Gartenberg: Now Apple really is ‘for the rest of us’

Invisible Shield for Apple iPhone 4!“When it was released in 1984, the tagline for Macintosh was, ‘The computer for the rest of us,'” Michael Gartenberg writes for Macworld.com. “With fairly limited (but unique) capabilities and a relatively high price, it wasn’t quite clear who ‘the rest of us’ really were.”

MacDailyNews Take: People who were, and are, capable of recognizing and appreciating quality and who can also calculate total cost of ownership. People who don’t like to waste their most precious commodity: Time. “The rest of us” doesn’t have to mean “mass audience.”

Gartenberg continues, “Eventually, Macintosh became a counter-culture all of its own within the digital world. User groups offered places to learn and exchange information in a world dominated by the IBM PC, and Macworld Expo became the global gathering points for the faithful who felt Macintosh was more than a PC and Apple not just another company… The problem for Apple was that playing to the hard-core user base wasn’t really working for them. For one, there just weren’t that many hard-core users out there. What was worse, many hard-core users loved their machines so much, they replaced them at a much lower rate. That’s a nice demonstration of loyalty, but it doesn’t do much for the bottom line.”

“As the iPod crossed from Mac accessory to a mainstream device that could be used by Windows users as well, Apple began to shift its focus to the larger market,” Gartenberg writes. “Switching to the Mac didn’t mean ‘thinking different’ anymore—but it did mean one could get an arguably better computing experience.”

Gartenberg writes, “Likewise, when the iPhone was introduced, Apple took the device beyond the traditional market for smartphones (namely business users and enthusiasts) directly to the mass market. It worked. For the mainstream user buying Apple meant buying a quality product, not buying into a cult or becoming an Apple fanatic… In the end, that original tagline became a reality. Apple products truly are for ‘the rest of us,’ and will continue to be so as long as Apple continues to deliver and raise the industry bar.”

Full article here.

18 Comments

  1. Apple have quality products that do what it says on the box PLUS a bit more that you don’t expect. That’s what quality is. I down loaded I books and in the free app was a free book , no oh look what we are giving you ! Just here have a free one on us, Smart buisiness practice well done Apple !!

  2. Apple has always focused on the consumer, not the business user. The problem Apple experienced years ago was that hardware was more expensive than it is today, and software was nowhere near as developed and sophisticated as it is today.

    Mac OS X has made a huge difference for Apple, removing the need for significantly different software to run on the Mac OS (as opposed to Windows), and Apple finally started to embrace developers and make their lives easier by providing robust APIs.

    The iPod and iTunes really showed what Apple does very well – make potentially complex products simple and understandable. It got more and more people looking at the Mac.

    Then came the iPhone, which absolutely wowed people and made them realize that a computer need not act like a computer. This is what Apple needed, and it will be very interesting to see what Apple does with OS X moving forward.

    I would not be surprised if OS 11 was a hybrid between iOS and OS X, with the ability to operate in either iOS or OS X environments, and run apps from the App Store or for OS X. Can you imagine how many people would consider a Mac who otherwise would not have thought about it if they knew their computer could work like their iPhone?

  3. There would not have been a Windows 7 or a Windows anything if there had not been a MacIntosh. MS would have had no reason and wouldn’t have pursued a GUI if it had not been for the Mac showing the way. Just as there would not be smartphones using finger gestures if there had not been an iPhone. Okay, maybe I am being a bit absolute, but I think it is important to realize what Apple has really brought about and that is disruption. Perhaps someone else would have arisen to be the disruptive force, but obviously it is not any of the existing companies outside of Apple.

  4. It’s an interesting take.

    “Think different” was all about shoring up support during Apple’s darkest hour. “The computer for the rest of us” was Apple’s original mission.

    Back on track.

  5. The original Mac was all the things he says about Apple’s current products (except the price, which was artificially high). Apple products have always been exactly what they are today.

  6. The only reason to buy a Mac in the early years was to run “Desktop Publishing” applications. The Mac didn’t even have a spreadsheet application worthy of the name until 1989 ( Microsoft Excel ). If you didn’t need to do desktop publishing there was NO reason to buy a Mac until the Mac moved to Intel and it became possible to run Mac, Windows & Linux applications on one PC at the same time & with good performance.

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