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  (Source: Worth3D)
Missteps has soured some customers to Apple, who clings to the #2 spot

Forget those pesky lawsuits from open source supporters, swirling antitrust investigations, worries about malware, and complaints of fragmentation.  Google, Inc. (GOOG) continues its wanton destruction of its foes in the smartphone and tablet markets, even as its internet services continue to dominate usage, and its PC apps gain ground.  Oh, and Google is building a stable of robots, self-driving cars, and drone-powered hotspots as well.

I. Google is the New Alpha Dog

Perhaps no device is more beloved and important to the modern consumer than the smartphone.  Thus it is unsurprising that the smartphone industry's top three superpowers -- Apple, Inc. (AAPL), Google, and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) -- have locked up the top spots in a number of brand value studies in recent years.

Moreover, given Google's visibility and seemingly sky-high high-tech ambitions, it's perhaps unsurprising to see the Mountain View, Calif.-based brand topping the charts in valuation.  In one of the early brand value rankings of 2014, Millward Brown placed Google in the coveted top spot of its 100 Top BrandZ rankings.

Brandz Top 100

That spot had been held by Apple since 2011.  Google climbed to #2 in 2011, but at last has broken through in terms of image, eclipsing its rival in everything from sales to obnoxious hipster cachet (with its Google Glass Explorer, aka "Google Glasses").

The world's second largest market research agency -- a subsidiary of WPP plc's (LON:WPP) Kantar Group -- says that Google's brand is worth $158.84B USD, thanks to a 40 percent rise over last year.  Microsoft -- currently in third place in the smartphone market -- saw a modest 29 percent rise (to $90.18B USD) under the fresh leadership of new CEO Satya Nadella.

Apple, meanwhile plunged 20 pecent in valuation.  The drop was quite unusual as outside of Chinese firms, Apple had nearly twice the brand devaluation of any other value-losing company in the Top 100's top half.  In short, one of branding's top analysts has suggested Apple is not only the biggest loser in the tech sector, it's perhaps the biggest loser of any top company.

Google Glasses
Google has captured the hipster vibe that Apple long seemingly had a monopoly on.
[Image Source: BGR]

Apple's chief hardware rival, top Android phonemaker Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KRX:005930) (KRX:005935), was far behind Apple and Google in 29th place, but did grow 21 percent to a brand value of $25.89B USD.

The rise of Google and fall of Apple in brand value in many ways mirrors the pair's battle in unit sales.  Apple recently settled with Google and entered talks with Samsung after it slipped to a legal stalemate in last month's jury trial.

Jurors found that while Samsung infringed on Apple's slide-to-unlock patent in some devices, as well as background link-generation and autocorrect algorithms, Apple also appeared to have used Samsung technology.  Jurors found Apple guilty of infringing on Samsung's video patents with its "FaceTime" video chat software.

Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook yells at members of Congress, during a hearing. [Image Source: Reuters]

The verdict was a blow to Apple, which has long prided itself on being a step ahead of rivals.  Now, Apple is showing the first signs of falling behind.  Its executives are reportedly at their wits end with frustration over attacks ads from Samsung and Microsoft's Nokia Devices brand.  Apple's own advertising partners are comparing its current malaise to its flirtation with bankruptcy in the 1990s.

II. Apple is Strong in Short Term, But Trouble May Lie Ahead

Today Apple is still one of the world's most profitable companies, pocketing $10B+ USD in a quarter.  It has a strong international retail presence, and an entrenched legion of OS X/iOS ecosystem adherents.

For all its multi-faceted struggles -- from Apple Maps' woes to the mixed sentiments over iOS7 design styles -- Apple still has a number of fans and well-wishers.  While many of this crowd have grown tired or frustrated from Apple's uninspired recent efforts, they've given it the benefit of the doubt on account of their love of its past releases.

On the other hand, Apple has also become a bit of a punchline at times.  When President Barrack Obama's site suffered issues, he compared it to iOS 7.  And that's coming from a self-proclaimed fan of the iPhone who owns an iPad.

iPhone 5C
The iPhone 5C missed its sales targets, in part because Apple marketed a $700+ USD phone as a "budget" option.

There's still enough positives for Apple's most loyal supporters to lash out at its critics (and like Millward Brown after its latest rankings).  But for the first time in nearly a decade, despite its strong residual profitability Apple has effectively stalled, with no clear path ahead.

Profitability can turn south fast -- just as BlackBerry, Ltd. (TSE:BB).  Apple and its chief will need to maneuver much more deftly in order to prevent a BlackBerry-like slide as consumer interest wanes.

The iPhone's growth has been somewhat subdued from the wild levels of its earlier years, but it continues to grow as Apple pushes and expands in markets it previously had no sales in or a weak presence due to pricing (e.g. China).  Likewise, while Mac growth has flatlined, it has done so at a very challenging time for all PC makers.

The one really glaring alarm bell is the iPad's recent sales struggles.  

With the iPad, Apple has gone not from wild growth to more sedate progress, but actually saw a fall in year-to-year quarterly sales in calendar Q1 2014 (Apple's fiscal Q2 2014).  Meanwhile Samsung and Chinese OEM Lenovo Group Ltd. (HKG:0992saw record sales, driving Android to its clearest lead yet in the tablet market.

Android now is outselling Apple nearly 6-to-1 in the smartphone space, and roughly 2-to-1 in the tablet space.

The iPad is the biggest trouble spot for Apple.

The concern for Apple isn't in the short run.  It's still the top force in digital music and arguably has the best app store in the mobile market.  It's still more profitable than any Android phonemaker even with recent dips in profit magins.  And it is a strong second in terms of unit share, with especially strong sales in valuable markets such as the U.S. and Canada.

The concern for Apple is primarily in the long term, given the sharp drop in consumer perception and the corresponding stall in iPad sales -- telltale signs of deeper issues with the business.

III. Apple Needs to Diversify and Strengthen its Current Core via Acquisitions

For that reason perhaps the most dangerous contribution to Apple's brand drop has been its failure to aggressively acquire smaller, innovative startups.  Steve Jobs knew the value of this all too well, having acquired much of the multi-touch trappings of the original iPhone from a little-known firm named FingerWorks.

Google has spent deeply, scooping up a variety of firms, boosting its fledgling internet utility, wearable electronics, connected home, and robotic car efforts.  At the same time, while it's been more than willing to open its wallet, it's kept reasonably disciplined, generally getting good bang for its buck.

Google Nest purchase
Google's acquisition victories included Nest in Q1 2014. [Image Source: Digital Trends]

But even a firm like Facebook, Inc. (FB) which earns criticism for overvaluing and overspending in some ways, is tapping into the same key to long-term success as Google, albeit in a less economic fashion.

By contrast Apple only acquired a handful of firms last year despite having well over $100B USD in cash.  In the last year and a half, Tim Cook recently disclosed that his company averaged 16 bids per year -- many of which didn't succeed.  Most recently Apple has reportedly entered talks to buy Beats for ~$3B USD.

But overall the picture in terms of acquisitions has been that Google is racing ahead, while Apple stands still.

Apple Money
[Image Source: SoManyMP3s]

But it's not too late with Apple sitting on a huge pile of cash.  Factor in that even if Apple's iPhone follows the trend of the iPad -- posting small declines in unit sales and lower profit margins -- the company should enjoy strong residual income for the next few years, at least.

Normally for a company as profitable as Apple, a weakening brand image isn't necessarily the end fo the world.  Where it hurts Apple more then most, though, is that Apple has long relied on favorable consumer sentiment to command top dollar from its products and stir growth.  Further, Apple has no fallback source of income if device profits fall.  Where as Microsoft can afford to lose money yearly on its low-volume, low-margin mobile portfolio, Apple has no enterprise stronghold of profitability to lean upon.

IBM's survival and success illustrates the value of diversification, a strategy Apple should perhaps try. [Image Source: Reuters]

For that reason perhaps the best long term outcome for Apple is to follow in the vein of International Business Machines, Corp. (IBM).  While no longer a direct force in the consumer electronics market, IBM's flexibility and willingness to undergo drastic evolution over the years have allowed it to not only survive, but earn the #3 spot ($107.54B USD) in the brand survey -- just ahead of Microsoft.

Source: Millward Brown

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By p05esto on 5/22/2014 9:25:46 PM , Rating: 4
No one who truly knows technology, hardware, drm, openness and software buys Apple. Period. What's happening is that the general public is getting smarter and starting to come around to knowing what the tech crowd has known for a long time. Apple is for sheep who don't know any better and like spending a 25% premium for a name.

RE: who?
By retrospooty on 5/22/2014 9:29:13 PM , Rating: 1
Totally agreed. Nothing that full of crap can last forever. Honestly I'm surprised it lasted as long as it did considering how much better the competition is over Apple products. Even BlackBerrys have better features, and BlackBerrys is a joke

RE: who?
By Nortel on 5/22/14, Rating: -1
RE: who?
By ritualm on 5/22/2014 11:27:45 PM , Rating: 3
Making many billions on every financial quarter is not innovation (Intel does it, energy companies do it, hell... Monsanto does it), and before you even trot out Horace Deliu to support your strawman arguments, there is no innovation from selling products that work just slightly better than the competition.

RE: who?
By retrospooty on 5/23/14, Rating: -1
RE: who?
By StormyKnight on 5/23/14, Rating: 0
RE: who?
By bug77 on 5/23/2014 4:45:47 AM , Rating: 2
So Google makes products available in order to show ads, as opposed to Apple that sells (more or less) the same products. And your problem is?

RE: who?
By FITCamaro on 5/23/2014 8:18:19 AM , Rating: 2
Because Apple doesn't make a lot of revenue just offering other people's content on their iTunes and app stores?

And is there something wrong with Google releasing tons of technology in order for them to make money by selling ads and data mining?

RE: who?
By Spuke on 5/23/14, Rating: -1
RE: who?
By ven1ger on 5/23/2014 1:01:37 PM , Rating: 3
I think you're missing the gist of the article. Yes Google is primarily an advertising company, Apple is primarily a hardware company but Google is a company with a diversity of products that if its main product, advertisement, slows in revenue, it has a diversity of products to depend on for revenue.

On the other hand, if Apple's main product, hardware, slows in revenue, it does not have such a diversity of products to depend on for revenue. Apple may have other revenue streams but not enough to keep such a large company afloat if its hardware starts faltering. Apple is starting to see a slide in its hardware popularity, because of many issues, lack of innovation, too expensive, abusive patent trials, etc.

As the article points out, Blackberry which was the top smartphone seller, fell quickly due to its lack of diversity when it faced similar problems like Apple. Microsoft is a company with a portfolio of diverse offerings so it is able to weather failures of its main product, Windows.

As to your 99% income from advertisement, not sure whether if you pulled that out of thin air, but according to Google's earnings report, your percentage is seriously flawed.

RE: who?
By inperfectdarkness on 5/23/2014 5:38:11 AM , Rating: 2

I've been telling people the "bubble" is going to collapse. I knew it when Jobs kicked the bucket. I knew it when the Kindle Fire cost 1/3rd of an iPad and did virtually all of the same tasks. And here is more evidence.

I have several friends who used to own mostly apple products and "graduated" to google & MS products because the product quality and durability left much to be desired (HD/storage failures seem to be a recurring theme). Apple is headed for a reckoning.

RE: who?
By tonyswash on 5/23/14, Rating: -1
RE: who?
By Rukkian on 5/23/2014 10:24:38 AM , Rating: 2

It is a sad day when you look like the sane one here. All the hate (on both sides) is unfounded in my opinion. I will probably never own anything apple as I like to have control over what I can do, and how I can do it, but don't get upset if somebody else does.

RE: who?
By bug77 on 5/23/2014 10:49:24 AM , Rating: 2
In his defense, he did paint Apple in rosy colors even if the article is about its 20% YoY devaluation.

RE: who?
By retrospooty on 5/23/2014 11:39:15 AM , Rating: 2
"Tony, It is a sad day when you look like the sane one here. "

Lets be clear... Tony is saying Apple isnt going anywhere, and of course he is correct. Financially they are very strong. People that would imply differently are delusional. But other people being delusional does not make Tony appear sane, he is merely correct in this instance.

There is something inherently wrong with someone that blindly defends a company and everything they do and produce on the internet every day for years and years on end. The only thing that would make Tony appear "sane" would be to remove the ridiculous bias.

RE: who?
By Rukkian on 5/23/2014 12:16:32 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is on this article at least, the blind hate for Apple makes Tony not look near as bad or as extreme.

Do I think he has ever been unbiased - absolutely not, but in this post (if I did not know his history) I would agree with him. If you take all of his posts, then no he doesn't seem sane, he seems to have a irrational lust for all things apple and fear anything non-apple.

The problem is having some be so opposite (in some cases even more of an anti-apple zealot than Tony is for apple) makes him not look as bad. I think people need to step back and realize, it is just a tech company selling products. While many do not like them, they are profitable (highly so) and very successful. I hope they stay around to keep pressure on Google and other companies to actually move forward.

RE: who?
By retrospooty on 5/23/2014 4:02:23 PM , Rating: 2
"I hope they stay around to keep pressure on Google and other companies to actually move forward."

Totally agreed. Anytime one company monopolizes, innovation slows and prices rise. We do need viable alternatives, and Apple has always served that purpose for Windows and now today for Android. If Apple disappeared, Windows and Android would both stagnate and prices would go up.

RE: who?
By Reclaimer77 on 5/23/2014 4:13:59 PM , Rating: 1
If Apple disappeared, Windows and Android would both stagnate and prices would go up.

Yeah because Apple stealing features Android has had for years is totally a result of them "keeping pressure" on Google, lmao.

RE: who?
By retrospooty on 5/23/2014 4:16:56 PM , Rating: 2
I just mean its a viable alternative.

If Mac didn't exist, even with ts tiny 7% market share, can you imagine the crap MS would be pushing on us? We would probably be at Windows Vista right about now in 2014 and they wouldnt be fixing it in Windows 7 in 2018.

RE: who?
By retrospooty on 5/23/2014 4:21:27 PM , Rating: 2
Derp, meant to add - that if IOS went away, Google would not be pushing as hard as they have been and would eventually milk it too... Competition is a good thing, even if one of the competitors is FOS.

RE: who?
By Helbore on 5/23/2014 11:20:33 AM , Rating: 3
Replace Apple with Microsoft, Jobs with Gates and Cook with Ballmer.

Be honest, Tony, this is exactly how you talk about the impending doom of Microsoft, despite them remaining both profitable and relevant. You won't listen to evidence like "Microsoft was more profitable under Ballmer than under Gates," and would just dismiss that as Ballmer riding on the coat-tails of Gates.

But the moment anyone suggests the same about Cook's era at Apple, you jump in with the sarcastic responses. I wonder if you realise how biased and hypocritical this makes you look?

RE: who?
By tonyswash on 5/23/14, Rating: 0
RE: who?
By Reclaimer77 on 5/23/2014 2:50:28 PM , Rating: 2
I think this is the first time you've linked something I've fully agreed with, Tony. Aside from your AGW website.

The Surface is like that bad joke Microsoft keeps telling every Thanksgiving.

RE: who?
By themaster08 on 5/23/2014 6:14:29 PM , Rating: 3
Really? The Surface 3 absolutely obliterates any tablet, and most Ultrabooks that are currently on the market.

Thinnest Intel-based device on the market - check

Excellent battery life (especially considering its hardware) - check

>1080p display, with an aspect ratio actually useful for a tablet - check

Can run the millions of Windows applications and games - check

Unique kickstand and capacitive pen which is multifunctional - check

Ability to dock and use as a fully fledged desktop - check

The Surface 3 is far from a joke.

RE: who?
By retrospooty on 5/23/2014 6:38:42 PM , Rating: 2
I think they are referring to the $1 Billion the Surface lost MS last year. It's not that it isn't a capable device (and the new one is of course even better), but that it was a money pit for MS and a disaster financially.

RE: who?
By Mitch101 on 5/24/2014 10:35:38 AM , Rating: 3
Ill even go on record to say that the Surface RT is not the tablet anyone is looking for. Ill even say get an Android from a reputable manufacturer with high rated reviews. Microsoft should have taken the Windows Phone OS and put it on the tablet as Windows RT like Apple did instead of making yet another OS with no App support.

Surface Pro Tablet is basically Windows 8.1 in tablet form nothing wrong here its a well priced ultra portable laptop. This is an excellent device.

Im anxious to see Windows Mobile 9 where it bridges the gap between the Phone OS and the Desktop OS. Under the new CEO I expect Microsoft to finally get low end tablets right. I already think the Windows Phone OS is perfect everything they add is bacon candy. The cross development where you design for one device and it works on everything is exactly what needs to happen here. This will pay off developers will love that. One App for all devices is great market share ability for sales.

Microsoft makes more than a Billion from Android so Microsoft can afford to take chances and lose a billion. In the long haul Microsoft wins. Its not going to happen tomorrow but long term they will.

Google is certainly going to grow as well the battle will move to Microsoft vs Google.

Apple without Steve Jobs will slide analyst and the media are already figuring out Innovation and new product lines you didn't know you could live without are gone. Apples last hurrah might be cars but I suspect that will be short lived or what we will see is options. Do you want Microsoft, Google, or Apple for your cars computer.

RE: who?
By Reclaimer77 on 5/24/2014 11:00:18 AM , Rating: 1
I already think the Windows Phone OS is perfect

Anyone saying an OS is "perfect" is a fanboi. No, Windows Phone isn't perfect. I don't even think Android is perfect.

Microsoft makes more than a Billion from Android so Microsoft can afford to take chances and lose a billion. In the long haul Microsoft wins. Its not going to happen tomorrow but long term they will.

Yes Microsoft makes a billion from people picking Android phones OVER their own. But in your mind, this is a way to "win" long term. LOL, ok...

A billion dollars in the mobile industry is basically peanuts. It's far more profitable to have users hooked into your own ecosystem, then to leech a measly billion from a competitors more successful one.

Having said that, Microsoft looks like they've finally realized marketshare > short-term profits, and has been slashing their pricing lately. So we'll have to see how this shakes things up.

RE: who?
By kmmatney on 5/23/2014 12:45:28 PM , Rating: 2
There going to be right back up there when a bigger iPhone comes out... They could have (should have) come out with it already, but they seem to do the bare minimum needed to stay near the top.

RE: who?
By robinthakur on 5/23/2014 1:34:05 PM , Rating: 4
I tend to disagree with you trolls on Apple, because their share price has recovered markedly, whereas Samsung's has dipped after the relatively subdued performance of the S4 and S5. Apple is now over the $600 mark again and rising and I think it would be a good idea to wait and see what their new products look like rather than writing them off at the end of a product cycle (5S,5C and iPads are going to be refreshed soon) Apple has hopefully learned a lesson on the 5C and will bring more interesting tech to market this cycle.

At least their margins have not fallen too much, then they would really need to worry, something you lot don't consider with the android tablets and phones, who if anybody is making a profit on these other than Google? The anti-Apple brigade seem to be running this particular asylum, and some of the writing is just laughable trolling e.g. "Apple CEO Tim Cook yells at members of Congress, during a hearing." What utter bilge. The release of a new iPhone still causes more buzz on a yearly basis than all the Android releases combined. When that stops happening, Apple should start worrying.

RE: who?
By Solandri on 5/23/2014 2:03:55 PM , Rating: 2
The point of the article (a valid one IMHO) is that Apple is one iPhone flop away from their shares dropping ~25%. And one iPhone + iPad flop away from their shares tanking and the company possibly turning into a footnote in history. For a successful company, they are surprisingly undiversified. Diversification is what saves you when a product flops in the market.

Cook is doing a good job beginning the diversification process. You now have 2 iPhone and iPad models where you used to have just one. And if rumors bear out, you'll soon have 3 models. They really need to start branching out into different products though. They have a strong brand and loyal customer base. They should use that to expand. Their reluctance to do so is baffling, almost like they're afraid of failure tarnishing their image. While I disliked Jobs' business tactics, one of the things I thought made him great was an absolute lack of fear when he thought he had a good idea for a new product.

RE: who?
By tonyswash on 5/24/2014 5:48:49 AM , Rating: 2
The point of the article (a valid one IMHO) is that Apple is one iPhone flop away from their shares dropping ~25%. And one iPhone + iPad flop away from their shares tanking and the company possibly turning into a footnote in history. For a successful company, they are surprisingly undiversified. Diversification is what saves you when a product flops in the market.

Cook is doing a good job beginning the diversification process. You now have 2 iPhone and iPad models where you used to have just one. And if rumors bear out, you'll soon have 3 models. They really need to start branching out into different products though. They have a strong brand and loyal customer base. They should use that to expand. Their reluctance to do so is baffling, almost like they're afraid of failure tarnishing their image. While I disliked Jobs' business tactics, one of the things I thought made him great was an absolute lack of fear when he thought he had a good idea for a new product.

Your comment is exactly the same comment that has been made about Apple for nearly four decades. It is a company always seen as peculiarly vulnerable, always just one product flop away from oblivion. Of course the only time that Apple really did teeter close to oblivion was precisely the period when it followed the daft advice that gets’ regurgitated all the time in these forums: become a ‘me too’ company, mimic what the other OEMs are doing, make lots more product models, chase volumes by going down market, open up the ecosystem etc etc.

Juliette Garside of The Guardian newspaper said this:

Apple has always been priced as a company that is in a perpetual state of free-fall. It’s a consequence of being dependent on breakthrough products for its survival. No matter how many breakthroughs it makes, the assumption is (and has always been) that there will never be another. When Apple was the Apple II company, its end was imminent because the Apple II had an easily foreseen demise. When Apple was a Mac company its end was imminent because the Mac was predictably going to decline. Repeat for iPod, iPhone and iPad. It’s a wonder that the company is worth anything at all.

I don’t know whether Apple will come up with another disruptive big growth product in a new category but given their track record I wouldn’t bet against them. When and how Apple could come up with another game changing product is of course not entirely in their hands, such game changers can only be crafted when the time and the markets and the technology are right. Smart phones and tablets had all been around for quite a while before either the iPhone or iPad was created.

It’s interesting that you so totally failed to understand even the basics of the product design philosophy that Jobs brought to Apple on his return. It’s not complicated and it’s been stated many times by Jobs and his colleagues and successor, and yet time and again commentators completely ignore it. The basis of Apple’s entire business is to do a few things but do them well, make a limited number of products and invest the resources required to make them excellent, Apple believes that saying no to most apparent product opportunities is infinitely more important to saying yes.

Apple does expand product ranges but it does so at a glacial pace compared to the rest of the industry, it’s number of products in any given range are minuscule by industry standards, it ignores entire regions of the markets that operates in and ignores some markets completely, it does not prioritise market share (although is delighted when it does achieve high market share as a byproduct of pursuing other goals).

Apple has pursued that approach since 1997 and the results have taken it from being on the verge of oblivion to being the most successful company on the planet. And yet so many witless commentators seem to think it would be a good idea to abandon that strategy and instead adopt the same strategy as all the other, and far, far less successful, OEMs. Why would any sane person at Apple actually do that?

RE: who?
By Dr. Fosgate on 5/23/2014 7:24:32 AM , Rating: 3
Anyone tech savvy I know has several PCs a few of which may run Linux, and they also have at least one Apple as well.

I don’t know how tech savvy I am, and have no intention to argue that. I do know that at the peak of my computer acquisition disease I had 27 working computers. Many were DIY setups, many were Dells of various vintage, some were laptops. Three of them were Macs, one of which was an iMac.

I used my PCs for doing actual work, be it engineering, audio analysis, even photo editing. I also used a few for gaming. I used the Mac every day for web surfing, looking up drivers or other things I needed on the PCs, family photos, and for streaming music to the stereo in my workshop which played nearly 24/7.

The blanket hate on Apple is just getting old. Heck, a lot of guys who run the parent site to this site use Apple computers. I am sure they are more “in the know” on tech than 95% of the people who post here, and 99.9% of the general public.

RE: who?
By Solandri on 5/23/2014 2:16:10 PM , Rating: 2
OS X is just a GUI running on top of a modified version of BSD Unix. So for Unix gurus, the choice of hardware is a Windows PC/laptop you hack to run Linux with spotty driver support, or a Mac which is designed from the get-go to run Unix. That's why Macs are popular among tech-saavy people like programmers.

I really think that's Apple's trump card. Their i-products I see as more marketing-driven than feature-driven. But their software is very solid. (Well, except for iTunes which has become bloated beyond belief. But their software concept of an iTunes store to handle digital sales and manage your content was groundbreaking, and forced the music industry to accept digital sales as well as lifted the iPod to the market lead.) If they'd just lose the "everything must be simplified" philosophy and at least give power users like me the option to change some settings and behaviors, I'd probably buy a Mac too.

RE: who?
By Reclaimer77 on 5/24/2014 10:02:57 AM , Rating: 2
But Apple doesn't allow you access to the OS itself, not really. So what does it matter if OS X is based on Unix? Just wondering if you could elaborate on why a "Unix guru" would benefit, or even care, what the underlying OS that Apple has locked away under their OS X skin is.

But their software is very solid.

LOL well, gonna have to agree to disagree with you on that one.

RE: who?
By TakinYourPoints on 5/27/2014 2:38:07 AM , Rating: 2
But Apple doesn't allow you access to the OS itself, not really.

There is complete access to the underlying operating system in OS X. Terminal in OS X is just as functional and powerful as it is in any other Unix based OS. You have deep control to anything.

Everyone I know at Google works on Macs. They have about 50k deployed there. You can't even build the Android source files in Windows while you can in OS X. Same with friends at Facebook, people that do web development (not design but web programming), and friends that do security for Fortune 500 companies. All use OS X. Basically, unless they're programming in .NET or programming for Windows they're using IDEs in OS X (PHP, Java, Python, Ruby) because the libraries are already there and work without any headaches, and these things all run on open standards. Its also very easy to test/troubleshoot Windows inside a VM. Everyone I know that does any serious programming in these specific areas uses Macs. Its popular among programmers because there's huge benefit to having a well supported Unix based OS that also has broad third party support.

Some of the most tech-savvy people I know are OS X and Linux users, which makes many of the comments here pretty funny. Maybe you should tell them that they're wasting their money and need to switch to something else?

This reminds me of when you said Apple needed to approve all installed apps on OS X before the App Store even existed. That didn't apply before and it doesn't apply now, and now you're making up that in OS X you don't have access to the underlying OS. What will you come up with next? :)

RE: who?
By CSMR on 5/23/14, Rating: -1
RE: who?
By Digimonkey on 5/23/2014 9:59:17 AM , Rating: 3
2. The general computer-using public is getting stupider, not smarter. You can see this from Microsoft's behavior, trying to simplify interfaces to accommodate stupid people. You can see it if you search on google, and google assumes you are unable to spell or know what you really want to search for.

This is somewhat ironic. What would you have Google do exactly? Ignore your misspelling and give you inaccurate results until you figure out you misspelled the word, or just accept the misspelled word and do a search with the correct spelling? Either option is terrible.

RE: who?
By Flunk on 5/23/2014 9:34:04 AM , Rating: 2
I don't know about that, some of their products aren't that badly priced. It's hard to get a PC Ultrabook that's built as well as a MacBook Air, with a reasonable screen and processor for the same price. In order to get similar build quality you need to buy something like a Toshiba Tecra and you're not going to get one of those for < $1000.

Sure some of their products are huge turkeys, the iMac being the worst in my mind. How do you justify a non-portable computer that's basically unupgradable, uses laptop parts and is permanently attached to a monitor.

Also, Microsoft is actually worse than Apple when it comes to openness. You can actually download the source code to the base OS for Mac OS (Darwin Product), because it's freely open source, as is WebCore (base for Safari) and a lot of other Apple technologies. Although for argument's sake some of them have to be because they're based on open source projects to begin with.

RE: who?
By TEAMSWITCHER on 5/23/2014 9:37:57 AM , Rating: 2
Google is predominantly an Apple shop and I'm pretty sure they are considered members of the "Tech Crowd". Then there was the Microsoft Surface Event earlier this week where most of the tech press were rocking Apple MacBooks. To even the most casual technology observer, your comment is nothing but a hate filled biased opinion - worthless in every respect.

RE: who?
By ritualm on 5/23/2014 3:52:14 PM , Rating: 2
your comment is nothing but a hate filled biased opinion - worthless in every respect.

That's rich, coming from a pro-Apple player hater. You're one of the headcases who go on forums to claim how you're more productive in OS X/iOS than Windows/Android as a network administrator, while at the same time claim you cannot handle more than one physical storage volume on your computers.

RE: who?
By Byte on 5/25/2014 6:47:13 AM , Rating: 2
While I will never buy a Mac or Apple computer, iOS has such a strong foothold and great development base that it will take probably another two years before Android can be truly better. Android is a developmental mess, it basically feels like Windows Mobile. I loved WM, but lets face it, it was no desktop Windows, it had a ton of rubbish apps, but at least it had them. With Jailbreak, IOS is pretty GD amazing. I would never use an iOS device without jailbreak. And now Windows 8 Mobile (or whatever they call it) is more locked up than even iOS. What strange irony the mobile world has turned into.

RE: who?
By JackBurton on 5/25/2014 8:32:10 PM , Rating: 2
People that TRULY know technology do things right and do it with Apple products.

What I've found out is, the nerds that claim to know tech, actually don't. They're really just nerds that don't have the money to implement a solution correctly, and just do a hack job with Android products.

Speaking of sheep, I've realized most Android fans are really just anti-Apple drones that don't know what the hell they're talking about and just parrot off bullsh!t from other moronic anti-Apple goons. Talk about sheep.

The fact of the matter is, Apple will implement a solution properly, meaning it will normally cost a little more. Android solutions are kind of like hack jobs, that in the end are cheaper, but let's not try and pretend they're better. Sorry. It's a cheaper solution, that's it.

RE: who?
By TakinYourPoints on 5/27/2014 2:53:00 AM , Rating: 2
Google has about 50k Macs deployed. Everyone I know there and at Facebook works on Macs. Anandtech which (for some strange reason) still has DT on the sidebar has many editors that are Mac and iOS users. Anand Lai Shimpi and Brian Klug thoroughly test everything and they're iOS guys, so there's clearly something good there.

All my friends at Valve, Blizzard, Rhythm & Hues, and Digital Domain are iOS users. These are some of the most technically capable people I know. The biggest internet bashers I see are IT or tech support guys, aka people who think they're technically competent because they have an A+ certification. You'd think they'd have something better to do than just bash something without thought, but I guess administrating computers that mainly do spreadsheets leaves a lot of free time.

A friend of mine at Blizzard showed me this app he uses to check out and edit C++ code when he's away from the office, pretty cool:

I work in the film industry so my use cases are different. Its safe to say that no other mobile platform has the tools that iOS does. I used this on a shoot this week to control a complex lighting rig. I didn't need to radio or go back to the lighting board to make adjustments, it was all done remotely at the camera from a 1 lb tablet. Super useful:

A month ago I was working on stage with multiple units. We used this to keep tabs on what everyone else was doing. Very handy and it already worked with the QTake software that video playback was using. No dragging hundreds of feet of cable between stages, all wireless with only about a frame of latency:

Two weeks ago I was filming in Japan and I didn't have to break out my laptop once. Being in the field with something as light and capable as an iPad was great. I even edited PDFs and images in the field. Really convenient with turnaround to clients in only minutes.

It goes on and on. Powerful hardware and quality mobile apps don't really matter to some people here though. If you don't need a lot from your mobile device or you like tinkering then that's fine, but the HATE that I see is bizarre.

They're so stuck on brand and rhetoric they they can't judge a product based on its objective merits. Show them a flashy front page with a weather widget though and they go NUTS. ;)

RE: who?
By retrospooty on 5/27/2014 2:21:14 PM , Rating: 2
"People that TRULY know technology do things right and do it with Apple products"

Spoken like a true clueless fanboy... No, that is just not true at all. - People that TRULY know technology buy what suits their needs regardless of allegiance to any company, period, end of story. That may be an Apple product or not depending on the area and the need, but to make a blanket statement like that is just hilarious.

RE: who?
By TakinYourPoints on 5/28/2014 8:48:50 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, you use the correct tools for the job. That job may require Windows, it may require OS X, it may require Linux. I directly and indirectly use all ecosystems every single day. What is ignorant is saying "No one who truly knows technology, hardware, drm, openness and software buys Apple". That is demonstrably untrue in every way, just as ignorant as saying "People that TRULY know technology do things right and do it with Apple products".

Both are ridiculous statements. Context is important since this is a "tech board we're talking about here. Contesting the notion that Apple products are for the tech ignorant, when in reality it is quite the opposite, is fine.

RE: who?
By jmerk on 5/26/2014 12:41:50 AM , Rating: 2
When apple had a commanding lead of the smartphone and tablet market, people were willing to pay more for a quality product. Over the years, Google has caught up in the quality of the Android OS while offer prices that much less than apple. I never looked at myself as a sheep, and my next phone and tablet will be Android because i don't feel like paying the premium for the apple name while not getting a superior product.

RE: who?
By tonyswash on 5/26/2014 9:10:49 AM , Rating: 2
When apple had a commanding lead of the smartphone and tablet market, people were willing to pay more for a quality product.

Apple has never had a commanding share of the smart phone market.

Apple still sells more tablets than any other company.

In terms of actual usage (measured by multiple metrics) iOS continues to easily outperforms Android as a platform.

If the current state of the Android ecosystem and the current state of the Android OEM businesses are indicative of what it looks like to ‘win’ then I am really glad that Apple is ‘losing’.

iOS is good
By Dave1231 on 5/23/2014 7:35:28 AM , Rating: 2
I've just bought an Android tablet after having an iPad mini and I have to say iOS is much easier and nicer to use. In fact, Android could do with a makeover on tablets. The swiping left to right on iOS is brill and searching and new tabs is better. Apple won't be going away anytime soon.

RE: iOS is good
By bug77 on 5/23/2014 9:11:13 AM , Rating: 2
Nobody said they're going away soon. At the very least, the ecosystem will keep them afloat the same way Office has kept Microsoft entrenched in the enterprise.
What is happening is that more and more people realize w/o Jobs, Apple is pretty much standing still. An before you rebuke that, let me remind you Jobs' mo:
- come up with nice laptops, create buzz around them for a few years
- come up with nice music players, de-emphasize laptops, and move the spotlight to music players
- add phone calls the the music players and, again, move the spotlight to the new phones
- enlarge the said phones and this time move the spotlight to tablets.
That's what he did, every few years, and that's what he took to the grave. Because, genius as he might have been, he did not project the vision on those surrounding him.

RE: iOS is good
By Rukkian on 5/23/2014 10:30:55 AM , Rating: 2
Out of curiosity, what tablet did you get?

I know of several people that claim IOS is easier, but then still have to ask me (who never uses IOS) how to do some things. Some of those things are not possible since they are locked down. I have several people that through my advice switched from IOS to Android, and while it is different, all admit that it is no harder to use, just different. Once you get used to it (just like people had to do when they first got IOS) it works great for the ones I know of that switched.

The main reason I ask what you got is because there are some crappy skins that manufacturers put on their devices to make them different that just make them suck in my opinion. That is one of the main differences with Android, and can be good and bad. It is good because you have choice. If you don't like the launcher, or the theme, or the default apps you can change it. It is bad because going from one phone (or tablet) to the next can require some getting used to it, as things are different.

RE: iOS is good
By Reclaimer77 on 5/23/2014 10:41:04 AM , Rating: 2
Android rocks on a tablet because you can actually use all that screen real-estate. The UI for iOS looks like an iPhone no matter what device it's on. The iPad is just a giant iPhone, it's stupid.

With Android on a tablet you can do awesome things like this:


RE: iOS is good
By retrospooty on 5/23/2014 11:22:25 AM , Rating: 2
That is what I have been thinking with this iPad 4 I have here... Giant beautiful screen, great res, very nice, but the UI is a waste. 2048x1536 res and you get 5x4 giant icons on the main page. LOL. Beyond ridiculous.

RE: iOS is good
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/23/2014 11:22:49 AM , Rating: 2
Don't you have the LG G2?

RE: iOS is good
By retrospooty on 5/23/2014 11:31:58 AM , Rating: 2
Yup and soon to be a G3. The iPad 4 is a work unit to troubleshoot users issues on, it belongs to my team not "mine" per say but it stays at my desk.

Funny, it is honestly nice because of the screen, but it lags. It's noticeably laggier in the UI and scrolling webpages etc than any Android I have had in the past 2 years.

RE: iOS is good
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/23/2014 11:52:08 AM , Rating: 2
email me would ya

RE: iOS is good
By kmmatney on 5/23/2014 12:47:52 PM , Rating: 2
That's just the main screen - the Apps can use all the real-estate they want. I don't see the problem. I certainly prefer the aspect ratio of the iPad over the 16x9 tablets (I have both).

RE: iOS is good
By retrospooty on 5/23/2014 8:41:18 PM , Rating: 2
yeah, I know what it is, it's the main screen. The part you look at first and most and launch everything from. It's ridiculous.

RE: iOS is good
By kamiller422 on 5/23/2014 11:14:20 AM , Rating: 2
If you think swiping left and right on iOS is brilliant, then try the Google Now Launcher.

That's the nice thing about Android. If you don't like it, get something you like. And if you really like iOS 7, just search for it at the Google Play store and see what you find.

RE: iOS is good
By ritualm on 5/23/2014 3:59:40 PM , Rating: 2
Enjoy getting spammed by ibtimes.

RE: iOS is good
By retrospooty on 5/23/2014 11:19:59 AM , Rating: 2
"I've just bought an Android tablet after having an iPad mini and I have to say iOS is much easier and nicer to use. - See more at"

You cant just say "Android tablet" that is like saying "car" - there are hundreds of them. You've gotta gave more info. What tablet? Is it a $99 budget, or a mid range, or hither end? Android's experience varies greatly depending on what you have. From uber cheap to custom (crappy) Kindle interface to mid and higher end ones where you can load whatever launcher you want and make it work perfectly for anyone's tastes...

RE: iOS is good
By MrRuckus on 5/23/2014 1:35:16 PM , Rating: 2
You cant just say "Android tablet" that is like saying "car" - there are hundreds of them.

Exactly. This is Androids biggest problem IMO, fragmentation. Not only in Android versions, but hardware. The days of the G1/Samsung Vibrant, ect are far over. I know people who had a Droid and hated it due to its slow ass interface. Android has matured leaps and bounds from what they use to be. You get a device with capable hardware and its just about a flawless experience. I have a GS5 for phone and a Tegra4 based tablet. With Android, you just have to know what you're buying hardware wise. Then, you can do whatever you want with it from there.

Apple was never Apple without Steve Jobs
By wordsworm on 5/23/2014 1:43:58 AM , Rating: 2
Whatever people argue about him, he was an incredibly successful visionary. When Apple got rid of him, Apple slid slowly to near oblivion. When he went back, it became the world's biggest company. He's gone now. He won't be coming back, and it won't be Apple without him. Now it's just another HP or Dell or some other brand like that.

A consumer product like what Apple has been selling has more than just specs to give it value. It's a statement. It's American. It's had that David underdog glow, still, despite being on top. But this is fading now. Now it's starting to look like another corporate giant.

But that was the Steve Jobs magic. He was an artist as well as a technologist. A visionary as well as a ruthless competitor. He was a great man. He's gone now, and there will be no 3rd coming of him. Apple will fall, the question is how far. Cook does not have Jobs magnetism, charm, confidence, or intensity. Finding that from an off-the-shelf Harvard grad is impossible, because the ones who have those attributes go on to make Facebook, Yahoo, or Microsoft. They are not followers, they are leaders.

Google, on the other hand, has relied on giving the world information. Their work with cars, Maps, etc., and giving them to us for free... well... I don't know about you, but I have to agree that Google is the better brand at this time. They are making the world a better place, just as Apple did until a few years ago.

RE: Apple was never Apple without Steve Jobs
By w8gaming on 5/23/2014 3:19:58 AM , Rating: 2
While Steve Jobs was great, he also knew the value of waiting for "the next big thing" to rollout the right product at the right time. There is no sign that Apple is doing any such thing now and whether they really have the smarts to integrate existing technology into another new product that no one knows they need but ultimately wants. Apple should really start to think about the future in which they are no longer an "innovative" company and has to compete based on product feature and pricing just like anyone else. They have so much cash, but are they ready to become a "Samsung" for instance, to own lots of manufacturing capacity to supply parts to everyone as well as themselves? Or a "Sony" which has turn to media and insurance for profit? Or a "IBM" which has turn into a service company? If they decide to do this, the future Apple will be a very different Apple indeed.

RE: Apple was never Apple without Steve Jobs
By tonyswash on 5/23/14, Rating: 0
RE: Apple was never Apple without Steve Jobs
By themaster08 on 5/23/2014 11:33:57 AM , Rating: 1
Tony, this passive aggressive bullshit is getting boring.

Please find a new angle.

RE: Apple was never Apple without Steve Jobs
By tonyswash on 5/23/14, Rating: 0
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/23/2014 2:27:03 PM , Rating: 2
By Flunk on 5/23/2014 9:36:37 AM , Rating: 2
Mr Jobs has been deceased for some time and the company has yet to collapse like it did in the 90's. Can Cook replace him? Of course not, but it doesn't mean the company is doomed.

RE: Apple was never Apple without Steve Jobs
By Reclaimer77 on 5/23/2014 10:42:38 AM , Rating: 3
Well Jobs passing might have hurt Apple, him dying sure made the whole world a better place.

RE: Apple was never Apple without Steve Jobs
By ven1ger on 5/23/2014 1:18:26 PM , Rating: 2
Oh come on now. I didn't like Jobs, but I respected him. He was a visionary, he may have crapped on many people but he was a leader. I'd rather he had lived to see what he could have achieved, though on the other hand, the abusive litigation that he instituted at Apple I could do without.

By Reclaimer77 on 5/23/2014 2:31:09 PM , Rating: 2
You know I thought after Jobs died, more people would come to their senses. But it seems that, as it sometimes does, his death has compelled people to be more grandiose and exaggerate about his "legacy" even more-so.

Anyone could do what he did. Most people are just better human beings than to even TRY.

RE: Apple was never Apple without Steve Jobs
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/23/2014 9:08:30 PM , Rating: 1
It's American.
Except, it's no more American than any other company. They build their shit in china just like everyone else.

By wordsworm on 5/27/2014 12:50:18 AM , Rating: 2
Apple is America. That's why people love it. Those who like Americana tend to like Apple. Samsung is Asian.

You'd think with all the anti-Asian propaganda that goes round here, folk'd be more into Apple. Well, not a big deal. I can't say as I've been a huge fan of what they've done, aside from their groundbreaking work.

That IBM pic
By Belegost on 5/23/2014 2:02:02 PM , Rating: 2
Well, well, the IBM plant in Boulder, drive by there everyday going to work.

Shame the pic is a bit out of focus.

By rountad on 5/23/2014 11:38:22 AM , Rating: 1
It's quite funny to see how many ones of him have his mouth wide open, too.

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