Linkin' Log Technology

The Case for Buying A Shitty TV

Buzzfeed’s recent article, “The Case for Buying a Shitty TV”, has left a number of people in the Apple Blogosphere talking. Take, for instance, Shawn King of The Loop:

Purists will scoff but he’s not wrong. And with “good enough” TVs coming down in price, it makes it less and less likely Apple will be interested in trying to sell their own high margin sets.

This is exactly the mentality that made people scoff at the idea of Apple entering the mobile phone market in 2006, and that seemed to work out pretty okay for them.

This is not to say I think Apple will jump into the television-making business — I very much doubt they will — but this rationale is short-sighted. I think Marco Arment is the one who nailed it:

While I’ve followed this advice on a lot of “dumb” electronics so far, I don’t think I’d go quite as far as getting a “shitty” TV for one big reason: I hardly ever buy a new TV. In my entire life so far, including every TV my family owned during my childhood, I’ve only had five.

A few paragraphs down, he continues:

Their size makes replacing TVs cumbersome and wasteful, so I don’t want to do it very often, and I think this is a fairly common stance. (This is one reason why I don’t think it would be wise for Apple to enter the TV-set business.) Since good TVs aren’t that expensive and last a very long time by consumer-electronics standards, and replacing TVs is so cumbersome, I don’t think there’s much reason to get shitty ones.

Televisions don’t pass what I refer to as the Civic Test: if a device cannot fit easily into a Honda Civic, the likelihood that you will give that item to a child, spouse, parent, wild-eyed hobo, or whomever else you please when you want to upgrade in a few years is diminished considerably. That means making room for a new one that you might not need is more difficult, and therefore you will hang onto that device for a longer period of time. Phones, tablets, and computers — areas where Apple is already active — pass the Civic Test easily, allowing for higher sales numbers and repeat customers.

Additionally, Apple’s devices are very personal in nature, especially the ones where they draw the most profit… You upgrade your phone or tablet to build a better experience for yourself, which makes the impulse to upgrade much stronger. A television is a communal device, and multiple people will have a say in when that device needs to be upgraded, which also screws the pooch on the whole “24-month upgrade cycle” mentality.


How Tim Cook Can Not Suck In His 2nd Year As Apple’s CEO

There was an article on Ars Technica the other day titled “10 Things We’d Like To See Tim Cook Do In His Next Year At Apple”. Thinking to myself that this article came from Ars Technica, which is generally seen as the place for so-called “serious” technology news, I was tittlated1 to see what they would say, assuming there would be some great insight. Then, after clicking through the article in Google Reader, I was greeted by their first suggestion:

10. License OS X

The logic the contributor brought to that gem of a suggestion was that Apple was not taking full advantage of the “professional” market, so maybe granting an OEM license to someone else to develop a new powerful machine would be a good idea. Because, as we all know, the Mac Pro hasn’t been updated in over two years, and Apple has been outright struggling as a company without the backing of that tired old workhorse.

Apple Sales Growth Chart
Steve would have killed himself by now.
(via ReadWriteWeb)

Well, as long as everyone is racking their brains with ideas for Tim Cook, since clearly Apple is in danger of going out in a ball of flame, I thought I’d bring four of my own ideas to the mix to help out a bit, too.

Item: Release “iPad Mini” in early October with 7.85” screen. Release “iPad Air” in early November that doubles as a hoverboard.

There is little doubt that I wouldn’t buy my parents iPad Minis for Christmas. There is even less doubt that I wouldn’t buy an iOS-powered hoverboard for myself.

iPad Hover Board
Sick high-tops not included.

Item: Allow iMessage to send messages to someone at a scheduled time. Most importantly, allow me to send myself iMessages from the future.

Because sometimes you just need to give yourself some advice to prevent issues down the line.

A Desperate Warning
Seriously, though, how was I supposed to know that a gas station burrito could cause non-stop diarrhea?

Item: Release a suit of armor. You know, like Iron Man’s.

This would be great. Of course, instead of Jarvis, we’d have Siri, so it wouldn’t be as bad-ass, but, still: Iron Man, bitches.

Siri as Jarvis
Which is more unbelievable: Siri running the Iron Man armor, Siri understanding a word that was said, or that Sprint has 5 bars of service in Manhattan?

Item: License Android. Release an iPhone with Android to gain further marketshare.

Actually, never mind on that one. Samsung has that market pretty covered, I figure.2

If Apple can maybe get its act together and take these suggestions, I think things will be better for everyone.

  1. Snicker 
  2. ZING!