"It's Europe; Live A Little" (9/22/03)

Say, you know how if you're on a diet and you leave the country on vacation, none of the calories you eat actually count? (At least, we're pretty sure that's the case; we saw it in a comic strip or something. We figure it was probably "Cathy.") Well, apparently the same sort of principle applies to corporate rules and regulations. For example, back here in the U. S. of A., Apple makes it a pretty strict policy not to discuss future products in public, and Steve Jobs in particular reportedly "corrects" those who leak such info to the press with a super-special punishment involving a selection of meat tenderizers and marinades, the unhinging of his own extraterrestrial jaw, and a peaceful digestive hibernation that progresses even as the offender's next of kin go slapping photos on milk cartons. Send the Big Kahuna winging off to Europe for Apple Expo, though, and suddenly he's flapping his gums to the Spanish press about when we can expect a PowerBook G5.

That's right, kids; why dwell on rumor when you can get the skinny straight from the boss-man's Europe-happy lips? MacMinute notes a 5Dias.com interview in which Steve apparently stated that "we are working in it and what we would like it is to obtain it for end of the year that comes." (We say "apparently" only because that comes via Google's auto-translation; the man's full comment in context is human-translated and clarified over at MacRumors: "Afterwards [Jobs] admitted that the decisive revolution will be the introduction in laptops of the new 64 bit chip, the G5, that the company has developed along with IBM, with an investment of 3 billion dollars. 'We are working on it and what we'd like is to have it by the end of next year,' he said.")

So whaddaya think-- is Steve still just in Overcautious Mode? You know, sort of like how he still insists that Panther's ship date is "by the end of this year" despite the fact that, as Think Secret reports, based on the latest seed some developers estimate that it'll be "released to manufacturing within the next three weeks"? After all, there was one rumor that Apple was targeting a PowerBook G5 "within the first three months of the next calendar year," which, granted, seems a little on the premature side, but based on nothing in particular we'd still have guessed at portable G5s by the end of next summer at the latest; after all, even the G4 made the leap from desktop to laptop in sixteen months, and with the G5 we're not even dealing with Motorola anymore. Maybe Steve's just trying to nudge the holdouts into finally dropping that cash on a PowerBook G4 rather than waiting over a year for a G5-to-go. In any case, it was odd hearing him comment on the release timeframe of an unannounced product like that.

Oh, and what about Steve's legendary powers of diplomacy (in public, anyway)? It seems that those go out the porthole while traveling abroad, too. After all, it's one thing to tell German interviewer FAZ.net the same old story about how only Apple and Dell are actually making money in the personal computer market, but it's something else entirely when the guy actually predicts that competitors will fold or otherwise exit the business-- and then proceeds to name names. According to Google's translation of the interview, when asked to elaborate on the state of the market, Steve actually replied, "The future position of Gateway is very uncertain. And I can also imagine that Sony will withdraw itself again completely sometime from the business with personal computers."

Yipes, stripes! Okay, maybe it wasn't as catty as Mike Dell's infamous comment that Steve should shut down Apple and give the money back to the shareholders, but it still seems a little on the vicious side. Quick, someone get that guy back on U.S. soil before he spills the beans about next year's iPod G5 with integrated laser light show and then starts yakkin' it up about how Bill Gates stuffs his shorts!

SceneLink (4219)
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The above scene was taken from the 9/22/03 episode:

September 22, 2003: Steve seems uncharacteristically loose-lipped when speaking to the European press. Meanwhile, Motorola's CEO "retires" due to a disagreement with the company's board of directors-- is this the Wrath of Jobs at work? And just how worried should we all be now that Dell is copycatting the iPod?...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 4220: Ding Dong The Chris Is Dead (9/22/03)   Well, it happened on Friday morning, but the news didn't start making the rounds until after AtAT was already broadcasting, so we've had all weekend to chortle in our joy: as first pointed out by faithful viewer Flow Flow and breathlessly confirmed by the Associated Press, Motorola's CEO Chris Galvin has "unexpectedly resigned" due to "differences with the board."...

  • 4221: Gee, It Must Be September! (9/22/03)   Maybe it's just us, but we're increasingly of the opinion that someone working in the Celestial Office of Universal Constants kicked the Time Passage Regulator right past the "Fast" setting and into "Lucy and Ethel Making Chocolate" mode...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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