Changing The World, One Mac Disser At A Time

It seems that one person, one well educated and well spoken person, can make a difference. After viewing a special on a Denver television station in which WIntel machines were hyped as the only computer to buy, while Macs were completely ignored, special on which computer to buy, Observer Stephen Reiss got angry. Mr. Reiss contacted the station in question, and received a response that said, among other things, "Sorry you didnit like our story. We tailer our reports to serve the most viewers. Only 10% of the on-line universe is using Macs-- thus the story."

Not at all satisfied with that response, Mr. Reiss composed and sent the following message to the station in question:

"Only 10% of the on-line universe is using Macs"

A) I would have to ask you to cite your sources, statistics are useless without them.

Here are some statistics to throw back at you: (If you wish to research that Macintosh story, a good list of facts (as a jumping off point) can be found at

The iMac was the #3 selling desktop worldwide in May 1999. (PC Data)

23.7% of on-line respondents cite Macintosh as their Primary Computing Platform m

28.6% of on-line respondents cite Macintosh as their Computing Platform

There are just as many Macintosh users as users of Windows 95, and there are twice as many Macintosh users as users of Windows 98. (Microsoft. In the court appearance arguing against monopoly status, 5/98)

B) Apple Computeris market share is greater than the COMBINED shares of ALL European passenger cars sold in the U.S., including Mercedes, BMW, Volvo, Jaguar, and Porsche. (Market DataBook of Automotive News, June 1998)

If you were doing a story about a Consumer Reports article that gave an excellent rating to any of these brands, would you leave them out because of the size of their market shares?

C) Even if I accepted the 10% figure letis run the numbers:

There are at least 4 million people in your viewing area

There are 2.64 people per household

27% of these watch 9 news

That is almost 400,000 estimated estimated households in your viewing area.

36.6% of all households already own a computer

A shocking 10% of the population in Colorado is at or below the poverty line, so they are not candidates for buying computers in this argument.

That leaves 53.4% of all the households in your viewing area that are potentially considering buying their first computers.

You told 14,640 households in your viewing area that their Macintosh can not measure up to the minimum standard for a computer.

An additional 21,360 potential households that would otherwise buy Macintosh computers were tacitly told that their computer preference was not recommended. (Based on your own 10% market share figure).

That translates to $32,040,000 in potential sales (plus another potential $21,690,000 in upgrade sales from current Mac users). (Sales figures are based on a median price of $1,500 for a Macintosh computer).

Bottom line: You may have impacted $53,730,000 in projected sales because you felt that the Macintoshis numbers were not significant.

D) My objection to your report was the splash screen with the minimum requirements listed. A disclaimer that they didnit relate to the Macintosh would have been accurate and fair. You were reporting on recommendations made by Consumer Reports and you edited their conclusions based on your own agenda.

This current diatribe resulted from your using a fallacious argument (appeal to popularity) to defend your decision to exclude the Macintosh. It was acerbated by your use of unsupported statistics.

This well conceived, well written argument apparently did not fall on blind eyes. The above letter prompted this simple, yet wonderful, response:

Hi Stephen--

I want you to know-- Iive made this page a permanent file-- and-- that I have two stories on Macis coming up.

Thanks for watching,

As one of our staff members likes to say, outstanding! It is intelligent, and well written arguments like this that give Mac users the type of positive press that the community is seeking.