Unseriously: The iPhone’s supposed problem


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Put on your very serious face because it’s time to discuss Apple’s very serious problem.

Writing for the Forbes contributor network and home for wayward children with tongues stuck to cold metal objects, Ewan Spence has all the news that’s fit to doom.

“Apple's Serious Image Problem With The New iPhone.” (Tip o’ the antlers to @JonyIveParody.)

You know. You know. The very serious image problem. With the new iPhone. That one.

Because of the very serious nature of this very serious problem, the Macalope would like you to refrain from surreptitiously making fart noises. For, like, at least thirty or forty seconds. Show you’re really giving this all the stone-faced seriousness it deserves.

OK, twenty seconds. Fifteen. Something more than five.

You’re already making fart noises, aren’t you. OK. That’s fine.

Apple delivers a record-breaking quarter, revenue is up, and the iPhone X is the best-selling iPhone every week it is on sale. Apple is delivering excellent results, and the company’s various products are in good health. The Tim Cook era is well established, and everything is running smoothly.

Isn’t it?

Nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnno? Seems like you’re going for a no here. Doesn’t seem right, but that seems like what you want.

If it is, why has Apple’s Craig Federighi informed the Engineering teams in Apple that the focus has to return to stability…

Oh, snap! Walk that off, Apple! That’s what you take for trying to improve things! See if you do that again.

This is not the first time Apple has focused mostly on stability issues for a particular release but this time it’s somehow a sign of major problems at the company because reasons.

Recent months have seen the incidence of bugs both in Apple’s first-party apps and the core functionality of iOS rise up.

Has it? Any numbers to back that up or is it just “something we all know”? Certainly the company had two bad bugs late last year — the iOS 12/2 bug and the… the Mac one with the password thingy, right? See, the Macalope can’t even remember it exactly. And he covers this stuff.

Admittedly, he drinks, too, but look at what he has to read all week long.

Anyway, yes, the company had two bad bugs late last year. But let’s examine what Spence considers a bug.

The biggest issue in recent months is the iPhone battery problem.

Which, of course, is not a software or hardware problem at all but instead is a communication problem. The software did what it should. If Apple had just explained it better to people we probably wouldn’t even be talking about it still.

Spence lists two problems with making phone calls, one on the iPhone 7 and another on the iPhone X, which are certainly legitimate bugs that Apple should fix.

Both of these issues are part of what makes a phone a phone.

Nnnnyeah, OK, but “smartphone” is really a lousy descriptor for these things we carry around. The Macalope uses his all day long but he rarely uses it to place or accept phone calls.

The daily questions of ‘what has gone wrong now’, existing customers losing faith in their battery, and potential users looking at issues that are retracted to Apple’s smartphone which do not show up on Android-powered devices…

Android phones have no problems! It’s certainly not as if the largest Android manufacturer had to recall a phone just 16 months ago because it was freaking exploding or anything. And, no, the heads of major intelligence agencies haven’t recommended against buying the phones of another major Android OEM for security reasons, perish the thought. Nor has the company responsible for making Android spammed buyers of its own hardware or continued to collect Android user location data even when location services are disabled. And, finally, please — PLEASE — rest assured that Android has no endemic security problem whatsoever.

No, all is well in Androidia.

As true as that might be, there are some things that are factually incorrect in Spence’s piece. Let’s start with things stated as fact that have not been entered into evidence. And are also just wrong.

…iPhone supply orders for Q1 2018 were halved…

For starters, this comes from an unsourced report from Nikkei that has some serious problems in terms of believability using our Earth logic. For secondsies, the report only stated that orders for the iPhone X were being cut in half, not all iPhones. So your dubious reference is also plain incorrect.

…and total annual sales of the iPhone have been dropping since 2015.

Wow, is that right? No, actually, it is not right. Thank you for asking, you adorable rhetorical construct, you. The Macalope went back and added up iPhone sales for Apple’s fiscal 2016 and 2017. He got 211.9 and 216.8 million units respectively. Things have gotten kind of crazy in terms of what you can believe in this country but the horny one is still pretty sure that 216.8 is greater than 211.9. Pretty sure.

Then he thought, well, maybe Spence is using calendar years, so he added those figures up and he got 215.4 and 215.8 million units. Not a big gain, but a gain nonetheless. And that's without accounting for the fact that the fourth calendar quarter of 2016 had one more week in it than the same quarter in 2017.

Apple’s press releases will happily tell you why it is still on the rise…

Yeah, stupid reasons like math.

…but the currents under the surface are shifting to tell another story.

Don’t believe the math! These tea leaves never lie.


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