back to article What's losing steam at Apple? Pretty much everything

Apple is trying to put the best face on another bad quarter by saying it has exceeded its own meager expectations. The Cupertino giant had previously warned that its revenues would be down, and Apple execs boasted that they at least were at the high end of those lowered expectations. For Apple's fiscal 2016 Q3, ended June 25 …

Re: A few folks I know that run Apple gear...

Replacing Cook and Ive won't make any difference, because there is no one like Jobs in the entire industry.

Jobs was an asshole, but he was a talented asshole. He was the only person with his particular blend of obsessive insight into aesthetics, design, culture, technology, marketing, and opportunity.

Cook is a talented politician. But he's a mediocre marketer who is trying to turn Apple into the Louis Vuitton of tech. Ives knows how to do pretty, but he's not nearly as good or nearly as original as he's made out to be. He was a good idea mine for Jobs, but Cook doesn't know how to manage him.

No one at Apple is championing the users any more.

This won't end well.

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Re: A few folks I know that run Apple gear...

>Ives knows how to do pretty

That's a matter of opinion. Ives knows how to do "flat". Flat represents a significant change in direction to what a lot of people were used to, and is, to put things mildly, divisive. That Ives is not prepared to consider alternatives to his chosen dogma makes him limited as a designer.

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Re: A few folks I know that run Apple gear...

"Replacing Cook and Ive won't make any difference, because there is no one like Jobs in the entire industry."

And yet others in the industry have managed to be successful. You don't need to be a carbon-copy of Jobs. You just need to be more than Cook or Ives.

Cook wouldn't know a decent ideas if he tripped over it, and so his chosen additions to Apple's offerings have been, well, junk. A few of the other commentards have asked where the new products are. There have been new products (Watch, Apple Music etc)... they've just all been utterly underwhelming brand-wank tat. Steve Jobs was very good at spotting someone else's good idea sitting in a niche, ruthlessly copying it, painting it white and then building a mass-market for it (which is exactly what he did with MP3 players, smartphones and tablets). Cook is not capable of identifying these kind of products; he has no eye for when something has no potential (like the Watch - wearables are just a shit idea) and can't tell when he's already missed the mass-market boat (Apple Music). He's pretty good at just endlessly iterating existing Apple products and extracting rents from iTunes, but not much else.

As for Ive... I honestly don't know quite why people rate him as a great designer tbh. He mostly just makes things into thin rectangles and then declares himself a genius.

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This happened before. Slowly Apple lost direction and muddied their product line after Steve Jobs left the first time. This time he isnt coming back. No visionary at the helm, just an accountant incapable of original thought or an eye for detail.

BTW Dont think I like SJ for anything other than his focus. Any person who treat his kid like SJ did is beneath contempt in my book.

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Yes ... History repeating itself.

As an Apple user since the II ... Witnessing the catastrophic management based disaster culminating in Gil Amelio < millions of shit variations of the same product and the death spiral to near bankruptcy > till his return and the iMac and all the followed..,. The writing is on the wall..

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Could you see jobs ever being happy with the stupid female to female charger for the pencil? And no clever clippy thing like the MS surface???

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A friends upgrade path

Was happy with the 4S her first smartphone till the 5 came out and bought it for a bigger screen

Stayed with it then upgraded to a 6 plus.

because THE SCREENS BIGGER

No other reason, no other extra built in stuff was a reason.

Has stated that will stay with the 6 plus till it dies now as can't see anything Apple can do to improve it for non techies.

She has also changed her ipad 2 to a Samsung, it saved her a fortune and did more than an Apple tablet could.

I think this is more common than Apple want to think it is and could see them loosing even more market share and overall shares unless they come up with something really game changing.

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The problem is also that we've arrived at a point where all phone innovations are just incremental.

Realistically all top end phones have phenomenally good displays, cameras that have excellent resolution, all the new ones supper LTE Advanced (but hardly any mobile operators have it rolled out out in any meaningful way yet). They all have a vast array of sensors etc etc

The only major change is more powerful processors and packing in more memory. That would really only benefit people who are maybe hardcore mobile gamers but that's not your average punter.

Apples only major innovation recently has been 3D Touch which is genuinely very useful. I wools find it very hard to move back to a phone that didn't have it on be I became used to it. Things like editing text using a cursor controlled with a full trackpad by just pushing the keyboard harder is really handy and clever.

Also I genuinely do find they think their hardware out more carefully. I have an iPhone 6S+ and a Nexus 6P and I prefer using the iPhone because it has little things right. The ability to silence the phone with a rocker switch, the 3D Touch etc etc is all great and the phone just feels better put together. The Nexus has major issues with being accidentally powered off by over sensitive buttons and so on. The iPhone doesn't.

I think Apple has really top notch camera software too which is something severely lacking in stock android.

The problem though is they aren't going to drive huge sales without producing something that doesn't look exactly like what they produced last year.

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The problem with smartphones

Ever taken a straw pole of users under the age of 25 with iphones, how many have broken screens?

i'll wait while you count.....

if apple want to innovate and make the profits go up, make screens that dont break. The next iphone should have a bullet proof screen which can be driven over, dropped from the top of the empire state building - and damage the pavement below....

now that would see sales go up.

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Re: The problem with smartphones

And why is it always iPhones that have the broken screens? About 90% of the phones I see with broken screens are iPhones.

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Re: The problem with smartphones

From my limited experience, perhaps because iPhones are more likely to survive a broken screen than their android counterparts.

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Apple's biggest plus is also its problem

The basic longevity of the kit it sells is becoming a problem for Apple. My five year old, 13" MacBook Air works absolutely fine. In fact, since Mavericks, it wakes up from sleep faster than it did the day I bought it. I've never had to format and start from scratch. I can't say that about any PC I've owned. My first iPad was the iPad 2. My second? The iPad Air 2. There was simply no need to upgrade in-between.

That said, Apple has made some crazy decisions. They murdered Aperture (and that hurt). Worse still, they replaced with with photos (hello Adobe :-( and your lovely subscription model). They butchered the OSX UI in El Capitan (no, it doesn't need to be all flat). Come to think of it, OSX has never been quite the same since Snow Leopard. There's the pro level laptop that can't be upgraded. They tried really quite hard to make an enemy of every professional user of Final Cut Pro (some of whom have loud voices). How long did it take them to admit a bigger iPhone might be a good idea? And Apple Music did't exactly "just work" from launch (especially if you were trying to get it to work like multiple accounts, on the family plan - I gave up).

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Re: Apple's biggest plus is also its problem

Yeah works both ways. My 2009 13" Dell laptop with a CULV 1.3GHz CPU which does have 10 Pro installed on it, still works fine too. Its been upgraded some time ago with a 120GB SSD and 6GB of ram. It has a nVidia GPU so it can push pixels which helps. To be honest it should still run fine for another 7 years.

It still gets 2-3 hours+ from the battery.

If you look after kit it will look after you. Doesn't matter if its Apple or Dell or Lenovo.

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Re: Apple's biggest plus is also its problem

Yeah... honestly, I don't associate Apple kit with longevity. I mean, it's not like it dies any faster than anyone else's... but it doesn't last any longer either really. Generally, a Thinkpad half the price will have the same specs and the same life expectancy, while an equivalent-priced 'luxury' laptop will generally be better and last longer (and be more upgradable). In regard to phones, the same more or less holds true - a flagship 'droid at the same price as an iPhone is almost inevitably substantially beefier, usually has SD card slots, and will not be obsoleted by software upgrades within 3 years (in fact, 'droids are more likely to be obsoleted by the lack of them :) ).

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""We believe that iPhone replacement cycle/upgrade rate is like an accordion around new product cycles "

HOW is it "like an accordion" ??!!

Keys ? Buttons ? Weight ? Music ? Pneumatic ?

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accordion - I have a feeling he was dictating using Siri, and it interpreted 'a cordon' as accordion.

Hilarious.

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Probably something to do with compression and expansion rather than fiddling with knobs and keys.

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Maybe the iCordion would be a top seller?

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Style over content

Jony Ive been set wild without Steve Jobs to wind him in, Maybe Mr. Ive gets so far up his own ass, spending an inordinate amount of time in the Aple ecosystem, he has become blind to his self indulgances, and apple is becoming just another company.

In a world recession, (or at least the western world) upper market goods still sell better than you might expect, counter-intuitive as that seems, but the gotcha is that as this high-teir hardware is basically just becoming a throw-away item, as there are few (if any) user replaceable parts inside Apple things nowadays and people are starting to want to hang on to their iDevices a little longer perhaps, and they're discovering all that glitters may not be gold.

My brother is a long time Apple fanboi, but recently has switched mobile fone to Android..

he had the latest iPhones up until last year, but he had to stand outside the kitchen door to make phonecalls, and if he moved, the call dropped, now his new Samsung fone works whan he's sat anywhere in his house.. and he doesn't need Apple TV to stream stuff to his smart TV.. win win.

Plastic keyboards, poor quality design and general cheap plastic crappy PS bought me to Apple computer hardware. I have a couple of 2009 iMacs and similar vintage Macbook / pro 15" and the hardware is very good from that vintage. i can change RAM, battery and HD easily. The hardware was very good, i say was.

Xmas 2015 i bought a Macbook Pro retina 15", 2012 from business sellars on Ebay.

the first one had the screen issue, so after a day sent it back, the second had pitted keys on the keyboard and display weirdness, so that went back, so last try, a 2011 Macbook Pro retina 15"

- this too had display issues, so was sent back.

Three different Ebay sellers on Ebay UK sending three duff Retina Macbooks out, Yes i did my research before i bought money, but i thought out of three over xmas i might have got one good one, but no, the fiasco that was the early retina MBP bit me three times in a row, I was ready to replace the tricky battery if needed, i can live without DVD drives, and such like, but QUALITY was so low, i would *cheap* chinese laptops to fare better. Wrong.

Apple care less now, I'm not sure they cared too much in the first place, they're a huge multinational business which almost by definition doesn't give a shit about anyone, even it's customers.

The video card fiasco in the older Macbook Pro's - the ensuing class action following on,

with Apple slapping customers in the face after daring to complain about GPU failures after paying top dollar - you can push people away time and time again, but eventually, they'll stop coming..

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Re: Style over content

I had a customer who's son wanted to buy a Macbook (maybe the Air?) about three years ago. It had a 4GB or 8GB option (obviously the 8GB option was exponentially more) but I suggested for longevity and potential resell value going forward to get the 8GB one as it couldn't be upgraded later.

He got the 4GB version. He now regrets it big time.

Had he been after a Windows machine I would have told him to get one with 4GB and then slapped in another 4GB and a SSD for half the cost of the 8GB upgrade on the Macbook.

Ah well.

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Apple is losing it

Apple is seriously losing it. Their product refreshes lately have been a joke. They've essentially abandoned valuable products (mac mini), and they making lousy design decisions on the stuff they do refresh.

It looks like Apple may be teetering on the edge of a nosedive like they did a few decades ago... And this time it won't be possible for Steve Jobs to come back and save them from the mess they made.

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For all the gloom

The stock had a nice bump, suggesting performance was better than expected. So at least the corporate privacy shield is still working, or leaks would have evened out the bump. I like to see the strong momentum through the emotional $100/share barrier.

I'm looking forward to further strong performance in the next two quarters. Back to school is a great time for them on the PC, and of course going into the holidays with a new model iPhone is always a slam dunk. With W10 killing the Wintel PC market, Apple PC should do really well even with Chromebooks taking an ever larger share of Education. Something creative with iPad would be bonus. Of course a totally new product category from Apple is overdue, and their gnomes have been slaving away on some things, but it's impossible to tell when those will hatch. They're ready when they're ready.

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Re: For all the gloom

Yes, it is funny how the US press mostly wrote positive articles about Apple's results, "not as bad as analysts expected" was about the worst any headlines were, and noted how the stock price soared by almost 7% in after hours trading.

The Reg, as always, tries to put the worst possible light on Apple and probably makes people who otherwise wouldn't have paid any attention to Apple's results think they're tanking. They've now had two quarters where they reported results that were lower than the same quarter in the previous year. Samsung had over two years of that.

You have to peak sometime, you can't keep growing forever. Apple peaked pretty damn high, with profits larger than any public company has ever reported. In fact, despite almost certainly doing worse in 2016 than they did in 2015, they'll still report higher profits than any other public company has ever reported. Now unlike the fact you can't grow forever, you CAN shrink forever, until you go under, but just like Samsung, Apple will decline for a while and then rebound.

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peak Apple?

The trend continues - no surprises here.

Much of the world has woken up to the fact that they make nice products, that are over-hyped (and priced) compared to the competition. Consequently the number of people willing to pay a premium or upgrade to a slightly shinier version of what they already have is shrinking.

This is good news for Apple fans. Now that there is no real differentiation from the competition, they will have to lower their prices to prevent erosion of their large base.

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Mobile is starting to show its age...sales are slowing because the excitement is dead. Even a $50 phone can do a lot why pump hard earned money into a new phone each year without any gain?

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Doomed by Jobs

Apple's doom was sealed (so to speak) by Steve Jobs back in 2008 when he slid the first Macbook Air into an envelope during the Macworld keynote to demonstrate how slim it was. Ever since then new Apple kit (absent the dustbin Pro) has had to be slim and every succeeding generation of tablets, laptops and phones has had to be slimmer than the previous one. That means pro-class laptops that can't be opened for repairs or upgrades, iMacs that are glued together to be pointlessly slim on the desktop and ever-slimmer iPhones which will be losing their headphone jack in the next release because it limits a further reduction in case thickness.

Slim has had a good run but it's hit the buffers.

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Re: Doomed by Jobs

Apple is not doomed and form factor of casings would not be a cause of that doom anyway.

The most damage done to Apple is those who just copy their ideas.

If a unit fails then whole unit should be replaced, since that is cheaper. It is not the hardware but your information that is important to save.

Thus when someone talks about 'my iPhone', that is a concept that has probably existed on many different pieces of hardware over time.

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No surprise to me. My personal experience consists of poor phone integration with my BMW - Samsung et al are all better - and my daughters constantly complaining about lack of storage space on their phones. Not quite enough to give up on Cupurtino yet, but it's getting close.

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