The Macalope Daily: Apple's latest failure


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[Editor’s Note: The Macalope Daily is an exclusive benefit for our Macworld Insider members, but is being made available to all Macworld readers for a limited time. To learn more about this and other features, visit our Macworld Insider information page.]

The Macalope understands that during this bad economy times must be hard at our nation’s public radio stations, with donations falling due to a deficit in our strategic tote-bag reserves.

But that doesn’t really excuse Southern California Public Radio from publishing Matthew DeBord’s “3 reasons why the Apple iPhone 5 will fail” (tip o’ the antlers to Warren Bowman).

Just three? The Macalope thinks maybe you’re not applying yourself, Matthew. The horny one himself can easily make up 15 or 20.

Still, most observers settled on the conventional wisdom that the iPhone 5 was a total snooze-fest that, because of a collection of really boring reasons involving contract lengths, Apple fanboi-ism, marketing, and reality distortion, will sell very well. “Fail” is really putting a stake in the ground. A dumb, dumb stake.

Okay, I’m obviously taking a highly contrarian position here.

You think?! Maybe there’s a reason it’s contrarian. Like, that it’s so obviously wrong.

Anyway, please carry on.

The iPhone 5 isn’t that different from the iPhone 4S.

If this is true then no phone is “that different” from the phone the preceded it, because they all make calls, right?!

DeBord goes on to list all the ways in which the iPhone 5 is different—larger screen, faster, better battery:

But world-rocking in the smartphone world seems to belong to the Android Nation.

Oh, really? Yes, Samsung was able to beat the iPhone 4S in U.S. sales as its launch coincided with the trough of the 4S before the iPhone 5’s launch. Other than that, the iPhone’s consistently been the bestselling phone for a while. It also consistently has the highest customer satisfaction rate. The Macalope will just assume by “world-rocking” you mean “they slap a bunch of ‘features’ that may or may not be usable together and yell ‘SHIP IT.’”

The iPhone 5 will make the wireless providers very, very, very angry—angrier than they are already.

Remember when wireless providers were so angry that they turned to the Windows Phone juggernaut to combat the iPhone? That was awesome.

How much longer can this pattern continue?

As long as people continue to prefer iPhones over other phones.

Will the iPhone 5, of which many millions will be sold in a matter of weeks, be the last straw in this struggle?

No. Thanks for asking.

The iPhone 5 won’t deliver the growth Apple needs. If everyone who’s been using an iPhone 4S moves to the iPhone 5 in short order, that will mean tons of sales for Apple.

This demonstrates a fairly severe lack of knowledge of who the most likely iPhone 5 buyers are going to be, which is not iPhone 4S owners but iPhone 4 owners.

But will Apple be able to convert Android and even BlackBerry users…


…(and maybe even Windows Phone users)


…to the new device?

For months we’ve heard how Apple has got to add LTE and a larger screen to the iPhone right now if it’s going to compete with other phones, despite the fact that it was selling quite nicely, thank you very much. Now that they’ve done those things, removing any real excuse, we’re told that’s still not enough because … well, just because, OK?

Oh, well. Lather, rinse, repeat, right?

[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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