This is actually big stuff. If you haven't read the Jobs biography, you should. Steve Jobs put a premium on design. In fact, he believed the inner-workings that nobody would ever see should be as beautiful as the exterior. This decision, as this piece points out, means Apple will lose a lot of low hanging instiutional dollars:
The federal government, schools, Ford and Kaiser Permanente, for example, as the WSJ points out, each have requirements to buy EPEAT-certified electronics. That’s a lot of spending power on computers for workers, and Apple computers will no longer meet those IT departments’ buying standards.
But a lot of people will pay for the unfettered designs this will allow Apple to create. I believe this decision will be a net gain for Apple.