Alex Salkever of Business Week has written an open letter to Apple’s Steve Jobs in a recent column that provides some interesting perspectives on where Apple should go next in terms of its computer business. Most of his points are awfully hard to argue with.
You’ve been to Target, right? You probably seen the terrific product designs such as well-known architect Michael Graves’ line of stylish housewares — offered a budget prices. Heck, Blue Light Specials at Kmart haven’t been the same since Martha Stewart’s line of kitchen gear, sheets, and towels hit the aisles several years ago. Dumpster-diving debutantes can’t get enough of them. Even sportswear designer Mossimo makes great threads for fiscal lightweights.
We’re in the era of cheap chic, Steve. And I have no doubt that Apple can play that game with the best of them. Give us a really cheap, really cool PC, and watch them fly off the shelves.
He also makes the case for selling iMacs without integrated monitors, and I hope that’s in the works for the next series of iMacs. I’ve decided to purchase a Mac later this year, and while the iMac displays are gorgeous, I tend to look at them as a barrier to switching when I have to pay to replace a perfectly good CRT that’s already sitting on my desk. I also cringe at the thought of what happens when the display gets along in years. Right now, you have to chuck the whole iMac and get another.
There’s a pretty big hole in Apple’s product line right now (even ignoring the missing iMacs) with the removal of the single-processor G5 from production. I’m a developer, and interested in a serious computer, so the iMac/eMac form factors don’t appeal to me much, due to the home user target and the integrated monitors.
On the other hand, the $2,000 starting price for a G5 is asking a bit much from a machine that, from my position as a PC user, is an unproven value. The way the refurbished single-processor G5’s are flying out of Apple’s refurbished section, I don’t think I’m the only person that’s in that boat.
I’m curious to hear from the Mac folks on how they see Apple’s position.