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Apple CFO Gives Info on Company Direction 418

Posted by Zonk
from the no-plans-to-make-furniture dept.
osViews.com writes "Mac World is reporting a recent talk given by Apple's Chief Financial Officer (Peter Oppenheimer) at the Goldman Sachs Technology Investment Symposium. The article illustrates several things about about Apple's business plan, much of which is totally new information about the company's current and future direction. Here's the nutshell summary: iPod "Halo" effect is causing some Windows switchers, little demand for satellite radio/iPod integration, iPod shuffle margins below HD ipods, happy with rate of growth - no plans to license OS X, margins on Mac mini equal to eMac (both below corporate average), retail store to expand to 125, no plans for media center PC - prefers to stream multimedia to TV from primary computer over wireless network, no video for iPod, portable media centers a failure."
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Apple CFO Gives Info on Company Direction

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  • Re:So, Mac's dying? (Score:5, Informative)

    by phillymjs (234426) <slashdotNO@SPAMstango.org> on Saturday February 26, 2005 @07:26PM (#11790044) Homepage Journal
    Looks like it's once again time to dust off my "why OS X on x86 won't ever happen" post:

    ----------
    Look, you guys just can't get it through your heads that the reason why OS X works so well is because it runs on such a limited pool of hardware-- this allows the engineers coding OS X to make assumptions THAT CANNOT BE MADE in the x86 world, where a machine could be using one of thousands of motherboards, network cards, graphics cards, sound cards, etc. Windows developers have to code for the lowest common denominator. OS X developers code for specific hardware. Even the version of NeXTStep that ran on Intel hardware ran on a tiny subset of the then-available PC hardware. If your CD-ROM drive and motherboard weren't on the "supported hardware" list that came with NeXTStep, you were SOL.

    That little fantasy you all have of buying "Mac OS X for x86", running it on some homebuilt shitbox you cobbled together from spare parts, and having it work as well as a G5 runs Panther today will NEVER come to pass. Microsoft has spent twenty years and untold millions trying to achieve that goal, and they still have quite a way to go.

    Do you think Jobs could just snap his fingers one day and a few months later have a product on the shelves that would run perfectly on every PC capable of running XP today? It's impossible. And even if it were possible, you wouldn't buy it. Why? Because Apple uses their software to sell their hardware, so a copy of OS X for x86 would have to be priced to ease the pain of a lost hardware sale-- you'd either do without it and bitterly bitch about the price here on /., or you'd pirate it-- either way, Apple would lose money on it.

    ~Philly
  • by am 2k (217885) on Saturday February 26, 2005 @07:35PM (#11790085) Homepage
    Elgato already offers something like that: EyeHome [elgato.com]
  • by 2nd Post! (213333) <(gundbear) (at) (pacbell.net)> on Saturday February 26, 2005 @07:38PM (#11790098) Homepage
    Since when can you build a 6"x6"x2" PC for $249?

    I thought the cheapest 6"x6"x2" PC was $900? That's more like 50% more expensive than a Mac. Just the case, alone, at Cappuccino PC is $379!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 26, 2005 @07:38PM (#11790105)
    Macs are actually less expensive than PCs.

    When you equip a PC with the exact same components in hardware and software as that which come standard on a Mac... the PC always comes out to be more expensive.

    people misunderstand this because... with a PC, you can buy less and spend less. That does not make the PC less expensive... though it does make it more configurable... at least at the origional buying stage.
  • by Leo McGarry (843676) on Saturday February 26, 2005 @07:44PM (#11790133)
    First, SD video is dead. Forget it. It's history, over, gone. So there will be no S-video output. It'll be either DVI or HDMI with a pigtail-style adapter to go to component analog. (DVI has the ability to carry an analog signal alongside the digital one. I'm only assuming HDMI does too.)

    Second, such a device would require a dedicated AVC decoder chip, which would push the price range up into at least the $400 range. Mark my words, when it debuts at $399, every armchair CEO in the world is going to bitch about the price.

    Finally, what's the point of building a print server into a device that's meant to plug into your television? Anybody who wants to plug a printer into a wireless network can already buy either an AirPort Extreme base station or an AirPort Express, or any number of third-party wireless products.
  • Re:So, Mac's dying? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Elranzer (851411) on Saturday February 26, 2005 @07:47PM (#11790154) Homepage
    True. Not to mention the binaries for OS X software is built for PowerPC, not x86. Let's take Photoshop for example...

    Say, for argument's sake, that Mac OS X 10.5 came out for Pentium/Athlon PC. You buy it, install it, presto. Now, you want to run Photoshop. OOH, which do you install? Photoshop for Mac OS X? No, it's compiled for PowerPC. Photoshop for Windows? No, it's compiled for Windows. You would need to buy a special Photoshop for OSX/x86, a third option.

    Basically, when you put aside the software pirates (99% of Slashdot users who use Photoshop) and the rich artist/musician types (who would buy the Mac hardware anyway), OS X for x86 would be a software nightmare. For corporations, it would be a software investment crash. You can't use your legally owned Windows software on it. You also can't use your legally owned OSX PowerPC software. It just would be a failure.

    The only reason Linux works on multiple platforms is because 99% of its software is open-source and can therefor be compiled for the installed architecture when needed. When you get to the prorpietary stuff, like Photoshop, it becomes a nightmare.

    If you need a Linux example, look at Macromedia Flash (player) and VMware Workstatioin. Heck, even look at official NVidia drivers. Try and get those for SPARC or PowerPC Linux (or any non-x86 Linux). You can't. Now, imagine all the software for your operating system in the Flash/VMware situation. You go to buy Photoshop for OSX only to realize it's coimpiled only for PowerPC.

    The only way it could work is if Adobe, Macromedia, Apple, even Microsoft (Office 2004 for Mac) needs to compile an x86 version of all its Mac OS X software and then recall all discs that only contain the PowerPC software. It would be a financial nightmare, for the consumer and the manufacturer. If you want a living example of the whole situation, look at the "64-bit" Windows XP for Itanium, or hell even Solaris.

    Of course, 99% of Slashdotters who use Windows XP run a pirated copy, with a pirated version of Photoshop or whatever, so I'm sure this has all gone through one ear and out the other...
  • by goMac2500 (741295) on Saturday February 26, 2005 @08:31PM (#11790541)
    Mac OS 10.3 has a mini Finder which is built for computer users such as your friends mom. It strips everything down to basic functionality.
  • Re:So, Mac's dying? (Score:4, Informative)

    by jcr (53032) <jcr@nOspAm.mac.com> on Saturday February 26, 2005 @08:32PM (#11790552) Journal
    Not to mention the binaries for OS X software is built for PowerPC, not x86.

    NeXT solved the multi-architecture binary problem many years ago. If Apple ever offered the OS on x86 again, you can bet that every software vendor would recompile their apps and have them available within a month. Most of them could do it in a week.

    The only way it could work is if Adobe, Macromedia, Apple, even Microsoft (Office 2004 for Mac) needs to compile an x86 version of all its Mac OS X software and then recall all discs that only contain the PowerPC software.

    No, you don't need to recall anything. Just make the x86-specific parts of the app (about 1/3 of the package) available to download.

    -jcr
  • by Admiral Llama (2826) on Saturday February 26, 2005 @09:16PM (#11790933)
    HDMI is digital DVI + HDCP and digital audio. Nothing analog about it.
  • by Leo McGarry (843676) on Saturday February 26, 2005 @10:50PM (#11791609)
    You seem sure that the emac is what EDU wants.

    When the original Bondi Blue iMac was first shipping, Apple sat down with their education customers and asked, "What can we do to this computer to make it more suitable for your needs?" They were given some very specific answers. The result was the eMac. In fact, when the eMac was first released, it wasn't even available to the general public. Only schools could buy it.

    Now any EDU customer with their brain screwed on is going to figure out they can save ~$200 (25%!) per machine by going with 3rd Party monitors and keyboards.

    The added cost would far outweigh. Just look at the simplest possible side-effect: You'd be doubling the number of electrical outlets you need. Doubling it. That's huge. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Procurement costs alone would be gigantic.

    Not to mention the security problems. The customers would have to spend a fortune purchasing and installing security equipment to tie down each and every one of those little computers. Practically speaking, nobody can steal an eMac. It's big and bulky and impossible to conceal. Stealing a mini would be child's play ... literally! The cost of labor required to lock each mini to a desk would be enormous.

    Very few Mac users want more Macs???

    Yes. There are about 40 million individual, non-business Mac owners out there. Of that number, fewer than one percent respond that they own more than one Mac. Of those, nine out of ten own one Mac desktop and one Mac laptop. When asked, Apple customers consistently respond that they are not interested in purchasing additional computers. Market research trumps anecdotal evidence every time.

    As for "switchers", my guess is 20% of sales tops.

    Fully one out of every two Mac sales during Q42004 was made to a customer who self-identified as a Windows user.

    We don't have to guess at this stuff. We have actual data.
  • by Tibor the Hun (143056) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @12:35AM (#11792152)
    The PC is NOT sitting by the TV.
    The PC is in the PC room. The Airport Express 2 is sitting by the TV. (And Airport Express is about as big as any standard Apple power plugin.)

    That's the whole beauty of it -- the PC is wirelessly streaming audio and video to the TV through the proposed Airport Express 2.

  • by 2nd Post! (213333) <(gundbear) (at) (pacbell.net)> on Sunday February 27, 2005 @01:49AM (#11792428) Homepage
    Why do you proclaim it to be obsolete?

    Anyway, even without taking software into account (By Apple's account, it's at least $80 worth), the Compaq is still $509.99 after the mail in rebate. This is with 40gb, 256mb, Windows XP Home, 1.8GHz CPU, CD-RW/DVD, and the NVIDIA 5200XT.

    The only 'benefit' is that, out of the box, the PC may be faster, while out of the box the Mac will do more:
    Edit videos
    Make music
    Make DVDs
    Organize photos

    If you don't apply the rebate, the PC costs $559.99. What kind of math were you taught where $559.99 $499?

    Even worse, if you do want firewire, it seems the only way to get it is with the Creative soundcard, which bumps the price up to $609.99!
  • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999 @ g m a i l.com> on Sunday February 27, 2005 @02:01AM (#11792471)
    I suggest you read his post again properly, then use that dictionary of yours to look up the words "joke", "humour" and "pun" before making such silly anonymous comments.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 27, 2005 @04:11AM (#11792918)
    Sure... nobody said you can't.

    What you would be doing with such a configuration is allocating all your budget towards the processor while not matching the specs that would come standard on the Mac.

    I've done these comparisons thousands of times... and the Mac ALWAYS comes out less excpensive.

    A PC allows you to buy less and spend less... or spend on the areas that are more important to you. These are valuable assets... but they do NOT make the PC less expensive.

Real Users find the one combination of bizarre input values that shuts down the system for days.

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