I have just bought my first Apple - a Macbook Pro, to get a development platform for iApps. I am struggling with the loss of the PC's Delete key (I never ever used Backspace except for BACK when browsing) and Alt-left instead of CTL-L for word-left. Fundamentals, but I can learn keys and it doesn't affect my PC work.
My overall opinion? If there were only two brands of car, one would be mainstream and affordable, the other would be more exclusive, and, having broken through the cost barrier, would be built to a more luxurious price-performance ratio (name your own cars!). Naturally, the fancier car would be aspirational.
So, if you want to really get rich, build the computer that Apple owners would aspire to -- and then you can name your own price!
I think the thing you are missing here.... that Apple sells a "state of mind". Its like, not to be taken in a negative way, a cult. You dont see cars driving around with IBM/PC or Samsung stickers on the back window. Apple (Steve Jobs) has created someting the rest never will.
Interesting question, probably more to the point does anyone use any of the features the iPhone offers that older phones didn't? I can only speak for me personally, but I had an early smart phone with email, web and some of the others and apart from confirming they worked I never used them, because it was all just too cumbersome. Then I got an iPhone, and all of a sudden email, web browsing skype and notepad became infinitely more usable. They were there before but now they were freed. It was liberating. Then I downloaded some basic apps like weather (the supplied one was useless compared to purchased one), and a TV guide (I don't buy a paper guide any more) some conversion calculators and some with task specific formulae, post code finder, translator, dictionary, thesaurus, level, stud finder, barcode reader, star finder, project timer, tram/bus timetable, movie session times finder, voice recorder, GPS, pus a few others. I now don't bother with a briefcase that I used to carry all of the old style individual device, and I feel freed. OK, so the reception sensitivity isn't as good as my old style phone, and I only 2-4 days battery life, but I am so much more mobile. So to answer your original question, no I don't use all of the features (possible by some ridiculous No. of apps) but I use a wide range of them, and had the iPhone not come out, maybe no one else in the near future would have forced this change of play in the phone arena. If I was starting out now, there's a fair and even chance that an android phone would be my choice, but with me now on the 'i' band wagon, something will have to go seriously wrong with iPhones compared to others for me switch. The iPhone has issues, but it IS a good choice and was the first "REAL" smart phone
Apple does some things really well, one of them is create a loyal following that become the best advertisers of a product. Sadly their strong market position makes them unresponsive to customer issues, and this has undone many a company. The big question is whether they will learn this before or after a significant No. of customers jump ship. I'm not talking about now, but rather what may potentially happen in the future. It also is heavily dependent on what competitors do, hindsight is so much easier to comment on :-)
Envy... is a sin.
I mean if Apple is in demise, why suddenly reports that clones of Macbook Air will spur demand for chips?
Now they call this ultra book.... which was a niche carve out by Apple successfully.
The rest are just wannabe....
Why would anyone bet against a company who has more cash than US Treasury?
Seriously Samsung products uses the cheapest components it can find while Apple has always pride itself in quality, from SW to HW.
The rest are just wannabe.... I would not associate myself with that.
NASA's Orion Flight Software Production Systems Manager Darrel G. Raines joins Planet Analog Editor Steve Taranovich and Embedded.com Editor Max Maxfield to talk about embedded flight software used in Orion Spacecraft, part of NASA's Mars mission. Live radio show and live chat. Get your questions ready.
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