Machinations of Propaganda

Mikey 9 comments
Machinations of Propaganda

I thought by now that Apple would have learned from past mistakes. Padding performance benchmarks does not help lend credibility to your product. And if history has taught us anything, it has taught us that Apple is good at exaggerating the performance of its G4 and G5 series computers. Or as Tom Yager claims, deliberately skewing the results.

When Steve Jobs first pimped the G4 a few years ago he claimed it to be the fastest personal computer in history. Several independent benchmarks proved the G4 to be nothing special in any sense. Sure it was faster than its OS9 predecessors, but it could not compare to a similarly specced Windows PC which cost significantly less. It turned out the G4's results were also skewed.

This reignited the Apple/Windows flame wars on a level not seen since, well since I can't even remember when. Even Adobe got in on the debate, posting Photoshop benchmark results showing the Windows PC wiping the floor with an Apple G4. This was a serious blow to the Apple community who then and still today incorrectly claim that Apples are a better platform for designers. Adobe promptly pulled the article without explanation.

So with Apple at it again, let the wars begin. With "2x Faster" and "speeds twice as fast as the previous iMac" all over the Apple web site, the first words that spring to mind are 'marketing propaganda'.

But don't get me wrong. Even Microsoft has been guilty of exaggerating performance benchmarks of their own server solutions in the past. For some reason Microsoft are able to get away with this sort of thing; probably because they usually have the numbers to back them up - even if they can be interpreted in many ways.

So when the first lab tests on the new iMac with Intel Core Duo processor were performed by this week, concluding Apple's claims of 2x faster are false, (it is actually closer to 1.3 times faster) then all our suspicions have yet again been confirmed.

But who can blame Apple for misleading us. On paper everything probably was 2x faster and that is all the marketing department needs to start a campaign. I for one do not have much respect for marketing in general, mainly because its goal is to make products sound better than what they actually are. What ever happened to the plain old truth?

If I asked Company X to give me a good reason to switch over to their product, and their response was "because it is a gazillion times faster than the previous version", I would be laughing all the way out the door.

But if the response was more like "We have made significant improvements to the architecture and code, which has resulted in an average of 30 percent speed increase and more stable operating system", my response would be "I'm listening". Because that's an honest answer.

It's a real shame. I think if Apple wants to win over Windows and Linux users, they are going to have to be a little more credible when it comes to their marketing strategies. Claiming 2x faster speeds knowing full well that independent benchmarks will eventually expose the truth is not going to convince anyone to make the switch.

Now if they had only claimed 1.5 times faster, that might be close enough to the truth for anyone.

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Tuesday 24th January 2006 | 12:58 AM

I dont think mac zealots actually listen to reason.

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Tuesday 24th January 2006 | 09:26 AM

Macs are fine machines but yeah it is embarrasing when they say stupid things like that. I reckon all the hype and questionable test results are aimed at the ignorant consumer, who sadly out number technical know-it-alls like us by a large majority. Apple realise loosing alittle face is worth what they make up for in sales from people who actually beleieve they are buying a computer that is twice as fast.

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Tuesday 24th January 2006 | 03:33 PM

I thought macs were better for graphics.

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Tuesday 24th January 2006 | 05:44 PM

gobsmacked says: "I thought macs were better for graphics."

A common misconception that annoys me to no end. It is a stigma left over from the Windows 3.1 and 95 days when Quark was the designer app of choice - and was only available on the Mac. But that has not been the case for years now.

Using Photoshop on a Mac has no advantages to using Photoshop on a PC, and vice versa. Same with other design apps like InDesign, Illustrator etc. If anything, a PC would have the advantage simply because of the shear amount of software available. But seeing as the aformentioned relevant apps are available on both platforms it propably doesn't matter so much. And neither platform is going to make you a better or worse designer. That comes down to skill.

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Thursday 26th January 2006 | 09:48 PM

we use macs at work. they are not bad at all but a little slower than my home pc. i didnt know about their advertising methods it sounds like the marketing dept are a bit overzelaous.

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Friday 3rd February 2006 | 09:58 AM

Slightly askew article but valid none the less. Great site. Refreshing change from all the "i woke up this morning and...' type blogs.

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Sunday 5th February 2006 | 09:40 PM

Next thing you know, the politicians we know and love will be accused of lying.

Marketing? It's all Greek to me. Or, it's all glamour and glitter. Bah humbug.

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Tuesday 14th February 2006 | 11:02 AM

Have you seen those new apple adverts on TV saying intel chips do boring things in pcs? freaking hilarious! What they dont realise is the cpu does not maketh the computer. it all comes down to the OS and software choice. but again that is apple at its best with propaganda. i Get nazi-esque visions of steve jobs yelling into a megaphone "apple is your freind. Your pc doesnt love you anymore. join your friends as apple! we will love you!"

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Tuesday 14th February 2006 | 11:10 AM

Whats even more alarming is people still think intel matters. With benchmarks all over the web concluding there is absolutely no conceievable reason to buy intel anymore (with the significantly cheaper AMD chips wiping the floor with them), the timing is probably not going to be much good in apples favour :-)

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