The Macalope Weekly: Leave the giant conglomerate alone!
By The Macalope
MacworldJAN 13, 2012 11:30 pm PST
The big news out of CES this week: The mythical Apple television is dead and it isn’t even out yet! How does that work? Oh, dear readers, technology punditry is kind of like making hot dogs. Don’t ask questions you don’t want the answers to. And Samsung’s defenders came out in droves, this week prompting many to ask “Samsung has defenders? Since when?”
It’s one thing for the Macalope to play mythical leapfrog—he is, after all, a mythical beast—but it’s another to suggest that someone’s leapfrogged an Apple product that doesn’t exist yet.
Lenovo on Sunday announced its first smart TV that will recognize voice commands and run Android 4.0 applications, getting a jump over Apple’s rumored pursuit of TVs with advanced features.
When the horny one wondered where all the bravado about iPad killers at CES was, he should have known better. iPad killers are so 2010. This year it’s about Apple television killers.
Why try to kill existing Apple products when killing ones that don’t exist is so much easier?
“This allows the user to tell the remote control what they want to do, such as accessing thousands of TV apps available running on Android 4.0, or accessing LenovoCloud service to download new upgrades, and also access personal multimedia content or interact on social networks,” Reynolds said.
“Thousands of TV apps,” huh? The Macalope thinks what you mean is “thousands of Android phone apps that are going to look totally awesome when scaled up on a 48-inch HD 3D screen.”
This could give Lenovo an edge over Apple, which is rumored to be pursuing the TV market with a television set.
Oh, totally. That first-mover-piece-of-crap-jacked-up-with-a-bunch-of-“features”-like-3D-nobody-asked-for-and-slapped-together-without-any-thought-to-how-they’d-actually-be-used advantage is tough to overcome.
“As a new player in the highly competitive TV market, it is very important for Lenovo to offer significant differentiation right from the off. So the K91 is designed as a premium product,” Reynolds said on a conference call.
Translation: “We threw everything into this thing and then couldn’t figure out how to get the price down. We are incapable of making the tough choices that Apple knows how to make. We’re going to sell about five units to very unhappy customers and we know it.”
Look, this is all very interesting, but you can keep your imaginary Apple televisions and your PC OEM vanity attempts at beating Apple to the punch. Because the Macalope has seen the future of television and he has two simple words for you:
So I wonder sometimes if people at Samsung resent the way Apple and its cadre of increasingly nasty fanboy bloggers…
…keep deriding Samsung as some kind of backwater knock-off shop, a cheap Asian cloner that, as Apple put it in a lawsuit, “slavishly copied” Apple to make its products.
Surely there is
no merit to
any of those claims. It’s all in the fevered imaginations of “fanboy bloggers,” who have no remorse in their vicious smear campaign. Sure, Samsung is a behemoth of a company that makes products from biopharmaceuticals to life insurance, but if you prick it, does it not bleed?
The latest example is on Daring Fireball, a blog penned…
Pretty sure John Gruber doesn’t use a pen to blog.
…by John Gruber, a hardcore Apple fanboy.
As Gruber and Lyons have something of a tit-for-tat
putdown contest going on, the Macalope suspects this is just Lyons being cute.
That’s great. Remember when he used to be funny?
Gruber and people like him really believe that Samsung just sits around making copies of Apple products. In their view, Apple is the fountain from which all creativity flows, and Samsung just follows behind, stealing their ideas.
Here’s a little experiment for Lyons: Try to find a reference on a prominent Apple blog to Microsoft stealing Apple’s ideas for Windows Phone 7. You can’t, because Windows Phone 7 is truly original. Late to the market, but original.
Now, is it hyperbole to say, as Gruber did, that Jony Ive “leads the design team at the two most-profitable phone makers?” Sure. But more than hyperbole, it’s an insult to Jony Ive. Just
look at some of the terrible phones Samsung sells. Frankly, Gruber should apologize.
Lyons goes on to point out that some of the phones Samsung sells don’t resemble the iPhone 4 and 4S and, therefore, Samsung could not be copying Apple. QED.
Apple has been making essentially the same phone, with the same 3.5-inch screen size, since 2007. It’s a great phone. But Samsung is making dozens of phones and experimenting with different form factors. They must find it rich to have Apple, with its one design, accusing Samsung of lacking fresh ideas.
To the Macalope’s knowledge, no one has said that. All they’ve said is that Samsung has shamelessly copied Apple’s designs, which is pretty much incontrovertible. But Lyons’s new shtick is belittling Apple fans, so what are you gonna do?
Dismissing Samsung as a bunch of thieving cloners is ridiculous and stupid, and only proves one thing: Steve is gone, but the reality distortion field lives on.
So, let’s get this straight: Apple bloggers say Samsung copies Apple and point to numerous instances of Samsung copying Apple. And Lyons’s response is “But some of their phones are not copies, so that just proves you’re all just brainwashed fanboys.”
Here’s a thought, Dan. If Samsung’s so awesome, instead of trolling Apple fans, why don’t you start a Fake Lee Kun-hee blog?
Preferably in Korean, because the Macalope doesn’t read Korean.
Saturday special: The nut of an idea
The Samsung love-fest continues and behold! The Macalope has ventured forth into the treacherous waters of the Internet to scour the deeps (or, well, he went over to
Ben Brooks’s site) and bring you… THE STUPIDEST THING YOU WILL READ THIS WEEK!
As a warning, pregnant women, small children and those with weak hearts should leave the room lest they fall victim to the massive amounts of stupid rays emanating from…
Samsung is number one in TVs for the sixth year in a row, selling approximately two TVs a second in November. While a minority of those TVs have been what Samsung is calling Smart TVs, all new TVs in 2012 will include boxless interactive television, which means a few things. First, it means Google and Apple are in trouble.
Because everyone will be buying a new television in 2012 and will get locked into Samsung’s technology, The End.
The mistake TechCrunch’s John Biggs makes here is confusing technological interoperability with an “ecosystem.” Again, as we’ve seen time and time again—and this still doesn’t seem to get through some people’s heads—it’s specs versus experience. Some people might buy devices based on specs, but it’s actually experience that keeps them coming back for more.
Then consider Samsung’s lead in cellphone sales. While many would argue that Samsung specializes in meh and me-too, 60 million cellphones sold in 2011 can’t be a fluke.
Of course it’s not a fluke. A fluke is a fish. And Samsung’s not a fish. It’s a company that splatters the market with anything and everything.
Samsung is mercenary. They’re happy to use anyone’s OS as long as it puts phones into boxes and boxes into shopping bags.
Which sound exactly like Apple, right? They just load something up with specs and slap it into the market. You want a VGA port? You got it. You want a phone with a 3D screen? You got it. We don’t care! We’ll sell you anything!
This is another problem with Biggs’s piece. His premise only makes any sense if you loosely define Apple as a big company that people buy a lot of stuff from. He had the tiniest nut of an idea, and without really thinking it through, he just ran with it. When you ask why people buy a lot of stuff from them, it completely falls apart.
The next year will bring plenty of efforts to bring streaming media into the home, but the guy who is already there will win.
Just like Microsoft, which first came out with tablets 10 years ago, won the tablet market. You can’t argue with that. Because just thinking it will cause your brain to explode before you have a chance.
Can Apple beat other CE manufacturers at this game? Sure. They’ve done similar things before. But Samsung and Sony and LG have plenty of time to sell TVs and at two a second, Apple will have quite a bit of catching up to do.
Look, the horny one doesn’t know if Apple’s going to start selling televisions let alone do well in the category. But at this point, no one’s going to own this market for the foreseeable future, so the company with huge brand loyalty and a track record other companies would die for might have a pretty good shot.
[Editors’ Note: In addition to being a mythical beast, the
Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]