Bad example: The 1990s wasn’t Apple’s best decade

You can criticize Apple. Just use better examples.


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Some people think the Macalope won’t stand for any criticism of Apple, but that’s not true. He just hates poorly executed criticism. For example, “Be more like Apple was in the ’90s” probably isn’t a good way to go.

Writing for Zacks and published on Yahoo Finance, Ryan McQueeney claims “This Old Apple Slogan Perfectly Explains What's Wrong With The Company Today.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Philip Speicher and @JonyIveParody.)

Narrator: It does not.

For years, Apple AAPL, led by the late Steve Jobs, was a worldwide innovator and a pioneer in the technology industry.


“All I have now is my cats,” says Apple, petting three particularly shaggy rats.

Check out this early TV spot to see how Apple thought of itself when the Mac was running the show:

McQueeney embeds an ad for what appears to be a Performa 520, a Mac Apple shipped in 1993. Now, if you’re not a scholar of Apple history, you might be excused for not knowing that 1993 was not really a very good year for the company. In fact, it was terrible. If you want to know how bad, 1993 was the year the congealed clump of meat by-products and fillers known as Michael Spindler took over as CEO. So, if you were trying to hit the glory days of Apple, you could not have missed the mark by a wider margin.

Unfortunately, the days of Apple’s unbridled dominance are long gone.

As opposed to 1993?! Here’s The Chicago Tribune reporting on John Sculley’s departure from Apple in that year.

Beleaguered Apple Computer Inc. announced Friday the resignation of its chairman, John Sculley…

Sculley, 54, had fallen into disfavor in recent months, however, as Apple became mired in a personal computer industry price war that saw both its profits and its stock price plummet.

In July Apple reported its worst quarterly loss ever, $188 million…

A loss. Not a drop in revenue, a loss. Of course, most pundits seem to be treating Apple’s performance in 2016 like the company did book a loss.

Also, the only “unbridled dominance” Apple ever exerted was in taking the lion’s share of profits from the markets it competed in. It still does that.

In 2016, the company’s annual sales dipped year-over-year for the first time since 2001…

Actually, Apple reported a decline in revenue and profit in the second quarter of 2003.

The ad McQueeney embeds features the slogan “Macintosh, it does more, it costs less, it’s that simple.”

As we know now, “does more” and “costs less” really don’t describe many of Apple’s products.

Yes, the company no longer follows the edict from 24 years ago when it was failing. Sad.

For example, the company was widely criticized for its decision to not include the standard 3.5mm headphone jack on the iPhone 7.

Yes, and surely Samsung will get the same level of treatment for removing the headphone jack from the Galaxy S8 and, nope, that’s not gonna happen, guess everyone’s over it now. Apple apparently still exerts “unbridled dominance” over Samsung’s industrial design.

While professional graphics artists and video editors desperately clamored for a new top of the line machine, Apple delivered a midrange laptop with a top-shelf price tag.

Apple may not have satisfied serious professional users, but when you compare the MacBook Pro to the Surface Book, they’re pretty comparable in terms of price and performance.

While I admit that I am much better at pointing out problems than solving them…

Well, we all are.

If Tim Cook is reading this…

He’s not. He’s not reading this, either.

Schiller might be.

…remember: does more, costs less.


It takes a certain kind of myopia to push Apple to adopt a slogan from when it was legitimately described as “beleaguered”. If they’re looking for a slogan to follow, “does better, costs more” is probably the most descriptive of Apple at its most successful.

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