Apple Marketing Letters, Page

By Matthew Rothenberg  |  Posted 2002-06-17 Print this article Print

6"> Apple Marketing Letters, Page 6

Apple is showing a bolder marketing strategy not just because they must expand their market share but also because they finally have the pieces in place to pursue that goal.
For the first time in a decade, Apple has an operating system competitive with almost anything else, in terms of usability; stability; and perhaps most important, potential. This is not to say that OS X can match Windows in all respects, particularly when it comes to Microsofts many back-office technologies and vast developer base. But as someone who uses both platforms, OS X is excellent and solid. In addition, Apples hardware is more reliable than ever before and displays a creativity that is sorely absent elsewhere.
Further, Apple is showing a prudent strategy of picking fights in verticals and niches where it stands a good chance of success. The companys recent acquisitions in high-end compositing products suggests that Apple is looking to build market share in the film and television production industries, like it has in advertising, graphic design and apparel design. While the assertion of Ken Popovichs well-balanced article, "Apples Xserve to Face Tough Sell" is that Apple will have a big challenge in penetrating enterprise computing, I really wonder if that is Apples main strategy. A case in point: Apple is openly wooing Windows users with its new advertising campaign. But I sense that their expectation is not to win over the core Windows user any more than the company can expect to win over the hearts and minds of passionately pro-Windows IT managers. Core Windows users are as passionate about their OS as Mac zealots are about theirs. Instead, I suspect that there is an outer fringe of Windows users who are far more ambivalent about Windows and potentially more receptive to Apples marketing messages. In a similar vein, I suspect that Apples true target for Xserve is in market niches where it has an equal chance: education, video production, scientific research, high-end graphics, and corporate marketing and advertising departments. With respect to the IT enterprise, perhaps Apples new slogan might be "Think Humble." I have to believe that Apple understands that the IT enterprise will be a very tough sell. The company is a late entrant to a highly competitive marketplace for rack-mount servers, where Windows and Linux are already deeply entrenched. It will take time for Apple to prove that, finally, its commitment to the enterprise is serious and steadfast. Instead, my hunch is that Apple is doing this in part to ensure that corporate penetration of their desktop products and software will continue. Brian Teeter
Communications Manager
HNC Software Inc.
Irvine, Calif.

Mac veteran Matthew Rothenberg is online editor for Ziff Davis Medias Baseline and CIO Insight magazines.

Online News Editor
Matthew has been associated with Ziff Davis' news efforts for more than a decade, including an eight-year run with the print and online versions of MacWEEK. He also helped run the news and opinion operations at ZDNet and CNet. Matthew holds a B.A. from the University of California, San Diego.


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