BusinessWeek: Apple’s Future Doesn’t Ride With Macs At All Anymore

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Charles Haddad is back in his customary seat at BusinessWeek, and his first at-bat with his Byte of the Apple column since taking a six month leave may raise some eyebrows and ire in the Mac community. Mr. Haddad posits that the Mac is no longer the driving force for Apple, and that it will never hold more than 3-5% of the market. Instead, says Mr. Haddad, the iPod will be the instrument of growth for the company.

Mr. Haddad looks at the potential of the Windows market for the iPod, especially with Apple porting iTunes and the iTunes Music Store (iTMS) to the Windows platform later this year. Based partially on comments from Charles Wolf of Needham & Co., Mr. Haddad says that this combination of events is going to lead to huge sales of the iPod going forward. From the article:

I donit care how fast the new Power Mac G5 is -- or isnit (if you believe the critics). Appleis future doesnit ride on the speed of its Macs. In fact, Appleis future doesnit ride with Macs at all anymore. No, I havenit been off in the desert downing peyote (although I did retreat from the weekly fray of writing this column for the past six months). What I saw from my sideline perch is that the Macis day has come and gone.

[...]

What I am saying is that Apple is at one of the most important turning points in its history. It stands at the threshold of crossing over from cult favorite to household name, especially if that household has a teenager.

BACON SAVER. Apple is making this crossing on the slender back of its little iPod. This portable digital-music player is at the cusp of doing for music what the original Apple did for computing in the late 1970s: setting the standard as the mass market for these players starts taking off.

You can read the full article at BusinessWeekis Web site.

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