Analyst: Has Apple forsaken Mac in thrust to morph into cross-platform multimedia company?

“We may be watching the demise of Apple as a PC company and its rebirth as a cross-platform multimedia company. This has been going on for some time, but it just became obvious to me when I had a chance to review Apple’s latest financials. The PC market grew at a good rate — at least compared with previous years — with 16 to 20 percent growth, depending on who provided the numbers. Apple grew its PC business at a near-flat 5 percent and lost share, again,” Rob Enderle writes for TechNewsWorld.

“On the other hand, the MP3 player business grew an impressive 87 percent. Now this is a hot market. Apple grew its MP3 player business better than 900 percent. That’s a nine followed by two zeroes. I’d love to see anyone argue that Apple isn’t kicking the proverbial butts of the other player makers, including old stalwarts like Creative Labs and Sonic Blue as well as giants like Phillips, Thompson Electronics, GE and Samsung,’ Enderle writes.

“Next time you are watching an Apple ad or looking at an Apple billboard, see if you even can find a personal computer. The ads are almost all about the iPod or iTunes. Head-to-head comparisons between Apple and Napster, RealNetworks and MusicMatch almost always favor Apple as number one. And, clearly, the iPod has taken all comers, slapped them around and spit them out. While the new mini-iPod has had some initial issues, it remains one of the hottest retail products on the market as well, making kicking butt a new Apple tradition,” Enderle writes.

“If you think about it, on the PC side, Apple really is little more than a brand and some nice shells. The company, like most other PC makers, has gone to offshore manufacturers for most of its products. Underneath, the hardware is mostly IBM now, and the software is based on an open-source version of Unix developed by others, called FreeBSD. The actual intellectual capital invested by Apple in the platform itself seems to be in decline, and, as much as I personally like FreeBSD, the hot alternative to Microsoft these days is Linux,” Enderle writes.

“For years, I’ve pointed out that I think Apple could do very well in the Wintel market, but it wasn’t until the iPod was released that I could prove it. iPod sales have been phenomenal and mostly on Wintel hardware and against entrenched Wintel vendors like Creative Labs, which showcases just how powerful Apple’s advantages are in this market… Apple is on the cusp of an important decision that either will take it to a position of dominance or will doom it to the declining niche of companies that could have been contenders. The iPod has shown the way, and my bet is Apple will eventually follow,” Enderle writes.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Has Apple forsaken the Macintosh? Unless we see something from Apple on the Mac side soon, we’d be hard pressed to say, “no way!” Lately, it seems Apple had forsaken the Mac. iPod, iTunes, iPod, iTunes, iPod, iTunes, ad infinitum, it seems are the Apple news of the day. Apple had better watch out. We love Apple the company because of the Macintosh platform. The iPod is nice. iTunes is nice. The Mac is insanely great. Do not forget that, Mr. Jobs.


  1. Not to worry, Enderle hasn’t been right this century. In his revisionist mind he can say I told you so, but he doesn’t have a clue about what is going on today in the Tech industry. The fact that he is successful with his BS propaganda is just a testament to the stupidity of his readers.

  2. Rob puts the sales figures in perspective (as I have been doing for weeks). Unless Apple is a unique company, able to ignore normal market forces, or unless they improve their consumer computer line soon, they are dooooooomed.

    Dave H: did that nil nil tie do Stockport any good?

  3. Ok guys – let’s calm down a bit and remember that there are some unforeseen problems with producing sufficient numbers of the new 90nano chips. Just as soon as that issue is straightened out, we will see a whole new Mac lineup – including new G5 desktops, a G5 iMac (which may be headless and extremely portable) and later in the year, G5 laptops.

    When this happens, all that pent-up buying will burst on the scene like an explosion – which will direct public attention to Apple’s Macs. Meanwhile, the whole iPod thing continues like a runaway freight train.

    Nope – no worries here. Everything will look vastly different in a few months.

  4. “We love Apple the company because of the Macintosh platform”

    Thats nice that you like the platform…unfortunately it hasn’t been more widely adopted. I am probably going to buy my first mac in the next 6 months, but unless more households are planning to do the same the “mac platform” will continue to be a money losing segment for Apple.

    This will result in increased prices for existing Mac enthusiasts. How much are you willing to pay for a computer?
    It should not be a surprise that the company must focus on profit generating segments, it has a responsibility to “shareholders” to provide a return.
    If you want Apple to be strictly a money losing, high end computer maker then collectively buy the company and take it private. You’ll run out of money in a year. But make sure you leave ipod and itunes for the existing shareholders, thats where “we” see the value.

  5. LINUX can not/will not be a viable desktop alternative in the consumer space without some discipline forced on it from above by one or more commercial vendors. The very thing that has given it life will consign it to a marginal place on the desktops of Mr/Mrs “Average Joe”. Installing and setting it up, although not that hard, is way beyond what most users will tolerate. What some open source advocates have not seen or refuse to see is that the Macintosh is the PERFECT desktop to use with LINUX servers. A modern Mac has all of the advantages of LINUX without the headaches and liabilities except for initial cost.

  6. I agree with Glick7…calm down.
    I think Apple is sitting in great shape once IBM gets the G5 bugs worked out. New things will come and great new apps will be developed.
    The iPod and iTunes are just easier to advertise and they garner a hell of a lot of free PR that advertising dollars just couldn’t buy. And it gets the Apple brand out to the “general” public and gets people into the Apple stores. Announcing new Macs and putting too much emphasis on those just doesn’t get the press and attention in the “general” press that the iPod can.

  7. unless they improve their consumer computer line soon, they are dooooooomed.

    LOl I’d be richer than Billy Gates if I had a � for everytime I heard that one in the last 10 yrs Joe
    The consumer line HAS recently been re-vamped of course, it’s the Pro line 90nm G5s that we are waiting for.

    the “mac platform” will continue to be a money losing segment for Apple
    LOL it’s profitable.

  8. His part about the machines being foreign made and mostly IBM inside isn’t valid when compared with the rest of the industry–which are mostly foreign made with Intel or AMD inside. (Although—I don’t know if it i the foreign made or something else, but Apple’s quality has gone to shit. I have a couple of fifteen year old Macs that work perfectly, meanwhile my iBook now needs it’s third stay at the repair shop–the right speaker keeps fading in and out, the screen backlighting is flickering, and, this weekend, when I closed the lid at Barnes & Noble it popped partially back open; the little latch broke right at the hook. This is after getting the logic board replaced, and the combo drive replaced. Oh, and the power supply died, but at least that didn’t require leaving the machine behind at the store. I love Apple’s parts policy too–nothing like waiting for a week and half to get a laptop back b/c the store isn’t allowed to keep a parts supply.)

    The Mac’s current complete stagnation can be traced not to Apple, however, but to Apple’s suppliers–the platform was limping for years due to Motorola’s incompetence, now IBM’s inability to ramp up quality G5 production. Behind the times processors don’t help, particularly when paired with Apple’s penchant for producing consumer machines with the slowest hard drives available and the crappiest graphics card available, and the minimum amount of RAM pre-installed possible. Well, that last part you can put on Apple.

    Then again, maybe Apple’s market share is the result of there being a limited number of people willing to buy slow, underspecced computers that fall apart just to be able to use OS X. Christ, it is like being told, “Here, you can have the best car stereo in the whole world, but it only can be installed in a Dodge Neon–and, by the way, we’re marking the Neon up to $35,000.” “But I want the stereo in my Honda!” “Tough, Neon or nothing. But if you want, it helps if you close your eyes and imagine the car’s a BMW.”

  9. Apple just released new versions of the Powerbook, ibook, and eMac and is only two months from their WWDC mega show. Apple has embarked on a completely new architecture for the Mac with the G5, in which it was stated that the G5 was Mac’s future. Apple just came off from NAB with accolades for its pro tools and especially its new Motion App. Before that iLife 04 with the new Garageband, and the awesome Panther before that. Apple’s overall Mac unit sales have increased every quarter since the G5 was released and their Powerbook and iBook are best of breed notebooks in each of their categories. More is to come, take a prozac and relax.

  10. The one says “unless more households are planning to do the same the “mac platform” will continue to be a money losing segment for Apple. “

    Please note that the Mac platform is not a money losing segment for Apple. Apple has been alive for many years and made billions of dollars because of the Mac platform. Despite the “Apple is dying” stories from the likes of Dvorak, Enderle and McConnel, Apple is doing quite well. If anything, they are diversifying their business to ensure success in the future.

    Enderle has a bug in his ass about Apple and is now trying to use a different angle to prove his weak point. “You don’t see a Mac in their ads.” No, but you see Apple in their ads. Brand awareness. Getting the idea into people’s minds that Apple makes great products.

    GE shows a lot of appliances in their ads, but I don’t think they stopped selling light bulbs.

  11. “Then again, maybe Apple’s market share is the result of there being a limited number of people willing to buy slow, underspecced computers that fall apart just to be able to use OS X”.

    My G5 is fast reliable and well specced
    sorry to hear of *your* problems I have a G3 iBook too and it works well.

    but then your computer probably works as well as your analogies

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