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The Macalope Weekly: It's a living

The Macalope | Oct. 15, 2012
Another Saturday and the Macalope is back with three more harrowing tales of "Yes, they actually get paid for this." First is the hedge fund manager who calls the iPhone a huge fail because it's too light. Then a writer for Slate says "The iPhone 5 is boring. No, wait, it's awesome!" And, finally, a business school professor has an explanation for Apple you've never heard before!

For most companies, sales figures like these are the ultimate sign of success. But for Apple, it may not be enough...

Of course. Nothing is ever enough to save Apple.

...the iPhone 5 is a failure at its heart.

A failure at its heart? A total failure at its heart? Maybe that explains why every now and then the Macalope feels a little bit nervous that the best of all the years have gone by. And why every now and then he falls apart.

It must be nice to be a pundit and be able to look into the heart of things. Wonder what that's like? It seems like just pulling trite, over-used arguments out of your butt, but maybe it's different than that. There's probably some narcissism mixed in there as well.

This is about pride, reputation and loyalty, not just money. The magic is over.


Some cracks are already beginning to show in the idea that Apple can always sell expensive, under-featured hardware...

The UCD Smurfit School of business: the latest in 1990s conventional wisdom ... today!

...on the back of customer loyalty.

So weird! Why do people like Apple products when they're over-priced and under-featured? Must be marketing!

The record sales of iPhone 5 were based on expectation from past performance, but its reservoir of reputation may be drying up.


It was a disappointment to consumers who expected another revolutionary and visionary product from Apple.

But they bought them out of reflex. Or pity. Or ...


In its heyday, Apple was a religion, Steve Jobs was God, and the iPhone was a status symbol.

Shorter Chun: "I have no idea what motivates Apple customers, so I'll chock it up to religion!"

Religious faith requires no evidence. Trust does.

Seriously, if all you have is "Apple is a religion" then you have no business talking about Apple. Or business. Or even soup.

For a loyal Apple fan, product choice was never about quality or price, but about an emotional association and pride.

Uh, speaking as a "loyal Apple fan" and someone who also wasted a lot of time in business school, that is a load of what experts call "crap." It feels ridiculous that we even have to have this conversation in 2012, that we have to put the lie to the idea that more than 100 million people have bought iPhones so far this year because Apple is some kind of freaking cult, but here we are, thanks to the good perfesser.

Apple does not build products that satisfy a feature checklist. It does not pointlessly jam in technologies that have little practical application (see: NFC). While you might be able to buy products in the same category for less, you often can't buy name-brand products in the same category for less and you can never buy name-brand products with the same high build quality and user experience. Further, Apple products generally provide a lower cost of ownership.


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