Larry O’Connor is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Illinois-based Other World Computing (OWC), which manufacture products and services for Mac and PC users. Started in 1988, when Larry was in the high school, OWC is one of the most respected suppliers of Apple product upgrades and accessories. The company has demonstrated a credible growth over the span of the last 29 years.
Even though O’Connor has received numerous partnership offers or buyout proposals, he declined them and instead opted to work toward his vision of building OWC into a self-sustainable organization. In addition to storage, the OWC also manufactures accessories and memory for the purpose of Apple, PC computers and peripherals.
The products manufactured by OWC are sold through Macsales.com including online/offline resellers and distributors located in various countries. The company has been ranked as the number one technology employer in the Woodstock, Illinois area and provides employment to more than 200 people. NewerTech, a subsidiary of OWC, manufactures premium rugged cases and screen protectors for iPhone, iPad, and iPhone.
In an exclusive interview with Anand Narayanaswamy, Editor-in-chief, Netans, Larry O’Connor shares how OWC is different from competitors. He also opens the pandora box about the upcoming iPhone series and other related aspects.
Can you share with us more about your products?
We currently design and engineer our solutions in Austin, TX and Woodstock, IL – manufacturing is done locally at/near both facilities as well as in facilities in Mexico and Asia as best suited to the solution and supply chain.
How does OWC product stay apart from the competitors?
Quality, Features, and top notch expert support. We are always listening to our customers, innovating the solutions our customers need, and giving our competition new benchmarks to match. And even where we may be matched, our customer support element – actual live folks that know the solutions, don’t need a script to talk, and genuinely care – take it all a notch beyond.
Can you explain as to why you don’t have any product which supports Microsoft devices?
We have lots of solutions that are Microsoft/Windows compatible including, but not limited to USB C Docks, USB 3 Storage devices, our Jupiter Enterprise storage line, memory, etc – our first Windows certified Thunderbolt 3 devices are also right around the corner. To be fair, we have had a primary focus on the Apple Macintosh – but we are most certainly engaged with and have significant sales today to customers utilizing our solutions.
What will be possible features and specifications of the upcoming iPhone 8?
Honestly – you’re probably reading the same sites I am for that. 🙂 Wireless charging is a for sure on the iPhone 8, better camera, improved screen – facial recognition unlock, etc all are expectations and probably one more thing super wow surprise – I hope.
Apple products are expensive not only in the US but also in India. What is the reason for this?
Apple tends to have a level playing field in terms of costs world wide when converted from any currency to USD. I am not sure I understand the context of the question – but I have not seen Apple price current model solutions differently in different markets as a normal practice. Apple builds a premium, exceptionally high-quality product. PCs that are cheaper don’t match that… And for the same overall features and quality you’re are going to find similar cost in a PC even without the other advantages Apple provides. Go touch, feel, test use of a PC Laptop vs. the same size/spec MacBook Pro – from keyboard feel, to screen display quality, to touchpad functionality – Windows 10 is an arguably good OS, but the hardware you’re running it on doesn’t match up to Apple in many cases unless you’re paying an Apple price for that piece of PC hardware.
Can you share why third-party manufacturers such as Samsung, Xiaomi are not manufacturing smartphones with iOS platform?
Sure – easy – Apple doesn’t allow it. Only Apple builds hardware that is legally allowed to run Apple’s operating systems.
What products can we expect from OWC immediately after the launch of iPhone 8?
Our new KX Case for iPhone 8 is currently available and will provide military grade drop protection to this new phone + our lightning cables will give users a hard wire option for charging and data syncing in addition to the fully wireless capabilities the new iPhone is expected to have. In fairness – we have a much larger line of solutions for computing than what we do in Mobile.
Do you have any plan to open a new factory in India under Make in India initiative?
There are substantial requirements the walk through and we continue to investigate our ongoing opportunity in India and the best options for OWC to be present there in.
What will happen if Apple doesn’t exist in the world?
The future is ever in flux – but that’s the world that need not even be imagined at this time. There is certainly no short term threat to Apple’s continued presence and contribution for the years ahead. While enough could change that in 10 or 15 years such could come to be (as unlikely as I believe that would be) – I choose not to imagine such an unlikely possibility.
If Apple had never existed in the world – if that was the question… if Steve and Steve hadn’t gotten together and created Apple – that’s also difficult to imagine with respect to so much innovation done right that would not likely be. It’s easy to call some things obvious after the fact – but the vision and large scale deployment of the solutions that have changed the world from Apple – we’d likely be years behind. Always lots of great ideas and innovators – making such a reality both as a product and one supported at scale, much harder with far greater odds against.
Finally, please share your roadmap for 2018?
We don’t pre-lease roadmaps – but expect a plethora of new Thunderbolt 3 options from us as well as upgrades to current software we produce.
We will be back with more interview articles. Stay tuned.