Originally Posted by trboyden
Simple - it costs a lot of money to design and manufacture a desktop computer.
Apple makes probably the highest margins on hardware than any other computer manufacturer. So obviously the high cost is still worth it. Remember that it's not always about volume, sometimes higher margins are a better strategy.
As far as drivers go, Microsoft doesn't make the drivers for other hardware vendors, so neither would Apple. If you read the documentation on your operating system, you'll see they say to contact your hardware manufacturer for compatible drivers. If you look at Dell's site you'll see they re-package all the drivers required for their systems. These drivers are based on reference drivers provided by the actual hardware vendors like Intel, Nvidia, ATI, etc... So hardware support is not an issue for Apple, if the hardware manufacturers' want their product to work with OS X, they'll provide the driver.
It's more complicated than that, the drivers have to be recognized by the OS. It takes a lot more than just telling the OEMs to provide drivers.
Cross-branded, cross-sales are the ultimate win as everyone benefits. That's why Apple has done deals with big names in the past like Nike, BMW, Best Buy and Circuit City. The value is in exposing your brand to the other brand's customers thus getting you more sales from consumers who wouldn't seek you out otherwise.
Nike, BMW, Best Buy and Circuit City are NOT direct competitors. (BB and CC being distributors actually).
I mean, it would kind of be like Jaguar going to Ford and saying, hey look, how about you produce cars under our brand name and design because it's just so much cheaper and easier if you do it since you are a much bigger company. That way we can make more by volume.
It just doesn't make sense now does it? Well, we all know what happened to Jaguar. They don't actually exist anymore, now Jaguar is just a division of Ford. And guess what? Most Jaguar enthusiast will agree that the new cars pale in comparison to what Jaguar used to offer. Now they are just fords with shiny jaguar logos.
It's a bit of a far fetched analogy, but you can see what I mean.