Originally posted by Rhumgod
It's frustrating watching Wintel PCs leapfrog Macs in use of technology (PCI-Express, for example). There was a time when Macs were pretty innovative and leading edge (remember firewire, superdrives, USB keyboards/mice, etc). Nowadays, Apple is falling way behind in using the latest technology.
More frustrating is the fact that I will never buy an iMac - I use PowerBooks and have my still-very-nice-and-speedy, expandable dual G4 PowerMac. Seeing the high-end Power systems falling way short of iMac in terms of technology is sickening. Sure they sell more iMacs, but it's because their PowerMac and PowerBook systems are stagnant as hell.
Besides, laptops comprised over 50% of total system sales. TOTAL sales, including xServes (which are lumped in with PowerMacs, last I checked). How many PowerMacs did Apple sell in the 4th quarter a couple thousand? It wouldn't surprise me to find that xServes outsold PowerMacs, and that is simply a disgrace!
I just simply wonder whether Steve sees the Mac as a platform being history. Currently there are huge opportunities for the iMac (and Mini perhaps) with the success of the iPod. People look at the Mac because they bought an iPod and heard that the computers are cool too and discover the iMac, a simply brilliant piece of computer engineering that is now even more consumer friendly with Front Row etc.
These new customers are not coming along because of the pro systems however (assumption on my part) and on the horizon a spectre is looming. Does Apple see Google and its 'the Internet is the computer' philosophy laying down an insurmountable challenge to the Mac? If Google goes on to steamroll all before it including, you know - those other guys, perhaps it won't matter how good the Mac is. Perhaps what would survive is OS X as the natural operating system for this new-world age of Internet computing. To do so however, it must be capable of running on everything out there, hence, OS X for Intel. (That's why it doesn't matter that they have gone with Intel instead of AMD because it just doesn't matter.)
Might Apple and Google get together and go around everybody else, meaning Microsoft of course and Linux and oh, well, whoever else might aspire to be a player. OS X and Apple would be attractive partners. They do Internet music, they do Internet video (which will be perfect on Google's new ultra high speed infrastructure) and they do all of this and the other things in style.
The Mac isn't in this picture however because there just might not be enough time to get it popular enough. Of course, Apple might decide to compete in the hardware game but perhaps they would compete rather where they are strongest, in innovation resulting in products that are then licensed out unless that product fits into some core manufacturing plan, such as the iPod does currently.
What might alter this scenario immensely however, is a Powerbook replacement that is truly revolutionary. Fully solid state, new memory technologies that allow instant turn on, an intimate connection to its owner through biometrics and an ability to sense the environment, pervasive wireless to the Datanet, low-power, bright even-in-sunlight displays, etc and other un-guessed at Apple innovations might also provide the platform of choice for this new world order.
Tell you what though, if the Mac goes to oblivion, I'll be lining up to get the latest model before it's gone.