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View Full Version : Cringely: Apple to Stop Making Hardware?


rosalindavenue
May 23, 2004, 07:46 PM
Robert Cringely says that in light of the new ipod division, if Apple can't maintain its margins it may first eliminate all non-apple resellers, then stop making Mac hardware altogether. Very interesting.

http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/pulpit20040520.html

(Note: This is a May 20 article I'm posting on the 23rd-- I searched for and could not find a thread on it; apologies if this has already been addressed).

grapes911
May 23, 2004, 08:02 PM
I'm not an expert, but I just can't agree. Take microsoft, they make almost all their money on software. They put have registry keys and activations. So does norton products and many others.

Apple is the opposite. They make most of their money on software and hardware. I say this, because os x can be installed illegal so very easy. I think apple figures, no one buys mac just for the software, they buy it for the whole package so lets will make money on the hardware.

saabmp3
May 23, 2004, 08:02 PM
The article's got some good points to it, but I don't see apple killing the hardware line anytime soon. All this work they've done with IBM for the G5, the powerbooks and iBooks which are called teh best laptops produced, the huge profit margins they have? I don't think Apple's going to kill this off. They don't make anywhere near as much on the OS compared to what they do on the hardware. Anyways, are they going to run the OS on hardware only made pre 2004? Switch to x86?

BEN

yoda13
May 23, 2004, 08:22 PM
I don't see that happening. Apple is one of the few profitable computer companies out there at the moment. I know that the iPod is partially responsible for that, but not only responsible for it. And they have a boatload of cash on hand.

IndyGopher
May 23, 2004, 08:52 PM
People keep trying to apply the same logic to Apple and Macs as they do to other PC Makers and clones.. it doesn't work that way. The conventional wisdom, to get out of the cut-throat hardware market and focus on the higher margin software market falls apart when there IS no hardware market without Apple. Another fine example that all the well-intentioned, well-reasoned arguments in the world are rubbish if they are based on a false supposition.

nuckinfutz
May 23, 2004, 08:54 PM
I can't run Final Cut Pro on a iPod now can I ?

Krizoitz
May 23, 2004, 09:12 PM
Clue to Cringely. Apple isn't like other PC companies. The hardware and the OS are designed to work together as a COMPLETE solution. Its not mix and match like the Windows world. Its two totally different philosophies and approaches. I really wish this whole Apple is going to die/apple needs to start doign it like Windows/Intel does it approach woudl just go away. Its not going to happen. Anymore than Ralph Nader will be George W's vice-presidential nominee for the next term.

7on
May 23, 2004, 09:16 PM
Even if the PPC is doomed, Apple will strike a deal with AMD or Intel and get out that x86 version of OSX. But the BootROM will still be used to make OSX only available on their hardware. I believe that was their plan before IBM presented the 970. So you see, Apple will always be hardware (last resort is software, but I can't see that happening).

Also the fact that they can sell iLife for $50 is another reason for the hardware prices. Though I wished the OS prices would go down, but I assume they're so high because Apple assumes some will pirate.

JOD8FY
May 23, 2004, 09:27 PM
I don't see this happening. Especially not now. Apple has come a long way from almost going under and they've recently been pronounced debt free. iPod sales make up only a very small fraction of Apple's income. There's no way that because they now have an "iPod division" that they'll stop making hardware. That's crazy :eek:.

Cheers,
JOD8FY

kidA
May 23, 2004, 10:17 PM
i like cringely. he says lots of interesting things. but remember that he's just speculating. that's what he does. he just sits in a room and reads about and thinks about technology then writes about things that he thinks might happen.
you're not supposed to believe him. you're supposed to take everything he says with a grain, no, a rock, of salt.
i do agree with most of what's been said though--if apple gets out of the hardware business, the almost surely get out of the software business too.

MisterMe
May 23, 2004, 11:27 PM
i like cringely. he says lots of interesting things. but remember that he's just speculating. that's what he does. he just sits in a room and reads about and thinks about technology then writes about things that he thinks might happen.
you're not supposed to believe him. you're supposed to take everything he says with a grain, no, a rock, of salt.
i do agree with most of what's been said though--if apple gets out of the hardware business, the almost surely get out of the software business too.You are half right. Cringley is not saying lots of interesting things, but he is speculating. FWIW, Cringley didn't mean to imply that Apple would drop the Macintosh. Rather, Apple's hardware products may be farmed out, which would hardly be novel; or that Apple may switch to Intel, which is unlikely given recent Intel developments. But, look, this is the kind of thing that you can get if your give enough chimps enough time with enough typewriters. I don't take it seriously and neither should you.

Gherkin
May 23, 2004, 11:53 PM
I read on the OSnews.com comments that Cringely was like the 24th employee of Apple Computers or something. I found that to be very interesting.

oingoboingo
May 24, 2004, 12:03 AM
I can't run Final Cut Pro on a iPod now can I ?

An interesting point. And people thought my 'G5 iPod' crusade was misguided. I say Apple's recent change in organisational structure is the best indication we have yet that the iPod is destined for bigger, faster and tremendously hotter things.

oingoboingo
May 24, 2004, 12:08 AM
You are half right. Cringley is not saying lots of interesting things, but he is speculating. FWIW, Cringley didn't mean to imply that Apple would drop the Macintosh. Rather, Apple's hardware products may be farmed out, which would hardly be novel; or that Apple may switch to Intel, which is unlikely given recent Intel developments. But, look, this is the kind of thing that you can get if your give enough chimps enough time with enough typewriters. I don't take it seriously and neither should you.

Farming out the manufacture of Apple's hardware products already occurs. Their iBooks and PowerBooks are made under contract by companies such as Compal and Quanta, who also produce notebooks for many x86 vendors. My G5 has a 'Made in China' sticker on it...does Apple own factories in China, or are the PowerMacs outsourced too? It doesn't make a lot of sense for Apple to be deeply involved in the actual 'hands-on' hardware manufacturing game.

Sun Baked
May 24, 2004, 12:32 AM
Farming out the manufacture of Apple's hardware products already occurs. Their iBooks and PowerBooks are made under contract by companies such as Compal and Quanta, who also produce notebooks for many x86 vendors. My G5 has a 'Made in China' sticker on it...does Apple own factories in China, or are the PowerMacs outsourced too? It doesn't make a lot of sense for Apple to be deeply involved in the actual 'hands-on' hardware manufacturing game.Don't know if Apple got rid of all the factories, they did keep the one in California for BTOs for a long time -- but that was during the PMG4 era.

Never heard what happened to it when the G5 came onstream.

It's fate is probably is buried in the AAPL SEC filings.

---

Looked, says that the Apple Factory in Elk Grove California closed this year -- and the one in Cork Ireland is the last one standing.

All 250+ employees in Elk Grove lost their jobs to a vendor 4/2004.

Mord
May 24, 2004, 03:37 AM
Robert Cringely says that in light of the new ipod division, if Apple can't maintain its margins it may first eliminate all non-apple resellers, then stop making Mac hardware altogether. Very interesting.

http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/pulpit20040520.html

(Note: This is a May 20 article I'm posting on the 23rd-- I searched for and could not find a thread on it; apologies if this has already been addressed).

but apple is maintaining profitability on it's mac lines this artical is stupid it's like saying microsoft will go bankrupt if it sells it's products for half the manufacturing costs

Wyrm
May 24, 2004, 11:29 PM
Even if the PPC is doomed, Apple will strike a deal with AMD or Intel and get out that x86 version of OSX..

:mad: What?!?!? PPC is not, never will be, or has any inkling of being doomed... (at least in our lifetimes)... maybe the Moto flavour, but IBM making PPCs for consoles (XboxII - PPC, Cube+ - PPC, PS3 - Cell PPC), AS400s, big-butt-iron, and embedded systems... Apple moving to IBM was a choice that a rock could make. The only reason Apple would stop using the PPC is if the people who buy Macs, stop buying Macs, and Apple is forced to sell to the people who buy PCs.

-Wyrm

kidA
May 24, 2004, 11:44 PM
You are half right. Cringley is not saying lots of interesting things, but he is speculating.
maybe i should have said entertaining rather than interesting.

ltgator333
May 25, 2004, 01:19 AM
Speculation I agree, it may very well be interesting but it's not anything definite.. I could speculate that in one week I could be a millionaire but.....
I've heard here and there about Apple pulling out of the hardware business but I think Apple is one of those companies that iPod or no iPod when Apple stops making computers Apple is gone one way or another. Sure OS X is a great operating system and I've heard speculation that if Apple was to port it to x86 based PC's that it would give Windows a run for it's money, hey maybe so- I know I've got a x86 based PC or two I'd love to run OS X on, (in it's FULL and ENTIRE form...) but I just don't think that this is a thing that Apple is gonna do. As for Mac hardware becoming obsolete.. I tell ya in some ways Mac hardware is always a 1/4 step behind, not because our processors are slower, not because they're different, but because of the fact that there's craploads of PC mobo manufacturers and just one Apple. And when it comes to expansion cards there's way more PC's out there than Macs, therefor the new video cards and new PCI expansion cards will be out for PC's first. But I think as long as Apple keeps that gap to a minimum they will be just fine. I think what would shut a few of the people up that rag on Mac hardware all the time is if Apple could get there hands on a Athlon 64 shaming, Pentium crushing chip. Even when Apple was on the brink of destruction in '97 noone was knocking the machines because the PMac G3/300 and the PMac 9600/350 would mop the floor with the PII based systems of the time and everyone knew it. That and what would really help is if Apple would slow down a bit with the OS X updates and hold "Tiger" off for a while and let Panther fully sink in- they've bombarded us with so many updates that it's become hard, unless you've bought every one of them and played with them extensively, to keep up with everything new. When "tiger" comes out though it better be somethin else.. like what Jagaur was compared to OS X 10.0 or better...