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Apple To Face Challenge At WWDC

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the little-engine-that-had-to dept.

Apple 264

Amanda Callahan writes to tell us that Apple's upcoming WWDC could be quite a test for the Cupertino powerhouse. They will most likely be missing Steve Jobs for star-power and have extremely high expectations to meet in order to maintain their edge. Thankfully it looks like Jobs will be rejoining Apple later this month with a good prognosis after facing severe health issues. "The competition is now catching up. Palm, Google, Microsoft, Nokia and Research in Motion, maker of the BlackBerry, are all at varying stages of developing and introducing their own iPhone-like devices and software, along with easily accessible stores for the small programs known as applications, or apps, that run on those devices. In some cases, those companies are releasing a greater variety of phones, on more wireless carriers around the world, than Apple. To maintain its advantage, Apple must preserve the impression that it is far ahead of rivals when it comes to the capabilities and the 'cool' factor of its devices."

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Amazing insight from Mr Genius (5, Funny)

MasterOfUniverse (812371) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226775)

"If they start making products people don't want, and start losing users, then Apple's strategy will run into problems," said Benjamin Reitzes, an analyst at Barclays Capital.

Re:Amazing insight from Mr Genius (1)

KharmaWidow (1504025) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226867)

Yes, and that is likely to happen, LOL. They should get the guy from the TV commercial to MC.

Re:Amazing insight from Mr Genius (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28227501)

TV Guy: Hi I am a Mac. Welcome to WWDC. ....
TV Guy sees cute girl at WWDC.
TV Guy: Hello, I'm a mac

Cute Girl: Sorry Mac. I saw what you were doing with that Camera. Your are just too open and friendly for me.

Re:Amazing insight from Mr Genius (1)

siloko (1133863) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226931)

along with easily accessible stores for the small programs known as applications, or apps, that run on those devices

Do these run on those hand held thingamygigs? Called 'Phones'?

Re:Amazing insight from Mr Genius (1)

cheftw (996831) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226937)

My sarcasm detector is showing giving a very strong reading from your title.

News reporter reading level (5, Informative)

bkaul (1235970) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227187)

We recently had a local news crew visit my place of employment, a research laboratory. Those interviewed were told to explain things at a "7th grade reading level." I think that explains a lot of the inane comments made by people in news interviews.

Re:Amazing insight from Mr Genius (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227219)

He's a banker, you can't expect imagination from him. If he were an accountant, though... they can be very creative.

Re:Amazing insight from Mr Genius (4, Insightful)

RudeIota (1131331) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227607)

"Amazing insight from Mr Genius"

"If they start making products people don't want, and start losing users, then Apple's strategy will run into problems," said Benjamin Reitzes, an analyst at Barclays Capital.

Microsoft
To be fair, everyone seems to hate the company and have nothing but bitter contempt for all of their products... but Microsoft is indeed doing OK.

Re:Amazing insight from Mr Genius (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28227865)

It is better than his previous analyst job of mortgage companies which always resulted in BUY BUY BUY

Cool. (0, Flamebait)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226847)

Because that's the most important "feature" I look for when I buy a new $600 device.

Re:Cool. (3, Insightful)

Rycross (836649) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227017)

A lot of people will weigh the cool factor quite heavily when buying a $200 (not $600) device. For that matter, a lot of people weigh the cool factor extremely heavily when buying cars, which are significantly more pricey than $200. Its why Apple has managed to dominate the market with a functionally inferior (in terms of feature set) MP3 player (and many would argue the same about the phone).

Re:Cool. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28227329)

Its why Apple has managed to dominate the market with a functionally inferior (in terms of feature set) MP3 player (and many would argue the same about the phone).

Perhaps the device itself is functionally inferior (in the event you have things other than MP3s, AACs, or Apple Losslesseses), but due to its exposure, compatibility made my decision for me. As in, for effectively any modern make of car stereo, I can find some way to directly interface my iPod to it. Not through some line-in hack or other "just spit audio out the car speakers" method, but through some interface wherein I can keep the iPod itself stuffed in my glove box (negating the "cool" factor if nobody sees it) and control tracks and such from the radio's front panel. Anything else, I'd have to keep the player out in the open, make sure it's not going to fall all over the place, and fumble for it rather than the radio if I want to skip a track.

The same goes for a whole horde of other "iPod compatible" devices (countertop radios, alarm clocks, etc); they all go through the docking interface, allowing them to control playback in addition to playing the music, and not resulting in a line-in hack that just drags out another redundant set of buttons.

I've seen it said before on Slashdot: If the rest of the MP3 player market would get together and make a single, unified interface and protocol like the iPod's docking cable that allowed control and audio output without having to care who made the device, what model it is, etc, etc, THEN Apple would be on the run. But as it stands now, you have the iPod and you have a bajillion other viciously incompatible MP3 players. Will I be able to get an interface cable for my three-year-old Kenwood car stereo for a Zen? What model Zen? How about a Zune? The no-name piece of junk that came free with my Dell? Who knows? But I can Google "Kenwood iPod adapter" and quickly figure out what MP3 player I'm picking up without hassles or guessing.

Make no mistake, I'd rather have a cheaper MP3 player available to me, but for compatibility's sake, I'm sticking with my iPod.

Re:Cool. (1)

Rycross (836649) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227499)

I don't disagree with anything you said, but part of the reason it became so ubiquitous was because of the "cool" factor. iPods tended to be more expensive and less functional than other players', but they had better aesthetics and a simpler (some would argue better, but I preferred the iRiver to the iPod) user interface.

And of course, I'm making this post from the perspective of an iPod/iPhone user. I use it for many of the same reasons you do (and because I happen to use iTunes for my music).

"Catching up" is the key phrase (2, Insightful)

DavidR1991 (1047748) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226865)

"the competition is now catching up"

Assuming they've kept their edge, that statement is the key: They lead, they don't follow. That's why the competition are catching up to them, and not the reverse. Provided they keep doing that, there is little room for error to occur

Re:"Catching up" is the key phrase (2, Interesting)

s.bots (1099921) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227043)

The Blackberry Storm's haptic feedback was the major feature that sold me on it. I was a staunch non-supporter of touch screens simply because I got no feedback about what I was doing. For this reason I think apple has now lost pace (hardware-wise, at least).

Re:"Catching up" is the key phrase (3, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227099)

Haptic feedback is a double edged sword though. While SurePress did make sure you were hitting the buttons, it decreased typing speed by a lot. While I could get ~30 WPM on an iPod touch, my typing speed noticeably dropped whenever I typed on a Storm.

Re:"Catching up" is the key phrase (1)

s.bots (1099921) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227155)

True enough. If I were doing anything more intense (typing-wise) than cranking out the occasional text I would revert to my keyboard loving ways, but for the time being I'm enjoying the extra screen real estate. Different strokes for different folks, I suppose.

Re:"Catching up" is the key phrase (3, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227735)

And yet the Storm 2 doesn't have that clicky screen. It actually seems that most people didn't like what RIM called SurePress on the Storm.
I have never used it but like everything some people love it and some people hate it.

Re:"Catching up" is the key phrase (-1)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227777)

I was turned off by the easily micro-scratched Storm display, it's cheap feel in general, and the "whole front is one button" sort of thing. If you're one of those text-while-you-drive people, tactile feedback is a must -- it's impossible to touch-type reliably on the iPhone (you can do it, just expect some gibberish). But while the Storm seemed close to the mark, it's cheesy (no offense if you like it, this is my opinion only) solution to touchscreen feedback and its cheap construction, and its lack of wi-fi make it inferior.

My wife's Blackberry Curve is, of course, a full keyboard and little pearl mouse thingy for scrolling around. And surprisingly, I like it -- the interface is snappy, intuitive, clean. I do prefer the font on the iPhone...have 1980s TTY font for everything is a little tough to read on the Blackberry, but it gets the job done.

Re:"Catching up" is the key phrase (2, Informative)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227455)

I would disagree and say that they stood on the shoulders of others and probably paid hundreds of millions in advertising.

There were other cell phones before the iphone. There were other mp3 players before the ipod. And there were certainly other PDAs with touch screen interface before either.

Re:"Catching up" is the key phrase (3, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227465)

Remember, Apple managed to vault from late-comer to leadership in the first place. The blurb is just hand-wringing about things being as they have always been! Competitors are at "all at varying stages of developing and introducing their own iPhone-like devices and software, along with easily accessible stores for [] apps"... "In some cases, those companies are releasing a greater variety of phones, on more wireless carriers around the world, than Apple." That was all true even before the iPhone; Apple was among the last companies to introduce an iPhone-like device! Just as the iPod was one of the later mp3 players on the market, yet became the standard by which others were measured.

Re:"Catching up" is the key phrase (3, Insightful)

EvilNTUser (573674) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227775)

"the competition is now catching up"

Assuming they've kept their edge, that statement is the key: They lead, they don't follow. That's why the competition are catching up to them, and not the reverse. Provided they keep doing that, there is little room for error to occur

That's an amazingly arrogant attitude that Apple would do well to not share. Apple may have the edge in ease of use, but they never had an edge in anything else. If the competition can catch up on designing good user interfaces before Apple can catch up on hardware and features, there is actually very much room for error.

I get that the UI is most important for many, but it's lame to ignore everything else.

Uh-oh, they're catching up! Someone tell Apple! (5, Insightful)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226871)

So the competition has millions of devices in user's hands, a unified and attractive app store, and an established ecosystem?
(And that's even ignoring the music juggernaut on the other side of the coin.)

Which competition is even close to this kind of market?
Not trolling, not flaming, just asking.

Seems like everyone nowadays is granted a writing/analyst position if they can predict the fall of apple, or gloat about the upcoming features coming from microsoft.
(I'm also not saying that competition is bad, just that Apple right now doesn't face any coherent competition. Take Palm Pre as an example... Different hardware models (for sprint and verizon networks), crashy app store, lack of apps, web-based apps, lack of actual customers, and worst of all, predicted shortages at introduction. WhoTF decided it would be a good idea to have that kind of a release against the upcoming iPhone v3?)

Re:Uh-oh, they're catching up! Someone tell Apple! (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227003)

It's pretty important to have different hardware when you're working with two different types of radio networks. Apple can't be on both CDMA networks and GSM networks with just the one phone. Companies with both GSM and CDMA phones can have phones on both types of networks.

Re:Uh-oh, they're catching up! Someone tell Apple! (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227247)

There are Blackberries with both CDMA and GSM radios, they have a SIM installed by Verizon too. Nice for people who live in a GSM deadzone but travel internationally.

Re:Uh-oh, they're catching up! Someone tell Apple! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28227063)

I believe Microsoft has millions of Windows Mobile devices in users' hands, an established ecosystem, and the app store is forthcoming in the next version of Windows Mobile, Android's finally rolling out more phones, so they're going to start picking up steam, since they already have the app store.

And really, fuck Palm.

Re:Uh-oh, they're catching up! Someone tell Apple! (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227095)

just that Apple right now doesn't face any coherent competition

You are apparently really just speaking of two of Apple's "products" though: iPhone and Music.

Great. What about hardware, operating systems/software...? I would think the idea behind predicting Apple's downfall is really just counting how many of their eggs are in one basket, and how close others are at taking that basket.

OTOH, I'm not a fan of "Apple stinks" or "Apple is going down hill fast now that Jobs is gone" comments, either. I also generally dislike the idea that Apple's iPhone is the greatest thing since MacOS... which usually comes from Apple-ite type people. Not to mention that the comments along the lines of "Microsoft cannot produce any quality products [therefore, this new one can't be good]."

/random

Re:Uh-oh, they're catching up! Someone tell Apple! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28227121)

The Palm Pre's app store is crashy? It didn't even come out yet, did it? Plus, your ignorance in saying web-based apps is all it has is astounding. WebOS-based apps are not the same as web-apps. Plus, the "different hardware models" you speak of are based on comparing the current model to one that doesn't exist yet. Its quite possible they'll be the same except using a different radio (CDMA instead of GSM). In fact, when it comes down to it, there's not much more to be different than there was between the various iPhone models. Plus, that music juggernaut looks like it'll becoming an attractive point for the Pre as well. That established ecosystem of an app store isn't invincible. The current app stores aren't failing, but its true, they haven't caught up to the iPhone yet either. However, just because it hasn't happened yet isn't to say it can't happen. Also, I rarely read articles that are trying to predict apple failing, in fact, this is the first. And i don't see many gloating about MS. In fact, I can only recall very few. Most of your rant is using baseless conjecture that is mostly incorrect. You are trolling, you just don't realize it. You're one of those fanboys who just don't realize they are one. I own an iPhone 3G, yet even I gotta call you out on this.

I'm excited about the Pre.

Re:Uh-oh, they're catching up! Someone tell Apple! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28227171)

read mossberg's report on palm's app store.

Re:Uh-oh, they're catching up! Someone tell Apple! (5, Informative)

DeathMagnetic (1365763) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227147)

I don't think anyone's predicting the fall of Apple, but rather just stating the obvious. The competition is catching up. Unless Apple unveils some big surprises next week, there's no denying that the competition is positioned much better than they were a year ago. Apple's in no imminent danger here, but they are losing ground, and rumors about the next-gen iPhone suggest that there won't me any major innovations coming from them any time soon (and no, OS updates to include features the competition already has don't count).

As for the Palm Pre, it hasn't achieved anything yet, much less established itself as an iPhone-killer, but it's a little premature to write it off due to lack of apps or lack of actual customers. It hasn't even been released yet! Most reviews have been very favorable and put it at least in the same class as the iPhone, which is a big step from where we've been for the last couple of years.

Re:Uh-oh, they're catching up! Someone tell Apple! (1)

Orne (144925) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227355)

From my MBA economics teacher, in today's information economy, a firm now has approximately two years to have market power, then the sheer number of other players in the market will destroy the first-runner's ability to lead. There are too many competators that can hire their own programmers and make their own hardware, competing products are bound to arrive.

So, Apple has two choices: innovate or cut costs. What will the iPhone+ be able to do that the current one can't do... err, it already does music, camera, QUERTY, video... what more can it integrate with? Apple introduces email integration, which puts them in competition with RIM, but is that enough? They're kind of up against a wall unless they can think out of the box (again), but MS's Zune HD appears to be leading there with console controller integration, an untapped area.

So, the other option to remain a leader is to reduce the costs; and that's what's Apple [mediapost.com] is rumored to do next Monday, and what AT&T [tuaw.com] is doing on the O&M side to drive up demand. From the article, "According to Gartner, a research group, Apple sells 11% of the world's smartphones, compared to Nokia's 41% and Research in Motion's 20%." --> Apple has a ways to go and their market position is beginning to slip.

But as more competition comes into the arena, they will be able to beat Apply on the cost-side too. Apple needs to find something on the hardware side to expand its capabilities (bigger better faster) or to charge off into uncharted competative waters and make the iPhone compete with someone else's product (completely different: TV receiver? broadcast radio? )...

Re:Uh-oh, they're catching up! Someone tell Apple! (3, Insightful)

One Louder (595430) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227467)

With all due respect, your MBA economics teacher seems pretty clueless about the actual market. Success in the market has almost nothing to do with hiring programmers and making hardware. In the vast majority of cases, it's all about marketing and product positioning, and most market segment leaders have held that position for far more than two years.

Where's the "iPod killer"? Who's displacing Skype? Where's the auction site competing with eBay? Who's coming up to challenge Google, Craigslist, Amazon, Facebook? Some of these companies have been at the top of the heap for over a decade, with no serious competitor in sight.

Many of these folks are leaders because of the network effect of their services - something programmers and hardware can't change.

Re:Uh-oh, they're catching up! Someone tell Apple! (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227569)

"Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach."

Re:Uh-oh, they're catching up! Someone tell Apple! (5, Insightful)

jhoger (519683) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227581)

Yeah in my MBA program they just taught that you need to achieve sustainable competitive advantage, and you make strategic and tactical decisions to achieve that. You pick niches with high barriers to entry, or you find ways to establish high barriers to entry. Intellectual property, brand equity, channel development, etc. are all ways to get sustainable competitive advantage.

Every industry is somewhat different as regards what options exist for doing that.

Re:Uh-oh, they're catching up! Someone tell Apple! (5, Informative)

CuriHP (741480) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227497)

How can you possibly misspell QWERTY? It's spelled correctly on the damn keyboard.

Re:Uh-oh, they're catching up! Someone tell Apple! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28227825)

Maybe he's using Dvorak.

Re:Uh-oh, they're catching up! Someone tell Apple! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28227831)

Well, he *is* an MBA student.

Re:Uh-oh, they're catching up! Someone tell Apple! (2, Funny)

Wisconsingod (995241) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227847)

How can you possibly misspell QWERTY? It's spelled correctly on the damn keyboard.

They must be typing on an iPhone

Re:Uh-oh, they're catching up! Someone tell Apple! (1)

shmlco (594907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227583)

Well... they can always run with the 40,000 applications in the App Store. A rather significant head start on the 12 demo non-native applications Pre is currently showing in their app "store" (you can't buy anything yet). Even beats out the 25,000 or so Windows Mobile apps Microsoft touts as aving.

Plus they have the whole game-integration thing going with the iPod Touch.

Plus binding all of those apps to a larger "pad" media/game/reading device.

And there's that patent that just popped up on middle-of-the-call media transfers (send a pic to someone in the middle of the phone call, listen to the same song, etc.).

But as to killer phone features... my money is on video iChat on the iPhone. Do a video call to anyone with an iPhone OR with a iSight-enabled MacBook or iMac?

Re:Uh-oh, they're catching up! Someone tell Apple! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28227709)

Maybe you should pass the class before you incorrectly regurgitate this shit. Commodities with low barriers to entry see an influx of competition leading to a reduction in profit. However, Apple has monopoly on their brand and can differentiate themselves with features (software) and patents.

Anyone can carbonate sugar water. Why didn't Coke didn't go out of business years ago?

Re:Uh-oh, they're catching up! Someone tell Apple! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28227271)

Palm Pre. Interesting, in that it won't be released for two days. How can you complain about a "crashy app sttore" when the product isn't even in the field.

Verizon. Hmmm. Not going to happen for a while, the Pre is exclusive to Sprint for a while.

Different hardware models. Duh! Different networks, etc. Palm is one of the most experienced when it comes to having different models all running the same OS. and of course you will need different hardware for different networks. If the networks use different technology, you will need different hardware.

Re:Uh-oh, they're catching up! Someone tell Apple! (1, Interesting)

Medievalist (16032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227349)

Without trolling, or flaming, here is my answer:

On February 3rd, 1637, everyone just woke up. And the price of tulips went down the toilet, and everyone looked around and said "why did I pay more than a tulip's weight in gold for this? It's just a flower".

Someday, everyone will just wake up. They will put down the ipods, and pick up pennywhistles, guitars, and harmonicas again. That's just how fads work. Tulips and iPhones will still exist, but they won't be fetish objects to otherwise normal people any more, and so their prices will no longer reflect emotional baggage unrelated to function or utility.

Your perfectly valid reasoning may not do you any good at all if people suddenly go crazy for Zunes, or whatever. I suspect that trying to analyze fads with reason and logic is an exercise in futility... no sane person thinks $100 a month is a reasonable price for phone service, but they buy iPhones anyway. It's probably best just to roll with it and try not to lose your shirt when the bubble bursts.

Re:Uh-oh, they're catching up! Someone tell Apple! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28227441)

There are a number of problems with your logic, but the biggest, most glaring one is that it isn't logic at all.

Also, I think 100 dollars a month is perfectly reasonable. Probably because I have a real job and that number doesn't even get noticed.

Re:Uh-oh, they're catching up! Someone tell Apple! (5, Insightful)

david_thornley (598059) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227493)

Tulips and iPhones will still exist, but they won't be fetish objects to otherwise normal people any more, and so their prices will no longer reflect emotional baggage unrelated to function or utility.

Except that emotional baggage isn't what sells iPhones. It's primarily function and utility.

I am, of course, referring to easy-to-use function and utility. I can use my iPhone for pretty much any of its intended purposes quickly and without hassling with the interface. That wasn't true of the last phone I had: it did quite a few things, but it never seemed worth figuring out how.

The iPhone does a whole lot of things simply and intuitively. That means it has more effective functionality, for a great many people, than phones that are theoretically more capable. Moreover, the iPhone is a lot more fun to use.

This doesn't mean the iPhone is unstoppable. It does mean that an iPhone killer is going to have to be easy and fun to use, and not just laden with functionality and a manual that's more text than the average American reads in a year. It does mean that any iPhone killer is going to be mocked by Slashdot as being lame, of course. Many Slashdotters are quick to label anything they don't immediately understand as irrational and unpredictable.

Nor do I think people are going to discard their iPods in favor of guitars. People have wanted recorded music since it became available (with the player piano, say). People are going to keep iPods or whatever gets popular instead, and quite a few people are still going to learn to play the guitar, because that fulfills a slightly different need. (And my wife still won't let me practice the nose flute in the house.)

Re:Uh-oh, they're catching up! Someone tell Apple! (1)

pitchpipe (708843) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227383)

WhoTF decided it would be a good idea to have that kind of a release against the upcoming iPhone v3?)

Hence the name "Pre"mature.

Re:Uh-oh, they're catching up! Someone tell Apple! (1)

CaptSaltyJack (1275472) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227387)

Thank you, this is exactly what I wanted to say. The iPhone/iPod Touch is in no danger of being overtaken by the competition any time soon... I almost laughed when I read the bit about MS, Palm, Google, etc. catching up. I know this sounds fanboyish, but to be completely honest, I don't have any product loyalty. I use whatever I feel is the best gadget for me and my purposes, and at this point in time, my iPhone 3G does everything (and more) that I need/want in a phone and mobile PDA. Apple has spent far more time and research on user interfaces and usability than the competitors, I think, and it shows.

Re:Uh-oh, they're catching up! Someone tell Apple! (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227683)

Not trolling, not flaming, just asking.

If that is the case, why is your next paragraph a bunch of retarded wharrgarbl?

iPod market take over repeat (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28226875)

According to reports, Apple will have a slew of iPhones from 4GB all the way up to 32GB.

The data/rate plans will most likely also change.

Apple is going to corner the smartphone market from the top down, like they did with the iPod.

In fact to top things off even further, I bet they spun off Rubenstein and Co to make the "Pre" to appeal to the more RIM business type crowd who see's the iPhone as just a toy, not a tool.

The fact that the Pre id's itself as a "Apple iPod" to iTunes for synching may mean Apple is turning a blind eye or somehow involved with Pre.

Oh yea, prepare for a market assault by Apple.

Short RIM.

Re:iPod market take over repeat (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28227311)

The fact that the Pre id's itself as a "Apple iPod" to iTunes for synching may mean Apple is turning a blind eye or somehow involved with Pre.

Ummm, you do know that Blackberries have been able to sync with itunes for years, right? They call it mediasync:

http://na.blackberry.com/eng/services/media/mediasync.jsp [blackberry.com]

Short RIM.

Right. Just as soon as the iphone gets push email, a keyboard, real management features, and real security. Here are the blackberry certifications [blackberry.com] . Who has audited the iphone? Nobody, because it has no security.

Do you think there is a reason senior executives (and the US president) all use blackberries? They could choose any device, and strangely enough it isn't the iphone.

Jobs Health (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28226889)

If you have enough money in America (Steve Jobs-like money), you get the best healthcare and you get to live.

If you don't have money, America lets you die.

What a great country.

Re:Jobs Health (0, Offtopic)

DavidR1991 (1047748) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226913)

"f you have enough money in America (Steve Jobs-like money), you get the best healthcare and you get to live."

Arguably that's the same everywhere, since even national health care (e.g. the UK's NHS) can't afford the bleeding edge cancer treatments, for example. You have to fund those out of your own pocket if you want them.

Re:Jobs Health (1, Informative)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227091)

No you don't. Not in Canada, anyway. They evaluate what treatment has the best success rate vs. the type of cancer you have, yes, which means you won't always be given the bleeding edge treatment, because if one has an 80% remission rate, why go for the treatment with no track record?

Re:Jobs Health (0, Offtopic)

DavidR1991 (1047748) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227307)

Yes, but if a bleeding edge treatment is the only thing available which can keep you alive, you have to pay out of your own pocket to get it (if they're not prepared to pay for it)

Re:Jobs Health (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28227439)

No you don't. Not in Canada, anyway. They evaluate what treatment has the best success rate vs. the type of cancer you have, yes, which means you won't always be given the bleeding edge treatment, because if one has an 80% remission rate, why go for the treatment with no track record?

Not true. New cancer treatments are always in the pipeline, some of them promising. But you won't know the 5 & 10 year remission rate until you wait 5 & 10 years. That's a long time if you're facing death in 6 months.

In Ontario, there are new cancer treatments that aren't approved yet, so medicare won't pay for them. But you can pay for them out-of-pocket and have your oncologist administer them.

Coverage of different chemotherapy treatments dramatically in different provinces.

Also, in case you didn't know, like in most countries, the pharmaceutical industry gives large kickbacks (aka bribes) to oncologists in Canada.

Re:Jobs Health (5, Funny)

LSDelirious (1569065) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227019)

maybe that's why we haven't seen much of him lately, hes been hard at work on a new iPancreas, which will not only produce insulin but will transmit blood sugar levels to his iPhone via bluetooth

Re:Jobs Health (1)

WilliamBaughman (1312511) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227513)

maybe that's why we haven't seen much of him lately, hes been hard at work on a new iPancreas, which will not only produce insulin but will transmit blood sugar levels to his iPhone via bluetooth

I know you're being funny, but they really did make an app that does that. From: http://www.engadget.com/2009/03/17/live-from-apples-iphone-os-3-0-preview-event/ [engadget.com]

Now they've brought up Anita Mathew from Lifescan (a Johnson and Johnson company). Please show the iPhone heart surgery app / hardware combo. No... just diabetes testing. This could be cool.

Re:Jobs Health (1)

LSDelirious (1569065) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227725)

interesting... but the iPancreas will also autopost blood your sugar levels on twitter

executive summary of comments (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28226929)

ITT:

Apple fanboys: "Good health to you, Steve ol' chum!" "LOL the competition are playing catch-up they'll never catch-up!" "I wonder what new wallpapers iPhone OS 3.0 will have - not allowing background apps is such a good idea, you know!"

Everyone else: "$600 for a fashion statement? No thanks." "Hurrr Apple users are gay." "Apple doesn't innnovate, it integrates."

Maintain the impression they're ahead? (3, Insightful)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226943)

If their competition is rushing to follow what Apple's doing by making iPhone-like devices, then it's more than just an impression that they're ahead.

30" OLED displays (3, Interesting)

carambola5 (456983) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226969)

Despite being a "developers" conference, I'm calling it. 30" OLED displays. You heard it here first.

Re:30" OLED displays (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28227009)

Kinda big for a phone
Cool, but big...

Re:30" OLED displays (4, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227259)

Kinda big for a phone

But thanks to the Apple Patented Reality Distortion Field, this 30" OLED display only requires the same space as the current generation iPhone's screen!

Re:30" OLED displays (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227591)

But thanks to the Apple Patented Reality Distortion Field, this 30" OLED display only requires the same space as the current generation iPhone's screen!

But thanks to the Naysayers Open Source version of teh Reality Distortion field, Apple's 30" OLED display is 100% useless to 100% of the world because it doesn't have an analog VGA port.

Re:30" OLED displays (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28227109)

iOLED, yours for a low price of $6999

Re:30" OLED displays (2, Funny)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227251)

Not a chance in hell it would be that cheap

Re:30" OLED displays (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227561)

I'd pay 7k for a 30" OLED in a heartbeat.

Re:30" OLED displays (2, Interesting)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227185)

Last I heard they hadn't solved the lifetime problem for OLEDs. I don't think you'll see them in big, expensive products until they do.

Re:30" OLED displays (1)

Judge_Fire (411911) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227417)

Apple would seriously like to make new displays higher density, like over 150 PPI, as to coincide with finally shipping resolution indepence in OS X. Just imagine the amount of gloating ;) and in all fairness, it would be deserved - it would look damn good.

But RI has proved to be quite a challenge, and any progress made would be interesting to see at WWDC.

PIM tools (4, Informative)

Mr_Silver (213637) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226977)

I'm hoping for better PIM tools. I'm currently using an iPhone at work (I can pick any device so I change regularly) and having spent a lot of time with Windows Mobile I'm missing a lot of its basic functionality. For example with the iPhone I cannot:

  • Sync notes even though there is a notes application
  • Sync tasks, as there is no tasks application (why? it's pretty basic!)
  • Label a calendar appointment as private. Everything is visible to people who have read access to my calendar until I set it on the PC.
  • Set the location of a meeting as free, out of the office or tentative. Everything is busy.
  • Differentiate between tentative meetings and ones that have been confirmed.
  • Snooze a reminder. It either nags you or gets dismissed when you unlock the phone and never comes back.
  • Get the right mouse button to work on an appointment in Outlook that has been created in the iPhone (not sure if that is my work setup as it's very odd)
  • Use something which is lighter than iTunes to manage my contacts and calendar syncing - iTunes is a heavy beast for something which should be running in the background. I never thought I'd wish for ActiveSync.
  • Search the whole device for something. There is a wedding coming up in the next couple of months. Only way to find it? Hunt for it manually.

Now to be fair, I'm probably limited by the fact I use Outlook on the desktop and have no desire to use MS Push (who wants work emails arriving on a weekend?) or send all my data to Google's services - but some of this is pretty basic that even Palm had in when they were king of the world and pushing out black and white V series products.

If they put all that in, then I'd never need to go back to Windows Mobile. Fingers crossed.

Well I can give you one (3, Insightful)

hellfire (86129) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227299)

Search the whole device for something. There is a wedding coming up in the next couple of months. Only way to find it? Hunt for it manually.

That's coming. There will be a whole new search device page coming in OS 3.0. This was explained in the developer preview meeting they had back in march. You can download the video from Apple.com. Unfortunately that's the only thing on your list that was explained in any detail in this developer preview.

Re:PIM tools (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227365)

Fortunately, my only appointments are "Arrive at work" and "Leave work," and I rarely forget either of those.. especially that last one.

Re:PIM tools (2, Insightful)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227541)

I'm hoping for better PIM tools. I'm currently using an iPhone at work (I can pick any device so I change regularly) and having spent a lot of time with Windows Mobile I'm missing a lot of its basic functionality. For example with the iPhone I cannot:

  • Sync notes even though there is a notes application
  • Sync tasks, as there is no tasks application (why? it's pretty basic!)
  • Label a calendar appointment as private. Everything is visible to people who have read access to my calendar until I set it on the PC.
  • Set the location of a meeting as free, out of the office or tentative. Everything is busy.
  • Differentiate between tentative meetings and ones that have been confirmed.
  • Snooze a reminder. It either nags you or gets dismissed when you unlock the phone and never comes back.

I also use my iPhone for work and find its PIM tools lacking. What's worse is Apple has apaprently decided to go with data stores that are not accessible to other software apps; so iambic / CESD / et.al. need to create new data files if they want to create an iPhone app. That probably means no push synch, which would make those apps useless for me.

Of course, that's in keeping with Apple's insistence on total control of parts of teh user experience; which while useful in maintaining the end user experience is very limiting in terms of development in those areas.

As a result, I am looking at the new N95 or going back to a Treo just to have the functionality I need.

Re:PIM tools (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28227547)

If the iPhone doesn't do all those things that you need it to do, and your old phone does do what you need, why did you switch in the first place? Imagine if someone walked up to you on the street and told you "I'll sell you this phone for $600. It does about half what your current one does. Some of your most used features aren't available on this one." Would you go for it?

Apple's is losing its margins (3, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226983)

Apple is about profit margin. [forbes.com] Apple has enjoyed much higher profit margins than its competitors. That's starting to slip as iPhone and iPod prices come down, and the cheaper competitors get better.

Apple's reaction so far has been to raise iTunes prices. Something better than that will have to be done next.

Re:Apple's is losing its margins (1)

rezonat0r (409674) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227071)

They aren't losing their margins on Macs. And really, what company isn't all about profit margin?

Re:Apple's is losing its margins (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28227279)

Dell, HP, Gateway, Acer, Wal-Mart, Target, and Home Depot to name a few.

Re:Apple's is losing its margins (1)

belmolis (702863) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227331)

what company isn't all about profit margin?

The ones that are all about volume.

Re:Apple's is losing its margins (1)

rm999 (775449) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227471)

"what company isn't all about profit margin?"

Economic theory states that in an ideal capitalist system, all industries' profit margins will approach 0. They will make enough money to pay off their costs, employees, research, etc, but nothing else. This is because if company A is making a high profit, company B will come in with a competing product/service and undercut them.

Of course, this isn't entirely true because of several factors, like: barriers to entry (as Palm has proven, spending 100s of millions of dollars to make its "iPhone killer"), patents, and psychological consumer effects (e.g. "oooh, iPods are so cool!"). But still, in highly mature industries much IP, like discount department stores, you will see this in action.

What price drops??? (2, Insightful)

hellfire (86129) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227243)

That's starting to slip as iPhone and iPod prices come down

Ummmmm excuse me? Which iPhone or iPod price drops are you talking about? Since the iPhone was out last year it's been $199 for 8 GB and $299 for 16 GB. I can go to the store right now and see the exact same price.

Apple's reaction so far has been to raise iTunes prices

iTunes prices did not increase. They adopted a variable price method so popular songs could be more expensive during their popular period while less downloaded songs could be cheaper.

If you'd like to be an apple hater, please go right ahead, but please do so with correct information rather than stuff you pull out of thin air. There's plenty of other things about Apple you can complain about.

Re:What price drops??? (2, Informative)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227793)

Itunes prices did increase. More songs are using the upper pricing, while very few are using the cheaper pricing -- even on very old music. Also, I think more of that money goes to the label,than Apple. But calling it anything other than a price increase, is the kind of crap I'd expect out of a politician.

Heh... (5, Insightful)

vjmurphy (190266) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227007)

"Palm, Google, Microsoft, Nokia and Research in Motion, maker of the BlackBerry, are all at varying stages of developing and introducing their own iPhone-like devices."

So Apple, as a newcomer to the industry, is now making others in the same space play catch up to them. Real competition is a good thing. Definitely Palm, MS, Nokia and RIM had more than enough time and expertise to make a iPhone like device before Apple did, yet they didn't. So now they get to play catch up. I hope they do create real iPhone killers, because it then puts Apple on the spot to improve.

Re:Heh... (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227129)

Time != Expertise/"Innovation"/Good Design. :)

Re:Heh... (2, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227209)

Definitely true. Palm should have had an iPhone, 2 years before iPhone. Instead they gave up much of their touch-screen real estate to a chicklet keyboard, and other established advantages, to build a blackberry clone. Big mistake on their part.

Re:Heh... (1, Insightful)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227145)

By "iPhone-like devices," they usually mean "thing with no actual keyboard." I don't want one like that. I like physical keys. Because they actually work. You've always been able to get apps by searching around a bit for Windows Mobile based phones, and probably for others as well, so the App Store idea is just collecting and monetizing them. Frankly, an iPhone isn't that special, beyond the large touch-screen. Everything about it had been done before in one manner or another. Apple just gathered it in to one place and shellacked it. I will grant they did it well, and it's pushing other companies to include greater number of features, but does a phone really NEED an accelerometer? How about we start getting phones with a good vibrate feature so that I can feel it while it's on my belt?

Re:Heh... (1)

tholomyes (610627) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227533)

I like physical keys. Because they actually work.

Except that physical keys can physically break, too.

You've always been able to get apps by searching around a bit for Windows Mobile based phones, and probably for others as well, so the App Store idea is just collecting and monetizing them.

Nah, you've always been able to pay for apps for Win Mobile. So, it's not about monetizing. The biggest problem I found when looking for Win Mobile apps was that it even if you did manage to find the ad-filled webpage that had the file, there was generally no way to distinguish, say, two SSH clients from one another, so you just have to install them both and hope that one of them doesn't fuck up your phone.

Re:Heh... (1)

shmlco (594907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227619)

"How about we start getting phones with a good vibrate feature so that I can feel it while it's on my belt?"

Now be honest here. Is that REALLY why you want a better vibrator????

Re:Heh... (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227599)

So Apple, as a newcomer to the industry, is now making others in the same space play catch up to them.

Right, and I think that's why the news media is demanding (wrongly) that Apple blows the door of the hinges at WWDC. They saw Apple go from nothing to an industry leader (in the mobile industry) in the space of a year or two, and they're thinking to themselves, "How can Apple keep that pace up?! They're definitely going to falter!" Bu the truth is Apple doesn't need to keep that pace up. All they have to do is release solid updates that will fix some of the problems people have with their products, throw in a couple of new good features, and continue to win converts.

First time poster, long time reader (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28227079)

If Apple does not release a new version of the iPhone at this conference, or soon there after I think it will be a mistake.
I think they're going to have to stay on the one new version per year schedule to remain "on top" in the phone market.

A crippled phone imho (3, Insightful)

VMaN (164134) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227133)

Multitasking, a memory card reader and installing non apple approved apps.

Features that apple COULD implement tomorrow, but won't.

That's why I'm rockin' android and will never buy an iphone in its current crippled state.

A real shame, as the device definetly has potential. It's not about hating apple, it's about hating that locked down feeling. That is probably not an issue for most people out there, but for me they are dealbreakers.

Re:A crippled phone imho (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28227421)

For me lack of memory card reader keeps me from buying the iphone and other apple products. Something that I used about 10 times a day for transferring photos and music, booting off backtrack and other distro's without having to leave a USB stick poking out of my laptop etc.

Re:A crippled phone imho (5, Insightful)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227759)

Multitasking, a memory card reader and installing non apple approved apps.

So you would be willing to sacrifice stability, security of your data? If you don't care about stability and the risk for malware, you can always jailbreak your phone and install that kind of crap yourself. A memory card reader? So I take it that you don't use picture software like Picassa or iPhoto to organize your photos? You are aware that the iPhone has 8-16 and potentially 32 GB of storage in the new models built in?

Features that apple COULD implement tomorrow, but won't.

They won't because they are interested in serving the majority of customer's needs rather than serving niche concerns at the expense of security and stability as well as battery life.

That's why I'm rockin' android and will never buy an iphone in its current crippled state.

A real shame, as the device definetly has potential. It's not about hating apple, it's about hating that locked down feeling. That is probably not an issue for most people out there, but for me they are dealbreakers.

Good for you. Have fun with your device of your choice but you should realize that your expectations are part of a small niche and most people just want a device that works well on a consistent basis.

Catching up? Hah! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28227169)

Most non-iphones have a very important characteristic: the OWNER of the phone CONTROLS the phone.

With the iphone, APPLE CONTROLS THE PHONE, not the owner. Trying to do something not blessed by Apple? Sorry, might get disabled at any time. The iphone owner doesn't really own it, they're just renting the Apple Experience(TM).

Non-iphones can do other cool things, like the revolutionary CUT & PASTE technology. Or MMS, which has been available on non-iphones for what, a decade?

Call me when Apple starts to catch up with the rest of the smartphone market.

Re:Catching up? Hah! (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227475)

Call me when the market starts caring. No, seriously, you have to give it to Apple and its talent for making people take that sort of shit.

Re:Catching up? Hah! (1)

david_thornley (598059) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227563)

Most non-iphones have a very important characteristic: the OWNER of the phone CONTROLS the phone.

You're not from the US, are you?

I can see a Disney movie from this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28227221)

The Emperor's New Poop!

That's a nice opinion, but... (1)

Alakaboo (171129) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227265)

...really, Apple has been doing just fine without Steve Jobs, and the iPhone is so popular that they can probably phone in (no pun intended) the 3.0 update and be set for another six months or more. Apple isn't in jeopardy of losing a significant number of customers to Palm until the bugs are worked out in webOS and their app store is fleshed out. RIM needs to hurry the Storm 2 along and from what I gather their app store needs some time as well.

That being said, I don't think Apple is going to phone it in. They've been quite prolific these past 10 years or so and I've seen no evidence of that changing any time soon. I expect to see a cheaper iPhone with beefier hardware and a reduced rate plan in the next few weeks (not necessarily at WWDC), and I expect to see Core i5 iMacs and Snow Leopard by Fall. Incremental improvements, to be sure, but enough to stay competitive.

WWDC (-1, Offtopic)

iamhigh (1252742) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227371)

What Will Dickheads Conceive? IDK.

Cool Apples need to prevail. (0)

slack_justyb (862874) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227411)

1) It's good to hear that Steve Jobs is doing well. Being ill sucks butt and I wish for everyone to live happy and healthy lives.

2) Apple's cool factor needs to be maintained if they wish to continue to have a business. Apple has pushed themselves into the corner that they are now in. Consumers, of the non-slashdot variety, will drop crap like it's hot once it stops doing it's primary function which, with Apple, is being cool. The app store is great and all, but they need killer apps on the iPhone that will make users want to buy it again, since they'll loose their first purchase once they switch to a new iPhone 3.14152G.

3) I would be willing to bet that Apple too has its head in the clouds. With the iWork.com site and the increase in how much they push how readily connected you are with the iPhone, I'd bet my two cents that they crossover at some point offering cloud services delivered via the iPhone's 4.9G's cool new aqua-cloudUI that makes it so slick to use cloud services.

4) It's a shame that the app store sells binary programs. With everyone coming to the table with their own "app" store you're going to get a ton of fragmentation.

wait a second... Wasn't this how computing was back in the 60's? Basically, some piece of software wouldn't run on a different vendor's hardware so you had to buy the vendor's hardware? Is it just me or are we just setting ourselves up for another Microsoft inquisition and vague promises of software for every machine not just one machine?

Event sold out for months... (1)

yogibaer (757010) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227485)

... so the only challenge will be crowd control. Hundreds of people playing musical chairs for every major keynote and standing in line for everything from food to toilets. Maybe another 10.000 iPhone Apps. Maybe finding a bigger vault for all the cash... They are on a roll and although nothing lasts forever, this is not likely to stop any time soon.

Captain Obvious and the sarcasm gang (3, Funny)

CHK6 (583097) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227587)

Wow what a horrid technology article. First it informs the readers that RIM is the maker of the BlackBerry (you don;t say!) and that programs are applications also known as "apps"(yet another shocker to me). Then the whole article is about how Apple faces competition from rivals ( I can only muster a blank stare at this moment). Was this article written at an airport terminal before boarding? Wow, what impressive journalism the NYTimes has. They assembled what has to be the best crack team of reporters in the business. Digging deep and bringing the public the most obvious and non-news worthy information to the masses.
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