Jan 4, 2006

Apple’s Aperture: A Non-Review

Source: The Luminous Landscape
Written By Michael Reichmann

To understand Apple’s Aperture requires that one understand Steve Job’s master plan. No – I don’t have a copy of Apple Document 05-12-007. That’s safely ensconced in Steve’s office safe, and only known in detail to three people other than him, each of whom is sworn to die, even under torture (ooop – no more torture allowed) before divulging its contents.

But, let’s try and guess what it says. Not difficult really, since much of the plan has been underway for the past few years. At its core is the intention to carve out and dominate the media-related aspects of professional computing; music, video, and photography.

The program is already a huge success. The IPod and ITunes command 70% of the music market worldwide. There is no PC or Mac specific market when it comes to music, since the IPod and ITunes are platform agnostic. And while the Mac has less than 5% of the worldwide personal computer market, it apparently owns about 30% of the marketplace among creative professionals in the video, graphic arts, animation, photographic and music segments of the marketplace.

A few years ago the then nascent market for non-linear video editing software had numerous pretenders; Adobe Premiere and Avid among the leading contenders. But in less than two years Apple’s Final Cut Pro has come to dominate that industry, and it’s Mac only. Now, even major $100+ Million movies are being edited on Final Cut and on Macs, so this means that Macintosh computers continue to spread like wildfire throughout the film community.

Aperture is clearly Job’s and Apple’s thrust at the photographic segment of the creative market. Music and video are now well in hand, and that leaves photography to be conquered. Also, keep in mind that Steve Jobs is reported to be a very enthusiastic photographer. It has to gall him to have to use Photoshop for his own personal work.

Photoshop is all but dominant, you say. Yes, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t vulnerable. Remember Lotus 123? Remember Wordperfect? Each had a virtual stranglehold on its product segment, only to see it slip away when something superior came along (Microsoft’s Excel and MS Word come to mind).

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