Re: RE: Fanbois and Apple's Cash Mountain
When a company makes a product you like and would want to continue getting support, it is important that company has a healthy stash of cash. The only reason Apple got through the 1990s was it had a goodly sized cash reserve - don't start claiming that MS saved them with their little investment, it was a cash settlement to stop the legal battles between the two and Apple had $1billion in the bank at the time so weren't in any danger of running out of cash but they had little chance of growth if MS pulled Office from the Mac.
In the end, the cash mountain means Apple doesn't have to compromise so much and can give its customers a product that is just better because they can stick deals down the throat of the phone companies for instance which is why the iPhone was so much better than every other smartphone at the time. The same goes for software for the platform - they can afford to develop best in class applications for their platform and give them away rather than relying on other companies to support them. Look at Java - Apple had to port Java, and support it for years because Sun wasn't interested.
If MS had no mountain of money, they wouldn't have been able to do the Xbox, or blow huge chunks of cash on the disaster that is Windows Phone. However, MS hasn't historically owned the hardware so have been reliant on hardware partners to cobble things together and thus we get the race to the bottom with poor build quality and components. When MS builds the hardware themselves they do a pretty good job - Surface is a nice premium piece of kit although misguided as far as reading the market. Then again, they can also get it horribly wrong - my Xbox 360 has RRoD'd three times and that isn't unusual. MS couldn't have even stayed in the market without the huge pile of cash. Apple is just the same. The difference is I choose to buy Apple gear out of my own pocket. Except for the Xbox 360 and I really really wish I had just sucked it up and bought the PS3 at the time but I won't be fooled this time around and the Xbox One can stay right there in the shop, thanks.
The problem with Android is it is the same race to the bottom that plagued PCs. Sure, there are some really good phones and I've been tempted but they're just as expensive as the iPhone unless you're willing to put up with some custom version of Android which doesn't work half as well as the pure thing, plus I happen to like the integration between my iPhone and Mac which again is a benefit of Apple having a pile of cash. Doesn't Google also have a large pile of cash?