As Fake Steve Jobs, Dan Lyons made a terrific anonymous satirist. As Newsweek’s technology columnist, he leaves something to be desired.
Pass over the Microsoft marketer’s crack about Macs being “washed with unicorn tears” pass by, because, really, that just makes him look like a dick. Move on to Lyons’ observation that Apple is declining to build cheap netbooks and instead, “in January … rolled out that 17-inch laptop with a $2,800 price tag. Talk about tone-deaf.”
Yes, how terribly tone-deaf to introduce a long awaited upgrade to a machine in high demand among Apple’s customer base, on which Apple can continue to make a comfortable profit margin in a difficult economic environment by selling customers with ready money just the machine they want. What could they have possibly been thinking?
Meanwhile, PC manufacturers race to the bottom and wring the last bits of profit from cheaper and cheaper machines. But that’s no skin off Microsoft’s nose, because they (presumably) get the same profit putting Windows on netbooks as they do on high-end workstations.
In fact, Microsoft probably makes more off netbooks, because they typically ship with Windows XP, for which the bulk of Microsoft’s R&D costs have long since been paid.) No wonder they’re “turning the corner.”
Meanwhile, Apple has consistently declined to compete in the low-end market, and yet has continued to flourish financially, to the bewilderment of analysts everywhere. Presumably, unlike doctors, financial analysts are not taught about Willie Sutton.
As for me, I’m looking towards Apple’s next set of financial results, due out on the 22nd of April. I’m also (speculatively) waiting for the day when Apple announces its next low-cost portable computing device, which I predict will (a) not be a “netbook” as we think of one today, (b) cost significantly more than $300, and (c) sell like hotcakes.
I’ll come back to Dan Lyons’ “commentary” then.
(Tip of the hat to Daring Fireball.)