Architosh News Reports
  Architosh Staff ([email protected])


Guide and Ranking of Press Reaction to new iMac!

07 October 99.

Steve Jobs' presentation of the new iMacs and Mac OS 9 this week at the Flint Center was a rare example of extreme showmanship -- at times it felt like the Home Shopping Network on TV -- and the press was quick to pick up on it. But how well did the press do on catching all of the "amazing features", as Jobs called them, in their news articles on the new iMacs?

As it turns out none of them really got the whole picture right, and very few did an excellent job of covering the points that really mattered, while others -- like PC World and the New York Times -- did a horrible job. In fact, PC World and The New York Times' news coverage of the new iMacs is so bad it its the subject of a companion article (not to be missed!).

The Rating System: New Features and Differentiation from the PC competition

The rating system list the top nine new or improved features of the new iMac, in order of importance or magnitude of differentiation from the competition. As you can see, only ZDNet was able to cover all of the new features in their report. Some articles like TechWeb's failed to mention most of the items while littering the article with negative quotes, facts and skepticism.

Web Site/Article Grade 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Notes
PC World D 1/2   o o o o o o o (a)
MSNBC C 1/2   o   o     o o  
New York Times F       o o       o (b)
C/Net C-   1/2     o     o    
TechWeb D         o         (c)
San Francisco Gate B     o o o o o   o  
USA Today C-   1/2     1/2 1/2       (d)
ZDNet A o o o o o o o o o (e)

Key to Numbers Above (a small "o" means covered, "1/2" means partially or poorly covered)

1. Wireless Internet - AirPort card option 6. DVD ROM Slot Drive
2. RAGE 128-bit graphics card 7. Harman Kardon Subwoofer
3. FireWire built-in 8. PowerPC G3 400 MHz chip
4. Harman Kardon Sound System -built-in 9. Convection Cooled - No Fan
5. iMovie software on iMac DV    


(a) Although PC World covers most of the new items they forget to mention the RAGE 128 graphics (important for gamers!) and they downplay the AirPort wireless Internet ability, including failing to mention the AirPort card and its ease of installation. This article is actually pathetic despite the fact that they cover more items than most.

(b) The New York Times article is the biggest joke of all. John Markoff writes that Jobs "Trumpeting 'amazing features,' he at times seemed to parody late-night 'infomercials' as he talked up iMac capabilities that have little to do with traditional performance enhancements." The scorecard for the article says it all. This isn't good journalism, but biased ranting!

(c) This TechWeb story amounts to nothing. They basically gloss over the whole announcement and provide links to other Apple TechWeb stories -- some with negative content.

(d) In this article the actual technical terms are not mentioned. There is little fact given and much of the emphasis is on the sub $1000 price tag. No mention of AirPort, FireWire or 128-bit graphics.

(e). Congrats to ZDNet! They covered all the bases and finished on a positive note. Now that's good neutral journalism!

Other Architosh News

iMac News: Apple gets mishandled by popular press on announcements - [7]

MacCAD News: Spatial is committed to Macintosh - [6]

Architectural Tours: Visit 'Virtual Munich' with QuickTime VR - [5]

More news


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