The Macalope Daily: The device that must not be named

Not that the attention to Steve Jobs stepping down is unwarranted, but let’s not neglect the other important things in life. Like making fun of Apple’s competitors.

Turns out Jobs was right: The iPad really is magic. It’s magically driving Apple’s competitors bonkers and killing their business models.

Just like with Voldemort, these companies dare not even speak the iPad’s name.

Acer Chairman J.T. Wang chalked up his company’s poor second-quarter performance as a “correction period,” according to Reuters. His company has seen numerous struggles since the launch of Apple’s iPad, which has cut into the sales of low-cost, low-power netbooks.

Wang reportedly added that he expects the “fever” for tablets to recede, and for consumers to regain interest in traditional style notebooks. Though he did not mention the iPad by name, Apple’s touchscreen device has dominated the tablet market since it first went on sale in 2010.

Sounds like denial just flooded the river basin of J.T. Wang’s mind. Good luck with that strategy of “ignoring it until it goes away,” J.T.! That’s a sure-fire winner. While you’re waiting for traditional style notebooks to come back, maybe you can help Microsoft’s Frank X. Shaw come up with a less convoluted way to not say “iPad.” Readers: Play along at home and see if you can spot the iPad euphemism!

I’ll be the first to admit that these new “non-PC” objects do a great job at enabling people to communicate and consume in innovative and interesting ways.

Did you catch it?! “‘Non-PC’ objects.” Wow. That one’s a keeper. The Macalope’s cutting that one out of the Internet and putting it in his scrapbook. Of course, we can always turn to Microsoft for a clumsy name for something.

Boy, you’d think “iPad” was a four-letter word or something.

Sure, Shaw’s term includes smartphones and set-top boxes but, let’s face it, nobody started talking about this until the iPad came out. They were all talking about netbooks before that. Remember netbooks? No? You didn’t miss much.

At Microsoft, we envision a future where increasingly powerful devices of all kinds will connect with cloud services to make it all the more easier for us social beings to create, communicate, collaborate and consume information.

Translation: We are so late to this game it’s embarrassing. Let us now join together in not assigning blame but instead looking forward to a future where we’re relevant again. God, we hope it’s soon. Amen.

I encourage you to tune into our BUILD conference in mid-September where our vision for this world of devices will become clearer.

Terrific. That will give you a few weeks to figure things out.

So while it’s fun for the digerati to pronounce things dead, and declare we’re post-PC, we think it’s far more accurate to say that the 30-year-old PC isn’t even middle aged yet, and about to take up snowboarding.

Look, the Macalope doesn’t buy into this “post-PC” crap either. Pundits do love to declare things are dead. But the point is that most of the growth is coming from these other categories. Shaw knows that, but doesn’t care to admit it, because Microsoft’s not competitive in the tablet market.

Who knows, though? Maybe Microsoft will be able to stand up, brush itself off, and pull a rabbit out of its butt. The Macalope just thinks they’re going to have a hard time shoehorning the elephant that is Windows into a VW Bug, no matter how much grease they use. And it’s stuff like this that make him feel justified in that assessment (tip o’ the antlers to MG Siegler).

Then there’s Amazon, which may be set to introduce a tablet that costs “hundreds less” than the iPad.

Yeah, OK, it’s from The New York Post, so it’s the kind of rumor you generally wrap fish in. And, at that price point, it’s questionable if the rumored device would even be designed to compete with the iPad. And, yes, Apple’s probably got room to come down on price if it needs to be more competitive. Heck, it hasn’t even cut the price of the iPad once yet.

But, look, we’re getting pretty close to the bottom of this barrel of supposed iPad competitors, so what do you want?

[Editors’ Note: 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.]

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