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Why Apple Is So Sticky 595

Hugh Pickens writes "'Sticky,' in the social sciences and particularly economics, describes a situation in which a variable is resistant to change. For websites or products it usually means that visitors or customers keep coming back for more. Now Fortune Magazine reports on an analysis by Deutsche Bank's Chris Whitmore on what makes the (iTunes-based) iPhone-iPod-iPad platform so sticky and why it's going to get harder, not easier, for Apple users to switch, no matter what Google and the rest of Apple's competitors have up their sleeves. Whitmore says the investment Apple's customers have made in content for those devices in terms of apps, videos, and music purchased at the iTunes Store creates Apple's 'stickiness.' Apple has an installed base today of about 150 million iTunes-dependent devices that could grow to more than 200 million by the end of 2011. Whitmore comes up with a cumulative investment in those devices of about $15 billion today, growing to $25 billion by the end of next year. 'This averages to ~$100 of content for each installed device,' Whitmore writes, 'suggesting switching costs are relatively high (not to mention the time required to port). When Apple's best-in-class user experience is combined with these growing switching costs, the resulting customer loyalty is unparalleled.'"
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Why Apple Is So Sticky

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  • The question is (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ClosedSource ( 238333 ) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @04:46PM (#32400016)

    Why is Slashdot so stuck on Apple?

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      News for Apple. Stuff that Apple.

    • Re:The question is (Score:5, Insightful)

      by painandgreed ( 692585 ) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @09:55PM (#32402592)

      Why is Slashdot so stuck on Apple?

      Because they're the ones moving forward and being creative in the computer field with regards to consumer computers while everybody else is just following their lead? Microsoft is creating vaporware tablets to compete with the iPad. Android and the idea around it came out a year after and probably because of the iPhone and the design of its OS. HP is scavenging Palm for their own Apple inspired tablet rather than going with Windows. Things are changing as people are getting used to owning smart phones and being online just about anywhere they are located. This wasn't a feature advancement as my phone years before the iPhone could also (technically) go online, but the iPhone OS was the one that made it actually work like a browser and easy to do for the general public.

      • Re:The question is (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Nerdfest ( 867930 ) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @10:19PM (#32402738)
        Because of the limitations and lockdown they're also trying to move the field backwards in many ways. Personally I'm damn glad Google and Android are at least shaking things up and providing a little competition, as even though Apple does some things very well, I don't think I like where they're "moving the industry forward" to.
        • Re:The question is (Score:4, Interesting)

          by quadrox ( 1174915 ) on Monday May 31, 2010 @05:27AM (#32405258)

          I agree with your concerns about how apple treats customers, however it's hard to deny that without apple we would not have all these nice shiny toys. Apple appears to be the only company capable of creating a product with a specific set of goals in mind and make those parts just work.

          Apple products are not without their flaws, but they generally don't feel like they just slapped together some random hardware components and called it a day. Most other companies products feel just like that.

          I still stay away from buying apple because I hate their lockdown policies, but I am sad to say that apparently they are the only company capable of actually designing and making a proper product. Something that has a specific set of design goals and accomplishes exactly those - nothing more, nothing less.

      • This averages to ~$100 of content for each installed device,' Whitmore writes, 'suggesting switching costs are relatively high

        I've been saying for a while that the iPhone is no longer a "premium" brand. High school kids have them. If $100 is "relatively high", then those iPhone customers are not what Apple makes them out to be, especially when amortized over the cost of a 3-year phone plan - $100 is less than $3 a month. Less than $0.10 a day. How much cheaper can you get? Are iPhone customers reduced to

    • An Apple story in the Apple section?! What is the world coming to? ...oh no i just spotted a Linux story in the Linux section!
    • Re:The question is (Score:5, Insightful)

      by flyingsquid ( 813711 ) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @10:29PM (#32402822)
      Why is Slashdot so stuck on Apple?

      If you didn't hear, Apple's market capitalization recently surpassed that of Microsoft. That means if you add up all the Apple stock out there, it's worth a total of 234 billion dollars as of last Friday; i.e. if you happened to have a quarter of a trillion dollars just lying around, you could in theory buy the whole company*. Microsoft, meanwhile, is worth 226 billion dollars. True, the stock market is driven as much by fear and greed as any rational forces, and Microsoft still hauled in more money, but as of Friday, the various institutions and individuals out there felt that as a company Apple Computer was worth more than Microsoft. Think about that for a second. Ten years ago, Microsoft was the unstoppable Borg, ruthlessly destroying or assimilating all who opposed them. Now there's a new Borg, and their cube is stylish and made of shiny white lucite and brushed aluminum, and they have millions and millions of brainwashed drones plugged into their machines. It's pretty clearly the end of the Microsoft Era.

      The reason for the shift is pretty obvious. Apple has focused on the next generation of consumer electronics, first with the iPod, now with the iPhone, and next (maybe) with the iPad. They realized that the OS wars were done, and focused on the next big fight. A while ago, Jobs declared Apple's mission was to be 'the new Sony', i.e. to own personal electronics the way Sony did in the 80s and 90s. They've done it. Microsoft never really got this.

      • Re:The question is (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ClosedSource ( 238333 ) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @10:36PM (#32402882)

        "If you didn't hear, Apple's market capitalization recently surpassed that of Microsoft."

        I see. It's because Slashdot has often posted stories about Microsoft's highly regarded market capitalization in the past.

      • Re:The question is (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Jaime2 ( 824950 ) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @11:22PM (#32403250)
        The market also feels the fortune 50 company I work at is worth less than our inventory on hand. It's not like we're in a dying industry, we're in health care. If you bought all of our stock, then you'd make your money back with three years of profits (based on history). If you bought all of Apple's stock, it would be 30 years (once again, based on history) before you made your $234 billion dollars in profit. The market is insane and its conclusions are nearly meaningless.
    • Re:The question is (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MobileTatsu-NJG ( 946591 ) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @10:55PM (#32403026)

      Why is Slashdot so stuck on Apple?

      Every time we wave our pitchforks Slashdot serves a metric buttload of ads.

    • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @11:45PM (#32403416)

      So Slashdot historically loves Apple. Reason is twofold:

      1) Apple is a historic underdog and Slashdot likes underdogs. They were the small guys fighting the evil that is MS, and Slashdot REALLY hates MS. As such they like Apple, or at least what Apple was.

      2) Apple provides an easy to use alternative to Windows with some UNIX underpinnings. While many are loathe to admit it, Linux is a PITA for many desktop uses. Some of the people who use(d) it do so out of anti-MS zealotry and/or a UNIX superiority complex. Well, Apple offers an OS you can pretend is UNIX (even though that is just a minor foundation) that is easy to use and not MS. So, it is the sort of thing many /.ers like.

      However, Apple is, and nearly always has been, a company far more controlling than MS. They want to dictate everything about your computer usage. They want you to have to buy hardware from them, in the configurations they specify only. They want you to use only their OS. They want to control where you get your applications and media, they want to tell you when to upgrade, etc.

      This is, of course, counter to what Slashdot likes. However it was something that wasn't that apparent, nor that onerous back when Apple was the little guy. However as Apple has grown, it has become more and more obvious that their vision of the future of technology is one where they run everything.

      So because of these two things, you see a lot of Apple stories, and a lot of stories on their lock in strategies. Don't expect it to change any time soon as Apple isn't likely going anywhere and the combination of love/hate will continue here.

      • by JonJ ( 907502 ) <> on Monday May 31, 2010 @01:58AM (#32404190)

        Well, Apple offers an OS you can pretend is UNIX (even though that is just a minor foundation)

        Yeah, that whole certified UNIX-thing is probably because of the 'minor' foundation. OS X IS UNIX.

    • OMG News flash!!! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MoxFulder ( 159829 )

      This just in: "Vendor lock-in makes it harder to switch to a competitor's products!"

      Wow!!!! Story at 10!!!

  • music? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by larry bagina ( 561269 ) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @04:50PM (#32400042) Journal
    pretty much plays unprotected AACs, so there's no lock in there. As far as apps, many are used for a couple weeks and then forgotten or deleted. There may be a psychological lock in when looking at 100 apps, but in reality only a handful are used. At the iPad level, there are bigger and more useful apps which could be more of a lock-in factor, but there isn't much lock-in at the iPod and iPhone level. Hell, there will probably be a dozen comments in this story about slashdotters who switched from an iPhone to android.
    • I came here to post pretty much the same thing. The other problem with apps, and often movies, is that they become 'obsolete' quite quickly to some degree. Apps in particular will have a new version released requiring an update fee to be 'current', presenting a good incentive to switch - and may well require such an update for the new version of an OS.

      Movies less so, but I know that I rarely rewatch films more than a few times unless they're particularly good ones. This is reflected by the 75%+ discounti

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      This article claims the average user is locked in to $100 worth of apps. That's nothing compared to being locked into games for the wii, ps3, xbox... I have probably $1000 worth of ps3 games.

      Also, if someone buys $100 worth of android or blackberry apps then, surprise surprise, they can only use them on whichever device they purchased them for and are locked in.

      The only way to be free and not locked in is for the PUBLISHERS to allow people to download versions of their apps/media for any platform they
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 30, 2010 @04:51PM (#32400050)

    Sounds like, at least in Apple's case, "sticky" is just another word for "vendor lockin"

    • by theurge14 ( 820596 ) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @09:41PM (#32402492)

      The term "lock in" apparently has had its definition changed much as "brick" has already.

      How in the world is anyone "locked in" to an iPod?

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 30, 2010 @10:33PM (#32402860)

        The term "lock in" apparently has had its definition changed much as "brick" has already.

        How in the world is anyone "locked in" to an iPod?

        Had you bothered to read the OP or the article, you would have some idea how.

        But as to why the parent got modded up, it's because "vendor lock-in" is a well-known phenomenon in the field of economics and it is exactly what the author is describing when using the word "sticky."

        Stickiness does not mean what he's using it to mean. Stickiness is a measure of inertia or lag between an event and the resulting inevitable reaction in the affected group. Vendor lock-in is what happens when businesses exert market-power to prevent "churn" such as when they artificially raise the cost of switching away from their products and services.

        Apple has done this in myriad ways, not the least of which include their selection of compatible file-formats, DRM and their developer agreement which prohibits the use of cross-platform development tools, together keeping competitors from offering attractive full-featured media-players and from having the same apps in their app stores.

        Vendor lock-in is the appropriate description for the phenomenon at issue. []

    • by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @09:41PM (#32402496)
      No, that's just there latest product. the iLockin. And don't forget their next product the iMholdingyourinfosrandsom.
  • So what's new? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by 0123456 ( 636235 )

    Whitmore says the investment Apple's customers have made in content for those devices in terms of apps, videos, and music purchased at the iTunes Store creates Apple's 'stickiness.'

    Wow, it's almost like Windows where the thousands of dollars worth of Windows software I own are the only thing keeping me stuck to having a Windows PC in the house.

    • That's a valid point.

      Having said that though, current generation Macs can run almost all Windows productivity software and older games at near native speed with parallels or vmware. Alternatively you can actually boot into Windows to run everything at native speeds via bootcamp.

      I don't expect to see either the ability to run a virtual iPhone or have the option to boot up as an iPhone on any other phone anytime soon.

      • older games at near native speed with parallels or vmware.

        Have you even used this software? It's not "native speed." I spend quite a deal of time in vmware fusion and I can tell you that its no where near native speed.

        • by Tim99 ( 984437 )

          older games at near native speed with parallels or vmware.

          Have you even used this software? It's not "native speed." I spend quite a deal of time in vmware fusion and I can tell you that its no where near native speed.

          Parallels/XP is pretty fast for most things on a 2.2 GHz Core 2 Duo, MacBook Pro.
          Having said that, I don't use Windows much these days, most of the stuff I use is on Debian and OS X.

  • Build a product that is easy to use, reliable, has easy access to all the content most average people want, and is pretty to boot... and people keep buying it! It isn't rocket science.

    • Mine isn't that reliable. I've had to have SOME part replaced every year I've owned a MBP. Some of the replacement parts would have cost a shit load of money ($1500 for a logic board replacement), but luckily I bought the extended warranty.

      • The first iBook I bought went back for a new Logic board. This 12.1" powerbook has had 1 new battery about 3 years ago, but it's now over 6 years old. 1 Battery, 4 power supplies, but the power supplies are my fault. (I kept knocking them off a high table onto a ceramic tile floor at least twice a day. Only so many times you can do that).

        The MacBook I had is now 3 years old and still being used by a friend of mine with no problems other than a new battery she got. (18 - 24 months is the life of any bat

  • by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @04:58PM (#32400118)

    For websites or products it usually means that visitors or customers keep coming back for more.

    For some websites on the Internet, "sticky" has a completely different meaning. :-)

    And by "some" I mean "most", and by "websites" I mean "porn". To quote Dr. Cox on Scrubs, "If you shutdown all the porn sites on the Internet, there would only be one site left and it would be called 'Bring back the porn.'"

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @04:58PM (#32400122)

    Let's talk about applications only. Sure the average user may have purchased $100 worth of software, but how much of it do they actually use day to day? I think, just like a computer platform, that the cost of switching is lower than it would seem because most software does not need to be replaced, so the cost is lower than it would seem from simply examining purchase prices for everything you own.

    Now throw in media... songs are pretty much sold DRM free these days, so there is no cost to migrate media. Video is tricker since through iTunes it is wrapped in DRM. But I wonder apart from children's video, how much video purchased online is really there to be watched again and again - I buy a lot of video online but after I watch it, I generally don't watch it more than once. I "buy" it knowing full well it's really more like a rental, and if I really like a video I'll buy it on physical media that I can load out or keep as long as I want.

    There is something to the argument they make, I just don't think it's as strong on the value side as they make it out to be.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 30, 2010 @09:18PM (#32402314)

      Its more psychological. People are extremely adverse to loss, even if that loss isn't really that much. A good example is the stock market and how quickly people panic the moment there is any kind of drop, even though that loss was entirely on paper and in the larger picture their stock is still worth more than it was when they bought it.

      Just the thought of losing something that they paid money for, even though they never watch it or use it is a big barrier. They have to mentally disconnect themselves from any perceived value the item holds before they can get rid of it. Some people like horders aren't able to do even that.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by failedlogic ( 627314 )

      The thing is people get into the habit of buying their music on iTunes. Like they had the habit of buying it in the record store or a big-box like Best Buy or Wal-Mart before it. Habits are just hard to break. There seem to be enough people who like iTunes enough to keep going back.

      I prefer getting a physcial CD from the record store or mostly Amazon now. Seems iTunes is having such an effect on the market, coupled probably with piracy and less music interest, that most record shops are cutting back on CDs

      • by voidptr ( 609 ) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @09:51PM (#32402564) Homepage Journal

        Except music from iTunes at this point doesn't contribute to Apple lock-in. There's no DRM on them, and AAC is supported by most major hardware vendors at this point.

        Videos and Apps, but not music. And it's not like there isn't a problem going the other way if someone wants to move from Android or Windows Mobile or Palm to iPhone if they've got an investment in apps on that platform.

        Besides, if someone ships a seriously compelling alternative to your current platform of choice, is $100 in content really going to stop you from switching, considering we're talking about several hundred dollar cell phones or tablets you replace every couple years.

    • Speaking as an iPhone user that has considered Android and as a longtime Linux user that has considered Windows/MacOS, a big part of the value is in the assemblage of applications/widgets/etc. that the user has collected.

      This is not the same thing as a "learning curve," and it is not about the value of the applications/apps. It's a matter of the investment of time and configuration required to "transition" to another platform and duplicate the work environment that you've constructed. For example, on the iP

  • by romanval ( 556418 ) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @05:00PM (#32400128)
    ... in that people are stuck with DOS/Windows/Office because the cost to switch away are too great.
    • by Idiomatick ( 976696 ) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @11:30PM (#32403320)
      MS has office for mac. Everything else isn't MS owned besides from the OS. Apple leverages every product to support every product. The cost of leaving apple ramps up in lock step with how much you own.

      Buy an ipod and unless you are a tech guy you are locked into itunes. If you use itunes for more than transfering shit and buy their stuff you are locked into their DRM (they still have drm for movies i believe). One poster a minute ago suggested that itunes on windows was problematic, to have it work properly you should use a mac. Also it does things like install quicktime and safari though patches (something else a non tech geek wouldnt notice)
      If you buy a mac to make itunes run properly you've screwed yourself even more. Every weird ass firewire accessory you get will be worthless if you ever want to go back to windows. Mac wireless routers and mac sans. You've switched totally over to mac. To leave them you need to replace everything you have software and hardware. (An exaggeration in some areas but certainly worse than going pc->mac). Windows crap at least attempts to follow standards (even counting ie6). Apple makes up its own shit so that only apples can use it and so that appler's can't switch away.
  • by roman_mir ( 125474 ) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @05:01PM (#32400148) Homepage Journal

    Why is an apple sticky? when you cut an apple and hold it with your bare hands, the juice will make your hand sticky, no question about it, that's what hand washing is for.

    Oh, you are talking about the company? Same reason applies.

    As for the truth of the statement, as much as for some people it is absolutely 'sticky', for others it's too sweet - sugary and unpleasant. I like my computers the way I like my coffee - no sugar. I can't stand Apple's products at all, it's a personal internal thing, when I see all of the Apple computers in all these movies, and all these 'creative' people with the logos all over the place - makes me cringe. You can't make me use an Apple product if you pay me.

  • Media porting (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    This is an example of why we need media portability laws, just like laws were passed to allow you to port your cell number from one carrier to the other. Laws need me be made allowing media, software, music, books to be portable between platforms.

    This is also another reason i believe music, movies, and likely now book should be sold with serialized licenses included. The license gives you access to the exact same content, no matter what medium or method it is distributed. You goto bestbuy, buy a physical CD

  • Funny (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Archfeld ( 6757 ) * <> on Sunday May 30, 2010 @09:08PM (#32402224) Journal

    I know many people with Iphones, Ipads and Ipods, nearly all of them love the devices but hate Itunes, using it as the only option available to them. Several of my more computer literate friends are unhappy with the restrictions thier Ipods place on them regarding PC transfer rights and lack of backup options for their content, but most never even consider what would happen if their device failed and won't until it does...

  • Burn your DRM ladden iTunes Music Store purchaces to disk then rip that disk to mp3 (or whatever format of your choice). OMG DRM free music from the iTunes Music Store that you can "jump ship" with! I know... it's almost rocket surgery, but come on! lol

  • by finalbroadcast ( 1030452 ) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @09:25PM (#32402378)
    In general geeks like to beat up on some large incorporeal entity that a segment of the community will defend to the death. Microsoft just isn't all that fun to kick around anymore, since the only people who still care about Windows are CTO's and those of us unfortunate enough to work in the dark section of IT known as Help Desk. Apple has become a juggernaut of shiny devices that sell to a large segment of the population that would have never even considered buying a Mac. An even smaller percentage of that give a crap about "lock-in" or other political stances. OS X geeks are a small and defensive breed, and they feel that these devices, ostensibly still computers, are an extension of their ecosystem. They're not, and they are a gateway drug for some. They were for me, but the large chunk of the iPhone and iPod populace doesn't care, and whenever the new must have gadget comes around, they'll move on. Previous generations re-bought their entire collections in several different mediums, this one will be no different. Lock in sucks, and hopefully video vendors come around on DRM, but I think streaming on demand will leapfrog them anyway. So the Apple fans will defend Steve Jobs unique vision as if it was their own, and the geeks will beat this topic to death until there something else that people love to bitch about on the Internet. It isn't principled, it's pointless. En mass much of the ecosystem has turned from Redmond Bad Cupertino Good to Curpertino Bad, Mountain View Good. That will last until some new hip kid on the block becomes the Geek chic and we will then decry Google's constant assault on our privacy. Here's to waiting until Cannonical is the bad guy.
  • Whitmore says: "the resulting customer loyalty is unparalleled"

    For some Apple users it's loyalty, yes. For others, it's only loyalty in the sense of battered wife syndrome. Sure, they know they're in an abusive relationship and they should leave, but breaking the ties requires too great a shift of momentum.

    I grew tired of Apple's behaviour so I switched to Android. It was easy for me because I never purchased any music or movies through iTunes, and I think I only ever paid for two apps so I didn't have any

    • by bmo ( 77928 )

      For others, it's only loyalty in the sense of battered wife syndrome

      You mean like Windows "loyalty"?

      Indeed, the whole "it's the user's fault" attitude Microsoft has towards people who have problems with its software is surely blaming the victim, isn't it?

      Go ahead, ask your typical Windows user how much he "loves windows" and Microsoft applications.


  • The kind of people who buy Apple are not what could be considered "Individualistic" in any sense.

    These are the kind of people who allow their self-worth to be determined by others; their cool-factor by how many Facebook friends they have, and what parties they are/not invited to.

    They have convinced themselves of a form of technical superiority, when in reality, their platform is too small to be noticed by virus\malware providers, or most productivity app venders save a few like Adobe.

    They consider the

    • by voidptr ( 609 )

      Uh, OS X and the Airport base stations have had IPv6 support out of the box for many years.

    • by masmullin ( 1479239 ) <> on Sunday May 30, 2010 @10:15PM (#32402704)

      Apple owner here. You have identified a sizable segment of the mac ownership demographic. The demographic that buys apple shit because "apple is cool and I want to buy cool" These people are known as "Mactards"

      However there are two other sizable segments.

      1) The segment that thinks that Apple is easier and "just works" when compared to Windows. They dont want to fuck about with their PC. (I disagree with these people because Windows7 "just works" too)
      2) The segment that thinks that Apple is easier and "just works" when compared to Linux. They dont want to fuck about with configuration files and rc scripts anymore. I fall into this segment. I demand a usable and strong command line with all the proper *nix utilities, but I want a strong windowing system and dont ever want to fuck about with video card drivers ever again.

      The apple gui/desktop is superior to kde/gnome/X... not all of us bought apple because apple is cool, some of us bought it while waiting for linux to become more polished.

      • by Shados ( 741919 )

        #1 falls in the Mactard category for the exact reason you put in parenthesis, personally.

        Add to it the people who use Apple because they're designers and all designers should use Apple (which is amusing, since many of the software they use work better on other platforms, and quite a few of the very large design/graphic companies like Pixar are not primarly on Macs)

        #2 is a good enough reason. I'd point out that the Windows command line is now pretty damn strong, now that Windows has an actual shell (as oppos

    • by tomservo291 ( 863856 ) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @10:47PM (#32402952) Homepage

      Is this a serious point of view?

      As a software developer, OSS advocate, multiple-os user, I couldn't disagree more.

      My personal laptop is a 1st-gen MacBook Pro when they first made the Intel switch, and I'm using an iPhone 3G. Never used an Apple product until they made the intel switch, and I've loved every minute of OS X.

      I still use Windows, Linux and Solaris for personal use, work use and for any other purpose, but if I had a choice I would undoubtedly choose OS X.

      Why? Simple, it doesn't suck. I won't say "it just works", but it sucks a hell of a lot less then Windows or Linux. Surely, we can agree on Windows here, and Linux I'm not going to go into some kind of argument, but suffice to say my time is valuable (if not to others, to myself), I don't want to invest tens to hundreds of hours into simply configuring Linux to do what I want, when OS X does out of the box, with a cleaner and (more) unified interface.

      Why did I get an iPhone instead of a phone with WebOS, Android or Symbian? Same goddamn reasons, WebOS is a tiny market, Android is fragmented and destroyed by the vendor specific distributions (sad, really, I wish this weren't the case -- or else i'd have gone here). When iPhone 3.0 came out, I was able to upgrade my phone instantly. When iPhone 4.0 beta came out, I was able to upgrade my phone isntantly. My buddy at work with his Android phone? He's stuck on something ridicuously old at 1.5 because he's at the mercy of the combination of his cell provider and handset maker to update their proprietary version of Android.

      We all know that the cell phone providers have a long way to go in order to "catch up" with the technology we all want to use; and that's why I went with apple here. They used their brand power to strong-arm a major cell provider into giving them unified control. Sure, I'm "locked in" to Apple for my iPhone. But what do I get for that?

      - Free (in a sense, not at additional charge) software and OS ugprades
      - Largest app store by an order of magnitude (i seldom pay for anything, tons of free stuff available that do what I want)
      - Unified interface to sync/get content (Sure, you see iTunes as locked in, but the app is free, purchased music is DRM free and there is simply no better alternative on any OS. So what the hell are you complaining about? Make a better competitor and maybe someone will use it.)
      - The UI is smoother and more intuitive then any other device
      - Flash? What? Android doesnt even run flash (except in latest betas, i believe, which wont see an actual piece of hardware for who knows how long, so dont give me that BS)

      Until someone else can compete at this level (and that wont be for some time, if they are lucky), then I'll stick with my "locked in" platform, which, has more free and better tools available then the OSS alternatives.

      By the way... small share of the market? Apple has moved (literally) over 50 million iPhones, and I believe significantly more iPod Touch's, and the US has a population of what.. roughly 330 million people, and lets say we make some broad assumptions that only about 1/3 (110 million) of those (cut out children, elderly) are even eligible iphone customers, thats nearly 50% market penetration. Small? Are you on crack?

      Yes, that's 50 million world wide, but that is just a comparison to put it into perspective.

  • Caramel (Score:5, Funny)

    by RevWaldo ( 1186281 ) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @10:24PM (#32402776)

  • People just say, "How do I use this? This iTunes program? Oh, OK."
  • Lock In vrs Sticky (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Above ( 100351 ) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @10:49PM (#32402968)

    Lock In = iTunes AAC w/FairPlay DRM

    Sticky = I don't want to figure out how to migrate my iTunes mp3's to Windows Media Player

    Lock In = Outlook Encrypted PST files.

    Sticky = I don't want to figure out how to get my e-mail archive transferred from Hotmail to Mac Mail.

    Lock In mean you can't get your own data out because it is wrapped in something proprietary. Sticky means you can, but it isn't worth your time and effort.

    Apple increases sticky by making it work across multiple devices. My music "just appears" on my computer, ipod and iPhone. Switching all three means migrating my songs to a new desktop os, a new phone os and a new media player with possibly thee new interfaces. That's a powerful incentive to not migrate.

  • Attention to detail (Score:4, Informative)

    by melted ( 227442 ) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @11:14PM (#32403186) Homepage

    That's why I use Apple stuff, anyway. I'm on my second MacBook Pro (my wife took over the old one after 4 years of merciless use, and my son took over her MacBook). We also have two iPhones and an iPad. As if this wasn't enough, my company-issued laptop is also a MacBook Pro. You can tell I'm a satisfied customer.

    The reason why I like Apple is their attention to detail. Backlit keyboard, fans that you can't hear (on a Core i7), gorgeous aluminum enclosure, pretty good (for a laptop) display, 7 hours of battery life, 1 inch thick. And it goes on and on from there. GPU acceleration in Aperture and core imaging APIs. Great PDF and color management support. Great audio subsystem. Great UI toolkit. GCC tool chain (and LLVM/Clang in Snow Leopard). Quick to wake up from sleep. Quick to start up and shut down. Automatic, transparent, on-the-fly versioned backups. Software bundle which is actually enjoyable to use (imagine that!). Drag-and-drop installation of apps (for most apps, anyway). And so on and so forth.

    AND it's a certified Unix. Sure, you could probably hack it to run on something else (giving up power management and a few other "irrelevant" features), but if you have the dough, the attraction is undeniable. And Apple is perfectly fine with targeting only those who don't mind to pay for the best.

  • by Whuffo ( 1043790 ) on Monday May 31, 2010 @03:38AM (#32404774) Homepage Journal

    The reason Apple is doing so well is that they turn out devices that suit the people's needs and are well-designed and reliable. This marketing bullshit about how Apple has some "secret sauce" is just nonsense promoted by those who can't research the stories they write - or those who want to turn out the same old junk and think they should be competitive just because they showed up.

    The so-called competitors have been shown up for what they really are and they're squealing. Ever use a Motorola phone? How did you like their excuse for a user interface? Or have you ever used a Blackberry? How many times a week do you have to pull the battery to reboot it? Even the newer Droid phones - great concept, but they leave a lot to be desired in the execution. And that's just the cell phones.

    How about tablets? I've used a HP TX series tablet and after that I bought an iPad. There's lots of noise from vaporware vendors but anything like competition for the iPad is nowhere in sight. At least HP looked at the way things are and killed their Windows tablet - they'll bring it out running Web/OS sometime in the future. Probably it'll be delivered by virgins riding unicorns.

    Creating and building fully developed and well rounded products isn't a trivial task - Apple spent a lot of time and money making their iThingies good. For those companies who want to compete with Apple on this ground - they're going to have to get rid of their "good enough" mentality and create great products. And even then, they'll be months or years behind Apple. This isn't wrong or unfair; when all the geeks were kicking Apple while they were down, they had some good stuff brewing in the labs. Now that it's out on the street it's a different day and a different game.

    I'm hoping that other corporations will be impelled to improve their game and actually compete with Apple. That would be good for everyone - but until they can compete in the market, the promotional BS is nothing more than vapor that isn't worth listening to.

"How many teamsters does it take to screw in a light bulb?" "FIFTEEN!! YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT?"