The best kittens, technology, and video games blog in the world.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Why I want Apple to fail

Dear Apple fanboys. Dear Apple haters. Here's what phone for stupid people looks like:

I'll pause for a moment to let you consider the level of stupidity that has people pay $10k for a phone far worse in just about every possible way than a five year old Blackberry.

But I didn't mention that just to make fun of rich idiots. The entire consumer electronics market consists of pretty much three segments:
  • Very expensive and totally shitty things to take advantage of idiots with too much money - like Vertu phones, "audiophile" cables and so on. Everybody with any clue knows to stay away from them.
  • Bulk of the market which competes on price alone, with quality usually ranging from shitty to at best mediocre. You can find high quality or innovative stuff here from now and then, but nothing consistent and the next product in the same line will probably revert to the mean.
  • Apple. They sure have very high margins, but you actually get premium product for it.
The thing is - Apple didn't get to be $400bln+ company by doing anything amazing. For just about every Apple product you could make a long list of things which are wrong with it, their interoperability record is dismal, and it usually gives you a choice of Apple way or no way. Remember - this is the company which insisted on a one-button mouse. They're making that kind of ridiculous money because nobody bothers to compete with them!

Only this year other phone makers (mostly Samsung) even started bothering with the high end of the market. Due to network effects it can only win in total Android victory (the course we're currently on), destruction of high end Android market (more likely via lawsuits than any real innovation), or iPhones becoming Android-compatible - and knowing Apple's attitude towards interoperability that's about as likely as the Pope converting to Buddhism.

Anyway, on phones and tablets Android is finally putting some real pressure on Apple - not just from the lower end which Apple completely abandoned, but also from the high end. And Apple was never serious about desktops. But one huge area where Apple is still completely without any competition is laptops.

Laptop market today looks just like smartphone market looked like five years ago. There's Apple with their overpriced but pretty decent hardware. There's ton of cheap Windows junk. And of course there's overpriced and underdelivered sector of "gaming laptops" and their likes (less extreme than Vertu shitphones, but still not good value for money).

Other than Apple nobody is seriously trying to target the laptop high end market. One big reasons is Windows, which is about as compatible with anything high end as... well, Windows Phone. The high end market is largely tech people, so anybody with any hope of competing with Apple must do something Unix-y as well. It would most likely need to be Linux, possibly with some custom distro, and reasonable Windows (or OSX) compatibility layer to deal with smaller application ecosystem.

Or it could be licensed OSX, but we all know what's the likelihood of that. Or maybe, just maybe, Microsoft could go in more developer-friendly direction and made their OS tolerable, but that seems even less likely to happen than licensed OSX. Or it could follow Apple's steps with Bootcamp and simply dual boot Linux/Windows, or some kind of virtual machine.

Unfortunately right now nobody is even trying. There's some effort into pushing non-Windows non-Apple laptops, but they are definitely on the low end. Google Chromebook Pixel is sort of trying to go there, but it's still years behind, trying to attack Apple from the low-end, not the high-end. Other than that, nobody even tries... So tech people either stick to desktops, or accept overpriced OSX, with all its problems.

Anyway, I really hope Apple fails. I hope they get some serious competition and fall from their undeserved position as the most valuable company in the world to being just one of many manufacturers of quality consumer electronics. Because the alternative is really horrible for consumers.

No comments: