As a reminder, this household owns an iMac, iPod, and iPhone 3G...I'm a fan of Apple.  But in my day job role as an ISV, as much as I want them to be successful, I want them to be successful:

[S]ome, like Crunchgear writer John Biggs, have called Apple's success a curse. As Apple has grown to absorb as much as 20 percent of the U.S. computer market, its customers are getting more diverse and harder to satisfy.

"Apple, it seems, now has to deal with the average Joe and the average Joe is considerably more cranky than some turtle-necked fanboys in their loft in SoHo," Biggs wrote.

And yet, Apple hasn't changed any of its ways. The corporation continues to operate behind closed doors. When Apple makes mistakes, such as the MobileMe e-mail debacle, the company puts up a vague status message -- while 20,000 users are left without e-mail access for a week. To make matters worse, Apple downplays the problem as affecting a meager "1%" of users.

And Apple ignores the media, too. Ordinarily, Steve Jobs only speaks to a small group of journalists. The company wants to keep a lid on upcoming products, which is understandable, but even when journalists inquire about other matters, Apple can be famously unresponsive. Apple didn't return Pogue's phone calls regarding the MobileMe matter, nor did the company return's.

"Unfortunately, they are dropping the ball, not communicating, and adding to the problem by increasing the frustration of their users via their unwillingness to shoot straight with us," MobileMe user Joe Holley wrote in the support forums.
My wife finally got her iPhone 3G last week, but only after camping out at the Apple store early in the morning, two weeks after the device's initial release.  Apple's website said clearly that the store would have the devices in the morning and they would open at 8 AM.  At 8:20 AM, they told her, sorry, no devices yet today.  She was expected to wait it out, just because, until what ultimately ended up being more than three hours later.  I realize they can sell these things to anyone right now and it's good to have that kind of success, but impressions count, too.  It was almost more interesting to listen to my sister-in-law explain to my wife that "it just works" doesn't always work... that the mail sync can be slow, that sometimes it needs to be reset, etc.

Link: Wired: Has Apple Bitten Off More Than It Can Chew? > (Thanks, Mike)

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