Thomas Hollowell - Author, Athlete, Entrepreneur, World Traveler

The Apple Groove

Those dancing to iTunes in Apple’s neon magazine ads might just be those who own a good stake in Apple stock. Perhaps we should call it iStock? Since Apple, Inc. CEO Steve Jobs has taken over the company, almost exactly ten years ago, the company’s limits match their headquarters’ address at 1 Infinite Loop. So, what’s going on at Apple lately? Does the future look rainbow bright? And, what are we Mac aficionados advising Apple, Inc. do to truly rock & roll?

We all know and have heard about the new Microsoft Vista. This new Windows Operating System is said to focus even more on safety and security than ever before. Isn’t this something that Apple has focused on from the beginning? And, we’ve heard news that they’ve redesigned their calculator and even provide a desktop search option. While some call such tidbits an upgrade, Apple is still finalizing the release of the new Mac OS X 10.5 version, dubbed Leopard. Microsoft users claim that this time, yes this time, Apple has been foiled. Microsoft has beaten them to the punch. Well, what was that fable about the turtle and the hare? Apple, who seems to always remain calm, collect, and together puts their energies into making sure their system is going to be rock, no, diamond solid.

Apple recently rear-ended vista (in what some call a media ploy) when they warned Microsoft PC users that they should not upgrade to Vista just yet, that is, until Apple can work out some bugs so that their iTunes software will work on Microsoft’s new platform. Vista, which takes up much more space and requires a nice chunk of RAM to function means that many users are going to have to purchase new computers and will have to learn to operate an entirely different platform. With that, some Apple execs have speculated that consumers might glance at the sturdy Mac lineup, giving them a chance to play in the game.

Of course the battles back and forth between Microsoft and Apple, Inc. will continue, quite possibly until Microsoft withers away one day. For many, it is pure entertainment and a fun way to pick on our neighbors’ sickly PCs – it’s that virus going around…

Besides the release of Apple’s Mac OS X Leopard, which Jobs claims they are releasing well after Vista to prevent a “borrowing” of ideas, iPod lovers can’t wait for the release of the iPhone that should be on the marketplace, full force, by this summer. Apple, who seems to often win any lawsuits in which they become involved (even if it takes twenty years, such as the recent settlement with Apple Corps, the Beatles’ record label), is now up against Cisco/Linksys who recently released their own “iPhone”. Apple claims that their iPhone is a cell phone and not a VoIP phone. Vying for the iPhone name doesn’t mean a whole lot in the long run, analysts agree. People know an Apple, Inc. product when they see and use it. Cisco’s ruse will simply reflect negatively on them in the end.

Apple’s future is already rainbow bright. We’ve already seen the release of the multi-colored iShuffle and iPod Nano PRODUCT (RED). Apple, which claims that 2007 will be their biggest year ever, may be taking its time with certain releases (and keeping the public waiting at their doorstep), but we all know the wait is worthwhile. This year, 2007, people are looking for more powerful, smaller, faster, multi-functional, handheld dream machines that do it all. Apple, Inc., who has moved way beyond personal computing, is permeating the entire surface area of our digital lives. (Excuse me, I have to turn down my iPod, to get my iRemote, because iMyself have misplaced my iTiny iPod Shuffle while pausing my iDVD, so that I could answer my iPhone, while continuing to type this great article on my old iPod.)

Clearly, the future of Apple with Steve Jobs at the helm (and the genius “Get a Mac” ad scheme) means that the company is only going to move full steam ahead. However, we can’t just stop here. Not to end on a sour note, but now that Apple is enjoying the fruits of its labor (puns intended), the company has got to start listening to their grassroots following, the same alternative crowd who helped create its persona of being
suave and different. In an award-winning website launched by Green Peace at www.GreenMyApple.com, a replica of the Apple Website is being used to deliver a message to Apple.

Brought about through an absolute brilliant rendition of the “Get a Mac” advertisements, the streaming-video portrayal shows PC and Mac embodiments getting along surprisingly well. The two claim to be “cousins under the skin” and “My brother from another mother”. Each takes turns naming numerous toxic chemicals used in computers. In the end, they come to clasp hands and say in unison “Good times”. Their message: “I love my Mac. I just wish it came in green”. Apple follows much stricter environmental guidelines in Europe and Japan than in the United States for their products. They rank well below other companies such as Dell, Nokia, and Sony for their environmental policies. Apple must not ignore a voice that is becoming much more prevalent. If Steve Jobs wants Apple, Inc. to truly rock & roll, they have to go green!

Apple is doing and will continue to do well. Even if their stock fluctuates due to regular factors, the company will probably oust their competition on all levels of the playing board because it is what they do best. Steve Jobs is leading Apple, Inc. into a future where all their products are a normal household name. With all of these “good times,” Apple can start paying attention to other, more philanthropic areas of the game. It will do nothing but boost their public image, persona, and allow them to solidly secure their top position on the pinnacle of everything multimedia.

Appears in: ComputorEdge V25N11