The End Of The Drought (11/7/99)
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One of the few really dark stains on Apple's otherwise gleaming performance this year was the earnings warning lowering expectations of its fourth-quarter profits due to G4 availability problems-- remember the resulting stock dip? An even bigger stain was the time that Steve Jobs (or financial dude Fred Anderson, depending on which rumors you believe) lost his mind and downgraded the whole line of Power Mac G4s while keeping the prices the same. Worse yet was the PR bloodbath that ensued when Apple announced that all pre-orders for the original, faster G4 systems were being cancelled. It took a week of confusing policy revisions before almost all of the pre-orders were reinstated, and amazingly enough, not a single high-ranking Apple official was lynched in the meantime. (We hear that marketing guy Mitch Mandich had his car egged, but that may have just been a coincidence.)

Now look at those low points in Apple's otherwise stellar recent past. What do they all have in common? That's right-- the G4 chip. Or, more accurately, the lack of G4 chips. Apple's profits in Q4 were lower than originally expected because there weren't enough G4 processors to fulfill demand. Apple's decision to slow down the whole Power Mac line came because faster G4s just weren't available. And the cancellation of all pre-orders-- well, okay, that was just completely and utterly insane, but still, it would never have happened if the "speed dump" hadn't happened either. So what should any self-respecting Apple fan do when confronted with these nasties from Apple's timeline? Simple: Blame Motorola. Go ahead; Apple does.

Anyway, with a little luck, it appears that this particular supply problem may soon be behind us. According to a MacWEEK article, Motorola's director of communication and marketing states that his company is now "run-rated to meet Apple's demand in the fourth [calendar] quarter." Motorola plans to "focus on fulfilling demand" for the superchips, and soon, anyone who wants a Power Mac G4 will be able to buy one in a reasonable time frame. (We hope.) At which point, of course, Apple will have to find someone else to blame when things go terribly, terribly awry. We're betting on either IBM or the British royal family...


 
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The above scene was taken from the 11/7/99 episode:

November 7, 1999: Microsoft's taking a beating in court and on Wall Street; who taught these guys how to bribe, anyway? Meanwhile, Apple scores a big smack in the head for iMac cloners Future Power and Daewoo, and Motorola claims that Apple's G4 drought may soon come to a close...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 1894: How To Grease Palms (11/7/99)   By now, you've obviously heard about Judge Jackson's findings of fact. If you haven't, it's time to wake up and smell the ozone-- from the lawyers that Bill Gates had vaporized when the word came out Friday night...

  • 1895: The Copycat Beatdown (11/7/99)   And the courtroom gods continue to smile upon Apple. We don't know if all the planets were aligned or what, but Friday must have been Happy Legal Jig day in Cupertino. First of all, there's Judge Jackson's momentous antitrust smack-down of Microsoft, which is likely to make it just that much tougher for goons from Redmond to try to kill QuickTime by threatening to fit Mac Office with a custom pair of concrete shoes...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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