Coming Clean Re: G5 Delays (9/2/03)
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Gee, and here we figured Apple would just keep really quiet and hope no one noticed! Following last week's sudden extension of G5 "on or before" ship dates by an extra four weeks, several AtAT viewers report having received email from the company citing "overwhelming demand" as the reason for the additional delay and providing an "update" on when antsy-pants customers might finally get their grubby little mitts on a hunk of nitro-burnin' funny Mac. Whereas most folks got word that their systems would ship in "10-15 business days" (as in the excerpt at Accelerate Your Macintosh!), a couple of viewers forwarded messages quoting "3-4 weeks." (Note: names of viewers have been withheld to prevent Apple from "coincidentally" pushing certain delivery dates forward still further into February. Of 2007.)

For the optimists among you, however, there's all sorts of stuff that can be interpreted as good news. The first is that all existing G5 orders should be fulfilled by the end of this month at the very latest-- barring another sudden delay, of course, and since that would surely incite riots and beheadings until the streets of Cupertino ran red with the blood of anyone dragged screaming from Apple headquarters, we consider that an unlikely development-- and waiting another month for a new Mac never killed anyone. Well, except that one guy in Duluth back in '96, but we consider that an anomaly, and Apple's culpability was tenuous at best. The moral, of course, is that you shouldn't pass the time until your new G5 arrives by playing Russian Roulette with a nail gun.

Then there's the fact that irate customers calling to complain about the delays have been able to weasel some pretty sweet concessions, the exact nature of which depends largely on how loudly any given customer whines and how accommodating the particular Apple customer service rep happens to be feeling. By most accounts, wrangling free overnight shipping is a cakewalk, and provides no real challenge to a seasoned complainer. Mac OS Rumors, on the other hand, includes a note from a reader who, by blithely tossing about the phrase "cancel my order," apparently managed to gripe his way into a $75 discount. AtAT sources even mention one particularly indignant customer who, by the time he hung up the phone, had succeeded in wrangling a $200 discount, a free iSight camera, a year's supply of Steak-umms, and use of Steve's Gulfstream jet on alternate weekends.

And of course the best news is that Apple's biggest problem right now is "overwhelming demand," and not something like "overwhelming lack of demand," "mutant flesh-eating gerbil infestation," or "mysterious burning sensation." All told, people wanting to buy your product faster than you can crank them out ranks pretty high on the list of Could Be Worse-ousness. Here's hoping that Apple doesn't flush a ton of goodwill (and a fair amount of cash-- overnighting something as gargantuan as a G5 can't be cheap) before the G5 drought is over, but overall, we have a tough time not seeing the demand as a really good thing. Then again, we haven't been waiting for a G5 for over two months and we're not looking at another four weeks in limbo, so maybe we're not the best ones to judge...


 
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From the writer/creator of AtAT, a Pandemic Dad Joke taken WAYYYYYY too far


 

The above scene was taken from the 9/2/03 episode:

September 2, 2003: Apple admits to shipping G5s to schools first, and may even kick you a discount if your order went to some college in Vermont or something. Meanwhile, Virginia Tech plans to glue 1100 G5s together into one of the world's five fastest supercomputers, and an Australian home theater magazine scoops the planet with incontrovertible evidence of Apple's switch to Intel in just four months' time...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 4178: It's A Bird... It's A Plane... (9/2/03)   Incidentally, you might be interested to know that last week's rumors were true; in those email messages to G5 customers, Apple admitted that it had back-burnered regular customer orders (known within Cupertino's halls as "peon orders") so that it could get as many G5s as possible to education purchasers "to meet key back to school deadlines."...

  • 4179: G5? Who Cares About THAT? (9/2/03)   Well, it's official, everybody: the G5 is all just a big hoax. Oh, don't get us wrong-- it exists and everything, and it is indeed one mighty fast chip. But now it turns out that Apple collaborated with IBM for years on the G5's design and sunk untold fortunes into its development just so it can announce four months after the G5 first ships that it's actually switching to Intel processors anyway...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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