The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Is Apple Hoping Tomorrow Never Comes?
July 29, 2010, 6:03 am
Filed under: Comment

So over the last couple of years, I’ve been giving Apple [and Bazza] a bit of a hard time.

Whilst I appreciate they still make great products with great design … I feel their spirit of innovation has been blunted by their quest to squeeze out every last drop of possible profit from the iPod/Touch gravy train.

Yeah … yeah … I know I own pretty much all they churn out but for me, Apple are at their best when they create solutions to problems we didn’t even realise we had till they showed us.

Solutions that are solved through people centric means, rather than tech driven.

So whilst things like the ability to manage/control our digital music is definitely an idea with inherent value, a super-sized iTouch isn’t … mainly because it feels like a product in search of a purpose, which is very un-Apple.

Mind you, I accept I’m a bit strange because a while ago, a guy at Apple asked me what I thought was their best innovation of the last few years and I told him I thought it was the ‘magnetic power cord’ … but even then, I’d say more people can appreciate it’s purpose and value than something like the iPad.

I don’t blame Apple per se … they had years of losing countless millions when they tried to innovate and now, following the Japanese ethos of ‘perfecting’, they are bigger than their nemesis Microsoft however I do feel they need to come out with something genius not iPod/Touch related or they could be seen as becoming a one-trick pony.

Yeah … yeah … I know you think I’m talking shit, but whilst old bastards like me can remember products from the original Mac through to the Newton and pretty much everything inbetween, the younger generation are starting to view them as the iMac/iPhone manufactures and whilst that’s not too bad a position to be in, as tech evolves, they could find themselves being regarded as behind the curve rather than ahead of it and then all of Mr Jobs carefully amassed credits could be spent in an instant.

I can’t help that Apple – like Virgin – owe some of their success not just to their high-quality products/packaging but also to their competitors inability to get their act together … but despite that, I do think they are a very smart brand and one thing I saw at the new Apple Shanghai store demonstrated it. This:

Yep, it’s basically a small table with computers on it so not only can young kids feel ‘part’ of the Apple experience, they can start to play/learn/love them from an early age too.

Of course the other advantage is that any computer illiterate fool who walks in the store can stare at the 6 year old hacking into NASA and think they are so easy to use, they can buy one without looking an illiterate fool, regardless of the fact 6 year olds are more capable at computer stuff than a lot of people I know.

So whilst Apple may seem to be running parallel to the times rather than accelerating away from it, at least they are investing in the next generation of ‘fans’, even if by the time they can afford to buy their tech, there may be a China brand who has left Apple in the dust.

41 Comments so far
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Isn’t that Bazza’s desk?

Comment by John

I can’t and don’t want to say much, but to answer your question Robert, the response is no and the same goes to John.

Comment by Bazza

for a total apple upgrade ill beat the shit out of campbell and dodds for you baz.

i will hold back any further comment till i hear your approval but if you say no im going to come down on your ass in a tsunami of irrational bastardness.

and im good because i didnt even say what i could of said which doddsys wrong because that table is too big for you.

fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck.

off to get pissed, its been a shitwankfuckcockbastard of a day.

Comment by andy@cynic

I understand why you say this Robert and the production line of iPod based products seems to be endless but in other areas Apple continue to innovate, their Mac range for instance, it is just that the attention tends to be on their super mass market, high value ipod/pad/phone ranges.

I do agree that the innovation they are bringing to market are more about technical specification improvement than user centric function and feature but I think it’s unfair for you to say Steve Jobs is using up all his good will credits when I believe he’s still building value through new product developments despite the odd high profile lack of judgement.

PS) Baz did not pay me for this comment but if he would like to furnish me with some products, I would not say no.

Comment by Pete

you fucking grade a creeping bastard. if your strategy works there will be blood. oh fucking yes, there will be lots of blood.

not mine for any smart arses out there.

and if you strip back all your corporate toady fawning, youre basically agreeing with campbell that the beardy one is shoving out products with more spec improvement than useful user feature improvements so bang goes your fucking freebies in my favour.

baz knows it makes sense.

if he knows whats good for him.

Comment by andy@cynic

I don’t think I idid and yet I think I did. How does that happen?

Comment by Pete


Comment by andy@cynic

Let’s face it, anyone with a beard and a turtleneck isn’t too be trusted. Especially around young kids.

Comment by Billy Whizz

hell probably send some fucking cops round to bash in your door for that billy. good job you love somewhere where a bashed in door would actually add to the overall fucking ambience.

nice comment.

Comment by andy@cynic

It’s called street chic. Very fucking cool.

Comment by Billy Whizz

using the word chic within a 300kms radius to the shit hole you call home is marketing bluster at its best. if the advertising lark goes tits up your career as a realtor is guaranteed.

Comment by andy@cynic

Somebody recently wrote that Apple just produce slightly improved versions of their existing products at inflated prices. I thought that was wrong and said so.

The number of great and innovative products and services they’ve produced in the last decade is arguably unparalleled. Just because they’re not doing that in every range in every year doesn’t mean they’ve lost the plot.

Comment by John

you still wont get any fucking freebie from baz you know. hes as fucking generous as he is tall.

did campbell write that article? bet the fucker did and yet he owns every fucking apple thing they do. hypocritical fuck.

Comment by andy@cynic

Reading his blog is quite enough for me – why would I seek out more punishment?

Comment by John

Seems Pete wants to move from the company that does no evil to the company that makes the same product with different names. 🙂

Billy, your comment made me laugh at loud. Congratulations, makes a change from me laughing at you.

Comment by Rob

Apple is turning into the Sergei Bubka of the computer industry?
You may be right, but like Bubka, they have no competition that would make faster innovation necessary and hinder them getting on the gravy train.
I don’t mind as long as they don’t become Microsoft 2.0.

Comment by Jonathan

As I wrote here: … I think they’re already heading that way. I hope they come to their senses before it’s too late.

Comment by Rob

disclaimer: ii was indoctrinated into the order of macintosh at 9 years old. as an adult have only owned macs and tonight i have a date a the genius bar. i don’t want bazza to send me stuff.

firstly, i think the only difference between what apple do now and what they did in the 80s is they embrace the Spectacle. there have always been regular, incremental upgrades to their products II, II+, IIe, IIc, IIgs, mac, mac+, etc : but there was just no ‘keynote’ that we could all masturbate over.

which of course means that their public/comms ethos is full of hubris now and open to criticism – they have set themselves up that way – but in terms of actual innovation, i actually think they’re pretty true to form.

oh, and capturing kids has always been a massive part of apple’s shtick. every classroom had access to at least one apple when i was a kid, and as a teenager we learned LOGO on a stack of classics because there was a clear schools program, that donated and sponsored school purchases – how else do you think we got brainwashed? 😀

Comment by lauren

iPhones make people lonely.

Comment by Marcus

100%. Agree

Comment by Bhaskar

What’s Apple’s purpose? Tools for creative minds? Simple/human experiences design cool?
Do they know? Because I don’t (nor does TBWA)

Comment by northern

Comment by Marcus

Lovely post Marcus – very true too.

As for Apple’s purpose, well put it this way – TBWA have a more articulated one, though they just say it which is just as bad. Sadly I think Apple’s purpose is profit maximisation whereas once it was to show the World that everyone was creative or to push our creative limits. Not sure, I’ll ask Baz what the Apple Kool-Aid made him think.

Comment by Rob

The main problem for me with Apple is the growing perception of arrogance from the company, demonstrated perfectly by Steve Jobs telling people they were holding the iPhone4 they just saved up for, queued in the rain and got stupendously excited over wrong.

Pointless updates and super super premium plus pricing are one thing, arrogance is another…

Comment by Rob Mortimer

As I said, they’re becoming more like Microsoft than Microsoft.

And funnily enough, all this happened when Baz went there.


Comment by Rob

Owning an apple always felt aspirational, as if you were creative and thoughtful. It’s starting to become a herd, a feeling that you SHOULD buy apple, which is exactly what makes me doubt I do.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

The amazing thing with Apple is that it can be a mass, mass, mass product and yet still maintain it’s “aspirational” value.

Hence the rise of massperation.

I’ll go and sit on the bad planner slang step now.

Comment by Rob

I’m not sure it can though. iPod could, iPhone maybe…but it’s dragging the apple brand too far towards mass market.

iPhone was the first time I have ever said I didn’t want an apple product because everyone else had them…

Comment by Rob Mortimer

They peaked at IIc.

Comment by Chris

What with G now making it possible for everybody to make apps, Apple i think has spotted somthing that is quite humbling. Technology is moving faster then we can keep up with (tomorrow is coming to fast). Other parts of our lives might not, but tech/software (where Apple makes their money) is.

So instead of the avant garde, or trendy, they are trying to position themselves along the lines of Vuitton or Chanel or Nike Jordans. Timeless and impecable in their chosen field. Hardware and interface. Like the recent Flipboard app proves. Could Apple have made that? Perhaps? But it enabled it to be made, by their hardware being there.

Those who control the hardware have all the power. Share the glory, and attract the new Jacobs or Lagerfeld to keep them relevant in their chosen customer segments.

Comment by niko

It’s not always those who control the hardware that have the power … but when a certain scale is reached, it becomes more influential.

Just trying to keep you real. 😉

Comment by Rob

were you aware that those kids chairs/italian premium bean bags is several hundred dollars each? its more expensive than an ipad if im not mistaken. how can this be?

ive seen something on tv a few days ago where they showed a young woman walking through a chines ikea to get inspiration and then ordered ikea inspired items online.

a chair, for example, is certainly easier to reinvent than a piece of tech. well, as long as no one knows all the details of production etc.

Comment by peggy

those kids chairs are probably made in italy.

the copy/adaption/similiar item is easily affordable for the middle class, unlike the original.

long live cost reduction and technology transfer.

Comment by peggy

i have an insightful comment to make.

who the fuck cares.

the end.

Comment by andy@cynic

if you took some of that anger and directed it towards me, that be appreciated.. for non obvious reasons, but still..

Comment by niko

spill my pint and i will you fucking weirdo.

Comment by andy@cynic

the big issue is whether campbell is going to have to sing some shit smiths song tomorrow because he hasnt written up the planning school judging.

my guess? get the big fucking ear plugs out.

Comment by andy@cynic

Rob – if you haven’t got an iPad yet I would suggest it would be time to overcome any cynicism (hard I know) and get in there. In a week its increased the amount I’m reading by about 500%. I thought it was going to be a waste of space but it knocks the Kindle hardware for six and does for the printed word what the iPod did for music.

Having said that you are totally right about their exploitative tendencies. The pricing of their books versus what you can buy from the Kindle store is a joke. Blatant profiteering. Makes me mad that they treat the whole digital content revolution as really about making huge margins for Apple rather than passing on the benefits to the customer in return for a fair profit.

This results in simple equation – I buy Apple hardware, but the five books and various magazines I’ve bought so far I’ve gone to non-Apple suppliers for.

I think all of us have a weird combination of love/hate for Apple right now.

Comment by peteh

in completely unrelated news, i bloody love that your moniker is ‘peteh’. i know it’s all about your surname, but it’s so teh radness/lolcats coincidental awesome.

Comment by lauren

Hi Pete – how the hell are you?

As Andy said, I have a ridiculous amount of tech, I’m an the early adopters early adopter – and I can say that interms of reading, I still prefer the tactile and aromatic element of paper which is why apart from maybe some magazines, my appetite for the written word still gets satisfied predominantly by ‘old tech’ rather than the new … but then I still like buying DVD’s and CD’ [real ones, not even bloody fakes, which is a pain given I could buy them for about 40 pence each here] mainly because to me the physical element of the product contributes to my enjoyment as well as the experience of hearing/reading/watching/playing it.

So basically I’ve just admitted I’m weird and god forbid anyone else is like me.

Comment by Rob

campbell has everyfuckingthing apple make. then he has everyfuckingthing every tech company makes. hes a sad fuck so dont encourage him anymore peteh.

Comment by andy@cynic

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