Welcome to the January 2005 edition of About This Particular Macintosh! We begin a new year with new expectations: the Macintosh world adding new users, and new products most likely just a couple of weeks away! But first let’s go to the show…
We’re not talking new awnings or drapes; we’re talking what mutual fund managers do at the end of the year to enhance the appeal of their funds. By adding known winners to the fund portfolios at the end of the reporting periods, fund managers hope to convince shareholders they had picked the best stock no matter the net return per share. Apple’s share price ended the 2004 calendar year at $64.40 with interest from mutual funds and other institutions keeping demand high for the stock. We’ll know soon if there will be a pre-expo run-up in share price. Buy on rumor, sell on fact has often been the pattern for trading in AAPL the first week or so of January.
Tickle Me With Profits
The popular Apple iPod has joined Cabbage Patch Kids and the famous Tickle Me Elmo doll as consumer items that have caused a Christmas season buying frenzy. Published reports indicate market watchers expect Apple to report iPod unit sales for the Christmas quarter to exceed four million units.
Retail reports indicated shortages of iPod at retail outlets in the final week before Christmas, including a shortage of iPods at Amazon.com. Whether or not demand simply outstripped supply or Apple constrained inventory ahead of new model introductions in January has not been made clear. But at an average wholesale price pushing toward $300 per iPod, Apple’s revenue and earnings will see a dramatic bump up from the holiday iPod frenzy.
First the Headless Horsemen
Most of us are familiar with Washington Irving’s fictional villain known as the Headless Horseman. But there’s another headless character making its way into computer industry lore. It’s the “headless iMac.”
As we go to press, rumors abound about a sub-$500 Macintosh offered without a monitor. Ostensibly the product will be targeted at iPod owners who are interested in switching to the Mac, but who are uneasy about spending $1,000 or more for entry into the Macintosh world of personal computing. Whether or not the headless iMac is a figure of fiction or a new Apple product line may be known shortly.
200 Million Songs and Counting
Apple recently announced that the iTunes Music Store had surpassed sales of 200 million songs since inception. Apple’s digital music store is the undisputed leader in digital song sales over the Internet. However, 200 million songs is a very small percentage of overall music sales, and it may be years before this nascent market rivals packaged CDs for music sales supremacy.
Pepsi will again be offering an iTunes music giveaway this winter, and holiday season sales of iPods may push demand for online music.
Has the Mac Been Pushed to the Back?
With all of the talk about Apple iPods, has the Mac been pushed to the back? We mentioned in last month’s Welcome about the much-anticipated iPod “halo effect.” Analysts are expecting a significant pick-up in Macintosh unit sales from Windows users intrigued by Apple products from familiarity with the iPod. Still, the Macintosh remains the company’s most important line of products. Without the Macintosh it would make little difference how many iPod are sold. Watch for a resurgence in the Macintosh market in 2005 with the iPod playing an important role in the coming increase in Macintosh unit sales.
Our January issue includes:
The Candy Apple: We Are Resolute But Not Making Resolutions
Ellyn Ritterskamp resolves not to make resolutions. Again.
Bloggable: Rumors, Rumors Everywhere
“What would I have to write about if everyone were skeptical? That’s supposed to be my job!”
Segments: Apple, Motorola, and Cell Phones
As people get excited about any news related to the partnership between Apple and Motorola, there are certainly more questions than answers about what exactly the two companies are developing.
About This Particular Outliner: The ATPO Tracker
Ted Goranson continues to work on the wrap-up on task managers and outliners that will appear next month. Meanwhile, he reports on events in the outlining community.
How To: Giving the Gift of Mac
“Before you unplug your little buddy for the last time, there are some things to consider. Answering these questions can perhaps make the process go as smoothly as possible.”
Cortland continues his battles in the Mudrix.
The iTrolls examine AAC compression quality, sing about Bill Gates’ Twelve Days of Christmas, and attend Lawsuits Anonymous.
Desktop Pictures: Fireworks
Web Editor Lee Bennett contributes photos of the Fourth of July fireworks show that he attended in Cherokee, North Carolina in 2004.
Frisky the Freeware Guinea Pig checks out OSXplanet.
Review: Delicious Library 1.0.6
For all the outstanding features and its fabulous visual metaphor—especially the bar code scanner—Lee Bennett is compelled to hand out a favorable rating. Yet, he chose to not continue using Delicious Library—at least for now.
Review: MarsEdit 1.0
Wes Meltzer compares having missed the announcement of MarsEdit to someone having missed the 2001 Macworld announcement of the iPod—just one more thing!
Review: PhotoReviewer 1.4
Paul Fatula reviews PhotoReviewer, a slideshow application that lets you quickly and easily rename, file, and…well…review digital camera and other image files.
Review: StudioBoard Mechanical KeyboardMichael Tsai reviews Kensington’s StudioBoard, a mechanical keyboard that looks like the Matias Tactile Pro, but that types differently.
Review: UI Actions 1.0
When you first hear about PreFab UI Actions, it’s understandable if you’re excited by the possibilities. Eric Blair investigates whether or not it’s an idea who’s time has come.