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Old 11th August 2018, 17:45   #46
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Default Re: Apple & Honda: Once great companies, losing the edge?

I don't like the design language of Honda cars being thrown at us post 2012. I had driven my sister's 2006 Honda Accord 2.4 MT and her 2010 Honda city, and I had a 2007 Honda Accord 2.4 AT which was driven extensively by me. I loved all those Honda products, their rev-happy engines, easy to maintain...etc added to their durability. Now, their designs are quirky and except the new Honda City and Honda Accord(Exorbitantly priced!, but then I have a predilection for Honda Accord!) rest are not worth looking at, But thats my perspective.

As for Apple, I have been using their products except the computers they offer. When it comes to Online Safety, they are way ahead of their competition. A company that develops the Hardware and Software for their products and unlike their adversaries who have to rely on Google Android for their products software. On top of that, The others pick up the software from Google , tweak it for their convenience, inviting security concerns online!. I read an article in Economic Times, a few weeks back on a Sunday, that Apple products are far more secure online compared to their Android counterparts.
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Old 12th August 2018, 01:15   #47
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Default Re: Apple & Honda: Once great companies, losing the edge?

I have a 2012 Honda City that has done like 32k kilometers. And frankly I dont much like this car as compared to other cars I have owned in past. The interiors look very worn out on this car. The logo on the steering wheel, the gearshift lever, the areas around the head unit all have a worn out look that I havent seen in any of my previous cars. This vehicle has a scheduled maintenance interval of 3 months/5k kms. I have also faced a bunch of other niggles. We also have a 2010 model Alto K10 at home, and the interiors of that car are still doing way better than this Honda City. I have used and driven a relative's 2017 model Honda City extensively and that car feels like it has way more issues worse. It has a bluetooth head unit that behaves worse than the worst of third party units I have used, it has a touch controls for aircon that cant be adjusted safely when driving the vehicle. The only saving grace for these 2 models of the City is that they have great 1.5L petrol engines.

In past I have extensively driven in a 2000 & 2004 model Honda City (first and second gen ones), a 7th Generation facelift accord (2007 model) and have had some experience with the Civic. All these vehicles seem to have been from a different manufacturer when it comes to over feel and quality.

I would say that Honda quality and design has gone downhill big time and there seems to be no improvement.

I am also a iPhone, iPad, Macbook Pro and iMac owner. And I would say that all of these have been excellent purchases. The iPad has not taken to the later OS updates very well, but it still works quite fine and feels very good. My iPhone 6s from 2015 works way better than a newer, although much cheaper, Moto G5 plus from 2017. My 2012 Macbook pro is still fast and efficient in 2018 and while my 2011 iMac is not the fastest computer out there, it still works great and has great features. I run the latest OS on my macs and iPhones and they all work great with these much newer OS.

The 2018 macbook pro "disaster" seemed to be a genuine case of apple not properly configuring the i9 cpu. And it did get fixed post the firmware update, so I would not exactly call it a disaster. Many people feel that the i9 is somewhat wasted on a computer like the 15" Macbook Pro, but we need to understand that with modern laptop cpus, we need to consider the fact that the same cpu will perform differently on different systems depending on the thermal design. Similar situations exist int he PC world, just that you dont really have many examples of something as compact as the 15" MBP with a i9 CPU.

I have used a 2018 MBP for a short period of time and I found that I could type way faster on the new keyboard. The touchbar is not something I would pay extra for. But overall, I have not seen another computer that combines speed, quality and power like the macbook pros. This is again a software + hardware thing. They may be expensive for the specs, but when you use a windows system after using macs for a while, you start to realise how clunky windows is. I use macos, windows and linux on a regular basis and I would not want anything but macos as my primary desktop/laptop os. Simple things like font rendering and handling of HiDPI/Retina displays work so much better on Macos than on Windows or Linux.

When compared to Honda, I dont see Apple's newer products going downhill. The current generation Macos and iOS still work great. The rate of innovation in iPhones may have gone down, but those are still amongst the best phones you can get. I used a OnePlus 6 for a few days and found it to be a great example of a Android phone. But it was still not a match to the iPhone when you compare the overall package consisting of the hardware and software. And this is true for most current generation Apple products. They may not have the best specs, but they surely work well and mostly they work way better than the competition when you compare the full hardware + software combo.

Apple IMO is still at the top of the game, and while they seem to be getting by with doing the very least required, IMO they are not faltering like Honda. Thing with Apple is that they have products which are at times way better than competetion and while the gap may be narrowing, it would not be going away anytime soon. It is not like everything is rosy with Apple, but they are still doing great. Some of their newer products like the Apple Watch and the Airpods have been doing really well.

In a nutshell, I would still look to get a 2018 Macbook Pro, a iPhone as my next phone and another iPad. Maybe not another iMac. I would still strongly recommend Apple products over that of their competitors. But Honda has totally convinced me to not just avoid replacing current City with another Honda car, their lack of quality and bad design has made me actively advice everyone I know against Honda cars.

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Old 13th August 2018, 14:54   #48
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Default Re: Apple & Honda: Once great companies, losing the edge?

Honda were famed in India when they initially introduced the City for i) reliability & ii) quality. This built up the brand image. They are well on their way to losing this. I think the customer base in India is partly to blame. Their requirements are not quality and reliability but price, mileage (kitna deti hai) and pure word of mouth from people who are not very knowledgeable about cars. This is apparent to me from the fact that most people after buying the car do not even read the manual thoroughly but have to ask silly questions in forums. Honda and other companies are pandering to the customers taste and wants. Can't blame them as the customer is king!

Apple never did that. They thoroughly researched the customer needs and Steve Jobs was a master at weeding through the mass of data and picking up the nuggets that would sell the product. To this was added industrial design of a quality never put into mobile phones, complete control on the ecosystem and hence ability to match hardware and software and no compromise on quality. Also, their marketing and branding was superb and built a brand that might well last quite long even if the product innovations are slowing down.

Big brands are built on providing the customer what they want better than others in ways that provide long term value for money. Innovation is often only doing something, that existed all the time, better than others.
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Old 10th September 2018, 11:23   #49
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Default Re: Apple & Honda: Once great companies, losing the edge?

It is not just the product innovation and the durability of its products but a rot seems to be slowly creeping over the Honda customer service (both pre- and post-) as well. I have two personal experiences to narrate in this regard:

1. Post-sale service (damage repair) of our 2015 Honda City

Back in December 2017, our Honda City was rear-ended by a rash bus-driver in the outskirts of Ahmedabad, and our experience of the post-sale service was terrible.

Apple & Honda: Once great companies, losing the edge?-20180910_105314.jpg

The car had taken severe damage around the boot-lid and the right-side tail-lamps. We needed the car in roughly 7-8 daysí time, because it was to be used in a wedding procession. Far from being supportive, the CS-rep at Landmark Honda in Bopal, Ahmedabad refused to even start off the cashless claim process without receiving the originals of certain documents, which in mine and my dad's experience always suffice in photocopy or scanned form. This was a problem for us, since we live in Mumbai but the accident had taken place outside Ahmedabad, and some of those originals weren't immediately available.

After an hour of negotiation, we finally convinced the man to start-off the process with scanned copies of the documents.
Despite multiple requests, the service centre failed to give us the car in time for use in the wedding procession, and we had to arrange for another car at the last minute. In fact, they took more than 14 days to return the car, which forced my dad to extend his stay at Ahmedabad by a couple of days.

On receipt, we discovered that while re-painting one of their workmen had left a pain soaked rag on the bonnet of the car, which left a faint, yet noticeable paint smear. The repaired boot-lid developed a rattling noise which was corrected on the next service only. The Ahmedabad service centre was barely apologetic about the incident, but thankfully agreed to take in the car for additional repair. However, it was simply impossible to spend more time in Ahmedabad, so we had to take the car back and get those minor hicks resolved at our cost.

2. Test Drive of the Honda WR-V

Fast forward to June 2018, and the WR-V was a car on my consideration as I was looking for Compact SUVs. I think my worst showroom test-drive experience was at the Hallmark Honda, in Nerul.

The man at their dealership made us wait around 35-40 min, and turned out to have lesser knowledge about the car than even the brochure of the vehicle. He was not able to give satisfactory answers to any of my questions. They made us wait another 35-40 min at the showroom because of some unknown hiccup related to the test-drive vehicle. After that long wait, we were finally showed in to a vehicle.

I was immediately surprised to see non-stock red-leather seats and adornments in the car and asked the showroom person if this was someone elseís vehicle. He admitted that this was a customerís vehicle which had come in for service.

They were offering it for the test-drive, because of the unavailability of a test-drive model for the variant I had requested. I was appalled and refused to drive another personís car. In addition to being an inaccurate representation of a new carís capabilities and comfort level, I think this was most probably a breach of trust between the service centre and the customer who had unwittingly dropped his car off there. What if a careless driver accepted the test-drive and crashed the vehicle? God only knows how they would have handled it later!
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Old 10th September 2018, 18:26   #50
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Default Re: Apple & Honda: Once great companies, losing the edge?

This article explains why many of us don't feel Apple is great anymore.
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Old 27th September 2018, 12:30   #51
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Default Re: Apple & Honda: Once great companies, losing the edge?

See what I meant? Apple's new streaming service gets a lot of criticism - link.

Apple’s new streaming service reportedly has a $1 billion budget, but apparently it can’t buy some nerve. The company has long censored its walled-garden offerings on platforms like the App Store, and per a report in the Wall Street Journal on Saturday, Apple is still aiming to keep its content offerings squeaky clean, with little “gratuitous sex, profanity or violence.” The desire to keep everything family-friendly is reportedly delaying or interfering with many projects. and the Journal writes that Apple’s own staff in Los Angeles have begun referring to the streaming project as “expensive NBC.”

The Journal wrote that CEO Tim Cook personally shot down Apple’s first scripted drama Vital Signs, about the life of hip-hop magnate Dr. Dre, after he watched the already-filmed show and was alarmed to see scenes featuring cocaine use, an orgy, and “drawn guns”:
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Old 27th September 2018, 17:24   #52
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Default Re: Apple & Honda: Once great companies, losing the edge?

Originally Posted by GTO View Post
See what I meant? Apple's new streaming service gets a lot of criticism - link.
Time will tell. Critics are known for getting it wrong, often a lot.

I do not claim to have much, or even any expertise in this particular area. The walled garden has always been criticised and there are many examples in the Telecom world where it failed. As just about any telecom provider/carrier can tell you. But then they also lacked unique content.

More relevant perhaps is Apple view on the ďcleanĒ content. Again, not my area of expertise, but there might be a lot of people out there who would enjoy that!

Time will tell.

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Old 27th September 2018, 17:25   #53
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Default Re: Apple & Honda: Once great companies, losing the edge?

Though they may be receiving criticism I think they're headed in the right direction as far as their policy of not allowing adult content in their programs. After all we don't endorse usage of profanity here though all of us, I suppose, are matured enough to take them lightly. It takes guts for any company to be prudish in their own productions and even cancel a fully produced show! (if I understood correctly from the article) I think we should appreciate their approach.
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Old 19th December 2018, 20:22   #54
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Default Re: Apple & Honda: Once great companies, losing the edge?

Looks like Apple's services business is going full steam ahead. It is supposed to have margins of 60%. Apple services business is basically revenues generated from App Store, Apple Care and Apple Pay (1 billion plus transactions in a quarter)

Breakup of revenues:

iPhone sales: $166 billion (up 18%)
Others (Macs, tablets, watches etc): $61 billion
Apple Services business: $37 billion (up 24%)

Just for comparison: TCS clocked $17 billion in revenues while Accenture did $39 billion.
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