BusinessWeek has pulled out all the stops in a series covering Apple. This first article we are mentioning is "Where "Think Different" Is Taking Apple," by Jane Black. This article says, in a nutshell, that Apple is in the process of successfully turning itself into a company more like Sony than a computer vendor of old. This is appropriate in that being like Sony was something Steve Jobs laid out as a goal years ago, though the article doesnit mention that. From the article:
BEYOND THE MAC. Years after Apple launched its advertising campaign admonishing customers to "Think Different," CEO Steve Jobs appear to be taking his own advice. Instead of resigning himself to the idea that Apple will never be more than a niche PC supplier, Jobs is slowly transforming it into a high-end consumer-electronics and services company à la Sony ( SNE ) -- one that he hopes ultimately will be less dependent on sales of the Macintosh PC, which now account for about 80% of revenues.
Appleis transformation has been gradual. It started in October of 1999, when the company introduced iMovie, a video-editing program for the Mac that brought professional-quality digital editing to the masses. iTunes software for playing and managing digital music files came next, in January of 2001. Then just 10 months later, Apple launched the first iPod.
Though iPod got rave reviews, it soon became clear that most people werenit going to abandon their Windows PC just for the chance to use what arguably was the best MP3 player on the market. So in August of 2002, Apple introduced an iPod for Windows. By Christmas, it plans to launch more new Windows-compatible products, such as the wildly successful music-download service, the iTunes Music Store, originally just for Macs.
"That represents a shift in strategy, whether they realized it at first or not," says Wolf. "The iPod was the first product that wasnit tethered to the Mac." Apple executives decline to comment on companyis strategy.
"Microsoftis mantra is iWhere do you want to go today?i But it has always been Apple that has succeeded at figuring out where people really want to go," says [Tim] OiReilly. Steve Jobsis promise to "innovate through the downturn" may turn out to be the right strategy -- both for Apple and for its customers.
The comprehensive look does not stop there, however, and we recommend this article as a very good read. Note that this is a two page article, with the link to the second page being at the bottom of the page.