The Macalope Weekly: Wasting time

Your time is precious. Why waste it on bad punditry? If you’re going to get into the minutia of Apple’s market position—stuff you probably never ask yourself about any other company you buy stuff from—at least get your information from someone who cares about what they’re saying. Even if someone’s saying something positive about Apple, it doesn’t matter if it’s said carelessly. Still, do we all need to care about Apple’s stats?

Goofuses and Gallant

Oh, bad writers on the Internet. Why can’t you be more like good writers on the Internet?

Let’s start with another top-ten list gem from eWeek’s Don Reisinger: Apple iPad’s Reign as Top Tablet Won’t Last Forever: 10 Reasons Why

This is, quite frankly, an utterly useless collection of bunny pellets. Because of what the Macalope assumes is an editing error, it isn’t even ten items, as the list repeats the Kindle Fire twice, once with the wrong picture. The list is a collection of repeated statements of fact not entered into evidence, such as the idea that once there are a ton of different kinds of crappy Android tablets out there, people will have to start buying them!

The Macalope’s not sure what Don Reisinger and eWeek’s problem is: Why do they keep churning out these bland top ten lists, devoid of any value? The horny one’s coming around to the idea that they look at writing the same way your average bored teenager looks at assembling burgers at a fast-food joint: Slap ‘em together and throw ‘em under the light.

And if you think the Macalope’s mixing metaphors by calling eWeek’s output both rodent poop and fast-food hamburgers, well, then you haven’t worked in the fast-food industry, brother. Or read eWeek lately.

Read more…

If what eWeek’s serving isn’t stomach-cramp-inducing enough for you, drive over to the virtual pages of Laptop Magazine, where you’ll learn that the Lenovo ThinkPad tablet won the 2011 Tablet World Series. How was the winner of the 2011 Tablet World Series determined? Apparently not by sales. The iPad 2 got eliminated in the the first round, losing to the Asus Eee Pad Slider. Surely, you’ve heard of this iPad killer. No? Well, maybe you haven’t been to the bargain bin of your local Best Buy recently. Or a dumpster.

Not surprisingly, the iPad didn’t win last year, either, losing out to the mighty Exo PC which quickly overtook the iPad in market share hahahaha never heard of it. Last year’s Tablet World Series winner? Are you sitting down? The BlackBerry PlayBook. No, the Macalope is not [swear word] [other swear word]-ing you. (How would someone even do that?)

What is the point of all this? It’s not a scientific survey. The Macalope assumes it’s supposed to be fun, but it’s about as fun as Chutes and Ladders is for adults. It’s pointless.

OK. OK. Let’s climb down off this ledge before someone gets hurt, and turn to something that’s good and pure in a world gone horribly wrong.

You may have heard of Horace Dediu. If he doesn’t get more traffic than eWeek and Laptop Magazine combined, times infinity, it’s a crime. Horace is ostensibly an “Apple enthusiast”—that is to say he finds their products more appealing than the competing products and has a healthy respect for the company’s business acumen.

But Horace has a background in the smartphone business and an inquisitive mind. The Macalope was struck by this recent post in which he delves into the problem of Samsung not reporting its smartphone sales figures (because they’re too awesome, apparently) to see how one might best estimate them.

See, any moron can just regurgitate the widely reported estimates of Samsung’s smartphone shipments from Strategy Analytics, claim the company is killing Apple, and slap it up on Business Insider under the name “Henry Blodget.” Horace, on the other hand, wants to check their work. Note, he’s not trying to disprove their work, he’s just trying to see what realistic answer he can come up with.

That’s smart. It’s wonky, but it has value. The Macalope just doesn’t get a publication that doesn’t care enough about its work to write something meaningful. It doesn’t have to be favorable to Apple but, sweet alfalfa, at least make it have a point and make sense.

Nice try

Speaking of Reisinger, Don followed up with another top ten list, but this time with a twist!

Ditch Microsoft Windows In Favor of Mac OS X Lion: 10 Reasons Why

Ahhh, verrry clever, Don! But the Macalope only eats grains, he doesn’t eat cheese. Let alone government grade cheese like this.

OK, this isn’t a terrible list—unlike many of the others that Reisinger’s coughed up on the Internet, like an overly fastidious cat—but it’s not a great list either, and it still has more bogus items than the USDA recommends you read in a day.

Talking about FaceTime, Don says:

Windows, on the other hand, doesn’t come with FaceTime support.

Uh, yeah, that’s probably because Apple never opened it up like they said they would. Makes it kind of hard to support.

If users want to video chat with friends who are either on a different computer or on the road, getting a Mac with FaceTime is a must.

Assuming your friends have a Mac, iPad or iPhone. On the other hand, it’s not like you can’t use Skype to do the same thing, just uglier.

The latest rumors suggest Apple is planning to deliver more features to Mac OS X Lion in the coming months.

And we all know how accurate rumors are, right?! Take that to the fake bank and deposit it along with the rest of your fake money and you’ll be fake rich and swimming in fake features!

One prominent rumor contends Apple will offer Siri support, so users can control their Mac desktops and laptops with voice commands.

The Macalope is not really familiar with this rumor, as unfounded speculation gives him hives, but his guess would be that this is more likely to be a feature of 10.8 than Lion. He could be wrong, but Apple didn’t even give Siri to iPhone 4 and iPad 2 users, so don’t expect to get it for nothing on the Mac.

For those customers that are running a Windows XP- or Windows Vista-based computer, getting into the world of Windows 7 can be expensive, depending on the version they’re looking for. … But Lion is different. Current Mac OS X owners who want to use Lion need only pay $30 to add it to their computer. Not bad.

Like a teenager on a date, Don is clumsily groping around the point here, still somehow managing to never actually get to second base. The advantage is simply that OS X upgrades cost less than Windows upgrades. The direct cost comparison between Windows 7 and Lion is kind of irrelevant for a switcher, though, as those people have to buy a new machine.

Macs Are Winners

You got that right.

It Runs Windows

Yes, Macs run Windows, but wasn’t the point of this pointless top-ten list supposed to be why you should run Lion instead of Windows? We’re at item #9 and Don’s forgotten what he’s supposed to be writing about.

Upon breaking a Mac out of the box, users can turn the device on, and within just a couple minutes, they can be surfing the Web, checking email and downloading applications.

Well, duh, it’s 2011. Can’t you do that on Windows, or Linux hahahaha couldn’t say that with a straight face.

Don, Don, Don, Don, Don, Don, Don, Don, Don, Don, Don.

Don.

Pandering will get you nowhere. The Macalope hopes we’re clear on that now.

Saturday Special: Who cares?

Not that statistics can’t be interesting or useful, but does it all really matter?

Pretty much every day we hear something about Apple’s market share, profitability, Web share, advertising share, EBITDA, ROI, OPS, on-base percentage against left-handed pitchers…

The exact values of these statistics might matter if you’re an investor, or if you’re just really interested in business practices, or you run a rec league baseball team, but as a Mac, iPad or iPhone user? Not so much.

Of course, this doesn’t stop silly pundits whose names rhyme with and actually are “Henry Blodget” from trying to get Apple fans into a frenzy about some of them (which he did earlier this week, but the Macalope’s not linking to it). Specifically the only ones where Apple’s not on top, of course. “Android took X percent! It’s unstoppable! It’ll grow forever!” They’re just ginning up hits; they don’t care about the real meaning of Apple’s relative market share or profitability.

But should users care about it? It’s certainly not like Apple’s in danger of going out of business or having developers flee its platforms, which is what people who smell like Henry Blodget want us to think is going to happen. Yes, it matters that Apple’s profitable so that it continues to stay in business and it matters that the iOS and Mac ecosystems are prospering so that developers will continue to spray us in the face with a hose of 99-cent apps. But is it going to affect your game of Zombieville if Apple is the #1 seller of smartphones or the #2 seller of smartphones? No.

All this time spent on all these statistics. A modest suggestion: Just enjoy your premium user experience.

Which, statistics say, you already do because Apple has the highest customer-satisfaction rating in both the smartphone and the PC industry! Yay! WE’RE NUM-BER ONE! WE’RE NUM-BER ONE!

[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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