cookiemonster's Profile

  • Dec 31, 1969
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Latest comments made by: cookiemonster

  • When last I posted in 2003, I was concerned that what Herbie Hancock so beautifully refers to as Apple's "philosophy and spirit" was beginning to change. Apple has certainly turned itself around financially since then. In fact, if stock price means anything, it has tripled over the last 12 months. While some here desire a separation between iTunes and Apple, the whole iPod revolution has brought Apple tremendous exposure to the general public and money to its ever increasing coffers. Curiously, though, the sale of CPUs hasn't changed much, if at all, during this same period. I wonder why that is? Is it because the quality of the product is less than before? Perhaps. There have been recalls of iBook logic boards, for one, and, most recently, Powerbooks are being pulled from the shelves for alledged problems with its tracking pad. Apple, as any other computer manufacturer, always faces the challenges of hardware difficulties. It really boils down to how the company deals with those problems, particularly in terms of customer satisfaction. In the past, Apple has busted its butt to help out their devoted users. Is that still the case? The reseller issue has also heated up as another class action suit was filed this February. This one also includes consumers, alledging warranty fraud, and sales of used equipment as new, among other complaints. Is Apple starting to interact with their consumers as they seem to have been doing with their loyal resellers? Yikes, if this is the new direction Apple is taking, what happens if Apple is successful in eliminating all third party availabilty of products and service? The argument has been made that Apple cannot become a monopoly because it is just one computer company among many others. However, there are no other computer companies that manufacture Apples BUT Apple. If Apple gets the monopoly on sales and distribution of its hardware and software, what will keep them from doing things like jacking up prices or restricting warranties, if they are the only game in town? Their new and 'improved' philosophy and spirit? If this is the way the worm is turning, then all we can hope for is that the power of the almighty buck can be ameliorated by either good sense or successful litigation. Cookiemonster
    cookiemonster had this to say on Mar 12, 2005 Posts: 3
    The AppleMatters Interview: Herbie Hancock
  • I live in the Chicagoland area and have been to the flagship Michigan Ave. store as well as to the one closer to my home in the suburbs. While the Michigan Avenue store is quite impressive in its size and glitz, the Old Orchard store has the identical layout and feel to it---minus the theater and internet cafe. There is something almost Stepford-like in how the employees have t-shirts that match the screens. The color scheme changes frequently as well. Because I work in the mall, I notice these things. I am usually one of just a few shoppers in the store and the customers almost always outnumber the staff when I have been there. I had some curiosity about the particular operation of this store because of working in the same mall, and found out that the manager couldn't answer my questions because all such information was held at corporate headquarters in Cupertino. In fact, the manager said that all decisions regarding the operation of the store are made at corporate. Hmm, even MORE Stepford-like. The employees knowledge base seems to be specific to their area of expertise and only the manager seemed to have a sound overall knowledge of the various questions I had regarding both hardware and sortware. This has not been my experience at the local Apple specialist in my area. Lastly, when I wanted to add a CD burner to my G3 tower, an Apple employee told me on the sly that I should get a Panasonic burner and have it installed. The only problem is that the Apple store can't help you either get one or install it for you. My local Apple specialist was able to do both. I think the Apple stores are a wonderful place to go and play with great Apple products and accesories. The knowledge base of the employees is spotty, however, so do your homework before you go in to play. And, if you want to get expert input before making a purchase, either go to a place that has been doing this for longer, like the Apple specialist I mentioned, or hope that you luck out and find an employee whose niche affords him/her expertise in what you are interested in purchasing.
  • Herbie Hancock says Apple is "an oasis in this sea of money-grabbing, money-getting, money-focused businesses in the technology world". I wish I could hold Apple in such high regard, but I no longer can. As a musician myself, I respect Herbie Hancock and his opinions on other matters beside music. What he and most other Apple enthusiasts may not be aware of is how Apple has been engaging in behavior that can only be described as "money-grabbing and money-focused" without regard for the human cost involved. Apple's second largest expenditure behind R&D has been the establishment of their own retail stores. Apple plans on having 73 stores open by November 27th of this year, with their first foreign store opening in the posh Ginza section of Tokyo. Apple has strategically placed their stores in high profile, high rent areas throughout the U.S. and now Tokyo. CFO Fred Anderson has stated that Apple will not open a store that they don't know will be profitable within a year's time. This past quarter marks the first time, since the inception of the Apple retail program in the first quarter of 2001, that they have realized a profit. How have they been able to do this? Here comes the disturbing part--by systematically raping their loyal resellers of their employess and customers. There are currently 10 lawsuits pending in California, the state where the first Apple stores were opened, that elucidate the immoral and potentially illegal practices Apple has engaged in to destroy their competition. I have done my own investigation and found that Apple has lied to both their resellers as well as customers in order to discredit the former and get the business of the latter. I can understand Apple moving towards getting rid of their channel middlemen and selling their own products themselves. It is the manner in which they are CURRENTLY going about it that makes me both sad and angry. There is a better way to deal with people--the loyal independent vendors--that have been the backbone of this company for over 20 years than to stab them in the back and not look back. It also may not be good business, but I am not a businessman. Herbie, I wish I could share your sentiment, but until Apple changes its policies towards their resellers, I have to put them in that very same "business as usual" sea.
    cookiemonster had this to say on Oct 19, 2003 Posts: 3
    The AppleMatters Interview: Herbie Hancock