Did Apple not get the memo from its customers?

So $50 billion wiped off the company value and multi quarter underachievement. As an Apple fan boy of many years, I have started to change my views on Apple. The Galaxy and Android combination is becoming evermore attractive. Multiply me by many as well as the younger generation not seeing them as cool and none of this should come as a surprise to Apple.

If Apple did bother to listen to the customer base they would have heard some exceptionally loud and clear sentiment about where people felt Apple was going and what they needed to change. So if they had of come down from the ivory tower and talked to me, they would have heard a few things.

First they would have heard that we were all pissed off with the 4S vs 5 debacle, all the hype and build up that was allowed to swirl before dumping a 4S on the customers. They would have heard loud and clear that the customer base wanted more innovation and not an S. They are also less and less excited every time a new product appears.

If they had spoken to us and done some market research they would have seen that people wanted bigger screens, they wanted bigger screens for sometime but Apple did not listen. The headlines screamed innovate faster, consult with us more, but Apple ploughed on regardless. The new iPads came and went and then we saw the start of the Apple fall. They responded to the ask, but because it was late and a reaction to competition, their halo dropped.

The iPhone 5 was underwhelming above all else. Where Apple have gone wrong is in thinking that a big megapixel number or screen resolution will excite the user, not true, they should be additive. Apple has won on design and reimagining design and in this area they have singularly failed. The iPhone 5 was boring and frankly looked the same as the last two and that was a mistake. They had a chance. The iPad mini is a great product, I bought one, but the shine was taken off it because it was in response to the Nexus and other tablets. I would hold iPad mini as an example of where design was first and foremost and came with less tech spec, but noone really cared.

If they had listened they would have heard the rumblings of discontent about constant need for buying new and different chargers and new and different sims, the rest of the world was standardising and it is what people wanted and yet Apple thought that we would swallow the relentless change over and over. We do of course but the cracks are showing in our patience.

Apple should have read the signs and acted faster. Noone is perfect of course, even Samsung have had to admit that perhaps the S3 screen is too big for most people and have now downsized for those who want it, they listened pretty quickly after seeing the signs.

Overall with Apple my overriding sentiment is boredom. They bore me now, they make good products and I like them, but they have not got me excited for some time and I dont think I am alone, so in my view Apple need to start listening and innvating more if they are to regain their crown.

What is the definition of a tablet?

It’s not the Samsung. When the iPad was being launched and everyone was discussing whether or not there was a place in the world for such a device (I think we have the answer to that!) the most common phrase in reviews was..’if I have an iPhone and a Mac, why do I need one?’ At the time people were not sure of the answer, in the Apple way, the iPad created the need rather than answering one.

Since then the competition has fired its responses and some of them I think have missed the point. Lets take the Samsung example:

The fact is the Samsung is just too small, it’s as close to a phone as an iPad and that is the issue for me, that is where I am left asking – where does this fit? I have seen them in the flesh, they are oversized phones, the screens neither big enough to enjoy gaming, reading, web pages or apps but too big to be convenient like a phone.

The iPad has succeeded because it is big enough to have an experience, it did not set out to be a phone with a slightly larger screen, its build quality and slickness all add to this experience, something else that the competition seem incapable of replicating. I suspect the Blackberry offering will be nice, they are quickly realising that quality of finish both technically and physically is important and I have no doubt it will be a market winning execution, next to the iPad. Here is an example of some people’s interpretation of it

Oh come on publishers..build a decent app

So disappointing. All the major newspaper groups sat down in locked rooms and worked for days and nights to establish what to do with this new tablet world. After many hours they decided that it would be amazing if they scanned in their papers and you could click on the pictures to be taken to another page with a picture and some text. Genius!

There are so many options, independants like Flipboard have created a beautifully slick proposition, very visual, intuitive, interactive etc the newspaper apps are depressing in their lack of creativity, lets see what Murdoch comes up with. There was a moment there when my view that paid for content could actually win out but I have a set of apps now from the publishers that have been a massive let down and if they dont improve then they will get some one hit wonder payments and then thats it.

It annoys me that they have not done more in this exciting area, next we will be encouraging advertisers to create full page iPad ads that dont move, arent clickable and seem to be as dull as the content they are in..doh. Sorry Audi and the like.

Innovation is no longer having an ad in these environments, innovation is creating for the environment, there is a big difference, and too many award entries will be based on the very fact that they stuck an ad on the iPad..#fail. The only innovation on the iPad is the iPad, most of the other stuff is failing.

The world would be a better place if more companies were like Apple

Gordon in Brand republic comments on http://www.brandrepublic.com that Apple does not even like its customers and sites some bad PR from Jobs to a student..this is my view

That is the least of it. I am a fan. I have bought 7 ipods in its various guises, three iphones, one ipad, one Mac. Not to mention all the accessories. I am also annoyed that they continually update, that one charger wont fit the next gadget, they wont take flash on ipads and so and so on. Apple treat their customers like s*** and their products are a means to a greater battlefield Steve has with the wider marketplace.

That said, the products are generally very good. We forget that before them, PCs were very dull, we had walkmans and the phone was a functional accompliment and nothing more, there was no buzz in this sector so without them the rest would still be producing dull products.

And thats what they do well, good products. Yes they / he annoys me but I have given up caring, all this anti Apple stuff is boring and repetitive, they make good stuff and changed a market.

My last point is this; if more companies took the route Apple has taken ie great products, great design, attention to detail, quality packaging, wads of innovation, the world would be a far better place.

Is Flipboard the first App made for the iPad?

Yes I am addicted to the web and I love Facebook for staying in touch with people as well as a lazy address book and Twitter for sending me through everything I have ever needed to know, and much I didn’t about my business. Since having a child I seem to have only 10 minutes here, 15 minutes there at home and my iPad really fills that gap. It is especially good as you can carry it around when the baby is in a sling – perfect!

I still feel though that I am constantly jumping in and out of apps, looking at facebook, twitter and the rest and also clicking on links and waiting for videos to load, but now that has all changed. Flipboad has arrived. It is what I would describe as the first App made for the iPad with real innovation and thought, its an amazing piece of kit. So amazing that if you try to download and use right now it is overwhelmed with people trying to sign up.

Take a look at this video

It looks slick, it is a brilliant concept, I may never go to any of the other sites again, it makes Tweetdeck look like something from the dark ages and overall shows up the rest of the developer world for being lazy and slow, this should have been created by someone like Facebook or a publishing group or someone who took the iPad seriously.

I wish Flipboard all the best, I love it, and I truely believe this to be the first App made for the iPad

The iPad is fantastic.

People said it would change the way we computed, it does, it makes me think the laptop is a bother to open! In fact I am now walking around with my 3 week old in a sling and typing this, could never do that on a laptop.

Publishers need to change though, they are not taking advantage of this great piece of kit. It’s more immersive, a more personal experience than the laptop. I can see this rapidly becoming my favourite gadget after the iPhone 4 I am about to buy.

A small criticism is that it does look too much like an iPhone, not sure why it bothers me, but it feels a bit like they could not be bothered to do something different. Anyone seen the new windows phone? It looks new and fresh and I was hoping the iPad would try something new. On top of that I wish some of the mainstream app makers were already geared up to deliver their apps for this, I mean no official Twitter app? No linkedin? Come on these machines are designed for staying in touch and will become the business mans friend so it seems strange.

There is no doubt this has changed the computing landscape and I am sure when the next generations come out the iPad will become evermore versatile. So to those wondering whether to go for it or not, the answer is yes..

How can Google Nexus One not support Microsoft Exchange?

Marco Bertozzi:30:01:2010
In this day and age I find it infuriating when major players in software and or hardware dont work together. Surely now they are waking up to the fact that we live in an open source world and putting up barriers may make themselves feel better but it annoys the people spending the money. Especially around mainstream ways of communicating like email systems.

How is it possible that Google’s Nexus One does not synch with Outlook Exchange Calendars etc, its madness, is Google not a serious business operation? Do they think the world will change to Gmail? Of course not, so instead they are just pissing off all those people who would love to have a Nexus One but connect to Exchange.

Likewise the news that the iPad does not support Flash, I mean come on, it’s a joke, the world runs on Flash how can they not support it when we are talking about a device designed to enjoy the consumption of all the best the web has to offer! These companies need to start thinking of the end consumers rather than their own protectionism, its madness, I hope very much that Google will reconsider this stance in the coming weeks.

How does Apple manage to generate this much interest?

OK so most people may not be interested so lets not get carried away. Those however that enjoy technology and innovation you cant help but notice the arrival of the Apple tablet or islate or ipad.

What is amazing is the hype, the expectation of the product. Having sat for many years in meetings where clients want to chase down that elusive extra sale or a bit more word of mouth, they could only dream of what Apple have managed. What other brand is capable of doing this? Why have they been so successful? The only other brand that has come close has been the Google Phone, strangely everyone was out to knock it rather than encourage it, Apple receives mostly encouragement to change the world.

I think at the heart of all this is quality, much time and money is poured into the Apple products and the result is mostly amazing products, great innovation and game changing technology, delivered in a fashion that raises the bar each time. Those products are then supported by simple but effective advertising and an army of people who lovce to build applications for them, in the vase of the iPhone. Every element of an Apple product is thought through, not least the packaging, anyone who has bought a product from Apple has to admit that even getting it out of the box makes the whole experience feel special. It is just not the same with any other computer manufacturer.

Bottom line is people have come to expect game changing technology from Apple. In any other sector manufacturers need to think long and hard about how to stand out from the crowd if they want to achieve the level of loyalty and interest. Many advertisers talk about wanting to get the most out of social media, if they worked harder on their products and delivery the social media would sort itself out..