Apple’s Low Cost iPhone
Take iPod Touch, add 3G, sell for same price. BAM, done. Easy as pie.
Giving Credit Where Credit Ain’t Due
Well, well, well, Google is moving more and more into the hardware business. Look at their latest entry! An over priced, under specced laptop that has limited software capabilities out of the box. Oh shit! I bet Apple must be terrified of this.
I’ve read a lot about the Google Chromebook, and, to be honest, it really is less impressive than everyone is making it out to be. WAY less impressive. But, it really has fed into this meme: “Google is getting better at Apple’s strengths faster than Apple is getting better at Google’s strengths.”
Now, it is time to debunk the shit out of this.
First of all, is Google really getting good at creating well designed hardware? Not really. They hired some designers, specced out a laptop, and payed some company (Asus? Acer? some Korean company I suppose) to manufacture what is basically a MacBook clone. Let’s look at the innovative hardware in this….. uhmmm, a different glass etching on the trackpad that makes it feel nicer?
There are none. There is nothing innovative about this laptop. Yes, the hardware is nice, but really, any company could have put this together if they want to pay the money for it.
Now, 4 years ago, when Apple was just starting to make aluminum notebooks and utilizing this innovative machining process, no one else had the technology, nor the money invested in creating a notebook of similar quality. But, now, four years later, every company that makes notebooks can produce this kind of machine at the request of Google.
So, Google is paying some company to manufacture what is probably going to be a low volume notebook for it. And, oh, it has no innovative hardware. Yeah, Google is becoming a hardware powerhouse.
Anyway, creating hardware is only one of Apple’s strengths, and really Google isn’t matching it. They are catching up with it by outsourcing the entire manufacturing to a company that actually has the know how to do this.
But wait you say!! Apple sources it’s manufacturing to Foxconn you say! True, I say. But, Apple owns all the machines Foxconn uses to produce the final product, and Apple designs the manufacturing process for each product it makes. Foxconn basically just hires the workers and supervises them for Apple.
But the real strength in Apple’s hardware business is it’s distribution. Apple has high quality displays in many major retailers, it has many very high quality stores throughout the world, and it has an efficient online store that sells and ships products all over the world. Google is not nearly close to this position with hardware. Nexus 4 debacle anyone? Fortunately, they ain’t gonna sell many of this Chromebook, so their distribution issues aren’t going to show up. It is going to be smooth sailing for the 100,000 people who buy this Chromebook in the upcoming year.
Now, that I’ve ragged on Google’s hardware capabilities. Which, quite frankly, aren’t as impressive as people seem to think it is. This is more a case of people seeing this Chromebook and thinking to themselves, “Oh look! The shiney!” Which is what the tech press loves to do. It is time to see if Apple somehow is getting good at what Google does.
Well, not search, Apple doesn’t do search. But, Google primarily runs various online services. And we all know that Apple sucks at running online services. Completely, it is almost like they are absolutely incompetent at running anything online. Oh, except for the $17 billion a year iTunes services. Those are online right? How about that, they can run a major online service, successfully. Who’d a thunk it?
Armchair CEO: The Gamification of Apple
My last post suggested that Apple become a gaming company. People like games. People like to play games. Having a good gaming platform would attract customers, in spite of what some people (uhummm, Steve Jobs) have said.
I’m not recapping my last post anymore here, you can go read it. It’s not that long. I focused primarily on the getting all the hardware and the OS up to par. But here’s the real crazy part.
Apple should take their sacks full of dollars, go to Japan and buy Nintendo.
BAM, good games guaranteed.
Let’s face it, Nintendo hardware basically sucks. Wii U? Whatever cheap hand held device they sell? Crap. If Apple were to buy Nintendo, they would have to support this junk until it goes EOL in like 4 years. But, other than finishing up current projects for it, I wouldn’t give two more thoughts about Nintendo’s current hardware.
I would sit down with Shigeru Miyamoto, and say…. “You now make games for this hardware.” And then point to a higher powered AppleTV, iPad, iPhone and Mac.
Then, basically, leave him and his team alone to make amazing Mario and Zelda games.
Are we done here? NO.
I would leave Nintendo as it’s own subsidiary, that way, the brand can still be used. It is still a good brand, and it would remove the eventual gaming peripherals from contaminating the minimalist Apple brand. Because, well, there would be a lot of them, and they wouldn’t necessarily fit in with the Apple style.
Then, I would recreate each classic Nintendo controller into a Bluetooth based wireless controller. Except, I’d have to improve that crappy analog stick that came with the N64 system. It would gunk up after about a week of playing.
And after each controller was made, I would get the guys at my newly owned Nintendo subsidiary to port all of their classic games to each hardware platform capable of running it.
So, if you can imagine this…. You have your iPad with you, and a classic NES controller in your bag. You break it out, boot up classic Mario, and play. After 20 minutes, and you’re bored, you pull out the N64 controller, boot up Ocarina of Time and keep plays. You go home, your AppleTV with a sensor bar and a Wii controller, and bam! you have a full fledged Wii.
You would sell a bazzillion of these controller and games.