The iPod is bigger than Jesus, now can Apple’s Mac take on Windows?

“We’ve been living, for the past couple years, in Apple’s world, a time and place in which the normal rules of commerce no longer seem to apply to the once much-beaten-down firm. The company has seen an extraordinary string of hits recently. The iPod is bigger than Jesus. Apple is literally selling these things faster than it can make them. Now, for the first time in almost two decades, there’s a good — great — feeling attached to the Apple brand, a haze of optimism that is unlike the sensation we feel for all but the most cherished of consumer tech products,” Farhad Manjoo writes for Salon.

“So, perchance to dream: After iPod, can Apple make a comeback in the world of personal computers? On Jan. 22, the company began shipping the Mac Mini, a diminutive entry-level machine aimed at Windows people. The computer is tiny, beautiful and, at $499, cheap; already, it’s receiving generally positive praise from reviewers,” Manjoo writes. “What happens now? The entire effort could fizzle, certainly. Apple releases nice Macs all the time that never spark in the Windows world. There is a theory, though, that this go-round might be different, that the moment may be ripe for the Mac Mini to take off. The landscape of the personal computer market has altered. In recent years, the home computer has increasingly become a digital entertainment center; people use it for the Web, they use it for e-mail, and they use it for photos, movies and music.”

“The Mac is not just good at these few tasks: It’s the best there is. There’s simply no arguing that Apple’s built-in software and operating system make for the single most powerful photo, music and movie system you can buy. But the things that the Mac is good at make up just one part of the story. There’s a flip side — the increasingly obvious failings of PCs running Microsoft Windows. Among Windows users, there’s a rising feeling — accounted for mostly by anecdotes and not all that well-measured, but nevertheless important — that the system is becoming too hard to maintain. Talk to experts at computer security firms and they’ll give you some pretty scary straight talk about how spyware, adware and viruses are just killing the user experience on an ordinary Windows PC,” Manjoo writes.

“It’s not unusual for people to throw out their year-old Windows computers because they’ve become just too clogged with bad junk, says Richard Stiennon, vice president of threat research at the anti-spyware firm Webroot. The Mac, in contrast, simply doesn’t suffer such afflictions,” Manjoo writes.

Full article (subscription required) here.

MacDailyNews Clarity Alert: We didn’t write the line, “The iPod is bigger than Jesus,” Farhad Manjoo wrote it in the Salon article.


  1. You know, I hate to disagree with the writer, but I don’t see the iPod being bigger than Jesus…

    Now, when the misselettes, books, and songs are replaced with iPod Minis…

  2. I’m 35 and I know of the Jesus reference AND who Timothy Leary is (although I must admit I only know who he is thanks to a reference on Genesis’ “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway” album – I was 14 and asked my mom who Timothy Leary was – she was really surprised!).

    I don’t know if Jesus would have an iPod if he was around today or not (probably) but I do believe he’d look at Christianity today and wonder what the hell happened.

  3. Religion is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on humanity. Windows is the second greatest hoax. (Oh no, the worms are wigglin’ outta the can!) Anyway, from there on down, any company with an advertisement promising a benefit that is mostly taken away by the fine print (as most of them do nowadays) deserves to have the bejeesus kicked outta them.

  4. Well, ‘Bigger Than’ is hard thing to define.

    Everyone who LIKES something?

    Everyone who has HEARD of something?

    BTW I’m sending these posts from a hospital bed, and my laptop and iPod U2 SE is turning heads right and left. I’ve switched 3 people in the last 4 days alone. Some who are fed up with Windows, others who are blown away by the coolness of the iPod/laptop combo. The doctors stay 3 times longer at my bedside. The nurses are are dreaming of silver iPod Minis.

    The Revolution. And so it begins.

    I STILL meet people (not here) who are middle aged, wealthy, and fairly tuned in who haven’t even heard the word ‘iPod’.

    That surprises me.

    But the iPod ‘BIGGER’ than Jesus? Well, there’s a LOT of Catholics out there, and I should know, I’m one of them. Anyway, I say ‘no’. But then, Jesus had a 2,000 year head start.

    I hope we all take comments like that in the spirit they are given, as a commentary on the social landscape.

    I’ve seen Lennon speak that quote a million times and he did have a .01% arrogance factor. But then I don’t think he could order a coke without being a little stuck up. But he had the right to.


  5. Man the press has been GREAT for Apple lately. I have only read a handful of negative articles and they all sound whiny. If this trend in the press and my personal experiences so far are any indications, the Mac mini is gonna be bigger than Buddha.

  6. “Just because you can wear it around your neck does not make it an iPod.” – Marcie88

    That’s true, Marcie88. I have a string of human ears that I’ve worn around my neck since my three tours in ‘Nam and they are definitely not iPods.

  7. aryegaetu… strong words. however, one should always remember that there is a difference between those that “profess” and those that “practice.”

    What many priests teach is irreprehensible… and not bible based.

    magic word: “thirty” pieces of silver.

  8. What are you guys focusing on! This is the gem in the article worth talking about:

    Compared to Windows, the Mac is a Fort Knox of security. There are only about 200 pieces of malware known to attack the Mac platform, and security analysts could not identify a single instance — not one — of spyware aimed at the Mac. There are a couple of reasons for this. One is that the Macintosh operating system is inherently more secure than the Windows platform. As a technical matter, the Mac operating system, which is based on Unix, has a much smaller “surface area” for attackers to target, Stiennon says. Windows, by contrast, “is a really dirty OS that requires thousands of system calls to do simple functions — and every single system call is an opportunity” for an attacker to get at the system, Stiennon explains.

  9. I don’t mean to start a war here, but the Shuffle is, like, WAY smaller than Jesus. You want to try tossing Jesus in your pocket as you dash out the door? I didn’t think so!

    I am aware that they do make very small Jesuses, but they are not full-featured.

    In addition, many people cannot hear Jesus as clearly as the provided Apple earbuds.

  10. Yikes! Has anyone here actually gone to Salon and read this article in full?

    The headline at Salon is “Hallelujah, the Mac is back”. The article has little to do with the iPod and nothing to do with Jesus. The bigger than Jesus comment was simply a cultural reference to John Lennon’s famous line, as others have pointed out here.

    With the fretting displayed in this forum over the Jesus line, I have to wonder if you people in the US are living in a totalitarian theocratic state.

    Anyway, read the article and enjoy the Mac and computer industry analysis and commentary.


  11. Hey MDN you think just because someone else wrote the headline you’re not going to hell?

    This is a mac site that you are turning into a religious debate site and for that…

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