Sunday, January 20, 2008


Responding to my brief grouse about Apple here the other day, DSEZ wrote:

"It's true. Apple does not care about its faithful customers. It has a habit of alienating them by constantly pulling the rug out from beneath their feet. The iPhone's somewhat botched release, and subsequent precipitous price drop, is a perfect example. A rebate (to only certain buyers) really isn't enough to restore consumer confidence.

My 30G iPod video was pretty much obselete mere weeks after I bought it. It was replaced by the 80G iPod video, which in turn was rendered obsolete by the iPod Touch--which itself was outdated within several weeks after ITS release.

Apple--chill out!"

Being an Apple fan definitely means you need to find some way to square their position as a maker of boutique items. Obsolescence is a big part of that, sadly, and it's something I understand, even if I don't like.

Given how competitive the market is for portable media players, you pretty much have to expect your iPod to be obsolete the moment you exit the store. That's by design (in every sense of the word, in Apple's case). I mean, the race is so tight that I've given serious, serious thought to buying the newest Zune, and would have if anyone had gotten it to work with the Mac OS. The iPod line has to be Apple's digital shark - keep moving or die.

Where Apple really falls down is in acknowledging and living up to their genuine fuck-ups, such as (my own personal case in point) the DVD burner in the Intel MacMini, which claims to burn DVDs at 8x, but will really only do 2x, unless you feel like shelling out for Apple blanks. It's clear they're not going to do anything about it. They are not a customer service company, image to the contrary. They do not respond to the needs of existing customers on existing products, and continue focusing instead on new product development and expanding their market share.

That's why the retro-rebate for early iPhone purchasers was so shocking - that's got to be a first in the history of the company. What's especially odd about that is that it's the one case where I'm not sure it was justified. I mean, the price was clearly advertised, and only a mindless idiot would expect that the price would not only go down, but that a much more powerful version would turn up within months. So I'm not convinced that the spendthrift toyheads who just had to have the shiny new thing deserved to get any money back (I guess it was in the form of Apple Store credit, but still).

It would take a lot for me to abandon Apple computers, but I'm more than willing to do without any of their media devices, although I'm not so much a market for them in the first place. A needless non-ancillary to a life already overwhelmed with entertainment choices. We have an iPod in the house (Yesenia's), and even though I can use it whenever I want, I pretty much never do. So I may not be able to generate the justified annoyance at the development cycle of the iPod.

Guitarist Shaun has an iPhone, and my primary feeling about it is to note the interesting sound his amplifier makes when the iPhone is anywhere near it. I've also toyed with my sister's iPod Touch, which she's cracked and added all sorts of extras that definitely serve as improvements - and while I admit holding it makes me feel the future has finally arrived, I don't feel any desire to point over her shoulder, widen my eyes and shout "Who's that?!?" in a tone of mounting panic and then abscond with the thing while her back is turned.

Which means I really an not the market for new media...

To which you might ask, 'well, why do you even want a Zune, then?'

Quite frankly? The radio.



Chris said...

I love the Zune as a product, but the software interface on the PC side is awful.

For some reason, related to a lawsuit I'm sure, it is not compatible with windows media player, which has evolved into a nice, if not slightly cumbersome piece of software.

Fiona's mother picked up the iphone yesterday, and it is on the cutting edge of cool. But I'm still not down with touch screen, mostly because of the size of my sausage like fingers.... I suppose it could work with a stylus, but that's a big minus to hipness.

There's this silly fabricated war between mac and pc... and it all depends on your point of view. But it would seem so wrong for a Microsoft product to be plugged directly into your system.

Don't touch my network, you'll make it dirty....

Dave Kopperman said...

I'm told they're developing an iPhone/iPod touch with a bigger screen, so that may address your concern.

Of course, with Apple, you never know what's coming until it's officially announced.

BTW: Where did Marina get the cash for an iPhone? Those things ain't cheap...