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Portables (Apple) Hardware

Steve Wozniak Predicts Death of the IPod 573

Slatterz writes "Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, better known in the industry as 'Woz,' believes that the iPod is on its way out and has revealed his discomfort with some aspects of the iPhone. Wozniak said that the iPod has had a long time as the world's most popular media player, and that it will fall from grace due to oversupply. Wozniak also commented on the iPhone's proprietary nature and locked service provider, and compared it to Google's open Android platform. 'Consumers are not getting all they want when companies are very proprietary and lock their products down,' he said. 'I would like to write some more powerful apps than what you're allowed.'"
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Steve Wozniak Predicts Death of the IPod

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  • First post (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Monkey-some ( 1178115 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @03:58AM (#25310569)

    First post. damn I feel all strange./joke

    Well who knows ... the hype with apple products is the reason why so many people like it. Usually it's not the "best" technology who gets approval but the one who is used by most people see Windows, we all know that it's relatively crappy but so many people use it that finally it doesn't count that much.

    But clearly android phones are going to be a refreshing new option for the horrible windows mobile platform or the jail'ed Iphone.

  • by line-bundle ( 235965 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @04:04AM (#25310611) Homepage Journal

    I did read tfa. His prediction on the iPod does not seem to take apple's innovation history.

    I do agree with his discomfort with the iPhone. Apple had the chance to revolutionize the cell phone market in the US and flubbed it.

  • iTunes = malware (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 09, 2008 @04:06AM (#25310627)
    I never liked iTunes and thus also not iPod, and that all because ONE TIME, years ago, iTunes was installed on my PC during the installation of other software without me asking for it (or making the stupid checkbox to turn it off not visible enough) and me since then associating the name iTunes with malware. That association has never left my head, and continues on for iPod and iPhone. If everyone would have been like me, Apple would have had to change the name of their brand because their brand would be dirty in everyone's memory.
  • Out of touch (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Philotic ( 957984 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @04:07AM (#25310631)

    I would like to write some more powerful apps than what you're allowed.

    Clearly Woz is not in Apple's demographic. It's been said time and again: Apple succeeds at delivering coherent, easy-to-use products that admirably perform tasks that typical non-techy users require. As long as Apple continues to design the products with that mentality, they will do well. If the iPod/iPhone stops selling briskly, it will be because everybody who wants one already has one, not because an Android phone lets you ssh into your home slackware server.

  • by FilterMapReduce ( 1296509 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @04:11AM (#25310649)

    What I've noticed though is that the people who buy them don't seem to care...

    Perhaps not directly, but over time the Android platform will likely build up a more impressive library of apps written by tinkers and hobbyists who did care. Even non-geek users will eventually notice the difference.

  • by plasmacutter ( 901737 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @04:11AM (#25310651)

    While it may not behave that well on PC, the quicktime/itunes framework on the apple platform works incredibly well.

    Most people outside the PC world stare down their nose the same way at windows media files.

  • by ciderVisor ( 1318765 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @04:11AM (#25310655)

    I can't understand the appear of iXXXX's either. Locked proprietary technology with limited scope for a geek to truly enjoy.

    What I've noticed though is that the people who buy them don't seem to care...

    You answered yourself with the second sentence; iPods and iPhones aren't targetted at geeks.

    I'm no (current) Apple fan and don't own any Apple products. However, from a consumer POV, Apple got an awful lot of things 'right first time' with the iPod and iPhone. They're intuitive and stylish and give you the right functionality as simply as possible. It's like Nokia did when cellphones became popular a few years ago - deliver a 'must have' consumer product that feels right.

    Woz is a remarkable guy, a bit of a hero to me. But he's no consumer product guru.

  • Engineer's eyes. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RyuuzakiTetsuya ( 195424 ) <taiki AT cox DOT net> on Thursday October 09, 2008 @04:12AM (#25310657)

    Woz is looking at the iPhone with engineering eyes, not consumers eyes. It's a strange culture shock to geeks when they find out the universe of non-geeks doesn't work like them. Yes, the API is locked down, yes, it is locked to a single service provider but the average user really REALLY doesn't care. Even if they do know better, they really don't care. It's why McDonald's sales are high. They know a better burger, but they don't care. I'm not sure if this is a problem or not, to be quite frank. But when a geek tells me is a better solution, they're not realizing that "better" is incredibly subjective. Yes, OpenMoko is open, but is that better to me? I don't want to edit config files unless i'm being paid for it.

    Is the iPod going to die out? Sure. Not before moving much much more product in the mean time.

  • Re:Out of touch (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Guido del Confuso ( 80037 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @04:12AM (#25310659)

    Besides, the iPhone already is open, at least unofficially. I can in fact SSH from mine, and have been able to ever since I got it. I am a techie user, and I'm perfectly satisfied with my iPhone.

    I'm sure Woz is sort of conflicted by the fact that, as much as he might want to, it would be impolitic for him to announce he had jailbroken his phone.

  • Not blocking (Score:3, Insightful)

    by utnapistim ( 931738 ) <dan,barbus&gmail,com> on Thursday October 09, 2008 @04:12AM (#25310663) Homepage

    I doubt the iPod will go out of market because of it's limitations.

    All they have to do is see they loose market share and address the issues. I know it sounds easier than it is, but the marketing team that kept the ipod where it is for so long cannot be so incompetent as to not get over it.

    Perhaps a better framing would have been "iPod as it is now is on it's way out".

    That said, I got myself a Sansa e280 instead of iPod, especially due to the iPod's lock-in, so take my comments with a grain of salt.

  • Re:He's a genius (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ShadowBlasko ( 597519 ) <> on Thursday October 09, 2008 @04:13AM (#25310673)
    Not to be a prick, but my Sandisk Sansa does almost all of that, lets me change "collections" and use Micro SD cards, runs rockbox, plays games, and even lets me watch video in just about whatever format I find best (using rockbox). It also cost me a whopping $30. Still cant see what all the iFuss is about, with the exception of much nicer aftermarket accessories due to market domination.
  • They're all going (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kamikazearun ( 1282408 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @04:14AM (#25310683)
    IMO, all stand-alone music players are on their way out. Convergence is the future.
  • by MassacrE ( 763 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @04:16AM (#25310695)

    Apple is in the business, especially for consumer devices, of promoting solutions. This is a big differentiator from the competitors who usually focus on feature checklists and component integration.

    However, someone like Woz is a hacker in the purest sense of the word - he wants to get tools and pieces that he can use to make his own solutions. An iPod he cannot change things on is not something he's interested in.

    But for most people, the fascination with Apple comes simply from Apple 'getting it' - most consumers want to pay for problems to be solved for them, not to be given tools to learn to solve the problems themselves.

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @04:17AM (#25310711)

    What I've noticed though is that the people who buy them don't seem to care...

    The only reason they don't care is because they haven't seen that the grass is greener on the open side of the fence.
    It is hard to miss what you don't know. But should Android or even a WinCE system get a few cool toys that apple explicitly forbids, that green light of envy will start to burn bright.

    I've had a Symbian phone for years. Lots of free apps and developer tools, built in GPS and great touch screen, been around for years... That didn't stop the iPhone coming out either.

    Because the iphone had a cool new interface that no other phone had. But its going to be a tough battle for Apple to keep ahead of the other platforms when they are deliberately excluding software that people want.

  • Re:He's a genius (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kamikazearun ( 1282408 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @04:30AM (#25310769)
    Yeah. But it's not an apple i-pod. And that is essentially what sells an i-pod.
  • by mateomiguel ( 614660 ) <matt_the_grad@ya ... minus city> on Thursday October 09, 2008 @04:38AM (#25310801)
    How can something become not popular because there are too many of them? Can someone please explain it to me? Did cars fall from grace because there were too many? Buttons perhaps? Children, are they not popular any longer?
  • by Edgewize ( 262271 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @04:49AM (#25310851)

    Steve Wozniak is a smart guy but he is, to put it mildly, an extreme "power user". He left Apple to develop a programmable IR remote control ( with 256 functions split over 16 code pages.

    It had programmable macros, scheduled timers, and absolutely no way to label what a button *does*. If the batteries ever ran down it had to be re-flashed via a serial link. It's technically sweet, it filled a niche that Woz perceived in his daily life, and it remains completely unusable for 99.9% of the world's population. (I'm sure it generated some fantastic patents, though!)

    I would trust Steve Wozniak to design firmware for a battery powered car, or to build a lifesaving medical device, or to write a graphical Tetris clone that fit entirely in the unused bytes of a LILO boot sector. But I don't think his opinions on the marketability of consumer electronics are worth a damn.

  • Re:First post (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bemo56 ( 1251034 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @05:00AM (#25310931)

    But clearly android phones are going to be a refreshing new option for the horrible windows mobile platform or the jail'ed Iphone.

    That's assuming the android phones become more trendy that the iPhone, which is no small task.

    Does anyone know of any advertising push google is attempting for the android?

  • by Synjyn ( 1379989 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @05:07AM (#25310955)
    This was a bad move, not only hurt in terms of sales but damaged the Apple brand image, pushing them towards the sort of resentment that MS manage to generate.
  • Re:Out of touch (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 09, 2008 @05:14AM (#25310997)

    Apple's stuff is not easy to use by itself, it's only easy to use the way apple intended it and if you deviate from that a bit ( you don't have to be an uber-geek to do that ) you are in for some frustration.

  • by speedtux ( 1307149 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @05:16AM (#25311013)

    End users don't care about specs, but they do care about functionality.

    Features like downloading and syncing over the air, updating podcasts, shopping at multiple music stores, place shifting, better E-mail clients, and laptop Internet access matter even to non-geeks, and Apple is preventing a lot of that from happening.

    I think the reason that hasn't mattered for initial iPhone sales is because most US consumers are so inexperienced with smart phones that even the iPhone seems like a big step forward and because the only other smart phones US carriers are pushing are the Blackberry and Windows Mobile shit, often with carrier restrictions. But Android and Symbian are going to change that. We'll have to see whether Apple can reverse course quickly enough, because it won't be long before regular users do care about all this.

  • Re:First post (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sortius_nod ( 1080919 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @05:35AM (#25311093) Homepage

    I don't know how you got modded off-topic.

    I have an iPhone 3G and always "umm and arr" about whether or not to jail break it.

    I'll see how the android develops and make my mind up then though. It seems it lacks in a few key areas at the moment.

  • Re:First post (Score:4, Insightful)

    by somersault ( 912633 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @05:46AM (#25311131) Homepage Journal

    The only Android phone I've seen in the UK so far is locked into a T-Mobile contract, so I'd still consider the whole system 'jailed' more than most Windows based or other-OS based smartphones - despite not being quite as locked up as iPhones are.

  • Re:Not blocking (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 09, 2008 @05:55AM (#25311155)

    Your grammar is horrible. Please go back to school or die.

  • Re:First post (Score:5, Insightful)

    by electrictroy ( 912290 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @06:25AM (#25311299)

    What's an "android"? Does that answer your question? ;-) I think the Ipod will be like the Walkman Cassette Player... it will be hugely popular with teens and young adults, then slowly lose market share as other "clones" compete with it, and finally die-out as a new technology comes along to replace it.

    I'm not sure what could technology could replace the convenience of a portable dedicated computer that plays MP3 and MPEGs, but maybe in the year 2020 such devices will be obsolete. Perhaps the data will be directly downloadable to your brain. (shrug)

    Anyway, I don't see MP3 or MPEG players dying anytime soon. The Ipod is safe.

  • Re:First post (Score:5, Insightful)

    by antifoidulus ( 807088 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @06:33AM (#25311331) Homepage Journal
    Wow, your preferences obviously are infallible, so whatever you determine to be the "best" technology really must be the best! How stupid all of us who bought technology that matched our needs were, oh Monkey-some, show us the way!

    The measure of how "good" a technology is cannot be expressed in a vector. Just because something has a lot of bells and whistles doesn't make it "good", and just because something lacks said bells and whistles doesn't necessarily make it bad. Guess what, a lot of people liked the iPod BECAUSE they thought it was good technology. Maybe it didn't meet your needs, but just because it didn't doesn't mean that the thing is merely "hype". Get over yourself.
  • Re:First post (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FST777 ( 913657 ) <frans-jan.van-steenbeek@net> on Thursday October 09, 2008 @06:33AM (#25311335) Homepage
    The platform is not advertised. But the phones that run it are. Right now, T-Mobile and HTC are pushing their version of the Android phone here.

    Granted, it isn't pushed as hard as the iPhone was, but then I didn't really see much Apple-branded advertising here in the Netherlands either. Usually the networks advertises the phones, so right now it shows that T-Mobile has more faith in the iPhone on the short term. But things can change.

    The thing Android has against it is that it now runs on old-school, bulky, ugly smartphones with no real new features. That shows us that T-Mobile is targeting the youth with the iPhone and the business world with Android. But that too might change.

    And don't forget the power of geeks. They usually have some money to spare for gadgets, and they won't stop talking about how great some new tech product is. Some of my friends and colleagues are waiting to see how good OpenMoko turns out, for example. And when "normal" folk hear the word Google in connection with something gadgety and flashy, they will be interested.
  • Re:First post (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Slurpee ( 4012 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @06:57AM (#25311457) Homepage Journal

    If it's a killer app that threatens the iPhone - Apple will make sure it comes to the iPhone.

    They're not idiots - and have been known in the past to purchase applications or provide alternatives if they believe it is needed on their platforms.


  • by Tom ( 822 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @07:04AM (#25311489) Homepage Journal

    Perhaps not directly, but over time the Android platform will likely build up a more impressive library of apps written by tinkers and hobbyists who did care. Even non-geek users will eventually notice the difference.

    Android isn't the only mobile platform to allow 3rd party software. Some of the other ones have been around for many years. And yet, within 3 months, the iPhone and its App store beat them all and left them bloody by the roadside. Some developers are on the record stating that they made more profit in one month of App store sales than they make in a year for other mobile platforms.

    I wish Google best of luck, after all competition is good. But to compete with the iPhone on that level, they'd need an end-to-end solution, where everything from the dev tools to the online shop comes out of the same hands and is readily available not only for the developers, but most importantly to the customers as well. By my modest estimate, the App store tie-in will win out in the end, because it brings developers and customers together. And that's where the rubber meets the road. If Android can't offer something similar, it'll end up like FreeBSD - an interesting curiosity with lots of technical advantages that nobody really cares about.

  • Killer App (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Keeper Of Keys ( 928206 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @07:04AM (#25311491) Homepage

    You're right, and loathe though I am to admit it, Apple are capable of taking someone else's cool idea and frobbing the usability right up to eleven.

  • by speedtux ( 1307149 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @07:07AM (#25311521)

    The iPod just works, and that's all there is to it. Apple got it right,

    I have an iPod Touch and a Mac. There's a lot of stuff that's broken on the iPod Touch: text input is slow and error prone, screen rotation is sluggish and inconsistent, touch gestures are inconsistent, applications crash with fair frequency, the Mail interface sucks, there is no document viewer, off-line support is nearly non-existent, using it with multiple machines is impossible (laptop+desktop), and on and on. Until fairly recently, syncing often took 1/2h.

    Claims that it "just works" or that "Apple got it right" are Apple marketing fluff, not reality. I looked at the iPhone as a phone for my mother (she wants to send SMS and E-mail) and it was just too complicated with syncing and software updates and soft keyboards and all that crap. She now has a phone that really "just works", and it isn't from Apple (or Microsoft).

  • Re:First post (Score:5, Insightful)

    by digitalchinky ( 650880 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @07:09AM (#25311527)

    The ipod will be obsoleted by the humble cell phone. Like it or not people want convergence. Particularly in Asia. Phone, Camera, multimedia, they (we) want it all in one smallish chunk of electronics - it also needs to be shiny and have flashing lights. And yup, the cameras these days are 'good enough' for social networking.

  • Re:First post (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Xiroth ( 917768 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @07:11AM (#25311537)
    Perhaps. But Apple are taking a 'planned economy' approach to the marketplace by limiting what can and cannot be done on their hardware. If they ever are too slow to act or misjudge the importance of a major app - something we've seen again and again in this industry - then the faster adapter(/adopter) will win.
  • Re:First post (Score:5, Insightful)

    by electrictroy ( 912290 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @07:15AM (#25311561)

    Okay well, I got a FREE insignia player that holds 1 gigabyte... perfect for listening to an entire Teaching Company course. And it was free.

    But these little anecdotes don't change the statistics - Ipod still dominates in sales. Many people say "Ipod" in the same way they say "Kleenex" or "Xeroxing" or "Hoovering". The brand name has become the thing itself. Ipod will be safe and profitable at least until 2015 (imho).

  • by gmarsh ( 839707 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @07:35AM (#25311649)

    Convergence is nice except everyone seems to botch the implementation.

    My Sony Ericsson W300i phone/camera/"Walkman" has quite possibly the worst user interface for playing MP3's that I've ever worked with. The 640x480 camera takes horrible pictures even in bright light outdoors, and indoors, it's worthless. It has an organizer, calendar, notepad, task list, etc. but I've never used any of that stuff. I've never run into the need to schedule a meeting on my cellphone, and entering a grocery list or something with a telephone keypad takes way too long. They've even managed to make a calculator hard to use.

    But, the alarm clock is a handy feature and it actually works. I use it on the road, since 4 out of 5 hotel alarm clocks don't work and 4 out of 5 front desk staff don't remember that you asked for a wake-up call.

    So, I'd like to thank Sony Ericsson for creating a fabulous convergence of cellphone and portable alarm clock.

    For MP3's, I'll hang onto my Sansa.

  • by MrMickS ( 568778 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @07:42AM (#25311675) Homepage Journal

    How is the parent labelled insightful? Oh I understand, its the usual FOSS love in. Android will be open and succeed in the same way that Linux has replaced every other OS on the planet. Oh, it hasn't? That would be my point then.

    This sort of post is typical of slashdot in that it shows that there is a basic lack of understanding of the wider world. Non-geeks don't care what XXX is running. They just want it to be able to do what they want. They want it to be as easy as possible to use and anything else is a bonus. Apple get this. In general Slashdot users and FOSS advocates don't.

    Put it another way. There are many digital music players on the market with more features than the iPod. Why does the iPod continue to dominate? Its easy to use. On the Gadget Show on UK TV this last Monday they did a comparative test between three portable video players. One was a the iRiver Clix 2, one the Archos 5, the final the iPod Touch. They had a BBC Radio 1 DJ help choose between them. He went for the iPod Touch despite it not having the best sound because it was the easiest to use and looked good.

  • by jeremyp ( 130771 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @07:44AM (#25311683) Homepage Journal

    Terms like "operating system", "firmware", "proprietary" and, sadly, "crash" became part of common vocabulary to an ever increasing number of people.

    This exemplifies your fundamental mistake. If a normal person finds themself having to use terms like "operating system", "firmware" and "crash" in relation to a telephone or a digital music player, then that is a fail. People want to make telephone calls or listen to music. They do not care about the operating system or the firmware or the ideology of the developers until the phone stops working and then they'll just start cursing it.

    People might be getting more sophisticated and knowing what operating system is running on all of their personal devices, but it's not because they want to, it's because the products are crap and don't shield the consumers from their underlying workings properly.

    This is not new. At the dawn of the phone, people picked it up and a well trained operator listened to your instructions and completed the call. The upper-limit on the number of phones in the world was given by the availability of operators. Now, we are long past that upper limit and everybody is a phone operator - we don't give instructions to an operator anymore - we know how to operate a planet-wide phone system and to patch international calls over different telcos.

    Actually, this example demonstrates preciseley the opposite of the point you were trying to make. The phone operator is still there, it's a computer instead of a person, but the interface between the users and the operator has been simplified to the point where most of us have only the vaguest idea that it's there, how it works or what it does. We just type in the number of the person we want and we are connected. The operator is completely invisible.

  • by mcvos ( 645701 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @07:58AM (#25311775)

    But should Android or even a WinCE system get a few cool toys that apple explicitly forbids, that green light of envy will start to burn bright.

    I'm not saying they don't exist, or that they are trivial; but please specify the types of "cool toys" that Apple explicitly forbid that aren't replacements for existing apps?

    Tethering is explicitly forbidden by Apple. It's technically possible if you jailbreak it, but Apple bans apps that do it, and it's also explicitly forbidden in the contract, EULA or whatever.

  • Re:First post (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Imsdal ( 930595 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @08:20AM (#25311933)

    Many people say "Ipod" in the same way they say "Kleenex" or "Xeroxing" or "Hoovering".

    Two days ago I would have said that you were wrong. Yesterday I had a discussion with my 9 year old daughter. She wanted an iPod. I told her she already had an mp3-player. She looked at me like the conversation had been:

    Daughter: "I want a bike!"

    Wise father: "But you already have a desk"

    Look on daughter's face suggesting her father had completely lost it.

    I tried to ask her what the difference was between an mp3-player and an iPod. Of course she couldn't tell me. That didn't make her change her mind in the least. She ended the discussion by adding "iPod" to our grocery list and leaving the kitchen.

  • by Steauengeglase ( 512315 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @08:23AM (#25311967)

    Regardless of where his position comes from I'll have to take my hat off to Wozniak. Generally speaking, if someone owns stock in a company they would rather stab their own grandmother in the eye than give you an honest opinion about the companies's direction. He has my respect for being something other than a good stock holder/party member.

  • Re:First post (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @08:38AM (#25312083) Homepage

    Woz has always disagreed with apple's decision to cripple the iPhone. If it was wide open it would absolutely sweep the market but for some really bizzare reason, they chose to make it closed as hell and only after much complaining and hacking did they release a SDK. And now they STILL piss in everyone cheerios by killing your app if they dont like it.

    Locking it to AT&T was a braindead move. I have had more problems with AT&T service than anything else. They program their cell towers to not hand off a phone call or phone if you are going from a AT&T tower to a 3rd party tower until the very last moment and that usually equals a dropped call. But wait, it really does not drop because they have to refund you for that. they let the call hang on the tower forcing you to press end. therefore YOU ended the call and you dont get a credit. I have witnessed this behaivoir on several phone models locked and unlocked and it's in their towers not in the phones.

    Honestly, apple has the ability to tell cellphone companies to stuff it in their arse and release it unlocked and unencombered. but for some reason Jobs wanted to give AT&T full control overthe phone.

  • by 0xdeadbeef ( 28836 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @08:40AM (#25312095) Homepage Journal

    Do you have any evidence that the government has restricted any right that people want?

    By "people", I mean ordinary people and not elitist liberals, and by "want", I mean want to use as opposed to want to replace the rightful government.

    The Apple zealots will mod me offtopic, but analogy is not specious. "Security" in this context is always a pretext for "control".

    What has a the increased security of the iPhone gotten you? A crippled device with limited options under an external authority's control, though the security is nonetheless easily defeated by the well informed, thus demonstrating it to be a sham. The security of the system does not exist to protect you, it exists to protect a monopoly of power.

    Listen fanboys: deep down, in your heart, you know Woz is right. You are not your machines. You owe Apple no loyalty. There is good left in all of you, you just need to listen to your conscience.

  • Re:First post (Score:5, Insightful)

    by supremebob ( 574732 ) <> on Thursday October 09, 2008 @08:40AM (#25312097) Journal

    It's people like your daughter that convinced me to buy some Apple stock when it took a dive with the rest of the market this week. Kids young and old aren't going to care that your 401k lost 25% this year and that your new house is now worth less than what you owe on it... they just want their damn iPod's and MacBooks for Christmas!

    If they whine loudly enough, I think that most of them will get what they want.

  • Re:First post (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @08:44AM (#25312153) Homepage

    I want that chunk of electronics to do it's primary job 110% of the time. I have had almost every smartphone made, and EVERY ONE OF THEM fails to be a perfectly reliable cellphone.

    it's great they glued a ipod to a phone, make sure the phone will work no matter what.

    Granted, this is coming from a guy that traded his blackjack for a Openmoko freerunner. so I really am to blame for having cellphones that are not that reliable.

  • Re:First post (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Goaway ( 82658 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @09:03AM (#25312327) Homepage

    the hype with apple products is the reason why so many people like it.

    It certainly couldn't be that they actually make GOOD PRODUCTS that PEOPLE LIKE! No, it's the HYPE. Because you can totally remain popular for decades on hype alone while selling products nobody actually likes!

  • Re:Out of touch (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Corbets ( 169101 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @09:33AM (#25312693) Homepage

    You need to realize that those "advantages" are only advantages from your point of view.

    1) I don't care, as long as I get service. Of course, here in Switzerland, 2 telcos are providing service.
    2) Again, so what? I'm not buying the OS, I'm buying the phone. Your second point here is one that most iPhone users wouldn't even understand.
    3) Ok, this could be valid... but at 200 bucks, the iPhone is WELL below my pain threshold, and not something I'm likely to consider.
    4) Are you kidding? Most of us iPhone users are overwhelmed by the number of apps available. Sure, developers are going to be upset by the apple software rejections, but most "normal" people have never even heard of such a thing, or would see the reason for outrage if they had.

    Believe me when I say that the Slashdot demographic does not come anywhere close to representing the entire cell phone customer base...

  • Re:First post (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Arkham ( 10779 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @09:41AM (#25312815)

    I am a geek, but sorry geeks have no power to turn a market. What turns the crank on a geek != turn the crank on a consumer.

    Geekdom is a leading indicator of future market mindshare. Look at google. When google first came out, everyone used Yahoo. The geeks immediately saw google for what it was and what it would become.

  • Re:First post (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @09:50AM (#25312941) Homepage

    It's got 8gig RAM, plus a microSD slot. Once I put Rockbox (!) on it, I can play flac, ogg, avi.

    I'm loading last night's South Park on it right now, in fact.

    It cost me 59 dollars.

    I'm not so sure the iPod is "safe".

    Only because you think that the majority of consumers will ever care about half of those features.

    I'm betting that far more people aren't even remotely interested in them. I, for instance, don't see any value in any of that stuff for me. Every time someone mentions ogg I roll my eyes, because the vast majority of consumers will never even know what it is, let alone care or be swayed by it.

    As a music player, I think the iPod is very safe for now.


  • Re:First post (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mister Whirly ( 964219 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @09:59AM (#25313065) Homepage
    "Many people say "Ipod" in the same way they say "Kleenex" or "Xeroxing" or "Hoovering". "

    And you will notice that while they may be using those terms, the actual product they are using is not a Kleenex brand tissue, a Xerox brand copy machine, or a Hoover brand vacuum. Just because people call the next generations of non-Apple branded MP3 players an "iPod" doesn't mean Apple will always be king, or outselling everyone else indefinitely.
  • Re:First post (Score:2, Insightful)

    by NeoSkandranon ( 515696 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @10:12AM (#25313249)

    There is a huge difference between the ipod/ipod touches and any other mp3 players, and these are good differences.

    sure there are differences, but if someone can't tell you what those differences even *are* then they have no basis for picking the ipod over any other mp3 player.

  • by jotaeleemeese ( 303437 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @10:16AM (#25313321) Homepage Journal

    Back in the 80s you had many different kinds of PC (IBM and compatible, Apple's Mcintosh, Amiga and several others depending on the country).

    Apple's one was the best, no question about it. Neat graphical interface (against MSDOS or Windows 1.x, ugh!) responsive, fast (Motorola RISC processor against Intel 8086) networked from the start (Appletalk was really user friendly compared to the abominations that existed for IBM compatibles).

    But the IBM platform was open (in the sense that everybody copied it), unlike Apple's, and this created a boom which we are still enjoying (or suffering, if you consider the poor sods that continue to use Windows).

    Fast Forward to today. Apple has the best platform (at least from the point of view of the market share, technically I am not so sure) but they are doing their damn best to lock it (again).

    Google is creating an open architecture for mobile devices that all carriers are ready to support. This will increase the synergies (horrible but necessary word) between carriers, phone manufacturers and application developers, creating many new, exciting business possibilities.

    Open (Internet, IBM PC, TCP/IP) beats closed (AOL, Mcintosh, Netware). Apple is not paying attention and clearly did not learn the lesson.

  • Out of iTouch (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ostracus ( 1354233 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @10:20AM (#25313395) Journal

    "Users do care about openness, not necessarily because it's openness, but rather for the things that it allows."

    Correct, but it would be a false impression to think that "open" doesn't have as much a price as "proprietary". For example all the advantages you listed wouldn't be worth as much if one had to stand on their head, whistling Dixie, while hand-editing files in hexadecimal. As some open source projects are finding out it costs money to gain some of "proprietary"'s advantages. e.g ease of use.

  • Re:First post (Score:3, Insightful)

    by electrictroy ( 912290 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @10:48AM (#25313915)

    Your story reminds me of the Laura Ingalls stories I read. She and her sisters had very few possessions - corn cob dolls mostly. At Christmas or birthdays they got pieces of candy, and they thought it was the best present ever.

    You don't need to bribe your kids with expensive stuff. You just need to spend time with them. Buy less things; work fewer hours; spend more time at home. (IMHO)

  • Re:First post (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Big Boss ( 7354 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @11:26AM (#25314669)

    What makes a spinning metal disc coated with magnetic material so special? Really? They are more fragile, slower, and larger than current flash. 32GB micro-SD exists now. It's a little pricey, but at current trends in the industry it'll be reasonably priced in 6 months or so.

    I've got a 4G 20GB iPod sitting around because the HD died. I'm considering buying one of the flash adapters on EBay and putting a CF card in there instead.

    They only benefit HDs have is price/GB. And that has eroded to the point that current flash players are cheap enough and large enough that it's not an issue for most people. I'm considering the new 16GB nanos, and I currently have a 30GB 5G.

    As for the death of the iPod. I doubt it. I've checked out many of the competition's products. They don't have the simple integration and ease-of-use that the iPod/iTunes has. I don't care about the music store, so there is nothing proprietary about my iPod. Even if I did use iTMS, I would limit my use to iTunes+ for the extra quality and no DRM. And there's Amazon and such if I want MP3. Most users (other than on /.) don't want to deal with directory trees full of music that they have to manage themselves. They want to plug in the player, have the app load up and sync the device to the library. Automatic, simple, easy, brain dead. I actually prefer it as I have better things to do than to organize my directories and remember what stuff to copy to the player. The smart playlists are also a big deal to me. I love being able to do what amounts to a database query to find songs based on almost any criteria I choose.

  • Re:How ironic. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ceoyoyo ( 59147 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @12:35PM (#25316007)

    You know, I find that hilarious.

    Darwin is STILL open source, and has always been, except for a short period when the Intel version was unreleased. But the FOSS people keep complaining about OS X being closed. Why? Because they want to run the shiny value-add parts like Aqua too! You've just illustrated the grandparent's point perfectly, and extended it to the techies as well.

  • Tru Dat (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Illbay ( 700081 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @03:08PM (#25318499) Journal

    They want it to be as easy as possible to use and anything else is a bonus.

    Conversely, you would say that /.-ers and FOSS hippies "want it to be as easy as possible to HACK..." They find it supremely important to be able to break into a given gadget as readily as possible, else it's "closed."

    Funny thing: ever since the first electrical cord was plugged into the first electrical outlet we've been dealing with NOTHING but "closed systems." Someone else above mentioned the term "appliance" as opposed to "platform."

    When I buy a phone/PDA/whatever-you-call-it, I personally WANT an appliance, because I'm an END USER.

    There are people, like my stepson, who love to buy junk cars and tinker with them for months and even years, and get them running again, new paint job, new engine, everything.

    My wife and I, and just about everyone else, just want to get in, turn the key in the ignition and drive to our destinations.

    For years, her son wouldn't even THINK of getting a car built after the mid-70s or so, because of electronic ignition. See, to him, that's a "closed system," because there was no carburetor with which to fiddle. And we're talking a kid who just turned 29 last month.

    Hobbies are great, but if you're going to tell me I can't have electronic ignition becuase you love carburetion, please get out of my face.

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