Newsfactor Columnist Refutes His Own G5 Doom & Gloom September 26th, 2003
James Maguire. He writes for Newsfactor. Long time TMO readers may remember him as being the subject of a previous column of mine when he said that the G5 wouldn't help Apple sell Macs, and that the company was pricing itself into death. He said that back in June, about two weeks before Apple released the G5.
In December of 2002, he penned a piece that said Apple was going to go out of business if it didn't "offer Macs at prices comparable with Windows, at speeds as fast as those of Windows-based PCs, with complete Windows compatibility." Not too surprisingly, both of those pieces made the Apple Death Knell Counter, one of the few to be added more than once.
Back to the June article. He said at the time that the G5 wasn't going to help Apple sell anything. As I am wont to do, I'll let his own words speak his damnation:
The problem is that offering the highest quality product -- which is what Apple has always done -- is not enough. Now down to about a 3 percent market share, the company needs to do something besides create cool computers to survive.
Yeah, I know, Apple's on a roll with its online music sales. And that's good, because based on historical trends, they might not be a computer maker that much longer.
What's killing them, of course, is price. About a year ago, I read about Steve Jobs holding one of the new laptops aloft at a Mac gathering, and it was clear the thing cost more than US$3,000. Still, the audience cheered. Amazing. Try to spend that much on a Dell, and the Dell folks will probably offer to come over and cut your lawn all summer.
There's more about how price is the only thing that matters, and you can read my deconstruction for specific comments on just how wrong he was, but that brings us to his newest article. Published at Newsfactor, the newest piece basically refutes his own doom and gloom about the Power Mac G5, though he doesn't actually have the guts to point that out. Fortunately, I'll do it for him.
In the piece, where he calls the G5 a "speed demon," he offers comments from Jupiter Research analyst Michael Gartenberg. Mr. Gartenberg says that the G5 is "unbelievably powerful," but that Apple has to overcome three myths:
The first myth is that Apple does not have a sufficiently large library of software. "In just about any market you're in, you can find really great applications," he said.
The second -- a major issue for Apple -- is that their machines are not price competitive. Macintoshes, while not priced for the low end, are "certainly very competitive with other tier-one systems from other vendors -- and in some cases, coming in at a lower price point," Gartenberg said. [Emphasis mine - Bryan]
The third myth Apple must dispel is that Macintosh ( news -web sites ) users must deal with a blizzard of proprietary technology, Gartenberg said.
As Apple moves forward with its new G5 platform, it continues to work toward standards-based products. For example, "things like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, MPEG-4, just to name a few, are all core Apple standards," Gartenberg pointed out. "Yet they still get this nasty proprietary rap -- it takes a lot of education to overcome that.
Wait, what was that second myth? Something about Macs not being price competitive? But isn't the idea of Macs being too expensive the very thing that James Maguire said made the G5 irrelevant back in June? Wouldn't that mean that Mr. Maguire is one of the propagators of that very myth?!?
The correct answer to that is "Yes." Mr. Maguire has indeed refuted his own claims, claims that he has made twice, that I know of, and that first myth mentioned by Mr. Gartenberg touches on James Maguire's demand for full Windows compatibility, too.
Don't get me wrong, I am glad to see Mr. Maguire write an article that is largely on track, helpful, well-written, informative, and includes excellent comments from an analyst who gets Apple, all of which are in this newest article. I am just dumbfounded it didn't also include a, "Hey, it looks like I was a lying tool when I said all those things before."
Maybe I should write a book called Lies, and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced look at how Tools Cover Apple. I have a good enough start with the Apple Death Knell Counter, but that's another issue.
In the meanwhile, I honestly hope that this is the last time I need to bitch-slap James Maguire. I noticed some other Mac sites wrote praising blurbs on this column, but I have a longer memory than some. The Mac community is a small one, and I imagine I have not made a friend from my negative commentary about his writing, but he was just so wrong, and his arguments were just so stupid before. Someone has to call him on this.
began using Apple computers in 1983 in a high school BASIC programming class. He started using Macs in 1990 when the Kinko's guy taught him how to use Aldus PageMaker, finally buying a Power Computing Power 100 in 1995. Today, Bryan is the Editor of The Mac Observer, and has contributed to the print versions of MacAddict and MacFormat (UK).