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How Apple Had a Spectacular Year 504

Posted by samzenpus
from the beating-the-odds dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "John Boudreau writes in the Mercury News that during its just-completed fiscal year, Apple broke four consecutive quarterly revenue and profit records and amid the worst recession in decades, hired thousands while others cut jobs, but what most distinguishes Apple is that while other tech titans spent 2010 cutting costs and acquiring new technology through mergers, this $65 billion company has been relentless in innovating like a startup and ruthless in promoting technologies that disrupt its own product lines. '"It's been an awesome year. The frequency of new stuff just boggles the mind," says Charles Wolf, an analyst with Needham & Co. "There is no company that is remotely close to what Apple is doing. They are the Energizer Bunny." In September 2005, Apple killed off the popular iPod Mini to make way for the the iPod Nano; Apple openly acknowledges that the iPhone is cannibalizing its iPods — and they don't seem to care; and the iPad tablet could ultimately threaten its core laptop business. "[Apple] has a different cultural mind-set," concludes Wolf. "They are acting like a startup, though they are becoming a $100 billion company."'
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How Apple Had a Spectacular Year

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  • Re:Props to Apple (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 28, 2010 @04:26PM (#34367364)

    Here is your first clue...most people who bought iPads have no idea who Jobs is and could care less.

    They couldn't care less

  • by adamstew (909658) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @04:39PM (#34367504)

    There are already a few "office" equivalents in the App store...one of them written by Apple called iWork... You can buy the individual apps for $10 each. There are also a couple of 3rd party equivalents.

    If MS decided to write an office varient for iPad, they could certainly put it in the App Store.

    Same for Photoshop. There is already a version of Photoshop in the app store. It really only supports very very basic photo manipulation and isn't the full photoshop suite, but there is nothing about photoshop itself that would prevent it's inclusion in the App Store if Adobe decided to put it there.

  • Re:New Technology? (Score:3, Informative)

    by kabloom (755503) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @05:00PM (#34367714) Homepage

    A disruptive technology is more along the lines of stuff described in The Innovator's Dilemma [businessweek.com]

  • Re:cannibalizing? (Score:3, Informative)

    by itsdapead (734413) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @05:11PM (#34367830)

    Um, granted it only works with *some* printers but iOS 4.2 adds AirPrint and you can indeed print from an iPad.

    And, at least for Mac users, a $10 utility (or a free, but slightly dubious, hack) will let it print to any printer on your Mac.

    The real problem at the moment is that Apple have totally stuffed up file exchange between Pages/Keynote and the desktop.

  • Re:New Technology? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Stevecrox (962208) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @05:20PM (#34367924) Journal
    I thought the Nano along with the iPhone 4 showed an Apple running out of steam.

    The new nano has a small screen and I'm sure has made a lot of people go wow! But has completely lost the point of the old nano. It requires more button presses to use and forces the user to look at the screen. Most people seem to use nano's in places like the gym or the car. Adding a touch screen is a disadvantage in those locations. They would have been better off keeping the old nano form factor and increasing the storage.

    Likewise the new iPhone 4 seems more what would happen if HTC designed an iPhone. The typical flare for styling present in apple devices doesn't seem to exist in that phone. It's all retinal display, megapixels, video calling, etc.. Which would be fine but the new iPhone isn't that impressive when you compare the specifications with other phones.

    Then again I dislike apple products for a host of reasons. But do wonder if I'm right when some of my friends who are fan boys/girls show dislike for the iPad and Nano.
  • Re:New Technology? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 28, 2010 @05:49PM (#34368198)

    The electric car *is* old technology; the first electric cars were built 2-3 years before the first internal-combustion cars!

  • by zmollusc (763634) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @06:37PM (#34368626)

    How the heck is the ipod easiest to use? I bought an mp3 player and it just mounts as a volume when I plug it into whatever computer i happen to be using, just like my last few phones have done. If i had an ipod (which would cost more than my £20 mp3 player), I would have to install itunes on every damned computer ( and maybe an OS that supported it ). I don't know about your tunes, but mine are binary files. They are managed like any other binary file.

  • by RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @07:12PM (#34368914)

    If you are still not convinced, go down to your local OfficeMax and spend some time with a droid tablet or try to edit AVCHD Video on WIndows 7 PC.

    This is just bullshit. Final Cut may be popular but it's not the only NLE product on the market. There's plenty of work done on Avid, Premiere, or even Vegas. All of which run fine on any mid-range to high-end PC laptop. There is no magic secret sauce that Apple products have here.

    As for 'droid tablets' (presumably you mean 'Android tablets', since 'Droid' is a brand used only by Verizon for their Android products), there is no doubt that the $200 tablets on the market suck. Of course they suck. Google hasn't even released a tablet version of Android. The fact that some manufacturers have chosen to release products prematurely is no surprise.

    I briefly owned a 11.6" MacBook Air, which I returned. It was a beautiful piece of hardware. But:

    - I can't deal with clickpads. They make simple operations like dragging or right-clicking far more complex and error prone. Forget something like middle clicking unless you feel like doing some crazy multi-finger tap. It's also noisy, which can be annoying when you're trying to use it in class. My T400 has real buttons - left, right, and middle - with real tactile feel and quiet operation.
    - The keyboard is annoying. With a T400 I get buttons like Page Up and Page Down, Home, End, and Delete. These work consistently and don't require FN shortcuts. On Mac laptops, Home and End are FN+Left Arrow and FN+Right Arrow. Unfortunately they aren't consistent at all. Sometimes they take you to the beginning or the end of the line, sometimes they take you to the beginning or end of a document. Sometimes you can use Command+Left Arrow/Right Arrow for cursor movement on the line, but then sometimes (e.g. the terminal) it doesn't work.
    - Apple wants $80 for a MagSafe power adapter and sues anyone who tries to make a compatible adapter. You can get genuine ThinkPad power adapters for $30 or less on eBay, which means I can have 4 (couch, bedroom, desk, one for on the go) without breaking the bank. It's a hell of a lot more convenient to just plug in than it is to pull out and uncoil the adapter every time.
    - Mouse acceleration is totally screwed up in Mac OS X. The curve is not really a curve - it starts out extremely slow and then abruptly jumps to very fast. This makes cursor control with a high-resolution mouse (like my Logitech G5) extremely difficult.
    - X-buttons (back/forward) on a non-Apple mouse don't work. The only way to get them to work is to install third-party software, most of which costs money.
    - Scroll wheel acceleration. I don't know who thought it was a good idea, but it seems to be impossible to disable.
    - You can't make the machine stay awake with the lid closed without kernel extension hacks or plugging in a monitor.
    - There's no full disk encryption. Home directory encryption is not the same thing.
    - Window organization is annoying. There are no snaps (like in Windows 7 or KDE) and you can only resize windows from one corner. The zoom button is supposed to 'fit contents' or 'fit screen area', but in reality it seems to be completely arbitrary depending on the application. Maximize is useful and consistent.
    - Lots of screen space is wasted. Panels (in GNOME or KDE) or the Taskbar are usable with under 30px of height. The Dock is useless at that size and realistically needs to be more like 50-60px. Most people get around this by hiding it, which drives me nuts because it's too easy to inadvertently activate and not there to notify you when you need it. Then there's the menu bar, which takes up more of your screen space, even in applications that don't need menus (like Google Chrome).
    - You can hide a menu by clicking in it. There is 'dead space' between menu items that not only does nothing, it also closes the menu. This is another thing that makes absolutely no sense to me.
    - OpenGL performance SUCKS. I know that Apple has been working on t

  • by node 3 (115640) on Monday November 29, 2010 @12:53AM (#34371432)

    Oh, please elaborate on this! Even the least powerful Apple products have parts that are not even close to substandard. The two that come to mind are the Core2Duos and Nvidia 320Ms in the lower end Macs. Even those parts are above average in the PC world, and those are the worst Apple offers!

    Er, no. An average PC today would come with a Core i-series processor and, if the purchaser had any interest in gaming, a discrete GPU.

    Those parts were average in the PC world a year or more ago, not today.

    No, those parts aren't average. You need to spend some time at Best Buy or Fry's. There are still far too many PC's these days sold with Celerons and Pentiums!

    And don't forget, this is Apple's low end.

    Even discrete GPUs aren't average (which you are well aware of, since you had to qualify that with "if the purchaser had any interest in gaming", which you know is a very small minority of PC buyers). The vast majority of PCs sold today have integrated graphics, and the Nvidia 320M is the top of the line. It's even sufficient for mid-range gaming, including recent games like SC2.

  • by narcc (412956) on Monday November 29, 2010 @02:53AM (#34371910) Journal

    just think if you'd given your dad a Linux or Windows machine. You'd be getting at least twice the amount of tech support calls about incomprehensible error messages, hardware incompatibilities, etc.

    I setup both my non-technical uncle and my wifes non-work computer with Ubuntu.

    To say that Linux 'just works' is an understatement.

    New printer/scanner combo? Just plug it in.
    New updates? Click 'okay'.

    It's been about two years in my Uncles case -- I see his wifes windows computer about every two or three months. Every time he brags about how great Ubuntu is (he hasn't had a single problem yet).

    I've seen his daughters MacBook twice over the same period for various problems (not that any iFan will believe that).

    My wife hasn't had a single problem with her Ubuntu machine either -- though I do have to keep the maintenance up on her work computer (which is running windows).

  • Re:New Technology? (Score:3, Informative)

    by SoupIsGoodFood_42 (521389) on Monday November 29, 2010 @07:27AM (#34373018)

    The new nano has a small screen and I'm sure has made a lot of people go wow! But has completely lost the point of the old nano. It requires more button presses to use and forces the user to look at the screen. Most people seem to use nano's in places like the gym or the car. Adding a touch screen is a disadvantage in those locations. They would have been better off keeping the old nano form factor and increasing the storage.

    Buy an iPod Shuffle.

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