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  1. #9481
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    74,682

    Re: Economic News/Discussion

    Something else to consider with a company like Apple. Unfortunately we are living in a time when there is something more than a subliminal campaign to deligitimize anything that is/was thought of as beyond reproach.
    Apple has been targeted for some time now..painted as tax dodging, cash hoarding weasels living off legacy creative forces.
    They join a group of other first rate companies that have been unfairly painted as something less than. Gibson Guitar comes to mind. As well as oil companies. Now add to that effort a few military leaders. The entire enterprise seems to exist in an effort to convince people that only "government" can solve everything under the sun.
    Its the era we are experiencing sadly.

  2. #9482
    Joined
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    Re: Economic News/Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by jimzinsocal View Post
    Something else to consider with a company like Apple. Unfortunately we are living in a time when there is something more than a subliminal campaign to deligitimize anything that is/was thought of as beyond reproach.
    Apple has been targeted for some time now..painted as tax dodging, cash hoarding weasels living off legacy creative forces.
    They join a group of other first rate companies that have been unfairly painted as something less than. Gibson Guitar comes to mind. As well as oil companies. Now add to that effort a few military leaders. The entire enterprise seems to exist in an effort to convince people that only "government" can solve everything under the sun.
    Its the era we are experiencing sadly.
    I have nothing against Apple's business practices. If they want to horde their cash, that's fine with me. I would give it back to the investors via dividend (which they are now doing, a little bit), if I was the CEO, but I have never criticized Apple for the way the corporation is run. Even the 'sweat shops' in China. That's the way business is. Dell, Samsung - everything is made in China by the lowest bidder. Apple shouldn't be handicapped because they're successful.

    I do personally dislike Apple's products. They go with very tightly controlled technology that is packaged and perfected and sold as apart of a brand. It's not for me, but they are nice devices, easy to use and very popular out there.

    I've said this before, but I have to compare Apple to Harley-Davidson again as a Milwaukeean. Aside from the V-Rod, Harley-Davidson motorcycles haven't advanced technologically since 1950 (that's hyperbolic, but only a little bit). They're selling you a tightly controlled brand-imaged product. Aside from the V-Rod, which actually is a pretty neat bike, I'd rather ride a Japanese bike with bleeding edge technology because the Harley image doesn't appeal to me. Although, I have to admit, the Harley museum here in Milwaukee is really cool, a lot of history and neat stuff in there. They also have a nice restaurant and bar that I've downed a few Fat Tires in. I don't even remember what I'm talking about anymore, so I digress.

  3. #9483
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  4. #9484
    Joined
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    Home
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    6,888

    Re: Economic News/Discussion

    I'd have to disagree with the Harley assessment. They darn near died in the 80s. Their quality was horrible, and you pretty much needed to be a wrench monkey to keep one of their bikes running. They turned it around, and in a big way. They were very fortunate that they had such a strong image, because the crap they produced very quickly fell behind from a quality perspective once the Japanese began playing in the US market during the 70s. It got so bad in the early 80s that our government put a special tax on foreign bikes of 750cc and larger just to make them more costly. If you ever wondered why all the foreign 750cc bikes disappeared one year, largely to be replaced with 700cc models, now you know. In a twisted sort of way, the political reaction back then reminds me of the bozos today shocked, just shocked that fast food joints are cutting worker hours in response to Obamacare, but I digress.

    To this day I tool around on my 1986 V65 Magna, and it still runs like a bat outta hell (in a straight line at least, LOL). I replaced the clutch elements at ~21K, and rebuilt the front fork seals and one of the two head gaskets last year. I also had to build my own foot shifter linkage from scratch when a little 3mm rod broke one day. All in all, it's been incredibly reliable. You just don't see Harleys from that age in daily-driver condition.

    As for Apple, I give them kudos for one brilliant bit of marketing. From the day they released the Apple //, they made deals with schools. They raised a generation of kids hooked on Apple computers. It's paid off in spades. Finding people to pay a premium for an inferior (brute performance-wise) product has been going on since at least the days of the initial Macintosh. They hooked 'em young and built impenetrable walls by virtue of locking out the bulk of third party vendors, which allowed them to offer most consistent operation. It's been a winning formula.

  5. #9485
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    Re: Economic News/Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by myv65 View Post
    I'd have to disagree with the Harley assessment. They darn near died in the 80s. Their quality was horrible, and you pretty much needed to be a wrench monkey to keep one of their bikes running. They turned it around, and in a big way. They were very fortunate that they had such a strong image, because the crap they produced very quickly fell behind from a quality perspective once the Japanese began playing in the US market during the 70s. It got so bad in the early 80s that our government put a special tax on foreign bikes of 750cc and larger just to make them more costly. If you ever wondered why all the foreign 750cc bikes disappeared one year, largely to be replaced with 700cc models, now you know. In a twisted sort of way, the political reaction back then reminds me of the bozos today shocked, just shocked that fast food joints are cutting worker hours in response to Obamacare, but I digress.

    To this day I tool around on my 1986 V65 Magna, and it still runs like a bat outta hell (in a straight line at least, LOL). I replaced the clutch elements at ~21K, and rebuilt the front fork seals and one of the two head gaskets last year. I also had to build my own foot shifter linkage from scratch when a little 3mm rod broke one day. All in all, it's been incredibly reliable. You just don't see Harleys from that age in daily-driver condition.
    Reliability aside, Harley does have the image of the East Rider / outlaw thing and a lot of people are into that. I think Apple has the same type thing. They've always had sharp-looking devices (aside from the Apple TAM - yikes). The new ones are pretty attractive with all the glass and aluminum and whatnot. They won't admit it, but part of the appeal of having a MacBook is proping that baby open at Starbucks and letting everybody see that glowing white apple on the back of your computer.

  6. #9486
    Joined
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    Re: Economic News/Discussion

    Apple was doing fine until it got some real competition. Now that real competition is here in the form of Google and Android, they are screwed until they once again come up with the next latest and greatest product that no one knew they needed until Apple told them they did. Whether or not that can/will happen without Steve Jobs marketing/inventing prowess though remains to be seen. Speaking of Jobs, it's always amazed me that even today at Apple, with all of the brilliant people who are working there, the company seems to flounder without Steve there.

    What's happening with Apple today is reminiscent of what happened 20 years ago with the pc versus the Mac. Sure, the Mac was a great computer, but it was very overpriced and limited to what kind of software you could use on it. The iphone and Ios is similar in that regard to what is now happening with Google and Android. The big problem Apple now faces is even it's diehard users have friends with the best Android phones out there and they are seeing how superior they are to the iphone 5's, and it's getting harder and harder for Apple to tell them their iphone's are better just because it's an Apple. Now we will see if before Jobs died, he had anything in the pipeline that Apple has yet to introduce, or will Apple continue to rest on it's laurels and become the next RIM or HP?

  7. #9487
    Joined
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    Re: Economic News/Discussion

    Apple is #1. The iPhone is the benchmark to which all others are compared. That did not happen by a company with clever marketing selling idiots things they didn't need.

    The Mac computers were never intended for the mainstream user, but a niche market which they dominated - one of which was video editing and graphics.

    PS: I've never owned a Mac or a Lisa or an iPad, iPod, what have you - and most likely never will.

  8. #9488
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    Re: Economic News/Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveW View Post
    Apple is #1. The iPhone is the benchmark to which all others are compared. That did not happen by a company with clever marketing selling idiots things they didn't need.
    Hey whatever you want to believe is fine with me. The iphone is now a dated overpriced phone now though, no longer the "benchmark."

  9. #9489
    Joined
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    Re: Economic News/Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveW View Post
    Apple is #1. The iPhone is the benchmark to which all others are compared. That did not happen by a company with clever marketing selling idiots things they didn't need.
    Quote Originally Posted by kbohip View Post
    Hey whatever you want to believe is fine with me. The iphone is now a dated overpriced phone now though, no longer the "benchmark."
    Yep. The iPhone is constantly a year behind Android phones. The iPhone had a 3.5-inch screen for years. The iPhone had a plain non-HD, non-Retina, non-OLED screen for years. Google had voice recognition search in Android long before "Siri". The first iPhone didn't even have 3G and it took them years to get 4G.
    Last edited by Keven; 01-25-2013 at 09:55 PM.

  10. #9490
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    Re: Economic News/Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Keven View Post
    Yep. The iPhone is constantly a year behind Android phones. The iPhone had a 3.5-inch screen for years. The iPhone had a plain non-HD, non-Retina, non-OLED screen for years. Google had voice recognition search in Android long before "Siri".
    It reminds me of when I bought my Samsung Vibrant in July 2010. I showed it to my sister the Apple zealot, she took one look at it and said it was too big. It has a 4" screen. Fast forward to Xmas last year when I saw her last. She now has her obligatory iphone 5 and she actually told me her favorite feature was the "bigger and easier to see" 4" screen. I had to laugh in her face, hold up my old phone and say "yeah, it's the same size as mine, you know, the one you said was too big before?" She paused for awhile and said, "I guess I just had to get used to it." Nah, you just had to wait until Apple made it so it could be the right size.

    It gets better though. A couple of years ago my wife showed my sister her then new 7" generic Android tablet she bought to use primarily as an E-reader. Of course my sister ignored the $150 my wife paid and compared it to her $500 ipad. My sister went on and on about how the 7" screen was just not nearly big enough. 10" was perfect. Guess who was showing off her new ipad Mini this Xmas?

  11. #9491
    Joined
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    Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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    Re: Economic News/Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by kbohip View Post
    It reminds me of when I bought my Samsung Vibrant in July 2010. I showed it to my sister the Apple zealot, she took one look at it and said it was too big. It has a 4" screen. Fast forward to Xmas last year when I saw her last. She now has her obligatory iphone 5 and she actually told me her favorite feature was the "bigger and easier to see" 4" screen. I had to laugh in her face, hold up my old phone and say "yeah, it's the same size as mine, you know, the one you said was too big before?" She paused for awhile and said, "I guess I just had to get used to it." Nah, you just had to wait until Apple made it so it could be the right size.

    It gets better though. A couple of years ago my wife showed my sister her then new 7" generic Android tablet she bought to use primarily as an E-reader. Of course my sister ignored the $150 my wife paid and compared it to her $500 ipad. My sister went on and on about how the 7" screen was just not nearly big enough. 10" was perfect. Guess who was showing off her new ipad Mini this Xmas?
    That's all of Apple though. They say things are bad until they're good.

    Jobs said in 2003 and 2005 Apple would never make a tablet.

    The first iPhone didn't have third-party app support. Jobs said "web apps" would be the future.

    Jobs said 7-inch tablets were too small.

    Jobs said 4-inch phones were too big.

    Apple says things are bad ideas until they decide they're good ideas.

    Somebody recently told me that Steve Jobs was a modern day Thomas Edison. I said, "I don't know, did Edison say incandescent lamps were stupid and nobody wants one for 10 years before he invented the light bulb?"

  12. #9492
    Joined
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    Re: Economic News/Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Keven View Post
    Somebody recently told me that Steve Jobs was a modern day Thomas Edison. I said, "I don't know, did Edison say incandescent lamps were stupid and nobody wants one for 10 years before he invented the light bulb?"
    Lol.

  13. #9493
    Joined
    May 2002
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    A Little South of Sanity
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    12,925

    Re: Economic News/Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Keven View Post
    That's all of Apple though. They say things are bad until they're good.

    Jobs said in 2003 and 2005 Apple would never make a tablet.

    The first iPhone didn't have third-party app support. Jobs said "web apps" would be the future.

    Jobs said 7-inch tablets were too small.

    Jobs said 4-inch phones were too big.

    Apple says things are bad ideas until they decide they're good ideas.

    Somebody recently told me that Steve Jobs was a modern day Thomas Edison. I said, "I don't know, did Edison say incandescent lamps were stupid and nobody wants one for 10 years before he invented the light bulb?"
    Edison said Nikola Teslas ideas on alternating current were bad and performed some horrific public animal electrocutions in some perverted attempt at proving his point - he proved nothing other than that in some ways he was an idiot that would stop at nothing to get his way. Edison was a great innovator and inventor, but nowwhere near Teslas level of genius.
    Last edited by SteveW; 01-26-2013 at 09:12 AM.

  14. #9494
    Joined
    Dec 2003
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    Obamaland
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    37
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    9,532

    Re: Economic News/Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Keven View Post
    That's all of Apple though. They say things are bad until they're good.

    Jobs said in 2003 and 2005 Apple would never make a tablet.

    The first iPhone didn't have third-party app support. Jobs said "web apps" would be the future.

    Jobs said 7-inch tablets were too small.

    Jobs said 4-inch phones were too big.

    Apple says things are bad ideas until they decide they're good ideas.

    Somebody recently told me that Steve Jobs was a modern day Thomas Edison. I said, "I don't know, did Edison say incandescent lamps were stupid and nobody wants one for 10 years before he invented the light bulb?"
    This is because Steve Jobs is not an inventor. But he was a genius in marketing and design.

    This really shows as since his departure, you can see that Apple is already dropping the ball with the iPad mini and the iPhone 5. Who was saying "Hey this tablet would be so much better if it were half the size" or "Hey, you know what my phone needs? A panoramic screen"? Until now, each iPhone successor has had significant feature upgrades and design changes. Even if they have been consistently one step behind other smart phones, the added feature was enough to get people to buy their crap. Perhaps it's reached a point to where there isn't much they can do extend the artificial life cycle they have created for the iPhone line. Or they're just missing alot of much needed talent these days. Another thing that hasn't changed is the UI. It's the same cartoony look that the original iPhone had.

    Having used both an iPhone and Android device, I can say that iOS is definitely more stable and reliable than Android. I do find Android to be considerably more quirky than iOS. Neither OS is perfect and I think they still have some work to do before mobile OSes are as fully featured and stable as desktop OSes. Which is why I choose not to own a tablet at this time.

    One thing is for sure, if they don't get some real talent to fill Steve Job's shoes. Apple will be back to where they were in the 90's


    As another election draws near; the G.O.P. are yet again filled with a stupid confidence that the they will win the White House. What they don't realize about people like Trump, Carson, and Cruz is that their rhetoric only resonates within an echo chamber, but not the American people. They live in an illusion of falsehood and distorted truth and only seek information and opinions that confirm these beliefs and instantly reject anything that contradicts them because only their opinions matter. Their notion of freedom is freedom for themselves and those alike to them, but not the rest of the country which has changed.
    These are the reasons why the G.O.P is set to lose in 2016. And when that happens, rest assured that they will have myriad of conspiracy theories blaming everyone and everything from the liberal media, to Oprah, to welfare moms, and pretty much everyone but their own disgusting selves.



  15. #9495
    Joined
    Aug 2010
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    Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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    6,027

    Re: Economic News/Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by JustinC939 View Post
    This really shows as since his departure, you can see that Apple is already dropping the ball with the iPad mini and the iPhone 5. Who was saying "Hey this tablet would be so much better if it were half the size"
    I disagree Justin. I was fortunate enough to get access to to the first Samsung Galaxy Tab via work back in 2010. Remember at the the time, other than the weird Archos Android tablets from France, the only "major" Android tablet was the Dell Streak which was this weird 5-inch phone/tablet/phablet that AT&T made you buy a phone contract/voice plan with. So, there was a lot of confusion about why Android manufacturers were dicking around with smaller screens when everybody wanted a 10-inch screen like the iPad. But when I got my hands on the Galaxy Tab, I knew immediately that a 7-inch tablet found the sweet spot between portability with still a lot of screen space. The nice thing about 16:9 7-inch tablets is that you can almost hold it vertically like a phone and type with your thumbs. My "daily driver" tablet-wise is my 10-inch Motorola Xyboard, but I still love and think 7-inch tablets are a great format.

    You're right, iOS is more stable and user friendly that Android. But, that's coming at the cost of increased price, tightly controlled hardware from one source, little variation in hardware and technology that's a step behind.

    The other thing I've noticed - as the $50 and $100 Android smartphones have pushed Android's market share above Apple's, Apple has come out with cheaper and cheaper iPhones on more carriers to combat the Android spread. Remember when the iPhone going to Verizon and Sprint was a big deal? Now, you can get iPhones on tons of super local rural carriers. My uncle has some bizarre backwards super local cell carrier from Northern Wisconsin. He likes them because their plans are cheap and the phone works at his hunting cabin up there. They have the iPhone now! I looked into it at work, and Apple has reached a deal with these rural carriers to sell iPhones for the cheap.

    Which, maybe a good business practice (in fact, it is), but it will cut down on Apple's margins. They aren't making as big a profit from the iPhones anymore. This goes back to the comment I said a few posts ago - Apple has basically peaked and any news at this point will be bad news. They either can accept the position they were with Macs in the early 1990s and hold 5% of the marketshare with their expensive devices, or they can try to compete with Android for market share, and in the process, make no money.

    Nobody is making money in Android, which is the dark secret that some Android fans don't like to admit. Android phones are basically commoditized, and the manufacturers and carriers are pricing them to barely beat each other and the iPhone, so the profit margins are quite small. I've confirmed this myself with some carrier reps in the past and you can look at their public financial statements to Wall Street if you don't believe me. If Apple wants to play the popularity game, they'll have to sacrifice all those profits. That means that their days of $80 billion earnings per quarter are gone.

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