Design Element
Comment on "Apple Can't Use Microsoft's Model"
by Michael Brundage — Feb 18
The Xbox 360 console I work on contains a GPU by ATI and a CPU by IBM, and plays games made by a large number of different companies. Yet game consoles are "enjoyable to use for the average consumer".

However, the console manufacturer has taken the pains to integrate those parts into a unified whole, and requires third-parties who want to participate (perhiperals makers and game publishers) to pass a certification program. Thus sparing consumers the pain.

Dell and the other PC OEMs could do this today. But they've all gone for function over form, competing on price instead of on design. Thus we have a million look-alike PC laptops with cheap black plastic shells, versus this shiny, distinctive Powerbook in its sturdy aluminum alloy shell. Please show me a PC manufacturer's page dedicated to the design of their laptops.

And the reason they don't do it is the same reason McDonald's has made more money than any steakhouse. It's not the food. It's the price and the convenience and the operational efficiency.

Consumers are ... bewildering. You've got people who top off their 3000-calorie McMeal with light mayonnaise and a diet coke and smoke organic cigarettes after their morning jog. Sometimes consumers go for the cheap stuff, and sometimes we're willing to pay for an experience.

So the Macs has 5% market share and iPods 90%, even though they have most of the same benefits and drawbacks relative to the competition.
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