What's on YOUR mind?
Today, Apple should be cutting a big ol’ cake for their ten-year-old operating system. This is the beautifully designed, sturdy, safe, and easy-to-use OS that caused many of us to switch. Apple’s hardware is sleek and gorgeous, no doubt, but it’s the internal workings that really make Apple soar beyond the Windows-ridden PCs, despite the fact that you can usually spot traces or technically attempts by Microsoft to imitate Apple’s OS (e.g., Tiger for Vista and Leopard for 7). Even still, Apple’s operating system remains the best on the market.
My personal story began in 2005. I used a Compaq laptop at the time with Windows XP of course. Well, after repeated blue screens (dead horse beating), immense lag, and the loss of many hours of work that I put into my Greek exegetical papers, I decided enough was enough. That summer I received the magical 12” PowerBook G4. It came installed with Tiger (10.4), missing Panther (10.3) only by months. I was blown away. Since then, I’ve never wanted to look back. In fact, during my time at Apple, I was able to be a part of the release of Leopard (10.5) in 2007. Now I have Snow Leopard (10.6) installed and am eagerly awaiting Lion (10.7) which will be released this summer. I’ve yet to be disappointed. Thanks Apple for your wonderful cats!
Cheetah (10.0) - March 24, 2001
Puma (10.1) - September 25, 2001
Jaguar (10.2) - August 24, 2002
Panther (10.3) - October 24, 2003
Tiger (10.4) - April 29, 2005
Leopard (10.5) - October 26, 2007
Snow Leopard (10.6) - August 28, 2009
Lion (10.7) - Coming Soon!
TUAW has posted videos of each of the releases (save Puma) which show the evolution of OS X: http://www.tuaw.com/2011/03/24/happy-10th-birthday-os-x/ . They’re worth watching, so take a look at a great heritage!
ConceivablyTech writer, Wolfgang Gruener, posted an article on March 11th entitled Why Did Apple Upgrade the iPad, Exactly?. In it he stated that he and his colleagues didn’t quite get (or conceive I suppose) why the iPad 2 is being bolstered by Apple as “even more magical than the first generation.” Rather, he considers this installment to be more of an iPad 1.5, as “it does not deserve the second generation name” and that “deliver[ing] updates are no-brainer features for any tablet – but it delivers them on a level of quality we did not know Apple was willing to compromise on.” His conclusion: “We believe that Apple may actually shoot itself in the foot with the iPad 2…The iPad 2 is vulnerable. The key weaknesses of the original iPad have not been fixed. Apple’s magical tablet may be more vulnerable this year than we believe.” These short-comings or weaknesses he speaks of are lackluster cameras, “no USB or SD port and no 4G wireless option,” and to beat that decayed horse, no Flash. How could Apple make such oversights? Why would anyone who bought the first iPad even consider getting this one? Surely this thing should be practically DOA.
Let’s start with his qualm with the cameras. A great many people didn’t buy the first iPad because of its lacking a front-facing camera for video chat and conferencing. Now there is one. No, the cameras aren’t great. Why would they need to be? How many people are really going to go around snapping stills wielding an iPad? Of course they’re not. People are going to pull out their phone or camera. The back camera is simply somewhat of a perk. The front-facing camera is the real issue, and it gets the job done well enough. Adding an expensive camera for negligible quality improvement in video chat doesn’t seem to be a wise move if the cost of the iPad is to remain the same. The same goes with the retina display (which is actually my biggest complaint about the iPad 2). That display would not be cheap, and once again the cost of the iPad would have to increase. The complaint about the lack of a USB port doesn’t hold water. What are you going to put into or take out of the iPad other than photos? There aren’t folder and file systems in the same manner as there are with computers. Everything is stored in apps. App everything. The SD slot would have been nice, but if you’re doing serious photography, you’ll probably want a computer on hand anyway; but sure, it would have added some convenience…not a deal breaker though. Lastly, Apple will continue to wait on the 4G option. It won’t jump into a system that isn’t fully supported (even if it’s solely Apple’s opinion on the manner).
Here is the problem with his rationale. He is somewhat, if not totally, confused about the society in which we live. We are consumerists above all else. We adhere to comfort and convenience as the highest priority, and will buy anything that will alleviate the tough things of life; like having to hold a 1.5 pound tablet for too long or having to wait an extra two seconds for an app to load. The earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan the same day iPad 2 was released didn’t slow down anyone in the U.S. from seeking out that coveted gizmo. In fact, Apple could have simply released the same iPad in white and there would have been lines out the door as well. It doesn’t take much. It’s new (even just in color), therefore we must have it.
Why would Apple tout that the iPad 2 was “even more magical” than the first iPad? Really? Would it have worked better for Apple if they had announced that the iPad 2 was really only slightly superior than the first and that the improvements were minor at best. The specs are better, but you probably won’t noticeably feel the upgrade. Apple gets people excited about their toys; of course they’re going to talk them up! What they did was clearly enough to get a great many first gen owners to upgrade as well as those who waited to take the plunge. To me that seems like pretty good strategy. The iPad by its very nature is superfluous. At this point in time, it’s not a stand-alone device (i.e., you still have to have a computer). Yet, the masses keep coming back to buy the latest and greatest that Apple has to offer. Why release an iPad that isn’t miles ahead of the competitors? Apple doesn’t need to. The product just has to have something (anything!) different from the first one and those who bought it and those who waited will come running. Thus, once again, Apple maintains 80% of the tablet market. The competitors are off to a huge disadvantage. You can guarantee that if Apple releases iPad 3 this fall even those who bought the two previous generations will buy it, especially if it has a retina display. Why? The iPad is the easiest to use and Apple has the marketing prowess to get a person excited about a toothpick.
All in all, I think his critique was quite literally lame and weak. I’m very surprised that The Motley Fool actually reposted it (unless of course some are scrambling to short the stock).