The Macalope Weekly: Analyst cage match!

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Who wins when analysts collide? Why, you, the viewing public, of course! Meanwhile, Apple’s already won the mind game that is the cell phone industry, but that doesn’t mean they can do no wrong.

Them’s fightin’ words

Color the Macalope brown and modestly—but not entirely—skeptical on this report from NPD which says Mac sales are slumping. As BusinessWeek notes, NPD only tracks sales in the U.S. and even here it only tracks retail sales.

Still, we may be at the juncture where we’ll find out once and for all who’s right in…


Let’s meet the contestants!

In this corner, he’s the nattering naybob of negativity, he’s Big Stephen Baker!

And in this corner, he’s the guy who had the good sense to quit working for Microsoft after only two weeks on the job, he’s Giant Michael Gartenberg!

These contestants are spoiling for a fight, and there’s the bell!

Baker comes out swinging the aluminum chair that is January U.S. retail sales figures!

“What we’re seeing is that consumers are not buying based on value, they are buying based on price. Apple is selling value,” Baker said.

But for all his size, Gartenberg’s light on his feet!

“Economic slowdowns don’t stop spending, but it means people will be more careful what they spend their money on,” Michael Gartenberg, vice president of market research firm JupiterMedia and editor of the MobileDevicesToday blog, told Macworld.

Are NPD’s numbers correct? Are Mac sales falling? Or will consumers make more long-term buying decisions, opting for value? Will Baker ever win a professional bout and will Gartenberg use his patented Fists of Fury move?

Tune in at the end of the quarter to find out!

You know, the Macalope really would pay to see analyst cage fights. He hears they have them in Thailand.


Those who can, do; those who can’t, work in the cell phone industry

Let’s admit it, there’s really nothing wrong with stealing an idea. It’s well-documented that some of the best work at Apple was “borrowed from” or “inspired by” the work of others.

But when an entire industry is running around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to copy the work of one vendor, it’s something of an indictment of said industry. As it did with the music industry, Apple’s turned the cell phone business on its head, and all by keeping things simple and not attempting to appeal to everyone.

That’s really the important take-away from the lessons of the iPod and the iPhone. But with their hurried attempts to rush me-too devices to market, it’s clear the industry just doesn’t get it. Once they let Apple set the standard, once they fell prey to Apple’s mind game, they had already lost. It’s going to take something other than slapping a touchscreen on an existing device or making an application store to take the lead again.

Bad Apple. BAD!

While the horny one loves him some fruit-themed computer/music/phone company, not everything they do is kittens and cupcakes. Case in point, the company’s decision to file opposition to the DMCA exemption for iPhone jailbreaking. Now, this isn’t a fight the company started—the Electronic Frontier Foundation sought the exemption—and the company can only be expected to try to take whatever means necessary to protect its business model, and the Macalope doesn’t always agree with the EFF and, man, Cory Doctorow can really be unbearable sometimes, can’t he? If he put half the effort into fighting cancer that he puts into fighting DRM, well, we’d probably still have cancer but he wouldn’t be so obnoxious.

But let’s take some sunglasses off revealing smaller sunglasses underneath and face facts. Once you buy it, it’s your phone. You should be able to commit whatever unspeakable acts a consenting person and a smartphone want to commit in the privacy of your own home.


That doesn’t entitle you to expect Apple to clean up your messes when it all goes wrong, and it doesn’t entitle you to expect the company to supply updates that work with your boss iPhone Linux distro. But the gubbermint’s jack-booted thugs shouldn’t be knocking down your door because you want to install more iFart apps than are available on the App Store.


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