The Macalope Weekly: Who writes this stuff?

It’ll be a big week next week as Apple gets set to unveil the next iPhone, and the pundits are already letting us know what a disappointment it’ll be. Aren’t they helpful? Frankly, the Macalope is used to that, since it happens every year. What he can’t take are the trite pop culture comparisons to Apple that some people think are oh-so-smart. At least those we can argue about. Our last pundit this week can’t even get basic facts right. Oh, the Macalope’s aching antlers!

Pre-hated for your convenience

The cycle of technology upgrades gets faster every year. Why, now you don’t even need to wait for the next iPhone to be announced for pundits to tell you how lame it is!

MarketWatch’s Jon Friedman doesn’t even want to look at it.

“Get that Apple iPhone 5 out of my face”

How is there an iPhone 5 in your face when it hasn’t been announced yet? Are you in a time machine?

Apple is expected to unveil its newest smartphone model, which everyone has already dubbed the iPhone 5, on Sept. 12.

Everyone except the only people who matter: Apple.

I don’t want to hear about the presumably superior way I’ll be able to take and store photos and all the rest.

Yeah! New things are annoying!

Don’t misunderstand me. I have a Macbook [sic] Pro.

Oh, hey, it’s street cred time! Yes, it’s time for Friedman to wax on about how “down” he is with Apple so don’t you dare accuse him of knee-jerk Apple hating. His knee is jerking for some other weird reason, thank you very much.

Before I purchased my first iPhone in late 2010, my iPod was seldom out of reach. Apple makes useful, shiny…

Shiny! All Apple products must be described as “shiny” in order to achieve maximum condescension.

Read more…

…products that are more crucial to my existence than clean air or water.

LOL, GOOD ONE, BRO. STREET CRED ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED.

And yet, I am proud to say that I won’t rush out to get an iPhone 5 for the same reason that many of you will do so—whether you actually want to admit it or not: simply because it is new.

You people are all idiots! Friedman, however, is enlightened. See, your uninformed positive outlook on the next iPhone merely shows how much of a sheep you are. Only an uninformed negative reaction is valid.

What’s Friedman’s pre-beef with the next iPhone?

It boils down to the old expression, Fool me once, shame on you—fool me twice, shame on me.

Turns out Friedman’s entire complaint is that he feels like Siri doesn’t work like it’s advertised. And that’s a fair point. You can say it’s still in beta and you can say the ads have disclaimers but Siri is disappointing. If it’s still a beta because Apple recognizes it’s not quite there yet, then Apple shouldn’t be making it the centerpiece of iPhone advertising.

Note that he doesn’t say that the iPhone 4S is a bad phone; his sole grouse is about Siri, and he uses that to justify his contention that buyers of the next iPhone are just buying it because it’s new. Forget the utility of possible features like LTE or a larger screen. You’re just a bunch of rubes.

It’ll be no surprise that Business Insider’s Henry Blodget also wants to get his kicks in at the next iPhone.

“I Just Played With Samsung’s Amazing Galaxy S III And Now I’m Even More Annoyed By My iPhone 5.” (No link, you know the drill.)

I was all set to buy my iPhone 5 last year, when everyone expected the iPhone 5 to be released. But then Apple went and released a modest upgrade to the iPhone 4…

Despite his complaints that the next iPhone won’t have a screen the size of the deck of a bateau mouche like Samsung’s do and that the power connector might be different, Blodget says he’s still going to get one.

But he’s verrry upset about it!

But still buying one.

Under protest, mind you!

Why the passive-aggressive whining?

Because if I’m going to finally shell out another $200 for a new phone, it would be nice to be buying the best one on the market.

Wait, why exactly are you buying an iPhone if you don’t think it’s the best phone on the market? That’s not on Apple, that’s on you. Why don’t you sort out your personal masochism issues before you sit down to write another piece about the iPhone?

Writing bad

Every once in a while the Macalope will advise you to take a moment, before wading into a particular piece, to prepare yourself through whatever means you use—calisthenics, wind sprints, stretching, what have you—because this one’s going to be a doozy.

This is such an instance.

So take a minute and offer a prayer to whatever gods you worship before daring to read “How Apple’s story is like ‘Breaking Bad’” (tip o’ the antlers to Andrew Wadsworth).

This … is CNN. The most trusted name in tortured analogies.

Yes, congratulations to Omar L. Gallaga for committing an atrocity that, while not specifically proscribed by The Hague as a war crime, certainly violates the spirit of international humanitarian law.

If you want to know how Apple’s epic run turns out or how its ongoing battle with longtime rival Microsoft is resolved, you can watch the series, which ends its current half-season of eight episodes with a finale Sunday night.

No, actually, you can not. It’s one thing to loosely draw a parallel. It’s another to claim they’re one and the same.

Most obviously, Apple’s story mirrors that of “Breaking Bad” in the way the TV show began: Walter White, a chemistry teacher, is diagnosed with terminal cancer and decides to use his science skills to cook methamphetamine.

The Macalope feels Gallaga left something on the table here by not talking about how meth must affect the same part of the brain as using an iPhone. Really, who cares if it’s true or not at this point?

It’s hard not to think of Apple co-founder and longtime CEO Steve Jobs, who fought pancreatic cancer from 2003 until his death last year.

Because nobody else ever got cancer ever.

But let’s leave aside the cancer theme, which has in more recent seasons of the show been on the back burner as Walt has been in remission.

And Steve Jobs has been dead. Analogies are hard!

What makes Apple so successful? Like Walter White, it has mixed the proper elements at just the right amounts to create highly pure, addictive products.

He got paid to write this.

But like Jobs, and Apple as a company, Walt’s ego sometimes prompts him to make damaging mistakes.

Heeeeeeere we go …

When Apple’s iPhone 4 was found to have an external antenna problem…

It was clearly the same as when Walt had someone murdered in season 4. See how deep the parallels are? And suing Samsung? It’s probably like missing the birth of your child to deliver some meth.

You know, it’s an analogy, people. It doesn’t have to fit perfectly.

Or, apparently, at all.

Android developers and casual observers alike claim that Apple may be stifling competition and fighting its battles in court instead of in the marketplace.

Android developers and people who can’t be bothered to actually read the verdict and figure out what it was that Apple won.

Will Apple’s turn as ruler of the roost last so long, or will the ultimate business comeback story turn into the tale of an empire that too quickly fell victim to its own hubris?

What Gallaga calls hubris, the rest of us call the Apple double standard. Only Apple is expected to make a phone with no antenna flaws and only Apple is expected to fight against its competitors with one arm tied behind its back.

But other than that, Apple’s story is exactly like a guy who makes meth.

Saturday Special: Dropping conventional wisdom bombs

Look out, Apple fans, because your brains can’t repel conventional wisdom of this magnitude!

Writing for Seeking Alpha, Ed Liston warns that “Apple May Lose The Smartphone War To Google.”

Needless to say, what Apple is “losing” is just market share. Forget the fact that it makes most of the money and that Google makes more money on mobile advertising from iOS than Android and that Microsoft may have made more off of Android so far than Google. Forget all that! If Android has more market share, Google is winning!

Look how complex Google’s strategy is, how multi-layered.

How round, how firm, how fully packed.

Marketing technique wise, Android is a few steps ahead of iOS; it is freely distributed, it works across various hardware platforms.

Marketing to whom? OEMs?

You don’t need a dedicated OS-run computer to fully use Android, unlike iOS which requires you to buy a Mac to fully use the iPhone and iPad’s various features.

Buh—whaaaaaa? The Macalope runs into many ridiculous arguments, but he so rarely runs into something that is so blatantly incorrect that his antelope heritage takes over and he’s stuck in its blinding stupidity as it mows him over.

Here’s a lesson for Apple. Make iOS hardware-independent, and make it free.

BOO-YAH! Here’s a genius idea for you Apple: Throw away your two-thirds share of the profit in a pointless attempt to gain market share!

Don’t force people to buy expensive gear to use your smartphones.

What are you talking about?! Do the math! Apple sold 4 million Macs last quarter and 26 million iPhones. What are 85 percent of iPhone users doing? Using them as paperweights?

Rich, not-so-picky Americans might buy a $3000 Mac to use a $400 iphone [sic]…

Not only does Liston not know that you don’t need a Mac to use an iPhone, he apparently also doesn’t know that Macs start at $600 and iPhones start at $200. Seeking Alpha sure knows how to pick people to write about Apple, don’t they?

The thing is, Google has something else to sell besides hardware; something so entirely different from the smartphone-related selling points that it does not need to tie Android to any hardware. It can afford to give customers freedom, because what it is selling - advertising - is not tied to any specific hardware platform.

OK, someone really needs to make a “Crap Google Fans Say” (foul language warning) video. Because the “freedom” to be shown ads on any hardware sounds delightfully Orwellian.

The recent legal wins have given Apple a lifeline for another couple years or so…

Right. Because without that, they were this close to going out of business.

If you ask me: who is going to be runner up in market share after 5 years, I will not say Google/Android and Apple. I will say, Google/Android and Microsoft.

Sound strange?

Crazy, strange, let’s not quibble over terminology.

Just like access to the Internet is the most important feature of a smartphone, its second most important feature is plain Jane computing - the old world of Microsoft Word, and Excel, and photo editing.

Rest easy, huddled masses crying out to edit spreadsheets on your smartphones! Microsoft will set you free!

With Microsoft’s recent tie ins with Nokia and even Samsung’s forays into Windows Mobile world, it seems that Bill Gates (or whoever is creating Microsoft gameplans these days) has something similar in mind.

OK, Seeking Alpha, now you’re just pulling our legs, right? Liston doesn’t know who runs Microsoft and can’t be bothered to look it up?

What is it, exactly, you think your readers get from “analysis” like this, Seeking Alpha? Other than a good laugh, that is?

[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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