Something is brewing in Cupertino, CA, home of our favorite Mac maker. Good or bad brew?
I’m not sure if they’re brewing up bad taste, or there’s a secret method behind Apple’s recent madness. Madness? Yes. Apple’s recent brews leave a bitter taste here and there.
They say that beer is an acquired taste. I agree. You learn about the beer buzz only after going through the bitterness. Then you learn to love the differences and settle on a favored brew or two.
For the most part, Apple has always been a sweet taste when it comes to the Mac and new products. More than a few alert Mac360 readers have pointed out that there’s a little more bitter in the taste of Apple’s products recently.
Let me discount the obvious—a switch from IBM’s RISC chip architecture to Intel’s CISC. That was a bitter change for many, but the rest of the buying public didn’t care. Well, actually, they did care. They loved it. Intel Inside meant compatibility with Windows, which acted as a safety net for Windows switchers to the Mac.
Bitter taste at first, sweet ending. Besides, all these arguments about chips, Intel or AMD or IBM or Keebler, isn’t something the average customer cares much about these days.
Regarding the bitter pills in the iPhone and iPod touch, Apple’s two newest, hottest, and coolest products ever, the taste still hasn’t gone away. The iPhone is somewhat crippled—junk camera, no movies, and, importantly, no 3rd party software development.
The iPhone is mostly closed to developers, rinky dinky little web applications notwithstanding. Apple was worried about cell phone network security. Hmmm. What about the iPod touch?
There’s no cell phone network security to worry about but the iPhone touch doesn’t allow 3rd party software either. And no Mail. And no camera. On the one hand, the iPod nano gets a nice screen and video playback. On the other hand we don’t get a Mac in our hand.
Apple is selling a cell phone as an iPod, and an iPod with a cool touch-screen. Nothing else. Crippled? Some would say so. Bitter? Uh, some would say so, more often. Apple’s glittery design and style overcome some of the bitter taste in feature shortcomings. For now.
Take AppleTV. We love it. We want it to do more. Much more. DVR. HD. Really large hard disk. 3rd party applications. Uh uh. Apple wants to control the experience for us. I see it more and more, and more and more I’m developing a bad taste about it.
Leo Laporte seems to agree that Apple is brewing more bad taste than good taste these days. Regarding the iPhone’s ability to overwrite 3rd party hacks with every update, Leo stretches an analogy all the way to Mars and back:
Curiously worded, but the sentiment is still a bitter brew.
Some say that it’s hard to argue with success, and Apple has been utterly (sorry, bad pun) successful in recent years—so much so that it may be easier these days to forget what customers truly want, and give them what Apple wants them to have. Former customers are leaving Microsoft because they abused their customer base with ill-advised policies and shoddy products.
If it can happen to a company with more money than God, it can happen to a company that is revered like a god.
Apple, give me something sweet and tasty and stop it with the microbrews already.