If Apple is BMW … where is Mercedes Benz?

This isn’t about Apple, as much, but more about the entire technology industry as a whole. Here areisthe tweet from @gilesgoatboy on Twitter that got my mind churning:

I get and love that Apple is the BMW of computer manufacturers, phones, etc., but I wish there were a Lamborghini thereof as well

Setting aside if you agree that Apple is the BMW of technology, I think the latter part is interesting. What other company is really competing with Apple, or on a different level than Apple in the same categories? We have plenty of “Chevys” and “Nissans”, but where are the unique, high-end brands of computer manufacturers?

I’d go a step further and ask why no one has attempted to try Apple’s model of owning the whole widget. Instead of licensing the OS, they own the OS and the hardware and marry the two together. Yes, software would be an issue (and I’m not trying to downplay that), but if they would base their OS on a flavor of Linux, if could maybe be overcome.

It just seems like everyone besides Apple is attempting to get the table scraps (as far as money) left over and no one is trying to do an end-around Apple and provide some good, high-quality experiences that aren’t a cobbled-together middle-to-low-end piece of hardware.

I can hope.

4 replies on “If Apple is BMW … where is Mercedes Benz?”

So why does it matter? I mean that Apple is the only company that does this in the consumer arena and in the enterprise world a few more do it, though they’re not as successful.

It looks to me like the question is “Why aren’t there more boutique computer makers out there?”

I think that answer is cultural: customers want ‘good enough’ for the most part. There are a few people who want ‘exceptional’ just like some people want the Lamborghini, BMW, etc. For the rest of the world, those who don’t have the cash or don’t care, they buy the Chevy or Nissan if you want quality and the Kia if you want good enough.

Car makers have more than the enterprise customers to support them. In the Tech world that’s the bread and butter for most makers. Until the money shifts to those who have a use for the luxury brands Apple will probably stand alone.

You make a lot of really good points, and some that Aaron spoke of as well.

What I wish for is a focused company on providing awesome hardware (and design) that would push Apple. No one, right now, is pushing Apple as hard as a company like that can be pushed. Oh well.

Oh, there are all kinds of other high end machines. The problem is that they are mostly just concepts at this point and no one could afford them anyway. (The razor?)

In terms of durrability and reliability ASUS makes really nice hardware. That said, they run Windows. And Windows is so mass market messy I don’t think the machines will be viewed as high end.

Now I do think Windows 7 is a good step towards a nicely usable OS, but its still cluncky. (Lion is also a good step in the cluncky direction.)

That said, some of the new Dell laptops are actually beginning to look and feel like decent machines in terms of look and feel.

(Posted from my Android phone.)

Amongst all of that “really nice hardware” you have plenty of crap on the low end. I was hoping someone would “cut the crap” to an extent and focus on making really awesome hardware (hopefully for Linux) and provide an awesome consumer experience as well.

Wishful thinking.

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