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Jobs considered cutting pro products as far back as original iMac

updated 05:26 pm EDT, Fri August 9, 2013

Said products' market was too limited

Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs once consider eliminating all of the company's professional-oriented products, according to former Apple advertising consultant Ken Segall. The moment is said to have come shortly after the iMac became a bestseller and revived Apple's fortunes. Jobs mentioned the prospect during a meeting, arguing that while consumer product sales are unlimited, pro offerings target a niche audience while still devouring significant corporate resources. The CEO ultimately decided against the move for unmentioned reasons.

During the past decade, the bulk of Apple's profits have been built on consumer goods like the iPhone and iPad. Within the past couple years, however, the company has made some small effort at reviving its pro reputation, for instance by releasing Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X. At WWDC 2013 it teased a redesigned Mac Pro with a compact cylinder shape, new port arrangements, and long-awaited CPU and GPU upgrades.




by MacNN Staff

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  1. fisherKing

    Professional Poster

    Joined: 01-26-01

    i once considered growing a mustache...but decided against it....which is ALSO a non-story. like this...

  1. sunman42

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 11-09-11

    Well, Apple did axe the Xserve as of 2011 January (the decision was announced the previous year), while Mr. Jobs was still the CEO, and the Xserve was arguably more Pro than the Pro. I think it came down to whether Apple wants the mindshare of that part of the creative/artistic community who often place Apple products not only behind but in front of the camera --- thus providing free advertising that helps spur consumer product sales. Remember "24?" All the bad guys used Windows; all the good guys used Macs.

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    There's a lot of professional Mac users that might disagree with you on that ... but in any event while Apple's pro products are generally top-quality, its true that the company has neglected pro users in the hardware department pretty seriously (mostly for the reasons Steve correctly pointed out ... shrinking niche market, difficult to support, expensive to cater to).

    That said, I look forward to seeing what this forthcoming Mac Pro has. I like the concept of thinking outside the box (er, cylinder) for expansion -- the OMGWIRES crowd apparently have never looked at the tangled mess behind their G5s and Mac Pros, or valued the extra quietness that will come from this new design ...

  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 08-15-02

    improving legacy software support for pro users may be one way to improve sales

    cutting rosetta support stopped pro hardware upgrades at this end

    does lack of a support roadmap hurt development commitment?

    ...many high end technical apps produced for example by the DOE & others for advanced technical design are still only supported in XP - why? because there is no benefit to an upgraded OS, an upgrade is a ton of questionably beneficial work, and the training and installed base function just fine as is...

    a solution for legacy file access? run other older vertical apps (inc appleworks) in XP in Virtualbox... Sadly does it increasingly just make sense to switch to XP/W7...?

    ....changing the snow EULA to allow the non-server version to run in emulation might enccourage virtualization development thus fascilitating easy migration moving forward for those with substantial software, data & training equity...

  1. besson3c

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 03-03-01

    Originally Posted by fisherKingView Post

    i once considered growing a mustache...but decided against it....which is ALSO a non-story. like this...




    Did you ever change your mind about that mustache?

  1. Stogieman

    Professional Poster

    Joined: 05-07-00

    Hey besson, I mustache you a question but I will shave it for later.

  1. besson3c

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 03-03-01

    Originally Posted by StogiemanView Post

    Hey besson, I mustache you a question but I will shave it for later.



    Only if your question is about something other than disco dancing? I'm getting tired of those sorts of questions...

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

  1. Sandman619

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 07-28-06

    Decisions

    At the time of the iMac introduction, Apple's finances were a train-wreck. The company was looking to rid itself of low profit & limited potential products, to stem their operating losses and simplify their product focus. Apple's resources have much improved since those days

    At some point, continued support becomes costly in terms of human capital as well as OS resources & requires more time to update. At that point, a decision has to be made about whether there is enough potential market to warrant these costs. Apple has always had fundamental conflicts with providing road maps as that reveals some aspects of new OS features & hardware updates, that Apple keeps secret to maintain a competitive advantage.

    Apple ceased their server product which was a niche market, offering low revenue potential. Clearly more volume is available at the lower end of the market, which the Mac Mini seems to have some potential & for little effort from Apple since that is a secondary market. Their high-end server did not have that potential.

    Apple now has the advantage of hardware that can run windows, while offering a Mac in the same box. Today, Apple has products well positioned to add value to their core business & provide additional revenue potential.


    Originally Posted by boboliciousView Post

    improving legacy software support for pro users may be one way to improve sales

    cutting rosetta support stopped pro hardware upgrades at this end

    does lack of a support roadmap hurt development commitment?

    ...many high end technical apps produced for example by the DOE & others for advanced technical design are still only supported in XP - why? because there is no benefit to an upgraded OS, an upgrade is a ton of questionably beneficial work, and the training and installed base function just fine as is...

    a solution for legacy file access? run other older vertical apps (inc appleworks) in XP in Virtualbox... Sadly does it increasingly just make sense to switch to XP/W7...?

    ....changing the snow EULA to allow the non-server version to run in emulation might enccourage virtualization development thus fascilitating easy migration moving forward for those with substantial software, data & training equity...

  1. Sebastien

    Registered User

    Joined: 04-29-00

    Originally Posted by fisherKingView Post

    i once considered growing a mustache...but decided against it....which is ALSO a non-story. like this...


    :lol: Best comment in the entire history of the Internet. EVER!

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