June 4th 2002
By Mike Flaminio
"We really don't think of Apple as a competitor," Leo Suarez, vice president of product marketing in IBM's personal computer division, quoted in Elizabeth Millard's Newsfactor story.
"The question I would ask is, if you're a multinational company and you want to support offices in 27 different countries, how are you going to do that with Apple? You can't," Suarez says.
Thw question we would ask Suarez is "why not?" In the Newsfactor story, no supporting evidence is provided by Suarez for his claim.
We can draw an analogy here: in the 1980s, Rolls-Royce used to say they didn't consider Mercedes, BMW and Jaguar as competitors.
Rolls-Royce is now owned by Volkswagen. Get the photo?
With OS X, it is increasingly difficult for Windows mavens to argue, with any degree of credibility, that it is difficult to connect Macs to Windows or Unix networks. In addition, as is well known, both Macs and Mac users generally require much less technical support from sys admins than Windows machines.
Of course, Suarez would say that, wouldn't he? After all, he's paid to.
As the Newsfactor article notes, Sony's FireWire-equippedVaio can't compete with the iBook on weight, and the 3.6lb Dell Latitude costs a cool $1K more than the icy iBook.
At the high end, IBM'sThinkPad A30p competes with the TiBook 800 (yes, competes. Sorry Leo, but it's true). The (S)ThinkPad sports a 1.2GHz Mobile PIII, vs. the PowerBook's 800MHz G4. A speed advantage, yes. But not a particularly wide gap in day-to-day use (Office, for example).
Than there's battery life and the flexibility of Apple's DVI adapter. Try getting any decent mileage out of that power-soaking P3 while it's hooked up to a big external monitor.
Not to mention the slot-loading Combo drive, L3 cache, 1GB RAM capacity and motherboard FireWire.
Tell us, Leo: how do you keep up that vast supply of batteries in 27 countries if you're a multinational company?
The fact is that PC notebooks rarely innovate; they're borng me-too designs, heavy on plastics, and light on features.
Take a stroll down to the Dell Store if you don't believe me, and spec up a cheap base notebook to PowerBook G4 equipment levels. You may be surprised.