The Macalope Weekly: A messed up system of rewards


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No one ever got fired for writing link-baity stories about Apple. And, sadly, no one ever got fired out of a cannon for it either. Still, occasionally there are some bright points. Turns out you can write an “I’m leaving Apple” piece without being a jerk. But let’s not forget that all the big money is in Apple doom. And don’t bother dooming current Apple products: All the really big money is in dooming products that Apple hasn’t even released yet.

Can’t win for all the losing

Writing for Business Insider, Jim Edwards warns “Why Apple Should Fear Samsung’s New ‘Tizen’ Strategy” (no link but tip o’ the antlers to Todd Campbell).

Samsung’s decision to use Tizen, a non-Android operating system, on its Gear line of smart watches has mostly been seen as a blow to Google, Android’s developer.

But when you put your Business Insider glasses on, everything looks like bad news for Apple.

But another way to look at Samsung’s Tizen strategy is to consider it from Apple’s point of view, and to ask what Samsung wants in terms of its never-ending battle with iPhone, iPad and the iOS mobile system they operate on.

At Business Insider, making things bad news for Apple is job one.

Apple has no operating system for “wearables” …

We know this because uhhhhhhhhh we do not actually know this.

Seriously, what are the odds that Apple could tweak or build off one its existing operating systems to make one for wearable devices? Like zero, right? It’s a laughable notion! Ha! Ha! Haaaaa!

Samsung is already ahead of Apple in many ways.

Number of refrigerators sold, for example. Weapons systems developed. Tons of tin mined.

Samsung launched first into the smart watch business.

And now we are all wearing smartwatches.

Apple has yet to leave that starting gate on watches.


Now consider that Samsung has also led the race in terms of large format “phablet” phones. People laughed when the gigantic Note phone was launched. But talk to Note users and you’ll hear, repeatedly, how much they love their big screens.

Sure. You speak Korean, right?

As the dominant development partner, Samsung will get to decide how quickly Tizen gets updated. It no longer has to wait for Google …

This is key because Samsung has a history of innovating faster than Apple.

If there’s a textbook instance of the double standard that the tech press uses when talking about innovation, you’re looking right at it: Apple reinvents whole product categories; Samsung makes their screens bigger.

… Samsung is very good at shipping new products quickly—and it doesn’t matter if many of them fail as long as a handful, like the Galaxy and Note lines, become huge hits. Apple hasn’t shipped a new format phone since 2012.

One question: How many Notes does Samsung sell compared to the number of iPhones Apple sells? Yeah, you go look that up.

Finally, Samsung has been making smart (or somewhat smart) TVs for years. Apple has yet to sell a single smart TV screen (although it does have the Apple TV digital media player).

This has been another episode of Ridiculous Goalposts Theater.

This is important: Samsung could transfer its entire phone user base to Tizen and most customers would not notice.

Their apps wouldn’t work anymore, but other than that they wouldn’t notice a thing.

In that scenario, Apple has two competitors, Android and Tizen, instead of just one.

See how this works? When Android has a huge market share Apple is doomed because Android is SO HUGE. When that gets cut in half, Apple is doomed because it now faces two competitors.

… another area where Apple ought to tremble: Samsung’s marketing budget is $4 billion, worldwide—four times the size of Apple’s. The company has more than enough firepower to promise app developers exposure and media partnerships if they launch on the Tizen platform.

Apple, of course, has no money.

It’s funny—the Macalope distinctly remembers being told the very same thing when the Zune came out. Microsoft is A HUGE CORPORATION WITH A LOT OF MONEY and therefore it can just make markets happen.

No amount of money can make people like crap.

Though somehow Business Insider manages to stay in business, so maybe that’s not completely true.

Apple’s worst nightmare.

If you’re keeping track at home, the Zune was the “perfect storm” while Tizen is the “worst nightmare.”

And while Apple fanboys …


… may laugh at the idea that Samsung’s devices are on a par with Apple’s iPhones and iPads …

We may. Such is frequently our wont.

… they may want to consider how much of a head start Samsung has already gotten in terms of solidifying its customer base …

Apple, meanwhile, etc., etc.

Samsung’s Tizen thus threatens to create a new, scary universe for Apple.

Fear. Nightmare. Scary. Got it. Sounds like reasonable analysis about a fledgling operating system hardly anyone is using.


There’s a right way and a wrong way to write the “I’m leaving the iPhone!” piece. Here’s the wrong way:


OK, that’s a strawman but it’s not that much of a strawman. If you look, the Macalope believes you will find that Joe Wilcox wrote that post not once but twice.

At any rate, the horny one is not here to talk about the bad eggs for once. Those eggs were smelly and he threw them out. Seriously, why are we even talking about eggs? It’s always about the eggs with you.

No, he’s here to talk about this example by Lauren Orsini, which is the right way to say “I’m leaving the iPhone.”

“Why I Want To Go Back To Android”

Why? Because it’s all in the first person and there’s no attempt to claim her experience is applicable to everyone and therefore Apple is doomed. Her personal preferences are perfectly reasonable and she makes a good case for why she prefers Android. No one should use a phone they don’t like.

The only thing the Macalope would quibble with is this:


Even a year in, I’m still kind of afraid of my iPhone. I handle it more like a fragile baby bird, forever nestled in an enormous OtterBox case that literally doubles its size.

According to a couple of data points, it doesn’t seem like the current crop of iPhones are any more breakable than their competition. This piece screams “APPLE DEVICES DOMINATE LIST,” but as seen on a previous episode of the Macalope (IN COLOR!), there are four Apple devices, three from Samsung, and three from Google/Motorola. The iPhones all rate as less breakable than the Galaxy S4 and S3.

It should be noted, however, that the horny one doesn’t think either of those studies is unimpeachable. In fact, they should probably both be impeached right in the face. (“Blam! I just impeached you!”) And he still understands the “baby bird” feeling. Maybe it’s partly because iPhones tend to cost more and simply feel better.

The main point is, if customizing the OS and using widgets are your thing, you want Android. And that’s OK. The Macalope’s enjoyment of his iPhone is not predicated on your enjoyment of it.

Frankly, the Macalope is a little surprised that ReadWrite let this article get published this way. Maybe this is a positive sign of Owen Thomas’s tenure as editor. This certainly never would have happened if Dan Lyons were still alive.





And now let’s look at the wrong way to write about the iPhone.

Laptop Magazine’s Avram Piltch brings us “6 Reasons the iPhone 6 Has Already Lost” (tip o’ the antlers to David Gorski).

Do we really need to even go into this piece? Would we not be better off spending our valuable five minutes looking at videos of red pandas or something?


With Apple’s next smartphone still months away, fans have been gobbling up iPhone 6 rumors faster than Pac-Man on a power pill bender.

Oh, great, make fun of Pac-Man’s eating problem. Nice.

However, even the hottest rumor mill in tech can’t turn this device into a winner. Based on everything we know now …

Rumormongers are cartoonish idiots, mindlessly gobbling up candy!

But based on some rumors I read …

Pro tip: You were right the first time.

While many still like the quality of the current iPhone 5s’ 8-MP low-light-friendly sensor, it captures half the detail while offering none of the powerful image-processing features of its competitors. While current rumors peg the iPhone 6’s camera at either the same 8-MP or a slightly higher 10-MP, the Samsung Galaxy S5 is about to launch with a 16-MP shooter, real-time HDR and goodies like Eraser Mode, which removes photobombers from your pictures…

At last, our long global nightmare of photobombing will be a thing of the past. Let the healing begin.

So, basically, Samsung is adding BIG NUMBERS and a bunch of janky features that few people will ever use. Just like every year.

Poor Battery Life, No Removable Battery

We know it will have poor battery life because it is a thing you can just say on the Internet and, there, now we know.

And 1999 did not call to ask for its swappable phone batteries back so much as it faxed to ask for them back.


And where would we all be without the miracle of NFC allowing us to tap-to-pay everywhere we are, from that one place you didn’t notice had NFC to the other one that has it but the clerks don’t even know how to use it because no one ever asks.

Of course, Apple doesn’t have its own horse in the race at all. At least none worth mentioning. No. Move along.

The rest of Piltch’s complaints boil down to the customizability of iOS.

Those giant training wheels may have been an advantage for Apple when most users were on their first smartphone, but it’s now 2014 and most consumers know how to operate a mobile device and want more control of it.

We can tell because literally no one buys iOS devices anymore.

Seriously, there are some days the Macalope wonders why he even comes to work.

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