Is Apple the new Energizer Bunny?

Apple at its current velocity is unstoppable. They’ve completely disrupted the phone, music and movie industries, launched the tablet market and are positioned to rewrite the rules for the personal computer. Unless Windows 8 significantly slows down Apple’s march, Microsoft is in danger of heading the way of Blackberry. Bold statement, but who could have predicted what happened to RIM? Windows ‘owns’ the work environment, but for how long?

I don’t arrive at this comparison lightly. I loved my Blackberrys going back to 2001 and bought every model as quickly as they arrived on the market. When the iPhone arrived, I scorned its simple interface and lack of a tactile keyboard.  I may have even bragged that I could type faster and more accurately and that this alone disqualified the iPhone. And it wasn’t without trying the phone for several months…before going back to the Blackberry. I was just as strong in my defense of the PC and Windows.

Enter the iPad

But then my company created a remarkable app for the iPhone and then the iPad, called the Nimbus Control Mobile Player. I needed an iPad to be able to demonstrate our software, so I bought one with the justification that my wife and kids might enjoy it as well. I saw it as a toy that was useful for the demo.

But then I unexpectedly fell in love with the concept and functionality. It helped me realize that the mobile device is so much more than a phone. In fact, the phone functionality was no longer the important part for me. I understood that great interfaces no longer required much typing at all and that subtle shift changes everything. I feel confident this technology will change the workplace fundamentally in the coming years just as it is for my customers.

Getting it

Starting with the iPad, I quickly started ‘getting’ Apple. First I added an iMac and ran it in tandem with my work PC, before finding myself using the company-provided laptop, a current model Dell, less and less. Slow to start up and shut down, poor resolution and a clunky interface finally killed it off and now it mostly sits unused.

Just as quickly as I graduated to the iMac, I found my way to the MacBook Air for my many travels where I need to be able to fire up, talk to a concept or demo software, and know that I will have high performance and not the dreaded hourglass. If that wasn’t enough, with Mountain Lion, I’m amazed at my ability to use iOS-esque apps natively on the computer and not just on the mobile device. Convergence. Ingenious.

Appled-out

The house is now ‘Appled-out’ with the exception of one teenager who games on a PC. From the Time Capsule/Airport wireless to Apple TV, everything works perfectly and never goes down. We paid more, yes, but we have far more with much less trouble. It isn’t that we are sold on their hardware or software per se, we are sold on their digital asset management suite. It makes our life fun and easy.

I can’t say I fall into the category of “fan-boy” because I haven’t automatically bought into everything Apple. I was converted, bit by bit, and now realize how much velocity Apple truly has. Barring big mistakes, they are unstoppable.

I was once, not long ago, a strong detractor. Consider this my apology, Apple.

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Categories: Workplace Reality

Author:Chris Taylor

Reimagining the way work is done through big data, analytics, and event processing. There's no end to what we can change and improve. I wear myself out...

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7 Comments on “Is Apple the new Energizer Bunny?”

  1. March 18, 2012 at 7:59 pm #

    I like you’re comments. That’s the win thing with Apple products I think “Getting it” Apple tries to change the way we look at computing, and it works. all you need to do is forget about what you thought computers and mobile devices “should” be, and you realise how much better they are 🙂

    • March 18, 2012 at 8:02 pm #

      Thanks. I was a bit of an Apple hater before I came around.

  2. March 19, 2012 at 3:42 am #

    Amen – similar experience here although I was never a BlackBerry fan. I truly want MS to succeed and be competitive but w/ the horrible debacle they call a Ribbon Bar in the Office Suite and Windows 8 requiring an engineering degree to setup AND navigate, they have clearly proven that they have lost touch with their customers. I installed Windows 8 Consumer Eval last night and my first reaction was “UGLY” then pure frustration – I had to Google how to shut it down! That’s how bad it is. Not only will Win8 not slow Apple down, it will push customers to Apple. We now have 2 Apple TVs, 4 iPod Touches, 1 MacBook, 2 iPhones and an old G5 I picked up used for the kids. Our children’s children will read about MicroSoft in the same section as T-Rex and the Do-Do bird.

    • March 19, 2012 at 10:51 am #

      Gil, I appreciate your perspective, but respectfully disagree. I find the ribbon bar to be WAY more intuitive than the old menubar/toolbar system. Plus it can very quickly get out of my way (i.e. collapse) when I just want to see my document and nothing else. Also, I think the metro UI is rather innovative and can actually help productivity if used effectively.
      Also, regarding googling the shutdown procedure: why would you shut down the computer? One of the benefits of modern operating systems is the quick startup time, and that is typically achieved thru some kind of power management. When you power down your computer, you bypass all of that, you lose out on the quick startup time. Think about it this way: when was the last time you heard that characteristic Apple startup sound?

  3. Dencie
    March 20, 2012 at 6:59 am #

    I totally agree that Apple has disrupted and awakened the media sector, however the media is so focused on its cool products and insane profits that other important things are overlooked. Apple generates 62% of revenues from the US and Europe while taking advantage of the favorable US tax laws by writing off $74.45 billion from its annual Income Statement.

    While US and European consumers are spending over $400 for its popular products, Apple does not support its own community or local economies by shifting the majority of the manufacturing overseas. It’s their choice to take advantage of low wages (as low as $1/hr) and lack of environmental and humane benefits, but they should not enjoy huge tax breaks that US consumers would ultimately have to make up. Apple has $81 billion in cash with 33% operating margins and over $18 billion in profits just last December quarter. It has plenty of cash and margins to hire and source locally.

    With high unemployment, depressed economy and increasing number of household living under the poverty line, Apple needs to do more to support its country, employees, community and local suppliers. This by the ways is fundamental under Stakeholder mentality which encompass Shareholders, employees, community, suppliers and economy.

    • March 20, 2012 at 7:08 am #

      Dencie, you raise an excellent point. Of course the counterpoint is that we operate in a global economy, and therefore a company can manufacture and ‘park’ its cash anywhere that it has the best advantages. Is that the best strategy? It depends on who you’re talking to. Getting a corporation to spend more money because it would support a community is very charitable but I’m not sure many companies would do that.

  4. Dencie
    March 20, 2012 at 7:54 am #

    Chris,
    I fully understand that companies should be able to manufacture wherever they see fit. However, they should not be able to enjoy significant tax subsidies in their home country (Again Apple writes off $74 billion in expenses to lower their taxes which ultimately leaves it up to taxpayers – consumers to make up). The point here is if you manufacture in Asia then your tax subsidies should be significantly lower as you are not providing any economic benefit to the US for the subsidies. BTW, this should apply to all large well developed companies.

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