A day of reckoning is upon us. Is Apple’s Mac business going out of business? So you might gather from the ridiculously silly headline posted by Andew Nusca on one of the so-called ZDnet blogs.
Think about the question Andrew posed. “Will a netbook save Apple’s Mac business?” Catchy, huh? At first glance, the implication is serious. The Mac is in trouble.
Apple must have become beleaguered again what with the recent economic slowdown threatening the company’s Mac cash cow. Or not.
Either way, Nusca’s headline is patently ridiculous, a fact pointed out by the dozens of comments he received from alert readers who recognized a hit whore article, rather than a true blog post, or worthy analysis.
However, ZDnet is a for profit organization, so writing and publishing such drivel on the web begets wrath which begets page hits which begets more advertising.
Nusca starts with the headline which implies Apple’s Mac business needs saving. It does not. Apple’s Mac business, even with slowing sales in worldwide recession, is highly profitable.
Another implication is that cheap netbooks, all the rage among media techno pundits, can save Apple. Hello? The company has almost $30-billion in the bank, no debt, growing market share, and a list of products any other manufacturer would crave.
Somehow, we’re led to believe there’s a problem in Cupertino. Nusca goes on to say that “Wall Street expects Apple to report poor March quarter Mac sales growth.” Poor means that Mac sales, again, in this worldwide recession, might be down a whopping 5-percent, year over year.
Factually speaking, it’s been over five years since Apple reported a year-over-year decrease in Mac sales. Since Apple caters to the high end of the price tag spectrum, one could assume that bargain shoppers would stop buying expensive Macs and buy cheap PCs instead.
Microsoft’s recent advertising campaign implies as much, too. The only problem with common wisdom from Microsoft and shills like Nusca is that reality bites. Apple seems to defy common wisdom with aplomb.
To be fair to Nusca and his silly drivel article, he does point out that “the company has only since been firing on all cylinders versus Microsoft Windows. And accolades continue to pile up.”
Translation: ‘I’m a balanced reporter cum blogger. I report what I see even if I’m seeing double.’ All of you folks out in left field, get ready. Here it comes.
In true 21st century pseudo journalist talk, he asks, “if Apple’s lack of a netbook competitor is hurting the company right now… everyone suspects such a device (netbook) is coming…”
See? Left field. The last mention of the netbook was the grabber headline. Suddenly, the lack of a netbook is what’s causing Apple’s aforementioned woes. Wait. There were no woes mentioned afore.
Last year, before the economy melted and changed the political and financial universe as we know it, Apple shipped about 2.3-million Macs. This year, Apple is expected to ship up to 2.2-million Macs in the quarter (sales and earnings updated below).
Excuse me, but I don’t see anything that needs a cheap netbook, or, even an expensive netbook to save Apple’s Mac business. Even Nusca reaches a similar conclusion, despite the misleading headline, and an accompanying insult.
He says, “it’s good to be (relatively) small, agile Apple… with consideration to the “premium” notion of Apple products, the company has weather the economy fairly well.”
OK, so why does the Mac business need to be saved? And, while I’m at it, can I ask which company’s PC business has been saved by $300 netbooks? How exactly will Apple be saved by selling such products?
Nusca, not wanting to confuse substance with style, doesn’t go there. Instead, he goes here, “Why Apple’s new ad campaign is genius, and why Microsoft can’t win as ‘PC.’”
In a meandering piece imitative of apologist Paul Thurott, though crafted as insightful analysis sans the insight, Nusca compares Apple and Microsoft based on their recent television commercial campaigns. Basically, Apple’s is deemed successful, Microsoft’s is deemed not.
He concludes with, “if Microsoft wants to make up some ground, it should attack Mac OS X, and leave HP and Dell to assault Apple hardware.”
The problem there, and contrary to Nusca’s assertions, is the whole perception vs. reality thing. The general perception is that OS X is strong, dependable, secure, and that Windows is not. So Nusca would have Microsoft attack a competing company’s strength.
As to Dell and HP being left to assault Apple hardware, I have two words. Customer satisfaction. Apple’s ratings are so high above both manufacturers as to make it ludicrous to attack yet another Apple strength. It’s as if Chevrolet suddenly said, “Hey, we’re as good as Lexus or Infiniti.”
If all that glitters isn’t gold, then all the headlines you read do not facts make. Except this one, perhaps: Apple Reports Second Quarter Results.
In fact, and despite the many expectations to the contrary, the recent quarter was Apple’s best non-holiday quarter ever. Revenue and profits were non-holiday quarter records. The Mac? 2.2-million Macs were sold in the quarter, down a measly three percent. iPhones and iPods all exceeded expectations.
In light of the reality of numbers, to say that Apple has a business component that needs to be saved is patently ridiculous. Here’s yet another good one.
The Inquirer’s headline says Apple has to fess up on shoddy sales today. In reality, Inquirer writer Nick Farrell needs to eat some crow with the Jim Beam he uses for literary inspiration.