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MacBytes
Jan 12, 2007, 07:59 AM
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Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: Analysis of Apple's Way Forward (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20070112085917)
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Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
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dual64bit
Jan 12, 2007, 09:32 AM
In the post-desktop world, Apple definitely has a head start for the next round; hopefully, they've learned from their past mistakes.

I agree, in believing this an incredible head start into the technology years to come. Will desktop computers, as we know them, really exist in 10 years? Or will it be something totally different we use on a daily basis to do our computing?

emptyCup
Jan 12, 2007, 11:40 AM
For the first time there is no performance penalty in buying an Apple laptop. The same chips are in the laptops as are in the desktops. However the people buying iMac 24"'s, Mac Pros with 30" monitors or computers for business are not looking for portability. There will be a place for both and more people who have both.

SMM
Jan 12, 2007, 12:00 PM
I do not agree with his analysis of Apple losing the home market with the Apple II. The home market changed. Early on, it was Ti-99's, Comadore 64's, hell, even Mattel had a 'home computer'. But, the business computers moved into the home during the late '80's and '90's. The Apple II was not going to compete against those machines. The market changed. Then came the internet explosion. MS was firmly entrenched with a monopoly of the OS. Apple's gains in the home and business market are largely influenced by dispelling the myth that Windows is the only viable OS to purchase. However, that is happening at an accellerated rate. It reminds me of when no one would touch a PC that did not explicitly say '100% IBM Compatible'. The actual fact was, IBM compatibility was an oxymoron. The actual compatibility was with PC-DOS.

SPUY767
Jan 12, 2007, 02:34 PM
Where did this bloke get his info, he specifically said that the phone does VoIP, is he stoned?

Ok, this guy is totally out of touch and his article is frought with errors.

chicagdan
Jan 12, 2007, 07:00 PM
Where did this bloke get his info, he specifically said that the phone does VoIP, is he stoned?

Ok, this guy is totally out of touch and his article is frought with errors.

The story does have some errors, but I think he sees the big picture very clearly. It's a fallacy that just because you make small mistakes you must make big ones too. Engineers think that way, but how many engineers have vision?

Whether Apple intends to implement this strategy, or whether they can succeed in delivering it, we can't know. But it's a reasonable extrapolation. If speech recognition technology makes a major advance, there will be no reason for a computer to be any bigger than an iPhone. You won't need a keyboard anymore, so why not speak into your computer anywhere, just like a cellphone? And so the computer we know today will disappear ... it will simultaneously grow larger and smaller. Larger when you want to enjoy the media and run a home video conference or edit some photos on your big screen TV ... smaller when you're walking around in the world.

That's why the iPhone is a bigger deal than most Macheads know ... Steve knew how important this announcement was. It has the potential to change everything and finally defeat Microsoft.

IJ Reilly
Jan 12, 2007, 07:29 PM
That's why the iPhone is a bigger deal than most Macheads know ... Steve knew how important this announcement was. It has the potential to change everything and finally defeat Microsoft.

Now, there's a bit of hyperbole. The iPhone may well prove to be a path-breaking product, but within the current domain of portable devices and not much beyond. This product is clearly aimed at defeating the other products within its class, not Microsoft. Too many pieces are missing from this puzzle to label the iPhone as some kind of earth-shattering announcement that somehow profoundly alters the balance of power within the technology industry.

From Win to Mac
Jan 13, 2007, 12:06 PM
What's with the blatant Iraq's New Way Forward ripoff ??

cwt1nospam
Jan 13, 2007, 12:08 PM
Apple has lost the desktop war twice now; once with the Apple II and once with the Mac.
Both times, Apple was competing against a company with a monopoly position, and Apple managed to not only survive, but thrive. That's not losing, it's a major victory. This time around, nobody's got a monopoly. There's no IT department to force individuals to use Windows based phones, and almost everybody hates their current phone so much that they are constantly looking for something better. The doors are wide open for Apple to swoop in and grab large chunks of the market.

chicagdan
Jan 13, 2007, 12:11 PM
What's with the blatant Iraq's New Way Forward ripoff ??

Actually, the Iraq "new way forward" line is a direct theft of Ford Motor Company's New Way Forward plan ... both of which are doomed to failure. So if the author thinks Apple stands a good chance of success, it's a poor analogy.

chicagdan
Jan 13, 2007, 12:13 PM
Both times, Apple was competing against a company with a monopoly position, and Apple managed to not only survive, but thrive. That's not losing, it's a major victory. This time around, nobody's got a monopoly. There's no IT department to force individuals to use Windows based phones, and almost everybody hates their current phone so much that they are constantly looking for something better. The doors are wide open for Apple to swoop in and grab large chunks of the market.

Why do computer geeks always get caught up in minutae? Whether Apple's route over the past 25 year is a success or failure is completely besides the point ... there's no arguing with the position that Microsoft had greater success. The more important point of this article is that Apple may have found a way to make the closed-architecture work for the next generation of computing.

chicagdan
Jan 13, 2007, 12:21 PM
Now, there's a bit of hyperbole. The iPhone may well prove to be a path-breaking product, but within the current domain of portable devices and not much beyond. This product is clearly aimed at defeating the other products within its class, not Microsoft. Too many pieces are missing from this puzzle to label the iPhone as some kind of earth-shattering announcement that somehow profoundly alters the balance of power within the technology industry.

I would think that a fan of "A Confederacy of Dunces" would have a greater appreciation for hyperbole than you seem to have.

Clearly, you have to win the cellphone war first before you can use it as leverage to take on the desktop and laptop. But to think that Jobs is only thinking about cellphones is to misunderstand why he uses hyperbole himself about this product. I think the author understands what Apple is up to with the iPhone ... it's an eventual (not now, but perhaps 5 year from now) evolution of the computer into something quite different than it is today ... and controlling the cellphone would give Apple a huge advantage in that new phase.

IJ Reilly
Jan 13, 2007, 05:18 PM
I would think that a fan of "A Confederacy of Dunces" would have a greater appreciation for hyperbole than you seem to have.

One can understand hyperbole without feeling the need to use it. Thanks for getting the reference though. :)

Clearly, you have to win the cellphone war first before you can use it as leverage to take on the desktop and laptop. But to think that Jobs is only thinking about cellphones is to misunderstand why he uses hyperbole himself about this product. I think the author understands what Apple is up to with the iPhone ... it's an eventual (not now, but perhaps 5 year from now) evolution of the computer into something quite different than it is today ... and controlling the cellphone would give Apple a huge advantage in that new phase.

Note I did not reference cell phones in my comments, but specifically portable devices. Apple currently has a 0% share of this market. They are hoping for 1% by the end of 2008. A conservative estimate no doubt, but even if they exceed their projections by several orders of magnitude, this would still amount to something far from "control."

The iPhone could be an important product, maybe even a very important product. Only time will tell. Either way, here's a metric worth considering: As wildly successful as the iPod has been, the iPod earthquake was felt almost entirely within the narrow confines of the music and portable music player markets. The iPod is a great example of just how huge a product can be in terms of sales, and still not change the direction of technology fundamentally.

cwt1nospam
Jan 13, 2007, 05:30 PM
Why do computer geeks always get caught up in minutae? Whether Apple's route over the past 25 year is a success or failure is completely besides the point ... there's no arguing with the position that Microsoft had greater success. The more important point of this article is that Apple may have found a way to make the closed-architecture work for the next generation of computing.

Because it's often the little things that matter most, as the iPhone demonstrates. Even the slightly different way it deals with voice mail is important.

Nobody's claiming that Microsoft didn't have greater financial success. I'm saying that Apple did find a way to make the closed-architecture work for the previous generation of computing. That's why they're still around! The big difference this time around is that IT departments can't force users to 'standardize' on a crappy solution, so Microsoft won't be able to compete with Apple unless they actually start producing quality products.

lord patton
Jan 13, 2007, 05:58 PM
Apple currently has a 0% share of this market. They are hoping for 1% by the end of 2008. A conservative estimate no doubt, but even if they exceed their projections by several orders of magnitude, this would still amount to something far from "control."


err, if they exceed 1% by several orders of magnitude, they will have absolute control :D

chicagdan
Jan 13, 2007, 07:27 PM
One can understand hyperbole without feeling the need to use it. Thanks for getting the reference though. :)



Note I did not reference cell phones in my comments, but specifically portable devices. Apple currently has a 0% share of this market. They are hoping for 1% by the end of 2008. A conservative estimate no doubt, but even if they exceed their projections by several orders of magnitude, this would still amount to something far from "control."

The iPhone could be an important product, maybe even a very important product. Only time will tell. Either way, here's a metric worth considering: As wildly successful as the iPod has been, the iPod earthquake was felt almost entirely within the narrow confines of the music and portable music player markets. The iPod is a great example of just how huge a product can be in terms of sales, and still not change the direction of technology fundamentally.

While Jobs quoted the one percent marker by end of 2007, I think the more important stat regarding the future of computing will be Apple's percentage of the smart phone market by the time the AT&T contract runs out in 2009. If they can move past Palm and RIM by then, I think it will be nearly impossible for the competitors to catch up ... Apple will then have a mature product (very likely at a much lower price point) that it can market to all wireless providers and the race to market dominance will be on.

Now, it's entirely possible that this is all a mirage, that people really don't want the computer to move to the palmtop (personally, I write for a living and need a keyboard and don't understand the movement to get rid of keyboards.) But if you think of the iPhone as a connected tablet, not a phone, it seems to make more sense as a strategic weapon and not just a tactical incursion into a new market.

IJ Reilly
Jan 14, 2007, 11:52 AM
err, if they exceed 1% by several orders of magnitude, they will have absolute control :D

Everybody's a mathematician! ;)

While Jobs quoted the one percent marker by end of 2007, I think the more important stat regarding the future of computing will be Apple's percentage of the smart phone market by the time the AT&T contract runs out in 2009. If they can move past Palm and RIM by then, I think it will be nearly impossible for the competitors to catch up ... Apple will then have a mature product (very likely at a much lower price point) that it can market to all wireless providers and the race to market dominance will be on.

Now, it's entirely possible that this is all a mirage, that people really don't want the computer to move to the palmtop (personally, I write for a living and need a keyboard and don't understand the movement to get rid of keyboards.) But if you think of the iPhone as a connected tablet, not a phone, it seems to make more sense as a strategic weapon and not just a tactical incursion into a new market.

Could be, but it's a huge hurdle just to make a significant dent in the smart phone market. Not only is Apple is starting from zero, but they are facing competitors who certainly will not just lay down and take it. But more to the point, at the moment at least, they are marketing the iPhone at the music player/cell phone/handheld internet devices market currently dominated by RIM, Palm, et. al. Steve was quite specific about how they designed the iPhone to do all the things these devices do, but better.

Beyond the great UI (assuming it works as advertised!), the iPhone is not a functionally revolutionary product. I suppose it could evolve into something else, something much bigger, and turn out to be the camel's nose under Microsoft's tent -- I just don't see the evidence for it now. At the moment I rate that as too much wishful thinking.

In a larger sense, though, every time Apple proves that it can solve technology problems with an elegance that Microsoft and the others lack, a blow is struck against Microsoft's hegemony -- if only because it slowly begins to dawn on people that Microsoft isn't the ultimate one-stop shop for technology. These cracks in Microsoft's armor have been appearing for some time now though, I believe. The iPhone is at the very least another chink.