'The "Wow" Starts Now' for Apple Inc.
Timing Product Releases, Retail Strength Key to Growth

by Joe Leo, Columnist

FEATURE: 10.30.07-- Today would have been the perfect day to release Mac OS X Leopard, the fifth iteration of the world's most advanced--and now even more advanced--operating system. It's the 30th day of the month (first 30 years were just the beginning), the tenth month of the year (Mac OS X), and it's 2007 (welcome). In just this year alone, Apple has outdone itself tenfold. "The 'Wow' Starts Now" and Microsoft isn't part of this picture.

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If "The First 30 Years Were Just the Beginning," then the last ten months must have been a blur in the space time continuum (immeasurable in normal time standards), with so many advances from the Cupertino, CA-based company coming out since the day they announced that "Welcome to 2007" ad campaign. One can only wonder what the next 30 years holds, in store.

January saw the announcement of the iPhone at Macworld Expo 2007, June saw its release, then came the new iMacs in August, and in September the debut of the new iPod models in quite possibly Apple's best line-up yet. (Wake me up when September ends!). Last Friday's release of Mac OS X version 10.5 was yet another big event and does it stop there?

It's just the beginning! This whole year has been like a bad worm virus infecting a Windows-based PC. Once it started, the whole process spun out of control. Except in Apple's case, it's not bad--it's still infecting the Windows world--and so far, they've got everything in control.

With the Holiday season fast approaching, there will be no end in sight. "The 'Wow' Starts Now" and unfortunately, the company that coined that term isn't the one reaping the benefits of that phrase. It's Apple Inc., and Friday's release of Mac OS X version 10.5 shows the "wow" in action in a way Microsoft's Vista (their answer to Tiger) could never match.

It's always fascinating how many people line up for these Apple events, be it a new iPod, the iPhone, or a newly revamped operating system. In this case, Friday's event was just that. The much anticipated release of the new Mac OS had been building up since January when it was rumored to be possibly released. People have been waiting ten months for this event.

So waiting in line for ten hours, or less than that, was like a nanosecond for them.

But don't these people know that Apple isn't going to sell out of a product? (And if they do, it's only extremely temporary?). How many iPod units have they sold? Every time they ran out, a new shipment was on its way, or being unpackaged in the back for rollout the next day.

Of course, that's comforting coming from a tech columnist who does the same-- lining up at these Apple events. But our excuse is that we're covering the event. (What was the excuse before working for PBCentral.com?). To quote the Genius Bar employee from June's iPhone release day...

"We don't stay open all night to sell out within the first hour." Or something close to that.

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