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No One's Perfect

Entry 812, on 2008-07-11 at 21:45:23 (Rating 2, Computers)

You would think the iPhone 3G launch was the most important piece of news here for years. There were three mentions of it on the main page of the New Zealand Herald web site today. I'm trying to ignore the new phone because Vodafone don't offer a plan at a reasonable price and I think they are ripping us off a bit. So I was going to get an iPhone as soon as they were released but I probably won't now unless there's a cheaper plan made available.

But after all the excitement (which still exists despite Vodafone's best efforts) you would think that Apple was the perfect company making perfect products every time. Well not quite, because I also saw an article at the Herald site listing some of Apple's less unsuccessful products.

I used one of the first Macs in the country and worked with the Apple II, Apple III and Lisa before that, so I know Apple products really well. I can confirm that Apple have made some very poor products and some commercially unsuccessful ones - the two aren't always the same thing.

Maybe the most spectacular failure was the Newton. People say the Newton came from Apple from the future as the result of a time warp - that's how far ahead of its time it was! Considering the technology available at the time it was a remarkable product. Maybe it was just a little bit too far ahead. The initial models suffered from inaccurate handwriting recognition, poor battery life, and sluggish performance. By the time the MessagePad 2000 and 2100 were released these problems had been fixed, but it was already too late.

There were other products which suffered a similar fate. The Lisa was an incredible machine when compared to what else was around at the time, but it suffered form slow performance and excessive price. But at least the Macintosh came from the same technology. It didn't try to do quite as much so it was less capable but far more successful.

So the Lisa lead to the Macintosh and in some ways maybe the Newton lead to the iPhone. That's stretching things a bit, but I would still like to think that the great Newton technology wasn't completely in vain!

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Comment 1 (1493) by SBFL on 2008-07-16 at 22:52:51:

Another admission post!?!?
OJB said "So I was going to get an iPhone as soon as they were released but I probably won't now unless there's a cheaper plan made available." Oh dear, so you _were_ lining up at the stores at midnight?

OJB said: "I used one of the first Macs in the country and worked with the Apple II,'"...but did you use the Apple IIe? Ahh, Computer Science in 4th form (Year 10) in 1990. Carmen Sandiego...where are the world are you? Probably somehwere on that 5.25 inch floppy disk!!

Apple has always been a joke to me but they have turned things around somewhat in recent years...the iPod rocks (from personal experience), and obviously the iPhone is a leader in its field. I am waiting for a device that is an iPod, iPhone and (decent) digital camera all in one. Then I'll pull the $1000 out of the wallet.

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Comment 2 (1500) by OJB on 2008-07-16 at 23:36:37:

No I didn't line up because I saw the price of the plan and decided to put my purchase on hold - but see my latest blog entry!

Yes, I used, and wrote programs for the IIe, and the II, IIGS, III and IIc. Then the Lisa and Mac.

Apple has been a joke huh? Can I ask why?

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Comment 3 (1503) by SBFL on 2008-07-16 at 23:50:44:

OJB said: Apple has been a joke huh? Can I ask why?
- Poor cousin mate, poor cousin.
...but like I said, resurgence since iPod in 2002...

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Comment 4 (1506) by OJB on 2008-07-17 at 09:05:49:

Poor cousin why? Because they didn't sell as many computers as HP or Compaq? Does that mean Ferrari and BMW are poor cousins to Toyota? OK, I'll take the poor cousin please!

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