And they said Apple was dead

The New York Times’ David Pogue presents, “for your nostalgia pleasure,” some articles from major publications featuring analysts and columnists predictions from ten years ago:

• Fortune, 2/19/1996: “By the time you read this story, the quirky cult company…will end its wild ride as an independent enterprise.”
• BusinessWeek, 10/16/95: “Having underforecast demand, the company has a $1 billion-plus order backlog….The only alternative: to merge with a company with the marketing and financial clout to help Apple survive the switch to a software-based company. The most likely candidate, many think, is IBM Corp.”
• A Forrester Research analyst, 1/25/96 (quoted in, of all places, The New York Times): “Whether they stand alone or are acquired, Apple as we know it is cooked. It’s so classic. It’s so sad.”
• Nathan Myhrvold (Microsoft’s chief technology officer, 6/97: “The NeXT purchase is too little too late. Apple is already dead.”
• Wired, “101 Ways to Save Apple,” 6/97: “1. Admit it. You’re out of the hardware game.”
• The Economist, 2/23/95: “Apple could hang on for years, gamely trying to slow the decline, but few expect it to make such a mistake. Instead it seems to have two options. The first is to break itself up, selling the hardware side. The second is to sell the company outright.”
• The Financial Times, 7/11/97: “Apple no longer plays a leading role in the $200 billion personal computer industry. ‘The idea that they’re going to go back to the past to hit a big home run…is delusional,’ says Dave Winer, a software developer.”

Pogue writes, “This is why, when anyone asks me what the future of technology holds, or what kids will be bringing to school in 2016, I politely decline to answer.”

More in his full blog post here.

Related articles:
Apple’s Mac market share rises over 24-percent year-over-year – September 21, 2006
Apple Mac’s 2007 market share climb will dumbfound almost everyone, create mayhem in PC market – September 08, 2006
Apple gaining traction as Mac market share increases – July 31, 2006
Apple market share myths deconstructed – July 22, 2006
IDC: Apple Mac attained 4.8% U.S. market share in Q2 06 – July 19, 2006
Gartner: Apple Mac grabbed 4.6% U.S. market share in Q2 06 – July 19, 2006
‘Fantastic quarter’ helps Apple double share of U.S. retail notebook market to 12% – July 19, 2006
BusinessWeek: big market-share gains coming for Apple’s Macintosh – June 15, 2006
Analyst: Apple Mac market share primed to explode; iPod Halo Effect to become increasingly important – June 13, 2006
Analysts: Apple Mac market share to surge by end of 2006 – June 07, 2006
Analysts expect Apple’s new MacBook to drive market share gains in near future – May 17, 2006
Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ ultimate goal: ‘to take back the computer business from Microsoft’ – June 16, 2005


  1. I’m glad to say I am buying a Mac on Saturday and then giving my Windows laptop a bath. Anyway, I believe the myth about Apple is almost gone because when I told this to my friends they all went “cool”, whereas if it were a year or two ago they probably would have said, “But they aren’t compatible and can’t do much, right? Why would you get one of those overpriced POSes?”

    MDN Word: Labor

    As in, Apple’s labor is finally paying off.

  2. “. . . when anyone asks me what the future of technology holds . . .”

    Which is also why the short-sighted argument for using Windows in schools to train kids for the future is also a cargo ship full of b.s.

    “The dream of what software can do is just beginning. We see it day by day as we’re revolutionizing business and entertainment. So many of the seeds we’ve planted, whether it’s gaming or TV or development or communications, have just started to grow. The biggest impact is yet to come.”

    – Bill Gates, June 15th, 2006

    He just conveniently left out that it’s not Windows.

  3. Unfortunately, I STILL have other businessmen call my Macs “toys” and the like. I’ve just about quit getting into discussions (arguments) about Mac v. peecee. I run two companies, one of them a $300 million trust company, exclusively on Macs and one really old WANG system. Both are workhorses and allow us to operate with about 50% of the personnel at a competitor of the same size. Some people will NEVER learn.

  4. If Apple can really grasp and hold a significant market share, say an undeniable 30-40% in the next five plus years, then the world will most definitely be a better place.

    Maybe it will inspire others we’ve never heard of to bring new personal computing technologies (hardware and OS) to the marketing table. I for one sure hope so. We need choices, we need alternatives, we need innovation, WE NEED COMPETITION in the personal computing industries.

    I really hope that what MS has done to us never happens again.

  5. Here’s a FUNNY article to read:

    Enderle wrote it on 09/19/05 … a year and 2 days ago and titled it: “Windows Vista: The Final Countdown Begins.” A year long countdown? And still HOLDING? It makes his prognostications and attitude coping quite hilarious to behold. And particularly his closing line:

    “This suggests that 2006, at least after August, will be great time for buyers and sellers of PC hardware and that has to be a good thing for everyone — except Apple.”

    FOFLMHO … makes one wonder if Enderle would like to go back in time and do a massive re-write.

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