sales guy at one if they had any laptops with quad-core processors and then he started into a condescending argument about how I probably don't need one and blah blah blah as if it is just a buzz-word I read in the paper. Whatever, Goodbye.

All these stores don't want to pay salaries that attract experienced and knowledgeable sales staff. They go cheap and hire 21 year olds who think they are geniuses because they can impress clueless grandmas by explaining gigabytes. The BS people all day and their egos have a hard time dealing with anyone that might know more than them. I normally just play dumb to see what they will say. It can be quite amusing.

Reply Parent Score: 5