Reviewing Tech Articles This Past Week.


Let’s face it, the big news for Apple is next week with their quarterly earning call on Monday and Leopard release on Friday. Still, there was a lot of interesting stuff this week to comment on.

Greenpeace is more like Brownpiece.

Greenpeace slammed the iPhone in a whirl of propaganda and headlines I will not give them the satisfaction of linking to. If you want to read it, by all means use Google or Yahoo!, it won’t be hard to find.

It should come as no surprise that, after a few days, they admitted the iPhone is no worse than others, does not violate any Euro standards, and in fact is all well in keeping with Apple’s own stated environmental goals.

Of course, such an admission after the fact is like proclaiming guilt in the headlines on page 1, then publishing a retraction in column six on page 23. Their horrific accusations served their purpose; now they’re just covering their ass.

Their action is not surprising, and follows a pattern they’ve been using since Apple’s recent success made them an easy and obvious target for such BS tactics. This latest garbage from Greenpeace reveals once again what they truly are: Brownpiece (of crap).

Apple US Market Share Increase.

IDC and Gartner released their figures for PC sales this week. As usual, the numbers don’t exactly match (they never do), but one is likely as accurate as the other. Many people just take the average of both and call it a day.

By those standards, they’re reporting something over 1.2 Million Macs for roughly a 7.2% share in the US. Just as predicted last quarter (when they were #4), this was enough to land Apple solidly at #3 behind Dell and HP. The 1.2M compares to around 900,000 reported by IDC/Gartner last quarter. The 7.2% compares with around 5.5% last quarter. Excellent gains.

Worldwide, Apple still falls into the “other” category for both research firms. Last quarter they were just under 3%, for this one they might have hit that mark. It’s not that I don’t think worldwide share matters, and Apple’s is increasing, but the US is where the most profits reside for computers.

These are preliminary numbers — Apple will reveal their own figures Monday — but with IDC/Gartner showing great gains I would be surprised of Apple’s numbers don’t bear it out. Apple broke records in their last reported quarter, I think there’s a great chance they will do so again this time around.

Let’s do a quick check on Vista.

First, there’s a retailer (finally) coming right out and saying Vista’s disappointing sales are eating into its profits.

Perhaps even more interesting is an article claiming that Microsoft has issues with Vista on another level. Calling it a “fear factor” may be an overstatement, but in my case there’s no question concerns about Vista not working and playing well with my two laptops — less than two and three years old — are what has kept it out of my house. That same concern has kept it out of a lot of other houses, too.

There’s something to be said for Vista’s “midnight madness” sales at release being a bust (and the big profit upgrade boxes still gathering dust on store shelves), while Leopard is already the #1 and #2 software products on Amazon when you can’t even get it yet.

Consumer Reports gives Apple some Love.

CR frequently treats the Mac as some sort of freak in the PC world that will leave you cold and alone in a sea of Windows users if you buy it. They’ve been better lately, and usually give Apple high marks for support (hard not to since it’s a survey), but for the most part they’re not particularly friendly.

However, they’ve claimed that Apple’s Web site is tops for direct web computer sales. Not bad, and great timing for mom and dad looking to get Jr. a computer online for Christmas.

One word you don’t want to hear from your CEO.

Nokia’s CEO has said he’s “paranoid” about the iPhone, and its significance cannot be underestimated. I wonder if this wouldn’t make me as a stockholder a little too uneasy.

Look, I’ll be the first to admit that the Verizons and Motorolas of the world are morons for discounting the iPhone as if it’s nothing. Such an attitude reveals that they’re clueless, fail to see what’s going on around them, and lack a real strategy to compete. In that regard Nokia is miles ahead; at least they see the iPhone as a legitimate threat. Good.

However, one can swing to far the other way. I don’t want my company head to ignore the iPhone, but I don’t want him scared of it either. The fact is the company can’t make anything like it for another year or two, yet we have to combat it in some manner now. Quit trembling in fear and do something.

Universal proves how stupid they are. Again!

Universal continues to outdo themselves every day. Now they’re going to sell singles on USB drives. I’m not sure what more needs to be said…

Dear Universal Stockholders,

Below is a simple four-step plan to end your misery. As a music lover, I provide it to you free of charge.

  1. Determine how much profit Universal’s top brass will blow though on ventures like Wal-Mart’s PC-only online store, the “ringle”, another subscription service (w/ Spiral Frog), the Total Disaster Music initiative, and now this USB (Unusually Stupid Business?) effort.
  2. Review the overall chance of success for items in #1. Be sure to consider management’s track record on technical and PR debacles such as PressPlay years ago, bad-mouthing your biggest online sales outlet, calling your customers (and Apple’s) thieves, and joining forces with Microsoft on the failed Zune.
  3. Come to the conclusion they’re pissing money away on dubious schemes that will fail while simultaneously avoiding the most obvious move of all: Offering their catalog online as easily available platform-independent DRM-free files at fair prices.
  4. Commence rolling heads.

Best regards,