Sunday, January 18, 2015

Is the Mac still a Rebel?

Like many in my peer group my first computing experience was on an early Apple computer (an Apple Macintosh SE), and after a decade of so in the PC wilderness I returned to the Macintosh in early 2000s. This was prior to Apple's push into the phone and tablet market though after the OS X revolution. In the early 2000s Macs were embodied by their "Think Different" motto and seen as the rebellious choice over the staid PC (Remember the Mac vs PC commercials?) Over the past decade I have watched Apple diversify their product portfolio, and the Mac become a more mainstream computing platform, which makes me wonder what happens when the rebel is no longer the rebel.


In mid-November, Walt Mossberg wrote on Recode about the strong quarter Apple reported for their Mac product line with an 18% jump in revenue growth year over year* The reasons behind this growth is a confluence of events: Apple has done a great job in marketing the Mac through its excellant retail presence, the iPhone's popularity has helped foster Mac sales through the "halo" affect, and users have been drawn to the Mac for its combination of hardware and software.


Recently, whenever I walk into a coffeeshop and look around the MacBooks outnumber the Windows laptops. While no longer personified by the rebels, and the artists I think the Mac is still a superior computing platform to other operating systems and am glad the Mac community continues to grow. The reasons I appreciate the Mac are the design sense, the strong support ecosystem, and the strong small developer community making great programs. Being a rebel has never appealed to me and Apple should embrace its market leadership and forge a new image. Being a rebel has served  Apple well though now it should embrace the staid image of building a reliable, mainstream platform.


Sources:
The Mac’s Second Act: From Obscurity to Ubiquity by Walt Mossberg (http://recode.net/2014/11/19/the-macs-second-act-from-obscurity-to-ubiquity/) Published on: 11.2014 and Accessed on: 01.18.2015