“Steve Jobs, founder and chief executive of US computer giant Apple, was in jubilant mood last week. And deservedly so. In short order he has lured millions of us to become iPod addicts. And the result? Sweet music. Apple has been able to report its best ever financial results with its flagship new product, the iPod portable music player, selling 28m units and capturing a whopping 75% of the digital music player market,” Tony Glover, Technology Editor for The Business Online, writes. “The driving force behind these stellar results is not the range of Macintosh computers that Apple invented and spent the last quarter of a century perfecting. It was the iPod, a pocket-sized music player, whose first version Apple launched only four years ago. Apple shipped 876,000 Macintosh computers during the quarter ending June 2005 and almost as many iPods at 860,000.”
Glover writes, “Audiences across the world reacted to the announcement of the new iPod with rapturous applause. But success brings its own challenges. Despite the enthusiasm for Apple’s latest iPod, it was hard to tell who was more nervous – Jobs or the increasingly jittery investors who sent Apple’s shares on a roller coaster ride last week. Many investors privately admit that Apple’s growing reliance on digital music players for future growth is causing concern. One US analyst told The Business that he had serious misgivings that Apple had become too dependent on maintaining an impossibly high market share in portable digital music players to drive its entire range. Jobs makes no secret of the fact that the iPod is seen as the hook which draws customers into the Apple stores and into the wider world of Apple computing.”
Glover writes, “But underneath Jobs’s California cool, which he wears like a suit of armour, there was clear evidence of strain as the man in black unveiled Apple’s latest offerings. Right from the start of an hour long one-man show, Jobs was in hyperdrive. ‘Isn’t this cool? . . . this is so cool… I think . . .we think this is so hot,’ he babbled while showing film trailers on Apple’s latest Mac desktop computer. Like some balding and embarrassingly hip middle-aged uncle at a family gathering, Jobs pulled faces for a series of ‘teenage effects’ designed to show off the Macintosh computer’s inbuilt web camera.”
“Firms like Microsoft and Toshiba are retailing devices similar to the iPod range in almost every way. They are pitched as being a better choice for customers using Microsoft-powered PCs and laptops, by far the majority of computer users. And the price of digital music players is falling with Far Eastern manufacturers already developing devices that retail for a small fraction of the iPod’s hefty price tag,” Glover writes.
“Video is a market where Steve Jobs already faces serious competition, not least from his old nemesis Microsoft founder Bill Gates,” Glover writes. “Microsoft software already powers a portable video and music player, the Zen Vision. Zen has been shipping since last November video-enabled players with much bigger colour screens than the new video iPod and holding up to 85 hours of video, 9,000 songs. Last year, Samsung launched a similar device running Microsoft software, the oddly named Samsung Yepp YH-999 Portable Media Center.”
“While these products may not yet be perceived as being as ‘cool’ as the new video iPod, they are compatible with Microsoft’s broader product range. These include the Media Center software than runs computers designed to double up as TVs for watching home movies and videos downloaded from the internet,” Glover writes.
“Apple computers are also unpopular with computer gamers, a crucial application for portable video. Many of the best games developers do not bother to design games for Apple computers because most people have Microsoft systems in their offices and homes,” Glover writes. “As one industry delegate leaving Apple’s product launch last week was heard to comment: ‘It looks as if Steve Jobs may have opened up another new market for Bill Gates.'”
Full article here.
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In the quarter ending June 2005, Apple shipped 1,182,000 Macs, and 6,155,000 iPods, not 876,000 Macs and 860,000 iPods as Glover states. The rest of Glover’s tripe, some of it embarrassingly and transparently envious of Jobs and Apple, is at least as wrong as his Mac and iPod shipping numbers. To us, Glover’s apparent love of Microsoft software trumpets the fact that he’s obviously never touched a bit of Apple software in his life. Glover is very confused: running Microsoft software is a liability, not a selling point. And does he even realize that, oh, by the way, iPods and iTunes are compatible with both Macs and Windows PCs?
Perhaps, when it comes to on-stage presentations, Mr. Glover prefers these examples:
• Bill Gates simply can’t get Media Center to work at CES 2005
• Microsoft CEO Monkey Boy dances, screams, and sweats profusely
[Note: in the most-recent quarter ended September 24, 2005, Apple shipped 1,236,000 Macs and 6,451,000 iPods]
Related article: Interview with ‘Just Say No to Microsoft’ author Tony Bove now online – October 17, 2005
Mac users should not buy Microsoft software (or hardware) – May 16, 2003