Thanks for the suggestion. But no.

Gartner: Apple should quit hardware business. (antler tip to David Seo via email.)

Gartner says the move should be made because Intel currently gives Apple favorable pricing that it won’t be able to maintain.

A few thoughts occur to the Macalope about this:

  • Intel may be well-incented to retain Apple as a customer for marketing and prestige purposes (having both Windows and OS X running on Intel).
  • Apple has larger margins to cut into than Dell or HP. If anyone can take price pressure, it’s Apple.
  • Apple customers are used to paying a little more for what they consider to be a better product.
  • Apple makes the whole widget… Apple makes the whole widget… Apple makes the whole widget…

So, the Macalope doesn’t see it happening.

That said, there is a demonstrable difference between openly licensing OS X and outsourcing/selling the Mac business to another hardware manufacturer. The latter is far more likely than the former, but still rather unlikely.

[Added the word “openly” as the Macalope was trying to allude to the licensing of the 1990s with multiple licensees competing against Apple but didn’t make that point clearly.]

Trackbacks Comments
  • After only glancing over the article, I’m gathering that these people think this way because they think Apple stands to make a load of cash by doing so. Although a load of cash sounds good to me, I’m sure an extensive conversation could be had about Apple’s motives in the marketplace. I don’t think one of those is to make insane amounts of money. With profits the way they are, things looks just fine for most of the people who matter at Apple. I’ll sum up my comments by saying that I believe that Apple is about the user experience, and making great things… but a load of cash never hurts feelings. (do macalopes even like leafy greens?)

  • *sigh*

    (1) Repeat after me, boys and girls: Apple makes most of its profit as a hardware manufacturer. Even aside from the quality-control issues of “designing the whole widget” … it’s very likely that Apple would need to sell a bajillion copies of OSX to earn the same kind of profits they do off their current hardware sales. And that’s not considering that unless they added Onnerous Copy Protection(tm) and licensing features to their installations, pirated copies of OSX would spread like wildfire and no doubt replace a good number of those bajillions they’d need to be selling.

    (2) License to Dell …? Bwahaha. I know Dell has *said* they would like to license OSX … but does anyone really think Microsoft would let them get away with that? If actually presented with the opportunity, I don’t think Dell would take the risk that their millions of business and enterprise buyers would instantly jump ship to MacOS … and in the meantime they would no doubt lose any preferred bulk licensing deals they get with Microsoft, driving up the cost of their Windows installations.

    BTW, was pointed to your site weeks ago from Daring Fireball. Great work, Macalope. 🙂

  • GadgetGav:

    Wow… where do they find these analysis..? I can’t believe people get paid (and probably paid obscene amounts) to write reports like that. They must just have too much time on their hands.
    The fact that Michael Dell has said he’d gladly sell OS X means it isn’t going to happen. Once he admits that, it’s like admitting Apple is a real threat. Comparable core hardware, vastly superior industrial design, award winning customer service and OS X – why wouldn’t they be a threat and why would Apple give all that up to licence to Dell.
    Maybe these analyists were too young to know about computers the last time Apple licenced their OS out to other hardware manufacturers.
    Makes you want to go around to Gartner and smack some heads together doesn’t it..!

  • GadgetGav:

    I just checked the bios of the reports authors… Top notch tech people…

    Mark Stahlman
    BS, Genetics, UW Madison
    Graduate work, Theology, Univ. of Chicago
    Graduate work, Molecular Biology, UW Madison

    Charles Smulders
    B.S., with honors, University of Birmingham, England
    (doesn’t say what subject)

    I went to University of Birmingham and got a similar degree – mine’s in Engineering. Maybe there’s a bright new career waiting for me at Gartner. Sure sounds like it beats working for a living.

  • Dhrakar:

    Um, doesn’t Apple, essentially, _already_ outsource the manufacturing of its systems? That is, every iPod and every laptop I’ve seen in the last several years has a little sticker that starts out “Designed by Apple in California…”
    So, unless The Antlered One meant ‘start using more outsourcing for design of components’, I think that the outsourcing horse has already left Cupertino.

  • This reminds me of that Dvorak article where he postulated that Apple was going to become exclusively a hardware company and basically discontinue the use of OS X altogether. These pundits, on both sides of the fence just do not get it. The reason why Apple does both the hardware and the software is to ensure an integrated user experience with a minimum of hassles.

    I still make an analysis of my own that these people want us to all be as miserable as they are using the Windows platform.

  • Dhrakar, the Macalope really meant outsourcing everything. The design, the product development, etc. Yes, the Macalope fondly remembers watching the airbill for his Mac as it winged its way from Asia.

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