Apple doom: Now in its millionth year


As we enter a new year, the Macalope would like to clear up a misconception he sometimes hears. Every once in a while someone comes along and suggests that the Macalope is attempting to distract from Apple’s failings by cheerleading the company.

That’s not what the Macalope is trying to do.

If you read his collected works, mostly all the Macalope is ever saying is “No, Apple is not going out of business.” It’s ludicrous that he can find three articles (often more!) a week saying Apple’s doomed, but such are the times we live in. To this furry hybrid, that seems the larger problem than his criticism of the various brain pan drippings of your Forbes contributor networks (and Mummenschanz slash fic forum), your Business Insiders, your Gary’s Anti-Apple Blog, and so forth.

It is, admittedly, boring to write pieces saying “Apple will continue to be on top for the foreseeable future.” To the poor writers of the Internet out there, the Macalope understands your deadline-driven plight. He is not made of stone. He is made of meat and bone and antler.

There certainly are many things for which you can accurately fault Apple. The Macalope uses their products every day and he knows the company isn’t perfect. Here are a few.

  • The Mac App Store - You could just outright call this a failure and the Macalope would simply nod. Again, however, it doesn’t have to be a success for the Mac to be a success. It is pretty funny how people were worried Apple was going to force all Mac apps to go through the Store like on iOS, though, isn’t it?
  • Apple Music - It is not great. Is it a total failure? No, because they own the platform and people will probably sign up for it because it’s there. But is it really better than competing products? Not when it screws up your music library for you, that’s for sure.
  • App Store approval rules - When your rules are so arcane they make the Necronomicon seem fairly straightforward, it’s a problem. It’s more a problem for developers than users and app ubiquity isn’t exactly one of Apple’s issues. You can criticize for this, but it’s not hurting the company in any way that’s terribly significant. Maybe that’s a shame.
  • The iPad as a business - Sure, a lot of iPad business is probably drained by the larger iPhones and iOS as a platform is still amazing, but those declining sales in a signature product line aren’t exactly a good thing.
  • Lack of focus - This is very subjective, but sometimes it does seem like Apple’s spread itself thin which leads to…
  • Various bugs - AirPlay, iCloud Photos, Apple Music, the Apple Watch, Handoff, the Finder sidebar… you could probably keep listing little things until the cows came home but who wants to do that? Those cows need to get jobs in the city and become self-sufficient. Grow up, cows. Move out of your parents’ basement. The bugginess is hard to quantify and despite our rose-colored hindsight, there have always been bugs in Apple’s software. Heck, one time they shipped iPods infected with a Windows virus. Still, “It just works” is something we tend to say sarcastically these days instead of with praise.
  • Advertising new iPhones on older iPhones - This is just gross. One of the reasons people choose Apple products is because they’re tired of being sprayed in the face with a firehose of ads.

This is not meant to be an exhaustive list, other than the fact that some of these problems are pretty exhausting. The point is, criticism is fine. There’s plenty to criticize. What’s not OK is saying that because of these things Apple is doomed or even that it’s clear that next year the company will be in dire straits.

That doesn’t stop Business Insider’s Jay Yarow from wanting to not only have his cake, but also to eat said cake. Like some kind of cake owning and eating monster.

Headline: “Apple is going to have a tough year.” (Tip o’ the antlers to @JonyIveParody.)

Five paragraphs in:

So even a "tough" year for Apple will be a great year that would be a record breaker for any other company, as measured by profits and revenue.

[Long, slow golf clap until the heat death of the universe.]

Over atSeeking Alpha, Michael Blair is just building himself a fort out of Apple doom cake and not eating any of it at all.

“Apple's Q1 Looks Certain To Disappoint.”

Some go so far to say that the platform war is over and that Google and its Android OS platform have won.

That seems likely.

Some say Tim Cook murdered a man in Reno just to watch him die. Some say aliens walk among us. Some say they write at Seeking Alpha in an attempt to flood our brains with enough mind-baffling regurgitation of 2012’s talking points that we will devote so much of our brain power trying to comprehend it that we will fail to notice they have already seized power.

Some say that.

The Macalope doesn’t know how Apple will do next quarter. No one really does. Heading into yet another year that presents itself like a clown car of Apple analysis (how does it all fit in there?!), three things are certain: 1) Apple continues to face challenges, 2) it, more than any other company, has the resources to combat those challenges, and 3) none of this means anything to the cult of Apple doom. Apple doom cannot fail, it can only be failed.

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