The Macalope Weekly: Fun-sized
Just like Halloween treats, the iPad mini will soon be here! But you can experience the sugar crash now, as pundits and analysts are lining up to tell us how lame it is. Then the Macalope will close by asking: Have you ever given an interview so bad you wanted to chew your own arm off afterwards?
More like the LamePad
No Apple product announcement would be complete without the host of usual goofballs telling us how laaaaaame it is.
No links for these two, of course, because of the Macalope?s standing rule against linking to those dangerous to themselves and others. But here?s Ewan Spence writing for Forbes:
?Tim Cook Blinked First - The Nexus 7 Takes Pride Of Place At The iPad Mini Launch? (tip o? the antlers to The Loop which has an appropriately foul-mouthed reaction).
One thing is for sure, this is no longer Steve Jobs? Apple.
In all of my time covering Apple launches, this felt the most defensive presentation of little more than a ?me-too? product.
Presumably a me-too of a me-too of the original by Apple. Yes, other tablet makers were first with a smaller tablet form factor, which, so far, is the only type of device that?s made any hint of a dent in Apple?s dominance of the market.
No, all you can sell it on is the words `iPad? and `Apple?.
Right. When you take away all of its specific advantages, all you?re left with is a better user interface and build quality and more content.
Which, of course, are synonymous with ?iPad? and ?Apple,? which is how the company sells so darn many of them.
Let?s wander over to Gizmodo and see what the brainpan drippings over there are saying.
?Apple is a follower? (tip o? the antlers to Matthew Panzarino)
The iPad Mini is an obvious and bloated?both in size and price?response to last year?s Kindle Fire and this summer?s Nexus 7.
Bloated? Can none of these people do simple math? The iPad mini has a larger screen, but the device itself is literally smaller and lighter than both the Kindle Fire and the Nexus 7, mostly because it?s so much thinner. So, unless the definition of ?bloated? changed some time in the last 48 hours, the Macalope will kindly point out that words still have meanings and you?re doing it wrong.
Compare the Apple of 2012, then, to the Apple juggernaut of 1998 to 2010. That Apple didn?t react to markets. It created them. Who wanted a tablet before the iPad? Who gave smartphones a second thought before the iPhone? Those products defined technology for a decade.
Jeez, Apple, it?s been two years since you remade an entire market! What the heck are you doing over there anyway?! The Macalope?s not sure where this idea that Apple under Steve Jobs spewed out a market-changing hit every quarter came from, but it is a fiction.
Even Apple?s retail operation?one of its most unheralded strengths?was an unthinkable undertaking before Apple thought it. And it still doesn?t have any imitators.
Well, no good ones.
Being so good for so long inevitably brings success, and success brings size, and size brings slowness.
So, what?s your excuse?
How mind-bendingly out of touch with reality must a site get before it?s declared fiction? If Apple goes another few years without remaking another product category, then we can talk. Until then, just find something else to write about.
We?ve heard from some tech pundits, but now for the real question: What did the Wall Street analysts have to say about the iPad mini?
The stock market response to Tuesday?s announcements was ?Totes not impressed? (or just ?Totes taking some revenue?), but the analysts by and large seem to have their heads screwed on right for once.
Sterne Agee?s Shaw Wu:
We continue to believe iPad mini is the competition?s worst nightmare and likely to drive incremental volume.
Wow! Strong words, Shaw. What say you, Baird?s William Power?
The starting price of $329 is slightly above our $299 expectations, though appears to be supported by the strong features and capabilities relative to 7 inch Android devices in the market.
Well put. Sure, we?d like it lower, but the best selling tablet on the market just got cheaper. That?s gravy everyone can enjoy. Let?s go to Topeka?s Brian White:
The iPad mini was the star of today?s show and we believe the product will be an absolute homerun for Apple with the 7.9 inch display, 23% thinner than the iPad fourth generation and 53% lighter.
Home. Run. A dinger. Out of the park. Touch `em all, Apple.
Well, this is all pretty positive. Let?s keep going. Hey, how about you, Trip Chowdhry of Global Equities?
Key take aways: Innovation at Apple is over?
Buh-whaa? Come again, Trip?
Just incremental improvements, nothing ground breaking. The best is over for Apple. iPad mini is playing catch up to Google Android, probably will have a mediocre customer adoption.
Uh, hey, Trip, remind the Macalope how much tablet market share ?Google Android? has. Admittedly, it?s hard to tell because Google?s so proud of how well the Nexus 7 is selling that the company won?t tell us how many it?s sold. Same thing with Amazon, which doesn?t report sales of the Kindle Fire. While the horny one is sure the Kindle Fire line is selling better than the Nexus 7, it?s also not ?Google Android.? The most favorable estimates of tablet market share for ?Google Android? have it at half the iPad?s share.
And ?mediocre customer adoption?, huh? Then the 700 percent increase in iPad resales after the event must be from people fed up with Apple and switching to those innovative ?Google Android? tablets, huh?
The Macalope supposes that getting your butt kicked in the 10-inch space, then reducing the size to 7 inches and the profit margin to non-existent is a kind of innovation, but it?s not exactly something to be bragging about.
Saturday Special: Coyote ugly interview
?Apple iPad Mini May Cause Problems For Education, McGraw Hill Exec Says? (tip o? the antlers to Chris Ebel and Anne).
?The almost instantaneous obsolescence of the new iPad was a bit of a surprise,? said Vineet Madan, senior vice president at McGraw Hill Education, in a phone interview with TPM.
Ugh, so right! This third-generation iPad the Macalope bought half a year ago is completely useless now! Just look at it sitting here with its somewhat slower processor and connector for which the Macalope still has a mess of spare cables!
The Macalope hates it sooo much.
?If I were a teacher who had spent the last pennies of his or her budget buying new iPads for students a few months ago, I don?t know if I?d be too happy waking up and finding out that there?s a new iPad with a completely different connector cable now.?
Wait, are these mythical school teachers mad about their old useless iPads or the fact that the new ones aren?t exactly the same as the old useless ones? This is getting confusing.
?If you?re operating in a classroom that has iPads, now if you want to upgrade or replace a device, you?re going to have to maintain multiple chargers,? Madan noted.
Which is apparently impossible, and it?s not like every other device used at schools don?t all have the same connector, COME ON, APPLE.
?On the one hand, you look at $329 and you think that?s better for schools and college students who weren?t able to afford the previous versions,? Madan said. ?But it?s only $70 cheaper than the full size version. I don?t know why you wouldn?t just pay the extra $70 to get the full size version, which is going to provide a better, richer experience.?
Madan also acknowledged that at 0.68 pounds, the iPad Mini is easier for students to haul around in their bookbags and that the smaller screen size (7.9 inches versus 9.50 inches) would be easier for smaller fingers to tap.
Yeah, that would be another way of looking at it.
Is it just the Macalope or does Madan seem to be not entirely clear on his own point?
Maybe the horny one?s in a generous mood today (must be because of the Microsoft Surface launch yesterday), but it seems like maybe TPM called up Madan, who gave a rambling, stream-of-consciousness interview without really knowing exactly what he wanted to say about the iPad mini. The Macalope?s been interviewed and he can tell you it doesn?t always go as you wanted. You talk for a while and they say thank you and you think it went pretty well until you read the result the next day and say ?I said whoozits with the whatnow??
Short of revealing that unicorns are real and you can all have one for a nickel, there?s really no way Apple can make everyone happy at these announcements. What matters is sales, and the Macalope fully expects the iPad mini to sell quite briskly without making the huge margin sacrifices Apple?s competitors have had to make. That?s good for Apple customers and for Apple, no matter what you might hear.
[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.]