Thursday, June 16, 2005

The "Osborne Effect": Myth or Reality?

According to Cringely, it's a myth:
...sales dropped, from about 10,000 a month for the original model, to essentially zero for the new model.

The reason for the drop was that the Osborne Executive was not competitive with the Kaypro, a slapped-together rival priced at a couple hundred less ($1,795 instead of $1,995 for the Osborne 1), but it had a much larger screen -- 12 inches compared to O1's five inches.

The Executive came out, much better built, more manufacturable, but with a mere 7-inch screen. There was deep disappointment among Osborne fans. Worse, it was priced at $2,195 -- a two hundred dollar increase in a very price-sensitive end of the market! Four hundred dollars more than Kaypro for a brand name but a smaller screen? No thank you!"

According to Cringely's source, Mike McCarthy, who worked at Osborne at the time, it wasn't the pre-annoucement that killed Osborne at all, but a subpar product for more money. Based on that, fears of Apple pre-announcing Intel-based Macs to the detriment of current sales is probably largely overblown. Oh, I'm sure there will be some people who won't buy what they think is a current but "obsolete" Mac, but hey if you need a new Mac you need one...

Read more: The Osborne Effect Sometimes - What Everyone Remembers Is Wrong


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