Useless exercises: Opinions on Apple’s results


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We are not yet even through the holiday buying season but it is apparently time to pretend we know how many of the devices it announced this cycle that Apple will sell.

Writing for Quartz, Mike Murphy gives a thumbs down and releases the lions, tigers, bears, wolverines, and Gary on Apple.

“This was meant to be the year of the Apple ‘supercycle,’ but Samsung’s phones were better.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Tibor, 5cat, and Chris.)

“Supercycle” in this usage is not that thing that Spider-Man rode around on. That’s the Spider-Cycle and, yes, it is a very super cycle, perhaps even the superest of cycles, but it is not this supercycle.

This supercycle, as defined by Wall Street analysts, is a sustained increase in sales based on Apple driving more of its customers to upgrade to new devices. Murphy doesn’t see that happening because he thinks the Samsung phones are better.

But the iPhone X, which Apple has referred to as “the future” of the iPhone, didn’t feel particularly futuristic when I tested it. It was expensive…

The iPhone X is expensive at $999. The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 that Murphy prefers is very reasonable at $950. This $49 is the widest gap in the history of technology. Hashtag “facts.”

…featured a very buggy operating system…

Android, meanwhile is flaw-free.

“Google collects Android users’ locations even when location services are disabled.”


Hey, you know what’s great? Pudding.

…and forced me to change the way I’ve used smartphones for years for no particularly good reason.


Apple: Hey, iPhone X! Here you go!


Most iPhone X owners the Macalope knows seem to love swiping up to go home. The Macalope tried it out in the store and thought it was terrific. But whaddya gonna do?

Let’s look at the benefits of the very reasonably-priced Note 8.

It still has a “home button”

Does it have a physical keyboard, too? Haha, no, just a stylus. And you know what else?

It still has a headphone jack

Yes, people are apparently still talking about that. Frankly, if your phone doesn’t have a VGA port, don’t even wake the Macalope.

You know, the horny one’s iPhone SE has a headphone jack and he hasn’t used it at all in the year since he got his AirPods. So, not everyone cares, and certainly not as many people as you think.

It has a similar display as the iPhone X, but bigger.

This is hilarious as the Macalope has just spent the last few days hearing from people on Twitter who think the iPhone X is categorically “too big.”

Suffice it to say, Murphy has a long list of items he thinks show that the Galaxy Note 8 is better than the iPhone X. Some people might find them compelling but the Macalope suspects most people don’t make smartphone platform decisions on an annual basis off a list of features.

Anyway, supercycles, much like honey badger, don’t give a damn. It doesn’t matter which phone you think is better. The opinions of pundits tapping at keyboards just don’t matter. What matters is how many devices Apple sells. And, damn the linear nature of time if you must, but we’re not going to know the answer to that for a few quarters. A number of analysts did dial back their expectations in recent months, but Apple also reportedly sold 6 million iPhone Xs over Black Friday weekend alone. Supply seems to be less of a problem than most people thought it would be.

The point is, no one knows yet if Apple has generated a supercycle with the iPhone X. And its ability to do so has next to nothing to do with Samsung’s phones.

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