The Macalope Weekly: Is this bugging you?

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This week something’s bugging everyone. What’s bugging Fake Steve? Apple! Well, what’s bugging Apple? Who knows? And is the lack of Flash bugging iPhone OS users? Answer hazy, ask again later!

Emphasis on “Fake”

What’s the world coming to when impersonators of Apple executives are eschewing the iPhone? Yes, Dan “Fake Steve Jobs” Lyons has played the grandiose “I’m switching!” announcement card (tip o’ the antlers to Camillo Miller). He’s dropping his iPhone for Android.

Truly, the Macalope does not care which platform you choose, as long as you make informed and rational decisions. And Lyons makes some solid points, even if he does seem to confuse the present and future verb tenses when it comes to Android features. But AT&T? Yeah. The Macalope would say AT&T is the albatross around the iPhone’s neck but for the fact that you can actually get more features and better service from a dead bird.

But Lyons seems surprisingly naive about Apple’s corporate spiel. He’s shocked—shocked!—to find out there’s marketing going on here!

What makes this even more insulting is that Jobs tries to dress up his selfishness as a kind of altruism. He says it’s all about creating a beautiful experience, that while he may be selling you an intentionally crippled device, he’s doing it for your own good.

Well, bull. The truth is, this is about Apple wringing every last dime out of its ecosystem and leaving nothing on the table for anyone else.

Lyons doesn’t seem to consider that it might actually be both. Which is odd coming from a guy who traditionally has seemed to really get Jobs.

As sick as I am of my iPhone’s dropped calls, I’m even more sick of Apple treating us all like a bunch of idiots, stonewalling and bullying and feeding us ridiculous explanations for the shortcomings of its products—expecting us to believe, basically, that its flaws are not flaws, but strengths.

Yeah, it’s awesome that Google would never feed you a self-serving line. Well, enjoy your new flawless mobile phone OS, Dan, brought to you by the utterly unimpeachable folks at Google.

You know, there really should be a special tag for sarcastic links to make them show up in a different color.


A narrative in search of facts

CNNMoney’s David Goldman wants to know “What’s the bug up Apple’s @$$?”

Indeed! What is the genus of the insect up Apple’s at-dollar-sign-dollar-sign?!

But recently, Apple has either lost touch with its customer base or just has a bug lodged up its data port.

Ha-ha! It must be the bug because it certainly isn’t sales!

More recently, the company made Ellen Degeneres apologize on national TV…

“Made”? Look, it’s absurd that anyone even asked Degeneres to apologize, but no one made her, unless it was her producer.

And Apple threw an epic hissy fit when a Gizmodo blogger leaked photos of a new iPhone prototype.

People continue to declare this another sign of Apple’s draconian control over everything, as if any reasonable person would simple shrug it off when someone sold their misappropriated property.

The link which one would assume to prove the contention that Apple’s reaction reached “epic hissy fit” status, is to a piece that says…

(Waiiiiiiit forrrrrr iiiiiiiit…)

Apple called the police.

Sigh. OK. Let’s go through this again.

You lost something. It comes to your attention that someone has it. Not only do they have it, they’re trying to sell it! In this situation, Goldman believes that calling the police is equivalent to throwing “an epic hissy fit”.

Presumably if Goldman ever has anything stolen from him he’ll simply thank the thieves for helping him move toward a more Zen lifestyle.

There are some skeptics out there who think Apple may have gone too far this time.

“We’re clearly seeing a backlash brewing against Apple, analogous to the backlash against Facebook,” said Adam Hanft, CEO of marketing firm Hanft Projects.

Uh-oh! What will that mean?

“People will vote with their feet,” said Hanft. “Will they punish Apple? It’s doubtful.”

Whew. That’s some backlash. Are you telling the Macalope that our millionaire talk show hosts are completely defenseless against Apple’s jack-booted thugs?! Who speaks for them?!

Probably their PR people.

Does anyone really care?

Goldman also tries to make something out of the squabble over the lack of Flash on the iPhone OS, but it’s not at all clear iPhone and iPad users really care.

ITIC’s DiDio, who recently conducted a survey of 500 Apple users, found that customers are clamoring for Flash support, but said they would continue to buy Apple products even without it.

ITIC hasn’t publicly released the results of that survey yet.

Meanwhile, Adrian Kingsley-Hughes muses “Will Steve Jobs ever let iPad owners have Flash?

Short answer: No.

Long answer: Noooooooooooooooo.

Adrian cites another survey:

According to a survey by ChangeWave, some 1 in 5 US consumers plan on buying an iPad. But, when existing iPad owners were surveyed about their pet peeves, the lack of Flash support came in at the top, grabbing some 17% of the vote.

Adrian actually pulls the wrong number here—it was actually 11 percent—but it still was the top complaint of the 153 iPad owners surveyed. That’s right. All of 17 people feel that the lack of Flash is their top complaint about the iPad. And remember, they had to pick something.

The Macalope’s been hearing since the iPhone shipped about how big a problem the lack of Flash is and Google’s certainly trying to make that case now. To date, though, there hasn’t been a lot of evidence to back it up.

Guess we’ll see when Flash ships on Android.

(Note to self: invest heavily in makers of asbestos Android cases.)

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