Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Apple's silly little customer base

MacLusers


iPodiots


and, Coming Soon! to elevators, bars, restaurants, shopping centers, grocery stores and motor vehicle accidents waiting to happen near you:


iPhonies


Since (and with the exception of) the Apple II line of computers that first went commercial thirty years and two weeks ago today, have has anyone ever encountered a "successful" Apple product that wasn't dumbed down and made to look very shiny for the oh-so-trendy, fashion conscious, technologically impaired, mostly mindless drones who are Apple's biggest fanboys?

"Successful" is in quotes because unlike the iPod, the Mac product line never achieved much market success (less than 5% market share these days) despite all the hype. The iPhone seems doomed to be another flash in the pan unless the total cost of owning and using one drops dramatically from current expectations when it is released at the end of this month.

The iPod has achieved amazing market domination. One could even say it once drove the market for MP3 players, despite the fact that it is technically inferior and over-priced compared to many products made by companies such as SanDisk (Sansa), Rio, Samsung, etc. Now that other pocket sized portable music players are gaining market share, Apple has decided to join the cell phone fray, using its success with the iPod as leverage to try and break into the fiercely competitive mobile communications market.

The Mac line of computers has less than a 5% share of the microcomputer market and peaked at about 13% in 1993 – ancient history in the hi-tech world. Today, he PC market is very much a Wintel environment, and even Linux-based systems have grabbed more of it than Macs recently. Microsoft isn’t really even worried about Apple as a competitor when it comes to computers, but is clearly reacting to the increasing popularity of Linux combined with FOSS office suites.

A major problem with Apple products (and Microsoft and Sony products, too) is that they tend to be proprietary, locking consumers into very expensive platforms. Apple, Microsoft, and Sony are almost synonymous with harsh DRM and gross overpricing. “You can get better, but you can’t pay more…”

Let us not forget how Apple foolishly decided to go with a built-in battery for the iPhone instead of the removable ones that savvy cell phone manufacturers have long known are far more practical for people who can't seem to pry their cell phones away from their ears.

One has to wonder how many suckers will be duped into wasting money on an iPhone, only to deeply regret their blunder a mere few months later as the bills roll in and the novelty of the goofy menu system on a tiny touch screen as a keyboard alternative wears thin. Many people can use regular cell phone keyboards, especially the QUERTY kind without even looking at them – great for text messaging without being obvious about it. Try that, iPhonies!

If iPhonies end up hating AT&T (formerly Cingular) they are SOL if they want to switch service providers after their mandatory two year contract with AT&T expires, because there won’t be any alternatives available until five years after the iPhone hits the market. By then, the iPhone will probably be a flop on the order of these other Apple blunders: Apple III, Macintosh Portable, and Newton Message Pad (thanks go to Insearch of Stupidity.

When all the (mostly artificial) media frenzy over the iPhone dies down, expect to see a lot of naive, gullible, former Apple fanboys whining about the money they wasted on their iPhones as they switch to far more functional, much less expensive phones which can be used with a variety of service providers besides AT&T...although this whole marketing ploy by Apple would be even funnier if suckered iPhonies into signing on with a pathetically lame yet truly obnoxious service provider such as Verizon Wireless--that sort of treatment is best reserved for asinine Apple apologists.

Ah, well, the antics of the most loyal members of Apple's silly little customer base are almost always amusing when they aren't annoying.

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