Apple's Next Market?

in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Apple has strong support in Graphic Design and in Video Production. What other markets make sense to go after at this time? And, what hardware can we expect to see to support those markets?

I think Apple could gain market share among professional writers - business writers, PR professionals, freelancers, newspaper writers - even the Sex and the City lady on HBO (who already uses a Mac). A hand-held editing device that would connect to my desktop Mac via Airport would have tremendous potential. What writer would not want to edit his material from afar while waiting for a meeting to start, watching TV or lounging by the pool? And, if I could save the file on the device and take it on trips (planes, subways, etc.), that would make it even more valuable.

I used to use an iBook for that, buy my 5 year old baptized the keyboard with Pepsi, and it no longer works.

It's interesting to note that, of the eight "Switchers" Apple chose to videotape for its new advertising campaign ( three are writers and another is a PR Consultant.

iWrite. There's a concept!


  • Reply 1 of 15
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,278member
    The biggest Market avail is the market of computer users waiting for a computer that simply works without a majority of the frustration. If that's too sappy then I say the next viable market is one in which the typical person can actually save time in their hectic days.
  • Reply 2 of 15
    I think that is obvious, high end video production
  • Reply 3 of 15
    nathan22tnathan22t Posts: 317member
    There aren't many markets Apple isn't making at least some kind of push into, especially now that they have the Xserve. Steve really seems to want Hollywood, seeing as how he now controls more compositor knowledge than anyone else in the world. As for iWrite, Apple isn't in the business of selling to extremely niche markets. Apple's portable offerings are the superior solution and maintain a level of profitability far greater than could be achieved with a single use device. One which in order to sell, would need to be priced far below the cost of technology in each device.
  • Reply 4 of 15
    bsharpbsharp Posts: 64member

    Good thoughts. Thanks.

    However, I think Apple does cater to extremely niche markets. Graphic Design, Page Layout, High-End Video all seem like niche markets to me. I don't think Apple can increase market share by being just an office computer - Microsoft has that market and most IT people don't want to have to support 2 different standards. However, if Apple can grab a share here or there (designers, video editors, writers, etc.) they can creep back into the office through the back door.
  • Reply 5 of 15
    naepstnnaepstn Posts: 78member
    I think you answered your own question...

    "I used to use an iBook for that..."

    Most Mac-using writers (especially journalists) own laptops, and Apple already has a decent market-share among writers (authors, journalists, etc.). Since most already use laptops, and have very little problems with carrying them around with them, why would they want a somewhat smaller version to wirelessly connect to their laptop which is now sitting on their desk?

    I think that there's a number of markets that aren't purely considered a "creative" market by others, but often are by those in those professions. Examples would be architecture and some engineering. I think that Apple could make a much bigger push into those two areas, if they just convinced some key software companies to port their apps (Autodesk for AutoCAD (urggghh) and more technical CAD apps for engineering). I think that given the high-tech and biotech companies' rapid adoption of new technologies, these markets have a lot of room for growth, and low barriers to entry. If Apple convinces a number of instrumentation companies to use Macs to control/interface with their instruments, then IT departments will be essentially "forced" to support them, which would open up the desktop market in these sectors as well.
  • Reply 6 of 15
    vvmpvvmp Posts: 63member
    I think the Pwrbook is ideal for writers who want to do it by the pool. What else....H20 proof keyboards? A subnotebook?...but then you have a smaller screen 2 deal with. Voice 2 text...or perhaps inkwell would be handy. An iPod with a larger screen showing 24pt character at a time :-)
  • Reply 7 of 15
    penheadpenhead Posts: 45member
    [quote]Originally posted by bsharp:

    <strong>What writer would not want to edit his material from afar while waiting for a meeting to start, watching TV or lounging by the pool?


    iWrite. There's a concept!</strong><hr></blockquote>

    Interesting concept...

    It would have to have a full-sized keyboard, of course, since most writers, like myself, write infinitely faster with touch than on with a pen or stylus - and most of us havent written with a pencil for so long that we perish the very thought of it ..

    Then it would have to have a big screen, since most writing is done in formats that resemble a4, and we like to see a few paragraphs ahead and behind. So something like 14" would be great but msething around 12" would probably do ...

    So, how about an iBook without storage? Would that be ok?


    Actually, what would be pretty darn uhm. .. useful, for reporters would be a PDA that could act as a dictaphone wich could timestamp notes in relation to the audio and that could take snapshots in 300dpi, but i guess thats asking a bit too much ...
  • Reply 8 of 15
    bsharpbsharp Posts: 64member
    Penhead suggested a machine for writers might need a keyboard. I'm not so sure.

    What I'm thinking of is an editing tool, and a stylus (inkwell) might suffice when editing work keyed in at the desktop. Or, there might be other input mechanisms. I recall a device that was being tested in the 80's that was a one-hand 'chording' type of keyboard. You 'played' it more than typed on it. Press the first key for "A" and the first 2 keys at the same time for "B", etc.

    I'm not suggesting that a one-hand chord keyboard is a good idea, but just that you might not need a keyboard to edit written work.

    Most writers I know (myself included) spend a great deal of time editing and rewriting their work. Most of the time it involves printing a hard copy, editing that copy and then correcting it on the desktop computer. If we had the proper tools we wouldn't have to print copies for editing.
  • Reply 9 of 15
    leonisleonis Posts: 3,427member
    Well. Pornography is an huge market

    [ 06-14-2002: Message edited by: Leonis ]</p>
  • Reply 10 of 15
    cdhostagecdhostage Posts: 1,038member
    Yeah porn baby! We always need more content production there! Let's see, if 1 girl from each town in the US is low on cash and willing to sell her body to the cameraman, then there are... 7 million models waiting.
  • Reply 11 of 15
    satchmosatchmo Posts: 2,699member
    It's a generalization, but most creative types are using Macs already.

    However, I think Apple wants to broaden this stereotype and is doing so with it's recent commercials.
  • Reply 12 of 15
    fischerfischer Posts: 35member
    Maybe yours is a type of work I'm not familiar with, but all the writers I know have a distinct preference for either the keyboard or pen and paper. If/when both are in use, it's rarely for extended periods or in equal ratios.

    Besides - people who work with words all day invariably realize that writing and rewriting are one and the same; a specialized device for making revisions makes little sense.
  • Reply 13 of 15
    jobesjobes Posts: 106member
    audio work and highend video/post production.

    my personal experience is many aspiring and semi-professional electronic producers/djs etc are now using intel or amd boxes for their work. cubase or logic audio work well on both platforms, and both have been heavily optimised for altivec and SSE2. even traditionally mac-based solutions like protools are run more and more on PC.

    the last few years have seen an explosion on PC-only tools which have turned electronic production and engineering on their head, and apple have been losing ground heavily because of the double whammy of cheaper, 'faster' hardware and a wide gamut of specialised software.

    The middle ground between audio and video post work is a product like steinberg's nuendo. this has made it to the mac after starting life as a pc-only app, but i'm unsure what impact the mac version has had on the market and whether it will grow with OS X if developed.

    so much of the pro workstation market for compositing, rendering and effects work is pc-based. not to say its all doom & gloom: products like lightwave, maya and combustion have made inroads on the mac over recent years, and the slew of recent product aquistions by apple show focus on compositing and fx. having a unified suite of mac production facilities apps from conception through to final execution on a large project is still a pipedream in most production houses. macs are used to visualise and comp up work, but the heavy lifting of CG rendering and composition is carried out on pcs or sgi machines. most NLE editing on broadcast of higher level is also non-mac, often stemming from the pro machines of 97 onwards just not comparing with affordbable pc solutions.

    so, no .. i don't think its particularly left-field or revolutionary to suggest what I am, but i think apple is developing a clearer, more cohesive strategy to creating a hardware and software solution in these kind of industries. writers and animators will use macs to sketch out drafts and storyboards. editors will use offline edit facilites on macs to process film and video. 3d artists will design and render out on macs and the post-prod guys will composite, process and add fx on macs. meanwhile the composers work on macs to create scores and fx, producers will rinse and edit it on macs, and the whole project will be pulled together and output using macs.

    this is already feasible on a semi-pro/budget level from start to finish, but most pro solutions will involve pc or sgi boxes in most or all of those steps needed to wrap up a project. i think apple is going full steam ahead to plug some of those gaps, to present a unified solution through the whole process.

    i don't know if there are many other lucrative markets for apple to eye up, but it can certainly keep developing better hardware and software with an eye on the pro audio & video/film community. apple have been trying to lay many old ghosts of the mid 90s to rest, and try and turn about ingrained prejudices which the other 95% have built up since those disasterous days. if jobs and co are trying to reverse the flow away from the mac, typified by the media 100/avid/pro tools/3d migrations of the last 4-6 years then they will do a lot for the standing of the mac in the creative communities which it doesnt currently dominate.

    i'd like to hope that faster and more efficient workstations, the xserver, and new apple software (fcp pro/cinema tools/shake/tremor/chalice/rayz/rumored pro audio apps) will help provide a turnkey solution for many studios over the next few years. this will help to persuade many. os x is coming on well enough to further persuade. and the sheer pleasure and ease of using macs is also something to not underestimate.

    with these mebbe apple can start to make serious inroads into markets it once dominated by default, and the newer ones which border those. i live in hope ....
  • Reply 14 of 15
    naepstn- called for inroads into the CAD/CAE fields and I agree. The top CAD applications out there run Windows with some also supporting Solaris, AIX and IRIX. I want to see Solidworks, ProE and some of the other high-end CAD apps come to OS X. I am going to school for Mechanical Design and are using AutoCAD now but will be using CATIA later on, I would like to be able to use these apps on a Powerbook. A dual G5 Power Mac with these apps would give those Sun, IBM, and SGI machines a run for their money, not to mention the high end IA-32 systems. Engineering is a very open field for the Mac platform which has a very small prescence there (to my knowledge.) I have seen absolutely no support for CAM and CAE applications, just CAD. I would like to be able to do fluid dynamics and stress testing all on the same machine. I hope you boys at Dassault, PTC and Solidworks are listening.
  • Reply 15 of 15
    reynardreynard Posts: 160member
    I agree with Mr. Murchison, a simple, reliable computer that is useful tool first and a hobby or a business machine later. Boring? Yes, to the readers here that are savvy computer users. But Apple needs a base from which to grow savvy users. That usability has been what has sustained Apple through times of poor leadership. I like the new ad campaign which stresses user friendliness over Wintel. Ironically, I think the OSX is not so friendly at this stage. Maybe it's just me. In any case, as Apple competes in various computer applications, useability should be enhanced along the way.
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