The Macalope Weekly: Disclaimers

As you may have heard, Google scooped up Nest this week for $3.2 billion, but what’s important to pundits is what that says about how doomed Apple is. Naturally. Their publications would, however, like you to know that their opinions are their own.

Please.

We hardly even know these guys.

The Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions

Our first disclaimer is brought to you by Mashable:

This post reflects the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of Mashable as a publication.

So, Mashable disavows any responsibility for this op-ed by Todd Wasserman. Which is understandable.

“Google Is Eating Apple’s Lunch”

Google’s $3.2 billion acquisition of Nest on Monday was a reminder of the company’s penchant for taking bold risks, but also illustrates the opposite point about Apple, a company that has grown increasingly risk-averse.

Because Apple won’t dump $3.2 billion on a company that has virtually nothing it needs, it’s “risk-averse.” As opposed to dumb-averse. Look, this acquisition might make sense for Google, but that doesn’t mean it makes sense for Apple.

Apple’s biggest purchase last year was Topsy, a purveyor of Twitter-based analytics that cost the company $200 million.

Which is like nothing!

Since Nest was created by two former Apple execs and the company’s products exhibit an elegant design aesthetic, Nest would appear to be a natural fit for Apple.

Wrong! You have this exactly backwards.

More significantly, Apple’s attitude about acquisitions has been to keep them small and unflashy.

This is apparently a big problem for pundits who like things that are big and flashy and support web traffic.

Apple’s limited acquisition strategy also makes little sense when it’s sitting on a mountain of cash that’s roughly three times the size of Google’s.

Because if we know anything it’s that it’s always best to spend money if you have it. In all cases.

This cautious, arrogant …

Not spending your money like a drunken sailor on shore leave is the new “arrogant.”

… approach has prompted Apple to cede an early lead in wearable computing to Google with Glass.

Because, as we all know, Glass is ubiquitous now.

Well, ubiquitous on the faces of the kind of tech pundits who like to take pictures of themselves in the shower, anyway.

This comes as Google is thoroughly dominating Apple in smartphones …

Actually, Android is dominating Apple in smartphones, not necessarily Google.

… has effectively countered Apple TV with Chromecast and is even outselling Apple in desktop hardware.

This is, of course, categorically false. If you backtrack through the links you’ll see that NPD, the source of Wasserman’s information, says Apple notebooks undersold Chromebooks, but only in the U.S. only and only in commercial markets (i.e. government, businesses, and education). It’s a pretty safe assumption that Macs do better in the consumer market than they do in the commercial market. Chromebooks have dramatically increased sales year over year because cash-strapped schools need cheap devices, but they’re not beating the Mac yet.

One could just as easily point out that, according to NPD, the iPad still rules the commercial tablet space with 59 percent of the market but then one would be being fair and what we’re trying to do is fling things at Apple.

In an age in which consumers buy into ecosystems as much as they buy products, Apple’s cautious perfectionism may be sidelining the company.

Pundits: If we can’t see innovation, then it must not be happening.

They’re like babies! Only less adorable.

Redefining innovation

More opinions about how Google’s Nest acquisition reflects on Apple, more disclaimers.

“Apple must fight back against Google”

Because apparently it’s doing nothing but watching its shows and eating bonbons.

And what does CNNMoney have to say about this piece by Paul R. La Monica it published?

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Paul R. La Monica.

Because god knows we’re not taking any responsibility for this. Whew. The guy doesn’t even know how to spell is own name. It should be “Paul Is La Monica”. Atrocious grammar.

Google has stolen all of Apple’s thunder and Apple needs to try and reclaim some of it.

Hang on a sec. Does “thunder” represent shipping actual market-ready products or just shipping prototypes and making expensive acquisitions?

During the past few years, Google (GOOG) has become the most innovative company in the tech industry. It has used its cash to buy extremely interesting startups.

Innovation = acquisition. There’s a new definition for you.

The $3.2 billion deal for connected home/Internet of Things (we need a better buzz phrase) …

At least we agree on something.

… hardware company Nest on Monday is just the latest example.

Google bought mapping company Waze last year for nearly $1 billion.

Yes, it sure has spent a lot of money!

That could have been a smart deal for Apple (AAPL), given how maligned its map apps are. (To be fair, Apple has also announced several map-related deals in the past year. But none were as splashy as Waze.)

What matters is spending a lot of money. There is literally no other way to define “innovation.”

What has Apple done in the past few years? Since Steve Jobs passed away in 2011, the spirit of innovation seems to be gone.

We know this because Apple always does its innovation out in the open like Google.

Uh …

You know what’s great? Sandwiches. Sandwiches are great.

Ooh. A smaller iPad! A bigger iPhone! iYawn!

Seriously, dude. Just don’t.

The most important judge is Wall Street.

Well, that’s convenient since Wall Street has never really understood Apple.

The iPhone 6 (or is it iPhone Air?) probably won’t cut it. A long-rumored iTV may not even be enough, given that there has been speculation (and high expectations) for such a product going back to when Jobs was alive.

So, not even the rumored products are enough to save Apple now. Let’s just move those goal posts into the parking lot, why don’t we?

Trip Chowdhry, an analyst with Global Equities Research, wrote in a note Monday that Google’s Nest deal should be a “wake up call” to Apple.

Ahhh, Trip Chowdhry. God knows Chowdhry has never been wrong about Apple before in his life.

One Twitter follower was quick to remind me that Apple is hardly struggling.

But I steadfastly ignored that and wrote a salacious piece nonetheless.

But another Twitter follower agrees with me. Apple needs to operate with a greater sense of urgency.

It seems that some people on Twitter believe Apple is doomed, while others do not. Fascinating.

Apple has made acquisitions. A bunch of them. The only difference is, they’re quiet and strategic. And this bothers pundits.

On this edition of “Woz and Pals” …

There’s no disclaimer on this one but if there were it should have read “Guy being interviewed does not really know that much about technology.”

“Google steals innovation crown from Apple: Isaacson”

That would be Walter Isaacson, author of that biography of Steve Jobs you bought and never finished.

The greatest innovator in the world right now is Google—not Apple, said Walter Isaacson, author of the best-selling biography “Steve Jobs.”

And he would know because … er … he kinda miswrote a book about Jobs. OK, it’s probably not easy to write a biography of Steve Jobs, particularly in the amount of time he had, but Isaacson’s technology industry street cred is not burnished by having banged it out in order to get it to market fast.

Case in point—he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Wednesday: Google buying Nest Labs is a bigger development than Apple selling iPhones on China Mobile’s network.

Or maybe they’re two completely different things that aren’t comparable.

While acknowledging the China Mobile partnership is a “big deal” for Apple, he said Google-Nest exemplifies the “amazingly strong integrated strategy that Google has to connect all of our devices, all of our lives, from our car, to our navigation system, to how our garage doors are going to open.”

Computers! Is there anything they can’t do?!

The Nest portfolio of smart thermostats and fire detectors will be added to Google’s gee-whiz tool shed of giant robots, self-driving cars and Google Glass.

Which are all on sale to consumers right now! (Offer void in our reality.)

Isaacson also pointed out that Nest co-founder and CEO Tony Fadell will be joining Google as part of this deal. “Fadell was one of the team that created the iPod.”

No. Way.

“He was very deep into the Apple culture …”

Fascinating. The guy who led the iPod team was deep into the Apple culture. Who would have thought that? Clearly only the guy who wrote Steve Jobs’s biography. Next up in our coverage of how doomed Apple is: interviews with Steve Wozniak, Guy Kawasaki, and Michael Spindler’s cousin Larry.

No, not that one. The one who still lives with his mother.

“… when Apple was so innovative.”

Fadell, it should be noted, left the company in 2008 and had really nothing to do with iOS.

To play catch-up …

Catch-up to a bunch of crap that Google has not actually shipped to consumers yet.

… Cook has to think about what industry he wants to disrupt next, Isaacson said.

Uh, yeah, actually if Apple’s going to introduce something this year as you’re demanding, then he needed to think of that about four years ago. So thanks for the advice.

“I think Steve Jobs would have wanted …”

People to stop wondering what Steve Jobs would have wanted.

“… as the next disruptive thing to either have wearable-like watches or TV, an easy TV that you can walk into the room and say put on ‘Squawk Box’ … or disrupt the digital camera industry … “

How much harder is the iPhone supposed to disrupt digital cameras?

“… or disrupt textbooks.”

Right. That would really excite … uh, school boards.

Acquisitions feed the news cycle, that much is clear. But they don’t feed companies until the companies actually ship something. There’s little doubt this is a good acquisition for Google and it make them more competitive if they can lever it. Until then, though, it doesn’t mean much.

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