The State of the Steve Jobs Reality Address

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In Apple's defense, it's a very nice cell phone.

You have to understand. I'm a long standing Apple fan. My big graduation present from high school, back in the mists of time before most of you were born, was an Apple IIc with monitor and printer. One of my first purchases in Seattle was a behemoth Macintosh IIvx that was surplused from Boeing. Later, I upgraded to a Duo 230 with DuoDock (man, I loved that combination). The first major purchase I made when I established myself as middle class was one of the last generations of the Pre-Mac OS X Macintoshes, the Power Macintosh 8600. (A computer still in nominal use today, I would add.) At my day job, I sysadmin for Macintoshes. I've been a part of the purchasing decisions for the school, and had a significant role in close to four million dollars worth of Macintoshes and other Apple products over the past decade.

And MacWorld Expo is one of those wonderful times of year to be a Mac user. We get our Brent Sienna on -- we go all pretentious and excited, and we tell the world about the exciting world we live in that you too can be a part of. And the centerpiece of MacWorld Expo is the Steve Jobs Keynote, where he comes out onto the stage in his sweater, lights gleaming off his receding hairline, and proceeds to redefine reality with the power of a Balseraph and the conviction of a Preacher who sells used cars on the side. It's fun.

And so we came to this year's MacWorld Expo. And this year's Keynote. Coming off of a banner Apple year, no less, with a lot of excitement in the air. There's a new operating system coming out. There's Core Duo 2 computers. There's things, and we're full on ready to grab hold of them. And we were waiting for Brother Steve to come out and show us the promised land.

Well, we have seen the land of milk and honey now. Only I can't say that the milk is healthy for drinking and the honey would trigger my dumping syndrome, and I'm feeling at best some Christmas Let-Down.

It's not that the previewed products are bad. They're not. They're solid pieces of engineering. They're exciting. They're well designed. In short, they're Apple products.

They're just not products... well, for me. Or, for that matter, for most of the Apple faithful.

There was the usual "here's how much better business has been" gloating, and the obligatory Microsoft mocking (including yet another Mac vs. PC commercial -- which continues the odd but moderately delightful casting of the Macintosh as the somewhat staid straight man and the brilliant John Hodgman getting all the laughs as the PC. Frankly, the Mac's a better computer but I'd rather spend time with the PC.) And then we actually got to the new product announcements. The charting of the course for the year.

That course opened with the Apple TV -- a box that looks like a very thin Mac Mini. The device is designed for WiFi or network access, and it allows full on synchronizing with a Macintosh and streaming from up to five others. It then feeds that signal at 720 dpi into a widescreen television, letting you take all the video you suck down from the iTunes store and otherwise get it into iTunes and watch it on... well, your television.

And it looks good. That much is very, very true.

But... it requires component video or HDMI out, and a widescreen television to use. And... it has a 40 gig hard drive, which is smaller than my iPod Video currently has. The iPod Video I can put on a dock and watch on the television I already own, rather than necessitating me buying a new television.

Which doesn't make the Apple TV a bad product. It's not. It's really slick. But it's nothing that'll be in my life any time soon. For three hundred bucks I could get some pretty staggeringly cool video components for my current setup. And if I did get a new HD television, that money would probably go a lot farther towards grabbing a full PVR for it, instead of an interface for the more limited selection of video in my iTunes folder.

(I actually have a ton of video in my iTunes folder, but a plurality of it came from my Tivo, which means it's not high definition in the first place.)

But fine. A cool thing I can't use is still a cool thing, and it was clearly setting the stage for something amazingly cool.

Really.

In Apple's defense, it's a very nice cell phone.

It's called the iPhone, and it's been rumored approximately as long as there has been Apple and Cell Phones. It is a full on next generation Smartphone, which looks as easy to use as Apple products usually are. It has monumental integration with contact information, it's widescreen with a massively cool touchscreen interface -- it's absolutely the next generation of these things, and at four or eight gigabytes of storage--

Um...

Well, it'll replace your Nano, dagnabbit! And it's gorgeous and exciting, just plain working and blowing the socks off of any other phone in the room. Which is good, because it's as expensive as any phone in the room, with a two year commitment. But it deserves to be. Seriously -- this thing is just astounding.

But, it's exclusively on Cingular, and Cingular doesn't work all that well in these here parts, and I'm not going to pay that much money for something that might not work all that well for me. If I were in the big city, I'd think a lot harder about it -- it's that much the sex -- but right now it wouldn't make sense at a fifth the price, and I'm sure it wouldn't work financially for that amount of money.

Even if they worked well in my area, that is a lot of money, and while I have an iPod Video and a cell phone and a PDA, and this wouldn't cost as much as all three of those did... I already have an iPod Video, a cell phone and a PDA, and they're not going to give me my money back for those.

Okay. So there were two cool things -- and an intimation that Google and Apple were getting really cozy together, these days, and an announcement of Paramount coming to the iTunes store, which... um... well, cool, I guess. And then they had a musical number... but it was okay. They hadn't done "One More Thing." There was always "One More Thing" and it would blow everyone's socks off. Maybe it would be Leopard related, or a MacBook Tablet (though the new third party ModBook is poised to come out at least until the cease and desist). Or something.

But there wasn't. There wasn't one more thing. Except an annoucement, that Apple Computers was becoming Apple Incorporated. After all, they sold digital music, and music players, and phones, and consumer electronics. It doesn't make sense to call themselves a computer company any more.

And... that was it. A thing for the television, and a cell phone. No computer announcements. No Leopard update. No software update. No announcement that the Intel Adobe Creative Suite was about to come out....

...and here we were. At MacWorld Expo (not AppleWorld Expo), we had a couple of really cool consumer electronics announcements, and a musical number. The tone for the year has been set, and it ain't the Macintosh.

But in Apple's defense, it's a very nice cell phone.

32 Comments

It's not even 3G.

How in God's name do Apple expect to sell these things overseas in 2008? 3G is rapidly becoming the defacto standard over there. Japan has already shut down its 2G network, which means the iPhone won't even work over there. In the land where mobile phones are king and convergence is the present, the iPhone, Apple's ultimate convergence device, won't work.

And someone else owns both the iPhone brand and the Apple trademark! The only reason Apple got away with being called Apple for so long was that it was Apple Computer, as opposed to Apple Records, and Apple Records has proven it's not afraid to sue. Or did that come to a conclusion or something?

In Apple's defence, it's a very nice cell phone.

Apple? Oh, right, the portable music guys. Yeah, those are pretty cool.

Moe

PS: Yes, I'm teasing him. :)

Argh. A cell phone. I am not impressed.

All very good points. Maybe it's just not for you. If I were you, it wouldn't be for me either.

Except, well, my three-year-old black-and-white PDA never gets used anymore because the docking cables don't fit on the same tray table where I keep my laptop, so it never gets synched and/or it never gets charged.... right now it's in its cradle in the dining room and I haven't touched it. It's a pain in the ass to sync because Palm's support is spotty and I dunno, I just gave up on it.

And I *need* a working calendar to keep all my work crap and all my home crap on, so I just dropped $50 for a Dayrunner that doesn't fit in my purse.

I, too, have an iPod - 20gb, almost 3 years old, totally functional (on its original battery) and it's flawless. (Well, internally. I've dropped it many times. It's very scratched.) I don't watch videos, so I don't miss that functionality. And I only own 8 GB of music, so I don't neeed more than that. It's the same size as my Palm (the one I never carry).

And then there's my phone. Having drunk the kool-aid, I also have a ROKR - the first Motorola phone with iTunes. Crappy camera. Never quite syncs right with iCal or my address book and tends to duplicate all my entries. It is AWESOME at playing music through its speakers and it's decent for making calls. The text message interface is pretty good, too. It's slightly smaller than my iPod. Oh, and Cingular's already my provider.

In October, my current 2-year agreement with Cingular expires and I can upgrade the phone. Perfect timing.

So this new phone that would let me give my iPod to my 17-year-old sister and my palm to anyone who'd take it? This thing is totally for me. It take three items out of my purse and replaces them with one. It takes three somewhat-reliable devices and replaces them with native applications I'm already running.

Is it for everyone? Absolutely not. Would it have been better unlocked so everyone who wanted one could buy one? Probably, but it was in Apple's best interests to make sure it worked flawlessly with one provider before trying to be the everyman. Especially when companies like Verizon won't let you sneeze without downloading the proprietary germs from their network. Is it the second coming of the Newton? Almost. Am I spending a metric ton of money in October?

Hells, yeah.

Three years ago, I said that I'd finally break down and get a cell phone when they made one that was also an iPod.

Well, hell.

Not that I'll be buying this anytime soon. It's frickin' $500, and I aready have an iPod, and I still don't really need a cell phone. Plus, it's first-generation; you know the next one's going to have as many gigs as a full iPod and weigh half as much and do your dishes while you're asleep. But a year or two from now, when I finally break down and buy a cell phone, and I'll be wanting a new iPod anyway...yeah.

Incidentally, the Mac in the commercials is Justin Long, a guy I knew in college. I just feel like pointing that out, because it still feels weird when people just refer to him as "the Mac." Which, admittedly, he is.

You know, I remember laughing about this a month ago when the iPhone landed on cNet's Top Ten Apple Rumors.

And now it's happened.

I'm convinced this is just a sign from the heavens that one prediction of mine will come true. No less than once every six months, for the next 25 years, I'm going to have to talk about the Pippin. Again.

It looks like it'd be a nice phone... but how's the reception?

Great. Another Apple product that a lot of people will want, but that I'll probably never have in stock to sell, leading to "Do you have the iPhone?" at least once every hour. Stupid Apple.

It looks like it'd be a nice phone... but how's the reception?

Oh, well, some folks like it, and some folks think the drive's too small, and some folks have ruined keyboards drooling, and some folks....

Oh, wait.

Well, it can't be any WORSE than the phone I had before my current one, which only got two bars in my livingroom. (My current one is much better. I'd be surprised if this one's not at least comparable to the rokr. )

Five years in Asia has made me come to realize the truth that cellphones and cellphone service in North America bite the big one.

So it better be a damned good iPod for that price.

I'll wait until the second or third generation comes out.
It'll take me that long to save my pennies anyway.

1. What exactly do you mean by "3G" or "2G"? And does this have anything to do with the comic series, 3G Apartments?

2. The only time I've ever thought about buying anything related to an iPod was when Nike conspired to bring out the iPod that tells you how many minutes/miles you have until you've finished running. Which I was darn seriously thinking about buying. I think now, considering the circumstances of my future, will either get an 80GB ipod video, or one of those portable satellite radio thingys for such kinds of long trips. Because i've discovered, once I've started a traveling, I tend to travel long distances before realizing, "Oh, yeah. I gotta get back." Actually, I think I'm going with satellite radio.

3. As for the cell phones in general, nasty bad things. I'd like to know if the Japanese version can be used on airplane flights or if such usage could threaten to crash the airplane in the middle of the Rocky Mountains.

miyaa: 3G is Third Generation. It's the term they use here in Europe for the latest generation phone network. It allows for video conferencing and Internet from your mobile phone.
Like Merus said, it's the de facto network in Japan, and on it's way in most of Europe. The iPhone lacking support for that is a bit of a missed chance.
For example in Portugal, there are more people that own mobile phones than there are people that have fixed phones in their house. Although as ADSL is finally roling out here the fixed phone is making a comeback.

I was going to try to explain 3G, but a) Tephlon beat me to it, and b) Wikipedia can probably do a better job at it than I could.

I am an old school hacker at heart, so the last Apple product I was really into was the Apple //e. I always felt more in tune with the vision of the other Steve from Apple. I'm glad that Steve Jobs has been able to turn the company around, but the only Apple product I've ever seriously considered purchasing is the Pro version of QuickTime. Needless to say, I wouldn't have been jumping with glee even if this was a banner year for Mac products.

I guess the thing that puzzles me is: besides the Apple name (and possibly interface), what is supposed to make the the iPhone so special? I've had a Treo 650 for over 2 years that does all that I've seen touted about the iPhone. Sure, the video is a little weak, and I need to use SD cards to bump the memory to comparable levels, and I know some people don't care much for the Palm interface, but the same functionality is there. It's also bulkier than the iPhone, but aside from the newer Treo models there are now a handful of other phones I can think of that include equivalent functionality.

Also, I've always felt the addition of the thumb-keyboard on the Treo was a considerable improvement over other PDAs I've used. While the touch-screen only interface on the iPhone has that "Gee-Whiz" factor, I know from experience that there are lots of times when having a keyboard comes in very handy. This seems like another of those complexity-inducing simplifications (such as the defacto limitation of Mac mice to one button and the removal of the floppy drives on the iMac at a time when floppies were very much still in use) that drive me to wonder just what they are thinking.

People have already mentioned what 3G is, but not what it actually means.

Basically, it's mobile broadband. This in itself is not very exciting (there will be people who will try and convince you that video calling is the next big thing in mobiles, and they are liars) but what it does do is things like streaming video and, well, all of the things broadband offered. Except gaming, but that will happen as well. Most 3G phones are capable of using WWW connections instead of WAP, so being able to go to the New York Times on your cell phone is really nothing special. Having it load up quickly is also nothing special. It's really only special because mobiles in the US are retarded, apparently? That's what I've heard. It certainly raises strong questions about the way the US economy is set up that the phone companies have so little competition.

The iPhone itself isn't the real story, though.

Nah, the real story is that Kurtz got one of the best quips he's had in ages out of it.

"Jesus has come back and he's a phone now."

I swear, I laughed for five minutes.

Plus, in Apple's defense, it is a very nice phone. If it gets 3G (which they've suggested might be added) by the time it comes out here in Australia, I might just buy one.

I don't know why all the fuss about it not having 3G. They've already said that they plan to have 3G support in the future. The in initial release - only in the US, only through Cingular, and with 2G - is just that, the initial release. I'm sure there will be a 3G version available with other providers in other markets, probably within the year. Although they're locked into Cingular in the US until 2009.

It is a very nice cell phone, and I would love to have one. The Apple TV looks fairly cool, too. But as Eric said, it's the Mac Expo, not the Apple Expo, and there wasn't a lot of love for the Mac in evidence.

I really really want one of these right now (my current phone is so broken I have to have it permanently on horribly distorted speaker-phone just to hear anyone and live in a country untouched by the apparent blight that is cingular) but suspect by the year or so it will take to get here has passed I may not feel as passionate.

I keep on looking at that iPhone and thinking, "If I try to make a call on this thing while I'm driving a car, I am going to get into a crash. Whether it will be because I am entranced by the cell phone's GUI or because I will be trying to navigate the interface(where according to the commercials you have to press like four buttons to get to the address book), I don't know.

But Eric, the iPod was the thin end of the wedge for the wide eyed crowd of Mac fandom. It's what they want to be: the new Sony.

They've been moving in this direction for years. How many people mentioned that the mini would make a great PVR? Their badly hidden remarks about Motorola's iTune phone started the iPhone rumours. Hell, the NeXT was trying to be a friendly Unix box.

This is just the curtain falling away, Apple, well certainly Jobs, has been planning this moment for years. The geek-out techie stuff is no longer headline, it's the second or third act on, their fans appreciate it but the rest of the crowd listen with half an ear, laugh at a couple of the one liners and wait for the big act to come on after the break.

Am I the only one happy with Cingular? Maybe it's just because I stick to big cities, and the reception seems to be better in buildings than with other carriers.

I too think this phone is a bit late. I already have my Cingular phone, my portable mp3 player, and my portable video game machine. Why spend another $500 for hardware that duplicates all that?

I like my Cingular phone well enough too. I don't get reception at my house, but that's in a rural area in a valley, nothing gets reception here. I get reception up on the hill.

And it is a very nice cell phone. I may very well get one of the second or third generation ones, once the price comes down, 'cause I'm poor.

Looking at annual unit sales, the total number of Mac users today is at best 120% of the number in 1995, and at worst may be half that number. There has not been three consecutive years of growth in desktop unit sales since 1995.

At the same time, Apple has been treating the Mac as a cash cow. The cost of OS upgrades went from free to $130 per point upgrade. Mac per-unit margins have been going up, as the hardware has been progressively commoditized.

Finally, we saw Apple abandon all efforts to sell to the bulk of the corporate market; it made no desktop or server for less than $2,000 except home consumer models.

And what do we see today? No computer announcements. No Leopard update. No software update. No announcement that the Intel Adobe Creative Suite was about to come out....and the announcement that the company is no longer Apple Computer, but just Apple, Inc.

I have almost exactly the opposite reaction as Eric. Out of the functionality given, I currently own an Ipod Nano (2 GB) and have an old Nextel phone through my company. So something that is an upgrade on my Ipod, a more featured phone, and a PDA seems more attractive than just about any Apple product announcement in the last 5 years. Enough to make me consider seeking out an Apple store in a few months, and picking one up to check it out.

Umm, I can't say the look of it blows me over, or anything though, it doesn't look all that different from other color PDAs to me. I also wonder how dirty that screen will look after it has been used as a touchscreen for a while if it doesn't come with a stylus or something.

32_footsteps - I'm happy with Cingular too.

Steven Ehrbar wrote a lot of things, but I'm not sure why:

There has not been three consecutive years of growth in desktop unit sales since 1995.

Show me a computer manufacturer that's had three consecutive years of growth in desktop units in the consumer segment. (No really, I want to look into their stock.) Consumers overwhelmingly want laptops and media devices.

Even if it wasn't bad enough that you're calling out desktops when Apple currently sells a 3/2 ratio of laptops to desktops, the entire industry dips in 2nd quarter every year, especially in the desktop sector, so I'm not sure who you're comparing them against when implying that their sales figures or sub-par.

At the same time, Apple has been treating the Mac as a cash cow. The cost of OS upgrades went from free to $130 per point upgrade.

Significant redevelopment of the operating system (Full versions) - 7.0, 7.5, 8.0, 8.5, 9.0, all cost $100 each, even back in Apple's heyday. They changed their numbering scheme in OS X and everything's 10.something. 10.0, 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, and 10.4 were all between $125 and $129. At a full version every year to two years, that's going back, ummm, 10 years or so.

I think you're referring to patches, which are still free, but count at 10.x.x now. 10.2.7 to 10.2.8, or 10.4.3 to 10.4.4 are examples. And there's at least 8 of them per full versions (10.0, 10.1, 10.2, etc.) plus software upgrades to all the other apps, and monthy security patches.

No different than Windows, really, except Apple does full OS upgrades more often than once every five years, and at a much lower price per upgrade.

Where were you going with that?

Mac per-unit margins have been going up, as the hardware has been progressively commoditized.

Source?

Finally, we saw Apple abandon all efforts to sell to the bulk of the corporate market; it made no desktop or server for less than $2,000 except home consumer models.

In the business segments where Apple's competing, which are primarily graphics, science, and high-end servers, those are not unreasonable prices. You don't want a sub-$500 RAID array with terabytes of storage to run your business on. Nobody makes one even if you did. Apple's been criticized for not properly marketing their enterprise products, but praised for making enterprise products that could easily compete in the field if they just marked them correctly.

So, uhm, where were you going with that?

And what do we see today? No computer announcements. No Leopard update. No software update. No announcement that the Intel Adobe Creative Suite was about to come out....and the announcement that the company is no longer Apple Computer, but just Apple, Inc.

So is your unspoken point that they're going to fade into the background? What were you trying to say? There seems to be a lot of innuendo that the company's failing somehow, but no hard evidence.

Am I writing too much? Eric, if I'm writing too much, just tell me to hush. Thanks!

Briefly, on the 3G question, I recall that Jobs said that 3G was a planned feature.

As to the phone itself, it's WAY overpriced. Sorry, blow my socks off sexy or not, it's overpriced.

To paraphrase, "You're nano is $199 and your smart phone is $299, hence $499."

I can't wait for the iSuppli people to get their hands on one to strip it down and and figure out how much the stupid thing costs. I'm guessing that the profit margin per unit will be at least $150. I could be wrong, but I doubt that it'll be by much.

Doesn't matter all that much to me. I'm locked in until November 2008 anyway.

Too much writing on Websnark? That can happen?

Show me a computer manufacturer that's had three consecutive years of growth in desktop units in the consumer segment

Did I say anything about the consumer segment? In fact, much of my point is that Apple, which used to try to compete for all PC business, and which with the Apple II founded the PC-on-business-desktop category, has completely abandoned that market, without even making token efforts anymore.

And if you can't think of a single company that in the decade of 1996-2006 managed to have three consecutive years of year-on-year sales growth in number of desktop units, you've had your eyes closed and your hands over your ears in a cave on Mars somewhere.

(This gets worse when you realize Apple has only managed once to pull off three consecutive years of year-on-year Macintosh unit sales growth in that time, and has only once managed to equal its 1995 unit sales. The comparative divergence, mind, explains why Apple is now selling 3:2 laptops to desktops.)

At a full version every year to two years, that's going back, ummm, 10 years or so.

Right. Ten years or so being the timescale I used right above.

Source?

Well, for the commoditization, I just look at the hardware, and see the dropping of NuBus for PCI, SCSI for IDE, ADB for USB, and PowerPC for Intel. Are you going to claim that Apple components are as unique now as they were in 1996?

For the margins, I look at Apple's public filings. They say that iPod/ITMS are a lower-margin business than Macs. They show that Macs haven't been selling in steadily larger numbers. They show that Apple's gross margin percentage has been improving steadily year-after-year, though the takeoff of new low-margin products should reduce that percentage. And they show that Apple doesn't have very much "other business" than Macs and iPod/iTMS. It seems reasonable to assume that any overall increase in percentage margins thus reflects improved margins on Mac units sold.

I am happy to be corrected if better data is available which I have missed.

In the business segments where Apple's competing,

That is, the segments that it has not abandoned over the last ten years, my point being that they abandoned so many segments.

So is your unspoken point that they're going to fade into the background? What were you trying to say? There seems to be a lot of innuendo that the company's failing somehow, but no hard evidence.

Actually, my point is pretty much that they're not Apple Computer anymore. They're a consumer electronics company. They're being funded by a mature, legacy computer business (that has been cut down to its high-profit segments), but that business is not where they're going tomorrow.

And so, it's to be expected that they don't make stuff for that legacy business a priority at the MacWorldExpo, even though the event is named for the legacy business.

Here in NW Arkansas, Cingular is, in my opinion, king. Their coverage is highly superior to what I've seen of other networks among all the hills and valleys of the rural Ozarks.

That said, this may be the phone for me if I can get past my allergies to popular products. ;) Not anytime soon, though. Perhaps when I tire of my RAZR and I get tired of wrestling my Zune into submission. (birthday present, honest!*) Oh, and definitely after they add support for 3G networks and up the storage capacity. If I get a player that expensive, it had better hold my entire music collection (10GB and counting) as well as a few television episodes.

Maybe I'll just wait for iRiver to make their own media player phone.

* Not that I'm ashamed of owning a Zune. It's a beautiful piece of hardware if you can get past the utterly horrible software. Oh, and the pointlessness of music-sharing when no one else actually owns a Zune.

Steven: my apologies - your point was so far down in your original post that I missed it and even when I reread it, it seemed to ramble, instead of the cohesive post that it actually was. Having read your response, the first post makes more sense now.

Plus, I'm the same age (roughly) as Apple, and honestly don't remember a time when they were ever a force in anything other than the consumer and education markets. Ten years is as much of Apple as I've ever seen. So objecting that they've abandoned the business markets made my brain respond, "well, duh, catch up."

I disagree with your intimation that charging for operating system upgrades is part of the "cash cow" makeup of the Mac. Even if they were free 10 years ago, the entire consumer industry was different back then and I think charging for the operating system upgrades is better for the company. And I think that the commoditization of the components is a positive, because it has lowered prices and made upgrades and repairs significantly easier. It also allows those gross margins on the Macs to exist while sales are still growing.

On the other hand, you make some very good points about their abandoning the business market (now that I see where you're coming from) and about the Mac being used as a cash cow. The difference, in my mind anyway, is that the Mac operating system is what's tying it all together and making both the electronics and the computer business successful.

You make a good argument that Apple's not really Apple Computer anymore. But while computers are still computers, electronics are computers too now. The lines are blurring. The phone runs a web browser, which in turn can run web apps for business on someone else's server.

Macworld's a consumer magazine show more than a business show (was it ever business-oriented?) and I can see why Apple would push a major consumer release out. For a show that's computer-oriented I think we all have to wait until the WWDN in the summer.

Anyway, thanks for responding -- hope I didn't sound like too much of a jerk.

Pooga

What makes it materially different from your Treo? Well, it doesn't do as much. The excuse given is that Cingulair is afraid of someone crashing their network if it ran 3rd party applications. Of course they enthusiastically support your phone, you know, the one that is built from the ground up to run 3rd party software.

Here's a decent overview of the stupid crap they are doing with this device (and their products in general.) http://www.boingboing.net/2007/01/14/iphone_the_roach_mot.html

Remember when Apple used to pretend to be the good guys? *shakes head* A couple of weeks ago, Gates told people not to put up with this crap from any company and not to buy music from his own store until they quit being anti-consumer.

It's a handcomp with a comm in it.

I want it. (I also want a belt-pouch for it, and a biosuit, and a starship. I can skip the flying car if I get the starship.)

Maybe the next generation of iComm, though.

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