Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Should Apple Open Up?

The link above will take you to a current article in Business Week's web site. I got the link from my friend, Waleed al-Shobakky, who is attending university in Qatar.

Though Apple is almost completely without a commercail presence anywhere except the US and western Europe, the company garners a lot of attention in the rest of the world. Almost an amazing amount of attention.

I don't think Apple should open up any part of their digital entertainment operations. However; I do think they are missing a lot of income by not selling OS X for x86 as a standalone product. Actually, I would see that as a grand move to drive their digital entertainment market forward, besides generating a boatload of profits.

Doing so could conceiveably drive Apple's market share of operating systems above 10% and 20% is not beyond possiblity. Rather than the iPod generating operating system and hardware sales, I could see operating system sales generating a much more widespread presence in digital entertainment, which is where the real money is.

Apple does not have to attempt supporting the vast majority of hardware, as Windows does. They only have to support a small subset of x86 stuff. They can line up strategic partners for this and support no other products. That's doable without great development costs to drain their profits.

If they don't do this, and relatively soon, I think they'll be missing a chance to really grab the maket and lead it, despite their minority share.


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