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May 03, 2017

Comments

Winter

@Wayne Brady
"ARM was started by Apple"

ARM started as the Acorn Risk Machine, a "hobby" personal computer from the 1980s in the UK. I have no memmory of any involvement of Apple at the time.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARM_architecture

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Everybody

haha, 102 comments already - and you guys have behaved quite nicely too. Pretty interesting thread to read... pls keep it up :-)

A few thoughts that spring to mind. The lustre coming off the Apple brand? Yeah, am seeing some of that too. It won't stop the die-hards from buying another Apple product but ... that passion that used to drive Apple superfans to try to get everybody else to use Apple stuff... THAT is now vanishing. And that WILL hurt on the edges, that may already now be part of the reason Apple stopped growing in all its main product lines. Then for Apple revenues (and profits, after 100 messages, I guess its ok for you guys to talk profits too - within reason, no stock market speculation, ok?) - they seem to be turning to more-and-more milking the loyal fans for more of their cash - Apple Watch arguably the most blatant step.

I don't see Apple in trouble because of this (not on a cliff haha) but it means they will have a darned hard time trying to turn this around. What if in 2-3 years Huawei climbs ahead of Apple in smartphones? Then it could even become a slow glide to obscurity, and no amount of cash stashed away, can prevent that (while it could prolong the illusion of everything being ok).

What Apple really SHOULD do is let Tim Cook step aside and give a more capable and very customer-satisfaction-focused leader take over. Someone who will live and breathe the total commitment to things working perfectly, even at the choice of sometimes running this seriously delayed from expections, but to ensure the final end-result will have all Apple users drooling for that latest iWhatever

(oh, and a small small small quibble but this is again Tim Cook mistakes - why not iWatch? why Apple Watch? Isn't it time to get back to a Steve-Jobsish naming regime and next iToys to be proudly Apple iSomethings.)

Now, Tim Cook is no Steve Ballmer and he is certainly a reasonably competent boss who was gifted the most successful company in human history to run. Even a trained monkey could keep Apple doing well for a little while haha. And I seriously don't mean Cook is quite as bad as a trained monkey. BUT he is NOT delivering on the passion and love that Apple's return was built on. What Steve Jobs taught the company to do well.

On hoarding cash - that is DUMB management. Even if you park it off-shore for tax reasons - then gosh, figure out a STRATEGY and BUY something or invest it in something. It is good to have a nice safe cash hoard but not the size of the national GDP of some smaller countries haha...

Finally on innovation, no I think Apple is very innovation-averse. They let others go try out almost any tech and wait to see, will it be worth doing on an Apple product, and very very reluctantly, almost after YEARS of customers pleading for that given tech or ability, will Apple do it, and then in proprietary ways, often crippled or limited ways.

Apple is good at marketing (such as coming up with a term like 'retina display' for a sharper screen, while the move from original iPhone resolution to sharper screens - was that also just 'me too' copying the leaders at the time - Nokia did supersharp screen resolutions on flagship smartphones years before). So Apple benefits from an illusion of innovation. The real innovations they've done are very few and very far inbetween. That said, its a profitable way to run its business - because of the loyalty of the fans. As the users are locked to Apple's system, they can be made to wait. And they will do that - for years.

All this means, that Apple is a ship that has several small holes under the waterline, that it needs now to pump water out. Its not sinking, but it has taken a lot of those items of damage that it didn't need to do - and which make it harder for Apple to return to astonishing growth rates. Or even just super-enthusiastic fans.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

ReadandLearn

"What was innovative is when AMD took the existing x86 design and added 64 bit support to it"

Ok so in that case when Apple made the first 64-bit ARM based processor that too was innovation?
The answer is no. Both are not innovation, because innovation is not defined like that and ARM did not copy AMD.

ARM has nothing to do with x86 and their 64 bit extension. ARM is RISC and Intel/AMD is CISC based. That is the basic differentiation. Nowadays ARM also includes longer introduction sets, but no ARM did not copy AMD. It is only logical that the development of the processors went from 8 to 16 to 32 to 64 and the next is going to be 128 at some stage. 64 will take us long ways, but it also will go away some day. Getting a "bigger house is not innovation".

When Apple, Acorn and VLSI started the ARM and created that processor platform that was innovation in many ways. First what you can think of is that the ARM designs the processors, they do not make them, they licensence their designs to other companies who then "print" them out.

Apple sold their stake of the ARM after they garanteed patent sharing and licensensing agreements. (Steve Jobs needed the money to save the Apple.) You have to remember that these 3 (Apple, Acorn and VLSI) all but things (patents etc..) in to ARM plus Apple invested huge pile of cash in to it. Without Apple ARM would not exist. ARM was the vision of the future and that vision has been very, very succesful. ARM is the most succesfull platform in the processor world.

ReadandLearn

"The acronym ARM was first used in 1983 and originally stood for "Acorn RISC Machine"."

"The company was founded in November 1990 as Advanced RISC Machines Ltd and structured as a joint venture between Acorn Computers, Apple Computer (now Apple Inc.) and VLSI Technology."

"Finally on innovation, no I think Apple is very innovation-averse. They let others go try out almost any tech and wait to see, will it be worth doing on an Apple product, and very very reluctantly, almost after YEARS of customers pleading for that given tech or ability, will Apple do it, and then in proprietary ways, often crippled or limited ways."

Nope. Apple do things very pedantly. They do not rush products to the market. They will define their products as long as they need and so long that they are happy with it. When the first rumours about Apple Watch started to circulate everybody rushed to make their own and suddenly market was filled with crappy not so smart watches just so that they could say being first in the market before Apple. Apple did what they needed and when they were ready they indroduced the Apple Watch and rest is history. Apple Watch adoption rate is faster than iPods, iPads and iPhones. They are now biggest watch manufacturer in the world before Rolex. Future is very promising for this particular product.

Proprietary thing is depatable. Lets take an example.. USB vs. Lightning. People who do not know are arguing against Lighning that it is proprietary and Apple should not use it that they should use USB instead. I have a news flash for you. USB is also proprietary. It is owned by Intel and they sell licenses of that to other companies. Guess what. Lighning is also proprietary owned by Apple and Apple also sells licenses of that to other companies. Why do not other companies start using lightning instead of that crappy micro-USB-connector that is easy to brake? They can buy the license from Apple like hundreds of other companies do who do iPhone and iPad compatible products.

Apple has many open source projects. Most famous is the WebKit that changed the world and crashed Internet Explorers domination. Now we have huge things like HealthKit and ResearchKit to mention few.

Winter

@Readandlearn
"Apple has many open source projects. Most famous is the WebKit that changed the world and crashed Internet Explorers domination."

Not quite all of the story, and a little disingenuous. Webkit was started life within KDE as KTHML and KJS. Apple came on bord only later.

http://web.appstorm.net/general/opinion/the-history-of-webkit/

Tester

Par for course I'd say. Apple jumps on some bandwagon and the iSheep claim that Apple invented the thing.

Wayne Borean


ROFL. Folks, before you jump in, go and read Apple's most recent annual filing with the American Securities and Exchange Commission.

Winter

@Wayne Borean
"Apple's most recent annual filing with the American Securities and Exchange Commission."

I am not used to read such filings and have no idea what I have to look for. Could you please be more precise?

Bree Van de Kamp

@Wayne & Oother

Please read Tomi comment, you emberasing yourself!! You confusing a trained monkey with a super hero. Please remember, the Apple Messiah has put Apple on autopilot, that even the train monkey can fly it for another 20 year.

Tester

@Wayne Brady:

Yes, Apple was late with smartphones. But here's the crucial difference between 2007 and now:

In 2007 the iPhone was far and away the best thing in terms of usability, it simply left everything else in the dust. And that single stroke of genius is what's still driving Apple's business.

I cannot say that Apple did something similar with other technologies they adopted - in nearly all cases it wasn't 'Yes, sure - but let this one shine', it nearly always has been 'yes, but...' with some caveats being added for dubious reasons, the best example being NFC being blocked for anything but ApplePay (and with ApplePay being a nearly US-exclusive curiosity meaning it's useless for most users)

The same strange thing nearly always happens when Apple supports some open standards. Nearly every time the 'open' part of the standard is lost.

So why is this a problem? In the beginning it was cool to own an iPhone because it clearly was a superior product compared to the shitty competition. Today, Apple is mostly seen as a company that has perfected their products to milk their loyal customers. That's not fashionable. Worse, users that willingly subject themselves to such a business are increasingly seen as an oddity, the term iSheep just being the tip of the iceberg.

And with Apple being a fashion brand I have no idea when some people decide that in order to be fashionable you shouldn't use Apple, but something else. The only thing I am certain about is that this will happen a few years down the road, if Apple does not change. An iPhone that actually would EMBRACE new tech instead of grudgingly and half-heartedly supporting them years after the competition would go a long way to achieve that.

Same for Macs. I think a decently priced Mac that is aimed at power users, i.e. it has easily replaceable components, comes with a good graphics card and an operating system that's not locked down to Apple-approved technologies alone would give a huge boost.
There was a time when OSX was far easier to develop for, when its APIs were using established standards that were reasonable up to date. But over the last years, it has gradually moved towards the same locked-down model that iOS is using. And it looks like this is costing Apple the power user segment (i.e. not the iSheep but those which valued Macs for their robustness and reliability) - slowly but steadily.

ReadandLearn

"Please read Tomi comment, you emberasing yourself!! You confusing a trained monkey with a super hero. Please remember, the Apple Messiah has put Apple on autopilot, that even the train monkey can fly it for another 20 year.
Posted by: Bree Van de Kamp | May 16, 2017 at 08:51 AM"

Do not emparras yourself. Tim Cook is the best CEO in the human history and he was before that he was the best COO in the world. He knows Apple better than anybody in the world. He created the well oiled machine that Apple is. There is nobody to better to replace him. It is fortunate that a untrained monkeys can not see this.

Winter

"Tim Cook is the best CEO in the human history and he was before that he was the best COO in the world."

Now we are wondering whether this hagiography was serious or sarcastic.

Tester

Seeing that ReadandLearn appears to be a corporate shill, it's quite revealing why Apple is developing problems if they put their boss on such an inappropriate pedestal.

The moment where business decisions are not being questioned anymore, but taken as sacrosanct, it normally means the beginning of the end.

Remember: It took 14 years for the shit to hit the fan for Steve Ballmer and Microsoft will probably never fully recover from his mistakes.

paul

@Wayne

> Cheap, cheaper and cheapest are what Android is all about.

That is GOOD! Expensive is bad!

> There is a market for people who want quality, ease of use, support, design and a broad ecosystem. Apple has it and Apple owns that market.

Apple's worldwide market share soon will be under 10%. That will be fun to watch!

> Macs, iPods, iPhones - a history showing Apple KNOWS how to compete without joining the commodization frenzy.

Exactly, Macs, iPods and iPhones are history and Android is the future!

ReadandLearn

"Now we are wondering whether this hagiography was serious or sarcastic."

Show me a better CEO than Tim Cook.
FYI there is none.

Winter

"Show me a better CEO than Tim Cook.
FYI there is none."

Jeff Bezos? And any number of others.

A great CEO grows a company where it is not yet big and dominating. Cook has not yet been able to do that as a CEO.

Tester

All Cook has managed so far is ensure that Apple's current profit stream does not die off.
That's not the sign of a great CEO but what people would expect as a given from any competent manager.
But where's his vision - aside from earning more money - and more - and more - and more...?
He has done little to branch out into other business areas - instead Apple depends more and more on one single product. That's dangerous ground. Any development that disturbs this product's profitability will hit Apple hard.

Bree Van de Kamp

@ReadandLearn

"Show me a better CEO than Tim Cook.
FYI there is none."

You're asking who's better than a trained monkey? How's about the one who turn a dead circus into money making circus, owned the circus, train the monkey, and set the SOP so the circus will survive after his death?

That's beside, Bill Gates, Sundar Pichai, Elon Musk, Larry Page, and thousands other CEO that really build the empire, not just being trained monkey on autopilot and pretending to be the master of everything.

Kai Opaka

@readandlearn

"It is fortunate that a untrained monkeys can not see this."

I don't expect an untrained monkey like you to understand the different betwen good ceo & good manager.

ReadandLearn

"Tim Cook arrived at Apple in 1998 from Compaq Computer. He was a 16-year computer-industry veteran—he'd worked for IBM (IBM, +1.43%) for 12 of those years—with a mandate to clean up the atrocious state of Apple's manufacturing, distribution, and supply apparatus. One day back then, he convened a meeting with his team, and the discussion turned to a particular problem in Asia. "This is really bad," Cook told the group. "Someone should be in China driving this." Thirty minutes into that meeting Cook looked at Sabih Khan, a key operations executive, and abruptly asked, without a trace of emotion, "Why are you still here?" Khan, who remains one of Cook's top lieutenants to this day, immediately stood up, drove to San Francisco International Airport, and, without a change of clothes, booked a flight to China with no return date, according to people familiar with the episode. The story is vintage Cook: demanding and unemotional."

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