|Harada also said that Apple Computer has a strong future.
"My lips are sealed, and I'm not even sure I know the full story
of the announcement to be made by Jobs," Harada said.
"Apple is on the road to recovery and there's no lack of
confidence in the company," he also said.
Demonstrating his full support in the leadership of Jobs, Harada
credited the parent company's improved business performance to
"the swift and sound judgment of Steve Jobs."
In an exclusive interview with Nikkei
MAC after his presentation, Harada said, "I'm hoping that
Jobs will continue at Apple."
Harada spoke of two classes of computer users: people who utilize
computers for performing routine tasks efficiently and people who
use computers for creative work. "The first group might as well
use Windows computers. But anyone doing creative work will
probably choose a Mac," Harada said.
The key issues for Apple this year are to build a firm basis in
what the company calls its core targets: the PEN (publishing,
entertainment, new media) and SED (science, engineering, design)
Harada also categorized users of personal computers as either
"active users" who understand and exploit the features of PCs, or
"passive users" who must utilize a PC as a part of their jobs.
"Apple needs to target the latter group in particular," Harada
In regard to corporate users, a market that the Macintosh has
found hard to penetrate, Harada promised a new campaign aimed at
"bringing Macs to the attention of people who are not acquainted
with our products."
The idea is to make corporate management teams more aware of the
Macintosh, he said.
While stressing that the focus is on providing Mac solutions to
professional people and "prosumers," which are Apple's core
targets, Harada also hinted at the possibility of a renewed drive
into the consumer market.
This possibility arises from the online build-to-order (BTO)
project. "The failure of the Performa was due to our misreading
of user needs and because we got the volume wrong," Harada
The BTO project is being positioned as an essential service that
will also be useful in interpreting market demand.
However, Apple Japan is not properly equipped with either the
infrastructure to manufacture the products or the procedural
know-how to handle customer orders, which are essential for
implementing a BTO service. Nor is the company near deciding on a
start date for getting the project off the ground.