ABC News: Is Apple poised to topple the PC big boys?

“In one of the strangest conjunctions of bad luck in the history of high tech, one of the world’s largest industries — personal computers — suddenly seems up for grabs,” Michael S. Malone writes for ABC News.

Malone writes, “Let’s go back a year. At that time, PCs seemed the most stable of industries. It was filled with giants, all of them lumbering pleasantly along, squeezing profits that remained in an increasingly commodified marketplace.”

“On the Windows side, the big guns — Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Sony et al — were jostling around, competing against each other, picking up or losing a percentage of market share in desktops, and waiting for Microsoft to finally deliver Vista and make the game exciting again,” Malone writes. “The whole ‘Wintel’ world had grown stale and unimaginative.”

“Meanwhile, on the other side of the Great Divide, Apple continued its long turnaround under Steve Jobs, consistently earning good press for quality new models,” Malone writes. “Indeed, Apple was generating the only real excitement in the entire industry: The penumbra of excitement surrounding the iPod was converting a growing number of bored Windows users to switch to the Mac. Still, these converts represented only a few percentage points in market share shift.”

“Looking back, everything suddenly changed with Apple’s announcement that, 20 years late, it would finally begin offering Macintoshes with Intel microprocessors. It was an important announcement, but certainly not as earthshaking as it would have been in 1986,” Malone writes. “Yet the decision seemed to bring some kind of closure on the entire PC industry — and in the process created some kind of strange attractor that has sewn chaos in the personal computing world ever since. Don’t ask me why — I’m just reporting what has been unmistakable ever since.”

MacDailyNews Take: The switch to Intel wasn’t “20 years late,” it just took Intel 20 years to consistently make better processors than Apple was using and also have the best roadmap going forward.

Malone covers some of “Wintel’s” recent woes and writes, “Surveying the rubble of what was just a few months ago a giant, thriving and thoroughly predictable industry, there is only one headquarters left standing. Apple Computer.”

Malone asks, “Who’d have predicted that a few years ago?”

MacDailyNews Note: Us.

Malone continues, “Now, powered at last by the right chip, with a superior operating system that won’t be challenged anytime soon as well as elegant product designs and legions of potential customers ready to abandon their dreary Windows machines, Apple seems poised to recapture vast chunks of the PC business, perhaps even regaining the preeminence it lost in the late 1980s.”

MacDailyNews Take: Malone, regrettably, then veers off into the whole myth that “iPod sales are slowing which threatens Apple’s cash flow.” It’s a pure load and royally screws the end of what was pretty good article. Too bad.

iPod unit sales:
• Q4 03: 336,000
• Q1 04: 733,000 (holiday quarter)
• Q2 04: 807,000
• Q3 04: 860,000
• Q4 04: 2,016,000
• Q1 05: 4,580,000 (holiday quarter)
• Q2 05: 5,311,000
• Q3 05: 6,155,000
• Q4 05: 6,451,000
• Q1 06: 14,043,000 (holiday quarter)
• Q2 06: 8,526,000
• Q3 06: 8,111,000

During no quarter have year-over-year iPod sales declined. And Christmas comes but once a year. Please read the related article below for more about why iPod sales are not slowing.

As for the rest of Malone’s article, it’s nice to see the MSM finally starting to catch up.

As we wrote in a MacDailyNews Take on May 9, 2005:”The war isn’t over until there’s a surrender. Apple’s still here and the Mac platform is growing and advancing, not shrinking and retreating. As long as Apple makes Macs, as Yogi said, ‘It ain’t over ’til it’s over.’ PCs are turned over every few years; all it would take is for the average user to choose a Mac for their next computer and things would quickly change drastically. With Windows in disarray and Longhorn looking more like Stillborn, right now is Apple’s best time to strike and strike hard.”

Our own SteveJack wrote on June 8, 2005, shortly after Apple announced the Intel transition, “Oh, so one could buy a Mac and run both Windows and Mac OS X or buy a Dell and only be able to run Windows. Muahahahahah! So, can anyone explain why would anyone in their right mind would buy a Dell or any other Wintel box assembler’s kit again? This is shaping up to become a “license Mac OS X or die” problem for the Dells of the world. But, what if Steve Jobs doesn’t feel like licensing Mac OS X? Checkmate. Is it too early to suggest that Michael Dell shut down the company and give the money back to shareholders? Wait until Wall Street figures this one out.”

And again, SteveJack wrote on December 28, 2005, “Could Steve Jobs be preparing to drop just such a bomb on the Windows box assemblers at Macworld Expo or sometime in 2006? Would he first drop just a moderately destructive atomic bomb on the likes of Dell, HP, Lenovo, Gateway, etc., leaving out the ‘Windows apps on Mac without Windows’ threat to Microsoft? Or could Jobs actually be boldly planning to drop the industry-devastating hydrogen bomb on both the Windows box assemblers and Microsoft all in one fell swoop? If a Mac could run Mac OS X and Windows, who would buy a Dell, HP, etc.? If a Mac could run Mac OS X and Windows applications without Windows, who would buy a Dell or a copy of Windows from Microsoft? And what would Microsoft be able to do about it? Drop Internet Explorer for Mac (LOL)? Drop Office for Mac? Big deal, we’ll run the Windows versions on our Macs then, if need be. Is this why Jobs has been building a world-class library of Mac-only software titles for years? Does Jobs still harbor the desire to take back the personal computer industry from Microsoft? Could that be the real reason why Jobs is undertaking the massive switch to Intel-based Macs? Or do you really think the switch to Intel-based Macs is just to get better performance per watt CPUs for Apple iBooks and PowerBooks?”

Then, on the day that Apple released Boot Camp, April 05, 2006, we wrote in our MacDailyNews Take, “Welcome to ‘Embrace and extinguish,’ Apple-style. The war ain’t over, folks. It never was. Now, a new chapter begins and today’s shot will be heard around the world! Don’t you just love the smell of napalm in the morning? This doesn’t hurt Microsoft (yet), but it absolutely puts Dell, HP, Lenovo, Toshiba, etc. into a world of pain… As Windows-only users buy Macs that will provide them their “comfort” of Windows, they will experience Mac OS X and use it for the excellent Mac-only applications. We all know what happens when people are given the chance to really use Macs for longer than five minutes, they usually want to buy a Mac. These new Apple Mac hardware users will start out using Windows more than Mac OS X and end up using Mac OS X exclusively. Watch and see.”

Full article here.

Related article:
The Observer’s iPod FUD: Apple iPod is ‘wilting away before our eyes’ – September 10, 2006

58 Comments

  1. Would MDN just let me read the article without any personal opinions, red herrings, or just over the top smugness. It makes the articles impossible to read and form my own opinion.

    As an Apple lover, the distractions go against every Apple design sensibility they’ve got.

    I find it just as offensive as MDN’s witch hunt for FUD.

  2. Mike Melon-head, yeah I remember him! He is the PC bigot who wrote dooms and grooms about Apple in the late ’80 and early ’90. He still writes for food? He is on Apple side now? What gives? He is a M$ Windows troll shit head. Retarded!

  3. MDN, is the glass half empty? Half full?
    Only you can have a sour take on one of the world’s biggest media outlets singing praises (…..vast chunks of the PC market).

    Boy, you must be a real pain in the ass around the house.
    Kinda anal, eh?

  4. “”The whole ‘Wintel’ world had grown stale and unimaginative.” Huh what? The Wintel world has ALWAYS been “…stale and unimaginative”.

    And let’s please not start on the OOOOO Goody, Macs use Intel now trip. Personally I’m pretty much past it, but I don’t believe that using the Intel chip, in and of itself, did didley-squat for Mac sales. Apple did what it needed to do for long term techno growth.

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