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Monday, 16 March 2015

The problem with Apple



This is one of two threads based on the feud between Samsung fans as well as Apple fans. Note that I am going to give the positives as well as the negatives of both companies. I used to own an iPod as well as an iPhone 3G and went to the Samsung Galaxy line so be advised I do know the difference. I am currently typing this on a MacBook Pro and I will be mainly targeting the mobile division of both companies and not the computer division. Please comment with your opinions and feedback. Lets not make this a fanboy battle please.

Apple MacBook Air MJVG2LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop (256 GB) NEWEST VERSION

Apple MacBook Air MJVG2LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop

Apple

-In 2007 Apple released a phone that changed the mobile marketplace forever. It created the iPhone. A phone capable of playing music, playing movies, texting, browsing the web, taking photos, recording videos, and having a shared music/movie database via itunes all in one device. Tech companies saw this as a calling for a new brand of phone labeled the smartphone.

-Apple was the leading brand for the next years to come. Then in 2010 Apple changed the game again by releasing a 10" (9.7") tablet known as the iPad. Apple once again opened a whole new market in the mobile world. 2010 was also the birth of the iPhone 4 a great durable evolution over it's previous 3G and 3GS models.

-Despite these amazing devices, Apple began to show it's true colors. Within a few months of each initial release it began to release a slightly different model with one or two additional features labeled the 'S' line. It did it with it's 3GS and as well as a 4S model. Apple began to release products quicker with no form of innovation. The iPhone 5 was basically a slightly longer device with a smaller screen and 6 rows of icons.

-Apple then began to sue major companies claiming they were stealing it's designs (Rounded Corners, a Home button, rubber banding feature.....etc.) Samsung became it's main target.


My opinion on Apple vs Samsung.

The original Samsung Galaxy S (Vibrant, Fascinate, Epic 4G, Captivate) were exact replicas of the iPhone 3G. I owned an iPhone 3G and a Galaxy S (Vibrant) and they looked identical. I agree with Apple suing Samsung for that particular device. Apple became greedy and wanted to ban the Galaxy S II, Galaxy Tab, Galaxy Nexus, and so on...

Apple claimed they invented everything and wanted to ban the competition. This is where Apple is wrong. THEY DID NOT INVENT EVERYTHING

Tablets

-The first idea of a Tablet was first introduced in the 1968 film: 2001: A Space Odyssey. It was called the NewsPad. There were concepts after of artists were drew and thought out the full functionality of a Tablet PC. Apple in 1993 took this idea and ran with it to try and develop a full commercial tablet which went mainstream in 2010 with the iPad. Intel created a tablet in 1999 called the 'Intel Web Tablet'.

Portable Music Players

-The first digital music player to be mass produced was the “MPMan” player by South Korean company Saehan Information Systems. It became available in April 1998, but it could only hold about six songs. Several other companies subsequently introduced digital music devices, including Diamond, Compaq, Creative, and more. Apple’s first-generation iPod didn’t come along until 2001.

iPhone

-Did you know that the Motorola ROKR and SLVR were the first two phones to ever incorporate iTunes into a cellphone? Apple saw the success of this and thus began to create their own mobile devices capable of making calls and playing MP3s dubbed the iPhone.


So to sum this all up. Apple took a bunch of ideas and blended it together to make great stylish products. Big deal. Bartenders and Chefs have been mixing ingredients together for decades to make great products. So this thread is to explain the real side of Apple and to not let them sway you from the truth. Apple copies just like every other company. If you don't think Apple copies why don't you as Xerox? Say tuned because I will be posting my Samsung thread as well.

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To preface, I will admit that I'm probably well within the bounds of an "Apple fanboy". I have several Apple products: an iPhone 4, an iPad 2 with a cracked screen that I keep around because its not worth much with a cracked screen (still works perfectly otherwise), an iPad Mini to serve as my good iPad, an old Macbook that I use to write with, and an iMac that I use as my workhorse computer.

I love Apple's design, simplicity and workflow/cohesion of device and ecosystem. I think their products are the nicest looking and feeling products to hold, touch, look at and use. They just feel the most high quality. Sure, this may be a rather superficial reason for preferring Apple above all others, but I think it's important. How you feel about a product, especially a piece of technology, counts in how much it pleases you. The function of Apple products is nothing to sneeze at either, so the whole package of form and function is what, to me, keeps me coming back to Apple products.

I've looked at Samsung's line many times. My brother just got a Galaxy S4, and it's a nice phone. I do like the bigger screen (I wish Apple would hurry up with bigger screen options... Reportedly, it will be coming next year with the iPhone 6). And sure, it has more features... I've never been convinced by this argument for Android, though. More features isn't automatically better, if those features aren't necessary. Take the touchless gestures, for example. My brother doesn't even use that. It's sold as such a handy feature and I've seen Samsung fans tout it as being something that Samsung is better than Apple for, because iPhone don't have that! It's an annoying, pointless feature. Oh, you can hover your hand a couple inches above the screen instead of taking that exruciating extra effort it takes to just... Y'know, touch the screen. It just raises the liklihood of accidentally doing something on the device that you didn't mean to. Touch screens already have a high risk of that. Please don't add touchless controls to make it worse. I'm good without that.

And that's really the difference I see between Android and iOS. Whereas the hoard of Android devices are desperately throwing feature after feature out there to see what sticks in the hopes of drawing people away from Apple... Apple is content to just stick with what they are sure will work and be sufficient. And more often than not, they're right. There's nothing all that important that you can do with an Android device that an iOS device can't do, one way or another.

Samsung products are great and all. Not saying nobody should be happy with them (which is all that anti-Apple people do to Apple users). They're well-reviewed and customer satsifaction is apparently even surpassing Apple now. Good for them.

I still like Apple better. Again, it's the simpicity and quality of the design. iOS 7 has worked perfectly for me since day one, and it's a massive improvement over the old design. Very beautiful, smooth and some much needed features like Control Center were a relief. And it'll only get better.
Apple Maps works perfectly fine for me. Even when it first came out, I never had any real problems with it. I know alot of people did and that's unfortunate. But I knew it would get better. It has. iOS 7 made it look and feel even more smooth and beautiful. Flyover is amazing. Absolutely love it. I've barely touched Google Maps in the last year. So while I understand SOME of the hysteria at the beginning, I believe that's completely irrelevent now. It's just as good as, if not better than, Google Maps now. I don't take transit very often, so I'm not affected by the lack of transit function in it, but that is reportedly coming soon. Like I said, you have to know that it will get better. Building a system as complicated as an interactive, featured world map is a process. Google took about ten years to get to where they are now. Give Apple at least a couple.


As for the "Apple didn't invent that!" argument...

So to sum this all up. Apple took a bunch of ideas and blended it together to make great stylish products. Big deal.


1) This is a strange argument for you to make in an Apple vs Samsung comparison. Did Samsung do anything more impressive in basically capitalizing on the smartphone revolution by copying Apple and then adding and improving from there? No. What Apple has done in this arena is way more than what Samsung has done, so Apple wins in this fight hands-down. No debate whatsoever. Anybody who thinks ot tries to argue otherwise is stretching pathetically. So the topic of invention/innovation has no place in this argument unless it's to give Apple the edge.

2) Yes, it IS a "big deal" to make the first most successful version of a product. An invention is worthless if it doesn't ever go anywhere. If the light bulb had been invented and then just spread to a few people and never saw any huge success, then it wouldn't be very noteworthy, would it? Success matters in determining what is an impressive invention. How well it work matters. If the light bulb just shone for a few seconds and never became functional enough to actually be useful to everybody, then again, it wouldn't have been the revolutionary invention it was.

There's a reason the iPhone was the phone that changed everything and nothing that came before it did the same. It was because it was a revolutionary product. A single product that combined the best of everything at the time, added some new things, polished it all up and made it marketable, and successful. That act, in and of itself, is more important than the sum of its parts. If Apple hadn't done that, then the "smartphone" most likely would have remained a niche business item. At least, until somebody else did something similar. And it's true that if Apple hadn't done it, then someone else might have. But Apple's the one who did do it, and that's all that matters.

You can't argue with results. Apple got results.

3) Sadly, I can't argue against the notion that Apple's time may be passing, if it hasn't already passed. Steve Jobs WAS Apple. Without him, they've been a ship without a rudder. Aside from the fact that I love the iPad Mini, and apparently Steve Jobs would never have had it... I miss Steve Jobs' Apple.

To me, this is exemplified perfectly with the growing smartwatch market. Apple is trailing miserably here. The iWatch is reportedly coming... But it's gonna be too late. All the other companies are already releasing them. The Pebble, the new Samsung watch, etc... I believe that if Steve Jobs were still alive, the iWatch would have already been released. And here's why:

The 3 year rule.

During Steve Jobs reign after he returned to Apple in the 90s, he seemed to realize that a revolutionary product had to come out every three years to keep people's attention. That was the pattern:

1998: iMac
2001: iPod
2004: iPod Mini (not just an update, it was a completely re-packaged, re-directed product that opened the iPod up to the young crowd)
2007: iPhone
2010: iPad

So if we follow this pattern, what would the optimum year have been for the iWatch? 2013.
They would have beaten Samsung to the punch and come out right at the time when the smartwatch market is opening up, but still under the radar. Now that Samsung's releasing one, it's on the radar. The Pebble wasn't very widely known. If the iWatch had been released this year, and had the Steve Jobs touch of combining everything, adding some new things and polishing it all up into a highly usable, stylish product... It would have blown people away once again. Unfortunately, I think that window is quickly passing Apple by. Now when they finally release it, it'll ACTUALLY be what anti-Apple critics SAY past Apple products were: just a polished imitation. Sure, it'll still be massively successful, no doubt. But it won't have the "didn't even know you wanted it until it arrived" impact that the iPod, iPhone and iPad had. It'll be a "Oh, they finally released a smartwatch" deal. Can't help but feel this wouldn't have happened under Steve Jobs.


Apple certainly has its downsides. It's a stubbornly independent system. Whereas Samsung and Android in general is more open and democratic, Apple is a bit of a top-down system where you have to either take it or leave it. There's a lot of little things that are frustrating about it. The simplicity can sometimes be hindering.
But all in all, it's worth it for me. They're beautiful products that really do work well. I've considered switching to a Galaxy phone before, but I just can't bring myself to do it. I like the Apple ecosystem too much. I love the design. I love how it's still number 1 for apps. It just works for me.

Maybe one day I'll make the switch and discover what all the fuss is about. But right now, I'm not convinced that Apple isn't all its cracked up to be, because it is. If Samsung is better, then okay. That doesn't make Apple bad. It doesn't mean anybody who chooses Apple is wrong, or missing out, or brainwashed or whatever the Apple haters want to make us out to be. It just means we're happy where we are.


Edit:
About the patent war issue:

If it were me running Apple, I wouldn't care about fighting for patent rights. Apple is still doing just fine, even with the competition. They still have the devoted fanbase, they still make abundant profits... I wouldn't care to get involved in ugly lawsuits.

That being said... Come on. Apple did file the patents. Steve Jobs did say they would protect them. And Samsung and other companies still blatantly stole the ideas and even the designs. It's one of the most blatant infringements in history, that I know of. Apple did invent the smartphone as we know it today. They did gets the patents for it. They are winning the cases because they deserve to.

I personally wish patents weren't a thing. I believe if you create something and put it out into the world, it's only natural that it'll be duplicated if it's a worthy product. You should take it as a compliment to your ingenuity for having made such an impact on the world.

But the reality is that patents do exist, Apple is the one who patented these designs and technologies, and they're pursuing what is legally promised to them with those patents. How is it that you can fault them for protecting the patents that they got for being the first ones to design the technologies in question and then file for the patents specifically to be able to protect those designs and then doing exactly what patents for supposed to be user for... But you don't fault Samsung for stealing the designs? Why? Because you like that Samsung has those stolen designs for you to use and otherwise you'd have to use Apple products to get them? Would you feel the same way if the tables were turned and Samsung were suing Apple for stolen designs? Something tells me that that's when you'd be criticizing stolen designs instead. It's always seemed to me that people will find any reason to criticize Apple. People love to criticize the one that's on top. Even when they're not entirely on top anymore...

It's especially rich for you to criticize Apple for having to protect their designs from being stolen, but then in the same breath say that Apple doesn't really innovate or invent. Yet you're happy to use Samsung products which have ideas stolen from Apple... On a device that was completely an offshoot of the iPhone... You're over-flowing with hypocrisy here.

And I used to be such a nice guy.

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