Welcome to the October issue of About This Particular Macintosh! It’s the first month of the holiday quarter and the first month of Apple’s new fiscal year, FY 2011. In less than three weeks, the maker of Macs, iPhones, and iPads will report record revenue and record earnings for the three-month period that ended in late September and the fiscal year that ended on the same day. This is, beyond doubt, The Apple Era.
The iPad: An Overwhelming Global Success
The editors of ATPM celebrate what we call the “personal computing experience.” If there’s a product that exemplifies the personal nature of today’s computing, it’s the iPad. This device unchains us from the constraints of the desktop PC and can be taken places beyond where Wi-Fi can be found. With a handsome display that offers much more than can be viewed on a smartphone, the iPad is the ideal product for our increasingly mobile society.
Retail sales data suggest that the iPad is impacting sales of netbook PCs as consumers continue their migration to ultra-mobile and always connected digital devices, such as smartphones and now touchscreen tablets. We are at the early stages of a revolution in personal computing not seen since the mass adoption of the PC itself in the early 1980s.
There’s scant competition for the iPad as of this writing, and its early success has taken both PC makers and smartphone makers by surprise. But the iPad was not developed overnight. It’s a product that’s been in development since before the iPhone. It came to market in early April with a selection of over 200,000 apps from which to choose, and the iTunes music and movie stores and a new iBook store to support its release. In short, the iPad is a digital iceberg. What one sees is magnificent. But it’s what’s below the surface that buoys its movements and keeps it afloat.
To put the iPad’s importance to Apple in perspective, it’s possible that the revenue generated by Apple from iPad sales and iPad-related sales in fiscal year 2011 may equal or exceed Apple’s revenue from all sources only four years ago. Although the iPad is a personal digital device, it is already a star performer on the technology industry’s global stage.
In one of last month’s Segments articles I wrote about My $1,000 iPad Purchase Odyssey. But today the lines are gone, and iPads are in ample supply. In early October, distribution of the iPad will expand to additional national retailers, and both enterprise and education adoption of the iPad are on the rise. We are in the early days of a new personal computing revolution.
The Apple Continuum
In fiscal year 2011, Apple may reach $100 billion in revenue. This would represent a fourfold increase in revenue from four years before. Fiscal periods are a construct that may belie the magnitude of Apple’s continuing success. Apple’s success has become a continuum with a performance score-card released each fiscal quarter.
At the close of fiscal year 2010, Apple had over 300 retail stores open for business and more store openings on the way. Apple will continue to innovate and release new products in part to keep store traffic high and consumers interested in the company’s products. As a major bricks and mortar retailer, Apple saw its store revenue increase 73% in the three-month period ended in June and witnessed a 57% increase in store traffic. Apple must innovate, and innovation fuels continued growth.
In September, Apple released a new line of iPods, including a new iPod touch with FaceTime functionality. Based on the same processor technology as the iPhone and the iPad, the new iPod touch furthers the company’s iOS-based multi-product paradigm. For the holiday quarter, the new iPod touch may invigorate sales for the iPod line. With new stores, new products, and a continuum of innovation, the Apple Era may have just begun.
The ATPM Continuum
About This Particular Macintosh has been in continuous publication since 1995. On a monthly basis, we have chronicled the good times, the bad times, and the ugly times that comprise Apple’s storied history. We thank you for joining us this month and every month as our work continues.
ATPM Wants You!
The editorial staff of ATPM is comprised of talented writers who started their relationship with our publication as readers of our monthly issues. When we say that we “celebrate the personal computing experience,” we mean it. If you’ve ever had the urge to share your personal computing experiences with a large and influential readership, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each issue of ATPM, in its variety of formats, is read by tens of thousands of Apple product enthusiasts around the world. Join us today.
Our October issue includes:
Wes Meltzer is taking a new approach to his Bloggable column in order to streamline the chore of publishing news from the blogosphere as well as offer it to readers in real time as well as in each monthly issue of ATPM.
Mark Tennent shares his experience installing and using aTV Flash, “a gentle hack” of the first-generation Apple TV.
Robert Paul Leitao goes on the road with his iPad with pleasing results, and he shares what he considers the iPad travel essentials.
ATPM’s August 2010 issue described how to record a Skype conversation in its review of Ambrosia Software’s WireTap Anywhere. This follow-up repeats the same example with Audio Hijack Pro, Rogue Amoeba’s thriftier take on sound capture.
Sylvester Roque continues the networking overview he started in August.
Lee Bennett shares photos taken of sunrises during his honeymoon in Daytona Beach, Florida. All the photos were taken with an iPhone 4 (HDR in the latest iOS was not yet released at the time). Three of the pictures are set up to be used as iPhone wallpaper photos.
Matt Johnson’s new series, Out at Five, looks at the workplace and its boundaries from all angles, revolving around many of the same characters from his former series, Cortland.
Is there a USB hub that provides ultra-portability with ultra-power? Your silver-and-black-clad knight may have arrived.
Ed Eubanks Jr. finds Parachute to be a pleasingly simply backup utility but laments the lack of compression and/or packaging and that it must remain running for scheduled backups to occur.