"Apple is mastering the art of assuming the shape a particular customer prefers to see", writes InfoWorld's Tom Yager in his 'Ahead of the curve' column.

He makes an argument that says commentators should recognize the invalidity of describing Apple's "core constituency". "Apple keeps its customer base segmented, and its customers like it that way," he writes.

Generally, Yager's Apple outlook is positive: "Apple is making [convergence] happen – without driving the process. They cook up good ideas, hand them to the market as products and watch what happens.

"And that last part is key: Apple observes the market while its competitors go crazy twisting arms and erecting barriers to interoperation," he writes.

Looking at Apple's Xserve, Yager expresses his belief that the Xserve was originally developed to cater for certain of the company's existing customers, but the product "stumbled into more widespread use."

"Members of a core group feel recognized and protected, as if their preferred vendor exists to serve them alone," he writes.

Because Apple focuses its innovation on each customer segment that it has, it means the company can offer users in each segment that sense of recognition and protection. "Pretty smart," Yager observes.