CBS Marketwatch Article On "Tuesday Device" Includes Silly Errors About Apple

We are almost always happy to see Apple make the mainstream financial press. Our philosophy is "say anything you want, but make sure you spell our name right," and we figure that probably works for Apple too. Today, however, we present to you an article from CBS Marketwatch, one of our favorite financial publications for covering tech-related news, that has some really silly mistakes. Apple announced last week that it would unveiling a new digital device on Tuesday, October 23rd, and this article speculates on what the "Tuesday Device" might be. From the article:

Depending on whom you ask, itis either a wireless tablet computer, a portable musical hard drive, or a digital multimedia hub. One theory depicts an integrated keyboard with a removable PDA. Some people even speculate that itis the fabled "Ginger."

What is it?

Itis Appleis soon to be unveiled "IAppliance." The company, in a tantalizingly brief announcement, invited Wall Street and the press to see the "breakthrough digital device" when itis unveiled on Tuesday.

To our knowledge, no one is seriously suggesting itis "Ginger," the scooter-like device about which Steve Jobs reportedly said would change the way cities would be designed, though there have been many jokes made along those lines. Also, Appleis nomenclature has followed the "iName" format for many years, not "IName,i which this article repeatedly uses. Back to the article:

"Component suppliers are really tight lipped on this one," said Charlie Wolf, PC analyst at Needham & Co. "They learned their lesson from the ATI debacle." Several years ago, graphics card supplier ATI released advanced information about a forthcoming Mac system. CEO Steve Jobs was said to be livid; Apple subsequently dumped ATI, using NVIDIA components in their place.

This is an embarrassing mistake for a financial publication to make. First of all, it wasnit several years ago, it was in July of 2000 at MACWORLD Expo (ATI quickly apologized). Thatis approximately one year and three months ago, a far cry from "several years ago." Secondly, Apple did not "dump ATI," though the company did remove ATIis high-end Radeon cards from its product lineup for a period of time, and introduced NVIDIA to its product lineup for the first time. At no point did Apple stop doing business with ATI, and to say otherwise is the most egregious of this articleis errors. Itis not the last, however:

In 1998, a similar wave of speculation surrounded Appleis never-released multi-media device, code named Columbus. Early prototypes were believed capable of playing DVD movies as well as audio CDs, and were widely suspected to include Internet access. At the time, commentators believed that Apple was "staking its future" on the device. In the wake of the wildly successful IMac, however, the project was shelved.

News Flash: Columbus *was* the iMac, and itis not spelled "IMac." Apple did stake its future on the device, and the iMac has been enormously popular. We canit imagine what Apple rumor is being mixed up with the iMac rumors, but this was again a very silly mistake.

On the interesting side, the article quotes UBS Warburg analyst Don Young with some comments about Apple broadening beyond the PC business:

A few brave souls were willing to venture out on a speculative limb. Don Young, of UBS Warburg, wrote a "Think Different" research note. "This product launch signals an important shift by Apple to broaden the brand name into non-PC devices," Young observed.

The device is a possible "home gateway product which provides both broadband attachment, and video distribution via wireless home network," Young surmised. Such a device would be "very complementary to Appleis PC leadership in audio/video editing."

The UBS analyst also speculated that the IAppliance could represent "a shift away from the companyis Macintosh/PC roots." A successful, non-PC product launch could signal a "series of Apple iAppliancesi that would address growth opportunities in the iPC Plusi era." This strategy shift could potentially "reposition Apple from being a low market share player in a low growth PC industry into a leading brand in the emerging digital entertainment era." That would "improve the growth outlook for the company," Young theorized.

There is additional information in the full article that we did not quote. Read it at your own risk.