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.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Logic Pro X 10.1.1 - Music creation and...
Apple Logic Pro X is the most advanced version of Logic ever. Sophisticated new tools for professional songwriting, editing, and mixing are built around a modern interface that's designed to get... Read more
VLC Media Player 2.2.0 - Popular multime...
VLC Media Player is a highly portable multimedia player for various audio and video formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, MP3, OGG, ...) as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. It... Read more
Sound Studio 4.7.8 - Robust audio record...
Sound Studio lets you easily record and professionally edit audio on your Mac. Easily rip vinyls and digitize cassette tapes, or record lectures and voice memos. Prepare for live shows with live... Read more
LibreOffice 4.4.1.2 - Free, open-source...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
Freeway Pro 7.0.3 - Drag-and-drop Web de...
Freeway Pro lets you build websites with speed and precision... without writing a line of code! With its user-oriented drag-and-drop interface, Freeway Pro helps you piece together the website of... Read more
Cloud 3.3.0 - File sharing from your men...
Cloud is simple file sharing for the Mac. Drag a file from your Mac to the CloudApp icon in the menubar and we take care of the rest. A link to the file will automatically be copied to your clipboard... Read more
Cyberduck 4.6.5 - FTP and SFTP browser....
Cyberduck is a robust FTP/FTP-TLS/SFTP browser for the Mac whose lack of visual clutter and cleverly intuitive features make it easy to use. Support for external editors and system technologies such... Read more
Firefox 36.0 - Fast, safe Web browser. (...
Firefox for Mac offers a fast, safe Web browsing experience. Browse quickly, securely, and effortlessly. With its industry-leading features, Firefox is the choice of Web development professionals and... Read more
Thunderbird 31.5.0 - Email client from M...
As of July 2012, Thunderbird has transitioned to a new governance model, with new features being developed by the broader free software and open source community, and security fixes and improvements... Read more
VOX 2.4 - Music player that supports man...
VoxIt just sounds better! The beauty is in its simplicity, yet behind the minimal exterior lies a powerful music player with a ton of features & support for all audio formats you should ever need... Read more

Get The Whole Story – Lone Wolf Complete...
Get The Whole Story – Lone Wolf Complete is Now Available and On Sale Posted by Jessica Fisher on February 27th, 2015 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Who Wore it Best? The Counting Dead vs....
Like it or not, the “clicker” genre, popularized by cute distractions like Candy Box and Cookie Clicker, seems like it’s here to stay. So Who Wore it Best? takes a look at two recent examples: The Counting Dead and AdVenture Capitalist. | Read more »
Card Crawl, the Mini Deck Building Game,...
Card Crawl, the Mini Deck Building Game, is Coming Soon Posted by Jessica Fisher on February 27th, 2015 [ permalink ] Tinytouchtales and Mexer have announced their new game, | Read more »
Witness an all new puzzle mechanic in Bl...
Well, BlastBall MAX is not one of those games and is bucking trends such as timers, elements of randomness, and tacked-on mechanics in favor of pure puzzle gameplay. When you first boot up the game you’ll see a grid made up of squares that are each... | Read more »
This Princess Has a Dragon and She isn’t...
This Princess Has a Dragon and She isn’t Afraid to Useit. | Read more »
Mecha Showdown Review
Mecha Showdown Review By Lee Hamlet on February 27th, 2015 Our Rating: :: IN A SPINUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Mecha Showdown replaces traditional buttons with a slot machine mechanic in this robot fighting game,... | Read more »
Reliance Games and Dreamworks Unveil Rea...
Reliance Games and Dreamworks Unveil Real Steel Champions Posted by Ellis Spice on February 27th, 2015 [ permalink ] Reliance Games and Dreamworks have announced that a third game in | Read more »
Sum Idea Review
Sum Idea Review By Jennifer Allen on February 27th, 2015 Our Rating: :: TAXING NUMBERSUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Sum Idea is a fairly charming but taxing puzzle game.   | Read more »
A New Badland Update Brings Daydream Lev...
A New Badland Update Brings Daydream Levels to Co-Op Posted by Ellis Spice on February 27th, 2015 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Slashing Demons Review
Slashing Demons Review By Lee Hamlet on February 27th, 2015 Our Rating: :: IT'S A LONG WAY TO THE TOPUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Slashing Demons lacks the depth or scope to take it beyond the point of being just... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple CEO Tim Cook to Deliver 2015 George Was...
Apple CEO Tim Cook will deliver the George Washington University’s Commencement address to GWU grads on May 17, at which time he will also be awarded an honorary doctorate of public service from the... Read more
Apple restocks refurbished Mac minis for up t...
The Apple Store has restocked Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 Mac minis, with models available starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 1.4GHz... Read more
Save up to $50 on iPad Air 2s, NY tax only, f...
 B&H Photo has iPad Air 2s on sale for $50 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 16GB iPad Air 2 WiFi: $469.99 $30 off - 64GB iPad Air 2 WiFi: $549 $50 off - 128GB iPad Air 2... Read more
16GB iPad Air 2 on sale for $447, save $52
Walmart has the 16GB iPad Air 2 WiFi on sale for $446.99 on their online store for a limited time. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale price for online orders only,... Read more
iMacs on sale for up to $205 off MSRP
B&H Photo has 21″ and 27″ iMacs on sale for up to $205 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 21″ 1.4GHz iMac: $1029 $70 off - 21″ 2.7GHz iMac: $1199 $100 off - 21″ 2.9GHz... Read more
Apple Takes 89 Percent Share of Global Smartp...
According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global smartphone operating profit reached US$21 billion in Q4 2014. The Android operating system captured a record-low 11 percent global... Read more
New Travel Health App “My Travel Health” iOS...
Rochester, Minnesota based Travel Health and Wellness LLC has announced that its new iOS app help safeguard the user’s health when traveling abroad — “My Travel Health” is now available on the Apple... Read more
Sale! MacBook Airs for up to $115 off MSRP
B&H Photo has MacBook Airs on sale for up to $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 11″ 128GB MacBook Air: $799 100 off MSRP - 11″ 256GB MacBook Air: $999 $100... Read more
15-inch 2.0GHz Retina MacBook Pro (refurbishe...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished previous-generation 15″ 2.0GHz Retina MacBook Pros available for $1489 including free shipping plus Apple’s standard one-year warranty. Their price is... Read more
Wither The iPad mini? End Of The Road Imminen...
AppleDailyReport’s Dennis Sellers predicts that the iPad mini is going to be left to wither on the vine, as it were, and then just allowed to fade away — a casualty of the IPhone 6 Plus and other... Read more

Jobs Board

Sr. Technical Services Consultant, *Apple*...
**Job Summary** Apple Professional Services (APS) has an opening for a senior technical position that contributes to Apple 's efforts for strategic and transactional Read more
Event Director, *Apple* Retail Marketing -...
…This senior level position is responsible for leading and imagining the Apple Retail Team's global engagement strategy and team. Delivering an overarching brand Read more
*Apple* Pay - Site Reliability Engineer - Ap...
**Job Summary** Imagine what you could do here. At Apple , great ideas have a way of becoming great products, services, and customer experiences very quickly. Bring Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Retail Sales...
**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* Solutions Consultant - Retail Sales...
**Job Summary** As an Apple Solutions Consultant (ASC) you are the link between our customers and our products. Your role is to drive the Apple business in a retail Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.