Remember netbooks? They were all the rage and Apple was doomed if it didn’t turn the Mac into a netbook. Apple was doomed because Microsoft entered the portable media player industry, and doomed because it didn’t have a smartwatch. You know what’s doomed?
Apple. As. Service.
Well, I wish that members of the elite Yellow Journalism Club were unemployed, but some people think the same should happen to politicians, and yet they get re-elected every few years. I laugh when technology journalist rank Huawei’s smartphones over the latest iPhone. Have you ever seen a Huawei smartphone? Can you buy one in the U.S? That’s the same Huawei technology company from China that is banned in many developed countries. Who pays those tech journalists to write so much good about Huawei?
The latest technology trend is PC-as-a-Service. Says who? Robin Harris of techno-rag fame:
Why PC-as-a-Service is the next big thing
Microsoft and Adobe have moved into the so-called something-as-a-service business thanks to the growing trend of subscription services. Pay a monthly fee and Microsoft gives you access to Office apps and online storage. Pay a monthly fee and Adobe lets you use their suite of creative apps. Even Apple is in the something-as-a-service business with Apple Music and the iPhone Upgrade Program. With the former you’re renting music and with the latter you’re leasing an iPhone.
Ipso facto and alakazam. Apple is in the services business. Why not follow the PCaaS trend– that’s PC-as-a-Service– and turn Apple into a rental company? Harris explained what happened and what needs to change:
It used to be that upgrading your PC every few years was a no-brainer. CPUs and storage got faster, memory capacities kept growing, operating systems kept improving, and displays got crisper and faster, as well as cheaper. But that stopped about five years ago, which is part of the reason for the PC sales slowdown. Why buy a new machine that is hardly any better than what you’ve got?
Fair enough. Except I still buy a new Mac about every five years (I stagger the purchases so I get a new Mac notebook or iMac every two to three years) and I get a new iPad every four years or so and I get– thanks to the iPhone Upgrade Program– a new iPhone every year, but I could easily keep it for a year or two longer.
Harris– a so-called journalist who has never run a multi-billion dollar tech company or had millions of customers and tens of thousands of employees thinks this is all you need:
- Make it simple, like the smartphone annual upgrade plans.
- Make new systems fashionable, with more colors, materials, and form factors.
- Adding new features, such as cellular connectivity.
- Use returned systems to penetrate price sensitive markets, turning smartphone users into PC users.
- Finally, offering PCs as a service, including tech support, which will be especially attractive to business users.
Then, of course, Harris explains that professional users and businesses might not be interested in a service upgrade program because they need more customization. And then there’s the issue with a growing percentage of customers using tablets and smartphones to do real work that used to be performed on a PC.
Ipso facto and alakazam. The services argument is doomed.
Remember, despite Apple’s Services segment being the fastest growing revenue and profit stream, it’s also based upon the customer base, and the customer base is based upon hardware. Apple is a hardware company. Yes, it sells software, too, but what good is the software without the hardware.
PCaaS, or PC-as-a-Service is the next big thing. Just like netbooks. Add PCaaS to this list of technology trends and products that were going to be the Next Big Thing. CB Insights has a list of 153 such failures. CheatSheet lists the 15 Word Product Failures and Flops from the past few years. BI has a list of 25 Failed Products. All on the list were heralded by technology media as the Next Great Thing and Must-Have products and services. All are gone.
PC as a service? Hey, isn’t that an Apple product? iPhone Upgrade Program, right? Just remember a Mac360 mantra-as-axiom:
The road less traveled often is less traveled for a reason.