Monday, June 13, 2005

Apple - OS X - "Tiger" - "Leopard" - Intel - "Well done Jobs!"

Over the last few years, Apple has slowly started doing the right things. After the release of the iPod, the Mac G5, the macMini, the PowerBook, the new swanky Apple Stores, the release of OS X "Tiger", the groundswell emergence of PodCasting, the switch from PowerPC to Intel, the success of iTunes, the iPod "Halo" effect, it really is time for me to take stock of what is going on...

And i think, (i really do think), it looks interesting. It may even be the first indications of an Apple Tsunami....

  • Firstly, it was a master stroke by Steve Jobs, to switch Mac OS X to BSD Unix (Darwin project). Smart move Jobs.

  • Secondly, taking a leaf out of the Linux Open Source community. Make Darwin lean and mean, and based on a managed community distribution.

  • by letting Apple engineers innovate where they really like to in the Usability/User Mode Operating System. Voila 18-months later -- from a tub of baby fat -- out comes OS X "Tiger"!

  • Lets talk about OS X "Tiger"- Spotlight;Dashboard Widgets;iChat;Automator; Safari RSS; QuickTime (H.264) -- its remarkable the sheer number of tightly integrated features that are offered in what is an interim update.

  • Not only that. Jobs promises another release of OS X, "Leopard", by end of 2006, the same as when "Longhorn" is promised.

  • In the space of 2 years, Apple, has single-handedly re-invented the digital music market, and with a bit of luck may even become a significant part of the music industry supply-chain.

Look at the facts:

  1. iPod sales. (5.3Millions units sold in 1Q 2005 -- 558% up from last year! - 15 Million sold worldwide -- It has 80% market-share of all hard-drive music players)
  2. iTunes sales. (Half a Billion songs sold to-date! 1 Million sold in the first week -- 70% market-share for all online music download -- the Largest online music company in the World!).
  3. iPod Shuffle sales (Apple has a 58% market-share of ALL Flash-players -- it has achieved this in only 6 months!)

Now what has the iPod, iTunes, iMac, iPod Shuffle got to do with anything...? Well its given many people the opportunity to look at Apple products, Apple software, Apple operating systems. This "Halo-effect" as analysts calls it has created a 10% conversion rate, not bad given the number of iPod sales...

Parallel to that -- the decision of Apple to switch from IBM Power PC (PPC) chips to Intel Pentium chips -- will have created another shudder at Redmond, afterall, Microsoft will be hyping up Longhorn with a lot of fanfare at about the same time that OS X "Leopard" comes to market. Given the technical advantage OS X "Tiger" already has over what we know about Longhorn, no doubt people will be looking with interest.

In fact you can see that the battlines are drawn, Steve Jobs is taking a more aggressive stance, trying to create the awareness in the consumer.

In fact, it certainly increases the pressure for Microsoft to get something out of the door in the same time frame as OS X "Leopard". Lets not also forget that with open-source virtualisation products like wine or hardware virtualisation like the dual-core Pentium M, running Windows apps on Apple OS X will be really easy.

I will certainly be looking forward to owning my first Apple Macintosh come this time next year 2006.

No comments: