The AppleMatters Interview: Rick Ellis
Rick Ellis is the CEO and Lead Developer of pMachine, …
Jun 19, 2008
Total Forum Posts:
Latest comments made by: MacKen
With the transfer of Leopard developers to the iPhone project my guess is that there were some hacks to get it out on time and these will be replaced by January, leaving a platform that will work well with the SDK based apps. If so I can appreciate Apple waiting until the iPhone platform is ready and look forward to a lot of creative programming for it next year. A year from now people are going to be wanting a 32 gig iPhone just to hold the apps/data/pics/movies/etc. that they want to use on their iPhone. Looks like the iPhone will end up being a handheld computer that also happens to have a phone built in.
had this to say on Oct 18, 2007
Official Third-Party Apps and Unlocked iPhones Announced
While I like Pages 06 I still spend a lot of time in Word. The first thing I do when installing Word on a computer is to se up customized toolbars and getting rid of the standard ones. That way I have everything I need and it's exactly where I expect it to be. Auto correct is another important feature for me. For example, I use qqq for Australia and qqqw for Australian. Hopefully Pages 08 includes this feature.
had this to say on Aug 20, 2007
iWork '08: Pages
Forget the mountain. Apple is a computer company and is ranked against other computer companies. Now 4th in size, closing in on Gateway to be #3. Take a hard look at what really matters to the Mac faithful, or even the newbie user. It's a good design, quality parts and local support from an actual Apple employee. It's also Apple selling at a fair price and investing part of those revenues into R & D - for hardware and software. It's surprising the industry with new ideas and products, like the ipod, iTunes and the iPhone. All the neat things that make Apple what it is would probably fall by the wayside if Apple was to focus on climbing that mountain - like the level of customer service they offer. And let's face it - why is it important to outdo MS? Right now Apple is very profitable, they have sufficient cash in the bank to hold them through a downturn in the economy, and their market cap is about twice what Dell's is. Name a hardware company that is close to Apple in these areas.
had this to say on Aug 14, 2007
Why Apple Can't Afford A Mistake...
Shortages of the iPhone is a no brainer. It's going to be tight when the iPhone is released and really tight when the holiday shopping season rolls around. "Little Miss Princess" wants one for Christmas and Mom & Dad are going to be calling around the country to find one. While there might be a good supply in the Sep/Oct time frame I believe it will be January before there is a stable supply, unless you buy directly from Apple. But, of course, that assumes there is no second model released. A year ago the rumors were for a flash memory version first, followed 6 months later with a HD version. That would stir the pot up again.
had this to say on Jun 19, 2007
iPhone Shortage and Business Worries
All of the above. There are a lot of reasons floating around the internet for the reason to deliver Safari for Win. I think that the iPhone may have pushed the timing up a bit, but it is the combination of all the noted reasons that made it a compelling combination of reasons to release the app.
had this to say on Jun 18, 2007
Why Port Safari to Windows?
1. There has never been a worse time! With Mac sales growing 3 to 5 times faster than PCs it would be difficult to justify throwing away this very profitable growth. 2. The only people that care what Dell wants are the 8,000 that are being laid off. With horrid (for me) customer support from India there is no better company around to screw up OS X's reputation. 3. Design does matter as the iPod and iPhone clearly show. We're also talking about the integration of both hardware and software design. 4. Actually I think they will make less money. The real profit will always be on the hardware side and it is that side that pays for OS X development. Now that might change if Apple was to put OS X on the market at the same price points as Vista - but then Mac users would be really screwed because Leopard would not be available to us at $129 retail. Yep, I guess that Apple would be happy with a $499 price for a full version with all of the security controls to avoid pirated copies. We, however, would not. 6. Look at Mac's sales increases year over year. It's profitable, Apple has a lot of cash in the bank and they are able to provide first rate customer service to users who actually buy the hardware. I guess that if OS X was available on PCs Apple could provide customer service to those users from India, who would be happy to take care of the cheap PC world for part of the increased price of OS X. 7. It's better for the consumer for Apple to stick with the Mac/OS X route. Again, look at a need to change price points if OS X is set free, huge problems with customer service levels for Bubba who buys a cheap PC with crap parts, etc. While you may want a cheaper alternative to Macs you sure are not going to want the misery it would bring - like support from India. You also need to take a look at how Mac sales have paid for OS X development and how far that has brought the OS. Compared to the position where Apple was before Steve J returned (when Apple did license their OS to other hardware makers) the OS X/Mac combination has been a winner. I would hate to see that end, but maybe we'll see it after Steve J retires.
had this to say on Jun 01, 2007
Memo to Steve Jobs: 7 Reasons to Decouple OS X from Apple Hardware Now
As long as Steve Jobs is around Apple won't be "one of the crowd". It also helps that Jonathan Ives is around or Jobs would go nuts. Mac sales are excellent simply because more and more people are looking at a Mac. A huge part is due to the Apple Stores and another part is the iPod and its halo effect. I think that the question you should be asking is "is Steve Jobs still hungry and driven?" The iPhone pretty well answers that question, as will the disclosure of the secret Leopard features at WWDC. As for the challenges of handling greater sales, a lot depends on the component suppliers and their ability to deliver parts that work properly. Another critical side is continuing to grow customer support to match the growth. As long as Apple keeps their support costs the same as percentage of sales as before they should be fine in this area.
had this to say on May 30, 2007
Has Apple Become Just One of the Crowd?
The first sigh of success for the iPhone will be the lines of people forming outside the Apple Store (and ATT stores) on the day it is released. It will probably take until noon for stocks to be gone as three will be the ATT agreement to fill out and activation time. The next indicator will be the length of time that it takes a week+ long backorder to develop. If the iPhone is released on a Monday I would expect that backorder to develop by Friday. Apple will probably catch up on the backorder within a month, but holiday sales will boom, making it very difficult to find one to buy as a gift. I'd say buy in late Nov if you want to give one as a gift. Then MWSF will hit and a second version will be released - if it wasn't released for the holiday buying season. My bet is a HD version will be next and the original will get a bump in memory. There will be another huge boost when ATT starts lowering the price with a 2 year contract. While nothing is guaranteed I believe that the iPhone progression will be somewhat similar to the iPod, even if it is at a lower volume level.
had this to say on May 18, 2007
iPhone a Success Story or Flop?
I tend to disagree with Chris on the target market for the iPhone. It's not the smart phone market, but the iPod+mobile consumer - especially the ones that want the "must have, next thing" consumer. For that market, Apple as hit the nail on the head in a very powerful way. If you don't think so look at how many cars costing over $30,000 are sold each year. Simply put, if you want to give an iPhone to someone for Christmas 2007 (or to yourself) you had better order it in September.
had this to say on Jan 10, 2007
iPhone Reaction: Slick but Unwanted?
If you have a problem at 24 think how it is at 62! I was lucky in that I started off with Nokia phones on an Australian carrier. It didn't have screwed up menu designed by yo-yos at a carrier. It did have the one, easy to find feature that is handy for business travel - an alarm clock. Most important was that it was easy to find on the menu and easy to set. Text messaging? In the time it takes to prepare a text message most people could simply make a short phone call - and get an IVR (Interactive Voice Response) automatically included. I believe that the iPhone may have some features that you don't want - but only because it will be cheaper to include them than to build a line without them. A camera for sure, but you won't be required to use it, or the other features. But I have a feeling that it will include a little something that Apple dreams up that will catch your attention and, sadly, you will find yourself acting like a younger generation again . . .
had this to say on Oct 31, 2006
Reality Check, I Am Not Part of the New Tech Savy Generation
If you look at the MS dominance in the PC market you need to understand that it cam about because IBM announced their PC and, because they were IBM, the PC got immediate acceptance in the business world. Before IBM's PC came out it looked like PC/M would be "the" OS outside of the Apple world. If IBM had not selected MS and made the platform open then MS today might just be another penny stock. MS was basically given the PC market on a silver platter. That's not the case with the Zune. MS is trying to join an already robust market and I believe that their egos are making them believe that they can rely on their name to make it a winner. (I somewhat doubt that when one of the colors is poop brown, but that's another post.) What we have is MS using a MP3 designed by another company, slapping on their little bit of software and believing that $250,000,000 in promotion spending will bring them to break even. Wow! The other problem is that MS will basically be competing in the same market as those companies that have been paying them money to join the plays-for-sure market. This market should probably be called the iPod Leftovers market. It's crowded and not that large to begin with. It's starting to look like another "Bob" to me.
had this to say on Oct 19, 2006
Psst, iPod versus Zune is really a format War
I've been using iGlasses for a while and love it - a great product at a great price and they continue to upgrade it. Well worth investing in while the price is cheap.
had this to say on Oct 17, 2006
iGlasses Helps iSight See
“familiarity breeds content.” Couldn't have said it better - and it's the reason why Vista will get a very slow uptake by IT departments. Heck, a lot of them haven't made the leap to XP yet, relying on 2000 Pro to handle their needs. I think the other issue that will slow down IT buying into Vista is the fact that there will be a lot of hackers just waiting to get their hands on Vista and see what they can do. With a lot of "new stuff" residing in Vista there will probably be a lot of opportunities for malware developers. Let that settle down a bit and IT might be interested. Until then Vista distribution will basically be limited to the average consumer buying a new computer.
had this to say on Aug 22, 2006
Will Leopard Actually Help Vista By Making it Look Bad?
I don't think Apple would hesitate to hire various developers who show them something very good and, more important, who would like to work for Apple. A lot of developers probably enjoy working their at their own pace at home or in an office they have set up the way they want. I also like the idea of Apple paying for some rights to the code when appropriate. Saves development time for Apple and rewards the developer - who might then go onto another great OS X app. A lot of times, however, we tend to think that Apple has taken Company X's idea when there are actually multiple apps out there doing the same thing. The app I'm most interested in right now is Parallels. I would love to see Apple pick up some of their shares in order to prevent MS from buying them out and screwing up the app.
had this to say on Aug 16, 2006
Do You Want Fries with that OS X?
I've been using Bookpedia for several years and agree that it's nice to have your books on a database. I set mine up fro a simple download to the iPod and now take it with me when I go to a book store to make sure I don't re-buy a book (at my age I've done that now & then). It's also a nice thing to have for insurance purposes if disaster hits. The people making Bookpedia also have versions for CDs, DVDs and games - covering all bases as it were. Unfortunately it's not free, but it's reasonable.
had this to say on Aug 15, 2006
Books Manages Books Best
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