The Macalope Daily: Mini doom


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For your general information, pundits have not stopped writing “Steve Jobs never would have…” pieces, in case you wondered if they experience shame the same way normal people do.

Dave Winer, writing for Gizmodo, joins in the fun, wondering aloud “Is the iPad Mini the Beginning of Apple’s Decline?” (No link but tip o’ the antlers to HK.)

Dave Winer is a smart guy. A smart guy who has frequently been very wrong about Apple (other than owning shares in it). Winer likes to talk about history and how you darn punks don’t get it, so let’s look at his.

Here’s his take on the iPhone:

…it’s a chickensh** device, from a company that used to be a daring hell-raiser.

A chickensh** device that reinvented the smartphone industry.

Here he is two years ago on Flash not being on the iPad:

…it isn’t working.

On how Apple faked the original demo of the iPhone:

I’ve heard from people who were at the Jobs presentation this week that there was a wire connecting his cell phone to something.

Right. It was a “smoke and mirrors” technology called “video out.” (The Macalope doesn’t know how he missed that one back in 2007.)

But enough history. Let’s get to Winer’s current iPad mini complaints, which have him thinking about selling his Apple stock:

Anyway—here’s the thing. I bought an iPad Mini. It was too cheap not to give in to curiosity, to see if it’s more compelling or useful or whatever, than the high-end iPad that I already have. Executive summary: It is not.

Here’s the list of problems.

Yes, it’s another case of pundit as bellwether! “This product is no good for me, therefore it is no good for anyone!”

1. I already had a great iPad.

Uh, you do know that Apple wins if you buy any iPad, right?

2. I could use the iPad Mini, but I don’t. People say they don’t mind the grainier screen, but I do.

Good for you. The Macalope, however, has been stunned by the number of fussy pundits who have repeatedly told us that Retina screens are soooooo much better OMAGERD U GODDER GIRT WUN who are now saying “You know, the iPad mini screen doesn’t bother me that much. Huh.” Turns out the best screen is the one you have with you.

3. What about as a traveling computer? Well, there too I go for the larger iPad, because it has LTE.

If the fact that the LTE version of the iPad mini isn’t coming for another week has you considering selling your stock, maybe you just don’t deserve nice things.

4. But here’s the verdict, the reason why I think this product is making Apple’s stock dive. Steve never would have shipped it.


I know people have been saying that about all kinds of things ever since he died. Steve wouldn’t have done this or that. I’ve stayed away from saying that…

You should have stuck with that.

5. Some features are just features, like a camera, but the resolution of a display isn’t a feature. It’s integral to the product. It’s like trying to sell a car with a fuzzy windshield.


It’s not like that, Dave. At all.

6. The new Apple is willing to compromise.

Oh, right. The old Apple never compromised. Like shipping an iPhone that only worked on the EDGE network of a single carrier.

By the way, this is why the orchestrated reviews of products are often worthless. I invite Mossberg, Pogue or Gruber to re-review their iPad Mini now, a week after their initial reviews, and let us know if they’re actually using it.

The Macalope doesn’t really know why Winer doubts these guys are still using their iPad minis. If Winer were paying attention, he’d know that Gruber, at least, is more convinced about the mini than ever:

Another week in, though, and I’m more convinced than even a week ago that the iPad Mini is the best size for most people.

To return to history again, Winer was, not surprisingly, one of those chastising Apple for not shipping a netbook back in 2008. Instead of shipping a low-cost piece of junk, Apple squeezed netbooks almost out of existence by shipping a low-cost tablet and moderately-priced lightweight laptop.

Winer is welcome to use whatever device he prefers, of course, and he’s welcome to sell his Apple stock whenever he sees fit. If he’s had it for a while, he’ll be making a handsome profit off of it. But predicting doom and gloom for the company because he, yet again, doesn’t understand the appeal of its products?

Scripter, please.

[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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