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BusinessWeek offers \'Six-Step Plan for Apple\'

updated 12:40 pm EDT, Thu July 8, 2004

Six-Step Plan for Apple

Alex Salkever's includes reducing pricing ("price trumps style in the computer market", abandoning the all-in-one concept of the iMac, PC trade-ins to encourage Mac purchases, a new "try-and-buy program" to allow customers to try out hardware without any risk, and using Mac OS X's strong security selling points to help Mac sales: "The latest round of attacks on Microsoft software is terrifying. If using a Mac means servers in Russia are less likely to harvest my passwords and offer my identity to the highest bidder, I think that's an offer I'd like to hear more about."

by MacNN Staff





  1. slider

    Joined: Dec 1969


    another Load of

    One, from what I have seen from the folks that monitor and report on computer security issues, Macs are just as susceptible to attacks, it's just that viruses and and such aren't written for the Mac. Buy and try and PC trade ins just aren't something I think Apple computer can sustain. I think we will see a headless imac in Sept. Lower prices, well that's a continuous debate, it really depends on your market. Too many people think they have the answer to what Apple needs to do. They seem to just take up space on the internet, kinda like me right now.

  1. Nostromo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple advertise?

    Good luck getting Apple to advertise the advantages of OS X...or anything else other than the iPod.

    When was the last time you saw a commercial for the iMac? The G5? OS X (never)

  1. PookJP

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Good ones...

    I quite like these suggestions, provided the one regarding cost/style doesn't suggest sacrificing style. Apple obviously needs to bring their prices down, or at least offer a truly affordable model, if they are going to get into the true mainstream.

    The try before you buy idea is fantastic! There is so much misunderstanding and misinformation about the Mac platform that I think it would greatly benefit the company to let people try the product. I'm confident OS X could sell almost any PC user who is entertaining the idea of switching.

  1. scotty321

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple Advertising

    That is soooo true about Apple advertising! Why have they never run an advertisement for Mac OS X? Why did they only run one very short-lived G5 advertisement? Why do they not advertise ANYTHING except for the iPod?

  1. hdog

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Six responses

    1. People always, always, always pay more for good style.
    2. There are dozens of companies competing as the "affordable computer." The Mac continues to sell and **make money** as the excellent computer.
    3. By including everything in a system (iLife, FireWire, Bluetooth for laptops, etc.), 3rd party developers can take advantage of a higher lowest common denominator. Plus, it puts pressure on the other computer manufacturers to include those features as well.
    4. How well has Dell's iPod trade-in been going? Doesn't it look desperate? And who in their right mind would buy a PC for $1000+ and sell it for $200 a year later?
    5. You can test drive everything at the Apple Store.
    6. Selling security would put Apple in the center of the hackers' bulls-eye. Why advertise a fact that anybody interested in security would easily discover? Any fool knows that you never say "Bring it on" to terrorists.

    These sound like five ways for Apple to lose money, and one way to invite attacks.

  1. David Esrati

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What good is try before?

    Unless you include a copy of MS Office- what good is try before you buy?
    That ploy might have worked in 1984 when the Mac came with MacWrite and MacPaint- and it was all you needed- but now, without Office- to prove compatibility- it's a waste of time.
    The Mac advantage and benefit are still ease of use, lack of frustration- which haven't been addressed since, oh, 1986.
    The elite of Cupertino assume that everyone is like them- and want to buy Porsche design and performance- while the market buys Chevys, Fords, Toyotas and Hondas.
    If you want to switch people- don't make them give up their 20" monitor- after having to spend $1600 on the cheapest "headless" mac- and still having to buy all new software.
    Maybe if you wanted to make the switch- you could get Adobe, MS and Macromedia to allow people to crossgrade from PC to Mac for the price of an upgrade.
    This marketing stuff isn't that hard- just stop trying to do award winning ads- and think about ones that actually sell.
    A headless $500 iMac is a must. A $700 laptop is too (and not just refurbs). Dell has Centrino's - Apple has G3's use them.
    Not everyone has to have a G5- they do need to experience the iLife though- and the ease of OSX.

  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Wat good is try befor

    A G3 chip does not cost $400 less than a G4 chip. Simply making a G3 iBook doesn't mean you can sell it at $700 without going broke.

    Same with the headless iMac. Do you really think Apple pays $300 for the CRT in the eMacs? Taking out the screen would, at most, drop the price by about $100.

  1. cdaveb

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Although a good deal of the security problem on Windows is exacerbated by the quantity of machines available to attack, there is a more severe security problem at the root of Windows than on the Mac, and if the Mac were to enjoy a larger market share, there'd be more issues, but not nearly as many as on Windows. There are a lot of stupid, dangerous things enabled by default on Windows, and seriously poor security decisions made in major Windows products. This is made worse by the fact that most Windows users use the same exact program for everything (what % of Windows users use IE, Outlook, etc.), making it easier to write something to exploit most people. On the Mac, there are a lot of alternatives for most types of things, and Mac users are more comfortable choosing an application that fits them best, whether for email or web browsing or what have you, which makes it more difficult to target the population as a whole.

    The Mac is not perfect securitywise, but OS X is more secure than Windows, market share aside.

  1. slipperfrog

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: ads

    It's probably because they figure the iPod ads will sell more iPods than G5 ads will sell G5s.

    I wish they would advertise their other products. They should at least be running general brand awareness ads or ads to promote their stores.

  1. z10n

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Response to the responses

    1. If people paid more for style, then the mac would have more marketshare, plain and simple.
    2. Profit now does not equal future profit. Not attempting to gain marketshare is a detrimental busness strategy in the long term.
    3. 3rd parties have less to work with (not more) if the OS includes most features people need (i.e. "good enough"). Further, the lowest common denominator is the computer with the lowest price, not "lowest price and better features". If people wanted more features then they would buy a more expensive computer.
    4. I don't know how it's going, but trading in an iPod is a whole lot different then trading in a computer. An MP3 player with a decent amount of space can last a really long time, whereas a computer is obsolete the minute it's purchased. If three years down the road you are able to get $300 for your PC, you would be doing pretty good. Plus it's an incentive not only to buy a new computer, but to make it be a mac.
    5. How so?
    6. Unlikely. Unix/opensource is a thousand times more secure then windows, despite the fact hackers love unix. It's also unlikely that hackers will even notice the mac until the mac has enough marketshare for their attacks to make any difference. In this case, you DO say "bring it on", because the more vunerablities found, the more fixes can be put in. Security experts know that the best way to test your firewall is to attempt to hack it. Better that apple's security team is kept on it's toes then trying to cover up any potential threats.

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