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Apple Neglects its Pro Userbase - Focus Entirely on Highly Profitable iDevices

Aaron B Lingwood (1288412) writes | about a year and a half ago

Apple 6

Aaron B Lingwood (1288412) writes "RocketJump's film-maker Freddie Wong of Youtube's Freddiew fame compares Mac vs PC for the pro user. The article argues that Apple has neglected their most loyal userbase of media professionals and is instead chasing profits instead of innovation. The shift away from the PowerPC to Intel-based chips as well as the crippling and discontinuation of entire lines of professional software means Mac no longer has the edge over PC for professional use. With PC's costing considerably less and with the PC version of software such as Adobe Suite catching up with features and usability, Freddie, a long time Mac-user, has decided to shift to PC and abandon Mac. Is this the beginning of an entire cultural shift where PC's are for the professional and tech-savvy while Apple products of for the tech-simpletons? Have Apple put all their eggs in the one basket relying solely on marketing for their line of fashion accessories?"

6 comments

Interestingly, there was a profile (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | about a year and a half ago | (#41278087)

of Apple users at http://www.apple.com/business/profiles/ [apple.com]
which included "creatives" while most PC users were business types.

However, it's not there anymore (perhaps because Apple doesn't care about those users anymore).

Summaries of the profiles are here:
http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/mac-vs-pc-myth-busting-consumer-guide/ [hongkiat.com]

Excerpt:

-Mac People are more likely to see the existing world in a light of âoesamenessâ and thus express a desire to be perceived as different and unique. This is consistently reflected in their aesthetic choices such as bold colors, âoeretroâ designs, one-of-a-kind clothing and highly stylized art.
-PC People are more likely to see the world as âoedifferent enough alreadyâ and appreciate âoebeing in tune with those around them.â This is reflected in their subtler, âoemainstream modernâ (neither retro nor extremely contemporary) design choices and their practical choices in clothing, footwear, and cars that favor getting the job done rather than making an overt design statement.

Re:Interestingly, there was a profile (1)

Aaron B Lingwood (1288412) | about a year and a half ago | (#41278303)

This is interesting. Many people have come to me over the years for tech advice, especially when purchasing new hardware. Up until today, any time a person in the creative arts asked my opinion on what machine they should buy I have unequivocally affirmed that Mac is the best choice - despite being an avid PC user. After reading this, I feel a little guilt for possibly misleading some people into making a bad purchasing decision. I have been ignorant to much of apple development as of late because I despise the iDevices and the culture that follows them, and as such, have dismissed anything written by pro-apple technophiles.

To see a film-maker/geek like Freddie make this giant shift when his entire livelihood is determined by the tools he has at his disposal is a big thing. Certainly an eye-opener.

Part of Freddie's argument was that there is no longer a Mac vs PC as they are identical in terms of hardware. This leaves just the PC architecture for the desktop. With Apple neglecting a large portion of desktop users and Microsoft focusing on its non-desktop-centric 'Metro' UI I am curious as to the future of desktop computing. Will we see the demise of the desktop or will we see a little cooperation between the Linuxes to really make a consumer-friendly well marketed product? I had previously expected Shuttleworth's Ubuntu to make it big on the desktop but the Ubuntu philosophy has shifted and the company seems to be looking to Microsoft for inspiration (WTF!?). Ditching Kubuntu (the best stepping stone Canonical had to offer to Windows users) and shifting to Unity means that Canonical no longer has a viable alternative for the desktop market and is taking the approach of its competitors in creating an interface that can be used on as many devices as possible.

The industry really needs a kick up the arse. Where do I go if I need a serious, reliable, responsive yet highly customizable machine with a wide-range of software for my work? I thought long and hard about this question before coming to the solution: 2002.

Re:Interestingly, there was a profile (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | about a year and a half ago | (#41279143)

There is nothing new about this. The change has been in the pipeline for some time. Although the new Powerbook has a very high res screen, a number of PC manufacturers are now selling reasonable priced laptops with 1920 by 1080 screens and "proper" graphics cards along with 22nm Core I7 processors. Even if you upgrade them with equivalent SSDs, they are roughly half the price of the nearest equivalent Powerbook. The cases may not be as pretty, the power supplies a little more clunky, but the effect on getting the job done is absolutely minimal and the $900 or so saving takes away any pain from the lack of coolness factor.

Unfortunately, as you note, this has come just at the time when Microsoft seems hell-bent on a desktop UI that, if I read the reviews, is going to piss me off royally.

Even so I'm going to give them a chance. Clone the hard drive, "upgrade" to Windows 8, give it a month and then, if necessary revert. As a long term Windows hater I'm slightly ashamed of myself, but, as you say, none of the Linuxes seem to be interested in professionals any more. Faced with the rock of "Screw you, we'll sell you a high spec laptop but it isn't upgradeable and you will pay through the nose for it", and "reasonably priced laptop but all the OSes have too many Lego features", the temptation is to go with the OS that will, at least, connect to the company network properly, read SMB shares without issues, and allow me to install ALL the software I use. (Currently for me one deal breaker is that Windows Azure goes best with SQL Studio 2012 rather than the web interface.)

Re:Interestingly, there was a profile (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41280895)

To see a film-maker/geek like Freddie make this giant shift when his entire livelihood is determined by the tools he has at his disposal is a big thing. Certainly an eye-opener.

Don't worry. I'm betting all it'll take is one long... to put it delicately, "discussion"... from high-level Apple execs, one where they explain the many, many benefits of continuing to use and promote Apple products, most of which are counted with a dollar sign in front of them, and Freddie will miraculously "rediscover" how useful Apple products are and how vital the ownership (and subsequent re-purchasing and upgrading of) iDevices is to any professional creative endeavor.

Apple also abandoned scientific and web users (0)

kenorland (2691677) | about a year and a half ago | (#41278137)

Apple has discontinued Xserve, and their highest end machines are way behind what you can get from PC companies. They also stopped developing X11 and have done very little to improve the UNIX and POSIX parts of OS X. It's obviously all about consumers now.

I am a pro user with a Mac Mini. (1)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about a year ago | (#41416323)

I used to use a Mac Pro 2008 (8 core 2 CPU Xeon) machine with 16GB RAM and loaded with drives. I recently replaced the whole rig recently with a Mac Mini i7 with the same amount of RAM as I previously had, and it works out much better all around. It uses less power, makes less noise, and for my purposes is a good replacement of my old machine. I don't believe it is faster than the old Mac Pro but I don't think it's really slower either. Geekbench scores seem to indicate this more or less as well.

Apple's "pro" users consist mostly of creative types and small business / home business and always have. Sure, there were some gigantic G5 clusters built once upon a time and such, and some A/UX boxes were turned out, but they have never gone after the server market like Dell or HP or Sun. They target the user or business that wants a premium laptop, desktop, or integrated computer. Because Apple networking is designed to be easy the server role is diminished for many use cases anyway.

The article and many other people are using the wrong terminology when addressing Apple's strategy of dropping the Xserve. They were not abandoning the "pro" market at all but instead dropping their *DATACENTER* lineup. This is pretty easy to understand, most datacenter software is on Linux or FreeBSD or Solaris or even (Science help you) Windows and what have you. Sure, you could run OS X but why bother if it's some Unixy or Windows solution that you're after anyway? All these hundreds of vendors are in that market already, and it is a cutthroat lower margin market - too saturated for Apple's taste.

Apple finally released a new Mac Pro, so I think the fears that they had abandoned the people who need a high spec OS X workstation are taken care of are assuaged for now. There are plenty of options for Apple's real professional users, who are the same creative types, small business, and home office as they were in the 80s and 90s and 00s.

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