Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Fun Never Stops

No time for web browsing at work today. I had to actually go do my job. Okay. You caught me. I actually just went out and watched other people working. But it took all day.

Somebody is suing Apple. Again. About. Wait for it. Patent infringement. This time it's Visual Voicemail. If there was video of His Steveness on the crapper, somebody would sue him over their patented method for folding toilet paper. It's beyond stupid. I'm guessing any day now the inventor of the letter "i" is going to get a lawyer and start a class action suit.

There's a new Get a Mac ad. As near as I can tell, it's about the Mac's ability to run Windows viruses more efficiently than a similarly equipped Dell.

In other news, Apple is selling lots of stuff. Analysts all over the place are saying, "Apple is selling lots of stuff." It's really good to have analysts.

Steve Jobs will be the keynote speaker at MacWorld in January. Whoa. Pinch me. Really? What is that, like, ten time in a row? What are the odds?

I don't care what the tastemakers say, Bad is Bad by Huey Lewis and the News is still a great tune.

Okay, some real blogging.

Yesterday on Fast Company, Michael Fitzgerald announced that he is utterly ignorant of all things related to Apple by writing a column. He said the iPhone has all kinds of shortcomings. He picked on the virtual keyboard (a challenge), no 3G support, voice dialing, or stereo Bluetooth headsets.

Money quote: "Fashionistas may buy 10 million iPhones by the end of 2008, as Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) predicted. But the iPhone's lead in interface technology won't last long, and it lags behind other smartphones in many ways. Unless it closes the gap fast, it's destined to be a niche product."

Translation: People who have more money than me are buying iPhones. Apple has the lead in interface technology. It lags behind other Smartphones, although I can't think of specific examples of anything significant or new.

He failed to mention that the iPhone has already grabbed 27% of the smartphone market share. That's a big fucking niche, Mikey.

Then he beats up the iPod touch. Yeah, that's a niche product. It's the price/feature niche Microsoft is hoping to fill with Zune 2.0. Oops. The difference is, the iPod Touch doesn't look like a 1966 Sears Silvertone transistor radio with a skin condition.

Then he talks about the Mac. It's compulsory if you're going to analyze Apple. By way of riffing on the Mac he says, "Apple has greatly improved its Macs over the past few years in ways obvious (its move to Intel chips), and less so (adding support for the Samba protocol, which allows the Mac to share networks with PCs)." So far, so good, right?

Then he jumped up and down on the table and screamed, "I'm a dumbass. I'm a dumbass. I'm a dumbass." No. Not really. He wasn't that subtle. He said, "Still, it will be a challenge for Apple to be a mass-market player because of its pricing." Translation: "I don't read, I just write."

He called Apple TV a flop. He might be right about that. His reasoning is faulty, though. He says there isn't any HD content available from iTunes. I think downloads from iTunes are 720p, technically considered HD. Fricking ESPN thinks it's HD, anyway. Okay, it isn't 1080, and it kinda sucks, but it's HD.

Finally, he says Apple's biggest threat is Google. This is based on comments from "One executive close to Apple." Does anyone else think that sounds exactly the same as, "I'm about to make some shit up and blame it on a nameless entity who may or may not actually exist," or did I miss something important? Anyway, this one executive close to Apple says, "On the web, I don't need a computer." I can't afford enough hallucinogens to make that leap, so I'll stick with using some hardware with an OS. Thanks.

Michael goes on to say that once the interface is entirely the Web, Dell and HP will be able to use their scale to undermine Apple's share in mp3 players and PCs. Well, maybe. There is one minor glitch to that. HP and Dell are quickly losing their scale. They're crippled with an inability to innovate beyond Redmond while Apple is free to do as they please. Meaning, in the not too distant future Apple's stuff is the definition of modern (sleek, pleasurable), while everything else is the definition of obsolete (clunky, annoying).

Also, if Dell and HP were going to undermine Apple with scale, they would have done so by now. Companies in various market segments of the vast, sprawling, amoeba-like mishmash we call "tech" are finding that when it comes to competing with solid, consumer-focused innovation, scale means exactly dick.

So, Michael, I needed something to make fun of. Thanks for being a good sport. Or, if you don't want to be a good sport, damn.

Time for my medicine.