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

Day One 2.3 - Maintain a daily journal.
Day One is the easiest and best-looking way to use a journal / diary / text-logging application for the Mac. Day One is well designed and extremely focused to encourage you to write more through... Read more
Carbon Copy Cloner 4.1.16 - Easy-to-use...
Carbon Copy Cloner backups are better than ordinary backups. Suppose the unthinkable happens while you're under deadline to finish a project: your Mac is unresponsive and all you hear is an ominous,... Read more
Sketch 45 - Design app for UX/UI for iOS...
Sketch is an innovative and fresh look at vector drawing. Its intentionally minimalist design is based upon a drawing space of unlimited size and layers, free of palettes, panels, menus, windows, and... Read more
NeoFinder 7.1 - Catalog your external me...
NeoFinder (formerly CDFinder) rapidly organizes your data, either on external or internal disks, or any other volumes. It catalogs all your data, so you stay in control of your data archive or disk... Read more
TunnelBear 3.0.15 - Subscription-based p...
TunnelBear is a subscription-based virtual private network (VPN) service and companion app, enabling you to browse the internet privately and securely. Features Browse privately - Secure your data... Read more
Hopper Disassembler 4.2.5- - Binary disa...
Hopper Disassembler is a binary disassembler, decompiler, and debugger for 32-bit and 64-bit executables. It will let you disassemble any binary you want, and provide you all the information about... Read more
BetterTouchTool 2.261 - Customize Multi-...
BetterTouchTool adds many new, fully customizable gestures to the Magic Mouse, Multi-Touch MacBook trackpad, and Magic Trackpad. These gestures are customizable: Magic Mouse: Pinch in / out (zoom... Read more
Sketch 44.1 - Design app for UX/UI for i...
Sketch is an innovative and fresh look at vector drawing. Its intentionally minimalist design is based upon a drawing space of unlimited size and layers, free of palettes, panels, menus, windows, and... Read more
BetterTouchTool 2.260 - Customize Multi-...
BetterTouchTool adds many new, fully customizable gestures to the Magic Mouse, Multi-Touch MacBook trackpad, and Magic Trackpad. These gestures are customizable: Magic Mouse: Pinch in / out (zoom... Read more
Chromium 59.0.3071.115 - Fast and stable...
Chromium is an open-source browser project that aims to build a safer, faster, and more stable way for all Internet users to experience the web. Version 59.0.3071.115: This update has no Flash plug... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

You can now travel to Skyrim in The Elde...
The Elder Scrolls: Legends' new expansion has opened up Skyrim's craggy mountains and snowy plains for exploration today. Heroes of Skyrim is out now, adding a bunch of new Skyrim content to Bethesda's recent CCG. [Read more] | Read more »
High-stakes solitaire game 'Missile...
Missile Command and Solitaire might seem like an odd couple, but indie developer Nathan Meunier has brought them together to create his first game, Missile Cards, which launched on the App Store today. [Read more] | Read more »
Eos 2 (Music)
Eos 2 2.0.2 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $5.99, Version: 2.0.2 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Supercell celebrates Hay Day's comm...
Before there was Clash Royale or Clash of Clans, there was Hay Day. Now, Supercell's first game is celebrating its fifth anniversary, and the developer is commemorating the event with this touching new video. Supercell picked one long-running Hay... | Read more »
Dive into epic summer adventure with Oce...
Summer may be the best time to enjoy ocean adventures, and now you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own home, thanks to the folks at Joycity, creators of Oceans & Empires. The old-timey naval MMO is getting a sizable new June Grand... | Read more »
Missile Cards (Games)
Missile Cards 1.0.9 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.9 (iTunes) Description: "Missile Command meets Solitaire...only with more doomlasers, death, and explosions." | Read more »
Collect mini assassins in 'Assassin...
Assassin's Creed is traveling back in time to the Spanish Inquisition for its latest mobile entry, Assassin's Creed Rebellion. The game is giving the series a look that's a huge departure from its past design, recreating classic characters in a... | Read more »
Animal Crossing is still coming to mobil...
Animal Crossing is still coming to mobile in 2017, according to aWaypointinterview with Nintendo. Announced in 2016, the game was delayed without a defined release window. However, fans of Nintendo's fantasy slice of life game won't have to wait... | Read more »
Ravenscroft 275 Piano (Music)
Ravenscroft 275 Piano 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $35.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Experience the splendor of a Ravenscroft Grand with the most realistic sounding piano ever created for iOS. Launch... | Read more »
This War of Mine gets a new ending and m...
This War of Mine just got a big new update, featuring free DLC that adds a new ending to the game, among other exciting changes. The update is celebrating the game's two-year release anniversary. Apart from the new ending, which will be quite... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Will iPad Running iOS 11 Be The ‘Ute’ Of The...
Steve Jobs’ analogy comparing iPads and PCs to cars and trucks respectively is seven years old but still stimulates discussion and debate. Appearing on an All Things D panel in 2010 shortly after the... Read more
Free CarePassport App gives Patients control...
Boston based CarePassport is on a mission to enable patients to take control of their medical records by allowing patients to aggregate, store, share and manage all their medical data including... Read more
Western Digital Launches New My Passport Ultr...
Western Digital Corporation has expanded its WD brand My Passport portable drive line with the redesigned My Passport Ultra drive. In addition to a new metallic look, the drive offers intuitive WD... Read more
Clearance 2016 13-inch MacBook Pros available...
B&H Photo has clearance 2016 13″ MacBook Pros in stock today for up to $210 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY & NJ sales tax only: - 13″ 2.9GHz/512GB Touch Bar... Read more
Apple Releases iOS 11 Public Beta; How To Get...
The official release of Apple’s latest mobile operating system iOS 11 is vaguely slated for the fall, but as of June 26, ordinary users can download an iOS 11 public beta. To download the iOS 11... Read more
Extend Life of MacBook Pro Retina 2.0TB With...
MacSales.com/Other World Computing has announced availability of the new OWC 2.0TB Aura Pro Solid State Drive for mid-2012 to early 2013 Apple MacBook Pro with Retina display. One of the fastest... Read more
BBEdit SummerFest 2017 Discount Ends Friday,...
You can get 20% off BBEdit for a limited time in Bare Bones Software’s http://www.eastgate.com/Tinderbox/Specials/SummerFest.html?mc_cid=f2101ca260&mc_eid=[UNIQID]SummerFest 2017 sale and... Read more
Use Apple’s Education discount to save up to...
Purchase a new Mac using Apple’s Education discount, and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free: - 15″ 2... Read more
Clearance 27-inch 3.3GHz 5K iMac available fo...
Amazon clearance 27″ 3.3GHz 5K iMacs (MK482LL/A) available for $1799.90 including free shipping. Their price is $500 off original MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model from any... Read more
13-inch 1.8GHz/256GB MacBook Air on sale for...
B&H Photo has the updated 2017 13″ 1.8GHz/256GB MacBook Air (MQD42LL/A) in stock and on sale for $1129 including free shipping plus NY & NJ tax only. Their price is $70 off MSRP. Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Online Store WW Customer Insights -...
…with data mining tools: R, SAS, etc.Experience with common shell scripting tools: unix, python, apple script, Swift etc. Apple Online is one of the largest and Read more
Engineering Project Manager, *Apple* Online...
…the electronic commerce (eCommerce) systems and solutions that enable and support the Apple Online Store (AOS) - one of world's largest online retail businesses, Read more
*Apple* News Product Marketing Mgr., Publish...
…organizational consensus on strategy and vision for publisher tools, authoring, and Apple News Format.Carries this strategy and vision across the organization to Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Security Data Analyst - *Apple* Information...
…data sources need to be collected to allow Information Security to better protect Apple employees and customers from a wide range of threats.Act as the subject matter Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.