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Why Apple Is So Sticky

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the it's-the-candy-dip dept.

Businesses 595

Hugh Pickens writes "'Sticky,' in the social sciences and particularly economics, describes a situation in which a variable is resistant to change. For websites or products it usually means that visitors or customers keep coming back for more. Now Fortune Magazine reports on an analysis by Deutsche Bank's Chris Whitmore on what makes the (iTunes-based) iPhone-iPod-iPad platform so sticky and why it's going to get harder, not easier, for Apple users to switch, no matter what Google and the rest of Apple's competitors have up their sleeves. Whitmore says the investment Apple's customers have made in content for those devices in terms of apps, videos, and music purchased at the iTunes Store creates Apple's 'stickiness.' Apple has an installed base today of about 150 million iTunes-dependent devices that could grow to more than 200 million by the end of 2011. Whitmore comes up with a cumulative investment in those devices of about $15 billion today, growing to $25 billion by the end of next year. 'This averages to ~$100 of content for each installed device,' Whitmore writes, 'suggesting switching costs are relatively high (not to mention the time required to port). When Apple's best-in-class user experience is combined with these growing switching costs, the resulting customer loyalty is unparalleled.'"

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595 comments

It's because (0, Flamebait)

ScottySniper (1699386) | more than 4 years ago | (#32399974)

They're covered in cum. What? Were you expecting something FUNNY?

Re:It's because (0, Troll)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402426)

Flamebait? Funny? This should be informative. I mean, who here hasn't met an Apple fan so excited about getting some new Apple device that he blows his load the moment he gets to touch it for the first time?

The question is (4, Insightful)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400016)

Why is Slashdot so stuck on Apple?

Re:The question is (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32400166)

News for Apple. Stuff that Apple.

Re:The question is (2, Funny)

hack slash (1064002) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402176)

Mmmm, stuffed apple...
/Homer

Re:The question is (-1, Flamebait)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400194)

Because talking about any other kind of computer isn't cool to non-nerds. Having a Mac is cool to non-nerds. Kind of like having a bunch of IRC friens or ICQ contacts in 1999 made you super lame, but having a gazillion Facebook or MySpace friends makes you super bad-ass and kew'. Basically, its a way to be less of an outcast without having to change any fundamental behavior. At least, I think that's what it is.

Re:The question is (1, Troll)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402458)

I'm sure apple nerds like to think they aren't nerds.

But they are... they're just nerds in turtle necks.

Re:The question is (0, Redundant)

NPerez (930539) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400202)

Apple makes computers.

Re:The question is (0, Flamebait)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402220)

Apple only makes computers as long as the story isn't about overworked, stressed employees killing themselves. Then, some third-party in China makes computers and Apple is just an innocent customer.

Re:The question is (1, Interesting)

oztiks (921504) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402648)

Apple makes computers.

No, Apple re-brands a bunch of existing technology and sells it.

The making of the computers is reserved for the many vendors Apple utilizes.

Apple is akin to Virgin but for computing/technology. I believe if Virgin decided to start selling computers it would quite easily eat in to the Apple market-share.

Re:The question is (5, Insightful)

painandgreed (692585) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402592)

Why is Slashdot so stuck on Apple?

Because they're the ones moving forward and being creative in the computer field with regards to consumer computers while everybody else is just following their lead? Microsoft is creating vaporware tablets to compete with the iPad. Android and the idea around it came out a year after and probably because of the iPhone and the design of its OS. HP is scavenging Palm for their own Apple inspired tablet rather than going with Windows. Things are changing as people are getting used to owning smart phones and being online just about anywhere they are located. This wasn't a feature advancement as my phone years before the iPhone could also (technically) go online, but the iPhone OS was the one that made it actually work like a browser and easy to do for the general public.

Re:The question is (5, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402738)

Because of the limitations and lockdown they're also trying to move the field backwards in many ways. Personally I'm damn glad Google and Android are at least shaking things up and providing a little competition, as even though Apple does some things very well, I don't think I like where they're "moving the industry forward" to.

Re:The question is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32402726)

I am really tired of these types of posts. They're always from registered users, who have the ability to change their preferences to remove Apple stories from their feed with a couple of mouse clicks. Why write a whiny-assed reply (which takes a minimum of 20 seconds) instead of changing your preferences?

Frist Psto (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32400018)

Frist Psto

itunes store is no good (-1, Offtopic)

snowboardin159 (1744212) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400022)

i for one would NEVER buy a song or anything from the itunes store, why would anyone? $1 for a song??? u kidding me?? p2p ftw

Re:itunes store is no good (0, Troll)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400112)

Yes, stealing is always a better idea than actually paying.

You're an idiot.

You are the idiot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32402328)

It's NOT stealing, you dumbfuck niggerdick-sucking corporate shill.

You are the idiot. GP is practicing goodthink. "Take whatever you can for as long as you can" is good enough for your beloved corporate masters, and it's good enough for GP, as well.

All hail greed, LORD and SAVIOUR of the modern world. Look upon what avarice has wrought, rejoice and be glad.

They don't want to admit they're wrong (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32400028)

Apple's fanboys have always been "sticky" because they don't want to admit they're dupes. If they did, they'd have to admit they were stupid to buy something that costs twice as much and does half as much. Instead, they go out and pay twice as much for Apple's next piece of junk, and insist that it's better, even though it, too, doesn't do as much or as well as its competitors. This is exactly the same premise that most con artists use.

Apple "It Just Works" (1, Insightful)

hazmat2k (911198) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400038)

Apple's continued success is mostly due to the fact that it all just works. Why would your average Joe Sixpack and his Mom want to switch to another product that is potentially harder to use? It's the Apple / iTunes ecosystem that is a major drawcard for your average consumer. iTunes being a one stop shop for Music / Apps / Updates / Synching etc

Re:Apple "It Just Works" (5, Insightful)

Cylix (55374) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400198)

I reject this statement because it is fundamentally not true.

Case in point, the iTunes interface is not intuitive and neither are many of the features. I'm not alone in this belief and I've seen many a novices confused by it. However, people eventually do learn to navigate it.

The same goes for the ipod interface. Thankfully my nano is rock box compatible and I was able to install something that was a bit easier to sync my music with.

I pretty much find all of their interfaces confusing and I really don't have the desire to learn them. Good news is that there are many alternatives on the market.

Re:Apple "It Just Works" (4, Informative)

Alphathon (1634555) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402384)

Agreed. I dislike most Apples interfaces. They certainly look clean which makes people think they're simple, but once you get into it they aren't any more intuitive than most Windows programs (and a lot less than some). The iPod I like (click wheel version I mean, not iPod Touch) but I dislike their OSs UI and the iPhone/iPod Touch UI. I use iTunes on Windows because I have an iPod, but wouldn't out of choice (there may be iTunes alternatives that work with iPods but I am yet to find a good one...next music player I get won't be an iPod anyway) and the UI works well enough, but is far from intuitive. The only other Apple software I use is Safari, which I use for testing websites and nothing more. That said, I am fairly familiar with a lot of Mac stuff since my dad (who I work with) uses one and I am essentially the administrator (I fulfill the role of "tech guy", among other things). Some of their stuff does "just work" but much of it doesn't, and is not really any better than Windows programs (some are good, some aren't). Even as a Mac guy, my dad doesn't use a lot of Apple software beyond small widgets (calculator, stickies etc) and the email app.

Re:Apple "It Just Works" (1)

Cylix (55374) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402428)

aTunes was the name of the software I previously used to use before replacing the OS.

It's fairly straight forward and it's fairly easy to create a selection to sync. I'm not wholly sure how the development has gone, but they may have made it entirely strange by now.

I would really just recommend seeing if rockbox supports your model. I'm afraid I really just enjoy drag and drop for the simplicity of it all.

Re:Apple "It Just Works" (3, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402478)

That's not entirely true. Last I checked Apple had requirements that standardized a lot of the interface components. With Windows it can be quite unpredictable as to where exactly you find a given option, even if you stick with MS' own software it's hardly a no brainer. Or in other words nobody seems to do a particularly good job of it.

Re:Apple "It Just Works" (3, Informative)

Peach Rings (1782482) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402398)

I think you're too kind to itunes. It's not a matter of intuitiveness, the software just sucks, period. With a hundred million devices, most of those users are going to be on Windows. And the Windows version of itunes carries along the ridiculously out-of-place Cocoa look and feel. Why anyone considers that acceptable (and why Apple thinks it's a good idea) is baffling to me.

Re:Apple "It Just Works" (1, Informative)

crmarvin42 (652893) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402634)

Why anyone considers that acceptable (and why Apple thinks it's a good idea) is baffling to me.

For the same reason that the majority of software written for PC and then back ported to Mac kept the windows look and feel. It is far easier if all versions of your app look as identical as possible.

Re:Apple "It Just Works" (0, Troll)

Kryptonian Jor-El (970056) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402406)

The same goes for the ipod interface. Thankfully my nano is rock box compatible and I was able to install something that was a bit easier to sync my music with.

I call bullshit on this one. Was hooking your USB cable into your nano too hard for you or something? Honestly tho, you drag your mp3s to the iTunes window, and you hook the iPod in. I can only imagine it being easier if the music was beamed directly into my brain.

I pretty much find all of their interfaces confusing and I really don't have the desire to learn them. Good news is that there are many alternatives on the market.

It all makes sense to me. You can sort by artists, songs, genres, playlists... what more do you want? Song length? (I think iTunes will do that, but not the iPods, so you got me there) My million dollar question however is: if you cant stand the iTunes/iPod software, why the hell did you buy an iPod??

Re:Apple "It Just Works" (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402482)

Yes, if you want to copy all your music or have it sorted by albums and only want to copy full volumes. Or you don't mind copying the entire directory and hope it gets properly updated. The fact that something is simple doesn't mean that it's easy to use or a wise design decision. iPods always had an issue with having to see what music was on the player every time you turned it on. Basically because they allowed you to copy music directly the player didn't really know whether there was new music without checking. Not that the alternative of using a special program is great, but it doesn't have that issue.

Re:Apple "It Just Works" (0, Offtopic)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402488)

Whoosh

Re:Apple "It Just Works" (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402552)

Yep. My brother gave me his ipod touch a few days ago.

I had been trying to figure out how to sync music, videos, change the volume, fast forward, etc. Once I figured it out, it is easy to remember, but it is not very intuitive for me.

Worst is the inability to transfer my ebooks over to it. I had to create a server with all my books on it to get stanza to even see them.

All in all, it is a neat device, but I am saving my money for an android.

The worst UI except for all the others (5, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402746)

I reject this statement because it is fundamentally not true.

Case in point, the iTunes interface is not intuitive and neither are many of the features.

For novice users, I reject that any solution that is based around files (which I know you would prefer and sounds like what you are using) is easier for non-technical users to understand than the way iTunes works. You stated that you saw novice users confused by iTunes, but they got over it. Well I have seen a lot of novice users that never get over the confusion of how to deal with files.

iTunes "just works" for most users despite being somewhat nonintuitive, because the other solutions are either more clunky to set up or less intuitive still.

Re:Apple "It Just Works" (3, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402138)

Yep. Apple computers never crash [wordpress.com] .

Re:Apple "It Just Works" (1)

draxbear (735156) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402168)

I reckon you're on the right track.

Throw in the infrastructure in place in Apple OS and their willingness to let any application use that infrastructure.

An address book in windows that all apps can interact with because they know it will always be there and comply with a set standard? Hell no, Microsoft Only ftw!

Apple isn't reliant on competing over software so they leave the welcome mat out.

Re:Apple "It Just Works" (2, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402256)

I love a good troll(actually, that was kinda bad on your part), so I'll bite:

Why would your average Joe Sixpack and his Mom want...another product that is potentially harder to use?

Which is "potentially harder?"

  • Dragging and dropping media files into the mass-storage device plugged under My Computer in one fell swoop? Or,
  • Having to open the bloated iTunes, dealing with any update dialogs for Quicktime and other crap shoehorned into your computer, compiling or digging up a library, all the while waiting through the temporal and computational overhead of the process?

And no, you can't cheat with custom firmware or third-party hacks.

Re:Apple "It Just Works" (3, Interesting)

Architect_sasyr (938685) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402418)

The fundamental problem with your post is self-evident: "My Computer". If you were to use a Mac most of the updates etc. are done for you. iTunes automatically opens when you plug in your device, and after the initial setup syncing and updates are mostly automatic. Even "compiling" your library is dead simple, and things like the (piece-of-crap) genius playlists make it easier to find the music you prefer and all your podcasts are automatically downloaded and synced.

This is why Apple make it in the consumer market - the whole concept of "buy only our products" works - we see Microsoft and Linux fanboys going their respective routes as well (OpenMoko, Linux, Linksys Routers etc.) because they want it all to be the same. When that concept works and the software actually integrates nicely with the hardware (something that only apple, as a hardware company, are currently able to achieve because they write the software for their own hardware), the average consumer tends to enjoy. Now if only they had a decent server, I'd think about getting one.

Side note: Find me an easier to deploy and use solution than NetBoot/NetInstall (with DeployStudio) and I'll stop using a 27" iMac for my Windows 7-only gaming rig. That ability to image a machine on the spot with Target Disk or NetBoot is the major selling point for me.

Re:Apple "It Just Works" (2, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402530)

Damn, another troll.

The fundamental problem with your post is self-evident: "My Computer"...

The fundamental problem with your reply is that you saw "My Computer" and thought, "Oh, a Windows idiot." Then you got up on your elitist Starbucks-induced high and ranted,

iTunes automatically opens when you plug in your device, and after the initial setup syncing and updates are mostly automatic...

If you had read the rest of my post, you'd know that my point was that other devices which use the mass-storage protocol don't require all that hassle to Just Work(TM), even though the majority of them provide an iTunes-like manager anyway, which means that we at least have a choice.

This is why Apple make it in the consumer market - the whole concept of "buy only our products" works - we see Microsoft and Linux fanboys going their respective routes as well (OpenMoko, Linux, Linksys Routers etc.) because they want it all to be the same.

No, no, no. You always have a choice with Linux. One of its greatest weaknesses is also its greatest strength. Imagine that!

When that concept works and the software actually integrates nicely with the hardware

If the software is unnecessarily mandatory, annoying, and sucks shit(iTunes, Quicktime, Safari) on its own platform; then why buy the hardware?

Lotta good trolls in this discussion, but it seems that I respond to only the bad ones.

Re:Apple "It Just Works" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32402676)

Dragging and dropping media files into the mass-storage device plugged under My Computer in one fell swoop?

What's a "mass storage device"? Is it like my shiny iPod? I understand what an iPod is. Why do I have to go to My Computer to use this "mass storage device"? Why don't you nerds just call it in iPod like everyone else? I don't want to store my mass on it! It's too small to do that! Why doesn't the Right Program(tm) open up and do things with my iPod right away? Where are my music files? Why aren't they in one spot? Why didn't the program do this for me? Why can't this not-iTunes program work with my iPod? Stop babbling your nerd nonsense about rights and encryption and just let me listen to my music! It's supposed to be so easy, why do I have to do so much to use it?

Having to open the bloated iTunes, dealing with any update dialogs for Quicktime and other crap shoehorned into your computer, compiling or digging up a library, all the while waiting through the temporal and computational overhead of the process?

Rephrased:

Having to open iTunes, look for music files, sort them for you, and get your nifty iPod to play your goddamned music quickly.

Newsflash: Using sesquipedalian loquaciousness to confuse people does not help your case.

Re:Apple "It Just Works" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32402620)

I hope you're under 30s, so that I can forgive you.

This is why we need more immigrants with some brains to neutralize this line of brain-dead "thinking".

music? (4, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400042)

pretty much plays unprotected AACs, so there's no lock in there. As far as apps, many are used for a couple weeks and then forgotten or deleted. There may be a psychological lock in when looking at 100 apps, but in reality only a handful are used. At the iPad level, there are bigger and more useful apps which could be more of a lock-in factor, but there isn't much lock-in at the iPod and iPhone level. Hell, there will probably be a dozen comments in this story about slashdotters who switched from an iPhone to android.

Re:music? (1)

mejogid (1575619) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400094)

I came here to post pretty much the same thing. The other problem with apps, and often movies, is that they become 'obsolete' quite quickly to some degree. Apps in particular will have a new version released requiring an update fee to be 'current', presenting a good incentive to switch - and may well require such an update for the new version of an OS.

Movies less so, but I know that I rarely rewatch films more than a few times unless they're particularly good ones. This is reflected by the 75%+ discounting on amazon that makes it relatively cheap to repurchase the good parts of an old collection.

Re:music? (1, Interesting)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400156)

story about slashdotters who switched from an iPhone to android.

I know at least 5 people that switched from their iPhone to an Android device .... I don't think any of the lasted for a month before going back to their iPhones. So yes, some people switched, and then regret it fairly soon after.

Android doesn't actually offer any advantage over the iPhone that really matters and it has several disadvantages. Slashdot rants and raves over open and free and blah blah blah, but when it comes right down to it the only people ranting about 'free' are too cheap or poor to buy either so they just rant and don't actually matter. Then there are the techies that are happy to use an inferior product just so they can 'stick it to the man' ... unfortunately the man doesn't give a shit about all 8 of those people.

You guys can sit around and circle jerk to android all day long, but I've yet to meet a person who actually thought it was great and not one person can provide an actual advantage android has to the iphone other than 'OMG CLOSED APP STORE OMGZ!@$!@%' which no rational/balanced person actually gives a fuck about.

Re:music? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32400216)

http://www.xkcd.com/743/ [xkcd.com]

Come on, give me a break. Give Randall *something* to do; don't prove all of his work for him!

Re:music? (3, Insightful)

InsertWittyNameHere (1438813) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402452)

This article claims the average user is locked in to $100 worth of apps. That's nothing compared to being locked into games for the wii, ps3, xbox... I have probably $1000 worth of ps3 games.

Also, if someone buys $100 worth of android or blackberry apps then, surprise surprise, they can only use them on whichever device they purchased them for and are locked in.

The only way to be free and not locked in is for the PUBLISHERS to allow people to download versions of their apps/media for any platform they want. It's not up to the platform owners since they don't own the media in question

I see the first post was removed (-1, Offtopic)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400046)

Apparently goatsex and the racial slurs are OK but not making a rude comment about Apple.

Re:I see the first post was removed (0, Troll)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400152)

I guess It was just modded down to oblivion.

What "sticky" really means (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32400050)

Sounds like, at least in Apple's case, "sticky" is just another word for "vendor lockin"

Re:What "sticky" really means (4, Insightful)

theurge14 (820596) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402492)

The term "lock in" apparently has had its definition changed much as "brick" has already.

How in the world is anyone "locked in" to an iPod?

Re:What "sticky" really means (3, Funny)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402496)

No, that's just there latest product. the iLockin. And don't forget their next product the iMholdingyourinfosrandsom.

apple needs to open mac osx to more hardware (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400058)

apple needs to open mac osx to more hardware to get more switches.

It had for a business to switch all the systems to mac and even then mac cost more then pc's as well. But opening up osx will let them just buy the software.

Also AIO are not that good of a fit as business like to reuse displays and a AIO may be to big to fit into all desks.

The mini is ok but the price should be a little lower and have a easy to get to HDD as well. also why have desktop parts and a little bigger case?

apple also needs a good desktop at $800-$1500 with desktop parts. As there is a big gap from the mini to the mac pro and the imacs are that good in price $1200 for on board video + a core 2 laptop dual core? $1500 for core 2 laptop dual core + a low end 256 meg video card? also NO MATE SCREEN!

Re:apple needs to open mac osx to more hardware (4, Insightful)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400222)

OS X only exists to make people want to buy Apple hardware. Allowing OS X on commodity hardware would dilute their brand and suck buyers away from what they're actually trying to sell.

then apple needs a desktop midtower at $800-$1000+ (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402610)

then apple needs a desktop mid tower at $800-$1000+

or at least have a Imac with mate display.

So what's new? (2, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400082)

Whitmore says the investment Apple's customers have made in content for those devices in terms of apps, videos, and music purchased at the iTunes Store creates Apple's 'stickiness.'

Wow, it's almost like Windows where the thousands of dollars worth of Windows software I own are the only thing keeping me stuck to having a Windows PC in the house.

Re:So what's new? (1)

skingers6894 (816110) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402500)

That's a valid point.

Having said that though, current generation Macs can run almost all Windows productivity software and older games at near native speed with parallels or vmware. Alternatively you can actually boot into Windows to run everything at native speeds via bootcamp.

I don't expect to see either the ability to run a virtual iPhone or have the option to boot up as an iPhone on any other phone anytime soon.

Re:So what's new? (1)

masmullin (1479239) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402586)

older games at near native speed with parallels or vmware.

Have you even used this software? It's not "native speed." I spend quite a deal of time in vmware fusion and I can tell you that its no where near native speed.

Imagine that! (1)

jjoelc (1589361) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400096)

Build a product that is easy to use, reliable, has easy access to all the content most average people want, and is pretty to boot... and people keep buying it! It isn't rocket science.

Let's check the iPad (0, Troll)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400126)

easy to use: pass
reliable: way to early to tell: N/A
easy access to all the content most average people want: no flash, fail
pretty: pass

Re:Let's check the iPad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32402682)

"easy access to all the content most average people want: no flash, fail"

Apple makes more than iphones and ipads. Flash works just fine on my macbook.

Re:Imagine that! (0, Troll)

pgmrdlm (1642279) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402544)

Thats a bull shit statement by apple users that its easier to use. It's the same as any other OS with regard to ease of use. I hate Microsoft because it's proprietary. Why the fuck should I move to another proprietary system that has LESS applications just to get away from the first one. If I'm going to move away from microblows, it sure as fuck won't be to some other vendor that costs more. I'll move completely to open source and tell all of them to fuck off. By the way, I will be buying much more usable products with the money I saved not buying apples want to be's. I refuse to buy any apple electronic appliances. Its a complete lockin for them. I REFUSE to be locked into one vendor for all my shopping. And guess what. There are a lot of other vendors/sources for everything that apples makes. And in every case where I have compared, apple loses both in cost and ease of use. Do the apple goose step. Walk with your arms straight, and click your heals together when you go heil steve jobs. What a fucking sheep. .

Re:Imagine that! (1)

masmullin (1479239) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402598)

Mine isn't that reliable. I've had to have SOME part replaced every year I've owned a MBP. Some of the replacement parts would have cost a shit load of money ($1500 for a logic board replacement), but luckily I bought the extended warranty.

Forget The Social "Sciences": Here's The Word (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32400102)

Bundling.

Put that in your crack pipe and inhale it.

Yours In Smolensk,
K. Trout

To each their own... (3, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400118)

For websites or products it usually means that visitors or customers keep coming back for more.

For some websites on the Internet, "sticky" has a completely different meaning. :-)

And by "some" I mean "most", and by "websites" I mean "porn". To quote Dr. Cox on Scrubs, "If you shutdown all the porn sites on the Internet, there would only be one site left and it would be called 'Bring back the porn.'"

Value calculation is skewed (4, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400122)

Let's talk about applications only. Sure the average user may have purchased $100 worth of software, but how much of it do they actually use day to day? I think, just like a computer platform, that the cost of switching is lower than it would seem because most software does not need to be replaced, so the cost is lower than it would seem from simply examining purchase prices for everything you own.

Now throw in media... songs are pretty much sold DRM free these days, so there is no cost to migrate media. Video is tricker since through iTunes it is wrapped in DRM. But I wonder apart from children's video, how much video purchased online is really there to be watched again and again - I buy a lot of video online but after I watch it, I generally don't watch it more than once. I "buy" it knowing full well it's really more like a rental, and if I really like a video I'll buy it on physical media that I can load out or keep as long as I want.

There is something to the argument they make, I just don't think it's as strong on the value side as they make it out to be.

Re:Value calculation is skewed (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32402314)

Its more psychological. People are extremely adverse to loss, even if that loss isn't really that much. A good example is the stock market and how quickly people panic the moment there is any kind of drop, even though that loss was entirely on paper and in the larger picture their stock is still worth more than it was when they bought it.

Just the thought of losing something that they paid money for, even though they never watch it or use it is a big barrier. They have to mentally disconnect themselves from any perceived value the item holds before they can get rid of it. Some people like horders aren't able to do even that.

Re:Value calculation is skewed (2, Interesting)

failedlogic (627314) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402336)

The thing is people get into the habit of buying their music on iTunes. Like they had the habit of buying it in the record store or a big-box like Best Buy or Wal-Mart before it. Habits are just hard to break. There seem to be enough people who like iTunes enough to keep going back.

I prefer getting a physcial CD from the record store or mostly Amazon now. Seems iTunes is having such an effect on the market, coupled probably with piracy and less music interest, that most record shops are cutting back on CDs anyways.

Re:Value calculation is skewed (3, Insightful)

voidptr (609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402564)

Except music from iTunes at this point doesn't contribute to Apple lock-in. There's no DRM on them, and AAC is supported by most major hardware vendors at this point.

Videos and Apps, but not music. And it's not like there isn't a problem going the other way if someone wants to move from Android or Windows Mobile or Palm to iPhone if they've got an investment in apps on that platform.

Besides, if someone ships a seriously compelling alternative to your current platform of choice, is $100 in content really going to stop you from switching, considering we're talking about several hundred dollar cell phones or tablets you replace every couple years.

You miss much of the value, so do they. (1)

aussersterne (212916) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402638)

Speaking as an iPhone user that has considered Android and as a longtime Linux user that has considered Windows/MacOS, a big part of the value is in the assemblage of applications/widgets/etc. that the user has collected.

This is not the same thing as a "learning curve," and it is not about the value of the applications/apps. It's a matter of the investment of time and configuration required to "transition" to another platform and duplicate the work environment that you've constructed. For example, on the iPhone I have about 100 apps, about 30 of which I constantly use. Not all of them have 1:1 equivalents on Android, but by collecting a few dozen Android apps I could probably duplicate the total set of functions that I get from my collection of iPhone apps.

But in terms of time spent downloading, configuring, linking, etc., it's just too much time. There is a definite cost in time imposed on platform switching that isn't a matter of learning curves, but rather a matter of simple labor. I figure it would take me 5-8 hours of purchasing/reinstalling apps, opening/configuring accounts, arranging icons, etc. to get Android up and running for myself. That's an extra $250-$400 of time, not to mention the drudgery/pain-in-the-ass factor, which is not to be underestimated as a significant discouragement.

It's when you add it all together (app costs + learning curve costs + time reinstalling/reconfiguring/re-assembling costs + drudgery/pain-in-ass costs) that you get a real calculation about platform lock-in, and often the learning curve and app costs are smaller than the other two in real, day-to-day life.

There's an old saying for this:

"If it ain't [too] broke, don't fix it."

True, but non-monetery... (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402692)

I agree with your points, but the article was about monetary value, not more abstract forms of value as you were outlining - I agree that it's these abstract kinds of value that are more the real factor that keeps a user on a platform.

I am impressed you have 30 applications you use with regularity, I do not have nearly that many. I have not taken as much advantage of the platform as I might at this point.

The same can be said for Microsoft's domination (3, Insightful)

romanval (556418) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400128)

... in that people are stuck with DOS/Windows/Office because the cost to switch away are too great.

Re:The same can be said for Microsoft's domination (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32402260)

Offices that made a heavy investment in Linux are stuck because their costs to switch are too great (I'm talking hours in man power and "expert" costs to switch here, not software).

See? It works for everything.

Re:The same can be said for Microsoft's domination (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32402352)

See? It works for everything.

No it doesn't. You assume that there's actually offices that invested in Linux out there...

Re:The same can be said for Microsoft's domination (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32402372)

Cost to switch to Apple are more greater. QED

Re:The same can be said for Microsoft's domination (1)

DarkEmpath (1064992) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402744)

People are stuck with DOS? Seriously?

And people aren't "stuck" with Windows, they're "stuck" with the applications they use. If a vendor releases an app for Windows only, how is "the cost to switch too great"? What are they going to switch to? If a game is release on PS3 only, is "the cost to switch" to the 360 too great?

And the only reason MS Office is so popular is because there is no alternative. (No, OO.o is worthless at work, and clunky and awkward at home.) What do you think people can switch to? Using MS Office certainly doesn't tie you to Windows - you can use it on a Mac.

How the hell did your narrow and simplistic post get rated Insightful?

it's the sugar, obviously (2, Funny)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400148)

Why is an apple sticky? when you cut an apple and hold it with your bare hands, the juice will make your hand sticky, no question about it, that's what hand washing is for.

Oh, you are talking about the company? Same reason applies.

--
As for the truth of the statement, as much as for some people it is absolutely 'sticky', for others it's too sweet - sugary and unpleasant. I like my computers the way I like my coffee - no sugar. I can't stand Apple's products at all, it's a personal internal thing, when I see all of the Apple computers in all these movies, and all these 'creative' people with the logos all over the place - makes me cringe. You can't make me use an Apple product if you pay me.

Re:it's the sugar, obviously (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402672)

Why is an apple sticky...As for the truth of the statement, as much as for some people it is absolutely 'sticky', for others it's too sweet - sugary and unpleasant. I like my computers the way I like my coffee - no sugar.

True, but you can't smoke weed [smokingwithstyle.com] out of a pile of coffee beans. Wait, what were we talking about again?

Media porting (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32400170)

This is an example of why we need media portability laws, just like laws were passed to allow you to port your cell number from one carrier to the other. Laws need me be made allowing media, software, music, books to be portable between platforms.

This is also another reason i believe music, movies, and likely now book should be sold with serialized licenses included. The license gives you access to the exact same content, no matter what medium or method it is distributed. You goto bestbuy, buy a physical CD, inside the case is included a license for the media with a unique serial/key. you could then goto itunes, amazon, etc. enter in this key and get instant access to a downloable version of the same content that you purchased on a physical disk. Same would work with say a bluray disk you buy at bestbuy. come home with the disc, plug the serial number into itunes and instant access to a downloadable, obviously lower bitate version for your ipod/iphone

Re:Media porting (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402180)

I (in general) agree. I'm not sure if we need laws but I never bought an app for my iPhone 3GS (getting an Evo in th very near future) and I won't buy any apps on Android either. Why? Because if I pay money for apps, then I lose that money if I switch to a different type of phone because I feel the new phone is better. If I could buy Awesome App from company X and have access to that app on iPhone, Android, and WebOS without having to rebuy it, THEN I'd be willing to pay for apps. Until that happens, I stick with the freebies.

Re:Media porting (2, Insightful)

pipedwho (1174327) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402356)

Your line of reasoning is seriously flawed.

Most of the apps in the App stores are priced at almost rental levels - with the benefit of having no time limit. If you can't afford a few dollars for a productive or utilitarian app, or even a few dollars for a few weeks of gaming fun before you're bored of the game, then owning a smartphone is probably not for you.

Most people don't buy hundreds of random useless apps, they buy things that they feel are worthwhile. And since most people don't change their phone/OS every six months, it's not an issue. Also, your stubbornness assumes that these apps are never going to become obsolete, and that you'd otherwise never consider upgrading to another app with improved functionality (or looking for new games that are new and interesting).

Re:Media porting (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402596)

So, according to you, it's "seriously flawed reasoning" to value the money I work hard for and not piss it away? I wish I had your job then!

It doesn't matter how much it costs or how "useful" (a very relative term) it is - if it's something that is tied to only using an iPhone or a Palm or an Android phone, then it's not worth buying. It's the same reason I won't buy a Kindle or other ebook reader that uses DRM, because then my books are locked to that brand. It's also the same reason I refuse to buy games with DRM with limited installs that prevent me from being able to use my software on any computer I might purchase.

If you want to be short-sighted and piss away your money on apps, then throw that money away in a year or two when you change phones, thats you're own stupidity. However, claiming that someone is wrong for wanting to spend their money wisely is just being arrogant and foolish.

Re:Media porting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32402740)

It doesn't matter how much it costs or how "useful" (a very relative term) it is - if it's something that is tied to only using an iPhone or a Palm or an Android phone, then it's not worth buying.

Enjoy being the lone voice, crying in the wilderness.

If you want to be short-sighted and piss away your money on apps, then throw that money away in a year or two when you change phones, that's your own stupidity.

Or you actually have a job, so you don't give a crap about losing/replacing a few $5 apps one way or the other.

Slashdot Stats Report: (1)

eexaa (1252378) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400178)

3rd anti-apple story in a row. Keep it up! :]

Re:Slashdot Stats Report: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32402690)

Even more shocking: 3 anti-Apple stories and zero posts from /.'s most famous M$ shill, sopssa, aka TripMasterFucktard, aka ASS POS.

Self justification for getting ripped off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32400182)

Do songs sound better on Apple products? No.
Are movies better on Apple products? No.
Are documents better on Apple products? No.
Is the web better on Apple products? No.

Ah, user experience! That's it!
-damn it, where are the sarcasm tags!-

Psychologists would call it self justification for being a sucker. Rationalizing joining a cult.

That's what happens... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32402144)

...when the Apple fanbois get too excited right next to the company store...

Funny (4, Insightful)

Archfeld (6757) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402224)

I know many people with Iphones, Ipads and Ipods, nearly all of them love the devices but hate Itunes, using it as the only option available to them. Several of my more computer literate friends are unhappy with the restrictions thier Ipods place on them regarding PC transfer rights and lack of backup options for their content, but most never even consider what would happen if their device failed and won't until it does...

OMG for the 1000000th time... (1, Flamebait)

zenasprime (207132) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402234)

Burn your DRM ladden iTunes Music Store purchaces to disk then rip that disk to mp3 (or whatever format of your choice). OMG DRM free music from the iTunes Music Store that you can "jump ship" with! I know... it's almost rocket surgery, but come on! lol

OMG!!1!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32402464)

Burn your DRM ladden iTunes Music Store purchaces to disk then rip that disk to mp3 (or whatever format of your choice). OMG DRM free music from the iTunes Music Store that you can "jump ship" with! I know... it's almost rocket surgery, but come on! lol

What DRM ladden(sic) iTunes Music Store purchases? The iTunes Music Store is DRM-free and has been for a while now. Older DRM'd music purchases can be re-downloaded (with higher quality) for $0.30 each.

(The Book and Video stores are not, but those are not nearly as widely used.)

Re:OMG for the 1000000th time... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32402574)

Burn your DRM ladden iTunes Music Store purchaces to disk then rip that disk to mp3

Sticky doesn't mean lock-in, it means 'harder to migrate'. Do you really think the technique you're describing is easy & seamless? Or is it a hindrance to migration.

Fucking Apple fanbois.

apple vs all (1)

snowboardin159 (1744212) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402252)

how come when something is so simple to use, that it defeats any form of customizability, people love it. but when you can tinker with the inner workings of your product, everyone complains? Apple is AWESOME for nubs, (no viruses(i wonder why?)); but linux is awesome, if you have skillz. windows isnt a great product, but you can do so much with it if you know what you are doing.

Nothing like another dead horse to flog. (4, Interesting)

finalbroadcast (1030452) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402378)

In general geeks like to beat up on some large incorporeal entity that a segment of the community will defend to the death. Microsoft just isn't all that fun to kick around anymore, since the only people who still care about Windows are CTO's and those of us unfortunate enough to work in the dark section of IT known as Help Desk. Apple has become a juggernaut of shiny devices that sell to a large segment of the population that would have never even considered buying a Mac. An even smaller percentage of that give a crap about "lock-in" or other political stances. OS X geeks are a small and defensive breed, and they feel that these devices, ostensibly still computers, are an extension of their ecosystem. They're not, and they are a gateway drug for some. They were for me, but the large chunk of the iPhone and iPod populace doesn't care, and whenever the new must have gadget comes around, they'll move on. Previous generations re-bought their entire collections in several different mediums, this one will be no different. Lock in sucks, and hopefully video vendors come around on DRM, but I think streaming on demand will leapfrog them anyway. So the Apple fans will defend Steve Jobs unique vision as if it was their own, and the geeks will beat this topic to death until there something else that people love to bitch about on the Internet. It isn't principled, it's pointless. En mass much of the ecosystem has turned from Redmond Bad Cupertino Good to Curpertino Bad, Mountain View Good. That will last until some new hip kid on the block becomes the Geek chic and we will then decry Google's constant assault on our privacy. Here's to waiting until Cannonical is the bad guy.

Slashdot, testosterone level, and kdawson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32402394)

Don't know why, I have allergic reaction to certain things:

- theatre stuff
- cat fights among "grown-up" dudes
- "social" shits

kdawson's got much grief for his selection of stories. I think I know why now. He specializes in the second and third types of stories. Who knows, he may be into musical theater stuff, too.

Loyalty (1)

Andy Smith (55346) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402402)

Whitmore says: "the resulting customer loyalty is unparalleled"

For some Apple users it's loyalty, yes. For others, it's only loyalty in the sense of battered wife syndrome. Sure, they know they're in an abusive relationship and they should leave, but breaking the ties requires too great a shift of momentum.

I grew tired of Apple's behaviour so I switched to Android. It was easy for me because I never purchased any music or movies through iTunes, and I think I only ever paid for two apps so I didn't have any significant financial investment. People who have a substantial investment in iTunes-tied media or software will be exponentially less willing/able to move away from Apple. This is not loyalty.

Re:Loyalty (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402644)

For others, it's only loyalty in the sense of battered wife syndrome

You mean like Windows "loyalty"?

Indeed, the whole "it's the user's fault" attitude Microsoft has towards people who have problems with its software is surely blaming the victim, isn't it?

Go ahead, ask your typical Windows user how much he "loves windows" and Microsoft applications.

--
BMO

Because of the kind of people who buy Apple (2, Insightful)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402440)

The kind of people who buy Apple are not what could be considered "Individualistic" in any sense.

These are the kind of people who allow their self-worth to be determined by others; their cool-factor by how many Facebook friends they have, and what parties they are/not invited to.

They have convinced themselves of a form of technical superiority, when in reality, their platform is too small to be noticed by virus\malware providers, or most productivity app venders save a few like Adobe.

They consider themselves "Counter-culture" when in reality, they are the worst kind of lemmings.

Just watch next year, as hundreds of thousands of them toss their iPad for another one, because it will have a camera, and once again in a few years, for another feature that should have been in v1.0.

Does Apple have good technology? Sure. Is it beyond what anyone else could do? Never has been.

Can they market their platform beyond all common fucking sense to people seeking validation through faddish participation? Fuckin A!

Wanna see an Apple user's head explode? Ask them if their device supports IPv6, and watch them strain to answer without giving away that they dont know what the fuck you are talking about.

Re:Because of the kind of people who buy Apple (1)

voidptr (609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402582)

Uh, OS X and the Airport base stations have had IPv6 support out of the box for many years.

Re:Because of the kind of people who buy Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32402626)

Why should I need to learn if my Apple device supports IPv6?

All I care is, does it work or not?

Why are you so angry because I pay a little more, for convenience, by buying an Apple product?

Re:Because of the kind of people who buy Apple (4, Interesting)

masmullin (1479239) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402704)

Apple owner here. You have identified a sizable segment of the mac ownership demographic. The demographic that buys apple shit because "apple is cool and I want to buy cool" These people are known as "Mactards"

However there are two other sizable segments.

1) The segment that thinks that Apple is easier and "just works" when compared to Windows. They dont want to fuck about with their PC. (I disagree with these people because Windows7 "just works" too)
2) The segment that thinks that Apple is easier and "just works" when compared to Linux. They dont want to fuck about with configuration files and rc scripts anymore. I fall into this segment. I demand a usable and strong command line with all the proper *nix utilities, but I want a strong windowing system and dont ever want to fuck about with video card drivers ever again.

The apple gui/desktop is superior to kde/gnome/X... not all of us bought apple because apple is cool, some of us bought it while waiting for linux to become more polished.

I read that as "Why Apple is so sick to society" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32402484)

At first glance that's what I saw.

Absolute horse shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32402494)

This is a pure load of shit. Why is this on garbage always posted here.

If you think that a hundred bucks in apps are going to keep people tied to a platform that gets replaced every 3 years, I'd like to know where you got your kool-aid.

Apple has a very nice interface, but it's not the be-all and end-all of device management. This technology is in a constant state of flux with no end in sight. To pretend that Apple has us already locked in is a joke. I'm far more worried about my 3 year phone contract than the few hundred songs in my iTunes playlist.

And don't tell me that iTunes is some messiah of music and media management. The (fucking hourly?) updates are enough to drive me away. I can't run iTunes on my netbook without closing every extraneous process.

For fuck sakes, be objective here.

Re:Absolute horse shit (5, Funny)

masmullin (1479239) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402712)

I'd like to know where you got your kool-aid

This motherfucker jumped through my wall screaming "OHHHH YEEEAAAHHH" and then poured me a glass of kool-aid.

Sticky due to usability, not lock-in (0, Redundant)

mveloso (325617) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402554)

I have hundreds of gigs of music, and a much smaller amount of movies. I'm not trapped in the Apple world...I like it here. In fact, I prefer the Apple world for the most part. Why would I move? Nothing else passes the order-of-magnitude threshold for change. In fact, most other things are a few steps backwards.

If anything, this is a failure of the tech industry, and especially of the Apple-bashers everywhere including /. If you think interface is so easy, you should go ahead and beat Apple with your super-duper whiz-bang UI. Instead, you have...gnome and KDE.

Could I use gnome/KDE? Sure! I could also cut off my leg and learn to hop. But why bother?

Apples past (0, Flamebait)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402656)

Apple grew from the 1970's Xerox parc era when a lot of cash was poured into understanding the child like mind and the early gui.
The rest of the USA/world has finally been dumbed down enough to catch up after a few decades of seeing computers as productive 'work'.
Apple also has that rare not used before feel to many seem to need now vs just like work at home for most MS users.
So Apple gets the cult, secret society, terrorist cell like 'only we really understand' bounce too.
Will it last? Depends on price, OS quality, DRM lock in errors and developer control.
Apple feels like something new to the herd for now. Anyone who understand the past know Apple has lost it all and recovered before.
Intro bandwidth plans and closed room meadia deals make itoys feel "free" and cheap, but the total long term control is an issue.
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