The Macalope Weekly: Same time next year

As 2011 draws to a close, technology pundits want to make you sure know how terrible 2012 could be for Apple. That's so sweet of them. It's like that crappy little calendar that dry cleaner you used once sends you every year that you throw out. Meanwhile, Android enjoys some fluffing!

End Enderle

Add CIO’s Tom Kaneshige to the list of technology writers hoping to ride the Apple fail wave all the way to Bad Analysis Beach.

Apple in 2012: 5 Reasons It Will Be a Tough Year. (Tip o’ the antlers to Shawn King writing at The Four Misanthropes of the Apocalypse.)

So, to what do we owe the pleasure of having to watch you lay this particular oeuvre, Tom?

…says veteran tech analyst Rob Enderle…

That’s right. As hard as it is to believe, as flabbergastingly tone deaf as one would have to be to commit such an atrocity on logic and common decency, Kaneshige uses our old pal Rob as the primary source for “analysis” in this piece. Which is, of course, spread over three pages, because you know how hard it is to put that much text on one webpage. Why, the very idea of so much text on one page is simply inconceivable to anyone who knows anything about HTML and its well-known limit of 500 words per page.

Ugh.

Look, the Macalope’s not going to bother deconstructing Enderle’s comments. King already did a yeoman’s job of that and really, what’s the point? Apple “analysis” comes flying from Rob’s mouth like angry, stupid bees from a hive that produces wrongness instead of honey.

Instead, the horny one is going to focus on the ridiculous impropriety of anyone quoting Enderle in a piece about Apple. We’ve been through this, people. If you’re not going to do the required reading, why are you still pretending to be in the class? It’s hardly worth chastising Enderle anymore. He’s just making a living at the oldest profession.

What is not understandable, however, is why anyone would prop Enderle up as some unbiased source. Unlike some other people in the Apple community, the Macalope does not believe Rob is dumb. Indeed, we have some empirical evidence that he actually gives his clients good advice, whether they listen to him or not.

But it should be patently obvious to anyone that pays any attention to his rantings about Apple over the years that what he says is, conveniently, precisely what Apple’s competitors (i.e. his clients) want to hear. “Apple’s in trouble! The iPhone is going to kill your children! Windows 7 will destroy Apple!” And so many, many more.

Does anyone think Enderle—Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group and the Moustache Club for Men, whose client list reads HP, Dell, Microsoft, and on down to Joe's PC Shack in Sarasota, Florida—has contacts inside Apple, or the Apple community, or even anywhere within the court-mandated 300-yard berth that he has to give every Apple Store that actually give him information?

Let’s just say this again, since some people have apparently not gotten it.

When Rob Enderle speaks about Apple, he is doing it solely at the behest of his paid masters and not in the interests of any higher value such as truth, accuracy, or intelligent discourse.

That clear enough for everyone?

The ghost of Apple future

You know that Christmas carol about the ghosts who show the guy how bleak everything is but it wouldn’t have to be that way, if only he’d be nicer? The Macalope thinks it was called “The Holiday Special About The Mean Guy Who Became Nice, Starring Patrick Stewart.” Anyway, this isn’t about that.

No, instead it’s about another fetid piece of fruit cake over at Business Insider, this time about what would happen to Apple if it stopped being Apple and instead was stupid Apple. As always, the house policy chez le Macalope is no links for Business Insider, and this time it’s a public service, as this tripe shouldn’t be viewed by anyone with high blood pressure.

The “piece”—an 11-page ad-impression-maximizing slide show by Jay Yarrow—is titled “The 10 Ways Tim Cook Could Blow It For Apple In 2012” (tip o’ the antlers to James Draeger), and the Macalope’s not really sure if it’s worth pulling any quotes because the whole thing could be easily retitled “Henry Blodget’s Anti-Apple Fantasy Porn.”

Come to think of it, Business Insider could just be retitled that. It’d be more accurate. Is the “Insider” part supposed to reflect that this is all inside Blodget’s fevered dreams?

Ugh. OK. Let’s pull a few quotes. That is what the Macalope gets paid for, right?

Wait, is that it? Or is it to just sit around in suits and look good? Because being the Macworld eye candy would be less annoying than having to read Business Insider. And the Macalope’s not above being treated like an object. Heck, he’s practically a cartoon anyway.

Well, he’ll take that up with his editor. In the meantime, let’s get stupid.

Let the smartest people walk out the door

Yes, this could be a problem if it happens. Just like it could have been a problem if it happened last year or the year before that or the year before that or...

Release an iPhone 4S II instead of an iPhone 6

6?! What happened to 5?! Talk about moving the goal posts.

Release a bad Apple TV

Heck, as long as we’re just making things up about a thing that doesn’t exist yet, let’s really go to town! Holiday-style!

They could horfazzle their humdingers or kartoozle their flim-flummers
Re-jigger their wack-doodles and zin-zinger their zang-zungers!

Ugh, look, let’s just zoom through the rest so that you can get back to something more enjoyable, like wrapping presents or fighting your way through a crowded mall or fighting your way through a cave full of angry bears.

Hire the wrong guy to run retail

Only Steve Jobs can hire good people.

Let iCloud stagnate

On the other hand, we lived with Mobile Me for years and the company did pretty well.

Issue a dividend or buy back stock

In other words, throw the company’s policy toward capital management out the window.

Leave the iPad just as it is

Sure! That could totally happen!

Let the world’s Apple fantasies run wild

Seems like Business Insider’s fantasies all come in one flavor: Apple Is Doooooomed Crunch.

Just let Android get bigger and bigger

Because market share is more important than profit. Somehow.

Miss the next big thing!

The Macalope likes Apple’s odds on this versus those of any other company.

BONUS: Try to be Steve Jobs

Calling anything a “BONUS” on this list is just adding insult to injury.

Saturday Special: About that Android growth

You see this a lot: the mystique of the very large number. Now, the Macalope's sure you see it in reference to Apple, too. Certainly in reference to the number of apps or songs downloaded or their cash reserve or the number of bowling balls Bob Mansfield has crushed to dust with his massive hands in shows of strength meant to terrorize hardware executives at competing technology companies.

But with Android's meteoric growth, a lot of people have let the lust for numbers run away with them.

Take, for example, the much-ballyhooed report that Google is activating 700,000 Android devices a day. Wow! 700,000 a day is huge! What incredible growth Android is showing! Well, 700,000 is a large number. Some might say it's bigger than 200,000, 500,000 or even 600,000. But as for that growth, well, as Amit Runchal noted (tip o' the antlers to Daring Fireball) funny thing about that...

But as far as I can tell, the 700,000 number isn’t good for Android. It’s bad. It means that Android activation growth has slowed dramatically, by almost a factor of three.

Technology coverage Barbie says "Math is hard!"

Seems kind of obvious, though, even for a technology journalist. A year ago they were activating 300,000 a day, six months ago it was 500,000 and now it's 700,000. Sure, Android continues to grow, but the slope of the curve is flattening.

And, yet, somehow Appitalism CEO Simon Buckingham thinks Android growth isn't just going to take off again next year, it's going to go cuckoo-bananas. At least, that’s what he tells AllThingsD:

Appitalism CEO Simon Buckingham predicts that, by the end of next year, daily activations could reach an astronomical 2.5 million per day — a run rate of more than 900 million a year.

2.5 million a day? Sooo, Android activations, which increased by an impressive 133 percent over the last year but have started to slow, will somehow have increase 257 percent by next December.

It's a little odd that AllThingsD's Ina Fried doesn't mention that Appitalism is a site that sells apps for "open" platforms like Android and that it's in Buckingham’s interest to inflate the image of platforms anyone with a penchant for technology puns can make a store for. Not surprisingly, he also downplays Windows Phone 7.

It's not just the activations, though. A couple of weeks ago, the Macalope noted the oohs and aahs and misreportings about Google's $2.5 billion a year run rate in mobile revenue. And now, we’re seeing the rampant misreporting of sales of 1 million Kindle devices a week as just sales of the Kindle Fire which, as we know, isn't really "Android" but one member of the Android family of platforms.

It's like a holiday ear worm. People hear "Android is selling like crazy!" and can't help but repeat it, over and over and over, long after it stops making sense.

Well, here's hoping you get something catchier stuck in your head tonight.

Happy holidays from the Macalope.

[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.]

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