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January 10, 2007

Macworld: Barbs from Apple

Posted by Mark Watanabe at 2:28 PM

Glenn Fleishman reports today from Macworld:

SAN FRANCISCO -- In today's story on Apple's new moves in the market, I noted a couple of CEO Steve Jobs's jabs at Microsoft -- a new ad, and an offer to help retiring Microsoft exec Jim Allchin buy a Mac.

But there was more, with the highest number of direct and indirect insults of the Redmond giant I've seen from Apple in years. (Michael Dell and his firm were briefly the target of Jobs's jabs a few years ago.)

In the opening part of Jobs's keynote, when he was running through iPod sales numbers, he displayed the word Zune onscreen and talked about how in the only month of reporting that was available to Apple so far, for Zune's introduction month of November
2006, Zune captured 2 percent of the retail market, while Apple had nearly 70 percent with the iPod. Jobs said their internal numbers showed that Apple's market share actually increased in December.

Then he pressed a button on his special slide clicker, and the word Zune burst into flames and disappeared. (Apple software tea-leaf readers noted that the flame effect isn't yet in the company's PowerPoint competitor, appropriately called Keynote, and thought that Jobs would then introduce a new version of Keynote. Not the case, but an interesting deduction.)

Near the end of the address, Jobs brought up numbers of units shipped worldwide in familiar categories, like MP3 players, computers, and cellphones. The first number he showed was for gaming systems, which he pegged at less than 30 million units per year. "Not a very big number," he said, an obvious slight towards the Xbox, which has become quite a success in its market.

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