Should Apple make OS X available for non-Mac hardware?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by chanakya2, Sep 11, 2013.

  1. chanakya2 macrumors newbie

    Jul 14, 2010
    Do you think it is time for Apple to move away from it's philosophy of a closed ecosystem for it's OS and allow users to buy just the OS-X and install it on their own hardware or do you think it will hurt the Apple brand by doing so?
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    No, because the software such as OSX is a means to drive hardware sales.

    How will Apple make money if they sell OSX for 20 dollars and let it run on other hardware?

    Also consider the complexity that would need to be included into OSX, right now Apple has complete control over the hardware and has customized OSX accordingly. They'll have to make and support changes to run on a ore varied set of components.
  3. OllyW Moderator


    Staff Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    The Black Country, England

    Apple is primary a hardware company. They tried licensing Mac OS on clones in the 1990's and Mac sales suffered so I can't see it happening again.
  4. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2013
    Oregon, USA

    The hope was that the participating HW shops would bring in new Mac customers. The reality was a shift in existing users (cannibalization). Apple makes SW in service to and in support of HW sales. Reversing that model is all or nothing and cannot be done in partial measures.
  5. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    No. Apple is a hardware company!

    Even Microsoft is getting into buying their own cell phone company. So the new trend for tech companies os controlling the whole widget, just like Apple. This way they can get Apple style profits and plus Microsoft is no stuck in supporting old port technology anymore (See PS/2 ports, etc).
  6. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    I'd run OS X in a virtual machine if I could easily on non-Mac hardware.
  7. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    But Apple would make no money if you do this. To sell osx for non-Apple machines, Apple would have to raise the price to about $ 3-400 to make a profit.
  8. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    If one follows the sales "pie charts", Apple's revenue from "computers" (i.e., Macs) has been slowly declining, whereas its revenue from gadgets (like the iPhone, iPad) has been increasing. Just recently, Apple's behavior with the Mac Pro models (long delay before re-design) indicates they don't give such projects the "emphasis" that an iPhone re-design entails.

    At some point in the future, Apple may decide that it doesn't want to be involved in the "computer hardware" market any longer. Not saying this is absolutely destined to happen. But it's something that _could_ happen.

    At that point, Apple might decide that its "Mac OS" is still a viable and salable product.

    If that happens, we _could_ see a boxed version of the Mac OS offered for Intel-based computers (or whatever processor is being used by the majority of computers at that time).

    Or, we might see Apple market "motherboards" (designed and certified to work with the OS) along with the Mac OS. Buy the Apple "package", then install into an enclosure of your choice.

    Not saying this is inevitable.
    But Macs may not be made forever...
  9. subsonix macrumors 68040

    Feb 2, 2008
    These pie charts doesn't show that since they can not contain more than 100%. What they show is how total revenue is divided between product categories.
  10. colourfastt macrumors 6502a


    Apr 7, 2009
    Obviously no one remembers the late 80s and early 90s after Jobs was removed from Apple. Apple at that point was licensing its OS to "clone" makers and that strategy nearly drove Apple into bankruptcy. Only with the return of Jobs and his concept of "not for the masses" did Apple regain traction.
  11. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 603

    Mr. Retrofire

    Mar 2, 2010
    Yes, for certain HP and Dell workstations or desktop computers.
  12. Virinprew macrumors 6502a

    Apr 24, 2012
    No. If yes, then it will not "just work" anymore.
  13. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 603

    Mr. Retrofire

    Mar 2, 2010
    HP & Dell can buy a license from Apple.


    Apple had other problems, AFAIR.
  14. Astroboy907 macrumors 65816


    May 6, 2012
    Spaceball One
    Yes, but only if they keep it limited. I'd like to see a rival company be able to run OS X on their machines (pystar, anyone?), and produce some more niche products that apple doesn't seem to care so much any more (Mac Pro, really high end macbook pro, the works, as well as a cheap model). This is not likely to happen because it will cut into Mac sales, but if it did at least apple would have to keep innovating to stay near the top instead of just doing whatever they see fit. IMO apple hasn't really done anything huge over the past few years. Retina doesn't cut it for me with the soldered ram and non-upgradable SSD, as well as weak(er) graphics and a midrange processor. I can live without a thin laptop. I want the speed! Having a competitor would keep apple from controlling the market as much.

    Of course, if they licensed it out to everyone it would be akin to android and windows fragmentation. Which, to be honest, is pretty terrible. Cheap "mac" boxes popping up everywhere with crappy screens and horrible, creaking plastic bodies.... :(
  15. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Yes they would have to support all kinds of hardware. Linux and BSD can and do run on just about anything and they work very well

    So what, Apple would have to do what Linux and UNIX have done for years, run well on everything.
  16. Madd the Sane macrumors 6502a

    Madd the Sane

    Nov 8, 2010
    One aspect that helps Linux and BSDs working different computers (and architectures) are the drivers. Most of said drivers are open-source, contributed by tech-savvy people who wants a specific piece of hardware to work on their OS. For one thing, OS X's main users are home users and not developers who can work on a driver.
    Then there would be the issue of distributing drivers. Currently OS X only automatically downloads printer and scanner drivers, all other drivers are included by the OS. If you want a driver for a USB-to-serial adaptor, you have to find it on the Internet, hope it's available as a 64-bit binary (Mountain Lion only has a 64-bit kernel), and install it.
    Not all drivers need to be run in the kernel to work. Some can run as an app. If they have a bundle that needs to be loaded, a 64-32 bit binary is recommended due to the increase of 64-bit apps.

    Now this may change if Apple licenses or sells OS X for generic PCs.

    Although I think the Hackintosh community is creating drivers for different PC components
  17. mmomega macrumors demi-god


    Dec 30, 2009
    DFW, TX
  18. kunai macrumors regular

    Jun 3, 2013
    They shouldn't make it officially available. They have no reason to provide drivers for unsupported hardware, but they should remove the shackles on OS X so that people can install it on PCs without having to resort to hacks, but they're not obligated to actually ensure that everything works. There still will need to be workarounds, but they need to get rid of the DRM.

    Most users won't want to install an unsupported OS anyway; too many things would be broken.

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