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The Macalope Daily: We didn't start the fire

The Macalope | Nov. 22, 2012
[Due to technical issues The Macalope is currently available to all Macworld readers, not just members of Macworld Insider.]

[Due to technical issues The Macalope is currently available to all Macworld readers, not just members of Macworld Insider.]

The heat is on.

Florian Mueller is a smart guy who knows a lot about patents. Which is why the Macalope doesn't get how he wrote this piece.

"Soft stance on patents would cost Apple's shareholders hundreds of billions of dollars" (tip o' the antlers to Sean).

The Macalope's mostly going to ignore the patent talk, because that's Mueller's area of expertise. But there's plenty of other stuff to sink his antlers into in this piece.

There are so many people who have invested in Apple, and so many analysts who kept extrapolating past results into a future that actually looks far more challenging than promising, that any caveat concerning Apple's mid-term to long-term prospects is unpopular and elicits heat, not light.

Hang on a second. First, look at it from our perspective. Throughout Apple's 15-year journey from ignominy to the largest company in the world, we've been told "Just wait, the [Zune, netbooks, Ultrabooks, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Surface, Motorola Xoom and 10,000 other crappy products] is totally going to kill Apple." And yet, here we are. At some point you just snap and create an online alter-ego with a head like a Classic Mac and antlers and ...

Uh, I mean, you say, "No, the onus is on you to prove that Apple's doom is nigh or just shut up until it actually happens."

Last week the horny one linked favorably to a piece by Michael Lopp in which he laid out some reasons why Apple might have a hard time innovating in the future. There's nothing wrong with speculating why it might happen. What's wrong is saying categorically it's going to happen.

One example of those "heat, not light" reactions is that people claim Apple's primary problem is supply, not demand, sometimes pointing to long queues in front of Apple's official stores. This supply-not-demand-is-the-problem argument is downright moronic.

Hmm. "Moronic." Is that heat or light?

I have yet to find even one person who bought an Android phone or tablet because an iPhone or iPad was sold out somewhere and they couldn't wait a week or a month for their next phone.

Neither has the Macalope. He suspects there probably are a handful out there, but not enough to really drive the current market share numbers.

See? We're agreeing!

What's the unique selling proposition, in a technological sense, of an iPhone or iPad? There is none.

Aaand there goes the agreement.

Build quality, usability, and ecosystem may be harder to objectively judge as qualities, but they do exist as factors that users take into account when evaluating devices, whether they do it consciously or not.


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