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Palpable disappointment

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Jeff Markgraf
Palpable disappointment
on Dec 4, 2013 at 2:52:00 am

I wonder if some of the vitriol in the last few loooong threads is partly a not-so-latent expression of frustration with the lack of Mac Pro/FCP 10.1 on this first Tuesday of December? Not that I'm not enjoying the sniping.

Carry on.


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Helmut Kobler
Re: Palpable disappointment
on Dec 4, 2013 at 3:09:47 am

Well, I'm pretty disappointed.

Apple is really pushing it...it's been about 1225 days since they made a credible upgrade to the Mac Pro. That's just vile. To push things so far to the end of the year doesn't show a lot of sympathy or empathy with customers who have already gotten the shaft for the last several years. No, it's the usual Steve Jobs tone-deaf, near-sociopathic treatment for us...

-------------------
Los Angeles Cameraman
Canon C300 (x2), Zeiss CP.2 lenses, P2 Varicam, etc.
http://www.lacameraman.com


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Marcus Moore
Re: Palpable disappointment
on Dec 4, 2013 at 3:21:26 am

If you discount maliciousness, which- really... what does Apple gain from keeping the MacPro out of our hands but frustration like yours.

The MacPro has taken centre stage at 2 Apple keynotes in a row now. They had an ad for it in theatres. They sent out posters... I think they're proud of the machine and want to get it into people's hands.

I think it's one simple factor. Volume of essential components. Whether it's CPUs from Intel, the GPUs from AMD, Thunderbolt2 controllers... I think they've had to hold off release until they have enough supply on these components to meet initial demand. Why? Cause after having to apologize for it during an earnings call, I don't think Tim cook wants a repeat of the 2012 iMac launch- with super-constrained supplies and shipping delays that went on for months.

I think they have something to prove with this US factory too. I'd imagine MOST MacPro orders will be BTO configurations. So the last thing they want is their US factory coming under fire cause it takes someone a month to get their order fulfilled.

That's my crazy theory.



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Bill Davis
Re: Palpable disappointment
on Dec 4, 2013 at 5:33:24 am
Last Edited By Bill Davis on Dec 4, 2013 at 5:36:15 am

[Marcus Moore] "So the last thing they want is their US factory coming under fire cause it takes someone a month to get their order fulfilled.

That's my crazy theory."


I think Marcus is on to something here.

But I also think there's more at work here.

I did a good bit of work with my largest corporate client over many years creating informational videos about supply chain management, and I can tell you it's anything but trivial.

We've probably all seen the "new MacPros on the assembly line" video. In order to shoot that, they had to create a very high level assembly factory essentially from scratch here in the US. That assembly facility had to get tuned up for consistent production. Subs and component sourcing had to be not only be found, but delivered to the factory for assembly.

But the factory is just one part of the process. You also need some form of supply chain system that includes not just "build to order" but a back stock and store supply system that includes in warehousing in regional distribution centers and all the truck and rail logistics necessary to distribute the products nationwide.

Apple, with it's retail presence, clearly has the necessary expertise and certainly has all the resources it needs to make this happen, but EVEN with all those advantages, the new system has to be built out and managed.

For instance, they're releasing directly into the last stages of the normal huge holiday distribution surge.

I remember driving into Phoenix from LA one holiday and driving by literally hundreds and hundreds of rail cars sitting still on tracks in the middle of nowhere miles out of Phoenix. One of the retail experts I happened to mention that to, noted that what I had noticed was a part of the distribution supply chain standing by to re-supply the entire metro Phoenix area as our retail industry sold thru it's holiday stocks. Those rail cars had been planned, loaded and rolled into place literally months in advance.

So my presumption is whatever product release date they've decided on, it's been long, long planned and it's sensitive to the fact that they have a brand new product that they have to distribute.

Maybe this is as simple as Apple figuring out that they didn't need to shoehorn their new MacPro distribution into the first or even the second wave of holiday shopping supply - but could just as easily wait for the third or fourth round of holiday supply chain capability?

Just random thoughts. But it will be released when it's released.

And I'm not sure Apple is all that concerned whether they sell MacPros before during, or after the holidays - they have enough desirable consumer goods to be fine in that game.

My 2 cents, anyway.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Brett Sherman
Re: Palpable disappointment
on Dec 4, 2013 at 5:55:17 am

I'm always a proponent of getting things right rather than rushing to put out the latest, greatest. You're right the update of the Mac Pro took way too long. That had little to do with the new imminent Mac Pro. But now we know its almost here. So waiting a few weeks I think is probably inconsequential in the long run. In a few months who will remember whether the release was December 1 or December 20.



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Helmut Kobler
Re: Palpable disappointment
on Dec 4, 2013 at 6:38:22 am

Even if Apple isn't ready to ship today, Dec 3, I doubt there's anything stopping the company from posting BTO pricing *today*, and simply having the web store say "Ships Dec 20" or whatever. Having waited about 3.5 years for this update, I'm *more than ready* to know what my options are, and how much they'll cost.

There's definitely a lack of plain old empathy at Apple for certain customers. Take Apple's inexplicable and massive product delays (i.e., 1255 days without a Mac Pro, long absence of Final Cut before X's introduction, selling '09's edition of Mac iWork until just recently, etc. etc. etc.) and combine it with the company's asinine, smug radio silence about what's going on, and you get deep frustration on the part of some customers.....customers who have invested massive amounts of time and money in the Apple ecosystem, all with Apple's eager encouragement.

But it's all about Apple's convenience. Apple's schedule. Whatever.

I still prefer Apple products over the competition, but these last few years have shown me that Apple can be *deeply* fallible, and there's some aspect of the company's culture that is rotten....something that's entirely content with doing a mediocre, apathetic job for its customers.

The new Mac Pro may be great, I'm definitely looking forward to it, but that doesn't excuse all the bullshit that's come beforehand, and I'm really, *really* sick of being in an epic holding pattern because some grossly over-paid, comfy execs couldn't be bothered to plan a smooth product transition.

-------------------
Los Angeles Cameraman
Canon C300 (x2), Zeiss CP.2 lenses, P2 Varicam, etc.
http://www.lacameraman.com


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Mark Dobson
Re: Palpable disappointment
on Dec 4, 2013 at 7:56:51 am

[Helmut Kobler] "The new Mac Pro may be great, I'm definitely looking forward to it, but that doesn't excuse all the bullshit that's come beforehand, and I'm really, *really* sick of being in an epic holding pattern because some grossly over-paid, comfy execs couldn't be bothered to plan a smooth product transition."

Helmut, not being able to get what you can't get because it isn't there for you to get it even though you want it badly isn't going to get you what you want when you want it because you simply can't have it because it just isn't available, not just for you, but for all the other people who are also waiting for something they've been waiting for for a long time.

And as I used to say to my children many years ago when they were 3 years old and throwing tantrums over not being able to get what they wanted even though they really, really, really wanted it, 'You will just have to patient and wait a little longer and its not because we don't love you it's just simply that you can't always get what you want when you want it !'


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Charlie Austin
Re: Palpable disappointment
on Dec 4, 2013 at 9:16:45 am

:-)

-------------------------------------------------------------


~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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Mitch Ives
Re: Palpable disappointment
on Dec 4, 2013 at 5:40:50 pm

[Mark Dobson] "Helmut, not being able to get what you can't get because it isn't there for you to get it even though you want it badly isn't going to get you what you want when you want it because you simply can't have it because it just isn't available, not just for you, but for all the other people who are also waiting for something they've been waiting for for a long time."

Here's my issue. It isn't with Apple and when they can deliver the new Mac Pro. It's their baby and they get to release it whenever they want to.

No, my problem is with the influence (read interference) that they engage in with third party suppliers. I have a use for a new TB disk array... that need is here now (actually, it's been here for over a month). Given that TB2 is the new interface and is really a requirement for the Mac Pro if you want to get all its performance, it makes sense at this point to buy a TB2 disk array... especially since they are backwards compatible with the original TB.

The new TB2 arrays have been available for shipment for some time now. By available, I mean they are in the warehouse sitting in boxes (collecting dust)... and not on my desk. Why is that? Because Apple won't allow these third party suppliers to sell anything with TB2 until Apple says so... since TB2 is their baby. We can only assume that their approval for the release of non-Apple equipment will come when the Mac Pro ships. I say "assume" because Apple can't possibly give us any other explanation for blocking the shipment of equipment that can be used today, regardless of when the Mac Pro ships.

Once again, the marketing and message hype equation gets in the way of what is best for the consumer. What damn difference does it make if I'm using a TB2 array on a slower TB1 interface and getting some work done while I wait for Apple to release the Mac Pro so I can finally get the full benefit? None... absolutely none, except that the customer would come first over Apple's perceived "splash" factor.

Honestly, sometimes Apple acts like Sony... the company we all love to hate.

Mitch Ives
Insight Productions Corp.

"Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things." - Winston Churchill


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Palpable disappointment
on Dec 4, 2013 at 5:42:16 pm

Isn't Thunderbolt intel's baby?


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Mitch Ives
Re: Palpable disappointment
on Dec 4, 2013 at 5:51:00 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Isn't Thunderbolt intel's baby?"

That's always been my contention, but somehow Apple's in the middle of this.

My array was available and set to ship, and then it was suddenly pulled back. Under pressure, they were very open about why I can't have it yet. In a word... Apple. They keep giving me dates that they get from Apple, but those dates keep getting pushed back. Meanwhile, the arrays are being used at events to show them, under strict control by the company.

There's a lot we don't know. What we do know is:

1) that the company would like to start collecting money, since they're seriously out of pocket on startup investment...

2) I would like to have the damn thing and get some work done so I can collect some money...

3) and Apple won't let it ship...

Mitch Ives
Insight Productions Corp.

"Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things." - Winston Churchill


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Palpable disappointment
on Dec 4, 2013 at 5:54:34 pm

Bummer.

I knew Apple had an exclusive on the first TBolt rollout since they helped "bring it to market".

I didn't know about TBolt2. Thank you.

I can see how that would be frustrating.

Jeremy


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Marcus Moore
Re: Palpable disappointment
on Dec 4, 2013 at 6:24:02 pm

[Mitch Ives] "they are in the warehouse sitting in boxes (collecting dust)... and not on my desk. Why is that? Because Apple won't allow these third party suppliers to sell anything with TB2 until Apple says so... since TB2 is their baby."

Hold on- Apple is already selling TB2 devices. Both the 13 and 15" rMBP come with TB2 ports.

That doesn't make any sense.



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Mitch Ives
Re: Palpable disappointment
on Dec 4, 2013 at 6:43:57 pm

[Marcus Moore] "Hold on- Apple is already selling TB2 devices. Both the 13 and 15" rMBP come with TB2 ports.

That doesn't make any sense."


Seriously? My post wasn't clear? I'm not talking about Apple equipment, I'm talking about third parties.

And for the record, I agree with you "this doesn't make sense"... and Apple shouldn't be doing that...

Mitch Ives
Insight Productions Corp.

"Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things." - Winston Churchill


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Marcus Moore
Re: Palpable disappointment
on Dec 4, 2013 at 6:51:37 pm
Last Edited By Marcus Moore on Dec 4, 2013 at 6:52:45 pm

I understood you perfectly (I think). Your assertion is that Apple/Intel are forcing 3rd parties to hold shipping TB2 accessories until the new TB2 equipped MP is out the door.

Why would Apple do that when they're already shipping TB2 equipped Macs? The cat's out of the proverbial bag.

So the question is why do you think this shipping delay is being enforced by Apple? Is there proof the delay is being motivated by them?



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Mitch Ives
Re: Palpable disappointment
on Dec 5, 2013 at 8:35:31 pm

[Marcus Moore] "So the question is why do you think this shipping delay is being enforced by Apple? Is there proof the delay is being motivated by them?"

I have spoken to two sources, both of which have units ready to ship, but cannot ship them yet. When pressed, they told me why. That's pretty clear to me.

As we all know, no sane person would have a product in stock ready to ship and then not ship it. That's the whole reason for being in business. You have to have a pretty good reason not to try and recoup your (substantial) investment and up front costs. For many businesses, this would involve borrowing money and paying interest. So why would you wait one minute longer than necessary?

The only good reason, is that someone who you consider to be a valuable business partner (or customer) has enough influence that when they ask you (or tell you) not to, you feel compelled to comply.

FWIW, the newest date for release of these arrays is December 10th... perhaps that's the magic day for the MacPro to ship, which would make many of you happy...

Mitch Ives
Insight Productions Corp.

"Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things." - Winston Churchill


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Mitch Ives
Re: Palpable disappointment
on Dec 5, 2013 at 11:56:20 pm

[Marcus Moore] "So the question is why do you think this shipping delay is being enforced by Apple? Is there proof the delay is being motivated by them?"

The plot thickens... the local Mac professional video dealer just sent out an email saying that there will be an event on Dec 10th, with Apple in attendance, showing the new Mac Pro and discussing price, configs and availability.

Hmmm... thats the same date I got for shipping the arrays. Coincidence? Perhaps... perhaps not

Mitch Ives
Insight Productions Corp.

"Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things." - Winston Churchill


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Palpable disappointment
on Dec 6, 2013 at 12:12:31 am

Mitch, are you saying that all this might happen in......December?

;)


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Mitch Ives
Re: Palpable disappointment
on Dec 6, 2013 at 3:57:17 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Mitch, are you saying that all this might happen in......December?

;)"


Yes Jeremy, I'm willing to go out on a limb here and say yes, definitely December... :-)

Mitch Ives
Insight Productions Corp.

"Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things." - Winston Churchill


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Bill Davis
Re: Palpable disappointment
on Dec 7, 2013 at 9:17:31 pm

[Mitch Ives] "The plot thickens... the local Mac professional video dealer just sent out an email saying that there will be an event on Dec 10th, with Apple in attendance, showing the new Mac Pro and discussing price, configs and availability."

I got the same notice, but talked to the dealer himself by phone wondering if there might be a new MacPro arriving with the new FCP-X that I could sign up to get a look at - and was told directly that even tho a regional Apple rep is coming out for the event - they are NOT currently expecting the new hardware to be present.

So the plot doesn't just thicken - it's downright congealed.

Be nice if there was a surprise, but I was very specifically told not to expect a "hands on" experience.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Mitch Ives
Re: Palpable disappointment
on Dec 9, 2013 at 2:59:04 am

Funny how the email made it sound a lot more serious, huh?

Just read the release on how Apple is now selling the Sharp 4K monitor. In it, they mention the Mac Pro being released as early as the 16th.

Maybe we should get a calendar and mark the days that the Mac Pro WON"T be released... might take less time...

Mitch Ives
Insight Productions Corp.

"Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things." - Winston Churchill


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Chris Conlee
Re: Palpable disappointment
on Dec 6, 2013 at 6:32:27 pm

[Mark Dobson] "And as I used to say to my children many years ago when they were 3 years old and throwing tantrums over not being able to get what they wanted even though they really, really, really wanted it, 'You will just have to patient and wait a little longer and its not because we don't love you it's just simply that you can't always get what you want when you want it !'"

I guess that's a classier take on my old man's favorite saying when I was a kid: "Want in one hand and crap in the other...see which one gets full faster."


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Charlie Austin
Re: Palpable disappointment
on Dec 6, 2013 at 6:48:53 pm

[Chris Conlee] "I guess that's a classier take on my old man's favorite saying when I was a kid: "Want in one hand and crap in the other...see which one gets full faster.""

Your old man was really nice! My old man's favorite was "Crying?!? I'll give you something to cry about!" Also, "Knuckle Sandwich" had a prominent place in some of his exhortations. lol

-------------------------------------------------------------


~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Palpable disappointment
on Dec 4, 2013 at 4:33:25 pm

And here I thought we'd have a modular 4k Panasonic Varicam that was teased two NABs ago. So far, na-da.

It is still December. The MacPro says "coming in December" on the tin.

Why is there a problem here?

http://www.apple.com/mac-pro/index1.html


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Bill Davis
Re: Palpable disappointment
on Dec 4, 2013 at 11:25:08 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "And here I thought we'd have a modular 4k Panasonic Varicam that was teased two NABs ago. So far, na-da.

It is still December. The MacPro says "coming in December" on the tin.

Why is there a problem here?"


I was actually talking to a dealer today - and in the middle of that reminded myself that while the new MacPro is being assembled here in the good old USA - it's equally true that the market for the product is totally global.

Which means that at some point, unless they're going to be FedEx'ing BTO units to everyone - they've got to load up container ships with produced units in order to get them to Apple stores globally.

and THAT certainly won't take much time, will it?

Supply chain is a very reel bitch for any global company. Even one as sophisticated and powerful as Apple.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Palpable disappointment
on Dec 5, 2013 at 12:27:03 am

[Bill Davis] "and THAT certainly won't take much time, will it?"

No.

When the first AppleTV came out, it was shipped directly to me from China via UPS.

From the time of ordering to time of delivery, it was 1.5 days.

Shipping is not the concern.

You have it right, it's the supply chain and availability of all the necessary parts to assemble the new MacPro that may hold it back.

So far, they are on schedule as far as we know.


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Bill Davis
Re: Palpable disappointment
on Dec 5, 2013 at 7:18:21 pm

Well Jeremy, it's not the concern for the end user. But that's just one part of the "new product puzzle."

If you want to go into the Apple store and your local Best Buy and kick the tires - apple has to distribute stock to those retailers. How many retailers in, say Chicago, need to be shipped units? Likely the MacPro R2DX units required just to stock up for general retail sales for just one major city numbers in the thousands.

And that's as true in Rome and Sao Paulo as it is in Chicago.

And from my work with retailers, i can say with confidence that this also means the retailers where this new product is landing have to allow for back stock storage space, processes for repair and returns, and even re-work store planograms to allow shelf and display space. None of this is unusual or even complicated, but it all takes some time. And with Apple's tastes for keeping producer roll-outs "confidential" TIL they break, right now they have to manage this in a holiday shopping environment where their stores are in massive "all hands on deck" mode.

My suspicion is that we'll see the announcement and on-line BTO sales go live in Dec. But that new Mac Pros in the retail system not until after the first of the year.

But I could be wrong.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Palpable disappointment
on Dec 5, 2013 at 7:36:14 pm

I hear you, but logistics still isn't the crutch. Getting enough parts are the crutch. If there were enough parts early enough, logistics wouldn't slow it down much.

If you are a retailer, you already have a returns/service infrastructure setup. You need one or two MacPros for your store if you decide to display them. You break those off a palette of what, 50 MacPros? 100? These aren't the 40 pound beasts of yesterday. They are smaller than an iMac (albeit not as flat).


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Richard Herd
Re: Palpable disappointment
on Dec 5, 2013 at 11:26:15 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "directly to me from China"

Yep, ordered an Air i7 for my wife -- directly from China in a couple of days! It was a bit interesting to watch the email updates on where it was and when


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Chris Conlee
Re: Palpable disappointment
on Dec 6, 2013 at 6:18:45 pm

The machine is expensive enough and geared toward professionals, so I honestly don't think it's going be influenced by the consumer nature of "the holiday buying season." Apple might actually be better served by just waiting until the holiday rush is over.


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Marcus Moore
Re: Palpable disappointment
on Dec 6, 2013 at 6:29:29 pm

Indeed- but being able to buy it this year would probably figure nicely against business expenses.



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Chris Conlee
Re: Palpable disappointment
on Dec 6, 2013 at 6:47:17 pm

[Marcus Moore] "Indeed- but being able to buy it this year would probably figure nicely against business expenses."

^^^ This is true.


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