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Apple is the new leader in technical stagnation


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#1 Reimar

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 01:04 AM

Apple is the new leader in technical stagnation

By Derrick Wlodarz

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The golden years of Apple's outright dominance in technical innovation is fading, and quickly at that. The iPhone 5 just launched with a deservedly ho-hum and lackluster reception, with many people asking the obvious question: that's it? For a company riding the high waves of Wall Street for more than a few years now, with earnings going through the roof quarter upon quarter, is this the best that a larger-than-life tech giant can bring us?

Maybe the naysayers are right in that Apple is the leftover shell of a monolith once passed (post-Jobs.) Perhaps that internal drive to bring out the best in technology they release is starting to fizzle. I'd go as far as to argue that Apple never really has been as continually innovative as many people may believe. While Apple does have an easy ability in commanding the lead for sectors it enters, this doesn't necessarily mean the company if filled with technical Einsteins as so many supporters clamor to believe.

Apple the Evolutionary Leader Follower



Take Apple's staple desktop OS, Mac OS X, for example. While the company goes to great lengths in order to detail feature after feature improved by each release, take a look at the long-term picture of what OS X represents over a 10-year span. At each point in time, you can see where Microsoft's Windows OS stood relative to OS X.

Do you see the trend? Microsoft has put forth larger monumental changes to the Windows platform release-upon-release than Apple can lay claim to for the near entire 10-year span of the OS X history. Niche features and apps aside, OS X is the same behemoth on the outset that we first saw back in 2001. It doesn't take a genius to connect the dots and re-evaluate whether Apple's design improvements are as far reaching and endearing as marketing claims to be.

This doesn't only ring true in the GUI everyone uses. Take, for example, the aspect of internal OS security. We can all agree that Microsoft has made leaps and bounds improvements in security; in the 10 years since XP, Windows 7 stands tall as the Fort Knox of client OS examples. So much so that many experts outright claim that Windows is pound for pound more secure than OS X and even the impenetrable iPhone is starting to gain the attention of malware writers. After years of pounding the "Macs don't get viruses" drum, Apple quietly admits that Macs aren't as bulletproof as once believed.

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Playing catch up in Smartphone Features Every Direction You Look

The innovation disparity doesn't just reside on the desktop side. With the recent release of the iPhone 5, Apple's smartphone revolution evolution grinds to a path of limited improvement, if even dare I say it -- mere catch up. Just as with the desktop OS, have a look at the two major players in the smartphone arena right now, Apple and Samsung. Pitting three generations of the same model line of phone side by side, which competitor represents larger generational improvements in a like-for-like comparison?

Not only have Samsung's phones undergone appropriate physical changes to adapt with the smartphone needs of users at large, but the Android software powering them has also seen similar shifts, not just mere upgrades. But in face of all the competition from Android (and soon to be Blackberry 10 as well) to win the hearts and minds of today's hungry users, Apple turned on the glitz a few days back to churn out a mediocre iPhone 5. I'm not the only one scratching my head as to some of the decisions the company made with this new phone.

Near Field Communication? Nowhere to be found. Better battery life? Marginal at best. A true revolution in UI design? Apple was overly-giddy in describing how they've -- gasp -- added a 5th row of icons to iOS 6. And screen resolution? The Galaxy S3, Lumia 920, and even upcoming Blackberry 10 devices all have Apple beat already. If the iPhone 5 feature set is an example of the golden company it represents in users' eyes, then I guess we can begin discussions about a possible OS Hall of Fame induction for Windows Vista.

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But I guess iPhone users really don't care about the specifics that much; they've been more than comfortable on 2007-era 3G speeds for some time now, so the new iPhone 5 must be a godsend in some regards. I pretty much run my computer repair company FireLogic on a Blackberry Torch 2 with HSPA+ so 3G is a fairly distant memory for me.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention Apple's ingenious (read: sarcasm) new connector design, which debuts on the iPhone 5. Instead of allaying to industry standards and using an affordable Micro USB connector like everyone else, Apple implemented a new proprietary connection that will require a wonderful $29 adapter. The only win from this idiotic proposal is for Apple, which will rake in the hundreds of thousands of dollars from senseless adapter purchases. Yet the Apple feens will continue to support the march toward proprietary-dom while shunning the likes of Microsoft and Android.

Apple's Best Trait? Corporate and Legal War of Attrition

If Apple isn't the bastion of technical improvement, then what does it have going for it? A great corporate engine that allows the company to smash competition from mere size, if anything else. A fresh example of this corporate grind attitude just surfaced this week, with news reports that Apple is suing a Polish online grocer for far-fetched allegations that logos and website addresses are too close to that of the tech giant's. This is just a small blip on Apple's ever-growing war map. Some victims happen to be innocent bystanders, as in this latest Polish grocer suit, but some are clearly intended targets in Steve Jobs' not-so-secret thermonuclear war on Android.

Putting aside the sole fact that Apple defeated Samsung in the courtroom via questionable jury deliberations, the bigger issue here is whether Apple was truly justified in its positions against Samsung. It's already well known that the jury itself wasn't as much interested in technical details as they were in sending a message to Samsung. But on the larger picture, if Samsung really did copy Apple's intellectual design, where does that leave Apple in its own actions over the better part of its public history?

Tech entrepreneur and angel investor Mark Cuban took to Twitter shortly after the ruling was announced and quipped a few interesting things. "If the IBM PC was created in this patent environment there would be no Apple. They would have sued them out of existence". Probably the best message was, "Dear Apple, Xerox PARC called, they want their interface back". Funnies aside, Cuban is entirely right on the money. Apple is clearly set on auto-pilot for all out legal destruction of the competition.

Let Apple have its day. While the company seems to have taken the home court advantage and ran with it, I doubt future legal battles will be as clear cut as this one. And I really do hope that the courts push back on Apple's outright war against competition. For as much heat as Microsoft has received over the last decade for its dominance with Windows, I think Apple should be taken to town on the same laurels for its doings in the smartphone arena.

Only time will tell, I guess. Perhaps 50 years from now, as Malcolm Gladwell predicts, Steve Jobs will be almost completely forgotten in most respects and Apple will clutch the likes of a WebOS-esque standing in the smartphone world. For now, let competition ring so the technical leaps of Apple's marketplace foes can start becoming as evident as they should be. And even more importantly, it's time that the courts show Apple that legal teams alone can't drown out the competition.

Source: BetaNews

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#2 ChappyHappy

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 04:25 PM

Apple is popular because it just works without tweaking much. The average consumer does not like tweaking. It requires lots of research. They'd rather be told what they like/dont like and how it should be done. That is where Apple wins, and will continue to do so.
It's also popular because it's popular. Kind of like beats headsets.

Lumia 920? What is that? The average person would not know that Lumia has wireless charging. Most would not know that S3 and 920 beats the IP5 in resolution. All they know is 'retina display'.
Although, I actually like Apple's old size as it can fit into a pocket, whereas 4" is too big.
Apple stopped innovating a while ago. Their products are merely evolving. The company only litigating.

Apple's products themselves arent bad. They are considered top-tier. However, the lack of choice (one product), closed ecosystem (itunes, no SD card), mass litigation, and overpriced products is why I dislike Apple and will convince others that they arent as great as their marketing department makes them out to be.

And a pet-peeve of mine is people calling any kind of tablet an "iPad". It's pissing me off.

It's better if the IP isnt as good as before. It'll knock the fanboys down a few notches. But they'll still need to be around to provide competition for Android and Microsoft.


#3 Reimar

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 01:17 AM

Apple is popular because it just works without tweaking much. The average consumer does not like tweaking. It requires lots of research. They'd rather be told what they like/dont like and how it should be done. That is where Apple wins, and will continue to do so.
It's also popular because it's popular. Kind of like beats headsets.



You're right with some limitations! As Apple uses an very low range of hardware for it's product's, there isn't a need of tweaking in normal work! Apple also uses mainly old (one or more electronic generation) and well tested Hardware only for it's product's. Old means: Electronic Generation Time, which is below 6 month for today's Electronic. That the buyers of apple products having to pay a very high price for that old technology, with a lot restriction for using for not to void warranty terms, is a different thing!

Lumia 920? What is that? The average person would not know that Lumia has wireless charging. Most would not know that S3 and 920 beats the IP5 in resolution. All they know is 'retina display'.
Although, I actually like Apple's old size as it can fit into a pocket, whereas 4" is too big.
Apple stopped innovating a while ago. Their products are merely evolving. The company only litigating.



If you really take a very close look, you'll find that Apple hasn't innovated from Ground Zero anything! It doesn't matter what youre looking for in Apple's product's every of them were innovated some time before Apple were RE-innovating them. And that's exactly what Apple does with all of them product: RE-INNOVATING!
One main point while Apple is going with many other companies to the Court's, is just they having found a nice for to apply for patent's which nobody does before, even those were used for years before the Company Apple was existing. Those Court Cases keep the Name Apple in everybody ear and you couldn't avoid to get use of that name! That's Marketing and brings a lot money.

Apple's products themselves arent bad. They are considered top-tier. However, the lack of choice (one product), closed ecosystem (itunes, no SD card), mass litigation, and overpriced products is why I dislike Apple and will convince others that they arent as great as their marketing department makes them out to be.



How they could bad? They couldn't! Because Apple is (again) using only tested Hardware and have let other pay (in time, Development and Money) for to do the testing, Apple only profit's form the work of other. And that without to give back anything. Hopefully Mr. Cook will carry on to do much more mistakes as he started already. Once the day will come that the "ey's" of the Apple user's open up!!

And a pet-peeve of mine is people calling any kind of tablet an "iPad". It's pissing me off.

It's better if the IP isnt as good as before. It'll knock the fanboys down a few notches. But they'll still need to be around to provide competition for Android and Microsoft.


Last but not least: Nobody could say that Apple, started with it's Co-Founder Steve Jobs and his followers, done social works for the people outside of the Apple Company! Compare to that: What's about the Microsoft Founder Bill Gates? I do believe nobody could deny that Mr. Bill Gates has a very social mind and do a lot for the poor people of the World!



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#4 Kingsman1

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 06:21 PM

I do agree with the fact that Bill Gates had a heart to try to help others. Apple's product line was always shiny and desirable. However, as neat as Apple products looked, there were other issues involved. Back when Apple introduced the Mac cube with its little 9" black and white screen, Atari had a beautiful 512 color 12" display and a wonderful gui-there was a lot of talk about Apple having stolen their gui from Atari.

Today, Apple has a good idea with the Ipad. However though it is a good thing, and some of its apps are really nice, the Ipad seriously
lacks. Its not anywhere near flexible enough, lacks modifiability, has nothing remotely like T-Swipe Pro or My Sword, or dozens of other incredibly wonderful tools. Yep, Apple may have more apps, but Android its catching on fast with better ones. Further, a lot of Android tabs, like mine, have a full compliment of ports. The Ipad seriously lacks in this regard.
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#5 Nicole.M

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 07:31 AM

Apple always wait for the better. I think they believe slow and steady wins the race.

#6 asdf1234asdf

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 01:16 PM

I am not at all surprised by this, with their closed infrastructure.  It's amazing Windoze has made any progress in that area though!



#7 dzajko

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 05:59 AM

Apple is just more expensive, I don't believe they are that good.