Wired Magazine Compares Apples to MINIs

Wired Magazine has an interested article which discusses why some companies are just destined for success and hit products:

To change an industry once is impressive. To do it as many times as Apple has – popularizing innovations like the graphical user interface, the mouse, multihued hardware, and edgy industrial design – is phenomenal. For three decades, Apple has blazed a trail for the computer world. Now, the music business is watching slack-jawed…

So…why doesn't some ambitious company with deep pockets and distribution muscle adopt Apple and hold it aloft as the trophy it really is? The corporate Daddy Warbucks would get to anoint its product lines with Apple's creative mojo, turbocharging revenue and snatching market share from its imagination-challenged competitors.

It's working for BMW. In 1994, the very, very serious automaker bought Mini, an obscure British company with a sense of humor; today, BMW is struggling to keep up with orders. Mini Coopers swarm like racing-striped gnats up and down US roadways, making so many SUVs look like the big, unwieldy bully boxes they are.”

It's a comparison that I think many of us have made. As an avid proponent of Apple products and their design philosophy I've always found lots of common ground when comparing them to MINI and BMW. Both command under 5% of the overall market yet receive way more press and accolades than that would have you believe. They both use highend engineering to create a brand that stands apart from other manufacturers of commodities like Dell or GM.

Interestingly I spoke recently with a BMWNA exec who told me that many of them are well aware of the comparisons made between the two companies and appreciate the sentiment. He went on to say that many of the execs (including BMWNA president Tom Purvis) use Apple Powerbook laptops exclusively. Pretty interesting indeed.

  • Christian Geiger

    mmmmh… as a hardcore Apple user and MINI driver I find that comparison very interesting indeed. It also makes me a little proud though… So when can we expect a neat iPod holder for our MINI (designed by Apple & MINI 2gether :-)). At least they should come up with a special MINI iPod (engraved MINI Logo on the back). Anyway, I'm still waiting for a kick ass Newton successor.

  • why stop at an iPod holder, how about an interface with the stereo that permits the iPod to be controled via the radio controls (or does bliztsafe already do that?)

  • No but supposedly someone is working on that. I think that controlling the iPod with the MFSW and the radio itself it really the next step – along with having access to all your contacts on the iPod (and other devices).

  • Regina

    Love the comparison. I am an avid machead and have a MC on order. I appreciate to attention to design and function is both. There is something to be said for not going with the masses. I would also love an easy functioning iPod setup for my new coop.

  • Technomage

    MINI is just like Apple, Go after anyone using the name or trying to make clones or aftermarket stuff. LOL

  • Steven Diver

    MINI, like Apple is just protecting their brand…being a designer, I can completely understand where they are coming from on that side of things.

    Being a big time Apple fan/user and a MINI driver, I love this comparison, and I cannot think of a more appropriate comparison. Two great companies, producing great products, that don't necessarily appeal to the masses, and are pillars of excellence in indsustrial design and engineering.

  • Here's an older, somewhat related post that some of you might be interested in: Blitzsafe Working on the Ultimate iPod Auto Adapter

  • Arthur C Lee

    When I first saw this website, I thought that it was the best one that I saw for Mini's. When, I first started using Mac's I knew that I could never be satisfied with a PC again.

  • Neither Apple nor BMW are “destined” for success: they work at it.

    I've often pondered the fact the BMW is admired despite its 5% share and Apple is ridiculed for the same slice of the pie.

  • Paul C

    Well I can tell everyone first hand that the parking lot at Apple HQ has a few Mini's in it. I live near by and was in the great inner circle at 1 Infinate Loop for lunch meeting a buddy and was amazed at the few Coopers and S's I saw…..

    By the way, Steve likes Sushi because the cafeteria had good Sushi not to mention A Lot of other really good looking and smelling food. Maybe it's that I don't eat there everyday.

  • MINI and Apple, a perfect match. The MaC (Capital M for MINI, and capital C for Cooper, with an a in between make MaC. I already picture the Apple logo on a MINI, call it the iCoop.


  • There, I changed my email address a second ago, anyway…

    Let's Type Let's Exchange Logos Let's Build Faster Machines Let's Motor

  • Justin

    I hope that this is not serious. I detest Macs and do not appreciate the comparison. The MINI is a beautiful work of art while a Mac is an inferior piece of junk.

  • Wow. It's just a computer, Justin. That said, I don't think you could be any more wrong.

  • It's sort of odd to hear such derogatory comments about Apple these days – especially with OSX.

    Anyway this is certainly serious. If you look around the web you'll find a large percentage of MINI owners are also Apple users.

  • vic

    So is there any other product/service/website/artist that falls under this very special category?