The Macalope got a little nervous last month, because Mike Elgan wrote something that made sense. Of course, you know what they say about putting a thousand monkeys at a thousand typewriters for a thousand years. But the Macalope had always thought Elgan was short about 999 monkeys.WHOA
Writing about the iBooks Author software license controversy, Elgan had said:
Emotional responses to this licensing agreement are natural, given the unusual terms it contains. But once the emotion has subsided, and the facts are considered with a cool head, Apple’s new iBooks Author looks like a pretty good deal.
I’m predicting that a whole lot of authors are going to love it.
He even made a decent joke!
On the contrary, Apple’s terms aggressively champion the cause of free books. There are several powerful incentives for authors to give books away free. Who wrote this policy, Richard Stallman?
Ha-ha! No, of course not, Mike! Stallman’s too busy eating pieces of his own foot to write software policy. Duh.
Anyway, that was last month. This month, Mike’s back to his old form. Phew! The Macalope was beginning to worry he had slipped into some alternate universe where Mike Elgan consistently makes sense.
Well…it’s possible! It’s not very likely, but it’s possible.
Why does Mike feel it necessary to stake his already thin reputation on this? Why, because Apple must answer the threat of the Samsung Galaxy Note!
The Samsung Galaxy Note, and all Samsung phones, are especially noteworthy to Apple because Samsung is the only other company making money in the phone space.
Yes, but the way it’s making money is by splattering the market with a myriad of bizarre configurations. Does that sound at all like Apple? The Macalope’s not saying it’s impossible, but apps would either have to scale up from the iPhone—and then, what’s the point?—or be re-written. Three screen sizes is still better than Android, but…
There’s money being made by Apple’s competitors in the intermediate space between iPhone and iPad because there’s demand for an intermediate device size.
So far only Amazon has had any success selling a mid-sized device, and then largely because its chief selling point is its use as an e-reader. The Galaxy Note, meanwhile, while advertised as “already here,” is also advertised as “coming soon.” It’s Schrödinger’s gigantic phone!
The Macalope’s already explained why this freak of nature is even shuffling Frankenstein-like onto the scene. Samsung’s realized that it can’t sell tablets so it’s trying to sell tablet-sized phones instead. Apple doesn’t have this problem. Indeed, there’s little evidence that the Kindle Fire has hurt iPad sales at all. Wouldn’t the company rather keep selling iPads?
Sorry. The Macalope was trying to make sense out of a Mike Elgan piece. His mistake.
[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.]