The Walkerville Weekly Reader

National Desk: Hard-hitting journalism from your completely un-biased (pinky swear!) reporters in Walkerville, VA.

Walkerville, VA
Monday, May 20, 2024
Carolyn Purcell, Editor

Apple’s computer failures drop precipitously

New marketshare statistics show Apple computers not being replaced often enough.

New sales statistics from research firm IDC show that Apple Computer’s marketshare dropped to a new low in 2003. According to IDC, Apple’s Macintosh computers required practically no replacement during the previous year.

“Until Apple starts building computers that fail or that become obsolete more quickly, their marketshare will continue to drop,” the report noted. According to the IDC, marketshare measures computers currently being sold, not computers in actual use, and is heavily affected by how often consumers replace their current computers.

“Apple needs to embrace obsolescence,” said one industry insider. “Computers that last forever do not increase market share.” According to the insider, who requested anonymity, six-year-old Macintoshes still run modern software at reasonable speeds. “There is no incentive for Macintosh users to replace their computers as often as other computer users,” said the insider.

The problem, according to well-placed sources, is that Apple computers tend to remain functional for far longer periods than their competitors, and Apple includes forward-looking technology that makes these computers useful for longer periods of time.

“Apple started including USB on their computers as a standard item well before anyone else did,” said one researcher. “When consumers started buying digital cameras, they found that the Macintosh they bought last year was able to download their photos easily. This contrasts with Windows users who generally had to purchase an upgrade that usually didn’t work or a completely new computer--thus increasing the market share of computers that did not include USB earlier.”

A well-placed geezer reminisced about the Year 2000 problem, when many non-Apple computers couldn’t understand a year greater than 1999. “Apple lost many, many sales because they designed their computers to last into the next century,” said the geezer. “Companies set aside huge budgets to replace their non-Y2K-compliant computers, and none of this money went to Apple. Y2K replacements were a big blow to Apple’s marketshare. Consumers continued using the same old Macintosh they purchased in 1997 while their colleagues on 1997 Windows computers were desperately buying more of Apple’s competitors.”

Dell Computer spokesperson Michael Dell had harsh words for the Apple business model. “There are some artists at Apple who don’t understand business,” said Michael Dell, “and they are ignoring sound business advice. They seem to think that people will buy computers that are reliable, functional, and durable. We’ve found that people are more likely to buy whatever their geek neighbor kid uses, and when it needs to be replaced a year later, they’ll buy another one just like it.” According to Dell, it is bad business sense to make a computer with forward-looking technology, because “forward-looking technology only makes a computer less likely to be replaced quickly.”

According to Dell, “marketshare measures problems. Without problems, no one would ever replace their computers and there would be no marketshare. Any computer company that wants to increase their marketshare needs to decrease their product reliability.”

Apple Computer spokesperson John Beatle acknowledged that the design of their product leads to lower marketshare numbers, but lamented that the company held a deeply ingrained tendency towards functionality and reliability that would be difficult to change.

Apple’s stock price fell 1.2% in afternoon trading on the news that their computers were too reliable and too durable.

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