The causality behind Apple’s success

“Apple’s new 21-inch iMac was October’s best-selling desktop computer, according to retail analyst firm NPD. While sexy, the sales success was partially due to a slowdown in sales of competing PCs prior to the launch of Windows 7,” Jonathan Salem Baskin blogs for InformationWeek.

Baskin writes, “No it wasn’t.”

MacDailyNews Take: Oh, we’re gonna like this…

Baskin continues, “Nowadays, things need only happen concurrently to be connected; trends cross space and time via the Internet so that they appear not just parallel but inexorably intertwined. Much of what passes for analysis today requires no tangibly real proof of cause and effect other than that two topics can be surfed during the same online session.”

“It’s silly to presume that people bought iMacs because retailers were clearing out inventory prior to Windows 7. If anything, any clearance efforts on Vista boxes would have been a competitive pressure on Apple, meaning that its success was greater (selling in spite of redlined PCs),” Baskin writes. “If consumers were waiting for Windows 7, that wouldn’t have translated into Apple sales whatsoever; it would have depressed overall PC sales, though I have trouble believing that the vast numbers of Wintel boxes and retail outlets were so badly hit by new OS anticipation to make Apple’s sales numbers shine so much better.”

“The causality of consumer choice drove 21-inch iMac sales, and I’d guess it boiled down to very specific factors like functionality, in-store experience, and price,” Baskin writes. “Any schlub can see connections where none exist, and it makes for a fun read when analysts make these grand, expansive declarations from high above. But it’s usually a description of a theory, at best, and a fantasy, more often. The causes of Apple’s success have everything to do with what Apple does better, more creatively, authentically, and consistently than its competition. I think Microsoft or its hardware partners don’t fully understand this phenomenon. It’s what dooms them to suffering its effects.”

Full article – very highly recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: Every once in a while, the searing truth burns through brightly. Jonathan Salem Baskin is a global brand strategist, is the author of Bright Lights & Dim Bulbs: The Year in Marketing Buzz, Brilliance & Buffoonery, So You Don’t Have To Repeat It — 2010 Edition, and writes the Dim Bulb blog. Bookmark it if you haven’t already.


  1. @MacAdvocate
    You know, it might be sacrilegious to suggest it, if not especially here, but I liked that Mac OS 7.1 UI over OS X.

    But nothing beats 6.x, had the real artist’s touch on them, OS experience was never more pleasurable. If only we had the right hardware to match it then…

  2. @krquet
    As much as I liked Mac OS 6, 7, 8, and the terribly unstable 9.2.1, it is ludicrous to compare it with OSX 10.6.2

    I used my first Mac 1987 and although I found it incredible at the time, once the “multifinder” come about, I could never think how we got along with out it. Today, I think the same thing about the Dock, Spaces, Exposé and so many other underpinnings that make the Mac the best computational environment in my book.

    I think you are confusing your feelings of nostalgia with greatness, because OS 7.1 was great, but even Windows XP is much better then it by todays standards. Having to trouble shoot extensions, SCSI devices, making sure they all had there proper ID numbers. It could be hell. System 9.2.1 had to be restarted every 4 hours of work at the least, because your memory became so fragmented that it would freeze up or simply completely crash the OS. In our office, it was very common to hear someone curse followed by the startup chime.

  3. The only time I regret buying an iMac is when a new model like the 27 inch one comes out (and I still own the old one).
    And every-time a new model (of anything Apple produces) comes out, I say to myself: “That’s it, they can’t get any better than _that_”.
    Fast-forward 18 months and a model comes at that is, more often than not, _much_ better than the previous one, in ways few people (if any) would have anticipated.
    The notable exception is the mighty-mouse, which they now fixed with the magic mouse. Surely, it can’t get any better than the magic mouse, right?
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  4. Mac user since 1984…. would love to buy a iMac, but am stuck on my brand new MacBook Pro… Moving around too much

    @Ampar FYI Windblows is a malicious bastard mutation of the Mac OS, that has infested 95% of the computing world. It thrives on subjects with less than adequate brain substance.

  5. @Macin’ Dude. ChrissyOne’s identity has been known to long term posters on this site for years.

    C1 is a dedicated Mac user, and an interesting and humorous poster. The rest is C1’s business.

    And, by the way, it’s “you’re”.

  6. On the other hand, The Street refers to “all the recent good news from Microsoft.” Meaning?

    The 7ista service pack? Already beset with troubles. Besides almost no-one has specifically bought it; they just are afflicted with it when they get their cheap junk pcs.

    The msft retail stores? Gimme a break.

    Beating the quarterly numbers? The numbers were guided way down by msft, apparently so they could “beat” them, however the numbers actually reveal a company in year-over-year decline , who is laying off while Apple’s hiring. If msft is also cutting their R&D;budget, it means fewer blockbusters like the surface, the Dick Tracey watch, and the refrigerator reader.

    Yeah, that’s their good news, and the Mac only sold because 7ista was coming. Welcome to the frontiers of internet journalism.

  7. @Macaday
    Have you not read Ampar’s posts? I have always been amazed (and appreciative) of his (her? lol) wit. At times it is simply brilliant. When I skim through comments I screech to a halt when I see his name knowing that the ensuing laugh will inevitably come. May he and Steve Ballmer live forever (my poor attempt at wit….no offense meant).

    As for C1…many of us here love her feistiness while not forgetting her wit and ability to take and give a punch….and too many a-holes insecure with their pathetic lives have stupidly and sadly thrown these punches (like Macin’ Dude).

    I for one consider myself lucky to be able to read their comments….which will hopefully continue for many years to come!

  8. I sent my mom to the Apple store to buy a $999 laptop–she bought this beauty instead. She has no idea that she owns, by far, the fastest computer and the largest hard drive ever seen in our family. But she does love it.

    And it just sucked in the settings and apps from her old mac… like… like a mac.

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