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  • Apple's Unbeatable Business model?

    Short article - interesting points - Does Apple deliver the best personal computer on the market?

    Also - why is Apple not interested in making cheaper computers, but most likely willing to drop the price on the iPhone? It seems Apple has determined it is best to maximize the level of adoption for the iPhone but not important to maximize the level of adoption for Apple computers?

    And what does this show about Apple's vision for the future of mobile computing?
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  • #2
    I don't know if their computers are better or not, but I would like to think that Apple will gain in popularity. Everybody loves iPods, iTunes, iPhone, iStore, it's hard to think that their computers will not grow in market share. Also, I love their marketing strategy. If you see a laptop in a movie, 90% of the time, it is a Mac. The other 10% is a Sony Vaio.

    If they could lower their prices, I would think they would be serious competitors in the laptop industry. I might even consider one for my next laptop! Right now, I've got a Gateway.
    2007 Mazda 6

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    • #3
      Would never buy or recommend an Apple product because of their marketing/business model.

      It is pure crap. They claim innovation, yet steal the ideas from everyone else. They put it in a shiny case, make false claims, and get the faithful with their blinders to buy.

      Why would you pay double to triple to cost for a PC with a shiny apple logo and an OS that doesn't run the majority of programs on the market?

      Almost everyone I know that bought a mac, runs Windows in some way either double booting (boot camp) or virtualization (VMWare, Parallels, Fusion) which defeats the OS being better claim. Also the OS doesn't blue screen it just beach-balls of death then restarts. And honestly, when was the last time a windows computer BSOD'ed since the PPC->Intel switch either? Both OS's are stable, just windows works better, is more flexible, is backwards compatible (my dot matrix printer from 1987 was recognized and printing in Vista as soon as I scanned for port changes (its lpt1) whereas no driver exists for OSX because the drivers from the 80's have no compatibility with the OS from today).

      Then the hardware... It is a PC people. Before the Intel switch, there was a good reason to buy a mac if you were a heavy graphics user such as a video/image editor. The PPC processor had much better optimization for multimedia that Intel and AMD could not match. Well they did and surpassed it without the need for watercooling (cough cough). So Apple did the smart (and cheaper) thing and bailed on the PPC and switched to Intel. Intel does not make magic special chips for Apple, they are the same off the shelf components you can buy for any PC. That is why OSX runs on any Intel SSE3 computer with no hassle and the majority of Intel processors (even a P4 Socket 478) with a few kext tweaks.

      Whether or not that hinders them is yet to be seen. It has been proven that people will buy what looks pretty and not what is most functional which is a great thing for Apple. But a company that follows Apple business model or even attempts it, has lost a customer and surely many more.
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      • #4
        Way to go opening a can of worms by starting this thread...

        Comment


        • #5
          Apple's strategy in the desktop/laptop space and the iPhone space is an interesting dichotomy and demonstrates that these are two very different markets.

          Apple lost the OS wars long ago by not following a market share strategy. The market was theirs to lose and they did so. Having done that, they did probably the only thing that they could -and one that was built into Steve Jobs' DNA, they moved upscale and focused on creating a product with brand-level cachet that combined an appeal to users who appreciated and were willing to pay for the experience.

          The iPhone is a very different situation. First, Apple is in the process of recreating their iPod success. Apple is not a telecom company, yet they have managed to enter a market with a large number of incumbents and competitors with much more experience than they have and redefined the smart phone segment of the market.

          One phone for the world is a great strategy for rolling out a product that you want to gain traction as quickly as possible. And the very quick drop in price shows that with the iPhone they are following a market share strategy rather than a specialty brand/cachet strategy such as BMW.

          What is most interesting about the iPhone is that it is a very good version of a pocket computer. It is easy to use, easy to add functionality to, and always connected to both voice and data networks. This type of connectivity can be found in other devices, but it is relatively new and serves a fundamentally different need, providing a mobile experience that is on par or better than its competitors'.

          I would agree that because of the immaturity of this market, it makes much more sense for Apple to pursue a market share strategy, even if that means discounting the iPhone to get share. This is similar to the way Microsoft subsidizes the cost of XBoxes and recoups the balance on revenue sharing from game sales.

          In addition, Apple has a history of trashing segments that it eventually enters. Tim Cook's comments about the trashy hardware and poor software on netbooks is practically a signal that Apple has been thinking about them quite a bit. Scaling up hardware like the iPhone to fit inside a netbook -or even simply building a netbook you can dock the iPhone into or wirelessly connect to, would be simple and extend the market share of the iPhone. I'm sure we'll see in the near future whether that turns out to be the case.

          Whether or not this makes for Apple delivering an unbeatable computer experience, 2K1's comments are shared by many, I'm sure. Does Toyota or GM or Ford or VW make the best cars? Or does Ferrari or BMW? The answer is that the definition of 'best' varies by customer and the PC market simply isn't a zero sum game. All boats have been rising with the tide.

          The fact that Apple is widely (though not universally) admired for making products that are well designed and have had a lot of thought put into them is more a function of their internal strengths and culture. Put simply, it isn't possible for all companies to be an Apple, nor for Apple to be like other companies such as Dell or Microsoft.

          Probably a better question is whether Apple's strategy is appropriate for Apple. I would argue that it's hard to think of what more they can do to be even more successful than they currently are.
          Originally posted by ghettocruzer
          I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
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          • #6
            Originally posted by 2k1Toaster View Post
            Would never buy or recommend an Apple product because of their marketing/business model.

            It is pure crap. They claim innovation, yet steal the ideas from everyone else. They put it in a shiny case, make false claims, and get the faithful with their blinders to buy.

            Why would you pay double to triple to cost for a PC with a shiny apple logo and an OS that doesn't run the majority of programs on the market?

            Almost everyone I know that bought a mac, runs Windows in some way either double booting (boot camp) or virtualization (VMWare, Parallels, Fusion) which defeats the OS being better claim. Also the OS doesn't blue screen it just beach-balls of death then restarts. And honestly, when was the last time a windows computer BSOD'ed since the PPC->Intel switch either? Both OS's are stable, just windows works better, is more flexible, is backwards compatible (my dot matrix printer from 1987 was recognized and printing in Vista as soon as I scanned for port changes (its lpt1) whereas no driver exists for OSX because the drivers from the 80's have no compatibility with the OS from today).

            Then the hardware... It is a PC people. Before the Intel switch, there was a good reason to buy a mac if you were a heavy graphics user such as a video/image editor. The PPC processor had much better optimization for multimedia that Intel and AMD could not match. Well they did and surpassed it without the need for watercooling (cough cough). So Apple did the smart (and cheaper) thing and bailed on the PPC and switched to Intel. Intel does not make magic special chips for Apple, they are the same off the shelf components you can buy for any PC. That is why OSX runs on any Intel SSE3 computer with no hassle and the majority of Intel processors (even a P4 Socket 478) with a few kext tweaks.

            Whether or not that hinders them is yet to be seen. It has been proven that people will buy what looks pretty and not what is most functional which is a great thing for Apple. But a company that follows Apple business model or even attempts it, has lost a customer and surely many more.
            Here here! And to add to your rant, I'll explain my personal boycott of their garbage marketing schema:
            - I have to use proprietary software just to add songs to my device? No thanks.
            - iTunes will run on OSX which is built on the UNIX platform but won't run on Linux which is also built on UNIX? No thanks.
            - Your mp3 device has terrible audio quality. No thanks.
            - ALL of your crappy devices have some sort of weird flattened out USB attachment port for your dongles? No thanks, they should just be mini-USB, quit trying to make everything proprietary and just use generic cables.

            I hate Apple and will never ever ever ever ever buy any of their products. Unless I were to hack up an iPod Touch which I may do soon and use it to control my X10 stuff. I won't be using it for media though.

            If you want more, see my blog (www.danmaher.com) for more of what I have to say about Apple.
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            • #7
              Sure, call Apple computers of today PCs....

              BIG, HUGE, MONUMENTAL difference between Apple and MS products.....

              NO NEED FOR ANTIVIRUS OR ANTISPYWARE SOFTWARE!!!!

              Sure, there are viruses and such for macs, but to tell you the truth, for every 1000 viruses that there are for Windows and other MS products, there's 1 for Mac. Chances are, even if you do stupid stuff on Mac, you will never get a virus.

              That's the main thing that brought me from MS to Mac 5 years ago. I was tired of within 1 hour of formatting the hard drive (again, something you have to do VERY often on a PC to keep the registry nice and neat) and to keep your computer running nice and quick, I always got some kind of spyware/malware/virus on my machine. I've been running several different macs for the past year, and WOW... the difference of not having to be scared about the sites I visit.

              Makes using a computer soooooooo much more pleasureable.

              All computers/OS's have problems/bugs. They're made by humans. No human being is perfect so something that's not perfect can't create something that's perfect. By far though, in an average computer life-span, Windows/MS users WILL run into more software problems than mac users.

              Just my .03...

              Rafster
              Post # 3000

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              • #8
                So you are blaming the market share of microsoft attracting malicious coders to why microsoft is inferior? So hypothetically (since it wont ever happen), if apple had the market share, you are suggesting criminals would overlook the money making potential of scamming OSX users versus the 1% to 5% that would be using Microsoft? That just doesnt hold logic.

                The reasons viruses and malware exist is to make money. The ratio of people that dont get fooled by malware/spam/bad downloads to those that fall for it is very very high. Therefore you need to market to the masses so that you get optimal dollar return. This means it is trivial to go after something is meaningless.

                And your argument becomes even more flawed when you look at number of patches released or even the critical error update time for Microsoft vs. Apple.

                Apple is #1... at the most security vulnerabilities. 3.2% extremely critical OS holes were patched in 2008. Microsoft is #3 with 2.5%.

                Now look at time between updates...

                Microsoft took an average of 6 days from "we know about the boo boo" to "everything is fixed, download the patch". Guess how long Apple takes? From the "uh oh" moment of finding out to releasing an update it took them 79 days on average! Also, Apple spends roughly 13 times the amount (in $$$) to patch said security flaws than Microsoft.

                So all in all, Apple is less secure, and when a vulnerability is found you are in hell for 2.5 months before it is fixed, and flaws are found more often... Sounds like a loser from all sides. Like I said before, if you do your research and dont get blinded by "ooooh shiny" you will realize Microsoft is more stable and more secure than Apple minus the bling factor of course. But to get the bling factor, build your own PC and make it as uber-awesome as you want.
                Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
                1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
                30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
                15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
                Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by 2k1Toaster View Post
                  So all in all, Apple is less secure, and when a vulnerability is found you are in hell for 2.5 months before it is fixed, and flaws are found more often...
                  No you're not. The absolute worst case scenario is you reload the operating system and DON'T PIRATE AND INSTALL INFECTED SOFTWARE.

                  The truth of the anti-virus story on the Mac is that all know viruses for the Mac require the user to install them.

                  Most of the security issues on the Mac have been those that expose vulnerabilities via Safari. The ability to carpet-bomb the browser went unpatched for a very long time but the main result was the requirement to force-quit the browser, reload it and don't go back to that site.

                  That doesn't make the Mac any more or less secure than the PC. Macs can and have been powned. Maybe someday it will be an issue, but not right now.
                  Originally posted by ghettocruzer
                  I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
                  Want to:
                  -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
                  -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 2k1Toaster View Post
                    So you are blaming the market share of microsoft attracting malicious coders to why microsoft is inferior? So hypothetically (since it wont ever happen), if apple had the market share, you are suggesting criminals would overlook the money making potential of scamming OSX users versus the 1% to 5% that would be using Microsoft? That just doesnt hold logic.

                    The reasons viruses and malware exist is to make money. The ratio of people that dont get fooled by malware/spam/bad downloads to those that fall for it is very very high. Therefore you need to market to the masses so that you get optimal dollar return. This means it is trivial to go after something is meaningless.

                    And your argument becomes even more flawed when you look at number of patches released or even the critical error update time for Microsoft vs. Apple.

                    Apple is #1... at the most security vulnerabilities. 3.2% extremely critical OS holes were patched in 2008. Microsoft is #3 with 2.5%.

                    Now look at time between updates...

                    Microsoft took an average of 6 days from "we know about the boo boo" to "everything is fixed, download the patch". Guess how long Apple takes? From the "uh oh" moment of finding out to releasing an update it took them 79 days on average! Also, Apple spends roughly 13 times the amount (in $$$) to patch said security flaws than Microsoft.

                    So all in all, Apple is less secure, and when a vulnerability is found you are in hell for 2.5 months before it is fixed, and flaws are found more often... Sounds like a loser from all sides. Like I said before, if you do your research and dont get blinded by "ooooh shiny" you will realize Microsoft is more stable and more secure than Apple minus the bling factor of course. But to get the bling factor, build your own PC and make it as uber-awesome as you want.
                    That's not why there are less viruses for Macintosh systems, your reasoning is flawed. Since it's built on UNIX I'm going to assume the filesystem is in some way similar to Linux and the files don't contain an execute bit. Since they don't have this, it's virtually impossible for a virus/worm to either run itself or another process on the machine without input from the user. This is a huge security threat to the way Microsoft develops their applications and makes it a less secure system.
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                    • #11
                      The original post is about Apple's strategy, not whether Macs are better than PC's. Back on topic or I need to close this thread. One thing I like about this forum is that I don't have to deal with that junk. I can find it anywhere else but here.
                      Originally posted by ghettocruzer
                      I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
                      Want to:
                      -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
                      -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I will comment on Apples strategy, but I just HAVE to say my oppinion about apple...

                        Using Apple products is like a trip over the north pole... While it last it's hellish and awefull... But when the trip finaly is over, one remember it as a very nice trip with loads of fun.

                        I have been using iPhone for quite some time now, and I've been a Sysadmin for a big firm with it's own newsdesk running Macs. (but never had one myself).

                        I think, that one of the reasons why the lower the price on the iPhones is that the more phones they push out, the more people can buy apps via appstore.

                        Programs for sale via appstore is of no cost to Apple, heck, they just scim the milk of another persons product, claiming 10% or so (don't remember atm, and francly.. don't care)...

                        With over 1milliard programs sold, they are bound to make good money on AppStore... They could even sell iPhones with a big loss, and still earn good money.

                        Why they still keep the computers/macbooks high in price... I realy don't know why.. There should be no reason anymore... 10-15 years ago, they where about unmatched on the hardware bit regarding video editing and photo editing.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The app store is a way to create lock-in just as apps for an operating system create lock-in.

                          1. Apple provides a distribution outlet for simple and lightweight apps that allow the developers to get paid for their work.

                          2. The apps create value for the owners of the phones and extend the functionality of a very expensive to own and operate device.

                          3. The network of apps makes the iPhone more valuable than comparable phones, attracting more people to purchase the phone.

                          4. The larger the network of people using the phone, the more developers it attracts.

                          This virtuous cycle is reinforced by the difficulty of switching to another phone. The number is portable but the user must leave behind not just all those apps but the ability to customize their mobile experience by assembling the right set of apps.

                          The end result is that many users don't *want* to leave that experience behind unless something more compelling comes along.

                          This explains why Apple is following a market share strategy rather than a premium product/brand strategy. If one extends this out a few years, the network of iPhone customers that Apple will have should enable them to dictate the revenue terms to not only AT&T but to any network provider they choose.

                          A global customer base of millions gives them a lot of negotiating clout, sells a lot of apps, and a lot of iTunes.
                          Originally posted by ghettocruzer
                          I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
                          Want to:
                          -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
                          -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

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