Peeling an onion: Phony iPhone 6 doom starts a chain reaction


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2014 is over, but the Macalope is still cleaning up the mess from the crappiest New Year’s Eve party ever. Because as 2014 wound down, tech sites got wound up about some survey results.

“Here’s Proof That Samsung Owners Are Happier With Their Phones Than iPhone Owners” (indirect link and tip o’ the antlers to mylestaylor)

Business Insider‘s Julie Bort knows the score: It’s Samsung a billion and Apple zero. Or, well, 81 to 79, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index.

Why the change? The larger-sized iPhone 6 and 6 Plus might be an issue, suggests Endgadet’s Devindra Hardawar.

Ohs. Noes. People don’t like the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus! Well, certainly must be true. It’s on the Internet at “Endgadet.”

Bendgate probably didn’t help, either.

Certainly not! How could it? What with the iPhone 6 Plus—and, eh, probably the iPhone 6, too, who knows?—bending like a delicate flower at the slightest gust of air. One thing’s for sure, this study conclusively shows that no one likes this year’s iPhones. Mmm-hmm.

Bort got her information from Engadget‘s Devindra Hardawar who further concluded:

Some shoppers might not have been happy with Apple’s move into the big-phone arena with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

S’truth! Woe betide the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, phor they are giant phails of phablets!

Continuing to peel this stinky onion, Engadget based their piece on a piece by The Boy Genius [sic] Report‘s Zach Epstein.

Hey, Macalope. Is that the same Zach Epstein who said “Sorry Apple, Windows 8 ushers in the post-post-PC era”?

Why, yes, it is! Thanks for pointing that out, Billy!

That was Billy, the artificial dialog construct. We haven’t heard from Billy in a long time. Take a bow, Billy. Now get out of here, you little scamp.

Epstein lays out the Samsung winnening and Apple losening.

But Samsung will finish 2014 with a much-needed win. According to the results of a massive study, Samsung has passed Apple to become the most beloved cell phone maker in the United States.

Samsung had a rough year, but ultimately prevailed via a late-inning inside the park home run! That’s the take-away from 2014!

Despite this year’s release of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which combined to make up the biggest cell phone launch in history with more than 10 million units sold through the end of their debut weekend, Apple earned a customer satisfaction score of 79 out of 100, dropping 2.5% from the 81 it scored in 2013.

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus could not stem this crash and burn! DAMN YOU, BENDGATE! IS THERE NOTHING YOU CAN’T RUIN?

Incidentally, are you as excited about the big reveal here as the Macalope is? The suspense is terrible! I hope it'll last!

This could be a big win for Samsung as it moves into 2015 and looks to regain momentum.

Indeed! What a miraculous stretch over 2014’s finish line for Samsung! So many, many sports metaphors you can make!

Hot Hardware‘s Paul Lilly also reported the “news,” adding:

That may seem a little surprising, given all the buzz surrounding Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus launch and how well those devices have been selling, but let’s not forget about bendgate, which might have impacted its scores.

Totally! Everyone knows about Bendgate! The phones, they bend! It’s scandalous! Certainly that’s affected Apple’s performance in this survey!

Weeeeeell, there’s just oooooone smaaaaall prooooooblem with this entire link-bait feeding frenzy and it’s riiiiiight heeeeeeere.

ANN ARBOR, Mich., (May 20, 2014)

If you click through to the ACSI’s site and browse around a bit—or, heck, email the source for confirmation like the Macalope did—you’ll find that these results are from May. So, unless the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, and the Apple-doomening Bendgate are so bad that they are rippling backward in time, or the people surveyed by ACSI are precognitive, there is no way this year’s iPhones could be affecting these results.

Kids, do not write tech stories while guzzling grandma’s “eggnog,” which is actually just box wine. The Macalope cannot stress this enough.

Apart from liquor, the horny one is not exactly sure how this whole thing got started but it looks like Epstein stumbled across it while writing about other ACSI results that were more recent and jumped on it like a... well, like a guy desperate to find something negative to write about Apple. Then the other sites were like “Hey! We also like negative stuff about Apple!” The Macalope doesn’t know how this Internet sausage comprised of ground up hunks of raw dumb got made and he’s not sure he wants to.

Of the three, Hardawar almost gets it by noting that last year’s ACSI results came out mid-year, before the release of the iPhone 5s and 5c. But the lure of that sweet iPhone 6 doom candy was ultimately too seductive.

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus don’t even appear on the list of phones surveyed. Not only does this study say nothing about the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, it shows that the more recent iPhones, the 5s and 5c, were very highly rated. If you want to draw a conclusion from this study, it’s that Apple’s phones don’t age as well as you might think. Quite possibly this is because the more recent iOS updates run like a tick-infested water buffalo slogging upstream through a river of molasses.

Which actually happened once at a molasses factory in 1973. But that water buffalo would go on to win the Triple Crown as Seattle Slew. And now you know... the rest of the story.

If there’s a better case study of the state of technology journalism than sites falling over each other to “report”—or blindly re-report—an Apple fail that wasn’t, this mythical beast hasn’t seen it. That’s the real take-away from 2014.

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