Jobs and 'Sand'

Discussion in 'MacRumors News Discussion (archive)' started by arn, Mar 14, 2002.

  1. arn macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Mathew Rothenberg writes this eWeek article discussing Apple's/Jobs' push for vertical integration... and the potential advantrages and disadvantages... Of interest, he recounts Jobs' personal attitude:

    Remember Steve Jobs' "sand" concept for the creation of personal computers? About the time he lent his star power to the creation of the original Macintosh back in the early '80s, Apple's founder famously described his dream factory: an oceanfront site that would haul raw beach sand in one end, cook up its own silicon and deliver fully configured PCs out the other end.
  2. arn thread starter macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001

    Apple's really been on this bandwagon for a while... but recently, they've gone crazy with it

    Now, they make iTunes, iPod, iMovie, iDVD, Final Cut Pro, etc...

    They're making everything from free Consumer software, Pro software, OS, Hardware and Peripherals all sold at the Apple Store.

    It's nice... but it's also dangerous. They have to be the best at the whole package to be very compelling but at the risk of pissing off your 3rd party developers.

    I know a lot of people are suggesting Apple take over PPC development, but I think that would be a bad idea.

  3. ezrabud macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2002

    Veritcal integration is the ultimate business model. Very few companies are successful at doing so, but when they are, they hit the gold mine.

    Shortages, processor problems, driver conflicts, and many other issues would not exist if Apple could move to a fully implemented vertical integration.

    In my opinion, few can do it, but Apple just might be one.
  4. Beej macrumors 68020


    Jan 6, 2002
    Buffy's bedroom
    Gee wow, cooking up your own silicon from sand at the beach. Sounds like a good idea. I think Apple might forget about everything else and turn into a silicon production company if they could do it that cheaply...
  5. barkmonster macrumors 68020


    Dec 3, 2001
    I'm off to the beach I think...

    Wow, it's that easy is it ?

    I'll have to go to the beach this weekend and borrow a liquidiser, surely a few simple house hold ingredients are added to the mixture and there you go, a wafer. Can someone lend me a semiconductor production plant for the weekend ? I would just sell some of the sand I'll be collecting to buy one but I'm a bit skint at the moment :D
  6. GeeYouEye macrumors 68000


    Dec 9, 2001
    State of Denial
    sand isnt the hard part

    The thing is, scooping up sand and making it into silicon isn't that hard. sand is just silicon dioxide. The hard part is to make the silicon pure enough to use it as a chip. There is approx. 1 part in billion of every element in a glass of "100% pure" water. You cant get any purer than that. In wafers, the most pure man-made substance in existance, there can only be 1 part per billion of anything else. Otherwise, it is too impure. Its easy to get silicon: just melt and electrify sand. That will remove the oxygen (and, incidentally, put more O2 in the air) and leave you with silicon, though it still needs to be purified of: water, organic matter, any metals, any non-metals, any metalloids except carbon. Its not easy. It is possible however, and if Apple could really control the WHOLE widget, it would do great things.
  7. mongo1 macrumors newbie

    Jan 25, 2002
    Somewhere on the Left Cost
    Re: Jobs and 'Sand'

    Sounds too much like Henry Ford in the 1920's. Coal and iron ore in one side, cars out the other...

    Unfortunately it's not a good model for today's business environment. There are a multitude of companies that have spun off parts and manufacturing divisions, moving from a prue vertical to a more horizontal model. And I would argue that there are no pure vertical and horizontal companies any more.

    What Apple is focusing on (IMHO) is the user experience and creating best in class products, working a mixed model. Apple developes hardware using Moto & IBM's processor technology, from that point it's pretty much all Apple except for high volume manufacturing (ie iMac, iBooks & PBooks). This model allows Apple to focus on the secret sauce (ie OS, iApps, Industrial Design) that is Apple's value add.
  8. arn thread starter macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
  9. rastalin94 macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2002
    By the way when they make that pure silicon it is not only pure but it is also one giant single crystal. There can not be any grain boundaries or anything type of defects in it at all. That my friends, is not an easy task.
  10. spikey macrumors 6502a

    Apr 26, 2001
    If apple alienates Adobe then apple are in the ****.

    I agree with Arn on parts of this. But there is a third factor that is missing which is OSX. If apple uses this vertical integration to produce appz that really show off OSX then other third party developers will get interested. Because lets face it applefreaks, so far there hasnt been a serious software developer that has shown the power of OSX to the world. Atleast certainly Adobe has been reluctant to go with OSX, indecisive ****heads are just playing it safe.
  11. mac15 macrumors 68040

    Dec 29, 2001
  12. whitegold macrumors member

    Oct 3, 2001
    Brisbane, Australia
    Can someone answer me a question?

    What exactly is the law on software bundling with an OS? My understanding was that it was illegal. Hence MS' issues in the 90s with Internet Explorer.

    That seems to have fallen by the wayside, yet is now being revived. All in all, though I have to ask the question: What specifically is the difference between Microsoft including Internet Explorer with their OS, and Apple including iTunes, iPhoto, etc.

    Both give a hugely unfair advantage to the OS vendor. Both enable a monopoly of basic software, to the detriment of developers.

    So where does that line lie? What is acceptable and what is not. I know personally I'd be quite happy if my next Athlon or G5 came with Microsoft Photoediting Suite or Apple iPhotoshop. Though I don't imagine Adobe would be.

    [Please don't turn this into a microsoft is bad and that's the difference discussion. That's really not very productive.]
  13. arn thread starter macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Bundling software with the OS is not illegal by itself...

    The difference is that Microsoft is a monopoly while Apple is not... silly, I know... but that's the main difference.

  14. Quark macrumors regular

    Jan 9, 2002
    Bundling was not the issue...

    The issue with Internet Explorer was that it was integrated into the operating system.

    Everyone yelled about it, rightfully so, and said that they must also bundle another Browser with the OS and give people the ability to remove the IE icon from the desktop.

    Now M$ is doing it again with that .NET stuff.

    They're digging themselves a hole - painting themselves into a corner...

    All I can say is here is a shovel for ya' Billy-boy, and here is another paint bucket... go nuts!

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