The Macalope Daily: Against all odds

The Macalope hates to call out All Things Digital’s John Paczkowski, but there is no way that Consumers Still Love Last Year’s iPhone.

With the iPhone 5′s October launch fast approaching, you’d expect demand for the iPhone 4 to be waning. Why invest in a smartphone that’s over a year old now when you can wait a few weeks and buy its brand-new successor? Or so the logic goes.

Evidently the market is not buying into that logic. Because according to Stern Agee analyst Shaw Wu, iPhone 4 sales remain surprisingly strong, despite the device’s advanced age and a widely anticipated October refresh.

Ugh, it’s so embarrassing that Paczkowski has made such an obvious mistake here. Because this story has to be wrong. All wrong. None other than Consumer Reports said that the iPhone 4 was unique in how unusable it was, so we know for a fact that people must be buying other phones instead.

The iPhone 4 has been beset by scandals appended with the -gate suffix from the get-go. As PCWorld’s Jeff Bertolucci said at the peak of Antennagate, Apple Must Kill The iPhone 4—The Sooner The Better.

The iPhone 4 is now tainted in the consumer’s eyes.

Truer words were never lazily keyed into a computer without a shred of evidence, Jeff. What would Apple do without such sage advice? Keep making a badly flawed phone that we know must be selling poorly, that’s what.

Dan Lyons, as has been his wont since moving to Newsweek (available at a discerning dentist’s office coffee table near you), further nailed it.

I wonder if panic has started to set in at Apple yet. If not, it should. Because today’s hastily called news conference—ostensibly to discuss problems with iPhone 4 and how Apple intends to fix them—only did further damage to Apple’s reputation.

If there were two words you could use to describe Apple they would be “panicked” and “untrusted.”

But it wasn’t just Antennagate. Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.

No.

No.

Nnnnno.

There was also Glassgate. You remember how devastating it was to Apple when people were buying slide-on cases for the iPhone 4, only to find the smallest piece of grit in it would cause the back of the phone to shatter, right? Sure you do.

According to my sources both inside and outside Apple, after Antennagate the iPhone engineering team identified another potential design flaw that appears to have sent them into lockdown, and has them working behind the scenes in what’s been described to me as something of a quiet panic to preempt any further tarnishing the iPhone brand.

As of this writing, the online Apple Store carries the Mophie Juice Pack, as do at least the two Apple Stores the Macalope called. The horny one hasn’t heard any groundswell of complaints about shattered iPhones, but it’s probably because Apple disappeared anyone who raised the issue—the same way it disappeared slide-on cases from the Apple Stores. Until it started stocking them to throw people off the track that it was disappearing them.

Of course, we shouldn’t rule out the possibility that Apple issued a software update to fix the problem.

Anyway, even if the iPhone 4 had sold that well (which it couldn’t have), it clearly only sold to mindless Apple zealots who would buy anything their iGod Steve Jobs told them to buy—so it doesn’t count.

[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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