Since increasingly faster computers don’t seem to be pumping up consumers, Apple’s “digital hub” strategy looks more and more like a good idea, Charles Haddad writes in his latest
Byte of the Apple column
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Though today’s computer systems run at four times the top speed of the speediest systems of three years ago, most computer users find such speed “superfluous, since their old machines are fast enough to handle most common tasks: writing memos and e-mail, crunching numbers, and playing games,” the columnist says. This goes against the business model that’s driven the computer industry for two decades and computer sales were down 5 percent last year, he adds.
Apple and CEO Steve Jobs realize that consumers no longer are willing to drop big bucks on a computer just because of its power, Haddad opines. And he feels the company has a two-pronged solution: attempt “through aggressive marketing” to redefine its core product and to branch into new electronic devices.
“Apple, you see, would never make anything so humdrum and uncool as a mere computer today,” Haddad writes. “What it makes now is a digital appliance which captures, stores, edits, and transfers any kind of digital file, whether music, video, or data. It’s not just a computer — it’s something new, special, and must-have. You get the spin … Along with the iPod digital-music player, rumors persist that Apple is working on some kind of cell phone or PDA-cell phone hybrid.”