Should there be a Mac360 “Jackass of the Week Award?” There are so many candidates available, we might have to choose a new jackass every day.
It was just last week that I came across a likely candidate for a weekly award.
Robert Cryan wrote, “Requiem for the iPod” for MarketWatch, and became my first nomination for Jackass.
Here’s what gets you a byline in a prestigious DowJones publication:
Step #1 – Easy Facts: “Apple’s iPod digital music player is a cultural phenomenon and a source of huge profits. The company also dominates the market for legal music downloads.”
Step #2 – Distortion. He’s just setting the stage for the fun to come. Seriously.
“Apple may be mistaken in preventing songs stored on its iTunes software from playing on other gadgets. A similar strategy nearly killed off the company a decade ago.”
Actually, his weasel word “may” helps his cause, but with a nearly 80-percent share of both portable music players and online music sales, where’s the so-called mistake?
Of course, that was then and this is now. There are many things which caused Apple’s problems in the early to mid 90s.
Not licensing the Mac to other manufacturers may or may not have been one of them.
iPods dominate their industry. Apple and Macs never dominated the PC industry. That’s right. Never. It didn’t happen.
At best, Apple had around a 16-percent market share and that was years after the Mac arrived and sales exploded. But I digress.
Step #3 – Drivel. Cryan continues with Jackass Award nomination verbiage:
“So far Apple has been relying on its iTunes online music store to push iPod sales. Songs on the site can only be played on iPods. This locks customers into buying Apple products.”
He admits that the strategy has worked and iPods are expected to grow about 70-percent this year.
What he doesn’t tell you is the math behind the facts. The fact is that Apple does not rely on the iTunes Store to push iPods.
Do the math. 60-million iPods sold, and 1.5-billion songs from the iTunes Store. That’s about 25 songs per iPod, right?
That must mean that most songs on iPods are actually coming from CDs ripped to iTunes and transferred to iPods.
Logically, iPod sales are being driven by CDs more than by online sales. Oh, and iPods and iTunes just work.
Cryan as Jackass would lead you to believe that Steve Jobs got fired from Apple back in 1985 because he didn’t license the Mac.
Step #4 – Get it Wrong. This is why people win awards.
“The company should take a leaf from its past. In the early 1980s, Apple dominated the personal computer market. Its Macintosh operating system was the best in the business. However, the company refused to license its operating system to other manufacturers. They turned to Microsoft instead. That error nearly killed Apple and led to Steve Jobs’s departure from the company he founded.”
Uh, wrong. Apple and the Mac never dominated the personal computer market, either hardware or software.
The Mac OS may have been the best in the business, but IBM and Microsoft were selling millions more machines and software, respectively.
Manufacturers did not turn to Microsoft’s OS because Apple refused to license the Mac.
Microsoft was already there and doing quite well. It was IBM that was dominating the PC business.
Steve Jobs didn’t get fired from Apple because of anything that apparent journalism student Robert Cryan writing for DowJones MarketWatch says.
Making a jackass of ones self doesn’t appear to be difficult these days, even when writing for a major publication.
Step #5 – The Solution.
What should Apple do to maintain their iPod success? Of course, let’s turn to an amateur journalist for guidance, instead of relying on the experience of self-made billionaire a few times over (Steve Jobs).
“Apple could fend off competition by opening up its iTunes software to all comers. True, that would hit profits as rivals introduced cut-price versions of the iPod. But Apple’s future as the dominant online source for digital music and videos would be assured.”
Uh, Robert, exactly how would that work? First, it looks like Apple’s done a terrific job fending off all competiton, including Microsoft.
iTunes software is already open more than any other major music player. It works on Macs and PCs with Windows. Windows users love it by the tens of millions.
It plays MP3s, which is the standard, plus AAC, and others. iTunes will burn music to CDs, even protected music, that can be imported and played on any portable music player.
Can you do that with other online music services? Then which service is truly open?
Maybe what you mean to say is that iTunes and the iTunes Store should be opened to work with Microsoft’s Zune, and Creative’s Zen, and the SanDisk Sansa, and all the others that make up less than 20-percent of the market.
But why? Apple would lose iPod sales, which nearly every analyst agrees “that’s where the money is” in favor of online sales, which everyone agrees is barely profitable.
Did I miss something in that solution of yours, Robert? Much of your premise and article don’t seem to reflect the facts of history.
What do you think? Should MarketWatch’s Cryan get Jackass of the Week Award from Mac360? Are there other candidates to be nominated? Have you found a deserving candidate?
I have. Stay tuned. There are more.