The explanation I have always heard is that the margin on the software license (for OS 7) was not high enough to make up for the loss in hardware profits. The problem was exacerbated because the clone makers were targeting the high-margin top-end of the Apple line. (In other words, pretty much what the parent comment said.)
I think what he's trying to say is that on Mac you get a fresh OS every time. It's never preloaded with crap. If you don't like the !ac you'll find a way to tell me I'm wrong but there really isn't any third party crapware on the Mac. You don't get security alerts every 2 seconds, and uninstalls really do just uninstall apps. You know exactly what to expect when you buy a Mac and the experience stays roughly the same throughout the lifetime of the machine. You can get crapware on a Mac but its pretty rare.
So basically you get a machine in mint condition. And yeah, it is like Linux in that when you install the OS it's the OS and nothing more. You can talk about freedom and locked down platforms all day long and I'll even agree but thats neither here nor there. Point is, the Mac isn't screaming for your attention, doesn't come preloaded with shit, and generally doesn't fuck with you in the same way Linux doesnt do those things. There are exceptions to every rule and god knows you have to cover them all here on HN but generally speaking that's the way it is.