You can't handle the truth

Another week means yet another pundit’s here to lay down some truths about what Steve Jobs would think about Apple under Tim Cook.

Writing for The Daily Beast, Marlow Stern details the ugliness.

“Tim Cook’s Apple: Middling Products Designed to Pad the Bottom Line While Gouging Loyal Customers” (tip o’ the antlers to Jack Brewster).

Yes, we certainly do feel gouged, don’t we? Gouged by laptops with batteries that last all day and run the nicest operating system in existence and by mobile devices with the best ecosystem and the finest build quality. “Gouged” was exactly the word the Macalope was going to use.

Apple’s recent $3 billion acquisition of Beats—the makers of headphones, speakers, audio software, and a streaming music service—should be cause for concern.

Oh, sure. It would also have been of concern if Apple had not bought Beats. Because Apple.

At the beginning of The Godfather Part II

Allow me to begin by drawing a comparison between Apple and the mob committing murder and extortion. Because that’s a reasonable thing to do.

Under the reign of product visionary Steve Jobs …

Let me also tell you about the legacy of Steve Jobs. Because only pundits know what Jobs’s legacy is. Certainly the people who knew him and worked with him don’t. That much should be obvious to anyone.

… the company seduced us for years with a plethora of finely-tuned, envelope-pushing products—the iMac, the iPod, the Macbook [sic] Air, the iPhone, the iPad, the list goes on.

And he introduced a new one every week on Wednesday morning. These are all true things that happened. In the minds of pundits.

And the Tim Cook era, which unofficially began with the passing of Jobs one day after the announcement of the iPhone 4s, has thus far been marked by middling products designed to pad the company’s bottom line while gouging their loyal—and dependent—fanbase.

There’s that word again. Why does Stern keep saying that?

Two words: Lightning connector.

This built-in obsolescence, a staple of Cook’s Apple …

Whoa. Whoa. Whoa, whoa. Whoa. Are you seriously suggesting that obsoleting things is Cook’s move rather than Jobs’s? The guy who killed the ADB port? The guy who killed the floppy drive? The guy who killed the optical drive? The guy who killed the modem port? The guy who killed the Newton? The guy who literally killed a stagehand after a Macworld keynote where the slide clicker failed—whoops, the Macalope’s said too much.

Now we have gone from simply poor analysis to flat-out making crap up.

Meanwhile, it was no secret that Apple had a headphone problem. Their EarPods, bargain-priced in-ear headphones, are brittle, and will effectively piss off everyone within a 10-foot radius on your train or subway car.

Yeah, that happens … pretty much never.

So, similar to Apple’s 30-pin to Lightning transition with the launch of the iPhone 5, the Apple-centric blog 9to5Mac reported that the company is planning to create headphones that connect to iOS devices using a Lightning connector instead of the “TRS.”

And if it was reported on a blog we know for sure it’s going to happen, so let’s rush to the outrage machine.

Now, there are some added benefits.

Oh! There are benefits! And here the horny one thought it was all about gouging customers.

This potential new, semi-shady development isn’t really anything new under Cook.

What is the Macalope reading here? Is this performance art or some kind of weird fan fiction? You are literally saying that Apple is more duplicitous under Tim Cook than it was under Steve Jobs? Does that fly with anyone who knows the first thing about Apple?

Now watch this sleight of hand:

Aside from the disappointing iPhone 5 and its new Lightning cable, which many users have claimed is vulnerable to breakage, one of Cook’s first big splashes as CEO came in June 2012, when Apple introduced iOS 6 featuring Apple Maps which was a total mess, to put it lightly.

Maps sucked! Gosh, the Macalope wonders who was responsible for it?

In Oct. 2012, Cook fired Scott Forstall, Jobs’s longtime pal—he’d worked with him since 1992, when he joined NeXT—who’d served as SVP of iOS Software since 2007. Why? Because, like his mentor, Forstall was a bit of a jerk.

That’s in the same paragraph as the Maps jab. Tim Cook single-handedly screwed up Maps (presumably for no reason) and then fired Scott Forstall just because he was “a bit of a jerk.” Does Cook’s hubris know no bounds!?

On Sept. 20, 2013, Apple launched two new iPhone models—the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c. Both models really didn’t add all that much to the equation.

Fortunately the equation was already working pretty well.

Meanwhile, what exactly have Apple’s competitors “added to the equation”? The Surface? The Galaxy Gear? The neglected Google Glass?

Throughout the piece Stern cherry-picks incidents to try and make the case that everything sucks under Tim Cook, such as noting that SquareTrade said the iPhone 5s and 5c are less durable than the iPhone 5—without noting that SquareTrade results showed a) it was only marginally so and b) the worst device tested was the Galaxy S4.

Back in March, The New York Times, who’ve long suckled at the teat of Apple …

Sure, other than winning a Pulitzer by pretending that all Chinese labor problems are caused by Apple.

… ran an overwhelmingly positive puff piece on the success of the Cook era. It made hardly any mention of Apple’s post-Jobs products, instead relying on company numbers …

They wouldn’t even touch these cherries Stern so lovingly hand-picked!

… Steve Jobs was a product guru, and the products that the company he co-founded are churning out these days would not pass muster with the master.

The six years between the introduction of the iPod and the introduction of the iPhone was actually just a week and a half. It just seemed like six years.

You know the worst thing about these pieces? Apple has never once sent a thank-you card to a pundit who never met Steve Jobs for telling them all about Steve Jobs. Inexcusable.

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