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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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  • New Technology? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jmottram08 (1886654) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @04:03PM (#34367084)
    Exactly what New Technology did Apple release last year?

    Lets call this what it is. . .Apple products SOLD in 2010.

    • Re:New Technology? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MoonBuggy (611105) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @04:16PM (#34367232) Journal

      Completely subjective view here, but the new iPod nano was impressive enough to elicit a 'holy crap' reaction when I first saw one, and it's been a while since any piece of tech has made an impact like that.

      Sure, it is just another touchscreen music player, but what they've managed to cram into that case does seem to me to be a good distance beyond the rest of the market.

      • Re:New Technology? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by OzPeter (195038) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @04:35PM (#34367464)

        Completely subjective view here, but the new iPod nano was impressive enough to elicit a 'holy crap' reaction when I first saw one

        Same here .. except it also included a WTF about all the stuff they dropped that was in the previous edition of the nano. You didn't see Steve on stage saying "oh yeah, we removed the camera, and the Contacts App and ..."

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by node 3 (115640)

          If you've seen the iPod nano in person, you'd know why those things don't make much sense. If you want those features, they make the iPod touch. If you want a highly portable music player, that's the nano (and the shuffle if you are on a budget).

      • You think THAT was something, wait till they release iPad nano. It's gonna blow you away.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Stevecrox (962208)
        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.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by node 3 (115640)

          But has completely lost the point of the old nano.

          You mean to be a small flash-based iPod?

          It requires more button presses to use and forces the user to look at the screen.

          Not really. It has volume buttons, and play/pause and track forward/backward are big and easy to hit even without looking at it. You can also use headphones with remote buttons.

          Most people seem to use nano's in places like the gym or the car.

          That's a fairly strange assertion that seems cherry-picked to make a point rather than something rational.

          Adding a touch screen is a disadvantage in those locations.

          I don't see why. iPod touches and iPhones get used in those locations. The only thing that seems like even a mild advantage is the ability to pause or skip a track. Everything else requires

        • iPhone 4 features (Score:3, Insightful)

          by SuperKendall (25149)

          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..

          Retina display really means something though. A high quality display is great for reading text and viewing photos. The ease of reading text alone makes it a very solid feature, not just something tacked on for a checklist (which is where I think you're going with the whole HTC thing).

          On megapixels - actually Apple didn't go there. They didn't stuff a 12MP

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          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.

    • Re:New Technology? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bondsbw (888959) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @04:52PM (#34367634)

      Somebody invented the transistor. Somebody invented the microchip. Somebody invented the cellular radio. Somebody invented the LCD screen. Somebody invented the speaker. Somebody invented the touchscreen. Somebody invented headphones.

      Are you saying that everyone else is releasing old technology?

      Then perhaps the electric car is old technology. We've had batteries, electric motors, wheels, brakes, etc. for years. Maybe the flying car is old tech. We've had the basic components for years, but have had trouble combining them into useful, compact flying transport.

      It doesn't have to be completely new, to be novel or innovative. Nearly every useful new technology is the result of applying innovation to combining existing technologies.

    • Re:New Technology? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mabhatter654 (561290) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @07:25PM (#34368980)

      sold, released, whatever, the point is the same. They had products in the pipe the people BEGGED to PAY for. In a time when most OTHER tech companies couldn't sell a paper bag, Apple released a whole new product and updates to all its others. In fact you would be correct, Apple didn't "innovate" in 2010, they innovated on products like iPad in 2008 and 2009 when the stock market crashed, banks failed, and automakers went bankrupt..... most companies were in severe layoff mode. Apple was chugging away spending money on NEW products.

      Rethink that statement again, and awe in their ability to manage and grow their business even when chips were terrible.

      Part of this year's sales is just that, Apple had NEW products on tap and people are just starting to loosen their purses a bit. They get one "treat" product this year and Apple was ready for them. You'll notice only the makers of "cheap crap" and "impulse buys" are still having a bad time, makers of BMWs Apples, etc are doing great, people aren't spending as much on crap, but they finally have enough to spend on something nice.

  • by timeOday (582209) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @04:05PM (#34367104)
    I never bought into Applethink, and after every product annoucement I falsely predict they've finally blown it and nobody will "fall for it" this time. Meanwhile they're approaching $100e9 and probably wouldn't give my resume a second look. You win.
    • by biryokumaru (822262) <biryokumaru@gmail.com> on Sunday November 28, 2010 @04:08PM (#34367138)
      Heck, they probably wouldn't even give you your user name...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Trufagus (1803250)

      If you are willing to submit yourself to Apple like that, just because they have been successful and made lots of money, then you will make an excellent Apple devotee.

      No one is questioning their success now. Not buying into Applethink doesn't mean predicting their doom - it means being able to question ridiculous, sycophantic articles like this one.

  • With all the ongoing lawsuits, the cashflow is certainly needed.
    Some of the patent trials will eventually go south on their part and the compensations are calculated in billions.
    • Except that, like any other tech giant, they'll win some and GET billions. Gotta love the hideous, convoluted US patent system!
  • cannibalizing? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gordo3000 (785698) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @04:11PM (#34367184)

    Why wouldn't you release the iPhone, a beefed up iPod + phone service, which gives you much larger profit margins, and having everyone who bought an iPod upgrade for a significant extra outlay? I'm confused.

    Again, how does the iPad, which can't connect to a printer, run multiple apps at once, connect to most peripherals easily cannibalize your laptop sales? It's like saying when Sony introduces a new netbook or ultralight laptop model they are cannibalizing their other sales. This sounds like apple worship. Give credit where it is due, don't start acting like they are doing things no one else does with their business lines.

    and where do they get 65 billion from? the market value is 250 billion+.

    • by NiceGeek (126629)

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

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by itsdapead (734413)

        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.

    • by larkost (79011)

      It seems you are nearly a week out-of-date. On the 22nd Apple released iOS for iPad. Among its banner features are printing and multitasking. While your point about Apple benifiting from moving its customers around in its product line is probably correct, it does help to have your facts straight.

    • how does the iPad, which can't connect to a printer, run multiple apps at once, connect to most peripherals easily cannibalize your laptop sales?

      Because households which might be considering a second laptop to augment a computer they already have are considering iPads instead.

  • Ha! "Don't care" (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AkaXakA (695610) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @04:11PM (#34367188) Homepage

    Do you know why they "don't care"? MARGINS!

    Big, fat, juicy margins...nothing to do with start-ups.

  • by perpenso (1613749) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @04:13PM (#34367200)

    Apple openly acknowledges that the iPhone is cannibalizing its iPods — and they don't seem to care

    Should they care or should they celebrate? The iPhone offers a superset of iPod functionality and the iPhone generates greater profits.

    • by itsdapead (734413) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @04:58PM (#34367694)

      Should they care or should they celebrate? The iPhone offers a superset of iPod functionality and the iPhone generates greater profits.

      Dumb comment in TFA - they surely make more on an iPhone than an iPod. Also, Apple had to produce the iPhone - other phone manufacturers were including music players and that would have hit iPod sales.

      The iPad vs. laptop "cannibalization" might be more serious, but the iPad is fairly well pitched to be a supplement to a laptop, not a replacement. I use mine mainly for comfy-chair web and email browsing.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Dumb comment in TFA - they surely make more on an iPhone than an iPod. Also, Apple had to produce the iPhone - other phone manufacturers were including music players and that would have hit iPod sales.

        Other manufacturers have been including music players in their phones for most of the last 10 years. The number one music play in Asia is a Nokia phone. Ride a subway in China, South Korea, or Japan and you'll see it for yourself. Dedicated music players are dead. Apple's iPods are a dying product because the rest of the market already moved past them; Apple just decided to do what every other manufacturer was already doing - replacing a music player with a phone - but declare it magical and innovative

  • I'm a fan of Apple - but this submission is embarrassing. C'mon - it's news that Apple had a good year? That's like saying it's news that Windows Phone 7 has failed to garner much interest.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bonch (38532)

      C'mon - it's news that Apple had a good year?

      Well, yeah. It's news that, in the middle of a recession, one of the major tech companies is experiencing amazing success and behaving like a startup. Are people not supposed to report on Apple's success because you expect it?

  • by Archangel Michael (180766) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @04:37PM (#34367474) Journal

    To stay extremely profitable you can't be in the race to the lowest price. This is where most other tech companies epically fail as they march forward on thinning margins until they go broke "making it up in volume".

    As margins decline, you end up with capacitors that are substandard and covering up that fact as your customers leave in droves (DELL). Apple's success has always been about standing out from the rest of the Tech crowd, which allows them the comfort of profits most other companies would kill for. But most other companies love resting on their laurels (Microsoft) or attacking their customers (Oracle, SCO) in the drive to create margins.

    What Apple does better than anyone else is taking existing ideas and making them better than anyone else. Slashdotters make fun of iPods, iPads and iPhones for being "lame", and not having the greatest specs, but they aren't Apple's customers, and Apple doesn't listen to them, and it shows up in the bottom line. For every slashdotter that cries "lame" there's a couple hundred average people saying "cool".

    Before iPods, MP3 players existed, but Apple did it better (and held the price). Before iPhones, "smart phones" existed, but Apple did it better (and held the price). Before iPads, tablet computers existed but Apple did it better (and beat price expectations) (No table exists that is better even now).

    Apple will find some other area that is lacking a polished product, introduce a iWhatever with a polish that is missing, and the slashdot community will cry "lame" once again. The price will be higher than "comparable" whatever, and Apple will sell gazillions in spite of what slashdot community thinks.

    Apple knows how to make a profit where none seems to exist, in a market that looks like it is wallowing, in an economy that sucks. Apple will become the largest market cap company in the next 12 - 18 months. And slashdotters will say "lame" and still not get it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by kevinmenzel (1403457)
      And some day, Steve Jobs will die. And without the cult of personality driving the marketing, slowly Apple will fall away...
      • by bkmoore (1910118) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @05:04PM (#34367774)
        It will be difficult for Apple after Steve Jobs is gone, but it doesn't mean Apple will fail. Both Ford and Disney were run by charismatic founders, but they both managed to make a good transition over time. I think HP might be an example of a company that was less successful in making the transition. But in Apple's case, Steve Jobs is aware of his own limited life expectancy and he has put some very capable managers in place to run the company following his departure. Steve Jobs primarily focuses on product development and allows his managers to run Apple's operations. The question is will the management team retain Steve's commitment to good design. It will be interesting to see.
      • Personality? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by andersh (229403)

        The first time Steve Jobs left Apple the company still managed to survive, but barely, it was a different market after all. Today computers really are for everyone, so I'm not sure if it would have gone the same way.

        However I doubt you understand the nature of Apple, its products and customers. Steve Jobs is an icon, but very few customers actually know or care about him. He's not the one that makes Apple products cool and interesting. The designers and marketers make Apple what it is. Steve Jobs is a great

  • by beakerMeep (716990) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @04:40PM (#34367508)

    Industrial product design matters. Marketing too. I'm not a fan of Apple's policies, but they get quite a few things right while the competition seems mired in stupidity and copycat disease land.

    - Decent quality control (iphone4 attena aside)

    - Great marketing/PR/Hype

    - Extremely nice looking products

    Apple does these things well and makes great devices. They now even have an army of good developers thanks to a platform that caters to people willing to spend money. In the meantime, the competition seems to sometimes innovate, and other times gets stuck copying, confused, and greedy. Looking at the Nexus S -- it looks to be almost a clone of an IPhone 3G? What is Samsung thinking? At the same time Samsung has the tablet which looks to be pretty nice and more original. Verizon is a great example too: first they hyped the Droid to huge success, but then they decided to start putting Bing on phones and open their own app store.

    Still, it's great that Google seems to be adding serious competition to this market, but they seem to fail to grasp that they CAN'T hand control back to carriers and win this race. Giving up on the Nexus One right out of the gate was a bad move. Consumers dont want to go back to the flip phone days with $2.99 30 second vcast ringtones.

    Apple will see continued success due to all these issues regardless, at least in the near future. However if Google steps up it's game and does the following:

    1) Streamlined patch/update process

    2) Making manufacturer skins removable

    3) limitation on how manufacturers and carriers can lock down devices. (ie no forcing specific apps on the user).

    That's when things will get interesting. If Google can silence the fragmentation trolls, and keep the carrier greed in check, there is hope for this market, and especially a bright future for consumers. There is even room for carriers to still add value. But if they FORCE it on people, they will all lose to Apple.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Proudrooster (580120)
      Google just needs to buy Apple for world domination. :)

      Apple is going to have to go through a ton of unnecessary work to build a cloud infrastructure, when Google has it already done and ready to use. Google + Apple would be an unstoppable force for good and innovation.
    • by rsborg (111459) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @05:20PM (#34367926) Homepage

      That is Apple's biggest innovation with the iPhone, and they know it (see Mac App Store). The App Store is why the iPod touch has such high appeal, why people put up with AT&T's horrible service with the iPhone, and why the iPad is so versatile.

      On the flip side, Android Market is crippled by the requirement for 3G service devices (ie, no Android iPod Touch competitor any time soon), a drive to push free/ad-driven sales model and a lack of curation (see DVD Jon's appeal to Google [nanocr.eu] to put some quality/curation into the Android Market). As a consequence numerous other Android app markets are cropping up, adding confusion and complexity to the act of developing and buying apps for that platform.

  • by dysonlu (907935) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @04:50PM (#34367608)
    Apple's success is not about new technology (tablets and smartphones already existed before the iPad and the iPhone, respectively); it is about creating a new market -- they transform a niche market into a maintream market. They have been incredibly successful in doing that because: 1) they make technology accessible and, more importantly, 2) they create awareness. They manage to create awareness not only with excellent marketing but, and this is their very unique advantage over any other company, because all eyes are on Apple. Whether it's tech media or maintream mass media, whether it's the Web, TV, newspaper or radio, every media is following and reporting Apple's every move. Any company can make technology accessible, very few, if any, can create awareness like Apple can.
  • by Proudrooster (580120) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @04:59PM (#34367702) Homepage
    I am a Opensource promoter, RHCE (Red Hat Certified Engineer) and an all around techie. Awhile ago, I wrote a sensible article on my four month experience as a MacBook Pro user and received viscous comments like, "The almighty doesn't even get reviews like this from the pope."

    I feel very vindicated by this article and have but one thing to say, "IN YOUR FACE, I TOLD YOU SO!"

    ok... sorry, that was immature, but the Apple stuff is innovative, solid, and amazing. 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. Really, I am not an Apple fan-boy. I am just really busy and need my technology to work NOW!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jedidiah (1196)

      I dunno. What will a Mac do if that AVCHD video did not come straight from the camera?

      I can tell you what it does with MPEG2 that touched any sort of intermediate source. It BARFS.

      Unix indeed...

      I am a Certified Solaris Admin. That doesn't mean that I am not a Linux Zealot. ...and I am not sure I would want to edit video on ANY laptop.

    • 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 Eighty7 (1130057) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @05:19PM (#34367920)

    Apple openly acknowledges that the iPhone is cannibalizing its iPods [CC] — and they don't seem to care;

    It's better for you to cannibalize your own products, than for your competitors to do it for you. There was a recent quote from El Jobso (can't find off hand, sorry) saying that (in his absence) Apple just sat on the top end of the market with the Mac, got greedy, failed to innovate, and suffered. Their success with the ipod seems to support this. They cover nearly the whole market while still remaining the high end brand.

  • by bkmoore (1910118) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @05:24PM (#34367960)
    I rode aapl from less than $100 to $200 in 2007 and stuck with aapl all through the crash to $89 in 2008, and even used it as an opportunity to load up. It was a great ride, but the time has come to reduce my exposure. I am not a smart investor, I just got lucky. It's finally time to cash in the chips and walk out of the casino. Apple may continue to rise, but a wise investor once said, "a dollar not made is still a lot better than a dollar lost."
    My two cents analysis that Apple has a lot of potential, but Apple carries a lot of risk. I am not sure if the market can sustain an Apple valued as highly as Exxon for example. Apple is a very difficult company to value because it is very difficult to predict future earnings. A lot of it depends on the public's reception of Apple's latest gadget. If the gadget is a new type of device, it is very difficult to accurately predict its acceptance. I had doubts about the iPad, but am glad it is selling like gang busters.
    I am neither a fan boy nor an Apple hater. I am just an ordinary guy trying to get a good return on his savings after the banks cut interest rates to nil. Apple seemed like a good investment at the time. Which brings to mind another risk. If interest rates on savings rise again, expect people like me to take money out of the market, which will reduce share prices. I will keep an eye on Apple though. If it has another sharp drop in the next couple of years, I may use it as an opportunity to load up again.
  • Good vs. Great (Score:5, Interesting)

    by plsuh (129598) <plsuh AT goodeast DOT com> on Sunday November 28, 2010 @06:08PM (#34368382) Homepage

    Just a quick comment from a former Apple employee; most people are familiar with the old saw, "Perfect is the enemy of good enough." I.e., instead of trying to get something perfect, you should get it good enough and then ship it. Within Apple the perspective is slightly different. There, it's more along the lines of, "Good enough is the enemy of great." I.e., good enough isn't acceptable -- for an Apple-branded product we're going to look for the next level of polish and care that differentiates our stuff from everybody else's.

    I think this comes from the fusion of NeXT and Apple engineers. Most people recognize that NeXT brought a heckuva foundation for Apple's next generation operating system to the table in 1997. However, few people recognize what Apple brought to the table -- an engineering culture that regards rough edges as anathema. There was plenty of NeXT software, but much of it was very rough; it wasn't easy to pick up for the new user, was missing essential features, crashed often, or all of the above. This was a direct consequence of the fact that Foundation and AppKit allowed you to create apps quickly and easily, but then as a software developer you still have to trap errors, check for corner cases, add documentation, tweak the UI design so that common tasks are easy to accomplish, etc. This can easily take three to four times as long or more as standing up the initial core functionality. Most NeXT apps never went through this stage and so they lacked the polish for mass market users. Once the NeXT technology went through the polishing process (and it took four years before the first consumer release, really five years and 10.2 Jaguar before it was truly ready for my mom!), the new OS was a completely different animal from OpenStep 4.2 -- much more polished and suitable for mass-market consumers.

    --Paul

  • AAPL (Score:3, Interesting)

    by krray (605395) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @06:52PM (#34368742)

    Thank God for Apple stock (for me at least :).
    I remember in ~October of 1998 thinking of buying AAPL. It was floating around $5/share I believe.
    Everyone was telling me to buy Microsoft. By this point I was becoming a "ABM" system administrator. They're stock was floating right about where it is today (~$25/share)...

    The only stock I'm interested in is companies I believe in that produce something I like. Day trading in some chemistry company I know nothing about does not Interest me.

    I hesitated (and was second guessing myself in those days). I could have tripled my money in that one year with AAPL.
    In that same year there was a MSFT split AND they nearly doubled their price. They've been dead since...

    Bottom line -- a decade later and both companies have each had two splits. My $15 APPL stock is worth over $315 (today) while MSFT is still at ~$25/share. There is a reason for this. Microsoft has forced people to use their crap and those days are seriously numbered. Apple, OTOH, gives their customers what they want. Thus they become foaming at the mouth Apple loyalists like myself. I understand now (and am laughing all the way to the bank).

    In looking at these two companies Apple has pretty much always been innovative and led the pack. No floppies with a Mac? People laughed. See many floppies today? Microsoft has historically always been a "me too" company (with very few exceptions).

    The ONLY product that Microsoft has done that makes me shake my head and wonder why Apple didn't do it is the KIN. Cool idea. Problem: WHERE is Apple's gaming console???

Somebody ought to cross ball point pens with coat hangers so that the pens will multiply instead of disappear.

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