Greening the Upgrade Path
While O'Connor's focus from the outset was on filling product needs in the Apple market, PC customers make up a significant portion of OWC's business.OWC’s approach toApple and PCs is the same. "It's not about what we can charge for a product,” he said. “It's what we can do to make the products more cost-effective and provide them more fairly to people who need them."
In the 1990s, OWC also entered the storage business and met its goal of bringing end-user costs down in that category as well. "We had the first 500MB drive that was under $300 back in 1995," he said. From there, the company has progressed to offering accessories for laptops, tablets and smartphones.
"Our focus is not on me-too products," O'Connor said. "I don't like things that fall apart. I'd rather have a case that lasts as long as my phone, or longer, rather than something that gets grubby and starts to disintegrate after time. There's a sea of iPod, iPad and iPhone cases that sell for a couple of bucks apiece that look like $15 or $20 or $30, so if you're selling a $30 case, it had better be high quality. Customers are definitely willing to pay for quality and those are definitely the customers we want, because we don't see our products as being disposable."