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Author Topic: Apple's Strategic plan for professional artists and photographers  (Read 13417 times)
The View
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« Reply #20 on: October 18, 2008, 10:17:48 PM »
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Quote from: ErikKaffehr
Well,

There are benefits to having a single vendor. Apple can select components that work together and support them from the operating system. On a PC you can switch everything, which of course gives freedom, but the price is that you need to install drivers for all hardware you add. There is much less guarantee on the PC that things work well together, that's the price of freedom.

To be more specific I can give a simple example:

I bought the ColorMunki from X-rite, run the installation script and that was that. I plugged in an external monitor into my iMac and now the calibration dialog pops up on both. I need to physically move the Color Munki between the screens, but that's it. To install the Color Munki on the XP I needed to download new version of the code, install another version of .Net. I think installation took about two hours. Now I have a problem with the PC it's used for multimedia so it is connected to an LCD TV and a projector. They need different calibrations.

What needs to be done is that you would download "Microsoft Color Control Panel Applet for Windows XP", and install it. In order of installing it you need to install another version of .Net and maybe other programs. So you spend another couple of hours in front of the computer. To add insult to injury Microsoft Color Control Panel Applet for Windows XP is a piece of crap, at least if intended as a gamut loader. The idea is that you generate a profile and change name on it, then with Microsoft Color Control Panel Applet for Windows XP you can install, make it default and apply it. Problem is that it's messy, undocumented and you are never sure what you get.


Best regards
Erik

Big point for the Mac's reliability.

Those horror stories from components not working together are usually PC stories.

Even though CS4 users will have a speed advantage for the next 1 1/2 to 2 years for extremely large files, that's not a reason for me to say goodbye to reliability, good customer service, and beautiful machines.

I also prefer the Mac aesthetics of what you see on the screen to what I see on a PC screen.
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« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2008, 04:05:08 AM »
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Quote from: The View
Generally, Mac computers are on the top end from what is on the market. They work reliably, and you don't have to constantly install codes and security software and drivers, etc.
That's because Apple are such slobs that they're really bad and slow at releasing security and bug fixes.

They're way behind the top of the class in time to fix real problems.

Of course, regular users don't know that, because they don't pay attention to vulnerability reports, or check the date of the report compared to the date of the fix.

Microsoft used to be worst in class, but have improved a bit. Unfortunately for them, they have fundamental security problems in their products which will take ages to fix properly, so even after a couple of years with half-decent speed from vulnerability report to fix, they still have a tremendous amount of work to do.

Oh, this is turning into a rant about corporate software manufacturers arrogance, so I think I'll just stop right here!
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« Reply #22 on: October 20, 2008, 04:38:30 PM »
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Well said ... and I'm totally with you. Apple's design is world class -- both aesthetically and in terms of durability. I am a designer, so good design is important to me. In the case of a computer, hardware design and the interface design are both critical. Neither of these categories being met very well on the PC side. At Apple, they work, rework if necessary, and continue to work until they get it right. Steve (Jobs) isn't content until things are as perfect as humanly possible.

I just yearn to have a clue what their strategic plan is .... so that I can plan accordingly. Big surprises aren't important to me (what you see at their product release events).


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« Reply #23 on: October 20, 2008, 06:04:10 PM »
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Quote from: The View
I have not heard of the MacPro being unreliable. Maybe you should give yours to a check-up.
It been in several time. And one major problem I had was caused by the idiots with the genius t-shirt screwing up my computer, putting memory in wrong slots. I problem I sorted.  Not to mention when the business chap emailed me to askd how my Mac was doing and after being taken aback when I listed all the issues including his incompetent staff, he suggested I use Vista!!! Another Genius said he never used a new OS version until at least revision/bug fix/service pack 4 or 5. Now if the guys fixing the machines don't trust the software.....

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I also love the OS and its reliability and I cannot imagine working on a PC (I had one, thank you, never again).
Leopard is about to have it's 6th batch of bug fixes. I know people who stay with Tiger as leopard is so crap.

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Generally, Mac computers are on the top end from what is on the market. They work reliably, and you don't have to constantly install codes and security software and drivers, etc.
Complete BS. Most apple users I know have had problems and the lack of drivers is due to the lack of kit that can be used. The eSATA PCI card for my etternal drives has never worked and the manufacturer doesn't give a crap as it ignores emails. So I have 4TBs of drives that now cost half what I paid for them doing nothing. Go here for an article by a big Apple fan who has reliability issues Charles Arthur - The Guardian. And the Mac forums are full of problems and issues with various bits of kit.


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And the customer service is unbeatable. If I have a problem with my Mac and it's still within warranty, I just drop it off, and there is no haggling about what is to fix.
So they don't just work then if you've had problems. Besides, you do the same thing with a PC, yet often the venor collects machine from you and does so for more than one year. Also I did have to haggle about what to fix as the muppets didn't know what they were doing. nd I have to book a time to drop machine in as they are so busy fixing issues.
If Apple stuff was really that good why do they have shorter guarantees than many PC sellers?


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Compared to that, I don't like the aesthetics (or the lack of it) of windows equipment (including the software interfaces).
How do you explain Finder then? Worst fucking programme I've ever had to use. Simplistic, fiddly, plain awkward and very under powered. I also had a nice Aluminium case when Apple still had it's ghastly plastic boxes.

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Creative people like that Apple combination of reliability and esthetics and good performance and ease of use, and they are willing to pay premium for that.
No it's just that Apple computers ran the first creative software programmes and for a while had the entire creative market. Not any more.


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And I don't need to choose between half a dozen keyboards and screen surfaces. And if I don't like the glossy 24" display, I go buy an Eizo or a NEC. Which also work seamlessly on a Mac.
As they do on a PC. I want a wireles keybord for my Mac, the only Apple version is dreadful. How is a lack of options a good thing. The lack of options is a cost cutting exercise, not a customer service benefit, Apple strikes me as being cheap in its attitude.  How about if Canon now only offered two cameras, one that was OKish and one that was pants, but as you had 10 Canon lenses you couldn't actually afford to change to say Nikon.
Oh and my 'calibrated' dual monitors on my Mac, don't just match each other. And if I want to completely crash my Mac, I just unplug my phone. Other times I simply breathe in and then out and it falls over. I just discovered that I cannot move folders in Finder without giving my password as permissions are screwed up, again! At least Finder hasn't lost any hard drives for last couple of days and the Boot Camp Assistant  app suddenly works after completely refusing for ages, as apparently my hardware wasn't good enough.
Most unreliable piece of computer crap I've ever bought.
</rant>
This is a screenshot of redraw issues I had before 10.5/4 bug fix sorted the graphics problems

Finder still screws up text when in Thumbnail mode.
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jjj
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« Reply #24 on: October 20, 2008, 06:07:50 PM »
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Quote from: The View
Big point for the Mac's reliability.

Those horror stories from components not working together are usually PC stories.
Lots of PC are home made, so no comparison really. Would you compare a kit car to an Audi? And my Mac is he most unreliable computer yet, including home builds.

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Even though CS4 users will have a speed advantage for the next 1 1/2 to 2 years for extremely large files, that's not a reason for me to say goodbye to reliability, good customer service, and beautiful machines.
If only.

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I also prefer the Mac aesthetics of what you see on the screen to what I see on a PC screen.
Style over substance. Function comes a poor second to form with Apple kit.
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jjj
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« Reply #25 on: October 20, 2008, 06:17:18 PM »
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Quote from: bellimages
Well said ... and I'm totally with you. Apple's design is world class -- both aesthetically and in terms of durability. I am a designer, so good design is important to me. In the case of a computer, hardware design and the interface design are both critical. Neither of these categories being met very well on the PC side. At Apple, they work, rework if necessary, and continue to work until they get it right. Steve (Jobs) isn't content until things are as perfect as humanly possible.
So how come their ergonomics are so often dreadful, Finder so useless and their dual monitor implementation so pathetic and clumsy?
Apple stuff is designed to suit one person and one person only.  The rest of us have to put up with what Jobs dictates. Or not. I've been looking at PC laptops since Tuesday, what an amazing choice, bigger, smaller, more cores, more memory, higher res screens, better storage, more features, a choice of screens finishes, a choice of more functional keyboards, a choice of connectors.....choice to suit my various needs. Now that is customer service, giving the customer what they want/need.
PCs are anything but perfect, but at least I get to choose something that suits my needs better.

Now my rant is over!!
« Last Edit: October 20, 2008, 06:18:04 PM by jjj » Logged

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GregW
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« Reply #26 on: October 21, 2008, 10:20:52 AM »
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Quote from: jjj
Now Apple make more money form music/phones..and have dropped computer from their name they have become just another electronics firm and the people who kept their business alive are simply not important anymore.

I'm afraid this is wholly incorrect and misleading.

Net sales for the Macintosh unit (Laptops and desktops) are about the same as the iPod, iPhone and iTunes businesses combined. Apple's 34% gross margin is derived from the Mac unit, which makes significantly more profit in absolute terms.

Source: Apple Q308 Form 10-Q, and media conference

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« Reply #27 on: October 21, 2008, 07:59:22 PM »
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I love the PC guys stating that you can get exactly what you need. I agree, however, you also get Windows.

I think that the idea of a streamlined product line is makes good sense. Good for quality control, good for the distributors and best of all, good for us users.

In our house, I have a MBP Pro 15" (which I'm trading in for a new MBP 15"), a MacPro 8-core and a MacBook for my daughter. When my 11 yr old son outgrows his PC games, I'll get him a Mac too. My tech support issues have gone from something wrong each week, to only a few incidents in almost 2 years. I no longer have to reinstall Windows OS because something got hit by a bug. I don't have to buy flakey antivirus software and pay an annual subscription to keep 4 computers up to date.

As most former PC, now Mac users know, it's the cost of total ownership and not the price of the computer that matters. For those of you who cannot afford a new MBP to get firewire port, I suggest that you buy a used MBP and then you will get two, a FW400 and a FW800. You will still be getting a more usable computer than any PC-laptop. Or, save a little longer and "splurge" on a new MBP. The initial pain in the pocketbook is temporary and a small price to pay for a few years of a very cool, productive and trouble-free computer use.

I am now stepping off of the soapbox. Have a great night all.

Cheers,
Bud James
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jani
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« Reply #28 on: October 22, 2008, 03:38:53 AM »
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Quote from: budjames
I love the PC guys stating that you can get exactly what you need. I agree, however, you also get Windows.
Hack Attack : Install Leopard on your PC in 3 easy steps!

Enjoy.
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« Reply #29 on: October 22, 2008, 10:09:24 AM »
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Quote from: budjames
I love the PC guys stating that you can get exactly what you need. I agree, however, you also get Windows.
Which is better in many ways than OSX. As OSX is better than Windows in other ways.
I use both and always miss aspects of the other which ever OS I use. But if I had to choose one, PC would win due to the near useless and very clumsy Finder which slows down my file mangement so much, I now use my PC to move files around on the Mac and the dreadful multimonitor behaviour.
What I find most odd about OSX is how clumsy and inconsistent it is.

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« Reply #30 on: October 22, 2008, 10:33:35 PM »
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Quote from: GregW
I'm afraid this is wholly incorrect and misleading....
Au Contraire.

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....Net sales for the Macintosh unit (Laptops and desktops) are about the same as the iPod, iPhone and iTunes businesses combined. Apple's 34% gross margin is derived from the Mac unit, which makes significantly more profit in absolute terms.

Source: Apple Q308 Form 10-Q, and media conference
Some more up to date info - "The iPhone Accounted for 39% of Apple Revenue in Q4 2008" So unless iTunes and the iPod only account for 10% of revenue - very unlikely, the Mac unit will be less than the those 3 items combined.
It seems that Laptops + desktops made up $3.6 Billion and the iPod and Music made up $2.5Billion of Apple's revenue.  So as I said computing has become a minority part of their business. And why they dropped the name computer a while back to reflect their changing priorities. The iPhone business has grown by an astonishing amount. Not bad for a flawed first effort!
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giles
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« Reply #31 on: October 23, 2008, 04:24:45 PM »
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I also love the OS and its reliability and I cannot imagine working on a PC (I had one, thank you, never again).
My Vista machine is more stable than my OS X machine.  Naturally, this is anecdotal evidence only, but I've had to use the big red switch twice on the OS X machine in the last 24 hours.  In a week or two I'll reinstall it and see if I can narrow down the problem to some particular software component, but of course if it's a hardware problem I'm hosed, see later.

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Generally, Mac computers are on the top end from what is on the market. They work reliably, and you don't have to constantly install codes and security software and drivers, etc.
Jani answered that one.

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And the customer service is unbeatable. If I have a problem with my Mac and it's still within warranty, I just drop it off, and there is no haggling about what is to fix.
Not in Australia, you don't.  You drop it off (if you can get them to accept that there's a fault, which last time took me a month of arguing with the state service manager of their largest (oursourced) service centre) and wait a couple of weeks after which it might be fixed.  (Problem?  The well known dark stripes on the first LED MacBook Pro, which Apple have never admitted.  Yes, my screen was replaced.  No, the new one isn't completely free of the problem either.) And AppleCare doesn't offer next day on site service or anything, you know, like, competitive, with the market.  If I used an OS X machine professionally, I'd have already switched to Windows.

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The fact that Apple has had mass market success does not mean that its high end machines are less high end now.
I saw a comment in the trade press saying that Apple loves consumers but doesn't like customers.  Witness their extremely grudging admission that their machines too are affected by the bad Nvidia chips, and an extension (of one whole year) of warranty for the machines affected.  That may be enough for me to consider buying another Apple machine, but I'll need to see non-gloss screens, have my own OS X installations stable before doing so, and locate an alternate service centre first.

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It is actually more astonishing that mass market success can be had with such well designed goods like the iPod or the iPhone and the MacBook.
Taking over the mp3 player market with the iPod was very well done.  I think the jury's out on the iPhone, although it's certainly popular.  The MacBook's just another notebook PC; I've used better and worse.  They're all made in the same factories, to more or less the same price points, none of them are especially reliable, and if your vendor doesn't care to support what they sell, it's very tempting to move on to the next vendor.

Apple's only assets in the PC market are "cool" factor (bzzt), OS X (nicer than Windows, yes), and that Adobe still have Mac and PC versions of some of their products and make it really painful to switch platforms.  If I were Adobe I'd be extracting a large payment from Apple for not making all Adobe's product licenses cross platform as Lightroom is.

Giles (also fearing he's ranting, and wishes Apple would listen)
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« Reply #32 on: October 23, 2008, 06:29:26 PM »
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Quote from: giles
Apple's only assets in the PC market are "cool" factor (bzzt), OS X (nicer than Windows, yes), and that Adobe still have Mac and PC versions of some of their products and make it really painful to switch platforms.  If I were Adobe I'd be extracting a large payment from Apple for not making all Adobe's product licenses cross platform as Lightroom is.
Much as I've criticised Apple above, this is an Adobe decision, nothing to do with Apple.
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« Reply #33 on: October 23, 2008, 07:10:02 PM »
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Quote from: ErikKaffehr
Hi,

My experience with FW was a positive one and with USB mostly negative. I really think that portables should have some decent interface for hooking up hard disks, so I'm really with Jessica on the need of FW800 or eSATA. I'm still using Tiger and USB on my iMac/Tiger combo is slow while FW is fast (10 MByte/s vs. 60 MByte/s).

I absolutely agree with Jessica. I also feel bad about the attitude that now that we have a new technology (like USB 3.0) old technology (like FW) is not needed. My experience is that new technology is seldom reliable especially if a certain Redmond based company has been involved in it's development or specification. Users have investment in technology that works, methods that are proven. We also need to keep in mind that some businesses are more sensitive to costs than others. Not every one on this planet is living in a high income/high expenditure situation. I guess that for some people earning their money with hard work on a smaller scale investing in a new computer can be bad enough but also upgrading storage is additional cost.

Best regards
Erik



We all have to realize that at some point, all technology will be left behind. I'm sure that there are a handful of guys wishing that the SCSI ports were still on their computer (Jaz drive days).
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giles
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« Reply #34 on: October 23, 2008, 08:27:23 PM »
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Quote from: jjj
Much as I've criticised Apple above, this is an Adobe decision, nothing to do with Apple.
Sure -- I didn't intend to suggest otherwise.  But with Apple's switch of strategy (Carbon and Cocoa) delaying Adobe's 64 bit products on OS X and Adobe's licensing policies helping tie customers unhappy about that delay to Apple, if I were Adobe, I'd be looking at what was in it for me.

I'd like Adobe to wake up and smell the coffee and be PC/Mac agnostic with their licensing, but I'm not holding my breath, like I'm not holding my breath for Adobe to adjust their international pricing.

I'll shut up now.

Giles
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GregW
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« Reply #35 on: October 24, 2008, 06:07:51 AM »
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Quote from: jjj
Au Contraire.

Some more up to date info - "The iPhone Accounted for 39% of Apple Revenue in Q4 2008" So unless iTunes and the iPod only account for 10% of revenue - very unlikely, the Mac unit will be less than the those 3 items combined.
It seems that Laptops + desktops made up $3.6 Billion and the iPod and Music made up $2.5Billion of Apple's revenue.  So as I said computing has become a minority part of their business. And why they dropped the name computer a while back to reflect their changing priorities. The iPhone business has grown by an astonishing amount. Not bad for a flawed first effort!

You missed my fundamental point. Revenue growth is important but revenue does not equal profit at Apple. iPhone, iPod and music revenues are high due to volume but profit is relatively low - compared to mac - because of the pricing constraints in those markets. Even if you look at the non GAAP numbers - those including  deferred subscription income - the profit level per unit will still be relatively low.

The fiscal Q4 numbers were not available when I made my post. That said I'd still prefer to look at 3 quarters rather than just 1. In this case it's particularly important as this was a distorted quarter. iPhone 3G has been ramped up in a big way but with increased competition Apple have made it clear that it's unlikely these initial numbers will represent the sustained trend.  This is particularly likely as iPhone is now in all of the major markets and the useful life of the phone is about 24 months. Additionaly Apple saw a significant slow down in Mac sales as people defered their purchases, knowing new models were on the way. Apple also lost sales due to a change in education budget changes which they expect to get back.

Yes iPhone and iPod are very important to Apple, they grow the top line but Macs are still the most important generator of profit and cash at Apple. Unless there is a massive drop in sales this will continue to be the case for some time.

The broader point here is simple. Has the iPod and iPhone diverted Apples attention away from the Mac. Yes it probably has, Leopard is a good example of this. I still believe that the outcome would have been much the same, i.e. dropping FW and switching to glossy screens.  Apple may have had a history of interacting with the digital professional but that changed in 1992 when Quark went windows. It's a very long time since Apple designed hardware specifically for the digital imaging professional.  I've said this on a few occasions. Apple were never as good as people remember and Microsoft are not as bad as people think.

The reality is a simple one. For the professional, a camera system, computer or display is a tool and not a religion. I seriously doubt the lack of FW port on a MB or a glossy screen will impact the result. A glossy screen doesn't a bad photographer or a bad image.
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« Reply #36 on: October 24, 2008, 11:16:10 PM »
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Quote from: GregW
I've said this on a few occasions. Apple were never as good as people remember and Microsoft are not as bad as people think.
Gosh such heresy, you will burn in the hell that are the MacRumours forums for that sensible comment!  

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The reality is a simple one. For the professional, a camera system, computer or display is a tool and not a religion. I seriously doubt the lack of FW port on a MB or a glossy screen will impact the result. A glossy screen doesn't a bad photographer or a bad image.
Just because someone gets paid for taking pictures does not always make them more rational about their tools. Most people use the same tool as they always have, simply as they are used to it and as change may also incur a cost. I've used both OSes, I've changed camera brands, I've changed software in favour of better software on numerous occasions but that is unusual behaviour, not the norm.
 But the current designs will affect whether or not some people will buy a new Mac laptop. The current laptop choice is insultingly awful and I'm looking at Hackinstosh/EFi solutions at present to get one that suits my needs, if I want to continue using OSX whilst mobile. Otherwise I'll simply use Windows.

I do understand the difference betewteen revenue and profit and Computers usually have low profit margins.
As for the iPhone revenue - a lot of it comes from the phone companies using it, very profitable and apparently the manufacturing costs make the device itself more way profitable than the computer stuff. The iPhone is runing at 58% manufacturing profit and even though Apple have the highest margins in the computer industry, the Macs will come nowhere near that figure.
Apple is now a consumer business and their original core business [the professional creative industry] is becoming increasingly marginalised. And if they can make more money that way, i.e. going down the consumer path, it'll only increase further. Apple products just seem more and more like they were designed primarily to cut manufacturing costs, not to benefit end consumer. Much cheaper to have one type of screen, one size mouse, one keyboard design, than to give consumer's choice.
Apple's rennaisance over last few years is down to appealing to the non-professionals and from a business point of view, it's a very good one. For them.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2008, 11:18:43 PM by jjj » Logged

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« Reply #37 on: October 25, 2008, 04:36:51 PM »
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One quick question... if you could install MacOS X on any computer, like you would with Windows, would you seriously stick to Apple Hardware? Honestly, I agree about OSX, I wouldn't swap it for windows either, and I have been a windows user for years, I simply think things are easier on MacOS and I waste less time working against the OS... but would you keep buying apple hardware, if you could install OS X on any off-the shelve notebook with a Core2 Duo processor?
« Last Edit: October 25, 2008, 04:38:34 PM by JessicaLuchesi » Logged
The View
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« Reply #38 on: October 25, 2008, 08:51:59 PM »
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Quote from: JessicaLuchesi
One quick question... if you could install MacOS X on any computer, like you would with Windows, would you seriously stick to Apple Hardware? Honestly, I agree about OSX, I wouldn't swap it for windows either, and I have been a windows user for years, I simply think things are easier on MacOS and I waste less time working against the OS... but would you keep buying apple hardware, if you could install OS X on any off-the shelve notebook with a Core2 Duo processor?

Macs used to be much, much more expensive (which is why first computer was a PC), but since Mac went Intel, that has considerably narrowed.

Sure, you see those offers for a Windows computer with a big hard drive and a lot of Ram for under 1000$, but what kind of video card does it have? How's the front side bus? Motherboard? There are some really cheap and not so great components out there for Windows computers, and while it looks good for a purchase (less expense) it looks worse for owning. A friend of mine bought one of those special offer PCs with good numbers on the paper, and the thing was so bad always had to exchange some parts, set up all software again, look for new drivers (including the one that finally drove him to going berserk, so he tossed the thing).

You get what you pay for, and if you want a good computer, you have to spend a good deal of money for both Macs AND PCs.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2008, 08:52:40 PM by The View » Logged

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« Reply #39 on: October 25, 2008, 09:04:29 PM »
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Quote from: The View
Sure, you see those offers for a Windows computer with a big hard drive and a lot of Ram for under 1000$, but what kind of video card does it have? How's the front side bus? Motherboard? There are some really cheap and not so great components out there for Windows computers, and while it looks good for a purchase (less expense) it looks worse for owning. A friend of mine bought one of those special offer PCs with good numbers on the paper, and the thing was so bad always had to exchange some parts, set up all software again, look for new drivers (including the one that finally drove him to going berserk, so he tossed the thing).
Apple has crappy out of date video cards in their machines and in the laptops buggy ones!
Of course you can buy a crap PC, as anyone can put one together, but lots of decent stuff out there too.

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You get what you pay for, and if you want a good computer, you have to spend a good deal of money for both Macs AND PCs.
As Apple have by far the highest profit margin in the industry, you will always get a really good PC for less and probably with a 3yr on site warrantee too. An area where Apple show how little faith they have in their kit.
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