The Macalope Weekly: Apple stories gone wild!

[Editors’ Note: Each week the Macalope skewers the worst of the week’s coverage of Apple and other technology companies. In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]

This was the week when Apple stories broke loose from the chains of reality and went on wild rampages, sacking villages and destroying all in their path! From the Beatles to iPad pricing to Steve Wozniak, the news ran amok! Run for your lives! They’re spinning out of control!

Tease

Following Apple is tricky sometimes. You have to know the rules: New iPods always come out in the fall, quarterly guidance on earnings per share is always positive but conservative, and the really big announcements are teased weeks advance and have a press event.

Still, the company’s release of the Beatles collection this week—teased only a day in advance and then announced with a press release—seems to have generated some disappointment. Turns out it was the wording of the teaser that people say caused the letdown.

Tomorrow is just another day. That you’ll never forget.

The subsequent reaction, after the company revealed an exclusive deal for the entire remastered catalog of the most important band of the previous century? A collective yawn.

While it’s certainly a big deal for Apple, maybe the wording could have been a little less dramatic. When someone says it’ll be “a day you’ll never forget,” we don’t think of more convenient access to possibly better versions of music we mostly already own. Personally, the Macalope thinks of being fed sweet alfalfa by Anne Hathaway while lounging on the beach on Lanai. But your mileage may vary. (You should try the sweet alfalfa, though. It’s to die for.)

The problem for Apple is that it’s spoiled us. That’s right, you’re spoiled. Spoiled rotten. Don’t try to deny it. You know it’s true. When Apple says something new is coming, many of us think big—despite all real evidence to the contrary—because the company has such a track record of knocking our iPod socks off.

Not every event is going bring you the equivalent of an iPhone, folks. If your Apple excitement lasts for four hours or more, seek the help of a doctor.

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FIRE SALE!

While the tea leaves on the Beatles were readable if you were careful, no one could have predicted that T.J. Maxx would be selling 16GB Wi-Fi iPads for $399. There’re two things wrong with this announcement: “$399” and “T.J. Maxx”. Apple’s pretty careful about its relationships and its pricing and 20 percent off list doesn’t seem like a discount they’d give even a retailer with such a reputation for a quality shopping experience.

Cough.

Which pretty much assured that this was done outside of normal channels. All evidence to the contrary did not stop commenters on some sites to speculate, however, that Apple was cutting prices to compete with Android tablets. 9 To 5 Mac missed the obvious, saying:

This is as aggressive on both pricing and placement as I’ve ever seen Apple…

Oy. OK, look, this is not Apple being aggressive on pricing. This is T.J. Maxx trying to get people into its stores, even if it means losing some money on the tiny inventory of iPads it somehow managed to get and spread around to certain stores. That’s it.

You know it’s bad when ZDNet is the voice of reason.

Since this story broke and everyone wondered “WHAT DOES IT MEAN?”, Steve Jobs has (allegedly) pointed out that T.J. Maxx is not an authorized iPad reseller. And then he (probably) sighed heavily and rolled his eyes and (possibly) fired someone, just to put himself in a better mood and kick the weekend off right.

In Dutch

This week Steve Wozniak appeared to have stepped in it again when he was quoted as saying Android would beat iOS.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak partly surprised the industry in a Dutch interview by arguing that Android would eventually overtake iOS in sales. He told De Telegraaf that there are “very few weaknesses” in the iPhone and there were no real complaints or problems, but it and iOS would eventually be matched in consistency, satisfaction and quality by Android. The sheer variety of devices will ultimately accommodate more people and is already seeing technical advantages emerge.

Oh, no! WOZ HAS LOST FAITH IN APPLE! AAAAAIIIIEEEEEE! SELL YOUR STOCK! LIGHT YOUR IPADS ON FIRE!

This will probably get the Macalope in trouble with some people, but he’s never quite been sure why some people think Steve Wozniak’s pronouncements on Apple are so important. Sure, he was a co-founder (he’s apparently even technically an employee still) and he’s a smart guy who owns a lot of shares of Apple and other companies. But he’s also kind of a jokester with a loose mouth who these days is known more for his dating and dancing.

Regardless, Woz’s pronouncements on Apple generate a lot of press. On Thursday, CNBC was running the chyron “APPLE’S WOZNIAK: DROID WILL OVERTAKE IPHONE”.

Yeah, well, funny thing happened on the way to the Apocalypse. Turns out Woz says he didn’t say that.

Quickly following up on a Dutch interview, Steve Wozniak this afternoon said he was misquoted. The Apple co-founder said he believed virtually every app he used was “better on the iPhone.” Android’s main advantages were in its Voice Actions for navigation and other tasks, but Apple’s acquisitions of Siri and Poly9 would solve these, he told Engadget.

He still believed from “what I’d read” that Android would still get the upper hand in market share, but Wozniak stressed that he didn’t necessarily think it would be out of superiority.

Of course, Woz has long been a loose cannon, so it’s perfectly possible he did, in fact, say exactly that and only now, in the harsh light of day, is embarrassed about it. Not that that’s ever happened with him before. Like, oh, when he got kicked off Dancing with the Stars .

The decision didn’t seem to take Wozniak by surprise. “This is a great show, a great voting system even, and the right thing happens,” said Wozniak after being told he was done with the program.

Ironically, Wozniak has been very vocal about how the Dancing with the Stars judges score routines and about the fan voting system; at one point, he had said the judges were out of sync with the public taste and that the voting was rigged.

If he does have a penchant for changing his tune so as to be less controversial, it’s kind of surprising to the Macalope. He’s always assumed that Segway riders don’t feel shame like regular humans do.

Note: the Macalope will be off next week, celebrating the annual Feast of Ungulates, which just happens to coincide with the American holiday of Thanksgiving.

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