Hope I Die Before I Get Old

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Date: Friday, October 26th, 2001, 12:14
Category: Archive

There has been a lot of talk since the iPod came out about Apple’s lack of wisdom in making the iPod Mac only. Many have said that with a product this great, why not make it PC compatible as well and it’ll be the best selling MP3 player on the market. While that may be true, I don’t think it’s important. In many ways, I think Apple is better as a niche player.


There has been a lot of talk since the iPod came out about Apple’s lack of wisdom in making the iPod Mac only. Many have said that with a product this great, why not make it PC compatible as well and it’ll be the best selling MP3 player on the market. While that may be true, I don’t think it’s important. In many ways, I think Apple is better as a niche player.

First of all, let’s play a little game called “what if”. If Apple had done things differently around the original release of the Macintosh and even taken old Billy Gates’ marketing advise, the Mac would probably be in every home and business that the PC is in now, and Windows would have never even been created. I know most people would look at this picture and say, “Sounds great!”, but in this scenario would Apple be the Apple we know now? Probably not.

Shortly after the Mac came out, Steve Jobs left Apple, and the company started on it’s road to Dull-ville, creating beige boxes and, for the most part, not-very-innovative software. The thing is, if Apple had been King of the World at that time, they never would have gotten themselves into trouble, and never would have needed to bring Steve Jobs back. So we would probably never have the iMac, the iBook, TiBook, or iPod. And if we did, they certainly wouldn’t have had the style and flair that they have had (although that would also mean that we wouldn’t have had to see transparent, fruit colored everything from phones to toasters, so it wouldn’t be all bad).

They would have turned into another boring, faceless computer company that no one really cared about. It’s kind of similar to rock stars like Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Kurt Cobain. Their short lives and shorter careers have made them more important to society than they would have been if they were still around today. In this case Apple is certainly not dead, but if the company had become a juggernaut, they probably would have ceased to be an icon. People love to cheer on the underdog, and Apple is certainly that. But what they give up in market share, they get back in in customer adulation, and legend. How many other computer companies are revered the way that Apple is? None. Let’s face it, Steve Jobs is a god with a small G. What do PC users think of Michael Dell? They really don’t. Bill Gates may be the richest man in the world but he’s also one of the most hated.

Lastly, isn’t it always much cooler to be into the thing that the majority of the population is ignorant to? The underground bands like Marillion, the Violent Femmes, and any Acid Jazz group, that are writing and performing great music and never going to have a number one record are so much more satisfying than the Backstreet Boys, or Britney Spears. As long as Apple continues creating the greatest hardware and software out there, and as long as developers keep the products coming out for the Mac, I will be very happy to keep them my little secret. And let’s face it, with six billion in cash, and being one of only two profitable computer companies in these hard tech times, I think it’s safe to say, Apple isn’t going anywhere.

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