The Macalope Weekly: The anecdotal tempest

Paging Mr. Godwin. Mr. Godwin, please come to the white courtesy iPhone.

Yes, this week it’s more technology industry pundits running off the rails about the Apple tablet and the iPhone. But don’t worry, the Macalope’s got the Twitter tonic for when pundits get you down.

Tablet derangement syndrome

Apparently PC World has Michael Scalisi on the Apple beat full-time, which they think requires a lot of coverage of a device that, as far as anyone knows, doesn’t exist. But let’s clear up something from Scalisi’s most recent missive.

While it’s clear from the comments on one of my previous posts that people think the Apple device will be more popular than I do, people may think twice about purchasing one if they think Apple could pull an app from the store on a whim.

Well, Michael, the Macalope can’t speak for each of the many, many people who surely criticized your previous post, but he wasn’t criticizing it because he assumes the device will be popular (although your strawman is quite lovely, if highly flammable). He hasn’t seen the device, so he really can’t say.

No, he was criticizing it for making vast assumptions about something no one has seen. If, as you assume, Apple does release a tablet device that makes exactly the same mistakes as, oh, all the other tablet devices, then yes, that device will probably fail. See? Reasonable people can agree on some things. It’s just that, given Apple’s good track record of late, that hardly seems likely.

As for your new contention that the App Store could sully the still-fictitious tablet, well, could be. There’s no denying the App Store has its issues, but does the average user consider the loss of a few specialized apps that much of a drawback over the convenience and constant fire-sale prices? Clearly some developers are not happy with the situation, but how unhappy is your average iPhone user? None of these App Store shenanigans seem to be hurting sales yet.

Well, as wacky as Scalisi is, at least he didn’t propose perhaps the worst Apple tablet idea ever. No, that particular plume belongs in the jaunty chapeau of ZDNet’s Larry Dignan, who suggested Apple name the tablet the Newton (tip o’ the antlers to Grant Hutchinson).

Hopefully Larry was just cracking wise, but if he was really suggesting this, someone at ZDNet should take his car keys away from him.

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Not having Google Voice is just like the gulags!

Apple fans, was someone having some fun on Monster.com? Because PC World’s David Coursey is apparently trying to audition for John Dvorak’s job when it isn’t even open.

Decades of resentment against Apple’s high-handedness and condescension seem to be coming to the surface…

Projecting much, David?

…as media outlets pile on the company with a fury never seen before.

Oh, please. Certain members of the media loved to kick Apple when it was down and now they’re just trying to kick it when it’s up. Coursey tries to prove the point himself by calling Steve Jobs “evil” and Apple “Stalinist.” David, please! This is America: We reserve those epithets for our measured discussion on government-run health-care insurance programs.

This is getting to be a regular thing with him. In order to prove that “iPhone users are in revolt” he links to—surprise!—a piece he wrote about how iPhone users are in revolt! Well, QED!

Does that piece quote any iPhone users? Cite any statistics about people turning their iPhones in for the Pre or Android-based phones? Uh, no.

It’s true that there is a contingent of iPhone owners who have very vocally registered their complaints, but again, it’s not average users. As the pointy one has noted, most of the complaints have come from developers and the techno-elite—sales have remained strong.

By the way, how’s the revolt of the intelligentsia working out? Well, of two of the most noted people to take a walk on the wild side, one has switched back (tip o’ the antlers to Daring Fireball) and the other is wondering if he’s only hurting himself. Turns out it’s hard to leave the iPhone because, despite some warts, it’s still the best phone around. It’s hardly like life on the Palm Pre is all sunshine and roses.

The Macalope looks forward to your Palm rant soon, David.

Despite Coursey’s ridiculous flirtations with Godwin’s Law, there is evidence that Apple is listening. Apple senior VP of marketing Phil Schiller has emailed not one but two bloggers to ask for patience and to let people know Apple considers the App Store a work in progress. Fair enough.

Just because Apple’s ruffled some high-profile feathers doesn’t mean it’s raining in Mongolia.

Yet.

But if you feel like I do, I got the antidote

If you’re tired of reading all this Apple bashing, you might like Rick Webb’s Twitter feed (tip o’ the antlers to Jason Kottke).

Webb handily sticks it to iPhone complainers:

They made a mobile browser light years better than any previous browser & you promptly took it for granted & bitched about it lacking Flash.

Amen. Apple did you a service by not putting Flash on the phone. Webb skewers some other complainers:

You bitched about no 3G on the original iphone. They explained it was cuz the network and batteries weren’t ready. AND LOOK! IT WAS TRUE.

Including Internet entrepreneur and vocal iPhone critic Jason Calacanis:

Also, dear Apple: I’ll personally up my spending with you by $20k a year to get Calacanis off of your platform. Seems a bargain.

Delightfully shrill!

Okay, the Macalope doesn’t completely subscribe to all of Webb’s points. There’s nothing wrong with asking for more and pushing for Apple to do better. In fact, that's our duty as Apple customers. But you have to admit that Webb is a nice counterpoint to Scalisi and Coursey.

Remember, it’s still the best damn phone out there. Let’s have some perspective.

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