Of course this is an inaccurate and very silly comparison, but at least for me it does give some sense of scale. That is a preposterous number of iPhones.
 Yes, I know that number is revenue and not profit. As long as I'm making a silly mental comparison though, why not have more fun by using the bigger number?
 Maintaining/staffing carriers is astronomically expensive, $74.6 billion is actually only enough for 12 empty carrier-shaped hunks of steel.
Personally I like to divide profits and revenues by the number of employees. They have 98 000 employees so they generated revenues of $761 000 and net profits of $184 000 per employee in Q4 2014.
Think about this: if you work for Apple, on average you helped the company generate $0.76 million dollars in sales in the last 3 months.
Edit: @smackfu: I do not think it is weird to consider these metrics. They show what Apple, as a business entity taking its own decisions, manage to extract from their suppliers (expenses) and customers (revenues).
Major Customers of Foxconn
Don't most car companies directly hire employees that assemble the final product (car)?
Long story short, while they do the final assembly more directly, 90% of the work is still done in China, figuratively speaking.
And my point is Apple has hardly any employee that actually assembles the end product (in this case iphone, ipad, macbook etc), other than a few in US that build custome Mac Pro in US.
So before one gets giddy about how profit per Apple employee is so high, he/she should remember there are literally hundreds of thousands of people assembling the final product but they are not counted as employees of Apple.
You can call this practice any one of these:
1. It's smart business and that's what capitalism is all about.
2. It's immoral and unpatriotic.
From what I know, no other non-China and non-US phone companies outsource 99% of assembling. Maybe I'm wrong.
http://www.extremetech.com/electronics/185960-foxconn-is-att... "Chinese site IT Home is reporting that Apple — the company most associated with Foxconn — will be the first company to use these new robots."
As to being Foxconn workers in name only the Chinese government makes it much simpler to higher Chinese workers though a Chinese owned company than directly employing them.
A better interpretation would be: if the employees owned the company, they'd (effectively) get that much more per year. Instead, shareholders own the company so that money is (effectively) given in equity to the shareholders each year.
At the least, the shareholders hold the cash hostage. They are among the first to be paid out in event of a liquidation.
Perhaps a better question is, how are shareholders not a cost?
Dividends are a cost to the organization. They are resources that will never be recovered. However, from the point of view of the shareholder it is personal income. If dividends are not a cost to the organization, what are they?
Dividends are the distribution of a part of the profit (or maybe retained earnings, if the current earnings are not enough) to shareholders. Profit is what is left from revenue after costs. Unless you want to redefine the basic accounting terms, dividends cannot be a cost.
Was just an example of a positive "yes" answer to your question.
It's not a zero-sum game. Apple creates value, it doesn't just move it from one place to another.
I'm sure you wouldn't claim that it's possible for the employees to create the value without the assets owned by Apple. Does the Apple employees have the savings to pay the $100M bill from TSMC, when a new generation of SOCs need to be produced? They would certainly all have to work from home, because they wouldn't have a building they could all sit in, without using the property of Apple.
Seems to me like Apple and its employees are in a symbiotic relationship, that benefits both parties.
I think you took quarterly numbers and conflated them with annual numbers. Unless a 90k effective quarterly salary seems reasonable?
Let alone the fact there are streamers who have received tens of thousands of dollars. In this case there really is a very rich person in the middle east who has given tens of thousands to streamers.
7.125 billion people
74.5 million iphones
74,500,000 / 7,125,000,000 = 1.05%
With the quarterly revenue, they could probably reenact Apollo 11, since each launch was ~$350 million pre-inflation. If you're only doing one, a lot cheaper.
To get an accurate number you'd have to take the amount that the US was spending on ICBMs, and ever more accurately how much the Third Reich was spending on research for the V2s etc. After all the US military & NASA benefited immensely from Wernher von Braun and other German scientists that delivered Nazi rocket research to them after WWII.
Then they can REALLY sink their competitions ;)
Especially when Samsung just built the world's largest: http://www.industrytap.com/worlds-largest-ship-ever-built-fi... :-)
Just shy of half a trillion dollars in yearly revenue, which generated 15.4 billion in profit.
That's $1.3B revenue per day, or $55M revenue per hour, $920K/minute.
A million dollars of revenue, every minute.
Compared to nominal GDP, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is larger than Taiwan, Austria and Thailand.
Granted, that's revenue, which is 'easy' compared to profits!
How can we not start looking at some of these organizations less as companies, and more as countries?
Because they are not. Similarities start and end right there.
My deeper point is one of size. At some point, these companies start doing country-like things, at country-like scales.
In this particular example, I'm talking about activities that start to look like something you might called "Intelligence", and "counter-Intelligence", just as an example.
How about the reverse? Countries as companies? And why don't we look at how large, complex companies can do so much better financially than governments?
Taxes are so small, relatively, companies get these benefits as a free, or at least as a heavily subsidised, handout.
The governments needing to pay for those basic things (while having a captive income stream) can't be the sole reason governments do so terribly at their duties. How do you explain the F-35 from the basis that governments gotta build roads? Why not look at process and management and incentives, which go a long way towards explaining why different companies do better than others?
this is why i'm sure that even in the case of military conflict between China and US, the container ships will continue bringing iPhones from Foxconn factories in China into US stores :)
Oh, were you thinking of a fleet of operational carriers that can deploy world-wide dozens of the most highly armed and agile vehicles within 14 days?
Maybe you were just thinking of putting those carriers out on display in the southern bay? I don't know, maybe.
But, if you were thinking about the (apparent) price paid for what the US actually bought (what your numbers are supposedly based on), you need to include the ongoing costs for operating and maintaining such a fleet. According to your sources (Wikipedia), the US Navy had a $171.x billion budget in 2010 (according to the same source, this is now $147.69 billion for 2015). I zoomed around the infographic more and found that Operations & Maintenance run $40.xxx billion this year. Sure, you can drop it down some to get rid of the non-carrier vessel maintenance, but this is the limit of the graphics breakdown of the budget. There's another $3x.xxx billion in there (pan north a bit) for "personnel" costs. We'll be generous and say that[$7x.xxx billion]'s an upper limit on the annual cost to run the carriers as you are likely imaging. If Apple keeps it up, they will be able to pay for the first year's costs before next quarter's earnings.
You can't buy a single operational carrier for that price.
I'm pretty amused at the contrast between your comment and ykl's, who has elaborated on korzun in terms of money alone.
But then when no one else is making decent laptops this is what happens. If anything the gap has grown thanks to Windows 8. I'm not a fan of Yosemite by any stretch, but it is very much the least bad of the available options.
And on mobile, iOS is very clearly in for the long haul now. There was a time a couple of years ago when Android looked like it might gain enough momentum to sweep them away, but it now looks like the iOS market share in developed markets is going to remain fairly solid.
I can't be the only one that has noticed the rise of the Mac-based business but all running on Office 365. It seems to be the new default.
I'm a pretty biased sample, but honestly I know more people running non-OSX on Apple laptops than I know people running non-OSX on non-Apple laptops. Apple's laptops beat the rest of the industry even without the OS.
I know Apple makes two laptops: MBAs and MBPs.
I don't know what all laptops Dell or Lenovo make. I don't know if they have ultrabooks, and if they do, what are their names.
When I buy a new Windows laptop, I sort by specs, not brand. I avoid a few brands (HP, Acer), but as long as I get good enough specs at a good enough price, I'll buy anything.
I don't care about specific models/brands in Dell, Samsung or Lenovo because I don't even know if they exist, and if they do, why I should give a crap about them.
It's as if they want their laptops to be as generic as possible.
* They don't even have a Laptops page. They have an ATIV page which bundles everything from mice to all-in-ones under the brand.
Compare that with this: http://www.apple.com/macbook-air/ and you can see why Apple is pulling ahead of everyone
It gives me a hundred results with various SKUs and model years and I have NO idea as a consumer which one is the best fit for me.
No docking station, can't change batteries, no touch screens, no spill resistant keyboards, no matte screen option,etc.
You also need those dongles for ethernet and video and can't upgrade RAM or hard drives on the retina models.
Sure, the OS (if you need/like OSX, there is little choice), and the trackpad (if you like that those) are good, the rest? meh.
I rather have a Thinkpad that can take a lot of abuse.
Now let's suppose it was just ThinkPads going head-to-head with MacBooks. I'd take the ThinkPad every time, except if it was a ThinkPad made in the last two years. They took a break from making good computers and instead decided to make expensive, fragile ThinkPads with useless keyboards and no mouse buttons. Apple can ship a laptop with no mouse buttons because Apple's software works. Lenovo doesn't have that luxury; they run Windows.
And let's not forget how many years Lenovo spent pissing on their loyal customers. For YEARS they insisted that it was not possible to 1) economically source IPS displays, and 2) source 4:3 displays. Then Apple comes out with the iPad, it has a 4:3 IPS display. Turns out Lenovo just didn't care if you had a good screen; they know you need a laptop and they are just trying to squeeze more profits out of you. Apple actually wants you to have a better product.
Now as I said I'm typing this on a ThinkPad. Why? Only two reasons: trackpoint, which is God's own pointing device, and a huge Esc key, for using vim. There are other minor reasons, like the fact that if you drop a MacBook it's guaranteed to get bent or dented, whereas if you drop a ThinkPad some little plastic giblet will break off, which is a better outcome in my experience. But if you forced me to think about it I'd have to admit that it's a reasonably durable case and a decent keyboard and mouse wrapped around a really mediocre computer. And the display is ghastly.
I suspect Macbook Airs sell well because they're designed with a wide swathe of people in mind.
Maybe most consumers don't care about other features (minimalism can be good and a feature by itself) and a Mac is ideal for them, that is fine, I just disagree that only MBP have those qualities
*Edit for spelling.
BUT, I'm in the market for a new Laptop. I'm one of the few people that liked the announcements from Microsoft about Windows 10 and honestly, I'm bored with Mac right now. So I'm looking at good laptops that will exceed or at least meet the quality and battery longevity of the Macbook Pro. So I'm seriously looking at the new (not out yet, but announced) Thinkpad T250s. Great keyboard and unique Track-point mouse (always intrigued me), battery life near 20 hours (with the extra 6-cell battery option), durable build (like a tank), and the ability to dock it. Not to mention I could also throw Linux on it without any problems (Linux on this Macbook Pro is spotty at best, as some things work, some are wonky...same with Bootcamp and Windows).
But bottom line is, which platform you choose doesn't really matter much anymore. I could switch over to Windows from being 100% Apple for the past 8 years and not have much of a problem.
Glad it wasn't just me who noticed this.
Apple may sell more than any other single company in some markets, but their overall market dominance is mostly an illusion trumpeted by advocates.
The parent here was asking why the laptops are so great, but they are actually a minor, albeit interesting, part of the market and market share. By market metrics, they aren't that that amazing. They are outsold by another single brand and fall into the "Other" category when looking at market share.
Don't need one. Wifi, bluetooth keyboard/mouse, external display, and other external peripherals haven't been relevant in the past five years.
> can't change batteries
Fair point I guess, but the battery life is pretty long already (also compared to competitors), and for me personally, I have a static workspace so I don't miss it.
> no touch screens
I think OSX was slowly heading towards that a while ago (with gestures, Launchpad, etc), before someone cut that off saying "OSX is not a touch screen operating system". I don't miss it.
> no spill resistant keyboards
They could use this actually, I've heard too many stories of people having huge repair bills because they spilled onto their shiny laptops.
> no matte screen option
...anymore, :/. No 17 inch anymore either. I guess those were two things that just didn't sell well enough - iirc, the 17 inch MBP only took up 1-2% of total Mac sales.
As for the keyboard/mouse combo, bluetooth has worked well there for ages...
I have a 2012 MBP NON-retina that has all the ports you'd need (Thunderbolt/Mini DisplayPort, Ethernet, FireWire, USB3 x 2), DVD writer, line in, line out, battery life indicator (push a button and see green LEDs), SD card reader but it really was the last of the "good ones" in my opinion. I can change the battery in it and can also upgrade the RAM (it isn't soldered to the board like the new ones). Unfortunately the screen isn't super-high resolution but that's not a problem for me.
I find the build quality to be good, and it feels sturdy. Perhaps I am looking at the wrong end of PC laptops but they now always feel flexible and plasticky. They typically only use metal on the part by the keyboard but the rest of them are still bendy plastic. A few Samsungs and Sony have felt better but they don't feel robust and quality to me.
I see someone at work using a MacBook Air and they have to use a Thunderbolt adapter for ethernet and a USB adapter for connecting an external screen, and suddenly it isn't as convenient with all those dongles hanging off it. Great for wandering around and travelling though, which is likely the market for it.
But as you say, a Thinkpad is likely a PC alternative, I wouldn't consider anything else. (I wouldn't give it abuse though - why the need to throw your expensive device around???)
Batteries - Macs get phenomenal battery life, it's not an issue for most people. Much like iPhones there is an argument for swappable batteries but it doesn't seen to have a large effect on sales. People seem happier with the thinness and weight savings, or at least don't mind the tradeoff much.
Spill resistant keyboards - Are most PC laptops outside of the toughbook market? I wouldn't have even thought about this.
Matte screen - That was an issue. I am typing from the last matte screen MBP Apple made, I didn't like the gloss. I've seen the newer machines in person and while they do reflect more light they're much better than they were years ago. The better contrast and color saturation would be worth it to me when I replace my laptop.
Then again, I imagine the average person always liked the glossy screens because they looked better at first (much like the poorly adjusted TVs at BestBuy).
Some Macs still have Ethernet, but WiFi is pretty ubiquitous. When I'm at my desk I'd just plug an adapter into my monitor and it would work (thanks to Thunderbolt). RAM and HD are another design decision Apple has made that people seem to accept.
I do love OS X. You seem almost dismissive of the trackpad, but I LOVE the thing. I'm guessing you're a TrackPoint person, and I get that. But the laptop world seems to have standardized on touchpads and Apple's are phenomenal. For years they were MUCH bigger than PCs and the gestures works great. For years PC laptops (especially budget ones) seemed to have odd 'scroll strips' and I read complaints about them in reviews.
I'll also mention MagSafe. It's saved my laptop numerous times and is extremely easy and fast to connect (or disconnect).
In general Apple's laptops are just well built and feel solid. Some PCs are like that, many aren't due to cost. If I'm going to use a machine every day for 4 years I want to know it's well built and holds up well. That's never been a problem with my Macs, anecdotally I've heard things all over the place for PC brands. Things where Lenovo makes great laptops except for line 'X' which is built poorly, or the 2013 version of thing 'Y'.
There is a lot to be said for a well built laptop with very consistent quality, thin, low weight, and excellent parts. It's easy to try Apple stuff in person thanks to stores and it's easy to narrow down what you want because they don't sell 40 individual models (before customization). There is a very large 'no hassle' factor when it comes to buying, I don't have to worry that I spent 5 hours picking the right machine only to have it show up on my doorstep as something I don't like and have to send back.
> (if you need/like OSX, there is little choice)
Now THIS is a potential problem to me. I don't blame Apple for not selling OS X, but I know that I'm at Apple's behest. If they decide to make computers I don't like for a few years I know I either have to wait it out or switch platforms. With a Windows laptop you decide to leave Lenovo and go to Dell or HP without having to change your whole day-to-day environment.
(I'm ignoring Hackintoshes. I don't want to spend the time to deal with the possible problems.)
Be glad you're not like me and are stuck with a lemon like the 2011 Macbook Pro. It's a well built (chassis-wise, at least) and solid brick with a well known design defect that Apple refuses to acknowledge exists.
I have since left Apple, mainly the unibody Macbook Pros that I love so much have been discontinued in favor of models with soldered on RAM, expensive to replace SSDs. I'm not a fan of how Apple is "closing up" the expandability of their hardware.
With the current Macbooks, I wouldn't have been able to upgrade from 4GB to 8GB to 16GB of RAM as the prices came down (and without paying Apple's exorbitant prices for RAM), or upgrade their hard drive to a hybrid drive, and to growing sizes of SSDs as the prices came down. Damn, I miss those unibodies.
My current laptop is a 2010 MBP and I've upgraded both the RAM and the HD, neither one is an option now. The upfront costs are higher than they used to be, and I'm not a fan of that.
But that's part of the price of liking Apple hardware. It's the tradeoff they've decided to make and it's not enough to offset the other benefits and drive me away.
I've seen enough Apple hardware at work and from friends to generally think it's good quality and not worry too much about buying my next machine from them.
My Macbook Pro was almost four years old but still quite fast. I replaced the logic board once under AppleCare, but it died out of warranty just before Christmas. I am not interested in paying 500+ for a new logic board with the same defect that my two previous logic boards had. There are plenty of other people in the same boat as me.
Any good will that I had for Apple is now long gone. I'm just hoping I can get something out of the class action that has been filed.
It's too bad situations like this end up in court where even if you get made whole it takes years and years and in the mean time you're just stuck with extra costs.
It's unfortunate, because I used to be a promoter of Apple products to people I know. These days, not so much. In fact, I typically don't have much good to say about them at all. This might not have been the case had they been proactive about fixing this problem.
While I understand and respect your position, it made me smile that since someone was selling you pretty bad things, where bits would start wearing out, you were thrilled to give them more money for other things.
Apple can really have the pie and eat it!
(I too fear the insane RAM prices).
I do compile C++ in parallel frequently under Xcode, but I don't stress it for gaming other than for a few hours once a night. Stays cool most of the time (other than gaming, it goes mental then).
> Matte screen - That was an issue. I am typing from the last matte screen
> MBP Apple made, I didn't like the gloss. I've seen the newer machines in
> person and while they do reflect more light they're much better than they
> were years ago. The better contrast and color saturation would be worth it
> to me when I replace my laptop.
Who cares if the keyboard is spill-resistant if they'll sell you accidental damage protection for a reasonable price? In that case, spill-resistance is more their problem than yours and it is often designed in. Lenovo, HP, Dell and others sell ADP as a warranty add-on. AFAIK, Apple doesn't - you'd have to go to a third party like Best Buy or SquareTrade (with the hassle of the extra company / moving parts that introduces).
WiFi is fine for when you are on the move, but for serious use, I wouldn't trade an ethernet connection.
I'm in a office right now with over 500 people, all with laptops, tablets, mobile phones, and the WiFi is pretty crappy. I wouldn't want to depend on WiFi as my main network connection in any kind of office environment.
And I get many comments from people wishing they could use a Mac instead of a Dell Windows machine.
Comparing spec sheets doesn't do justice to the actual experience of using one. If you're serious, borrow one from a friend for a few days.
Most of the time they are above the average PC/Laptop, I do give you that, but recent models have reduced functionality (non replaceable batteries, memory, HDD, dongles for ethernet, etc) all in the name of Form over Function.
Using Windows is more and more of a pain to me, particularly as Visual Studio 2010 is dog-slow for me compared to Xcode. I know I need to buy a new version of VC++ but it is now always a clunky-screen-refreshing-whirly-cursor-many-folders-shown-in-Explorer-inconsistent-navigation-and-buttons-shortcuts-hyperlinks experience in Windows. Sigh.
Is it really just the Pro version? Is distribution of software created with it limited?
Visual Studio Community 2013 includes all the great functionality of Visual Studio Professional 2013, designed and optimized for individual developers, students, open source contributors, and small teams.
The places where my hands interact with the machine are much more efficient and pleasing on a mac than any other machine (which is sad, because I LOVED my Thinkpads in the early 2000s).
In general I'll agree with you but there is ONE thing that I don't like on Macs and still exists to this day (I believe). The notch in the aluminum below the trackpad to make it easy to open the machine has sharp left and right right angles, and that pokes me from time to time.
I figure that's one of those 'this looks better' things, but it wasn't a problem on the older machines that had physical latches and a button to open the lid.
I also slightly round the edges where the sides meet the top and bottom surface of the case.
The result is that those sharp unpleasant feeling corners are now silky smooth, around a 1 mm radii. I'm surprised Apple didn't design it this way in the first place.
Note: It's important to be cautious not get any aluminum dust in any of the ports or electronics.
I honestly don't get why people often say that Macbooks are the best Windows laptops.
I have always found the Windows on Mac experience to be sub-par with respect to the key placement, driver behavior, and oversensitive scrolling with Apple mice.
I far prefer running Windows on a similarly equipped PC laptop. On the two Macbooks that I have run BootCamp on, I have always found it somewhat painful dealing with the subtle but noticeable differences related to the keyboard and pointing devices.
There are countless really, really crappy apps and clones crowding the app store. Plus, since most people pirate, developers can't make money (Monument Valley saw around 95% piracy rate and just $250k in revenue from Android, vs. $5.5M from iOS).
This sunk Windows Mobile, which I still believe has the best UI of the bunch (sadly, it also had a shit app store and tons of bugs).
The two stores are completely separate, your popularity on either will not help you on the latter unless you're bringing a big marketing budget with you or have something truly unique and viral.
There are plenty of popular Android games that have virtually no player base on iOS.
Why not? Shouldn't a good game sell well on any platform?
> The two stores are completely separate, your popularity on either will not help you on the latter unless you're bringing a big marketing budget with you or have something truly unique and viral.
Perhaps it won't sell as well on Android in relative numbers (attach rate to total devices), but it is a truly unique game that many people talked about.
> There are plenty of popular Android games that have virtually no player base on iOS.
Honestly I would LOVE a list of a few (emulators/clones don't count). With the exception of that AR game that Google made I have never heard of a mobile game (from friends, game sites, etc.) that wasn't available on iOS.
I genuinely don't know of any, but I've wondered about this quite a bit.
You mean ingress? They ported that to iOS a couple months ago
It should see well on a platform where people pay for quality content, yes.
The numbers you gave are interesting, but there's very little to show how well they correlate.
Edit: Assuming you are going off the data from techcrunch, I'm thinking that 95% piracy rate is not quire right. First, it's mentioned as something they "revealed previously" which means we can make very few assumptions about it, and second, they state it was installed on over 10m total unique devices (including multiple installs from a purchase, family share and unlicensed copies). Considering they list over 2.5m licensed copies sold, with almost 800k of them being for android (and half of that being free amazon giveaways), I'm thinking that 95% number doesn't make much sense. Also, 400k plus free copies given away by Amazon? That may affect sales...
The UI is cleaner, Nokia Maps > Google Maps especially for Navigation (full GPS offline nav has saved me more than once), complete MS Office app integration, Outlook email client is slick, camera is better than Android/iOS, OneDrive integration works perfectly. I've been very surprised at how well executed it is, and 8.1 promises to be even better with Cortana, etc.
To date I've had one app that didn't have an equivalent from WinPhone devs, that was the Amazon Seller App. Then again, I don't spend time playing phone games so I'm not the target market. I keep a Droid Maxx around in case there's a niche app I absolutely must use.
You then look at Apple, and what do their users think of the brand? Expensive maybe, but valuable or luxury. This brand identity carries over into the App Store / play store comparisons quite heavily.
It would really curious to compare metrics between the two sites with regard to the ratio of free vs non-free browsing of apps between the two marketplaces.. I suspect Play has a higher ratio of free-loaders vs Apple App Store.
I am one of the freeloaders on Android. I have bought a few apps but I mainly go for the free ones, even if they had advertising. It's a real pity really because I know the effort needed to write an app (I have done a few for Android).
Under iOS, I know I am going to have to BUY most apps, as there aren't that many free ones! Also, I had to sell a kidney to buy the device in the first place so I am expecting to have to fork out money - I know it was an "investment".
The same sort of goes for Mac hardware - I always thought it overpriced rubbish and expensive until I actually had the money to buy one and then suddenly it wasn't quite so bad.
TBF, the app store's main problem is app discoverability - I think only 1% of the apps actually sells well enough, the others are only found if you actively look for them. And the formula behind the Apple app store hasn't changed in forever - actually the only thing they changed was allowing (short) videos and a change in how they present in-app purchase-funded apps, which dominate the 'free' listings (of course).
But I can't remember exactly when I heard it.
What are you talking about? iOS market share is at an all time low.
It went from 14.4% (2012) to 11.7% (2014).
As of the end of Q3 2014, Android was the most popular operating system, with a 84.4% market share, followed by iOS with 11.7%, Windows Phone with 2.9%, BlackBerry with 0.5% and Others with 0.6%.
Amongst the english speaking world, iOS is still a MAJOR contender.
"Android now holds 61.9% of the U.S. market share to Apple’s 32.5%, the lowest percentage iOS has captured since the iPhone 4s launched in 2011."
IPhones on the other hand...
Logically, an open file dialog should be read only since the task you're trying to achieve is just to open a file, not rename one. This means no accidents etc. And if you've ever seen my Mum open a file, you'll know accidents happen all the time ;)
This violates a concept at the core of basic GUI design called "The principle of least surprise".
I regularly want to do file operations when I open file dialogs, like noticing some garbage file I forgot to delete or wanting to rename things. Having to launch a separate Finder just to do that on Mac OS is a constant reminder how it's an operating system stuck in the early 2000s.
I would say the cluttering up of Windows Explorer is far worse though: it now features a giant useless blue bar (which you can't hide) at the bottom in addition to the statusbar (which is hidden by default), a list of directories on the left in addition to favourites and libraries (all to confuse users so they have no idea where anything is, you should see my mum trying to use it), left and right panes that no longer correspond for navigation (you can navigate with the keyboard in the left tree but the right pane doesn't follow it), a menubar BENEATH the toolbar, an additional toolbar for operations (why aren't these inside the other toolbar?). The list goes on! I know this is under Windows 7 and has likely changed in 8+ but post XP it has really gone downhill.
It was a variation of the highly customized key bindings you see lots of vi/emacs/terminal users create, often by those who deal with workflows that have a repetitive aspect, but not repetitive enough to automate. It just so happened these key bindings were all in the file dialog. Since these were primarily graphics artists who I found were the most vocal about these customizations, it totally made sense to me then why they wouldn't be living in emacs and customizing that instead. Mostly actions like "jump to this folder", "copy this filename", "search in this folder", "recursively search from this folder", "serialize these filenames", etc. Very edge case activities compared to mainstream GUI users, but it turned out immensely useful to this subset of users; literally saved them up to an hour per day, which added up really fast.
I sometimes wonder if they weren't onto an aspect of GUI development that seems to have languished in recent years. There used to be a sense in GUI design development of an incremental, iterative progressive disclosure of GUI features to accommodate neophyte to expert users alike, and slow down no one in that entire spectrum of operational expertise and/or desire to manage complexity. The Windows and Mac GUIs these days seem to be far more monolithic in how they treat the user spectrum (Windows a little less so, in that there is more room customization, but I don't really see a lot of users adopting the available customization software), and seem less layered and nuanced. I'm sure this reflects really well upon vendor support costs, but some days I wonder how we can bring to the mainstream GUI-oriented users the deep customization benefits that we programmers take for granted on our text-oriented tool suites.
At the same time, the KDE and Gnome environments allow this kind of customization (and then some), and they haven't really taken the mainstream GUI world by storm either, so I concede that this might easily just be a worse is better situation, and the kind of advanced GUIs we programmers think are cool are simply not practical for everyday users.
Most laptops are so low-end. Finding one that's decent is tough.
Nobody wants to relearn a UI just because MS wants to create a bridge into windows phone. The fact is the UI changes did not serve the average MS user, but served Mircrosoft's business ambitions.
Any feature that I care about in Windows 8(faster boot, better monitor support, and ah I don't even know of anything else I would care about) could have easily been put into Windows 7 without UI changes and everybody would have been happy. But instead they packaged up the good stuff with a big FU to the power users, who happened to have disproportionate influence on PC acquisition choices and it's not like it was just the power users that were completely flummoxed by the UI changes.
Windows PC hardware is fine, drivers are more difficult because there is so much more Win PC hardware out there, but in general I have very little difficulty supporting a multitude of windows hardware/drivers. I actually have a much more difficult time getting driver support in Linux, but for different reasons. Basically, drivers are not what is holding PC sales down, it is Windows 8. It's not just that many saw Windows 8 as a step or two backwards, but the big loss is that it also failed to bring Windows forward.
Yes I agree. But ultimately the OEM's produced a bunch of touch-screen laptops and needed an OS to make use of them. Windows 8 fit the bill.
My father-in-law actually resorted to running programs from the Program Files folder because he couldn't figure out the start menu!
> Windows PC hardware is fine, drivers are more difficult because there is so much more Win PC hardware out there, but in general I have very little difficulty supporting a multitude of windows hardware/drivers.
PC laptops are 95% crap. They have low-res screens, poor batteries, low memory, etc. It actually took me a long time to just find a laptop with decent specs at a good price in store and it was an Asus Zenbook Prime.
That HN topic about the trackpad driver was actually started because of a post I made here -- that exact issue was what I had with my laptop! I also had serious issues with the Intel wireless drivers causing blue screens (seems to be fixed now). The problem is the platform owner, Microsoft, isn't responsible for quality control. And even when they are, like with the Surface tablets, driver issues and problems still crop up.
So you have mostly cheap hardware, mostly cheap driver software, and Windows 8. No wonder the PC market isn't doing so well.
I think it is odd that OEMs released these touchscreen laptops in the first place! There wasn't any need driving them at all, nor even any "wants" for them. When's the last time they heard anyone say "This laptop's alright, but I REALLY need to reach out over the keyboard and put smudgy marks on my screen and get arm ache swiping left and right. I wish my laptop had a touchscreen!"
It is like they produced a solution to fit a non-existent problem.
10 finally is a sensible direction that allows them to do what they want with mobile and give the desktop users are familiar experience out of the box.
98% of the time when using Windows 8.1 (or 8 for that matter) on the desktop you're in familiar territory anyway. They screwed up, yes, but they will recover, and the way Apple is going with software I'm interested to see how much of the tables will turn in the next few years.
Could you expound on when that was? I remember their market share dipping as Android grew much faster, but I don't remember it every really looking like they'd disappear.
As to Macs, while their share has bumped up in recent years, its really just at the top of the historical range going back to the late 80s. (this of course depends what metric you look at and from whom but 7 to 13% seems to be the range). Can't count how many times I heard in the 2008 time frame that OSX/Apple would dominate all in the pc world in short order. Still waiting.
I've been following the IT world since like 1995, and I've never heard that being said or written once.
Can you point to some articles from 2008 that say that Apple will "dominate all in the pc world (with regard to Mac sales) in short order"?
What I did read multiple times was that "Apple is doomed" like 10 times a year ever since 1997 (the meme seems to have slowed sometime around last year).
That said, note how Apple DOES dominate "all in the pc world" in total revenue/profits when phones are taken into account (after all Microsoft and Google also produce phones).
And how Mac profit (not unit sales) DOES dominate "all in the pc world", or at least amounts to the profits of the top-5 rest desktop/laptop seller combined.
It's called vendor lock-in.
I wonder how that interacts with their iPad business (which isn’t even just stagnant, it’s shrinking). Maybe it’s one of the reasons why the iPad really didn’t do this well this quarter? Not that it really matters all that much, though, if the iPhone 6 Plus is eating (part) of the iPad pie. Better that than a competitor.
> Not that it really matters all that much, though, if the iPhone 6 Plus is eating (part) of the iPad pie
Certainly. Plus the iPhone 6+ is a $750+ device and it's competing with the $350+ iPad Mini. Add in the fact that iPhone users are incentivized (in the US at least) to replace their device every two years and that's probably much better than selling someone a $500 iPhone and losing the tablet sale to someone else.
Microsoft and Google will combine for $160x billion in sales this nearest fiscal year. The iPhone for the same fiscal year will generate approximately $150 to $170 billion depending on how the year goes.
Edit: What's with the stream of downvotes? What I said is accurate.
* Apple Watch is coming in April
* 39.9% gross margins
* 1 billion iOS devices sold since 2007
* 97% csat for iPhone as measured by Changewave
* Mac revenue was $6.9 billion
That's an insane stat. Assuming average cost of an iphone as 500$, and 70% profit margin for an iphone, Apple has made 350 billion in profits on selling iPhones since 2007!!
Any idea what would the equivalent figure in Android profits for Samsung be? Android crossed 1 billion devices sold in 2013, but my guess is the number is going to be much smaller.
In this day and age that's really unbelievable.
Edit: Obvious sarcasm is apparently not obvious enough.
Sure, more market share would be nice, but it's not necessary. If iPhone's are seen as a luxury item/ status symbol, then there's little advertising needed. Plus, Apple could still sell iPhone 4s and 5s to compete with lower end. (I think)
For example: the iPhone 4S, 5c and 5s are 17,500 and 23,000 37500 Indian Rupees respectively. Compare that to the Galaxy S4 at ~26000 grand 2 at 17000, galaxy note 3 at 34000.
Atleast in India, the last gen Apple phones seem to be priced competitively with the last gen Samsung phones. This is just comparing the lowest models, and not getting into the specs, ofcourse.
"74.5 million iPhones, 46% growth over last year. Unit sales up 44% in US, up 97% in BRIC countries. Sales doubled yoy in China, Brazil and Singapore."
"Performance of Greater China was particularly impressive with revenue up 70%."
Strangely, the MacBook Air is essentially a Netbook, just better made and not in the "race to the bottom" of both price and quality.
If that's not an example of the absolute failure of trickle-down economics, I don't know what is.
 Just keep in mind that "trickle-down economics" is a political philosophy, not an economic one: http://www.tsowell.com/images/Hoover%20Proof.pdf (footnote on page 2)
If they were forced to re-patriate and pay taxes on that cash, how could that not "help the poor"?
That would mostly benefit politicians and their beneficiaries, not exactly 'the poor'. Very little of the $$ spent by the government helps 'the poor', unless you're counting our severely underpaid military.
Do you have any idea what the aggregate size of transfer payments are in the US? Yes, you can point to inefficiencies all over the place, but it doesn't change the fact that there is a massive social net for the poor in the US.
Anyway, Apple does not have a giant vault filled with $160 billion just sitting there. That "cash" hoard is actually invested somewhere (probably numerous places) where it is doing some kind of work to provide a return, at a minimum to keep up with inflation.
If you'd like to wade into political waters, let's talk about the U.S. corporate tax system, which currently provides incentives for companies to keep international profits offshore. I would bet a significant portion of that $160 billion is outside the U.S.
The $160 billion is in easily liquidated assets (which is basically the same as cash for companies of this size), it's still being more or less useless economically.
This might come off as being a bit "waaah companies aren't allowed to be successful", but on a social responsibility level I don't get how you justify holding on to over $80 billion.
Obviously the US tax system also has things about it that contribute to this state of affairs. But even if the money could be brought back into the US tax-free , do you think Apple would be spending it? I don't know. Again, waaah Apple isn't allowed to be successful.
For example, here in Australia, Apple had $6 billion revenue and paid $80 million tax. Assuming the margins are at least as good as the US, the profit would be $2.4 billion, so Apple's actual tax rate in Australia is 3.4%. Compare that with the theoretical Australian corporate tax rate of 30%, which would put Apple's tax bill closer to $700 million.