The Macalope Daily: Apple doomed, 2012 edition

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There’s apparently some kind of competition going on over at CNet for who can write the dumbest thing about Apple. Brooke Crothers is going to have to step up (down?) his game if he’s going to match the latest from Peter Yared.

Is Apple vulnerable in 2012? You bet (Tip o’ the antlers to Tyler Hackett.)

Wait, is there someplace we can bet on this? Because the Macalope’s got five dollars that ain’t doin’ nothin’.

The battle is on to unseat Apple where Steve Jobs made it shine—and mighty Apple is already looking at risk.

This ought to be good.

After Steve Jobs was fired in 1985, it took Microsoft 10 years to catch up—and exceed—the technical and user interface innovations of the Mac OS that Jobs helped create. Now, Jobs is gone and Apple is once again in a position of clear market leadership with competitors gunning to match its products.

Because we all remember how everyone had Macs back in the 1980s and then sold them and, no, the Macalope doesn’t know what he’s talking about, either. Possibly Yared has come here from some alternate reality where the Mac once had 90 percent market share. (This has been another edition of Charitable Explanations for Silly Punditry™.)

When you hold the Samsung Galaxy S II, the Galaxy Nexus, or other versions for the new generation of Android devices, it’s clear why Samsung phones are now outselling the iPhone…

Yes, all Samsung phones together are outselling the iPhone. All nine thousand of them.

Say, when you hold a Galaxy S, is it also clear why Apple makes all the profit in the smartphone business?

…and why Apple is suing various Android handset manufacturers.

Which surely has nothing to do with them ripping off Apple designs.

The new version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, is almost at parity with the beauty and ease of use of iOS.

“Android: almost as good!”

Plus, the emergence of apps from Pandora and Spotify, both amazing music streaming services, make the iTunes library lock-in hardly a lock-in at all.

Or the fact that all iTunes music is now DRM-free. Whatever.

Also, cough, iTunes Match, cough.

Apple is adding great new features such as Siri, but let’s not forget that Apple acquired Siri and the underlying voice recognition technology is provided by Nuance.

Which is somehow a knock on Apple—because none of Apple’s competitors ever acquired anything. Like, say, Android.

Android already has similar apps and Microsoft’s TellMe will not be far behind.


Here come the MacBook Air clones.

Piling out of a clown car! Doop-dee-doop-dee-doop, honk-honk, wacka-wacka! Oh, those wacky MacBook Air clones!

I use both Windows 7 and Mac OS on a daily basis and really can’t tell the difference between the two anymore…

Ah, so you either have no taste or are functionally blind. Either one explains a lot.

Yes, the Mac OS is easy to use and stable, but stand next to the Genius Bar at a Mac store and you will see that many people have many problems, just like Windows 7.

False equivalencies are the Macalope’s new favorite thing ever: “I know a guy who had a problem with a Mac once, so the Mac clearly has just as many problems as Windows 7.”

Conclusion: most notebook computers will adopt the MacBook Air form factor, and Windows will not only maintain its tremendous market share, but possibly even retake Mac’s recent gains.

Because cheap knock-offs always do as well as the real thing. Like in the digital music player market.


Tablets are a category that Apple completely dominates, with 80 percent market share. Android competitors have flailed, but Amazon’s Android-based Kindle Fire is likely to outsell the iPad in 2012 due to its low price ($199).

Why? Because, that’s why! Just look at the awesome press coverage it’s getting!

Of course, Apple is not sitting idly by…

However, technology is accelerating faster than ever before and it doesn’t take long for the competition to catch up.

What does that even mean? If technology is accelerating ever faster, wouldn’t that mean that it’s easier for the company that’s ahead to stay ahead? The Macalope’s no math whiz, but if technology is advancing logarithmically…you know what? Forget it. Let’s just assume that was a trite throw-away line and press on before the horny one blows a synapse.

Apple’s ultimate attribute, that of design and “taste,” is almost like fashion. And as with fashion, being first doesn’t mean you will rule the market; it just means that you are going to get copied. Remember, H&M sells a lot more Prada-like designs than Prada.

Hurray for weak analogies that explain nothing! Look, if all the world wanted was cheap knockoffs of Apple products, Apple wouldn’t be where it is right now (see: iPod, iPad, MacBook market share in the $1,000 and up category). The Macalope knows nothing of Prada’s financials, but he would suspect the company makes a fair bit more on each copy of the real deal that it sells than H&M makes on each knockoff it sells.

Phew. That was bad.


Does Apple have weak spots? Sure. It’s always had weak spots. But it’s no more vulnerable heading into 2012 than it’s ever been. If anything, the giant wad of cash it’s sitting on, and the fact that it continues to rake in more than anyone else, make it less vulnerable.

But the hope for an entertaining Apple downfall story springs eternal in some people.

[Editors’ Note: Each week the Macalope skewers the worst of the week’s coverage of Apple and other technology companies. In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]

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