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Is Apple doomed, the way IBM ended up in the PC market?

 
 
Mayayana
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Posts: n/a
 
      12-13-2012
| > Awhile back I was curious about whether it might make
| > sense to replace my land line with a cellphone, so I went
| > looking at options. I went to 4 stores and couldn't get a
| > straight answer from any of them. None would tell me what
| > the *real* cost per month would be, including taxes,
| > trumped up fees, etc. (Land line phones and cable TV are
| > similar.
|
| they can't, since taxes vary depending on where the customer lives.
| everywhere is different. they'd need to know the tax rate in every
| single town in the entire country, just because you want an exact
| answer.

I don't understand why you would feel a need to
defend a merchant who won't say the price of the
item they're selling. That seems a very reasonable
question to me. ...But while we're on the topic, would
you like to buy a snazzy leopard print cover for your
iPhone? Just mail me a blank check and I'll send it right
out.

The companies have to pay the taxes. Therefore they
know the taxes. (I don't know where you live, but I've
never seen "town taxes" on anything I've paid for in
my life.)

Much of the cost added is scams to begin with.
Certainly they know the cost of their own scams. For
instance, the Federal Subscriber Line Charge on
landlines, which is not a federal tax, as the name
implies, but is actually a sizable fee that the FCC
allows companies to charge:
http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/faqs-telephone

In other words, phone companies are allowed to
separate out part of their service price and pretend
that it's a federal tax, with the approval of the FCC!

Trumped up fees have been getting more numerous
and more inventive. Some companies have even
taken to charging for the administrative cost of charging.

Since this discussion has turned toward cost comparison,
perhaps you could post what you pay in extra fees and
taxes. That would be interesting to know, as someone
who's never had a cellphone bill. And of course you can
leave out your famous town taxes.

| > Apple is a special case. Apple addicts will pay anything,
| > and they develop a periodic itch to do so again.
| > [Interesting piece here:
| >
| >
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...BRE8B911120121
| > 210
| > ]
|
| yet another bullshit article, full of contradictions. it's nothing more
| than linkbait.
|
| one of the better lines:
| Remember, this is not something that consumers are being forced to
| pay. They are dipping willingly into their own pockets, because
| they're essentially slaves to the devices.
|
| how is it someone is a 'slave' if they willingly choose to buy it?
|

I figured that it wouldn't take long for you to provide
a colorful, strident portrayal of Apple addiction (and denial)
in action.

(Which is not to say that I think Apple products are junk.
Well, not counting the life-threatening problems with
Apple Maps:
http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/10/tech/a...law/index.html

If I had money to burn I might very well own an Apple
product or two. But the case for buying Apple is not the
same thing as Apple infatuation, with people standing in
long lines worldwide just to be the first among their friends
to own the latest model of an i-something-or-other. A
scenario like that requires that we reflect on the meaning
of "willingly".)


 
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tony cooper
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      12-13-2012
On Thu, 13 Dec 2012 10:47:28 -0500, "Mayayana"
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>| > Awhile back I was curious about whether it might make
>| > sense to replace my land line with a cellphone, so I went
>| > looking at options. I went to 4 stores and couldn't get a
>| > straight answer from any of them. None would tell me what
>| > the *real* cost per month would be, including taxes,
>| > trumped up fees, etc. (Land line phones and cable TV are
>| > similar.
>|
>| they can't, since taxes vary depending on where the customer lives.
>| everywhere is different. they'd need to know the tax rate in every
>| single town in the entire country, just because you want an exact
>| answer.
>
> I don't understand why you would feel a need to
>defend a merchant who won't say the price of the
>item they're selling.


Any seller of cell phones can provide the exact base charges for the
phone if you deal with the local outlet. If you call a provider's
number that you find on the web for information, you may get someone
in some foreign country or a different state. The local office, or
store, will be able to provide the information.

The poster that could not get the information was dealing with
incompetent or lazy salespeople.

--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
 
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Mayayana
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Posts: n/a
 
      12-13-2012

| Any seller of cell phones can provide the exact base charges for the
| phone if you deal with the local outlet. If you call a provider's
| number that you find on the web for information, you may get someone
| in some foreign country or a different state. The local office, or
| store, will be able to provide the information.
|
| The poster that could not get the information was dealing with
| incompetent or lazy salespeople.
|

I don't think so. The poster was me.
I went to 4 local stores: AT&T, Verizon, Sprint
and Radio Shack. At the AT&T store I found
out about one bill only because the woman
standing next to me, paying her bill, overheard
my questioning. But I never had a chance to
see the details of her bill. The clerk was actually
taking bill payments and yet still couldn't tell me
the *real* monthly cost, with taxes and fees
included.

Since I was thinking of switching from a land
line my question was very simple: What is the
total monthly cost of the cheapest plan? That
sort of thing should be printed on a poster on
the wall. The fact that no one could answer
tells me that it's by design.

When I pointed out the absurdity of the situation
to the AT&T clerk, noting that I would have to buy
the product before I could know what I paid for it,
he had no answer.


 
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nospam
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Posts: n/a
 
      12-13-2012
In article <kact90$7m3$(E-Mail Removed)>, Mayayana
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> | > Awhile back I was curious about whether it might make
> | > sense to replace my land line with a cellphone, so I went
> | > looking at options. I went to 4 stores and couldn't get a
> | > straight answer from any of them. None would tell me what
> | > the *real* cost per month would be, including taxes,
> | > trumped up fees, etc. (Land line phones and cable TV are
> | > similar.
> |
> | they can't, since taxes vary depending on where the customer lives.
> | everywhere is different. they'd need to know the tax rate in every
> | single town in the entire country, just because you want an exact
> | answer.
>
> I don't understand why you would feel a need to
> defend a merchant who won't say the price of the
> item they're selling.


i'm not defending anything.

they are telling you their price.

they do not keep track of the numerous tax rates everywhere. what you
pay in one town will be different a few miles away in another town. if
you live near the border of two states, it could be even a bigger
difference across the border.

even pay as you go is not immune. some states charge a 911 access fee
for paygo (which varies) and other states do not. some charge taxes on
the refill card while others do not. notice that washington state has a
state fee *and* a county fee.

<http://www.wireless.att.com/learn/gophoneE911.jsp>

they can give you an estimate. it may not be exact, but as i said,
that's apparently not good enough for you.

> That seems a very reasonable
> question to me. ...But while we're on the topic, would
> you like to buy a snazzy leopard print cover for your
> iPhone? Just mail me a blank check and I'll send it right
> out.


i can get those for 10-20 cents a piece on ebay in various colours or
patterns (and i don't want leopard either). thanks for the offer
though.

those cheap cases are actually pretty good and useful for more than
just iphones. in fact, i don't even use them for iphones. plus, how can
you go wrong for 10 cents (total price, including shipping)?

> The companies have to pay the taxes. Therefore they
> know the taxes. (I don't know where you live, but I've
> never seen "town taxes" on anything I've paid for in
> my life.)


sales tax in california varies per city or town. new york city has an
additional income tax versus outside new york city.

> Much of the cost added is scams to begin with.
> Certainly they know the cost of their own scams. For
> instance, the Federal Subscriber Line Charge on
> landlines, which is not a federal tax, as the name
> implies, but is actually a sizable fee that the FCC
> allows companies to charge:
> http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/faqs-telephone
>
> In other words, phone companies are allowed to
> separate out part of their service price and pretend
> that it's a federal tax, with the approval of the FCC!


there are numerous taxes and fees applied, and yes, they do separate
it. it's nothing new. if it's allowed, you can be sure they'll charge
it. why wouldn't they?

> Trumped up fees have been getting more numerous
> and more inventive. Some companies have even
> taken to charging for the administrative cost of charging.


true. companies try to hide the real cost. it's nothing new.

> Since this discussion has turned toward cost comparison,
> perhaps you could post what you pay in extra fees and
> taxes. That would be interesting to know, as someone
> who's never had a cellphone bill. And of course you can
> leave out your famous town taxes.


what i pay is not relevant for a variety of reasons.

> | > Apple is a special case. Apple addicts will pay anything,
> | > and they develop a periodic itch to do so again.
> | > [Interesting piece here:
> | >
> | >
> http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...BRE8B911120121
> | > 210
> | > ]
> |
> | yet another bullshit article, full of contradictions. it's nothing more
> | than linkbait.
> |
> | one of the better lines:
> | Remember, this is not something that consumers are being forced to
> | pay. They are dipping willingly into their own pockets, because
> | they're essentially slaves to the devices.
> |
> | how is it someone is a 'slave' if they willingly choose to buy it?
> |
>
> I figured that it wouldn't take long for you to provide
> a colorful, strident portrayal of Apple addiction (and denial)
> in action.


no addiction or denial. that article is pure rubbish.

> (Which is not to say that I think Apple products are junk.
> Well, not counting the life-threatening problems with
> Apple Maps:
> http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/10/tech/a...law/index.html


apple screwed up on maps. they've said they screwed up. two upper level
people were fired over it plus no doubt others lower in the hierarchy.

> If I had money to burn I might very well own an Apple
> product or two. But the case for buying Apple is not the
> same thing as Apple infatuation, with people standing in
> long lines worldwide just to be the first among their friends
> to own the latest model of an i-something-or-other.


you mean like people standing in line for windows 95, windows 98,
windows xp, xbox, wii and many other products? even microsoft surface
had people standing in line!

people stand in line on black friday hoping to get some crazy deal only
to find out just one unit was shipped to each store. in many places,
they stand outside in very cold weather. people stand in line for
concert tickets, movie tickets and theatre tickets. they stand in line
for all sorts of stuff. it's not just apple.

<http://www.zdnet.com/blog/microsoft/...uy-windows-95-
fifteen-years-ago/7194>
The night before, thousands of people had lined up at Best Buys and
other retail stores to buy their copies of Windows 95 at midnight.
(As I recall, more than a few in line didn't know what they were
lining up to buy, but they queued, figuring it must be something big.)

apparently, when people line up for apple products, they're infatuated,
addicted, etc. but when they line up for microsoft, it's business as
usual. you're a hypocrite.

the best part from that link is that some people lined up not even
knowing what it was they were lining up for!

> A scenario like that requires that we reflect on the meaning
> of "willingly".)


nobody forced them to stand in line. they all did so willingly.

anyone could have left at any time, and maybe even for profit. some
people will pay money to have a spot further up in line to increase
their chances of getting whatever it is they're waiting for.
 
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tony cooper
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Posts: n/a
 
      12-13-2012
On Thu, 13 Dec 2012 12:11:02 -0500, nospam <(E-Mail Removed)>
wrote:

>In article <kact90$7m3$(E-Mail Removed)>, Mayayana
><(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>> | > Awhile back I was curious about whether it might make
>> | > sense to replace my land line with a cellphone, so I went
>> | > looking at options. I went to 4 stores and couldn't get a
>> | > straight answer from any of them. None would tell me what
>> | > the *real* cost per month would be, including taxes,
>> | > trumped up fees, etc. (Land line phones and cable TV are
>> | > similar.
>> |
>> | they can't, since taxes vary depending on where the customer lives.
>> | everywhere is different. they'd need to know the tax rate in every
>> | single town in the entire country, just because you want an exact
>> | answer.
>>
>> I don't understand why you would feel a need to
>> defend a merchant who won't say the price of the
>> item they're selling.

>
>i'm not defending anything.
>
>they are telling you their price.
>
>they do not keep track of the numerous tax rates everywhere. what you
>pay in one town will be different a few miles away in another town. if
>you live near the border of two states, it could be even a bigger
>difference across the border.


What difference would it make based on where you *pay* the bill? The
final bill is determined by the provider when they mail out the bill,
and that is based on the address you give when you sign up. It has
nothing whatsoever to do with the adjacency of nearby states. The
store doesn't compute the bill. That's ridiculous.

If the person at the store didn't know the answer, all that person had
to do was call the billing office for the provider and get the
details. Obviously, the people M is dealing with are too lazy to do
this.

>> The companies have to pay the taxes. Therefore they
>> know the taxes. (I don't know where you live, but I've
>> never seen "town taxes" on anything I've paid for in
>> my life.)


New York City has a city sales tax of 4.5%. There is also a New York
state sales tax of 4.375%, so any taxable purchase is taxed at 8.875%.
These taxes are not the monthly mobile phone taxes; they are the taxes
that are charged for other purchases.

The total tax rate (combined federal, state, and local taxes) on
cellphone bills in NY is 22.83%. California is 15.72%. (All figures
current to July 2010, but may be different today.)

The tax, however, does not always show up as a line item in the bill.
My Florida AT&T account does not show the tax amount, but I know that
a tax rate of 21.62% (federal and state) is in effect. Cellphone
taxes are one of the few taxes that are allowed to be buried in base
charges and not listed separately. The states don't want it done
because most of the figure is the state part.

There is also a surcharge of $4.78 for County Communications Tax and a
surcharge of $8.57 for Florida State Communications Tax for the
primary line (smaller amounts for additional lines) but I don't know
if these are part of the 21.62% figure.

I don't need to know. When I switched providers last year, the AT&T
person gave me the exact total amount I would pay monthly, and that
amount was acceptable competitively. It wasn't a big deal to get the
exact figure. My monthly bill is always the same amount.


--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
 
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nospam
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      12-13-2012
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>, tony cooper
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> >> | > Awhile back I was curious about whether it might make
> >> | > sense to replace my land line with a cellphone, so I went
> >> | > looking at options. I went to 4 stores and couldn't get a
> >> | > straight answer from any of them. None would tell me what
> >> | > the *real* cost per month would be, including taxes,
> >> | > trumped up fees, etc. (Land line phones and cable TV are
> >> | > similar.
> >> |
> >> | they can't, since taxes vary depending on where the customer lives.
> >> | everywhere is different. they'd need to know the tax rate in every
> >> | single town in the entire country, just because you want an exact
> >> | answer.
> >>
> >> I don't understand why you would feel a need to
> >> defend a merchant who won't say the price of the
> >> item they're selling.

> >
> >i'm not defending anything.
> >
> >they are telling you their price.
> >
> >they do not keep track of the numerous tax rates everywhere. what you
> >pay in one town will be different a few miles away in another town. if
> >you live near the border of two states, it could be even a bigger
> >difference across the border.

>
> What difference would it make based on where you *pay* the bill?


where you live determines what you pay.

> The
> final bill is determined by the provider when they mail out the bill,
> and that is based on the address you give when you sign up.


that's what i just said.

> It has
> nothing whatsoever to do with the adjacency of nearby states.


yes it absolutely does.

cellular coverage does not stop at a border.

for example, the portland, oregon msa includes southwest washington.
the kansas city msa includes both kansas and missouri. the new york
city msa includes parts of new jersey and connecticut. the davenport,
iowa msa includes both iowa and illinois.

> The
> store doesn't compute the bill. That's ridiculous.


i didn't say the store computes it.

the cellular carrier computes it based on your billing address. if you
move, your bill is almost guaranteed to change, with the exact same
calling plan.

to expect a store to keep track of what gets billed where is crazy.
there's no benefit to them and it could even change from one month to
the next when new fees are assessed (they never seem to go away).

> If the person at the store didn't know the answer, all that person had
> to do was call the billing office for the provider and get the
> details. Obviously, the people M is dealing with are too lazy to do
> this.


welcome to retail.
 
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(PeteCresswell)
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Posts: n/a
 
      12-13-2012
Per Alfred Molon:
>> Quite the opposite: Jobs was right on the money when he said the
>> ergonomics of anything bigger than an iPhone/iPod don't work very
>> well.

>
>Good luck reading a web page on a tiny iphone screen. It got better now
>with the iphone 5, but previous iphones were limited to 3.5" screens.


That was my experience too.

But with the Note's 5" screen, web pages are mostly readable
without scrolling left/right.

Don't get me wrong: it's not exactly wonderful.... but it's
doable for most pages.
--
Pete Cresswell
 
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Whisky-dave
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Posts: n/a
 
      12-14-2012
On Thursday, December 13, 2012 7:06:46 PM UTC, Alfred Molon wrote:
> In article <(E-Mail Removed)>, (PeteCresswell)
>
> says...
>
> > There's definitely no "Wow" factor in my Galaxy Note.

>
> >

>
> > Quite the opposite: Jobs was right on the money when he said the

>
> > ergonomics of anything bigger than an iPhone/iPod don't work very

>
> > well.

>
>
>
> Good luck reading a web page on a tiny iphone screen.


Quite a few manage it, some can't read a 50" TV screen without glasses so what.
I see people that can;t read boks without glasses so what do they do give up reading, and there's no inbuilt magnification on TV screens or in books there is on an iPhone.


> It got better now
>
> with the iphone 5, but previous iphones were limited to 3.5" screens.


Yes so..

 
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Chris Malcolm
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      12-15-2012
Mayayana <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> | Good to hear that at least something is much more expensive in the US
> | than in Europe (but do you have no competition in the mobile sector in
> | the US?).


[snip]

> Awhile back I was curious about whether it might make
> sense to replace my land line with a cellphone, so I went
> looking at options. I went to 4 stores and couldn't get a
> straight answer from any of them. None would tell me what
> the *real* cost per month would be, including taxes,
> trumped up fees, etc.


IIRC the US has a special weird feature on at least some of its
cellphone contracts which makes it impossible to know exctly how much
you'll spend, because some of what you pay depends in part on what
other people communicate to your phone.

Whereas in the UK you only pay for things which YOU, the phone user,
actually do. Of course there are still trick numbers and sevices which
try to fool you by charging a lot to ring them up, etc, but at least
YOU have to do something to incur the cost -- and you don't have to do
it.

--
Chris Malcolm
 
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Mayayana
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      12-15-2012
| IIRC the US has a special weird feature on at least some of its
| cellphone contracts which makes it impossible to know exctly how much
| you'll spend, because some of what you pay depends in part on what
| other people communicate to your phone.
|

Yes. That was part of the vagueness I was trying to
clarify when I researched deals. Eventually I decided that
there was just no way to know all the details and that I
really didn't need or want a cellphone. I just needed an
occasional ability to make a brief phone call when away
from home. So I got a pay-for-minutes-up-front Tracfone.
($10 for the phone. $20 for 120 minutes.) Then I told the
clerk that I didn't want texting functionality and asked how
to avoid paying for that with my minutes. Answer: Don't
read the texts. ....Texting can't be disabled! Months later
the phone still tells me I have 2 text messages waiting
whenever I turn it on. No doubt they're from Tracfone,
since even I don't know my phone number. But I don't dare
check because if they're not from Tracfone I'll have to pay
for spam.

| Whereas in the UK you only pay for things which YOU, the phone user,
| actually do. Of course there are still trick numbers and sevices which
| try to fool you by charging a lot to ring them up, etc, but at least
| YOU have to do something to incur the cost -- and you don't have to do
| it.
|
| --
| Chris Malcolm


 
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