May 7th, 2008
07:11 AM GMT
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NEW YORK – With the economy teetering on recession, you would think it would be a terrible time to be a retailer... of any sort.

So I was struck when I read that Steve Jobs is busy expanding Apple's empire. Tuesday, Apple announced a deal with Vodafone to distribute the iPhone in 10 countries.

In Italy the company will work with two providers, Vodafone and Telecom Italia – a first and perhaps a sign of things to come. Apple says it wants to sell 10 million iPhones this year. It is an extraordinary goal given that the price tag is much higher than rivals.

It may not be as crazy as it sounds. If the company changes its strategy and starts partnering with multiple operators, as it has in Italy, it would remove a big purchase hurdle.

In the U.S. iPhones are sold exclusively through AT&T.

A lot of people I know have been reluctant to buy an iPhone because they don't want to change mobile phone carriers. And there is another force at work that may do even more to help Apple reach those lofty goals.

Consumers, in love with their iPods and Macs, are asking their bosses to switch to Apple products at work. At least that is what the cover story of the latest BusinessWeek magazine claims.

The article cites a Yankee Group survey of 250 companies that showed 87 percent now had some Apple computers in their offices, compared to 48 percent just two years ago.

What is stunning about that number is that Apple does not market to corporations. This is purely a word of mouth phenomenon.

If it turns out to be true, it could mean huge things for Apple. The corporate computer market is worth billions. Apple has just a tiny fraction of that. Any increase would be a nice boost to the bottom line.

There are, of course, many reasons to be skeptical. Microsoft is the dominant player in the corporate market and is not likely to cede any market share without a fight.

Servicing corporate clients requires a big support staff and is expensive. And then there is the question of Jobs himself. His return to the CEO post revitalized the company. Some worry Apple is too dependent on his vision.

Those are all valid concerns. But Apple has an unparalleled ability to connect with consumers and build loyalty.

Ten years ago this month, Jobs and his design team unveiled the first colored iMac, the Bondi Blue. It wasn't technically that much better than its rivals, but it looked amazing. People flocked to it. And Apple hasn't looked back.

People buy one product and they want more. Analysts call it the halo effect and I have to admit, I believe it. Six years ago I broke down and bought an iPod. The experience has been so satisfying that the next computer I buy will be a Mac. If my company offered it, I'd jump at the chance to have an iPhone.

The headlines may be full of doom and gloom predictions about the consumer, but Apple seems to be bucking the trend. Yes, the company warned the third quarter may be tough, but analysts think they are being overly conservative. The consensus is that the stock, which has already rallied sharply, still has further to run.

I would love to hear what all of you think of Apple now that the iPhone is going to be widely available in Europe.



soundoff (97 Responses)
  1. edward sansom

    I, am fed up with Vista and planning to switch to Apple as several friends have already.

    May 7, 2008 at 7:45 am |
  2. navneet kamboj

    Hey Maggie em a big fan of yours. Talking of Apple its their fortune and strategy to reach the different markets. The name Apple sounds too good to be associated with. It might happen that someone launches Mango or Cherry tomorrow. Even they will rock keeping in mind the technology the put in their products.. Apple, Mango, Cherry, Banana .. wow

    May 7, 2008 at 11:54 am |
  3. Ali Mutahir

    Apple has achieved what no one else in the tech sector has.....cult status!! I think the love affair with Apple will go on,atleast until Steve Jobs is still the "Top Man".

    May 7, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  4. Jack Tyson

    As much as it's great having a lone wolf, innovative company like Apple create these wonderful products. It contrasts with the less-than-greatness trait of belittling your competitors. With this I mean Microsoft or Windows Vista. When just about everybody on the planet knows how afwul Windows Vista is, it seems so childish for Apple to attack it as they do in their ads.

    Nobody who became truly great, and was of honour, became so by mocking or belittling their competition. They became great by setting an example and letting the "public" decide who was best. Being honourable even to your enemies sets you apart so much more than belittling them.

    But these traits seemingly mean little in 2008, and to Apple. It really is about the thing you hold in your hand, not what kind of heart it spurned from.

    May 7, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  5. John Snyder

    I got fed up with viruses and moved to Apple three years ago. At first, I was not overly impressed, but now, each time I go back to a Windows system, I have to say "Oh, yeah...I forgot about that frustration." The Apple store in my neighborhood is packed all the time. Even my wife, who hates change, wants a Apple for home. The difference between an Apple and a Wintel machine is not huge at first glance, but it is better in so many small ways that once you get used to an Apple, you never want to go back. I am reluctant to leave my job for a new one because I do not want to go back to using a Wintel computer. All my friends are talking about making the switch to Apple. 10 years ago, everyone thought Apple was dead. The Apple come back is amazing.

    May 7, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  6. Dmitriy

    Apple rocks, I've got Vista, but it sucks in many ways, and what is the most irritable that Bill seems to be coping almost every beautiful feature which Apple creates.

    May 7, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  7. Dan Guerrera

    I am a Apple fan but it has come at a cost, that being time. Dot Mac is not a live customer support product and to be told to read forums to get your answer is not what you want to hear when you pay for this service. Over all the experience of leaving Windows or Apple machines has been good enough to keep me. i will not go back to Windows no matter what, which is easily said because i am self employed. I just bought an iPhone, simply outstanding. Now, if Mr. jobs would give us our freedom of choice with carriers, even better. I had to unlock my phone because of my travel and multi sim cards, that being done, life is good.

    May 7, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  8. AC

    Apple's growth is sort of a paradox. On one side the company is growing because of its advertised and renound security and stability over other operating systems, namely Windows. Indeed this is true, without a doubt unix is a much more stable and has much more development behind it than does ms dos, which Micrsoft Windows code is written with.

    However, the strength of the Mac OS is not so in a vacuum. All systems can be hacked and have viruses designed for them. As of now Apple has not achieved the market share to bother malicious code writers and hackers to develop viruses and code to attack Apple computers. As Apple continuously grows market share it will gain the attention of these people and groups who will turn more attention to Apple and consequently more viruses and malicious code will exist to attack Macs.

    Although Macs are much more stable and reliable due to its UNIX foundations (which is almost 30 years old compared to ms dos which is about 15 years old) the more Apple becomes popular the more viruses will exist to threaten its long trumpeted stability and supremeacy.

    I am a mac user of 16 years. I will never buy a windows. I tell people not to buy Macs.

    May 7, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  9. David Cranston

    I had one of the first square box macintosh computers with floppy disk drive in collage in 1989. Then went to work and have used PC ever since. Recently bought an imac for home (love it) and will continue to fold my PC world into Mac. I use lots of Marine navigation software however, most of which is not mac compatible. I hope apple will continue to rebrand and position products for the corporate world so there's incentive for software makers to develop products that are mac compatible.

    May 7, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  10. Michael Utomo

    The process that goes into buying an Apple computer is much simpler, there's just too much comparisons to be made among windows machines.

    Using an Apple computer is so much simpler it's a joy. That sheer joy because of its ease of use, automatically makes myself an evangelist for Apple. I began converting our household, extended families, divisions of our family business and began mentoring them on how easy it is to use Apple's products. This viral effect is what will prove to be the difference between a good product, and an excellent product.

    And in the past year, I've seen Apple stores/resellers spring out like mushrooms here in Indonesia, and spreading like wildfires. I have been a 16-year user of Windows PCs, switched completely 2 years ago and never looked back.

    May 7, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  11. Kunle Apata

    i buy Apple computers because in totality it makes my tedious job bearable. the graphic is superb. moreover, i am tired of windows with its hanging problem and its viruses. i started with powerbook 15' in 2003 and in october 2007 i bought macbook 13' black.
    apple is the best.

    May 7, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  12. Solare

    I switched to Mac from Windows and Linux, being a composer and being used to custom-build my own computers I have never looked back, at all.

    After 2 years none all claims that convinced me to switch – I'm talking about the "why you'll love a Mac" points on Apple's site – have been true.

    http://www.logicstudioblog.com

    May 7, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  13. Nick

    I bought a Pc with Vista and after three months of aggravation at stupid little glitches I made the switch to Macs. It was by far the best decision I could have maybe. Their products are great and if you ever have a problem, their tech support is awesome.

    I have an iMac, MacBook, ipod, and would purchase an Iphone if my carrier would provide it. I would recommend an Apple to anyone over a PC.

    May 7, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  14. James Wittevrongel

    My employer began the switch to MacBook a year ago. I have tried to love it, but I can't.

    We run MSOffice. Word it balky, characters don't always show up right away, It frequently requires two hits to set the cursor, and it goes into an endless loop at times when I try to integrate spreadsheets and Word documents.

    PDF loads are slow and sometimes drop into that endless loop as well as the other Word problems. I hold my breath when I see the colored pinwheel start spinning on my screen! It just wiped out 5 lines of typing so I'm redoing this (nothing unusual there). It does work great with my iPod.

    Bill and company have two years to get Vista worked out. I retire then. I'll try to buy this machine from my employer for a song, literally and figuratively – i want it for my music. I'll then buy a good solid Windows machine for my real work, not this toy.

    May 7, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  15. Leo Avila

    Hey there, I live in France now and I think that the I phone in Europe would revolutionaze the market and bring a whole new world to the market and therefore it would force big companies like NOKIA, which is huge in Europe to raise the banner and come up with better hardware and software...I think that europeans are still a little curious and not sure about Macs and Apple but with a break through like this one it would help them realize the quality and compability of Mac computers everywhere...
    And if the Iphone isintroduced in France or Switzerland i would love to buy one...
    Leo

    May 7, 2008 at 6:31 pm |
  16. Jonathan Chen

    It's also worth noting to say that just recently Apple and América Móvil (AMX) announced that they will be selling the iPhone in Latin America. AMX is the largest cell phone provider in Latin America with well over 150 million users.

    The (hacked) iPhone is already being used in the region and is widely in demand due to its revolutionary interface and popularity. But most users are shying away from the hacked version due to warranty and availability issues; not to mention overpriced iPhones.

    Apple has been enjoying renewed popularity in Mexico since the opening of its Apple Online Store and is sure to be a big seller in said country. I can only guess the opening of more stores in latin-american countries and it will be only a matter of time until the adoption process is complete. One big issue is tech-support, though; a lot of people are wary they will not get 1st class tech-support and are sticking to PCs.

    May 7, 2008 at 6:42 pm |
  17. Scott

    Apple has two problems in Europe. The first problem is the Iphone is not able to take advantage of the faster networks in Europe. The functionality does not appeal to business or average Europeans simply because it lacks the capabilities the Blackberry possesses. Mac software is difficult to locate in Europe as well. One must order it online and wait for a considerable amount of time if it ever comes at all. Usually items are sold out and never are available.

    The other main problem is cost. Yes, I own An Apple and am quite pleased with it, however I am an American who purchased mine in America but i live In Europe. The cost of a Macpro is much more costly in Euros as is in Dollars. If Apple took advantage of the risen Euro and British pound and lowered the cost of their items in Europe they would broaden their appeal and still maintain a profit margin. They would increase in popularity and please the consumers of Europe.

    One Mac pro costs 1999 Euros 1999 British Pounds and it costs 1999 Dollars. The Iphone costs 499 Euros without contract 499 British Pounds sans contract and 499 Dollars last i checked. Apple is clearly able to meet the import taxes and still make a clear profit from the exchange rates. This would certainly open a larger market for Apple and their products. The Ipod is still not a favorite mp3 product except for the tech collectors. However Apple products do have a certain appeal and name value in Europe. It would be great if the Iphone were able to increase the functionalities to compete with such products as the Blackberry.

    May 7, 2008 at 6:54 pm |
  18. Gerray Thomas

    Here in the UK Apple have opened several town-centre stores and they are doing great business but, as a convert who now has a 24 inch home Apple as well as a laptop and an ipod, I think Apple's problem remains the lack of any good step-by-step manuals. They sell One-to-One lessons which are very good but you have to wait a week to get questions answered and everyone knows they only sell them to keep getting youback into their shops. There are manuals (e.g. Duffers Guide) BUT none of them take you simply step by step – - and they all compare Apple systems to Microsoft's – - which is no longer of any relevance to someone concentrating on Apple systems. Apple are probably three years ahead of anything in the Microsoft stable but they would be five years ahead if they had decent, understandable, manuals (and oh, by the way; their word-processing package (Pages) is not a patch on the old Lotus WordPro whichremains the best ever available). Cheers, Gerray Thomas.

    May 7, 2008 at 7:08 pm |
  19. Ron

    I bought an iMac after dealing with one too many viruses on my home computer and one too many crashes on my work computer. I have never looked back, and now use an iMac at work and a MacBook at home. These computers work beautifully and are a joy to use. I now own my own business but if I hire employees, they will get Macs as well. Cool products that work are just fine by me. And look ma, no malware!

    May 7, 2008 at 7:09 pm |
  20. steve

    I will be changing my company to Macs; but I wish you could get iPhones on a different provider; I will not switch cell phone provider and thus cannot get an iPhone; they woudl sell so many more iPhones if they just allowed them to be offered by other networks

    May 7, 2008 at 7:18 pm |
  21. Emmanuel Farsarakis

    I also plan on switching to mac for my next computer, and would love to get an iphone. If however vodafone continues to be the only carrier that offers it, an iphone will simply not be an option. Customer satisfaction the most crucial part of Apple's marketing strategy and therefore -in my opinion- making a customer feel like he "has" to be "confined" to one specific carrier is definitely a step in the wrong direction.
    If their goal is to reach different markets, I certainly think Apple should also take a good look at their international representatives. I live in Greece, and I know for a fact that the quality of service for Apple merchandise here doesn't even come close to that in countries such as the U.S. and the U.K.. It is simply disappointing.

    May 7, 2008 at 7:26 pm |
  22. lss

    I've been using a Mac for 2.5yrs now. I don't see myself going back to windows (XP/Vista/etc).

    My pet gripe about apple? Price! Here in India you can buy an excellent mobike [ Royal Enfield, no less!! ] for less than what a MacBook Pro costs :(

    [ don't try to sell me any other kind of Mac - I use my PowerBook for work+entertainment. No other Mac fits my needs.]

    May 7, 2008 at 7:35 pm |
  23. Carlos Guillen

    As a long-time Apple loyalist (15 years), Vista is the best thing that could have possibly happened to Apple. If Microsoft actually stops selling Windows XP (as they have planned), expect a mass-exodus to Apple.

    Steve Jobs is brilliant. One should not underestimate him. I'll be a Apple brand evangelist until I'm six feed under! Bye, bye Bill. Thanx for Vista!

    May 7, 2008 at 7:35 pm |
  24. Daniel

    I will come clean and admit that, for years, I scoffed at Macs and Mac users. Yes I know, the 'smug' stereotype was too easy to ignore! Then last year, circumstances at work meant I had to use a Mac. And now? Well, I feel like a complete idiot for having berated them for so long. A few weeks with a Mac made me accept that Apple really has produced a superb operating system. Fair play to them. I won't be returning to Microsoft anytime soon.

    May 7, 2008 at 7:43 pm |
  25. Jerry S

    Iphone can't touch Windows Mobile when it comes to real power. I've got a Macbook running Windows XP exclusively and am very happy with this combo.

    May 7, 2008 at 8:01 pm |
  26. Carla Olsnes

    Apple is and will always be the most user-friendly computer in the world. Steve Jobs is always three or more steps ahead of others. I often wonder whether he has seen the future before mortals like us. His "clairvoyancy" never ceases to amaze me. The only question that remains, is "Are people finally smelling the coffee ?" And about time they did.

    P.S. Wish Mr. Jobs would have have brought the iPhone to Norway today. KInda getting tired of the waiting game.

    May 7, 2008 at 8:03 pm |
  27. BC Blake

    We'll be getting the iPhone here in South Africa shortly. Well I can tell you there is a huge demand for Apple products. As far as people moving from PC to Apple, I have 6 friends who have recently bought Macbooks and iMacs. They are Apples biggest advertisment, as all I hear is how great it is. It even runs Windows better that most PC's

    May 7, 2008 at 8:22 pm |
  28. igor

    I am becoming a loyal customer of apple... never planned for that to happen. it just did.
    my macbookpro has yet to disappoint me and ipod works fine as well... however i will not even consider to buy an iPhone if i have to change my mobile phone provider!

    p.s. did noticed in all the recent movies these days... every time there is a computer in the background there is a 95% chance its a Mac!
    i often wonder if apple pays film-makers to promote their products???

    May 7, 2008 at 8:35 pm |
  29. Peter Kramer

    Apple might now very well beat the PC, because it can be a PC (!), when unfortunate circumstances demand it (i.e., Windows can be run on Macs these days). No more worries about incompatibilities. No more worries that some software that runs on a PC, might not run on a Mac.
    (That Vista is such a disappointment is a nice facilitator for Apple too, of course.)

    May 7, 2008 at 8:47 pm |
  30. IB

    Mac has been a very refreshing change from Windows that I've used for years... When it was time for me to buy a laptop I settled on a black macbook and a year and a half later (and after going through five iPods) I would definitely call myself an Apple fan...I love the beautiful designing and the user friendly products that have literally become Apple's signature...the only thing I would find fault in would be the battery life... all my iPods (after constant use) were able to last only about a year before beginning to show signs of wearing down....and unfortunately the warranty is only a year...what apple should do next would be to increase battery life in my opinion....

    May 7, 2008 at 9:16 pm |
  31. victor

    This guy must be kidding or he has never read a news paper. Hey pal, you really need to consider getting a computer with internet conection.

    Your header (in the front page) says: Can Apple stay afloat?
    If you read the news, you can see that APPLE HAS MORE THAT 20BILLION (that is 20 thousands of millions) in CASH, not to mention that stock options are rising everyday (they recovered from 123 to 186) so sure they can stay afloat for a while. Why do you ask?

    The iPhone DOES NOT COST MORE THAT RIVALS, again, if you read the news, Nokia N95 cost about 150 Dlls more than the iPhone.

    the iPhone is a phone that people who own it has CHOSE that phone and was not imposed byt the companies they work for (like us that we have to use the crappy black berries).

    Another deal was signed with AMERICA MOVIL who has more that 150 million subscribers in America Latina (and yes, they have 3g from a long time ago).

    So, if you get your self informed, 10million phones is a very conservative estimate for the iPhone, they already have sell 44 million even that the iPhone it is sell in 4 countries legally (USA, France, GB and Germany, Austria was added just a few months ago). So now, can you imagine how many iPhones will be sell just in India and America?

    I am not a apple stock holder (I wish) but I do read the news and have a computer with internet.

    May 7, 2008 at 9:29 pm |
  32. Mat Lovink

    I have long been a user of both PC and Apple, and have consistently found that my Apple computer is categorically more reliable and easier to use than my PC. Vista is quite possibly the worst operating system I have ever tried to use, and my PC's days are limited. Apple all the way.

    May 7, 2008 at 9:35 pm |
  33. juliette

    I would love to by the new Air, but the problem is that it only has 1 USB port. add another one and I will become an Apple user !

    May 7, 2008 at 9:55 pm |
  34. Ulf Kjellin

    I must admit I am stuck with Apple and has been so since their Macintosh SE came along, way back in the 80:s. My cheeks turn red when I look back and see all the Macs I have aquired thru the years – and what I have paid for them not to mention the Apple Laserwriter NT which was good for its time with a price tag that almost looked the tag of a used car. But anyway I am happy with Apple and I think I will go on with these oevrpriced and lovely products. And, by the way, has anybody heard anything about the Big Blue and their personal Computer ("PC") lately??

    May 7, 2008 at 10:01 pm |
  35. mike

    When is it coming to Japan!?

    May 7, 2008 at 10:05 pm |
  36. KenC, Edenton, NC

    Apple did not say ANYTHING about the 3rd quarter "being tough". They did not guide conservatively. The analysts heard something and misinterpreted it. Peter Oppenheimer, Apple CFO said about earnings next quarter, quote, "about one dollar", unquote. That's incredibly vague, and does not mean exactly $1.00.

    For some color, let's look at the other things he guided, $7.2B in sales, and 33% gross margins. Since, he did say there would be anything unusual in margins next quarter, or that there was anything unusual in the last quarter's margins, he actually tells you alot. Last quarter Apple sold $7.5B, next quarter's $7.2B is 96% of that. The Gross Margins are virtually identical, 32.9% to 33%. In other words, you only need to apply the 96% to income of $1.16 per share to get the new guidance of $1.11.

    So, "about one dollar' when you do the math, becomes $1.11.

    If you want to know does Oppenheimer really want analysts to do their own math, you only need to listen the conference call, where he does tell one analyst, that very thing.

    So, Apple did NOT guide conservatively, it guided in line with analysts expectations. In fact, they guided a little above, since they're not counting iPhone revs from March to when the SDK is released. The analysts figs include those revs, so Apple guided above expectations.

    May 7, 2008 at 10:36 pm |
  37. Mike Sierra

    First the desktop computer , then the laptop and now the iPhone . I completely agree with the view that the iPhone is a revolutionary machine . Not revolutionary in the sense of ad world hype but genuinely a completely new platform . It's a fantastic computer . Apple will make it better and better . They know how to do that . And speedily . Consumers will increasingly see it as an ingenious user friendly computer with a fantastic phone , video and music player , camera etc . And who knows , a miniature micro screen projector inside the iPhone before too long ...presentations , movies , videos ...

    May 7, 2008 at 11:11 pm |
  38. butch roa

    What if Apple and Google tie-up?

    May 7, 2008 at 11:50 pm |
  39. Bruce Ford

    Having been a MAC user for all of my computer life I can think of nothing else. All items are easier and when you take it out a meeting it really gives you some cache.

    I could never go to PC land and applaud all of those who are catching on.

    May 8, 2008 at 12:04 am |
  40. alain

    There is not ONE good reason to prefer PC to MAC. I'm 53 and began with computers only 8 years ago, and i thanks god every day that i've began my computer experience with a IMac. All my friends who began with a PC are still struggling with them.........everything is so easy with a Mac, really, that it's hard to understand how the PC did dominate the world ....until now.

    May 8, 2008 at 12:12 am |
  41. Doug Campbell

    Apple... only.

    I would never buy a non Apple computer. I see what my PC friends suffer through - firewall problems, reliability and the like - and I wonder why they waste their time with non Apples. I bought a Mac classic in the early 90's. An iMac in the late 1990's - which had a few heating problems, but they were minor. I now have a G4 laptop and love it.
    The only way I would buy a non Apple computer is if Jobs were to shut down the company.

    Doug

    May 8, 2008 at 12:29 am |
  42. Ardin Beech

    It looks as though Apple is coming to the realization that not all phone markets are created equal and are diversifying strategies across the globe. We're eagerly awaiting the launch of the iPhone down here in Australia, with vodafone on board and rumours of another carrier, Optus, coming in as well. It will be interesting to see how they market the iPhone here as most handsets are either free on service contracts or subsidized in some way. It's very rare for customers to buy handsets outright and still pay network access fees. We shall see...

    May 8, 2008 at 12:30 am |
  43. Alex Chan

    I have worked as admin for large company before (both for work and family) and I have had it up to my neck maintaining windows. I am now a happy mac user and I work freelance as an artist rather then a "chained to my desk" sys admin

    May 8, 2008 at 1:49 am |
  44. Emil Lada

    Vista stinks, I miss XP, but my next computer will have and APPLE on it.

    May 8, 2008 at 1:55 am |
  45. Matthew

    The first computer I ever bought was in college when the colored iMacs appeared. The real reason I bought it was because I didn't have to buy a monitor separately. The hardest part was choosing the color. I went with purple. Compatibility was an issue then, but being in Iraq, and just now buying a new MacBook, my fourth Mac, I'm as big an Apple fan as I've always been since Steve Jobs first sold me on his vision to make computers the way they always should have been made. Macs no longer have those compatibility issues because people love them. I don't know one single person who has ever switched from a Mac to a PC. Where's the computer, was what everyone used to ask. Now my fellow soldiers ask me, you're computer talks?

    May 8, 2008 at 2:17 am |
  46. Felipe Escudero

    Hi Maggie,

    In Chile Apple sales have been growing fast during the last two years. And Mac stores are allways out of stock. It's really crazy.
    I think that Apple has reborned with Steve Jobs as CEO, and that word of mouth phenomenon that you've described, does not just happen in working offices in some countries. It's a global phenomenon.

    May 8, 2008 at 3:30 am |
  47. Yves Saint-Jacques

    The iPhone is an important step in the shaping of our digital world. Like the first Macintosh almost 25 years ago, it is the first pocket device truly usable for powerful modern computing and communication. It is a new platform. I believe the launch of the iPhone app store, in less than two months, will surprise the world with some of the best mobile applications ever, from innovative and nimble developers all over the planet. With very limited distribution until now, the iPhone already has shown its power by taking first place in Mobile Internet market share. With the wider distribution model taking shape in Italy, the June launch of business-friendly 2.0 OS, and the coming wealth of third-party applications, the iPhone stands a very real chance of repeating the iPod's exploit of taking a whole market by storm, and building itself into a massive economic and technological force.

    May 8, 2008 at 4:09 am |
  48. Dr. Ausama

    Apple products are really stat of the art! However they are still slow to come by in this part of the world. After reading so much about it, iphone is still not available in Asia!

    May 8, 2008 at 4:57 am |
  49. adz

    I dont think iphones and ipods will make a big change in the way people use PCs in the corporate office environment. Perhaps in graphics design or music industry, people using PCs could go for macs. I use a mac laptop for office use, and would prefer to have a mac for graphics design staff here. But not the entire office. its too expensive and i doubt corporate clients will change from mac to PC simply because the staff will enjoy their ipods and iphones a little more in a mac than a PC...

    May 8, 2008 at 5:00 am |
  50. robert

    I am a businessman in my 40s. Last year I bought an iPod Touch and loved it. Fed up with Vista and XP, I tried an iMac, then I bought the Macbook Air (wonderful machine) and now I am replacing all my company's computers with Apple. Mac computers are so much more stable and they work right out of the box.

    May 8, 2008 at 5:00 am |
  51. John

    Microsoft wont's cede any market? They ARE fighting, with VISTA and they're usual illegal monopolistic practices. They are losing obviously. Servicing corporate clients is expensive? Yeah for Microsoft and for the end user business, Macs work a heck of a lot better, so it will be MUCH less expensive for Apple and the corporate world. This article was written by a PC person who does not understand Apple. Yet.

    May 8, 2008 at 5:29 am |
  52. seth hamil

    As a user of Microsoft PC's since my first lessons in primary school until now almost 15 years later; I recently bought a Macbook Pro and can safely say, that with all due respect that Bill Gates and Microsoft will no longer earn any money from me.

    As the famous apple tagline goes 'they just work' out the box with limited knowledge necessary to make them work, they do not come loaded with tonnes of unnecessary and deadweight software which you spend hours uninstalling when you first get a PC and even with limited computer experience you can be up and running and doing what you need to do within minutes.

    It is a shame that Microsoft has had such a monoply on the computer market in business and education for so long as this has really made many people oblvious to the alternatives to PC/Microsoft.

    I encourage anyone who is frustrated by viruses, spy warr, restarting their PC after installing/uninstalling software, removing software to try improve system speed etc... Take the plunge and get a Mac.
    I will be the first to admit that I was sceptical about Mac's until I got one for myself and now I actually look forward to using my computer where before I actually dreaded it not knowing if anf how my PC would respond and for how long!

    Slightly biased opinion, but then again all Apple fans are...try find a person that actually gets excited talking bout their Microsoft powered PC ... few and far between I am sure.

    May 8, 2008 at 5:36 am |
  53. pc gamer

    Not so with gamers

    May 8, 2008 at 6:33 am |
  54. Zahid Khurshid

    Excellent Apple, there is no comparison between Apple and Vista. We are also fed up from the bugs of vista. Once again thanks for Apple team and management.

    92 301 828 3338

    May 8, 2008 at 6:46 am |
  55. Le Zed

    When speak about PC VS MAC, why everybody forget the other unix systems on "IBM compatible"? MS is the dominant but not the sole on the pc. And...today's mac are more a pc than a "real" mac :)

    May 8, 2008 at 6:50 am |
  56. Geoff

    Like many I was sceptical before owning a Mac for the first time last year, but it truly is a fast and simple machine.

    But is has one serious drawback unless I am using it incorrectly.

    Files saved in Mac often open with format and text errors in XP – this I struggle with when emailing my business partners who are still XP users and scattered all over the world, and I have even taken to emailing the files to myself on a Vista machine to re-save and forward the file on.

    I understand though that Leopard has resolved this and our company is certainly planning to go Apple.

    May 8, 2008 at 7:09 am |
  57. Milan

    What is the world market share of APPLE computers and PC?

    May 8, 2008 at 7:14 am |
  58. Edward Clint

    I'm a bit skeptical because as the economy flounders "luxury" items such as a $300+ cell phone are going to get hit hard. Nothing in this article makes me think Apple will "buck the trend", necessarily. Entering new markets does not mean success in those markets.
    I'd also ask why every single article about Apple has to be turned into an "Apple is the greatest/MS is for losers!!" fest by the fanboys.

    For my part I think Apples products are stylish and sophisticated. I just wish it was a more open platform for hardware and software as opposed to the monolithic tyranny. Ironically Apple users are "color outside the lines, be different" sort of crowd buying computers and cell phones from a company that lets no one do the same with their products.

    May 8, 2008 at 7:24 am |
  59. Radak

    I must admit that Vista is turning me away from Microsoft, if they dont do anything about it I will change to APPLE. Oh and APPLE design is just beautiful.

    May 8, 2008 at 7:28 am |
  60. Maddox

    Apple has always been and will always be about style over substance. The of the cult status of the Apple line of products is a reflection of the computer illiteracy of their own userbase, wherein they would rather blame the tool than their own skills. This is where Apple comes in – products that do just a few things, give you a few choices and don't expect you to achieve much in the way of corporate productivity.

    May 8, 2008 at 8:37 am |
  61. Sultan of Cognac

    I cut my teeth on a Commodore 64 writing visual basic (thinking I would be a real computer geek one day) and worked my way through DOS then windows. I began using Macs in 1993 doing the layout for manuals and newsletters for a small corporation. I then worked in Saudi Arabia for Aramco as a multimedia specialist where we used Macs exclusively (heavy graphics, video and animation).

    Since those days I have used PCs here and there out of the reluctance of employers to step up to the Mac table, but wouldn't dare have one in my home office. A boat anchor or door stop is what they end up being after a very short while. Any MS products simply bloat the system and what they write for Macs does its best to saturate my hard drives with useless space-taking 'bits'.

    My graphic and photographic work demands I work on a system that operates the way I want it to, not vice versa. Macs are a bit overpriced, but for what I receive – not to mention the peace-of-mind that I can quickly repair any boo-boos – I am always willing to pay for the best.

    A friend of mine brought a windows laptop to my house the other day that was infected with a virus that made the computer do incredibly distressing things – it scared me to death. It was a shock to see this behaviour in a 'tool', but he refuses to buy Macintosh because he 'knows' they are the same as PCs just cuter and over-priced.

    Shame really

    May 8, 2008 at 9:24 am |
  62. emmanuel

    It's amazing how the Iphone – or any other apple product -once in the home- instantly becomes the 'thing you need to touch and play with- much to my fiancee's dismay ;)
    Seriously, I am walking around with a (cracked) )i phone that is undoubtedly much less user friendly as a phone (calling, bluetooth, sms, contacts) than the other brands.. but is so nice to 'play with' that I wouldn't trade it for another one.
    Toys for boys, ach.
    In about 6 months I have bought the Imac, the macbook, the iphone and the time capsule.. It is not as wonderfully perfect as one tends to advertise, but compared to the 'other brand', it's like leaving some dark, musty and ill lit place and stepping into an airy, light and friendly place.

    May 8, 2008 at 10:02 am |
  63. Sulaiman Redha

    I'v been using MAC for 3 months . It's amazing. I was about to go for Vista (new microsoft windows) But I was pushed to try MAC OSX Leopard . I felt the difference right away . No lags , No crashes , No annoying masseges . Everything is just in the place you love to be in your desktop . I recommend you to use it and dont hear any critical point of view without trying it your self

    May 8, 2008 at 10:46 am |
  64. achilles heel

    .. Unfortunately, The I phone is not SMS friendly... a big issue in the growing culture of Sms in Europe.... I have doubts on the European iphone tidal wave....

    May 8, 2008 at 11:26 am |
  65. Yannis, UK

    I'm not a tech / gadget person. I've had my Nokia 6310i four 6 years because it was robust and the battery lasted a week.

    The iPhone is a step change in mobiles. It's what nuclear energy was for power generation, space travel for space exploration.

    The halo effect is true although we use windows at work on my next contract I will as for an iPhone ( when this becomes available) instead of the Blackbery. My next PC?... Most likely an Apple.

    May 8, 2008 at 11:48 am |
  66. Spartacus

    Maddox, I don't understand your point! Apple can run EVERY os available. With a few software products, Apple computers can even run several OS'es at the same time. Sorry but your opinion is clearly from someone who doesn't ever touched a Mac. I'm a IT user since a long time, and I use every operative system available. Lately I've been using MacOSX a lot and it's a joy. You can use it for the most brainless task and you can use it for the most complex one. It gives you anything at any user level. My University has been replacing PC's for Macs as servers with lots of beneficts concerning systems management. Your opinion is just a demonstration of what you are calling "computer illiteracy".

    May 8, 2008 at 11:49 am |
  67. john katto

    I have been a mac lover for the last 10 years, and I live in Uganda! I now use a macbook pro and 2 iphones. I still wish that Apple didn't play those tricks of using selected phone companies only, thus denying most people of the great iphone. If they are targeting 10m, they could have sold 100m phones.
    Still, there products are the best!!

    May 8, 2008 at 12:34 pm |
  68. Subba Reddy

    Our office has nothing but PC's. Slowly now some people have started using Mac Book instead of Vaio. I have now purchased an Imac and am about to buy an Apple TV. I think in another 2 years 75% of the PC's will be apple's and mind you this is in spite of the fact that in India there are hardly any dealers for Apple products and ZERO support after you purchase their product.

    May 8, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  69. Ali Issam

    As a self employed service provider who has never advertised, I truly believe in the word of mouth concept as it has worked for me for ages. Nothing beats your own customers doing the sales pitch for you as they have nothing to gain from it other than the satissfaction of giving good advise.

    I have given up waiting on a quad core powermac, as it will take too long to wait. Im jumping now.

    I so hate microsoft that I was going to drop Yahoo if they were to be bought out by BILL>

    Go Apple...

    May 8, 2008 at 7:57 pm |
  70. morghus

    I'm not too fond of Apple's lock-in policies.
    I'm not too M$' lock-in policies and bloat.
    I'm not too fond of Linux' oft-complex use.

    Then again, I prefer complex to being locked in and bloated. I just wish there truly was a choice for what I wanted to use with anything. Until then I'll go on hating M$ and Apple both.

    May 9, 2008 at 1:31 pm |
  71. Someone

    I truly am tired of listening to people complain about windows Vista, and using that as an excuse to say that Mac or whatever operating system is better. I use windows... deal with it... I do web development, and mac users love multimedia. Whatever meets your needs! Stop trying to impose your opinion on others... seriously... no one gives a crap.

    May 9, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  72. Jarek91

    I use Vista on my Dell laptop and on my work computer. My home desktop...it's an iMac. I picked it up about two months ago. Before that I had not touched an Apple since my mom's Apple ][e way back in the early 80's. I'll never buy another Wintel system. The ease of use and responsiveness of this system has convinced me that Apple is the way to go. And I'm a techie geek. I build all of my own systems...until I got the iMac. Heck...I unboxed the thing at work and just by turning it on and configuring my account it managed to sell itself to the CFO who picked one up the next day.

    They just have to work on dispelling the old tired myth that their hardware is more expensive than a PC. It's not. I've done comparisons over the last week at my blog. Would you believe they're cheaper than similar systems from Dell? It's true even when the Mac has better hardware specs.

    http://soapboxrants.net

    May 9, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  73. Someone

    Oh yeah... and the iPod was the worst purchase that I ever made...

    May 9, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  74. Josh

    Everyone says how hack proof OSX is, I say phooey. When a product such as the iPhone , which is based on the OSX can be quickly and repeatedly hacked by a wonderful group of coders faster than Apple's developers can patch a fix tells me that it won't be too long until the world starts hearing about this hack and that virus that just infected another MAC. Flame me if u want but fact is fact.

    May 9, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  75. Linda

    I've been using Apple for 19 years and am a Mac diehard, once you use Mac you never go back.

    May 9, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  76. Shari

    The perspectives here are interesting, but monumentally skewed in a pro-Apple direction. I've been a Mac user for about 20 years now and I've always have had and always will have a Mac. About 10 years ago though, I also got a PC and have been using both side-by-side ever since.

    I'm not sure what most folk's problems are, but I've had no more problems with the Windows side than the Mac side of things. Neither is perfect and both have strong and weak points. What you tend to find though is that people who use Macs love them so much that they learn to maintain them and forget that not everyone knows enough to repair permissions or run a system utility when something gets wonky. Those same folks never learned to maintain a PC and think that they're just confusing and hard to deal with. They're not. They're just different.

    That being said, PCs suffer from issues Macs do not as a direct result of one of their main strengths – expandability and flexibility with hardware. Macs benefit greatly from hardware integration because they come with relatively static and limited sets of components. PCs can be mix and match and there are crashes or their is instability from driver conflicts. However, when a PC gets old, you can cheaply swap out the old components for new, more power ones. The Mac, unless you buy the high end tower, requires a new Mac if you do anything more than e-mail and web surfing.

    The virus problems with PCs are greatly overblown. I very rarely get a virus, but I don't go to adult web sites or torrent sites. If you stay away from "bad" sites and don't open unknown attachments, the chances of getting a virus are as low for a PC as they are for a Mac.

    People need to be more balanced in their accounts and to not speak of things which they have little experience with. Most Mac users really haven't used PCs regularly and speak poorly of them because they don't know them. The same goes for PC users who bash Macs.

    May 9, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  77. mark

    @scott – 3G iphone rumored for June, 2.0 software confirmed for June that supports BlackBerry-like functions via Microsoft's ActiveSync, also incuded in the 2.0 update is support for end uesr built applications for the phone.
    @Gerray – if you don't know how to do something on a Mac.. just try what makes sense to you. you'd be surprised at how often "it just works" odds are that you'll be able to figure it out, which is better than any manual becaused you learned to do it yourself vs. having to memorize instructions from a manual. also look around for open source projects for OSX. 7 times out of 10, you'll be able to find something to suit your needs. example – you don't like MS Office for the Mac? Try neo office, or open office – FREE to download and use, and unless you're a power user, both of those get along just fine with MS Office.
    @Maddox – Mac's have a pretty shell, but underneath it's a modern, robust OS/architecture. In short – they're as powerful as you want them to be. FYI my MacBook Pro is running Leopard, XP, AT THE SAME TIME. I get along just fine in my windows centric office.

    May 9, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  78. John Hanna

    The Mac represents human-centric engineering at it's best. From the very beginning, Apple paid great attention to human factors in the design of their Mac products, from the number of buttons on a mouse( one!) to the method of shutting down the machine (certainly NOT by pressing the START button!) Windows XP, even Vista, as endless user inconsistencies that irritate and confuse users. On a deeper level, Apple utilized revolutionary best practices in it's core operating system design – practices that greatly reduce the potential for hacker shenanigans that plague the Windows world. No, it's NOT due to market share! Trust me, the first successful Mac OS X virus would make world wide headlines and would be insanely attractive to any hacker. The reality is the basic design of Windows forces most people to use "Administrator' access rights almost all the time. Some commercial programs REQUIRE administrator access, and if just one little program can be usurped and can read protected memory, the hacker is in and your machine is toast. A -child- can break into a Windows machine. A small child. Sloppy administrator access is just one problem, albeit a glaring one, with Windows. There are dozens and dozens of very basic, yet fatal problems with Windows. During my training as a GIAC certified security expert, it was fascinating to see almost -all- Macbooks in use by my fellow security colleagues. Any stray Dell laptops were running some other form of Unix. One poor guy had Windows, and we sort of felt bad for him.

    Bottom line: if you buy a Windows machine, please do NOT connect it to the Internet. It WILL be infected, and you CANNOT protect it in any way, other than disconnection from the Internet. Windows is simply not secure. Microsoft continues to dress up it's old operating system like a ghastly old circus clown, with brighter and wilder costumes (Vista) but underneath it's still the aged, arthritic old crone from 1984.

    May 9, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  79. Steve

    James Wittevrongel – Sounds like you're running MS Office 2004, which is not a universal binary. Upgrade to 2008 and your office experience will speed up immensely. Also, look up how to fix your macbook so that it loads PDFs for viewing with Preview.app instead of Adobe Acrobat Pro. Don't open Acrobat Pro unless you need to EDIT or CREATE a PDF.

    Jack Tyson: "Nobody who became truly great, and was of honour, became so by mocking or belittling their competition."

    Woah... Ever heard of Abraham Lincoln, or George Washington, or ... well, the list is long. Those guys were ROUGH on the competition, belittling and "name-calling", as were many of the historical "great men of honor" in history. I'm not sure where you dug that up.

    Apple has done an excellent job of lampooning Vista and PCs in general. Their intent was to get your attention, and it's working. Vista, per se, should have no feelings to hurt, and the marketplace is such that Microsoft can respond. Some feel they don't because it's not worth their time; I think they don't because the Apple adverts are generally portraying reality somewhat kindly, rather than 'worst case scenario'.

    May 9, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  80. SamuelHenderson

    Apple makes a great system on both the hardware and the OS sides. I however, use Linux (more specifically Fedora and Ubuntu) for the simple fact that I can throw a decent computer together for around $300 – $400 and then throw Linux on it for free.

    Of course as a programmer, my needs as far as horespower are admittedly less than that of an artist. If I ever branch out and start doing my own audio / video work then I will definitely invest in purchasing a Mac. But for now, Linux lets me do all my development without the cost overhead of Apple.

    May 9, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  81. heikin-ashi nyc

    I personally have an iphone and know that its currently the best phone on the market...its a great product and there is huge demand oversea's...i have a buddy in singapore begging me to send one over..

    The major flaws w/ apple is that its only apple software....when gogle comes out w/ their phone the iphone will be dropped for the simple notion of something newer and less available + better software....

    the price has dropped on the iphone now you see it almost everywhere....there are ways to customize the software thru hacks...and there are even stores that will dip the hardware in 24k gold etc etc... but fact of the matter is supply and demand rules...

    googles phone will be rare...it will play all video formats...it will be a computer in your hand...as for when this will be released who knows...but w/ good timing i wouldnt be surprised to see them grab a decent share of the marketplace....would be a good idea if they did verizon only....may be a better idea if they do multiple providers....only time will tell....

    i still think apple will run regardless on better than expected computer sales...212 end of summer...i'll be dumping my shares around that price range depending on the charts...

    May 9, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  82. Joseph

    I am not sure whether everyone who comments on this blog loves Macs, but it sure sounds like it? The cost benefit of buying a mac versus another PC is amazing. PC’s with higher specs than Macbook Pro's go for half the price (at least in the UK, Compare Acer Gemstone 6920G and a Macbook Pro 17inch).
    Whilst OSX is an entirely stable and useful platform, developers and cost are the key to market saturation. The more useful programs that are available for OSX and the more competitive their prices become, the more I think Apple will grow. Word of mouth alone does not convince enough people to buy. Experience encourages people to buy. And if you are not tempted to experience (ie: purchase) because of the price, then that could potentially stunt Apple’s growth in the future.

    May 9, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  83. Jarvis Chan

    I'm a big fan of Apple's Design, from the UI up to their industrial design. I really believe the reason why they are ahead is because Steve Jobs really do get Design(along with his other brilliance). Others barely know what design is all about, they're just following the bandwagon.

    As a frustrated designer working for a boss who doesn't get it . I've been longing for a boss that knows "design is not just how it looks, design is how it works"(Steve Jobs)

    However, I am not quite as excited about owning a mac. Simply because everybody wants one now and I don't want to be like everybody else. Unfortunately, There is really not much of a choice considering Vista sucks big time.

    May 9, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  84. Mitch

    Macs are perfect for the home user and are slowly moving corporate. They however will need to develop a true support system before they will make it in big business. And anyone who says they don't have problems is crazy. I have worked on enough macs to realize they are not without faults. I do however recommend them whenever someone asks me for a good computer for home. Because they control the hardware and software very tightly on there machines there tend to be less compatibility issues. That same control also drives more technical people crazy. My prediction is that the current spike in linux interest by home users will steal some of the mac thunder in the next couple years. Adapt or die!

    May 9, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  85. luis

    I switched to a macbook and osx and i only setup bootcamp to play COD4.. otherwise I got pretty much the same functionality I had in win xp.

    Cheers

    May 9, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  86. Da Coyote

    Microsoft is the dominant player in the corporate market and is not likely to ce"...de any market share without a fight..." And the only way that they're going to fight Apple is to purchase some creativity – since Microsoft has an unparalleled record of abysmal product development (Vista being the latest example). Microsoft simply cannot create. Their only hope is to purchase some other company that has a corporate policy that encourages creativity.

    May 9, 2008 at 7:26 pm |
  87. Jeff Hayford

    If you had written this piece 3 or 4 years ago you would have been trolled by Windows fanboys on how inferior the Mac is to PCs. For Mac users like myself who have used one ever since they were old enough to talk we've been on the front lines defending out decisions since day one. I thumb through Mac vs. PC comments often and we're all seeing a gradual land slide effect happening. We're modest in our reactions but deep down we're all screaming "I told you so!"

    I'm actually in the camp that wants to retain Mac's exclusive market share. I think if too many people get their hands on the prize it will turn into the Microsoft of the technology world. Microsoft has their place in the market, albeit dwindling they have gone after the lowest common denominator skimping on innovation and selling themselves short on products and services.

    Jobs maybe once said it best, they just don't innovate and in a technology world you need to be ahead of the curve. Unfortunately Microsoft has always been behind it. They'll claim their innovating at or faster but the truth is their either borrowing or stealing from companies to get where they are. We all know how they got started, it's unfortunate that for a while smart business ruled out over quality products, but we're finally seeing a shift in that model. People are beginning to expect not just computing power but elegance. If you're going to stare at that screen and the hardware around it for 8 hours or more a day, why not make it somethings not only appealing to look at but intuitive to use.

    May 9, 2008 at 7:52 pm |
  88. Spark Jack

    In recession business does the unthinkable; It continues to do business.

    Tonight at nine cancer patients that don't commit suicide and other people not flipping nuts like the world is ending.

    Oh, sorry, I meant to say, "That crazy Steve Jobs, it's a recessions, he should just pack it in and go back to making them crazy digital disney whatchamacallits whilst everyone saves their money and gets of debt." Ha.

    Oh, and anyone who was a Mac faithful before OS X and the return of Jobs, were you in a coma during the entirety of the 90s? Did pseudo multi-tasking in the finder thrill you? While intel and amd competed to actually get faster processors out the door were you consoling yourselves with the paltry PowerPC and "supercomputing"? Do you find that last question insulting based on an article from the mid-90s theoretically telling you you were right? Was that article in a mac magazine?

    Perspective children. PERSPECTIVE.

    If you're a fanboy, rejoice in your current superiority and pray Apple never gets another soda company ceo to steer its agenda. The rest of you buy Apple cause we need probably 50 percent market share before the EU can sue Apple into letting their OS be licensed to non-apple machines. I want to build my mac now that I can actually upgrade cpus with actual cpus rather than ::shudder:: those...cards...

    Vista is terrible, vista is terrible, MS isn't going to fix the APIs/kernal/or host of other dubious design and code decisions while Balmer has fingers to sign contracts with. If Windows 7 handles like Win2k with an OSX stardock gui mod I'd consult my therapist before putting down money for something that came from Redmond.

    May 12, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  89. Alison

    The huge thing with Apple is that each and every one of its customers is a walking marketer for the company. I don't know how many times I've heard someone say "Apple's are the best" or "It doesn't happen to my computer because I have an Apple"

    So the only question is.. when will the Apple effect disappear and fade out.

    May 13, 2008 at 1:10 am |
  90. Seth

    The key to the iPhone's success is its software. I have owned several windows mobile pda/smart phones that possessed hardware features lacking on the iphone (3G, GPS, Stereo Bluetooth, etc.) Sadly, these technological marvels are crippled by Windows mobile and its clunky, buggy, and slow interface. If I could put MAC OS X on a ATT Tilt, it would be an amazing phone.

    May 14, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
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