The Macalope Weekly: Checking in


Today's Best Tech Deals

Picked by Macworld's Editors

Top Deals On Great Products

Picked by Techconnect's Editors

We’re still kicking the tires on 2013, so let’s check in on some old favorites. And by “favorites” the Macalope means “pundits we like to kick around.”

Old dog, old tricks

It may be 2013, but Rob Enderle wants to party like it’s 1999.

Why 2013 Is RIM’s BlackBerry Year

Tired: The year of Linux on the desktop.

Wired: The year of RIM’s comeback!

Why are corporations going to flock back to the BlackBerry after just leaving the BlackBerry, Rob? Did corporate health insurance plans just add workplace technology whiplash coverage?

This is largely because the market is dominated by two platforms: Android, which is seen as an unsecure malware magnet, and iOS, which comes from a firm that has never learned to spell “IT.”

Well, those aren’t bad reasons, really. Enderle has actually articulated fairly well the two things standing in the way of these two platforms.

There’s something the Macalope never thought he’d write.

But it’s one thing to talk about the obstacles faced by the platforms that are eating the legacy platform’s lunch, breakfast, dinner, tea, and elevenses. It’s another to talk about the obstacles facing the platform that has nothing to eat.

In fact, Apple’s biggest failures were Lisa and the Apple Server, both created on Steve Jobs’ watch (Lisa was even his product, initially) and both targeted at the IT market.

The fact that RIM is dramatically failing in the IT market right now seems to elude Rob.

It’s a little weird that Enderle is touting the BlackBerry, and not Windows Phone. Usually he’s so good to the people who sign his dance card.

Even in a BYOD world, IT still has a great deal of say about the hardware connected to its networks and services.

Um, you are aware of what BYOD means, aren’t you? If IT departments start saying “You have to buy BlackBerrys,” that’s not exactly BYOD.

As we start 2013, and as RIM brings out its next-generation products, the company will stand alone as the only mobile solutions provider focused on IT first and the needs of users later.

Boy, you said it.

Apple’s success is partially due to the fact that users have largely ignored the problems with their products, while Apple has been incredibly effective in making those products [sic] seem trivial.

Oh, Rob.

I’ve had some time to talk to RIM about its upcoming platform …

Are these just informative chats, or does your client list need some updating?

… and it appears to address each one of these shortcomings with a vengeance. BlackBerry 10 is based on an OS that is used to operate machinery.

Terrific! People love embedded machine operating systems!

RIM started with a business oriented core and then addressed consumer needs—as opposed to the more common approach of putting a business façade over a device that was targeted first at consumers.

You know, the approach that’s lead to this:

If user base erosion persists at the rate of the last 12 months, RIM will have no US users in 18 months.

If only the same would happen to Rob’s user base of gullible journalists and editors.

Taking care of Business

Hey, have you noticed that the Macalope hasn’t taken on Business Insider at all this year? And we’re five days in already! Well, let’s fix that.

Writing for said rag, Nicholas Carlson says “Google Is Attacking Apple From The Inside Out – And It’s Working” (tip o’ the antlers to Brian Whitney).

NOTICE: At no time will any evidence be given that this, based on how companies are valued in a capitalist society, is in any way “working.” Please sign this waiver before reading further. Readers must be this tall to read this article. Thank you.

After years of hammering away at Apple’s share of the smartphone market with cheap-to-free Android phones, Google has lately adopted a new tactic to win mobile.

If “having its operating system on more phones than Apple’s but still making more money off of iOS” isn’t winning, then Carlson doesn’t know what is.


Call it “the worm strategy” …

Because it’s soft and squirms up onto the sidewalk when it rains?

… because Google is attacking Apple from the inside out.

Ah, more like a parasite! Gotcha.

Over the past six months, Google has begun to systematically replace core, Apple-made iOS apps with Google-made iOS apps.

Which is going to be pretty hard to do completely when Apple doesn’t allow users to remove core apps or change the default apps.

Google doesn’t plan to stop there.

In fact, it’s throwing more resources at iOS development.

So, making iOS better is going to kill iOS? Insidious! Will those madmen stop at nothing?!

Google’s tactic is working.

The anecdotal evidence:

Turns out some people are using Google apps instead of Apple’s apps! Well, two of them. But this anecdotal evidence is incontrovertible!

Then there’s the statistical evidence that Google’s inside-out tactic is working.

AppData, which monitors iTunes App Store rankings, reports that that number one and two free iPhone apps right now are YouTube and Google Maps.

Actually, right now it’s Google Maps and something called “Fun Run.” Clearly those fiends who make Fun Run are trying to beat Apple by coding for iOS, too.

None of this makes Apple executives very happy.

Well, the maps situation is clearly not making Apple happy, and that’s the company’s own fault. But YouTube? Apple doesn’t even have a competitor to YouTube. How could it possibly care?

… the world has become one where people there are two kinds people.

People who think Business Insider is a bottom-feeding troll nest and people who write for Business Insider?

There are Android users, surrounded by Google search.

And not using search, or the Internet at all, nearly as much as iPhone users.

And there are iPhone users, downloading Google apps – all of which make Google search a prominent feature.

The thing Carlson seems to be missing here is that these people are still buying an iPhone. Which is what Apple wants them to do, because it makes the company money. See how that works?

Another way to look at this is that Google has to provide all these services on iOS, because that’s where all the money is.

Does Carlson think Google is somehow taking money out of Apple’s pocket by creating these apps? It’s really unclear why this is supposed to be a bad thing for Apple. We keep hearing from Business Insider how Android is going to beat iOS at being the go-to platform for developers, and here we have Google being forced to code for iOS. The irony is almost as rich as the blinkered adherence to a storyline that isn’t panning out.

The most trusted name in trolling

And since we’re talking about Business Insider and its penchant for Apple trollery, let’s check in on its troll-in-chief, Henry Blodget. For some reason, CNBC thought it would be a good idea to interview Blodget about Apple because, er, well, he owns a suit? Not really sure.

“Blodget: What Apple Needs to Do” (tip o’ the antlers to Tay Bass)

Yes, when the Macalope thinks of who to ask about what Apple “needs to do,” the first person he thinks of is Henry “Android is winning” Blodget. But mostly because he usually thinks of who would be the funniest person to ask. So, OK, Enderle is probably first, but Blodget’s in the top five.

An estimated $121 billion in cash on Apple’s balance sheet could be put to much better use, Business Insider’s Henry Blodget said Thursday on CNBC.

Yes, light it on fire for the amusement of the technology press! We grow bored, Apple! Dance!

Instead, the iPhone maker should look at the long-term picture, he said on “Fast Money.”

Yeah, you know Apple. Always … uh … looking for a quick buck … at the expense of long-term … solvency?


Seriously, the Macalope doesn’t even know anymore with Blodget.

“I think they should invest more of it in the margin, in the business,” he said. “Get lower-priced products out there. Stop going after just the premium piece.”

Because that clearly isn’t working.

Wait, let me start again …

“If you want Apple to be around in 10 to 20 years, that’s what you want them to do,” he said. “Their profit margins are too high right now.”

You know what they should make? A netbook. That’d be awesome. People love netbooks.

Blodget lambastes the cash- and profit-rich Apple and praises in-the-red Amazon, because failing to making any money is where the real money’s at. It’s probably not surprising that he’s still preaching a dot-com bubble mentality—make no money to get an audience, and then the money will start rolling in … somehow. One wonders why CNBC thinks his advice is worth, well, anything.

Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon