Change – Private rant

Now, Apple is backtracking. The iPad Mini isn’t even an attempt at an iconic product. And it’s not a smaller-equates-premium 12-inch Powerbook (it doesn’t even have a Retina display). It’s a direct, ground-level battle for turf in a tablet market that veered a bit from Apple’s original path (Apple did a side-by-side on stage of the Mini next to the Nexus!). It’s the sort of strategy you see from the Samsungs and the Sonys of the world (or at least, you would, before everyone started emulating Apple’s simpler model), which release 20 SKUs for what’s essentially the same camcorder or Blu-ray player, hitting every $20 price point from $400 to $800 in order to milk dollars from every consumer possible.

the rest is for my reference

The iPad Mini was unveiled to little to none fanfare from the tech reporters. It was almost reluctantly recognised as a good design, as good as all the other iPads are/were. Good, but not fantastic, nothing more. Just that. A valid product, but maybe not quite relevant, revolutionary, or meaningful to the world. I don’t think anyone expected more, but we all just needed the confirmation that the iPad reign is done, that smaller tablets have found their place. It started with the Kindle series, in all their varying sizes, but that did not gain majority. Then there were the Asus tablets, Acer tablets, and so on. But all those were mere playthings for Android fanatics willing to pay for introductory devices that were nowhere near a great experience. The tide didn’t really turn until Google dared to release a tablet with their trademark Nexus branding. I mean, there were reference tablets before that but no push, and in varying sizes. Samsung gradually got a foothold with all their dizzying array of tablets, phones, phablets, whatnot. Their 10 inch tablet sold fairly well. Wars were fought over 10 inch tablets, not so much Samsung’s 7 inch – that didn’t really go anywhere. And then there was the Nexus 7, which jumped one level up. And the community were fairly impressed, sated. The reviewers noted that it was well designed, comfortable, good for use, good enough even for some iPad-fanatics to choose to bring it out when the iPad seemed too bulky. That was one surprising turning point. And then Apple went on the defensive. I can’t say whether they started before that point. Maybe they did. Maybe they always had a version hidden in their vaults but they never found a reason to release it. It doesn’t matter. So now they have released an iPad Mini that has nothing going for it except a smaller-than-iPad size. Price? meh. Why save $150 if you’re gonna buy an idevice? Go for the iPad if you think it is good. It isn’t that much cheaper anyway. No ‘Retina’ display that Apple has been touting forever. But why, are they cutting costs in order to bring the price down? I thought they were obsessed with displays and giving the best experience. Maybe that isn’t so important now. Maybe it never was. It was obvious, they just wanted to, they had to, retain the same 1024×768 resolution because the iOS code does not allow for variable resolutions. Android worked damn hard and suffered alot of pain to get that working. It isn’t perfect, but they tried so damn hard on it. It puts a strain on developers and designers, one that Apple isn’t yet willing to go into. They currently only have effectively two resolutions, for now.
So is Apple feeling that they are too expensive? If it was just ‘too big’, they could make a smaller pad with a high res screen. Don’t tell me they can’t make a smaller screen at similar resolution. Ha.
Are they feeling that they need to retain market share, to maintain the number of iOS devices so that developers will stick with them? Maybe. The Mini is defensive play at protecting their app ecosystem. No other answer for a device that is backward in resolution, processor speed, camera.
The article wrote well. Microsoft aimed high with their Surface, and the high pricing. It is a good product, beautiful to look at, amazing to think about, different, revolutionary. Different. I cannot wait to try out their keypad. The iPad Mini, thinner iMac, 13″ MBP? These are just refreshes, with little relevance unless you are right in your upgrade cycle.
No new features, no new software, no update on the Maps situation, no update on iCloud breaking for some users, no update on iMessages losing messages, obviously no update on why their lawsuit against Samsung is breaking down, why their rubber-banding patent is under review, why they need to apologize in the UK.
As a hardware company, they do great hardware. Yeah. Software-wise, meh, it’s okay. Operating System – alright, others – rolls eyes, cloud – suck. I believe they can hire enough decent software engineers to get the work done – they have the money. But they don’t have the culture. If you are a top software engineer and you want to run beyond-state-of-the-art systems, you go to Google, where they design their own networks and own fibre cables and show off ridiculous data centers, and totally geek out on code. Apple prides itself on design, we all get that. Google prides itself on code that does acrobatics you never dreamed of, and that’s what your software needs. Pity the two of them cannot get along well enough for us to enjoy. Competitive people are just competitive people.
Apple is like this amazing Guggenheim or moderm art museum. Incredible design, art. Beautiful. Expensive entrance fees (i’m not sure on this, but let’s pretend). Beautiful. Everybody wants a piece of it. I wish we had one in our country. Google is like the government. Apple gives us the museum. We pay the fees. We don’t realise that those $50 entrance fees still do not cover the costs. It is still being subsidised. And then Google is subsidising it all for us. Without Google we wouldn’t have as good an Internet experience. If you can’t find something on the internet, it might as well not be there. And where does Google get that money from? From taxes, ads, the marketing companies paying for the ads. The Apple users say that their museum is the best, that you shouldn’t go to the free public libraries or something. They say Google design is ugly, insecure, whatever. Killing off Google will be like killing off your government. Sure it is like saying the ruling party will get kicked out sooner or later, their reign will end. Okay, like Microsoft can die off. But there’ll be a transition, and let’s hope the next ruler will be kind, gentle, will provide free social services, will care for its people. Apple can’t rule because they are elitist and unkind and uncaring and do not communicate their values, do not interact with the community and bond with the people.
What if the economy fails? What if the advertisers stop paying for ads and Google runs out of revenue. Hm. It can happen. No more free search? No more free email? Back to paying Singtel for 100mb email inboxes? (telcos are mad) Paying Apple for 5gb of synced data+apps+photos+vidoes. What if Android loses, and Google loses it’s relevance because it is bumped off the mobile game? Are you going to search on Bing or Yahoo? You might be forced to. Right now, I wouldn’t like that to happen. Maybe we need to invest where we think our best interests lie. Maybe Android tablets aren’t as good, maybe the apps aren’t that many. As a consumer, when you buy one over the other, when you use one over the other, you will influence the statistics and reports, and app developers will shift, and the main companies will get affected. If you can see yourself in a future with iPhones without gmail, google search, google maps… Yeah I mean it’s like voting for a political party. Blue pill red pill. In the happy happy computer controlled matrix or the mucky real world of freedom. I’m just saying that I like a company where the CEO comes out and says that he wants to make the world a better place, that they want to make information available to everyone, to show us that they support free education, and many other good things. Tech doesn’t have to be about luxury goods and appearances, even though I can understand that it is nice and lovely.

By the way if your company issues you an iphone, beware of the exact policy. If it is a company owned device, they are allowed to erase the device in the event of loss, in order to safeguard company data. They can lock down the device to restrict your usage, and disallow jailbreaking. Which isn’t wrong of them to want to do this. It is a company device and they pay for it because they want to safeguard their data. So don’t assume you can do whatever you want and install all your own stuff and fill it up with your personal info. Hence you might end up still needing to have your own personal line and phone. Just saying. Same goes for current blackberry phones and android phones. Same. It’s all a big confusing pain right now.

Change – Private rant

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