The Macalope Weekly: Comparing the incomparable


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If you missed it on Tuesday, the Macalope coined the term “Stupidgate” to represent “the continued publication of intensely stupid articles about Apple.” Ask an editor at your least favorite publication what they’ve done about it, won’t you?

Clearly the editors at the following publications haven’t heard of Stupidgate yet, as they let three pundits compare the incomparable. The iPhone 5c and the Suface RT—they’re basically the same thing, right? Then we’ll look at what iPhone 5s and 5c sales are like when you take out all the sales. (Turns out it looks really bad.) And, finally, did you know that BlackBerry is just like Apple?

What the?

The Age’s Adam Turner … uh, well, just look for yourself and then maybe you can help the Macalope figure out what it is.

“Is the iPhone 5c Apple’s Surface RT flop?” (tip o’ the antlers to Darren Ford).

What is that? Satire? Performance art? A desperate cry for help?

Does Apple finally have an iDud on its hands?

Ah, the i-jokes just write themselves! Or, so it would seem given the amount of creativity people apparently put into them.

There was no shortage of people questioning the logic behind Apple’s decision to release the so-called cheaper iPhone 5c alongside the new iPhone 5s.

Shambling, drooling people, shuffling around in their leaden clown shoes, honking their flat-toned and cheerless clown horns.

Disappointing early sales figures for the 5c would seem to vindicate their concerns, with some retailers worried they’ll get stuck with a mountain of unwanted plastic iPhones.

The Macalope would like to have it entered into evidence that the title of the article Turner links to is “Australian telcos struggle to sell iPhone 5c.”

If you go to the source of the data—a survey from analytics firm Localytics—it estimates that Apple sold almost 2 million units of the iPhone 5c, compared to about 7 million of the iPhone 5s. That 5c figure might be akin to how many Galaxy S4s Samsung sold on its launch weekend (it took about a month for it to get to 10 million) and the Macalope keeps hearing what a highly successful iPhone-killing dynamo that thing is.

It should be noted that some analysts think that the iPhone 5c made up as much as half of the new iPhones’ launch weekend sales—and there’s no way to really know the truth as long as Apple keeps those numbers to itself.

But, look, the 5c isn’t for the people who stand in line, it’s for the walk-in crowd. Plus, for the first time, Apple’s selling an entirely new phone at that level instead of just hawking last year’s model. In the long run, the 5c is likely to sell better than the older models Apple was selling at that price point.

You can draw parallels between Apple’s current predicament …

Their pickle, if you will.

… and Microsoft’s ill-fated Surface RT tablet – a flop which saw Microsoft write-off $900 million.

Did you see that?! Wow! The Macalope knew from the title that we’d get to this at some point, but holy alfalfa! It’s like a Van Gogh painted with dumb instead of oil! Even having slashed the price, Microsoft likely hasn’t sold as many Surface RTs since the tablet’s introduction as Apple sold units of the iPhone 5c this past weekend. And with the RT, it created a dead-end platform that has decidedly failed to catch on, which …

Wait, why is the Macalope even arguing against this nonsense?! Ugh!

Apple defenders might argue that the iPhone 5c wasn’t meant to be a budget device, but then what’s the point of it?

It’s so stoopid!

To offer people a choice of colours while forcing them to buy last year’s hardware?

I’m out of order?! You’re out of order! The whole smartphone business is out of order!

Oookay, define “forcing” in this context. Also, this isn’t the flagship phone. Having a slight improvement on last year’s hardware in a snazzy new package is better than what Apple was doing before, which was already quite successful.

Microsoft is persevering with the Surface RT 2, but it will be interesting to see if Apple abandons the dual-model iPhone strategy next year …

Yeah, you should totally hold your breath for that.

Hold it.

Hoooooold iiiiiiit …

Keep holding.


And we’re still holding …

Holding some more.

Hold, please.

Aaaaaaaaaand …

Hold now.


Still hold.

It’s hard twerk but somebody’s gotta do it

Writing for The Wall Street Journal, Rolfe Winkler likes big “buts” and he cannot lie.

“Paring Apple’s Big iPhone Weekend”

Apple AAPL -0.31% reported a “record breaking” opening weekend for its newest iPhones.

Nice use of quotation marks to cast doubt! Now Rolfe will show us his big “but.”

But …

Shake that money-maker!

… the box-office figures don’t necessarily deserve a rave review.

Of course not! This Apple double standard doesn’t build itself, you know.

For starters, Apple is including two “new” …


… iPhone models in its opening-weekend sales figures for the first time.

That’s, like, totally cheating!

Including China sales could account for at least half of the increase in this year’s opening weekend.

As everyone knows, China is the world’s most populous country, which shows that Apple’s just trying to juice its numbers by selling phones there. But readers of The Wall Street Journal are too smart to fall for that as they practice their commuter-fold on the New Haven line while pondering just how many martinis they’ll have for lunch.

Taken together, the boost from China, DoCoMo and the inclusion of the 5c may add around three million to this year’s opening-weekend figure. Back those out, and the debut would have been closer to six million units, up 20% from last year.

And, if you back out 11 percent of that then growth was only in the single digits!

While a healthy increase, it would trail the 80% growth of smartphones running Google’s Android operating system in the 12 months through June, according to Strategy Analytics.

Which, of course, we should back nothing out of, because Android.

The risk for Apple is that without new markets to plumb, sales growth may slow.

Android, meanwhile, has no boundaries and will grow forever. It is, of course, irrelevant that only one company has figured out how to make any money off of it.

And that may cause app developers to focus more of their energies on Android. If more and better apps pop up on Android, some Apple users may defect.

Now, let’s run this scenario again but with zombies and space aliens invading Cupertino …

It is just that their numbers may not grow as quickly as investors have come to expect, or the opening-weekend figures suggest.

You know, when you take out a whole bunch of stuff that you somehow never take out of anyone else’s launch day numbers.

Punditry is never having to say you’re sorry

Believe it or not, there were things going on in the world of technology this week other than the iPhone launch. Mostly colossal failures, but still …

“BlackBerry announces $4.7 billion buyout plan from Fairfax Financial”

“BlackBerry shares sink on bid doubts, T-Mobile stops stocking its phones”

“Bleak BlackBerry Q2 results highlight nearly $1 billion in unsold Z10 phones”

Yeeeeeeeesh. Now, this is weird because … hmm … wasn’t someone saying that 2013 was going to be BlackBerry’s comeback year? Hmm, yes, the Macalope distinctly remembers it now. Who? Could? That? Have? Been?

“Why 2013 Is RIM’s BlackBerry Year.”

Ah, there it is! That’s none other than Rob Enderle writing for CIO (CIO is owned by IDG, Macworld’s parent company) in December of 2012, a piece the Macalope took up at the time because sometimes the lowest fruit is the most delicious.

Now, what do you think Rob’s reaction would be? A contrite apology? A chastened bit of reflection?

Well, if you think it’s either of those, then you don’t know Enderle. And, also, you probably didn’t read the title of this section. Try to keep up, OK? (Tip o’ the antlers to Shawn King.)

I’m finding it kind of funny that so many Apple fans are pounding on me for saying 2013 will be Blackberry’s year. … They forget that prior to this year Blackberry was on a dated platform with dated hardware and chasing Apple badly.

As opposed to now, when the company’s on a new platform and sinking like a rock tied to another, heavier rock.

This year they have focused back on business, gone private (or will by year end) and are lean enough to be acquired or, much like Jobs did with Apple, they have become lean enough to form the basis for a new firm.

Oh, sure, BlackBerry is just like Apple was in 1997 when it, uh, was not acquired but acquired another company for a better technology that would lead it into the future. Almost exactly the same situation. Except backwards.

OK, yes, Enderle’s gotta Enderle, right? Expecting Rob to own up to the many, many excruciatingly dumb things he’s said over the years is, well, hopefully it’s recompense a vengeful god will one day mete out.

But you’ll grow old and bored waiting for Rob to do it himself. The point of all this is instead to shame the publications that keep printing Enderle’s brain-pan drippings as if they mean anything. That remains, alas, a work in progress. Because CIO ran yet another piece by Enderle this week, telling us all about how companies going private should be done. A piece which does not mention his previous opinions on how 2013 was going to be all BlackBerry, baby.

Which brings us back to Stupidgate. Tell a friend, tell a relative. You can make a difference. Stand up for logic before it falls down from fatigue.

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