DESPERATION OR ILLUMINATION ?

6. June 2005, 21:31 | by WD Milner | Full Article |

A recent article on TechRepublic regarding Apple’s proposed announcement of a switch to Intel processors started me thinking.

Friends and colleagues and I have discussed this many times over the years. The use of the PowerPC and a dedicated operating system have been, along with a certain image, what have separated and marked Apple as distinct in the personal/micro computer marketplace.

Will they alienate all those who have bought into the Apple platform and the Apple mystique, for whatever reason? Likely some will. Will they attract those who like the style of Apple's operations but wouldn't take the plunge to change from a more mainstream platform? Likely a good number. Apple has considerable brand loyalty form its adherents and what seems an equally marked antipathy from it's detractors. Is this move an act of desperation or illumination? Hard to say, but as Steve Jobs has proved so often in the past, Apple can be unpredictable.

They will no longer be able to significantly difference themselves by hardware platform and they will need something other that OS X to make buying their machines attractive as there are too many free OSes offering essentially the same capabilities in the Intel world (for example the BSD's from which OSX derived and Linux).

Personally I can see one of two outcomes. They will be able to leverage their image to the public and stay afloat, likely with more customers than they have now, but never as high a profile player as before; or they will become a marginalized brand that over a period of time will gradually fade from the marketplace.

While I could be wrong, and I'd hate to see it happen, I fear the latter is the the more likely occurance over the long term.

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Categories: ,
Keywords: Apple,Steve Jobs,Intel,PowerPC

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