Apple ditches hardware

Cringely makes some interesting points about Apple’s new reorg. Mostly predicting that eventually Apple will get out of the hardware business and focus on software (OS X and apps) and the iPod. Thinking about it a bit, given the developments at IBM for their Cell Workstation, I could imagine Apple getting out of the workstation market. But I do think Apple will stay in portables for some time. Powerbooks are it’s big seller and even though sales are down right now, no one makes a better laptop than Apple. So, there’s still plenty of demand to keep them going for the next 2-3 years. Also, there’s advantages in having one foot in hardware and the other in apps. You can develop much more elegant solutions from an integration perspective. Ever heard M$ software referred to as elegant?

While I don’t think any of this will happen soon, it could very well in the next 3-5 years. Five years from now, Apple could have redefined what the digital lifestyle means in terms of how people interact with technology in their home life. If that happens, probably not a big reason to stick around in low margin computer systems hardware development – – that is assuming the PC is not the center of the home digital hub.