BusinessWeek writer seems confused about iMac’s target audience

“Apple Computer Inc. is known for its remarkable ability to wow the world with its hot new products. That’s why its July 2 announcement was so disappointing. Without citing specific reasons, the company said it would not roll out a new version of its iMac home PC until September, rather than in July, as it had hoped. Since the outfit also announced that it would run out of stocks of the existing iMac in a few weeks, Apple won’t have a home PC to sell for the most crucial part of the back-to-school buying season,” Peter Burrows writes for BusinessWeek.

MacDailyNews Note: Apple won’t have a “home PC” to sell, except for eMacs, iBooks, and, yes, even PowerBooks and Power Macs.

Burrows writes, “reinvigorating the iMac is urgent. Apple needs it to help regain share in the education market, where the company has staged a modest comeback in recent months, grabbing a 14.1% share in the past quarter, up from 12% in the fall, says IDC. While more students are opting for laptops such as the PowerBook, Apple needs a strong iMac to prevent further share gains by now-dominant Dell Inc.”

MacDailyNews Note: Apple sells eMac (get it, Peter, “e” as in education, and iBooks to schools – much more so than the mid-range iMac.

Burrows, taking the roundabout way to the truth, finally gets it right, concluding, “It’s instructive that investors didn’t hammer the stock harder upon learning of the iMac delay: Shares are still up 42% for the year, compared with Dell’s 2.7% rise. Rather than demand Microsoft-style market share or Dell-like operational consistency, investors value Apple’s cool products. When you build concept cars for the industry, there are bound to be some crashes. This one won’t be fatal.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: So, “reinvigorating the iMac is urgent,” but the delay “won’t be fatal. And even though Apple targets education mainly with eMac and iBook, “Apple needs a strong iMac” to sell to the education market. Much thanks for the informative article, Mr. Burrows.


  1. The long awaited G5 iMac will cause some excitment no matter what the box looks like…

    But… I expect something so cool, so practical and so many lightyears ahead of the competition, that Apple stock owners will have to hold on tight as the price skyrockets.

    And, Oh Yeah… I want a G5 iMac too, and so do my friends…

    You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

  2. the imac g5 will be sweet… and probably an attractive offering for businesses..but please… does anyone thing a G5 is going to find its way into the educational system?!

    Here’s a thought: Apple is going to sell off every single iMac so as not to leave the old ones on the shelves when the new one comes in…


    Price. Apple has found a way to lower price to around 999… wouldn’t that be swell? If the new iMacs are cheaper/MHz then we should be thrilled… but the education market wouldn’t go NEAR the imac when the eMac is so perfect

    eMac THAT should worry the education market..

  3. > Investors reacted quickly, pushing down the stock 3.7% that day, to $31.08

    It was always coming back to 28 after the WWDC, even with an iMac announcement. It goes up and it goes down; it goes up and it goes down; up-down-up-down. Up on anticipation then down on the news. The trend is what counts — was still up 42% for the year, compared with Dell’s 2.7% rise — and that was post anticipation of a new iMac and Tiger and “just one more thing.”

    And if the company were forced to expense options, as expected, [profit] would fall at least 50% — that’s fair enough.

    By focusing so hard on the iPod and the iTunes Music Store, has CEO Steven P. Jobs taken his eye off the Macintosh franchise? — is just filler … blah blah blah.

    Apple is now clearly milking the Mac for profits…. Old iMac excepted, I doubt this; if anything, Apple is milking OS X upgrades. OS costs are sunk [must incur] costs — the upgrade fee goes straight to the bottom line.

    The article is not too bad, but Burrows means “PowerBooks and iBooks” when he says “laptops” or “Powerbooks.”

  4. It would truly be a sad statement about tech writers if this story were actually written by a tech writer. Since it was put out there by BusinessWeek (the first part of the name kinda says it all, here) I’m pretty confident that neither the editors who approved it and released it or the webmaster who posted it, don’t have a Mac or would even know the first thing about Apple’s product line or history. If they did, they’d never have let this inaccurate piece of drivel out the door. They need to learn the business before they report on it. Otherwise, I’d be forced to think this was some sort of smear tactic against Apple. Oh, wait…hmmmmmmm…

  5. “It would truly be a sad statement about tech writers if this story were actually written by a tech writer.” – BuriedCaesar

    It’s a sad statement anyway. It’s written for BusinessWeek. They ought to know things about a company when they write articles since financial transactions are based on them. They are not doing a favor to their readership when they print something like this. I believe the problem these days is that nothing is clear cut anymore to separate an opinion piece, a news article, a company propaganda and a collection of analysts’ comments.

    It’s all fine to write an op-ed piece, but say so in the first place and have all the facts checked out. If you must include analysts’ comments, make sure you pick reputable ones with history of getting it right (read: certainly not Enderle and Thurrot). Most of all, do research. Company propagandas are never alright. They are called advertisements and must never be confused with news.

  6. I like BW, but not even BW is up to the level of mac users when it comes Apple ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” /> Hell … we know more about it than Jobs!!! Heheh.

  7. > If you must include analysts’ comments, make sure you pick reputable ones with history of getting it right

    There’s no such animal. By definition, anyone who gets it consistently right is not an analyst; at some point he would have shut up and become an investor — a successful one, at that.

    Insiders usually have the same reaction to an outsider’s article on their company. We’re not insiders, of course, but we buzz around the company like bees hoping to catch some honey whilst analysts can only manage a few fly-bys, and I’m assuming they have no agenda.

  8. Back in highschool (4 years ago) I aided in our school’s purchases of Macs from all walks. We had an extremely tight budget and had limited sponsoring for our specialized classes such as Digital Video and Animation. On our mission to replace our old Power Mac 5400s up to the original iMac. Contradictory to what everyone seems to think (even those who comment protectively of the computer’s purpose), the educational industry knows what they need. We ordered the blueberry iMacs for all the useless places such as the library (today’s standard would be the eMac).

    When it came to administrative computers we purchases G3s and G4s depending on their needed resouces and then iBooks for the teachers doing presentations and more involved classes. Then the computer lab was stocked up with a few G4s for comprehensive rendering, testing grounds for servers and video editing.

    I still keep in contact with my old computer teacher as it stands they are opting for eMacs to replace those terrible old iMacs (bad ROM chips) and G5s for the Digital Video & Animation classes. Yes, new iMacs are not that common. However, the Macs purchased are purchased to perform what task it needs. They just don’t go and buy whatever has an educational discount or is the “recommended” options. A skilled adminstrator knows the differences and when you NEED a G5, you buy one. It’s as simple as that.

  9. The “e” in eMac stands for “eeek!” who wants to buy that giant white lump?

    Nowadays people want a light-weight, easy to move around LCD flat panel computer monitor – not some 40 lb. weight CRT monitor taking up a lot of real estate on their desk.

    Many students I know take their computer and monitor(s) over to friends – pack it in backpack and have LAN gaming parties.
    The deformed, heavy bowling ball, i.e. eMac, is not easy to move around.

    With the new flat panel monitors nobody wants the giant, heavy CRT monitor anymore.

    I imagine the new iMac will be an eMac with a flat panel monitor. The monitor will be detachable from the iMac so one can either have it hooked onto the computer part or detached to stand away from main computer section. (One will be able to add additional iMac monitors.)
    Then Apple will rapidly phase out the eMac.

  10. The design school i went to now has over 20 G5 powermacs, and 10 new iMacs, which are mainly for the secretaries and in select rooms as scanner stations.

  11. I have to disagree with MDN on this whole iMac thing. They may not be selling them to elementary schools in large number sor anything, but they are a big deal in the college market. I just graduated last year, and iMacs were far and away the Mac I was most likely to see on someone’s desk. They’re small, sleek, cool, and reasonable priced. It won’t be fatal, as was said, but it’s a much bigger deal than MDN wants to believe.

  12. Apple dropped the ball on this one and admits as much on their website. It is not good to have a gap but the current iMac was getting long in the tooth so sales were down anyway. Also with the recent trend to laptops the effects should be minimal.

    Another insanely great iMac coming online will more than compensate for any sales lost during the interim.

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