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Comment on "Apple is About the Mac"
by Blain — Jan 28
And their stock price fell nearly 9% the day after that.
I call this the ATAT effect, after the late great website. Heck, their front page still has such an example: Great News! Stock Tanks! (10/12/05).

Apple's always had a bizzaro-world relationship with the stock market on specific days. The logical explanation would be that many people quickly buy the stock before the announcement, and after Apple performs well, they sell off their tidy profit, plunging the price.

My own theory, however, is that the stock market doesn't like that Apple kept consistently outdoing analysts' expectations. "Not a team player," they said. "Make us look bad," they said, "Comparing us to a PC in your ads." True, the Mac and PC ads are a recent thing, but still. It's the moral of the thing.

As for the "Scrap the Apple and give back money to the shareholders," recall that was said in '97. Before the Mac Mini. Before the iPod. Before OS X. Before the iBook. Before the iMac. PC manufacturers, as a rule, don't know how to really turn the game around in new ways. They only know how to cut corners, reduce expenses, and merger with other companies.

That's Dell's claim to fame: Not the computers, but a business and manufacturing process. But after that's honed, all they can do is play catch-up to more cutting edge companies, or hope to change their DNA through mergers.

Give a 1997 era Apple to a Michael Dell, and the only thing he would know what to do is sell it off before it completely crashes. This is why PC companies don't last long; after they've perfected the production line, they've nowhere to go when everyone has copied that. Dell hit that ceiling in 2000, and they're still slipping.

* I suppose one could argue two counter-examples. Amiga made their own widget fully, and they never survived. Not only that, but Apple hasn't made it through unscathed; they did need the merger with NeXT.
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