Saturday, January 06, 2007

2006 - Apple's Highs and Lows

 For Apple's bottom line and set up for the future, 2006 was a pretty good year. Yet, there were some problems as well. Here's a quick summary of my (biased) thoughts.

Good Stuff:
• Getting product line, from iMacs to PowerBooks to MacMinis to PowerMacs, onto Intel chips The speed of the transition has been astonishing, and with Intel providing considerable support throughout the whole ordeal.

• Overhauling iTunes.

• Maintaining the iPod dominance in the music player marketplace, and cementing video downloads on the iTunes store.

• Updating the Nano and Shuffle iPods (though I'm not thrilled with the colors).

• Demonstrating concepts and progress for future offerings like Leopard, and the iTV.

Bad Stuff: 
• Dumping the 'iBook' moniker, and using the dorky 'MacBook' designation to replace 'PowerBook'

• Quality control issues with everything from batteries, to excessive fan noise, to case discolorations in Mac Books. Cheap Chinese labor has a cost, I suppose.

• Not having Intel native Adobe and Micro$oft apps yet available (not Apple's fault).

• Over-pricing the Intel MacMini line.

• Lack of a 12" PowerBook replacement in the Intel line or any lightweight laptop at all competitive with Windoze offerings.

Ugly Stuff:
• Apple's stock option scandal.

• The Mac HiFi and it's horrible introduction venue.

• The excess mass in the MacBrick (errr... MacBook).

• New iTunes interface (yuck!)

• FoxConn labor scandal.

• Greenpeace's classification of Apple as Eco-unfriendly.

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