PC Magazine: ‘Apple may be the best thing that’s ever happened to the tech industry’

“Apple may be the best thing that’s ever happened to the tech industry, or should I say quite a number of industries. The company didn’t display anything at CES 2006, but like Godot, its presence was felt and discussed endlessly. It was a strategic decision by Apple. Years ago, the company’s CEO, Steve Jobs, realized years ago that he didn’t have to compete with the noise of CES and could, instead, maximize the impact of Apple’s announcements at its own Macworld show. The Intel-based Mac announcement that emerged from the recent show is now old news, but Apple continues to make noise in the industry. Some might call it the Apple Effect, a rich and fascinating phenomenon that’s well worth investigating,” Lance Ulanoff writes for PC Magazine.

“What is the Apple Effect? It’s hard to explain, but simply put, it’s Apple’s amazing ability to generate hype and industry around its products, while simultaneously creating a cloud of ‘coolness’ that envelops said product and others that are associated with it. Evidence of it is everywhere. It’s in the dozens of products that look like the iPod and the iMac. It’s in the explosion of video on demand. It’s in tech companies’ hipper marketing strategies and in media companies’ rush to find new high-tech partners,” Ulanoff writes. “The iPod not only influences the many new products that work with it, it also shapes the design of countless other products we see every day… While some Jobs-haters would like to attribute the strength of Apple’s products to Steve Jobs’s hubris and ego, there is another, more relevant reason. Apple and its products deliver. The iPod, in virtually all of its iterations, is one of the best MP3 players on the market, and that’s crucial to the equation.”

“For all Apple’s success in the mobile music market and, now, the mobile video market, the Apple Effect has not worked its magic on the company’s desktops and laptops. Sure, Apple’s customers talk about and defend the Mac in numbers way out of proportion to its desktop market share (under 10 percent). So, the partnership between Apple and Intel and the first MacIntels (the iMac, Mac mini, and PowerMac [sic] —all shipping over the last month) represents a bit of alchemy that could lead to the Apple Effect rubbing off on the relatively stodgy Intel and working its magic on Apple’s struggling desktop division,” Ulanoff writes. “Finally, Intel-based systems that are cool to use. Perhaps the Apple Effect will reign supreme.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The “Apple Effect” long ago transformed the entire PC market. Virtually every last PC in use today employs the Mac user interface (UI); either in the form of an actual Mac or the bad upside-down backwards copy of the Mac UI that is Windows. Whether they acknowledge it or not, nearly every PC user on the planet today uses a “Mac.” That’s some serious effect. (Note for the “Apple stole it all from Xerox PARC” crowd: read this and also this if you’re interested in the truth.)

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Related articles:
Newsweek: Steve Jobs’ Macintosh changed personal computers forever – March 02, 2003

Thurrott: Microsoft going to get eaten alive over Windows Vista’s resemblance to Apple’s Mac OS X – March 09, 2006
Microsoft gears up for massive Windows Vista launch campaign – March 08, 2006
Episode 2 of Microsoft Windows Vista, Bill Gates CES keynote video spoof now online – January 07, 2006
Microsoft Windows Vista, Bill Gates keynote video spoof debuts online – January 06, 2006
NY Times’ Pogue on Gates’ CES demo: Most of Vista features unadulterated ripoffs from Apple Mac OS X – January 05, 2006
Analyst: Windows Vista may still impress many consumers because they have not seen Apple’s Mac OS X – January 05, 2006
Microsoft’s Gates shows Windows Vista photo, search features; plans to fight Apple’s iPod dominance – January 05, 2006
Gates: ‘People tend to get overfocused on one of our competitors’ – January 05, 2006
Microsoft Windows Vista compared to Apple Mac OS X – December 05, 2005
Gartner: Ignore Microsoft Windows Vista until 2008 (why not just get Apple Mac OS X Tiger today?) – November 12, 2005
Microsoft’s Windows Vista strives to deliver what Apple’s Mac OS X already offers – October 10, 2005
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Apple leads; Wintel follows as usual – November 11, 2002


  1. The hype is over, we just can’t spend anymore. The rest of the PC industry shouldn’t rely upon Apple to bail them out.

    Computers, even Mac’s, have proven to be too complicated for the general population and too insecure.

    If you don’t actually need a computer, don’t get one is my advice. You’ll be a lot happier and richer.

  2. So, the partnership between Apple and Intel and the first MacIntels (the iMac, Mac mini, and PowerMac—all shipping over the last month) represents a bit of alchemy that could lead to the Apple Effect rubbing off on the relatively stodgy Intel and working its magic on Apple’s struggling desktop division,” Ulanoff writes.

    Did I miss a product introduction? I think Ulanoff meant MacBook Pro, NOT PowerMac.

  3. Einstein,

    Xerox PARC may have created the initial design, but Apple saw it’s promise and took it much farther than Xerox ever would have. Even the original Macintosh was much more developed than the Xerox prototypes.

  4. What this really means is every other company, despite hving long standing reputations and brand, can’t match Apple’s vision because unlike Apple their companies don’t have leaders who really have true vision and accept innovation, real innovation, not the fake branded innovation that companies like MS talk about, as their number one priority.

  5. “The iPod, in virtually all of its iterations, is one of the best MP3 players on the market, and that’s crucial to the equation.”

    “One of the Best”

    Thats the greatest understatement i have ever heard.

  6. Apple isn’t innovative, it’s just better at marketing.

    Common misinterpretations of Apple inventions.

    1: Graphical User Interface – Xerox Parc.

    2: Mouse – Xerox Parc

    3: Firewire – Apple

    4: iPod – Creative

    5: iTunes visuals – not Apple

    6: iTunes Music Store – many others first

    7: Mac OS X – NeXT

  7. Hey, Art

    Rembrandt wasn’t innovative, he’s was just better at marketing.

    Common misinterpretations of Rembrandt inventions.

    1: Graphic representation of environment – Caveman

    2: Crude representation of people – Caveman’s nephew

    3: Realistic perspective in art – Caveman’s second cousin

    4: Use of color – Caveman’s great niece

    5: Realistic facial representation – Caveman’s great-great grandson who never married

    6: Use of oil paints – Caveman’s middle-easter brother-in-law

    Rembrandt was a poseur.

  8. Apple may not have invented all those technologies BUT they applied them in a way that is USER FRIENDLY.

    That is the big thing and the reason why the iPod and iTMS is so successful. Also remember Apple didn’t invent the PC but produced the first useful and popular application of it (Apple I). Same for the GUI, mouse, desktop printing etc.

    Ultimately that is why OS X and iLife will dominate in the years to come, because it has developed very easy ways to perform routine but complicated tasks.

    Most people are too busy to deal with crap from their PCs. If it works easily and is robust then consumers will love it.

  9. Visit – http://www.woz.org/letters/pirates/12.html

    A straight quote from Woz himself…

    “Q from E-mail:
    Woz, Did you feel wrong stealing outright from Xerox, and what did you think when Microsoft stole from Apple? Do you think Microsoft has a monopoly on the computer industry? Plan on going back to Apple? Also, can you point out more of the minor flaws in the movie? Thanks, David

    Steve Jobs made the case to Xerox PARC execs directly that they had great technology but that Apple knew how to make it affordable enough to change the world. This was very open. In the end, Xerox got a large block of Apple stock for sharing the technology. That’s not stealing outright.

    Apple didn’t get any stock from Microsoft. Nor was Apple dealt with openly in this area by Microsoft. ….”

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