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MacBytes
Apr 23, 2008, 09:48 AM
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Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: Is The Time for Clones Now? (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20080423104843)
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Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
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nick9191
Apr 23, 2008, 10:01 AM
One of the posters who made a comment got it dead right, licencing OS X will loose Apple money. They wont be able to sell there high profit hardware. If they could pull it off and OS X became very popular then in the long run it would, but they would have to spend years perfecting it to work on all hardware.

mainstreetmark
Apr 23, 2008, 12:56 PM
Why are there even articles running around about how apple could become bigger and make more money. Honestly, do these back-room reporters really know what they're talking about?

Apple, as stated numerous times, is a hardware company, and the money comes from hardware. OSX is software, sure, but it's the hardware people are buying, and in growing numbers.

Plus, they have craploads of cash sitting in the bank. They make money every quarter. Their retail stores generate over $4000 per square foot per year, higher than almost any other retailer.

But, doom and gloomers say Apple needs to re-start that clone program. The one that was tried before, and nearly starved Apple for cash.

SPUY767
Apr 23, 2008, 01:11 PM
One of the posters who made a comment got it dead right, licencing OS X will loose Apple money. They wont be able to sell there high profit hardware. If they could pull it off and OS X became very popular then in the long run it would, but they would have to spend years perfecting it to work on all hardware.

There are plenty people who would want to zero-configuration paradigm that purchasing Mac Hardware offers, and there are also plenty of people who want Mac OS X, but can't afford/don't want to pay for Mc hardware. This idea that allowing the use of OSX on non-mac hardware and manufacturing macintoshes are mutually exclusive is bollocks. Apple would probably lose a few percent in hardware sales, but they would probably pick up quite a few users of their software. That said, I still think it would be a poor fanancial choice.

Accylad
Apr 23, 2008, 01:21 PM
Sorry, but its the software I buy apple stuff for. The hardware apart from being aesthetically pleasing has usually been surpassed in the P.C market. The components are basically the same these days, but apple charge through the nose for it. Graphics card anyone? Anyway who would want Apple to corner the market. Not me. Any monopoly is bad.
I'm sure the Air will now get a mention.

NC MacGuy
Apr 23, 2008, 02:18 PM
It's a rough call. With the Intel transition, they have an easier path then Apples previous clones & the totally different processor architecture. The OSX software is already there for 90% of most Intel pc's.

On the other hand, they may open up a whole other can of worms regarding drivers, ports, support - "is it hardware or Apple OSX that's giving you a problem?" issues. I think support would be the killer. How many Dell, Lenovo, or other PC makers support groups could answer questions about deciphering OSX issues? My guess is not many.

An easier path would be for Apple to resell Apple certified compliant PC's specially optimized for OSX along with ability to run other operating systems. Just like Apples current products running Windows now. Include Apple OSX preinstalled and if you want to run Windows, Linux whatever - buy a copy and load it up yourself. Sell them the same way they do their own computers now. At least Apple would know the hardware works w. OSX and has an upgrade path. They could collect MS's licensing fees and make a buck.

The time has never been more right for the clone concept but there are some significant hurdles. I for one would love a few PC's I've seen to work easily w. OSX.

Apple Computer is now Apple, Inc. which shows they are not necessarily putting all their eggs in the computer basket anyway. iPods, servers, iTunes, iPhones, i-u-name-it, Apple is creating diversified revenue streams that would allow them some leeway into a clone venture.

solvs
Apr 23, 2008, 02:49 PM
Any monopoly is bad.
First of all, Apple is hardly a monopoly. Second, monopolies in and of themselves are not inherently bad, let alone illegal. It's what a monopoly does with itself that can be illegal, and them not wanting some fly by night to hack their software on a machine that could have been put together with chewing gum for all anyone knows is hardly what I'd call abusing your monopoly. I'd love for Apple's prices to go down a bit, I would, but this is not the way. I'm one of those who's been clamoring for a low end tower. You couldn't pay me to buy one of these though. And I don't see why Apple would want to condone it.

kuwisdelu
Apr 23, 2008, 03:12 PM
Any monopoly is bad.

More of less: what solvs said.

Apple is not a horizontal monopoly by any measure.

Apple is a vertical monopoly, which is completely legal in the US, and is probably the most beneficial form of company Apple can be for both Apple and the end user.

I wrote a long tirade about this in the OpenMac thread a while ago...

NC MacGuy
Apr 23, 2008, 03:28 PM
I think the article in the OP was referring to Apple allowing and licensing clones - not the Psystar fiasco.

That is absolutely the wrong way to go about it.

Capt Underpants
Apr 23, 2008, 03:36 PM
Apple, as stated numerous times, is a hardware company, and the money comes from hardware. OSX is software, sure, but it's the hardware people are buying, and in growing numbers.


Hasn't Jobs been quoted saying that Apple is a software company? I can't find the link, but I'm pretty sure you've got it backwards.

Apple sells hardware that complements their software. Why is the iPhone successful? Software. Why are apple computers successful? Mac OSX. Software.

edit: found one quote that supports my point: "If you look at the iPod, it's a software product -- in beautiful hardware." - Steve Jobs

bigandy
Apr 23, 2008, 03:40 PM
Is The Time for Clones Now?

No.

mainstreetmark
Apr 23, 2008, 03:53 PM
Hasn't Jobs been quoted saying that Apple is a software company? I can't find the link, but I'm pretty sure you've got it backwards.

Apple sells hardware that complements their software. Why is the iPhone successful? Software. Why are apple computers successful? Mac OSX. Software.


But what *IS* the iPhone. Hardware. What IS the apple computer? Hardware.

Stuff like Final Cut Pro is pure software, of course. (although, it only runs on Apple hardware, so ... um... Hey! Look a ball!)

NC MacGuy
Apr 23, 2008, 03:58 PM
Hasn't Jobs been quoted saying that Apple is a software company? I can't find the link, but I'm pretty sure you've got it backwards.

Apple sells hardware that complements their software. Why is the iPhone successful? Software. Why are apple computers successful? Mac OSX. Software.

edit: found one quote that supports my point: "If you look at the iPod, it's a software product -- in beautiful hardware." - Steve Jobs

Apple officially changing name from Apple Computer to Apple, Inc. confirms that Apples software & hardware is not limited to computers or anything else for that matter.

I sure would like more choices in OS's on PC's. Some of those Sonys are sweet and would be super sweet running OSX.

kuwisdelu
Apr 23, 2008, 04:38 PM
Apple is a company that makes its money on high-cost hardware by selling it with amazing low-cost software. If you want the software, you have to buy the hardware, which is why Apple's software is often lower-priced compared to its competitors (think Leopard vs. Vista or iWork vs. Office), and its hardware often perceived as higher-priced.

NC MacGuy
Apr 23, 2008, 04:51 PM
Apple is a company that makes its money on high-cost hardware by selling it with amazing low-cost software. If you want the software, you have to buy the hardware, which is why Apple's software is often lower-priced compared to its competitors (think Leopard vs. Vista or iWork vs. Office), and its hardware often perceived as higher-priced.

Understood, but why not increase software prices or licenses to be run on non-Mac boxes w. Apples blessing?

OSX on non Apple Inc. pc included @ $0, OSX on Apple compatible products at $260?

Just a thought

Capt Underpants
Apr 23, 2008, 04:53 PM
But what *IS* the iPhone. Hardware. What IS the apple computer? Hardware.

Stuff like Final Cut Pro is pure software, of course. (although, it only runs on Apple hardware, so ... um... Hey! Look a ball!)

I think if Steve Jobs were here, he would argue that the iPhone is all about the software.

Apple develops hardware platforms to sell their core component... the software.

What is an apple computer? The exact same thing as any other PC... except for the software.

solvs
Apr 23, 2008, 04:53 PM
OSX on non Apple Inc. pc included @ $0, OSX on Apple compatible products at $260?

Piracy, and still doesn't make them the money their niche hardware does.

Sesshi
Apr 23, 2008, 04:57 PM
Why are there even articles running around about how apple could become bigger and make more money. Honestly, do these back-room reporters really know what they're talking about?

Apple, as stated numerous times, is a hardware company, and the money comes from hardware. OSX is software, sure, but it's the hardware people are buying, and in growing numbers.

Plus, they have craploads of cash sitting in the bank. They make money every quarter. Their retail stores generate over $4000 per square foot per year, higher than almost any other retailer.

But, doom and gloomers say Apple needs to re-start that clone program. The one that was tried before, and nearly starved Apple for cash.

Good points all. The machines, or rather the superficial aspects of them are what really differentiates OS X from the rest.

It'll only help to highlight how inadequate the security and reliability of OS X is once it starts turning up on anything but a very rigidly controlled and very limited selection of gear - because even in this situation they can't quite get it right.

There's relatively little point in commercialised clone Apples, especially for Apple, because for 90+% of people out there the reason to pick one would be cost - and if that is the case, the machines would be in the same class as the bottom-dollar PC's and you'd end up running into the same stability issues that plague cheap PC's.

kuwisdelu
Apr 23, 2008, 05:24 PM
Understood, but why not increase software prices or licenses to be run on non-Mac boxes w. Apples blessing?

OSX on non Apple Inc. pc included @ $0, OSX on Apple compatible products at $260?

Just a thought

The profit Apple would make on a more expensive version of OS X would be a pittance compared to the profit they turn by selling a true MacBook. That kind of business model only works for Windows because of their market share. They can afford to sell their operating system for so much, and can make a profit on selling only software, because they they know almost 95% of computer users must buy from them. The same is not true of Apple. Even given the argument that offering OS X on non-Apple hardware could persuade a lot of people to move from Windows of OS X, it would be a big, big gamble that probably wouldn't pay off. Business would still be Windows-based, and that's a big portion of the market that won't budge for a long time coming. It's still in Apple's (and IMO the consumer's) best interest to keep OS X on Apple hardware.

I think if Steve Jobs were here, he would argue that the iPhone is all about the software.

Apple develops hardware platforms to sell their core component... the software.

What is an apple computer? The exact same thing as any other PC... except for the software.

Software is an important part of Apple, yes. In fact, you're probably right that it's the most important part. But regardless--it's still not what makes Apple money. In reality, it works the other way around, from a business perspective. Apple develops excellent software to run their fairly run-of-the-mill (besides the above-average aesthetics) hardware.

Of course, from the consumer perspective, you could argue that Apple uses the money it makes from hardware to fund its development of revolutionary software. And technically, that's true, but its still for the ultimate purpose of using that revolutionary software to sell hardware and make money as a business.

mkrishnan
Apr 23, 2008, 05:37 PM
When the clones are as sexy as Caprica or Deanna, we'll talk....

winmacguy
Apr 24, 2008, 01:25 AM
Software is an important part of Apple, yes. In fact, you're probably right that it's the most important part. But regardless--it's still not what makes Apple money. In reality, it works the other way around, from a business perspective. Apple develops excellent software to run their fairly run-of-the-mill (besides the above-average aesthetics) hardware.

Of course, from the consumer perspective, you could argue that Apple uses the money it makes from hardware to fund its development of revolutionary software. And technically, that's true, but its still for the ultimate purpose of using that revolutionary software to sell hardware and make money as a business.

Apple only spends around 5% of their total revenue on R&D although they have upped it recently. They are currently sitting on just over $18 Billion US in cash reserves.

NC MacGuy
Apr 24, 2008, 08:00 AM
Apple only spends around 5% of their total revenue on R&D although they have upped it recently. They are currently sitting on just over $18 Billion US in cash reserves.

$19.5B as of yesterday.

Totty
Apr 24, 2008, 08:33 AM
$19.5B as of yesterday.

You would think they would have a profitability problem.

NC MacGuy
Apr 24, 2008, 08:44 AM
You would think they would have a profitability problem.

And that leads right back to tho clone issue... Technologically, it's easier than ever for Apple to clone or license others so the time is right in that regard.

Business-wise, they have been gaining market share since the switch to Intel and Mac's can run Windows so do they really need to?

If the Psystar debacle ever actually makes it to court or there is a serious challenge from others attempting the same scheme on more than a shoestring, it may force Apples hand.

Cromulent
Apr 24, 2008, 01:20 PM
Anyway who would want Apple to corner the market. Not me. Any monopoly is bad.

How anyone can call Apple a monopoly escapes me. Do you even know what a monopoly is?

LethalWolfe
Apr 24, 2008, 06:10 PM
Apple is a hardware company that was forced into making 1st party apps due to 3rd party developers jumping ship when it looked like Apple was going to tank (in part due to the Clones undercutting Apple's hardware sales). If Apple was to shift gears and re-price their 1st party apps more towards the side of profitability they would most likely price themselves out of their demographics, IMO. Just looking at the Final Cut Studio 2 suite and you have around $30-$35k worth of apps selling for $1300 only because Apple knows there's a hardware sale to go along with that. Apple's thing is selling top shelf apps at bargain basement prices. FCP's in roads pretty much been that's it's so inexpesive there is no reason not to try it. And once people try it, find out it does 95% of what they need for significantly less than their current setup they switch to FCP. Or when people look at the budget and go, "I can get 3 nice FCP suites or 1 decent Avid suite..." it's kinda no brainer unless you specifically need something that FCP doesn't offer.

So, just color me skeptical that Apple will turn into a software-based company any time soon.;)

Lethal

kabunaru
Apr 25, 2008, 05:06 PM
Apple should keep Mac OS X to Macs only, maybe license OS X to one PC manufacturer and see how that goes.

NC MacGuy
Apr 25, 2008, 05:18 PM
Apple should keep Mac OS X to Macs only, maybe license OS X to one PC manufacturer and see how that goes.

Sony would be the one I'd like to see if ever. Not a fan of any others quality or styles.

zap2
Apr 25, 2008, 10:35 PM
From an Apple view point, no, it hurts their bussiness model.

From a me view point, it interests me a lot more. I'd be against it, because of the possible ways it could hurt OS X. But if OS X stayed as great as it is now, then I'd be all for it.


But doubt thats possible. There are tons of hardware types to support out there.