Now that Apple are nearly as big as Microsoft, would they become less 'cool'?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by yahya4k, May 28, 2010.

  1. yahya4k macrumors member

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    #1
    The news this week that Jobs is beating Gates is good for all us Apple fans. BUT... like it or not, Apple does have a user base that is more 'cult' than regular user.

    So now that we are no longer the underdogs, and are now more mainstream, does that make Apple less... cool? :apple:
     
  2. Stella macrumors G3

    Stella

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    #2
    I doubt many people know Apple is bigger than microsoft so I expect this would come as a surprise. What would make Apple to become less cool is lots of bad press and competitors offering 'better - in the consumer eyes' product.

    *IF* Apple did become less 'cool' I expect Apple to fall faster that microsoft for one reason: Apple don't have business sector to back them up and are mostly consumer orientated. Businesses don't care about coolness and will buy whatever they need. Consumers on the other hand: will change buying tastes on a whim to whatever the latest fashion item is. Especially phones. ( Computers tend not to apply - since when has windows been 'cool' , for example )
     
  3. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

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    #3
    Size doesn't matter.
    Apple can no longer play the underdog card, but recently it has pushed "cool". If its products don't continue to innovate and be "cool" (in a way that Microsoft's product line NEVER were), then it will lose it's cachet.
     
  4. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #4
    I agree with the above poster. Bottom line is Apple needs to remain "cool" or it will just be another MS.
     
  5. belvdr macrumors 603

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    #5
    To clarify, they exceeded market cap, which is useful for investors. In many ways, Apple is bigger and smaller than Microsoft. Market cap is not some magical number that makes one company suddenly bigger than another.
     
  6. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #6
    Apple had (using past tense on purpose) been viewed by many as cool in part because they were the underdog, producing some very different products that no one else was. Being non-mainstream seems to be a coolness facet.

    Now that they are a dominant force in many of the sectors and are acting very big brother like and they are also dealing with potentially 3 different government inquiries/investigations to anti-competitive business practices are they still being viewed as cool? Will their dominance, negative press or even the government investigations (even if they don't amount to anything) impact apple's perceived coolness factor.

    I've noticed an uptick in anti-apple sentiment, in both the intarweb and the real world. Yeah there's always been apple-haters but now it seems many people who would have been attracted to apple, are pushing back.

    Does familiarity breeds contempt, will it be uncool to have an apple device because everyone and their mothers own apple devices?
     
  7. TheSVD macrumors 6502a

    TheSVD

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    #7
    apple will always remain 'cool' in my opinion cause they will always be different. Its not just another computer company, its one that stands out from all the rest. I know you can't really compare apple to, lets say, HP, cause HP are windows orientated, but lets face it - apple is always going to have that unique niche user base - the aforementioned cult - the people like us on this site - whilst their products may be more consumer orientated, and as someone mentioned the latest fashion can change things - is the iPhone already not like the most popular phone? Has that made it less cool? Not in my opinion. Also, as someone mentioned, alot of people won't know that apple are bigger than Microsoft anyway. Macs will always have that magic that is 'mac' - Its mostly gone away for me now, but I remember when I used to dream of having a mac! I just think that cause they will always be different, they will always stand of from the rest, keeping their 'cool'.
     
  8. MikhailT macrumors 601

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    #8
    Market cap doesn't really mean anything, sure Apple is the biggest tech company in the world by market cap but in terms of making profit per quarter, MS is still leading that.

    Unfortunately, it's all a cycle, eventually Apple will peak out and starts to go down just as MS has gone down since their ~$600B market cap when Ballmer took over/Vista released.

    So the question is, have Apple peaked yet? Is iPad the best and greatest innovation Apple have to offer? The iPad going global will add on to the market cap for sure, the iPhoneOS 4 will make both iPhone and iPad better but is that it?

    Here's the thing, what else can Apple do now? The tablets have been talked to death for almost decade, now it's finally out. The only thing that has been talked to death for almost half a decade and hasn't been out yet, is the so called Mac tower. Is that the next evolution for Apple? Will they release such a beast?

    Not to mention that Google is now the biggest competitor against Apple, they have the power and skills to pull off rapid software updates, hardware innovation with their hardware partners and so on. Microsoft hasn't really shown that they can do this and yet Microsoft has become the third party wheel in the press mind.

    It's Google vs. Apple with MS as third party wheel. It's amazing how fast things can change.

    Can Microsoft recover? Yes, they did an impressive work with W7 and they are slowly opening up to open source and trying to make things work but they may be too confident in their W7 OS too fast, it could fail badly on MS. MS needs to realize that Google's Android is a serious competitor and they need to go after Android, not Apple because Apple is in my opinion always in this strange symbolic relationship with MS throughout history. Microsoft needs Apple more than they think they do. MS also needs to start restructuring their company to be more like Google/Apple, more riskier and more bolder. Unfortunately, they're still relying on the backward compatibility promise of the Windows World and they really need to start breaking away from it and do the OS-9/OS X change. The virtualization is fast enough that MS can virtualize XP for backward compatibility without having a compatible OS underneath.
     
  9. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #9
    That's the issue, will they still be cool when they act like any other multibillion corporation protecting its business. They are no longer catering to a niche user base but rather to the masses. How cool can a corporation be when it sells iPads to grandmothers and such. I'm not criticizing their products but rather the perception that apple is a hip cool company catering to a niche audience. This simply is not the case any more - at least with iPhones and iPads.
     
  10. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #10
    As long as a company makes products I use, I don't care how they are perceived
     
  11. KingYaba macrumors 68040

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  12. yahya4k thread starter macrumors member

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    #12
    Mac Tower? What is that?

    This is my fear. But I guess while Microsoft still dominate the market with 90% of the worlds computers running its software, I guess Apple can still try to promote the niche angle as long as its financially viable.
     
  13. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #13
    It appears to me that apple is dedicating more energy and focus on their phone/tablet offerings then their desktop lines at the moment. My concernis that this will turn into a trend.

    They've already stated that they're a mobile device company not a computer company.
     
  14. Queso macrumors G4

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    #14
    +1. Those that are attracted to Apple products thanks to some misconceived idea of cool have missed the point. Apple are mainstream now.

    However, with regards to the original question Apple have not turned into Microsoft thanks to this valuation. Microsoft are primarily there for corporate customers, the consumer bits are window dressing around the core business. Think of Apple more in the realms of Sony. Their business model revolves around consumer and entertainment devices that also get used in business. So Apple will always seem "cooler" than Microsoft, as Sony are, but it's all relative.
     
  15. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    #15
    Why do people keep on comparing ms and apple? Ms makes software and a couple of shoddy devices. Apple build hardware and match it with fantasic os.

    They may both be in the same sort of business but ms does
    no ship out units like apple.
     
  16. *LTD* macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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    #16
    Size has little to do with it (although it's related indirectly.) Great products that people want has everything to do with it. When it comes to that, Apple's got the game figured out for the next 5-7 years at least.
     
  17. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #17
    I have to agree. I don't like where they're heading either.
     
  18. UTclassof89 macrumors 6502

    UTclassof89

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    #18
    +2

    But I don't know anyone who makes a technology investment based on "cool".
     
  19. TheSVD macrumors 6502a

    TheSVD

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    #19
    hmm, i see your point - perhaps with iPads and iPhones this is the case, because they are more affordable, meaning they can appeal to the masses more. In my experience, the main reason someone doesnt have a mac is cause they're too darn expensive. I think the computers will always be aimed at a more niche market (or the mac stereotype - creative etc) but since they have started releasing more affordable products, the masses have responded greatly - an iPhone or iPad However, is still not quite that 'mac' experience. the interesting point about this topic is - so they become uncool by gaining loads of customers but make lots of money - would you really think a rise in popularity would, in the long run, make the company less money?
     
  20. *LTD* macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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    #20
    Apple is now a hip and cool company catering to a wide audience.

    This isn't so hard to understand.

    If you're assuming that with their size and market cap they'll become complacent and lazy a la Microsoft . . . well, it's fun to speculate and play around with "what ifs", but at the end of the day the lineups for the iPad are getting longer and demand is ever-increasing. The Apple ecosystem isn't simply another tech paradigm, it's become a lifestyle choice. Apple gear is really unlike anything else on the market, hence all the excitement and popularity of Apple products in general.

    You can quote specs, performance-for-dollar comparisons, etc. None of that holds any weight in light of the synergy between functionality, design, style and usability that Apple is able to pull off on a regular basis.
     
  21. MikhailT macrumors 601

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    #21
    Because Apple and MS has a huge history together, think about both of them going back to 1980s. That's why people keep comparing both of them, there's no other company on the market right now with a close relationship to Apple like MS. Google came into the picture just now.

    Which is better, a huge ass war chest full of cash making other products while still producing the same Macs that made them popular in the first place or somewhat debt-ridded small company of 1990s Apple selling only the desktops that was not going to give them $50B revenue and instead would probably turn it over to another company?

    I rather Apple have a war chest full of cash ($40B) in order to survive for the next decade once the mobile market stagnated. Remember, Apple is going to make all the money they can off the iPhone/iPad revolution before the rest of the market catch up and stabilized on the smartphones of all kind, cutting off any more runaway success that Apple could produce and the profits/revenue will start to go back down and Apple will be the underdog again but this time an underdog with a lot of money.

    Apple will go back to the Mac next year, Steve Jobs already mentioned something about returning to the Mac next year. Let this year be the year of iPad/iPhone and let them make all the money they can before they'll return to the Mac next year with OS X 10.7 release.

    Also don't forget the Halo effect. With more people going to the stores and more people having Apple brand products, chances are, some of them will continue to buy Apple products of other kind.
     
  22. KingYaba macrumors 68040

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    #22
    I'd like to see Apple deliver mid towers and possibly release OS X for free. Yes, for free. Not necessarily open-source but free to download from apple.com/mac. I know a lot of sour Vista users who now think they need to shell out coin for 7. Maybe I'm wrong but maybe a free OS X would drum up more hardware sales. Buy our Mac and upgrade the OS for free when 10.7 and 10.8 rolls around. No need to worry about Mac OS X Ultimate costing $270.
     
  23. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #23
    Never going to happen, while software does drive the hardware sales for apple. It does cost them $$ to develop the OS and I question the fact that giving away OSX would actually increase sales anymore then if they sold it.

    Then there would be the pace of development, I'd say that roadmap for new features would slow down immensely if they decide not to charge money for it, as they'd put their resources into developing products that generate a revenue stream.

    In a sense they seem to be doing that now, just look at how much attention the iPhone and iPad are getting from apple but OSX is seemingly on the back burner.
     
  24. MikhailT macrumors 601

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    #24
    People already get OS X for free along with their hardware purchase. People shouldn't be entitled for a major new OS that's years in the future. Those years of development cost tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars per year, the only way Apple get those cost back is to sell it for 130$ which is already the best price you can get for an OS that's going to last you for two-three years or to push new hardware sales with the new OS.

    I don't get this entitlement that people should get free software, seriously.

    OS X is not on the back burner. iPhoneOS is based on OS X, any innovation in the low-level OS functions are carried over to the iPhoneOS as well. Once iPhone get dual core CPU in the future, guess what? The iPhoneOS will have GCD support already thanks to SL core driving it. Once the GPU gets more powerful to include OpenCL programmability, iPhoneOS will have that ability built in as well.

    Mobile OS market is getting all the attention because it's the market that's growing up now, expanding with all the possibilities of all kinds of innovation happening and those possibilities bring a lot of money to the companies involved. The Desktop OS market is already all grown up, there's nothing that's going to really explode the market like the iPhoneOS and Android.

    This is the same reason for the tablet market, the tablet OS is going to explode the market, it's already happening with iPad, we'll start to see a lot of new Android tablets along with ChromiumOS later in the year or next year. W7 still has nothing on it.
     
  25. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #25
    Let me rephrase my post. Non iPhone OSX development, i.e., updates/upgrades to OSX is taking a back burner as apple focuses on the mobile market.

    That's my point, OSX is not getting the attention because apple is looking to leverage its other products. So in a sense you're agreeing with me that OSX is on the back burner.
     

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