Mossberg: ‘I’ll turn on Apple Computer in a New York minute if I think they’re going south again’

The Wall Street Journal’s Walter S. Mossberg spoke with The News & Obsever’s Sue Stock for an article published today in advance of Mossberg’s visit to Research Triangle Park on Wednesday to speak at the InfoTech ’05 conference. A couple of Stock’s questions and Mossbeg’s answers touched on Apple Computer, Inc:

Q:Apple is getting ready to roll out a video iPod, reports say. Do you have one yet?
A:I’m not officially saying there is a video iPod. But if you’re asking if I’ve seen what they’re going to announce next week, the answer is no.

Q:Do you think iPods or Apple as a whole are overhyped?
A:There are two things about Apple. One is they’re a very smart marketing company. And the second is Apple is the object of a cult.

I call it computer theology. There is a church of Apple. I don’t know that they’re overhyped. They certainly generate a lot of buzz about whatever they do and they do have a loyal following that will sometimes exaggerate whatever it is they are doing. But if you look at it through clear eyes, Apple has made a string of really first-rate products over the past few years.

Most computer companies make most of their money selling things to large corporations, and they make a lot of compromises in some cases to please the IT departments in large corporations.

I will tell you I haven’t always been favorable to Apple. I wrote a column in the ’90s telling readers to steer clear of Apple. I’ll turn on them in a New York minute if I think they’re going south again.

Full article here.
Mossberg has always just told it like it is and it seems like he always will. That’s a very good thing and, unfortunately, somewhat of a rarity in the “mainstream mass media” today. While we don’t always agree with him (for example, we felt his Mighty Mouse review was rushed and comparisons to other mice and features were misapplied and pretty meaningless), we’d never question Mossberg’s integrity.

Related articles:
Mossberg: Apple iPod nano scratches easily, get a case to protect it – October 06, 2005
Mossberg: Switching from Windows to Mac – software not an expensive proposition – September 30, 2005
Mossberg: Apple iPod nano ‘beautiful, incredibly thin, and exceeds Apple’s performance specs’ – September 08, 2005
Mossberg: renting music ‘far more complicated and restrictive’ than owning music from Apple iTunes – August 19, 2005
Mossberg offers resources for Windows users interested in switching to Apple Mac – August 18, 2005
Mossberg pans Apple Mighty Mouse, says Microsoft’s latest mouse is better – August 04, 2005


  1. MacAddict gave the Mighty Mouse 2 out of 5 (so-so) in their review. And MacAddict is as pro-Mac as they get. But they too call it like they see it

    So maybe Walt was not so far off the mark.

  2. Good ol’ Mossberg…Apple lovin guy. Yeah, so about the cult thing, I was walking home from 7-11 drinking a slurpee and these two computer geeks hit me on the head with a single-button mouse and threw me in the back of their apple u-haul…Now, it appears that I have been a faithful member of the ‘cult of apple’ for 12 years now. We all wear black turtle knecks and jeans and knock on doors to ‘spread the love of Jobs.’
    Bring on that video ipod…bring it on.

    Andrew Hamilton
    Las Vegas Videographers
    Hamilton International Productions

  3. Yeah, I tried the Mighty Mouse and didn’t like it either. I don’t own a Mac and a two iPods because I’m a “fanboy” either, I do because they’re the best of their breed available in the world right now. And yeah, if Apple ever goes south, I’ll look elsewhere too. This idea that some of the uninformed morons out there have that only fanboys ever praise anything from Apple is idiotic FUD. When Apple does something good I’ll buy it and praise it. But when they don’t, I won’t. The main thing has been that Apple has had far more hits than misses over the past 3 years since I switched from Windows, so I simply haven’t had all that much to complain about so far, but that still doesn’t make me a fanboy. It’s calling it like it is.

  4. Its good that Mossberg keeps an eye on the “Cult”. What would that make him: “Grand Overlord Seer of the Great Cult of Apple”?

    Seriously, people use the word cult so loosely today. I don’t think Mossberg has any clue what a real cult involves. Fanatics maybe, but cult members, far from it.

    But getting back to technology. Where would the world of computing be today without Apple and without those that stuck with Apple during the “lean” years? Apple is a small company dedicated to making computing more enjoyable and less frustrating, that’s something that should be encouraged not turned against.

  5. Many a time I wish Apple would extend their “market smartness” into promoting OS X *outside* the bounds of the choir hall.
    As for Mossberg, very few like him and his ranks will always remain small as the rest are lured by $$ to remain shills.

  6. This reinforces the fact that Walt is totally objective. So his praise of Apple products takes on even more meaning. As for the Cult thing, I guess people can go overboard a bit about their hobbies and various machinery they use. Depending on your definition, a lot of professional sports teams have a “cult” following, but they aren’t often labeled as such. The same goes for various automobiles and motorcycles.

    I think in the world of computing the “cult” label is often used with regards to Apple Fans so people who have chosen windows products can discount anything said that might imply they made the wrong choice.

  7. “Hey, my eMac was assembled in Mexico, is it already too late? Have they gone south?”

    that deserves a RIMSHOT!
    from Wikipedia:

    A rimshot is the sound produced by hitting the rim of a snare drum with a drum stick. This effect is commonly used in comedy to punctuate a joke, especially an obvious one. As a result, a particularly obvious laugh line is itself sometimes called a rimshot.

    The effect is often accompanied by a cymbal crash, which may also be considered part of the rimshot sequence. If the drummer strikes both the head of the drum and the rim, this is also typically considered a rimshot.

  8. Let’s look at the alternative… MS WIndows? Mossberg needs to give MS credit for their inability to even copy properly… however if Macs are a church, then MS users’ believe in pure VooPoo (spelt correctly)

    Pity Mossberg doesn’t mention the illogical MS cult

  9. The mac faithful can be critical about Apple offerings and they vote with their pockets. For example with the G5 towers – they have lost their appeal because of the slow performance increase over the past five years. Luckily Apple have provided an out with the innovations in the iMac. My G4 sawtooth tower will be replaced with an iMac or a laptop when the time is right.

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