Yep, I know what you’re thinking, why that registered symbol beside MacFanatics? Well I’m pretty sure They’ve patented the name for themselves or something, they’re that Apple-like. (ok, so maybe that’s not entirely true…) I will dedicate this article to the Apple fans of this planet. They’re not the normal type of fans you would see following the band bus or whatever. Instead they would pay to grovel at the feet of Steve Jobs or get shot with a potato canon to receive an Ipod. Trust me, it’s been done!
Apple is a very unique company. The company was started by Steven Wozniak and Steven Jobs, who were both high school drop-outs. They had previously dabbled in the computing world, but it wasn’t until Wozniak created the Apple I that their computer careers really took off. The first Apple computers were quite an improvement over the then-current PC. It was much more user-friendly and many features we see in Windows nowadays and take for granted originated with the Mac.
For many years Macs enjoyed great success, especially in the classrooms. If you search around, you’ll probably find some school libraries with Macs in them still! All was grand and happy in AppleLand, but it was not to last.
You see, the PC industry and Apple had different thoughts in mind. Apple wanted to continue being “revolutionary” while the PC industry was happy with just evolving. So what happened was PCs dropped in price so that almost everyone (in the first world at least) could afford one while Macs were segregated to a more niche market. They were still very user-friendly, usually more so than the PCs with Windows. Unfortunately for Apple, people soon realized they didn’t need a multi-gigahertz machine just to scroll through word documents and emails. They didn’t need powerful, expensive computers to do what they needed to do. The PC industry (minus Apple) realized this and marketed the mainstream computer heavily. These were the $500 jobbies that you picked up at the local corner store (well, ok, BestBuy or something along those lines) and took home to get by with. They weren’t blazing fast, weren’t extremely user-friendly, and didn’t look like they could be put on a fashion runway. Instead, they were adequate for what the majority did and that was good enough.
So it was companies like Dell that stole all the PC market share while Apple was busy tooting its next new system that was see-through or had different colors on the casing. Whoopdeeeffingdoo. If I want to have some visual excitement, I’ll go stare at a bright light or something. I don’t need my computer to look like it’s on drugs… So what does Apple do once it sees that almost no one want its computers?
It makes the damn Ipod.
And god was that a success. Even I have one. Well, I had to try it out and I must say, it’s definitely a fad. Since then, I’ve picked up a Creative Zen Micro and I’ve been much happier with it than with the Ipod. The Ipod (and almost everything Apple makes) is damn pretty that’s for sure, but it’s both expensive and you get less than competing products. Apple is riding a wave of great marketing and Ipod recognition. People may not think much about Apple’s computers but you can almost be sure that they’ll at least have heard of the Ipod. It has been a great success for Apple and I can see it being a very big portion of their revenue base in the future as well.
And that finally brings me to the real topic: those MacFanatics. You see them around in small packs usually. There’s not too many of them, but they sure can grab attention. In the forums they’re the people that essentially plug their ears and eyes to the rest of the computer world and repeat to themselves that Apple is their savior. It’s like a religion to them. ‘The G5 is xx% faster than anything else’, ‘the Powerbook is all you need; it’ll even cook breakfast for you’. However, if they would only take a look around, they would realize just how blinded they’ve become. I’m not saying everything Apple is crap. Far from it; I’ve got my Windows system set up to look like MacOSX. However, I don’t intend to move to a Mac. Oh I’ve thought about trying them out (especially when the Mac Mini was launched) but I realized I have no need. All of the programs I run are Windows-based (some Linux too) and I’m not that much of a sucker for looks (in computers anyways). The G5 is fast enough for me, but don’t go around saying it’s the fastest PC. It’s not. I can build you one that is both faster and costs less as long as you let me put it in a different case. It’s as simple as that.
So what am I really saying? Apple is a company that had (has) great ideas for innovation. Unfortunately, they’re innovating in the wrong direction and they’re targeting the wrong demography. If they really want to gain market share, they must convert Windows users. Pleasing the current fanbase will only do so much. The Mac Mini was a good start, but they’re far from turning me over to the dark side. Until then, I’ll have my fun reading what those MacFanaticsï¿½ have to say.