The Lite Side

Why Apple Really Is Doomed

Thoughts on Earning a Death Knell Citation

- 2004.04.12

Now here's the thing. I've been asked about Apple being doomed for years, and I've always stood up to the plate and let everyone know what I think about the prospects for the company. But after reading through some of the Mac Observer's Death Knell citations, I came to the conclusion that I gotta get one of these for myself. Death Knell citations, that is, which brings us to the Lite Side's

An Application For Apple Death Knell Citation

I offer up the following carefully constructed arguments in the hopes you will agree with me that Apple Computer is doomed, doooomed, dooooooomed.

First, imagine the headlines: "Former Mac evangelists predicts company is Doomed," "Mac columnist switches sides", "Idiot traitor betrays Mac faithful," and so on.

Imagine the hits it'll generate. We'll get linked on MacCentral first, then maybe Slashdot will pick it up, and finally Mac Observer will slap a Death Knell on us, and my life will be complete. Hundreds, nay thousands of hits, even hundreds of thousands of hits will ensue.

And just think - people would think I am the greatest genius of the age, because this crowd is more exclusive than Mensa. Just by associating with them, I could get job offers, grants, contracts up the (excuse me, out the) wazoo.

Wouldn't that be great, knowing you were a part of that, because you read this article?


The Death Knell itself has to be based on some flaw that everyone agrees is a market-share killer. We could use the Enderle "It ain't Windows so it's doomed" analysis or the perennial favorite "one mouse button sucks" argument.

Just this last week I heard the "why won't Apple throw money at developers?" argument. "How about "success brings unwarranted attention from Apple Corps" or "proprietary operating systems have no chance against open source" or "market share is shrinking" or "Mac users are fanatic unreasoning slobbering fools" or "that's what they use in business" or the subtle "single platform organizations are simpler."

Such a wealth of reasons.

I know! I'll use them all, and that'll give me the most qualified Death Knell ever!

(Time passes.)

Upon reflection, I realize that I cannot earn a Death Knell, because I've offered up nothing new. It's just like a student who does a paper consisting of a string of quotations without ever saying anything for themselves.

So I'm going to have to think of something original . . . hmm . . . this part is hard. Let me think about it. Hmm....

I've got it!

See, here's the problem. Apple computers are too clean. That's it! See, when my five year old's eat crumbly food while playing on the computer, crumbs get in the keyboard, and since the keyboard is clear - and white - the crumbs really stand out. Kinda gross, actually.

Vacuuming doesn't work. Tapping the keyboard upside down doesn't work. If the keyboard only had a little drawer, like a toaster does, to remove crumbs (sort of like the Dell Confabulation™) we'd have no problem.

A black keyboard with lots of space under the keys won't show the dirt as easily. Yeah, that's it - that's the ticket.

So that's it then. Do you get a certificate? Or a desk ornament that wobbles when you tap it? How about a lapel pin?

Maybe a tie would be nice. It's a pretty exclusive club; maybe they have an annual conference or something. What do you say, Bryan? Can I be #40? Pleeeeeeeze?

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