3 Nov 2014

Apple vs The Rest

With the recent conclusion of consumer tech product launches from new smartphones to smartwatches, from phone as big as tablets to tablets as large as laptops, the usual argument since probably 2010 still split the views of many.

Apple vs the Rest.

Source: wikipedia.org

#Personal Computer

Believe it or not. Apple has been fighting this "litigation" almost ever since their inception. They started off with the "Big Blue" (IBM) and they have tackled the space where some thought as impossible as landing a man on the moon then, “Personal Computer” which today we just simply call it as PC.

Then with Microsoft. Based on my limited understanding of what really happen then, I have to say "innovation" probably dominates the era when PC started penetrating our household.

Some define innovation as a new word of creative piracy or photocopying. Others may argue that without innovation, technological advancement might takes much longer than what we would expect.

One quote from Steve Jobs then imprints in my mind during the tussle between Apple and Microsoft is this... "In order for Apple to win, Microsoft doesn't has to lose. Apple has to do it's best and if Microsoft wants to do badly, it's a big help to Apple..." Of course that was spoken when Steve Jobs went back to Apple (and became the iCEO and started the famous "i" prefix) and has to literally "beg" Microsoft to invest in Apple to sustain the company. Probably a very brave decision but truth be told, it's probably (the only option) and the move that saves Apple Computer, then.

We thought that might be the end of the rivalry between them and how glad are we that it isn't over. Because of that rivalry, it might have given us Windows XP. Apple OS 9. Longhorn (Windows Vista). Apple OS X (10). Tiger. Leopard. Lion Many cats. Windows 7. PowerPc. Macbook. Laptops. Netbook. iMac. Ultrabook, etc... If innovation was blocked or heavily regulated, we might still see command prompt in our PC today! And probably still running Windows Me in our office.

Source: Apple.com

#Portable Music Player

Then Apple went on to do something else. iPod. What's that? (if we were in 2001). Portable music player if you want to know. Apple claimed that you can fit your entire music collection (then) in an iPod. So it was against the giant from the east who created the word Walkman which has a household penetration of almost 100% in my mind? :)

Yes... In the word of Steve Jobs, "connecting the dots looking backwards..." they didn't just change how people listen to music. They have changed the whole music industry. And it's just started to heat up! Apple didn't just added "iPod" in the Webster Dictionary, they have also influenced the creation of words like Podcast, Vidcast, Livestream, etc...

Walkman didn't put on much fight in my opinion. They might be too complacent with what they have (as a company - TV, Playstation, etc...). They might not even see it coming!

Source: Medium.com


Then come the phone. Steve Jobs said they want to "reinvent the Phone!". That's when they launch their most guarded secret and mother of all consumer products that kick off another round of rivalry. If you remember, that "phone" first of all doesn't even comes with 3G which most of the "smarter" phones have and they even haven't finalise the patent of the word "iPhone". Oh, did I mention that "copy & paste" is not possible? That's pretty daring move to launch a phone that they said is smarter and more user friendly than any other phone!

Again, Apple didn't came up with the idea of a "smartphone". Long before then we have phones that are smarter than the normal "candy" phone. Remember Palm phone? Maybe you heard of Nokia Communicator? If those you have not heard of, I'm sure you have heard of another "fruit" brand. Research in Motion's (RIM) - Blackberry.

Yeah... Those were the smarter phones then. But to Apple's recollection during their iPhone launch event in 2007, they aren't smart enough. And not user friendly. And all those has one commonality - they all have a fixed keyboard.

To be fair, watching that live product introduction was quite an experience. It's like watching Canon launching their first "consumer" Digital SLR (DSLR) camera - EOS300D when everyone else are still shooting with film. Or like watching Andre Agassi walking into tennis courts with his rugged looking shirts matched by his long hair back in those days when tennis players were like nerds on courts. (no offense - Pete Sampras is still my idol back in that era)

Before I've got sidetracked, let's get back to Apple. The launch of iPhone in 2007 in my opinion has started another wave of "fan-atism" between Apple and the rest. To my recollection, it was then the first consumer tech product that created a whole range of new industries.

For once, the "accessories ecosystem" has grew bigger. I've not seen phone cases created in such colour vibrancy and quantity and cost as much as another phone. And what type of phone can influence a case maker to make it as a taser!

Then came the Apps store. A new generation of developers have just been created. It was probably the first time that even a young kid (10-ish) can call themself apps developer and make money beyond their means!

And not forgetting, the queue lines. People actually queue for Apple products, days or even weeks before the sales start date. And it even created a new industry out of it. Professional Queue-r; you pay money for people to queue for you. Some even took it to another step. Because the queue get so much media attention, obviously selling Ads (with the branding on their T-Shirts) has become a norm.

Source: Cnn.com

# The Apple Prophecy

With all the above, when there are love naturally there will be hate. And Apple has been the target of all these haters for whatever reason you can think of. They even put a "gate" on each of the issue that came out of Apple!

Remember Antennae-gate?

The "hate" has gone from being personal to being "commercial". Some companies even made TV ads out of it! (ahh Hemmm...)

From these, I have to conclude. After analysing many, many hours of videos and reading countless threads on forums and news. I came into this conclusion.

Apple fans LOVE products made by Apple and sometimes over proud of owning one. The rest just HATE Apple regardless of what they do.

Maybe the non Apple fans wasn't prominent enough back in the 80/90's. With the backing of Google and the financial might (and commercial courage) of companies like Samsung and Microsoft, I can safely say the fight between Apple vs the Rest will continue for years to come. Maybe until Apple stop making great products. Maybe until another "Apple" in born.

Until then, living in the digital era we are loving the rivalry! Apple vs the Rest.