Jul

31

 I believe one of the elements we overlooked in our conversations about Apple was (is?) the Mac's superior graphics applications. Whether this superiority was by accident or design, it played a major role in the Mac's initial financial success.

Apple was (numerically) a small player (and seller) in a big and growing field. But outfits with big bucks and a need for superior graphics (i.e., newspapers, ad agencies, job shops, and design studios) had no difficulty in choosing the Apple products despite their much higher prices and refusal to license out knock-offs.

If I remember correctly, Macs had about 5-8% of the consumer market, but were dominant not only for those businesses listed above, but for any organization that wanted to produce a professional looking, graphic-intensive mailer or newsletter. As a result, many graphics-oriented software developers submitted their best work to Apple — and the disparity grew.

Despite owning over 80 Macs in our department alone (the editorial staff had more), we could never negotiate a volume discount; Mac was the market. Only a little before my retirement did the PCs begin to show some advances in design capabilities. My few remaining contacts tell me Macs are still used. If Jobs factored this into his development plans then he was very insightful.

Ken Drees writes:

Jobs made huge inroads with schools/universities as a distributions channel for macs–thereby seizing a very healthy nitch that became loyal. Journalism schools were MAC city in the 80s /90s.

Daniel Flam writes: 

Apple does have some nifty innovations, but along with a very totalitarian mentality. Democracies can turn into anarchy –monarchies can become totalitarian, and Apple is a dictatorship. Some people yearn for a messiah– Apple gave those people what they want. 


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