Apple's Strength - It lies in the core
Certainly, Apple personal computers seem to excel in certain areas and remain the popular choice for certain individuals. As a company, Apple seem to be growing and growing and selling many of their products. The iPod has rocketed Apple's profits and with the more recently released iPhone, Apple certainly has a massive chuck of the market tied up, so they must be doing something right. Articles all over the Internet rate Apple as amongst, if not the top of their field for consumer reliability: This PC World.com article provides impressive figures from an independent analytic organisation, from February 2010. The accolades also keep coming; according to this article by Information Today, Inc Apple also comes out on top for reliability for desktop and laptop users, following a consensus of Consumer Reports magazine readers.
Why such impressive reviews? Well, I believe it has a great deal to do with the benefits of being a manufacturer which designs their operating system (OS X) around the hardware within their computers. Apple is a very hardware and software driven company. A good desktop experience seems to be an important focus for their continued development of products. Whilst they may not utilise the most powerful processors, speediest RAM or the largest hard drives, Apple create performance in a different way. It all lies under the hood, or in the core, if you'll excuse the pun. Specifically this represents an effort to create a kind of internal harmony, and optimise the performance of the machine, using almost tailor made components. By designing an operating system which works in perfect harmony with the hardware driving the computer; Apple become very attractive to consumers.
Specifically, and because of this 'under the hood' optimisation, Apple becomes a very attractive option for the young professional. Industries which are design based, such as web design, CAD and those who tinker with Adobe's Photoshop all seem to choose the Apple as first choice. However on the flip side, Apples are unpopular in enterprise locations; Linux and Microsoft hold that monopoly.
Recently, my designer friend was given an Apple Power PC desktop as a present. It has an almost identical specification to his current desktop; however he believes that there was something a great deal smoother about the Apple. Stating that the programs on his Apple computer load and run faster and smoother than his other computer beforehand.