[Scene: A snowy streetscape in the early morning. As a young man trudges by, a second-story window opens and an old man sticks his head out.]
OLD MAN: You, there! Boy!
YOUNG MAN: Boy? I’m 22. I have a college degree. I mean, in English, but still…
OLD MAN: What day is it!
YOUNG MAN: [sighs and checks iPhone] December 28th.
OLD MAN: They did it!
YOUNG MAN: Come again?
OLD MAN: I haven’t missed the end of 2021! So many miracles, all in one year!
YOUNG MAN: [looks around] Are we talking about the same world? Because… eesh.
OLD MAN: The Apple world, boy!
YOUNG MAN: Oh. You see, usually, when strange old men yell at me from windows it’s about the government or their underpants or…
OLD MAN: So many Apple miracles this year!
YOUNG MAN: Uh, were there? I guess. Maybe?
OLD MAN: Why, yes!
YOUNG MAN: Name one.
OLD MAN: Getting rid of the Touch Bar for instance! The Touch Bar was a failed attempt at a new input mechanism. And Apple never really committed to it. And now it’s gone! In just one year!
YOUNG MAN: What are you talking about? The MacBook Pro had it for four years.
OLD MAN: Yes! Four long, pointless years! And they got rid of it in one!
YOUNG MAN: That’s… not… The Apple product development cycle… You know what? Never mind. So, Apple got rid of the Touch Bar. What else?
OLD MAN: Well, the company also backtracked on the right to repair! Now anyone can repair their iPhone!
YOUNG MAN: Anyone?
OLD MAN: Anyone who feels comfortable doing it. And has good eyesight. And a steady hand. And would rather do it themselves than have Apple or a licensed third party do it.
YOUNG MAN: So, like five people.
OLD MAN: Five very loud people!
YOUNG MAN: OK, that’s a fair point.
OLD MAN: Well, what about the M1 Pro and M1 Max? These are amazingly powerful processors considering their level of power consumption.
YOUNG MAN: Oh, they’re great. They’re not actual miracles, more the result of a lot of hard work. But they’re outstanding laptop processors. It does remain to be seen what kind of performance per watt the upcoming mobile version of Intel’s Alder Lake will have and how that compares to…
OLD MAN: And Apple did it in one year!
YOUNG MAN: Again, I’m not sure you get how Apple’s product development cycle works. Or, possibly you’ve suffered some form of head trauma.
OLD MAN: And you seem to know a lot about Apple for a random passer-by.
YOUNG MAN: Hmm.
OLD MAN: Hmm.
YOUNG MAN: Well, at least there’s some sign that maybe Intel will stop its pathetic ad campaign against Apple. That’d be a miracle.
OLD MAN: What, and put all those actors pretending to be regular people out of a job?!
YOUNG MAN: Hahahaha!
OLD MAN: Hahahaha!
YOUNG MAN: [looking around] Wait, do you really live above a Hot Topic? What’s that like?
OLD MAN: Say, what about the Apple Watch? 2021 was another banner year for a product that pundits once declared a “flop”!
YOUNG MAN: Sure, yeah, the Apple Watch is a legitimate hit, no matter what anyone says. The Series 7 might not be a dramatic leap forward for the form factor, but it’s a solid entry into a line that’s doing well enough it doesn’t need dramatic updates every year.
OLD MAN: And you can’t deny that back in August Apple made major concessions to app developers!
YOUNG MAN: Yeah, I can! The company gave a relatively small settlement — $100 million is chump change for Apple — and let developers use more price points which it will still take 15 or 30 percent of, so it’s not that big a concession. It also agreed not to ban them for doing things they were supposed to be allowed to do! Wow! Further…
OLD MAN: Now, see here, boy!
YOUNG MAN: Further… it appealed and was granted a delay on the one thing it lost in the Epic case. To top all that off, it’s summarily declared that it’s already in compliance with the law South Korea implemented requiring alternate payment methods in the App Store. Basically, hardly anything has changed since it announced the Small Business Program.
OLD MAN: Ah, but that was a true miracle!
YOUNG MAN: That happened in 2020! Wait, a minute… was this just an excuse to do a lousy clip show and avoid doing an actual column?
OLD MAN: Quiet, you! Now go fetch me a turkey! [flips coin down]
YOUNG MAN: This is a quarter! And I don’t work for you! [throws it back]
OLD MAN: Ow! [shakes fist] Damn Generation Z!