The iPhone 5 is Critic-Proof

| Particle Debris

No one can stop the tide of the iPhone 5. Tens of millions of customers will buy the iPhone 5 in short order, and no critic, no publication can stop it, slow it down, or even have a quantifiable impact.  It’s like the anticipation over a new Marvel Comics-based blockbuster movie. There’s no stopping those millions of movie goers, even if the movie really isn’t that good and critics pan it. What’s going on here?

We’re in s social maelstrom, and Apple knows it. The technology ride is so enticing that the mindset current, as I’ve called it, is unstoppable. That’s why it doesn’t do any good for tech writers to advise their readers to wait, buy a different phone, ponder the lack of NFC, or this or that. Some writers agonize over comparison charts and conclude that a different phone, perhaps from Samsung or Nokia, is really better in some way.

It’s a waste of time.

This week, a writer for the Washington Post ponders the impact of all this, and I’ve linked to it below. I wonder myself if this is a long-term social disease that will someday bite Apple. I wonder if it’s just a symptom of a rapidly changing technology. I wonder if social media has created an unstoppable current, and can that current be used against customers? Finally, I wonder about all those people, waiting in line, who are so darn eager and have to have it now.  As for me, I’m waiting a few days to find out about the AT&T Microcell and nano-SIM issue. Patience remains a virtue. Anyway, more below.

Tech News Debris

Like the Nobel Prize Committee, a group that generally waits for the test of time, as with the Higgs Boson, it will take years to appreciate the long term impact of Apple’s recent victory in its lawsuit against Samsung. Jason Perlow, an accomplished tech writer, looks at the long term in “Without radical change in patent law, Android's ecosystem will die.

Ebook publishers are discovering that the publishing mechanisms available to them don’t always meet their needs. I this case, included music. Here’s David Byrne’s tale of “Enhanced and Disenchanted.” This is not surprising, considering what we’ve now learned about etextbooks in education.

Last week, I noted that a Chinese company, Alibaba, is working on its own smartphone OS, a possible source of concern for Apple and Google. This week, we learned that Yahoo was an investor in that project and that Alibaba is buying back part of its shares that were owned by Yahoo. Yahoo will net about US$4.5 Billion after taxes on a $1 Billion investment. Nice.

There is so much information floating around about the so-called iPad mini that it would almost be unimaginable for Apple to not announce the product. Plus, by releasing the iPhone 5 when it did, Apple gets a boosted FY12Q4. Then, the iPad mini for the Christmas holiday should boost the FY13Q1. The timing is impecable. I’ll just be glad when it’s announced, I can buy one for my wife, and Erica Sadun pays off our bet.

Why is the iPhone critic-proof? That is, is there anything any technology writer could say that could slow down the customer march to the sea of the iPhone 5? This writer, Dominic Basulto, not one of the Mac universe notables, seems annoyed that the mad rush to the iPhone 5 can’t be affected by check boxes or comparison charts or critical reviews. It’s like those blockbuster action movies that are panned by the critics and make hundreds of millions of dollars. Sure, the author is misguided about the ability of the press to control customer wants, and I’m not sure whether the article says more about tech writers or the Apple customers. Something to ponder: “Apple’s iPhone 5: Why we should heed the critics.

Have you ever thought about the technology and economics of the fact that you can leave your HDTV on, 24x7, and your monthly bill is flat? (That’s roughly 1.5 TB of data.) It’s due to the technology differences between broadcast and streaming, and the popularity of streaming could drive prices up, limiting what customers can do. It’s all explored here: “IHS: Delivery Costs of Streaming Video Could Undermine Wider Rollout.” It’s one reason I haven’t cut the cord.

I’ve covered this elsewhere, but it bears repeating. Apple does things for very specific reasons. The lesson we have learned, over and over, is that there is always more going on behind the scenes that we think we know, at first. So here’s the rest of the story on Apple and the Lightning connector. “Why Apple Couldn’t Go to Micro USB Charging.

Image Credit: Apple

For those who care, Microsoft may have dug itself into a hole with email on the Windows RT system. Decide for yourself. “Windows 8 Tablets and Email: A Disaster in the Making.” I think this is a symptom of the fact that 1) developers are human 2) companies want to pay developers only so much, and 3) adding more developers to a huge project doesn’t speed up development. As a result, code can’t keep up with marketplace competitive pressures.

This is a fascinating read. As we know, Ron Johnson, who was Apple’s previous SVP of retail sales, left to become the CEO of JC Penney. That company is experiencing some change pains under its new CEO, and Mr. Johnson explains why in this entertaining tale of Apple’s early New York SoHo store and the grand opening that left Mr. Jobs really depressed. His story is affirming for all who try to make a change and run into some early troubles. “JC Penney CEO Ron Johnson on Steve Jobs: Transformation isn't easy.

Here’s some good background on 4G LTE by Dan Frommer that also has some good links. Might we reach a point, some day, when OTA Internet is so good, so pervasive and so fact that we’ll look back and laugh about how we had to have coaxial cables coming into the house? After you read Mr. Frommer’s essay, you may be a believer. “The Only iPhone 5 Feature That Matters.

Finally, here’s one thing you won’t see in those (infamous) Samsung ads, with the Galaxy geeks on the sidewalk, harassing the Apple fans in line. What happens, if you touch those two Galaxy S3’s together, but accidentally drop one from four feet? “The iPhone 5 Destroys Samsung Galaxy S3 In Real Life Drop Test.

Oops.

 

_____________

Crowd image credit: Shutterstock

Comments

mhikl

The link to Jason Perlow makes for a sweet weekend of thought and chuckles and looks to leave poor penny-beggar Android out to dry in the mid-day sun. Sammy’s going down with Apple fans sharing weenies and marshmallows at hootenannies across the galaxy. I knew there had been shenanigans at the House of Android but the extent of copy corruption is startling. And the thought of Eric the S*** with his pants down in court is such a delightful thought I can’t stop giggling and hooting and I’m not one that usually revels in another’s misery. Swing, Eric, swing!

JP

I think it has a lot to do with the tipping point.

wab95

John:

I was just about to post this when for some reason Safari froze and had to restart minus my comments. Perhaps my second draft will be better than my first.

Jason Perlow’s piece is perhaps the most important amongst your ‘debris’, at least from a topical and strategic vantage point. To summarise what I had written, in short, storming Google’s castle from the front may be too costly a battle for Apple at this time. I rather see them continuing the trend of amassing as many victories as necessary to connect the dots of certain or inevitable victory against Google. Should they succeed in doing so, Google may concede checkmate and move to settle. Should Apple smell Google blood in the water, however, they may move to strike and strike hard - unless Google concede first. In any case, we are far from that now.

I also think Mr Perlow is correct that the ideal balance in the smartphone race is a two horse contest. Given that Samsung is the only real competition for Apple in the Android alliance, should Samsung migrate to Microsoft, and pitch their tent in Redmond, that alone could spell real trouble for the Android platform in near term. The Asian OEM market, however, alone will keep Android alive and well distributed on inexpensive handsets for years to come. They just may not make as much money for Google in these lower income markets.

As for Dominic Basulto’s comments, he draws a credible analogy between the hysteria around Apple’s iPhone 5 release and a Hollywood blockbuster; however his argument regarding its equal un-deservedness as with a poor but over-hyped film assumes that the iPhone is an unworthy product. This is not what I am seeing in product reviews to date (perhaps I’ve missed most of the negative ones). I agree that, should the public give Apple a pass on poor products (those with little real evolution or innovation or previous versions), this could spell trouble for real product development ahead. I am mindful, however, following a previous comment I made about pundits setting their own criteria for a successful Apple product launch and denegrating those launches when they fail to meet the pundit’s criteria, as well as the tendency of some pundits to conflate systematic product evolution and innovating ‘the next big thing’ (which are not the same thing), that some of this critical negativity may simply be some pundits simply not ‘getting’ Apple and being swept aside by reasonably savvy consumers.

Time will tell. However, as most iPhone purchasers are not Mac owners nor Apple ‘fans’, a fact that Apple know, if these product updates are truly unworthy, these clients will move elsewhere and competition, including from MS Windows 8 phones, is to be had. All the more reason to be well-wishers of the competition in Google, MS and, dare I say it, even RIM.

Log-in to comment