All wrong, all the time: History is unkind to Apple doom predictions


It is time to take a break from busting our collective guts laughing at things pundits are saying right now about Apple. Instead, let us look back and re-bust those very same collective guts over things pundits previously said about Apple that time has been unkind to, much like the Macalope was.

Let’s start with Apple Maps.

“Apple Maps, once a laughingstock, now dominates iPhones”

Hmm. Well, that’s funny. Because the Macalope distinctly remembers how the so-called “Maps fiasco” was a sign that… hang on…

[sound of hooves shuffling through papers on desk]

Ah, here it is!

Edward Zabitsky of Toronto-based ACI Research thought that the so-called “Maps fiasco” was a sign that “Apple’s grip on the consumer—and its ability to extract high profit margins—is weakening.”

Now, the Macalope’s seen enough science fiction shows to know that somewhere there is an alternate universe where people only used Google Maps on the iPhone and that experience convinced them to stop buying iPhones, but in this universe…

Sorry? Oh. The Macalope is being informed by agents from Fringe division, the scientists from S.T.A.R. Labs and the entire cast of Sliders (strangely, the cast, not the characters) that a universe where Maps caused users to switch to Android does not exist. Huh. The Macalope just thought that with infinite universes there would be at least one… but no. Interesting.

None of this is to say that Apple Maps is the better of the two at actually providing directions in lieu of melting bridges, just that more people use it.

In other news that gives pundits a case of the holiday wrongs, Mozilla has finally dropped the sack full of tick-infested alley cats known as Firefox phones into the metaphoric river.

Mozilla Will Stop Developing And Selling Firefox OS Smartphones

This is probably devastating news to at least a half a dozen people. Our thoughts are with you during these tough times, Gordy, Howard, Melvin, Gladys, Gertrude and Bonko the Clown.

You’re going to find this hard to believe, but back in the day -- October of 2013 to be precise -- Matt Asay was saying the future of mobile was in emerging markets and that meant the real fight was between Google and Firefox OS, not Google and Apple.

Given Apple’s unwillingness to compete in low-margin markets, we’re about to see a serious scuffle between Firefox and Android for the future of mobile computing.

That… did not happen. Instead, low-margin phone users proudly stood together as one and said “NO! Crappy, low-end Android phones are crappy enough, we don’t want phones that are even crappier!” It is hard to imagine but, yes, Firefox OS phones were the crappiest collection of crapdingers ever to crap their way onto the crap-phone scene. Meanwhile, Apple has done fairly well in emerging markets.

Apple does not always end up on top. But you didn’t have to be a brain scientist or rocket surgeon or even a sandwich artist to figure out that most people would use Apple Maps because it wasn’t that bad and it would get better and that no one would use Firefox OS phones because ew. If you insist on writing Apple un-fan fiction, at least put it on Usenet where it belongs.

Subscribe to the Best of Macworld Newsletter