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Chuq Von Rospach’s Review of Apple in 2016

Apple veteran Chuq Von Rospach has reviewed Apple’s performance in 2016, and he has some tough words for the company, saying that it “simply isn’t firing on all cylinders” and is “out of sync with itself.” He points out how Apple has missed its ship dates and left products to languish. More specifically, Von Rospach accuses Apple of being out of touch with its customers, relying too heavily on data, and getting sloppy in its execution, with numerous bugs and quirks in its offerings. However, he takes pains to note that his criticisms are not revealing fundamental problems; Apple just needs to recalibrate a few things to get back on track.Generic Globefollow link


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Eric Ladner  2017-01-11 15:41
I'm purely on the consumer side these days, and was never more than a business/prosumer user, so I can't really judge the technical requirements of developers and video editors, but this article seems to me an outstanding example of positive, helpful criticism and advice, as opposed to whining and complaining. If developers say current Macs don't meet their needs, then we're all in trouble.

The suggestion of a desktop line using the same base design for consumer and pro models seems to make sense, economically for Apple, and in flexibility for customers. As a consumer-tinkerer, I would love to have a consumer priced Mac with just a few user-installable customization/upgrade options.

Apple may not accept or act on all the arguments in this article, but they really should read and consider it carefully.
Derek Roff  An apple icon for a TidBITS Contributor 2017-01-11 18:16
A great article. Thanks for linking to it, since I probably wouldn’t have seen it otherwise. I’m largely in agreement with Chuq, that Apple is missing or ignoring the needs of many of its users. Where I think he is wrong is in calling these oversights a “niche of a niche”. Some of the things Apple is missing apply to as many as 100% of its users. Here are a couple of examples: How many users loved the Magsafe connector? Every one that I have ever met (with quibbles about cords fatiguing). Now, this great feature is not available on any Apple model. How many users said to themselves, “Gee, I wish I had to carry a dongle to do my basic tasks”? My guess is, 0%. But almost all of us need to carry one or two or three dongles, at a cost of > 10% of the computer price, to do the things that were built into all the MacBook Pros, and most of the MacBook Airs, just a couple of months ago.

This isn’t exclusively a new problem. Steve Jobs made this mistake more than once. He removed the ExpressCard slot, saying that only about a quarter of Apple customers used it, so it didn’t make sense to continue it. Since this was more than double Apple’s market share at the time, by his logic, every user should have quit using Apple altogether. But the SD card is not a niche product, nor is the ubiquitous USB thumb drive, or the need to connect to an external monitor or projector. Surely one or more of these devices is used by nearly 100% of Mac users. Yet the current Mac portable line can’t do any of these things, out of the box.

For a couple of generations, Apple has told us to “Think Different”. However, Mac hardware is now telling us that there is only one way to be, and that is to not do much at all with our Macs.
Simon  An apple icon for a TidBITS Contributor 2017-01-14 02:34
Thanks for drawing my attention to this excellent article.

Chuq offers some very good analysis into what's wrong with the new Apple. I was pleased to see my two main issues with Apple these days were also detailed by Chuq.

1.) Apple is out of touch with its user base, especially on the Mac and pro sides.

2.) Apple has become sloppy (they used to be the masters of attention to detail).

He closes with what might be the real threat to Apple's long-term future, "My worry is that Apple isn’t seeing this, because it’s looking at the sales numbers and they look fine, with many products under backlog and strong demand (including the new MacBook Pros). If you just look at the numbers, things are okay."