It is to laugh

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: You asked for it, we made it: For a limited time you can get an “I’m the Macalope” mug! Because who is the Macalope? We all are.

Get set for hilarious hijinks as pundits line up to tell us how the next iPhone can’t help Apple, what the next iPads must have, and how awesome Windows Phone is doing, whoops, it’s not at all.

Fun with false equivalencies

CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal is here to share the love. Wait, did the Macalope say “love”? He meant “doom.”

“New phones, tech can’t help Apple or Samsung: Fitch” (tip o’ the antlers to Erick Diaz).

Help them … what?

Apple and Samsung’s market share is set to decline and not even the hotly-anticipated iPhone 6 or wearable tech can stop the slide as price-conscious emerging markets become increasingly important, according to ratings agency Fitch.

Shorter Fitch: LOOK AT US! LOOK WHAT WE CAN DO! WHEEEE!

We see you, honey. That’s very nice. Good for you.

Samsung’s global smartphone market share will decline to around 25 percent from 31 percent last year, while Apple will see a small drop from 15 percent in 2013 to 14 percent this year, the agency predicted in a report.

OK. So?

Apple is widely expected to release the iPhone 6 in September, while Samsung is rumoured to unveil another smartwatch in its Galaxy Gear range.

The Macalope will wait until you’re done laughing at the faux equivalence implied here.

And this … oh. Not done? OK. That’s understandable.

Now? OK.

And this supposedly affects the two companies the same, even though Apple’s never been about market share.

But Fitch said that this would not be enough to save the technology giants’ eroding dominance.

Ha, uh, let’s define “dominance” in the smartphone market context, because Apple’s dominance has never been in share, but in design. Apple sets the design trend and everyone follows. Oh, and it takes most of the profit. Samsung dominated in market share and came in second in profit. So, how is Apple’s dominance changing because of this again?

“Apple’s next iPhone…is likely to have a larger screen, and developments are likely to be incremental rather than revolutionary. We believe that the innovations - which include curved screens and compatible wearable devices - are unlikely to change the trend facing Samsung and Apple,” Fitch said.

Without a use, a curved screens and compatible wearable devices are gimmicks, not innovations.

“Apple is limited in market share by its inability to hit lower price points,” Daniel Gleeson, mobile analyst at IHS, told CNBC in a phone interview.

Limited to the part of the market where all the profit is, sure. Sucks to be them? The Macalope’s not really sure what the message is here.

Free advice

CNBC also devoted some time to proving the old adage about free advice: It’s a waste of time and it annoys the pig.

“What a new iPad needs for Apple to succeed”

First of all, Apple’s kinda already sorta succeeding by most earthly measures of success. Second, what are the odds that CNBC’s Althea Chang has the slightest idea what a new iPad “needs” to succeed? Zero? Or maybe negative zero, which is the zero that is well past zero, beyond all the negative numbers, lurking in negative infinity just waiting for mathematicians to discover it some time in the far-flung future? The Macalope thinks it might be negative zero.

New features on the rumored iPad Air 2 are expected to include an anti-glare coating and a fingerprint sensor …

This is a thing Chang read on the Internet somewhere. It’s called reporting, suckers. Look it up.

… but beyond appealing to Apple “fanboys” …

BZZT.

It’s 2014 and people are still suggesting that only “fanboys” buy Apple devices. Welcome to your dystopian future.

… and early tech adopters, they might not be enough to get the average tablet user to upgrade, said Alice Truong, a staff writer at Fast Company.

Reporting on imaginary features is a time-honored practice of people who have nothing to write about.

Apple reported a 9 percent decline in tablet sales in its latest quarter, and for the first time, overall quarterly tablet sales fell year-over-year, according to NPD research.

What NPD doesn’t say—without buying its report—is what the overall decline was. It’s possible the decline in iPad sales was less than the overall decline.

Tablet makers that manufacture cheaper tablets, especially those sold in emerging markets, are gaining ground on higher-end tablet makers like Apple and Samsung, Truong said.

Hmm. Is that what NPD’s results show? Funny story: No. Actually, even funnier, they show the exact opposite.

“Tablet PC demand in 2014 is being affected by falling demand for the 7” class in emerging regions and in China, where many local white-box brands have experienced lower-than-expected shipment growth,” said Hisakazu Torii, vice president, smart application research at NPD DisplaySearch.

Hey, the Macalope doesn’t know if NPD’s results are worth the pixels they’re displayed on, but Chang’s the one throwing them out as the voice of record.

That could persuade Apple to come out with a cheaper version of the iPad, “but if you look at the iPhone 5C, that strategy hasn’t necessarily panned out,” she told CNBC.

Buh. Wow. A lot of dumb to unpack there. The Macalope’s gonna need a shovel.

NPD specifically says it’s the cheap tablets that aren’t faring well because people, particularly in developing markets, are buying large-screen phones instead. So, the Macalope’s not really sure how making even cheaper tablets is supposed to help. As for the iPhone 5c, it’s not a “cheaper” phone—it’s a phone with a better margin. It’s priced the same as the mid-tier iPhone has always been. Some surveys have it as the most popular phone in the UK right now.

The more promising option could be to target higher-end consumers including gamers willing to pay for faster, more powerful processors and additional controls on the iPad that are more conducive to gaming, Truong said.

Yeah, that’ll happen. Put more buttons on it.

If there isn’t any significant surprise or wow factor coming along with new product launches, consumers will likely upgrade their tablets less often, Truong said.

Wow factor. It’s a thing. Not a measurable thing, but a thing.

You gotta have faith

Bad news for Windows Phone fans (who?) as the platform’s incredible surge of 2013, from literally nothing to practically nothing, seems to have stalled.

“Windows Phone sales decline as share shrinks to just 2.5 percent”

Now, you might think that the Macalope would use this news as an excuse to link to a bunch of people who predicted the platform’s success and then laugh at how wrong they were. And you would be right. That’s exactly what he’s going to do. Good guess.

El Presidente of this banana republic junta has to be Stela Bokun, then of Pyramid Research, who predicted back in 2011 that not only would the platform do well, it would eclipse—please hold your laughter until the Macalope has finished this sentence—not only iOS but Android as well, all by the end of 2013.

Now, the Macalope once predicted that iOS would do slightly better than Android, so he’s not saying he’s perfect. In fact, that one convinced him that making predictions is a sucker’s bet. But at least he didn’t make a chart with a Windows Phone hockey stick so steep that it was ruled game misconduct by the NHL.

Bokun’s not the only one committing penalties. Just last year, Canalys predicted Windows Phone would overtake iOS in share by 2017. Microsoft never fails, you see—its fortunes are always just over the horizon.

“Apple’s growth will be curtailed by the fact that momentum in the smartphone market is coming from the low end, and Apple is absent from this segment,” said Canalys analyst Jessica Kwee in a statement.

While it’s true that Apple’s share isn’t growing, it does still show decent growth in sales. Windows Phone, however, actually shipped fewer handsets compared to the same quarter last year. It’s hard to believe that Smoked By Windows Phone didn’t do the trick. Who could have predicted that?

And, finally, in this cavalcade of comedy, the Macalope would be remiss if he did not mention Paul Thurrott, who said just this past December that Windows Phone had “turned the corner” and that “the overall trend is positive for Microsoft and negative for Apple.”

Sure. Of course it is. As was foretold in ancient prophecy. Except, as the Macalope asked at the time:

So, where did Windows Phone get its growth from? BlackBerry. Windows Phone might find it hard to maintain its strong growth in 2013 once that well runs dry.

Never fear, though, Microsoftistas! The revolution is coming! Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, maybe not ever, but it’s coming!

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