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Apple's relationship with the press, customers, and dealers

tliet's Avatar Picture tliet – March 20, 2008 09:34AM Reply Quote
Although we don't live in the Apple is beleaguered times anymore, there's still enough to be said about them...
Transplanted once again...

The Gay Blade - 05:54pm Mar 31, 2000 EST
The Blade will attempt to transplant yet another rhetorical sapling here
on the Spork boards by copping a page from the delightful Brian Miller,
writing eloquently on the superannuated boards of yesteryear:

Brian Miller - 03:07pm Sep 30, 1999 PT
The man with a plan

My recent PowerBook G3 fiasco notwithstanding, I am beginning to wonder if
Apple is planning on abandoning "small fry customers." Consider the

1) Apple's war with the Macintosh press;
2) Apple's slashing and burning of small local dealers, who often provided
the best service "in a pinch";
3) Apple's continued horrendous customer service breaches (individual Apple
Store orders cancelled in favour of large educaction/business orders).

Pulling all this evidence together and analysing it makes me feel far more
"worried" about Apple's future than any time under Amelio. Consider, for
instance, what all of those resources spent on lawyers threatening tiny Mac
sites could do in customer service and relations.

Before we consider Apple's "invasion" into the Fortune 1000 enterprise to
be ready, we have to focus on Apple's status in its own current markets. In
my view, there's a lot of "retrenching" to do before they're ready. They
can start by ceasing their intimidation of Mac publishers, letting the damn
Mac rags publish OS 8.6 on their cover disks, and spending a bit more time,
effort, and energy on a "satisfy the customer at all costs throughout the
organisation" policy. These are all core competencies they'll need before
they can even THINK of invading the big-enterprise space.

porruka (Admin) – September 11, 2014 09:51AM Reply Quote
The cat has your pipe.
I'm sensing a recurring need... we periodically (so to speak) return to this idea on occasion, that there is a measurable niche that remains unfilled. Is it time to officially revisit the infrastructure of the past through the glasses of the latest content distribution technologies?

John Willoughby – September 11, 2014 02:42PM Reply Quote
Cyberdyne Systems Customer Support
I'm not sure that the numbers of people willing to PAY for high quality, objective, focused journalism (in any venue, actually) are sufficient to fund said journalism in the quantities and quality desired.

porruka (Admin) – September 11, 2014 02:58PM Reply Quote
The cat has your pipe.
John Willoughby
I'm not sure that the numbers of people willing to PAY for high quality, objective, focused journalism (in any venue, actually) are sufficient to fund said journalism in the quantities and quality desired.

I'm not sure either, but it seems to me there are more options available and more ways to test assumptions than in the past before investing huge tracts of... time.

ddt – September 11, 2014 03:44PM Reply Quote
Historically, there almost never has been. Hard news was, in the modern era, not a profit center (or, really, designed to be). The nightly TV news shows were famously loss leaders, the whole news divisions (foreign bureaus, training, etc.) subsidized by the entertainment shows or other investments. These were prestige items, things the networks could hold up as proof of civic virtue and value; increasing their rep in the public eye was the value more than quarterly returns.

To some degree, also with the news wells of newspapers and magazines. The New Yorker wasn't a profit maker for most of its life. More recently, even during the dot-com boom, "giants" such as Red Herring and Industry Standard made most of their money through conferences (see also: Macworld Expo). In newspapers, ads were the main revenue source (subscription lists were profitable to sell, but subscriptions were rarely profitable in of themselves).

Michael Schudon's "Discovering the News" (http://www.powells.com/biblio/61-9780465016662-2) focused more on the invention of the modern concept of objectivity, but you can also learn a lot about the early days of business models.

The tl;dr version? The idea that a newspaper/magazine has to be profitable or give a good return is an idea that's only a decade or two old, largely due to the buyups of newspapers and newsgroups during the dot-com bubble, when cash was cheap, and their "we need to increase our quarterly" was imposed on a model that was never designed to work that way.


John Willoughby – September 11, 2014 10:07PM Reply Quote
Cyberdyne Systems Customer Support
Granted but, in light of what you say, I think that getting a timely, professional caliber Apple journalistic effort off the ground would require something highly profitable to be a loss-leader FOR.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/11/2014 10:07PM by John Willoughby.

bahamut – September 13, 2014 07:53PM Reply Quote
simple answer jw. porn!

ARL (Moderator) – September 13, 2014 08:25PM Reply Quote

John Willoughby – September 14, 2014 02:05PM Reply Quote
Cyberdyne Systems Customer Support
Stop by for for the Apple news, rumors, and insight; stay for the depraved debauchery?

ARL (Moderator) – September 14, 2014 07:20PM Reply Quote
Depraved but classy!

porruka (Admin) – September 17, 2014 02:28PM Reply Quote
The cat has your pipe.
Cook's Apple, part 2:

Is it just me or is there a marked difference in public aggression?

In Steve's Apple, my lingering impression is that Steve was publicly aggressive; the company itself was relatively silent when it came to competition, market, and well, pretty much everything, leaving the products to do the talking.

In Tim's Apple, my current impression is that the company (as represented by more people in more press outlets) is much more willing to say what it thinks about products, competitors, and markets, and of course, still let the products talk as well.

Am I misremembering, misinterpreting, or actually seeing a change?

ARL (Moderator) – September 17, 2014 07:41PM Reply Quote
The advertising has really gone downhill.

There was some gimmicky tablet ad on TV the other night. Halfway through it's lameness made me think it was a microsoft ad trying to be too cool. Nope, it was Apple.

El Jeffe – September 18, 2014 04:35AM Reply Quote
What a journey.
Anyone else NOW feels that Steve Jobs' "Here's to the crazy ones" TOPS 1984/Mac ad?


I love/d that mean old cancer stricken bastard.

johnny k – September 18, 2014 12:27PM Reply Quote
Agreed, Bill. I liked some of the intro video for last week's event, too, for hitting those same notes, but it had less heart and more defensiveness.

MTK (Moderator) – September 19, 2014 06:04PM Reply Quote
What is Apple's defining characteristic now? It's no longer the creative market. What message could it deliver in consumer electronics to match "1984" or "Crazy"?

porruka (Admin) – September 19, 2014 06:16PM Reply Quote
The cat has your pipe.
I could argue that they still stand. 1984 was about individuality as much as taking down the corporate behemoth. Crazy Ones was about having the balls to leap out of the rabbit... er, comfort zone, in order to make a real difference. Arguably, neither was about "computers"; they were about attitude.

We're seeing Apple.14 in the "What Defines Us" campaign and while I *really* like it, I don't think it has the same resonance as the previous two. Still, you could claim it holds the position of "results":

"We chose our own path, we risked everything, and now we're acting."

Roger – September 19, 2014 07:31PM Reply Quote
It is the creative market, it's just the everyone-is-creative market now. Apple makes lifestyle devices: not computers for doing computer things but tools for doing life things -- at leas that's my impression of how they're trying to position themselves these days. Weirdly the ad campaign that seems the closest in spirit is the old IBM "what's on your Thinkpad" -- they're trying not to be the old-Apple in rebellion against the square establishment but something that works for squares and hipsters alike. Not sure it's working, but that's my impression of what they're trying for.

John Willoughby – September 19, 2014 07:48PM Reply Quote
Cyberdyne Systems Customer Support
Yeah. If my Android-loving co-workers are any judge, they feel like they're the rebels against the colossus that is Apple.

Cloudscout – September 19, 2014 08:05PM Reply Quote
Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær!
I use Windows Phone so I can embrace that underdog culture I enjoyed so much in the old days of Mac.

porruka (Admin) – September 19, 2014 08:56PM Reply Quote
The cat has your pipe.
"We chose our own path, we risked everything, and now we're acting."

Re-reading myself after a few hours, I need to clarify slightly: replace "acting" with "acting on our ideals".

El Jeffe – September 19, 2014 09:25PM Reply Quote
What a journey.
"life things?"
Which app do they make that helps me with my taxes? Grocery shopping? College planning? Career planning?
I mean, really, really helps?
Ok, even a SIMPLE thing like changing a furnace filter. I DESIRE to change mine every month. But if I miss it by a week this month, can Apple Calendar slip all others OUT by that one week delay?
They hardly handle LIFE THINGS.. just distractions.

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