Linked by umad on Thu 25th Aug 2011 22:51 UTC
Apple I thought OSNews would be a good forum to talk about a matter that has been weighing on my mind lately primarily because the site has been so focused on Apple's patents and litigation as of late. The news that HP, the largest PC manufacturer in the world is spinning off or getting out of this business is what really prompted me to write this article.
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They could have had cheap Mac clones
by ozonehole on Fri 26th Aug 2011 00:33 UTC
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A nice attempt at being fair Thom, but totally wrong. The only reason why Apple couldn't take advantage of cheap off-the-shelf components (as the PC cloners did) is because Apple deliberately made every single piece of the Mac proprietary. I know, I owned a Mac, circa 1998, and it was horrible. Not ONE SINGLE COMPONENT was standard. Not only the internals (hard disk, video card, power supply, memory chips), but absolutely everything was non-standard. That included the monitor, mouse, floppy disk drives, keyboard, modem, even the screws that held the case together. That's right, if I lost a screw, I had to go to an Apple shop to get a replacement. And of course, Mac parts always cost double the price of their PC equivalents. Really, the only hardware component that needed to be different was the motherboard, since Apple was based on the PowerPC processor at that time. Later, they went to i386, so from that point on there was no justification whatsoever for a single proprietary part.

In fact, an aftermarket developed. You could buy third party adapters so that you could use at least a PC monitor, mouse and modem.

Compare this all to Microsoft, which didn't even make hardware. They just sold the operating system, and later Office, which were lucrative cash cows. They let the PC clone market make the hardware. Apple could have followed this strategy if they had wanted to, marketing MacOS (and later OSX) and not requiring you to purchase Mac hardware.

Actually, Apple DID allow clones for a brief while. There were several legal clones (plus a number of illegal ones). Apple decided to end the legal cloning programs because they found that they made more money with high-priced hardware. From Wikipedia:

Apple's clone program entailed the licensing of the Macintosh ROMs and system software to other manufacturers, each of which agreed to pay a flat fee for a license, and a royalty (initially $50) for each clone computer they sold. This generated quick revenues for Apple during a time of financial crisis. From early 1995 through mid-1997, it was possible to buy PowerPC-based clone computers running Mac OS, most notably from Power Computing. Other licensees were Motorola, Radius, APS Technologies, DayStar Digital, UMAX, MaxxBoxx, and Tatung. However, by 1996 Apple executives were worried that high-end clones were cannibalizing sales of their own high-end computers, where profit margins were highest.[11]
[edit] Jobs ends the official program

Soon after Steve Jobs returned to Apple, he backed out of recently renegotiated licensing deals with OS licensees that Apple executives complained were still financially unfavorable.[12] Because the clone makers' licenses were valid only for Apple's System 7 operating system, Apple's release of Mac OS 8 left the clone manufacturers without the ability to ship a current Mac OS version and effectively ended the cloning program


Edited 2011-08-26 00:39 UTC

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