Yay iPod! But What about the Mac? §

Something a Little Random to Start

Okay, ths is kind of random, and doesn’t really fit in with the title of the post, so that’s why I’m putting it first. I was presented with this challenge from one of the many design sites I enjoy in my daily web perusal. The instructions follow:

  1. Grab the nearest book.
  2. Open the book to page 23.
  3. Find the fifth sentence.
  4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.

Okay, so I’ll participate. Here’s what I got:

The call to the printf routine now contains four arguments.

Try it, just for fun.

Now the Real Banter

I’m sure this is a common sentiment among Apple fans everywhere, but I feel like it’s my turn to play on it. Apple accounced its Q2 Earnings yesterday, and while the news was good, fantastic actually, I couldn’t help but wonder about some things.

First, Apple posted a net profit of $46 million, that’s a lot of money. Especially when you factor in that the company is 100% debt free, with something like $4.6 billion in cash on hand. Here’s the real concern for me: the company shipped 749,000 Macintosh units last quarter (roughly a 5% increase over their first fiscal quarter) and 807,000 iPods were shipped last quarter. 807,000 iPods represents a 909% increase over last year! That’s right, no typo, read nine-hundred-and-nine percent increase. That’s amazing, stunning really, and why is that a concern?

It has been months since Apple’s Macintosh line has seen any real enhancements. Everything is still shipping with the same G4’s as six months ago (except for the PowerMac G5, of course, but even that has seen no updates). The form factor of all of the Macs (exception: the PowerMac) has seen no changes in years. I guess one can argue that it really doesn’t matter, since sales of the Mac are still increasing, but you have to understand that it’s a little worrisome to see that Apple is making so much of its money from a consumer electronic product. When Gateway started changing their market, well, look what happened. The success of the iPod is amazing, but why isn’t it transferring to the Mac?

The same old questions should be asked, why isn’t Apple pushing advertisements for the Mac platform? I haven’t seen a single commercial for a Macintosh (exception: the PowerMac) in ages! Ads for the Powerbook series (which used to be abundant after the intro of the 15" AlBook) have compeltely disappeared. Perhaps I’m worried over nothing, maybe the lack of advertisments is due to new product annoucnements coming this summer. Maybe there are new form factors waiting in the wings, but then again maybe not.

These all may have logical reasons behind them, but there’s one issue that I can’t think of a single logical reason for. The lack of any method of advertisement for Mac OS X, ever. The last time ads for the Mac OS ran was, well… come to think of it, I can’t think of that time. Why is it, that Apple is not touting one of its biggest sales points? Mac OS X is by far the most elegant OS on the market, and by far the most useful and productive.

With Mac OS X Server available, and the XServe seeing speed bumps, Apple is already working on selling this brilliant piece of software to the enterprise market, but what about consumers? I can’t see it being that big of a waste, especially with the hype surrounding the Windows vulnerabilities. With all of this, Linux too is lacking in consumer ad space. Why aren’t these two advanced OSes being touted to the masses. The OS monopoly will never die unless people can actually see that alternatives exist.

Well anyway, congrats Apple on the tremendous momentum of the iPod. Let’s hope your wager of selling more Macs with the iPod pays off, cause I’m certainly worried, and I’m definitely not alone. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want Apple to become the next Microsoft (I love the company because it represents the exact opposite), but I don’t want it to founder either. Maybe I’m just being selfish, but I want to make sure that I can always purchase a Macintosh; maybe I’m wrong here, but I seriously doubt anything better will show its face for a long, long time.

Make It a Discussion

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