Welcome to the September issue of About This Particular Macintosh! It’s back-to-school, back to work, and for the editors at ATPM it’s back to the Mac and forward to the iPhone. No matter the recent political convention storms in the north and west and hurricanes in the south and east, we remain constant in our coverage of the personal computing experience.
10 Million Macs & 10 Million iPhones
What do the Mac and the iPhone have in common aside from OS X? Apple may sell 10 million of each of these products during the fiscal year ending this month. Apple has regained its position as the #3 PC maker in the United States. This year’s back-to-school season and the popularity of Macs on campus may push the company past an impressive sales milestone. Apple is on the verge of shipping 10 million Macs in a year for the first time in the company’s history. For the fiscal year ending this month, the company is on track to set new unit sales records and may find itself achieving a level of success almost unthinkable a few short years ago.
Months ago Steve Jobs made a forecast that was thought by some to be almost hopelessly ambitious. He forecast Apple would sell 10 million iPhones in calendar year 2008. That marker may be reached even before the end of September.
The App Store
The iPhone’s iTunes App Store has captivated the imagination of millions of iPhone owners. The low-cost and no-cost apps made available have been downloaded by the tens of millions. While competitors in the smart phone market are expanding their own application offerings, there’s nothing to rival the consumer-oriented approach Apple has taken in development of its app store plan.
While the app store has already proven to be popular, some are suggesting the iTunes interface is beginning to show its age. It’s the place of purchase for music, movies, and now iPhone apps. Has iTunes become an unwieldy collection of digital storefronts or does it remain an easy-to-navigate way to find the digital wares you want? Please e-mail our editors with your point of view.
Will We See Them in September?
In last month’s Welcome we mentioned Apple management’s statements in the July conference call with Wall Street analysts about new products to be released before the end of September. With the back-to-school season closing and the Christmas shopping season to come, what might be in the offing? We’re sure that question will be answered at Apple’s “Let’s Rock” event on September 9.
Dell in the Doldrums
Dell Computer, one of Apple’s most aggressive and formidable competitors, is still suffering hard times. Despite growth in unit sales through expanding its retail presence in global markets, the company has had to cut prices to compete with market leader HP and Apple’s strong presence in the $1,000+ US retail market keeps that company from moving more profitable laptop and desktop PCs.
Dell has now used more cash than it has ever earned to buy back the company’s shares to keep the earnings per share from falling through the floor. Fewer shares means less earnings needed to push earnings per share higher or to keep the earnings per share from falling. The problem this creates is that Dell has few assets remaining to invest in new product development and to improve customer satisfaction. The folks on Wall Street aren’t pleased by the company’s poor performance, and the lack of profit growth relative to sales will keep the company under continued pressure. Cutting prices and cutting costs alone will not return that company to its former glory.
The 1990s are over, and with them the days of shipping cheap, general use PCs as a means of gaining market clout have long passed. It’s the era of digital devices, sophisticated user tastes, and constant connectivity. Dell’s dilemma illustrates the changes in the consumer technology market.
The Personal Computing Experience Today
ATPM has been chronicling the personal computing experience since 1995. Since our beginnings as a monthly publication, we have covered the fall and rise of Apple, the rise and fall of Dell, and user migration from general use desktop computers to laptops, iPods, and other specific-use digital devices such as the iPhone. The personal computing experience now finds its way into many different product forms. The editors of ATPM will continue to cover the changes in the personal computing experience in our easy to read monthly format. No matter the changes in the size, shape and use of personal technology devices, our desire to bring you a relevant and informative publication hasn’t changed.
Our September issue includes:
MacMuser: Whose line is it anyway?
Mark Tennent mulls the ramifications of the BBC moving its streaming services from Akamai to Level 3 Communications.
Photoshop for the Curious: Don’t Yield—Merge!
One of the more powerful tools in Photoshop is often one of the simplest to use, and yet many people aren’t even aware of its presence. Learn how to expand your horizons in this month’s Photoshop for the Curious.
How To: Making Preview Useful Again
Quick Look hasn’t made Preview obsolete just yet. With the right coaxing it is still very useful.
Desktop Pictures: Western US National Parks
Julie Ritterskamp returns with more desktop photos, this time from national parks in the western United States.
The identity of Lord Fate, present and past, is revealed, as Cortland’s saga comes to a close. Todd and Angie begin to move their lives forward again, though Angie is having trouble letting Cortland go. But does she have to…?
Review: Das Keyboard Professional
Loud, shiny, and black, but some of the quirks in Darth Vader’s keyboard might lead to a few Force-strangled generals along the way.
Review: Hard Drives as Floppies
Michael Tsai tries out several hard drive docking peripherals that support his rationale that hard drives are now as ubiquitous as the venerable floppy disk.
Review: iMetal Headsets
Maximo’s iPhone-friendly headsets are stylish and have good sound, yet one of the two models is prone to some fallout.
Review: MacGourmet Deluxe 1.0.3
Having learned to cook at an early age, Ed Eubanks Jr. is pleased with this recipe management application.