Recently on the MyMac.com e-mail list Ralph J. Luciani one our terrific writers gave us a great heads up on a whole special report that BusinessWeek.com had posted. Not one to pass up a chance to read about Apple, especially from the business press I anxiously clicked the link Ralph had supplied.
After reading all of the articles, I came away really irked by the whole thing. There were a some glaring mistakes made by a couple of the writers and it made me realize that Apple may never get a fair shake from the business press.
The first mistake I found was in the article by Alex Salkever. In that article he was referring to iPhoto as being a part of the Digital Hub strategy that Apple is following. In it, there was this sentence. “Both iFilm and iTunes were out long before iPhoto.”
Uhhh iFilm?? Does business week know something we don’t know? Maybe BusinessWeek pulled a Time Magazine and let it slip that they were introducing a new piece of hardware? A real live film editor with a digital interface for the Mac! iFilm would be a great interface for digitizing all those ancient 16mm films your parents recorded when you were a kid! How neat! Or had the business/mainstream press done their usual great job of researching Apple? That errant reference to a piece of non-existent software or hardware has since been corrected on BusinessWeek’s website but wow, publications like BusinessWeek have fact checkers, research departments. They couldn’t even get iMovie right?
There was something else in that same article that was completely ridiculous to me. In trying to support his view about how Apple had become a niche company he made the point that Apple’s earnings are tied to successive product launches. “So, if Apple is to move up in the pack, the trick is to sustain early momentum. It succeeded at doing so with the original iMac, but the company also has had some big misses, as with the Newton handheld computer and the G4 Cube, a cube-shaped computer aimed at power users that flopped because of its limited expansion capabilities and high price.”
The NEWTON? That’s just crazy! The Newton came at least three CEO’s before Steve Job’s return. By putting that in the context of the Cube, it would seem to a reader unfamiliar with Apple that the Newton was a recent misstep by Steve Jobs’ since his return. Is this revisionist history or does this reporter have so little to support his point as to have to pull the Newton into the current management’s supposed “big misses.”
Originally, I let the all the above slide. After all, there’s no such thing as bad press. I went on to read the other stories and when I got to the story by Amey Stone, I was furious at a misleading statement that only a bare minimum of research would have eliminated. But since that research didn’t support the writer’s point, well, I digress.
In “Thinking Different about Apple’s Stock,” Amey Stone wrote that Apple’s stock through the crazy market of 2001 had, “traded between 15 and 25, and at $22 on Jan. 18, it’s right where it was three years ago.”
That is so completely misleading that it isn’t even funny. Amey doesn’t seem to remember or bothered to have checked to see that Apple had a stock split in the summer of 2000. Meaning, if adjusted for the stock split, the price of Apple’s stock would be equivalent to 44 dollars! Or depending how you look at it, retained virtually ALL of it’s value through was one of the worst years of the stock market, 2001.
That was just distorting the facts if you ask me, because overall Apple is up nearly 340% in five years. And yes, I did adjust for the stock split. Gee, that doesn’t sound all that bad to me and I’m not even a business whiz.
All the inaccuracies and revisionist history in articles like this just irks me. BusinessWeek is not alone. I notice these types of errors all over the web in the mainstream and business press. It just shows that Apple is one of the most un-researched and misunderstood companies out there. This is just the latest round.
Distortions, revisionist history, and bad research, it all makes me wonder how good any of their advice could possibly be, all this from a company that was pushing Enron as good investment. Well, I think they did. I’ll just have our MyMac research department check on that and I’ll get back to you.