It used to be said by many (way back in the pre-OSX days) that Apple was really "a software company that thought it was a computer company."
Nowadays, Apple really seems to be more of a consumer electronics company that wishes computers (as we currently know them) would dry up and go away.
Most of their corporate "vision" seems to be intent on reducing their product to an info-appliance with a captive audience locked into a fully proprietary and managed user "experience" (i.e. platform slaves).
The fact that they somehow managed to turn it into a cult experience for so many has allowed them to do things - and get away with things - most people in their right minds would never put up with. But there is an audience for that sort of treatment. It's a distinct minority made up of about 6% of the computer using public corresponding to roughly whatever Apple's current market share is.
I go back with Apple to their Apple][ so I know their 'story' in all its mutations. And the simple fact of the matter is Apple never
treated its customers very well. Or with much respect. They always charged top dollar, made dubious design and engineering decisions "because they could" rather than in the best interests of their customers, and had a "take it or leave it" mentality. Us vs Them
was the way of life for Apple. They also generally disregarded the opinions and desires of their user community - invariably preferring to convince people to see things their way rather than enter into any real dialog. And resorted to ridicule when confronted with their logical absurdities and overall poor behavior.
I personally always felt Apple had a corporate deathwish. Rather than truly change the word (as the official goal supposedly was) I saw more of a desire on the part of Apple to end in some Waco-like scenario with their great and noble company brought low and ultimately destroyed by the craven and unworthy.
Which makes sense, since out of such events are myths and legends born. And Steve Jobs wanted more than anything to become a legend.
As far as cannibalizing it's own product lines, Apple has already done that. The Macintosh deliberately competed with and ultimately devoured the Apple II/III/IV product line. The Macintosh was created by a 'company' (or design team) within the main company. Most of their talent was poached from their main business operation. Story goes when Jobs set up the Mac skunk-works in a separate building, the people involved went so far as to fly a pirate flag from the roof thereby clearly signaling their intentions. This was Steve Jobs way of showing the world he was somehow on equal technical footing with Steve Wozniak. And killing the original Apple and doing his best to push Woz out the door was all part of achieving that. Which is typical behavior for a 'young Turk.'
And now it looks like the new powers that be are rerunning the Job's old playbook by trying to show the world just how wrong
it is about the way it does things - and how Apple (as always) has an infinitely better
idea. "Insanely great" in fact.
Jobs wasn't content with merely killing off the original Apple computer. Because in the final analysis, the Macintosh was still
a personal computer. And Steve couldn't claim exclusive
credit for coming up with that idea. So the next step was to come up with something that would ultimately replace the personal computer. Something he could claim was all his idea. And his
alone as long as you ignored (or didn't know about) Alan Kay's Dynabook
So no..bait & switch or not, I think Apple would be very happy to see the personal computer disappear. It's too hard to completely rein in a Mac. It's much too open to individual modification and repurposing. And that's something Apple was never happy seeing people do with its
Note: I say "its" products because if you read the EULA that comes with a Mac you'll notice that you have only licensed
use of the device from Apple. You don't actually own