The Macalope Daily: Apple decline obsession

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The Macalope knows you humans are obsessed with death. He thinks maybe that’s why so many silly pundits are obsessed with Apple’s impending doom, which could happen any second now oh, what, the stock went up how many points?

It’s not just trolling hacks now, though. Even The New York Times is getting in on it.

“How the Love Affair With Apple Might End”

Now, unlike the other jerkery the Macalope gores on a daily basis, this isn’t a bad article. It does, however, add to the ocean of virtual ink that’s been wasted worrying about how exactly Apple will eventually meet its inevitable doom. All spilt as the company’s share price continues to go up, and more people than ever buy its products.

This is really pretty annoying for us long-time Apple fans. In the 1990s, we had to listen over and over again to how the company was going to die—and, at the time, that seemed like a real possibility. Now that Apple’s on top of the heap we have to hear what? How the company’s going to die.

As the Macalope has stated before, many members of the cult of Apple decline are merely hoping to increase their bonafides by riding Apple’s fail bus all the way to downtown Failsville. In their view it doesn’t matter whether or not you’re standing in the rain 15 years too soon. All that’s important is you called it.

Anyway, this piece by Alice Rawsthorn isn’t like that.

Rather than being felled by a fatal blow from Nokia, Microsoft or another foe, a likelier scenario is that Apple will suffer the fate of past alpha design brands by declining not dramatically, but gradually, as Braun did after its 1960s and 1970s heyday.

That may be true. The Macalope’s not sure why we have to spend so much time worrying about it right now, but it may be true.

Rawsthorn believes that good design encompasses ethical and sustainable business practices, which might make an opening for an Apple competitor.

But if one of Apple’s competitors was to address its ethical and environmental responsibilities with such verve and rigor that it emerged as a role model, wouldn’t you want to buy its products? I would.

This actually could be a way for a company to really differentiate itself in the market. But wait for the other shoe.

(Assuming, of course, that it checked the other “good design” boxes.)

Ah, well, there’s the rub, isn’t it? So far Apple’s competitors couldn’t check the “good design” boxes if Apple checked it for them. Which, incidentally, is Samsung’s business model.

Call the horny one cynical, but he thinks most consumers would choose the product that looked and worked great over the one that looked and worked “meh” but was made by sustainable elves in an ethical forest glen. Or is it the other way around? Ethical elves in a sustainable… well, it doesn’t matter. The Macalope knows lots of elves and they mostly just spend their days dancing. If you can make a living just dancing around in the forest, you’re probably not going to take an assembly line job.

Besides, Apple is already working to make its business more ethical and more sustainable. All of this death talk is ridiculously premature. Come see the Macalope when they bring in a CEO from outside. Then we can talk about Apple’s death.

[Editors’ Note: 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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