One question concerning market share is: how much is enough? An example: if you look at the newspaper market, which kind of newspapers have the largest share of the market? I doubt that it's the well written, extensive, in-depth ones, which, in analogy to the BMW example above, give the higher class experience. Rather, it's the cheap, biased, mass-appealing newspapers which own major part of the market. Are they better? No! So why are they more appealing to the masses? Because, at least superficially, they do their job, and are cheap and easily consumed. They don't necessarily incend new thoughts or give you any creative input or provide aesthetics but that's not the desire of their target group. On top of it, their name has become synonymous with what they deliver which for an average reader of one of the lesser-read papers, is not what *they* want, which is why they buy more expensive, better founded, more dialectic newspapers which offer them more food for thought and probably a better sense of aesthetics, etc.
They provide a different quality of *EXPERIENCE*.
And that's exactly what Apple products do, to (or are aspiring to, anyways). Which makes them - niche products. They might not provide you with zillions of program options (most of which you don't need or want, anyways) and they are well enough designed (and hopefully keep getting better at it) so you don't need all the little popup explanations that are set to plague average users of Windows XP. On top of it they are transparently organized both physically as well as software-wise which makes it easy to debug or fix them. The fact that they don't appeal to *everybody*, partially because they aren't recommended by some geek-fiend who likes to screw around inside of average-white boxes and "knows best what's good for you" which keeps you (the majority who doesn't know anything else but that the price is cheap...) from actually experiencing how delightfully easy to use a Mac actually is, thus isn't a bad thing; it's probably just the fate of things that have a better "spirit", a set of thought-about qualities that mass-appealing items don't. After all, BMWs and Mercedes's don't have the the bigger market share, either.
What I believe is important though is the differentiation, making the difference, either in price (earning a bad reputation if high) or by other measures like putting up dedicated stores as opposed to making a mass market-compatible product which ends up being sold near the groceries at the corner supermarket (really! At least here in Germany, the first nForce boards were available built into boxes at "minimal", a food chain!!!).
I don't think, Apple ever will take over the largest part of the market. Maybe not even much more than what it has at the moment. But maybe it doesn't need to, maybe it's sufficient to keep what it already has (didn't seem to be faring to poorly, considering its 4 billion $ in the bank?) and this way keep its faithful bunch of followers who are dedicated to getting the *best* EXPERIENCE rather what *everybody* has.
OK, I'd like the Mac to be the fastest, too. But I'd also like it to be the quietest, the most transportable, the most connectable, the biggest, the smallest, the niftiest, the most long-running, etc. Although they are ot all mutually exclusive, I think Apple (and definitely NOT Dell!) is one of the rare companies that try to stick to their mission to strike the best balance between all these ideas to continually improve and be inovative if necessary, even if it means not dividing down to the common denominator and capture all of the market. And I believe that's why everybody in the industry keeps demanding of them to come up with the very best and cutting edge because that's what they think the innovation is all about. I refuse to reduce innovation to only that (bootstrapping). And looking at what Apple has done for itself during the recent 3-4 years, I think it's on the right way. Especially without always looking at its market share, for the above reasons. Although, if Apple would take over 90% of the computing and gadget market, I wouldn't object, unless it would lose it's attidude: 'Think: "Different"! ' <img src="graemlins/smokin.gif" border="0" alt="[Chilling]" />
[ 12-29-2001: Message edited by: heinzel ]
Ummh... just read the "Apple must revolutionize or..." thread - sorry for being so redundant, everybody, but thank you Appleinsider for letting me let it all out, finally
[ 12-29-2001: Message edited by: heinzel ]</p>