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Apple spreading itself too thin?

updated 02:30 pm EDT, Fri April 13, 2007

Apple spreading too thin?

Apple may be biting off more than it can chew as it moves to spread its grip on the digital entertainment industry into the living room while also making a bold move into the already-cluttered mobile handset market, according to the Mercury News. Apple shipped its Apple TV wireless media streaming device in mid-March rather than its original February target, which, coupled with the company's latest announcement that it would push back its release of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard from the spring to the fall, has some industry watchers questioning whether the Cupertino-based company has enough resources to deliver on all of its more recent undertakings. Gartner research analyst Van Baker said Apple is a relatively small company compared to tech firms such as IBM and Hewlett-Packard, with Apple employing around 18,000 full-time workers vs. HP's 156,000 as of last fall.

"Clearly there's evidence that they're not executing to the same level they have in the past," Baker said, adding that while Apple is not known for steady delays, he is not surprised because the company has "only so many engineering resources to go around."

IDC analyst Richard Shim agreed, saying that by moving resources from Leopard to its iPhone, Apple is favoring an uncertain product that will have to compete in a very touch industry.

"It's also a sign that they'll have to be more careful with spreading themselves too thin," Shim noted.

Another factor which could prove detrimental to Apple's standing is Microsoft's advantage in having already released Windows Vista -- Mac OS X's primary competitor.

"This might give Microsoft a one-up to get that consumer that doesn't want to wait for Leopard," Baker said.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. Ikon

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    switch to vista ???

    I can't believe that someone would switch to vista because of 4 months delay. What does Vista have to offer? Viruses and such?

  1. ronjamin

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Arrogance Rears Is Head

    I remember when Apple was the s*** back in the 80's. They used to have their Pittsburgh office right in the same building where I work. They were so arrogant, the wouldn't even offer technical support for their own products. Today, we are beginning to see Arrogance again. Whether or not they were 'caught off guard" is irrelevant. That's always the excuse for short supply of Powerbooks, MacPro's or whatever.

    Granted, they are a great company, but Microsoft at least kept them on their feet and beholden to US, their most valuable asset (the customer). When the good times are rolling, they get big heads. Who's going to slap them around a bit to wake their sorry asses uP?

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    vista smishta!

    Like a Mac user, particularly a PPC MacUser is going to suddenly abandon 10.4.9 because Leopard is delayed. For a start, they'd have to buy new hardware and then accustom themselves to all the malware, instability etc. not to mention repurchase all their software. Come on. It's easier to change cars (or girlfriends) than it is to switch platforms! Yet another piece of regurgitated BS from Mac Negative News, also known as MacNN!

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    frivolous Vista features

    Although 10.5 is going to counter Vista with similar frivolous features, many productive and vastly-more-convenient and usable features are already built into 10.4. There is no incentive to downgrade to Vista at all.

    Of course, there are many compelling features in 10.5 that would make it enticing, but not enough for me to even consider going to Windows. I would use an abacus before I go Windows.

  1. darkelf

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    a very touch industry?

    show us on the doll where the industry touched you.

  1. Squirrel_Monkey

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Huh?

    "This might give Microsoft a one-up to get that consumer that doesn't want to wait for Leopard," Baker said.

    Huh?

    Does this guy know anything? I couldn't name one Mac user I know (and I know quite a few) who would dump Mac OS for Vista just because Leopard is late. Even the most layperson of Mac OS users are savvy enough not to dump Mac OS for this reason.

    Yes, Apple is taking a risk with iPhone. A huge risk. They could have another Newton on their hands. But I think they're comfortable enough with their standing in the iPod and Mac markets to temporarily push more effort behind the iPhone.

    Ronjamin, I too worry about Apple being as blind and arrogant as they were in the Sculley era, but that was the Sculley era. I hope Apple has learned their lessons since they were months away from total irrelevance in the throes of the Amelio era.

  1. jameshays

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Tiger works well for me

    I, as much as anybody hate to see delays in something I've been wanting, but is it really a big deal? At least for me, Tiger does everything I bought it for and more. It's been a very stable platform for all my computing needs. Technically, there is no reason to upgrade other than moving my computer experience to the next level. There is nothing that I cannot do currently that can't wait a few more months. The iPhone, on the other hand, would offer a significant blow to Apple if it was delayed, especially with their sales estimates. Plus, if I recall correctly (don't quote me on this) isn't the iPhone running a derivative of OS X? If that's true, I think it safe to say that those developers moved to the iPhone team haven't stopped developing on the 10.5 code base, just different areas of it.

    It always amazes me how quickly people get upset about a delay. Is it really a big deal? What feature were you absolutely waiting for that you can't wait for? What can you not do today that needs to get done and can only be done with an updated OS?

  1. Mr. Fartleberry

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    I've been Longhorned!

    As the article says, maybe APPL is not paying enough attention to it's computer business.

    I've waited 6 months for 10.5, now have to wait another 6, all for an outrageously expensive phone I won't see in Canada for years. Good play Steve, happy Friday the 13th. Can't wait for the next one.

    Comments along the lines of "why do you need 10.5" are hilarious. Don't waste your time here, write Steve and tell him no one needs or wants it so just forget about it.

  1. bhuot

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    re: mr. fartleberry

    "I've waited 6 months for 10.5, now have to wait another 6, all for an outrageously expensive phone I won't see in Canada for years. Good play Steve, happy Friday the 13th. Can't wait for the next one."

    I agree - I think the iPhone is a waste of money although I think the iPod is an even greater waste. But I believe that the iPod, etc. is good for Apple and when they get more money and more users it is better for the computer side as well.

    "Comments along the lines of "why do you need 10.5" are hilarious. Don't waste your time here, write Steve and tell him no one needs or wants it so just forget about it."

    I think the point people are making is not we that we don't care about 10.5, but that waiting a few months more is only going to make it more stable and 10.4 fills most people's needs. I think most people see it as a disappointment but it is not something to get upset about. I will probably buy a Mac before 10.5 comes out because my software won't be available for the new OS for a while. Sure if they waited 10 years like Microsoft before they implemented features, then that would be one thing, but a few months is quite different.

  1. Rezzz

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    sad...

    iphone runs on a version of os x. who better to ensure that 'os x mobile' is up to snuff than the os x team? apple turns out quality products. if there is a delay, so be it. i would rather the iphone and new ipods running os x mobile be awesome than the alternative. leopard will still be in time for xmas.

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