Skip to comments.Limbaugh could sell new Mac
Posted on 01/26/2005 5:22:19 PM PST by Vermonter
Limbaugh could sell new Mac
This week, Apple Computer is launching a campaign to sell a new product, the $499 Mac Mini, that portends to transform the world in a way the original Mac didnt. But Republicans will be needed for the campaign to succeed.
To put this in context, you need to read Revolution in the Valley, Andy Hertzfelds new book about the making of the original Mac in the 1980s. Hertzfeld points out that the initial target price for the first Mac was $500. But by the time it was launched in 1984, the price had ballooned to $2,495.
Many of the Macs creators felt betrayed. All initial design goals had centered on Everyman, but instead of a computer that changed the world, the Mac became a niche machine mainly for artisans and limousine liberals who could afford one. The rest of us bought commodity PCs. Fewer than one in 20 computers sold or used today to cruise the Internet is a Mac.
The Mac Mini could rectify this. But will it? Will a low price tag and terrific design alone entice a mass market to buy this new product? Im not so sure. Apples image may still be an impediment to Mac sales.
To research this column, I read lots of discussion boards all across the Internet, and its evident that politics still play a role in computer purchases. Just as there are red states and blue states, there are also Mac Democrats and PC Republicans. These battles were especially nasty after Apple went public with its politics and added Al Gore to its board of directors.
Apples leader, Steve Jobs, seems to have sensed last year that his company was getting too political. He backed off some of his campaigning for John Kerry and cryptically signaled to The Wall Street Journals Walt Mossberg in an interview that he understands the problem.
People have said that I shouldnt get involved politically because probably half our customers are Republicans maybe a little less ... [but] I do point out that there are more Democrats than Mac users so Im going to just stay away from all that political stuff because that was just a personal thing, Jobs said.
There are, in fact, devoted Republican Macintosh users, but that is not the perception. So Apple desperately needs to introduce a replacement image to achieve the original Macs vision. There would be no better way to do this than to add a Republican or two to Apples board of directors. Mac users such as Karl Rove or Arnold Schwarzenegger adviser Mike Murphy would be possibilities, but Rush Limbaugh is the most obvious choice. Rush is an ardent Mac evangelist and knows a thing or two about marketing. Even if Limbaugh is not put on Apples board, the company should market through his daily radio program, paying Rush to tout his favorite computer the same way he builds mattress sales for Select Comfort.
Hertzfelds book says the team that created the original Mac had a spirit of urgency, ambition, passion for excellence, artistic pride, and irreverent humor. That sounds just like Rush Limbaugh to me. I know that if Rush had been a board member in 1984, hed have had the guts to back the famous Big Brother Super Bowl ad that Apples then-timorous board abandoned.
Apple marketers also need to understand that restoration of their brands image in conservative and Republican circles can resonate with various factions of the party. I have already read favorable gun-owner comments about the Mac Mini on the discussion boards of Ted Nugents populist United Sportsmen of America website. James Dobson and his Focus on the Family might be intrigued by a computer that is affordable for young families and not subject to porno pop-up ads. And business Republicans will be impressed by the seamless integration of the Macs OS X operating system with corporate networks.
The Republican Party is a big tent. Apple should come on in.
Tune in tomorrow
Amen! Our household includes 4 very conservative, registered Republicans AND 9 Macs (everything from a Mac Plus to a dual-processor G5!). Steve Jobs needs to learn that Macs & conservatives are not mutually exclusive:^)
I don't think that price ($499) includes a monitor.
Correct. The price doesn't include monitor, keyboard or mouse.
The assumption is that you have one laying around from the PC you are upgrading from
While the sub $500 Mac is a step in the right direction, it is still a Windows dominated world. It is ironic that my son's new Mac comes with the ubiquitous Microsoft Office. If Apple succeeds in better integrating the Microsoft software into its platform it may open new markets particularly at the lower price. However, many of us still have large software investments in our Windows machines and would be reluctant to make the trade if it meant starting over.
Same here, Prairie Pubbie, and our grown children are also conservative Mac users. Even the one who has to use a PC at the office will only use Macs at home.
Since when do PC peripherals work with Mac!
Nope, it doesn't. The idea is that most people already own a perfectly good monitor, because practically everybody has bought some kind of computer at some point in the recent past.
If you don't, you can always just pick up something cheap at Wal-Mart or your local bargain-basement computer parts store.
Know nothing about Macs, but this is pretty cool
It's even cooler when you realize that it's about the same size as a hardback book and almost perfectly silent. No more huge, whirring PC tower.
Since 1997. Any USB peripheral will work on a Mac.
Not sure what Rush is up to anymore. At least he's not running foreign freeware like Linux.
The Mac version of MS Office is reportedly better than the PC version. I can't verify this as I have never used it.
Macs come with most of the software the average user would want, but there are limitations in the area of games and specialized apps. There are workarounds, like Virtual PC, a program now owned by Microsoft.
Macs are very overpriced pieces of equipment with fancy cases and colors and sleek looks that are built with the same equipment that I payed for a $899.00 Dell. Probably a couple thousand less than you would pay for a Mac of similiar quality and speed.
Time to dust off the 'ol Amiga!
Just about any USB or Firewire peripheral will work on a Mac just by plugging it in.
But how can we forgive them for putting up that huge picture of Jimmy Carter on their homepage last year?
I found it after my fifth year as a LAN administrator and it was wonderful.
Here's a review from Amazon:
Steven Levy's classic book explains why the misuse of the word "hackers" to describe computer criminals does a terrible disservice to many important shapers of the digital revolution. Levy follows members of an MIT model railroad club--a group of brilliant budding electrical engineers and computer innovators--from the late 1950s to the mid-1980s. These eccentric characters used the term "hack" to describe a clever way of improving the electronic system that ran their massive railroad. And as they started designing clever ways to improve computer systems, "hack" moved over with them. These maverick characters were often fanatics who did not always restrict themselves to the letter of the law and who devoted themselves to what became known as "The Hacker Ethic." The book traces the history of hackers, from finagling access to clunky computer-card-punching machines to uncovering the inner secrets of what would become the Internet. This story of brilliant, eccentric, flawed, and often funny people devoted to their dream of a better world will appeal to a wide audience.--
Rush has been almost single-handedly responsible for the success of the Select Comfort mattresses, Snapple beverages and the Hotwire travel site, not to mention being the savior of AM radio and the "voice" of conservativism. I'm getting ready to buy a Mac for two reasons: 1) I fooled around on a friend's recently and loved it, everything about it blows Windows away; and 2) I am so sick of all of the ongoing problems with Windows. I think if Rush gets behind the new Mac, it will become huge.
Microsoft has been making and marketing software for the Mac since Microsoft began.
Microsoft Office for the Mac is not a port of the Windows version, as far as I know, even though the programs operate similarly and produce compatible documents.
I use both versions, and for my money, the Mac version- Office 2004 for the Mac- is better looking, and better functioning.
So your comment about Apple succeding better "integrating the Microsoft software into its platform" is uninformed and WAAAAAY off the mark.
Apple offers a machine with far superior software/hardware integration out of the box thatn you are likely to manage with an army of IT types.
Try your sons machine... I think you will find it a revelation. And just wait until he gets the new OSX 10.4 software loaded on it in a couple months....
You'll be drooling.
Rush has been quietly promoting Macs for years. He mentions them because he uses them and likes them.
I agree that Steve Jobs and the Apple board are way too "Blue State" to ever acccept Limbaugh as a spokesman, no matter how much they'd gain from it. It would be a smart move, but being liberal is not a smart move to begin with.
And I won't even begin to tell you how he's helped me with my "problem."
Um, no. A G5 iMac is $1300, for example.
The best idea would be for Apple and Steve Jobs to avoid politics altogether. But for the record, Jobs does favor some conservative concepts, like school vouchers and home schooling.
Rush would have welcomed Apple ads for years but Steve would not buy Limbaugh's show. I always thought Steve was extremely short sighted and let his inane politics get in the way of business. God knows, Gore isn't selling any Macs. If truth be told, Gore does keep a low profile when it comes to Mac
evangelism. Wasn't it the Clintom Justice Department that went after MSFT?
I know Rush was not a supporter of that move either.
Is Algore still on Apple's board of directors?
I am a firm believer in Select Comfort beds!
Well worth the cost.
"James Dobson and his Focus on the Family might be intrigued by a computer that is affordable for young families and not subject to porno pop-up ads."
I already have one and it's not a Mac. Just get a generic PC and add the Firefox browser.
I'm sure Gore's placement on Apple's board was Jobs' way of making sure Gore didn't have to panhandle for lunch money
Commodore 64 anybody? Too bad the apple 2c isnt still around
It needs to grow it's percentage of the market and so ar only ipod had done that.
I think they are more or less doomed.
"I am a firm believer in Select Comfort beds!"
Pardon my asking, but is your bed populated by one or two people? The reason I ask is that I have heard some people complain that there is a rigid foam thing between the two occupants and it is not comfortable to roll over onto. Know anything about that? I don't need competition from any rigid things.
Actually, I one of each somewhere in the garage... How pathetic is that :)
Hey! Computers are supposed to hum and whir and have all sorts of wires and blinking lights... Even a faint smell of ozone...
Call me old-fashioned.
"Since 1997. Any USB peripheral will work on a Mac."
Yep, they give you two ports, one for the keyboard( they don't give you ), and one for the USB port expander you will need to attach anything other then the mouse ( that they don't give you )
... and just try to load the USB drivers from those mini-CD's via the slot drive ...
Want the DVD burner ? - add another $100
With the 1.4 Ghz and 80 Gig drive upgrade, you're up to about $700 ....
Whatever happened to that all-in-one that looked like a table lamp ?
That tunes been playing for about 15 years
The company has been saved by ipod so far, outside of that, it's doomed.
This is true. So you have a choice between a single chamber bed or a dual chamber bad. With a dual chamber bed, each person can choose his/her own Select Comfort settings - but there's the annoying thing in the middle. With single chamber, there's only one setting, but no annoying divider in the middle. I actually exchanged my dual chamber mattress for a single chamber one because of this.
darnright pathetic, where is your amiga and the original compaq computer? lol :)
It seems the advertising world has forgotten what Rush did for Snapple.
I have gone from supporting PCs to lots of little eMacs and five Mac servers. They are all tempermental. Hard to find the fixes for some issues that would never happen in a good PC. After you get the monitor, keyboard, etc for the mini Mac it seems to be expensive. Mac is still perceived as an anything but business machine and that makes it hard to see even the mini taking off. Dell can crush almost anyone.
It's th arrogance of MAC people that offends me. The call me stupid because I have a better, faster machine for half the cost.
Limbaugh could sell the new Mac to conservatives, no problem. The problem would be that liberals would then boycott Apple because Rush was promoting the brand.