TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Nov 98 Viewpoint

Volume Number: 14 (1998)
Issue Number: 11
Column Tag: Viewpoint

Nov 98 Viewpoint

by Nicholas C. "nick.c" DeMello, editor@mactech.com

For over a decade, I've listened to people prophesize the end of Apple and the Macintosh. I would sit patiently while they counted through the same list: Macintosh is slow; Macintosh is expensive; Macintosh in unstable; and there is no software for it. For the most part I bit my lip, smiled, and went back to getting the job done - on my Macintosh. I've never enjoyed platform debates and the whole idea of Apple going out of business was so ludicrous that I didn't considered it worth discussing.

I bit my lip a lot in 1996. In '95 Apple had earned over 400 million dollars, but instead of making money in 1996 they lost it - over 800 million dollars.

Then things got really bad. In 1997 Apple lost over 1 billion dollars, over 700 million of that in the third quarter alone. Worse than the fiscal loss (debatably), was the resulting widespread loss of confidence in Apple and the viability of the Macintosh platform. Suddenly the idea of Apple going out of business wasn't that ludicrous. In business, the perception that a company is going to fail can be fatal in itself.

Things are getting better though. Last month, Apple finished up their 1998 fiscal year and I noticed something different: my lip didn't hurt. Apple earned about 50 million dollars in each of the first two quarters and over $100 million each in the last two quarters. With over 300 million dollars of profit in 1998 Apple seems to be getting back on track.

Which of course puts us right back to where we were in 1995 (less two years and 1.8 billion dollars) Or does it?

Have you ever gone to sleep during a rain storm, and then woke up when it stopped? You can get so used to hearing a noise that you don't notice it anymore. But when the noise stops the silence is startling. There's a startling silence out there now. I'm having a hard time finding someone still predicting the end of the Macintosh. That silence speaks volumes.

People didn't start predicting the end of the Macintosh in '96 or '97 (they've been doing it since 1984). What happened last year was people started listening to the predictions (and with good reason, a $1.8 billion loss is a damn good argument and Rhapsody wasn't the most compelling response to it). This year it's less significant that folks have stopped listening to the doom-sayers, than that the doom-sayers don't seem to have much to say.

"Macs are slow," they used to tell me. I had one friend who for years insisted that a Macintosh could never offer the same performance as a DOS machine (yes, DOS). I haven't stayed in touch with him over the years, but when the G3 was introduced, I made a point of looking him up. About a week after I received my G3 PowerBook, I said hi again. When the iMac came out, he got in touch with me "I figured you'd be calling." I don't hear anyone complaining about the speed of Macintosh these days (except maybe that guy in the pastel bunny suit). When Apple silenced the critics by introducing the G3, they also made a $50 billion profit.

"Macintosh is too expensive." Have you heard that one before? Have you heard it recently? When Apple introduced a $1,299 computer that was faster than the best Intel machine on the market, the silence grew a little more - and we still haven't seen what Jobs has in mind for the consumer portable Macintosh. Apple sold over 278,000 iMacs in this last quarter alone - averaging out to five iMacs every minute of that quarter. Perhaps most significantly, over 40% of those iMac sales were to folks who've never owned a Macintosh before. When Apple dealt with this issue, they made a $100 million.

"Mac OS is unstable." This one I do still hear, but I don't expect to hear it much longer. Apple has turned out three solid, compelling, system upgrades in roughly six month increments, and seems to have defined a clear, rational, and achievable plan for the next year. A plan that includes protected memory (without rebuilding your apps from scratch). My guess is Apple will profit quite nicely from the silence following Mac OS X.

That leaves: "There's no software for the Macintosh." Apple announced over a 1,000 new and upgraded Macintosh products since the iMac was introduced, and more are on the way - a good start on the problem.

Apple has made a remarkable turn around since July of '97, and I applaude them for that. Part of their success has resulted from listening to their customers, and offering them compelling and timely products. Part of their success has resulted from listening to their accountants, from streamlining their distribution system and reducing their operating expenses. But the next step requires listening to developers and empowering them to make the software a revitalized Macintosh platform needs to grow and stay healthy. Personally, I think Apple is learning this lesson too. Cross your fingers folks, 1999 could be an amazing year for Apple, for Macintosh, and for Macintosh developers.

 
AAPL
$524.94
Apple Inc.
+5.93
MSFT
$40.01
Microsoft Corpora
-0.39
GOOG
$536.10
Google Inc.
-20.44

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

VMware Fusion 6.0.3 - Run Windows apps a...
VMware Fusion allows you to create a Virtual Machine on your Mac and run Windows (including Windows 8.1) and Windows software on your Mac. Run your favorite Windows applications alongside Mac... Read more
Tweetbot 1.5.1 - Popular iOS twitter cli...
Tweetbot is a full-featured OS X Twitter client with a lot of personality. Whether it's the meticulously-crafted interface, sounds and animation, or features like multiple timelines and column views... Read more
Mac DVDRipper Pro 4.1.7 - Copy, backup,...
Mac DVDRipper Pro is the DVD backup solution that lets you protect your DVDs from scratches, save your batteries by reading your movies from your hard disk, manage your collection with just a few... Read more
PDFpenPro 6.2 - Advanced PDF toolkit for...
PDFpenPro allows users to edit PDF's easily. Add text, images and signatures. Fill out PDF forms. Merge or split PDF documents. Reorder and delete pages. Even correct text and edit graphics! Create... Read more
PDFpen 6.2 - Edit and annotate PDFs with...
PDFpen allows users to easily edit PDF's. Add text, images and signatures. Fill out PDF forms. Merge or split PDF documents. Reorder and delete pages. Even correct text and edit graphics! Features... Read more
Monolingual 1.5.9 - Remove unwanted OS X...
Monolingual is a program for removing unnecesary language resources from OS X, in order to reclaim several hundred megabytes of disk space. It requires a 64-bit capable Intel-based Mac and at least... Read more
Maya 2015 - Professional 3D modeling and...
Maya is an award-winning software and powerful, integrated 3D modeling, animation, visual effects, and rendering solution. Because Maya is based on an open architecture, all your work can be scripted... Read more
Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty 1.1.1.180...
Download the patch by launching the Starcraft II game and downloading it through the Battle.net connection within the app. Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty is a strategy game played in real-time. You... Read more
Sibelius 7.5.0 - Music notation solution...
Sibelius is the world's best-selling music notation software for Mac. It is as intuitive to use as a pen, yet so powerful that it does most things in less than the blink of an eye. The demo includes... Read more
Typinator 5.9 - Speedy and reliable text...
Typinator turbo-charges your typing productivity. Type a little. Typinator does the rest. We've all faced projects that require repetitive typing tasks. With Typinator, you can store commonly used... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

This Week at 148Apps: April 14-18, 2014
Spring Into Our App Reviews   | Read more »
Have a Special Dead Trigger 2 Easter Bas...
Have a Special Dead Trigger 2 Easter Basket Full of Goodies, Courtesy of Madfinger Games Posted by Rob Rich on April 18th, 2014 [ permalink ] Dead Trigger 2 | Read more »
Almost All of Playdek’s Library is on Sa...
Almost All of Playdek’s Library is on Sale Right Now, and You Should Check it Out Posted by Rob Rich on April 18th, 2014 [ permalink ] Playdek has released quite a few great iOS ports of board and card games over the years, and now most of them... | Read more »
Zynga Launches Brand New Farmville Exper...
Zynga Launches Brand New Farmville Experience with Farmville 2: Country Escape Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 18th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
David. Review
David. Review By Cata Modorcea on April 18th, 2014 Our Rating: :: MINIMALISTIC IN A DIFFERENT WAYUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad David is a minimalistic game wrapped inside of a soothing atmosphere in which the hero... | Read more »
Eyefi Unveils New Eyefi Cloud Service Th...
Eyefi Unveils New Eyefi Cloud Service That Allows Users to Share Media Across Personal Devices Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 18th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Tales from the Dragon Mountain: The Lair...
Tales from the Dragon Mountain: The Lair Review By Jennifer Allen on April 18th, 2014 Our Rating: :: STEADY ADVENTURINGiPad Only App - Designed for the iPad Treading a safe path, Tales from the Dragon Mountain: The Lair is a... | Read more »
Yahoo Updates Flickr App with Advanced E...
Yahoo Updates Flickr App with Advanced Editing Features and More Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 18th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
My Incredible Body - A Kid's App to...
My Incredible Body - A Kid's App to Learn about the Human Body 1.1.00 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.1.00 (iTunes) Description: Wouldn’t it be cool to look inside yourself and see what was going on... | Read more »
Trials Frontier Review
Trials Frontier Review By Carter Dotson on April 18th, 2014 Our Rating: :: A ROUGH LANDINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Trials Frontier finally brings the famed stunt racing franchise to mobile, but how much does its... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Deal Alert! 13-inch MacBook Pro on sale for $...
Best Buy has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $999.99 on their online store. Choose free shipping or free instant local store pickup (if available). Their price is $200 off MSRP. Price is valid... Read more
Free HopTo 2.2 Helps Enhance Your Productivit...
The HopTo app helps you do more on your iPad by providing more and easier adaccess to files and documents. Version 2.2 adds Egnyte and HopTo’s Mac OSX File Connector. If you already have the hopTo... Read more
National Distracted Driving Awareness Month:...
As the country recognizes National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, Sprint is reminding wireless consumers to focus on driving while behind the wheel, to not text or email while driving, and to... Read more
13-inch 2.4GHz Retina MacBook Pro available f...
Abt has the 13″ 2.4GHz 128GB Retina MacBook Pro available for $1229 including free shipping. Their price is $70 off MSRP. Read more
iMacs on sale for up to $160 off MSRP this we...
Best Buy has iMacs on sale for up to $160 off MSRP for a limited time. Choose free home shipping or free instant local store pickup (if available). Prices are valid for online orders only, in-store... Read more
iPad Airs on sale this weekend for up to $100...
Best Buy has WiFi iPad Airs on sale for $50 off MSRP and WiFi + Cellular iPad Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP on their online store for a limited time, with prices now starting at $449. Choose free... Read more
Apple restocks refurbished Mac minis starting...
The Apple Store has restocked Apple Certified Refurbished Mac minis for up to $150 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 2.5GHz Mac... Read more
Hyundai Brings Apple CarPlay To The 2015 Sona...
Hyundai Motor America has announced it will bring Apple CarPlay functionality to the 2015 Sonata. CarPlay is pitched as a smarter, safer and easier way to use iPhone in the car and gives iPhone users... Read more
Updated iPads Coming Sooner Than We Had Thoug...
MacRumors, cites KGI securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo, well-respected as an Apple product prognisticator, saying that Apple will introduce an upgraded iPad Air and iPad mini in 2014/Q3, meaning the... Read more
Toshiba Unveils New High And Low End Laptop M...
Toshiba has announced new laptop models covering both the high-end and low-end of the notebook computer spectrum. Toshiba 4K Ultra HD Laptop Toshiba’s new Satellite P55t features one of the world’s... Read more

Jobs Board

Position Opening at *Apple* - Apple (United...
…customers purchase our products, you're the one who helps them get more out of their new Apple technology. Your day in the Apple Store is filled with a range of Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
*Apple* Inc. Research Data Specialist - Appl...
…of Worldwide Market Research & Intelligence. The team is responsible for conducting Apple branded consumer market research. It is also responsible for analyzing data Read more
*Apple* Automotive Parts Department position...
Apple Automotive is one of the fastest growing dealer…and it shows. Consider making the switch to the Apple Automotive Group today! At Apple Automotive, we Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.