Thursday, February 22, 2018

“I’ve Only Had Good Years”

Tim Cook (via John Gruber, MacRumors):

Stock price is a result, not an achievement by itself. For me, it’s about products and people. Did we make the best product, and did we enrich people’s lives?


In each case, if you look at when we started, I would guess that we started much before other people did, but we took our time to get it right. Because we don’t believe in using our customers as a laboratory. What we have that I think is unique is patience. We have patience to wait until something is great before we ship it. […] But ultimately the question is, Is the product great? Is it ready? And if it’s not, we delay.

Actions speak louder than words. Cook’s Apple is known for shipping incomplete products late. Was the disastrous MacBook keyboard really ready nearly three years ago? What about the first-generation Apple Watch?

A financial person just looking at revenues and profits may think, They’re good [at making money]. But that’s not who we are. We’re a group of people who are trying to change the world for the better, that’s who we are. For us, technology is a background thing. We don’t want people to have to focus on bits and bytes and feeds and speeds.

Why then does iCloud include such a pitiful amount of storage?

Music is a service that we think our users want us to provide. It’s a service that we worry about the humanity being drained out of. We worry about it becoming a bits-and-bytes kind of world, instead of the art and craft.

The introduction of Apple Music made the music experience worse for anyone who doesn’t pay a monthly fee.

You’re right, we’re not in it for the money. I think it’s important for artists.

Compare the way Cook talks about music vs. software and artists vs. developers.

5 Comments RSS · Twitter

While there are definite issues right now, this seems overblown, or at least you're picking *very* poor examples. The MacBook keyboard was "disastrous"? Hell, I'm typing on it right now. Different, but not disastrous. Likewise the first-gen Apple Watch on my wrist is every bit as good as any first-gen Apple product that Steve Jobs shipped - if I might point you to the iPod (no USB connectivity, no Windows compatibility, more physical/breakable parts), the iPhone (2G when everything else was 3G, immature body design, ungodly camera), or iPad (huge chunk of a device with a clearly "scaled up iPhone" UI). Apple always gets things better on the second gen, frequently dramatically.

Ahem, who knows more about iCloud storage - you and your tech-adept circle, or Apple who can see usage across the entire userbase? I'll bet there's a *huge* number of people who just aren't using any storage and don't care - people who never exceed the second page of apps. Given that Apple makes that first jump incredibly cheap means they realize there is also a large contingent that do need more storage. If you want to criticize the progress of technology, how about how long the MacBook Air lingered, or the 13-inch MacBook Pro (non-Retina) before that, or the Mac Pro debacle, where they didn't so much as deign to cut the price or do annual/bi-annual speed bumps?

Despite the APFS userland bugs Apple has had in High Sierra, from where I sit four bugs I ran into every day with Sierra (including broken Time Machine backups, broken screen sharing with other Macs, and broken Bluetooth audio) have all been fixed. The OS needs to be updated *less* and the hardware *more* - maybe 18 month cycles on each. But to throw this down as Tim Cook being disingenuous or missing the point is itself rather disingenuous or misses (many) points.

@Joshua Perhaps overblown. Cook’s smugness just irritates me. I would think better of him and the company if he didn’t speak to the press. He seems to repeat the same points about how Apple operates regardless of whether recent events actually bear them out. People are less forgiving if you oversell.

Putting aside whether you like the feel of the keyboard, it is disastrous for an input device to have such low reliability. There was a good discussion on the linked-to Talk Show about the stark contrast between the first Apple Watch (slow, probably shouldn’t have even included apps, may be holding back the platform now) and the first iPhone (software features that shipped were fast and polished). I have trouble taking seriously the idea that the first iPod was not ready when it shipped, and I don’t recall any breakable parks.

I think you’re totally missing the point about iCloud storage. Non-tech users are the ones hurt most because their photos and messages aren’t backed up. 99 cents per month is a small amount, but understanding that they need to pay for it and actually going through with it are a big hurdle so many don’t. The regular iPhone 8 costs $699 and, if the AppleCare period and battery comments are to be believed, has a design life of around 2 years. If Apple has data indicating that a large contingent needs more than 5 GB storage and it’s degrading the user experience in order to make an additional $23.76, I think that’s absurd. And if there’s a huge number who only use 5 GB, well, then it wouldn’t cost Apple anything to give them more.

Your comments about wanting more frequent hardware updates don’t seem relevant to what Cook was talking about here.


> Apple always gets things better on the second gen, frequently dramatically.

That's true but then how does it explain why the MacBook keyboard is getting worse and worse with each iteration (not just from a "it feels different" point of view but reliability point of view: dust and other issues)?

> I'll bet there's a *huge* number of people who just aren't using any storage and don't care - people who never exceed the second page of apps.

That's probably true. Yet this does not explain why the default free storage is 3x less than a company such as google which offers this free storage to people who are not even customers but just users.

Adrian Bengtson

"I'll bet there's a *huge* number of people who just aren't using any storage and don't care - people who never exceed the second page of apps."

That is actually a good argument for increasing the free iCloud storage. If a huge number doesn't even use it then it wont cost Apple that much, and it would be a much better user experience for those who do use it.

[…] Previously: Apple’s Lane Tech Education Event, “I’ve Only Had Good Years”. […]

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