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Apple posts net loss of $195 million


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louishen

 
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For all of you too young or too new to Apple to remember its darkest days, here's a reminder that Apple wasn't always the tech juggernaut it now is.

It was once the hobbled cripple of the tech industry, and this is why Dells CEO of the time advised (in 1997) that Apple should "shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders."

Interesting to see an Apple in the doldrums, compared to todays Apple flying high.

Apple Reports First Quarter Results

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That financial report is for the FY 2000, not 1997 and although it doesn't look rosy, Apple were far from being in trouble. There was still a lot of restructuring going on, but the balance sheet was starting to get pretty healthy ($4 billion cash-in-hand).

But it's a good point, that Apple didn't really start to become what it is today until around 2004, at least in terms of serious earnings and a share-price to suit.

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Yep, that's the 2000 report, I was just pointing out that Apple was considered a basket case during the period, hence the quote from 1997.

It's easy with hindsight to see a resurgent Apple, but the period from 1997 to about 2001, Apple was almost an also ran and everybody at the time saw Microsoft as the undisputed king of the hill, with Apple at best surviving with its 3–5% market share.

How things have changed, and who could have predicted it at the time.

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Let's also look at the fact, in 2000, Steve Jobs had only been back a few years, there was a lot of cleaning up that needed to be done for the company to get back on track. I'm surprised it turned around so quickly only because the prior CEOs really didn't do enough to positively impact Apples position in the market place.

Apple definitely did have some dark days (and it may again), and if one forgets history they are doomed to repeat it, so let's hope that Apple (whether during Jobs tenure or some future CEO) doesn't repeat what happened during that period just over a decade from 1985 to 1997. Next time it may not be just 3-4 years to get back on track - heck it may be never. And I'm not saying Apple is perfect, I do think there are some things that can come back to haunt them in the future - but only time will tell.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nethfel View Post
Apple definitely did have some dark days (and it may again), and if one forgets history they are doomed to repeat it, so let's hope that Apple (whether during Jobs tenure or some future CEO) doesn't repeat what happened during that period just over a decade from 1985 to 1997. Next time it may not be just 3-4 years to get back on track - heck it may be never. And I'm not saying Apple is perfect, I do think there are some things that can come back to haunt them in the future - but only time will tell.
Its hard to imagine that the world's 2nd largest company could go back to those days. You have to remember that although Apple seemed like a big deal in the early 1980's, it has never really been a runaway commercial success until the last 4 or 5 years. The original Mac's reputation is much bigger than the reality of its success.

With close to 50bn in cash, it would take an extraordinary chain of events for Apple to fall apart again. Worse than a commercial failure (IMO) would be if they forgot about being Apple, and became Microsoft/Dell and Sony all rolled into one, which is very possible if and when Steve Jobs calls it a day.

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Let's not forget the role that Microsoft and Bill Gates played in the resurgence. MS's decision to continue supporting Office on the Apple platform in 1997 was a huge marker in this timeline (Along with a $150 mill stock purchase). That is what inspired the now famous "MS doesn't have to lose for Apple to win" at the '97 expo.

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What apple does is something delicate and requires a lot of investment into areas of computers that have been somewhat "excluded"
Their breaking point seems to be when younger generations get into the computers world.
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