Four things you need to know about Apple

Apple Online Store“All big companies have their critics. But what’s interesting about Apple’s detractors is universal surprise. Their disappointment often stems from finding out that Apple isn’t the company they thought it was. So I’m going to do all you would-be critics a favor, and explain some fundamental aspects of Apple’s culture,” Mike Elgan writes for “Next time, you won’t be blindsided and confused.”

Here are four things that Apple believes that explain the unexplainable:

1. Everything Apple sells is an Apple product: Everything Apple offers on iTunes is viewed by Apple in the same way they view music: They’re all Apple products… There’s a great scene in the upcoming movie, “Me and Orson Welles,” in which Welles responds to a fellow actor’s complaint that ‘he is an arrogant, selfish…’ with the line: “I am Orson Welles, and every single one of you stands here as an adjunct to my vision. [If] you don’t like the way I work here, there’s the door.” That, in a nutshell, is Jobs’ view of the relationship between Apple and its developer community.

2. Apple products are disposable: Apple makes high-quality, durable gadgets… But don’t let that fool you into thinking Apple wants those products to enjoy years and years of use. Apple expects you to dump your old product and buy the new one just as soon as it comes out. And they don’t expect you to sell the old one to someone else. There’s no such thing as an old Apple product. There is only the current Apple product, and trash.

3. Nothing exists unless Apple sells it: In Steve Jobs’ world view, nothing exists outside the Appleverse. People don’t read because Apple doesn’t sell a reader. Mark my words, when Apple ships its tablet or some other device that can be used for the serious reading of books, people will read again.

4. Apple doesn’t want to be a successful business: It has no interest in… imperialist expansion. Apple is interested only in surgical strikes into this business or that product category, where they can solve design problems others have failed to solve… Apple’s choices in markets it gets into make no sense, unless you understand that they don’t want to dominate industries, or even maximize revenues. They just want to design and sell better products that will affect user experience in markets where that’s an achievable goal.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s goal isn’t to make money. Our goal is to design and develop and bring to market good products. We trust as a consequence of that, people will like them, and as another consequence we’ll make some money. But we’re really clear about what our goals are… We try not to bring out another product that’s just different. “Different” and “new” is relatively easy. Doing something that’s genuinely better is very hard.Jonathan Ive, July 2009

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Robert S.” for the heads up.]


  1. “Apple’s goal isn’t to make money. Our goal is to design and develop and bring to market good products. We trust as a consequence of that, people will like them,”


    Thats an easy thing to say when you’re making gobs of money. Although I’d be willing to bet that back in 1997, their goal was to make money in addition to making great products.

  2. Pretty good, although in my case and many others, older Macs become hand me downs, and most of them are still working.

    When I started buying AAPL stock years ago for dirt cheap, there was a huge disconnect between widespread misperception versus the reality of the company. Even now, even among bullish investment analysts, so many still don’t get it. There are opportunities everywhere others make crummy devices. And Apple doesn’t ask the customer what they want, as microsoft says, they make things you never knew you absolutely have to have.

  3. MikeK,
    I think you’re missing something. When Steve came back in 1997 he killed Apple’s bad products and began developing the iMac. That was the computer that saved Apple and brought them enough money to survive. Why? Because it was a great product. It’s always been Steve’s approach, it just took some time to fully catch on.

  4. Elgan is a numbnut.

    Apple products are not disposable, nor are they trash.

    Other products exist outside of the Appleverse, but Apple chooses not to participate in those markets. When Steve said, people don’t read, he didn’t mean all people, he meant most people, and statistics prove that he is right, most people read less than 1 book a year. The rumored book-reading tablet is just a diversion. The iTab is NOT primarily for reading, but he’ll let you think that. Just like the iPhone is not primarily for phone calls, but Steve let you think that.

    Apple wants to be a successful business. It’s business endeavors are all tied together by software, by OS X. It wants to maximize profits, but that is SECONDARY and a result of making great products.

    So, I give Elgan the first point, but the other three are just nonsense, with a little truth thrown in.

  5. That’s simply the way it is. So, you’ll have to wait until he is ready. And if you are doing something he doesn’t like – such as playing DVDs or actually BUYING movies to own or looking at a matte screen – get ready to stop when he says stop because, my friend, it’s over.

    Yes, he’s changed the world and you, my friends, are his subjects.

  6. Apple expects you to dump your old product and buy the new one just as soon as it comes out

    that’s bullshit! When snow leopard came out, Jobs was clear not everyone needed this new os and he made a list on the apple site and in the presentation who would benefit from it. Hence the price being so low.
    Apple doesn’t tell me that my 3 year old iMac is crap and that I need a new one. I don’t see ads or campagns telling us to always buy new.

  7. M$ is the imperialistic contractor and Steve jobs is the mike holmes who comes to the rescue. Not only doing things right the first time but opens your eyes on so much you’ve missed out. Then makes some money but in the meanwhile was so happy to fix things and make it right

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