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July 9, 2002
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Is anyone else getting their panties into a wad over the upcoming (8 days) MacWorld Expo? Apple is closing the gap and gaining market share; how nice would it be to see them release a knockout punch with some new hardware?
posted by catatonic (36 comments total)

 
It's always nice to see Apple release new stuff, but with them closing the gap with Intel and putting more and more pressure on Microsoft, it's an exciting time for computers. Oh, what I wouldn't give for a Powerbook with DDR. And a cheaper iPod.
posted by catatonic at 7:24 AM on July 9, 2002


Can you perhaps find something better to link to than a message board?
posted by ColdChef at 7:26 AM on July 9, 2002


I just hate for us to do Job's job for him.
posted by ColdChef at 7:26 AM on July 9, 2002


Some other relevant links:

Apple cracks down on hobbyist journalists at expo.

Would Apple really be stupid enough to rebrand iTools as .Mac? Is Macintosh Bob next?

El Gato software will be releasing EyeTV at the expo, a software product that turns your Mac into a PVR type device. Scroll down in today's macintouch for more details.
posted by machaus at 7:48 AM on July 9, 2002


See here ("Apple's unit sales also grew in its largest market, the United States. Here, its sales increased 6.7 percent from the same quarter last year, and 6.9 percent sequentially to 387,000 units, IDC said. The company's U.S. market position rose to 3.7 from 3.4 percent a year ago. Apple's share, though, is smaller than what it was a few years ago.").

I wouldn't exactly call that "closing the gap," much less a potential "knockout punch." Hey, I like Apple as much as the next guy, but in my opinion, macthusiasts tend to over-inflate the importance of new apple developments in the market.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 7:54 AM on July 9, 2002


Knockout punch?

Knockout who? What exactly are you talking about? The idea that Apple will retake the computer market from the x86 platform?

You must be mad. Apple's hardware engineers are great. They do superb work. But managment's decision to have a basically closed hardware platform will forever relegate them to niche status in the computing world.

Contrary to Mac's marketing, computers are a tool, not a lifestyle.
posted by Argyle at 8:02 AM on July 9, 2002


1984: Apple closing the gap.
1985: Apple closing the gap.
1986: Apple closing the gap.
1987: Apple closing the gap.
1988: Apple closing the gap.
1989: Apple closing the gap.
1990: Apple closing the gap.
1991: Apple closing the gap.
1992: Apple closing the gap.
1993: Apple closing the gap.
1994: Apple closing the gap.
1995: Apple closing the gap.
1996: Apple closing the gap.
1997: Apple closing the gap.
1998: Apple closing the gap.
1999: Apple closing the gap.
2000: Apple closing the gap.
2001: Apple closing the gap.
2002: Apple closing the gap.

Yeah, sure. This year.
posted by dhartung at 8:02 AM on July 9, 2002


Wait! The Gap is closing?
posted by ColdChef at 8:05 AM on July 9, 2002


whoa, the software developers must be falling all over themselves now to develop for that hefty 3.7% market share........
posted by zoopraxiscope at 8:09 AM on July 9, 2002


Apple is closing the gap and gaining market share

Closing the gap? According to Business Week they had 3-5% of the home market all cinched up in January 2002 - did they break 5% or something?

how nice would it be to see them release a knockout punch

Yes, this time (again) its really going to happen, just like in the 1984 commercial. I do like Apple, when Steve Jobs isn't talking, but no single release of anything is going to overturn Microsoft - that's an evolutionary process. so can we be less epic and more realistic?
posted by holycola at 8:11 AM on July 9, 2002


As to this gap stuff, I must protest. The continuing expectation among some Apple fans of greater things for their fave brand is wrong. Apple is about as big as it's going to get unless it stops making what it makes. They sell fancy, expensive stuff for people who can afford it and somehow think it worthwhile. You won't ever see a Ferrari in every garage or a Macintosh on every desk.
posted by pracowity at 8:19 AM on July 9, 2002


This whole Mac vs MS thing is tired. Both platforms can accomplish the same things (and they're both flawed). Let's move on.
posted by davebush at 8:24 AM on July 9, 2002


davebush: Aye, aye, Captain!
posted by monju_bosatsu at 8:27 AM on July 9, 2002


Mmm... that eyeTV thing looks tasty.

As for the "closing the gap" mantra... it's all just "next year in Cupertino". I'm happy with Apple as-is. I could care less about the gap... besides, who wants to love a computer that _everyone_ has! : )
posted by silusGROK at 8:31 AM on July 9, 2002


Wait! The Gap is closing?

ColdChef, I don't know why, but that was really, really funny.
posted by mad at 8:51 AM on July 9, 2002


I don't get how they stay in business with such a small market share. Sony invented the home videotape system (Betamax) and eventually threw in the towel while they were maintaining a much higher market share than Apple. Maybe they are using the Arthur Anderson Accounting for Dummies method?
posted by Mack Twain at 9:23 AM on July 9, 2002


Contrary to Mac's marketing, computers are a tool, not a lifestyle.

Actually, I think they are a lifestyle to a very small but very vocal set of folks.
posted by Tempus67 at 9:38 AM on July 9, 2002


I don't get how they stay in business with such a small market share.

Yeah, I've always been confused how Mercedes and BMW stay alive, too. It's not like a 5% market-share corresponds to many, many millions of people or anything.
posted by Marquis at 9:53 AM on July 9, 2002


Mack Twain: A "small market share" of the PC market is still worth billions.

(Along the same lines, Mercedes-Benz manages to do quite well, thank you, in the automobile industry, despite having a relatively small market share. One doesn't need market dominance to "stay in business.")

What's most impressive is that Apple has managed to do as well as it has, in an industry that inevitable pushed towards standardization. It's a testament to the superiority of their product, if you ask me.

Secondly, Sony's Betamax is alive and well in productions suites around the world, where picture quality is most important. Sony may have thrown in the towel on the consumer market (where VHS porn proliferated) but it's still a viable platform for paying producers.
posted by Fofer at 9:57 AM on July 9, 2002


Actually, I think they are a lifestyle to a very small but very vocal set of folks.

A very vocal, loyal, adamant and affluent set of folks. Isn't that all a "small" company needs?

C'mon people -- name another company out there that attracts the same amount of passion and fanaticism from its customers.
posted by Fofer at 10:02 AM on July 9, 2002


.mac - what the hell? Apple bought Macau?
posted by D at 10:41 AM on July 9, 2002


Gotta admit... a knockout punch seems like a pretty silly concept. What exactly would that amount to? 6% market share instead? Wow. They might catch up to Gateway!

I'm not saying that Apple isn't a viable company with good products that deserves a significant place in the computer market, but the idea that they will deliver some kind of knockout punch at MacWorld is about as likely as Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and the entire army of Northern Virginia rising up out of the grave and marching on Washington.
posted by insomnia_lj at 10:58 AM on July 9, 2002


and hey, no one's saying you can't make money at the margins in the PC biz. but if in 1986 your market share was 16% of the market, and fifteen years later you're stuck in the 3-5% range, well me, i have a hard time seeing that as progress.
posted by zoopraxiscope at 11:10 AM on July 9, 2002


Ahh, free advertising for corporate giants... I love it!

Next we'll have a post about how Linux is "closing the gap" on the desktop market and your next computer is going to be running RedHat. Did I transport to Slashdot or something?
posted by yarf at 11:14 AM on July 9, 2002


Also, you should avoid getting your panties into a wad about ANYTHING. It leads to unfortunate conditions.
posted by ColdChef at 11:19 AM on July 9, 2002


Apple =! turnaround:

- Warned last month quarter revenues would be off by 10%
- Cut 4% jobs in Dec., 2001
- Cut another 7% jobs in manufacturing this past week

Not exactly signs of a company about to release a "knockout punch."
posted by yarf at 11:50 AM on July 9, 2002


*Takes off shoe, bangs it on counter*

"WE WILL BURY YOU!"
posted by evanizer at 12:06 PM on July 9, 2002


Ah, fun with statistics. Apple did not cut "7% jobs in manufacturing this past week," it cut up to 7% of jobs at one plant in Sacramento, after staffing it up earlier this year to meet high iMac demand. Now that the gap is filled, those mostly-temp workers are no longer needed.

Also, even noted Apple basher Jim Carlton says that Apple's highest-ever market share was 16%, but in 1980, not in 1986 as asserted above.

It always amazes me that people consistently say Apple is doomed because it doesn't monopolize the market. In what other market is a profitable player continually discounted, including in stock price, for not having broken antitrust laws?
posted by mdeatherage at 12:49 PM on July 9, 2002


A very vocal, loyal, adamant and affluent set of folks.

Affluent? I own a brand new G4 Mac and I make less than $30k/year, I'd hardly call that affluent. Of course, I live in an area with a low cost of living but, still, affluent?

Sorry, but I use Macs because the OS just seems much more logical to me, the price never was that much of a difference that it made me think about it. I could have bought a comparable Wintel box for about $150 less than my current Mac - somehow I don't see trading off high quality, name brand parts for no-name crap as worth the savings...
posted by RevGreg at 1:11 PM on July 9, 2002


Not only has Apple survived, it has thrived. Note that 16% of the PC market in 1980 is a HELL of a lot smaller than 3-5% of the PC market in 2002. (It's called relativity, folks.)

RevGreg: while you may not consider yourself "affluent," my statement was based on conventional wisdom and demographics. I've heard time and time again that Apple's core (and target) markets are towards the richer side of the scale. One exception does not a statistic break.

The point is though, you've placed a premium on the elegance and efficiency of your technology tools. You've decided it's worth at least $150 of your $30k/year. That's the difference between you, and a bargain-basement PC user.
posted by Fofer at 2:41 PM on July 9, 2002


Macs look cool and they come in pretty colours. PCs are ugly and look like lumps of cement.
I'd like to be able to talk with any kind of authority about the OS and all that stuff, but I keep coming back to how nice all that hardware looks.
Determinedly part of the 5%, I guess, and for no good reason, really, other than getting seduced by design and marketing 12 years ago... Now, if I could just afford a G4 (and an IPod).
posted by jokeefe at 3:35 PM on July 9, 2002


Apple has a major marketing campaign that has up to this point been successful. They are closing the gap on processor speed, making software that is attracting lots of attention, and seem to have finally learned from past mistakes.

And for market share - Dell has 15% and is number 1. And even if Apple only corners .5% with some new kick ass computers by year-end, that would be considered a coup.

-

ColdChef, you must not be a happy person. My post was about a rumor. And if you had cared to step off of your pedestal and look, there was a link in the (gasp) first post. Since when did Metafilter become so thoroughly infested with trolls? I was only trying to incite discussion about an innovative and interesting company. That is the whole point of this site, is it not? Oh, that's right, I forgot...it's proving to yourself just how cynical and clever you think you are.
posted by catatonic at 5:26 PM on July 9, 2002


Well, it may not be revolutionary, but it looks like 17" iMacs are on the way. I'm speculating that we'll see OS10.2 (Jaguar) and possibly some new G4s, as well. But take that for what it's worth.

As for the oh-so-tired PC vs. Mac argument, I echo the sentiments of Marquis. 5% market share works out just fine for Mercedes-Benz. 'Nuff said.
posted by redshifter at 5:58 PM on July 9, 2002


"if in 1986 your market share was 16% of the market, and fifteen years later you're stuck in the 3-5% range, well me, i have a hard time seeing that as progress."

As was said previously, their market share was 16% in 1980, not '86. As for whether losing about 2/3rds of their highest market share was progress, that really depends on how big the market is, doesn't it? How many times bigger is the PC market today than in 1980? Owning 5% of a MUCH bigger pie is a lot better than owning 16% of a small pie, isn't it?

It's also a question of which 5%. If it's the 5% that are willing to pay a premium to any company that gives thought to design, then that's a great 5% to have.
posted by insomnia_lj at 1:49 AM on July 10, 2002


ColdChef, you must not be a happy person. My post was about a rumor. And if you had cared to step off of your pedestal and look, there was a link in the (gasp) first post.

I am an extremely happy person, thanks. I just like to see posts that are a little better crafted. Perhaps something more concrete with more information on what you're trying to show. Something along the lines of what machaus did here.

Since when did Metafilter become so thoroughly infested with trolls? I was only trying to incite discussion about an innovative and interesting company. That is the whole point of this site, is it not? Oh, that's right, I forgot...it's proving to yourself just how cynical and clever you think you are.

catatonic, I apologize if you thought that I was being flip or offhanded. I am a lifelong Mac enthusiast, and I only want them to grow and grow, too. But, I've found that if you post generalized links like, "I think Apple is going to do something, but I don't know what it's going to be" posts, then it usually becomes an OS shouting match.

A little more effort in you links is all I ask. That's all. Again, sorry if my tone seemed condescending.
posted by ColdChef at 9:33 AM on July 10, 2002


> I am a lifelong Mac enthusiast, and I only want them
> to grow and grow, too.

I picture a refrigerator-sized Macintosh with a wall-sized screen swinging around on a boom as thick as your leg. But elegant.
posted by pracowity at 11:52 PM on July 10, 2002


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