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ATPM 16.05
May 2010




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by Robert Paul Leitao,

Welcome to the May issue of About This Particular Macintosh! We’re devoting much of this month’s Welcome to a look at Apple’s results for the quarter ended March 27, 2010 and the six-month period that ended on the same day. We’ll start with a comparison of yesterday and today.

ATPM and Apple’s First Golden Era

The editors of ATPM have been chronicling what we call “the personal computing experience.” Fifteen years ago, we hitched a ride on what we believed was a special company that would one day change the world. In April of 1995, ATPM’s first issue was uploaded to Apple’s eWorld server for distribution. For the three-month period that ended on March 31, 1995, Apple reported net sales of $2.652 billion and earnings of $73 million. For the six-month period that ended the same day, the company reported net sales of $5.484 billion and earnings of $261 million.

Apple’s 1995 fiscal year was the last year of Apple’s first golden era. We didn’t know it then, but we had hitched a ride on a technological freight train that was about to come to a screeching halt on the tracks. Within months of our first issue, the CEO of Apple would resign, and the company would announce massive losses. In the first six months of the following fiscal year, Apple had amassed $809 million in losses on declining net sales of $5.333 billion.

ATPM and the Global Era of Apple

For the three-month period ended March 27, 2010, Apple reported revenue of $13.50 billion and $3.074 billion in earnings. For the six-month period ended the same day, Apple reported revenue of $29.182 billion and earnings of $6.452 billion. Today Apple as a technological freight train is not only barreling down the tracks, but Steve Jobs & Co. have also launched the enterprise into a global economic orbit.

Much has changed in 15 years, and it’s not only an issue of Apple’s growth in revenue and earnings. For the first six months of Apple’s current fiscal year, roughly 50% of the company’s revenue was sourced from operating segments exclusive of the Americas and Apple’s retail store operations. Fifteen years ago, the Macintosh was Apple’s sole flagship product. For the six-month period ended in March, the Macintosh represented about 28% of Apple’s revenue. In that same six-month period, diminutive handheld devices, including the iPod and iPhone, represented almost 56% of Apple’s reported revenue take.

The first issue of ATPM saw limited distribution. Online communities were only coming into vogue. Apple’s eWorld service soon fell victim to the company’s near collapse. Today, each issue of ATPM is read by tens of thousands of people, and our growth continues as the “personal computing experience” has expanded to include devices and services of many different shapes and sizes.

From Yesterday to Today to Tomorrow

For the fiscal year that ends in September, Apple may reach $60 billion in annual revenue. At press time, the company’s value measured by the share price times the number of shares outstanding is approaching one quarter of a trillion dollars. But there’s more here than talk of nearly unbridled corporate success and the wealth it has created for Apple and those who own the company. It’s about how much Apple’s devices and services have enriched the way we communicate and interact with the world.

Fifteen years ago, we didn’t know the magnitude by which Apple’s products would change our world. We simply followed our instincts and hitched a ride on what has become a thrill seeker’s dream and a story that today is far from over. The iPhone and the iPad are to this generation what the first Macintosh was to those of us who remember rotary dial phones and TVs equipped with rabbit ears. Digital devices have made the world smaller since ATPM’s first issue went to press. Our editors chronicle “the personal computing experience” to assist in making life better for those who choose to use them.

This is the first issue of ATPM since the iPad was released to the market, and with it a new era for Apple and ATPM begins. We’re confident the next 15 years will be as exciting as the 15 years that have just entered into history.

Our May issue includes:

MacMuser: “Something” in the Way…

“There’s a certain tone to the voices as they shout my name down the corridor. One knows instinctively it’s because “something” is wrong with their computer.”

MacMuser: Subnet Full of Zeros

Mark Tennent wants to know how to print to an Apple LaserWriter A3 from a Mac OS X 10.6 computer.

Next Actions: Master List, May 2010

Ed Eubanks Jr. updates his GTD Master List.

Desktop Pictures: Desktop Patterns

This month’s photos feature textures of objects in St. Louis, MO; Louisville, KY; and Palm Beach, FL taken by Matthew Glidden.

Out at Five

Matt Johnson’s new series, Out at Five, looks at the workplace and its boundaries from all angles, revolving around many of the same characters from his former series, Cortland.

Review: Hamptons Hybrid

Like a hybrid car, this hybrid backpack/messenger bag is a good idea but lacking in execution of the details.

Review: iCash 6.4

An alternative to Quicken which may be more attractive to those who’ve never used Quicken before.

Review: Laptop Armor Aluminum

Mr. Bond, your laptop case has arrived.

Review: Playback 1.5.1

A look into the pros (and occasional cons) of streaming pictures, music, and videos from your Mac to a PS3 or Xbox 360, courtesy of YazSoft’s application Playback.

Review: TaskPaper

Frank H. Wu loves TaskPaper on his Mac, is slightly less thrilled with it on his iPhone, and can’t wait to see how it runs on an iPad.

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