Where was Apple in 1999?
What drove the sales of Mac Pro's?
There were no Mac Pros in 1999.
OK, semantics. What drove the sale of G3s and G4's? The point is where was Apple as a company in 1999,
and how much does Apple owe to FCP to it's current market position? They paid a lot of money to have a huge Apple logo at the end of LOTR. Who was buying Apple computers in 1999?
By the way, Apple's stock price in late 1999 was in between $65-70. By the beginning of 2000 it was
close to $100.
Avid was a prime mover of high end Mac desktops at the time.
Some people in Avid had lead people to believe they were going to drop Mac support during NAB 1999.
One example article.
I think this motivated Apple's development of FCP to sell their desktops. Apple no longer wanted to risk hardware sales primarily dependent on third party software and I think this has been on of the guiding philosophies in the development of Apple's ecosystem business model.
I believe the big "Avid will go to PC" scare was earlier; see this excerpt from Avid's history:
Strengthening Ties with Microsoft and Intel: 1997-98
In March 1997 it was announced that Intel Corporation would invest $14.75 million in Avid by purchasing a 6.75 percent interest in the company's common stock. Although Avid's customers tended to be loyal Macintosh users, an Intel spokesperson noted that Intel's next-generation Pentium processors would be well suited for high-end video editing work. It was expected that future and current Avid products would be tailored for use on both Intel-based PCs and Macintoshes.
Avid enjoyed a financial comeback in 1997, showing strong first-half revenue and overall revenue of $471.3 million for fiscal 1997, an increase of 9.9 percent. After trimming operating costs, the company returned to profitability with net income of $26.4 million.
In mid-1998 Avid acquired Softimage Inc. from Microsoft Corporation for $285 million in stock and cash to strengthen its television finishing and 3-D product lines. Based in Montreal, Softimage developed high-end software for all areas of professional visual content production, including tools for 3-D and 2-D animation and for creating, editing, and finishing graphics and effects-centric video programs. Softimage had an installed base of more than 21,000 products used by more than 6,000 customers. As a result of the acquisition, Microsoft owned about 9.1 percent of Avid's shares of common stock then outstanding and received warrants to purchase up to 12 percent of Avid's stock over the next three years.
Wasn't really talking about that. How close was Apple to being the most wealthy company in the world
in 1999? How much do they owe to what they are now to Final Cut Pro?
Yeah, I know people make a lot out of straight numbers. They are making their money with the smaller devices etc, and right fully so. But there is that element in which Apple had a major cool factor because of it's tie to the industry.
Again, not saying as a company they aren't doing the right thing. I just feel that FCP really helped add to their "creative types" aura. It's interesting to think about what the perception would have been without FCPs foot in the industry and how much validity it added.
Remember the "Think Different" ad campaign? I think you're on to something.
Film and video is considered a glamour profession (by those that never had a high pressure deadline!), and I think Apple may have shifted from glorifying the iconclast as a way to grow markets.
While the "Pros" may be a small market they certainly have been a big part of the marketing. In fact it was the Pros that helped sell it to the consumers. Students who were aspiring filmmakers bought Macs and FCP because the tools the "Pros" used were within reach. They learned skills so they could get freelance or staff positions in post production all while learning on their own projects with their own gear.
I learned the Avid inside and out and had a job maintaining them. Then my friends were making a feature on film, and had a budge of about $4000 for edit equipment, which was what Avid cost for 1 week rental.
I used FCP because I had no choice, and never really thought it would work, but knew I could push the lists over the AVID for the crucial cutlist if Film Logic didn't prove accurate.
I wanted the tools of the pros, but didn't have the budget. I definitely fall in the aspiring group that used FCP.
[Craig Seeman] "While the "Pros" may be a small market they certainly have been a big part of the marketing. In fact it was the Pros that helped sell it to the consumers. Students who were aspiring filmmakers bought Macs and FCP because the tools the "Pros" used were within reach. They learned skills so they could get freelance or staff positions in post production all while learning on their own projects with their own gear."
Actually it was the other way around. While I was in Uni and involved with the school board it was Apple who was aggressively pushing to get Final Cut into our classrooms so students would be graduating with a Final Cut skill-set helping to push the platform into the professional market.
[Jamie Franklin] "Actually it was the other way around. While I was in Uni and involved with the school board it was Apple who was aggressively pushing to get Final Cut into our classrooms so students would be graduating with a Final Cut skill-set helping to push the platform into the professional market."
If that's the case they may be looking for a repeat if they can get FCPX into the schools now while they work on adding the pro features over the next year or so.
[Craig Seeman] "If that's the case they may be looking for a repeat if they can get FCPX into the schools now while they work on adding the pro features over the next year or so."
Let's hope the schools are smarter than that, will work towards educational pricing with avid or Adobe and skip this - disastrously lackluster with no future - program....but we all know how much brands love to warp young minds...and schools are more often than not, susceptible to $
>If that's the case they may be looking for a repeat if they can get FCPX into the schools now while they >work on adding the pro features over the next year or so.
I am with a school and we have talked to Apple several times. They are not making it easy. As I write this, there is no educational pricing. We would have to pay retail for each copy and download it multiple times, once per computer. No thanks.
[TImothy Auld] "How close was Apple to being the most wealthy company in the world
Oh, you mean when Avid and Media 100 ran on Macs? When After Effects ran exclusively on Macs?
[TImothy Auld] "How much do they owe to what they are now to Final Cut Pro?"
Does this implied calculation include iPods, iPhones, iPads and Macbooks or exclude them?
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[Dave LaRonde] "[TImothy Auld] "How much do they owe to what they are now to Final Cut Pro?"
Does this implied calculation include iPods, iPhones, iPads and Macbooks or exclude them?"
[Chris Kenny] "Which is worth commenting on, in the context of the "Apple is abandoning pros" meme...."
The first time we heard the "abandoning pros" meme here at the COW was around 2002, when we heard "Apple cares more about iPods than Mac Pros," because it was already becoming clear that this was going to make Apple more money than computers possibly could. In these days of iDevices out the wazoo, the fear struck in the hearts of creative pros by iPods seems almost quaint.
The meme resurfaced again when Apple dropped Computer from their name, which by that time, was both redundant and irrelevant anyway.
But it certainly speaks to what I think is partly implied in the thread title...or at least in some of the replies...which is, hey, we had something to do with Apple's growth since then, so why abandon us after all these years?
I don't see it that way at all. Apple has made products and technologies that pros like enough to build our businesses on -- I owned a Mac-only video production company for a dozen years -- but we should consider those "collateral benefits." Satisfying our needs was never exactly the point.
That is, I doubt that Apple has made choices based on market needs, as much as the opportunities a market represents for Apple.
Market needs might provide some guidance, but by and large, Apple doesn't respond to markets. Apple moves as it will, and expects markets to respond favorably.
Good for Apple. I don't mean this to sound cynical on my part or Apple's part in any way. We should all be so successful with our goals.
So no, I see no evidence that we've played a meaningful role in Apple's growth since 1999, except to the extent that we have paid Apple to do things Apple's way.
Standard disclaimers and disclosures: Every company in this market whose name starts with the letter A, including Anthro, ARRI and ASSIMILIATE, has spent a lot of money advertising with Creative COW. I speak for myself and the voices in my head only.
The NAB comments happened in 1999-2000. I was video engineer at a facility doing broadcast post so I was right in the middle of that company's decision making meetings as a result.
That sounds exactly right as a time frame when the concern was growing and decisions were crucial.
I didn't mean to question your accuracy. I just remembered that buzz when the Microsoft ownership of Avid stock first hit.
See this for more related history.
Very interesting. Thanks for the link.
There was no Mac Pro in 1999. There was Blue and White G3, cpu PowerPc family.
Mac Pro debut was 2006.
Now that we know what products they were selling in the hardware line...
Mac workstation sales were driven by the printing/graphics industry (largely Adobe software), the video industry (Avid, Media 100, Adobe After Effects/Photoshop...etc), and the audio production industry (ProTools now part of Avid, Sample cel, Midi instrument software, etc.).
Adobe Certified Instructor
This recounting of history at the time is worth reading.
That's what I recall too. There were maybe 80,000 Avids in the world in 1999.
Apple Certified Trainer, Producer, Writer, Director Editor, Gun for Hire and other things. I ski. My Blog: http://blogs.creativecow.net/Jerry-Hofmann
8-Core 3.0 Intel Mac Pro, Dual 2 gig G5, AJA Kona SD, AJA Kona 2, Huge Systems Array UL3D, AJA Io HD, 17" MBP, Matrox MXO2 with MAX - Cinema Displays I have a 22" that I paid 4k for still working. G4 with Kona SD card, and SCSI card.
[Tim Kolb] "Mac workstation sales were driven by the printing/graphics industry (largely Adobe software), the video industry (Avid, Media 100, Adobe After Effects/Photoshop...etc), and the audio production industry (ProTools now part of Avid, Sample cel, Midi instrument software, etc.)."
Yep, it wasn't just video pros, it was design/print/publishing/audio/etc. It was the creative professional market, of which video professionals are just a fraction.
And all those print pros are probably on iMacs now.
It may be where the MacPros are headed as well as Thunderbolt replaces most of the PCIe slots. There may still be a MacPro with replaceable GPU (16 lane PCIe) and the ability to add internal hard drives but it will be trimmed down a bit. We may know this week.
[Steven Gonzales] "There was no Mac Pro in 1999. There was Blue and White G3, cpu PowerPc family."
Which is worth commenting on, in the context of the "Apple is abandoning pros" meme. Apple's towers today are far more high-end, as compared with mainstream computers, than Apple's towers were in 1999. In fact, Apple's towers were mainstream computers in 1999 (B&W G3 towers started at $1599, which was an entirely mainstream price point in those days), whereas now the iMac is Apple's mainstream desktop, and Apple has an entire hardware line above it pretty much exclusively for professional content creators.
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[TImothy Auld] "What drove the sales of Mac Pro's?"
The "6%" Randy thought wasnt important enough to aim at
I wear many hats.
A company has larger margins on workstations then cheap computers...
Anyway, while we are having fun, to add to the FCP X-Files:
From Apple's 2003 SEC filing:
In August 1997, the Company and Microsoft Corporation (Microsoft) entered into patent cross license and technology agreements. In addition, Microsoft purchased 150,000 shares of Apple Series A nonvoting convertible preferred stock ("preferred stock") for $150 million. These shares were convertible by Microsoft after August 5, 2000, into shares of the Company's common stock at a conversion price of $8.25 per share. During 2000, 74,250 shares of preferred stock were converted to 9 million shares of the Company's common stock. During 2001, the remaining 75,750 preferred shares were converted into 9.2 million shares of the Company's common stock.
It should also be renoted that Avid sold a short while ago SI (XSI, the 3D app) to ADSK as part of financial restructuring (being short on cash say). And I bet Intel and Microsoft don't have shares in Autodesk from that transaction. In the process Avid maintained DS who was in development when Microsoft acquired SI in mid-90s.
OK, did we made it incestual enough yet... all we are missing is some mouseless two-headed monsters ... :)
You've been dumped. Accept it and move on. Hit the gym.
[Rocco Forte] "You've been dumped. Accept it and move on. Hit the gym."
indeed I will...to Windows 7 & Android
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OK, I am having Deja Vu. Here was what I wrote on Macintouch in 1999. Sorry it takes up so much room, but notice how today's arguments are eerily familiar...
Subject: End of Mac Media Composer
[Jeff Bernstein] "Apple's success in the multimedia markets, especially the broadcast market, is not because of Apple. History will show that it is despite Apple. But that is another topic for another time."
Nice article, very timely. That's more or less how I remember it.
[Jeff Bernstein] "The latest fiasco is the B&W G3..."
Where I lived in the UK there was just one Apple retailer, with a sales force of 4 or 5 selling into the pre-press or educational market. I was on the periphery doing video editing training for their clients. At the end of the session where this sales team was introduced to the new B&W G3 they all looked at each other and said with horror "how the hell are we going to sell a Bondi blue computer into a professional environment - we'll be laughed out of the door!"
Luckily the graphite G4 soon followed, interestingly with 4 PCI slots later reinstated - which was crucial for professional media production. I think the clamour does help getting Apple to reconsider ill-judged decisions.