The Ads Begin (3/1/98)

If you haven't been living in a cave for the last couple of months, you know that Apple's pulled out of all national retail chains except for CompUSA, which has, unfortunately, been doing a rather halfhearted job of advertising its Apple computers. Those of you who get a Sunday newspaper may have noticed the improvement in CompUSA's color circular this week, however. In today's ad, we're happy to announce that a Mac appears on the front page, under a banner announcing the "grand opening" of their Apple store within a store. That's a big improvement over recent editions, which didn't have any Macs at all (though they occasionally had a page of Mac software).

Unfortunately, that single Mac only takes up maybe a tenth of the front page. Worse yet, it's for a 6500, when the only Mac most average folks know about is the G3 from the snail commercials. And perhaps worst of all, the price of the complete 225 MHz system after CompUSA's rebate is $1799.95, while it appears next to a much larger ad hawking a 200 MHz Pentium MMX system for $1099.99. Way to invite unfavorable comparisons!

Don't lose heart, though; we've heard from multiple sources that the lack of decent Apple advertising is due only to the fact that the circulars are prepared months in advance, and they wanted to be sure that all of the Apple store within a store conversions were going to be done before the ads came out. According to these sources, the serious Mac advertising from CompUSA will emerge in two weeks, to coincide with a big grand opening event. Keep your weekend free; it's been hinted that there may be major deals and giveaways at your local CompUSA. We plan to attend.

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The above scene was taken from the 3/1/98 episode:

March 1, 1998: More tales of Steve Jobs' legendary "difficult personality" shed some light onto Apple's troublesome CEO search. Meanwhile, despite Microsoft's eventual agreement to allow its licensees to ship Windows systems sans IE, no one's actually taking them up on the offer, and CompUSA's Sunday circular shows a baby step in the right direction...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 495: Of Godhood and Madness (3/1/98)   Thanks to MacNN, we happened across a fascinating account of one person's brush with Steve Jobs. The article is titled, appropriately enough, "Nine Minutes with God," and it doesn't paint a terribly flattering portrait of Apple's interim CEO...

  • 496: So Who's Switching? (3/1/98)   While the Redmond Justice case has been quiet lately, we just had to mention the number of Wintel manufacturers that have taken advantage of their new option of shipping Windows 95 without Internet Explorer preinstalled: zero...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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