Friday, September 7, 2007

Letter From Steve Jobs...LAME!

To all iPhone customers:

I have received hundreds of emails from iPhone customers who are upset about Apple dropping the price of iPhone by $200 two months after it went on sale. After reading every one of these emails, I have some observations and conclusions.

First, I am sure that we are making the correct decision to lower the price of the 8GB iPhone from $599 to $399, and that now is the right time to do it. iPhone is a breakthrough product, and we have the chance to 'go for it' this holiday season. iPhone is so far ahead of the competition, and now it will be affordable by even more customers. It benefits both Apple and every iPhone user to get as many new customers as possible in the iPhone 'tent'. We strongly believe the $399 price will help us do just that this holiday season.

Second, being in technology for 30+ years I can attest to the fact that the technology road is bumpy. There is always change and improvement, and there is always someone who bought a product before a particular cutoff date and misses the new price or the new operating system or the new whatever. This is life in the technology lane. If you always wait for the next price cut or to buy the new improved model, you'll never buy any technology product because there is always something better and less expensive on the horizon. The good news is that if you buy products from companies that support them well, like Apple tries to do, you will receive years of useful and satisfying service from them even as newer models are introduced.

Third, even though we are making the right decision to lower the price of iPhone, and even though the technology road is bumpy, we need to do a better job taking care of our early iPhone customers as we aggressively go after new ones with a lower price. Our early customers trusted us, and we must live up to that trust with our actions in moments like these.

Therefore, we have decided to offer every iPhone customer who purchased an iPhone from either Apple or AT&T, and who is not receiving a rebate or any other consideration, a $100 store credit towards the purchase of any product at an Apple Retail Store or the Apple Online Store. Details are still being worked out and will be posted on Apple's website next week. Stay tuned.

We want to do the right thing for our valued iPhone customers. We apologize for disappointing some of you, and we are doing our best to live up to your high expectations of Apple.
Steve Jobs
Apple CEO
Huh? If I were an Apple Zombie Follower, I'd really be p'od. This letter seems to be a nice way of saying, "sucker."
In a USAToday interview, Jobs said, "That's technology. If they bought it this morning, they should go back to where they bought it and talk to them. If they bought it a month ago, well, that's what happens in technology."
Really? Does technology change that fast? This so-called price reduction sounds more like a business plan, sunk in concrete, not technology changing on the cutting edge.
Ta, ta, 'til next time.

No iCar Could Not Have Said It Better...

One of the best iCar comments that I have seen yet:

HyperHacker @ Engadget, Sep 2nd 2007 10:22PM

  • No steering wheel, no dashboard, no pedals, no gear shift. The windshield is a giant touchscreen. You poke at the object you want to drive toward and use sliders and buttons to control how fast.
  • Costs much more than all other cars on the market, has less features, and is generally inferior, but for some reason is by far the most popular car there is.
  • Cannot be refuelled. You must bring it to an Apple service station to have it exchanged for a new one when the tank dries up.
  • Early versions will crash every few hours. Later versions will be more stable, and have all manner of unnecessary eye candy.
  • Music may only be played by plugging in your iPod.
  • Nintendo will release a shopping cart that copies its look. Firmware hacking will enable it to function as a car, but capable of reaching only 95km/h and occasionally stalling, because nobody who tries to make a replacement firmware will be able to get it quite right. However, given the total cost and additional features, it will be a much better purchase overall. Nintendo will also release a bike that copies the look, but nobody will even try to hack it, despite how much everyone wants to see it hacked.
  • Engadget will post hundreds and hundreds of articles about it.

HyperHacker may not be all that far from the truth.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Irate "Apple Zombie Followers" re: iPhone

In the post "iPhone Early Adopter Tax," BuzzFeed reports that there are several thoroughly pissed off early iPhone adopters (a.k.a. "Apple Zombie Followers"):

Dr. Macinstein says,

As one of the (idiots) loyal Apple fans who supported Apple and bought an iPhone on day 1 (well, day 2, actually), I am well and thoroughly pissed. Just 2 months after launching the iPhone, Apple today announced they are slashing the price by a full THIRD, knocking $200 off the price of the 8GB iPhone model. And to rub salt in our wounds, they decided to do it on the day they announced the Wi-Fi touchscreen iPod (with more storage) that most of us bought the iPhone for in the first place.

Josh Bancroft, author of the Tinyscreenfuls blog, offers this helpful tip for those AZF's who waited a week to buy their iPhone:

If you’re one of the victims of [the recent iPhone price slash], check the terms of the debit/credit card you used to buy your iPhone. Many offer “price protection”, for exactly these situations. For instance, my MasterCard offers 60 days of price drop protection. You can file a claim, showing the new lower price compared to what you paid, and they’ll send you a check for the difference. But this might only work if you DIDN’T buy it on launch day (June 29). If you did, you’ll be sad to note that it’s been 67 days since then. Too late.

Gizmodo, over at, says, "Suckers":

Over at the Apple keynote, head jerk Steve Jobs just announced they've cut the 8 gig iPhone cost to $399 from $599, making tools of everyone who already bought one of the stupid devices.

On Gizmodo itself, over 250 unhappy customers give Apple a piece of their AZF minds.

But No iCar particularly admires MCLARENLOVER69's astute Gizmodo post:

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Thats what all you losers that bought one so early deserve.

And don't forget to check out some amusing comments on Engadget.

Ta, ta!

No iCar

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Apple and Jaguar's XF

It looks as though Apple has had its corporate hand in Jaguar's on-board systems.
IAN CALLUM, a British car designer who currently serves as Design Director for Jaguar, recently ruminated on the Jaguar XF:
Step inside and the starter button starts to pulsate like a heartbeat. Press it and the car comes to life. The air vents rise up and the JaguarDrive Selector pops up. We took so much comment on the old J-gate change and felt it was time for a change. The dial takes up less space, too. We have been working with Apple on control interfaces. We wanted it to make a statement that we are moving away from a big slab of wood in the cabin. This is a resolutely modern place to sit, with cool blue accents on the lights, doors and around the JaguarDrive Selector. The dashboard is as low as possible and every model has a leather-trimmed wheel.
Well, it's good to know that Apple will soon be taking over the automotive business.
Soon, we will bid adieu to the standard steering wheel and manual transmission.
Thanks to Chris Bangle on MacForum for the tip.
No iCar
Photo Credit: Posted on the CarMagazine website.

Oh, the Impact of the Apple/VW iCar

The owner of this company is probably not too thrilled with the rumored iCar.
Do Apple and Volkswagen have no compassion for the little guy just trying to make a buck???
No iCar

The Apple Corp Business Plan: iPhone and iCar (A Luddite's Perspective)

Apple unveils new iPod with Wi-Fi (CNNMoney, by Jon Fortt, Business 2.0)
September 5, 2007: 3:43 PM EDT

SAN FRANCISCO (Business 2.0) -- Apple announced Wednesday the first major overhaul of its popular iPod music digital players in nearly two years and slashed the price of its new iPhone.
CEO Steve Jobs unveiled a series of iPod upgrades - including more storage and bigger screens - but the showstopper was a new model dubbed the iPod Touch and fashioned after the iPhone.

CEO Steve Jobs announced major upgrades to its popular music players; cuts iPhone price by $200.
It figures. One of the most hyped products known to humankind, the iPhone, gets a price slash, just a mere two months after its major roll out. Could it be that the product sucks so royally that the barbarian fanboys at the Apple door are finally slicing at the rotten Apple Core?
The Apple Corp. Business Plan:
  1. Spend months and millions of dollars over hyping a mediocre product. If you yak up a cute gizmo long enough, the first wave of Apple Zombie Followers (and eBay resellers) will stand in line for three days--maybe even three years--to buy an over-priced and under-equipped product.
  2. Stir things up a bit by releasing a trial balloon (touted as a rumor) about the iCar; see how your Apple Zombie Followers react to the possibility of becoming plugged into their cars, their brains fully integrated with the gearshift and GPS.
  3. After determining that you have tapped out the Apple Zombie iPhone Followers, slash the price dramatically so that you catch the second wave of Apple customers, not-quite-Zombies or former Zombies who have gotten a bit wiser and have decided to take a wait-and-see stance. Don't worry about fixing the annoying problems; you haven't yet tapped out your primary market. This second wave of buyers either haven't read the problem reports or they don't care. They see that pot of gold at the end of the Apple rainbow--and at a BARGAIN!
  4. Six months later: once you have determined that you have thoroughly pissed off your customer base, THEN (and only then) do you tweak the gadget a bit, perhaps developing a version that contains a removable battery or a screen that doesn't break when the gadget hits the pavement (but not both--you're not done bilking the masses). You know that your faithful Zombies will dump their original iPhones and stand in line for three days for IPhone: The Next Generation, and will pay $200 more than they did for #3. Retire the original iPhone model.
  5. Two months later: Drop the price by $200.
  6. Six months later: HYPE TIME AGAIN! You fix the problem that you didn't fix last time, and, perhaps, add some cheesy memory. Again, the Zombies will dump The Next Generation and stand in line (again, for three days) for iPhone: Deep Space Nine. Retire TNG.
  7. A few days later: Announce the coming of the iCar and spend millions of dollars to keep the hype going.
  8. Two months later: Drop the price of the Deep Space Nine model.
  9. Four months later: Announce a tentative announcement date for the iCar and allow information about some of its features to leak out into the press.
  10. Two months later: Tweak the Deep Space Nine model by adding a spot of memory and maybe a screen upgrade. Raise the price.
  11. Two months later: Drop the price of DSN.
  12. Six months later: Announce the new iPhone: Voyager model. Upgrade the hell out of it (thus creating a bunch of bugs with it), and over hype again. Charge twice the price. Retire DSN.
  13. Two months later: Announce the date of the iCar announcement and leak lots of information, some of it true and some of it tentative, about its features to the press.
  14. Two days later: Slash the price of Voyager.
  15. One month later: Announcement that the official announcement will be by "invitation only," and then send out about 1,000,000 invitations to pro-Apple reporters and bloggers.
  16. One month later: Today's the official iCar announcement! Hype the hell out of the media event and announce a tentative release date.
  17. Two days later: In yet another media event, proclaim that the Voyager bugs have been addressed and fixed. Slash its price.
  18. One month later: Apple announces that a Luddite version of the iPhone will soon be released: the iPhone: Enterprise. Special features: big buttons with a simple and intuitive interface. No music, no TV, no internet. Just a dial tone, direct access to 911, and, perhaps an address book (use not required, however). A reliable cell provider would be nice. (Okay, so I'm kidding here).
  19. Six months later: Apple announces its new iPhone: the iPhoneic (pronounced iFon-ik). According to rumors on the MacRumors/iPhone blog, the iPhoneic will (a) Do your homework for you, (b) Snipe for you on eBay, (c) Select your favorite songs and TV shows for you based on some kind of fuzzy logic (TBA), (d) Feed you iMacBurgers and iMacTatorTots 24/7 (an obesity disclaimer will accompany each unit). All tech support, including for the iPhone Voyager, will be phased out, for Apple will now concentrate on over hyping and selling its new iPhoneic model.
  20. Continuing basis: Here comes a barrage of Apple iCar hype; the media wonks roll over and allow their bellies to be rubbed by Steve Jobs. Tons of freebie publicity!
  21. Four months later: Nationwide, Apple Zombie Followers, a.k.a., AZF's (and eBay resellers) start lining up at Volkswagen dealers, mega bucks and loan approvals in hand!
  22. Three days later: Today's the day! Release of the iCar! There will be media reports of stampedes, death, and grim tales of greed and selfishness. The AZF True Believers will blog madly about being "First" to snag their iCars, available only in blue (something about quality control issues at the paint factory). Disgruntled users and cranky non-users will throw up blogs like "" (Ha, ha, beat ya to it, and I didn't even have to buy the iCar)! In a honeymoon period, after The Big Event, Apple and the media will suck up to each other.
  23. One week later: The honeymoon period between Apple and the media is officially over as it becomes apparent that the iCar contains a lot of annoying glitches, such as the battery that can't be removed at the dealership (must go back to the factory), the windshield that shatters after hitting a corn stalk in an Iowa corn field at 5 mph, and the on-board computer that crashes as you're cruising along at 65 mph on the Washington Beltway, requiring a complete shutdown and reboot.
  24. Two months later: Apple announces a $2,000 price slash and a promise to work out those annoying glitches. ;=)
  25. And so on...

Have a nice Big Red Apple Day!

No iCar (and proud of it)

Saturday, September 1, 2007

PC World: What the iCar Could Look Like

Tom Spring at PC World has posted some "concept" representations of the iCar.
This writer, who now wishes to be known as "No iCar," prefers Chris Riley's representations (one of his images at left) of this seminal product; however, one must be open minded about the future, even an old Luddite.
As resident Luddite and extreme technophobe, No iCar is astounded at how artists have drawn this not-yet product. Whatever happened to the opulence of the 1970's (before the manufactured oil "crisis"), when automobiles were long and sleek with vinyl tops and opera windows?
Ahhhh, the good old days...
But I digress.
Now it seems as though cars must be designed as minimalist blocks of fibre glass, filled with enough technology to make NASA drool.
Must everyone be plugged into something? One might as well implant electrodes in every newborn's head, just cutting to the chase, and develop plug-in portals on various locations on the infant's head.
Why not? It worked on Star Trek: "You will comply" could become our new advertising buzzword slogan.
No iCar remembers a time when (1) big black telephones, tethered by a cord, had rotary dials and no cellphones existed (2) Apple was just a piece of fruit or a recording company (3) iPod, iMac, and iPhone were unfortunate misspellings, (4) and everyone drove a stick shift--No iCar still does.
But I digress again.
This is what reporter Spring found:

Cute! But how does one drive this little iMouse iCar?

OOOOhhh. The Apple iSchool iBus!
Hmmmm...The Apple iTube

No Car's favorite!!! Apple's iApple

Friday, August 31, 2007

The iCar Idea REALLY Sucks!

As a confirmed Luddite, this writer feels that the following post from the MacRumor forums (thanks to Macintel4me) is good enough reason to believe that the iCar will suck:

  • Sync contact phone numbers and make calls with steering wheel buttons (Sure, more distracted idiots out there, spilling their and others' blood on the road just because they want to mumble "Whassup?" to another idiot friend).

  • Sync contact addresses for the Navigation system (Yeah, so the same idiots can find their way home after an all-night kegger party).

  • iPod controls of the iPod via the steering wheel buttons (More distractions and yet another boom box on wheels, annoying entire neighborhoods. Are you ready for double hearing aids by the time you hit 35????).

  • View SMS messages, emails, web-browsing when the car is stopped. (Woo, Hoo! You all can't even unplug long enough to get from A-Z. If Apple and Volkwagen place governors on their cute iCars, then this writer will be impressed).

  • Use google's maps and traffic for the naviagation system (See kegger comment).

  • Integrate the car's GPS system with the iPod's/iPhone's google maps (That's because you spent your college years at frat parties, instead of studying for those Geography classes. You couldn't find London on a map if it rose up and slapped you in the face).

  • Sync with iTunes wirelessly while the car is parked in the garage (Where are your parental units? Perhaps they are deaf as well).
Just some food for thought, folks.

The iCar: A Relationship Between Apple and VW?

Until today, this writer had never heard of the iCar, so one can only look upon forward thinkers like Chris O'Riley, who, in 1999, launched a "Drive Different" iCar spoof web page, with admiration and envy.

Unfortunately, Mr. O'Riley may not be all that far from the mark. The "iCar" representation he created looks similar to the Smart Car, a European staple.

Imagine that: a laptop on wheels.

For now, there isn't much to say about the proposed iCar (now in "development," a euphemism for launching a trial balloon and hoping for all the oohs and aahs from gadget-crazy consumers), but this is what is known so far:

  • Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs and Volkswagen's chief Martin Winterkorn met several days ago in California and plan to meet for further discussions, according to Hans-Gerd Bode, a spokesman for VW. Read more in Volkswagen, Apple Consider "ICar"...

  • If the deal goes through, the two companies will add Apple technology, presumably the iPhone, iPod, iMac, and Apple TV, to Volkswagen compact cars.

So far, the pre-hype of this fusion between car and computer manufacturers has been less than spectacular, although the original announcement took place a few days ago.

The marriage of technology with transportation has already happened, of course, with such products as OnStar and GPS, and what new car or van doesn't already have flat screens, satellite radio, and map programs as options?

The iCar, however, seems destined for the problems that have plagued other Apple, products, most recently the iPhone.

Next post, this writer will offer some comparisons and contrasts that will show how Apple's current problems may spill over to the iCar.