Apple Success Depends on Being a Generalist

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Apple is the great generalist and seldom caters to individual customers for special projects or long term support. That was the observation by David Sobotta in his latest ApplePeels published Sunday.

Large Apple customers have long held differing views of how Apple should support them. For example, at one point a large federal agency asked Apple for a cross platform version of Safari and the Mail.app. The customer felt that the only way for Apple to become a viable alternative to Windows would be for Apple applications to become their enterprise standard.

Apple executives didnit see it that way.

At issue is how much time and resources Apple has to go after bad enterprise software in the Windows side when they believe they should be focusing on well-integrated software on the Mac side which is a joy to use. And when Apple caters to these special customer projects, they always end up losing degrees of freedom in future efforts. Looking around at all the organizations still standardized on Windows 2000 drives home the point.

Mr. Sobotta, who is a Realtor/Broker in North Carolina, surmised that Apple must have given the Real Estate industry the same cold shoulder years ago. Apple products are non-existent in that industry.

In the end, however, these restrictions that Apple places on itself shouldnit close the door on market share. There is probably plenty of room for Apple to grow, being a generalist company, while PC oriented companies bend over backwards for customers, tie themselves in knots, try to lock customers into a custom system and end up supporting it for all time.

Itis an Apple strength, but it can sure drive the sales force crazy when the customer wants to send gobs of money and Apple corporate firmly declines.

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