I'm a Mac Qualcomm ad – still showing notifications

It’s now 15 years since the last of Apple’s award-winning “I’m a Mac/I’m a PC” ads, but rival companies still believe it’s clever to use the Mac actor to try to sell rival products.

After Huawei and Intel, Qualcomm is the latest company to make the attempt, with an incredibly cringeworthy ad in which the Mac guy – played by Justin Long – decides it’s time to get a PC …

The “I’m a Mac/I’m a PC” ads

The original Apple ad series, in which Justin Long plays a Mac while John Hodgman plays a PC, was one of the company’s most popular and successful ad campaigns.

The team behind the campaign looked back on it in 2016, describing it as the end result of “an excruciating seven-month quest for an idea that Steve Jobs didn’t hate.”

Long played a relaxed, pleasant guy surprised by the complexities and messiness of a PC. In all, Apple aired 66 of the ads – though Long revealed in 2019 that they actually filmed around 300. The rest were, he said, nixed by Steve Jobs because they were too funny, and he felt that would distract viewers from the message.

In 2017, Huawei used Long to play himself pitching the Mate 9 smartphone to direct an ad, while four years later Intel made the ill-advised decision to use him to make fun of M1 Macs.

In perhaps the most cringeworthy example of all, Qualcomm has now hired Long to pitch its new Snapdragon chip in ARM PCs.

Long plays a Mac user who is fed up of all the alerts he receives on a Mac (a bizarre mix of notifications and error messages), and searches for an ARM-powered PC to replace it. The ad was shown during Qualcomm’s two-hour long keynote on its new PC chip – the video below is cued to the beginning of the ad.

It ends with Long shrugging and asking the viewer “What? Things change.”

Qualcomm, you may recall, was involved in a bitterly-fought lawsuit with Apple over the company’s charges for modem chips. Apple has been working for years on designing its own replacements, but still hasn’t yet succeeded, with the Qualcomm deal extended until 2027. The challenge may be less a technical one, and more a legal one, as Apple seeks to circumvent Qualcomm patents.

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The post Qualcomm uses ‘I’m a Mac’ actor Justin Long to promote ARM PC – 9to5Mac first appeared on

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