A Shift in Newton's Law

by Joe Leo, Columnist October 20, 2006


OPINION: (10.20.06)-- When the apple fell on top of Sir Isaac Newton's head, he discovered a new principle that would forever change the world as we knew it-- the existence of gravity. If the famed scientist were alive today, he'd have a hard time explaining how that apple is defying the law of physics and rising back up to the top.

If that same event happened today, Newton would probably have been sitting on the third floor of a fancy science laboratory working on the latest serum to squash a nasty virus. Opening out to a beautiful vista of Silicon Valley, an object would come crashing through the windows beside him and hit him square on the head.

That object would have been the same apple, except thrown from the ground floor up into his lab. (As opposed to the apple that fell on his head from up above in the original story). Of course, you know what that apple stands for in our story... Apple Computer, creators of the Macintosh and iPod.

Heck, for all we know, it was an iPod that came crashing through the window.

This is all symbolic however, and Mac users don't need a refresher course to explain all of this. But with the great news that came out this week in regard to Apple's growing market share and everything else related to it, namely, Microsoft and other competitors, it's beginning to look a lot like "1984" all over again.

We know naysayers will say we're counting our chickens before they've hatched, and that this news means nothing in the grand scheme of things. Okay. "You say tomato, I say eat chicken (crow)." Can you dispute some of the analysts' predictions, reviews, and research that came out this week and last?

On Wednesday, Apple released its fourth quarter earnings and a press release on their website states that, "Apple shipped 1,610,000 Macintosh computers and 8,729,000 iPods during the quarter, representing a 30 percent growth in Macs and 35 percent growth in iPods over the year-ago quarter."

According to an article published in MacNewsWorld yesterday morning, Apple believes that half of all new Mac purchases were made by new customers to the platform buying an Apple computer for the first time, meaning, PC users who used to be tied to the dark world of Windows and are finally seeing the light of day.

Critics and analysts alike continue to attribute this surge/hype to the "halo effect" of the iPod. But come on now. Really. Who in their right mind would say, "Oh, I like my iPod so much that I want to go out and buy a matching Apple computer to complement my lifestyle."

What happened to the argument of how PCs are cheaper, have an endless supply of software, and everyone uses them? (Oh, and yes, they're better for gaming). Give us a break.

There is a bigger root of the matter here, and as previously mentioned, people are finally seeing the light of day. If you take those commonly used arguments thrown in Mac users' faces for ages, it doesn't, uh, compute. Why would people spend more money on a Mac when they can buy a cheaper PC and still enjoy their iPods?

The iPod is not the sole factor here folks, and while we agree that it may, stress on may, have a contribution to that fact, there's a lot more behind the resurgence of the Mac. People are fed up with maintenance of their computers and worrying about viruses, and the unease of use of their computers. Their PCs.

And they're beginning to take it personal and finding ways to deal with it.

While it's not a hidden fact that if this were the other way around, had Apple commanded the market from the get-go and Microsoft had been the little engine that could, we'd be talking about this today in the perspective of fans expressing their love of everything Redmond.

Does that mean it will last forever, and that Macs may eventually become the attention of hackers and virus makers, turning every batch of apples into ones ruined by worms?

Remember, that's NOT the only thing that makes the Mac great. It doesn't get viruses, yet, but it's the innovation and creative thinking that drives the company ahead of the pack (and the wolves trying to play catch up with them). It's what brings Mac users and aficionados coming back for more.

And it's that same thing that's converting those from the other side of the glass and bringing them to Apple's doorstep.


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