A steady decline

Apple forged a big alliance with IBM this week, and you know what that means: total fail. Meanwhile, iPhone users are mindless slaves to an inferior platform (no surprise there) and the iPhone 6 is doomed if it doesn’t have a bigger screen.

So, pretty much business as usual.

Big deal

Writing for the carnival of lost souls that is the Forbes contributor network, Peter Cohan says “With IBM Partnership, Apple Proves Its Innovation Mojo Has Been Smashed” (no link but tip o’ the antlers to Andrew F).

Now, before you roll your eyes … Oh. Too late? Oh, well. The Macalope was just going to go into Cohan’s sterling list of bonafides in discussing Apple. It’s sterling because it tarnishes so quickly over time.

In January of 2013, Cohan said Tim Cook should be replaced with Jony Ive, admitting he wasn’t sure if Ive had Cook’s level of management skills or even those of, say, a howler monkey. But it looked like profit was going to fall a tiny little bit! (It didn’t.) Action was required! (It wasn’t.) Sometimes you have to needlessly throw a company into turmoil in order to save a company! (Is there some kind of tag-and-not-release program we can get Cohan into?) Then in April of 2013, Cohan detailed his “7 Reasons Apple is More Doomed Than You Think” (link to the Macalope’s deconstruction of it), as if we could think the company was any more doomed.

Look, people, he’s said some crazy stuff, but could a guy whose website looks like this be wrong about anything? The Macalope submits to you, his supple and savvy readers, that such a thing would be nigh impossible.

Therefore, knowing we are in good hands, let’s wade into this quicksand and disappear forever.

In early 1984, the tossed hammer smashing the screen in Apple’s iconic Macintosh commercial was a good predictor of Apple’s ability to innovate …

Because ads are just like actually making things.

30 years later, Apple has joined forces with the object of the 1984 ad’s derision – IBM.

It’s an entirely unprecedented move for Apple!

Except, of course, for when Apple previously partnered with IBM on the PowerPC. And the time they were working on an OS together. Other than those.

The message Tim Cook is sending Steve Jobs is: “Look Steve, I’m in charge now.”

Which is a really important message to send to your deceased former boss who left you in charge and told you not to worry about what he would do, and to just do what’s right. Look, it’s not like Jobs ever forged a controversial high-profile alliance with a former enemy. That much is certain.

Unfortunately, that self-affirmation is another strong signal to investors that Apple’s innovation mojo is gone.

Surprise! Recent events just support Cohan’s long-held belief that Apple is failing at producing “mojo”, which is totally a thing you can measure and not a manufactured yardstick Cohan uses to beat Apple like a nun administering detention at Our Lady of the Imaginary Standard.

Again, would a guy with a website like this not know everything there is to know about mojo? Unthinkable.

Not surprisingly Cook (who spent 12 years at IBM before joining Apple) and IBM CEO Virginia Rometty are mouthing positive spin.

They would. Pff.

What exactly does Cohan expect them to do? Bad-mouth the deal they just made?

Cook—who became CEO in August 2011—has … paled in comparison to his predecessor …

Cook apparently worked at a taco stand before Steve Jobs stepped down and was not managing day-to-day operations while Jobs was ill, so he deserves no credit for anything that happened then.

… given the small size of the market for iPads used in business and government—expected to rise from $11 billion in 2013 to $13 billion in 2015, according to Forrester Research, the market opportunity associated with selling apps and providing service to those devices is not likely to be big enough to make a significant dent in either company’s revenues.

Apple does not make phones at all.

… I would guess that the commission structure for IBM’s best sales and service people is likely to reward them less well for working on developing apps and servicing iPhones and iPads than for developing, selling and servicing IBM’s own products.

So, instead of selling customers iPads, IBM’s sales force will try to sell them RISC servers, which are almost the same thing.

Apple and IBM don’t have product overlap anymore. Any salesperson worth their salt is going to try to sell the whole menu.

What this move tells me is that under Tim Cook, Apple is trying to squeeze as much profit as it can out of the products that Apple created under Steve Jobs.

Apparently trying to grow sales in the enterprise while working on new product lines is completely impossible. You can only do one or the other.

The question for investors is whether the deal with IBM is a signal that Tim Cook has no Jobs-like product innovation up Apple’s sleeve.

Or, just a thought, it’s a signal that Apple is willing to make strategic alliances that have very little downside and quite a bit of potential upside, since IBM is huge in a market that Apple has little experience in.

Look, if there’s one thing the Macalope wants you to take away from all of this it’s this: Peter Cohan’s website is laughably out of date. Seriously, there is no bigger lesson to learn from this piece.

Ugh, what’s that smell?

Get ready, because this is going to be super-cathartic, everyone. Finally—finally—someone understands us. And that someone is Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson.

“Apple iPhone users need to wake up, demand more, and smell the Google Android innovation” (tip o’ the antlers to Andrew Camera).

OH, GOD, YES.

Poor Apple iPhone users. It must be a hard life.

Yeah, all this ease-of-use and build quality and security is really draining.

(What’s she talking about?)

Stuck in a system offering just one screen size.

Other than the fact that Apple currently sells iPhones in two screen sizes, yeah. Other than facts, that is, yes. Exactly. Precisely. Without the precision. Go on, please.

Bereft of fresh hardware or smartwatches.

Did you just say “bereft of smartwatches”?! Did you really say that?! Because being able to actually lift one’s arm up? Not so hobbling as you might imagine. Not being bugged by constant beeps and bloops on your wrist? Quite liberating.

Also, if “fresh hardware” is so awesome, how come the iPhone 5s is still the best-selling smartphone in the world?

Monetarily invested in apps which are free elsewhere.

Getting all the apps first and having apps that are better than on Android …

Nary a widget nor an NFC connection to rub together.

Screens not junked up with a cacophony of blinking crap, devices not festooned with useless technology for the sake of festooning.

Dudley-Nicholson is writing in response to a piece by iPhone user Trevor Long, who details what he found lacking in Android after trying it for a while. Which, of course, cannot stand.

Devices sometimes get sluggish, Long says. Imagine how frustrating this must be on an iPhone.

Long is talking about on Android, but for Dudley-Nicholson, the grass must always be browner on the other side of the fence. From what the Macalope’s seen, latency is legitimately worse on Android devices, which is why Google spends part of every I/O talking about how they’ve fixed it 100-percent-for-sure this time. Is that one thing bad enough to damn the whole platform? No, but ah! Turns out iOS is the one that is really sluggish! If … you, uh, make up certain scenarios and pretend they’re the same thing as sluggishness.

While Android users can close open apps with one button press and the tap of an icon, Apple users must double-tap the home button and swipe each open app upwards. Ouch.

Translation: I really have no idea how multitasking works on an iPhone. And, yet, I’m writing a technology piece about the iPhone because journalism.

(Hint: Those apps aren’t doing anything, so they don’t have to be killed.)

Long can’t be allowed in a store by himself. He wants to be guided around the store.

Here’s what Long actually said:

Play Store—It’s good, but not great. Curate, Curate, Curate. Get rid of the crap—it’s boosting your numbers, but ruins the experience.

This kind of thought is apparently unreasonable, and must be squashed like an earwig. Look, there are plenty of criticisms you can level at the App Store—certain kinds of apps being verboten, opaque review process, etc.—but Dudley-Nicholson doesn’t do that. Instead she makes things up, which is a pattern with her.

Long doesn’t like how apps look on his Android phone. I don’t know. I suspect the Samsung Galaxy S5’s Super AMOLED screen with superior brightness might have blinded him to the obvious.

YOU DON’T DESERVE SUCH A NICE SCREEN.

Google Android apps tend to have more customisations, helped by menu icons that allow users to use the apps as they wish.

“Those apps don’t look like crap, they’re just more customizable.” How does one keep from vomiting when spinning so furiously?

Look, you’re not doing your platform any favors by denying what people have noticed again and again: iOS apps often look better than their Android counterparts. Not always and the situation is getting better for Android, but it’s just a fact. Accept it and move on. Android has other strengths! It’s OK!

In an industry where the standard looks like a 5-inch display or larger, Apple’s narrow offering is too narrow.

If by “standard” you mean “about one-third of devices currently being sold” then, yes, standard.

You can tell an iPhone user by their intimate knowledge of power point locations.

Has anyone really verified that Android phones have, on average, longer battery life than iPhones? Sure, some of them sport batteries with larger capacities, but they need them, because they have larger screens and, again, Android apps are actually doing things in the background. You know, like uploading your personal information to malicious developers (Dudley-Nicholson strangely never mentions security). But, still, maybe after all that they’re still better.

Want a smartwatch to deliver notifications to your arm? Don’t we all?

Nnnnnnnno?

Want a 20-megapixel monster in your petite pocket? You can have it with Android.

It’s got a bigger number of things so you know it’s better! Isn’t that really the Android promise in a nutshell, after all?

Don’t feel trapped. Don’t go back to your captor.

This is how Android fans see iPhone owners: victims suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. How their heads don’t explode from the cognitive dissonance of boosting a platform controlled by an advertising company bent on collecting more and more of their personal information the Macalope will never know.

Long tried to use an Android device and had many good things to say about the platform. But, in the end, he went back to the iPhone because it was better for him. His story is personal and he never makes broad statements about why IT MUST ALWAYS BE THUS FOR EVERYONE. The horny one has previously lauded “I’m leaving the iPhone” pieces for reasonably stating a personal case. Is one platform categorically better than the other? No. They are each situationally better.

To some, that is apparently a form of anti-Android hate speech.

Survey does not say

Well, as long as we’re on a Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson roll …

“Apple needs to release a bigger iPhone this year to save itself, Australian Telsyte study shows” (tip o’ the antlers to Darren Ford).

Save itself from what? Weevils? Space aliens? The institutional racism represented by the character Long Duk Dong in the otherwise seminal coming-of-age film Sixteen Candles?

Apple risks losing almost half of all iPhone 6 buyers if it does not increase the size of its screen this year, according to an Australian report to be released today.

Wrong!

First of all, surveys that gauge intent to buy are stupid. People change their minds all the time. Second, they’re particularly stupid when people haven’t even seen the device they’re being asked about. Third, if you assume 40 percent really wouldn’t buy an iPhone 6, it’s still just 40 percent of Australians. You have no idea what the rest of the world would do because, sorry, 1018 Australians aged 16 and up do not the globe make. Fourth, where is the Macalope’s gin? And, finally, fifth, glug glug glug glug …

“The study showed 40 per cent of Apple’s base is at risk if they don’t release a large-screen phone this year,” Telsyte managing director Foad Fadaghi said.

How can one make that assertion and not have their pants immediately combust? What if Apple packs something else into the next iPhone that makes it compelling without a large screen? What … now stick with the Macalope here because it’s gonna get weird … what if most of Apple’s customers aren’t Australian? It sounds crazy, but it just might be true!

“Consumers are demanding larger screens.”

A third of consumers are currently demanding larger screens. It’s a growing share, but iPhone sales are also growing.

“The study showed one in five people who have Google Android phones would consider an iPhone if it had a larger screen,” he said. “The market is definitely still up for grabs.”

Hey, Zeus, this guy can’t even read his own study. It’s one in five Android users intending to purchase a new phone, not one in five overall. Also, not all Android phones are “Google Android.” See: China, Amazon.

This isn’t science. This is promotion. The only question is, what kind of message does “We did a dumb study we didn’t even read!” send potential clients?

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