Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: How Did Apple Become so Powerful and Influential?

  1. #1
    The User DemonDragonJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    outside the net, inputting games for pleasure
    Posts
    259

    Default How Did Apple Become so Powerful and Influential?

    During the 1980's and 1990's, Microsoft was one of the most powerful and influential companies in the world of technology and computers; their Windows operating systems were by far the most commonly-used operating systems in computers, and many people even joked about how they were attempting world domination, comparing them (humorously, of course) to the Nazis or the borg from Star Trek. In contrast, Apple was a much more minor company, with its operating systems being used far less frequently than Microsoft's, so the company branded itself as the cool and edgy alternative, the underdog compared to the mainstream Microsoft.

    However, starting (approximately) in the 2000's, Apple started to become much more powerful and influential, with its products becoming much more popular, to the point that it now rivals Microsoft as one of the most powerful and influential companies in the world of technology. Microsoft's position certainly has not diminished, but it no longer is without competition, since Apple's products are now as ubiquitous as Microsoft's.

    I lived through this great transition, but I still am wondering why and how it happened. How did Apple become so powerful and influential in the past decade or so? What did they do differently that helped them to achieve the status that they now have?

    As a side note, I first saw those images to which I linked above back when I was in high school, from 2001 to 2005, but I only just now noticed that Bill Gates is giving the middle finger in the second one; did anyone else notice that?
    "When the people fear the government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty." -Thomas Jefferson.

    "Those who would trade their freedoms for security will have neither." -Benjamin Franklin

  2. #2
    Yuk it up Monkey Boy! Airbozo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    In the Redwoods
    Posts
    5,270

    Default Re: How Did Apple Become so Powerful and Influential?

    Apple rose to prominence not because of the technology, but because it is a great marketing machine. Their computers still do not sell as much as the windows based systems, but they dominate in the phone category. It started mainly with the iPod and spread to the phones. The other product no one seems to be talking about is information. They make a killing from selling your personal information including habits, friends and family.

    Information IS power and that is where they have shined. This is something Google and Facebook are good at too. While ad revenue is a good amount of these companies income, selling information is where the money is.

    I know there are a couple of books on the Apple rise, I am just not familiar with them. I don't like the way apple does business and would not willingly purchase or use any of their products. Unfortunately, work provides me with an iphone I must use. I will give them credit for allowing their customers to turn off certain tracking features of their phones, unlike Google who will not allow certain features to be controlled by the user. It's all about money.
    "...Dumb all over, A little ugly on the side... "...Frank Zappa...

  3. #3
    Anodized. Again. Konrad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,060

    Default Re: How Did Apple Become so Powerful and Influential?

    Apple marketing spent a decade busily branding Apple machinery into the public perception as easy, stylish, and user-friendly.
    By busily branding non-Apple (mostly IBM and Microsoft) machinery into the public perception as complex, difficult, and user-hostile.

    Remember all those ad campaigns featuring the smarmy Mac guy vs the crusty old IBM corporate guy?

    Apple always emphasized cosmetic more than substance.
    The Apple II computer was designed to be a consumer appliance, to look cool in any home, a sort of "all-in-one" computing platform. The IBM PC was designed to be a business appliance, to look powerfully technological, a modular and scalable computing platform.
    The Mac was designed to be a consumer appliance, to look cool in any home, available in different colours and pretty plastics. The IBM clones were designed to be business appliances, to look traditionally professional.
    The iPod was designed to be a consumer appliance, to look cool dangling out of anyone's pocket, available in many different styles to fit any image. The Microsoft Zune and Sony MP3 player attempted to copy the iPod but flopped out because the Apple brand was already so successfully entrenched.
    The iPhone was designed to be a consumer appliance, to define the very essence of what looked cool. The WinCE-based HP and Dell and Palm "Pocket PCs" and PDAs with converged cellular functionality were swept away.

    The irony is that Apple still leverages this positive image and that many diehard Apple fanatics automatically buy into Apple without considering alternatives. But today's Apple devices are more firmly locked down into proprietary upgrade paths, lifetime/obsolescence cycles, and tracking/telemetry (invasive spyware) than their non-Apple counterparts. You gotta buy a whole new generation of Apple tech every couple years because your old Apple devices aged poorly, broke down, don't have compatible sync cables, and can't even change batteries. While today's non-Apple devices have evils of their own but generally tend to emphasize longevity, intercompatibility, end-user upgrades and servicing, and universal connectivity.

    I think the mainstream consumer is slowly becoming dimly aware of the fact that "good" companies like Apple and Google are not really their friends, and that there's a lot of excellent (even better) alternative products to select from. But Apple (like 20th-Century IBM or modern government agencies) is now an institution, a huge monolithic thing packed full of it's own hype and traditions and lore and history, with a whole lot of momentum and revenue pushing it forward. It might take another couple decades to redirect or slow that momentum, so the question is whether corporate-dinosaur Apple can continue to brute itself to dominance along the same path or whether the smaller and more agile corporates will evolve something better.

    I desperately hope that Skynet won't be built by Apple. It would suck to have to buy the latest-and-greatest model of Apple's Lightning Sync cable every time you need to reprogram a Terminator.
    My mind says Technic, but my body says Duplo.

  4. #4
    The User DemonDragonJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    outside the net, inputting games for pleasure
    Posts
    259

    Default Re: How Did Apple Become so Powerful and Influential?

    Quote Originally Posted by Airbozo View Post
    Apple rose to prominence not because of the technology, but because it is a great marketing machine. Their computers still do not sell as much as the windows based systems, but they dominate in the phone category. It started mainly with the iPod and spread to the phones. The other product no one seems to be talking about is information. They make a killing from selling your personal information including habits, friends and family.
    Why has the government not yet made it illegal to do that? And why do people willingly purchase Apple products when Apple does that?

    Quote Originally Posted by Konrad View Post
    Remember all those ad campaigns featuring the smarmy Mac guy vs the crusty old IBM corporate guy?
    I remember them, and I believe that they backfired horribly; the intention was to make the Mac user seem "cool" and stylish, while the PC user was awkward and out-of-touch with the latest fashions, but what actually happened was that the Mac user came across as smug and arrogant, while the PC user was likeable due to his awkwardness.

    Also, I thought that the PC user was supposed to be a parody of Bill Gates, due to the physical resemblance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Konrad View Post
    I desperately hope that Skynet won't be built by Apple. It would suck to have to buy the latest-and-greatest model of Apple's Lightning Sync cable every time you need to reprogram a Terminator.
    I am much more worried about self-driving cars, since I fear that, if they become popular, people will begin to rely on technology for everything, and we will become so lazy that we will be like the humans in Wall-E, who were utterly helpless without their technology. We humans must remain in control and not allow ourselves to become overly-dependent on technology.
    "When the people fear the government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty." -Thomas Jefferson.

    "Those who would trade their freedoms for security will have neither." -Benjamin Franklin

  5. #5
    Yuk it up Monkey Boy! Airbozo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    In the Redwoods
    Posts
    5,270

    Default Re: How Did Apple Become so Powerful and Influential?

    Quote Originally Posted by DemonDragonJ View Post
    Why has the government not yet made it illegal to do that? And why do people willingly purchase Apple products when Apple does that?
    Who do you think is one of their biggest customers? While it may be against the constitution for our government to collect data and track us, it is not against the constitution for them to buy that information (think FBI/CIA/Local law inforcement informants).

    Quote Originally Posted by DemonDragonJ View Post
    I remember them, and I believe that they backfired horribly; the intention was to make the Mac user seem "cool" and stylish, while the PC user was awkward and out-of-touch with the latest fashions, but what actually happened was that the Mac user came across as smug and arrogant, while the PC user was likeable due to his awkwardness.

    Also, I thought that the PC user was supposed to be a parody of Bill Gates, due to the physical resemblance?
    This is how I saw those commercials too. I also think you are correct about it supposedly resembling Bill.



    Quote Originally Posted by DemonDragonJ View Post
    I am much more worried about self-driving cars, since I fear that, if they become popular, people will begin to rely on technology for everything, and we will become so lazy that we will be like the humans in Wall-E, who were utterly helpless without their technology. We humans must remain in control and not allow ourselves to become overly-dependent on technology.
    It's all about control.

    There was a bill a couple of years ago that would legislate devices that would allow law enforcement to be able to dial up your vehicle and turn it off. They wanted these devices to be mandatory on all new production vehicles. It got shot down, because at the time there were lots of examples of hackers being able to break into some vehicles and activate door locks, and take over the operation of the gas and brakes. I will bet that it comes back again in the near future. Eventually, the insurance companies will make it too expensive to insure older cars without self driving and driver assist packages.

    California has tried to legislate older vehicles off the road in the name of emissions. The only problem they ran into is that they wanted them all off the road, no exceptions, but it was deemed unconstitutional because there was no method for people to make those older cars compliant with newer emissions regulations and the fact it would violate the constitution to create a law that would retroactively make people criminals (or something like that, I forget the wording).

    I like driving. I know a lot of people like it too. I think there will be a lot of push back on the driver less car legislation from the auto industry itself. Why would you produce so many different models of cars if they all did the exact same thing, the exact same way?

    When I was a kid, I used to drive my mom nuts because I couldn't sit still. She used to hand me books (way above my reading level) and one of them was a science fiction novel where a bunch of travelers saw in the distance a flowing river of metal and plastic. When they got close they realized it was actually a freeway with thousands of cars moving together so close to each other they almost touched. vehicles would merge, change lanes and exit as a mass with no interruptions. They spent a lot of time trying to figure out how they were going to cross when they noticed that the vehicles avoided any obstacles as a mass. They were able to walk right across the freeway, vehicles speeding by within inches of them, but never close enough to hit them.

    I wish I remembered the name of the book (it was from a very well known author).
    "...Dumb all over, A little ugly on the side... "...Frank Zappa...

  6. #6
    Anodized. Again. Konrad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,060

    Default Re: How Did Apple Become so Powerful and Influential?

    I've got no problem with self-driving vehicles. I not convinced that the automation can really drive as well in all conditions as any competently "good" human driver. Not yet. But I suspect that after a few decades of technical and legal refinements the automation will be able to consistently drive better and safer than any but the very few, very best, most talented, and most experienced of human drivers. A few decades more and humans may not be allowed to drive themselves any more without special training and licenses.

    I would fully embrace letting my car do all the driving for me! In blatant disregard of the dystopian technological dependency WALL-E and Star Trek and Terminator and sci-fi in general have often warned against.

    The most dangerous threat of collision on the roads is other people on the road. Unexpected obstacles can be circumvented, terrain features can be navigated, weather and environmental effects and even redundant mechanical faults can be computed and compensated. But other drivers (and pedestrians) are never fully unpredictable, they can recklessly and suddenly veer all over the place or cross your path without any warning, without any apparent reason. Collision-avoidance is just a matter of properly understanding and controlling your own vehicle, but defensive driving is all about constantly being alert to what every other person on (and off) the road around you intends to do.

    So I'll keep my self-driving automation disabled as long as there's any other human drivers (ie, bad drivers) sharing the road. But I'm confident that the day will come that the machines will become demonstrably, reproducibly, provably better drivers, and on that day I'll happily let my car do the driving for me. (Though I'd never subscribe to an Apple-invented and Apple-monetized "iDrive" car.)
    My mind says Technic, but my body says Duplo.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •