While the rest of the Internet braces itself for lame practical jokes, the Macalope once again doles out his assortment of hoof-made awards to those pundits who went below and beyond the call of duty in what they perceive is their job: trolling Apple. Why do they do it? The reasons vary from personal gain to inner demons to some kind of weird chemical imbalance. Remember, we’re not here to judge them as people—that’s for a vengeful god to do. No, we’re just here to judge them as pundits who opine about Apple. And, whew, is there a lot of judging to be done.
So let’s get started!
10 - VentureBeat’s John Koetsier
Like some others on this list, Koetsier knows a winner when he sees one. And the only place he sees them is at the top of the market-share list, because those other metrics like revenue and profit are for suckers. After gushing over the Microsoft Surface in a orgy of effusive statements that Losing Your Head Magazine said “is actually over the top even for us,” Koetsier found time to throw a hissy fit over Apple removing the YouTube app in iOS 6. Because it was just that important. Alas, the rest of the world doesn’t seem to see what Koetsier saw in the Surface.
9 - Eric Schmidt
June marked the deadline for Schmidt’s prediction that more developers would ship for Android first, aaaand looking around, nooooo, that does not seem to have happened. Android may have improved its position a bit, but it’s nowhere near besting iOS—not that anyone rational expected that would happen. Not to worry, as Schmidt was ready with some fresh ridiculous crap for the year! Forget his predictions of last year! They’re so last year! Schmidt now wants you to know that Google is “winning” mobile because, uh, well, more people have its software installed. And that should translate into profit for Google sometime. Maybe. Any-hoo, look over there! Is Google Now for iOS all done and sitting in the App Store, waiting for approval that Apple won’t give because it’s a big meany?! Schmidt didn’t actually come out and say that, but he sure implied it. And, of course, it’s not true. Looking forward to your wacky statements in the coming year, Eric!
8 - John C. Dvorak
You know him, you love to hate him, he loves to accept your hate and stoke it into a fiery blaze: It’s John C. Dvorak! (The “C,” it turns out, is for “curmudgeon.”) Dvorak seemed to remember his roots this year, as he returned to darken our doorstep several times. First, he said Apple would need to produce a new phone every quarter or be dooomed. Then he declared 7-inch tablets “a fad.” But his magnum opus was blaming Apple for his being nothing but wrong about the iPhone. Apparently, you see, John is aggrieved because Apple did not send him an iPhone review unit. Had the company done so, he would not have suggested it “pull the plug” on the iPhone “before it’s too late.”
In March of 2007.
Remember, dear readers, punditry can never fail. It can only be failed.
7 - Rob Enderle
The problem with long-time Fool of the Year fixture Rob Enderle is not so much the man himself—or even what he says—as it is the writers who continue to quote him on matters pertaining to Apple. Here’s a clue, technology writers: When Rob is naysaying Apple by suggesting it’s a “declining company,” he’s just carrying water for his clients, who are, to a company, Apple’s competitors. Of late he’s been touting BlackBerry, even though it’s not on his current client list. Which either means he’s looking to expand his client list or he’s just being goofy. Everybody needs a hobby.
6 - Heidi Moore
Rocketing out of nowhere (is it too late to send her back?) to the number six spot, The Guardian’s Heidi Moore checks in with not one but two “Apple is a religion” pieces. First Moore saw Tim Cook holding a few press events as the CEO saying Apple’s still “a religion. Please, please, baby, start worshipping us again.” Then, in February, she devoted more than two thousand words to this stunning thesis, which no one else has ever presented in such thoughtful detail. And by “thoughtful detail” the Macalope means “every trite religious metaphor you can shake a mitre at.” A cool 48 million people bought iPhones in the last quarter of 2012, and to Moore they’re all religous fanatics. This is one meme that needs an exorcism badly.
5 - Katherine Noyes
Back on the list, 2011 Fool of the Year winner has made an art of sticking her fingers in her ears and yelling “OPEN ALWAYS WINS LA-LA-LA-LA-LA I CAN-NOT HEAR YOU!” In June, Noyes said Android was “beating out” iOS in the enterprise, based on one poll that showed more first-time tablet buyers reporting they were going to buy Android tablets. The Macalope’s not sure why Noyes cares, having declared tablets “a fad” back in 2011 and predicting that it would “fade out of the mainstream over the next few years.” Good call! Noyes also bought into a report that Google would launch five Nexus devices in the fall, which would end Android fragmentation and remove “any disadvantage Android might face in its ongoing competition with Apple.” Noyes will still talk your ear off about how open-source is inherently more secure, just don’t bring up Android malware or you’ll make her head explode. She’s been quiet on the Apple subject since summer, though, so one can only hope that she’s decided to just play with her open-source ball in her yard, which is also open-source.
4 - Eugene Kaspersky and the security industry
Speaking of security, that leads us to these guys. Worst. Boy band. Ever. Kaspersky continues to stomp his feet because Apple won’t allow anti-virus software makers to bilk iOS users out of their hard-earned money. Forget the fact that Apple’s built the most secure platform on the planet; Kaspersky says only he and his nice-operating-system-you-have-here-it’d-be-a-shame-if-something-were-to-happen-to-it buddies can protect you! That might be a little easier to believe if Kaspersky’s own tool to remove the Flashback malware hadn’t also removed a bunch of users’ settings, too. It’s no secret that Apple’s still struggling with security issues, but expecting third parties like Kaspersky to save you is a fool’s errand. Which makes Kaspersky the perfect poster child.
3 - Apple investors
At first the Macalope had Doug Kass, the hedge fund manager that helped talk down Apple’s share price and then gobbled it up, at the number 3 spot. But then it hit him: What’s foolish about that? No, the real fools are the Apple investors, who allow Kass and others like him to manipulate the company’s stock price based on absolutely nothing. That goes for the ups as well as the downs. If you’re long on AAPL based on Gene Munster’s television set dreams, you should have your head examined. Likewise when the Wall Street Journal and Nikkei reported that Apple was cutting iPhone 5 component orders “in half,” investors panicked like trembling bunnies, even though the rumor didn’t make any sense. Investors are free to do what they want, but it sure seems like the company with arguably the best management team in the tech industry (or, possibly, any industry) might be considered to have a pretty good long-term outlook.
2 - Henry Blodget
This guy. Sheesh. Blodget practically founded the “Android is winning” school of thought (total party school, you don’t even have to go to classes) and still holds the Jerk Emeritus chair there. Apple is not without its problems, but the idea that developers are going to abandon iOS for Android in any numbers remains laughable. But that’s not Blodget’s only opinion. Unfortunately. Blodget also declared Apple’s suit against Samsung “lame-o” (his wording) and said he was “already annoyed by his iPhone 5” … a month before it was announced. No, you’re right, that’s not actually possible. After all this, Blodget says he still doesn’t understand why he hasn’t “been invited into the Apple fold.”
Pull the other antler.
1 - Dan Lyons
After today, we won’t have Dan Lyons to kick around anymore. So, let’s get one last good one in before he goes.
Yes, after taking his usual brand of Apple blogger-bashing to Gizmodo, Lyons became editor of ReadWrite, a position he’s leaving after all of five months. Apparently Dan’s finished his job turning it into AppleTrollGrahGrrrUhnn. While there, Lyons lent ReadWrite’s pages to former Apple sales exec Larry Sobotta to tell us all about how terrible it was working for Tim Cook. The fact that he didn’t actually work for Tim Cook wasn’t apparently an impediment in Lyons’s eyes. He also published his own delightful missives, such as why the reduction of Apple’s judgement against Samsung was “an amazing setback” that made “Apple look stupid.”
Now he’s moving on to a marketing position at HubSpot, which says it has its reasons “why they hired a journalist.”
Wait, they hired someone other than Dan?
Whether this is goodbye for good or not, Dan, the Macalope wanted to make sure you went out on top.
Well, technically, we appear to be at the bottom, don’t we.
How about that?