Originally Posted by Carniphage
Third parties can have thinner margins. They can offer non-premium computers or they can simply offer products that Apple won't build.
Thinner margins is probably not interesting for the third party.
They now have thin margins in the Wintel camp, why would they want more thin margins in the Mac camp? Also, with an expensive OS X license (you were implying that Apple could price the license so high that the profit of the not-sold hardware would be made good), the price difference between Apple and the third party will be minimal. The only place where the third party can then decrease costs is in support. An badly supported 'Mac' is not in Apples interest.
Also, lets assume that the resulting product is cheaper than the real Mac, you have the price fight that I mentioned.
That is not something Apple wants. Currently Apple competes against the cheaper PCs by having a tightly integrated and designed machine instead of a beige box and the fact that the Mac is running OS X.
(Looking at the premium segment, Apple is actually not expensive)
That would disappear if third parties are allowed to make beige boxes.
Having non-premium computers is not in the interest of Apple. A cheap computer without performance gives a bad example and will not allow Apple to expect a certain performance in a certain timeline of machines: Currently all Macs are at least dual core and 64-bits.
People are buying Apple hardware, so there is not really a problem there.
Also, the same as the last time Apple allowed clones, the third parties did not want the low end of the spectrum, as no money is to be made there. They will go after the high end, where Apple makes nice profits.
Apple's current business is as much about *not* building products as about building products.
People on this forum will tell you about how Apple does not offer a Tablet, or a Netbook, or a Mini Tower.
Indeed some types of hardware are missing. I personally would like to have an xMac.
But for the other types you mention:
- Tablet is not a success in the PC industry. Why would it be a success in the Mac industry?
Also, Apple needs to add more support for tablets to OS X, so no third party can make one yet.
If Apple creates a tablet, it will have a twist and be a success. Apple indeed chooses products, but also only makes something when they can add something to it.
- Netbook: Currently an underpowered, cramped laptop not able to run the latest Microsoft OS. People need Windows XP for that, which is an OS MS has declared dead a number of times already. (Linux is no success in the consumer space, so that is not an option)
I agree with Cook at the financial results conference call: People will not be happy with it.
Also, this is the kind of underpowered hardware I mentioned earlier, giving Apple problems in the future when they want to improve OS X.
And dual core 64-bit netbook with a nice GPU will be rather expensive...
Thirdly, I agree with the person from AMD that the 'Netbook' will grow up into performance and all laptops will be a single group again. Some of the more expensive 'netbooks' are more expensive than the cheaper laptops!
Third parties can create computers and try to sell them. Regardless of whether they succeed or not. Apple would profit from the OEM licence fees.
Third parties failing all over the place is not good for Apple. That way OS X will be blamed, not the companies. Not good.
(You see the same in the car industry. How many of the managers of the car makers take the blame for making cars the consumer does not want to buy? It is always somebody/thing else, such as 'the economy')
As mentioned before, the OEM licence fees will not be enough for Apple to take the trouble.
Looking at it, Apple chooses to not have the clone wars back and is doing great for it.