NEWS.COM readers were surprised when Apple Computer (AAPL) ditched CEO Gil Amelio and most of the board of directors this summer. They were skeptical when Apple took a $150 million cash investment from Microsoft. And they were mad as hell when Apple bought out clone maker Power Computing this month.
But they still like their Macintosh. And they're going to keep buying it.
In an informal survey, NEWS.COM asked readers this question: "If you now use a Macintosh, is it the last one you'll ever buy?" Fifty-eight percent of those who replied answered no, despite concerns about Apple's long-term viability.
Those who will stick with Macintosh expressed unwavering support for what they think is a superior operating system, regardless of who runs the company.
"This is a sad time for Apple, but putting aside their troubles, the Macintosh is still a great platform for artists and developers alike. I can no longer respect Apple, nor can I respect Steven Jobs, but I will stick with the Mac," Christopher Winn said.
Some Mac users are pragmatic about the company and its products. "My Mac has not stopped working because of the licensing problems. Sure, I'm concerned about the future of the computer and the company, but that's no reason to go running around like a chicken with its head cut off," one reader named Seth wrote.
While expressing their loyalty to the Mac, many readers also criticized the NEWS.COM Poll for asking a confusing question. They said it elicited a "no" response from them while the headline above it--"Is there a Mac in your future?"--would have drawn a "yes."
"I would rather you asked, 'Will you buy another Mac?' This is more straightforward, and there is no ambiguity to the question," wrote Brent Bossom. "I don't believe this is intentional, but it is little things like this that can skew the results badly. And Mac people don't need any more bad results right now."
Responses from the 42 percent of Mac owners who said they are abandoning the Apple platform were disillusioned and bitter about the turns the company has taken in recent months. Most of them blame Apple cofounder Steve Jobs personally for his role in eliminating Power Computing from the Mac cloning market.
"I have lost all faith in Apple. I do not trust them to look out for their customers, nor do I trust them to do what it takes to remain a viable platform. If they are willing to screw their partners and their partners' customers like this, then there is no telling what they might do next," reader Randall Weber wrote.
It takes a lot to make a Mac enthusiast shift loyalties, but some are swallowing hard and making the move.
"[I] love the computers and I believed in the company, but the treatment Apple is delivering its followers, loyal or not, cannot and should not be tolerated," Doug Busk wrote. " At least I can depend on IBM to treat its customers fairly and consistently."
For more reader comments, see the next page. Following is a sample of reader responses to the NEWS.COM Poll.
I will never, ever abandon the Mac
It is not the last Mac for me. In fact, I just bought another one two weeks ago. This decision was aided by my experiences at work with Windows 95 on Intel motheroard PC clones. I am really tired of 95 crashes destroying system files. I have had to reload 95 from scratch more than 20 times in a two-week period.
I definitely would buy another Mac. The politics within the company have little to do with my decision. I'd buy another Mac because it lets me do what I need it to do.
Why would I want to give up on the Mac? Apple might be a bit of a mess at the moment, but the platform remains--for my kind of uses--far and away superior.
Mac is not dead--far from it. The Media is killing the Mac as much as the Paparazzi killed Princess Diana.
While I do not agree with some of the things Apple has done lately, there is not another viable alternative to the Mac OS. I use Windows 95 at work,and every day it reminds me why I have a Mac at home. I will continue to buy Apple products for the simple reason that they work, and they work well.
I feel safer using my Mac.
I currently use Windows, Mac, and UNIX in my work. When I get home, where my time and my stress level is important, I prefer to use a Mac!
I would buy a new Mac because I despise Microsoft.
Of course I'll buy another Mac. Every one I've owned has treated me
right--which is more than I can say than the PCs I've owned. Windows is
just a huge lump of beta software. I've bought Macs and PCs, but I think
I've probably bought my last Windows PC-- it's just a money pit.
Never say never:
I'm not abandoning Apple, well, unless Microsoft comes out with a better OS. I'm just tired of using Apple hardware, dealing with their lemons, their corporate infighting and wishy-washy strategy. Frankly, if they don't know it already, they've pissed old users like me off to the point that I just don't care.
I'm tired of Apple making margin at the expense of my time. That's really
what it comes down to. Wanna buy a used Mac?
If I'm going to keep up on the latest and greatest I won't see it on a Mac
now. You used to see things trickle to the Mac after a while. That isn't
happening nearly as
Thanks to Steve Jobs, I'm not buying any sort of Mac, and we are probably
going to transition away from Macs for everything except our main graphics
workstation at the office.
Macintosh keeps shooting itself in the foot, and frankly I can't afford to
keep taking a risk with a corporation which is not taking a decisive and
positive approach toward its own growth. I think they have shot themselves
in the foot, and we will no longer
continue to invest in Mac technologies.
I've had it, this is the last straw. Apple will stick it to its customers
and developers anytime they can.
Love the computers and I believed in the company, but the treatment Apple
is delivering its followers, loyal or not, cannot and should not be
tolerated. Their anticompetitive decision to acquire Power Computing makes
even the harshest monopolistic critiques of Microsoft seem lightweight in
I resent Apple's decision that restricts my choices of computer hardware.
Apple has betrayed too many faithful Mac users with this strategy. Now I
understand who was on that famous screen in Apple's
Superbowl commercial--a composition of Apple's present board of directors.
Since Apple is busy porting its new system Rhapsody for Intel based
computers, why bother with another Mac? How can I trust a company where its
"leader" sold out all its stocks
of the company but one share?
The Mac is dead and Windows won. Even the egomaniac Steve Jobs said so
himself. Why should I or anyone shell out the kind of prices Apple has
asked in the past, and now without competition, is likely to ask in the
future? Why should I buy a computer from a company that doesn't give a damn
about its customers or its loyal users? What has Apple done for me?
Nothing. So why should I be loyal to them?