Before we begin lets make it clear, I am a NEW fan of Apple. I recently bought a wonderful MacBook Pro Retina and I blogged about last time, it is a wonderful product.
Anyway, now I have made that clear, lets get on with today's blog.
I have just watched the wonderful TimmyTechTV on YouTube on which he posted what I thought was an interesting piece about why he won't be buying the new Apple 6 Plus and iWatch.
When I watched it I found I agreed with some of it but not all of it so this is my two pence (or three cents) worth on the subject.
Please watch this video (be warned there is some bad language in it).
The reason I ask you to watch this video before continuing is that the points I cover below will make more sense.
Point one: "Apple is just really a recipe company"
I can see and understand the point he is making. I guess I would ask, what is wrong with that?
Timmy says (quoting someone else) that Apple "take proven things that other people have done, package them in a nice bundle and sell them to you at an overpriced price".
Stepping back a moment lets take Timmy's statement and break it down and cover each point by point.
"take proven things that other people have done, package them in a nice bundle..."
I think this is meant to be a criticism but to me it is one of Apple's strengths. I am a software engineer, most of my work involves doing this, it doesn't make me bad at my job. In fact it is a real skill to be able to do this well and in the past Apple have been fantastic at doing this.
For example, things such as MP3 players, tablets etc. Have been made better and more accessible for people to use. I would argue that the Apple Watch could be the next example of this, but we will see.
"...sell them to you at an overpriced price"Apple products are obviously much more expensive. With regards the latest iPhone, I agree with this statement in that it is way overpriced for what you are getting from a technology perspective. I own a Nexus 5 phone which I bought SIM free in the UK for £250, its a great phone. Timmy talks about the One Plus that he has ordered, I think these also look great.
However, when you have such a brand name and reputation as Apple have you can charge top prices. I mean the reason the Nexus is so cheap is that Google wants market share so it probably sells these handsets at a loss. One Plus, is also after market share and that is the reason I would guess their products are competitive on price.
A lot of Apple's consumers are not that into technology, generally they just want something that looks great and works! [Android is getting way better with this, Android KitKat is a nice system] Generally, these people are still willing to pay that bit extra for ease of use, they want to take it out the box and get it going in 5 minutes. They don't want to tweak it or set it up. Apple know this and they charge a premium for it. Again, I don't think that is such a bad thing. They know their consumer and target their products accordingly. They are amazingly good at this.
Point Two: "You can only watch Apple events on Safari"
I agree again this is a bit silly, but it comes back to my earlier point about knowing your market. The majority of people who are keen to watch these events generally own multiple Apple products so this is not such an issue.
Timmy continues about the "elitist mentality" and Apple are not the "king" anymore. I sort of agree and disagree with this. I think this mentality comes more from "Apple fanboy's" than from Apple. The "fanboy's" bang on about how Apple is the best and everything else is rubbish. I joke about becoming a fanboy but I don't think I will buy every Apple product.
In Apple's defence, I think Apple have realised that for many consumers who shop based on price they will never appeal to them, so they appeal to this small section who are willing to pay top money for the ease of use and often these people will already be using many products in the Apple eco-system.
Point Three: "Apple under Tim Cook is not doing the right thing"
I don't know about this, only time will tell.
Tim Cook couldn't win in this situation as Steve Jobs was a rare type of visionary who cannot and will not be replaced. Apple struggled before when Jobs was fired and it might do again. the jury is out.
I will say this, Steve Jobs made Apple successful by creating great products that people wanted because he loved to create great products and make the complex simple. For him, I really think it was a passion and part of who he was. He knew he needed to make money to be successful, but he measured success by how good the product was, how easy was it to use and so on, then the money looked after itself.
I think that Tim Cook measures success by how much profit it might generate, and I feel this is the reason Apple might fail.
I think a lot of the points Timmy makes in this video are very valid and do create some good discussion, some of which I have tried to cover today. I think a lot of the frustrations actually come from not really understanding what Apple's position is now in the marketplace.
In my opinion Apple cannot compete with companies such as Google, Samsung etc on pure market share, Apple know this, they might not say it but it is clear they have accepted that they will appeal to a small but committed minority who are willing to pay top prices so they charge top prices.
Apple products to me have always been quality products for which you pay a premium. Apple don't innovate, they copy and tweak to serve their consumers and whether you like it or not, they do this very well. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+ will sell very well, people will queue outside the stores and the media will cover it all.
Were Apple being silly on September 9th 2014?
Probably, but they were targeting their core market and they succeed in generating the buzz they needed to maintain profits and market share!