Space Ramblings

Why Apple’s Resurgence is Doomed

With much aplomb Apple unrolled its new line of iMacs, no longer the inverted toilet of the classic iMac, the new iMacs actually boast separate flat screens (as painful as that might have been for Steve Jobs) and while costing about the same as the original overpriced iMacs with a slimmer more aluminum look.

So what are iMac buyers going to get for their 1200 bucks? Basically they’ll be getting an Intel computer that runs Apple’s Operating System and not really much more than that. The arrogance of the Apple crowd has grown even as the reasons for it have shrunk. iMac buyers are now basically spending money on Mac’s OS, which had better be worth it.

While Jim Cramer over on Mad Money was calling Apple a winner, comparing it to the team that won the Superbowl three years in a row and smashing the Zune, like most people he was being dragged in by Steve Jobs’ reality distorting field. And the simple blunt fact is that Steve Jobs has only ever had one accomplishment and that’s branding. Steve Jobs can make average products seem very cool. It’s a marketing skill and one that has created an entire cult around a company.

But Apple’s resurgence is doomed. For all of Cramer’s Zune smashing and iTunes touting, iTunes doesn’t make any money. iPods do. And while vertical leveraging may be an amazing feat, it’s also a doomed one. The MP3 player as a standalone gadget was a brief flicker in time that’s almost gone. That’s one reason few companies invested the effort into making them. The point of convergence remains portable devices, first and foremost the cell phone.

Apple’s overhyped iPhone succeeded in cracking the market but has no chance in hell of establishing a dominant position. Without that dominant position, all Apple has is iTunes which doesn’t make money and the iPod which has briefly been the icon of hip but fashions don’t last long and why tow around one more gadget when you can fold it all up into one device.

Apple TV is a non-starter and the Macs are a niche market. There are people who will never give them up. There are teens and twenty something who buy them because Apple is cool. But they’ll never be more than a fingernail’s width of the market especially as the computer market expands into the third world and africa, where people don’t have the luxury or the interest to buy overpriced junk because of some commercials.

Apple’s resurgence was a branding miracle. But the iPod revolution is about done. Macs remain a niche and the iPhone is a desperate gesture.

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Comments
  • Sheridan August 15, 2007 at 3:27 pm

    Big on opinion. Short on fact.

  • Eliakim Gabriel August 15, 2007 at 3:41 pm

    Boy! You really know how to disqualify yourself and your website from any serious consideration in one short article. I would imagine that Macsurfer.com put your article on their list of so-called “news articles” for comic relief… LOL…

  • Rodney Thacker August 15, 2007 at 3:43 pm

    Pure twaddle from a simpering Apple-phobe.

  • O_Deus August 15, 2007 at 3:54 pm

    Oh man I spent so much time on Scientology and Ron Paul, I forgot what writing about the third great cult gets me

  • Huh? August 15, 2007 at 3:58 pm

    Everything you mentioned has always been claimed as FACT. But I question your premise that some sort of resurgance is going on. Therefore there is nothing for them to fail at. The company makes money. The iPod is a cash cow for the moment and AppleTV is actually just waiting on bandwidth to suceed. The iPhone’s margins are high and when pressure brings them down the market for them will widen as flash chips drop in price. There are many things Apple can do to change this for higher volume, but they seem content to bring out new devices in place of the market segment where they could really maintain margin and volme. OH well! OS X is fun and so is the iPhone. Who cares if the Mac ever gains more than 10% market share?

  • Vitaboy August 15, 2007 at 3:58 pm

    This article reads more like an exercise in wishful thinking than anything approaching actual analysis. Unfortunately for the author, he relies on urban myths to support his wishes instead of relying on facts.

    1) Mac growth was astounding last quarte, with Mac sales growing about 30% a year. It’s hugely profitable and continues to be a jet engine that is driving the company forward. The idea that Apple only makes money in iPods is based on, well, nothing except the envy of so-called players in that market.

    2) iTunes is now the third largest retailer of music. Only walmart and target sells more music than iTunes. In fact, iTunes sells more music now than amazon or best buy. You would never know it from this post, though as the author only seems to care about ignoring marketplace realities to support his assertions.

    3) Apple in 2006 did nearly $20 BILLION in sales. Maybe the author is living in some fabulist universe where $20 billion a year is a sign of impending doom.

    By the way, the majority of that revenue was generated by Mac sales, not iPods.

    There’s a lot more that can be written here but I doubt the author is really concerned about being honest. Considering Apple is on track to hit nearly $30 billion in annual revenues in 2007 and $4 billion in profit, it’s hard to understand how the author comes to the conclusion he has, unless one sees the author simply hates Apple’s success. At least be a man and admit your flaming bias rather than pretending on being objective. There’s one thing worse than being a loud fanbou and it’s being a troll who thinks he’s being smart.

  • Huh? August 15, 2007 at 3:59 pm

    Everything you mentioned has always been claimed as FACT. But I question your premise that some sort of resurgance is going on. Therefore there is nothing for them to fail at. The company makes money. The iPod is a cash cow for the moment and AppleTV is actually just waiting on bandwidth to suceed. The iPhone’s margins are high and when pressure brings them down the market for them will widen as flash chips drop in price. There are many things Apple can do to change this for higher volume, but they seem content to bring out new devices in place of the market segment where they could really maintain margin and volme. OH well! OS X is fun and so is the iPhone. Who cares if the Mac ever gains more than 10% market share?

  • Patrick August 15, 2007 at 4:08 pm

    I’m a guy who started out in the Windows world. I’ve got 10 years of experience writing serious Windows applications. I switched to the Mac and I’m never going. From your posting I can tell that you’ve never used a Mac. You just don’t get it and I suspect you never will. Macs work properly – end of story. Apple’s products are about the synergy of hardware and software. Apple creates a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. No PC running Microsoft bloat-ware can deliver what the Mac delivers – a seamless user experience. Mac OS X makes the Mac’s Intel based hardware better than similarly equipped PC’s. This seamless user experience is the reason for the iPod’s dominance and it will revolutionize the mobile phone market as well.

  • Lantz August 15, 2007 at 4:12 pm

    Doomed? Try telling that to the 30+ people I’ve helped switch to Macs in the past few years. I’ve been a Mac user since 1986 and things have never been better. Games were the last reason I would even recommend a PC to anyone interested in computers and that was only to those who only wanted to play games. That’s no longer the case and now I recommend Macs 100% of the time.

  • PFV August 15, 2007 at 4:18 pm

    This a great way to get hits on your site. Here are some other tried and true methods:
    -Bash Hilary
    -Bash the military
    -Claim a UFO siting

    If all else fails, try one of those Nigerian email schemes.

  • Anonymous August 15, 2007 at 4:19 pm

    c:/biteme.windozeapologist.exe

  • O_Deus August 15, 2007 at 4:25 pm

    PFV, I didn’t send my post to Macsurfer

    I have no idea how they came across it

  • mark August 15, 2007 at 5:48 pm

    You’re free to blog your opinion, and since you allowed comments, others are free to respond with theirs. There’s really no need for anyone to get personally offended.

    That said, it’s clear you either haven’t really experienced, or don’t care about the things that Macs provide over other PCs. And I guess by your responses above, you’re not the least bit interested in knowing or experiencing the Mac further.

  • Sebhelyesfarku August 15, 2007 at 8:07 pm

    Dumbass Maczealots would buy even a turd with the Apple logo.

  • Sebhelyesfarku August 15, 2007 at 8:09 pm

    Dumbass Maczealots would buy even a turd with the Apple logo.

  • Big Al August 15, 2007 at 8:13 pm

    Believe it or not, Windows XP SP2 or Vista Ultimate actually work better and do tasks faster under BootCamp on Apple hardware than on Dell or HP hardware with the same Intel chip on board. So does any flavor of Linux.

    So, for their $1200, Mac buyers get a platform that will triple boot into Windows, Linux and Mac SO X.

    Do that on your precious Windows box.

  • JS August 15, 2007 at 9:33 pm

    Stupid MS water boys willing to lick billy boys balls no mater what…20 years of a mediocre user experience. Hundreds of thousands of viruses, Malware & screwy versions of swiss cheese software. Always comparing MS future products to 5 year old Apple products. Always comparing 500 dollar PCs to something that has much more in hardware on price. Always 5-10 years behind the tech. curve. Always so forgiving of every piece of shit device of software that MS shoves up their ass. Talk about zealots. Delusional, uniformed waterboys.

  • danield August 15, 2007 at 10:31 pm

    So Apple’s resurrgence is doomed because…… because you say so? Uh, because you hate Apple? What a wonderful piece of analysis!

    Typical Windows weenie. Haha, go work on your friggin piece of crap Vista PC. Me? I’m going out and enjoying life. No worries here. You on the other hand need to baby sit the darn thing. Peace…out!

  • Dave August 16, 2007 at 12:02 am

    Were there but one fact presented to substantiate your case, then it may have been worth the read.

  • Sulis August 16, 2007 at 3:52 am

    You even got a palpable mistake in the very first sentence: the new iMac doesn’t have a separate flat screen – the screen IS the iMac. So much for your knowledge of Macs.

  • WindozeBloze August 16, 2007 at 8:07 am

    Space Ramblings, eh? This obviously refers to the empty space inside your head!

  • Neil Anderson August 16, 2007 at 2:52 pm

    With Apple’s market cap sitting around $100 billion, I don’t think they’re going anywhere soon.

  • pch1351 August 16, 2007 at 4:57 pm

    So much for desperation:

    http://ce.seekingalpha.com/article/44709?source=feed

    I would think most companies would give anything for this kind of approval.

  • Darryl August 17, 2007 at 10:40 pm

    Ever notice how every Apple basher that writes an article full of known myths, always seems shocked when actual users point out their errors?
    The response is always “The zealots” “The cult”!!!
    When if they’d written something that could be substantuated, they would have a high % reasonable debate.

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