When observers analyze a new or existing product from Apple, they tend to focus on the design, operation and features. In some cases, the conclusion is that some competitor, X, has a better product. That misses at least half the story of Apple's secret product war.
More and more Mac experts are weighing in on the idea that OS X quality has declined and has become noticeable and annoying in Yosemite. This is a new, uncomfortable feeling that Macintosh customers are unaccustomed to. That OS X no longer "just works" is an emerging meme.
The two biggest tech things in 2015 will be UHD/4K TV and the Apple Watch. The TV industry is working hard to make sure it doesn't have another "3D" debacle, and Apple will use its enormous resources to make sure the Apple Watch is successful as the best and most famous wearable, propelled by Apple Pay. This week's Particle Debris looks at both.
Calling the Apple Watch just a cooler, better smartwatch isn't
the right way to look at this revolutionary device. Apple would hardly settle for that. Instead, the Apple Watch will so change people's lives that no other device on the wrist will do, and that will bring incredible success. John Martellaro makes his case.
Apple's CEO Tim Cook has whet our appetite several times about his company's interest in the consumer side of watching TV. For too long, we've been waiting for something, we're not sure what, that brings to fruition what we hope is a futuristic and better vision. But what if new technology isn't what's stopping Apple. John Martellaro has a hunch.
Apple's iPad sales have been declining. Everyone in North America and Europe who needs or wants one has bought one. Now, Apple is faced with the need to engage new, perhaps less affluent geographies. But also, crucially, there is the business of getting the iPad on a path to more capabilities, growing with user needs and expectations. The phenomenal sales of the MacBook Air punctuates this lack of iPad development and maturity. What's the fix?
Estimates for sales of a product that hasn't shipped yet are tricky business. It requires some serious work with the right kind of candidate customer surveys and some shrewd mathematical analysis. Then, uncertainties must be calculated and presented. John Martellaro isn't seeing any of that.
When a revolutionary new service arrives, especially from Apple, the long term consequences are seldom appreciated at first. The tendency is to compare it to the known competition rather than explore the synergistic effects. Even now, those effects are kicking in, very early in the life of Apple Pay.
There is a fundamental tension between writing great software and picking your fights. Recently, that tension has bubbled to the surface with the release of iTunes 12. When times change and customer trends become noticeable, Apple software has to change as well. But throwing in the towel on the monolithic iTunes app isn't the way to do it.
Cool new products catch our attention, and sometimes it seems that the flashiest products are the byproducts of the most successful companies. In reality, there's much more to be said for good business sense and raw intelligence. Those virtues go a long way towards explaining Apple's success.
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