Mac users went ga ga over the early iPods and iTunes. Eventually, so did Windows users.
We bought iPods, used iTunes, got smarter. Now we want more. More than just a cute phone with candy coated interface.
You know what I want? I want product manufacturers, Apple included, to stop dinking with me, treating me as if I don’t know any better and will buy anything.
That’s a serious problem for Microsoft. Smarter people are looking elsewhere for better quality, thoughtful design, greater value. More will follow.
It’s also a problem for Apple. Let me use the iPod generation as an example.
We loved the original iPod. To many it was overpriced and underpowered but it just worked. iTunes synchronized instantly. The iPod was easy to use. We were happy.
Apple moved the iPod experience to Windows. iTunes. iPod. Easy to use. For Mac and Windows users, the iPod ecosystem was a big hit. So it was for Apple’s stock and bank account.
That was then and this is now, and many of us have learned from that iPod experience. We’re more savvy, less tolerant of techno problems, spoiled on Mac OS X’s stability and dependability.
Now, we want more. Unfortunately, for Windows users they won’t get it from Microsoft and Vista. That’s business as usual.
I’m afraid that Apple is short-changing us as well. That’s certainly the case with some of Apple’s partners—Cingular AT&T, the movie industry, and all their nickel-and-diming-me-to-death friends.
I know what you’re thinking. “What about the iPhone, Jack. Isn’t that the coolest thing since sliced bread and the mouse?” No. Why?
Why should it be? It’s tied to Cingular AT&T, the nickel and dime champions of telecommunications. No wireless broadband. No Voice Over IP.
What about Apple’s other new toys? Take AppleTV. Please. Crippled. By. Design.
AppleTV synchronizes your Mac or Windows iTunes content and will pump it out to a TV. Cool, huh? No. Not cool. Painful. As. Hemorroids.
I’m smarter now, and I know what I want, and I expect Apple to deliver the goods, and not deliver a crippled version of cobbled-together techno pieces.
If iTunes is to be the DVD player of the 21st century, as Apple says, then make it work that way. It’s the media center, it’s the hub, it’s the answer. But it doesn’t do TV, which, remarkably, is the center of my 21st century living room.
Have you tried to convert an MPEG video for iTunes? Rip a DVD for iTunes? It takes freakin’ forever, plus another hour. Apple!! Fix that. I want DVDs and over-the-air TV shows recorded and or stored and managed on my Mac or PC.
What else? Don’t expect to pay $199 for the first iPod with multi-touch. But I digress.
Take Apple’s new Airport Extreme. The form factor is good. It looks like a Mac mini, but the design is different. Fix that. Only three 10/100 Ethernet ports? I can get more than twice that for half the price. What about gigabit Ethernet? Come on. We’ll be pushing movies around the house. Why no gigabit Ethernet? It’s on most of the Macs?
You see the problem? We’re smarter these days and Apple doesn’t recognize it. We want more these days and Apple doesn’t understand it. Apple! Pay attention in class.