Nov 92 Editorial
|Column Tag:||The Editor's Page
Apples New High Performance Attitude
By Neil Ticktin, Editor-in-Chief
As you have probably already heard by now, Apple has decided to go after the consumer market. Apple figures that there are 7 million households in the United States that dont have a computer, and could use and afford a Macintosh.
To address this market, they have announced the Performa 200, 400 and 600 which are basically a Classic II, LC II and a new Mac yet to come out, respectively. The 600 is approximately equivalent to a IIci, but it has a 32 MHz 68030 and has the option of a built-in CD-ROM drive.
All the Performas come with a revised version of System 7 and software bundles. The revision to System 7 makes it simpler to use right out of the box. For example, it comes with Launcher, where the user single clicks (double clicking would require training) on an icon to launch an application.
In addition, there is a Documents folder which is automatically created as the default location for new documents. This is the long overdue solution to all those documents which mysteriously (at least to users) end up in the folder of the application running.
Each Performa comes bundled with an integrated package such as BeagleWorks, ClarisWorks, and GreatWorks. As a result, people have a useable computer with useable software right out of the box. The Performa 600 CD comes with a number of CDs as well.
Apple has finally gotten the message on service as well. There is free phone support for those under the one-year warranty. Further, the company has announced Apple Service, where they will send a technician on a house call to diagnose and try to fix problems. Wow!
Finally, they are doing all of this for a reasonable price and through different channels. Although there are no stated list prices, street prices are expected to range from $1250 to $2500 depending on model and will be sold through such stores as Office Club, Silo, Sears, etc
What does this mean?
By the end of this year, Apple will have about 10 million installed Macintoshes out there. They are looking for new ways to sell more boxes because theyve had to reduce their pricing. In my opinion, by positioning products where 7 million potential customers can take advantage of it, they will sell lots of product. Especially when we come out of the recession in the next couple of years (hopefully) and people have more money to spend.
Is this good?
You bet it is! Companies such as a T/Maker have been clamoring for years about needing a low cost Mac. They figured the more Macs, the more sales for T/Maker. Theyre right! Not just for T/Maker, but for all Mac developers. The Classic was a start, but Performas are a lot more for the money. And any time we have the potential to welcome 7 million households into the Mac family, we should do it.
How do you take advantage of It?
The target of these new products is initially going to be those doing work at home and educational users. As time goes on, entertainment software and multimedia will benefit as well. Apple has made sure that if Kodaks new Photo CD concept works, the new CD-ROM drive will be able to take advantage of it.
The most important concept to understand is pricing. Those products that cost several hundred dollars arent going to make it onto Performa machines (except those that are pirated). Look to products such as Dollars & Sense, or Quicken with good utility and prices under $50 to do well.
So, as a developer, you should be thinking about smaller useful packages that you can sell inexpensively.
Why a Double issue?
Some of you may have noticed that this issue is the November/December issue, not just the November issue. You may be wondering why.
There are a couple of reasons. First, you, our readers, kept asking why the magazine showed up late in the month. You werent the only ones, our dealers and distributors were asking the same question.
So we made a double issue so that we could reschedule the production of the magazine. Starting with the next issue, the magazine will ship out in the middle of the month prior. For example, well ship the January issue in the middle of December as opposed to the beginning of January. In other words, you will be getting the January issue only about a week or two later than the December would normally have gotten to you.
An end of year double issue also gives us time to work on areas of the magazine that we dont normally have time for (such as new formats). You never know, we might see how it goes and do it again next year.
Finally, for all you subscribers, we have automatically extended your expiration date by one month so that you dont lose anything with a double issue.