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Ideal Adult Laptop - Apple eMate for Kids
Globe Article (run by NYT syndicate).

By:David K. Every
©Copyright 1999

There are a few different articles on this issue including:

This is a good article explaining how cool the eMate is, and that it is a great product. But the author is with the NYT -- they seem to be incapable of being objective. So the whole spin has to be negative.

So the article starts off with comparing the product to a product with the worst reputation in the industry - the Radio Shack TRS-80. Of course there seems to be no relationship between the two -other than the desired negativity.

Rather than pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of the product the author bashes Apple with -

My ideal laptop exists, but for now it's available only for schoolchildren, thanks to the myopic management at Apple Computer Inc.

But Apple has made the product available to parents. And it has been available to teachers, administrators and developers since its release (adults last I checked).

Obviously the reporter has never heard of "ramp-up time", and can't put 2+2 together and conclude that Apple WILL make it available as soon as they can meet demand. If Apple made it publicly available now, and couldn't meet demand, then the author would no doubt crusify Apple for bad forcasting. <sigh>

I borrowed one of these beauties from Apple a couple of weeks ago, and my fellow journalists can hardly keep their hands off it. Robert H. Kondrk, manager of education product marketing for Apple Computer, tells me he gets the same reaction from others in my profession.

Sounds like a positive quote -- but then the next paragraph is -

Apple management is reassessing its current plan to sell the eMate only to parents, teachers and children. ``The fact that the design works for other people is amazing,'' said Kondrk.

What more can I say? A company that once prided itself on making ``computers for the rest of us'' is astonished to find out that ``the rest of us'' really exist.

I thought Parents and teachers are adults?! Since you can order directly and do not have to show proof of having a child in school, I am still trying to figure out why he thinks Apple is preventing him (or any adult) from getting one. They are focusing on one market first, but they are certainly not turning down sales. So where's the beef?!

And if that is not enough the author has to end on a sour note -

Today Apple is bleeding cash and fighting for survival. It won't spend heavily to market the eMate, a product that could never generate enough profits to save the company. If Apple's prospects continue to worsen, it might even abandon the Newton product altogether.

Much as I like the eMate, I can't see investing in one until Apple's prospects improve. I don't need to buy an orphaned computer.

The author makes many mistakes.

  • If the product is as good as he says it is, then Apple shouldn't HAVE to spend lots of money marketing it.
  • Save the company? From what? Apple is not in the trouble that the NYT tries to put it in. Macs are selling more, clones are kicking-in, Apple has the strongest product line in years. I wish I owned a company as doomed as Apple.
  • If the product is good (as is stated), it will not matter what happens to Apple, someone else would pick it up and sell it.So the Newton (and eMates) fates are safe.
  • Why does it matter if it WAS orphaned (which it is not going to be). THIS IS A PDA! It is not meant to be a computer. The whole point is that you just turn it on and use it. It would not matter if nothing else happened on this unit. It works. The whole review was that it is easy to use and just works. That is why the reviewer liked it. So why the concern about "orphaned"? Its like complaining because HP stops making your model of calculator!


I the author liked the product and seriously wants one. But the Author has some personal bias or editorial pressure getting in the way and has to figure a way to slam Apple and put the worst spin possible. Maybe the author is afraid to like the product too much because then it would show him, and his writer friends, that they have been foolish in their past Apple slams -- and nothing dies as hard as pig-headed hate or ignorance motivated bigotry.

Created: 04/28/97
Updated: 11/09/02

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