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homeshire
Oct 9, 2003, 05:26 AM
i have been wondering lately about something which is by nature conjecture and unknowable. still, i would be interested in what others think.

the issue of apple's market position can be bolstered by so much data on both sides of the argument that it's impossible to know where apple will be in 5-10 yrs. but i think there is no question that apple is in a precarious position. articles of ms' continuing expansion of their dominance, risc vs. cisc issues, ibm vs. moto, etc etc. everyone probably has an opinion of apple and where it's headed.

for myself, i have decided that i'm old enough, and computers came into my life late enough that i could probably live without them. therefore (being a bit of a mac zealot), if the day ever comes when i can't have my mac, i might well choose to go without, or at the very least with anything but ms and windows, if only out of stubborness.

while that has lead to my recent musings, that's not my question. more specifically it is this: if that day comes when there is nothing else for apple but to close the doors and turn off the lights, and we would all seemingly stand at the precipice of losing our mac world, what do you think the chances are that before they reach for the light switch, the very last thing apple would do is open the vault and release all their code to the public domain?

everything apple in the open source developers world. we wouldn't have apple corp. anymore, but we would have all that made us go with apple.

just musings, but i'd be interested in what others think. am i an idiot, or is this the saving grace of apple's precarious position? is this the ultimate source of comfort to those of us who actually (and stupidly) worry about that diminishing market share?

billyboy
Oct 9, 2003, 05:33 AM
The interesting thing I find about Apple is that whereas OSX is a relatively open book, the whole essence of the company is encapsulated in one man, Steve Jobs. I think the biggest challenge to Apple is finding a way of keeping the company moving forward when he retires or moves on.

homeshire
Oct 9, 2003, 05:45 AM
Originally posted by billyboy
The interesting thing I find about Apple is that whereas OSX is a relatively open book, the whole essence of the company is encapsulated in one man, Steve Jobs. I think the biggest challenge to Apple is finding a way of keeping the company moving forward when he retires or moves on.

you're right -- steve jobs is responsible for all that apple is. the good and the bad. it will be interesting to see if the future deems his good better than his bad, or vice versa.

patrick0brien
Oct 9, 2003, 10:03 AM
-Gents

On the flip side, the same can be said of Microsoft and Bill Gates.

You you think Dancing Monkey Boy actually runs things?

stoid
Oct 9, 2003, 10:11 AM
Steve Jobs very much IS apple.

Apple was already poised to go the way of the dodo back in 1996 when Jobs took over again and released the Bondi iMac and brought them back into the black. It'll be interesting to see if an old Gates and Jobs both approaching 100 will be duking it out over Mac OS XV.7 Server and Windows BS (Business Suite of course!)

MorganX
Oct 9, 2003, 10:55 AM
Originally posted by patrick0brien
-Gents

On the flip side, the same can be said of Microsoft and Bill Gates.

You you think Dancing Monkey Boy actually runs things?

I don't think MS would skip a beat with Gates gone. 10 years ago it would be different. But now MS is too big and one man doesn't matter "that" much.

On the other hand, without Steve Jobs, Apple would have to go through a massive culture change. From dictatorship to leadership/communism, IMO.

I think we would all benefit from the industry moving past Gates/Jobs. I think the two of them are slowing true innovation and convergence.

asphalt-proof
Oct 9, 2003, 11:15 AM
Originally posted by MorganX
I don't think MS would skip a beat with Gates gone. 10 years ago it would be different. But now MS is too big and one man doesn't matter "that" much.

On the other hand, without Steve Jobs, Apple would have to go through a massive culture change. From dictatorship to leadership/communism, IMO.

I think we would all benefit from the industry moving past Gates/Jobs. I think the two of them are slowing true innovation and convergence.

Oops wrong button...:D

I think that you are right on. I think that Microsoft is less and less idrectly associated with Bill Gates. Its now Redmond. Kind of lost its personal touch. Apple is very much associated with Steve Jobs. Its a bit of a cult of personality in some cirlces. How many people get really riled up to hear what Bill Gates says. Even amoung PC heads. I can't help but think that there is a mini-steve running round the Apple Campus, sitting in on meets, mimicking Steve's every move, and threatening everyone who disagrees with hime. Sure its fantasy. But its damn funny.

applemacdude
Oct 9, 2003, 11:49 AM
Originally posted by stoid
Steve Jobs very much IS apple.

Apple was already poised to go the way of the dodo back in 1996 when Jobs took over again and released the Bondi iMac and brought them back into the black. It'll be interesting to see if an old Gates and Jobs both approaching 100 will be duking it out over Mac OS XV.7 Server and Windows BS (Business Suite of course!)

Wasn't Johnaton Ive working on teh imac before the coming of steve jobs?

asphalt-proof
Oct 9, 2003, 01:04 PM
Applemacdude:
Is your 'tar doing some thing obscene to something else? Or is something innocent? Its pretty hilarious either way.

SiliconAddict
Oct 9, 2003, 04:56 PM
Originally posted by MorganX
I don't think MS would skip a beat with Gates gone.


You are right. That's why you need to get MS's board of directors all in one place and nuke em.

Behold the evil 8.....BOD (http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/bod/)
It wouldn't kill MS but say goodbye to their stock price and would put them in a position to allow Apple, Linux, et al to make a comeback

Or if you are feeling esp postal take out all the..... execs (http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/exec/default.asp)

bousozoku
Oct 9, 2003, 05:29 PM
Originally posted by applemacdude
Wasn't Johnaton Ive working on teh imac before the coming of steve jobs?

Yes.

Until Gil Amelio and Ellen Hancock, though, Apple was pretty much stuck without a direction. People said a lot of uncomplimentary things about Amelio but without him and Ellen Hancock, Apple would probably be at 1 percent or less of the market now.

I don't think anyone else has a passion for Apple as Steve Jobs does. Certainly that was shown on the software side during his absence.

Makosuke
Oct 9, 2003, 06:38 PM
Steering back closer to the original question, I find the speculation interesting because when things were looking really bleak just before Steve returned, I was wondering the same thing (except I'm young and way-geeky, so no-computing is not an option).

I was basically faced with becoming one of those sort of sad Amiga hangers-on, or selling out to a large, abusive, criminal organization, which I jsut don't think I can do on a moral level.

Fortunately, at this point it looks like Linux has come far enough, and the Internet become an important enough part of the computing experience, to give us a non-MS option even if the absolute worst comes to pass.

However, I don't think I see Apple going anywhere in the near future. Market share might be slim, but there are still plenty of Apple fans (marginal, maybe, non-existant, no), Apple seems to financially be in good straits, and there's a lot of interesting stuff going on.

Farther down the road, it will be VERY interesting to see what happens without Steve (though I think it's ridiculous to say that he's not still pushing very interesting things to happen in the tech world). Although I'm nervous, there's still the possibility of things working out--the company just needs to have a person or group protecting it's identity and spirit. If they do, non-Steve-people with revolutionary ideas will still work there, and so long as the company can recognize those ideas and capitalize on them, one way or another, they'll be fine.

MS, on the other hand, has nothing to do with Bill anymore--that's half their problem. It's just a big corporate heap with no focus, no concern about anything other than financial success, and very little ability to execute innovative ideas instead of just immitating.

The other half of MS's problem, if you ask me, is Bill Gates' apparent desire to rule the world and have frightening amounts of control over the way our digital lives are constructed.

yamabushi
Oct 9, 2003, 10:23 PM
Originally posted by bousozoku
Yes.

Until Gil Amelio and Ellen Hancock, though, Apple was pretty much stuck without a direction. People said a lot of uncomplimentary things about Amelio but without him and Ellen Hancock, Apple would probably be at 1 percent or less of the market now.

I don't think anyone else has a passion for Apple as Steve Jobs does. Certainly that was shown on the software side during his absence.

Amelio got paid millions for failure and a bunch more via his golden parachute on exit. It's odd that only Steve has had a good idea of what Apple is about and how to make it profitable. Others have been either ho-hum or incompetent. Apple is a company that is built on visions of what computers ought to be. Microsoft is built upon how to milk customers for the most amount of money through dominance and incremental improvements. The latter is the more familiar business model, so it is easy to find replacements for Gates. It is much harder to find people with passion, vision, and strong character.

bousozoku
Oct 9, 2003, 10:41 PM
Originally posted by yamabushi
Amelio got paid millions for failure and a bunch more via his golden parachute on exit. It's odd that only Steve has had a good idea of what Apple is about and how to make it profitable. Others have been either ho-hum or incompetent. Apple is a company that is built on visions of what computers ought to be. Microsoft is built upon how to milk customers for the most amount of money through dominance and incremental improvements. The latter is the more familiar business model, so it is easy to find replacements for Gates. It is much harder to find people with passion, vision, and strong character.

Actually, if you remember (were you around then?), John Sculley was hired because the board of directors felt that Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak could not run a company competently and make a profit.