Things might get ontological


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Do people know that words have meanings? It’s starting to seem like they don’t. First a pundit has trouble realizing “people” are the “people” he works with. Then we look at what you can say if you provide the qualifier that it “could” be true (practically anything). Finally, has anyone seen this thing we made up?


The Macalope is coming to the conclusion that Business Insider’s Jay Yarow is possibly just tired of his job.

“Apple Delivers A Snooze Of An Earnings Report” (no link but tip o’ the antlers to @JonyIveParody).

Why so sleepy, Jay?

Apple delivered a relatively boring June quarter earnings report.

Dullsville, California! Population: Apple! Asleep: me!

If there’s a story to be told from this earnings report it’s that the iPad in the U.S. is surprisingly weak.

Yes, as usual, the only time Business Insider thinks there’s a story about Apple is if it’s something negative. The story couldn’t be that Apple somehow manages to maintain great margins while people—people who write for Business Insider—have insisted for years it had to chase everyone down the market to cheaper, lower-margin phones. No, no, no. Apple Blvd. is a one-way street running downhill.

China was really strong for Apple. On the call, Cook said iPhone units were up 48%. He also said that Mac sales were up 39% in China.

This runs contrary to what many people expected.

“Many people.” Many people like your boss, Henry Blodget, who is not unlike a golem formed of the clay of wrongness and given life by the power of link-baiting headlines. Here’s what Blodget had to say this week about Apple’s performance in China:

iPhone sales in China and other emerging markets were pretty good. This is encouraging, because Apple has been getting its clock cleaned in these markets, in part because it only sells high-priced phones.

Uh, no. The real reason Apple wasn’t as competitive as it might have been was because it hadn’t fully entered the market yet. Now that it’s ramping up more, it’s doing better. It’s not going to capture the same kind of market share in China that it has in the U.S. or Japan, but now it’s not fighting with one hand tied behind its back.

In recent years, however, Apple has pushed some lower-price phones—the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5C—and these are helping drive unit sales.

Wrong again. Don’t you remember? The iPhone 5c wasn’t low-priced enough. Your own site said it was “a disaster”! See?

“New Data Suggests The iPhone 5C Has Been A Disaster”

Ben Thompson’s reaction to Blodget sums it up nicely:

Basically everything @hblodget says about China here is wrong.

Back to Yarow:

As competition from Android increases in China, people thought Apple would weaken.

Again with the mysterious “people.” What site did these “people” write for? NO ONE KNOWS. It certainly couldn’t be Business Insider’s Steve Kovach who wrote in May:

“Xiaomi: The Scrappy Chinese Smartphone Maker That’s Poised To Wallop Samsung And Apple”

Well, keep digging, Jay! Maybe eventually you’ll find these elusive “people” of whom you speak!

Could be

Writing for CNBC, Arjun Kharpal brings us a dire warning … FROM THE FUTURE!

“Apple could be ‘obsolete’ in 3 years: Analyst” (tip o’ the antlers to @JonyIveParody).

Could be. Just like the Rockies could become a major league baseball team in three years. It’s not likely, but it’s in the realm of possibility. So, OK.

Apple could be “obsolete” in three years, due to increasing competition and “make-believe” valuations in the technology sector, one analyst told CNBC on Thursday.

Shortly before leading butterfly-net-wielding mental health officials on a hilarious chase through a park to the tune of Yakety Sax.

… Pedro de Noronha, managing partner at hedge fund Noster Capital, said he was unsure about the Silicon Valley-based company’s long-term potential.

Because he has just arrived on this planet from a far-off alien world where the laws of probability are entirely different.

“I need to know where a company is going to be in 5-to-10 years. I mean look at Apple, a company we all admire…I don’t know where they are going to be in three years,” Noronha told CNBC in a TV interview.

“I am not unlike a baby or an animal. If I cannot see something, then I assume it does not exist.”

“It’s a very competitive landscape. They might become obsolete in two-to-three years, as we’ve seen with dozens of technology companies.”

Well, yeeees, but so might Samsung or Xiaomi or Google or any other company. But no one says that about any other company, oddly. It seems to only be Apple that attracts this level of high-as-a-kite analysis.

Some analysts, including Noronha, have been worried by the valuations of technology companies, suggesting that they are not built on solid fundamentals.

For example, were you aware that the iPhone does not even exist? It’s true. According to Buddhist philosophy, this world is an illusion. The iPhone is really just a man-made concept. What we know as the “iPhone” is just a combination of parts that, when put into close proximity with each other, appear to perform “functions.” They give the illusion of being a cohesive “thing” that has structure. In reality, this is just our human brains trying to apply form where none exists.

This is why Apple will be gone in three years.

OK, the Macalope embellished a bit there, but it’s actually a better argument than the one that de Noronha is making.

Just askin’

In a video interview and associated article, Fox Business asks:

“Has Apple Lost its Mojo for Good?” (No link but, once again, tip o’ the antlers and congratulations to @JonyIveParody, who wins a free set of steak knives for making the hat trick this week!)

Excellent question. Has Apple lost this thing that’s as made-up as the mana indicator in Diablo … for good?

That’s some primo question-asking right there. Other analysts have asked if Apple’s lost its fantasy video-game spell-casting ability, but that’s obvious, really. Just look around. Has the company cast any magical spells recently? No, it has not. But the real question is: Has it lost its magic charm bag used in hoodoo for good? Perhaps the company accidentally put it in the recycling. Maybe it fell out of the car at the Home Depot. Perhaps the cat dragged it off. Maybe it’s still sitting in Tim Cook’s sock drawer. We don’t know. That’s the point that Fox “Business” is trying to clear up.

Where is Apple’s flannel bag containing one or more magical items which it uses to conjure, manipulate fortune, and lure and persuade lovers?

Look, people, it isn’t easy tackling the tough business questions. These things get complicated with charts and numbers and government regulations and lawsuits and freaking charm bags designed to entice omniscient forefathers to provide protection and favor. This is not Business 101. This is upper-level course material. They don’t cover this in an AA degree. You need big hair and a TV camera and a total lack of any sense of propriety to cover this.

So, now that we’re clear on what’s at stake—whether or not Apple knows the location of the magical amulet that controls its very destiny—let’s read the article to find out!

Oh, turns out the article is just a collection of quotes from a video interview of the Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern and Doug MacMillan about how, while Apple does face some challenges, it’s still doing pretty well. The word “mojo” appears exactly once on the page and that’s in the headline.

So. That’s kind of a letdown. Not exactly the Necronomicon. Or even the Comic-con. No, it appears that the headline is just salacious click bait designed to sucker people into reading, and has practically nothing to do with the article.


Well, well, well, well, well. Deception in the name of commerce. And on the Internet, no less. Shocking.

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