What would the world be like today? Do you think we'd have smartphones anyway? (The "you can't stop technology" theory.) Consider that so many of the freedom movements in the world today are energized by smartphones with cameras in them that can distribute ideas, photos, and video clips anywhere in the world in seconds or minutes.

 

Anyone care to expand on this topic?

 

(BTW, I'm a PC and Android user myself: I don't even own an Apple product.)

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It should be noted that Apple was not the first to come out with a smartphone, or add a cam to a phone, or launch a music player, or a tablet, or use icon-based GUIs. What Apple did was to popularize these items by adding very sleek design and dumbed down simplified interface compared to rivals.

Would the world be a different place without Jobs? Quite certainly, and a large number of current products would probably look and perform very differently. However, Apple has been at its best when they have refined the ideas of others, and haven't really launched anything which has been groundbreaking in and of itself.

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I've never owned an Apple product but have had the unfortunate experience of having to use them from time to time over the last 20 years. I find them to be overpriced and unmodifiable.

I love your comment on the Apple interface. Apple smugly touts its interface. I refer to it as the interface which is "so simple, a caveman could use it." Use a PC and learn something about computers. Use an Apple and learn how to use an Apple. Yeah, if you own an Apple, you may never have to load a driver, but what's wrong with learning what a driver is and how to load one?

 

He was a visionary though and had a talent, as has been said many times since his death, for creating products we didn't know we needed until we saw them.

 

He had a talent for imagining something that seemed impossible, if not magical. But he had assembled a company with the talent to make it happen.

Apple smugly touts its interface. I refer to it as the interface which is "so simple, a caveman could use it." Use a PC and learn something about computers.

 

There's nothing wrong with having an intuitive and accessible GUI.  In fact, it actually makes the most sense -- computers were intended to facilitate our activities, not bog us down in useless routine functions.  At any rate, as of OSX, if you wanted (or needed) to use command-line, it is an easily accessible option through terminal (bash by default).

 

Hapless techno-primitives have been using both Mac OS and Windows for ages.  Combining both of these represents the largest usage share for operating systems by far.  Actually, we can drop Mac OS and that statement is still true.  Millions upon millions of people have been using computers while knowing very little about them for a long time; it ceased being a prerequisite many years ago.

 

Those who want to go further in their understanding of computers will do so on whatever tools they have available.  Those who only want to skim the surface and never get into it will do so regardless of what tools they have available to them.

I was under the impression that he was the first to come up with the personal computer, icon based technologies, and bill gates stole the idea.

 

I never really cared, though...

watch pirates of silicon valley, IBM was the first to design the computer and the GUI and the mouse, and then Steve jobs and Bill gates stole it all.

The first was the Xerox Alto in '73.

Should be noted that Apple started out, at least the first ~20 years with a full and proprietary system, where everything from the processors to the OS to the monitor was integrated products made by/for Apple. This strategy almost made them bankrupt.

The IBM-MS/Wintel layered platform with a number of companies specializing in their hw or sw niches is what has truly pushed the envelope in computing power.

Well said.

This topic goes WAY beyond smartphones.  Jobs wasn't focused so much on the product itself, but what you DO with it - the "user experience".  He was able to make the human/product barrier more transparent than anyone else because he had an amazing attention to the tiniest detail as well as the biggest system of parts. To me, this attitude was his greatest gift to the tech world; everything he did followed from that.


-Mac: He made the PC affordable and easy to use, and influenced Microsoft and their manufacturers to (try to) do the same. I don't even want to think what PC's would be like without apple.

 

-iPod/iTunes store: I'm sure there would have been other mp3 players by now, but a whole ecosystem built around them?  No way, or at least not as pervasive as iTunes.  We'd still be buying CDs, trying to piece together .mp3/.mpeg collections from half a dozen incompatible online music stores, or just illegally torrenting (I'm guessing more of the latter).


-iPhone:  Applying the same principles from designing Macs, iPods, and iTunes, in addition to pioneering touchscreen UI.  Android, Palm/HP WebOS, WinMo7 all owe their very existence to iOS.  But blackberry would probably still be relevant...

 

-iPad:  eReaders would be around... and also the stylus tablets with swively screens which really don't have practical applications outside of niche markets.  But there wouldn't be anything resembling the full tablet experience on the iPad.


"So simple a caveman can use it" reeks of anti-apple bias. Just because the stuff generally requires less hands-on maintenance or tweaking, doesn't make the user dumb simple.

That was a pretty good explication. But in my mind, it raised the issue of how many American jobs Apple has cost, along with Craigslist and the Internet in general. I suppose the Internet is the ultimate culprit since Apple's and CL's success would have been impossible without the Internet.

 

Craigslist has put probably 90% of the people who worked in classified advertising out of work and Craigslist makes hardly any profit at all by comparison with the businesses it has replaced, so it has not been putting much money back into the economy the way all the classified ad people would have when they took their paychecks to buy groceries and cars.

 

Getting back to Apple, iPod/iTunes have largely killed the traditional music store. About all that's left are the occasional stores still selling vinyl. I can buy CD's in my local supermarket, but the selection sucks.

 

Making things easier almost always means eliminating jobs in favor of an automated system that runs pretty much on autopilot, does it not?

 

And Apple's manufacturing and assembly jobs have gone to Asia pretty much, haven't they?

 

If the argument is that "You can't stop progress," then get ready for a future that will tend to suck for more and more people.

Getting back to Apple, iPod/iTunes have largely killed the traditional music store. About all that's left are the occasional stores still selling vinyl. I can buy CD's in my local supermarket, but the selection sucks.

 

Sure, iTunes has contributed to that, but I think P2P/torrents and Amazon are equally (if not more) responsible.

 

And I'd wouldn't put the blame of outsourcing/automation on Apple.  They employ those methods like everyone else, but I don't recall them doing it earlier or to a greater degree than most.  At least when I call Apple support I get an American.

You'd think that what they charge per unit (2-3 times what a comparable Windows or Android unit would cost) they could hire Americans.

 

P2P and torrents have helped to convince kids that stealing is OK.

i don't see any stealing happening...i see lots of copying, and itunes wouldn't exist if it wasn't for napster

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