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NPD data shows Apple on pace to sell 3.2M Macs in June quarter

post #1 of 39
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Sales of the Mac are tracking stronger than Wall Street expectations, with Apple on pace to sell as many as 3.2 million computers during the June quarter, according to new data from NPD.

NPD unit sales for April -- the first month of the June quarter -- show that domestic Mac sales were up 39 percent year over year, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. He now believes Mac sales will grow over 2009 between 19 percent and 23 percent.

At the current pace, Apple would sell between 3.1 million and 3.2 million Macs in the June quarter, while Wall Street consensus is 3.1 million, or 19 percent. The NPD numbers suggest that the April launch of the iPad had a minimal effect on Mac sales.

"April NPD data gives us the first sign of the degree to which the iPad cannibalizes iPod or Mac sales," Munster wrote. "From the early NPD data, it appears that the iPad has a minimal cannibalization impact on Mac sales, and it could be slightly cannibalizing iPod sales."

He noted that Apple has "successfully limited" the functionality of the iPad to ensure that it serves primarily as a content consumption device. That means consumers will still have to turn to the Mac for content creation.

But in Munster's eyes, the cannibalization of iPod sales is a good thing: The iPad has an average selling price four times higher than the iPod, and it is expected to have a significant profit margin, making any consumer transition a positive for Apple's bottom line.



NPD data shows that iPod sales were down 17 percent year over year in April, which leads to an estimate of 9 million to 10 million unit sales for the April quarter. The April sales were lower than Wall Street expectations, but represent only stateside iPod purchases. Munster noted that international iPod sales tend to have a larger mix than international Mac sales.

If Munster's projections for Mac sales are accurate, Apple would exceed last quarter, when the company sold 2.94 million Macs in the three months to start 2010. Those Mac sales were achieved without a new product launch.

This quarter, Apple launched new MacBook Pros, equipped with Intel's latest Core i7 and Core i5 processors in the high-end 15- and 17-inch models. Apple also refreshed the 13-inch MacBook Pro with an Nvidia GeForce 320M graphics processor.

Apple is expected to make further improvements to its Mac line very soon, with a leak over the weekend from Vietnam revealing a 13-inch MacBook refresh. The new hardware, which was displayed in its final packaging, included a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, as well as the Nvidia 320M GPU.

There have also been rumors of a MacBook Air upgrade forthcoming. And the Mac Pro desktop is expected to be upgraded by June with a new model sporting Intel's latest Westmere-based hexacore chips, for a total of 12 processing cores.
post #2 of 39
For comparison, there best Mac quarter ever was Q1-2010 for the 2009 Holiday quarter with 3.36M Macs.

http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2010/01/25results.html
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post #3 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

For comparison, there best Mac quarter ever was Q1-2010 for the 2009 Holiday quarter with 3.36M Macs.
http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2010/01/25results.html

Makes me wonder - while NPD says that the iPad isn't cannibalizing Mac sales, I suspect that it's actually INCREASING Mac sales - more visibility in the market and drawing more people into the Apple Stores.
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post #4 of 39
It'll be 3,200,001 Macs if the new Mac Pros have Lightpeak in them.
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post #5 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmcalpin View Post

It'll be 3,200,001 Macs if the new Mac Pros have Lightpeak in them.

LOL Good luck with that. Is the spec even completed? Is there any HW for it on the market? When was the last time Apple was a the first to adopt a technology they didn't create?
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post #6 of 39
The new MacBook Pro's with their higher screen resolutions and anti-glare screens are especially nice machines.

I think a brand new 15" MBP for my power use and a Ubuntu 10.4 netbook for my light portable use would be a great combination.

Ubuntu 10 is a nice jump in quality over previous versions, it's a secure OS like OS X and it uses Firefox w/plugins, Flash is available as well. The free Open Office is installed and there is even a Ubuntu Music store with 256kps mp3 files from popular music artists for 77 and 99 cents a song, like iTunes.

Apple is passing over the low end market for laptops in favor of the iPad and Ubuntu is just moving right on in.

I don't know whether to thank Apple or complain, guess since I don't own any AAPL I guess I'll be thankful. A Ubuntu netbook would only set me back $300-$400 for my low end use. A Ubuntu laptop would cost around $500-$600, as a MacBook would be $1000 or more and both are just about equal machines.

Windows still sucks as usual.
post #7 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpotOn View Post

I don't know whether to thank Apple or complain, guess since I don't own any AAPL I guess I'll be thankful.

Because if you owned AAPL you'd complain about record sales and a skyrocketing stock price. I think some Museum Glass® may have bonked you in the head.
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post #8 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

LOL Good luck with that. Is the spec even completed? Is there any HW for it on the market? When was the last time Apple was a the first to adopt a technology they didn't create?

It's widely believed that Apple helped create Light Peak. Hardware for it doesn't really matter that much, because it can run the USB or Firewire protocol. Get a LP-to-Firewire cable, and it'll work with my existing external hard drives.

I don't know about the spec, but they recently demoed the hardware in a laptop, so I'm thinking they're getting close.

But no, I don't seriously expect it to be in any June Mac Pros; I'm just daydreaming.
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post #9 of 39
I think Gene needs to sharpen his pencil along with the rest of the Street. If Apple sold 2.603M in 2009 and I get 39% growth then I sell 3.618M not 3.1 to 3.2M The US sales from NPD point to a much better number then Gene will admit because the overseas sales have been better then the US. As far as iPod cannibalization Apple said in the CC they expect -7% YOY and again the world-wide sales are probably better then US but well have to wait and see.
post #10 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Because if owned AAPL you'd complain about record sales and a skyrocketing stock price. I think some Museum Glass® may have bonked you in the head.


I bought Ford at $2 a share instead, hee hee.


http://www.google.com/finance?client=ob&q=NYSE:F
post #11 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by pats View Post

I think Gene needs to sharpen his pencil along with the rest of the Street. If Apple sold 2.603M in 2009 and I get 39% growth then I sell 3.618M not 3.1 to 3.2M The US sales from NPD point to a much better number then Gene will admit because the overseas sales have been better then the US. As far as iPod cannibalization Apple said in the CC they expect -7% YOY and again the world-wide sales are probably better then US but well have to wait and see.

Only problem is with the declining Euro the non-US sales (or profits) will be impacted by exchange rate transfer, or margin. I think I remember that Apple doesn't do any currency hedges for pricing, as I remember equipment being re-priced frequently before the USD started its last tailspin.
post #12 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmcalpin View Post

It's widely believed that Apple helped create Light Peak.

I've seen a Mac Pro used for a demo, but I've seen no evidence that Apple is in any responsible for this tech. You'd think they'd advertise it if they were.

Quote:
Hardware for it doesn't really matter that much, because it can run the USB or Firewire protocol. Get a LP-to-Firewire cable, and it'll work with my existing external hard drives.

HW absolutely matters here and has absolutely no barring on LightPeak being protocol independent.

You need a chip that can handle the LightPeak's data speeds and then you need that chip to have a port and then any cables going from the optical LightPeak to the cooper FW or USB needs to have a convertor. This last one does not exist, will be expensive and will take time for them to get made and for the prices to come down. Just look at the cost of convertors from copper-to-cooper that have existed for years. Your best will be to have a peripheral with a LightPeak port and you can then choose the most efficient protocol, but historically these will be expensive and take awhile to being common.

There is no quick-and-easy solution to LightPeak unless Apple decides to go all in with their other products, which I don't see happening. I think your best bet to hope for USB3.0 as that is cooper, uses the same port interface and is backwards compatible with USB2.0.
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post #13 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpotOn View Post

I bought Ford at $2 a share instead, hee hee.

http://www.google.com/finance?client=ob&q=NYSE:F

Nice play. I bought them in 2009, too. Not as low as you, but I've done well. My only regret is not buying Palm when they first started advertising the Pre in January 2009. I think that went up about 14x in about 5 months.
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post #14 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by pats View Post

I think Gene needs to sharpen his pencil along with the rest of the Street. If Apple sold 2.603M in 2009 and I get 39% growth then I sell 3.618M not 3.1 to 3.2M The US sales from NPD point to a much better number then Gene will admit because the overseas sales have been better then the US.

I agree with pats - the number seems almost ridiculous. If April was up almost 40%, then (assuming relatively even monthly sales) then they would need only 10% YOY for the next 2 months to make 20%. Why would it drop so precipitously? Even at 20% YOY for May + June gives you 27% YOY for the quarter ( 3.3 M). It seems to me that this would be the bottom of the range for a further estimate - still showing only 1/2 the YOY increase as April.

Of course this is only USA sales and I guess he cannot believe that international sales will keep up. Still...
post #15 of 39
.

This "tracking data" stuff is always interesting

But may only be telling 1/2 the Story

If that much

.

Last Monday on Late Night - Letterman announced

Switching to Mac

.

Audience instantly gave him Applause and Ovation

They may have been Standing, don't know, but sounded like it

Was a tremendous show of approval

Dave sure had to rise - then acknowledge - before they finally stopped

.

THAT is some serious "tracking data"





.



Link to full show

http://www.cbs.com/late_night/late_s...ault&play=true

Is about 10 minutes in when sits at desk, following 1st commercial

.
post #16 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

Only problem is with the declining Euro the non-US sales (or profits) will be impacted by exchange rate transfer, or margin. I think I remember that Apple doesn't do any currency hedges for pricing, as I remember equipment being re-priced frequently before the USD started its last tailspin.

Apple hedges currency . From the 10Q

Quote:
Derivative Financial Instruments
The Company uses derivatives to partially offset its business exposure to foreign currency exchange risk. The Company may enter into foreign currency forward and option contracts to offset some of the foreign exchange risk of expected future cash flows on certain forecasted revenue and cost of sales, of net investments in certain foreign subsidiaries, and on certain existing assets and liabilities. To help protect gross margins from fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates, certain of the Companys subsidiaries whose functional currency is the U.S. dollar, hedge a portion of forecasted foreign currency revenue. The Companys subsidiaries whose functional currency is not the U.S. dollar and who sell in local currencies, may hedge a portion of forecasted inventory purchases not denominated in the subsidiaries functional currencies. The Company typically hedges portions of its forecasted foreign currency exposure associated with revenue and inventory purchases for three to six months. To help protect the net investment in a foreign operation from adverse changes in foreign currency exchange rates, the Company may enter into foreign currency forward and option contracts to offset the changes in the carrying amounts of these investments due to fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates. The Company may also enter into foreign currency forward and option contracts to partially offset the foreign currency exchange gains and losses generated by the re-measurement of certain assets and liabilities denominated in non-functional currencies. However, the Company may choose not to hedge certain foreign currency exchange exposures for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to immateriality, accounting considerations and the prohibitive economic cost of hedging particular exposures. There can be no assurance the hedges will offset more than a portion of the financial impact resulting from movements in foreign currency exchange rates.
post #17 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Nice play. I bought them in 2009, too. Not as low as you, but I've done well. My only regret is not buying Palm when they first started advertising the Pre in January 2009. I think that went up about 14x in about 5 months.

I couldn't believe so many investors would fall for Rubenstein's johnny come lately clone that I didn't bother with it.

I correctly predicted that Palm was being polished for sale, just didn't know who would buy it or why.

Rubenstein knew of course and played HP well.
post #18 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpotOn View Post

I couldn't believe so many investors would fall for Rubenstein's johnny come lately clone that I didn't bother with it.

I correctly predicted that Palm was being polished for sale, just didn't know who would buy it or why.

Rubenstein knew of course and played HP well.

I know Palm was gonna sink, but I figured there was time to turn a nice profit before the Pre was launched. Oddly, I forgot to actually invest. Ç'est la vie.

I think HP is well managed so if anyone can pull WebOS into a viable tablet device I think they can.

Some new evidence into the bidding war cropped up with weekend.
http://www.engadget.com/2010/05/16/h...-bidding-war/4
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post #19 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I think HP is well managed so if anyone can pull WebOS into a viable tablet device I think they can.

I agree. Especially b/c by now, they have an iPad to copy!

Not being critical....the first Toyota Camry was probably bought by GM for their engineers to do a 'tear-down' and a little bit of reverse engineering!

It's easier to copy than create something from a blank sheet of paper...talking about the iPad here. Not that Apple got the mouse/UI idea from Xerox!

Best
post #20 of 39
Just bought a MBP i5 in April. Bought an iMac i7 in March.
post #21 of 39
I find it mildly annoying that articles about sales continue to use terms such as "June quarter", which is in common use mostly in Europe and Australia. I think many of us here would be scratching our heads, thinking does this mean begins in June or ends in June?

Here in the US, it is always first quarter, second quarter, etc.

I guess Gene must work in the London office?
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post #22 of 39
It's always higher than what they say, at least the last 4 quarters that I've been watching. I'll say they've sold 3.4 million. Any other wagers?
post #23 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by pats View Post

I think Gene needs to sharpen his pencil along with the rest of the Street. If Apple sold 2.603M in 2009 and I get 39% growth then I sell 3.618M not 3.1 to 3.2M The US sales from NPD point to a much better number then Gene will admit because the overseas sales have been better then the US. As far as iPod cannibalization Apple said in the CC they expect -7% YOY and again the world-wide sales are probably better then US but well have to wait and see.

I think Gene is taking into account the refresh in April; that extra boost will start to wear off in May and June.

In any case, I think he's underestimating. Analysts usually underestimate because the "credibility penalty" for underestimating is less than for overestimating.
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post #24 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by justflybob View Post

I find it mildly annoying that articles about sales continue to use terms such as "June quarter", which is in common use mostly in Europe and Australia. I think many of us here would be scratching our heads, thinking does this mean begins in June or ends in June?

Here in the US, it is always first quarter, second quarter, etc.

I guess Gene must work in the London office?

I think Gene uses June quarter because Apple's 3rd quarter is the June quarter, but it's the 2nd quarter by calendar year.
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post #25 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I know Palm was gonna sink, but I figured there was time to turn a nice profit before the Pre was launched. Oddly, I forgot to actually invest. Ç'est la vie.

I think HP is well managed so if anyone can pull WebOS into a viable tablet device I think they can.

Some new evidence into the bidding war cropped up with weekend.
http://www.engadget.com/2010/05/16/h...-bidding-war/4



The 800lb gorilla hasn't left the room.

If I was Microsoft I would leverage my huge existing third party software base and 90% market share to work with a Win 7 tablet UI, thereby eventually shutting HP out and forcing them to adopt if they want to sell hardware.

Two's a company, three's a crowd. Developers have their fill of Apple's idiosyncrasies enough as it is without dealing with the likes of Google, Canonical and HP with theirs, for what? A mere tiny percentage of market share?

At least Apple delivers the high end on a platter so the return is worthy of the investment.

HP will succeed only if Microsoft fails to act.
post #26 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpotOn View Post

The 800lb gorilla hasn't left the room.

If I was Microsoft I would leverage my huge existing third party software base and 90% market share to work with a Win 7 tablet UI, thereby eventually shutting HP out and forcing them to adopt if they want to sell hardware.

Two's a company, three's a crowd. Developers have their fill of Apple's idiosyncrasies enough as it is without dealing with the likes of Google, Canonical and HP with theirs, for what? A mere tiny percentage of market share?

At least Apple delivers the high end on a platter so the return is worthy of the investment.

HP will succeed only if Microsoft fails to act.

I think you're right. Apple will clearly do well having kick-started the tablet market, but M$ will sadly come in with a crappy product that they sell cheap and force PC vendors to use and they will gain a lot of market share.
post #27 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpotOn View Post

The 800lb gorilla hasn't left the room.

If I was Microsoft I would leverage my huge existing third party software base and 90% market share to work with a Win 7 tablet UI, thereby eventually shutting HP out and forcing them to adopt if they want to sell hardware.

Two's a company, three's a crowd. Developers have their fill of Apple's idiosyncrasies enough as it is without dealing with the likes of Google, Canonical and HP with theirs, for what? A mere tiny percentage of market share?

At least Apple delivers the high end on a platter so the return is worthy of the investment.

HP will succeed only if Microsoft fails to act.

MS has little if any software for a true multi-touch interface like Apple and I am assuming an HP tablet based on Palm OS would have. How can MS leverage what they don't have and Win 7 mobile won't cut it {I'll bet.

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post #28 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Realistic View Post

MS has little if any software for a true multi-touch interface like Apple and I am assuming an HP tablet based on Palm OS would have. How can MS leverage what they don't have and Win 7 mobile won't cut it {I'll bet.

Unfortunately, Win 2, Win 3.1, Win 95, Win Me, Win XP didn't cut it either, but still sold in bucketloads.

I hope I'm wrong, but M$'s track record of pedalling crap is impressive, and they may do the same with tablets.

Interested to see a Palm OS tablet though. The Palm phones I've seen have some pretty neat features.
post #29 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

Unfortunately, Win 2, Win 3.1, Win 95, Win Me, Win XP didn't cut it either, but still sold in bucketloads.

I hope I'm wrong, but M$'s track record of pedalling crap is impressive, and they may do the same with tablets.

Interested to see a Palm OS tablet though. The Palm phones I've seen have some pretty neat features.

The situation is different with tablets.

First, Windows computers have historically sold well because they're cheaper than the alternatives. That doesn't appear to be the case with tablets (at least, based on proposed selling prices).

Second, Windows computers sold well because of network effects - 'EVERYONE' had Windows, so that's what new buyers purchased. They've lost that advantage, as well.

The best chance for Windows is if they convince customers that it's just another PC and needs to work the way the PC they already have works. However, that negates the advantages of tablets and condemns users to a 'full windows on a touch screen' hell. I wouldn't say it's impossible, but it will be a very difficult sell for Microsoft to dominate tablets like they do PCs.

HP/Palm might have a better chance - but only if they do a lot of things right -- and very quickly. Neither HP nor Palm has a history of moving quickly, so they'd better make some cultural changes fast.
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post #30 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpotOn View Post

I bought Ford at $2 a share instead, hee hee.


http://www.google.com/finance?client=ob&q=NYSE:F

i got mac at split price 7.55$

gm looks sick at under $10 a share
>>>>>
oddly since macs last so long record sales may not be so easy
still i see a 6 mill qt coming for apple

and if you add up all the devices that apple sells per qter
pods touchs pads phones and macs .. it must be over 7 mill a 1/4
or even more
boogles the mind
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post #31 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

The situation is different with tablets.

First, Windows computers have historically sold well because they're cheaper than the alternatives. That doesn't appear to be the case with tablets (at least, based on proposed selling prices).

Second, Windows computers sold well because of network effects - 'EVERYONE' had Windows, so that's what new buyers purchased. They've lost that advantage, as well.

The best chance for Windows is if they convince customers that it's just another PC and needs to work the way the PC they already have works. However, that negates the advantages of tablets and condemns users to a 'full windows on a touch screen' hell. I wouldn't say it's impossible, but it will be a very difficult sell for Microsoft to dominate tablets like they do PCs.

HP/Palm might have a better chance - but only if they do a lot of things right -- and very quickly. Neither HP nor Palm has a history of moving quickly, so they'd better make some cultural changes fast.

Ture enough.

I wonder what effect Microsoft Office might have on this. If a decent version of Office becomes available on a Windows tablet (whatever that may be), that could have enormous clout, especially in the corporate market.
post #32 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

Ture enough.

I wonder what effect Microsoft Office might have on this. If a decent version of Office becomes available on a Windows tablet (whatever that may be), that could have enormous clout, especially in the corporate market.

Do you think that there's ANY chance Microsoft would release a version of Office slim enough to work on a reasonable tablet? Their idea of 'better' is limited to adding 500 new features.

Just maybe a version of Works that would read and write Office files, but even that is a stretch. If the tablet makers go with something like WebOS rather than Windows, it's even less likely.
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post #33 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

LOL Good luck with that. Is the spec even completed? Is there any HW for it on the market? When was the last time Apple was a the first to adopt a technology they didn't create?

Probably USB, you know, that completely-ubiquitous-external-bus-thingie Intel invented.
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post #34 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiro View Post

Probably USB, you know, that completely-ubiquitous-external-bus-thingie Intel invented.

Dell certainly used USB before Apple, as well DisplayPort. Apple gets the notoriety because tend to go all-in when they adopt a standard.
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post #35 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Dell certainly used USB before Apple, as well DisplayPort. Apple gets the notoriety because tend to go all-in when they adopt a standard.

I'm not so sure about that, although I'm not going to argue the point date-wise. it is possible Dell put a USB port in it's computers before Apple did, but Dell didn't ship it's own peripherals as USB until the early 2000's, at least 4 years after Apple did a never look back move everything off ADB onto USB. Apple killed the floppy as a internal peripheral at the same time. One fell swoop in the original iMac and all the machines that then shipped after that. That's also quite likely because Intel specced the motherboards, and put the USB in there -- not because Dell would have asked for it.

I also remember at the time that Apple was roundly criticized as being loony for pressing for USB across the line in peripherals, hardly the kind of reception a late to the party player would get.
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post #36 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiro View Post

I also remember at the time that Apple was roundly criticized as being loony for pressing for USB across the line in peripherals, hardly the kind of reception a late to the party player would get.

There is a major difference in the way the two companies operate. When Dell adds support they aren't dropping support for the previous tech to do so. When Apple adds something they like to drop the previous tech cold, just like they did with the floppy drive. That is where Apple was seen as being "loony" and why they tend to get credit for these milestones even though they aren't the first to do it. I'm sure if you research it you can find PC companies that were shipping PCs without floppy drives before Apple was.
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post #37 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

There is a major difference in the way the two companies operate. When Dell adds support they aren't dropping support for the previous tech to do so. When Apple adds something they like to drop the previous tech cold, just like they did with the floppy drive. That is where Apple was seen as being "loony" and why they tend to get credit for these milestones even though they aren't the first to do it. I'm sure if you research it you can find PC companies that were shipping PCs without floppy drives before Apple was.

I'll call you on that last sentence. I don't believe that's the case at all with the reasonable exception of purpose-built limited I/O models (things like kiosks).
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post #38 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiro View Post

I'll call you on that last sentence. I don't believe that's the case at all with the reasonable exception of purpose-built limited I/O models (things like kiosks).

I wouldn't call any kiosk a personal computer so I'm going to argue the semantics of a "PC" OS being used in other capacities.

I do have the Commodore CDTV as Exhibit A which was a redesign of the Amiga 500. In your defense it was intended more as a "media appliance" than a "personal computer". In my defense, it was very much in line with PC capabilities at the time since it was 7 years before Apple dropped the floppy drive I have to think that some OEM had a PC without a floppy drive for sale. Granted, this is much easier to do with Amiga and Mac OS than it was on Windows, but I still don't think Apple was the first to actually do it, just the first to go all in with the move.

PS: Apparently HP didn't completely drop the floppy drive until last year and Sony is finally stopping production of the floppy disc this year. WTH!
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #39 of 39
The Amiga didn't drop the floppy drive. You had to buy it as an external. There never was an attempt to make floppies internal in that mostly console-type machine. Trying to call that box a bellweather in dropping the floppy drive is like saying a diesel engine shows that gasoline engines are on the way out. It makes no sense at all.

If I want back just a little farther could we say the good old C64 was a shipping computer with no floppy drive built in? Did that beat Apple by 12 years in showing how we could live without a floppy drive? How about the TRS-80 with no built in drive? And my Coleco Vision didn't have a drive either! Those makes no sense at all in the context of floppy EOL either.

All PC class computers had floppy drives in 1997. It was how you booted them in a pinch. That was even the main argument against Apple. How could they expect us to boot off a CD! We couldn't write any emergency boot info to it! And non-industrial CD burners were still three years off yet so that wasn't even the beginning of an option.
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