Why does AAPL seem to focus on one segment and not both?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by 3282868, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. 3282868, Feb 7, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 8, 2012

    3282868 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #1
    For those wondering why AAPL seems to be foregoing OS X as there is certainly more focus on the iOS/iDevice/Consumer market, I have to wonder:

    Why does it have to be one or the other?

    AAPL made a good deal of money when Jobs returned. NeXT/OS X, PowerMac's, an excellent CCFL LCD (more than one stripped down 27" LED LCD iMac panel?! NO WAY! /sarcasm) and catered a great deal to the professional market, creative or otherwise.

    Then Jobs bought "Shake," discontinued it while announcing to a room of studio professionals that their opinion will no longer be warranted. The years went by w/ Jobs running AAPL, cutting out accessory products and focusing on desktops and the iPod. Profits built a strong cash reserve that fed R&D into projects such as the iPad (which came first around 2004 before the iPhone in 2007) and the iPhone in '07 exploded AAPL into a new market. New iPhone owners got a taste of AAPL and MacBook's took off (mostly for students) and iMac's. Soon OS X began taking a backseat to iOS, power systems such as the PowerMac G5 was replaced with the Intel switch in 2006, tacking on almost $1k in Xeon based work stations resulting in businesses holding off on hardware upgrades due to cost. The 3 CCFL LCD's were cut, and for years weren't updated until a stripped down 24" iMac LED LCD panel and now 27" iMac panel (most likely for cost effectiveness). XServe dropped, Lion begins the bridge of iOS/OS X GUI and OpenGL support is still lagging - I could go on. This all points to AAPL ditching professional grade systems to cater to the consumer (mobile) market (Apple Computers switched to Apple Electronics, Inc.).

    With $80+ Billion in cash, why does it have to be the consumer market or the professional "power" market? Why can't AAPL revamp the professional market as it did with the consumer market? Working in communications, quantity of businesses may not compare to the quantity of consumers, but when ONE business (studio houses, photographers who primarily used AAPL displays with PowerMac's as they required little/no configuring with Spyder's, etc) has $50k, $100k or even more on updates for software licenses and hardware, that adds up to quite a bit.

    I have used Mac's since 2002, almost a decade this Fall, and I still use Windows as it truly isn't a bad OS (MS just needs to code a system for a myriad of hardware combinations and third party drivers which would be a nightmare, I'm surprised it works as well as it does). I'm on my fifth Mac (2010 Mac Pro), with 2x 24" LED LCD's. I could not get my work done on another system, esp given the training it would require. If AAPL continues in this direction, my work and life will be further impacted in an already struggling economy. This frightens those of us who depend on OS X for our livelihood.

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    I'm genuinely interested in opinions (mostly interested in professionals who make a living on OS X based desktops). I realize this has been discussed often on MR's, and I would like to avoid unproductive/mean-spirited comments, so please, if you are interested in the topic let's keep it civil :)

    So my question, do you believe AAPL is foregoing professional products and if so, why can't AAPL produce in both consumer and professional markets?
     
  2. iMikeT macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Location:
    California
    #2
    I've heard Apple referred to as a 90/90 company. That is Apple caters to the 90% of users that only need 90% of what a product can actually do. This is a fact that has become more and more apparent in the past couple of years and will continue to manifest itself as we move forward.

    Personally, I think that Apple is thinking years into the future and sees that most computing will be performed on mobile devices. That is, workstation/desktop/laptop computing will become a thing of the distant past. In fact, we're seeing it now as the lines of what a computer is continues to blur. I see Apple setting itself up as the company who will lead the way for truly mobile computing, the kind of mobile computing that we saw in science fiction.

    Do I think that Apple has truly abandoned the professional market? Not entirely. Apple is well aware that professionals use their products. I think Apple's strategy is to consumerize the professional market and more streamline their product offering. I'm sure that Apple will still offer powerful desktops in the future, it's the only way iOS apps can be developed right? But as both mainstream and mobile devices become more compact and powerful in the future, the less we'll see behemoth systems like a Mac Pro from Apple and more integrated systems like iMacs, MacBook Airs, and iPads.

    I do have a stake in this myself. My background is in photography and I would love to have the most powerful system I could afford to get my hands on. I would have loved to have gotten a Mac Pro when I purchased my last Mac but because of budgetary issues, I made some compromises and purchased an iMac. My iMac, a 2011 27" BTO iMac with the CPU and GPU specs maxed out through Apple, is plenty fast for my needs. And for the price of what a Mac Pro built the way I would have wanted it, I would have been able to buy two of the iMacs that I bought and an entry level MacBook Pro. As much as I love my iMac and know that future iMacs will be much more powerful than this one day, I hope that Apple does not do away with Mac Pro and keeps that system around for users who will need it and are more than willing to pay a premium for one.
     
  3. gatortpk macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2003
    Location:
    Melbourne, FL
    #3
    I liked you're entire post. It reminded me of Mac OS X true strength in the professional "Power" market. It started with a good foundation with a XNU Kernel (Mach as a major component) and BSD making up Darwin which earned the latest UNIX spec with Mac OS X Leopard for Intel (Darwin v9). (Interesting though XNU is an acronym from X is Not Unix)

    Now with Mac OS X doing so well, especially with the major clean up with Snow Leopard (cleaned up ~900 of the ~1000 Mac OS X projects), it is ready to take on as many Cores as hardware can provide, but Apple doesn't seem to focus on that anymore. (Although iOS is using the same Darwin 11, as in iOS 5 and Lion, that would be great with the multi-core mobile devices, and they are coming soon, perhaps a Quad Core iPad 3 next month and the same for the iPhone 5 this summer)

    I also think, why doesn't Apple start up with the Professional Market again, especially with (now) $97+ Billion, even if they don't profit as much, they will still be able to say they cover all areas of computing and consumer electronics. I don't think Apple would have to take any resources away from the iOS division to make it happen, and a larger professional division would still be profitable anyway. Especially if they lower the prices just a little to make the professional hardware more attractive. I would just be happy with a long overdue update with the Mac Pro. Intel has such a great upcoming set of Xeon chips perfect for a 16 Core (32 thread) Mac Pro with up to 128 GB (or 512 GB) of RAM.

    I also didn't realize how much Shake was used in huge movies (like Star Wars III and Mission Impossible 3, among others)! Although, I'm sure most of the rendering was done more on Linux based server farms. I really hope Apple will bring back Shake or something else with the same capabilities, and keep it low priced ($499 or less).

    Apple is obviously secretive, and perhaps they are going to surprise us this year with some awesome Mac OS X based Hardware and more powerful full 64-bit Cocoa based Apps. I don't see the Xserve coming back though. But other professional areas could grow quickly. Killer Apps have made hardware very profitable in the past. (Remember, without Lotus 1-2-3, the "Killer App" that started the IBM PC hardware market in the 1980's, IBM PC and then Microsoft may never gained its wealth through the 90's)

    I would love to see a "low end" Mac Pro for $1999 with 6-8 Cores, then I may buy that, as Apple is even slowing the iMac down. For the first time, the iMac didn't see much improvement in the past 2 years. All the current 15" and 17" MacBook Pros are faster than all the iMacs! (with the exception of the custom order 3.4 GHz Core i7 iMac, and one other minor exception)
     

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