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Apple ‘screwed up in education’ – Jobs

New products will solve problems, staffers told

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An embarrassed Steve Jobs confessed the company had cocked-up its efforts to sell to education when he addressed an insiders-only staff meeting this week.

Apple moles have since passed on Jobs' comments to ZDNet US. "We screwed up in education," Jobs told employees. "Dell didn't earn the crown - we gave it to them."

Jobs was also apologetic about the company's current financial performance, which he admitted earlier this week would push Apple into its first loss in three years. Thanks to a big dip in the PC market (or is there? See Global PC sales to grow 20% in Q4), Apple will post a loss of up to $250 million for the current quarter, the first of fiscal 2001.

At least part of Apple's problems stem from mistakes made in channel inventory - ironic, perhaps, given the company's oft-stated competence in managing its own inventory. "We are working really hard to clear the channel for several new products over the next several months," said Jobs.

New products? Indeed. When Jobs last spoke to employees, after the company announced its Q4 2000 results - also hit by poor sales - he hinted at lower-end Cubes. This time round, he pointed out the gap in the company's product matrix, which suggests the company is indeed looking at a 'CubeBook' product as indicated by recent comments from an Apple employee.

Major new applications are coming too, said Jobs. He compared them to iMovie, the bundled consumer-oriented video editing package, but apparently didn't reveal details. Sounds to us like iMusic and Apple's DVD mastering application, the core parts of which it bought from Astarte earlier this year.

Jobs re-iterated earlier comments about "missing the boat" on the emergence of CD-RW as a key computer peripheral. ®

Related Link

ZDNet US' story

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