Do not shed too many tears over the woes Apple, Inc seems to face that are not visibly affecting the company’s many competitors. Despite a continuing growth of negativism about Apple, the company manages to make more money on what it sells than every competitor combined.
My worry here is about a trend that does not just affect Apple; a dangerous trend that affects everyone who reads about technology, politics, religion, or education. It’s akin to the fake news syndrome we hear talked about and can find in modern media.
President Trump spews out rhetoric about so-called fake news but probably does not understand the meaning. To many politicians, fake news is any news that they don’t want to hear.
Fake news is a type of journalism or propaganda that consists of deliberate misinformation or hoaxes spread via traditional print and broadcast news media or online social media. Fake news is written and published with the intent to mislead in order to gain financially or politically, often with sensationalist, exaggerated, or patently false headlines that grab attention. Intentionally misleading and deceptive fake news is different from obvious satire or parody which is intended to humor rather than mislead its audience. Fake news often employs eye-catching headlines or entirely fabricated news stories to increase readership, online sharing and Internet click revenue.
CNN’s talking heads jabbering on about something reported in the Washington Post is not news. It’s perspective and opinion, but I suspect many viewers do not know or understand the difference.
Apple gets more than its fair share of fake news these days, but as with talking heads on cable television, Apple also gets skewered with one-sided fake analysis, or what I called ginned up opinions. Everyone, tech writers included, is entitled to their own opinions disguised as analysis, and legally capable of writing plenty of stupid, but that doesn’t make it right.
Here are some examples. Mike Elgan’s Why Smartwatches Failed.
Smartwatches failed as a product category because the main industry players made a huge mistake. They started with consumer smartwatches and treated the enterprise as an afterthought. It should have been the other way around.
The premise here is that smartwatches failed because enterprise should have come first. This isn’t just an opinion it’s an analysis gone wrong. Apple Watch is a smartwatch and it dominates that segment of the wearables industry in revenue, profits, and unit sales. Think iPod. It was laughed at by critics who called it a failure and yet it became the dominant portable media player.
Elgan’s analysis continues:
Three years ago, smartwatches were expected to quickly evolve into a bona fide and thriving mainstream electronics category. Instead, they are mainly just wrist-based delivery systems for smartphone notifications, as well as fitness companions.
Such analysis is deceptive. Who said they were to evolve into something great? Technology pundits like Elgan; who himself wrote that Apple was afraid of Microsoft’s Zune. However, he’s right about the smartwatch being a wrist-based delivery system for notifications and a fitness companion.
What’s wrong with that? Apple has a multi-billion dollar business and owns that segment of the wearables industry while Motorola, Pebble, Jawbone, and others have exited.
Wait. There’s more.
Adrian Kingsley-Hughes— who has never seen Apple’s upcoming iPhone 8, or whatever it will be called, said Apple will change smartphones forever. How? By making them even more expensive.
All the current evidence — ranging from the more reliable supply chain chatter and analyst prognostications, to the far flimsier pundit wild dreams – suggests that Apple will slap a price tag that’s upwards of $1,000 on the iPhone 8 (or whatever it ends up being called).
So, what’s new? What’s changed? An iPhone 7 Plus with 256GB of SSD storage is $969 already. In other words, an analysis to capture eyeballs; an perspective that contains no real facts, and turns supposition, rumor, innuendo, and guesstimates into what appears to be analysis, but is, instead, just link bait for those who believe fake news which makes them susceptible to fake analysis.
Wait. There’s more!
Jason Perlow does much the same thing with an explanation of why he ditched his iPhone for an Android smartphone and might skip Apple’s next iPhone.
I could forgive you for not reading this piece. This is exactly the kind of article I hate reading from other people, because of its introspective and highly speculative nature. I prefer to make my judgments on available facts, not on hearsay or rumors. This happens, of course, every year.
It goes downhill from there.
What do I feel about both platforms? I like them equally. They both have their own strengths and weaknesses. I have zero religious preference for either. I may have issues with how certain manufacturers implement things on Android, and the way Apple does certain things, but it’s very hard to say one mobile OS is better than the other. They aren’t. Not in any meaningful way.
Translation: I can say whatever I want because I’m platform agnostic.
Therein lies the problem with much of what constitutes technology writing these days. It’s all about perspective and opinion with a contrarian angle, fully designed and packaged to attract readership without regard to facts or any actual analysis. The memes are consistent and often anti-Apple. Android has better hardware and Apple charges too much to cult members. Android OS and iOS are basically the same.
Blah blah blah.
Fake analysis is just technology writers engaging in a more educated and subtle form of fake news. Does Apple get hurt by all this extraneous and critical noise? Probably, but I suspect the company’s executives laugh all the way to the bank because their customers don’t pay much attention to such digital drivel.