Welcome to the July issue of About This Particular Macintosh! We’ve waited months for July. It’s the semi-annual 31-day period in which Apple Computer and its products are the focus of a major trade show and the month the storied PC maker announces its quarterly results.
In January Apple announced the new iMac with an LCD screen, and within days the company was flooded with tens of thousands of pre-orders. In January the company also announced favorable results for its December quarter. This month Apple is set to announce there is no longer pent-up demand for the LCD iMac and less-than-favorable results for the June quarter. What a difference six months make!
The Mortal Mac
Introduced with great fanfare in January, Apple’s lamp-like iteration of the marvelous iMac garnered a cover story in Time magazine and hundreds of thousands of orders from the “Mac faithful” and the PC curious. By May demand for the new iMac fell to the same levels of demand from consumers as the products offered by Apple’s competitors. In other words, the once scarce iMac is now ubiquitous on retail store floors as Apple cuts production to compensate for lower-than-expected demand.
The fall off in demand forced Apple to issue a revenue and earnings warning for the June quarter. Apple told analysts and investors that sales and profits would be down around ten percent from its April estimates. A fall off in sales of pro-level products accounts for much of the drop in sales.
The Apple Hype Hangover
Mac enthusiasts have learned over the years that the semi-annual U.S. Macworld Expos usually bring about the news of new products. In years past Apple’s hype machine has worked overtime to make the expos major PC industry events. Not wanting to be burned by the experience of buying a new Mac just before an expo only to find the same product heavily discounted after the show because an updated product has just been announced, enthusiasts tend to delay purchases until after the summer show.
Apple has been combating this sales problem by releasing new products between expos and cutting production of existing products before the shows to clear out inventory of older products before new products come to market. Still, old habits die hard and the “expo effect” has caused Apple sales problems in the June quarter for several years in a row.
Apple Shares Selling Well
That is if you are an Apple executive. At press time several stories were running in major news publications concerning the sales of shares by Apple executives in the weeks before the earnings warning. Whether or not the timing of the sales was a mere coincidence or a well-organized effort by Apple executives to pocket profits ahead of the warning will be revealed in the weeks to come.
There’s a lot of news in store for July. We’ll all have to wait to see how events unfold. But there’s one thing for which our readers don’t need to wait and that’s the latest issue of ATPM available at your Internet newsstand now!
Our July issue includes:
The Candy Apple: Ups and Downs of the Market
When is enough really enough? Ellyn Ritterskamp grapples with stock market concepts, in the wake of Apple’s revised earnings projection.
About This Particular Web Site
This month’s ATPW offers tips on Mac OS X, FileMaker Pro, and finding proprietary batteries. You can also read about the next generation space shuttle, and what lumberjacks do when they aren’t starring in Monty Python skits.
Profiles in Networking: Thoughts on Apple’s Xserve
Matthew Glidden gives us his take on the Xserve, Apple’s new rack-mount server.
The User Strikes Back: Who Controls Your Future?
Learn from Ken Gruberman how artists become indentured employees to the recording companies and how these same companies want to control your future.
The User Strikes Back: Attack of the Killer CDs
Arnold Woodworth and Ken Gruberman explain how to deal with copy-protected CDs that can lock your Mac up.
How To: Connecting Two Macs via LocalTalk When Using System 6
The buzz is all OS X, but ATPM hasn’t forgotten OS VI. Learn how to connect two Macs running this venerable legacy OS
How To: Choosing a Digital Camera
With the plethora of cameras and specifications, it’s difficult to make a decision on the right digital camera. Photography expert Rachel Robbins helps us get hooked up to the Digital Hub with the right shooter.
Cortland has a funny take on Mac OS X this month.
Desktop Pictures: Normandy
Staffer Ellyn Ritterskamp continues to mooch pictures from her traveling companions. This month she continues her voyage through France and brings us superb pictures of that wild and beautiful country known as Normandy.
Review: Burst 1.0.1
Ellyn Ritterskamp looks at a cute virtual carnival game called Burst. Is balloon-popping your thing? You can pop forever in this game, and there are lightning bolts, too!
Review: FileXaminer 1.1
Eric Blair takes a look at FileXaminer, another attempt at getting some useful information about files in OS X. Read the review to find out how it stacks up against Super Get Info.
Review: Learning Unix for Mac OS X (book)
Paul Fatula reviews Dave Taylor and Jerry Peek’s Learning Unix for Mac OS X, only to find that there’s simply too little information provided for much learning to take place, and that the book fails to provide novice Unix users a reason to fire up the Terminal program.
Review: Mojo Mail 2.6.7
Michael Tsai reviews Mojo Mail, a free mailing list server that runs on your Web server.
Review: QPict 5.1
Gregory Tetrault reviews QPict, a shareware media cataloging program that packs quite a punch. If you’re pushing the limits of iPhoto, you should definitely take a look.