The Macalope Weekly: The waiting is the hardest part

Wal-Mart may be making a push to sell Macs next to iPhones (which are next to the ShamWow in aisle five) and Apple may need the extra sales, because has the unpossible happened? Has Microsoft surpassed Apple in perceived value?! And don’t go fumbling for your wallet to buy an Apple tablet yet, looks like we’re going to have to wait a while.

Store within a big soulless box

Not content to have assimilated the iPhone, is the Borg-like Wal-Mart now looking to assimilate the Mac? Well, that’s what Ben Reitzes, an analyst with Barclays Capital, would have you believe.

Now, the thought of a premium brand like the Mac being pushed through a high-volume retailer with a logo that looks suspiciously like the end part of the human digestive tract may lead you to some uncomfortable analogies. But all you have to do is look back to Tim Cook’s comments on the company’s strategy in partnering with Wal-Mart. It’s simple: its stores are where Apple’s stores aren’t. Apple Stores are located in higher-income areas with higher population densities, Wal-Mart’s stores are located where you can make a buck by driving mom-and-pop stores out of business.

If Apple wants to reach as many people as possible, partnering with Wal-Mart is a good strategy, uncomfortable biology-based analogies be damned.

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What’s wrong with the young people today?

Hold onto your lunch, kids, because according to a study released this past week by BrandIndex, Microsoft has overtaken Apple in perceived value. And the authors of the study say it may be the fault of those insipid Laptop Hunters ads.

The Macalope demands one of those recounts that are so popular in elections these days! What’s worse is that this collapse is mostly driven by the perceptions of young people. Who knew young people even watched commercials? Don’t they all BitTorrent?

Whatever the case, this week a lot of people spent a lot of time talking about a survey they’d probably never heard of before. The survey may be utterly sound—it probably is; the sample size certainly seems large—but the thing about these surveys is you can’t tell if it’s legit without looking at the internals, which are only available by subscription. And, if the Macalope is reading their agreement right, a subscription starts at about $10,000/year, so you’ll forgive him if he doesn’t run out and sign up just to check that BrandIndex dotted their tees and crossed their eyes.

Maybe BrandIndex is the go-to survey for this kind of thing and maybe Tim Cook sits by his Barbie Princess phone just waiting to get that call. Do they like us? Do they really, really like us?!

Or, maybe he waits for, you know, actual sales results.

Because it’s one thing to have the quarterback eying you from across the room in calculus class and it’s another to have him give you his ring.

Phew. Speaking of uncomfortable analogies…

Rumoritus Interruptus

Hey, remember that Apple-branded netbook-killah tablet doohickey that’s coming later this year? Well, guess what? Apple’s missing the fantasy release date! The Macalope is just as disappointed as you are. Yes, the buzz today says it won’t be coming until 2010 (while that sounds futuristic, it’s actually just next year).

How dare Apple possibly not release that thing it hasn't announced on the date we made up! It’s getting so that you can’t even trust the words that aren’t coming out of the company’s mouth!

It’s funny that all the rumors these days come from Wall Street types (this one’s the handiwork of Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster). The Macalope’s so old he remembers when all the rumors came from applerumorguy2483@geocities.com.

At any rate, don’t get your tactical Internet pants in a wad over this. All this means is we’ll just have to wait until Macworld Expo.

Oh, wait…

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