Tag Archives: apple

Is 2019 the end of Apple?

No, but I will tell you one thing.. Apple is stagnant.

They’ve been forced to raise the price of their products in order to make up for the reduction in sales, especially in China where Huawei and Xiaomi are eating their lunch. In the beginning Apple was selling well there because they were portrayed as a ‘luxury’ brand but now Huawei makes phones just as or more (see Mate X) expensive than Apple, Chinese no longer need to buy Apple when they can buy a Chinese product and support their own country.

Like all the other answers said, Apple’s financials are still great and they are still taking the lion’s share of smartphone profits – no surprise there. But they are in danger of losing their market share, and they cannot keep raising prices of their products in order to make up for it forever.

And one can easily see why they are losing market share – they are a premium product. The cheapest macOS device is $799 (Mac Mini). That’s insane. that was $499 a few years ago, and the price increased 60%. The new Macbook Air Retina starts at $1199 – a 20% increase from the old $999 Macbook Air. They are pricing themselves out to the point where only Apple faithful will keep buying.

They are basically coasting on their high loyalty customers – but who knows how long that will last? Apple Watch, AirPods, HomePod, Apple TV – what do all these have in common? They are for iOS / macOS users. A Windows / Android user has no incentive to switch over. If they are not on iOS or macOS the products Apple sells are not going to work well – or not work at all.

Another symptom of decline is instead of focusing on new R&D they’ve been iterating a lot on existing products. Look at how many iPads they sell now – the low end iPad iPad, the smaller iPad Mini, the more premium iPad Air, the 11 inch iPad Pro and the 13 inch iPad Pro

Now let’s look at the iPhones they are still selling – the iPhone 7 (for some reason still selling on their website), the iPhone 8, the iPhone XR, iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max

Now lets look at the Macbooks – there’s the 12 inch Macbook, the old 13 inch Macbook Air they are still selling, the 13 inch Macbook Air Retina, the 13 inch Macbook Pro without touchbar, the 13 inch Macbook Pro with touchbar, the 15 inch Macbook Pro with touchbar

Wow, that’s a lot of overlap.

Remember when Steve Jobs came back as CEO and focused Apple into making only one product for each category? Consumer desktops, consumer laptops, professional desktops, professional laptops? Apple should really take note because confusing consumers is not really what Apple stands for.

Steve Jobs made it easy for non Apple users to get into the ecosystem. Buy an iPod Mini, release iTunes for Windows, switch Macbooks from PowerPC to Intel architecture etc these are all moves done to make Apple more mainstream. Tim Cook has done the opposite – all his new products are only for use by existing Apple users. If I wanted to just get an Apple Watch but I have a Samsung phone – uhh nope doesn’t work. HomePod? doesnt work with Spotify or Tidal. AirPods? Yeah they can do bluetooth – but you lose out on that special W1 chip and then there’s no reason to get it over competing wireless earbuds.

And even to Apple faithful – how many customers did they lose with that Macbook Pro all USBC move? the butterfly keyboard? taking away the headphone jack in the iPhone 7?

So while Apple is far from being dead in 2019 they are certainly on the decline.

What would Steve Jobs think about the current state of innovation at Apple?

Well I think Apple has become a very iterative company instead of innovative. the 4S was the last device released in Steve’s lifetime. Apple is generally a trendsetter in the industry. The Macbook Retina (2012) and iPhone 5S (2013) spurred the adoption of high res displays on laptops and fingerprint sensors on phones after they were introduced. But I’d say after 2013ish it started to go downhill, and the innovation turned to iteration trying to catch up to Samsung and others.

Look at this…
iPad Pro and iPad Mini were released after Jobs died. I doubt he would’ve approved of having 3 different kinds of iPads available at once. He was a proponent of simplicity and giving the consumer only a few choices.
At the same time we had the Macbook 12 inch, two different sizes of iPhones, Macbook Air somehow still available, and the three worst offenders lately have been: Apple Watch – no matter what I don’t think Jobs could have justified the purpose of having a smartwatch. And especially one priced at $10k.
iPhone 7 – this completely divided consumers with the removal of the headphone jack. As an avid analog music listener I doubt Jobs would have been happy about that either.
2016 Macbook Pro – eliminate all legacy ports and replace them with USBC. No Jobs wouldn’t have done this either. He would have left at least one USBA port in there. Yes the earlier Macbooks removed the optical drives before anyone else did, but at that time everything was shifting to digital downloads. We have not shifted to world where everything uses USBC yet. And yeah the touch bar – totally useless. Just like Force Touch.

IMO the last great product Apple released was the iPhone 5S. After that they are just playing catchup to Samsung. (disclaimer: I own an iPhone SE)

Which laptop brands are the best and worst? Why?

So, qualification for myself, I collect computers and laptops especially:

My favorite laptop brands:

-ThinkPads. I own like 4 of them. Seriously they are awesome, the older Lenovos and IBMs tend to be better though. The ThinkPad X61 is my personal fav. The ThinkPad 25 which i also own below is my daily driver:

-Dell Latitude. Similar to ThinkPads, but the new ones come with the nifty InfinityEdge display and tons of Thunderbolt 3 ports. Haven’t had an issue with any of them yet.

-Alienware. Yeah, I used to think they were overpriced, but surprisingly they are well made. They use aluminum and magnesium for their builds which is better quality than the Asus ROG / MSI / Acer Predator ones which use plastic usually. I’ve been using the same Alienware for almost 2 years, everyday its been left on, for VR / gaming etc and had no issues

-Apple. Yeah, I’m not a big fan of Apple in general, but I don’t doubt their Macbooks are well built and look really clean and stylish. The new Macbook Pros I do not recommend for professionals (go for a Dell XPS or ThinkPad X1 instead) but they make great consumer laptops (I know, it’s “Pro” but its actually an upgraded Mac Air)

-Microsoft. Their Surface Pros and SurfaceBooks are excellent. They are taking design cues from Apple and some like the SurfaceBook are just straight up innovative. I used to use the X1 Yoga as my convertible but the SurfaceBook 2 is now my main convertible. detachable, convertible, dedicated graphics, 3:2 display with high ppi (in my ranking its the third best screen I ever had right behind the MacBook Pro and X1 Yoga with OLED), stylish, and portable.