Will Apple Keep the Lead?

Discussion in 'MacRumors News Discussion (archive)' started by MacRumors, Jan 4, 2004.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001
    The New York Post writes about how Apple is the best position its been in for some time with the success of its most recent line of Macs, the iPod and the iTunes Music Store. As one analyst notes, "If you look at where Apple was a few short years ago and where they are today, it's nothing short of phenomenal."

    The paper even cites the rumored Mini iPods as a way to defend its current leadership role. According to the post "the question is whether history will repeat itself."

    Of course, this refers to Apple's loss of computer marketshare to Windows and PC clones over the years in an industry that Apple helped create. Apple currently enjoys the #1 spot amongst portable digital music player sales, despite the relatively high cost of their current iPods -- as compared to the other contenders.

    We will find out more on at the Keynote.
  2. desdomg macrumors member

    Dec 12, 2003
    This time round make sure they keep SJ around. Then it will be OK.
  3. Awimoway macrumors 65816

    Sep 13, 2002
    at the edge
    I personally know of converts to the computers line that the iPod is making. Even so much as 10-15% marketshare seems to me like an impossible mirage, anymore. Maybe I'm just too jaded from desperately hoping. But surely OS marketshare has got to improve as a result of the iPod.
  4. Daveman Deluxe macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

    Jun 17, 2003
    Corvallis, Oregon
    That's really only part of the equation. I think that Apple needs to get serious about corporate governance. Apple could use two or three independent board members (pretty much everybody on the board right now is a friend of Steve), the kind that won't give SJ lucrative stock options regardless of the company's performance. Jobs' compensation agreement is a joke. He gets what he gets regardless of how Apple does that year. Not only that, Jobs only owns two shares of Apple's stock. That's not exactly a quality I'd be looking for in a CEO.
  5. alset macrumors 65816


    Nov 9, 2002
    East Bay, CA
    Steve was destroying Apple. He may have saved them from certain doom, but his ousting wasn't the cause of turmoil. If that were the case, we would expect that every company he touched would come out ahead. As we saw with NeXT, Steve was not then prepared to lead a corporation.

    I have these terrible bouts of anxiety, sometimes, considering Apple's future. I think of a world controlled by the Dells and the M$s of the world and how it would take all (or much) the fun out of my computing. Other times I am overjoyed and supremely optimistic. I'm looking for that feeling in two days.

  6. alset macrumors 65816


    Nov 9, 2002
    East Bay, CA
    When Steve worked with only one share (when did it become two?) it was supposed be a sign that he had returned because of passion, not money. We now see that Steve has lots of cash coming in, as you mentioned, but why is this an issue? Sure, the scale is a little too full, for many of our tastes, but Apple is doing fantastically.

    I've gotta tell you, their stock doesn't really have a lot farther to go, unless it works it's way back into the $100s just to split (we all want that, yes). Apple is often undervalued (IMO) because they are a huge risk (fact). They are niche. They always will be. This is Apple at it's best in ten years, so if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

  7. Awimoway macrumors 65816

    Sep 13, 2002
    at the edge
    I firmly believe Apple will survive. Jobs seems to content with being a boutique computer maker, comparing the line to BMWs: high performance, high style, high markup (not necessarily the qualities Steve himself has listed ;) ). I believe that's a winning model no matter what the Dells and Microsofts of the world do.

    Maybe I'm being a little tongue-in-cheek. Apple's not entirely a boutique dealer. They're trying hard to make inroads into the server market and enterprise in general. The iPod is ubiquitous. But by and large Apple seems to be happy with its marginal status.
  8. desdomg macrumors member

    Dec 12, 2003
    As an outsider to all this all I see is that Apple with Steve are a success and without him they are not.

    If Pixar can be a success and not own 95% of the film industry then why can't Apple's current success be equally respected?
  9. Scottgfx macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2002
    Fort Myers, FL
    Look at all the software Apple owns. It's all at the high-end, and don't think for a moment that Apple won't leverage it to get people to migrate to their hardware. Ahhh, that's the other half of the equation. Workstation class hardware to complement the professional level applications. Turn-key systems two steps ahead of either Avid or Adobe.

    This also raises the question of Apple getting away from the consumer. I don't see that happening, as evidenced by the success of the iPod. Look at Sony and Panasonic. They both make tons of consumer level appliances and such, but they also make professional level stuff like Videotape recorders costing tens of thousands of dollars.
  10. inkswamp macrumors 68030


    Jan 26, 2003
    iBox... the missing link?

    This is only barely on-topic, but since most MR posts lately are about 2004 and what to expect next week, this seems appropriate.

    I just finished looking over the iBox discussion from an earlier post and I'm amazed at what nobody has yet noticed. Jobs has been asked if Apple plans to offer a download service for movies like iTunes. His response has been along the lines of how nobody wants to watch movies on their computer and it takes forever to download. But it seems like a natural progression to go from iTunes to a movie download service. I wonder if the iBox (if it's for real) will prove to be the missing link in the rumors of an online movie service a la iTunes. The iBox would be to a movie download service what the iPod would be to iTMS... the hardware component designed to work with the service.

    Maybe it's farfetched, but if such a box could be done including all the features it is rumored to have already, it would be a killer piece of equipment.
  11. foniks2020 macrumors regular

    Apr 19, 2002
    Re: iBox... the missing link?

    The one thing that makes me think this is possible is the acquisition and implementation of the Pixelet Codec.... bring it.
  12. Phobophobia macrumors 6502

    Dec 1, 2003
    Downloading movies would be possible, just make it broadband-only and stream a bunch of it.
  13. dstorey macrumors 6502a

    Dec 14, 2002
    Re: iBox... the missing link?

    I've already mentioned this in the iBox thread. if Jobs think people don't want to watch movies on the computer, them make something for the tv instead to make it smarter, like they did for songs with the iPod.
  14. X86BSD macrumors member

    Jul 18, 2002
    Kansas, USA
    Two words..

    As mentioned already, ill just say two words: Apple, Pixar.

    Both are doing amazing and fantastic things, *at a profit*. What's the common denominator ? Jobs. I think it's arrogant to ignore that fact. The guys a modern day equivalent of King Midas. He doesn't make the movies at Pixar but he sure does implement the drive, the vision, and the means to get them done. Same at apple. He hires good people, smart people, and creative people that do "think outside the box." Anyone denying SJ's benefit to these two companies and writing it off as mere coincidence is off in never never land IMO. :)
  15. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    Re: Two words..

    I'm a big Jobs fan, but to call him King Midas is a bit much IMO. Had he not been replaced at Apple the first time, Apple would probably have died. He was not ready to run a company. Same thing at NeXT, had Apple not bought it, it too would have died.

    His return to Apple has been pretty amazing product wise but they still are not too profitable (remember, a lot of their income is from their huge cash reserves and investments) and their market share continues to suck, iPod not included.

    I do like the position Apple is in now (hey, I own just under 750 shares) but I can't shake the feeling of deja vu; Apple has been here before and not capitalized. Just look at all the things Apple invented that others adopted (stole) and went on to bigger success.

    As for Pixar, everything I've read is that he is pretty hands off there. You could argue much of Pixar's success is due to their Disney deal. Will they be able to duplicate the success when that deal expires? Will they re-up with Disney or forge a new partnership or go it alone? Stay iTuned
  16. Rod Rod macrumors 68020

    Rod Rod

    Sep 21, 2003
    Las Vegas, NV
    Re: Re: iBox... the missing link?

    Pixlet wouldn't be of any help in a movie download service, or even an Apple branded PVR, unless a whole lot of people had T1 connections and 3 terabytes of hard drive space. Pixlet is not the answer. MPEG4 or something like it is. (I say "something like it" because AAC is like MP3 only better.)
  17. dongmin macrumors 68000


    Jan 3, 2002
    I'd be happy with 6-8% (double the current marketshare).
  18. chabig macrumors 68040

    Sep 6, 2002
    That may be true, but not many CEOs have their whole reputation on the line as Steve does. Steve "is" Apple. He "failed" there once. He has a huge ego. If he were to fail again, the personal loss would be incomparable.

    He has plenty of money. Owning more shares of stock wouldn't make a difference to him, because Apple is not about money for him. It's his personal battle against the world.
  19. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    Apple doesn't want a 30% marketshare - to do that (just by volume of customers) - they might be forced away from doing what they do best. Apple has been happy to have a loyal (crazy-in-love) fan base.

    Another thing that people ALWAYS misconstrue is the 3-5% marketshare figure.

    By the % alone ----> Apple must have a small marketshare.

    Not true!! Apple has a small marketshare compared to the combination of ALL PC manufacturers!! Apple takes on each individual company - AND their platform.

    Remember that the rival companies are fragmented and only unite under the OS.
  20. philoye macrumors newbie

    May 29, 2003
    <strike>New York</strike> Sydney, Australia
    Six months ago, John Gruber, from Daring Fireball, wrote the most sensible thing I've ever read about Apple's market share.

    Check it out.
  21. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    That's extremely well put.

    Apple and Oranges I tell you!
  22. copperpipe macrumors regular

    Jul 9, 2002
    at the cusp

    I think it comes down to wether ol' Steve is gonna be as hardheaded as he's been in the past, or wether he has learned from his mistakes. It's quite a line to dance - between sticking to your guns, which Apple has done beautifully, and knowing when to bend and change. Apple needs to know when to produce something that has a low price tag to compete with the Dells of the world, and I think that time is now. Bring the affordable iPod, and bring the return of an original iMac computer. Not the exact same thing of course, but we need an Apple computer people can buy for $600 that has an adorable quality. The eMac ain't adorable - in my opinion it's the ugliest thing Apple has out there...
  23. greenstork macrumors 6502a

    Jan 5, 2003
    I agree with you entirely but I think it's important to note that Apple is getting involved in multiple industries. I see iTMS/iTunes/iPods as a unique market, completely separate from computer sales.

    edit: You can't compare the two markets in terms of market share, it's apples and oranges.

    I think that Apple is keeping the "boutique" approach to computer sales but they are most definitely trying to dominate the online music business. Two entirely different marketing approaches, and I think they are both in the best interests of Apple in the long run. While the boutique approach works for them in computers, I don't think they should let a dominant market share opportunity like this pass them by. First mover/best product advantage rarely happens and should be seized.
  24. Photorun macrumors 65816


    Sep 1, 2003
    Still of "boutique" machines don't communicate with the rest of the world what's the point? With M$ dictating almost all standards across the industry (mind you, crappy standards, championing mediocrity) it'd be easy to make Mac part of it's own insular experience and thus a potential downward spiral.

    I refute the BMW metaphor, at one time it was cute, now it's stupid to use and people should be flogged, it's like saying chocolate survives in the food world (if you said "huh" precisely). BMW doesn't regulate the rest of the auto industry with lackluster components (the analogy would be better if you used GM or Fiat, some crappy company as M$). BMW can't be driven out (pardon pun) Chevy decided to make some crappy roof deployed airbag standard (that wouldn't work during most crashes). It's a different industry and a lousy analogy.

    Reality is Apple DOES need market share, it DOES need acceptance in major industries it DOES need acceptance in education and elsewhere. I had a meeting the other week and I expunged some vitues of Macs to a bunch of older idiots, some who thought Macs were only good for graphics, another who didn't know Macs were around anymore, it was nuts. Point is this mentality gets more and more pervasive (bet these people wouldn't have said such things about a BMW, which most covet and/or see as a icon that someone has money or style) and unless Apple does things to impress upon the industry, public, and world in general... nothing really matters long long term.
  25. mgardner macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2003
    Apple moving away from Consumers

    Apple will not move away from consumers.. as one said the ipods are a big hit... and so is the music store.. One thing that really boosts sales of their products is the Retail stores.. I know of many people who would rather buy something and get it when they walk out the door than online and wait a week for it.. Apple will survive... the only question is how will they do it...

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