They Do Cell Phones, Too? (1/16/01)

We'll be the first to admit it: we suffer from Apple Tunnel Vision. Many times we have trouble looking at something from any perspective other than that of a Mac user. For example, Motorola must be on top of the world right about now, right? After all, the company finally punched through that 500 MHz ceiling it had been staring up at for a year and a half; come next month, Moto G4 processors running at a pretty darn respectable 733 MHz will be crunching bits at the heart of Apple's top of the line Power Macs. Finally, upward progress on the clock speed front! We figured Motorola must be surging with self-confidence as it sets its sights squarely on Intel's megahertz lead.

That, of course, is where the tunnel vision comes in. One quick dose of perspective later, and we're realizing that, oh yeah, Motorola doesn't just make PowerPC chips-- it also makes cell phones. As a matter of fact, believe it or not, the PowerPC is actually a fairly teensy chunk of the company's business. How weird is that? Anyway, Motorola may not exactly be "beleaguered" yet (at least, not in the grand Cupertino sense), but according to MSNBC, the company is officially "struggling" even as its chip breaches the 500 MHz barrier. As faithful viewer Michael Doughty was quick to point out, Motorola's plant in Harvard, Illinois will cease cranking out cellular phones by the end of June as "part of a long-term, company-wide strategy to improve supply-chain efficiencies, consolidate manufacturing, improve financial performance, and build on company strengths." The subtext, of course, is "we can save an awful lot of money by laying off 2500 workers in a desperate bid to cut costs by any means necessary because Nokia is beating the pants off us in the mobile phone market." (We mention Nokia in particular, since the Finnish outfit overtook Motorola as the number one mobile phone manufacturer back in 1999, probably due in no small part to that kickin' stiletto-action Nokia 8110 showcased in The Matrix.)

Sad, isn't it? Motorola finally gets back into the chip game with a vengeance-- c'mon, 1 GHz can't be that far off now!-- yet the company as a whole is still taking it in the neck because people are buying other companies' cell phones. But even while Motorola is "struggling," we see some positive possibilities arising from this cell phone-induced trauma: at least the company hasn't trimmed its semiconductor business. (Yet.) Hey, maybe if Motorola continues to experience troubles in the mobile phone arena, it'll jettison the business completely and focus entirely on making faster PowerPCs instead. Then it can finally devote the resources it needs to overtaking Intel and AMD. (By the way, in addition to Apple Tunnel Vision, did we mention that we also suffer from Apple Pipe Dream Syndrome?)

SceneLink (2799)
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From the writer/creator of AtAT, a Pandemic Dad Joke taken WAYYYYYY too far


The above scene was taken from the 1/16/01 episode:

January 16, 2001: Motorola slashes 2500 jobs and shuts down a plant-- but the G4 is doing so well! Meanwhile, Sony jumps on the "let's copy the iMac" bandwagon a little late, and why does the PowerBook G4 have Windows keys built in, as documented in an Apple Developer Tech Note?...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 2800: "Who Squeezed The iMac?" (1/16/01)   You know, when a relatively small PC manufacturer like Future Power decides to rip off the iMac's distinctive design, Apple's course is clear: sue 'em 'til they bleed. But when a huge, multinational conglomerate known for its own prowess in the field of industrial design does something similar, we're not at all sure how Apple will react-- especially since the company in question just happens to be Steve's model for Apple's future success...

  • 2801: Even More Like The VAIO (1/16/01)   We at AtAT don't really have the attention spans for honest-to-goodness puzzles that require any real level of concentration; we prefer our puzzles short, Zen-like, and dismissible as soon as we get distracted by a shiny object...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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