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Apple Rumored To Be Exploring Medical Devices, Electric Cars To Reignite Growth

samzenpus posted about 6 months ago | from the spreading-out dept.

Medicine 255

An anonymous reader writes "The Apple rumor mill is alive and well. This time around the tech giant is rumored to be looking into exploring medical sensor technology related to predicting heart attacks, and might even buy Tesla. 'Taken together, Apple's potential forays into automobiles and medical devices, two industries worlds away from consumer electronics, underscore the company's deep desire to move away from iPhones and iPads and take big risks. "Apple must increasingly rely on new products to reignite growth beyond the vision" of late founder Steve Jobs, said Bill Kreher, an analyst with Edward Jones Investments in St. Louis. "They need the next big thing."'"

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Take medicine away from the wizards (0)

xtal (49134) | about 6 months ago | (#46267261)

Apple could be in a position to leverage advances in sensing technology to make medicine cheaper and much more accessible.

They're also big enough to beat down the FDA and Wizard lobby (aka Doctors).

THz imaging is another wildcard in the non intrusive sensing market that nobody is talking about. Making this technology small and cheap is something a lot of very smart people are working on.

All this data fed into the cloud in real time and analyzed for problems? What's not to like?

Re:Take medicine away from the wizards (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about 6 months ago | (#46267381)

Yeah, medicine and the treatment of illness is a real global conspiracy alright.

Re:Take medicine away from the wizards (4, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 6 months ago | (#46267435)

Yeah, medicine and the treatment of illness is a real global conspiracy alright.

Keeping the cost of it high seems to be.

Next time you need a fairly major medical procedure, refuse to pay until you get an itemized bill - you'll be amazed at some of the bullshit they try and charge you for; $50 for the off-brand Sharpie they used to mark your skin, for example.

Re:Take medicine away from the wizards (3, Insightful)

starless (60879) | about 6 months ago | (#46267615)

I think that;s probably more of a national conspiracy (in the US) than a global conspiracy...

Re:Take medicine away from the wizards (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 6 months ago | (#46267743)

I think that;s probably more of a national conspiracy (in the US) than a global conspiracy...

I can't speak for places outside the US because I haven't been there, but I'd bet dollars to pesos that Big Pharma has it's claws in a few more governments than just the US'.

Re: Take medicine away from the wizards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46267905)

pretty sure, that's right. i've seen GE-Ultrasound devices that sell for more than 100.000 â that are nothing more than a pc in a custom case and a sensor containing technology that has been on the market for 30+ years. sure, their software is pretty impressive, but still doesn't warrant that high of a price tag. the profit margins of some medical equipment must be astronomical.

Re: Take medicine away from the wizards (1)

Herder Of Code (2989779) | about 6 months ago | (#46268393)

Ok, consider that the province of Quebec market in Canada is tiny compared to the US but I had a friend developping software for ultra-sound devices. They were a small tech startup and they were working on real-time 3d viz of ultra sound when it was still an idea. The thing is they managed to sell their software to 15 hospital that's a LOT of hospital for most province in canada so they had good market coverage. Now it's not rocket science to calculate that the cost of 15 employees with a lot of math guy for signal processing, software engineer, etc means that 100 000 is actually CHEAP if they want to turn in any kind of profit. The amount of customer is so tiny and the dev costs are huge in comparison.

Re:Take medicine away from the wizards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46268017)

Well, look at the current imbroglio regarding pharmaceuticals made in India making it into the US (or even existing). Look how hard they fight generic manufacturers, globally. Look at the pharma CEOs who outright say, "no [fking] way will we sell our cancer drugs in those countries". Or criminalizing US citizens who go to Canada or Mexico (or elsewhere) to get drugs or medical procedures done.

Re:Take medicine away from the wizards (1)

jittles (1613415) | about 6 months ago | (#46268237)

I think that;s probably more of a national conspiracy (in the US) than a global conspiracy...

I can't speak for places outside the US because I haven't been there, but I'd bet dollars to pesos that Big Pharma has it's claws in a few more governments than just the US'.

I highly doubt that the pen has anything to do with big pharma. They probably are very inexpensive for the surgical center. But they have so many people skip out on bills and insurance companies try and screw doctors over. My doctor wanted me to try a medical device for some pain I was having. He put it through to the insurance where my copay was going to be $500. The doctor sold it to me for his cost - $90. The reason for the discrepancy? He has to charge the insurance big time $$ just to recoup his $90. He doesn't even try and make a profit on storing the medical device. He does plenty of other things that are far more lucrative for him. It's just a huge hassle and drain on him to deal with the insurance.

Re:Take medicine away from the wizards (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 6 months ago | (#46268289)

It is more successful and widespread in the US, yes. Possibly because the cult of the free market is so strong over here that we somehow think that healthcare is or can be a free market. But I'd argue that the conspiracy is indeed global. Pharmecuticals are obviously globalized. The US isn't the only place where drug patents are used to strangle more money out of sick people.

It's not global as in reaches absolutely everywhere to the same degree, but a lot of that is because it's not as cost effective to enact the same conspiracy in countries where they won't make as much of a profit.

Re:Take medicine away from the wizards (4, Interesting)

Herder Of Code (2989779) | about 6 months ago | (#46268487)

I feel like a broken record but its an US thing. In Canada they just fix you up no matter what you have, they never cheap on the treatment because there's no bullshit like a max number of hearth surgeries of type X a year per hospital. If the hospital has to run a deficit to treat everyone they just will. Seriously, even for medicines we have free gov coverage and if you're employed, the employer has to provide a plan with no limit. The best part? Our economy STILL hasn't collapsed or is not in danger because of that. I never IN MY LIFE had to worry about being sick and not being able to get treatment. The only worry you have when you have to see a doc is: "Damn I'm going to have to wait 3-4 hours in a waiting room to see a doc, am I sick enough to want to wait that long.".

Re:Take medicine away from the wizards (4, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about 6 months ago | (#46267741)

I think you don't need a conspiracy to explain the broken conditions in the US. Just an obsession with free market solutions in a field that can never be a free market.

Incompetence does not require conspiracy (2)

sjbe (173966) | about 6 months ago | (#46268069)

Keeping the cost of it high seems to be.

That is a matter of incompetence and bad policy. Lot's of people in the US love to insist that we have the best healthcare system in the world and that nothing is broken despite the fact that we pay the most (by a wide margin) and do not get even close to the best outcomes by most measures.

Re:Incompetence does not require conspiracy (3, Interesting)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 6 months ago | (#46268129)

Keeping the cost of it high seems to be.

That is a matter of incompetence and bad policy.

Bad policy I can't disagree with (since good policy would probably fix a lot of these issues), but I've always been a believer in the concept that you should never attribute to incompetence that which can be explained by greed and avarice.

I want my iImplant (2)

coolmanxx (150620) | about 6 months ago | (#46267419)

iHeart, iLungs, iKidney, iPancreas --- OS upgrades will never be the same!

Re:I want my iImplant (2)

Immerman (2627577) | about 6 months ago | (#46267819)

Don't worry, fewer than 1% of users suffer "blue screams of death" as a result of any given non-optional automatic update. And such users can usually be rebooted after installing an iBrain and any other iSelf modules not already purchased. WARNING: behavioral changes may occur, and any proclivity to destroy other electronics to gnaw on their microprocessor "brains" should be reported immediately.

Re:I want my iImplant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46267963)

What about the most obvious one? iEye?

Re:Take medicine away from the wizards (4, Insightful)

ccguy (1116865) | about 6 months ago | (#46267533)

Apple could be in a position to leverage advances in sensing technology to make medicine cheaper and much more accessible.

Low prices is Apple's motto all right

Re:Take medicine away from the wizards (1)

solios (53048) | about 6 months ago | (#46268291)

Apple markup may be the fattest in the industry but if anyone can kick the bottom out of medical device pricing while still making an enormous profit, they're the company to do it.

Re:Take medicine away from the wizards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46267699)

They're also big enough to beat down the FDA...

Not a chance. Medical devices are and always will be the most highly regulated industry.

Re:Take medicine away from the wizards (1)

rasmusbr (2186518) | about 6 months ago | (#46267827)

All this data fed into the cloud in real time and analyzed for problems? What's not to like?

False positives? Imagine how much money doctors would make off of all those unnecessary visits.

Re: Take medicine away from the wizards (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46267925)

Yeah fucking licensed doctors and the FDA! Trying to keep people healthy without killing them by untested medical products is so last century!

Re: Take medicine away from the wizards (1)

xtal (49134) | about 6 months ago | (#46268223)

This isn't about products. It's about access to your health data when you can trivially generate good quality long term trends.

A number of people don't think you should be able to access your own blood chemistry reports, DNA, MRI, charts, and other medical data.

Those are inputs into expert systems sometimes that very may reveal trends that could save your life. They are also inputs that can be analyzed offshore at very low cost - in different regulatory environments.

This isn't about snake tonic. This is about data - your data - and who will own it.

I welcome Apple coming to that party.

Re:Take medicine away from the wizards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46267929)

LOLOLOL. Since when has ANY Apple product been cheaper and more accessible?

Apple has always been one step behind in my book. "Playing it safe."

Save us Apple. You're our only hope! (3)

sjbe (173966) | about 6 months ago | (#46267969)

Apple could be in a position to leverage advances in sensing technology to make medicine cheaper and much more accessible.

Right... because Apple is really known for driving prices down.

They're also big enough to beat down the FDA and Wizard lobby (aka Doctors).

Damn right, 'cause the FDA and doctors are just evil. Those criminals try to make sure our drugs are safe and that our illnesses get treated. We should rely on the magic of market forces for that. Apple should invent a device that replaces them. [/sarcasm]

All this data fed into the cloud in real time and analyzed for problems? What's not to like?

Lets see... Maybe the fact that there is no actual product and even if there were there are all sorts of likely privacy, security and data interpretation problems.

Apple buys tesla?? (2, Insightful)

ganjadude (952775) | about 6 months ago | (#46267273)

please dont do that apple, I really like Tesla. I dont want apple to be able to remote kill my car if i dont accept their EULA

Re:Apple buys tesla?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46267421)

yes. Lets all log into I tunes to update our tesla so we can drive. If we drive somewhere apple does not like, say google headquarters, it will just shut down

Buy samsung instead (0)

goombah99 (560566) | about 6 months ago | (#46267491)

Samsung's market cap is $184B. Apple has $150B mostly in foreign cash reserves. They should buy samsung. Then they would be able to integrate all the samsung products down to washing machines. Samsung makes mostly high quality products that have large market shares but lack their own style--mostly their style is a copycat of some other brand like Braun or Apple. So combine the modern bauhaus, apple, with a price leading high quality manufacturer. No need to look for the next big thing when you could fix so many other things just like apple did with 1) computers, 2) must players 3) printers, 4) phones 5) cameras.

Re:Buy samsung instead (3, Insightful)

msauve (701917) | about 6 months ago | (#46267667)

...because in 2006, Samsung clearly copied [engadget.com] the design of Apple's 2010 iPad. Maybe Apple should buy them just for their time travel technology.

Re:Buy samsung instead (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 6 months ago | (#46267965)

OR, samsung simple added tablet parts to their existing digital photo frame? the photo frame was out prior to the ipad

Re:Buy samsung instead (0)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 6 months ago | (#46268203)

And 2001: A Space Odyssey was made decades before digital photo frames.

Re: Buy samsung instead (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46267739)

way too much products for a "focused" apple.
it would make sense somehow - i recently advised my parents to buy a series 6 samsung tv and have been hating the cumbersome, ridiculous, slow and generally badly designed user-interface ever since. it's good hardware, but the software is one of the worst i've seen in a consumer product for years.

Re:Buy samsung instead (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 6 months ago | (#46267863)

>you could fix so many other things just like apple did with...

They've certainly spearheaded great refinements, now if only they'd stop insisting on incorporating their own brand of intentional breakage into them I'd consider actually buying their products.

Re: Buy samsung instead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46268093)

yup, their products become outdated by software products after 4-5 years. but it has to be said, that the hardware is usually still wirking after that - which isn't true for a lot of other gadget manufacturers (my iphone 4 is still going strong, despite it sometimes becoming pretty slow since i did the ios7 update - on the other hand, my brother's galaxy s, which came out shortly after the iphone 4, is a constantly crashing & malfunctioning piece of ragged plastic that hasn't seen an official software update in years)

Re:Buy samsung instead (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46268191)

"So combine the modern bauhaus, apple,..."
LOL!

Boy, are you caught in RDF, hook, line and sinker!

Apple enclosure design (and that is what we are talking about) is largely derivative, retro rehash, that primarily impresses naive, design newbies. Anyone who has followed industrial design knows how bland Apple is.

 

"Samsung makes mostly high quality products that have large market shares but lack their own style--mostly their style is a copycat of some other brand like Braun or Apple"

As another poster pointed out, Samsung was selling the Ipad enclosure design at least four years before the Ipad (and one year before the Iphone), so they are not really copying Apple in regards to enclosure.

Acutally, it is well established that it is actually Apple who is copying Braun (not Samsung): http://gizmodo.com/343641/1960... [gizmodo.com]

Re:Apple buys tesla?? (1)

LongearedBat (1665481) | about 6 months ago | (#46267665)

+1 Agree!

Re:Apple buys tesla?? (1)

StripedCow (776465) | about 6 months ago | (#46268005)

Finally a car-analogy that isn't!

Re:Apple buys tesla?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46268033)

Don't worry! Your car won't shut down in the middle of the road. Only when you try to start it will it check with Apple if you're approved to drive. (And don't worry! The week long approval process will seem so painless!)

(I'm referring to Apple blocking the Blockchain app and the week long developer approval process before any changes to apps can be made. Even if its a critical bug fix.)

I can't wait (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | about 6 months ago | (#46267279)

- "Yes honey, I've seen the new 2019 iPad but I think that Microsoft stuff has gotten way better after being acquired by Lenovo, I think I'll buy the Officepad 10 HHHHHHHHHNNGGGGGGGGGGGG!"

Not a good sign (5, Insightful)

Akratist (1080775) | about 6 months ago | (#46267313)

It always seems that when companies start trying to branch out into wildly dissimilar industries, it's a sign of trouble within the organization. Do what you do well, figure out how to do it better if things aren't going how you'd like them. Don't try making sushi if you've always sold donuts.

Re:Not a good sign (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46267355)

But they look so tasty! [gawkerassets.com]

Re:Not a good sign (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 6 months ago | (#46267439)

It would appear that success can lead you into error in either direction:

You've got the companies that ossify, refusing to do anything even slightly disruptive to their cash cows, which they contentedly milk until the world changes around them. Then you've got the companies that (whether because of internal hubris and megalomania, or because Wall Street Demands It) decide that merely making tons of money isn't good enough, and anything less than 'malignant tumor' growth rates are utterly unacceptable, which swiftly forces them into all kinds of ill-advised ventures(especially likely to be ill-advised if they are trying for hyper-growth and feuding with an internal ossified faction that refuses to let any novel project that threatens the old ways go forward, shackling all the ill-advised tie-ins to really ill-advised requirements).

Neither path tends to end well. The ossified end up being fossilized, in the sense that requires you to be dead first, sooner or later, and the metastatic end up, at best, as holding companies that happen to own a bunch of unrelated businesses, and, at worst, lost in a morass of increasingly unfocused and risible ventures, and pockmarked with money-sink departments.

Re:Not a good sign (1)

jo7hs2 (884069) | about 6 months ago | (#46267481)

Oh God, what have you done! You just inadvertently gave Dunkin Donuts their next disgusting product idea. As if donut shop tater tots and donut sandwiches were not disgusting enough. They make pretty good donuts (for a chain joint) and need to stick to that, but folks just gotta keep giving them bad ideas,

Re:Not a good sign (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 6 months ago | (#46268181)

I'm still wondering which we're going to see first: a donut with pizza fillings* from Dunkin Donuts or a custard-filled stuffed crust from Pizza Hut.

* a Hot Pocket isn't a donut.

Re:Not a good sign (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 6 months ago | (#46267499)

It always seems that when companies start trying to branch out into wildly dissimilar industries, it's a sign of trouble within the organization. Do what you do well, figure out how to do it better if things aren't going how you'd like them. Don't try making sushi if you've always sold donuts.

Yes, but it doesn't always work out so well when they simply stick to what they know. Look at Microsoft. Yes, most of their attempts to branch out recently have been costly mistakes. But their core OS business is slowly eroding away due to them being too short-sighted regarding phones and tablets. Their biggest money maker is Office, which was something they branched out into early on.

Look at oil companies. At one time they vented natural gas when they drilled a well. Now it's valuable. Some are investing in solar tech too. It big oil were to stick to just oil, they will eventually be out of business.

Re:Not a good sign (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 6 months ago | (#46268119)

One thing is to look at the next paradigm shift in your own industry. i.e. products that will replace your product at its target market application. Another wholly different thing is getting into a market which has *nothing* to do with your market. Then again this is Apple. Their current CEO is not a guy with any sort of college education or background into actually working in computer hardware or software products. He may actually try a dumbass ITT move like that.

Re:Not a good sign (2)

maccodemonkey (1438585) | about 6 months ago | (#46267509)

It always seems that when companies start trying to branch out into wildly dissimilar industries, it's a sign of trouble within the organization. Do what you do well, figure out how to do it better if things aren't going how you'd like them. Don't try making sushi if you've always sold donuts.

Google's in a similar boat. Self driving cars, robots, barges in the San Francisco bay...

If Apple bought Tesla, they should just buy a controlling stake to keep Google away from purchasing Tesla, and then let Tesla keep doing it's thing. Make Apple's tremendous software design resources available for Tesla, but don't try and micro manage.

But as I said, everyone is doing the same branching out. I agree it's not a good sign, but at this point, we've run out of innovation steam on mobile and most of PC, so companies are just playing games to try to build monopolies instead of winning customers through new products.

At least Apple has the iWatch and a few other rumored products to shake things up a bit.

Re: Not a good sign (1)

Subratik (1747672) | about 6 months ago | (#46267541)

I don't believe that for a moment. It's foolish to think an opportunity to grow in a different area is a sign of warning. They have tons of cash and are preemptively trying to find new markets before the stockholders bleed the company's profits dry because they aren't consistently beating estimates by huge factors anymore. Apple has almost 50% of their revenue coming from iPhone, that is a huge amount of risk for a company to have in an ever increasing market. It was only a matter of time.

A great example is google. Google is in tons of different industries and started in 1 major one. Do they look like they're failing anytime soon?

I think at this point you might argue that all of their products and services are similar or at least align with one goal. To which id say, cars are the next thing to be bombarded with tech that's now affordable for even the cheapest models. Gone to a car show lately? Every damn car has a damn back up cam and some form of a HUD. I think it only makes sense that they buy a successful company who already put up most the risk by starting a new company in a market place dominated by old hats. Tesla is now reasonably successful. Why not buy a car company and spread the brand to the auto industry, god knows apple would rather have huge margins and an extended brand rather than selling their software to gm for pennies on the dollar.

Re: Not a good sign (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46267571)

A great example is google. Google is in tons of different industries and started in 1 major one. Do they look like they're failing anytime soon?

Yes do they do look like they are failing. In 10 years I wouldn't be surprised to find them out of business.

Re: Not a good sign (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46267661)

I hope you're right. I hate those privacy killing fuckers.

Re: Not a good sign (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 6 months ago | (#46268261)

If Google intends to sell cars that would probably be a good idea, but I've seen no evidence that they have any intention of doing so, and it would probably be pretty foolish to move into something so far outside their core expertise. They're a data-processing company, I think it's far more likely that they end up licensing "cyber-chauffeur" technology to car companies who haven't been able to come up with their own viable solution.

Now Apple on the other hand, they're primarily an industrial design and interface company. I could see them taking a stab at the automotive market, especially as electrical vehicles open the door to eliminating most of the mechanical engineering headaches. Medical devices too - the technology is mostly mature, but the interface tends to be terrible. Plus there's the whole currently mostly nonexistent "medical tricorder" market that is being explored by various tiny groups of researchers and humanitarians, often using the standardized iPhone platform as the basis.

Re:Not a good sign (1)

sycodon (149926) | about 6 months ago | (#46267689)

Apple is at the mercy of the bean counters and the MBAs now. All that matters is to meet the next quarter's numbers. Vision, excellence, etc. are no where in the picture.

Re:Not a good sign (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 6 months ago | (#46267761)

Also some companies greatest growth happens when they buy into a dissimilar industry. It is a risk, sometime you win, where your brand name somehow complements the product and sometimes it fails miserably.
Also there are a lot of products owned by other companies that you have no idea who the real company behind it is.

Re:Not a good sign (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 6 months ago | (#46268141)

IMO that works well when your strength is in manufacturing products. This is why Lenovo's aquisition of IBM worked. They are a vertically integrated company which can have much lower costs of manufacturing than IBM ever could all they needed was a brand to sell their own products. Apple is the complete opposite of that. For me it seems like utter nonsense to enter a different market like that.

Re:Not a good sign (1)

unimacs (597299) | about 6 months ago | (#46267883)

I have no idea this is what Apple is really doing or not but branching into other industries makes complete sense IF you can provide something that's not already being provided.

The mp3 player was not an industry that Apple was involved in but they saw a way that they could leverage their expertise and connections to provide a better user experience than the existing companies in that market did.

Same with the iPhone. Are you suggesting that it was foolish for Apple to go into those markets?

The brick and mortar Apple Stores were also something that industry experts were skeptical that Apple could pull off given the failure of other attempts computer manufactures had with their own retail stores. But it's been a huge success.

My point is that they have a decent track record in doing this sort of thing and I think they correctly realize that the smartphone market is maturing to the point that it's going to be much harder to differentiate themselves there.

Re:Not a good sign (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 6 months ago | (#46268173)

The difference is Apple did that with internal resources and minor acquisitions. Plus the products themselves were not that different from what they were used to building its still consumer electronics. To call a car a consumer electronics product is nonsensical.

Re:Not a good sign (2)

StripedCow (776465) | about 6 months ago | (#46268025)

Like Google buying Nest.

Re:Not a good sign (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46268065)

Well, it's worked for IBM over the years. OK, maybe not IBM employees, but investors/speculators and executives.

IBM is not a tech company anymore. It's a business services (money extraction) company that happens to occasionally provide working technology solutions for its customers.

Re:Not a good sign (1)

Arker (91948) | about 6 months ago | (#46268323)

"It always seems that when companies start trying to branch out into wildly dissimilar industries, it's a sign of trouble within the organization. Do what you do well, figure out how to do it better if things aren't going how you'd like them. Don't try making sushi if you've always sold donuts."

The same thing is true of computer programs - the good ones have a clear job they do well, and when they start with the featuritis is when they go bad.

iHeart u too! (1)

BlazingATrail (3112385) | about 6 months ago | (#46267329)

Coming soon, iHeart ! Apple fanboys can line up every year to get their latest iHeart, non user repairable, not upgradeable except from Apple. Sorry, Flash no heart for you!

Re:iHeart u too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46267371)

We're in 2014, who still cares of Flash anymore?

Re:iHeart u too! (2)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 6 months ago | (#46267577)

Yeah, these days it's all about X-Men and The Avengers.

Just image the iCar problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46267337)

Customer: The car broke down and wont start.

Apple: your driving it wrong!

Bullshit (4, Insightful)

Bogtha (906264) | about 6 months ago | (#46267383)

the company's deep desire to move away from iPhones and iPads

iPhones and iPads make Apple an obscene amount of money and they are in a controlling position in the market. It should go without saying that they don't have "a deep desire to move away" from them. Add new product categories? Sure. Move away from iPhones and iPads? Nope.

"Apple must increasingly rely on new products to reignite growth beyond the vision" of late founder Steve Jobs, said Bill Kreher, an analyst with Edward Jones Investments in St. Louis. "They need the next big thing."'"

Growth is a bullshit metric. A company with one customer can grow their user base 1000% by getting to ten customers. A company with hundreds of millions of customers can't grow like that. Growth naturally slows as a company gets larger. Only bullshit artists looking to get page views or prop up a stock price blather on about how Apple need the next big thing to continue growing. They don't need to continue growing. They are raking money in faster than just about any other company. Trying to grow at the same rate as they have done in previous years is not only a ludicrously unachievable expectation to place on them, it's probably bad for business if they were stupid enough to try. Apple's core strength has always been a small, focused product family.

Re:Bullshit (2)

Xest (935314) | about 6 months ago | (#46267727)

Right, what you say is spot on, but unfortunately it doesn't map to the reality of what the stock market deems a "successful" company - one that grows and hence expands it's share price. Too many investors are of the buy low, sell high variety, rather than the dividends variety, so if you don't want to cater to that mindset you should probably just go private else you can only expect to carry on hearing people tell you you're a "failure" because you only pulled in $20bn last quarter instead of $22bn.

Yes it's silly, yes it's stupid, but it's unfortunately the reality There are actually many barely known but absolutely massive companies that stay private for precisely the reasons described here though.

Re:Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46268509)

It's not only the people looking for a quick buck, but pretty much every reporter or writer covering the financial industry -- who in turn convince the naive casual investors to go with "exciting" stocks rather than solid investments. If your company has been doing well for years, paying out a (relatively) high dividend but without the story of possible lottery ticket-like growth, only people who spend a lot of time or money on research will ever hear about you.

Re:Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46267977)

The problem is, business no longer works on the principle that "making money is success." It works on the principle that "meeting arbitrary investor expectations is success."

This is a large reason why the U.S. no longer has an economy that works for mutual benefit of society, but rather has become a process of those with wealth sucking money out of the populace as quickly and efficiently as, literally, they can imagine.

Re:Bullshit (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 6 months ago | (#46268011)

iPhones and iPads make Apple an obscene amount of money and they are in a controlling position in the market. It should go without saying that they don't have "a deep desire to move away" from them. Add new product categories? Sure. Move away from iPhones and iPads? Nope.

No, but they realize that while the cash cow is iStuff, it won't be that way forever. Because just a little over 5 years ago, the cash cow was... iPods. Now iPods sell even less than Macs.

Oh yeah, 5 years before THAT, the hot cash cow was Macs.

The impetus is on Apple to find a new cash cow because it's obvious that iPhones and iPads aren't going to be generating the profits they used to.

The smartphone market is maturing, and the writing's on the wall - the money is still there, but it's diminishing. It's why everyone is trying everything to see what would stick. Like smart watches.

Apple knows the money from iPads and iPhones is drying up. They're looking for the next big thing because it's corporate suicide to keep relying on the old.

And one thing Apple does know - if the next big thing ends up hurting the iPad and iPhone sales, so be it - cannibalization will happen, sooner or later. better to embrace it than suffer from competitors eating you. (This happened with iPads - the low end Mac sales have deteriorated as people realized iPads suit them better than a low end Mac. Likewise, iPhones have pretty much killed the iPod).

Re:Bullshit (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 6 months ago | (#46268241)

Actually they need a new product. Their profits in the mp3 player market have basically evaporated and the smartphone market is getting commoditized as would be expected to happen in any mature market. They may grow for a couple of years more as they finally get contracts with telecoms operators in China and India but then its gonna go down. Especially when the competition can manufacture a superior products that costs less. I expect them to shrink to 10% of the market just like happened to them with PCs. The problem with a company with a leader like Steve Jobs is that when the leader dies it isn't easy to replace. There are just some things you can't teach someone to do. You have to BE someone. Their current CEO is a bean counter.

Apple Car Troubles (2, Funny)

Manfre (631065) | about 6 months ago | (#46267393)

Any issues with the car will probably be blamed on the driver. "Your car doesn't accelerate properly because you're holding the steering wheel incorrectly."

Re:Apple Car Troubles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46267433)

Any issues with the car will probably be blamed on the driver.

Just like tesla [teslamotors.com] .

Re:Apple Car Troubles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46267445)

Testing is already underway. Here we have some footage of the first iCar Genius Bar visit. [youtube.com] Looks like it didn't go well.

Re:Apple Car Troubles (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 6 months ago | (#46267561)

changelog for CiOS 3 9/21/16 update:

- iPhone-based ignition system bugfixes - now requires latest iOS build to start
- iTunes integration update - hitting the horn button no longer plays random track from Library
- Emergency braking converted to premium service, requires new EULA agreement

pace makers the next big thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46267399)

surely you want then to be small

and dont call me shirely

"And Rather Than Invent It" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46267411)

"We'll acquire it."
The default strategy for organizations with more cash than brains...

Apple Cars (1)

time_lords_almanac (3527081) | about 6 months ago | (#46267429)

Since Apple likes to believe they should have control over what software we are allowed our mobile devices, does that mean If they made cars, they would belIeve they should have control over what roads we can and can't drive on?

Re:Apple Cars (2)

the computer guy nex (916959) | about 6 months ago | (#46267519)

"Since Apple likes to believe they should have control over what software we are allowed our mobile devices, does that mean If they made cars, they would belIeve they should have control over what roads we can and can't drive on?"

no

Re:Apple Cars (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 6 months ago | (#46267677)

I'd rather trust Apple to have up-to-date software for their cars than any other company out there. Remember cars with Windows CE?

Re:Apple Cars (1)

unimacs (597299) | about 6 months ago | (#46267897)

Who controls the firmware that's on your car today?

Not so stupid as it many people here seem to think (3, Insightful)

vikingpower (768921) | about 6 months ago | (#46267489)

Remember that HP once was almost only known as a producer of measurement equipment. Then they went into the computing hardware business big time. They, too, needed the "next big thing". As much as I may despise Apple, from a corporate-strategical point of view such a move sounds like making a lot of sense for Apple.

Apple has never been a growth-first company (5, Insightful)

the computer guy nex (916959) | about 6 months ago | (#46267501)

If Apple cared about selling more widgets, they would have created lower-priced versions of all of their products years ago.

Analysts want Apple to run the company their way, and Apple is refusing to do it. Good for them in my opinion.

17 Macbook Pro (3, Interesting)

Tz Terri (2842239) | about 6 months ago | (#46267515)

I would be happy if Apple just started selling a 17" Macbook Pro again. Would be even happier if they started selling screens with matt displays again.

BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46267521)

"apple is exploring...." - bs. it has been pretty obvious, at least for the last year, that the killer app/selling point of the rumored iwatch will be medical sensors - apple has been hiring engineers with expertise in that for months now. there's no exploring, that product should be pretty far right now.

regarding tesla: cook has had a meeting with musk about ten months ago - maybe about integrating ios in the car, maybe about battery technologies, maybe about something else - nobody knows for sure. hat's it, just another sensationalist apple story.

(and, no, they don't need "the next big thing". sales are still growing and they are sitting on a huge mountain of cash they have to get rid of anyway)

Reports of Apple relevance are greatly exaggerated (2, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | about 6 months ago | (#46267567)

With the passing of Jobs, I'm pretty sure everyone must realize that Apple's relevance is simply fading away. I know this sounds like a troll and perhaps in some ways it is.

Despite the fact that I disliked Jobs and all that, there's no denying he was extremely effective. Despite the fact that I think he help the company from overtaking the business marketplace, he probably did it for extremely good reasons. He probably kept the company from making huge mistakes and from being hugely liable for all sorts of problems which Microsoft lives with daily. Legacy code support, business and government needs and all that. While there is no doubt Apple has that problem, Jobs managed to keep those things in check and their liabilities limited.

And anyone familiar with Apple's history will recall what Apple did when they canned Jobs. They almost died because they did everything the normal business way. It didn't work. They weren't tooled to make it work. And Jobs is definitely not coming back (though I have no doubt some are still holding out hope) this time. Will there be a next great cult leader of Apple? Doesn't seem to be. So what's ahead besides the public getting tired of incremental advancements which seem to follow other products which have been successful with incremental advancements? Don't know, but I suspect anything to do with anti-privacy and personal identification research will bite Apple in the ass in today's political climate. The whole planet is still pretty angry at the US and US companies. Pushing that stuff forward now seems like it will not go over very well. But what do I know? I'm just a guy on Slashdot.

Apple doesn't have a magic-man any longer. True? Apple pushes a non-Microsoft way to the masses. True? This has always been a disadvantaged position in business and often even in personal computing. True? Apple's fandom kept it going for a while but was floundering until Jobs brought it all back but it wasn't about computers any longer. True? Now Apple is essentially "consumer electronics with a legacy of personal computer stuff." True? The mobile market, the one which Apple unquestionably played a highly visible and major role in its present-day and contemporary form, has MATURED. True? (Apple seems to think so or else it wouldn't be looking to watches and other things which, IMHO are doomed to impractical failure.) A matured market has had many players and competitors but the main players are decreasing in numbers. I just don't see where Apple will continue to fit in.

Suggestions for Apple? Get into more personal data storage and computing. Don't just let things connect together in limited, specified ways. Get into personal storage environments -- personal clouds. Create a wireless standard for storage so that users can keep their data secure and available (a tricky balance which almost seems mutually exclusive) and synchronized.

I think personal computing needs to be UI adaptable while providing access to most or all apps and data the user wants. But there is no universal wireless universal storage scheme yet. (You know, like a wireless server in your pocket or backpack or whatever?) Put R&D money there. This isn't only what people want, it's what they need. Apple has momentum and is capable of doing it. But will their own corporate greed prevent them from trying to keep control of user data the way everyone else is? Or will they get pushed aside when someone else steps up and says "you now control your own data and you can have it any way you want." I know lots of people want all of their pictures, all of their videos, all of their music available to them all of the time and at the same time, they don't want someone else controlling or containing it for them. Especially now.

Re:Reports of Apple relevance are greatly exaggera (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46267621)

OMG great ideas! We'll get on that right away. Signed, Tim Cook

Re:Reports of Apple relevance are greatly exaggera (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46267729)

Sorry but anyone with such a low UID who had any amount of business sense wouldn't be posting on Slashdot, they'd either be leading a company so large that they didn't have time for SD or they'd be toasting their good fortune on a private island somewhere.

Jobs wasn't a magic man and worse yet is that you can't get over your hate for a company to take the time to review the technology with a fair eye. It's sad but these kinds of posts is about as much as I can expect from Slashdot anymore.

Re:Reports of Apple relevance are greatly exaggera (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 6 months ago | (#46268187)

The Apple tech itself is great. It's what they "allow you to do with it" that angers me. It's really as simple as that. They make cool things and then they restrict, limit and lock them down. Case-in-point? Copy-Paste was a feature of second generation iPhone and newer releases of iOS. They didn't omit it because it never occurred to them. It was a limitation they put in there by design and ended up going back on because people were pretty upset about it. And saving attachments in email? Is that still disallowed?

Re: Reports of Apple relevance are greatly exagger (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46267871)

in which world is the public getting tired of "incemental advancements" of apple products? this has been their strategy (interrupted by the occasional new product) ever since - and the ever increasing sales numbers speak for themselves. i'd rather buy a incremental advanced product of a tried and true category/company three tech-generations down the road (now it's a substantial advancement) than some newfangled crap, that's new for just the sake of newness.

Re: Reports of Apple relevance are greatly exagger (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 6 months ago | (#46268195)

You saw it first when Microsoft users were refusing to upgrade. The same is beginning to be true of Apple stuff.

How about just greater openness on their devices? (1)

swb (14022) | about 6 months ago | (#46267959)

It seems to me the lightning connector, for all of its mechanical advantages over the 30 pin, also came with a lot of new restrictions and complications, all designed to keep Apple in control.

It seems to me that they're stifling innovative uses via third party accessories which seems to encourage people to find other platforms which could ultimately shrink their user base.

It's just one example, but in a lot of ways I would think they would want to encourage the iPhone/iPad as more general purpose devices with other interesting connectivity and expansion options.

Re:How about just greater openness on their device (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 6 months ago | (#46268245)

I wish I had thought to mention that myself, but my rant was already pretty long.

Yes. Apple loves to restrict and limit. And they don't care what it costs the end user. "No, you cannot replace the battery. If we let you do that, other companies would make compatible batteries and extended life batteries and all that mess. Also, we want to make sure we can find you and your phone. It must be on at all times even if you think it's off."

I'm starting to rethink who the good guys and who the bad guys were on Get Smart. I am starting to prefer KAOS over CONTROL.

Cars? (1, Funny)

bluegutang (2814641) | about 6 months ago | (#46267609)

Remember when Apple was the company that came out with revolutionary new products and the rest of the industry followed them?

Apparently, now it's Google.

(Oh, and who would trust Steve Jobs' company to make their medical devices? Yes I am speaking both to his general approach to ethics, and the circumstances of his death.)

Why not? (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 6 months ago | (#46267613)

Apple has a ridiculous amount of money at their disposal. It makes sense they try to do something with it.

This is also the approach that Samsung has been taking for the last few years. They've started making MRI scanners even.

Re:Why not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46268105)

Samsung is following all the Japanese zaibatsus and US equivalents (GE), because Samsung, LG and Hyundai are the Korean equivalents.

Apple is NOT a zaibatsu. It may try to become one, but it will fail. However, nothing precluding AT&T (nee SBC) from buying Apple, and changing its corporate name then to "Apple" (hopefully with the quotes around it this time).

lookinf forward to samsung "exploring" medical dev (1)

unami (1042872) | about 6 months ago | (#46267687)

and releasing a half-baked galaxy gear mark II with pulse and oximetry measuring.

Pace Makers and Cochlear Implants (1, Funny)

mcspoo (933106) | about 6 months ago | (#46267789)

Ask yourself this... do you trust Apple with your pace maker? Your cochlear implant?

Would you trust MICROSOFT with your pace maker (holy hellzapoppin' no)

I can just see it... " Your cochlear implant has reached it's maximum amount of words amplified for the day. In order to hear more today, you need to upgrade to MICROSOFT COCHLEAR PROFESSIONAL 8.1" or even worse "Oh shit. I'm sorry, I can't do anything else today. I'm only using PaceMaker XP and if my heart beats more than 86,400 times today, my pace maker will throw a very literal blue screen of death."

With Apple, it's be a shiny pace maker, with a lot of features that may or may not be compatible with any other implants... like if you have an MS Cochlear, you can't have an Apple Pace Maker..

Enough with the commas - it's ambiguous, out-dated (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 6 months ago | (#46267797)

Apple Rumored To Be Exploring Medical Devices[, ]Electric Cars To Reignite Growth

The word you're looking for is "and."

Re:Enough with the commas - it's ambiguous, out-da (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46268087)

Thanks, I'm updating the Javascript spec right now!

The following code:

var x = [1, 2, 3];

is to be replaced by:

var x = [1 and 2 and 3];

The Next Big Thing is Bitcoin. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46267957)

. . . and other decentralized digital currencies. Apple seems determined to pretend otherwise.

Bad idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46268391)

The future is never physical. Thats why cars dont fly. On the other hand, the future seems to be about information. Thats why Google self driving Car makes more sense. It manages data.

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