All the other PC makers back then basically saw their computers as industrial tools. What they cared about – and what most buyers had been told to care about – was the specs of the innards, things like chip speed and hard drive capacity. Jobs sensed that there was in fact a set of computer buyers who might actually want a computer that was the color of the ocean off the coast of Australia – and not only that, but they that might well enjoy forking out a little extra money for the privilege of owning such a computer. A computer, Jobs saw, wasn’t just a tool. It was a fashion accessory. And as the guts of PCs continued to turn into commodities, his instinct was confirmed: it was the outside of the PC – the shape of it, the color of it, the look and feel of it – that came to matter. His insight resurrected Apple and killed the beige box.
A nice piece.