The Macalope Weekly: Weak sauce


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There are weak arguments and then there are the three arguments you?re about to read. First, are you ready for the RIM comeback?! Hello? Is this thing on? Second, does the size of the iPhone 5 show Apple?s arrogance? Dur, do you have to even ask? And, finally, hope you like Windows Phone, because your local cell carrier is apparently going to put you in a headlock until you buy one.

Won?t stop believing

We all know denial is not a river in Egypt, but has anyone checked to see if it?s a river in Canada?

Writing for IT World Canada, Tim Collins brings us ?10 solid reasons RIM will make a comeback? (tip o? the antlers to The Loop).

Oh, Tim, honey. Don?t.

I?m the only diehard in my office who is still sporting a Blackberry.

Get help.

Going into 2011, everyone at my company used Blackberrys. We were huge fans. We BBM?d each other constantly. We even blogged about how much we loved our Blackberrys. Then RIM started to nosedive and one by one, my staff started showing up at the office with iPhones.

The reason RIM started to nosedive was because its other customers got fed up waiting for a phone that didn?t look like it was calling from 2003. It?s not the other way around. You get that, right?

Hope the formatting of this column doesn?t get screwed up on the text-only mobile version you?re looking at.

(Cheap RIM jokes! The Macalope buys them by the gross at Costco!)

In spite of its challenges, I still believe that RIM will make a comeback. It?s not just wishful thinking.

No, the Macalope imagines there?s also a lot of hallucinogenics involved.

1) Developers believe in BB10. RIM has a knack for motivating some of the most brilliant minds on the planet. I personally know several developers who are still working for RIM and who are not the least bit interested in jumping ship.

RIM?s comeback will be fueled by the most powerful force in the universe: anecdotes!

2) Teenagers and messaging.

Is there some coming explosion in the population of teenagers in the world that the Macalope is unaware of?

3) RIM has always had the best keyboard. My bet is that the genius engineers at RIM are going to have the best touchscreen keyboard on the market.

As the saying goes about cameras, the best one is the one you have with you. And the keyboards everyone has with them are on their iPhones and Android devices.

4) They smell the coffee.

It?s nice that RIM now has management that, unlike the Undynamic Duo, recognizes there?s a problem. But it doesn?t help that you can smell the coffee if you?re lying on the floor with your entire body wrapped in Saran wrap.

5) Licensing. The BB10 operating system is being licensed for other hardware like Microsoft Windows Phone 8.

Agreed. RIM?s most likely path for success is as a shell company licensing its technologies to other companies that can actually make and ship modern phones.

6) Cash flow + growing existing user base. They still have $2 billion in cash and a user base of 80 million that grew by 2 million last quarter.

RIM?s revenue for the last quarter grew from the prior quarter, but is still down considerably from last year. The way they?re gaining users is by fire sale.

7) They dominate the high-security niche market.

Indeed. Enjoy your niche position.

8) Leaked specs.

RIM is awesome at vaporware. The Macalope fondly remembers how the PlayBook was totally going to own the iPad. Until it shipped.

Do they still even make the PlayBook?

9) Incremental Improvements are boring. The last iPhone had only incremental improvements.

You know what?s really boring? Listening to RIM yammer on about how awesome its next products are going to be, if only the market would just slow down and wait for it.

10) The competition is distracted. Samsung and Apple are embroiled in legal battles that won?t end any time soon.

It?s pretty rich having a RIM fan tell you Apple and Samsung can?t walk and chew gum at the same time as RIM keeps tripping over its overly large clown shoes.

I?m excited to watch RIM pull off the biggest comeback of the century.

Uh, OK, but you don?t have money on this, do you?


Or ? would you like to?

Bad impression

Does it ever strike you as odd that the Macalope can find fresh meat to tear his antlers into every day? How is it that pretty much every day of the week there is someone who is eager to step up (down?) and write something stupid about Apple? And how do these people think it reflects on them?

The Macalope doesn?t have an answer, and he?s not sure he wants to look a gift horse in the mouth. After all, it?s job security.

Which brings us to hedge fund manager Doug Kass, who is here to tell us about ?Apple?s Cycle of Abuse.?

The real abuse, Doug, is reading your Apple ?analysis.?

Kass?s first order of business is to try to throw Woz in Apple?s face. Woz has, once again, said things that are not very favorable to Apple. Anyone surprised by that should review his comments of the last 15 years and marvel that anyone takes pause in them, even as Apple continues its march to unprecedented success.

The Macalope has said it before and he?ll say it again: It?s interesting how the people most interested in Woz?s comments are the ones trying to bash Apple over the head with them.

Woz?s criticism, which Kass quotes, is over the screen size of the iPhone 5.

I wish they had made a small and a large version of the iPhone; that would have been great for me.

The iPhone 5 is literally smaller than the iPhone 4 and 4S. Do the math. Only the screen is larger. Now, maybe he wants a 3.5-inch screen iPhone 5 that would be even smaller, but Apple?s strategy is to make one current generation of the iPhone. And, oh, hey, look, it?s worked pretty well. But Woz wants a pony.


Arrogance has been the subject of some of my criticism recently on Apple. (It is also often the downfall of many companies.)

Really. Arrogance. And here the Macalope thought it was things like sales, revenues, and profit. Who knew that business analysis was really more about psychology than fundamentals?

Reminder: This man manages a hedge fund.

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