is apple a HARDWARE or SOFTWARE company??

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Original poster
Jun 11, 2007
17,532
32
Singapore
i was always under the impression that apple was a software company. they buy other peoples hardware so that their software can run...

or am i wrong??
 

zap2

macrumors 604
Mar 8, 2005
7,243
1
Washington D.C
hardware makes them most of their money...but software is why I(and most people I'd guess) buy from them.


Because if Apple went to Windows only, I'd drop them. Ubuntu all the way.

In the end, I'd say the total package makes Apple the great computer company they are.
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Original poster
Jun 11, 2007
17,532
32
Singapore
hhmm ok thanks for the input :)

haha ubuntu, nice zapy.

im not really sure, ive always thought that because of their heavy software production that it would make them a software company. but u kno...things change
 

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,875
57
i was always under the impression that apple was a software company. they buy other peoples hardware so that their software can run...

or am i wrong??
Apple has a huge patent portfolio of both hardware and software.

Apple still develops systems, cases, and products their way -- which is why their PCs have Apple I/O integrated instead of the same port mix a Dell/HP uses (aka, not quite Centrino because some of the Intel chips are swapped for non-Intel vendors like the FW/ethernet/wireless.)

If Apple just bough other people's work and slapped their OS and case in the cardboard box, the Centrino label would likely be added for that extra unit discount from Intel.

---

But due to the switch to Intel, Apple has freed up cash and time used to pay for actual CPU/chipset development for other hardware.

So there is a lot more cash and people to toss at other projects/products these days.

---

If you look at the software side, Apple has been steadily buying companies and making them OS X only for a long time. Like logic/shake/final cut/etc.

Then there are the iLife/iWork/Filemaker etc. software apps that sell well and have to be developed.

So they ain't just an OS company either.
 

strider42

macrumors 65816
Feb 1, 2002
1,461
6
hhmm ok thanks for the input :)

im not really sure, ive always thought that because of their heavy software production that it would make them a software company. but u kno...things change
NOthings really changed. Apple has never used entirely stock components, the've tended to design their own motherboards and what not. So they've always been in the hardware design business, its not just pretty cases with stock stuff inside it. That's true today even though they use more standard stuff since the intel switch.

What apple is, in my opinion, is a hardware company that uses software to drive sales (true in computers, and also true with iTunes, which is mainly a vehicle to drive iPod sales, they make almost nothing on the music itself). If it wasn't for the software, they'd be nowhere. Without the hardware, they wouldn't make any money. But if the question is where do they make their money, its definitely all in the hardware. They have far and away the highest gross margins of any manufacturer (but also more overhead because they design the hardware and software themselves).

I think its important to understand that apple see's their computers as a whole product, software and hardware. That lockin allows them to make more money, and provide a better user experience. Its a pretty key point that drives a lot of the decisions they make, such as not licensing OS X to other vendors.
 

Much Ado

macrumors 68000
Sep 7, 2006
1,540
1
UK
As Apple operate an end-to-end model with all their devices and Macs, i would say that they don't do 'software' and 'hardware' as much as they simply do 'Appleware'. They are an enigma in this industry that is quite difficult to pin down.

The software drives the hardware sales which drives the profit :)
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Original poster
Jun 11, 2007
17,532
32
Singapore
Apple has a huge patent portfolio of both hardware and software.

Apple still develops systems, cases, and products their way -- which is why their PCs have Apple I/O integrated instead of the same port mix a Dell/HP uses (aka, not quite Centrino because some of the Intel chips are swapped for non-Intel vendors like the FW/ethernet/wireless.)

If Apple just bough other people's work and slapped their OS and case in the cardboard box, the Centrino label would likely be added for that extra unit discount from Intel.

---

But due to the switch to Intel, Apple has freed up cash and time used to pay for actual CPU/chipset development for other hardware.

So there is a lot more cash and people to toss at other projects/products these days.

---

If you look at the software side, Apple has been steadily buying companies and making them OS X only for a long time. Like logic/shake/final cut/etc.

Then there are the iLife/iWork/Filemaker etc. software apps that sell well and have to be developed.

So they ain't just an OS company either.
ok so apple designs the cases, and designs the systems and DECIDES on the components. but they still donot make those actual components. intel does, or whoever.

this would be true for dell aswell, but dell doesnot make software. therefore dell is a hardware company.

NOthings really changed. Apple has never used entirely stock components, the've tended to design their own motherboards and what not. So they've always been in the hardware design business, its not just pretty cases with stock stuff inside it. That's true today even though they use more standard stuff since the intel switch.

What apple is, in my opinion, is a hardware company that uses software to drive sales (true in computers, and also true with iTunes, which is mainly a vehicle to drive iPod sales, they make almost nothing on the music itself). If it wasn't for the software, they'd be nowhere. Without the hardware, they wouldn't make any money. But if the question is where do they make their money, its definitely all in the hardware. They have far and away the highest gross margins of any manufacturer (but also more overhead because they design the hardware and software themselves).

I think its important to understand that apple see's their computers as a whole product, software and hardware. That lockin allows them to make more money, and provide a better user experience. Its a pretty key point that drives a lot of the decisions they make, such as not licensing OS X to other vendors.
true ipods and iphones and :apple:TV are hardware. thats a valid point. apple has sort of come across on both markets, that being both hardware and software. it is true that apple would now make a very large profit from their hardware. but if not for the software there wouldnt be any need to be run by the hardware. like i said, apple buys the hardware from other manufacturers. they dont produce it themselves.


As Apple operate an end-to-end model with all their devices and Macs, i would say that they don't do 'software' and 'hardware' as much as they simply do 'Appleware'. They are an enigma in this industry that is quite difficult to pin down.

The software drives the hardware sales which drives the profit :)
so apple is kinda in their own league??? having the best of both worlds and deciding exactly what they want and who they want it?? i spose that is why they are doing so well even tho they have really high prices for their computer hardware components, aswell as some underpowered/weaker components (e.g. GPU)
 

clevin

macrumors G3
Aug 6, 2006
9,097
1
apple makes no hardwares inside your computer. or mostly.

It doesn't make mainboard, graphic card, display, sound card, memory, CPU, cables, etc, etc, it juts buy them from others, sometimes insert some design requirements. and assemble them together, put OSX on it.

so apple is kinda in their own league??? having the best of both worlds and deciding exactly what they want and who they want it??
no need to mystified the situation, apple isn't picking best hardwares out their. nothing really about "best of both worlds". most of the time, apple's hardwares are not the top of the line stuff. which is expected from apple's model.
 

ghall

macrumors 68040
Jun 27, 2006
3,781
1
Rhode Island
I don't understand why Apple has to be one or the other, why can't they just be both, because that's what they are.
 

psychofreak

Retired
May 16, 2006
9,077
4
London
Apple sells both hardware and software. Ergo, they are both a hardware and software company.
Although I'd call Apple a 'both' company, I'm not too keen on your argument: Microsoft sells hardware and software, but I'd call them a 'Software company that happens to sell hardware' :)
 

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,875
57
ok so apple designs the cases, and designs the systems and DECIDES on the components. but they still donot make those actual components. intel does, or whoever.

this would be true for dell aswell, but dell doesnot make software. therefore dell is a hardware company.
Apple used to help design and pay for chips during the PowerPC days, the switch to Intel only shifted the cost of some stuff exclusively to Intel.

Apple is likely still pushing hard for Intel to integrate stuff they need/want into the chipset.

If Intel doesn't make it, likely they will use someone else's chip.
 

clevin

macrumors G3
Aug 6, 2006
9,097
1
Apple is likely still pushing hard for Intel to integrate stuff they need/want into the chipset.

If Intel doesn't make it, likely they will use someone else's chip.
welcome to the real world. use someone else's chip? I would be shocked if apple were to have that much power over intel.
 

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,875
57
welcome to the real world. use someone else's chip? I would be shocked if apple were to have that much power over intel.
Yep, nothing wrong with using Broadcom, Atheros, etc. chips if Intel doesn't deliver what they want or need.

They are not tied to being 100% Centrino compliant, so other vendor chips are not a problem -- since they still use other vendors for chips right now.

Sort of surprised the Broadcom 10gig ethernet chips haven't shown up yet in the Mac Pros.

Edit: Of course Apple is also much more likely to want to integrate the tech faster than the Wintel world also -- so we may see Intel try to sway Apple away from their vendors with their integrated lower cost solutions.
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Original poster
Jun 11, 2007
17,532
32
Singapore
apple makes no hardwares inside your computer. or mostly.

It doesn't make mainboard, graphic card, display, sound card, memory, CPU, cables, etc, etc, it juts buy them from others, sometimes insert some design requirements. and assemble them together, put OSX on it.

no need to mystified the situation, apple isn't picking best hardwares out their. nothing really about "best of both worlds". most of the time, apple's hardwares are not the top of the line stuff. which is expected from apple's model.
the use use of other peoples hardware would save apple time, instead of having to produce them themselves. thats why i think they are a software company. they dont manufacter the products themselves, simply design them and make someone else do it...


Apple is neither a hardware or a software company.

Apple is an experience company. thats what you are buying, the apple experience.
Apple sells both hardware and software. Ergo, they are both a hardware and software company.
I don't understand why Apple has to be one or the other, why can't they just be both, because that's what they are.
Although I'd call Apple a 'both' company, I'm not too keen on your argument: Microsoft sells hardware and software, but I'd call them a 'Software company that happens to sell hardware' :)
They are a technology company. Any other distinction is pointless these days.
i think all of those 5 statements above are fairly commendable and accurate. true, apple does "design" the hardware so technically that would still fall under them producing the hardware, just not the actual manufactoring part.

however i am still inclinded to think that because apple doesnt manufacture the hardware themselves, (similar to pretty much every company i spose) they tend to be more software orientated with a big hardware based cover over them.
compare apple to companies like dell, HP, ASUS and apple is a "hardware company"
but compare them to microsoft and linux and they are a "software company"
maybe they really are a "technology company" making use of everything that is avaliable out there to make the most of it.
 

elppa

macrumors 68040
Nov 26, 2003
3,230
106
Steve answered this at D:All things Digital.

It's fairly clear in my mind.

Apple is primarily a software company.
 

psychofreak

Retired
May 16, 2006
9,077
4
London
They call themselves a software company,but to me they are a hardware company.
Are you more excited by a new iLife than a new iPod/Mac?

I think that the beauty of Apple is shown in their most popular product: they can achieve both the exceptional hardware of the iPod and the exceptional software iTunes. I mean, Creative's Zen Stone really is better value than the Shuffle, but without iTunes, the experience is much worse.
 

elppa

macrumors 68040
Nov 26, 2003
3,230
106
Are you more excited by a new iLife than a new iPod/Mac?
Isn't software the most important part of the Mac?

Because take the Mac OS X out of the Mac and all you are left with is a generic computer, which could run Vista, Ubuntu, Solaris or one of the many other operating systems available.
 

psychofreak

Retired
May 16, 2006
9,077
4
London
Isn't software the most important part of the Mac?

Because take the Mac OS X out of the Mac and you are left with a generic computer, which could run Vista, Ubuntu, Solaris etc.
Which would you rather own, running Vista/Ubuntu/Solaris?



And, part of why OSX is so great is that the software is made to suit the hardware, unlike Windows.