The Macalope Daily: Hubris defined


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Sometimes pundits get a little carried away with themselves. Take Quartz’s Christopher Mims, for example.

“Five reasons Apple has peaked—for real, this time” (tip o’ the antlers to Steven Grady)

Totes for realz this time, you guyz.

There is mounting evidence—of the sort that technologists understand but markets often miss—that Apple has lost the narrative that took it from death’s doorstep to world’s most valuable company by market capitalization.

This must be some kind of narrative if only technologists can understand it and not, you know, the people who actually work at Apple and helped make the company an unprecedented success.

Like, maybe an imaginary narrative.

The Macalope thinks we’re going to be treated to another “APPLE USED TO REINVENT FIVE MARKETS BEFORE LUNCH LIKE EVERY DAY” narrative, what do you think?

1. The iPad Mini is a “me-too” device

So lame! It’s a total rip-off of the iPad!

Wait …

Having defined a whole new product category—the tablet—the company is now playing catch-up with the tablet variants that its competitors are pumping out.

Catch up. When the company has a market share around 57 percent. The Macalope doesn’t remember, did people call the flash-memory-based iPods “me-too” devices when Apple introduced them?

Another way of looking at what’s happened here is that Apple relegated its competitors to the smaller, low (or no) margin segment of the market and now it’s saying “Eh, you know what? We want some of that, too.”

Amazon and Google may be selling 7-inch tablets, but there’s absolutely no proof at all that they’re making any money doing so. Still, Apple’s the one that’s peaked, huh?

So why did Apple build the Mini, when it has the cash to do just about anything it likes? The key, I think, is in that email from [Eddy] Cue. His logic—that a competitor had made an incremental improvement on Apple’s device and that Apple should follow its lead—is classic lazy-tech-company executive thinking.

The problem with Apple is that Eddy Cue is lazy. This Eddy Cue. The guy that’s been at Apple for 23 years and helped build the music and iPod business.

Let’s run Mims’s premise by you again, so we’re all on the same page: Bozos like Eddy Cue have lost sight of Apple’s narrative, a narrative that only clever people like Mims can see.

Got that? OK.

It’s also worth noting that Mims swallowed that dubious Pew survey showing second-quarter iPad market share at 52 percent hook line, sinker, fisherman, and boat. Despite being clever enough to track elusive narratives that even the people who made them can’t see, he’s apparently a great white shark when it comes to easily digested but questionable numbers.

Now, do you think it’s worth going through Mims’s four other reasons why Apple’s DOOOOMED?

Neither does the Macalope.

[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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