Our colleagues at Keep an Open Eye Eye Sir are declaring that the Apple Mac is dead … in the process of being replaced by the iPad and other iDevices with their iOS4 operating system. Here is the crux of the arguments:
The past year has been a very, very good one for Apple – and particularly its iDevices – iPhone, iPad, iPod line of products. Apple has now passed Microsoft in stock value and is approaching the highest valued company in the World, ExxonMobil. And next years prospects are even better:
In effect one can see the huge value that the iDevices are to Apple – the Mac line-up of desktops and notebooks makes just over 18% of the value of the stock while the iPhone is more than 50%. The $dollar writing is on the wall – Apple is making the transition from MacOS to iOS4 devices. The signs of the transition are everywhere:
2)For the past three years, Apple has had an opportunity to take over a much bigger share of the PC Desktop and laptop markets with its Mac and MacBook line of products offering a superior experience to Microsoft’s Vista and virus plagued PCs. True, Apple cannot come close by an order of magnitude to the number of apps/programs written for the PC but virtual technology allowed a bypass. But Apple has priced its Mac hardware at 2 and often 3 times the price of the equivalent PC. And they are equivalent because the computers often use the same parts/components: CPU, disk drive, RAM, graphics processors, and other basic components. Why keep the price of Macs so high – when PC market share is low hanging fruit – easy for the taking? Perhaps because Steve Jobs is laying most of his marbles on the next generation of client devices – or should I say iDevices. So, by pricing high Steve gives his iDevices much wider profit margin room – and iPhones and iPads sell for 2-3 times the price of Netbooks and EEE-PCs at $250-350. But Steve Jobs has seen what Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates failed to see for 10 years – most consumers want light, highly-portable, mobile-connected, long-battery life devices which draw a small set of apps from a huge stable/store of Apps. And they want a drag/drop/touch and swpe easy to use and to remember how to operate interface. Most users definitely do not want theot huge 3 level deep menuing systems or dozens of hieroglyphic icon drivenprograms and apps with huge learning curves.
3)This in turn allows Steve to lead the parade on the next dominant client platforms – his iDevices. In every case from iPod as media container through iPhone as the pioneering smartphone to iPad as the dominant tablet, Apple has a first start lead of nearly a year or more and an App lead of more than 50%. In effect, Steve is betting that Apple can replace Microsoft as the client platform of choice among consumers – and with iPad not the Macs.
4)For the sake of launching a new platform to replace Microsoft-dominated PCs, Steve has been willing to sacrifice his Mac line-up and in many ways beyond pricing. For example, 3 years after the iPhone and its multi-touch interface brilliance, Mac users can only use multi-touch through a “Magic Pad”, no direct on-screen multi-touch operations[conceding that advantage to a growing number of Windows full-screen, multi-touch laptops and PCs]. In addition, Apple did not repair the performance of its Mac’s with respect to graphics speed of processing . For example, Windows 7 running on Apple Mac hardware is anywhere from 10-40% faster than the MacOS powered units. Another small but telling instance of the change-over to iOS4, is that the Worldwide Developers Conference in August 2010 was devoted to iOS4 with NO MacOS developers sessions. In short, MacOS is consistently
5)Historically, Steve has abandoned his older technologies. Apple II and III for Lisa and Macs. Motorola Macs for power PC Macs. Power PC Macs for Intel Macs, etc. And now the Apple Servers are being cut out yet again. So Steve, if not his customers, is always willing to move onto something innovatively [and perhaps also market share too] promising. Its called Creative Destruction.
Ye Editor does not argue the logic – it is just derives nonsense. First, the Mac line up is alive and doing well – a 32% increase in Mac sales this last year as seen in the MacWorld chart.
Second, the new Mac OS Lion provides a wealth of iOS4 features like Mac AppStore, Full Screen apps done natively, LaunchPad fixes and many others; this is hardly the stuff of abandonment. Third, there is a renaissance in Mac software and the new Mac AppStore is expected to boost that. Finally, knowledge of Objective C, Macs native programming language, can only improve with iOS4 developers using the same basic language.In sum, why kill off $18B of your business ? And that $18B is used by some of the best and brightest in Graphic Design and Web + Software Development – why antagonize them by desertion or forcing loyal users to a new platform really not-ready-for-compute intensive graphics and development?
Apple tested multi-touch screens for their practicality and ergonomics in a number of settings – and users complained of arm and other fatigue except when in close proximity to the user as in an iDevice. And as for graphis speed of Macs versus PCs, its overrated – just wait and see what the next refresh of Macs brings. Steve will get much better drivers from the graphic chip providers. In sum, throw this baby notion of Macs being dead out with the bathwater …. Ohhh and Keep an Open Eye is all wet on this one.