General Question

Hollister0221's avatar

Do you think Apple will ever open it's OS to the public or always be married to Macs?

Asked by Hollister0221 (502points) March 23rd, 2008 from iPhone

Is there any advantage to either?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

6 Answers

eklamor's avatar

I think os x will always be married to their own hardware. That way they control sales. Its how they have always done it. I mean tons of people buy new hardware to switch. I did

jrpowell's avatar

I think the idea is in the works. Mac sales would have to go to shit for it to ever happen. Actually, I think it was one of the reasons OS X has been developed for Intel for so long. It was a back-up. I think they could push out OEM versions of OS X tomorrow if they wanted to.

Mac sales are really good right now. Don’t plan on seeing official versions of OS X for *86 anytime soon.

robmandu's avatar

By having complete control over the hardware platform, Apple is able to develop the Mac OS to a higher tandard that is not achievable the way Microsoft (and Linux) does it.

Furthermore, realize that Apple makes a profit on all of the hardware they sell… which is a huge incentive for them to continue doing business the way they do it.

The only reason why folks even try to get Apple to openly license their OS to other hardware manufacturers is the perception that it will lower costs. But if you actually spec out a Dell/HP/Gateway/whatever crapbox to the same level of components as a comparable Mac, you’ll often times find the Mac comes out on top in terms of price (very slightly).

In that regard then, a Mac is actually a better value when comparing similar config. Plus Steve Jobs is on record as saying that they have a certain level of standards, which means that they won’t release a super-cheapo machine as it won’t be the quality they want to be associated with.

Finally, regarding cost, compare the price of a box of OS X ($129) with a box of Vista ($299, $399, more). Yah, Linux is “free”, but is practically unusable by your “normal” person.

aaronblohowiak's avatar

all some good answers, but none that talk about $. part of how a stock is evaluated is in revenue. Lets go ahead and assume that they open up osx to other platforms, and they charge $150 for the OS. Assume that a mac brings in about 2k on average. In order to keep revenue even, they’d have to sell 13 copies of OSX for every hardware mac sale that they lost. Their profitability would go way up, but the yearly revenue would likely decline. This would essentially be devaluing AAPL (the Apple stock,) a move that SJ is unlikely to want to pursue.

So, even if they got all the hardware issues out of the way and could magically deal with incompatibilities and the degrading of the brand as a status symbol that commoditization would bring and the weakening of a vertically integrated system, they STILL wouldn’t do it for $ reasons unless they thought they could sell more than 10 times as many copies of osx for every computer sale they lost.

Now, some people would say “if they opened it up, they would actually end up selling MORE computers as the interest in Apple grew.” Maybe. But they tried that and failed once before:

cwilbur's avatar

Apple makes far more money on hardware than they do on software; OS X is just a competitive advantage for their hardware. Apple is a hardware company. Unless something substantial changes, they’ll continue to be a hardware company.

They’ve tried licensing the OS before—which meant that other people could produce Mac clones if they paid a per-unit fee to Apple. They hemorrhaged money, and the Mac clone program almost killed Apple before it was stopped. They’re not about to try that one again.

Tharden's avatar

If you had the big joker in a spades game, would you trade it for an ace…....

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