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Apple

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correlation between the ability to program, the understanding of licenses and the ownership of Apple products

  • i.e. the more you understand programming and licenses the less likely you are to own an Apple product.
    • correlation thus on average, you always have specific situations (for example somebody developing for Apple consumers)
  • Apple products are innovative
    • they buy patents for anything innovative, they do not invent them internally
    • for every product, there was a predecessor
      • PC with GUI and mouse (Xerox PARC and SRI systems in the 1970s then MITS in 1975) by Apple in 1984
      • portable music player or Wikipedia:Digital audio player aka DAP, (Sony Walkman, first sold in 1979, digital music players from SaeHan, Diamond Multimedia, and Creative labs, sold in the late 1990s) by Apple in 2001
        • cf Chapter 5 of The Myths Of Innovation "One popular example is Apple Inc., well recognized as the innovative company behind the user-friendly Macintosh and the iPod digital music player. However, history shows that the first products of those types were made by others years earlier."
      • cf multi-touch started in 1982 according to Multi-Touch Systems that I Have Known and Loved by Bill Buxton, Microsoft Research 2007
      • cf min24 of Networks of Innovation by Andrew Hargadon, GSSS 2009, SFI 2009 in which he states that the U.S. Federal court claimed that "everything they made money on was not developed internally, was developed externally, was acquired, borrowed, bought, stolen."
      • 2002 HP TC1100 Tablet PC Is the iPad really that revolutionary? Mobility Site 2009
  • Apple products are simple and easy to use
    • yes, since you can not do anything complex like multitasking, it better be. The absence of bugs is also largely ignored by users. Faulty firmware (iPods), the requirements to upgrade no matter what (MacOsX), bricked devices (iPods, iPhones) and overall just software mistakes seems to be quickly forgotten while "simplicity and quality of design" never fails to be promoted, it does sounds like selective memory.
  • Apple products do not have virus
    • no, they have less virus than Windows based system simply because they are less popular, if you write malware you want to target a large user base
  • Apple makes brilliant communication
    • yes, that is entirely correct. That is in fact precisely why understand their communication, how they build their brand, how they generate buzz can be useful to be objective about the final product. If their actual business model revolves around building an idealistic image about a "style" or a "behavior" rather than a technological device then one should discard the emotion generated by the communication around the product but instead focus on the usage of the product itself.
  • Apple products are so coherent
    • There is a process on the iPhone called "jailbreaking". Jailbreaking allows you to install pretty much any software on "your" hardware, the one you bought, it also breaks the warranty though. Yes, it does mean that until you did so, you could not. If you are not a developer you can not imagine the numbers of hoops one has to jump through in order to provide you even the tiny tiniest application for your AppStore. Apple is, maybe commercially rightly, a control freak company. It does not necessarily means higher quality but it does mean total control. Control of the product you bought and how you will use it.
    • Wikipedia:Jailbreaking for iPhone OS
    • "when the time comes to upgrade the Macintosh computer" is the first example used in Chapter 5 Recognizing Lock-In of Information Rules
      • note also that "You are not born <<locked in;>> you only get locked in by virtue of choices you make. The next time around the cycle [Figure 5.1], the playing field will not be so level, however. " (p132 ibid)
  • I am not a developer, those remarks are irrelevant to me
  • Apple products let you be creative
    • I am a going to vomit a little bit in my mouth on this one, sorry. Please read the previous point on jailbreaking. How can anybody consider himself "free to create" if the person who sold you the brush also gave you a thick heavy rule book of how you are supposed to use it and had an army of lawyers ready to "correct" your ways if you break those rules?
    • imagine that so far you were using a lousy pen and I sold you a genuinely new ball bearing pen, this would give you a brand new area of exploration, you could draw things differently and in different situation. That's great for creativity, but now imagine that for reason of "coherence" or "safety" I demand you to submit all of your designs or writings so that I can check that you are not creating racist pamphlets or anything that I personally consider negative. Would you consider yourself free to create? Now imagine that for any reason I consider you broke that rule, I can take the pen back anytime. Wouldn't you weight the gained freedom from technical innovation versus the pressure of that rule?
      • if you do not understand why I elaborated that metaphor, please do check your contract with Apple now.
    • Steve Jobs’ response on Section 3.3.1, Tao Effect Blog April 2010
  • why are they so successful then if they are not that innovative, not that free, not that cheap?
    • because except an extreme niche of geeks and an even smaller niche of liberty conscious activists, most people buy technological goods with regard to the social impact that their buying act will have on their surrounding. Yes, modern gizmo are the equivalent of a Porsche in your pocket, that is why the selection criterion is not about the type of processor but rather the slick design of the device. It is actually rather rational since few extra Mhz will not change your habits a lot while having an owe look from a friend will, consequently the competitive advantage is moving toward perceived fashion sense instead of technological acumen.
    • Clayton Christensen actually describe this phenomenon in his book The Innovator's Dilemma
      • Principle #5 : Technology Supply May Not Equal Market Demand (p.xxiii)
  • everybody uses Apple products, it proves that they are the best
    • following that logic that also proves that Microsoft provides the best operating system
    • Wikipedia:Information cascade occurs when people observe the actions of others and then make the same choice that the others have made, independently of their own private information signals.
  • ok but my great friend who is always trendy and earns quite a bit of money by programming uses a Mac, it proves they are the best
    • your great friend might have the choice precisely because Apple is extending the control it has on software and hardware through restrictive license. This makes programming for Mac product extremely difficult without having a Mac product. For example you need to use a framework (like COCOA or ObjectiveC) or an emulator (to have a fake iPhone or iPad to test your products) and even if you somehow manage to get it working, without the support for the community that would require a tremendous amount of effort and will probably be in vain during the next version
      • note that this is not a portability issue since Apple knows perfectly how to make products for other platforms, e.g. iTunes, Safari or QuickTime, when they believe it is a solution to extend control.

See also

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