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Why all Apple users are rubbish [linkbait]

This post is not about rubbish Apple users!

In the past two days I’ve written some rather direct commentary regarding the iPhone and the iPad.

Quite a few readers have been outraged. Outraged, I tell you! Shocked and saddened. Horrified. Deeply worried, surprised and concerned for the well-being of the site.

All because I’ve posted opinions and indulged in a little emotional stabbing regarding the iPhone (“the iPhone is over”).

Some have expressed despair at what they consider ‘linkbait’. Linkbait, if you haven’t come across the term before, can be summarised as writing a post purely to attract readers. You see it regularly employed by the big tech sites who (almost literally) live or die by this extra traffic. Being first with a linkbaited ’10 things you need to know about iPad 2′ style post, 5 minutes after Steve Jobs has got up on stage to announce it, can mean a few extra dollars in ad revenue for sites (and writers) utterly dependent upon that additional cash. There’s little value in linkbait content beyond the additional short term traffic spike.

MIR is supported by sponsorship revenue and me. I fund the majority. I’ve no need to worry about traffic. This means I can care about the core audience of senior executives who rely upon the site to provide regular highly opinionated commentary and whites-of-their-eyes video interviews with the market’s movers and shakers.

I write this to explain that what you’re reading with these iPhone pieces is opinion. Some of it written in a vernacular style that I’ve learned the majority of the readers love. It’s opinion intended to be challenging, to provoke a response. Readers tend to agree with me, or violently disagree — and we then have-it-out in the comments. This leads to brilliant additional commentary for the rest of the audience. Often my opinion will be changed by the resulting discussion. Indeed, last night I had a super discussion with some readers who initially took me to task on the iPhone-is-over/Fisher Price post.

Challenge me in the comments and you’ll see that whilst I might write ‘so-and-so-is-shit’ in summary, there’s a reasoned argument (or history) behind the opinion. But publishing all of that background is generally long-winded, quite a bit of effort and usually not required for those readers who’ve been following the MIR output for sometime.

So to those offended at me slicing into Apple recently, let me say this: There is no secret ‘screw Apple’ agenda any more than there’s a secret ‘screw Nokia’ or ‘screw Samsung’ agenda. I’d like to see more innovation from all, incidentally. (And I do genuinely think we’ve crossed an turning point with iPhone in terms of dwindling global influence).

Finally, thank you for reading down to this point!

And the iPhone is still shit*.

* ho ho ho ho. If that didn’t raise a smile, even just a wry smile (as you know I don’t mean it) that’s a good clue you shouldn’t be reading this site.

Posted via email from MIR Live

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

23 replies on “Why all Apple users are rubbish [linkbait]”

I agree, i posted a complaint about the stupid alarm bug over on CoolSmartPhone and was hit with comment after comment of people saying I am bias against Apple and there is nothing wrong with the phone its just an alarm, if you want an alarm go buy one etc….

Fraid not ewan. The iPhone is OS X on a small device. The iPad is OS X on a larger device. The OS makers will win this ( and Nokia is not an OS maker).

The clear problems that Android are having with even smaller devices ( UI glitches, Games not running) related to their graphic firmware will become more obvious as the Tablet war intensifies. And Android’s growth did not come at the expense of the iPhone, which held its position in the US despite being on one carrier which will change in 2011 ( to two) and afterwards to more. And Apple is becoming a must have brand in China. Just as Apple’s percentage on percentage growth inevitably stalled, getting to a max of 35% in two years ( in the US) , so Android ( at 40%) will stall as Apple takes back people who moved as they wanted a modern App phone on Verizon, but were limited to Android. Nothing is stopping Apple having three iPhones for sale by June, the 3GS can be kept on and will run iOS 5.0 cleanly ( which is probably not due until November). So an iPhone 5 at a early adopter premium, the iPhone 4 at mid range, and and a 3GS for cheap ( or free on most contracts).

Keep the elite brand, keep the margins with new adopters, sell a cheap version. Thats the iPod touch strategy and it works.

The most important thing here is this: these are computers. They run a computer OS. If you cant imagine Symbian running on a big computer then it wont run on a small one. Apple has already won that. Android’s shortcomings will be revealed to – the API set for the iPhone is both easier and far more comprehensive than on Nokia, which just doesnt have the engineering talent. Google may have but thats the competition. Nokia does not have the talent to compete with Apple.

I figured this might happen when I read your previous two posts. It’s quite something when only posts with a slightly (for Ewan) critical tone can generate such long responses. Don’t worry though, your regular readers know you and the site and are very well aware of the lack of linkbait here.

I figured this might happen when I read your previous two posts. It’s quite something when only posts with a slightly (for Ewan) critical tone can generate such long responses. Don’t worry though, your regular readers know you and the site and are very well aware of the lack of linkbait here.

A little spike in traffic from consumers? Absolutely not. That post you’re
referring to is aimed at a market of about 100 executives, 10 of whom have
been in touch already as a result.

Regarding that PlayBook/iPad post, I really would have bored the pants of
readers by writing something with a headline and commentary along the lines
of ‘PlayBook video released. Browser looks good. Thanks for reading.’

It genuinely does wipe the floor with the iPad browser. At the moment. I did
say ‘iPad v1’ in the title too!

And come on… anonymous? ๐Ÿ˜‰

That’s perfectly fine. The vast majority of the mobile industry executives
who are reading right now won’t ever post a comment using any connection
remotely connected with their employer. Or their identity. It’s a necessary
requirement, I know.

(Hello to one chap at France Telecom who won’t even post from his home
(company paid) internet connection for fear of the security team locating
his anonymous comments to him.)

You are over-thinking why the iPhone is over. It’s fashion, and fashion is like that. The iPhone was never that great but was supported by being the new cool thing. Now it’s the old thing and scales have fallen from peoples eyes.

Trying to justify it by saying how tiresome it is to unlock misses the point.

The new shiny black box is just around the corner. I rather hope it’s the E7.

Despite my lengthy reply on the Fisher-Price post, I quite agree. There’s nothing wrong with a critical tone so long as you can back it up, and in most respects, Ewan’s rants about the iPhone and the iPad are bang on. But Apple may not be heading in the direction that power users want, and may well implement solutions that many people don’t expect e.g. push notifications.

Slight tangent: I’d recommend a post on Asymco called “The parable of the PDA”, about users’ expectations. Short version: “…early adopters are not the audience that should be consulted on how to improve the product.”

http://www.asymco.com/2010/12/27/the-parable-of-the-the-pda-predicting-the-smartphones-future/

Oh, and I’m neither worried, nor surprised nor concerned for the well-being of this site. I just hope any of Ewan’s private rants to mobile industry bods are heeded ๐Ÿ™‚

Ewan is right to point out how tiresome aspects of the iPhone UI are, he’s only really scratching the surface of this topic.
I’m reckoning the E7 UI paradigm is going to be poor even before it’s left the box.
None of the device manufacturers are making the perfect UI at the moment, but HTC, Samsung and Sony Ericsson are making some real progress in the right direction.
Meanwhile, Microsoft have snuck up and taught people a bunch of valuable lessons in simplicity.

These lessons it seems, Nokia are incapable of learning…

Why is “simple” being perceived as “good”? I’m not trying to flame anyone here but I genuinely can’t see why. The same goes with “curated”. Why are those words used to mean, in the context of mobile phone user interfaces and their underlying operating systems, something good?

A Jeep Wrangler is simple. A Range Rover, while being the same basic device, is anything but simple. A Jeep Wrangler is good for nothing. A Range Rover is good for everything.

So maybe instead of asking why, I should ask when. When did “simple” become “good”?

For me simple equates to easy to understand. There is a sliding scale in how mobile services are delivered to users. If the service does a fairly simple thing, it should be really easy and quick to understand. If the mobile service is much more powerful, and therefore complex, by nature it is not going to be simple. This is where it starts to get much more difficult…
The UI has to lend itself to creating logical and easy to understand journeys through complex systems. Windows Phone 7 has some elegant simplicity but lacks the ability to deliver powerful services in some contexts. By contrast, Android is capable of delivering very powerful services, but so far the examples have been rather complex, and too “geeky” for many users.
iPhone tries to strike the balance by trussing the experience in to very simple formats, at the expense of negating some of the power that mobile services can deliver.
My experience of Nokia devices and apps is that they currently do neither that well.
Hope this clarifies my view point…

When put like that Dominic, yes it makes a good degree of sense! You should work in the mobile business! ๐Ÿ˜‰

So from your explanation I can refer to the UI as the “road map” for the OS. Don’t know why I did not think of that before. Thanks!

Everyone keeps saying it’s all about the web. Undoubtedly, connectivity is important but it is just as important to be able to work when one is not connected. I am not sure Google get that part of the equation.

Whether you love Apple or loathe them surely you would concede that they are leading the way in the industry right now. Where Apple shines a light, others follow. Four years after the iPhone was introduced, absolutely everyone else is still trying to playing catch up and every iPhone killer I have seen so far is actually an iPhone substitute with some basic modification (that generally doesn’t really work very well). I also feel a little betrayed by all those companies that made billions in profits and yet still allowed themselves to be caught out so badly by a company that was on the verge of insolvency barely a decade ago. What on earth were Nokia et al doing with all that profit and all those resources. Why were we, as customers, fobbed off with such crap for so long.

Now you’ve made a pathetic grovelling apology* to iPhone fans how about a proportionally sized one to Nokia fans…a decent sized novel should just about cover it… ๐Ÿ˜‰

* ho ho ho ho. If that didnโ€™t raise a smile, even just a wry smile (as you know I donโ€™t mean it) thatโ€™s a good clue you shouldnโ€™t be reading this comment.

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