The Macalope Weekly: New iPad highs, new coverage lows
The new iPad, with its lightning fast processor and data connection and its gorgeous Retina display, won’t hit your lap until Friday, but you can enjoy some of the worst in iPad-related punditry right now! Even before Apple’s Wednesday event, pundits were predicting a major failPad. And then, when it was announced, guess what? Total fail. Phew. Who writes this stuff?
All over but the failing
Prior to the Wednesday event, a lot of people were falling over themselves to declare the new iPad a failure before it was even announced. In other words, it was business as usual.
It’s quite a feat, writing a review of something you haven’t seen, but that doesn’t stop some people. In this dog-eat-dog world of Internet publishing, expectations are high. Almost as high as the people writing the stories.
Still, this has been going on for a while. If you recall, people were declaring the iPhone a complete failure before it was announced, too. When you have no self respect and do not garner the respect of others, well, why not? Nothing to lose, really.
Now, when the Macalope said “people” were declaring the new iPad a failure, that was sort of a half-truth. Because one of these “pundits” was Rob Enderle and, if we’re being technical, Rob is actually some kind of mold.
Rob keyed not just one but at least two pieces of “commentary” that the Macalope saw before he had to douse his eyes with industrial-strength firefighting foam. As usual, neither of these sites felt that their readers needed to know that Rob’s up to his mustache in conflicts of interest when it comes to Apple.
Oh, the Macalope could link to some of these pieces to provide examples of what he’s talking about, but do we really want to encourage that kind of behavior? The Macalope says no.
Seriously, these pieces are like Mad Libs:
Apple’s new _____ is a modest upgrade that has many who were hoping for more disappointed. Sure, the Apple fanbois will buy it, but Apple has failed to keep up with the state of the _____ market. For example, just the other day at the _____ conference, _____ unveiled a _____ with a _____-inch screen and _____ with _____ that come flying out of the sides and _____ with _____ and _____ the _____ by _____ing the _____ with _____s. And it has a stylus. While it doesn’t get good battery life, Apple will have to respond to this threat as _____ Analysts projects _____ will sell literally dozens of these devices.
John Gruber and MG Siegler both provided their takes on this jacktastic phenomenon. That is, if you really want to feel compelled to click through to pieces that will have you jamming satay skewers into your ears, just to make the hurting stop.
As for the Macalope, he’d rather spend his time relentlessly hitting refresh on the Apple Store page, hoping to actually have the chance to order one of these gigantic fails.
Which is good, because that’s exactly what he did on Wednesday.
While the Macalope was able to restrain himself from directly covering those suffering from premature evaluation (honestly, it never happens with Android products!), he’s gotta say something about the post-event coverage.
Something like “wow.”
Just when the Macalope tries to get out of responding to this claptrap… they pull him back in.
First, an apology. The Macalope likes to give a tip o’ the antlers to people who send him this crap, but this time there were so many different articles being sent by multiple people that it was impossible to keep track.
Where to even begin? How about in the eighth circle of hell?
As Apple chief executive Tim Cook wrapped up his first major product unveiling event since the death of his company’s iconic co-founder Steve Jobs last fall, perhaps no one was as excited about what he had to say as Apple’s competitors.
Well, if that’s true, then that’s delightfully hilarious, because it means that they’re even more clueless than they seem. The Macalope didn’t think that was possible with such enormous clown shoes, but the Financial Post’s Matt Hartley says otherwise. Good to know!
For Apple’s rivals, most notably Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp., the incremental improvements in the latest iPad may be just the opportunity they need to establish themselves as legitimate competitors to the world’s most valuable company.
The incremental improvements made in the iPad 2 weren’t incremental enough, but these incremental improvements (which are actually larger) might be incremental enough to, man, I have no idea what I’m talking about!
But will that be enough to cause Apple fans to line up outside the company’s retail stores on launch day next Friday (March 16)?
Remember, only “Apple fans” buy iPads. Other tablets are bought by regular people.
It now appears that Apple’s move from second to third generation iPad is even less of a bold leap forward and more of a tepid shuffle from an underwhelming top dog.
Translation: I like specs! They’re easy to write up!
In the fourth quarter of 2011, despite selling more iPads than in any other quarter to date, Apple saw its share of the global tablet market fall to 57.6%, down from 68.2% at the end of 2010, according to data from market research firm Strategy Analytics.
And market share is the only thing that matters.
Investors appeared to be disappointed by the announcement, with Apple stock falling more than 2% from US$535.11 per share at 1 p.m. ET (just before the announcement) to US$524.24 by 3:15 p.m. ET (about an hour after the unveiling) before recovering to close the trading day at US$530.69, marginally higher than its opening price Wednesday morning.
Investors were so disappointed that Apple shares were up for the day.
Apparently Hartley believes that only disappointment in the new iPad could have dragged Apple’s shares down, but what caused Apple’s share to go up are outside forces such as tides and the position of Jupiter.
As antler-bangingly bad as Hartley’s piece is, it’s not even the worst. No, the worst piece of coverage of the Apple event was clearly keyed by Jolie O’Dell at VentureBeat.
What evidence does O’Dell present to support this seriously late entry into the Hanna-Barbera Laff-A-Lympics, which hasn’t been produced since the 1970s?
This wasn’t anything major, just a few minor but glaring inconsistencies: Tim Cook going for the “rumpled executive” look in an untucked shirt, the ambiguous naming of the “new iPad,” (not iPad 3 or iPad HD), the use of a truly horrible pun on a new product’s landing page, and finally, the tie-dyed Apple logo at the presentation’s conclusion.
Oh, it’s not much right now, but mark O’Dell’s words! These are the first cracks in Apple’s foundation that will lead directly to its downfall! Two years from now we Apple enthusiasts will be crying “IF ONLY TIM HAD TUCKED IN HIS SHIRT BACK IN 2012!”
This, folks, is your modern online technology coverage.
Tim Berners-Lee is spinning in his grave at what they’ve done with the medium he helped invent.
And he’s not even close to dead.
Saturday Special: Complaints
Look, the Macalope has always been very careful to point out that Apple is not perfect. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about that task.
The Macalope doesn’t spend a lot of time on the right way because, well, these antlers weren’t made for patting people on the back for a job well done. They were made to protect the Macalope’s cranium during rutting season when he must fight other members of the herd for dominance to secure females in order to procreate. But since he got married, he’s put them to other uses, such as skewering silly pundits (and, on occasion, improving television reception).
But here’s an example of an article about someone switching from the iPhone to Android that the Macalope—despite some quibbles—thinks was pretty well done. Why? Because the author almost exclusively resisted the urge to generalize that his experience and his needs will apply to everyone.
The iPhone’s not for you? OK. Not a problem. Godspeed to you, fellow traveller through modern technology! Just don’t try to tell us why it’s not for us.
Look, the Macalope recommended a Kindle Fire to some friends a few weeks back. Why? They wanted a tablet and e-reader but simply didn’t have the budget for an iPad. Sure, they’re not going to get as polished an experience, but they are going to have something to entertain their kids on long car rides. As you can tell by his suit, the Macalope is a mythical beast of at least some means, so he’s willing to pay for a better user experience. But not everyone can do that.
Although, he feels he should point out that he does wear the same suit every day. Let’s face it, while he has some means, he’s not exactly George Clooney, either.
It’s OK, though. He licks it clean every day and has those little birds that walk up and down his back all day picking off bugs.
Look, the point is, there are reasonable complaints you can make about Wednesday’s event. For example, while the Macalope doesn’t feel the need to go on an expletive-laden tirade about the issue, the fact that Apple rolled over and submitted to AT&T’s lame definition of 4G—after making a point of not doing that when the iPhone 4S was announced—is pretty weak. And you can certainly complain about AT&T not offering tethering for the iPad. Or, well, you can just buy the Verizon version like the Macalope did.
But complaining that Apple didn’t satisfy the fevered pipe dreams of the rumor mill for haptic screens and a 7-inch version, things that no one in their right mind thought were coming, is simply not reasonable analysis.
And reading doom in an untucked shirt? You really need to find another profession more suited to your particular brand of crayon-scribblings.
[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.]