Apple as Mass Market Company

MacRumors

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Apr 12, 2001
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Recent analyst comments are speculating that Apple is poised to become a true "mass market company" building off the success of the popular iPod music product and branching into other mass market consumer products.

Apple has previously noted that the iPod is simply a vehicle to sell more Macs... but with the overwhelming success of the iPod is difficult to ignore.

Merrill Lynch analysts suggest that Apple may also move into the video market in the home with an emphasis on High Definition.
 

schatten

macrumors member
Sep 17, 2003
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Cleveland, OH, USA
I sorta like being in that esoteric niche

...but this is certainly good news. Apple's here to stay, and continues to build on its reputation for design & quality.
 

aricher

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Feb 20, 2004
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I've switched 3 people to Mac Minis in the last month - all love them and have expressed their desires to have Apple products more tightly integrated into their living rooms. Apple needs to move on this - Apple set-top media boxes, universal remotes, tablets - whatever - bring it on and dominate the living room... NOW.
 

Doctor Q

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Sep 19, 2002
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The author of those comments, Steven Milunovich at Merrill Lynch, is an Apple optimist. He routinely sees and expects great things from Apple, and I hope he's right. For examples, see these stories from macminute.com and macobserver.
 

wdlove

macrumors P6
Oct 20, 2002
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Doctor Q said:
The author of those comments, Steven Milunovich at Merrill Lynch, is an Apple optimist. He routinely sees and expects great things from Apple, and I hope he's right. For examples, see these stories from macminute.com and macobserver.
Apple can use all the writers they can get to write positive stories about. The 3rd quarter results is certainly a reason for optimism. Now Apple must follow through. It would seem that the 4th quarter results would be critical to show the direct that Apple is going.
 

camomac

macrumors 6502a
Jan 26, 2005
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Left Coast
this is suppost to be the year for video, right? i mean didn't steve say that earlier this year. then the whole final cut studio came out. it only makes sense!

come on video ipods.
 

michaelrjohnson

macrumors 68020
Aug 9, 2000
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Well...

One thing that Steve Jobs is known for are his efforts to streamline...everything. When he rejoined Apple in 1996 (IIRC) they hade a very diverse product line that included digital cameras, printers, scanners, computers, monitors, PDAs, etc.. Within 2 years they had PowerMacs, iMacs and a few stragglers. Granted, this is a different Apple than it was back then, but it's the same Steve.

I don't want to see Apple get too diversified like they did in the mid-90's. It nearly killed them. I have no doubt that they would make a beautiful product, but so far Apple 2.0 has been doing a great job of staying out of markets they can't do well in. Let's keep it that way. But if they can rock it, I'm all for it!
 

quigleybc

macrumors 68030
Good stuff

Why wouldn't Apple want to branch out even more and invade the living rooms of the world?

They've already changed the way I think about music and how I listen to music, I think Apple would be doing the world a favor by entering the home entertainment field full on.

One big entertainment center revolving around your apple pc all streaming to your tv, speakers, you name it.

Apple remote controls, tablets, cup holders...why not.
:p
 

iJaz

macrumors 6502a
Dec 16, 2004
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wdlove said:
Apple can use all the writers they can get to write positive stories about. The 3rd quarter results is certainly a reason for optimism. Now Apple must follow through. It would seem that the 4th quarter results would be critical to show the direct that Apple is going.
Funny that it is always the next quarter that is the important one...
 

nsjoker

macrumors regular
Apr 13, 2005
154
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Miami, Fl
meryll lynch doesn't know sheet about fook :D
these guys are wrong on a routine basis. apple isn't hard to predict at all. here's my shot at being an analyst...

1- apple will release a video ipod in january and open up iTunes 5 w/ video store, thus creating a demand for the now useless music video.

2- intel macs will be announced in january as well, ahead of schedule by many months... remember jobs said intel macs would be shipping by the middle of year.. but that could mean that they would be introduced well before that period. it's a vague statement, and trust me he would love to churn them out asap.

3- more intel macs, new mac mini, new ibook, new imac ... (the great PPC products down the pipeline jobs was talking about are probably a rev b mac mini and revised ibooks before the year's end)

4- apple reveals 2 button mouse with touch sensitive scroll wheel functionality in jan. along w/ ilife '06 woohoo, and a spreadsheet in iWork..

5- etc. etc. etc...
 

ariechel

macrumors member
Jul 14, 2005
60
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Apple: a new Sony?

The signs definitely seem to indicate that Apple is trying to become a consumer electronics company. As John "Hannibal" Stokes and other sources have pointed out, Apple seems to have had the potential applications of Intel products (including hardware DRM) in consumer electronics in mind when they made the switch to Intel.

Though, as Sony has demonstrated, Apple's increasing emphasis on consumer electronics does not mean that they will exit the computer market, I am afraid that they will allocate much of their resources to this area. Since their resources are, of course, limited, this will likely cause longer development times for Macs, at least for a while.
 

Toe

macrumors 65816
Mar 25, 2002
1,101
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iScreen!

Good. Next product: the iScreen.

In other words a tablet computer which is never referred to as a tablet. :) It's a TV-watching, stereo-controlling, handwriting-recognizing, DVD-playing, picture-managing SCREEN. Oh, and it has a tablet form factor. Except really cool, like you'd expect from Apple.
 

mainstreetmark

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May 7, 2003
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I'm not sure I'd be happy in a Apple-rules-the-world world. As shown almost everywhere, once you get on top, you get fat and lazy.

The iPod is on top, and for the most part, has undergone relatively little revision in it's history. Oh, sure, they added color, and oh sure, they stick "Shuffle All" to the main menu, but that's not very innovative. I STILL find myself having difficulty finding an artist in my list of 1000.

I don't know. I'm afraid if Apple does much better, then Leopard will be the last OSX we have.
 

Doctor Q

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michaelrjohnson said:
I don't want to see Apple get too diversified like they did in the mid-90's. It nearly killed them. I have no doubt that they would make a beautiful product, but so far Apple 2.0 has been doing a great job of staying out of markets they can't do well in. Let's keep it that way. But if they can rock it, I'm all for it!
That's why Apple should sell products that work with Macintosh computers. Simply selling mousetraps would take them away from their raison d'etre, but selling Mac-controlled mousetraps would add to their presence in both markets.
 

ham_man

macrumors 68020
Jan 21, 2005
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I would rather see Apple excel in a few markets (portable computing, desktop computing, portable audio) than stretch themselves and become mediocre in everything, kinda like Sony, as someone noticed above...
 

quigleybc

macrumors 68030
yes!

Toe said:
Good. Next product: the iScreen.

In other words a tablet computer which is never referred to as a tablet. :) It's a TV-watching, stereo-controlling, handwriting-recognizing, DVD-playing, picture-managing SCREEN. Oh, and it has a tablet form factor. Except really cool, like you'd expect from Apple.


Now that's what I'm talkin about, if Apple made that, it would be huge. Here's to high hopes... :D
 

feakbeak

macrumors 6502a
Oct 16, 2003
925
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Michigan
Doctor Q said:
That's why Apple should sell products that work with Macintosh computers. Simply selling mousetraps would take them away from their raison d'etre, but selling Mac-controlled mousetraps would add to their presence in both markets.
It's a shaky thing - you have to be careful. I think they did an excellent job with the iPod/iTunes in this regard. PC owners running Windows could buy an iPod and have a great product and a good full-range system for your digital music habits. However, you could get a little more functionality by using your iPod with a Mac - you can sync with iCal and AddressBook too. Now, I know there are several Windows apps that let you do this with Outlook as well but it's not as streamlined as on Apple. I had already wanted to get a Mac and take OS X for a spin, but having my iPod and knowing I could more easily get more use out of it with my Mac was yet another reason that influenced me to buy a Mac.

I think the same approach in the living room could help them. Think about it - what are Apple's biggest products? I really only see two large "concepts" within Apple: 1. Macs and OS X - the ideal, user-friendly, intuitive computing experience. 2. Your digital life - iLife, obviously iPod/iTunes is the largest part of this right now. The Pro apps also ties into this concept on the content creation side. While the digital lifestyle concept has a huge stake in computing it also extends out to the rest of our lives, Apple capitalized on this with the iPod and going into the living room to spread the "iLife" concept further is a good idea.

I think a home setup box is a logical next step for Apple. It could allow you to view your photos and movies, play music, a built-in PVR would be nice as well. Music is always going to be the bread and butter of the iPod. I can't see movie viewing ever becoming mainstream on such a small device - I wouldn't want to do it and from many people I've talked to there just doesn't seem to be much interest. However, as a set-top box in the living room I think it would be marketable and Apple based on their focus and past endeavors seems to be prime for this task.

The key factor to success will be implementation. It will need to be easily usable without a Mac in order for it to be a big success. I agree there should be additional functionality allowed when using it with a Mac to offer incentives for people to switch, but it cannot be critical functionality that will turn people off to the product. Again, if they can do it as well as they did with the iPod I think it would be great.

I think they could release such a device and still stay focused on their core "Apple" concepts. I hope they give it a shot - they are poised well to take this opportunity at the moment, not sure how long it will last. It might fail but if they execute it well the pay off could be huge. Besides, I'd love to see Microsoft get killed in the living room. I think the XBox is a great gaming system and I don't hate MS they have some great technologies for enterprises, but Apple has just owned the "digital lifestyle" market and I want to see what they can do in my living room.
 

GimmeSlack12

macrumors 603
Apr 29, 2005
5,396
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San Francisco
michaelrjohnson said:
I don't want to see Apple get too diversified like they did in the mid-90's. It nearly killed them.
True, but that was under Amelio as the CEO, and he didn't know what he was doing with the company. OS 8 was the last thing that he did, and that system was nothing special. Other than the Appearance Extension.
This is a different Apple today. And people are finally taking notice.
 

Porchland

macrumors 65816
Apr 26, 2004
1,071
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Georgia
wdlove said:
It would seem that the 4th quarter results would be critical to show the direct that Apple is going.
That's crazy talk.

Apple is making a major change to its entire Mac line a full year from now. Apple made the announcement for the benefit of the developer community and to have a functional product when the MacTel Macs start rolling off the line. You think MAYBE Apple anticipated there might be some ambivalence about buying essentially EOLed machines during the next year?

The next quarter is as important as any, but I applaud Apple for looking beyond the next three months and making a bold decision they the company hopes will be good for the long term and not just for the next quarter.
 

FoxyKaye

macrumors 68000
Well, the 35% boost in desktop/laptop sales in Q3 is encouraging, but seeing the 616% growth in iPod sales it seems as if Apple knows on which side its bread is buttered.

I'm all for Apple diversifying, though it will be a sad day when the company's R&D emphasis switches from its computers to its "products". The upside for all of this would seemingly be better brand identity across several markets, contributing to a "halo" effect that also bolsters computer sales.

It feels like people are getting more pissed with Windows every day, or at least the people in my life are... I calmly stand on the sidelines explaining the cross-platform compatibilities and benefits of Macs, and have even gotten two co-workers to switch to iBooks. Although, the other day I used Expose in front of my boss (devout Windows user) and he actually let out a startled scream at what happened on my screen - so there's still a long way to go.

Anything that puts "Apple=Good" in people's minds can't be bad, even if it means the company is releasing non-computer products as an end-run around selling its computers directly.

Though it still wouldn't kill Apple to actually advertise its computers in a cogent manner... :rolleyes:

[Edit]:
mainstreetmark said:
I'm not sure I'd be happy in a Apple-rules-the-world world. As shown almost everywhere, once you get on top, you get fat and lazy.
Unless you're Lance Armstrong!
 

Lynxpro

macrumors 6502
Feb 22, 2005
382
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Macrumors said:
Merrill Lynch analysts suggest that Apple may also move into the video market in the home with an emphasis on High Definition.


Apple should. Look at HP, Dell, and Gateway. All of them are selling plasmas and LCDs. And of course, the same goes for Sony. Now who would you rather buy an HDTV from?

Apple branded HDTVs would sell well not only in the Apple Stores, but also through Best Buy, Circuit City, and CompUSA.

Not to mention how great an Apple-branded TiVo would do...