PBS | I, Cringely . June 9, 2005 - Going for Broke Question 4: Why announce this chip swap a year before it will even begin for customers?
This is the biggest question of all, suggesting Steve Jobs has completely forgotten about Adam Osborne. For those who don’t remember him, Osborne was the charismatic founder of Osborne Computer, makers of the world’s first luggable computer, the Osborne 1. The company failed in spectacular fashion when Adam pre-announced his next model, the Osborne Executive, several months before it would actually ship. People who would have bought Osborne 1s decided to wait for the Executive, which cost only $200 more and was twice the computer. Osborne sales crashed and the company folded. So why would Steve Jobs – who knew Adam Osborne and even shared a hot tub with him (Steve’s longtime girlfriend back in the day worked as an engineer for Osborne) – pre-announce this chip change that undercuts not only his present product line but most of the machines he’ll be introducing in the next 12 to 18 months?
Is the guy really going to stand up at some future MacWorld and tout a new Mac as being the world’s most advanced obsolete computer?
This announcement has to cost Apple billions in lost sales as customers inevitably decide to wait for Intel boxes.