Welcome to the first issue of ATPM for the year 2000 and the last January issue of the old millennium. That’s right. We looked at the calendar and realized that a thousand years end at the end of the thousandth year. If January 1, 2000 began a new millennium it would mean that the old millennium wasn’t really a millennium. It would be a collection of 999 successive years. That would make it a sub-millennium or an almost-millennium. The editors of ATPM want a full millennium, not an abbreviated or abridged one.
This millennium may have been a violent one but it’s the same thousand years that brought us Penicillin, indoor plumbing, and Pop Tarts! So let’s “Think different” about the way we count the years and start the last year of the old millennium with a new look at the state of the Mac.
If you receive this issue of ATPM it means that the world didn’t end on 1/1/2000. That’s the good news. The better news is that the year 2000 will be one of dramatic change for the PC industry. For example, we expect a major announcement from Compaq soon after the new year begins concerning its desktop retail PC business (Hint: we expect to see fewer Compaq desktop PCs on retail shelves). We also expect retail chains to drastically reduce the array of PCs available to shoppers in favor of handhelds and other computer-like appliances.
What will these changes mean for Apple? Read on...
Thanks A Million
It’s easy to guesstimate that our friends in Cupertino sold more than a million Macs in the fourth calendar quarter of 1999. The editors of ATPM believe the total number of Macs sold in the three-month period will approach one million, two hundred fifty thousand units. That’s a lot of Macs! We expect Apple to regain its position among the world’s top five PC manufacturers.
What’s making life a little easier for Mac fans is the general state of disarray within the PC community. IBM’s decision to remove Aptiva desktops from retail shelves and the continuing segmentation of the PC business—buyers need a handbook and glossary to figure out what kind of chip is inside a Windows box—isn’t making life easier for computer shoppers. It’s difficult to find to find an attractive, easy-to-use, brand-name computer at a reasonable price.
Macs are in demand wherever they are sold. Will Apple increase the number of stores that carry Macs? Will the company open its own Apple retail stores? Thankfully, the answers to these questions are less than a week away.
On Top Of The World
Well, not really. But Macworld San Francisco will be an exciting show! Don’t miss all the news starting this week. The editors of ATPM will have an in-depth review of all the announcements and their implications for the Macintosh market in our February issue.
At deadline, rumors of new PowerBooks, an Apple Internet strategy and the release of faster G4 minitowers have been mentioned by our sources. We believe the PC industry is set for a major consolidation with many brand and off-brand manufacturers exiting the business. There are real opportunities for significant increases in the Mac’s market share. Watch for major announcements from Apple and its third-party partners in the first week of the new year.
For children at Christmas time the question is often “Who gives?” For Apple investors at the end of 1999 the question is “What gives?” After reaching an all-time high of $118 per share, Apple’s common stock has been languishing in the $100 per share range. We believe that Apple has yet to regain favor with many institutional investors and mutual funds. The fact that the major debt rating agencies have yet to upgrade Apple’s ratings relative to its recent performance is another factor. It’s no secret that Apple’s stock sells at a significant discount to the stock of its PC competitors. Patience truly is a virtue.
We expect Apple’s debt rating to be upgraded after the release of company’s financials for the fourth calendar quarter. This should increase the number of mutual funds and other institutions willing to invest in the company’s stock. While we’re not investment experts and recommend that readers do their own research and consult professional investment advisors, we expect an upward movement in Apple’s stock price following Macworld and the mid-month earnings report.
Three Kids and an iMac
Families who purchased a new iMac during the holidays are in for a treat. The multi-user capabilities of OS 9 make it easy for families to share one computer, with each user able to create his own “personal computing experience.” ATPM’s contributing editor Robert Paul Leitao has been using many of OS 9’s features to help his kids explore the World Wide Web and the world around them. Look for Rob’s family computing tips in next month’s issue.
Prime Time for a New Paradigm?
In this issue’s Personal Computing Paradigm Michael Tsai discussesthe changes and not-so changes that marked the last few years of the PC business. As much as things have changed, it’s interesting to see how many things have remained the same. What’s in store for Mac users and the products they rely on? Check out Michael’s column for his insightful views on the matter.
No. We’re not borrowing a lyric from a popular song; we’re asking Tom Iovino what his latest columnreally means. Please read Tom’s Apple Cider column for a look at what a simple idea can mean for a complex industry.
2Be or Not 2Be?
We ran this headline three years ago when the computing world expected Apple to buy the BeOS and use it as the foundation for its next generation operating system. Rather than buy Be, Apple chose to acquire NeXT. Readers know the rest of that story.
We often wonder what happened to the BeOS in the aftermath of a resurgent Apple and its modern OS roadmap. Once considered the heir apparent to the formerly outdated Mac OS, the BeOS still commands a loyal following among a cadre of dedicated users. Please read Bill Lovett’s BeOS reviewinside this month’s issue.
The Great Holiday Pastime
What’s an American holiday celebration without sports? While many sports fans have opted to forsake attending traditional New Year’s Day bowl games in order to avoid Y2K travel delays and high hotel costs, computer gaming fans can enjoy their favorite pastime without leaving home. Eric Blair brings readers a stellar review of Madden NFL 2000. Don’t miss our other reviews including Finale 2000and Rainbow Six.
This issue marks the beginning of our sixth calendar year of publication. We consider it a special honor to have so many readers who have been with us since our first issue. We look forward to many more years of bringing you our special brand of news and views. Thanks for your support!
Please enjoy our latest issue!