Apple Runs Out Of Ideas, Exclusively Courts Existing Fancy Pants Customers
POSTED ON 2/28/2006 | PERMALINK |
4 Comments |
|Today's rollout: $100 ipod case. $350 iPod boombox. Updated Mac Mini that costs more and ships with insufficient system memory and zero video memory.|
Apple is stuck in an environment they've created for themselves. This environment can only thrive if they come out with amazing new products every 15 minutes. They dropped the ball today. Big time.
I feel very sorry for people with a need for $99 iPod cases. I shed a tear for people who will pay $350 for a giant clock radio just because Steve Jobs made it shiny and white. And, the Mini, well...Steve-O needs to come out with something between an $800 laptop sans monitor, a fancified TV-Set, and a $2000 dual-core air conditioner. If he does, I'll buy it. Until then, people like me are going to grow increasingly weary of Mr. Jobs deciding what we want, instead of following the rest of the industry--hell, all industries--and letting us choose.
But then again, the "switch" campaign ended a long time ago. Apple doesn't seem terribly interested in getting my business, anyway. And that's fine. Steve Jobs has done a remarkable job of going against the grain. He's the G.W. Bush of computers. There's a whole lot of secrecy, "trust me"s and a genuine lack of interest in what anyone else thinks. It shouldn't work, but it does. But, as has been the case with President Chimpy, his style will ultimately backfire. Anything as popular as Apple/iPod will suffer from a backlash. Often, these backlashes are driven by no specific incident. But a $100 iPod case is just begging for it. And not even the iBook G4 12" (which is an excellent machine at an appropriate price) can save them from it.
And that's not to say that Apple's demise is imminent. Apple users are very devoted, and Jobs couldn't care less about being the dominant player. He loves being a boutique. He doesn't care how many people out there would be willing to pay a reasonable price for a reasonable computer. Remember, this is a man who wanted to ship the original Mac without a keyboard and who cared more about shipping the Cube than about shipping a machine that wasn't in danger of cracking...or melting. He keeps positioning the Mini as a machine for those of us looking to replace what we already have, but there's nothing in the Apple lineup that resembles what I'm looking to replace. Steve does what he wants, and it works for a lot of people. But it's time for the rest of us to stop waiting for him to come around.
I'll keep trying to get OSx86 running on my WinTel machine, though. And if I succeed, I'll be
happy to send Steve a check for the full retail price.
Update: Apparently, I'm not the only one who feels this way.
Update 2: Someone dug up this very recent writeup from Apple.com, bashing Intel's integrated video. It's particularly delicious that this comes from the old Mac Mini page:
Or one 3D game. Go ahead, just try to play Halo on a budget PC. Most say they’re good for 2D games only. That’s because an “integrated Intel graphics” chip steals power from the CPU and siphons off memory from system-level RAM. You’d have to buy an extra card to get the graphics performance of Mac mini, and some cheaper PCs don’t even have an open slot to let you add one.
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