The Macalope Weekly: WWDC, week two!

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WWDC itself may be over, but it ain’t over for the shouting. People are still hot about AT&T being so sucky and all, and who doesn’t like price cuts? Silly pundits who keep trying to manufacture bad news about Apple, that’s who!

Customer Service

After last week’s upgrade pricing brouhaha (kerfuffle? imbroglio?), people still aren’t very happy with AT&T. While some have come around to the Macalope’s sensible terminological suggestion, there are still people loosely throwing words around.

Writing for Wired, Brian X. Chen actually calls it a “tax”. That’s even worse than “subsidy.” It is most assuredly not a tax.

Well, fear not, valued AT&T customer. AT&T has heard your plaintive wailing in the wilderness and has taken action. Yes, AT&T, your cellular phone network friend, has announced that it is extending so-called “subsidized” pricing to more customers.

See? AT&T, the network that put the “fun” in “wireless fun” (only certain customers in certain areas actually eligible for fun) has listened to its customers. How do we know? Because they said in the press release:

We’ve listened to our customers



Cool! What about on tethering?

Eh, not so much.

Making lemons from lemonade

ZDNet’s Adrian Kingsley-Hughes is very concerned about Apple. [Note to editor: insert frowny-faced emoji.] [Unfortunately, our emoji budget has seen some cutbacks. Please enjoy this equally useful, but much cheaper frowny face. :( -Ed.]

Writing for Datamation, Kingsley-Hughes asks Can Apple Survive its Move Toward Mass Market?

Psst. Adrian. Have you looked at the iPod and iPhone sales figures? It already has.

By branding what are essentially bog standard PC and portable media player parts inside a box with the Apple logo on it, Apple has amassed a $25 billion dollar pile of cash.

Adrian, Adrian, Adrian, Adrian, Adrian, Adrian, Adrian, Adrian.


You’re not really saying that Apple just slaps a logo on something and somehow manages to sell it for more, are you? No, you couldn’t be. Let’s move on.

However, you can only pull in a 35 per cent profit margin when people have plenty of cash to spare…

That’s somewhat true. But the great thing about a 35 percent profit margin is you can cut your prices a lot more than your competitors and still make a profit.

But times are tough and people are now far more reluctant to part with their dollars for a logo.

Okay, now you’re just doing it on purpose.

Then there was the $29 “Snow Leopard” upgrade for existing “Leopard” users. This is, without a doubt, Apple’s way of sticking it to Microsoft for all those “Laptop Hunter” ads that portrayed Apple as the expensive option.

If by “without a doubt” you mean “what razor and who’s this guy named Occam?” Sure, pricing Snow Leopard at $29 is a great way to do something unspeakable in Microsoft’s punch bowl with the festive “Windows 7” label on it. But much more than that, Snow Leopard is mostly a performance and stability release. There are some great things about it under the hood, but people generally pay for features, and Snow Leopard isn’t about delivering end-user feature enhancements. The low price is more about Apple customers than it is about Microsoft.

So, according to Kingsley-Hughes, price cuts are supposedly bad because they say something about Apple struggling in a tough economy (apparently no one else is?). But worse, they let the riffraff in.

Your brand new, super shiny $399 iPhone 3G S 32GB doesn’t give you much in the way of bragging rights when the other guy has bought what amounts to the same thing for a third of what you did.

OK, “$399” is probably just a typo, but the Macalope’s pretty sure any math professor worth his salt would give you at best a D for coming up with the right answer based on the wrong inputs.

You could try explaining to folks how your CPU is faster, how you have more RAM, and how your camera can record video in spectacular VGA. I doubt you would get very far.

This from a guy who writes a blog entitled Hardware 2.0. That’s right, Adrian, no one gets any of that. For the entire history of the computer industry, people have been buying machines based solely on which had the shinier enclosure.

So what is it you ostensibly cover, anyway?

If you hold Apple stock, be careful. Keep a close eye on Apple’s sales and profit margins over the next few quarters.

YES. You should totally take that money out of Apple and put it into one of the other technology companies reaping high margins in this environment.

Face it, Adrian. Apple may not run as fast in the mud, but it’s still the best pony in the race.

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