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

FotoMagico 5.6.12 - Powerful slideshow c...
FotoMagico lets you create professional slideshows from your photos and music with just a few, simple mouse clicks. It sports a very clean and intuitive yet powerful user interface. High image... Read more
OmniGraffle Pro 7.12.1 - Create diagrams...
OmniGraffle Pro helps you draw beautiful diagrams, family trees, flow charts, org charts, layouts, and (mathematically speaking) any other directed or non-directed graphs. We've had people use... Read more
beaTunes 5.2.1 - Organize your music col...
beaTunes is a full-featured music player and organizational tool for music collections. How well organized is your music library? Are your artists always spelled the same way? Any R.E.M. vs REM?... Read more
HandBrake 1.3.0 - Versatile video encode...
HandBrake is a tool for converting video from nearly any format to a selection of modern, widely supported codecs. Features Supported Sources VIDEO_TS folder, DVD image or real DVD (unencrypted... Read more
Macs Fan Control 1.5.1.6 - Monitor and c...
Macs Fan Control allows you to monitor and control almost any aspect of your computer's fans, with support for controlling fan speed, temperature sensors pane, menu-bar icon, and autostart with... Read more
TunnelBear 3.9.3 - Subscription-based pr...
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
calibre 4.3.0 - Complete e-book library...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital librarian... Read more
Lyn 1.13 - Lightweight image browser and...
Lyn is a fast, lightweight image browser and viewer designed for photographers, graphic artists, and Web designers. Featuring an extremely versatile and aesthetically pleasing interface, it delivers... Read more
Visual Studio Code 1.40.0 - Cross-platfo...
Visual Studio Code provides developers with a new choice of developer tool that combines the simplicity and streamlined experience of a code editor with the best of what developers need for their... Read more
OmniGraffle 7.12.1 - Create diagrams, fl...
OmniGraffle helps you draw beautiful diagrams, family trees, flow charts, org charts, layouts, and (mathematically speaking) any other directed or non-directed graphs. We've had people use Graffle to... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

The House of Da Vinci 2 gets a new gamep...
The House of Da Vinci launched all the way back in 2017. Now, developer Blue Brain Games is gearing up to deliver a second dose of The Room-inspired puzzling. Some fresh details have now emerged, alongside the game's first official trailer. [Read... | Read more »
Shoot 'em up action awaits in Battl...
BattleBrew Productions has just introduced another entry into its award winning, barrelpunk inspired, BattleSky Brigade series. Whilst its previous title BattleSky Brigade TapTap provided fans with idle town building gameplay, this time the... | Read more »
Arcade classic R-Type Dimensions EX blas...
If you're a long time fan of shmups and have been looking for something to play lately, Tozai Games may have just released an ideal game for you on iOS. R-Type Dimensions EX brings the first R-Type and its sequel to iOS devices. [Read more] | Read more »
Intense VR first-person shooter Colonicl...
Our latest VR obsession is Colonicle, an intense VR FPS, recently released on Oculus and Google Play, courtesy of From Fake Eyes and Goboogie Games. It's a pulse-pounding multiplayer shooter which should appeal to genre fanatics and newcomers alike... | Read more »
PUBG Mobile's incoming update bring...
PUGB Mobile's newest Royale Pass season they're calling Fury of the Wasteland arrives tomorrow and with it comes a fair chunk of new content to the game. We'll be seeing a new map, weapon and even a companion system. [Read more] | Read more »
PSA: Download Bastion for free, but wait...
There hasn’t been much news from Supergiant Games on mobile lately regarding new games, but there’s something going on with their first game. Bastion released on the App Store in 2012, and back then it was published by Warner Bros. This Warner... | Read more »
Apple Arcade: Ranked - 51+ [Updated 11.5...
This is Part 2 of our Apple Arcade Ranking list. To see part 1, go here. 51. Patterned [Read more] | Read more »
NABOKI is a blissful puzzler from acclai...
Acclaimed developer Rainbow Train's latest game, NABOKI, is set to launch for iOS, Android, and Steam on November 13th. It's a blissful puzzler all about taking levels apart in interesting, inventive ways. [Read more] | Read more »
A Case of Distrust is a narrative-driven...
A Case of Distrust a narrative-focused mystery game that's set in the roaring 20s. In it, you play as a detective with one of the most private eye sounding names ever – Phyllis Cadence Malone. You'll follow her journey in San Francisco as she... | Read more »
Brown Dust’s October update offers playe...
October is turning out to be a productive month for the Neowiz team, and a fantastic month to be a Brown Dust player. First, there was a crossover event with the popular manga That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime. Then, there was the addition of... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Score a 37% discount on Apple Smart Keyboards...
Amazon has Apple Smart Keyboards for current-generation 10″ iPad Airs and previous-generation 10″ iPad Pros on sale today for $99.99 shipped. That’s a 37% discount over Apple’s regular MSRP of $159... Read more
Apple has refurbished 2019 13″ 1.4GHz MacBook...
Apple has a full line of Certified Refurbished 2019 13″ 1.4GHz 4-Core Touch Bar MacBook Pros available starting at $1099 and up to $230 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included, shipping is... Read more
2019 13″ 1.4GHz 4-Core MacBook Pros on sale f...
Amazon has new 2019 13″ 1.4GHz 4-Core Touch Bar MacBook Pros on sale for $150-$200 off Apple’s MSRP. These are the same MacBook Pros sold by Apple in its retail and online stores: – 2019 13″ 1.4GHz/... Read more
11″ 64GB Gray WiFi iPad Pro on sale for $674,...
Amazon has the 11″ 64GB Gray WiFi iPad Pro on sale today for $674 shipped. Their price is $125 off MSRP for this iPad, and it’s the lowest price available for the 64GB model from any Apple reseller. Read more
2019 15″ MacBook Pros available for up to $42...
Apple has a full line of 2019 15″ 6-Core and 8-Core Touch Bar MacBook Pros, Certified Refurbished, available for up to $420 off the cost of new models. Each model features a new outer case, shipping... Read more
2019 15″ MacBook Pros on sale this week for $...
Apple resellers B&H Photo and Amazon are offering the new 2019 15″ MacBook Pros for up to $300 off Apple’s MSRP including free shipping. These are the same MacBook Pros sold by Apple in its... Read more
Sunday Sale: AirPods with Wireless Charging C...
B&H Photo has Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case on sale for $159.99 through 11:59pm ET on November 11th. Their price is $40 off Apple’s MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for these... Read more
Details of Sams Club November 9th one day App...
Through midnight Saturday night (November 9th), Sams Club online has several Apple products on sale as part of their One Day sales event. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available... Read more
Sprint is offering the 64GB Apple iPhone 11 f...
Sprint has the new 64GB iPhone 11 available for $15 per month for new lines. That’s about 50% off their standard monthly lease of $29.17. Over is valid until November 24, 2019. The fine print: “Lease... Read more
New Sprint November iPhone deal: Lease one iP...
Switch to Sprint and purchase an Apple iPhone 11, 11 Pro, or 11 Pro Max, and get a second 64GB iPhone 11 for free. Requires 2 new lines or 1 upgrade-eligible line and 1 new line. Offer is valid from... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Mobility Pro - Best Buy (United Stat...
**746087BR** **Job Title:** Apple Mobility Pro **Job Category:** Store Associates **Store NUmber or Department:** 000319-Harlem & Irving-Store **Job Description:** Read more
Best Buy *Apple* Computing Master - Best Bu...
**743392BR** **Job Title:** Best Buy Apple Computing Master **Job Category:** Store Associates **Store NUmber or Department:** 001171-Southglenn-Store **Job Read more
Best Buy *Apple* Computing Master - Best Bu...
**746015BR** **Job Title:** Best Buy Apple Computing Master **Job Category:** Sales **Store NUmber or Department:** 000372-Federal Way-Store **Job Description:** Read more
*Apple* Mobility Pro - Best Buy (United Stat...
**744658BR** **Job Title:** Apple Mobility Pro **Job Category:** Store Associates **Store NUmber or Department:** 000586-South Hills-Store **Job Description:** At Read more
Best Buy *Apple* Computing Master - Best Bu...
**741552BR** **Job Title:** Best Buy Apple Computing Master **Job Category:** Sales **Store NUmber or Department:** 000277-Metcalf-Store **Job Description:** **What Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.