Ever since Apple Computer Corporation [[AAPL]] decided to switch to the Intel platform, the online world’s been abuzz. Besides the hackers that put OS X on the normal PC, and those that put Windows on the iMac (which NeoSmart Technologies was proudly a leading factor in), it caused quite a stir in the business world. It meant that Apple was once again radically changing its business model to appeal to a bigger number of people.
Not even six months later, Apple had written and released their dual-booting platform to allow users to put Windows on their iMacs and/or MacBooks with much excitement and to general applause. And along the way it raised a very important question: Does Apple primarily sell the hardware or the software?
It’s an important question, and though it can go both ways, one of them is going to win over the other. Most people will tell you that Apple is in it for the hardware market, providing superior style, quality, and performance and that they throw in an OS along. While that may have been true before the Intel switch, it certainly isn’t the most logical explanation now.
Ever since Apple switched to Intel, their machines have no longer been exclusively produced or too-specially priced. The hardware can all be had by any other wholesaler or producer on the market, and for a bit less too. Quality assurance is one thing, but superior technology is quite another. But then again, Apple certainly isn’t in it just for the software either.
No matter how you look at it, something’s going to give. Apple’s software is user-friendly and its hardware is well constructed and very stylish but the principles business management dictate one thing: to maximize your profits.
What it boils down to is this: Apple will, in the end, either start to ship Windows on its stock MacBooks and iMacs (at least alongside with Mac OS, but maybe alone even) or it will give in and ship unlocked versions of Mac OS that’ll install on any x86 platform. It’s the only solution, and once you think about it, it doesn’t have a downside.
The more factors that a company ties down the harder it’ll have to work to sell its product. It has to offer both superior software and hardware, or else convince its customers that one of the two is worth paying for both of them. Either way, it’s not too pretty of a deal for Apple.
But once the two products are no longer tied to one another, it becomes a much easier sell. Anyone that admires the hardware but isn’t overly-impressed with the OS can simply get it pre-loaded with Windows or even Linux without the extra pricetag and effort; and those that like the OS but aren’t too fussy about the hardware can have it their way too. It’s a win-win situation, and it’s inevitable – just a matter of time now.