“I don’t care how fast the new Power Mac G5 is — or isn’t (if you believe the critics). Apple’s future doesn’t ride on the speed of its Macs. In fact, Apple’s future doesn’t ride with Macs at all anymore,” writes Charles Haddad, thankfully back at BusinessWeek. “Oh calm down. I’m not saying the Mac isn’t a great computer and won’t keep improving, if only incrementally. But it’ll no longer set the computing world on fire. Nor will the Mac ever represent more than 3% to 5% of all PC sales. And it certainly won’t drive growth for Apple.”
Haddad writes, “What I am saying is that Apple is at one of the most important turning points in its history. It stands at the threshold of crossing over from cult favorite to household name, especially if that household has a teenager. Apple is making this crossing on the slender back of its little iPod. This portable digital-music player is at the cusp of doing for music what the original Apple did for computing in the late 1970s: setting the standard as the mass market for these players starts taking off.”
Haddad writes, “…even without the addition of Window users, iPod sales will swell to 975,000 units this year, giving Apple 54% of the market. And, when the Windows version is available, sales will jump even higher to 1.25 million, or equivalent to the sales of some Macs. With that kind of growth Macs will become a nice little side business — perhaps even a giveaway someday to lure eager iPod buyers. Let’s face it. The Wintel duopoly has won the battle for PCs, but they can have it, since PCs have by and large become standardized, safe and boring. Not so with portable digital-music players. With the iPod, Apple has truly designed a thrilling new computer with wide appeal. Mac fans, behold the future.”
Full article here.