The Macalope: A vivid imagination


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Ah, to live in Punditland, where the imagination runs free! Think a phone that just shipped will reshape the market? Just say it has!

Like Mike Elgan does.

“How Apple Can Leapfrog the Moto X” (tip o’ the antlers to Kyle Cardno)

If you’re offering advice to Apple about what its next phone should feature, it might be more useful for it to have that information more than three weeks before its next phone is going to be announced.

The most vocal and active iPhone and Android fans scoff at the notion that Moto X is the new iPhone.

So, if you’re keeping track, we’ve now had pundits argue that the Moto X is the “anti-iPhone” and now the “new iPhone.” Also, if you’re keeping track, it could explain why you drink so much. It does in the Macalope’s case, anyway.

It might seem premature to you to declare the Moto X the “new iPhone,” but that’s because you are not Mike Elgan. Remember, this is the guy who said “Facebook Home screws Apple” and the Zune “scares Apple to the core,” which is both ridiculous and a pun. If that piece had only had more strike it could have been locked away for life in many states. Unfortunately, it had a good lawyer.

The iPhone used to represent the most elegant, innovative and fun-to-use smartphone for everybody. That status has now been taken by Motorola’s new “Google phone,” the Moto X.

So, basically, “X is the new iPhone” is this year’s version of “X is an iPhone killer.”

Here’s the thing, though, Mike. Unless it fundamentally disrupts the market, it’s not the iPhone. And the Moto X, while a decent enough phone and a smart play by Google, seems unlikely to fundamentally disrupt the market.

Apple innovates by changing user behavior for the better. And that’s why the Moto X is the new iPhone—because it changes user behavior.

Will it? The phone hasn’t even been out a month. The problem faced by the Moto X is that it doesn’t look any different than a standard Android phone. It represents a different approach to delivering Android, a better one, but that subtlety could have a very hard time translating to the average Android device buyer.

The broad consensus, even among Apple shareholders, is that Apple isn’t innovative anymore.

What must it be like to live in Mike Elgan’s head where generally accepted conclusions are dismissed out of hand one minute (that the Moto X isn’t the new iPhone) and warmly embraced the next (Apple doesn’t innovate anymore)?

How has Motorola become the new hotness?

The Moto X will be super-fun to buy for AT&T customers.

Because people love configuring things on websites and waiting four days for delivery.


Motorola has come up with two really cool ways to bypass lock screens while maintaining some degree of security.

And isn’t “some degree of security” enough? Who are you, James Bond?

While the camera itself isn’t as good as the one on the iPhone 5, the Moto X has some killer photography features.

[Photos] are auto-uploaded into Google+ …

And we all love Google+!

Wait, did the Macalope say “all”? He meant “Mike Elgan and Mike Elgan alone loves Google+.” The Macalope regrets the error.

…where Auto Awesome creates animated GIFs, applies good photo improvements, creates panoramic photos and other changes—all without the involvement of the user.

Does “all without the involvement of the user” mean “these are features no one is ever going to use”? Because that’s what the Macalope predicts.

Apple must change user behavior again with its next announcement.

You know, like Google has. In Mike’s head.

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