Interesting post from John Gruber at Daring Fireball. Count me as being in the camp that this quote reflects:
It?s not a luxury Apple can afford because it?s insanely profitable; rather, it?s the reason why the company is insanely profitable.
This is why, at BP3, we're so focused on our customers, and what will make them successful.? We see it as necessary to our long-term success, rather than a luxury we can temporarily afford while times are good.? Contrast this with airline industry participants:
The best example I can think of is the airline industry. With few exceptions, airlines are set up to please investors ahead of passengers. Perhaps the most depressing business news in the last year was JetBlue succumbing to investor pressure to add baggage fees and reduce legroom in their cabins. It wasn?t because JetBlue was unprofitable, it was because they weren?t profitable enough to satisfy their investors.
I used to love flying JetBlue to SFO from Austin on a direct flight. They discontinued that flight last year, pushing me to other airlines that do fly the route direct. That legroom was the reason JetBlue was my first choice to fly.