I have a 2018 MacBook Pro and while I think it's objectively the best MacBook Pro they've ever made, it's just depressing to use. It feels like all the desire has been sucked out of it. It doesn't feel like Apple is making the best computer they can make, it feels like they're making the best computer for their bottom line. Most importantly, it feels like Apple has lost respect for their customers.
I assumed that they were just switching to a more popular and lucrative demographic based of who buys iPhones.
The current Apple makes more money now but the products and the way they are marketed are boring IMHO (subjective I know).
That would mean more ports, a higher minimum spec, and the ability to upgrade the internals. The touchbar could be dropped entirely, it’s really just a marketing gimmick.
A MagSafe-like magnetic connector that spoke USB 3.1 or whatever Type C uses would be perfection and would make me seriously consider buying a modern Mac.
But the market has shifted dramatically since 2004. Outside of software devs and people who need laptops for work/school, the number of people who own a personal laptop has significantly decreased since. (can google stats if needed) Plus there's a whole demographic of people who have never owned a laptop and don't see the need.
I'm a techie and I haven't owned a personal laptop since 2007. I travel with my iPhone and iPad Air 2, and they're more than good enough for my needs. I have Linux desktops at home/work.
Even if Apple made a really innovative laptop computer today, its target market is a lot smaller than it was in 2004.
A vocal minority of power users and developers will hate being forced onto iOS, but most customers will be satisfied. And Apple will be able to consolidate their engineering work behind a single platform.
I think what apple will find is that the market won't stand for their high-priced iPhones forever. If they have any sense, they'll notice this and put their prices down again.
In many ways, it mirrors the issues for Hacker News entrepreneurs. To get VC capital, you have to dangle promises high returns on your equity — even if a consistent cashflow business is a great outcome for an entrepreneur (these businesses are pejoratively called "lifestyle businesses").
It's a fallacy that many people fall for though. See Berkshire Hathaway for the prime example.
Any decent vc funded company could blow my product out of the water but they won't bother
1. Apple does innovate. Every year. But doesn't tend to follow fads or new technologies for the sake of newness and those tend to be confused with innovation all the time.
2. As markets saturate and the smartphone becomes an everyday object, the behavior starts to resemble the fashion and accessories industry where brand image, and customer loyalty plays a larger role in purchase decisions. If Louis Vuitton sales 10% less bags YoY in China, nobody thinks it's because they have not innovated enough in handbag technology.
Apple is ok. At least as of now. They are still selling 84 billion $ worth of products on a given quarter.
See altababa / Yahoo for example
I don't believe apple's shareholders would let them burn a singificant amount of their cash reserves for R&D over next 5 years...unless investors truley believe said R&D has solid ROI.
If it turns out that in reality the revenues will be stable/stagnant, then the owners of Apple are in for a rude shock (since it'd mean that Apple is worth much, much less), would not consider this situation as acceptable, and would be ready to install new management and approve radical changes to try and continue growth (of both revenues and share value) by any means possible.
Is it? It has a P/E of ~10, the same as IBM ('big and steady')
IMHO, that's not "creative destruction," it's more "we had to destroy the village in order to save it." "By any means possible" will inevitably turn into short-term, customer-hostile actions that will erode the value provided by the company to society.
Narrow focus on financial metrics by shareholders sometimes seems to be more of a destroyer of real value than a creator of it.
Here's a serious question: what should the valuation be for a company that is not growing, but generating $X amount of profit year after year, with no risk, forever (and assuming the profit keeps up with inflation).
Logically, companies are valued on their expected future profits. Since you want those to be as big as possible, growth in general is good. But at some point, in rare cases, a company may get so big that it has reached the point where it's just extremely profitable. Wasn't that supposed to be the end-goal?
The main variables are the annual cash flow amount and a “discount rate” which is the interest rate you would earn at equivalent risk.
Each year’s cash flow is divided by (1 + i)^n where I is the interest rate, and n is the number of years out.
For example, 10 years of future annual recurring revenue of $100mm per year, at a discount rate of 5%, has a net present value of $772mm.
That 10th year’s $100mm is only worth $61.4mm in present value based on the 5% interest rate. It is the same thing as saying: $61.4mm invested at 5% would turn into $100mm in 10 years.
If Apple’s net profit turned into a steady $50b stream from here on out, at a 5% discount rate, it comes to a NPV of $673b over the next 20 years. Their current market cap is $680b by the way.
Indeed, which breaks down the entire market rationale of capitalism right. It seems that we ought to put minimum hold times on shares. There shouldn't be any medium and certainly no short-term shareholders.
It's anything but odd. That's the basis of how the stock market works. If Stock XYZ is big in a large, not-growing market, and trades at $50 per share... why would the stock price ever appreciate?
Reinvested dividend money; see a sibling comment somewhere in here that addresses this. If the company doesn't pay a dividend, that money has to go somewhere, so it gets accounted for in the stock price (a vast oversimplification, yes).
Share price _increases_ however only occur when the market expects the company to _grow_ revenues (profits), not sustain them. In other words, your comment isn't accurate, that would not cause the share price to increase. Only actual growth, expectation of growth, or market manipulation will cause share prices to increase.
Why should the stock price ever appreciate?
The word "profitable" covers wide range of possible outcomes.
This is how capitalism works. Everything has to be growing all the time, or it's seen as failing. Requiring infinite growth on a finite planet is a problem, but so far all the alternatives are considered fringe: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steady-state_economy
One interesting thing about the my phone is I managed to crack the screen on the 3 iPhones I had before, sometimes multiple times. I've put this one through hell and back and it just keeps going. I wonder if the build quality (not just features and performance) has been a factor in slowing upgrades...
Personally I "solved" it for my need by having two laptops (I don't have a desktop at home anymore), one is a 15" made for mobility with tons of battery and low weight, the other is frankly more of a "transportable" 17", too heavy to hold it in one hand and lasting less that two hour on battery but with insane power for all my work and gaming need.
Interestingly enough both end up costing almost the same.
If you rely on a "premium product at premium price" you need to make people want to have it, and for them to replace it that's either obseleting the old one, or making the new one
Downside of this of course, is that it's harder to rely on that anymore when you try to grab mass market too.
Eleven years later, there is still not a single electronic item that is larger than the smart phone market.
PC's aren't making a comeback, TV's are low margin and bulky, etc.
Not only have mobile phones cannibalized the “a PC on every desk” for people at home, they’ve expanded to “a computer in every pocket”.
Even if other developers are leaving Mac (and the numbers don’t support that) and if Apple could have grown Mac sales by (an unrealistic) 50%, it still wouldn’t have made a noticeable change in their profitability.
The fact that Apple hit or exceeded their sales goals in most regions but crashed in China is telling.
Perhaps China is decoupling from global growth much like Japan did in the early 90s.
After breaking and dropping several, i had lamented that i really wished that they had included the little lanyard bracket so i would drop it less.
I was literally told i was an idiot for not appreciating Ive's design asthetic.
Screw that. Personally, given how many times i have broken a screen, and then being told that "if you wanted to protect it, get a rugged case, all i can think is that the base design is faulty.
I dont want a case, but an unprotected phone is just too fragile. Apples response was to come out with a model which had glass also on the back.
I cant stand that people think that apple is withought fault...
> I was literally told i was an idiot for not appreciating Ive's design asthetic.
That's ironic, since I have an old iPod Touch that has a build-in lanyard bracket.
I long for a future where iPads (or devices with similar capability) costs 10$s and Apple Pencils costs 5$s to not worry about them anymore. Because hoping companies to make things reliable/rugged anymore is such a false hope (or it's too expensive anyway).
If I lose it or drop it I am not concerned.
A decent camera is the only thing I missed.
Got burned by HTC's obligatory flaws, LG's shipping known broken hardware, and didn't find the last premium iPhone I carried delivered enough value.
I'm fine with paying an explanation premium to go from 90 -> 100% functionality.
But only when 90% functional doesn't already cover my needs.
Apple goosed the iPhone price exactly as phone processors started hitting Moore's cliff of diminishing performance returns. High performance across the market + most users served by "good enough" processors = commodity
Apple's never done well with commodities.
iPhone processors (unlike Macs) are still getting much faster every update. You can debate whether that extra speed is actually useful in everyday life, but they are getting faster.
We'll see how EUV scales for everyone.
I'm thinking cars in particular. There's a subset of us that under-spends relative to what we could own if we really wanted the greatest wheels on earth. It's not so much that we're in constant dread of an engine failure or crash that would turn a $90K Tesla or BMW into scrap metal. But we get most of what we want with Toyotas and Fords. And we're spared the stress of worrying about the well-being of one more precious element in our lives. (Houses, spouses and little kids create plenty of those stresses as is.)
Apple sells outrageously-overpriced commodity technology, coupled with gimmicky features, buggy software, and planned obsolescence, to naive consumers who buy it every year regardless.
Apple’s products are so well-designed and reliable that customers remain satisfied for years and don’t feel the need to upgrade on an annual basis because their current devices do everything they need.
Also, Apple’s constant incremental innovation combined with the fact that they stopped all innovation a decade ago (save for headphone jack removal) will be the death of the company.
1) Take the latest Macbook Pro
2) Remove the Touchbar, add back F row buttons and ports.
3) Replace the LCD with a 4K OLED display with thin bezels
It is that easy.
1. Remove the touchbar
2. Bring back magsafe
3. Bring back the old keyboard
You're right about the screen bezels but I think it being a touchscreen is more important than OLED. That's basically standard on other laptops now.
Dark theme + OLED would be glorious for coding and battery life.
A touchscreen could also be a step toward being able to run iOS apps on Macs. I wouldn't claim this last piece is easy, but it could be a huge win if done right.
Apple should should make iPhones and Macs work so seamlessly together that they feel like different hardware extensions of the same device. Say, starting an application like FaceTime on one device and shifting it to the other without breaking the session. (Maybe they can do this already? If not, they should.) Again, not easy, but Apple has the resources to pull it off, and if they nail the execution they could boost the value of both product lines.
Also, greater memory options in their higher end Macs. Obviously most people don't need 64 gigs of RAM on their laptops, but for those who do, Apple should be working hard to make a Mac their first choice.
For lower end Macs, include a dongle with USB 3.0, Ethernet and 3.5mm audio jacks in the base package. It wouldn't cost that much to produce and it would give people peace of mind that their old peripherals will still work out of the box.
EDIT: Oh, and fix the keyboard. They need to set a standard for keyboard quality and typing comfort and accommodate that standard. If it means making their laptops a few millimeters thicker then so be it.
For the record, I hate the Touchbar, but I still see no suitable option in place of Mac. Linux on the desktop is still not there and Windows is atrocious (I use it for my gaming PC, but that's it).
1) Take the latest iPhone XS
2) Give it a better camera
3) Make it iPhone-SE sized, get rid of the huge display crop
4) Include 5G support
(and there is a large percentage of the population that prefers larger screen phones).
I'm sorry, but I don't think that image is as crisp and clear as what a modern iPhone, Android, or any other modern smartphone produces in a similarly lit situation.
All small sensor-ed cameras, give up when lights get dim. Even some 35mm cameras have a hard time in low light situations. This problem is barely being solved with some of the computational photography that the Pixel does. Why? Physics of light collection on tiny image sensors.
The company itself is okay of course
People that overbid its shares will not be
Apple's greatest innovation might be that it leaves a bunch of Wall Street fools out of jobs. Does an economy need as many people predicting quarterly iPhone shipments to speculate on stock price as it takes to actually design said iPhone?
Stock options holders simply wont exercise, and can buy shares for cheaper in the ESPP window
Too bad about the time used in the best years of their lives though, better to optimize that with better negotiation
What "operational missteps"?
There are probably more, but those are the obvious ones.
Volume sales didn’t take a noticeable hit because of any of those issues...
And they have reported volume sales up through last quarter.
iPhone users are not flocking to Android in developed countries. Even in China, prices have more to do with Apples issues than anything.
Both the iPad and Watch are not the home run product that is needed.
In many ways Apple's extended software support of their older hardware gives users even less of a reason to buy a new device. I think that shows they are a company not primarily focused on profit because they could make changes to push people to upgrade their device faster.
It seems like they need to do more with services or start buying up some other businesses with all that cash they're sitting on.
Apple has both failed to diversify into other areas and run out of ways to innovate in current ones. I'm not sure why they went for autonomous cars when they were such a easy sell as a consumer electronics brand, they could have sold TVs and home theatre systems that are so much easier to use than existing ones without much effort.
Having a reputation for low quality would kill the demand they have now. Their strategy is to entice upgrades, not to replace on breakage. Which is better, as it makes for a happier consumer that had choices on this.
BTW: did you change your battery?
But they couldnt do it forever
[EDIT: Not implying Apple will support wasm, but their plateau enables other wasm-first platforms to emerge. Content providers will give away $100 phones to secure subscription revenue.]
Apple still has to provide a solid web browser for mobile internet and they don't seem to be too keen on that anymore. So I'm not sure where your optimism is coming from.
Also, no more annoying app updates? Web apps are even worse with no way to hold onto on old versions! You're updating every time you open the app. Are app updates really that annoying?
Perhaps an RFC is required for secure background updates.
Nothing for the end user to install. Just use the next-gen mobile browser.
And certainly Apple has no incentive to give web applications more abilities to access the GPU and hardware so it's moot point anyway. It's a fantasy.
Do you have an example of precedence that supports this extremely user hostile view of Apple?
And they will continue to win that battle because they provide discoverability, monitization, hosting, and full device access and performance. The web alone can't compete against that.
"You can browse everything... except everything you want" is not going to be a popular USP.
I don't understand the former has to do with latter. It would make more sense for content providers to go native than to use WASM if they are providing the hardware. If content providers are giving away hardware they'd want it completely locked down -- not open.
Also, Apple's plateau exists because the market is saturated. Everybody already has a smartphone how is there a market for yet another new platform?
I don't really see them doing it because it's not somewhere they can really get away with their usual "we control the whole stack and you can only run our software on our hardware (legally)" mess they pull with macOS.
Samsung figured this out already. Their proportion of revenue from phones is decreasing while their semiconductor business is growing leaps and bounds.
-1 points by eruci 62 days ago | parent [-] | on: Apple Used to Be an Inventor. Now It’s Mainly a La...
Apple died with Steve Jobs. No new products just same shit with double and triple price. Shrinking customer base due to overpricing is the death of any company and utter betrayal of Jobs vision.