Jan 22 2009

An Apple in the White House?

Today’s Washington Post article titled Staff Finds White House in the Technological Dark Ages was no big surprise.  However, while I was taking a shower (in a hotel in the Houston suburbs of all places) it occurred to me that this presents an incredible marketing opportunity for Apple.

If I were king of Apple (or say, a board member with deep White House ties), I’d be on the phone with “the appropriate person” with the offer of “a Mac on every desk in the White House along with an iPhone for every White House staffer.”  I’m sure there is some law that prevents Apple from giving this away from free so I’d offer it “at cost” just to Mac-enable the White House.

You can’t buy better PR than “Apple computerizes the Obama Administration, displacing ancient PCs running Windows XP.”  Plus, the leader of the free world then would carry around an iPhone and a MacBook.

In addition, I see an executive order coming that completely changes the stupid, archaic, and limiting rules about archiving communications within the White House.  This is a regular excuse that is used to explain why it’s “hard” to use things like Blackberries if you are president.  Baloney – there are plenty of straightforward approaches that solve for whatever you want to do.  It’s not like someone archived all of Rumsfeld’s Snowflakes (or maybe someone did – if so – egads.)

While we are at it, did anyone notice that Apple reported record revenues and profits in the quarter ending 12/27/08?  Yeah, I guess you did but it’s worth repeating the numbers since all we’ve been hearing is bailouts and losses.  These are quarterly numbers.  Revenue: $10.17 billion.  Net Income: $1.61 billion.  These numbers are lower than reality because of the bullshit GAAP rules that force accounting for the iPhone to be reported ratably over the life of the iPhone contract.  If you actually accounted for this in a way that made sense, Revenue would be $11.8 billion and Net Income would be $2.3 billion.  As every good MBA knows, the key rule is to “follow the cash” which increased by $3.6 billion in the quarter.  It’s worth saying again – $3.6 billion.  Wowza.  Well done Apple.