The Big Think

December 9, 2003

Lost in Space

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 6:14 pm

Japan’s space agency decided today to abandon its Mars spacecraft (due to arrive this week) because they have used up almost all of its fuel trying to get it back on course. (thanks, Scott).

Have a Coke and a Song

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 11:28 am

Coca-Cola – Coca-Cola! – is getting into the music download business with Am I the only one that thinks this is a dumb idea?
“What do you sell?”
We sell sugar water and, uh, music”

Market Share

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 11:24 am

I’ve long been suspicious of the reported market share of various computer companies. I’ve yet to see a convincing description of how these numbers are obtained as many of them seem to reflect the biases of the reporting company, and I’ve seen a significant difference between companies’ numbers on different reports. Now, it’s not a big deal for there to be a 2% difference from one report to another when the company in question (say, Dell) represents 40% of the industry (or 38% or 42%), but when the company is Apple, it’s far more critical to get it right. In the past 3 years I’ve seen number ranging from 5% to 2% of the market. Which is it? Those numbers represent an error of more than 100%. When it’s a pro-Apple company doing the report (or one that generally likes Apple), the numbers trend toward the high side, when anti-Apple (MS, Dell, etc), the numbers can be very low (I’ve even seen in the 1.x% range). I’ve long believed that the most dangerous thing for the Microsofts and Dells of the computer world is an educated public. If they can spread the fud around and keep people from looking at Macs, they can maintain their stranglehold on the industry. Once people start to put their hands on these machines, though, converts emerge. In this case, familiarity breeds competition.

Well, along comes Macworld magazine (a totally non-biased reporting agency-heh). They recently reported that:

Apple is the favourite brand of 14 per cent of Americans looking to buy a new PC.
Only 5 per cent sited Sony as their favourite brand and another 8 per cent mentioned Compaq. Just ahead of Apple at 19 per cent was Dell. In first and second place were HP with 31 per cent and Gateway with 24 per cent.
The research was carried out by online Market Research firm, InsightExpress . The company surveyed 500 PC-seeking Americans.
The study found that 65 per cent of those surveyed thought that the look-&-feel of the machine is the most important factor to consider when making their decision.
Another 26 per cent think that the brand of a PC is the most important attribute to consider, 17 per cent consider price, and 10 per cent think hard-drive size is important

So maybe the switch campaign is working. Maybe the public is finally getting the message that these machines are powerful, well built, inexpensive, long-lasting, and compatible alternatives to the clunky WinTel crowd.

Think Different.

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