The Orange View (on hiatus) Because Apple is great but it isn't perfect

11Feb/11Off

A Manifesto of sorts: Apple is great but it’s not perfect

Just over a decade ago, Apple was a struggling computer company with too many products that didn't sell and not enough innovation to have much of a future. But we all know the story -- Steve Jobs returned, products were brilliantly invented, marketed and improved. What was once a near-bankrupt PC purveyor grew to become the largest and most successful tech company in the world with a stock market value of over $300 billion.

Apple's biggest fans (and top pundits) went along for the ride, a journey not unlike the one made by the ancient Israelites who started out as an oppressed and downtrodden group, wandered for 40 years in the desert after being set free, and finally reached the promised land to become the chosen people. There's no denying that, today, Apple and its fans have reached the promised land. The company dominates the markets for high-end computers, digital music players and tablets while also doing quite well in smart phones. Its iTunes ecosystem is the top-seller of music in any format, online video and mobile apps. Kudos to Jobs and his merry band.

The problem is that despite Apple's many successes, it's far from perfect from the point of view of consumers and customers. The MobileMe online service is under-featured and way overpriced. Apple's electronic book effort, iBooks, excludes everything from Random House, the biggest publisher in the world, works only on Apple platforms and helped usher in a massive ebook price increase last year. The iTunes software itself has become a bloated mess, suffering under the weight of having more and more categories of stuff and needed functionality piled on. Even the super-duper iPhone and iPad have areas of needed improvement.

Of course, Apple's doing at least as well or better by its customers than any tech company you can name. So what's the problem? Why create The Orange View? The problem is that the pundits and analysts who stuck with Apple through the days of wandering in the desert seem to have emerged into the promised land all too eager to take down any critics of the company, ignore all the flaws and generally go on the attack against any innovation or good idea that's emerged from somewhere else.

One of the more stunning displays of Apple-centrism came on a Macworld panel last month about the future of computing where the four pundits on display ignored virtually every other hardware and software company on the planet as they forecast all the tech wonders to come. Former Nokia analyst Horace Dediu has created some excellent graphics depicting the current tech environment but throws in enough unsupported jibes at almost everyone but Apple that his conclusions don't always reach the same level of polish as his bar charts.

So instead of posting the occasional comment on someone else's web site or offering a 140 character retort on Twitter, I'll be posting here. In between posts, I'll also be running links with short comments a la Gruber's Daringfireball blog.

What you won't find here are gadget and software reviews, personal ruminations and complaints about geeky stuff or general commentary on tech trends. I'm also not expecting to post much photography or imagery here. All of that kind of stuff will all remain over on sister site GravitationalPull.net.

I'm strongly opposed to anonymous criticism and so you can see from the About page that I'm Aaron Pressman, a journalist with more than 20 years experience covering business, politics and technology. Nothing here has anything to do with my day job and all posts will  reflect solely my personal opinions and views, for better or worse.

Posted by Aaron Pressman

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