UX Magazine

Defining and Informing the Complex Field of User Experience (UX)
Article No. 23 January 12, 2006

Apple Changes to the Core

What makes Apple successful? Great design? Good software? Fun ads with dancing silhouettes? Steve Jobs’ presentation skills ? Definitely. This is what keeps its rabid fan-base fully stocked with ammunition to aim at the rest of the planet that “just doesn’t get it”.

Interestingly, Apple aficionados might not be appreciative of the shiny ones most valuable skill: its ability to change. Or more to the point, its ability to sell change.

Indeed, the switch to Intel wasn’t the easiest pill for many to swallow, especially after numerous nights spent dismissing the chips as inferior to their PowerPC competitors. But, after Steve Jobs’ latest laser-guided keynote, it seems that Apple’s new offensive is one to be reckoned with and that change, even this drastic, is good.

Steve Jobs accepts a wafer of processors from Intel's Paul Otellini.

You can get away with changing your mind if you can prove that your new train of thought is beneficial. The more popular you are, surprisingly, the harder it becomes as people have not only agreed with you but put their reputation behind your words. You change your mind, they need to change theirs.

So how does Apple manage that? For one, they’ve got a benevolent dictator running the show. Steve Jobs’ is not known for being a nice guy, he’s known for getting things done and getting people behind him. He’s responsible, he’s got a track record and he’s telling you that’s how it’s going to be. Period.

 

Secondly, Apple has a strong “change creds”. While it isn’t every day that they move to Intel’s or call you to run Windows on their machines, Apple has shown that taking big steps in a new direction can yield big results. When Apple decided to build a digital music player it sounded like madness, and while it’s been a far bigger success than even the ever optimistic Jobs would have anticipated, the world was taught never to underestimate Apple again.

“We’ve been trying to shoehorn a G5 into a PowerBook. We’ve tried everything.”—Steve Jobs’ 2006 keynote.

Lastly, if told honestly the idea makes sense. Not at first. Not when you imagine opening up a Mac to find your old PC in it. But once you stop hyperventilating and listen, it makes sense. And making sense is what Apple is good at. From Jobs’ keynotes to its common-sense marketing the message is (mostly) honest and easy to pass along. New MacBook? “4x faster”, new iMac? “2x faster”.

Just like that, the switch to Intel becomes a good idea, good news for consumers. Apple’s way of conveying their change has led to people talking about “faster machines”, “cheaper products” and “more choice” and removed them from developing conspiracy theories about how Intel strong armed them into making the switch or that it’s a last ditch attempt at survival. Apple’s latest offensive is, once again, perfectly executed.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)

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Alex is CEO of Sideshow , an award winning creative agency. You can read his blog here.

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Comments

36
33

Apple tends to be like Google, in terms of computing.

Once you have a trusted brand established, you can easily use this value to alter the way people undestand and treat product offerings.

If you add some marketing capabilities and a wisely generated hype, you got a gold company, or better said, a winner.

Way to go Apple.

33
36

Wow do I want a new iMac. Go Intel go!

37
34

Reality distortion field, full blast? Check.

33
40

I too took a deep breath when i heard that intel chips were going to be at the heart of apple computers.

apple has made me breathe easy though. how they spin it certinly makes the hard core apple fans go.. “yeah, that makes sense”.

simply put, apple not only puts the effort into the product, but also the idea behind it.

32
34

People use Apple, not just because of their hardware, but for the hassle free operating system and slick product design.

At the end of the day, they are selling not just a computer, but a user experience.

I don’t think the majority of users really care what chipset is use to power their computers.

38
38

Andrew: You are very right and in many ways having a similar chipset to PCs reinforces that now. The previous processors were a weak argument for buying a Mac, now we can focus on simply how it works and how much it costs (which should hopefully be positevily affected by the switch).

37
38

Maczealots are brainwashed morons. They would buy even a turd with an Apple logo on it with Stevie boy’s blessing.

34
37

I dont care, it just works!

36
36

Quote: “While it isn’t every day that they move to Intel’s or call you to run Windows on their machines…”

The apostrophe can only be used to indicate possession and contractions (as in “my brother’s car” and “I can’t stand poor punctuation”). You can’t write “I have two brother’s”.

In short (depending on the intended meaning) this sentence should read either “While it isn’t every day that they move to Intel’s CPUs or call you to run Windows on their machines…” or “While it isn’t every day that they move to Intel or call you to run Windows on their machines…”. I’m assuming that the plural “Intels” doesn’t realy make sense.

37
34

Caspar: Indeed. Thanks for pointing it out.

33
35

“Maczealots are brainwashed morons. They would buy even a turd with an Apple logo on it with Stevie boy’s blessing.”

wow, good one. never heard that one before, ever… really that’s Emmy award winning stuff.

Windows freaks are the same way. They could have 387,828,038,167,445 viruses and only be able to run minesweeper and they’d still take it over a G5. Everyone has their preference.

I’m pumped for the next generation of powerbooks with Intel in them. If it’s better, it’s better. I don’t care who builds the chip.

29
30

“Maczealots are brainwashed morons. They would buy even a turd with an Apple logo on it with Stevie boy’s blessing.”

wow, good one. never heard that one before, ever… really that’s Emmy award winning stuff.

Windows freaks are the same way. They could have 387,828,038,167,445 viruses and only be able to run minesweeper and they’d still take it over a G5. Everyone has their preference.

I’m pumped for the next generation of powerbooks with Intel in them. If it’s better, it’s better. I don’t care who builds the chip.

31
42

Caspar: Indeed. Thanks for pointing it out.

32
43

Quote: “While it isn’t every day that they move to Intel’s or call you to run Windows on their machines…”

The apostrophe can only be used to indicate possession and contractions (as in “my brother’s car” and “I can’t stand poor punctuation”). You can’t write “I have two brother’s”.

In short (depending on the intended meaning) this sentence should read either “While it isn’t every day that they move to Intel’s CPUs or call you to run Windows on their machines…” or “While it isn’t every day that they move to Intel or call you to run Windows on their machines…”. I’m assuming that the plural “Intels” doesn’t realy make sense.

34
36

I dont care, it just works!

31
36

steve is the main reason apple is as big as they are. you take away him and you have nothing. well now you have a reputable company that rocks but before he came back they sucked

36
35

Maczealots are brainwashed morons. They would buy even a turd with an Apple logo on it with Stevie boy’s blessing.

31
35

Andrew: You are very right and in many ways having a similar chipset to PCs reinforces that now. The previous processors were a weak argument for buying a Mac, now we can focus on simply how it works and how much it costs (which should hopefully be positevily affected by the switch).

34
36

People use Apple, not just because of their hardware, but for the hassle free operating system and slick product design.

At the end of the day, they are selling not just a computer, but a user experience.

I don’t think the majority of users really care what chipset is use to power their computers.

31
36

I too took a deep breath when i heard that intel chips were going to be at the heart of apple computers.

apple has made me breathe easy though. how they spin it certinly makes the hard core apple fans go.. “yeah, that makes sense”.

simply put, apple not only puts the effort into the product, but also the idea behind it.

31
32

Reality distortion field, full blast? Check.

29
39

Wow do I want a new iMac. Go Intel go!

34
33

Apple tends to be like Google, in terms of computing.

Once you have a trusted brand established, you can easily use this value to alter the way people undestand and treat product offerings.

If you add some marketing capabilities and a wisely generated hype, you got a gold company, or better said, a winner.

Way to go Apple.