The Macalope: Much ado about what, exactly?


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Sorry, Apple and Google! Looks like America won’t be taking you under the bleachers to make out anymore!

Quartz’s Rachel Feltman says a “Survey shows Apple and Google are no longer America’s tech sweethearts” (tip o’ the antlers to Kontra).

Ah, such are the vicissitudes of young love! Seems like only yesterday Apple and Google had to wear turtlenecks to cover up the hickeys we were giving them.

How do we know that America checked “no” on that note that says “DO YOU LIKE ME? YES [ ] NO [ ]”?

Market research from YouGov BrandIndex shows that Apple and Google have both fallen off the list of the 10 best-perceived brands in the US.

NOOOOOOO-OK, wait. What’s the exact question YouGov asked its 5000 respondents?

“If you’ve heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?”

OK, that is not really the same thing as “America’s” perception. A person’s perception may or may not be influenced by advertising, news, or word of mouth. Suffice it to say that, given his particular area of expertise, this mythical beast is not at all surprised to find that people have recently heard more favorable things being spread around about Samsung than about Apple. You only have to look at Forbes or Business Insider to confirm that. Or ReadWrite or MSNBC or The Wall Street Journal or probably even Skymall.

Who knows which oppressive regimes Samsung’s weapons division has sold arms to (no, seriously, it does have a weapons division and, really, no one knows who it sells to), but we all sure know when Apple’s Maps app makes an amusing goof! Hurk-hurk! Doink! [slide whistle] [cow bell] [duck quack]

So what’s going wrong for the tech giants?

[steeples hooves together] Hmm. What’s? Going? Wrong?

Because the interpretation of the results certainly couldn’t be wrong.

For starters, both were nailed with negative press when the US National Security Agency’s data mining practices were leaked.

Yes. The Macalope would be surprised if the average American has heard much about this, but OK.

Neither have had many new or innovative product releases.

At least Feltman isn’t peddling the “Google Glass vaults Google ahead of Apple” line.

Also, Apple is feeling the sting of losing the charismatic Steve Jobs as the face of the company.

Is charismatic really the right word for a guy who emailed people and told them to go away, or chided them that they were holding their iPhone wrong? Eh, he certainly could be charismatic when he wanted to be.

More importantly, the golden days of being a tech darling are over. Gadgets like Chromebooks and iPhones have become so commonplace that Google and Apple have lost their edge.

“Gadgets like Chromebooks are commonplace.” The Macalope’s just gonna leave that riiiiiight theeeeeere.

Rather than creating stuff that’s funky and cool, they make homely products akin to Ford-built trucks and General Mill’s cereal.

Uh … wow. OK, there is a point to saying that we have begun to take smartphones for granted. However, comparing them to a product category like cereal, which doesn’t change for decades, might be a bit of a stretch.

Has Apple gotten increasingly negative press? Quite possibly. To this furry observer, however, that doesn’t equate to general perception.

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