Tag Archives: Steve Jobs

My Review, the iWatch

Whether Apple would/will release an iWatch or not has been a source of speculation and flame war for years.

The first thing that came to my mind during the recent Apple event around iPods was “Holy crap, the new nano touch, would make an awesome watch!” I wasn’t alone in that. My Pal Christian made this review before I got mine.

Clearly Apple at least contemplated it as a watch, since it has a built in setting for watch face on wake. Essentially when you touch the wake  up button, it comes to life as a watch. Maybe this is Apple testing the water for an honest to goodness iWatch. I certainly hope so, because as much as I like my iWatch, there’s a few things I’d like to see improved.

The Pros:

It’s an iPod. I mean really, that’s it’s main feature and like all iPods it’s good at what it does. Plug in some headphones and away ya go.

It’s a radio. That’s pretty sweet. I only listen to the radio in the car or the house if we’re cleaning. Plug in headphones (needed as an antenna) and (again) away you go.

It’s a pedometer. While I’m sure being on my wrist is less than accurate, it’s kinda cool to be able to track movement and upload it to nike for their fun little web games. Gimmicky, sure, but fun.

It’s a conversation piece. It’s easily recognizable as an iPod, I’ve had my Vet, counter people, etc all notice, and ask about it. The show-off geek in me loves it!

Changeability. Since it’s not a “real” watch, it doesn’t come with a band. As such you can pick the band(s) you like and change them frequently. I have a plain old nylon band, that Christian mentioned in his review. There’s already a small industry popping up making watch bands just for the iPod Nano Touch, there will be more still.

Covers the basics. It tells time on wake. A swipe to the right and you’re in stop watch mode, another and you’re in timer mode. Done. They covered the three basic features any watch should offer.

The Cons.

It’s an iPod (Features). Being a watch isn’t it’s main purpose in life, as such it tells time well, but if you want adv. features like chrono, multipletime zone support, etc, etc. Look elsewhere.

It’s an iPod (durability). It’s not a g-shock, or even a Citizen. It more or less CAN’T take a beating. It’s not water proof or even really water resistant. The earphone hole is right there, a drop or two of water/rain and bam, no more watch. And because it’s Apple and they don’t believe in rain, no warranty replacement. The face isn’t durable watch crystal it’s glass (as far as I know) a good whack on a corner and you’re likely to be spending another $150ish at the Apple store for a new ‘watch’.

It’s not iOS. When I saw Steve showing the device off, i hoped, really really hoped that being touch enabled, it was running iOS, even if just a subset of iOS. From what I can gather, it’s not. It’s running the more basic iPod firmware with touch added on. I was looking forward to people being able to create their own unique watch faces, or watch apps. Shoot, i’d buy ones that were well made. The other downside of the current firmware is a pretty kludgey way of getting around. Since there’s no “home” button, to get ouf apps you swipe to the left. If you’ve gone deep into the settings app, that’s a lot of swipes. :(

What would make it awesome(r)?

iOS for sure. Or at the least, an SDK. Even if it’s a stepchild SDK like the old ‘Games for Clickwheel iPod’ SDK. Let creative folks have a stab at making it a really fun device. There’s so much potential for this little square. If not iOS, or an SDK, i hope Apple will at least throw a bone or two and update the watch app. Maybe throw in multiple time zone support, or more than two watch faces. Maybe digital? Old school night stand clock? Lots of options!

Long shot, but locking the clip closed? I’m experimenting with which was the clip should face. The iWatch hasn’t fallen off, but it’s come close, and I’m not sure which way I clip it to the band will matter. Will it come off tucking my shirt in, or reaching for my keys? It’d be kind cool to have the clip latch somehow. I know this will never happen though.

User Customization. This sorta falls under the iOS section, but there’s some stuff that coulda just been in the firmware. The iPod allows me to sync photos, but those photos can’t be a background image. There’s 9 built in choices to choose from, but why stop there? Apple has finally gotten over their “users can’t select their own backgrounds” thing, so why not follow that through on the iWatch? Or let me assign an image to the watch face? Black or white are the current options. Why not a picture of my wife and I, or my dog, or a robot?

Final Thoughts.

I went into this knowing the features that existed, so if nothing ever changes and Apple never touches this device again (not unheard of) I’m still happy with it as a watch. I’d love it to do more, but hey, it’s an Apple product, i’d love them all to do a little more than what Apple allows. Maybe someone will jailbreak the iPod Nano Touch? I hope so :)

It’s a fun watch, and a lotta bit geeky. If you’re a hardcore watch person, probably not for you. I love watches, I have a dozen or more, and this iWatch is just a fun little computer on my wrist.

So the ATT caps don’t affect you huh?

I was watching all the tweets about “looks like I only use 400mb so AT&T’s new caps won’t affect me.” earlier this week, and got to thinking.

I’m wondering how much all these folks are considering the future. Not 2044 when we have iPhones in our heads, but a 2 months from now, maybe 3. Clearly AT&T had a plan beyond “Making data plans more affordable and available for all. 98% of our users don’t even use close to 2g” and all. I mean we’ve met AT&T right? When have they done something for their customers, beyond send cease and desist letters when we email them.

So here’s what I’m wondering..

Skype on 3G… how much are we gonna use that? How much will that impact data use? I can see 2gb going fast with a couple business calls a week.

Front facing camera and some sort of iChat for iPhone… Will we get it? Who knows, rumors (again) say yes. How much will video chatting use up your data use?

Backgrounding of Pandora? How much data do you think you’ll use streaming pandora at work every day? On your jog? at the gym? at your desk?

There’s a lot (possibly) coming soon that will hugely impact data usage. Surprised AT&T pre-empted all that with a change in rates?

A change that by next week we’ll have mostly forgotten in the euphoria of a steve-note, new devices, and mac pros, and robot unicorns. AT&T for their cluelessness in dealing with customers, isn’t stupid, and they just roped a ton of schmoes into very restrictive plans.

Take a long the view… it’s a different picture. I’ll be keeping my unlimited plan thank you.

Why my iPad is coming 4/3 not ‘late April’

I was reading My friend Steve’s post over at TUAW on the subject and most of his reasons (most of them) resonated with me. Enough so that I wanted to go into more details on my own.

  1. Simple timing. 360|iDev starts 4/11. I think it makes sense to have an iPad and play with one before and during the conference. To not would be like running an iPhone conference and not having an iPhone (or iPod touch). So it just made sense not to wait.
  2. wifi. Before I had my iPhone I had my iPod touch and carried it everywhere. Unlike Steve I travel in places with either no free wifi, or shitty free wifi. BUT, i have an iPhone now. So my iPad doesn’t need that constant connection to the net. It’d be nice, of course, I want every device I own connected to the net. But for what I imagine my main use case to be (reading email on the couch, playing a game, or something else domestic like that) I’ll be at home on my home internet. Plus But when that connection is thru AT&T…. See 3. Then 4.
  3. AT&T. I truly hate AT&T. I’m sure they know it, I’m equally sure I’m not alone. I can’t think of another company that has worked so hard at being teh suck. I mean you have millions of customers essentially gifted to you. You didn’t earn them, or even have to market to them to lure them to you. Steve Jobs handed you millions of new users. And you failed. AT&Ts network is the suck, it’s terrible. I live in Denver, and now that Spring is coming, and the Rockies home opener is only 3 weeks away, I’m planning to have a useless iPhone. Every home game saturates what I assume is the single tower in LoDo, and while I have full bars, I have no network. So why would I want another device on such a craptastic network? Makes no sense.
  4. Sprint MiFi. I love having a 5 user portable hotspot in my pocket (that’s what she said?) that essentially gives me AT&T immunity. I can use my iPhone, soon (I think) I’ll be able to make skype calls if I really need to, etc. So when there’s no wifi for my iPad, and when the Rockies are in town, I’m still able to function like an affluent american in 2010. Fuck you AT&T. (Note to sprint, the connection speeds on my Mifi suck! 3g? at .57 Mbits I don’t agree)
  5. Ok with moo’ing. If you owned a first gen MacBook Pro, you know what I mean. Thankfully mine never moo’ed, and my MacBook AIR’s weird CPU throttling was handled by a hack until Apple released a fix. I know what I’m getting into and am ok with that. iPad V1 will be a vastly different creature than the 3GS equivalent (the model 3 years from now). That’s fine, I can live with that because 6.
  6. I’m gonna jailbreak that bitch! You heard me! The moment the dev team (you guys are gonna work on it right?) release the JB, I’m on it. I love the freedom my iPhone 2G has to be customized, and do what I want it to do (Skype calls now, ha!). The primary reason my 3GS isn’t JB’ed is that it experienced a weird battery drain so I put it back in jail, I can’t have my primary mobile computer/phone be dead batteried in 3 hours. My iPad on the other hand, will never be mission critical, so it’s getting JB’ed ASAP. I think the true awesomeness (as usual) will be experienced by iPad owners who break free of Apple.

So those are my reasons for ordering an iPad. As a consumer, it’s not a very interesting device. I’m not gonna spend whatever Apple asks for iWork, because that’s stupid. I’m not gonna work on spread sheets, or keynotes without a keyboard. Sorry I don’t see that working out well. Maybe I’m wrong, but I doubt it. As 1. an iDevice conference organizer it makes sense I know what my customers are playing with, and 2. as a hacker wannabe, I can’t wait to see what it’s truly capable of.

I don’t think it’s worth waiting an extra month, paying more money (AND then paying $30/month for actual 3G) just to have an always (except that AT&T fails so often it’s more like 80% of the time) connected device.

My take on the iPad – Might as well join in

Despite what my more fervent fanboi friends think, I don’t hate the iPad.

As the organizer of a conference for iPhone developers, I can’t wait to see what they do with the iPad. I can’t wait for panels on the differences, etc.

This post isn’t about that. This post is about me as a techy, power user consumer. The exact person the iPad isn’t for.

Alex Payne captures my thoughts on this really well. From a Flex Developer standpoint (Yeah that’s right hater, Flash!) I think Doug sums it up well.

I’m not gonna lie I let the rumor mill wind my expectations up more than I should have.

I was expecting

  • iPhone OS – Got it
  • Cellular plan of some sort – Got it
  • affordable – sorta got it. based on features it’s murky but it’s not $2000, so that’s something.
  • Ability to run more than one iApp at it’s native size in a window – Nope didn’t get that
  • A USB Port or two – Nope
  • Some type of awesome MobileMe integration that would allow me to download files on my iSlate straight to mobileme where I could consume them on my real computer. – Nope, not even close, and MobileMe still sucks, not even an upgrade to it.
  • Flash – nope. Though I wasn’t surprised. Apple controls the playground, and in true bully fashion has no reason to stop.

That’s it. The camera everyone wants might be fun, but i don’t use the one on my Macbook, so…

I can survive without the USB ports, since clearly apple doesn’t like us to have access to the guts, that’s livable.

No multitasking is a deal breaker. Let’s be clear, I have an iPhone, I have a Macbook. If I want the “Real web” I can look at it on my macbook which is nice and light. If I want the Apple version of the web, I can use my iPhone.

Assuming I got the device I wanted, I never in a million years Imagined I’d leave my Macbook at home. Clearly I wouldn’t leave my iPhone at home either. I’d cary the tablet for when I walk around, or just need to do some lightweight work. I’d carry with me at conferences for note taking and controlling the mac mini’s on site if they need it. etc. it’d be a utility device. I could stream music, and work on my keynote for Wednesday, I could fire up IM and not be away from it, ditto for twitter. I’d basically be free to roam and not be tied to my laptop at the registration desk.

When I was going out and didn’t need my laptop, i figured my iSlate would be with me. Heck I could toss it in Nicole’s purse, or just hold it.

It’s not (yet) the device I want.

I admit, my hopes were pie in the sky. From the vitriol flowing out of twitter the last few days, I’m not alone. It’s almost like the Jets vs. sharks scene in West Side Story. The die hard fanbois are rushing to the defense of Apple and the iPad and those dissappointed and even angry are rushing to call it names, and shout how Apple has failed them. I say them because while I’m sad it’s not the device I want, I have no doubt it will sell like mad and people will love it. Fanbois will love it because it’s in their contract. Normal consumers will love it because it’s simple, doesn’t do anything but surf the web and send email, etc. My mom truly is the perfect candidate for this device.

I agree with Alex that it seems that Apple is turning down a path, where hackers and power users aren’t welcome, and aren’t their core business. They’re truly turning consumer. This is good, great, but also bad.

Good because I want Apple to succeed, I truly love their products and industrial design (though I hope they ditch shiny backs on ipods. Clearly Steve jobs has had his finger prints burnt off to not see the smudges the rest of us see, or he has a Eunuch to operate his iPod and iPhone for him). Bad because as Alex says, they’re turning their attention away from what (I think) they’re all about. Apple was founded by hackers, Apple survived a long time on hackers, and tinkerers and power users.

Lately all their devices are less and less hacker, tinkerer, power user friendly. I’m sure plenty of self proclaimed power users will say otherwise, running Photoshop all day, with other apps open, does not a power user make in my mind. Open Terminal, hack your shit! Change settings via bash, etc. That to me is a power user.

That’s not possible on the iPad.

Hope in the Jailbreakers

I think the iPad has huge, huge potential. I think those folks that are angry have forgotten one key thing, the first version of most Apple gear is just meh. the first iPod, not so hot, awesome by the standards of the day of course, but compared to what iPods can do now. no.

The iPhone 2g when it was released had no apps but those Apple provided. Had no MMS, had no (long list of things, some still on it)

the OS wasn’t that great, the features weren’t that great, etc. the iPhone 3GS is quite a different machine. More powerful, more feature rich. I bought my 2G iPhone when the 3G was released, on Ebay. i didn’t fully jump on the bandwagon of iPhone until the 3GS. That was when it was a device I could use and like, outside of my fanboiism.

The Macbook Air had issues with it’s CPU cores, etc. Macbook pros mooo’d. There’s plenty of history of first gen issues. nothing major and Apple fixes them, but it’s common that the first run is to get the bugs out. Apple will make the iPad better. Perfect? no, but I hope it is eventually something I’ll want as a consumer.

P.S. Fanbois, please refrain from commenting on why I’m dumb for expecting something other than what I got. I’m sure you got exactly what you expected, you’re buying 4 of them the moment the site allows it, and you and Steve are on the same wavelength and this device is 100% the most awesome revolution in computing. I’ve heard it all before and it doesn’t add to the discussion. You have a blog, use it.

I would like to know what everyone thinks about the iPad in the least fanboish ways possible, what will you use it for, what do you think it’s strength is, other than, of course being Magical

The Creator of the eBook is wrong

I’ll admit, I had no idea who Michael Hart is. But he’s wrong. Over on the Project Gutenberg blog he says the eBook reader will never take off, and lists some reasons why, in his mind he’s correct. (I’m sure there’s no bias as the founder of PG) I’m going to debunk them based on my own world view. (Be warned, his list is long and wordy, even before I add my two cents)

There are several reasons people will not buy a dedicated eBook reader, and some of them a very powerful reasons that cannot be argued with via any intelligent reasoning rationality.

First: the new generations are used to screens the size of Nintendo GameBoys, grew up on them.

Not sure what generation he’s talking about. Sure my neice and nephew are both Nintendo DS freaks, but they have a real computer at home. My mom asked me if she should get an iPhone and stop having a computer, my answer was no. There’s no way I would sit for hours playing aroudn on the internet on an iPhone, I know my mom couldn’t. She’d be blind before the next iPhone was released. I don’t own a netbook, and I sold my Nokia N800. my iPod Touch and iPhone are both great, and both run the Kindle app, and I use neither.

Second: the new generations also think screens on cell phones are just fine, and most of those are now even larger.

I’d argue that “just fine” is more along the lines of don’t know any better. I’d also argue that when a kids gets in front of a netbook or laptop with a more usable display, with WAY better resolution, they’d feel the same way I do. iPhones rock for quick look up, waiting room internet goofing around, etc. but I’m not going to sit o my couch, with my iPhone up to my face to work through emails or tweets even.

Third: the new generations have always got the paperback editions as much as the hardbacks, so they don’t have the same nostalgia for Look And Feel of those as do people who stared reading a while before paperbacks became very acceptable.

Fourth, Fifth, etc. the alternatives. . . .

This is completely bunk. I’m one of those paperback generation types. I don’tbuy hardcovers unless I either a. can’t wait for the paperback or b. want to show off a nice hardbound book on my bookshelve and get a few +1 book geek cred points.

I love the feel and smell of books, even paperbacks. I’m sure scribes loved the feel and smell of parchment, and olden day mathameticians loved the feedl of abacas beads, and slide rules. Times change. To bring a more relevant example up. CDs, and DVDs. Many folks love to have them lined up nicely in huge shelves, they like to read the jackets, look at the cover art, absorb every iota of director commentary. Yet iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, et al. are still doing pretty darn good. Times change, and whether we all want to or not, we change with them, it’s kinda silly to think in 20 years books will be common place. They’ll be antiques.

Fourth: most people don’t realize it, but many cell phones also come with WiFi built in so the unit is basically a small Kindle to start with! You don’t even have to have the phone activated to use the WiFi functions, which usually have a pretty normal browser, text reader, and such in them to start with, and also accept any numbers of third party programs most eBook readers have already heard of, no need for me to pitch them.

Clearly Mr. Hart has never tried to exist on WiFi alone. It’s far from ubiquitous. Heck broadband penetration in the US is near the lowest in the world if I recall, what makes anyone think Wifi will be different. Sure Indie coffee shops offer free wifi, sometimes it’s craptastic or doesn’t even work, but ya it’s free. Other times you can prey on people who don’t know any better than to lock their AP down.

I actually started out thinking the same thing Mr. Hart does. I bought an iPod Touch, had no music on it, and it was my ‘baby tablet’ or as I called it my iNewton. I carried it everywhere for about a month, then I gave up as most places I went had no wifi.

Fifth: many PDAs are also available that do an awful lot of the same things described above at a much lower cost than a Kindle, Sony, etc.

Sure, very true, and a lot of people will use those devices, prefering the jack of all trades master of none device. If you’re willing to make compromises, a PDA screen (usually no more than 3x2ish) will work, you can read a ‘page’ of text every 4-5 changes of the screen, with anywhere near useful fonts, and come talk to me after a marathon rainy saturday book reading exercise, or a long wait at a doctor’s office.

By that logic, we’d all own motorola razors, because they too have basic internet browsing, messaging, and actually have video and MMS messaging, unlike the iPhone, which contrary to that thought, is doing quite well in the market.

Sixth: if the largest cell phone screens would not do, even the iPhone, Curve, etc., there are all the new netbooks coming out that should get the job done in any number of ways as far as an eBook presentation goes, from reading out loud, dozens of programs to choose from to read or to listen via text to speech, etc.

See above. Sure you can squeeze all kinds of other uses into devices. A netbook also makes an excellent door stop when opened halfway, but why not use a door stop? A newton 2100 can run a basic webserver, costs way less than a rack mount Dell, why not use those to serve websites all over the world? Sure those are extreme examples intended to be silly, but they’re not far off you have to admit.

Seventh: in all the history of electronics the dedicated products, those that do only one good thing, rather than the integrated products, are never known to sell very well.

To quote fake Steve Jobs, “Dude, I invented the friggin iPhone. Have you heard of it?” But way before the iPhone was the iPod, it played music. It didn’t have an FM radio built in, it didn’t record audio notes, it was a music player, and mostly still in, unless you’re one of ‘those’ people who watch movies and TV on a tiny mostly square screen. Sure the multi taskerdevices are nice and 90% of our world is made up of those devices, but the other 10% are uni taskers, that do their single task REALLY well. Oh yeah there’s Zunes, and Rios and whatever else, that have tried the multi tasker route, how’s that worked out for them?

It’s like buying a HiFi that has one box for FM and one for AM, another as a pre-amplifier, and another as an amplifier, another bass or treble controls box, etc., versus one box for all.

Not to be mean, but the examples alone point out to me, that Mr. Hart is simply dated. Funny that some one so attached to ‘old ways of live’ would have invented something so game changing as eBooks, but hey, we all have our moments. I mean really? A HiFi?

Why would someone spend the same amount of cash on a Kindle/Sony as on a netbook or a laptop?

Speaking strictly for myself, here’s why

  • I wouldn’t take a netbook/laptop to the gym, my Kindle is on the eliptical with me each day.
  • I can’t read my laptop/netbook while taking off and landing. Some say I’m probably not supposed to with a Kindle, but no one has said anything, and since the power output is only in changing the page, and tiny to boot, I’d argue airlines rules have to change (separate post).
  • I never carried a book in my laptop bag, except when traveling. Now I cary a few dozen or less all the time.
  • I can’t compute on myMacbook in direct sunlight, reading would be out, but I’ve enjoyed my Kindle on my deck more than once.
  • I can toss my Kindle around, drop it (just did this morning) and pick it up and never worry it’s harmed, I can’t say the same for my laptop/netbook
  • I can read (and have) for hours on my Kindle. My eyes get sore/tired when I read long blog posts on my disply. And it’s a nice display.

The Kindle isn’t portable enough to be the more take along kind of item than a netbook/laptop.

I can’t imagine anything more portable. It weighs almost nothing, is the size of a Moleskine.

It would appear that ONLY the person who has an awful time reading would want a Kindle, simply, and truly, just because of the variable fonts & and the new X2 being about to read out loud, or the kind of person who just wants to have a lot of the latest toys and doesn’t care about price to benefits ratios and the like.

I’d say the converse is true, the only person who doesn’t want a Kindle/Sony is the person who doesn’t read much now, so the cost makes no sense, or the person who wants to crack open a hardback, recline in their lay-z boy and put a 45 on the turn table and enjoy ‘their’ reading experience, enjoying their anacronistic lifestyle.

Eighth: there are simply not enough Kindles to really change the eBook environment.

There weren’t enough iPods for the recording industry to care about when they launched either.

Just think about how many eBooks there are now, millions of eBooks given away in average months just from gutenberg.org.

Nothing against PG, but really? some of us like more modern reads.I mean PG is great, and I’ve got some classics on my Kindle just so I can have them when I want, but really,some of us are reading books published this milennia.

iTunes had its first million selling tune about a year ago, really only ~1 year after getting a shakedown cruise over with.

If every person who has a Kindle or a Sony buys the same book, only by adding their combination of sales will they manage a million seller, and that is not likely to happen anytime soon.

This I can’t argue with, but I think Mr. hart overlooks the underlying truth. Reading isn’t a big deal any more. Literacy is frighteningly low. People are “too busy” to read I’ve had people tell me to my face they wish they had the time to read. To which I typically say if it’s important you make time, same as anything else. Is surfing Digg, more important? It’s not a reflection on the Kindle that there isn’t yet a 1 millionth book sold, it’s a reflection on American literacy.

How long before Amazon or Sony comes out with a new model that won’t read all the previous book entries on the old models?

You mean like when VHS replaced BetaMAX? Sure Amazon/Sony could release a new device that can’t read their old formats, but that’d be kinda retarded. Anything is possible, but I hope they’ve been watching Apple. My Kindle 2 in 5 years may not get any firmware update love, but neither does my 1st Gen iPod color. But it still plays music like a champ.

How long before the first Kindle and first Sony are antique collector items rather than a real, live and well-used eBook reader?

Time will tell, but they’re electronics, so it won’t be long. Same as netbooks of today, will be cute children’s toys in the not too far future. I mean really, does Mr. Hart think that the netbooks and mobile phones he thinks we’ll be using will be around forever, not to be relegated to the antique pile? Where’d I put my Handspring Visor anyway?

This is NOT going to happen with eBooks from an assortment of other sources that have been here for much longer than Kindles or Sonys; the very first Project Gutenberg entry is still readable on any modern machine, the only thing is that a file from that era had only capitals if made on the normally available equipment of 1971 but it still works, and looks just the same now as the files downloaded on the first full day of eBook pioneering, July 5, 1971.

Is anyone even going to pretend that Kindle and Sony will even read their own proprietary files 38 years from 2009?

This is the crux of the issue. To Mr. Hart it’s clear eBook is text file. Sure 100 years from now .txt will likely still be a valid format, much like sheet music is. But who can play an 8 track? Mr. Hart is comparing the eBook as a ‘thing’ to ebook readers. Which is like comparing music to iPods. Sure the Kindle may be gone in a few decades, so will the iPod, but the medium won’t. Books and music will still be here.

And just the same as we can still play wavs, mp3, etc, we’ll be able to read eBooks, because the creative/intelligent companies will offer backwards compatibility or like iTunes, “convert your x format to the new Y format” Sure formats die, happens all the time, and I frankly hope Amazons DRM dies like the iPod’s. But it took time, I’m patient (not really, but can be when I have to be)

Sorry this was so long, but it really irks me when people get traction for their thoughts, by writing such meaningless biased crap. It’s as if chicken little had a blog.

There’s more to Mr.Hart’s ramblings if you’re so inclined, I literally could have put his whole post into mine, and picked each thing apart, but frankly ithink it would have been moot, after debunking his list.

Well of course there’s an Apple Tax!

CNet Interviewed Brad Brooks, and in that interview he says that Mac buyers pay an “Apple Tax”


Apple owners have long known about the Apple Tax, we joke about, nothing new Brad! He seems to think we (Apple product owners) think that Apple really pays 500 dollars to build each 16gb iPhone, and 2500 dollars for each Mac Pro. We don’t!

You’re not going to get things like Microsoft Outlook, you’re not going to get the games that you’re used to playing. There’s a technology tax–Apple still doesn’t have HDMI, doesn’t have Blu-ray offerings, doesn’t have e-SATA external disk drives that work at twice the speed of FireWire. And so you’ve got all of these things that are truly taxes.

We don’t want Outlook Brad, It’s a crappy app. He seems to attribute a lack of choice, to being a lack of choice in M$ apps. That’s hardly the case. Aside of a good SQL Server client, there’s nothing I miss from my PC days. Entourage is as crappy as outlook, so nothing there. Mail.app suffices, but hello, Gmail with IMAP anyone? Why have a landlocked desktop mail client? Sure it’d be nice to have blue ray options, but mmm not a deal breaker. I mean when I travel I’ve got iTouch, iPhone, and iTunes to watch video in, why waste Battery spinning a drive to watch a movie? e-SATA? what for? THere’s plenty of Firewire and USB options, why have one more? One more port to get gunk in it, one more thing to buy to keep up with the ever changing PC landscape.

Brooks: You know, I think it’s a good point. I think the question is, though, do customers really know what they’re getting into? I don’t personally believe that customers really know that a copy of Parallels is going to cost them $80, or that when they really look at what they’re going to have to pay in terms of another $200 for a (full boxed copy of Windows), that they’re going to pay for another $149 for MobileMe to put on there, Internet services, which they can basically get all the same functionality when they have Windows and Windows Live working together.

Brooks also thinks consumers are stupid. I’m not sure what Windows Live is, but Mobile Me is optional and a vast majority don’t use it. I do, because I have three macs and want my data all in one place. There’s cheaper options, but Mobile Me is baked in so the integration is nice.

Those who need VMware or Parallels, etc need Windowz for work for the most part, so the casual Mac owner, won’t ever pay that “Tax”. Every Mac buyer doesn’t buy a copy of VMware or Parallels, most are looking to leave Windows behind and not look back.

A funny statement:

Just the fact that we’re having this long of a conversation about Apple, it seems to reflect a shift in Microsoft’s thinking that Apple is more of a threat on the PC side. I mean, how do you guys view Apple in terms of a competitive threat on the desktop?
Brooks: The conversations that we’re having really started back around our partner conference in early July. And I came out and said, right there onstage in front of tens of thousands of partners, “we’re drawing a line in the sand.”

A line that many are running as fast as they can right up to, stepping over, and never looking back.

I won’t keep posting tidbits, of M$ non sense, read the entire article.  I want to get back to my point. Yes there’s an Apple Tax. I paid it when I bought my Macbook Pro, that is now three years old and not likely to be replaced any time soon. Where as my wife’s Inspiron is in dire need of either a re install from all the Crapware (wait, crapware on a PC? No way according to Brad, oh wait, she’s XP), or just a new machine. My iPod Photo, still running, the Apple Tax I paid nearly 7 years ago, well earned in my opintion. I wonder if a Zune will last that long…?

However to insinuate there’s no Windows Tax is just plain silly. Sure it’s not paid on the hardware Windows runs on, that’d be the Dell Tax. It’s paid in time lost rebooting, waiting for outlook to load, waiting for the wireless network to figure itself out and get working, waiting for the newest 20+ software updates to download. It’s also paid in having to run Anti Virus software, having to re install the OS every 6 months to a year just to get some performance. For Vista users, it’s my understanding (thanks to Tom) that it’s paid in waiting for it to reboot after you put it to sleep or changed wireless networks.

There’s a Windows Tax, to be sure, to say otherwise is plain disengenuous. Brad is no doubt your typical mud slinging marketing wonk, but really, CNN why waste time even talking to him? Especially when it’s clear he thinks the reason Apple is doing so well is that consumers are stupid and un aware of the choices they’re making. Brad, I hate to break it to you, but we know, and we’re ok with it.

And it is not a question of whether they are satisfied or dissatisfied with the experience, it’s a question of whether they really know what they’re getting into when they choose to embark upon that path.

To close another funny. Brad might not be the best person for interviews since even Ina picked up on it.

Is there risk in the way you guys are doing this that some of the messaging sounds like “you, the consumer, just don’t get it?”
Brooks: That’s far from the message that I want to deliver.

Bummer Brad, that’s the message you did deliver.

Great Steve thinks we all want to look at ourselves while we code

Apples new gear is pretty neat, mostly.

I dig the track pad thing, even though gestures are pretty much limited to Apples’ own products. The 4 finger thing might be cool for espose, etc.. The instant on LED backlight will definitely be a nice touch!

The glossy screen, SUCKS. Damnit Apple! why can’t you leave well enough alone? Why do do you think we want laptop screens that are useless? I can’t use my macbook air in well lit rooms, like our main conference room, the reflection pretty much blocks out the screen. I mean look at the pic from Engagdet, you can see the guy taking the picture for crying out loud!

I do dig the keyboard, I’ve gotten very used to the contrast on the keys, though they stick out like a sore thumb amid all that shiny aluminium. But the gray keys, with the lights on underneath hard sometimes hard to see.

Over all this wasn’t a completely lame announcement but I don’t think I’ll be running out to buy a new latop just yet. My current MBP is doing just fine, and since I don’t game, at. all. the fancy new video chips don’t do a thing for me, sorry.

I’m glad Apple has standardized on yet another display plug type, so when I do get a new machine, if I have any of my old ones, I’ll need to carry yet another adapter, yippy skippy!

I certainly am not looking forward to having two tanning mirrors on my desk in a bright room :(