Osborne Effect: Ummm … No!

Bloggers and webpundits are abuzz with rumor, innuendo, and occasional personal testimonies all to the effect that Steve Jobs’ pre-announcing the shift to Intel chips is going to cause an Osborne effect … effectively killing sales of existing Apple products.

I say nonsense.

I have been planning an iMac G5 purchase for some time now to replace our aging family machine. This announcement won’t cause me to wait for a moment, much less 6, 12, or 18 months.


Well, my wife and kids need the machine now. They need better performance, a bigger screen than our existing CRT iMac, more hard disk space, Airport, and a variety of other features that are already available in a well-priced, full-featured machine.

But more than that, I’m full aware – as is any average person these days – that any technology purchase is basically yesterday’s news as soon as you buy it. Like it or not, technology moves fast. Computers, camera, phones, you pick the category: 2 months after you’ve bought the latest and greatest, something ostensibly better comes out.

This is not going to change just because Apple switched to Intel chips. Get used to it.

Finally, while the switch is inevitable, the timing of it, particularly for individual products, is uncertain. You could be waiting half a year, or a year and a half. Who knows? Well, 18 months is too long to continue to suffer with our current home hardware. The iMac that we have has lasted us something like 6 years, and it will retain usefulness as a kids CD-ROM machine – we’ll wipe OS X, stick Classic on it again, experience a two-fold speed increase, and let the kids run their 35 or so learning CD-ROMs on it in the basement.

And I fully expect our new iMac G5 to last another 4-5 years as our main workhorse machine. That’s what Macs do, and that’s just one of the reasons we buy them.

That’s 6 years without a single virus, by the way!