Written by: Adam Christianson
Categories: Maccast Members, Podcast
A podcast about all things Macintosh. For Mac geeks, by Mac geeks. Episode 076. Apple seems to be the company to beat in the “Post PC” era, but why? Why does the competition all suddenly seem to be after Apple? In this episode, I make the argument that it’s been an Apple plan, 35-years in the making. Listen in and find out why.
The audio for this episode is available to Maccast Members. Sign-up or log in by visiting the Maccast Member site.
I like the editorial segment, good insights there.
As a switcher to the Mac going on 4 years, I think part of Apples recent success is having a whole ecosystem. The stores married with the hardware.
The iPod without iTunes might just have been another entry in the mp3 players. I was an early user of mp3s and had various players from an mp3 CD player to various other brand solid state devices. The first iPod I got was a better player, but how well iTunes integrated with it and allowed me to find and buy music was a sea change. All of those other mp3 players I owned had crappy interfaces and were usually a pain to load content.
The first iPod Touch became interesting to me only when the app store was about to come out. So I bought one not long before the store opened and once it did it transformed the device from just an excellent mp3 player that could also do email to a platform only limited by inventiveness.
Even though the idea of the iPad was in development first, it was brilliant of Apple to start with the iPhone, then iPod Touch and develop an active community before the iPad was released. This made the iPad the first tablet to already have a large segment of software developed specifically for a tablet device from day one. I bought the first iPad on day one and it was instantly useful.
Great hardware with a supporting ecosystem is a recipe for success.
I think even the new Mac App Store will eventually contribute to selling more Macs. When Apple gets around to a new Mac campaign they should really consider showing off this feature. People use to the App Store in iTunes will instantly see how great this is to have a central source of software that updates itself and transfers to your computers.
As a geek I am use to searching for programs to use whether they be open source, shareware, or professional. Keeping track of the various software keys and knowing how to reinstall with my preferences retained. Computers shouldn’t just be for us geeks and the appliance paradigm does open up computing to more people. The early days of computing had segregated maintainers in rooms with unix machines who were gatekeepers to anybody who wanted to use some computer time. The geeks in those rooms were quite happy, the users weren’t.
Excellent points. I would say Apple’s presence with physical retail stores is also playing a part. The control of the end to end experience from buying hardware and software via a store is part of the equation that is helping Apple win with consumers. Control of the consumer experience be it in your home, at your computer, on your device, or in person is a powerful thing. Geeks tend to not like someone else having control, but for an “average” consumer it brings a comfort that is appealing.
Exactly, the Apple Stores are part of the Apple ecosystem. iTunes, App Store, and the Apple store give an extra dimension. It’s a bad pun to say the Geniuses idea was brilliant, but it is exactly that. They turned just a storefront into a place where not only can you see and use the products, but can get help and even lessons. Normally I would run screaming if I had to take a product in for repair. You just know it is going to be bad news that is going to cost you bucks and time. The experiences I’ve had with the Genius Bar were so contrary to what I expected and in both cases I walked out with a replacement.
There is just a totally different atmosphere in an Apple store. Contrasted to a Sony store, Dell’s experiment with storefronts where you could only order equipment, the old Gateway stores. The only thing that compares is the old Byte Shops where early computer enthusiasts could go in to play with an Altair machine with octal switches and a teletype and buy circuit boards and take classes. It was a great vibe for geeks, but Apple has extended that to everybody.