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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Pros and Cons
by isaba on Fri 11th Oct 2013 12:34 UTC
Member since:

Very interesting and insightful comments here, indeed. And the "Apple" subject is of perennial debate through the years, it seems.

I personally think that Apple's "pros" are too much clear for everyone, customers or not. Me myself was an Apple fan for 12 years or so, but now not anymore (if I can say forever).

About "Cons": there is something Apple can't and won't change: high price and walled gardens. Surely they can take a nice share of the global market. They can reinvent themselves (as they have done so successfully). They can play the psycological game once and again; but they cannot grow more and more outside their self imposed glass dome: Price + Lock.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Pros and Cons
by MOS6510 on Fri 11th Oct 2013 13:54 in reply to "Pros and Cons"
MOS6510 Member since:

Apple stuff isn't cheap, but it's not crap either.

If you go to the Dell site you'll find a lot of PCs that are a lot cheaper. But select one and customize it. The price will shoot up. Spec it like an iMac, which would include a screen, and suddenly an iMac isn't that expensive.

The specced Dell wouldn't include OS X either nor would it look as good as an iMac.

Sure enough for a lot of ordinary people an iMac would be more than they need and they have a lot of options with non-Apple computers.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Pros and Cons
by moondevil on Fri 11th Oct 2013 14:29 in reply to "RE: Pros and Cons"
moondevil Member since:

Although many tend to compare Dell prices with Apple, many people still buy desktop computers from local OEMs, not Dell and friends.

Actually, I only started to care about global PC brands when I moved to laptops as my main computer. And even those have now modular versions that local OEMs assemble.

Finally, the Asus laptop where I am typing this, isn't as pretty as a MacBook Pro 17, but beats it in all technical specifications (CPU/GPU/...), except for the design and uses plastic instead of aluminium. Two things not worth paying the 1000€ price difference.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Pros and Cons
by unclefester on Sat 12th Oct 2013 03:07 in reply to "RE: Pros and Cons"
unclefester Member since:

If you go to the Dell site you'll find a lot of PCs that are a lot cheaper. But select one and customize it. The price will shoot up. Spec it like an iMac, which would include a screen, and suddenly an iMac isn't that expensive.

No sane person buys a Dell desktop for private use. They are very expensive, use a lot of proprietary hardware and are only sold online.

Reply Parent Score: 3