Apple guy gives Xbox team some advice

Chuq Von Rospach, who works at Apple, gives us some advice on how not to introduce a product. Funny how soon he forgets that I couldn’t find an iPod Nano 4 GB black in time for our wedding anniversary a few months back. We finally found one about a month later, but truth is it is extremely hard to make enough gadgets to go around — especially when demand goes nuts.

I just bring this up because I’m seeing reports of iPod Nano shortages again — this despite MONTHS of sales and preparation. The Nano is very simple to make compared to an Xbox (it has far fewer suppliers to rely on, is much smaller too so can be shipped in greater volumes).

I notice a little bit of FUD, there, though, cause Apple fired IBM and went with Intel (IBM is the chip vendor for the new Xbox). Why did Steve Jobs fire IBM? Cause IBM couldn’t get Steve Jobs any new portable chips, which is why Apple hasn’t shipped a new portable computer in quite a while. Did that cost them sales? You betcha! When I met with Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress, he was showing me his new Sony portable computer. Said he went with it instead of an Apple product cause it was a “ton faster” according to him. It’ll be interesting to see what Apple brings out in January at its MacWorld show. I brag about Matt cause he’s one of those guys who’s always used Macs.

Oh, and Chuq wrote about the folks who were waiting in line last night: “Sorry, but some people need to get a life.” Oh, Chuq, how about THESE PEOPLE. Do the folks who wait in line for YOUR products (er, just to be able to visit your stores, even) need to “get a life?” Got it. Hey, Apple folks, if you’re waiting in line to buy one of Apple’s new products after next month’s MacWorld, come and see what an Apple employee thinks of you!

You’re always welcome to stand in our lines, though.

Comments

  1. Yes Apple is terrible on stock issues. When I bought my iPod I could not find one anywhere for weeks, I eventually wrote some perl scripts to scrape websites of online stores, they would SMS me on my mobile the moment one had stock, I rang them up immediately to book one for collection. Even with that it took me 3 weeks in London to find one. Shocking, and this was not even during a launch period.

    The situation has probably improves now with the Apple store here etc, but stock shortages is something Apple knows a lot about.

  2. Yes Apple is terrible on stock issues. When I bought my iPod I could not find one anywhere for weeks, I eventually wrote some perl scripts to scrape websites of online stores, they would SMS me on my mobile the moment one had stock, I rang them up immediately to book one for collection. Even with that it took me 3 weeks in London to find one. Shocking, and this was not even during a launch period.

    The situation has probably improves now with the Apple store here etc, but stock shortages is something Apple knows a lot about.

  3. So funny! I was at the iPod (Apple) Store and Bellevue Square today and not an iPod for sale anywhere. Actually, let me take that back; you could buy a 512MB Shuffle but don’t think those count.

  4. So funny! I was at the iPod (Apple) Store and Bellevue Square today and not an iPod for sale anywhere. Actually, let me take that back; you could buy a 512MB Shuffle but don’t think those count.

  5. There is something that boggles me about this post. It seems you are in a way defending the launch of the Xbox 360 by giving an example of Apple who may not have had the best launch either. So you are pulling the old two wrongs make a right card. Not falling for that.

    As for not being able to find an iPod nano in time for your anniversary, how much time did you give yourself? Up until a few days ago you have been able to get an iPod nano delivered to you within a week by ordering from there website, and the three times I have visited Apple stores since they were released they have always been in stock.

    It’s much easier to find a nano than an Xbox 360.

  6. There is something that boggles me about this post. It seems you are in a way defending the launch of the Xbox 360 by giving an example of Apple who may not have had the best launch either. So you are pulling the old two wrongs make a right card. Not falling for that.

    As for not being able to find an iPod nano in time for your anniversary, how much time did you give yourself? Up until a few days ago you have been able to get an iPod nano delivered to you within a week by ordering from there website, and the three times I have visited Apple stores since they were released they have always been in stock.

    It’s much easier to find a nano than an Xbox 360.

  7. I mentioned how the situation has ‘improved’ with the mac shop it got me thinking.

    Previous to apple putting up their Temples to The Cult of Mac everywhere you could go to specialist Apple stores and get to talk to people with often decades of Apple experience, they’d pretty much do you a tailored solution and often were long running family businesses, the kind of thing you just don’t find in cities thesedays.

    Now? I’d love to see someone do research on how many of these shops have either had to refocus their business or gone out of business completely as a result of Apple opening up shop in their cities. From personal experience I know that the Apple resellers have stock issues, people waiting for up to a month or more for something thats in stock at the Apple store, but people are prefering to buy from these old shops because they’ve done so for ages or simply because the level of expertise in these shops far exceeds that you’d get from the arogant twats working in the big Apple shops. Why do these shops have stock issues? Can it be that Apple is favouring their own shops rather than the very people thats carried the flag during decades of dark days in the life of Apple? I suspect so.

    As for the ‘get a life queuers’ thing, wtf, when Apple London opened the West End came to a halt, street blocks in all direction were backed up, cars were unable to move etc as people queued for access to the shop on the open day. Read the account of a mac fanboy who flew half way around the globe to attend the event:

    http://www.macworld.com/weblogs/mac911/2004/11/london911/index.php

    or the BBC’s cover of the event titled ‘Apple’s flock worships new store’:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4028363.stm

    Lets think back to the launch of Tiger. A simple dot upgrade in the product life cycle, it was hell, just look at the pictures on this blog:

    http://www.jasonball.com/techbytes/2005/04/tiger_launch_in.html

    Now lets put it in perspective with a launch of a next gen console? Not just any next gen console but the first one to hit the market from any vendor, the first one to give the world a glimpse of whats to come in the HD world? The first one to show new tech in a number of years? You bet they’re queueing it’s a massivly significant event in the history of gaming.

    As a Mac convert – owner of 1 x Powermac, 1 x iBook, 2 x iPod and lots of Apple software – I have to say the blog posting you refer to is an embarresment, I am feeling I do not really want to be associated with a company who employes or give people like that keyboards to type with, I feel a bit like I’m supporting Sony again :)

  8. I mentioned how the situation has ‘improved’ with the mac shop it got me thinking.

    Previous to apple putting up their Temples to The Cult of Mac everywhere you could go to specialist Apple stores and get to talk to people with often decades of Apple experience, they’d pretty much do you a tailored solution and often were long running family businesses, the kind of thing you just don’t find in cities thesedays.

    Now? I’d love to see someone do research on how many of these shops have either had to refocus their business or gone out of business completely as a result of Apple opening up shop in their cities. From personal experience I know that the Apple resellers have stock issues, people waiting for up to a month or more for something thats in stock at the Apple store, but people are prefering to buy from these old shops because they’ve done so for ages or simply because the level of expertise in these shops far exceeds that you’d get from the arogant twats working in the big Apple shops. Why do these shops have stock issues? Can it be that Apple is favouring their own shops rather than the very people thats carried the flag during decades of dark days in the life of Apple? I suspect so.

    As for the ‘get a life queuers’ thing, wtf, when Apple London opened the West End came to a halt, street blocks in all direction were backed up, cars were unable to move etc as people queued for access to the shop on the open day. Read the account of a mac fanboy who flew half way around the globe to attend the event:

    http://www.macworld.com/weblogs/mac911/2004/11/london911/index.php

    or the BBC’s cover of the event titled ‘Apple’s flock worships new store’:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4028363.stm

    Lets think back to the launch of Tiger. A simple dot upgrade in the product life cycle, it was hell, just look at the pictures on this blog:

    http://www.jasonball.com/techbytes/2005/04/tiger_launch_in.html

    Now lets put it in perspective with a launch of a next gen console? Not just any next gen console but the first one to hit the market from any vendor, the first one to give the world a glimpse of whats to come in the HD world? The first one to show new tech in a number of years? You bet they’re queueing it’s a massivly significant event in the history of gaming.

    As a Mac convert – owner of 1 x Powermac, 1 x iBook, 2 x iPod and lots of Apple software – I have to say the blog posting you refer to is an embarresment, I am feeling I do not really want to be associated with a company who employes or give people like that keyboards to type with, I feel a bit like I’m supporting Sony again :)

  9. hey Tyler Love

    You must be smokin something? you can’t find the apple ipod nano anywhere

    please post some sites that you have confirmed with a phone call that they have it in stock?

    I will wait about a month until you post back (:

  10. hey Tyler Love

    You must be smokin something? you can’t find the apple ipod nano anywhere

    please post some sites that you have confirmed with a phone call that they have it in stock?

    I will wait about a month until you post back (:

  11. Tyler: I was looking in October shortly after the Nano came out. It was sold out EVERYWHERE. And, keep in mind that my brother-in-law works at Apple too. Even he couldn’t get me one in time.

    As to the Xbox being harder to find, you’re right about that.

  12. Tyler: I was looking in October shortly after the Nano came out. It was sold out EVERYWHERE. And, keep in mind that my brother-in-law works at Apple too. Even he couldn’t get me one in time.

    As to the Xbox being harder to find, you’re right about that.

  13. Sure, Apple deserves some blame for nano shortages. It certainly has led to lost sales.

    That having been said, its a very different situation as compared to the 360 introduction. Microsoft needed to nail the introduction of the 360 as it a challenger to Sony’s throne.

    Apple is in a dominant position — they have far more wiggle room. Not to say its a good situation — it’s not.

  14. Sure, Apple deserves some blame for nano shortages. It certainly has led to lost sales.

    That having been said, its a very different situation as compared to the 360 introduction. Microsoft needed to nail the introduction of the 360 as it a challenger to Sony’s throne.

    Apple is in a dominant position — they have far more wiggle room. Not to say its a good situation — it’s not.

  15. Your post is very ironic given that its IBMs inability to produce enough CPUs for the 360 that is acting as the limiting factor in Xbox production.

  16. Your post is very ironic given that its IBMs inability to produce enough CPUs for the 360 that is acting as the limiting factor in Xbox production.

  17. Jesus Scoble, chill out. I can’t believe you lower yourself to such level with your Apple bashing and irritated whining. I’m used to a lot more professionalism from you. You almost sound jealous! They’re “cool”, MS is not, get over it.

  18. Jesus Scoble, chill out. I can’t believe you lower yourself to such level with your Apple bashing and irritated whining. I’m used to a lot more professionalism from you. You almost sound jealous! They’re “cool”, MS is not, get over it.

  19. What’s The Big Deal About Scoble?

    People I know, people I respect, treat Robert Scoble with such deference and respect that you would think he was a real dynamo. With Posts like Today’s Screed on Apple Availability in response to Chuq von Rospach’s suggestions to MS

  20. Plenty of 360′s left in Japan.

    Sorry. Couldn’t resist.

    Both items are in high demand. Why get all crappy about that? Looks like Apple will be breaking their own records. And that post above is correct.

    IBM screwed Apple over long enough. Hopefully, they don’t do the same to the 360.

  21. Plenty of 360′s left in Japan.

    Sorry. Couldn’t resist.

    Both items are in high demand. Why get all crappy about that? Looks like Apple will be breaking their own records. And that post above is correct.

    IBM screwed Apple over long enough. Hopefully, they don’t do the same to the 360.

  22. This is pretty funny, considering that guy just railed MS for not producing enough 360s.

    http://www.appleinsider.com/article.php?id=1420

    Guess he needs to work on his own company first.

    Comment by Geoff — December 18, 2005 @ 4:29 pm

    Ahhhh…that story is about the iPod Shuffle (1 GB one of the low end models). Also according to the article Apple is probably planning NEW models to replace the low end models (one of which you are speaking). If that is the case why would you produce more of a product that has reached end of life? All other models are available at least according to Apples site. So you have no point to make. I believe MS did rush this product to beat Sony’s PS3 to market. Makes perfect sense & is typical MS.

  23. This is pretty funny, considering that guy just railed MS for not producing enough 360s.

    http://www.appleinsider.com/article.php?id=1420

    Guess he needs to work on his own company first.

    Comment by Geoff — December 18, 2005 @ 4:29 pm

    Ahhhh…that story is about the iPod Shuffle (1 GB one of the low end models). Also according to the article Apple is probably planning NEW models to replace the low end models (one of which you are speaking). If that is the case why would you produce more of a product that has reached end of life? All other models are available at least according to Apples site. So you have no point to make. I believe MS did rush this product to beat Sony’s PS3 to market. Makes perfect sense & is typical MS.

  24. You didn’t RTFA, did you scoble? Or, if you did, you need some remedial reading comprehension lessons.

    He wasn’t knocking you for running out, he was knocking you for shipping before it was ready. I’m sure Apple misses some ship dates too, but it’s rare, because they don’t’ do stupid things like announce vaporware that’s not going to show up for about SIX YEARS, and only then after shedding every feature that was supposed to make it worth having.

  25. You didn’t RTFA, did you scoble? Or, if you did, you need some remedial reading comprehension lessons.

    He wasn’t knocking you for running out, he was knocking you for shipping before it was ready. I’m sure Apple misses some ship dates too, but it’s rare, because they don’t’ do stupid things like announce vaporware that’s not going to show up for about SIX YEARS, and only then after shedding every feature that was supposed to make it worth having.

  26. Holy crap! You REGION CODED the xbox?

    That’s beyond stupid. That’s gone from stupid to evil.

    Better luck nex time, guys. I might pick up an Xbox once the Linux crowd cracks it and let me run a useful OS on it. If so, I’ll drop the Evil Empire a note and thank you for the hardware subsidy.

  27. Holy crap! You REGION CODED the xbox?

    That’s beyond stupid. That’s gone from stupid to evil.

    Better luck nex time, guys. I might pick up an Xbox once the Linux crowd cracks it and let me run a useful OS on it. If so, I’ll drop the Evil Empire a note and thank you for the hardware subsidy.

  28. The Xbox was widely publicized and it’s debut date was also public knowledge. They have little excuse save for the lack of chips from IBM. In contrast, Apple’s M.O. involves absolute secrecy. In their case demand has to be guessed and they were clearly way off with the Nano. The positive publicity and word of mouth only increased demand for Christmas gifts leading to new shortages. As a stockholder I’m looking forward for the quarter results in January.

  29. The Xbox was widely publicized and it’s debut date was also public knowledge. They have little excuse save for the lack of chips from IBM. In contrast, Apple’s M.O. involves absolute secrecy. In their case demand has to be guessed and they were clearly way off with the Nano. The positive publicity and word of mouth only increased demand for Christmas gifts leading to new shortages. As a stockholder I’m looking forward for the quarter results in January.

  30. > Why did Steve Jobs fire IBM? Cause IBM couldn’t get Steve Jobs any new portable chips,

    That was probably part of the reason. Other big reasons that come to mind are IBM’s supply problems of high end G5s and problems of making faster G5s.

    And of course there is the main thing: money. Intel has much bigger volume and more customers to share the development costs than IBM (when talking about G5 processors). Sure the original deal with IBM was very cheap but IBM was not going to give their chips away for free again.

    > which is why Apple hasn’t shipped a new portable computer in quite a while. Did that cost them sales?

    Perhaps it cost them sales, but look at Apple’s quarterly reports. Laptop sales are better than ever before so it’s not hurting them nearly as much as one would think, given the age of the laptop models and the announcement that they are going to Intel soon.

  31. > Why did Steve Jobs fire IBM? Cause IBM couldn’t get Steve Jobs any new portable chips,

    That was probably part of the reason. Other big reasons that come to mind are IBM’s supply problems of high end G5s and problems of making faster G5s.

    And of course there is the main thing: money. Intel has much bigger volume and more customers to share the development costs than IBM (when talking about G5 processors). Sure the original deal with IBM was very cheap but IBM was not going to give their chips away for free again.

    > which is why Apple hasn’t shipped a new portable computer in quite a while. Did that cost them sales?

    Perhaps it cost them sales, but look at Apple’s quarterly reports. Laptop sales are better than ever before so it’s not hurting them nearly as much as one would think, given the age of the laptop models and the announcement that they are going to Intel soon.

  32. Jonathan: actually, you have to look at the trend line to see the real damage IBM did to Apple. Apple’s laptop trend is flat. The rest of the industry has gone up. Apple left money on the table by not having a new laptop.

  33. Jonathan: actually, you have to look at the trend line to see the real damage IBM did to Apple. Apple’s laptop trend is flat. The rest of the industry has gone up. Apple left money on the table by not having a new laptop.

  34. Hmmm. that’s strange, Scoble. One week after the Nano was launched I was able to order one for my daughter off of Apple’s web site. Had it within a week. Now, for the life of me I can’t find anywhere on the Microsoft site where I can order a 360. But, according to Porcaro MS is shipping them almost weekly. And then he washes MS’s hands of the supply problem, blaming it on the retailers distribution policies. But the retailers blame MS. Apparently no one has the courage to admit culpability.

    What’s even sadder about the XBOX 360 is that they apparently sold out for Christmas before the day they launched. Brilliant! And how about severely underestimated the demand in Japan? Talk about adding insult to injury. Scoble, why not ask your 360 buddies if there is any way to get those 360′s collecting dust in warehouses in Japan reconfigured and shipped to the US market.

  35. Robert, in a way I’m glad to see Apple shifting away from the PowerPC chip and to Intel x86. Back in 2000 I ordered a dual PowerPC G4 500mHz machine that took 2 months to arrive. Granted this was a Motorola chip, IBM had the same problems delivering PowerPC chips to Apple in the quantities needed at product launch. Microsoft has inherited this bottleneck in the production and supply chain for the Xbox 360.

    Is the Xbox 360 staggered release plan part of Microsoft’s new strategy to drum up hype and PR? I saw a lot of marketing for the Xbox 360 months before it was available, so I think Microsoft is missing out on many of those people you were trying to target. You obviously have the demand, but can’t provide the supply.

    If Microsoft knew that they would not be able to provide enough Xbox 360s to fill the demand, why didn’t they just auction them directly to consumers? You could be actually turning a profit rather than using them as a loss-leader for license fees. Once production ramps up, then all the stores on every corner can sell them. That might also avoid the bundle bait and switch Best Buy has been pulling.

    BTW, I had no problem getting my Nano shortly after they were announced. I’ll wait a while to pick up an Xbox 360, it at all. I’m looking forward to a new Intel PowerBook instead.

  36. Hmmm. that’s strange, Scoble. One week after the Nano was launched I was able to order one for my daughter off of Apple’s web site. Had it within a week. Now, for the life of me I can’t find anywhere on the Microsoft site where I can order a 360. But, according to Porcaro MS is shipping them almost weekly. And then he washes MS’s hands of the supply problem, blaming it on the retailers distribution policies. But the retailers blame MS. Apparently no one has the courage to admit culpability.

    What’s even sadder about the XBOX 360 is that they apparently sold out for Christmas before the day they launched. Brilliant! And how about severely underestimated the demand in Japan? Talk about adding insult to injury. Scoble, why not ask your 360 buddies if there is any way to get those 360′s collecting dust in warehouses in Japan reconfigured and shipped to the US market.

  37. Robert, in a way I’m glad to see Apple shifting away from the PowerPC chip and to Intel x86. Back in 2000 I ordered a dual PowerPC G4 500mHz machine that took 2 months to arrive. Granted this was a Motorola chip, IBM had the same problems delivering PowerPC chips to Apple in the quantities needed at product launch. Microsoft has inherited this bottleneck in the production and supply chain for the Xbox 360.

    Is the Xbox 360 staggered release plan part of Microsoft’s new strategy to drum up hype and PR? I saw a lot of marketing for the Xbox 360 months before it was available, so I think Microsoft is missing out on many of those people you were trying to target. You obviously have the demand, but can’t provide the supply.

    If Microsoft knew that they would not be able to provide enough Xbox 360s to fill the demand, why didn’t they just auction them directly to consumers? You could be actually turning a profit rather than using them as a loss-leader for license fees. Once production ramps up, then all the stores on every corner can sell them. That might also avoid the bundle bait and switch Best Buy has been pulling.

    BTW, I had no problem getting my Nano shortly after they were announced. I’ll wait a while to pick up an Xbox 360, it at all. I’m looking forward to a new Intel PowerBook instead.

  38. I somewhat agree with what Chuq Von Rospach said, that is about anticipating demand for the US & Japanese markets. I do think that Microsoft got their forcast wrong even after their past experience in Japanese market. If you are going to out-do a competitor in their backyard where they have a near perfect record for sometime, then you ought to do it carefully & certainly not flood the market with your product. Less supply increases curiosity, there are a lot of examples to take hint from, one of the most popular recent examples being GMail & the WordPress.com, which were invite only(GMail still is). The supply was less & people really got curious about what was so special about them, creating more demand. Then the supply was increased & the demand also increased with it. I’m no business planner or tactician but it does seem logical. So IMHO Microsoft would’ve done quite a bit better by putting out a bit lesser number of units in Japan & should have tempted the gamers.

    However, in the US market, Microsoft doesn’t have that much rough road, so it should’ve put out more units there.

    @J. Random Poster:

    Holy crap! You REGION CODED the xbox?

    That’s beyond stupid. That’s gone from stupid to evil.

    I believe that one of the reasons for that is the pricing of Xbox 360. The US buyers have the option of a basic & a premium version while the Japanese buyers can only buy premium versions which is priced way too lower than the premium version being sold in US. That’s why its region encoded, to prevent people from buying it cheap in Japan & selling it for lower than price in US on eBay etc.!! ;)

  39. I somewhat agree with what Chuq Von Rospach said, that is about anticipating demand for the US & Japanese markets. I do think that Microsoft got their forcast wrong even after their past experience in Japanese market. If you are going to out-do a competitor in their backyard where they have a near perfect record for sometime, then you ought to do it carefully & certainly not flood the market with your product. Less supply increases curiosity, there are a lot of examples to take hint from, one of the most popular recent examples being GMail & the WordPress.com, which were invite only(GMail still is). The supply was less & people really got curious about what was so special about them, creating more demand. Then the supply was increased & the demand also increased with it. I’m no business planner or tactician but it does seem logical. So IMHO Microsoft would’ve done quite a bit better by putting out a bit lesser number of units in Japan & should have tempted the gamers.

    However, in the US market, Microsoft doesn’t have that much rough road, so it should’ve put out more units there.

    @J. Random Poster:

    Holy crap! You REGION CODED the xbox?

    That’s beyond stupid. That’s gone from stupid to evil.

    I believe that one of the reasons for that is the pricing of Xbox 360. The US buyers have the option of a basic & a premium version while the Japanese buyers can only buy premium versions which is priced way too lower than the premium version being sold in US. That’s why its region encoded, to prevent people from buying it cheap in Japan & selling it for lower than price in US on eBay etc.!! ;)

  40. Thanks for linking to that blog post. It was very well written, unlike your juvenile attempt at a rebuttal. It wasn’t a mean-spirited article, and gave MS credit for doing some things right, but your response is dripping with venom, so I guess he must have been right on with most of his criticism. You didn’t actually refute any of his points, so I’m guessing you agree with them, and are trying to say “but other people screwed up too, see?” Sad.

  41. Thanks for linking to that blog post. It was very well written, unlike your juvenile attempt at a rebuttal. It wasn’t a mean-spirited article, and gave MS credit for doing some things right, but your response is dripping with venom, so I guess he must have been right on with most of his criticism. You didn’t actually refute any of his points, so I’m guessing you agree with them, and are trying to say “but other people screwed up too, see?” Sad.

  42. Ramping up production is always hard. Now, on supply and demand. You are not going to be perfect (produce exactly the right amount of products for your demand), which error would you try to make? Too much product or too little? If you know anything about economics too little is the right answer. Not having product available leads to some sale lost, but having too much product loses money directly. Shortages, when you have a hit in your hands, is good… So both the Xbox and the Nano are doing great. Don’t sweat it.

  43. Ramping up production is always hard. Now, on supply and demand. You are not going to be perfect (produce exactly the right amount of products for your demand), which error would you try to make? Too much product or too little? If you know anything about economics too little is the right answer. Not having product available leads to some sale lost, but having too much product loses money directly. Shortages, when you have a hit in your hands, is good… So both the Xbox and the Nano are doing great. Don’t sweat it.

  44. I’ve been hearing about the iPod Nana shortages I’ve been to several Target stores and each time they had several in stock.

  45. This comparison isn’t even close to being valid, supply shortages are a normal temp thing, worldwide launches with sustained low stock aren’t, that’s the height of arrogance actually. And what’s with the Apple bashing? I, for the life of me, don’t get how people still can take you seriously anymore.

  46. This comparison isn’t even close to being valid, supply shortages are a normal temp thing, worldwide launches with sustained low stock aren’t, that’s the height of arrogance actually. And what’s with the Apple bashing? I, for the life of me, don’t get how people still can take you seriously anymore.

  47. The one thing that’s common to both iPod Nano and Xbox 360 is a less-than-perfect build quality. Countless people have had their Nano screens scratched, but atleast they can still listen to the Nanos unlike the frozen Xbox’es.

    PS: Anyways, it costs pretty much nothing to dispense advice, and there’s lots of it to go around here!

  48. The one thing that’s common to both iPod Nano and Xbox 360 is a less-than-perfect build quality. Countless people have had their Nano screens scratched, but atleast they can still listen to the Nanos unlike the frozen Xbox’es.

    PS: Anyways, it costs pretty much nothing to dispense advice, and there’s lots of it to go around here!

  49. Jonathan,

    It wasn’t just new CPUs for laptops. Apple had to put up with a major supply restriction problem for pretty much the whole life of the G5 line. They probably left a billion or more on the table each quarter, just from the lack of parts.

    That’s why I think it’s hilarious when the AMD fanbois proclaim that Apple should dump Intel for AMD. It doesn’t matter if the AMD parts are faster, if you can’t get them in *quantity*.

  50. Jonathan,

    It wasn’t just new CPUs for laptops. Apple had to put up with a major supply restriction problem for pretty much the whole life of the G5 line. They probably left a billion or more on the table each quarter, just from the lack of parts.

    That’s why I think it’s hilarious when the AMD fanbois proclaim that Apple should dump Intel for AMD. It doesn’t matter if the AMD parts are faster, if you can’t get them in *quantity*.

  51. Robert, sorry for the delay but I was almost internetless yesterday.

    You say that Apple’s laptop trend is flat. I honestly don’t know what statistics you are looking at but at least this chart (http://www.cuk.ch/redac/totheend/imgtxt28/segments_history_b.jpg) would seem to tell otherwise (or we have different definition for trend, I have no financial schooling)

    I would interpret that chart so that sales of apple laptops have been increasing both when looking at plain numbers and share of it’s computer sales. Sure there is fluctuation but that should be quite normal given that apple’s product cycles are not in sync and given that new introductions, like the mini, easily push numbers up after introduction (even when not taking in regard the effect of filling the channel). Likewise an older product or supply problems (Yes Apple has had and most probably will have more than their share of those) make the opposite effect.

    And frankly Apple’s laptop sales of last quarter are nothing but very impressive given the age of the designs (ok, with some small revamps) and increasing rumours of the Intel machines being just round the corner. Could they have been better given a hypothetical laptop-G5 definitely, would they have been worth the major redesign, on a short term maybe but on a long term no.

    Link to the whole article (french, sorry): http://www.cuk.ch/articles.php?unique=766

  52. Robert, sorry for the delay but I was almost internetless yesterday.

    You say that Apple’s laptop trend is flat. I honestly don’t know what statistics you are looking at but at least this chart (http://www.cuk.ch/redac/totheend/imgtxt28/segments_history_b.jpg) would seem to tell otherwise (or we have different definition for trend, I have no financial schooling)

    I would interpret that chart so that sales of apple laptops have been increasing both when looking at plain numbers and share of it’s computer sales. Sure there is fluctuation but that should be quite normal given that apple’s product cycles are not in sync and given that new introductions, like the mini, easily push numbers up after introduction (even when not taking in regard the effect of filling the channel). Likewise an older product or supply problems (Yes Apple has had and most probably will have more than their share of those) make the opposite effect.

    And frankly Apple’s laptop sales of last quarter are nothing but very impressive given the age of the designs (ok, with some small revamps) and increasing rumours of the Intel machines being just round the corner. Could they have been better given a hypothetical laptop-G5 definitely, would they have been worth the major redesign, on a short term maybe but on a long term no.

    Link to the whole article (french, sorry): http://www.cuk.ch/articles.php?unique=766

  53. J, I agree completely.

    Intel was the way to go because they have shown to have the R&D, chips and volume now, sadly IBM and Freescale did not when it comes to the chips Apple needed. It also widens Apple’s possibilities regarding the CPU supplier, at the moment they have just one supplier for G4s and one for G5s. If Intel can’t deliver the goods for some reason switching to AMD (or even Via or Transmeta (if they still make chips, didn’t check)) is much easier than switching the whole CPU architecture.

  54. J, I agree completely.

    Intel was the way to go because they have shown to have the R&D, chips and volume now, sadly IBM and Freescale did not when it comes to the chips Apple needed. It also widens Apple’s possibilities regarding the CPU supplier, at the moment they have just one supplier for G4s and one for G5s. If Intel can’t deliver the goods for some reason switching to AMD (or even Via or Transmeta (if they still make chips, didn’t check)) is much easier than switching the whole CPU architecture.

  55. Dare I say “apples and oranges?”

    The fact that Microsoft intentionally chose to launch the 360 in time for the holiday season despite its admitted knowledge that they couldn’t come close to meeting the demand for the much-hyped product is far greater than any supply shortage Apple has perpetrated. Does Apple have supply shortages? Sure, sometimes.

    But you didn’t see the Nano hyped on a half-hour MTV program MONTHS before it was available to the public, did you? You didn’t see Apple whipping up the frenzy on the newest iMac by running an ARG, did you?

    Of course you didn’t.

    Apple has recognized its chronic undersupply problems and taken a major and controversial step to fix them. Microsoft, on the other hand, has tried to ignore its supply problems and taken major and controversial steps to exacerbate them.

    I’m an XBox fan and an Apple fan, but I can tell when a supplier of one of my favorite gadgets has let me down.

  56. Dare I say “apples and oranges?”

    The fact that Microsoft intentionally chose to launch the 360 in time for the holiday season despite its admitted knowledge that they couldn’t come close to meeting the demand for the much-hyped product is far greater than any supply shortage Apple has perpetrated. Does Apple have supply shortages? Sure, sometimes.

    But you didn’t see the Nano hyped on a half-hour MTV program MONTHS before it was available to the public, did you? You didn’t see Apple whipping up the frenzy on the newest iMac by running an ARG, did you?

    Of course you didn’t.

    Apple has recognized its chronic undersupply problems and taken a major and controversial step to fix them. Microsoft, on the other hand, has tried to ignore its supply problems and taken major and controversial steps to exacerbate them.

    I’m an XBox fan and an Apple fan, but I can tell when a supplier of one of my favorite gadgets has let me down.