Feeds

back to article It's the '90s all over again: Apple repeats mistakes as low-cost tablets pile up

Apple risks repeating the mistakes of the 1990s as it sticks to a high price strategy on its iPads and other products, even as the surging tablet market heads for excess inventory in the fourth quarter. Kicking off its Asian channels forum, Canalys CEO Steve Brazier said that tablets currently took 35 per cent of the device …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Silver badge
Facepalm

I've already commented on this before.

Looking a lot like Mac vs. Windows from 20 years ago.

5
6
Anonymous Coward

Resale value

Not withstanding all the crap we hear about Apple, you pick one of their tablets up and the quality is there to be seen. Regular updates for free, new operating system for free, a good life span in technology terms of at least 3 years, no fragmentation that relies on a service provider and manufacturer to provide timely fixes and hasn't looked dated from day one, resale value extremely high compared to the opposition.

What's not to like?

25
17

Re: Resale value

Itunes, thats whats wrong.

15
8
FAIL

@ Chris 171

Apple devices have not needed to be tethered to iTunes since iOS5 back in 2011.

11
5
Anonymous Coward

It's nothing like the 90's

Tempting as it might be to assume history will repeat itself, it actually won't. There are two key differences.

The first is that Apple might have a lessening market share but they have the highest peofit margin in the industry. When all is said and done, that's the name of the game.

The second is related to the first. It's Apple'ss cash hoard. It's almost impossible to predict what a company with this much money on hand will do - they can solve almost any problem that is amenable to being solved financially.

8
7
Silver badge

Re: Resale value

I recently got dragged in to "fixing" an issue on someone's macbook where ITunes wasn't syncing with their IPod. I am a windows developer and have no idea about Apple stuff but I thought I would take a look.

Well it readily became apparent that ITunes was a crock of shit. The problem with ITunes is entirely the DRM which causes ridiculous concepts like "syncing" and dialogs threatening to delete music off your device in order to do this. Some crap about maximum number of devices you can link to an library (reminds me of DVD region codes). All confusing and it's hard to trial and error when you risk accidentally deleting all the music on someone's device. Having to manually compare what tracks are in the library and what is on the device -and puzzling over what happens to tracks on the IPod that aren't in the library if you sync (howd they get there?). What a pile of crap. I am sure it would all work fine if not for DRM, so I dont blame Apple for being unable to fix it, just that they unfortunately have stuck to DRM for some reason (why?? downloading music from amazon is DRM free and mp3 player manufacturers don't try to stop you using it how you want)

16
11
Silver badge

Re: Resale value

I'm not a Mac or iTunes user either, but I would have thought you'd just Google for some software to copy the music off the device, allowing you to then experiment with iTunes without risk.

The first iPods and iTunes had DRM, but that was necessary to get the music publishers on board with the concept. Once iTunes was a big enough force to dictate terms they abandoned DRM, thus paving the way for other online music retailers.

I don't use iDevices, but I wouldn't deny they work well for a lot of people. Other MP3 players support DRM as an option too, everything from an iRiver to a Sansa (until you stick Rockbox on them)

7
1
Silver badge

Re: Resale value

right guess i just dont understand these things. but as an ignorant user i still want my opinion heard. I demand MPs grill steve jobs!

4
1
Bronze badge

You gotta have faith but Only You. Ain't That I'm taking the Michael, Vince?

Apple have such faith in their OS systems its a one way trip to no return !

So what happens if IOS 7 grows on you like an ugly turd ?

0
4
Silver badge

Re: Resale value

The problem with iTunes is that it's a crappy music database that's been pushed to do ten times more than it was originally intended.

Like taking a simple two slice toaster and trying to turn it into a full blown multi-function Magnet Kitchen.

5
2

Re: It's nothing like the 90's

"It's almost impossible to predict what a company with this much money on hand will do"

Actually its completely predictable. They'll carry on as they are for now while Android eats their lunch. Then they'll change CEO / board once the decine sets in. Then they'll switch from being a growth stock to an income stock. Then they'll issue a special dividend to return cash to investors. Then the cash pile will be gone.

11
6

Re: @ Chris 171

Oh really, I take you didn't have an Apple TV box that was utterly borked by the latest software update.

Solution

Step 1 : connect to your pc running iTunes with this cable.

Step 2 : ....

3
3
Silver badge

3 years?

My last laptop is still going strong, it is a 2004 Acer... My current laptop is a 4 year old Sony and isn't anywhere near needing being replaced.

In fact, the only one that is struggling is my 2007 iMac that creaks along (minutes to boot and 45 seconds to load Firefox. Playing a DVD alongside Firefox and the DVD player drops frames!

7
1
Silver badge

Re: Resale value

I'm not saying that its not good stuff, but most people are going to gravitate to "cheap and good enough" over time

3
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Resale value

Cool story bro... (except for the DRM bullshit - iTunes music has been DRM free for nearly 5 years...)

5
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: It's nothing like the 90's

@topone - care to phrase that in the form of a wager ? <grin>

1
0

@AC re resale value

Don't waste your breath; facts mean little to Apple haters....

3
5

Re: Resale value

You get what you pay for; 2 weeks short of the warranty expiration on my iPhone5 the wake sleep button start to play up intermittently; worst kind of nightmare, no consistent fault scenario, how do they sort this.....

I booked a slot at the local Apple Store Genius Bar; Beardy Genius saw me within minutes of my time slot (on the weekend too), ran some diagnostics and immediately swapped out the handset for a new one. No questions......

Microsoft, HTC or Samsung or BB would have given me the runaround for 3 weeks and then said you are out of warranty "feck off" or pay for a new handset.

For the time being Apple have attractive, quality products with good customer service at aspirational price points that are just about in reach of a good slice of market share that sustains their business vision / goals.

The issue for them is simple do they

A: follow the mass market into a death spiral of over supply of evermore capable products that Consumers rarely use to their full extent or

B: stay at the premium end of the market which no one can touch them at, work on brand loyalty (evidenced by the recent appointment of Ahrendts from Burberry) and watch the bottom feeders devour each other or drown in the over supply product inventory.

mmmmmmmm tough choice..........

As I say for the near future Apple have my business.

5
1
Silver badge

Re: Resale value @NeilMc

Over here, we don't have an Apple Store. If there is a problem with an iPhone, they pick it up and leave you hanging for 2 weeks, when hopefully it will come back repaired. My iPhone spent 6 of the first 8 weeks of ownership at the warranty centre, where they totally failed to find a fault with it. Only after I got loud in the T-Mobile shop after the third time did they replace it - after another 2 weeks at the repair centre, where they miraculously found the problem and replaced it with a new one!

On the other hand, my htc and Samsung phones were swapped out at my place of work for new ones, no questions asked - well, they asked whether the screen was broken due to it being dropped or whether it had become wet (they still replace them, but you have to part of the refurbishing costs).

In the end, we paid for AppleCare for one iPhone, because it had been replaced 4 times in 2 years, that gave us the same level of service that we got from htc and Samsung, through the carrier, for free.

2
0
Silver badge

Re: you pick one of their tablets up and the quality is there to be seen.

Betamax went that route back in the 90s too. Better quality all the way around. VHS still won the tape war before DVD rolled in to dethrone it. And for essentially the same reasons: sometimes good enough at half the price takes more of the market than top quality at top dollar. I've heard people say similar things about laser disk players vs DVDs, although they will usually yield on Bluray.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: @ Chris 171

Eh, yes and no. Make no mistake about it, iPhones and iPads are intended to be tethered to iTunes for media consumption. Most people I know are all about their music/video library on their devices. You don't HAVE to do it, but it works better if you do. Phones in particular are a PITA to activate without iTunes. I don't own an iPhone, but I have to configure them for users at work. And work doesn't allow you to use iTunes. So I understand the process and avoid it when possible. It makes it really interesting when they want to deploy apps to the damn phones. Especially free ones that are simple if you are tethered to iTunes/the store

2
0
Silver badge

Re: Actually its completely predictable.

And that's assuming Ichan doesn't look at the flailing company and see dollar signs. Goll'um, goll'um... Tempts us it does. Yes, Precious, yes.

0
0

Re: Resale value

"aspirational price points"

Wtf are they supposed to be?

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: Betamax went that route back in the 90s too.

The flaw with Betamax was lack of content, that's not a problem for Apple.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: you pick one of their tablets up and the quality is there to be seen.

Tom13, you need more than one history lesson apparently.

VHS = Porn

Beta != Porn

Result = VHS. It was that simple.

Sony learned their lesson and allowed porn to be delivered on BlueRay from the get go.

1
0

Re: Resale value

To be fair that's actually quite innovative.

0
0

Re: you pick one of their tablets up and the quality is there to be seen.

"get go"

"start"?

0
0
jai
Silver badge

And yet I thought the problem they had in the 90s was allowing others to create cheaper clones that ran MacOS.

7
3
Silver badge

I wouldn't describe that as *the* problem. Others features of Apple's meandering lost decade: Copland, OpenDoc, RAVE, QuickDraw GX, the Newton (especially the eMate), computers delivered by chauffeur.

7
0
Bronze badge

@ThomH

I wouldn't include Newton in a list of mistakes, Apple learned a lot from the Newton. One of the things they learned is that people wanted a handheld computing device and were willing to pay for it. The other thing they learned is not to release it until the technology could deliver the experience people expected. Cue a few years gap and the release of the iPhone.

It could be argued that Apple have kept the same plan all along - look at the new Mac Pro as further evidence of finishing old projects :)

6
3
Roo
Silver badge

"And yet I thought the problem they had in the 90s was allowing others to create cheaper clones that ran MacOS."

No, that wasn't a problem. They simply drove their partners out of the business - which is a shame because it was Apple's idea in the first place, and it might have helped get PowerPC established and drive the platform dev costs down.

2
1
Silver badge

The biggest problem was their finance department. They never worked out that you have to DIVIDE the dollar price to get the Sterling price, not multiply it by the exchange rate!

4
0
Holmes

iPads are expensive?

Like laptops, when you compare like-with-like, the iPads come out pretty well. Arstechnica have a tablet comparison chart which is very interesting:

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/10/the-ultimate-tablet-comparison-chart-with-the-new-ipads/

In the laptop arena, there's a ton of cheapo plastic grot on sale which are just plain awful when compared with high-end MacBooks. Same for tablets; even my old iPad 1 works better than many cheapo plastic grot tablets which inhabit the low-end of the market. Incredibly, that iPad 1 is probably still worth more second-hand than one can buy a new low-end tablet.

My point is that when you compare like-with-like -- retina display, computing power and speed, build quality, user experience -- there's not much which can hold a candle to an iPad, especially the new retina iPad Mini.

BTW have you ever used a tablet with a plastic screen? It's horrible!

14
18
Meh

@ Wibble - Re: iPads are expensive?

But who needs a "retina" screen to launch malformed birds at equally malformed pigs?

Oh, yes, there are some people who use tablets to create something, but most tablets are for cheap, nasty entertainment.

Of 7-year-olds. In the back of the car. A cheapo tablet is fine for that.

20
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: @ Wibble - iPads are expensive?

I bought a 'cheapo' tablet for the kids to help with the travel experience, quote from my son 'dad, give this to my sister she can have it, I want your iPad' to which my daughter replied 'why should I have to have the rubbish'.

Even children know what's best.

12
17

Re: @ Wibble - iPads are expensive?

Do you jump when they say, Jump?

Are they grateful for anything, or just iCentred?

11
5

Re: @ Wibble - iPads are expensive?

I'll print your post out and keep it in my pocket, in the unlikely event that mum ever says that it's a shame she has no grand children.

8
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Even children know what's best.

Indeed, my anonymous child, when given an ipad, said "Dad, why did you pay over the odds for this underspecced piece of crap? I don't want a walled garden, I want something I can easily root and get cyanogen on." His sister then chimed in "don't give me that crap, I don't want people thinking I'm some kind of brand obsessed chav..."

My kids are obviously a fuck sight smarter than yours....

30
15

Re: iPads are expensive?

I agree with you that iPads are very high quality kit. The problem I have with them (and I use both Android tablets and iPads) is what you can actually do with them (or not as the case may be). The iPad misses some hugely basic pieces of functionality, such as being able to hook up USB devices and having a ridiculous file system whereby no app is able to store files in a central place. The latter causes huge issues, as if like me you want to be able to do fairly simple things like send an email to a client with multiple PDF attachments, on the iPad there just does not seem to be a way of doing it, you can only push files out from one app at a time to the Mail client, and that opens up separate emails. On my Androids all I have to do is hit the Attachments button and add all the files I need to the email.

Another huge missing piece on an iPad is the ability to easy transfer files and file types from one system to another. If you want to put music or video on your pad the only way currently is through iTunes, or use a cloud storage system which takes an AGE to actually do. The other week I went on a business trip and I wanted to put a movie on my iPad for the flight. On my Android devices its just a case of plugging in a usb stick or a microSD card and away I go, on the iPad it literally took me 2 hours to put 1 movie on the device, I first had to boot up my PC, convert the AVI file into MPEG4 (which took the bulk of the time, import the MPEG4 into iTunes and then upload it to the iPad (4 steps on the iPad vs just 1 on the Android).

The big piece that apple is missing is the fact that the world is shifting to a place whereby you will want to have ONE device that does everything, i.e. a tablet that also functions as your computer. It's ok charging £400+ for a device if it is your main device but it's a pretty hard sell to convince someone they should buy an iPad when in reality they will also need a laptop or desktop as well to do what they need to do. With the latest incarnations of the Surface and Asus Transformer devices you dont need a PC anymore. I dumped my PC last year when I got my Asus Transformer and I haven't looked back since. There is hardly anything I cannot do on my Transformer that I could not do on a PC, whereas the iPad just is not in the zone to actually become a standalone device. Apple might be doing well for now but I think they will start to die a slow death unless they either become more open OR they drop their prices significantly so that people can still justify having 2 devices and 2 platforms.

19
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Even children know what's best.

@AC08:48. It always annoys me that you are not allowed to use the "Joke Alert" icon when AC. Kids are damned brand aware.

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: @ Wibble - iPads are expensive?

> 'dad, give this to my sister she can have it, I want your iPad'

Reminds me of what happened last summer. Our family visited an Angry Birds theme park (or more like a playing space as it was indoors) in Lapland. Microsoft had arranged a a half-dozen of their Surface pads in one corner to promote them (along with xboxes and kinects). It didn't take long for my 7-year old son to play with the Surface before declaring iPad is much better...

Kids are quite discerning these days.

5
4
Silver badge

Re: @ Wibble - iPads are expensive?

>The iPad misses some hugely basic pieces of functionality, such as being able to hook up USB devices

You can connect an SD card reader or a USB A host (and thus even an external 24 bit DAC ) to an iPad if you want, not to mention a wide and commonly available range of 'made for iPad' 3rd party peripherals. What more do you want?

If you want a serial port to connect your oscilloscope then get yourself a cheap netbook.

2
11

Re: iPads are expensive?

iPads - very very nice pieces of hardware. I'd love to have one - if only I could get rid of the car crash which is iOS.

6
1
Silver badge

Downvoters: show us your links.

Hmm, still not sure what USB connectivity the OP thinks is missing:

24bit 192 Khz DACs for iDevices:

http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/audiophile-play-ipad

via USB

SD card reader and USB host:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/High-Quality-digital-Connection-connector/dp/B00AXC5MBW/ref=pd_cp_computers_3 5in1 digital Camera Connection Kit USB/SD/TF Card Reader For iPad - £5.99

High quality headphones with iDevice remote controls and microphones:

http://en-de.sennheiser.com/iphone-headphones-headsets-earphones

http://www.klipsch.com/in-ear

http://www.bowers-wilkins.com/Headphones/Headphones/P5/Features.html#madeforiphone

High quality microphones for iDevices:

http://tascam.com/product/im2/

There may be valid complaints about the iPad, but being unable to connect stuff to it is not one of them. True, the USB host isn't built in, nor is a microUSB port, but then they aren't on the Samsung Tab, either. The Nexus 7 requires an adaptor to be USB host, and the Nexus 4 won't support it at all.

4
3

Re: Downvoters: show us your links.

Just for kicks I connected my Yamaha keyboards MIDI USB port to my iPad using the USB adapter in the camera connection kit. Would you know it, it just worked and I was able to use the Yamaha keyboard to lay tracks down in Garageband!

4
0
Silver badge

Re: Downvoters: show us your links.

>I connected my Yamaha keyboards MIDI USB port to my iPad using the USB adapter in the camera connection kit.

And all iDevices have supported wireless MIDI since the first iPod, too. It does Apple no harm to cater to a group of people, like musicians, who are in the public eye.

1
0

Re: @ Wibble - iPads are expensive?

An excellent point, if playing Angry Birds is the sole task assigned to the device.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: iPads are expensive? @Gloster

I agree, I want one device. I use a Windows 8 tablet, because, FOR ME, it is the most convinient. I can plug it into a desktop dock and use an external monitor, keyboard and mouse plus Ethernet to do my normal work on multiple screens.

Then on the road I have a tablet with 10+ hour battery life, tablet friendly apps, access to all my data and also access to my desktop applications, if I need to change something "business" related on the fly. If only it had an LTE slot and I could make phone calls with it, I could dump my smartphone as well... I'd just then need a simple media player for podcasts/audio books when walking the dog.

1
1
Silver badge

Re: @ Wibble - iPads are expensive? @Dave126

SD card and DAC at the same time, and connected to an external monitor with extended desktop, keyboard, mouse and Ethernet?

A desktop dock with Ethernet was an important decider for me. At work I have Edge, at best, and no WLAN.

1
0
Silver badge
Mushroom

Re: @ Wibble - iPads are expensive?

I bought a "cheapo" tablet on a whim because it was cheap enough to be an impulse buy.

The local iPad fan promptly DUMPED that iPad and her iPhone soon after.

2
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.