The Biggest Deal About Macworld was the Name Change

by James R. Stoup Jan 11, 2007

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other word would smell as sweet.”

—From Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

At the end of Tuesday’s presentation, Apple did a very important thing, they changed their name.

Old And Busted - Apple Computer Inc.
New Hotness - Apple Inc.

Now, it wasn’t an enourmous change, I’ll grant you. They didn’t go from Apple Computer Inc. to Steve’s Discount Electronics Barn but it was, nonetheless, a signifigant event. Why, you ask? Well, because this “officially” lets the world know that, while Apple still makes computers, they are no longer the main focus of the company.

When Apple created the iPod they could reasonably claim that they were just extending their current computer business by selling consumers an extra small computer that just so happened to play music. And when they released the iTunes Music Store they explained it as simply extending the iPod experience. And both announcements seemed inline with what they were doing as a computer company, sort of.

But that all changed Tuesday. Apple just announced a device that connects to your TV. A device that plays movies and TV shows. A device that in the very near future will be competing with cable, TiVo and satelite TV.

And then, if that wasn’t enough, Apple released a highly advanced cellphone. A device which, simultaneously, competes with (to varying degrees) with PDAs, cellphones, tablet PCs and hand held gaming systems.

Ladies and gentlemen, Apple is no longer a computer company, they are a consumer electronics company. In fact, they are begining to look more and more like Sony in the 80’s and 90’s. They make high quality products that span a wide range of interest and are dominant in several markets.

So, with the realization that Apple now has more in common with Sony than Dell or Microsoft, what does that mean for Apple’s future? Or, put simply, what will they do next?

Maybe. . . video games? Now, I realize there has been much speculation, with very little evidence, concerning this topic but the release of Apple TV makes this such an obvious market. Look at it this way. If Apple manages to sell consumers a box they plug into their TV, is it really that much of a stretch to think they might also sell them a wireless controller too? Look at the interface for Apple TV, do you think it really would be that hard to add in one more icon that says “Games”?

Seriously folks, if all Apple has to do is update their software, create some games and sell a controller, how long do you think they will stay out of this market? And what about the iPhone? It has motion sensing technology built in, it has an infinately configurable interface and an incredibly beautiful screen. Hum. . . if only it could play games then it would directly compete with both the GameBoy and the PSP. So, how long before Apple starts selling custom games on iTMS?

2007 might really be the year Apple expands it business and shows the world just how big they can get. After all, it isn’t just about computers anymore.


  • Apple had wanted to call itself Apple Inc. forever.

    The use of “Computer” in the Apple Computer corp. name has
    always been just a compromise to keep the Beatles at bay.

    Apple was finally able to drop the “Computer” part on Jan 09 07
    only because it has finally reached a deal with the Beatles.

    Thanks to the agreement with the Beatles two things happened:

    (1) Steve Jobs got to demo the Beatles songs during his Keynote;

    (2) Apple was able to drop “Computer” without a Beatles lawsuit.

    Reading anything else is most the wrong reading of this event.

    Coming soon to an iTunes near you:  The Beatles music catalog.

    JC_NY had this to say on Jan 13, 2007 Posts: 1
  • And coming soon to a Mac near you, a new keyboard based on Multi touch and a screen that changes the keys depending on which application your using…

    xwiredtva had this to say on Jan 15, 2007 Posts: 172
  • JC: Yes, I think you are spot on.

    Anyone who thinks this name change means less focus on Mac need to think again.  I just read somewhere that Macs bring in the same revenue as iPods, and they are more profitable.  And Mac sales are going gangbusters - up 37% or thereabouts for Q4 compared to a year before.  Apple has recently appointed an additional manufacturer to increase production capacity for Macbooks.

    The iPhone runs OSX - the development costs of which are at least partly shared with the Mac platform.  The iPhone applications are derivatives of existing Mac applications.

    Happiness in a business is having several “pillars” to your business.  Apple has three now:  Mac, iPod, iTunes Music Sales.  The iPhone may give them a fourth pillar if they do it right.  Each pillar stands on its own but must be nurtured and developed.

    So I would expect Apple to accelerate development on the Mac platform; clearly quantify the gap between the laggard Vista and OS/X with the announcement of Leopard and then put lots of distance between OS/X and Vista with rapid product announcements in 2007/8.

    I would also expect Apple to seriously target business for the first time in years.  Look for a small business (5-50 staff) initiative based on a new low-end OS/X Server product with “everything you need” to run your business.  An answer to MS Small Business Server - but much easier to install and operate.

    More Macbooks, Macbook Pros, iLife enhancements, iWork enhancements… 

    More Mac in fact.  Not less.

    In the meantime, the iPod, iTunes, iPhone, Home Media business units will be going gangbusters developing new products and features.

    And Apple has that huge pile of cash to spend… So expect some acquisitions…  Games companies perhaps?

    sydneystephen had this to say on Jan 15, 2007 Posts: 124
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