The Fine Art of Ganging Up on Apple

| Editorial

The Apple blogosphere gets together and decides, based on rumors, what Apple should do. They entice readers with these predictions. Then Apple goes its own way, bound by its own realities. Then the bloggers get all upset and bash Apple. Then Apple sells millions of fill-in-the-blank. Will it ever end?

I am a bit disappointed with the reaction, in some circles, to yesterday’s Apple presentation. Some felt that Apple’s iPhone 4S was a let down. We heard the same thing back in 2009 when the iPhone 3GS came out, and guess what? It sold very well then, at a hefty price and continues to sell well now, obsolete and entry priced.

There are some who claim that Tim Cook took too long to get around to the meat of the presentation. It seems, in the age of the Internet, we need satisfaction within minutes — or our minds drift. Should Apple know better? Should Apple gauge its presentations based on the Attention Deficit Disorders of peripatetic journalists? I think Apple marches to the beat of its own drummer, and it did a lot of things right on Tuesday.

Tim Cook

Apple does everything for a reason. Those reasons are not always divulged to the press for the sake of good form and politics. For example, perhaps Apple wanted to get everyone on the Internet grooved in and solidly connected before Mr. Cook jumped the gun. Perhaps, knowing the the TV news was there, the company had certain messages that it wanted the TV news to visualize at certain times. There could be all kinds of things going on that we don’t take into account as we jump to quick analysis.

As for the iPhone 4S, there are some who claim that it should have been called the iPhone 5 just to satisfy a personal, self-imposed desire and time table. This hilarious Hitler spoof video sends up (WARNING: R-rated.) all that attitude. One quote I really liked was: “I want people to know that I’m better than they are. How can this happen if they can’t tell the new phone from the old?”

Many had an emotional investment in a slimmer, sleeker iPhone that would, by the way, require a whole new generation of cases. Maybe the industry isn’t ready for that yet, especially in this economy. Perhaps a slimmer iPhone would set a bad precedent — the battery space will be too small for battery killing 4G/LTE next year. Do you want your iPhone 5 to get thicker? Perhaps Apple has learned, based on manufacturing lessons, that retooling for a whole new external design every 12 months doesn’t work so well anymore. Along those lines, Tim Bajarin just published a very sane and sensible response that I liked: “Why Apple didn’t Release the iPhone 5

Yesterday, Bryan Chaffin published a chart that I helped with comparing the iPhone 4S to the highly regarded Motorola Droid Bionic. I’ve also looked in detail at the Samsung Galaxy SII specs. What I’ve found is that Apple is doing just fine against the competition with the iPhone 4S. Customers loved the iPhone 4; maybe it’s sensible to ride that wave a bit longer. Again, it’s Apple’s time table, not ours.

We all have our self-imposed ideals and hopes. Many of us who cover Apple professionally 24 x 7 feel that we’ve come to know the company well. Readers come to us for our expertise, and the best observers of Apple provide valuable insights. They prepare us for our life as an Apple customer. (I try to be one of those.) This is well and good. Regrettably, I fear that the Internet age has made some of us all too edgy, impatient, maybe even a little arrogant — ready to push our own agenda too hard instead of letting Apple do its thing and report on it. Everything Apple does has a reason behind it. It’s our job to find out what that is.

It was pointed out to me that Antennagate didn’t stop the iPhone 4 from being phenomenally successful. Let’s wait and see how the customers react to the iPhone 4S. The sales numbers will tell the real story.

Comments

TaosJohn

Yep. I agree with all of this. I did think the iPhone 4S event was way too long, but I honestly can’t think of anything I’d want in a phone that isn’t inside that iPhone 4S.

The Pixelated

Exactly… I can’t stand the rumor mongers that put out rumors of what they want their iPhone to be (tapered end, larger screen, etc..). I never listen to them. I always wait for Apple to tell us what they’re putting out. I don’t expect anything. I let Apple tell me what they’re doing.

Dean Lewis

Yes, event length might be my only complaint. Otherwise, I thought the mix of information was good and the new iPhone itself is good. I don’t understand the bellyaching that it isn’t upgraded enough. It has a faster processor, world phone capability, integrated Siri (an actual AI assistant, for god’s sake), coming with the new iOS, and some more. And everyone is crying that it looks the same?

I wish I could get one. I can’t afford the service. Even Sprint’s service—the carrier I would consider the most—is $70 a month plus the fees I’m going to have for international calls and texting. I’m not to the point of affording $100 or more a month service. smile

jfbiii

I would have liked Tim Cook gotten a little bit more coaching so that the pace would have been slower. Also, he needs to maybe show a little bit more happy. Even when he smiles his face looks a little sour. The actual presentation was just a little flat and I think that had an impact on how the content was perceived. It really wouldn’t take much for him to get over the hump between good job and great job. Yesterday was merely good.

Gareth Harris

Actually, I would do the same as Apple ...

There are times to consolidate, mature and strengthen a design
and not always be living on the bleeding edge.
There was a time to do this with OS X
and now was a good time to do it with the iPhone.

Geeks can’t see further than the latest spec du jour.
As one blogger said, they were planning on a pony for Christmas,
and whine because they got a bike.
Remember, they are not your real market.
The people buying ipods, ipads and iphones by the millions are.

Lee Dronick

Good one Gareth

Lee Dronick

Breaking news! They are reporting Steve Jobs has died!

I am trying to find a news link. It was on our local NBC affiliate

See http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Steve-Jobs-Dies-131184193.html

ibuck

Hear, hear, Gareth. 

Too many people waste too much time listening to the FUDsters.

Perhaps Apple brass knew Steve was near death and that affected their Keynote demeanor.

Nemo

In light of the passing of Steve Jobs and given that each of Apple’s senior execs, who presented yesterday at Apple’s Let’s Talk iPhone event, must have know that Steve Jobs was dying, it is easy to understand why they couldn’t muster any enthusiasm for Apple’s products.  It is amazing that they could do a presentation at all without losing it.  Their leader, their mentor, the man who saved Apple, turning it into the world’s riches and most successful tech company, and who launched them on their fabulous careers was at death’s door, while they had to do products introductions, with their iPhone 4Ss set to receive the inevitable and dreaded message that Steve has died.

I think in light of the foregoing, yesterday’s event was a remarkable example of the discipline and fortitude of Apple’s senior executives and of their being able to follow through as Steve would have wanted them to do.  But asking them for enthusiasm too, that is too much.

I sure that I can speak for us all in offering our heartfelt condolences to Steve Jobs’ family and to his larger family at Apple, and particularly to his mentees and friends at Apple, many of whom had to show us yesterday the face duty, while experiencing deep grief at the impending loss of their friend and leader, Apple’s great CEO, Steve Jobs.

http://www.apple.com/

BurmaYank

”...yesterday?s event was a remarkable example of the discipline and fortitude of Apple?s senior executives and of their being able to follow through as Steve would have wanted them to do.? But asking them for enthusiasm too, that is too much.”

Thank you, Nemo. 

Your eloquent view here of yesterday’s somber Apple presentation by Steve’s grieving mentees and friends at doing noble and heroic “face duty” is poignant for me.

BurmaYank

sorry for duplicating my post just now - my browser was frozen, and I thought nothing was being submitted.

N8nnc

Spot on, John.

I’ve proudly (though somberly) ordered my iPhone 4S, and I’m following the trend of saying the 4S is “For Steve”. Long may his genius enrich us, and may his memory be for a blessing.

Log-in to comment