Is Apple Really Failing?

pic

Apple has “stumbled lately.” That’s the overwhelming consensus coming from the press, blogosphere and Wall Street recently.

Demand for the iPad and iPhone is dropping, we’re told, and Apple isn’t doing interesting or exciting things anymore.

Here’s what’s going on. 

Big iPad, Small Demand; Small iPad, Big Demand

Reuters says Sharp, which is one of the companies making displays for iPads, has slowed production, possibly because of a reduced demand for iPads. Demand in the 4th quarter was weaker than expected, according to a Chinese market research company called TrendForce.

If falling demand for the iPad is real, it’s being blamed on two factors. The first is — finally — competition from the Android world. In Japan, for example, Google’s Nexus 7 is selling better than the iPad.

The second is that the iPad Mini is “cannibalizing” iPad sales or, in the words of one writer, has “killed off” the iPad.

The iPad Mini is selling far above demand, and that high demand delayed the Chinese launch of the product by two weeks, according to reports.

The Boring iPhone Can’t Keep Up With Exciting Market

The problem, some say, is that Apple screwed up and overestimated demand. It could also be that Apple is cutting demand artificially to prepare for a new iPhone 5S.

Others say the drop in iPhone demand is illusory, that if you look at all the data, there may be a tiny drop in demand, but nothing drastic.

Senior ABI Research analyst Michael Morgan wrote this week that “barring an unlikely collapse in Samsung’s business, even Apple will be chasing Samsung’s technology, software and device leadership in 2013 through the foreseeable future.”

A consensus has formed that the iPhone has peaked, jumped the shark and turned a corner. Some predict that half of all global smartphone shipments will come from Samsung.

Others have an alternative reason for the iPhone’s coming market share decline, which is the rise of cheap Chinese-branded Android phones, which are already hammering Apple and Samsung sales inside China, and now threaten to go after markets in the US, Europe, Asia and Africa.

Lenovo, of all companies, is beating Apple for market share in China with 14.8% of the Chinese smartphone market. (Apple has 6.9% and Samsung has 16.7%.

A more distant threat comes from operating systems other than iOS and Android (and beyond Windows Phone 8 and BlackBerry 10.)

Samsung and Intel are supporting a platform called Tizen, which is based on MeeGo and made by the Mozilla Foundation, which is best known for making the Firefox browser).

Ubuntu Linux has created an operating system designed for smartphones as well.

Some say that HP plans to revive the webOS.

Some analysts say the appeal of new operating systems by handset makers stems from Google’s decision to compete directly with its partners and make Android phones of its own, both with the Nexus phones and also with the acquisition of Motorola.

The Truth Is Even More Boring Than the iPhone

There are several competing dynamics at work that creating the perception that Apple is failing.

1. Apple’s fortunes are and have for a long time been boom-and-bust based on shipments. Apple ships a new iPhone. They dominate the market for a few months. Sales level off again, then the air gets sucked out of the room when everybody starts anticipating the next iPhone model. Right now we’re in the post-iPhone 5, pre-iPhone 5S doldrums.

2. Android phones have suddenly gotten super cheap. There is a class of people numbering in the hundreds of millions or possibly even a billion or two who never had a smart phone because of the high cost. Suddenly, Android handset makers are churning out very low-cost smart phones. So millions of people are moving from feature phones to smart phones, and they’re not buying the relatively pricey iPhone. So the market share numbers have shifted strongly away from iOS and toward Android.

3. Android phones have suddenly gotten super big. When the iPhone first shipped, it seemed like a normal-size phone. With the phablet revolution and the rise in very large displays on phones, Apple has become one of the tiniest phones out there. Big phones are popular, and Apple is currently missing out on this big-phone craze.

4. Apple’s conservative, iterative approach to iPhone development isn’t exciting. People get their information about phones from bloggers and journalists — people who writing about stuff when there’s something new to write about. Apple’s approach to phones is to have a single vision for the phone, then iteratively work toward that vision. The Android market is characterized by a lot more variety and experimentation. The iPhone, on the other hand, isn’t changing in ways perceptible to users — or bloggers and journalists.

5. In the tablet market, we’re moving from a historically unique situation that existed for the first two years of the iPad’s existence: No competition, to speak of. It took an eternity in Internet years for competitors to come out with tablets that anybody wanted. Now, finally and inevitably, they have. The iPad’s perceived troubles represent a return to normality.

6. The press and Wall Street are also cyclically oriented. There was a period of time, building up to 2010 and 2011 where Apple was a perfect, unstoppable juggernaut that dazzled everyone with its mastery of design, supply chain control, message discipline and more. The stock price soared past $700, and everyone perceived that Apple was the only company capable of this kind of total mastery. Of course, Apple’s success during this time was exaggerated, and so is the current “bust,” if you want to call it that.

In reality, people are confused by the complexity of the consumer electronics market, and focus on the horse-race aspect of marketshare numbers, stock prices and other metrics. But the reality is that Apple was very successful and very profitable two years ago, one year ago and remains so today. Android had and will always have much bigger market share by far, and Apple had and will continue to have much bigger profits by far, as it goes after the “sweet spot” of the market while competitors slug it out in the zero-margin segment.

Related
  • lowtolerance

    You’d have to be completely out of touch with reality to sincerely believe that Apple is failing. Marketshare isn’t everything, especially when you aren’t turning a profit. Apple has large marketshare for a handful of devices(versus hundreds of Android devices) AND huge profits. By all accounts, they are still hugely successful.

  • Jvmxtra

    Biggest mistake apple is making is this. Their notion of one size phone fits all people are gone. it’s old idea. They are still holding onto that. You can come out w/ one truth from this. People who are responsible for design part of iphone should be fired. For doing onthing for past 5 years. Seriously? Also, iphone 5s? Are you kidding me? Things are changing every 6 month and they expect to still bring out same design every 2 years?

  • Jvmxtra

    @lowtolerance, what about all the lost opportunity by not making iphone multiple size??

  • Jvmxtra

    Instead of coming out w/ another BORING ASS iphone 5s in june, apple, please surprise us w/ multiple sizes..( 4 inch, 4.8 and 5.5 ) Otherwise, I am gone from this boring iphone

  • tigoss

    Im moving out of iPhone 4S to Nexus 4. Many of my friends are doing the same, they have iPhone 4 and 4S, and they not considering buy iPhone 5.

    Some get Nexus, others Samsung Galaxy S3/Note 2.

    Apple needs to inovate their mobile system. iOS is stuck with no major updates/new things. In other hand we have Android 4.2 coming with full os features, like this one: http://mycolorscreen.com/

  • jml58

    This post misses the most basic market dynamic of all: What goes up, must come down. Over time, the amount of time between ups and downs has been decreasing rapidly. A recent study by John Seely Brown and Deliotte showed that that, in the 1930s, the average time a company spent on the S&P 500 was 70 years. Today it’s 15. The trend line suggests it will drop under 10 sooner rather than later. Business is cyclical. It has always been thus. No company is immune. No company can sustain perfection. ‘Nuff said.

  • SebasCvdB

    Apple is just following in RIM’s footsteps…

  • jml58

    Another basic point: When any public company starts paying dividends, the company changes in fundamental ways. It changes from a growth stock to a grandma stock, which requires stability, both in price and dividend payment. Correlate msft’s decision to start distributing cash to shareholders with its stagnation. It happens to every company in its inevitable cycle.

  • lowtolerance
    @lowtolerance, what about all the lost opportunity by not making iphone multiple size??

    Last I checked, the iPhone was the best selling phone on the market by far. Not sure demand for multiple phone sizes is anything but a figment of Android fanboys’ imagination.

  • Jvmxtra

    I am an apple fan boy and I can see why people are moving over to samsung based phone. Instead of giving us what we want, apple is too afraid to make any drastic change. Call it what you want(inevitable move of big company who became too big), there is no such thing as brand royalty from me. It’s just like everywhere these days. It’s “what have you done for me lately?”. Apple is mostly selling on their past reputation. I am still gonna wait and hope for next iphone to be awesome but if it’s iphone 5s, I am going to droid. I admit that there is no perfect phone out there but I am ready for a change. Even if it means I need to go to platform I do not like as much as ios.

    I am going to hold onto my imac and mba. But mobile devices, apple is not winning by wide margin anymore. Wake up boys and girls.

  • Whodakat

    I am an apple fan boy and I can see why people are moving over to samsung based phone. Instead of giving us what we want, apple is too afraid to make any drastic change. Call it what you want(inevitable move of big company who became too big), there is no such thing as brand royalty from me. It’s just like everywhere these days. It’s “what have you done for me lately?”. Apple is mostly selling on their past reputation. I am still gonna wait and hope for next iphone to be awesome but if it’s iphone 5s, I am going to droid. I admit that there is no perfect phone out there but I am ready for a change. Even if it means I need to go to platform I do not like as much as ios.

    I am going to hold onto my imac and mba. But mobile devices, apple is not winning by wide margin anymore. Wake up boys and girls.

    I had to put on my boots to wade through your bullshit. You are either a fandroid troll or a moron. Which is it? Its funny how all the fandroids say the same thing. Give us what we want, change, change, change. But then they never say what they actually want changed. Its clearly a case of iPhone envy. Of course the next phone is going to be an iPhone 5S, wtf do you want it to be? The blogosphere seems to have two standards. When Apple releases their newest device, if it doesn’t beam you up to the waiting starship Enterprise then its a total boring, never changing iPhone. But the SG III goes from a 1.5 GHz processor to a 1.8 GHz processor in the SG IV and every fandroid around has his dick in his hand. Look its cool. In America you are unfortunately free to be ignorant, and that freedom is expressed quite loudly from the fandroid community. I for one, understand and appreciate nuance and simplicity and don’t have pie in the sky expectations for a phone. Its just a phone. Its going to make calls, let you search the net, perhaps play some games. For each generation to the next, its going to get faster but its going to stay a phone. It will never beam you up, I’m sorry.

  • Seraphiel

    Instead of coming out w/ another BORING ASS iphone 5s in june, apple, please surprise us w/ multiple sizes..( 4 inch, 4.8 and 5.5 ) Otherwise, I am gone from this boring iphone

    It doesn’t look like you really understand the Apple philosophy. First of all not having a gazillion phones in different shapes and sizes is exactly Apple. They focus on one or two designs that fits the majority of people and stay with that and adjust fairly little on the outside and focus on the inside. Apple took the mobile phone and designed it their way. All other manufacturers dropped their jaw and have now successfully copied Apples SmartPhone format and made gazillions of different iterations in all shapes and sizes out of that. Developers have a hard time keeping up adjusting their apps to all these different phones and operating systems. And the customer doesn’t know what to choose anymore because all these different smartphones have all their pros and cons. Apple isn’t like that. Just look at their PC and Notebooks. How many different shapes and sizes macs there are? Only a few and only a few possible specs to choose from. Now surf to Dell and you get tossed into a forest of choices.

    Apple will never win from their ‘competitors’ when it comes to the amount of different types of the same product they sell. Simply because that’s not how Apple thinks. The words “Keep It Simple Stupid” KISS come to mind. Don’t make it difficult for the customer. Provide one or two smart phones they can choose from and make sure that the whole eco-system around it works on all those phones so customers are happy. It’s the user experience Apple focuses on. Not the competition called “how many different types of phones you can produce in a year.”

    Off course there are people who want to be able to choose between hundreds of different smartphones. And if the Apple design is not what you want or can work with then off course you should go for the competitors. I like a company that gives me easy choices and where I don’t have to think about what will work and won’t work on my particular product.

  • SEOWebGirl

    I myself am an Apple lover. But I completely agree that the iPad mini has become the iPads biggest competition.

  • diane526

    like Terry answered I am startled that a mom can get paid $4210 in a few weeks on the internet. did you read this webpage jump15.comCHECK IT OUT

  • Meil

    Android’s high marketshare numbers are no different and just as meaningless as when Symbian had 60-70% smartphone marketshare in 2007.

    This is because unit sales marketshare is a means to an end, but Android is not delivering the benefits to developers, manufacturers, advertisers, content providers, e-commerce vendors, consumers or Google that such high marketshare should be delivering.

    Instead it is Apple’s iOS that completely dominates Android with 80% manufacturer profitshare (Morgan Keegan), 88% mobile e-commerce share (IBM), 91% tablet web browser share (Strategy Aalytics), 6x the developer revenue (Distimo), 4x the number of developers (AppStore HQ), 97% business tablet activations (Good Technology), 74% business smartphone activations (Good), 67% of all in-app and web advertising revenue according to Opera, etc etc.

    How can this be you may ask? Part of the answer appears to be that the vast majority of Android smartphone sales are cheap,and nasty featurephone replacements that are incapable of delivering a good app and web browsing experience.

    Strategy Analytics reports that Apple captured 27% of the worldwide 4G LTE subscriber base just on the back of the 1week of iPhone 5 sales at the end of Q3 2012 despite Android LTE phones having been available for a full year before. This surprising result indicates that the vast majority of Android phones sold are not high-end 4G capable handsets at all.

    Even Samsung’s supposed dominance in smartphones is illusory with Samsung having recently admitted to only selling 100 million Galaxy smartphones in the last 2.5 years compared to 220 million iPhones going out the door in the same timeframe. Either analysts like IDC have been grossly inflating their estimates of Samsung’s sales over this time or the vast majority of smartphones sold by Samsung are low-end cheap and nasty featurephone-replacements running non-Android operating systems like Samsung’s home-grown Badu OS.

    It is evident that contrary to the perception of many in this industry, Apple is actually completely dominating Android in all the metrics that actually matter.

  • Daniel09DD

    Apple is going to reveal its last quarter’s profits tomorrow, only tomorrow we’ll see if Apple’s sales are indeed below expected. I guess the trend of knowing every little thing about the next iDevice, a sick habit by the way, is starting to appear in Apple’s finances as well. Guess what, I can easily skip months and months of speculation when I can keep on track about apple’s news watching their so trustworthy keynotes that only require to spend about 3 hours each year!!!

  • jefferydmitchell

    Thanks Mike for writing this article. It’s nice to read something which cuts through the echo-chamber that tech news has become. Between the crap that “tech news” sites spew and the comments from the trollers and fan-people that feed on it, it’s getting more and more difficult to find decent, objective information and analysis.

    Bad news drive page clicks. News that a company is steady and healthy is uninteresting, no one wants to read that. Much of what we see in “tech news” these days is negative spin for he sake of driving page traffic. Reality is almost never as bad as the spin would have us believe.

  • Tao Jones

    Apples fealty to it’s design principals will in the long run win out , yesterday i saw a woman fumble with and drop her android phone and curse it as too big . eventually people will realize that we don’t need a small flat screen tv in our pocket to take calls
    As an apple power user i have little use for a web browsing device like the i pad , I could however see users who wanted a portable web viewing device decide the iPad mini is “big enough” and one sale might canabalise the other or it might allow a less well heeled buyer into the apple world i suspect both cases are true. Apple can not be faulted for giving choice to the customer, in the end selling people what they want is easier and better than shoehorning them into what you have . Thats just good sales

  • Steffen Jobbs

    I think it would be better to wait until Apple’s quarterly earnings call comes before passing judgment on whether the company is failing or not. I’m not exactly certain what criteria is being used to measure to consider Apple failing. Revenue and profits or just market share. Many companies can be quite successful without major market share and many companies have failed that have had major market share. As a shareholder I’m not entirely satisfied because I think the company should be doing better as far as its share price is concerned, but I’m definitely not concerned about Apple going out of business in the near term, either. Apple’s reserve cash hoard of $130 billion is worth more than a combined total of a few tech companies’ market cap, so Apple’s total wealth is still rather high.

  • Cortney Sauk

    I’ve had my iPhone 4 since it came out and it’s been Jailbroken since I could first do it. (It’s currently on iOS 6 with the tethered Jailbreak. NO ISSUES except with Auxo which is pretty unstable)

    But if I wasn’t able to Jailbreak my iPhone I would be jumping ship to a Galaxy or Nexus phone pretty fast. The standard iOS build just bores the hell out of me now and no matter how fancy the outside of my phone looks it’s how the software works that matters to me. I’ll sure as hell miss all my awesome apps that I can’t find on Android and I’m sure I will have wasted close to $1000 after buying all new apps and loosing the money I’ve already spent on my iPhone apps. But then again I still have my iPad so it wouldn’t be a total loss.

    Either way, I think a lot of people would agree that iOS is just getting boring. Apple needs to make some HUGE changes or add something that no one has thought of (AND DO IT RIGHT… Siri is a piece of novelty garbage that I have yet to see ANY of my friends use, yet Google Now I see everyone using)

  • Bob Smogango

    The iPad mini only had about 1 month of actual sales in Japan, China because that’s when they actually started shipping and the cellular models just started shipping this month, so the Nexus 7 are for a FULL quarter not 1 month for the iPad mini, so that’s misleading.

    If there are a lot of android low cost models, they aren’t making any money on them so they are the bargain basement to attract marketshare. Apple doesn’t go after low margin, no profit business. That type of business model doesn’t work, people go out of business doing that. LG has a $49 phone and I’d be willing to bet they are just using it as a write off because it’s left over parts, but they only sold around 1 million units which is scrap.

    I think the only thing Apple should have done is to make two different sized iPhones, one a 4 inch model and the other would be a 4.5 inch model, put in 2GB of RAM, and then kept Google Maps to avoid the bad press until Apple Maps was perfect or near perfect.

    Does iOS need improvement? Every OS needs improvement. The dilemma they face with regards to OS is this, if they make it more customizable like Android, they face making people upset because they make it more like Android, some people don’t like Android because it’s just too much confusion and steep learning curve that many people don’t like. Only real smartphone geeks that have too much time on their hands want this customization, a little could be nice, but there reaches a point when too much is too much. Some aspects of the OS could be done a little better to make even easier, but they run the risk of copying or being more difficult. I could see another pull down screen to show the apps running and becoming an app switcher or being able to force quit apps running. I don’t see the absence of NFC as a big deal since there were NFC hacks that were out there and Apple doesn’t bad publicity having NFC security issues, so it would better to wait until NFC security was resolved first.

  • sam_d

    To top all this competition, there is another threat coming to Apple from BlackBerry. It seems that their new operating system termed as BB10 is a complete overhaul and there are some really good reviews about it.
    Apple products are good because of their design language and tight integration achieved by making hardware and software both on their own. Except Apple, BlackBerry is the only company which does that and going by what details they have shown of their new upcoming phone, it will be on par with what apple offers.
    In the Android dominated world, a percentage of consumers will refuse to indulge in all the chaos of Android and opt for a close, integrated, refined and less confusing eco system, question is that which one it will be- Apple or Blackberry. For now I am selling my Apple shares and buying some BlackBerry shares, and keeping a close eye on what BlackBerry reveals in future..

  • Bob Smogango

    Apples fealty to it’s design principals will in the long run win out , yesterday i saw a woman fumble with and drop her android phone and curse it as too big . eventually people will realize that we don’t need a small flat screen tv in our pocket to take calls
    As an apple power user i have little use for a web browsing device like the i pad , I could however see users who wanted a portable web viewing device decide the iPad mini is “big enough” and one sale might canabalise the other or it might allow a less well heeled buyer into the apple world i suspect both cases are true. Apple can not be faulted for giving choice to the customer, in the end selling people what they want is easier and better than shoehorning them into what you have . Thats just good sales

    I know some people want small screens, some want medium sized screens and some want large screens. I think Apple should just have at least 2 or 3 screen sizes to choose from. Believe it or not, but some like the 3.5 inch screen, the 4 inch screen is nice, but I personally would like a 4.5 inch. The other idea that I had was for Apple to always offer a voice/data model of iPads (normal and mini) and ship it with a BlueTooth ear piece and have voice/data chips in laptops IF they could copy the nanosim chips to use the same phone number and the carriers wouldn’t that that much more per device. The reasoning. I sometimes would just like to carry one device, sometimes a phone, sometimes a tablet or a laptop, etc. and always had a BlueTooth ear piece to use or connect to a car’s internal hand’s free system. That way, we might only want to carry a tablet, etc. around because that’s what we need for that time period but no matter which device we used, we always have access to the phone and cellular data and just keep them all with one phone number. There have been times I would LOVE to have a laptop with cellular data and voice at the same time and not have to carry my phone with me, or leave it in the car charging, while I use a laptop, or a tablet. Something to think about.

    I also see a potential product in a MacMiniPro model that would be a little large form factor than the Mac mini, but more of the guts of an iMac but without the screen. Kind of more like a slab. That way more higher end pro systems can have a slotless, fairly portable box to connect to multiple monitors, Fusion drive(s), plenty of I/O on the back, a really nice external GPU, etc. I think it would be a nice alternative to having to drag around a big iMac if it needs to be brought into service.

    I think Apple does have to come out with a 17inch MBP Retina model with improved speed over the 15inch. But I don’t know if they will.

    I also think Apple needs to figure out if they can release products in a manner where it doesn’t confuse the consumer base. I think the iPad mini had far more sales is because it was just marketed better and everyone wanted it. Plus it’s new, it has the “cute” factor, and there is a lot of people that want that reader size form factor. I think Apple needs to alternate when they update the iPad and the IPad mini. Personally, I like the iPad for the larger screen size, better screen, faster processor, but I like the mini’s weight. personally, I would sometimes like a bigger iPad, but the weight might be an issue due to a larger battery. But if the price was right, I wouldn’t be apposed to a 11 or 13 inch iPad, it it weighed less than 1.5 lbs. and was less than $1,000 for the top model with 4GB of RAM, cellular, 64GB of SSD. PUt that Tactus technology in it. I think Apple should use Tactus technology in upcoming devices. It’s COOL and TOTALLY USEFUL. Probably about the most significant technology I’ve seen in a LONG time.

  • Koban4max

    Apple is failing because they refuse to address issues people are having. Talk about bad customer services.
    OS X is pretty bad..and yet they don’t do much about it. Bringing another generation of ipad in less than a year. Not fixing battery problems. Not allowing users to customize.

  • Bob Smogango

    I don’t think Apple is failing, I think they might be stumbling, but not failing.

  • palmguy1

    Cheap Android phones? Both very popular Samsung phones Galaxy S 3 and Note 2, $199 and 299 respectly.

  • HamishODonnell

    One of the best articles I’ve read this year by far. This perfectly explains Apples stumbling blocks over the past months, and puts quiet all of the doomsday talk circulating about apple since they hit a rut. In my opinion, I think that Apple will be changing a lot over the next twelve months, moving firstly to a product refresh system much like ones that we have seen companies like Samsung using, and secondly by varying the defining aspects of some of their main products.
    Well done on this article, which has explained well the whole Apple fiasco more clearly than any other I have read.

  • ulyssesric

    That Japanese ranking report is a false story. The original ranking is based on sales number of brick and mortar store, and the statistic is based on model, not brand. And they count iPad mini with different set up (black or white, 32G or 64G, WiFi or 3G/LTE/WiFi) as different model. As a result, there are 2 different Nexus 7 and 24 different iPad mini entries in the ranking. Any “analysis” based on that ranking is ultimately meaningless.

    The WSJ’s “slashed-to-half” is also a false story. Apple did not, I repeat, Apple NEVER cut the order of any in-production components. The real truth behind the story, that WSJ failed to understand from the original Japanese article, is a plain, normal, and boring supply chain management. It’s so boring that make it a good example for the textbook of Principles of Accounting. I’ve not studied the Sharp story, but I’d believe it’s the similar situation.

    And there are even more. Does anyone here still remember these stories that predicted the sales number in China will be a disaster because iPhone 5 is disappointing ? They’re, not-surprisingly, all originated from Chinese based media reports.

    Do you find the pattern now ? All these bearish stories are not story about “something”, they are stories about “someone talked about something”, and that “someone” are speaking languages most American don’t understand. Life is full of amazing coincident, right ?

    The truth is: some medias are racking their brain trying to find a sign of Apple’s falling.

    I don’t think these are all market manipulating. But these stories give me only single message: nobody really knows what Apple’s doing right now, and they’re in stress for the up-coming earning call.

    For any potential “analyst” out there, I’d recommend you sit down and write two articles now: “Why Apple is falling” and “The motivation behind bearish stories before Apple’s earning call”. Then you just need to fill the number and deliver one of the two to the publisher on Wednesday.

  • Alexander530

    Apple is not failing at all. Neither are they behind. Android OEM’s strategy is to overkill their devices with gimmicky features to fool users into thinking that their android devices can do more. But do more of what? Impractical features that does not really make sense and are unproductive. Wow, moving backgrounds…ooops, there goes my battery. Apple tries to balance productivity and fun into their devices without compromising resources. Apple won’t put in any feature just because they can.

  • djuliano
    @lowtolerance, what about all the lost opportunity by not making iphone multiple size??

    Last I checked, the iPhone was the best selling phone on the market by far. Not sure demand for multiple phone sizes is anything but a figment of Android fanboys’ imagination.

    You haven’t checked in the last year then because the Galaxy S3 is the best selling phone in history. It beat the iphone quite a few million users ago.

  • djuliano
    @lowtolerance, what about all the lost opportunity by not making iphone multiple size??

    Last I checked, the iPhone was the best selling phone on the market by far. Not sure demand for multiple phone sizes is anything but a figment of Android fanboys’ imagination.

    Are you drunk? The Galaxy S3 is the best selling phone in history and passed the iphone by the 10′s of millions of users.

  • SeanGermany

    Apple is not failing at all. Neither are they behind. Android OEM’s strategy is to overkill their devices with gimmicky features to fool users into thinking that their android devices can do more. But do more of what? Impractical features that does not really make sense and are unproductive. Wow, moving backgrounds…ooops, there goes my battery. Apple tries to balance productivity and fun into their devices without compromising resources. Apple won’t put in any feature just because they can.

    A statement that proves, that you have never used an Android phone. Just the Setting-Shortcuts alone are worth changing towards Android.Nobody knows why Apple doesn’t allow – ignoring the fact, that SB-Settings is the most important reason for the majority to jailbreak their phones. Anyway- that perfectly shows Apple’s attitude towards their customers – They just don’t care. It is so obvious meanwhile – anybody doubting that the could have made the iPad mini with retina for the same price? But they didn’t, because the know they will find enough ……. to buy it, even though everybody knows, that they will introduce the retina display in less than 4 month from now.
    Anybody doubting, that they could have made the low end 21,5″ iMac with a fusion drive right away? But they did’t, because they knew………………

    Coming back to the Android topic-
    some other “Gimmicks” that billions find usefull
    1. Led-for signaling missed events
    2.Return-option in the Android store
    3.Swype Keyboard
    4.Homescreen Widgets!!!!
    5.Car mode
    6.File system (to let YOU choose which app to use)
    7.installable Flash (even though not Android-standard)
    8.NFC (you just think you don’t need it, cause you don’t have it)
    9. REAL bluetooth – to share ANYTHING
    10. Movement recognition – lift your phone and it shows missed events
    11. completely configurable private mode
    12.Page Buddy – e.g. plug your headset in and it shows you the respective homescreen
    13.print on EVERY printer
    14.use the secure Play store, or just install what YOU want
    15. use a USB -Stick
    16. use a micro SD-Card with up to 64 GB
    17.use live wallpapers
    and this list is far from being complete. If you like your iPhone – good, but don’t try to tell people the other things are useless, when naked numbers prove you wrong.

    And mentioning the battery – looooool – do you like a contest of the iPhone 5 battery endurance against my Galaxy Note 2???????

    I really like my Macs, but on the mobile market Apple is no longer an option for me. My iPad 3 will be my last for a foreseeable future and I never regretted to give my iPhone 4 to my wife and get the Note 2. Fortunately we are free to choose.

  • marioyohanes

    Before I start, I would never even consider to use Android phone as my main, I love my iOS devices!

    The biggest problem with Apple right now is iOS. Let’s face it, it’s outdated, perhaps 2 years behind Android. Most users start getting sick with the way Apple dictate them on how to work and use their smartphone rather than let the smartphone do the work for them as they please.

    The major reason people abandoning iOS is the fact you barely could use it for productivity, because let be honest, we couldn’t even make a contact group from iOS, let alone attach document on email without starting a new conversation thread. Then with iPhone 5, you have to use nano sim, without actual benefit for the users. Telco companies has problem keeping up with nano sim production because other phones with bigger marketshare doesn’t need it. Then the iCloud, while I like it at some point, but again, competitor offers even better integration with Cloud services at your choice like DropBox integration on Samsung phones etc.

    I actually have a very positive expectation with iOS 7, specially after Forstall got fired, I like him, but hate seeing where iOS were going in the last 2 years under his command.

    What Apple has to do before repeating the 80s are (just my 2 cents):
    1. Don’t hold any breath with iOS 7, just revamp it in radical way! Please!
    2. Make iTunes and iBookstore available for other mobile platforms. Even Android users will love it.
    3. Stop making crappy apps! Seriously, Apple’s own apps are sucks! Just look at the rating.
    4. If you couldn’t make it superior from competitor, then let users to choose default app to do it. Wasn’t iOS is all about using third party apps in the first place?
    5. Perhaps it’s about time we have several different types of iPhones, no Phablet please, it simply stupid.

  • bellannick

    Both are great devices and ive owned both.There never going to fail. There just going to get better like they always do

  • AdamAndEveIT

    Apple has become too arrogant. I’m a long-time fan and user but since Steve passed away they seem to be having trouble ‘finding the pulse’ and are ignoring their loyal users in order to make a fast buck. With a trail of errors behind them (Maps, delayed iTunes 11, iCloud incompetencies, then a flawed iTunes upon release, they seem to want to sell us all they can then dictate how we use it and where. It’s no surprise the value of Apple shares has fallen. They’ve stopped innovating, they’ve stopped delighting us with great products and in Tim Cook they have a leader who can’t lead because he appears to have neither the vision nor the gut-led determination ‘to get it right’ like Steve Jobs had. Tim Cook is a logistics man, he’s not a creative. Apple needs Jonny Ive to pull the rabbit from the hat more now than they ever have and TC has to allow him that freedom.

  • lowtolerance
    @lowtolerance, what about all the lost opportunity by not making iphone multiple size??

    Last I checked, the iPhone was the best selling phone on the market by far. Not sure demand for multiple phone sizes is anything but a figment of Android fanboys’ imagination.

    Are you drunk? The Galaxy S3 is the best selling phone in history and passed the iphone by the 10′s of millions of users.

    I don’t know where you’re getting your information, but it is flat wrong. The S3 is not the best selling phone in history, not by a long shot.

    With 18 million units sold, the S3 was the best selling phone of Q3 2012. What’s really funny about that is that the iPhone 5 had a third of the S3′s sales in Q3, despite it only being available for ONE WEEK of that quarter. Q4 should be interesting.

  • doylealbee

    The bottom line: how often can ANY company truly revolutionize an industry? Apple launched the iPod, then iTunes, then the iPhone, then the iPad — all big changes to the norm. Since then, they’ve been “fine tuning,” if you will, the devices, and Wall Street and other pundits are disappointed because they didn’t invent a new category in the last 36 months. I’m confident more is coming, but we can’t expect an iTunes or iPhone every eight to 14 months — from anyone.

  • iSteve

    Bullshit…..

  • Darkswat

    I believe that Apple is just having a slow moment. I’m sure 2013 will bring a lot of surprises that we know or will not know about.

  • daov2a

    If they do not come out with a truly amazing product this year, they will begin to slide. Do I think they are ‘failing’? No. They just have been without anything really amazing for a while. I think that there is also a bit of brand boredom. I am certainly tired of hearing and seeing Apple all over the place.

  • technochick

    A statement that proves, that you have never used an Android phone. Just the Setting-Shortcuts alone are worth changing towards Android.

    Interesting to me that you point this out as THE thing that makes Android so superior. I’d say that it says more about you than the phones.

    I work with a lot of folks every day. I’m talking dozens, sometimes even hundreds if we are shooting a large crowd scene. And rarely to never do even the power users have an actual reason to go into their settings. Certainly the common users don’t. No one is really adding tons of new bluetooth devices every week, most wifi nets are known items already and have been for a while and so on. So is it really that Apple’s way is so annoying to everyone or just to you because you have this need to redo everything constantly.

    I would say that for the vast majority of users the stability of the platform because it hasn’t been mucked around with by OEMs and having one place to go for help in store or on the phone is way more important a feature in Apple’s favor. This whole “I can change things like a mad man” talk feels more like hipster wannabe hacker babble trying to sound unique and cool, like in the early days of when Apple’s computers were ‘leet’ because they were hella expensive, few stores, hard core creative focus etc

  • technochick

    If they do not come out with a truly amazing product this year, they will begin to slide.

    Nope, they will still slide. Why? Because they won’t come out with the amazing product that all the rumor mill thinks they should. If they don’t do exactly what, and everything that, the blogs push out there they should then it’s a fail.

    Go hit the iTunes store and download the pilot the show Continuum if it’s still free. Forget the questionable story, dialogue etc. Just check the tech. Apple could release all of that this year, and the infrastructure to support and it someone will complain because it’s US only, it’s released as a beta, it’s too expensive or it’s a locked ecosystem.

    Or for a laugh, go look up Louis CKs appearance on Conan from about a year ago (perhaps 2 years). you should be able to find it by looking for the phrase “nobody’s happy”.

  • technochick

    You’d have to be completely out of touch with reality to sincerely believe that Apple is failing. Marketshare isn’t everything,

    Marketshare is everything, to some people. Apple isn’t part of that group. Their history proves that. They could have been making cheap computers and devices from day one and ruled the marketshare. But that’s not what they wanted to do. Just like they don’t want to try to be everything (cell phone company, ISP, etc). They are happy with others adding some pieces into the puzzle so long as it is done according to Apple’s rules, not by forcing Apple to change their game. Look at the iPhone. Stories are that Apple went to all the carriers from the top and only ATT was willing to let Apple have full design control over the phone. The rest wanted to have input or they didn’t want the phone. Look at Apple’s rules for creating apps or their licensing to make accessories for their products.

    If Apple was chasing marketshare as THE metric, they wouldn’t be acting like that.

  • technochick

    @lowtolerance, what about all the lost opportunity by not making iphone multiple size??

    Apple might not see it as a ‘lost opportunity’.

  • technochick

    I am an apple fan boy and I can see why people are moving over to samsung based phone. Instead of giving us what we want,

    As a wise man once said “If I asked people what they wanted in a car, they would tell me a horse.”

    The trouble with giving US what WE want is who is the group that defines We and Us. Is it the technogeeks or is it the common person. That’s way different needs and wants. The fanboy technogeeks are a vastly smaller group than the common people and while Apple isn’t chasing marketshare in the sense of making things based on keeping them cheap, they are chasing it in regards to focusing on common people not geeks for how they define the core of their product. It’s a shift that started about 5 years ago when they killed off Shake and basically told the creative pros that they and their wants/needs were no longer the main focus. It’s the same thing with the OS, iOS, etc.

    If you, as a technogeek, feel this overwhelming need to be able to tweak the hell out of your stuff and to have total control to make it your way, then go buy an Android. Steve Jobs will NOT be rolling over in his grave, nor will Tim Cook and friends be crying themselves to sleep at night over it.

  • Steven Quan

    If they do not come out with a truly amazing product this year, they will begin to slide. Do I think they are ‘failing’? No. They just have been without anything really amazing for a while. I think that there is also a bit of brand boredom. I am certainly tired of hearing and seeing Apple all over the place.

    Why are you on Cult of Mac when you’re tired of seeing and hearing Apple all over the place? Kind of smacks of stupidity I think.

  • Steven Quan

    I think Apple is even more dangerous to their competitors now that Steve Jobs and his mini-me (Forstall) is out of the picture. The reason is because Jobs was more focused on the next big thing. He was looking to revolutionize the world. He wasn’t looking to see if he could put more widgets on the iPhone screen so he could compete with Samsung.

    Now that Apple’s visionary is gone, they have more freedom to be more, how to say, average? They may very well kowtow to the competition. Steve Jobs never paid any attention to the shareholders. Right after he died, Apple’s board agreed to pay out a dividend. The next iPhone may very well have a larger screen, and an improved iOS with better alerts and more customization. I would not be surprised if they did this.

    We could very well see the best iPhones to date coming in the next few years. But as far as revolutionary break through products, that might be tough. Jobs was already working on many projects including the Apple TV. He was trying to secure deals with the studios but they fell through. If Apple released a revolutionary tv set I’d give the props to Jobs because it was still on his watch.

  • Alexander530

    In reply to SeanGermany.

    Apple have already given their reason why they cannot make an iPad mini with retina display. first, there’s supply shortages, 2nd, it would be too pricey, and I am sure they have other reasons as well, that no matter how reasonable, you will disagree with it just because you are biased against Apple. Customers have always been a priority for Apple as they have said over and over again. So again, you are wrong in saying that Apple does not care about their users. Apple needs to balance consumer and business needs. And that has worked out really well for them. Now let me reply to your android features that you are bragging about, and explain to you how impractical and not special they are:

    1. Why waste battery life on LED signals when you likely touch your phone every 10mins anyway.
    2. As for return option. That’s more negative than a positive. I think developers can be trusted more than users. Users tend to be more opportunistic and abusive with resources. A return option is not worth the headache.
    3. Homescreen widgets are impractical, unproductive, and are a waste of battery life. What do you when you see you have an email on your email widget? Yes, you still end up opening it. I don’t think you want to waste your time reading an email on that small widget.
    4. Swype keyboard. If you want a slow way of inputting txt messages, this would be a good option for you, lol.
    5. Car mode. That’s nothing more turning on BT on your iPhone.
    6. File system. That would be identical to the iPhone’s icon screens. What’s there to brag about?
    7. External flash. Could do more harm than good. It could compromise security and performance of your device. Not worth it. iPhone is without it for years now, and we’re doing just fine.
    8. NFC. The iPhone will have it when it’s actually out there, just like LTE. As for now, it’s impractical for Apple to spend on NFC resources on a technology that is not being used.
    9. BT. Sharing anything = to piracy. Not cool.
    10. Movement recognition to show missed events. I thought you already have LED notification? Anyways, that is what iOS notification tray is all about. Or that is why you set your calendar or reminders an alarm. Siri can do that really well.
    11. Private mode? “Do Not Disturb” is a smarter way for privacy.
    12. Page buddy – impractical. What if I don’t want to go to that respective home screen? I would end up exiting that screen every time I plug in my headset.
    13. Printing is never an issue with iOS. There’s an app for everything.
    14. Install wherever. Dangerous, dangerous, dangerous. I’d rather have one common safe place to get apps from.
    15. USB – unnecessary.
    16. micro sd. Again, not worth it. Could compromise security and performance.
    17. Live wallpapers. Unnecessary, unproductive, waste of battery life, and slows down performance.

    Yes, those things that you have enumerated are pretty much useless. The iPhone5 battery life will outlast your note2 any day. The note2′s battery life on paper are exaggerated. It does not last long in real life.

    But yes, you are free to choose whatever you want. But just because you prefer android, it does not mean that it’s better than iOS. iOS is still better based on facts.

  • daov2a

    Wow, are some of you hired by Apple just to constantly respond to online forum entries?

  • cprblak

    In reply to SeanGermany.
    3. Homescreen widgets are impractical, unproductive….

    I don’t know. Changing wifi or turning off data in one click seems more practical and productive to me then drilling down through 3 layers of settings to do the same thing.

  • Jack Gnasty

    Wow, are some of you hired by Apple just to constantly respond to online forum entries?

    Nope. Some of us are just fed up with emotionally stunted mental midgets that want an iPhone just like their Android phone. Do you ever see iPhone owners crying that other manufacturers need to copy Apple? Hmmm? Honestly, if you love your android set so much, then shut up and go enjoy it.

  • Cornerstar31
    In reply to SeanGermany.
    3. Homescreen widgets are impractical, unproductive….

    I don’t know. Changing wifi or turning off data in one click seems more practical and productive to me then drilling down through 3 layers of settings to do the same thing.

    Ever heard of Lockinfo combined with SBSettings and NCSettings. That means even when the iPhone is locked you can switch all available toggles in a much more sensible way, then on Vanilla Android, Touchwizz or HTC Sense UI.
    A jailbroken iDevice will always beat a stock or rooted Android Device.

  • Cornerstar31
    I am an apple fan boy and I can see why people are moving over to samsung based phone. Instead of giving us what we want,

    As a wise man once said “If I asked people what they wanted in a car, they would tell me a horse.”

    The trouble with giving US what WE want is who is the group that defines We and Us. Is it the technogeeks or is it the common person. That’s way different needs and wants. The fanboy technogeeks are a vastly smaller group than the common people and while Apple isn’t chasing marketshare in the sense of making things based on keeping them cheap, they are chasing it in regards to focusing on common people not geeks for how they define the core of their product. It’s a shift that started about 5 years ago when they killed off Shake and basically told the creative pros that they and their wants/needs were no longer the main focus. It’s the same thing with the OS, iOS, etc.

    If you, as a technogeek, feel this overwhelming need to be able to tweak the hell out of your stuff and to have total control to make it your way, then go buy an Android. Steve Jobs will NOT be rolling over in his grave, nor will Tim Cook and friends be crying themselves to sleep at night over it.

    Or just jailbreak your iDevice install mobileterminal and iFile on it.
    You can tweak the hell out of your device with a complete UNIX terminal, and a Data Manager.
    There are a whole lot more tweaks in cydia. Then there will ever be on a rooted android device.

  • Cornerstar31

    @lowtolerance, what about all the lost opportunity by not making iphone multiple size??

    Then you’ve get the same problems that Samsung have. If you buy one of there SmartTV’s. And bought a Galaxy Phone, Nexus Device or Note1 or 2. You’ll see that the Samsung SmartHub app doesn’t respond, and is oversized so many buttons don’t appear on your device, because it’s only made for the Galaxy Tab. Use the same app on a iPhone or iPad and you’ll see that the app responds faster is much better aligned, and every button works.
    This app is even made by Samsung.
    So why the hell didn’t they test it on their own devices?

  • Cornerstar31

    To top all this competition, there is another threat coming to Apple from BlackBerry. It seems that their new operating system termed as BB10 is a complete overhaul and there are some really good reviews about it.
    Apple products are good because of their design language and tight integration achieved by making hardware and software both on their own. Except Apple, BlackBerry is the only company which does that and going by what details they have shown of their new upcoming phone, it will be on par with what apple offers.
    In the Android dominated world, a percentage of consumers will refuse to indulge in all the chaos of Android and opt for a close, integrated, refined and less confusing eco system, question is that which one it will be- Apple or Blackberry. For now I am selling my Apple shares and buying some BlackBerry shares, and keeping a close eye on what BlackBerry reveals in future..

    Please tell me which awesome apps are there in Blackberry’s AppWorld.
    Almost none.
    So keep on dreaming, because apps make the smartphone, and iOS and the high-end Android phones are well ahead.

  • Cornerstar31
    Apple is not failing at all. Neither are they behind. Android OEM’s strategy is to overkill their devices with gimmicky features to fool users into thinking that their android devices can do more. But do more of what? Impractical features that does not really make sense and are unproductive. Wow, moving backgrounds…ooops, there goes my battery. Apple tries to balance productivity and fun into their devices without compromising resources. Apple won’t put in any feature just because they can.

    A statement that proves, that you have never used an Android phone. Just the Setting-Shortcuts alone are worth changing towards Android.Nobody knows why Apple doesn’t allow – ignoring the fact, that SB-Settings is the most important reason for the majority to jailbreak their phones. Anyway- that perfectly shows Apple’s attitude towards their customers – They just don’t care. It is so obvious meanwhile – anybody doubting that the could have made the iPad mini with retina for the same price? But they didn’t, because the know they will find enough ……. to buy it, even though everybody knows, that they will introduce the retina display in less than 4 month from now.
    Anybody doubting, that they could have made the low end 21,5″ iMac with a fusion drive right away? But they did’t, because they knew………………

    Coming back to the Android topic-
    some other “Gimmicks” that billions find usefull
    1. Led-for signaling missed events
    2.Return-option in the Android store
    3.Swype Keyboard
    4.Homescreen Widgets!!!!
    5.Car mode
    6.File system (to let YOU choose which app to use)
    7.installable Flash (even though not Android-standard)
    8.NFC (you just think you don’t need it, cause you don’t have it)
    9. REAL bluetooth – to share ANYTHING
    10. Movement recognition – lift your phone and it shows missed events
    11. completely configurable private mode
    12.Page Buddy – e.g. plug your headset in and it shows you the respective homescreen
    13.print on EVERY printer
    14.use the secure Play store, or just install what YOU want
    15. use a USB -Stick
    16. use a micro SD-Card with up to 64 GB
    17.use live wallpapers
    and this list is far from being complete. If you like your iPhone – good, but don’t try to tell people the other things are useless, when naked numbers prove you wrong.

    And mentioning the battery – looooool – do you like a contest of the iPhone 5 battery endurance against my Galaxy Note 2???????

    I really like my Macs, but on the mobile market Apple is no longer an option for me. My iPad 3 will be my last for a foreseeable future and I never regretted to give my iPhone 4 to my wife and get the Note 2. Fortunately we are free to choose.

    1. Standard since iOS 5 ?Settings?Accessability?turn on LED flash for notifications.
    2. Standard since iPhoneOS 2. Instead of being outside the screen in the bottom left corner. It is in the screen on the top left corner.
    3. Wow slower input with much more misspelled words, how productive. If you really want that, there is a jailbreak for that.
    4. Available for jailbroken iDevices, but it doesn’t add anything for your productivity. You still need to goto your email app to reply.
    5. Turn on Bluetooth.
    6. Ever heard of iFile.
    7. Just buy the iPad Camera connection kit. You could put every storage even USB HDD’s multi card readers or just insert an SD Card in it.
    While Android Devices only accept super slow rubbish micro SD cards.
    If you jailbreak your iDevice and install iFile, it’s useable on all iDevices.
    8. Really, I want my credit card to be emptied out to the max. Just because somebody hacked my NFC. NFC still has a lot of security issues, and I’m glad that Apple still hasn’t implemented it, before all those issues are solved. Still if you want NFC on your iPhone, you’ll have to goto Holland(The Netherlands) to get a NFC sticker at their largest supermarket-chain Albert Heijn.
    9. Install iFile
    10. Activator and LockInfo.
    11. Every app has it’s own security settings, since iPhoneOS 3.0. ?Settings?General?Security
    12. Activator and LockInfo.
    13. Many apps for that. Or jailbreak and install print everywhere.
    14. AppStore and Cydia, maybe combined with AppCake and iPastore.
    15. Read 7.
    16. Read 7.
    17. Also available through jailbreak, but why do you want to empty your battery super quick. It’s just a toy and not useful at all.

    I have a Note 2 and SIII. But they don’t beat the battery life of a iPhone 4 or 4S(I don’t have the 5 yet). Both are running iOS 5.1.1

  • StratTalking

    Great post… inspired me to write something about the world without Apple… would be interested in any comments or thoughts you have on it – http://strat-talking.com/what-if-apple-fell/

    Greg
    http://Strat-Talking.com

  • StratTalking

    Great post… inspired me to write something about the world without Apple… would be interested in any comments or thoughts you have on it – http://strat-talking.com/what-if-apple-fell/

    Greg
    http://Strat-Talking.com

About the author

Mike ElganMike Elgan writes about technology and culture for a wide variety of publications. Follow Mike on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

(sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)| Read more posts by .

Posted in Apple, iOS, iPad, iPhone, Opinions, Top stories |