The Market for Expensive Cheese Graters

24

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  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 1,153
    edited June 9
    The perception that Mac is doomed goes back decades. In fact, the Mac's marketshare is up over 50% since 2013 while the PC's, which obviously still dominates, has been going down (link). In 2003, the Mac's marketshare was just over 2% in the U.S. It's currently about 12.3%. (Of course, the story may be different where you live. I'm not sure if the page I linked to is worldwide or just U.S.)
  • Bhikkhu PesalaBhikkhu Pesala Posts: 208
    It is all about the software; not the hardware. 

    In a documentary I recently watched on the near collapse of Apple, Bill Gates was winning the competition by a huge margin because business needed to run certain application. Gates saved Apple by releasing Word for the Mac, and purchasing a large, non-voting, stock-holding. His only reason for doing that was to avoid Microsoft being broken up. 

    It is still about the software. Serif realised this, and invested all of their efforts to release Mac/Windows Drawing and Photo-editing Applications, very soon to be followed by a DTP application — Affinity Publisher. 

    It does not matter how pretty the box is, if I cannot run the software that I use on it, I am not buying it. 
  • Vasil StanevVasil Stanev Posts: 428
    edited June 9
    I always appreciate facts over opinions, thank you for that. But I did not write something to the effect that the Mac world is doomed. It is, as the link suggests, a distant second after the Win world. Also, I did not look in detail, but the share of PCs could be getting small because of Android and the general trend towards mobile devices, not neccessarily Apple desktops and devices.

    I see Apple's behaviour in the past ten years as a similar to the recent MF sheneginans (going back to the board's theme) - a last minute, dirty, no punches pulled cashgrab before the inevitable crash. Hence the secrecy and, in Apple's case, heavy relience on context that isn't there. "Why is your computer better than a PC?" "-Well, do we really need to explain that again? It was obvious, so we never explained in the first place."

    In general, the tech world and the creative sphere are, IMPO, developed past the point of abundance. I really do not see much more room for developing new fonts, media content, software and so on. The main bases are covered and the rest gets atomized. 10 years ago YouTube taught us essential skills. Now content creators have no new ways to be original besides going into smaller and smaller detail. 15 ways to catch the blue pokemon on level 24 and the like. Which predicts the obvious about YT monetization.


    There were plenty of phone calls in 2006-2007 trying to convince me now is the best time to invest in real estate stock. Do we learn anything?

  • Vasil StanevVasil Stanev Posts: 428
    The above is neither a lament about some "good ole days", nor pessimism about the future. I am an optimist and I firmly believe it will not only be brighter, but unimaginably so, primarily in biology, medicine and understanding the human brain and the mind. Yet certain spheres of human activity got explored enough to built a portfolio so big as to make innovation impossible. Everybody I talk to maintains that their main income comes from retail and the MF model is pretty much dead for the smaller players. And 10 years of Behance sanitized anything that I thought could have the 'wow' factor. Not rarely have I got to have the old conversation about why non-designers can't make good design. But recently designs pulled from various sites by non-professionals make my point harder and harder to maintain.
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,646
    MF?

    Mutual Fund? Mother ____? My Friend? Millennium Falcon? Mezzo Forte? 
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,646
    The perception that Mac is doomed goes back decades. In fact, the Mac's marketshare is up over 50% since 2013 while the PC's, which obviously still dominates, has been going down (link). In 2003, the Mac's marketshare was just over 2% in the U.S. It's currently about 12.3%. (Of course, the story may be different where you live. I'm not sure if the page I linked to is worldwide or just U.S.)
    Statcounter claims worldwide desktop market share (May 2019) is 78.9% Windows, 13.9% Mac, compared to US being 69.8% and 19.0%, and Europe 78.3%/15.3%. (http://gs.statcounter.com/os-market-share/desktop/united-states-of-america, and then click different options—beware that data for individual/smaller countries seems suspect. Did Denmark's Mac usage go from 13% to 37% in July to October 2018? Seems unlikely. So feel free to doubt Statcounter numbers.)

    In our little dominion of type design, there are a lot of apps and utilities that are Mac-only, and just a few that are Windows-only. A Mac can run Windows software (with a significant hit in memory usage), but the converse is not easily true. So as a font person who wants flexibility to run a wide range of apps I care about, I am motivated to go Mac. I still run Microsoft Office apps and even occasional apps that are Windows only.

    The MacBook keyboard debacle of recent years (I am a seriously heavy-handed typist, so for me this issue seems like a real concern) certainly has given me pause, however. Good example of the limitations of a single-vendor situation.

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 1,153
    MyFonts?
  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 1,153
    My sense of it (I don't have any links) is that Mac marketshare started going up after Apple switched from PowerPC to Intel chips. In effect, Apple began making PC-compatibles.
  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,549
    The perception that Mac is doomed goes back decades.
    Indeed it's ludicrous to believe the Mac is doomed when vapid consumerism has never been stronger.
  • John SavardJohn Savard Posts: 461
    In 2003, the Mac's marketshare was just over 2% in the U.S. It's currently about 12.3%.
    Interesting. Although there was indeed a time in the past when the Macintosh was in very serious trouble - and Steve Jobs saved it by making iMacs in different colors (!) to buy time to provide more substantive improvements of a technical nature... the Mac has so little mindshare these days that I thought it was back to the old days.
    If the Mac could make a comeback while sailing under the radar, that would be well and good. I see no signs of an attempt to do so, however. Instead, they just narrowly missed shooting themselves in the foot by forcing Mac developers to go through the App Store.

    Indeed it's ludicrous to believe the Mac is doomed when vapid consumerism has never been stronger.
    I certainly don't think the iPhone and iPod are doomed, as they're going great guns at the moment, but I don't see that "vapid consumerism" is enough to save the Macintosh. Computers are, after all, a more serious purchase.
  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,549
    Hrant: I get it, you hate Macs and prefer Windows. Fine. But you don't need to insult people who prefer something you don't.
    I'm actually not that binary, but anyway it's not about me (or you).

    Don't shame shaming!  ;-)
  • John SavardJohn Savard Posts: 461
    edited June 9
    I get it, you hate Macs and prefer Windows. Fine. But you don't need to be insulting about it just because someone prefers something you don't.
    I don't hate the Macintosh in the sense of thinking that it's harder to use, or less well-designed. Historically, the Macintosh was a superior platform. It was the first commercially successful GUI, making significant additions to the interface of the Lisa and the experimental machines at Xerox.
    Microsoft Windows took a long time to manage to copy many of the features of the Macintosh - and since Microsoft considered it necessary to do that, clearly Windows was merely the imitation.
    It's also sad that the rug was pulled out from under the Macintosh twice - first by Motorola abandoning the 68020/68882 architecture, so that a change to the PowerPC had to take place, and then by IBM failing to provide an adequate selection of PowerPC processors, particularly for laptops, leading to Apple having to turn to Intel.
    The change from OS 9 to OS X, of course, was also drastic, but since Apple does provide its own interface on top of BSD I am willing to accept that OS X, like the Classic Mac, provides a genuinely superior user interface to that of Windows.
    And Microsoft can also be strongly criticized for the Windows 8 debacle.
    So if people prefer to use a Macintosh instead of Microsoft Windows, that is an attitude towards which I feel every sympathy. Unfortunately, given the decline of the third-party software market for the Macintosh, I also feel sorrow and pity for the difficulty they encounter in indulging that preference.
    It's instead a case of loving the product, but hating the company.
    Let's go back to the dawn of the Macintosh, shall we? It came with 128 kilobytes of RAM. Later, Apple came out with the Fat Mac, which had 512 kilobytes of RAM instead.
    128k Macintoshes... had something in the ROM so that they wouldn't recognize additional memory if added, and, as well, the case could only be opened with special (and expensive) security Torx screwdrivers with a hole in the middle.
    And now, in the present, Apple has decided that an open expandable Macintosh is something that can only be offered in the very highest price bracket.
    And then there's the time Apple sued Xerox. (The lawsuit against the GEM desktop, a slavish imitation, may well have been justified; but because Microsoft could afford a licensing arrangement with Apple that smaller players couldn't, the Microsoft Windows monopoly, with all of its ill effects, is in no small part the responsibility of Apple as well.)
    Perhaps it's not clear what kind of message all of this sends. So I'll spell it out.
    Apple prices its products not as commodity items in a price-competitive market, but instead in a fashion typical of a monopolist - customers needing more capacity pay more not just for what they need, but for everything. This, and its aggressive defence of its intellectual property, sends the message that it would like to *be* a monopolist, so that everyone would have the choice of paying Apple prices for the Macintosh, or buying computers that can only be used from the command prompt.
    If the "good" guys are about making computers more affordable and more accessible to everyone, Apple appears to be the "bad" guy.
  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 1,153
    edited June 9
    (Sorry, John, that comment was directed at Hrant, not you. You just happened to post before I did so it looked like I was responding to you. I've edited it to make it clearer.)
  • John SavardJohn Savard Posts: 461
    edited June 9
    (Sorry, John, that comment was directed at Hrant, not you. You just happened to post before I did so it looked like I was responding to you. I've edited it to make it clearer.)
    I knew the title of this thread was perhaps a bit flippant.
    As to Hrant's comment - I agree you're right to take exception to characterizing everyone who owns an Apple product to be vapid.
    I didn't take his comment as being that kind of personal insult, however, as generally in the media, the high pricing of some iPhone models and of the Apple Watch in particular has resulted in a considerable amount of comment to the effect that these products are "aimed at the 1%" or bought as status symbols or Veblen goods. Thus, I viewed what he said as merely an expression of that kind of commonly-held view of the matter.
    Aside from being a defense of Hrant, more specifically, because I knew I had been flippant, and because I didn't think of his remarks as a personal insult, the above is to explain why I wasn't cognizant of a distinction between my conduct and his that would have led me to recognize who your comment was directed at, not that I saw this as serious enough to merit an apology on your part.
  • Russell_McGormanRussell_McGorman Posts: 192
    edited June 9
    I love just how much dust this thing is going to collect.

    James Puckett said:
    I hadn't even thought about that. Especially if the fans are drawing air in from the front. These things are going to look gross after a year.
    Pro tip: Put a filter in front of the air intake and Bingo! You've got yourself a darn good air cleaner. 
  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,549
    John Savard said:
    characterizing everyone who owns an Apple product to be vapid.
    Indeed that's not remotely something I did.
    Taking things personally is the new black.

  • John SavardJohn Savard Posts: 461
    edited June 9
    John Savard said:
    characterizing everyone who owns an Apple product to be vapid.
    Indeed that's not remotely something I did.
    Taking things personally is the new black.

    Now you've done it! You're calling him a snowflake!
    Of course, you're right: that "vapid consumerism" increases the sales of Apple products indicates the reasons of some of their purchasers, and doesn't imply that others haven't made a considered, rational decision in their favor.
    However, when one uses emotionally-charged language, even if the construction of the phrase in which it is used is such to indicate it is not aimed personally, the presence of words with strong connotations will tend to distract from the literal meaning of what is said.
    I know that there was another thread where a number of people were saying what a terrible poster you were, and at the time I was mystified as I hadn't found anything particularly objectionable or outrageous about your posts. But it seems as though I am now gaining some insight into how this issue has arisen.
    Or, in other words, it seems you have the same problem as Caesar's wife: not only must you not personally insult others, you must be seen as not personally insulting others.
  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,549
    Et tu, Johnus.
  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 1,153
    edited June 9
    Yes, I wish Apple gear was cheaper. But because I prefer MacOS and iOS, since Apple exclusively makes the hardware, and they tend to make only higher-end gear, it's going to cost more. That's a big factor, but it's not the only factor. If it was I wouldn't buy from Apple. (And it's not to show off or be seen as fashionable, Hrant. Anyone who's seen how I dress would know that.)

    But it is enough of a factor for a lot of people. Fortunately, there are alternatives, like Windows, Linux, and Android. And, clearly, that's the choice most people make (well, maybe not Linux). I'm fine with that.

    A minority of computer users prefer Macs. This criticism of Apple coming from people who would apparently never buy from them anyway has always seemed weird to me. Why do they care? They're on the winning side. 
  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,549
    edited June 9
    FWIW I've bought Apple stuff. I've even bought emoji stuff, and I dislike emoji even more than Apple. But it's not about me, and not about your –commendable– general frugality either.

    The best things to care about are outside of oneself.
    And all of us here are on the losing side.

  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,549
    edited June 9
    A minority of computer users prefer Macs.
    This obfuscates the issue of cost. For most of the world it's not really a matter of preference. In the domain of type design, software has become increasingly MacOS-based, making other –far more affordable– platforms less of an alternative. This harms cultural diversity.
  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 1,153
    Interesting theory, but what evidence is there that this is actually happening? It's not like Windows has stopped being a viable platform for type design, in spite of what's happening on the Mac. It seems to me that the type design community has only been getting more diverse.
  • John SavardJohn Savard Posts: 461
    edited June 9
    This criticism of Apple coming from people who would apparently never buy from them anyway has always seemed weird to me. Why do they care? They're on the winning side. 
    Ah, but taking a good look at my rather long post might reveal why a lot of Windows users are annoyed by Apple's behavior.
    The Macintosh has two disadvantages; it costs more, and there's less software available for it. (The latter is a big disadvantage, since a computer's utility is largely determined by what you can do with it, as determined by the selection of available software.)
    Neither of these are inherent defects of the hardware or the operating system. The fact that there are still a sizable number of people who prefer the Macintosh enough, in its total context, to actually buy one... suggests that the computer itself might be superior.
    And, in fact, many Windows users do feel that way - but the two disadvantages noted above outweigh that for them.
    For Apple to adopt a pricing policy that appears to be unfair to its loyal users also seems like a moral fault, which adds emotional intensity to the reaction - but the reason it's even any of the business of Windows users should now be clear:
    By choosing high prices over large volumes, Apple has diminished the utility of a potentially superior product, thus taking away a possible alternative from these Windows users, and also, by not giving Microsoft any serious competition, Windows itself could have been better were this not the case.
    So it isn't just Macintosh envy from those who can't afford one - its lack of market share and therefore third-party software means that what is really envied is what the Macintosh could have been.
    So instead of looking at a world where Macintosh fanboys quarrel with Windows fanboys, the majority of Windows users are anything but content, but can be seen as tormented by unrequited love for the Macintosh.
  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,549
    edited June 9
    @Mark Simonson
    (You keep focusing on individuals, I keep focusing on society...)
    It's about who is under-served, not who is under-represented, and having more minorities working on Latin type is a superficial diversity. Affluent people working on non-Latin is better, but I'm talking about enabling anybody who wants to make type for their (or any) minority script. If you release software that requires an expensive computer, you're shortchanging that.

  • Chris LozosChris Lozos Posts: 1,159
    edited June 10
    I see the Mac vs PC wars have not yet faded after all of these years.
  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,549
    edited June 10
    For the record, I'm still a Commodore boy at heart.

    But in terms of supporting type design, it should be pretty clear to all which of the big two has taken the lead for over two decades, especially when it comes to script diversity.
  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 914
    My heart still belongs to Amiga.
  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 1,153
    I see the Mac vs PC wars have not yet faded after all of these years.
    Yeah, this has certainly gone off the rails. :D Sorry everyone.

    Atari 8-Bit rules!
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