Apple's hardware/software/web platform

Apple's hardware/software/web platform

Summary: This week I've been harping on about Microsoft's new APIs and Web platform developments, so it's only fair I turn my attention to Apple now. My friend Ben Barren reminded me yesterday via email that Apple has an integrated hardware/software/web platform. No other company has that on the level that Apple has.

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TOPICS: Apple
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This week I've been harping on about Microsoft's new APIs and Web platform developments, so it's only fair I turn my attention to Apple now. My friend Ben Barren reminded me yesterday via email that Apple has an integrated hardware/software/web platform. No other company has that on the level that Apple has. Google has a web/software platform and Microsoft has a software platform that is now turning into a web one too. Microsoft to a degree is creating a hardware platform, with Xbox and its Media Centre, but they're nowhere near Apple's level of sophistication yet.

By which I mean that consumers fall in love with Apple products - or at least lust. It's quite amazing to be chatting away to a fellow geek and then when the topic turns to Apple iPods or iBooks, the person I'm talking to starts to drool and even get a little flushed in the face. That's because Apple creates aesthetically pleasing products that people form emotional attachments with - and get addicted to. Apple fans are truly passionate about their iBooks and iPods and now iPod nanos

There have been a couple of good blog posts recently on the subject of Apple's platform. John C. Welch wrote that the iPod has a standard and simple design, which makes it easy for third party hardware developers to create things like iPod cases, interfaces for the iPod Dock connector, and other accessories. There are many third party hardware developers for Apple products, says John, and the iPod accessories market is "astounding huge" compared to the iPod's competitors (Creative, Rio, etc).

On a similar theme, Nivi wrote that Apple has the dominant "digital content distribution platform" on the market. In particular Nivi singled out the iTunes and iPod combo as "the only digital content distribution platform that consumers are actually using (globally too)". He also pointed out that Apple could easily use iTunes to distribute other media - videos, movies and books. Hmmm, I wonder if Amazon is getting sweaty palms about now?

When you look at the market share figures, you begin to appreciate what a grand position Apple is in. The iPod has 76% market share and iTunes 82%. And they're already doing big content deals - Madonna and Harry Potter recently. Yes indeed, the Apple hardware/software/web platform is looking very strong.

Topic: Apple

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  • The one thing missing

    The GLARING hole in Apple's strategy continues to be in handhelds. If you can bring music to a portable device - why not the entire mac "experience"? Here again - just like the mac - Apple was way out in front of everyone, only to become a nitche player. The Apple Newton was way ahead of its time - but it suffered from not having an energy efficient processor (they were battery eaters big-time). Just as the revolutionary StrongARM processor was introduced (it STILL powers most handhelds today), Jobs made the famous "deal with the devil" and suffocated the Newton to death (still the ONLY example EVER of a spin-off being spun-back!)

    Now that 1997 is almost a decade ago, isn't it time for Apple to look into doing handhelds again? Or is there STILL a secret clause that Apple won't compete with Pocket(rocket)PC?
    Roger Ramjet
    • Handhelds? Paleaaase...

      Why on earth would Apple want to start developing for a DEAD technology?

      PDA's are the past. They are also horribly overpriced for what you get out of them.

      Cell Phones are slowly but surely putting the PDA out of business.

      I suspect that's why Apple is developing in that direction instead.
      BitTwiddler
      • What I meant

        Something that runs OS/X in a small form factor LIKE a PDA. It could do music, phone, surf, whatever. Maybe like a "super blackberry".
        Roger Ramjet
        • A super portable? Like a PocketPC or Subnotebook?

          I think Apple's WAY ahead of you. If Intel does one thing great, that's making integrated chipsets for nearly all form factors.

          With Apple switching to Intel, they can have a unified architecture to run their OS on everything from desktop Power Macintoshes to iPods.

          Perhaps, after the "big switch," we'll see an iBook nano. An "impossibly thin" subnotebook with the grace only Apple can give to a gadget.

          Perhaps something along the lines of: Sleek white exterior with shiny metal bottom similar to iPod. Celeron or Intel ARM microprocessor, integrated graphics chipset with JPEG/MPEG-2/4 decoding, slotload CD/DVD, AirPort Extreme, 10/100 ethernet, 2 USB ports, mini-vga, 6" 800x480 widescren touch sensitive display (via InkWell), and, of course, Mac OS X.

          Even if it's not terribly powerful, with OS X's built in support for distributed computing, you just stick a few of these puppies together and you have one helluva portable.
          olePigeon
  • PDA's are Dead

    Cellphones are a more natural computing device because most people carry them. Not too long ago we where required to carry a cellphone and a pager, that was cumberson. Since then we carry cellphone only. PDA's where and are over priced.
    xshakes
    • Battery technology stinks!

      Battery technology has to come much further if any of these devices are to catch on. Until then these "do everything" devices stink! I want a cell phone to be a cellphone, not a pda/camera/ipod/phone/suppository/necktie
      Protector
  • That's because other companies always try to control

    everything about a product because they want all the associated revenue streams. When are companies going to learn that they can't control everything and that it's not even good (in their best interest) to control everything?
    ordaj@...