If you thought my previous piece citing different incidents that happened in 2014 where Apple dropped the ball was off the mark… Well, have a look here.
“iOS 8 uses an unexpectedly large percentage of the storage capacity on 8 GB and 16 GB iPhones, iPads and iPods,” the lawsuit alleges. Apple, it says, “fails to disclose to consumers that as much as 23.1% of the advertised storage capacity of the Devices will be consumed by iOS 8 and unavailable for consumers when consumers purchase Devices that have iOS 8 installed.”
Now, I don’t believe for a second that this lawsuit has any merit. But the sheer fact that it’s moving forward, and likely to garner class action status, validates the argument that it was a serious black eye for Apple in 2014.
ACSI (American Customer Satisfaction Index) released their findings for smartphone companies and their customer satisfaction ratings for 2014, and the results were a little surprising to some. For the first time, Samsung is beating Apple in this metric – 81 (Samsung, a 6.6 improvement) to 79 (Apple, a -2.2 decline).
The odd thing about this metric is that Apple increased their sales of smartphones in 2014, while Samsung decreased. Still, one only has to look back at some of the blunders Apple endured in 2014 to realize where the decreased rating comes from.
iOS 8 Rollout: Many users (myself included) with 16GB devices were unable to install the update via the ‘over the air’ (OTA) process due to the sheer size of the iOS 8 upgrade. Many users got through the entire download portion of the upgrade process, only to be informed at the last stage that their device could not be upgraded. Worse yet, the remedy for this problem (to perform the upgrade via iTunes) was not conveyed in the error message, so many people thought that they had no way to upgrade their device to iOS 8.
iPhone 6/6 Plus Supply Issues: Having supply outstrip demand is usually a good problem to have, but in Apple’s case with the iPhone 6/6 Plus, the shortages may have cost them some customer satisfaction points. There are well documented cases of people who ordered a 6 Plus on the day that preorders were first possible, but didn’t receive their devices for months later. Months. The supply was so constrained for these devices that you could routinely see people lined up at Apple Stores before they opened, trying to get whatever stock they had on hand, well in to December. As the year comes to a close, Apple has brought the wait time for a 6 Plus down to a day, but it’s been a hard struggle.
iOS 8.01 Update: Then there’s the infamous iOS 8.01 update. This update caused cellular issues in a large enough number of user’s devices that Apple pulled the update shortly after it’s release. Want to generate bad customer satisfaction? Release an update for a device that someone may have just purchased that essentially breaks one of it’s main features.
Apple had other, non iPhone related debacles in 2014 as well: the WWDC iPhone Keynote fracas, 2014 Mac Pro video rendering problems, a Mac mini update/non upgrade, an increase in repair costs for non Applecare covered iPhones, and more.
Apple had a lot to be proud of in 2014, but if Customer Satisfaction is still a metric they care about, they need to do better in 2015.
Apple SVP Eddy Cue famously said earlier this year that 2014 was going to be a banner year for Apple products.
With the year coming to a close, now is a good time to reflect back on the hardware that Apple released over the last 12 months and examine where Apple went right and where they went wrong.
Category: Apple,Apple Retail,Hardware,iPad,iPhone,iPod,Opinion
Under Steve Jobs, Apple was a laser focused company. Upon his return to Apple, he simplified Apple’s product matrix to four lines – consumer desktop, consumer portable, pro desktop, pro portable. Apple focused on those 4 product lines (along with getting OS X ready and out the door) until the iPod debuted in 2001. Apple is methodical about how they approach products and features. When the iPhone debuted in 2007, many lamented that its closed nature would prevent it from being successful. Apple tried to placate users and developers with their ‘pretty sweet solution’ of developing web apps optimized for the small device. Of course, this was just Apple’s way of buying themselves time until their 3rd party app strategy was fully baked and ready to launch. There was nearly a year in between the push for web optimized apps and the App Store. And in that time, Apple took a lot of heat for not having a native app solution. (more…)
So, the jury is in and Samsung lost. Big time. It could have been worse for Samsung, but not by much. Apple walks away with $1.049B in damages, and Samsung walks away with a verdict that will fundamentally change how it implements Android on it’s handsets in the future. (more…)
Category: Apple vs. Samsung Trial,Litigation
Ever since the introduction of the iPod, Apple has been making a shift towards becoming a consumer electronics company. In 2007, at the iPhone keynote introduction, Steve Jobs famously declared that Apple was changing its name from ‘Apple Computer Inc’ to just ‘Apple Inc’, to better reflect that change.
In the years since, Apple has taken many steps that have left many in the professional markets scratching their heads and stomping their feet. Need a reminder? Here are some of those steps: (more…)
It’s hard to imagine Apple before the iPod now, but 10 years ago, it didn’t exist yet. Apple was back on track, but it had yet to release a device that could be considered a ‘game changer’. Initially, I don’t think anyone believed that the iPod would have the success that it has had. The early reviews were split on it, with half seeing it for the brilliant device that it was, and the other half only seeing it for what it lacked (Windows compatibility and USB connectivity).
Still, it’s not a stretch to say that the iPod is the device that defined the modern Apple. It definitely gave them the resources and clout to tackle devices like the iPhone and iPad.
Lion has been available to the masses for over 2 months now, and the reception has been generally pretty favorable. Distribution of a commercial OS via a downloadable only option has never been tried before, and I think by all accounts, it has been very successful. Still, with any new release, there are those that don’t find the grass greener in the new pasture. Lion brings a lot to the table to be pleased with, but it also brings a fair amount of change to the table as well.
Depending upon your level of interaction, that change might be as minor as Apple’s decision to switch the default scrolling direction. Or, if you are a developer, it might be as complex as requiring you to have your application sandboxed by November 1st if you wish to continue selling it through the Mac App Store.
Apple has always been a company that isn’t afraid to cut ties to the past in order to forge a path to where they believe the future is. In sports parlance, this is ‘skating to where the puck is going to be’. In many cases, Apple is the entity driving the puck itself. From time to time, this has caused some consternation in the Mac community. Yet Apple forges ahead.
Most of the Mac OS X releases to date have been evolutionary. With Lion, Apple has taken the biggest leap yet. With the Mac App Store, LaunchPad, and Sandboxing, I think it is pretty clear where Apple is headed. I don’t subscribe to the theory that Apple will ‘merge’ iOS and Mac OS X. That seems silly to me, as if Apple had felt on OS was sufficient for all devices, it wouldn’t have created iOS from the underlying OS X technology in the first place.
I do, however, believe that Apple is moving to remake the Mac in the likeness of iOS. With Sandboxing, Launchpad, and the memory management changes that have appeared in Lion, they have already taken some great steps in that direction. I wouldn’t be surprised to see future releases of Mac OS X (nee, now just OS X, which in of itself is perhaps quite telling) become more locked down like iOS.
Steve Jobs has penned another detailed missive, this time on Flash and how/why Apple doesn’t support it on it’s mobile devices. It’s a 1600 word opus that breaks down the argument in to 6 reasons – openness, full web, reliability (and security/performance), battery life, touch, and platform issues.
I can’t argue with most of the points, however this one is not entirely accurate:
Adobe’s Flash products are 100% proprietary. They are only available from Adobe, and Adobe has sole authority as to their future enhancement, pricing, etc. While Adobe’s Flash products are widely available, this does not mean they are open, since they are controlled entirely by Adobe and available only from Adobe. By almost any definition, Flash is a closed system.
The Flash plugin is proprietary, but anyone can build an application that exports to the Flash format. Applications like Swish and others offer Flash creation tools that export to the Flash format. It’s a minor point to quibble with, as the Flash plugin is proprietary.
It will be interesting to see how Adobe responds to this. Adobe, from the CEO on down, has been dissing Apple’s mobile offerings lately in hopes of preserving it’s Flash kingdom. Having Steve Jobs and his 1600 word megaphone broadcast a detailed defense of why Apple avoids Flash can’t go unanswered. Can it?