The Macalope Weekly: Running the gamut


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Before we proceed this week, you should know that some of the things you read will make sense and others will not. You might want to stretch out a little bit—limber up, before proceeding. Turns out that sometimes you can find a good pilot in a wretched hive of scum and villainy. But more often than not, pundits seem determined to make the same old mistakes.

The award for most improved goes to…

First, the Macalope takes a break from pundit-bashing to offer some praise!

Yes, he knows, praising pundits is never as fun as roasting their words slowly over an open fire, but sometimes it has to be done (per FCC mandate, in order for the Macalope to keep his federal funding).

The Macalope has hammered Forbes of late for its relentless clown show of anti-Apple contributors, so he would be remiss not to point out when they manage to find a nut, and a big one at that.

“Why The WSJ Got The ‘iPhone Demand Is Crashing’ Story All Wrong”

Mark Rogowsky’s deft dissection of the “iPhone screen orders cut in half!” rumor is so good it’ll have you constantly checking the header to confirm that, yes, this was actually published on Forbes. As the saying goes, read the whole thing.

It appears we can now say categorically that Forbes doesn’t have a strict editorial bias against Apple. They have a strict editorial bias toward vomiting whatever content they can find—whether the quality is good or not—onto the Internet, in the hopes of increasing ad impressions.

It’s that simple.

The Macalope’s also taken The Street’s Rocco Pendola to task more than once. Based on his interaction with Pendola on Twitter, the horny one doesn’t think Pendola’s a troll—the man really believes what he writes. Which isn’t always a rousing endorsement of his analytical abilities, but at least he’s honest and, in this instance, completely right.

“Like Steve Jobs, Tim Cook Doesn’t Care About Apple Stock”

Maybe “doesn’t care” isn’t completely accurate, but his real point is this:

Don’t expect Apple to do anything about the stock’s sharp fall. Do you think Steve Jobs would have cared or Tim Cook currently cares about what groupthink sentiment is doing to AAPL? Do you think either of these guys have time for that tripe? No way.

Indeed. Take care of the business and let the stock price worry about itself.

If I know anything about how a heavy-hitter CEO’s mind works, I know Tim Cook believes if he stays the course, his AAPL shares, which vest in four and nine years, will be worth more if he doesn’t panic in the face of today’s external, media- and rumor-driven hysteria.

So, yeah, he cares, but he doesn’t care about a short-term drop that looks like it’s the result of more Wall Street trader hanky-panky than you’d see at a key party in Greenwich, CT, in 1975.

And another thing about Pendola, the guy’s hair is amazing. Seriously, he puts Chris “The Bouffant of Knowledge” Breen to shame. Fabio could take hair lessons from Pendola. If there were such a thing as “hair lessons.” And a guy with hair like that can’t be all bad.

So, more like this, Forbes and The Street!

My name is Voyant. Claire Voyant.

The Macalope wishes that the same could be said for his old stomping ground, CNet, where Eric Mack tells us “The iPhone 6 won’t wow: 6 reasons why” (tip o’ the antlers to iHKDesign).

Apple’s getting hammered by analysts and investors as I write this, and I’ve been trying to resist the urge to say “told ya so.”

That’s probably a good idea since, there’s a pretty good chance this is just market manipulation and …

Sorry, no will power today.

Oh, well.

… this week, word came that iPhone demand was slumping and Apple had reportedly cut component orders.

“Word came out.” We do not know who it came out of, or even what part of their body it came out of, but it came out.

I have a hunch there will never be an iPhone 6, because Apple will be forced to move into a significantly different form factor to keep people interested and compete with the movement toward bigger phablet-like thingies and emerging wearable electronics (lots of us have fat thumbs, after all).

And heads, apparently.

1. iOS is stale

“Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”

This would be the operating system on the hit products the iPhone 5, iPad, and iPad mini. That operating system. Stale.

Still here? Then you’re one of the strong ones. You will survive the nonsense apocalypse.

How iOS can catch up with hipper offerings from Windows Phone and Android…

If the Macalope were career counseling some teens interested in getting into punditry, the first thing he would suggest is to get comfortable stating subjective arguments as fact. They’re irrefutable!

2. Samsung and Android are rocking it lately

And if the phablet’s a-rockin’, don’t come a-knockin’.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 has wowed us, and the Galaxy Note line has led us to reconsider what makes a phone a phone—something we might have expected from Apple a few years ago.

Is that the royal “us,” Eric? Who is this “us” of whom you speak? Because Apple still sells more iPhones than Samsung sells S3s and Notes. Combined.

Based on my observation of CNET reader feedback, anticipation of a new Samsung flagship phone and what’s next from Google’s Nexus line has reached the voracious levels previously reserved for only the iPhone.

Let us suggest, for a moment, that CNet’s readership might skew to those who aren’t Apple customers. Might have something to do with the kind of coverage Apple gets there. Just a thought.

3. Apple is different under Tim Cook


4. Young people don’t think Apple is cool anymore

Yes, in the course of swallowing whole the unsourced allegations about iPhone 5 demand being soft, Mack has also swallowed whole a survey from a marketing firm that no one’s heard of before, the specifics of which no one’s seen (see last week's Macalope for more on that one). That should not be surprising. The man is apparently a glutton for things that seem true, but have no basis in fact.

Let us remember that Mack has no idea what the next iPhone will look like. But he’s sure it’s toast. That’s pretty much all you need to know.

History repeating itself

CNet’s not the only place sending out colon-open-parentheses about Apple. Analysts in Portland, Oregon, are taking time out from riding their fixies to Trader Joe’s to pick up artisanal hemp, uh … wait, the Macalope’s running out of high-larious Portland stereotypes.

Anyway, Pacific Crest Research has a case of the sads about Apple.

“Apple’s iPhone business ‘has no future’” (tip o’ the antlers to Brad Skidmore)

No future. None. Zero. Zilch. Nada. The most popular smartphone. Done.


Apple is going to be trading sideways for the next 12 months, says Pacific Crest analysts Andy Hargreaves and Corey Barrett.

They believe Apple has real long-term problems.

Presumably other than analysts who don’t “get” Apple.

They say that demand for “incremental” hardware improvements is “waning.” Essentially, they don’t believe people will continue to upgrade to a new iPhone. If the market for new iPhone buyers is already maxed-out, and the market for upgrading iPhones is weak, then Apple’s iPhone business is going to struggle.

And Apple will never produce another product ever again. The. End.

Will the last person leaving Cupertino please turn out the lights? (As an aside, if Apple does ever just shut down, the Macalope would watch the heck out of a show about Bob Mansfield hitchhiking across America and solving crimes.)

There is nothing on the horizon that will provide a jolt of growth, either, they argue.

They know this because …?

The Macalope and others have written about Apple’s business model before—like maybe a million times—but it’s this: Develop products that reinvent markets. Take the high-profit end and leave the low-profit end for everyone else. Evolutionarily improve your products to squeeze out more profit while quietly working on the next big reinvention.

The belief that Apple’s successes are just a string of flukes is nothing new. Take this piece from Michael Kanellos back in 2006 about why the iPhone would be a flop. Please.

Apple succeeded with the iPod, the theory goes. Therefore, they can break into other categories and turn them upside down.

But the iPod looks like it may turn out to be a non-repeatable experience.

It’s six years later and CNet is still publishing almost exactly the same piece about the iPhone (see above).

Back to 2013, where Pacific Crest is running the same argument up the flagpole.

An Apple television isn’t going to be a huge business like the iPhone. It will make less money and sell in smaller units.

Pacific Crest knows this because they know exactly what Apple’s television will look like and, oh, wait, no, they have no idea at all.

In short, Apple is an iPhone company. The days of the iPhone’s mega growth are over and thus, Apple’s fantastic stock run is too.

And Apple has nothing up its sleeve that Pacific Crest doesn’t know about. Uh-huh. Well, you can believe that if you want, but it flies in the face of history.

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