The Macalope Daily: Not cool, bro


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iPhones just aren’t cool anymore, bro.

Check it out, bro.

Quartz’s Christopher Mims says “In China, growing evidence that Apple’s wares are no longer worthy of cloning” (a piece that was beef jerky enough for Business Insider to pick up and republish under the title “Is Apple Not Cool Enough In China To Copy Anymore?”).

But, see? Totes not cool, bro. Only cool stuff gets copied.

Apple may be the second most popular luxury brand among male Chinese millionaires, but there is growing evidence that mainstream Chinese are losing their taste for iPhone knock-offs. (Apple’s sales of its real products have been booming in China, however.)

Uh, yeah, OK, so Chinese consumers are still buying a lot of iPhones, but it’s not being copied, so not cool.

Since there is no official record of sales of knock-off or grey market iPhones, the evidence is necessarily circumstantial.

But, still, not cool. The evidence is most definitely not cool.

Brands that were previously known only as copyists have gotten so good at this game that they are even “improving” on Apple’s designs. For example, despite the evidence of overwhelming consumer demand for large smartphones and even supergiant “phablets,” Apple has been reluctant to release a larger phone of its own.

The “overwhelming consumer demand” link goes to another piece by Mims that does not, in fact, show that there is “overwhelming consumer demand.” Unless saying “Android makers are selling a fair number, but a fraction of the number of iPhones sold” is considered “overwhelming.”

Mims’s belief that Apple is behind the times, however, is well-documented by this furry follower of fallacious punditry.

You know what’s really not cool, though, bro? Quoting Rob Enderle in a piece about whether Apple’s cool. Like Ad Age’s Matt Creamer did.

“Apple’s Critics Focus on Wrong Kind of ‘Cool.’”

Creamer did at least note that Enderle may be all kinds of wrong in his basic point (which hasn’t happened since Tuesday), but he doesn’t note that Rob’s also wrong on the details.

Exclusivity, a big part of cool in the Gladwellian sense, is something Apple has been parting with. Mr. Enderle observes that following Mr. Jobs’ death, Tim Cook “hasn’t followed a number of rules that Jobs created to preserve the brand. Part of what makes it cool is exclusivity,” he said. “You don’t buy cool products at Walmart.”

Three guesses who was CEO when Apple started selling iPhones at Walmart and none of them count, because it was Steve Jobs not Tim Cook. See how this works? If Apple only sells a few iPhones to keep them “exclusive,” you can say Android is winning. If Apple sells a lot of iPhones you can say that it’s not “cool” anymore. Or, heck, just say both. Who really cares if it makes any sense, right?

The important thing to note is that Apple products are not cool.


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