Tuesday, August 3, 2010

We do not care about Android

So some random analyst firm that nobody has ever heard of just reported that Android outsold iPhone in the United States last quarter, and people are losing their mud saying it’s all over for Apple, this is the tipping point, it’s game over, and blah blah. We’re deploying our blog ninjas to shoot this thing down — see MG Sieg Heil of TechCrunch arguing here that Android isn’t really winning because it runs on like a thousand different phone models and fifteen hundred carriers, while we only have one; see Gruber arguing here that (a) the real news is that RIM is screwed; (b) most of Android’s success comes from Verizon; and (c) we’d be winning if the analysts counted iPads and iPod Touch units when the compared us to Android, which they should do, even though they should also count iPad as a portable computer when they’re doing computer market share because when you do that we’re like far and away the biggest computer maker in the world; and see Dan Frommer of Alley Insider saying here that sure Android is gaining share but guess what, Google doesn’t make any money on it and Apple is making more money than any other company in the history of the world, so nanny nanny boo boo.

See, what we’re doing these days is we make a list of talking points and instead of giving all of them to everyone we split them up and give everyone a different part of the list. Katie calls it the “croque-monsieur” because the effect is that all of these different spinning points melt together and cover up the news, like hot cheese oozing between delicious bread and disgusting foul ham.

And then I swoop in here and deliver all of the talking points in one nice neat basket. To recap:

1. Android is on lots of phones, we’re on one.

2. BlackBerry is getting killed by Android. So go look at BlackBerry. Seriously, go look at them. Their antennas are having problems too, just FYI.

3. Whatever problems we have can be blamed on AT&T, which is the shittiest carrier in the world.

4. You have to look at the software platform, not the hardware device. When you do that, iOS is winning.

5. We make money on phones and Google doesn’t.

But wait, there’s more. The truth is, we know Google is going to have more market share than we do. Heck, let’s just say it — they’re going to dwarf us. We don’t care. We would rather have 10 percent of a gorgeous beautiful pristine market that we can completely own and control (read: huge margins) than have 90 percent of a bucket of shit.

That’s why I say we didn’t lose the PC war with Microosoft, because frankly, we were never competing with Microsoft. Apple and Microsoft were doing two very different things. And equally frankly, even now, if we didn’t have iTunes and iPods and iPhone and iPad, even if we were only talking about the personal computer (desktops and laptops) market, I’d much rather have our business (Macs and OS X) than theirs. Honestly. This isn’t spin.

It cracks me up when people say we’re doing the same thing in mobile that we did in personal computers and how this is some colossal mistake and somehow, apparently, everybody at Apple is just so stupid or blind that we can’t see that we’re doing this all over again even though everyone else in the world can see it and how can this be happening and oh my goodness isn’t it awful?

But what would you suggest we do? License iOS to HTC and Samsung and Motorola and everyone else, and then hire a zillion support engineers to mop up every mess they make with all their Frankenstein monster hardware designs?

Friends, listen up. We know what we’re doing. We’re doing it on purpose. We don’t need to be the biggest. Is Porsche the biggest? Or Mercedes? Or BMW? No, and they don’t want to be. Neither do we.

In three years, maybe less, Android will be way bigger than us. And we’ll have the better business.


Monday, July 19, 2010

More evidence of media bias

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Someone is trying to throw me under a bus

Suddenly now it’s all my fault that the iPhone 4 has antenna problems, which first of all, it doesn’t, and second of all, I’m not. But someone inside is leaking shit to the press and spinning the story to make it seem like the engineers wanted to do the right thing but kept getting overruled by Mean Old Steve and his groovy industrial design team.

First came the Bloomberg article saying our antenna engineers warned me and I didn’t listen to them. Now comes this piece in the Wall Street Journal saying that, basically, it’s all my fault. See this:

Steve Jobs’s insistence on strict control of Apple Inc.’s product-design process appears to have backfired with his new iPhone 4, leading the company to overrule internal concerns about antenna reception.

And this:

Apple engineers were aware of the risks associated with the new antenna design as early as a year ago, but Mr. Jobs liked the design it so much that Apple went ahead with its development, said a person familiar with the matter.

All I can tell you is that heads are going to roll on this but mine isn’t going to be one of them. No way am I going to be blamed for some shit design and crap engineering.

Meanwhile we’re working on hunting down the leaker. We’ve sealed shut all the engineering buildings, and Moshe and his team are scouring the phone logs and reading everyone’s email. More on this as it develops.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Behold the awesome power of our brand

Consumer Reports calls our product defective and says they can’t recommend it. And what happens? Some hack at Business Insider actually sides with us, and says Consumer Reports is just trying to pull a publicity stunt, bashing Apple to drive traffic to its Web site.

Friends, the power of our brand is like nothing that has ever been known to man. If you could bottle our brand, it would be more powerful than kryptonite, more valuable than gold. The guys at Toyota just sit there turning green with envy. Honestly, I’m just agog.

Of course other less honest journalists are saying we need to do a recall. Like Cult of Mac and CNET.

My response is simple and direct: We will never, ever, ever do a recall. No way. The stain of a few gripers we can deal with. The stain of a recall is something that takes years — years — to overcome. In our business it would be fatal. We would never recover.

So, no. We’ll keep shipping the fucked-up phones, and we’ll continue to insist that they are the best phones in the world with the best antenna that has ever been invented for any mobile device. We’ll keep running syrupy ads showing deaf mutes waving at each other over FaceTime.

If that’s not enough, maybe we’ll do a partial fall-back and agree to give out free bumpers to people who want them, and we’ll act like this is some huge deal and a big blow to our bottom line and blah blah blah so that will buy us a month maybe.

Then we’ll rush out iPhone 5 with a new design by Christmas season. It’s basically an iPhone 4 with a rubber wrapper around the outside. We’ve got the kids in China building them already.

Meanwhile, to all concerned, remain on message: There is nothing wrong with iPhone 4. It’s the best phone in the market. Even Consumer Reports admitted that.

If anyone mentions Android, say it’s fine if you’re a hardcore computer geek but too complicated for the average user. And it has the porn on it. Gross. Plus, iPhone has the bigger GBs.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Consumer Reports are lying liars who lie

First they said the iPhone reception thing was no big deal, and we linked to this on our official in-house fanboy blog.

But then CR had problems, and now they say they can’t recommend the phone. Are you friggin kidding me? First you liked it, now you don’t? And you expect people to listen to anything you say?

We’re asking Gruber and the rest of Team Steve to hold off on bashing this for now until we can craft a really good comeback and a set of powerful talking points. We’re hoping to have it distributed by end of day today. For now we’re just going with the trusty “they’re liars,” gambit. Meanwhile, fanboys are pouring into the CR comment string and bashing the hell out of these so-called “engineers” at CR. Well done, people. Keep up the attacks.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Would someone please send me an email about this Exchange non-issue so that I can send out a terse, cryptic response?

Hot on the heels of the yellow dot non-issue and the antenna death grip non-issue comes a new non-issue about Exchange not working right. Apparently some nerds at MIT experienced difficulties with iOS 4 and Microsoft Exchange. Now the story is just starting to gain some traction on sites like ZDNet. Some people say that they lose all their Exchange Calendar appointments when they upgrade. Others say that their mail doesn’t work, or the phone keeps going out trying to download messages and can’t get them and then your battery runs down. Or something. I haven’t actually read the reports.

The truth is, there is no problem with Exchange on iOS 4. It works great. In fact, Exchange works better on iOS 4 than on any other platform. It just flies. It’s amazing.

Unfortunately I can’t tell that to our customers until someone writes me an email complaining about it. Because this is now the only way I am allowed to communicate with the world outside Apple. Someone writes to me, and I write back, and then that person gives that email to a blog or something, and everyone passes it around, and this is how Apple does things now. Don’t ask me why. Katie says people like when the answer comes from me personally, even though it doesn’t really come from me personally, it comes from someone who works for me personally, and of course everyone knows this but they all pretend that they don’t know it because they want to believe that they live in a world where they can write to Steve Jobs and Steve Jobs will write back to them, personally.

So anyway, would someone please work up a quick email so that I can respond to it and tell everyone that there is no problem? Correct form on your complaint email goes like this: Start out by groveling, and saying how much you love Apple and how amazing the new phone is, then state the nature of your problem in a way that is both awkward and unclear, then grovel a bit more and ask me to fix it. I will send back a terse, cryptic response telling you that you’re wrong, and that there is no problem, and/or that you should just switch to a different kind of email, no big deal.

Namaste, true believers, and as always, thank you for your help in spreading the good word.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Pogue goes rogue, sort of

First for the good news — he says no matter how hard he tries, he can’t reproduce the antenna problem. But then instead of concluding, correctly, that there is no problem, Pogue does a 180 on us and says since other people seem to be having this problem and even making YouTube videos about it, then it must exist.

He suggests we created the bumpers because we knew about the antenna problem: “You know, I’ve thought that bumper was bizarre from the moment Apple introduced it.”

He suggests I’m an asshole for telling people to find a new way to hold the phone: “Avoid holding it that way!? Seriously?”

He arrives at a scary conclusion: “Considering the hysteria that surrounds the phone, combined with ignorance about the nature and probability of the problem, it could wind up being a huge black eye for Apple and the phone.”

You are on thin ice, David. Very thin ice.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

You assholes need to stop sending emails to me about this antenna issue

So everybody is up in arms now after it turns out that iPhone 4 can’t pick up signals when you’re holding it in your hand, because the band around the phone is the antenna and if you’re touching the antenna it screws everything up.

First of all, this is not a big issue. If you’re experiencing this, most likely it’s not the phone at all — most likely you’re just living in a place where there’s bad reception, in which case the solution is simple: you need to move.

Or maybe you’re living in a place with good reception but you just need to buy a bumper for your phone and/or wear latex gloves while holding the phone.

Or you can try going bare-handed and just learn how to hold your goddamn phone properly. Either way, it’s no big deal. As I’ve already told like a thousand fucking people who have written me personal emails today, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the antenna on iPhone 4. There is no design flaw. The phone is perfect. It is a magical and revolutionary device. It changes everything. Again. Just keep telling yourself that. If someone gives you shit because you stood in line for six hours to get a phone that can’t make phone calls when you’re holding it, just change the subject and tell them about the awesome retina display.

Anyway, for those who need a tutorial on how to hold a phone, just go to this page on Gizmodo, where they show you how to do it. And yes, it galls me to link to Gizmodo, but it also galls me that we have to teach people how to hold a mobile phone. I mean it’s not like we’re the only ones whose phone goes out when you hold it in your bare hand. All mobile phones do this. Have you never noticed?

Meanwhile we’ve got losers out there pretending they’re the dorks from MythBusters, conducting experiments on iPhone 4, like this:

And, worse yet, Katie says the dicks at the New York Times are working on a big scary story about this non-issue for tomorrow’s edition. We’ve reached out to Sully Sulzberger, the publisher of the Times, reminding him of the very special relationship we have with the Times and assuring him that the last thing we want to see happen is for that relationship to be damaged in any way.

Meanwhile, others are piling on. Engadget says it’s “bad design” and we should give out free bumpers to everyone. TechCrunch says our suggestion that people simply learn to hold their phones differently is “a bit unreasonable.” AllThingsD says if it’s really true that all mobile phones have this exact same problem, “why haven’t we heard complaints like this about `every wireless phone?’ Why hasn’t RIM issued instructions for a proper BlackBerry handhold?”

The answer, of course, is that RIM doesn’t care about customers the way we do. Honestly, what other company has a billionaire CEO who will sit at his desk for hours and hours personally answering thousands of emails, one after another, telling people how to hold his product? And can I tell you how hard I am fighting the urge to suggest to people that they try shoving the thing up their butt and see what kind of reception they get then?

And then there’s the yellow screen thing. That’s a straight slap in the face from the bastards working on the production line at Foxconn. Don’t get me started, honestly.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

We will be extracting a retraction and apology from sweaty weasel Mark Zuckerberg

In case you missed it, the sweaty weasel came out and said some untrue and unkind things about the iPhone. Something about needing to buy four chargers to keep the battery from dying on him, and having to install a land line “so I can actually make phone calls.”

Katie has been in touch with Elliot Schrage and the rest of the team at Facebook. Our feeling is, everyone’s entitled to an opinion, but that opinion must be based on facts, and this stuff about battery life and not making phone calls is just not factual.

It’s a lot like the situation we had with Ellen Degeneres, where she was claiming that iPhone is difficult to use when of course it is not at all difficult to use.

In Ellen’s case we simply needed to remind the networks that carry her program of the very special relationship that we have with all of them. We just explained how special that relationship is to all of us, and how fragile it is, like a tiny glass Christmas ornament, and how it has to be nourished, like a delicate little seedling plant.

So, same with us and Facebook. Either the Christmas ornament, or the little seedling. Either way, we’re pretty sure the little weasel will post a correction soon. Or, since it’s Facebook, they’ll probably try to walk it back in stages:

1. That’s not what Mark said.

2. That is what Mark said, but that’s not what he meant.

3. Mark regrets that people misunderstood what he said, even though that’s not really what he said.

4. Mark says okay, he only bought three iPhone chargers, not four, and he might have installed a land line anyway, just because it’s a good idea to have one, so he cannot really blame that on the iPhone, so are you happy now? Can we all just move on with our lives? Jesus! Thank you.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

If someone mentions Android, make sure you go totally nuts

Apple faithful,

It is 1984 all over again. Once again, we are under attack. This time the enemy is Google, and make no mistake — they want to kill us. They want it all.

Which is why, once again, I am calling upon all of you to join the jihad and fight the good fight. If you hear someone saying that they’re thinking about getting an Android phone, don’t just sit there! Spring into action. Get right up in their face and tell them how fucking stupid they are because iPhone is still a million times better than Android and they obviously don’t know anything about technology and they are so going to regret going to Android because it is totally crappy and flawed and immature.

If they already have an Android phone, just scoff at them for being so stupid and for making such an idiotic decision. I mean really get into it. Start foaming at the mouth. Scream if you need to. By all means make it personal. Make fun of this person! Mock them! Tell them you wish they could be forcibly sterilized by the state so they could not reproduce and pass on their imbecile genes. Your goal is to reduce this person to a puddle of tears — and, by virtue of this shaming, to make them want an iPhone.

Maybe you’re saying to yourself, Hey, why do I care what phone some other person uses? I know why I love my Apple phone, but maybe it’s not for everyone, and that’s okay. It’s a big world out there, people have different tastes, and I don’t care what kind of car they drive or what kind of wristwatch they wear, or how they dress, so why do I care what phone they use, blah blah.

Well, wait a minute. Hold up. You do care what phone they use. You just do. For one thing, you have a lot of money and time invested in iPhone. Hell, you waited in line for the damn thing. Remember that? And remember how cool and special and powerful you felt when you whipped it out in public and everyone around you was like, Whoa, is that the new iPhone? Are you some kind of wizard? Do you have magic powers?

Well, the magic is under attack. That’s why you care. It’s not about Apple. It’s about you.

So here’s what to do. If the person is a friend of yours, you say you are only attacking and insulting them because you care about them and don’t want to see them make a terrible mistake. If the person talking about Android is a complete stranger — say, someone at a nearby table in a restaurant that you’ve overheard talking to someone else — you are still well within your rights as an Apple owner to interrupt their conversation in the context of wanting to “share facts” and “set the record straight.”

If they give you shit about walking over to their table and ranting at them over what they considered to be a private conversation, just point out that they are the ones who started it, by criticizing Apple in a public place and spreading lies and FUD and false information about Apple products. Even if they were just talking about Android and did not even mention Apple, that in itself constitutes an implicit criticism of Apple, and you have every right to act.

Now for the talking points. We’re going to be sending these out in a mass email to iPhone owners, and also including the talking points on the home screen the next iPhone OS upgrade so you’ll have them handy wherever you go. But here are a few things you should say to counter the Android FUD:

* Why do you hate Apple so much? You seem really defensive, and angry. You seem to be taking this all so personally. You need to let go of your ego. Everything is not all about you.

* Apps. There are way more apps on iPhone OS. This will never change. Whatever the world looks like right now, that’s how it will be forever. Android will never catch up.

* Power users versus regular folks. Fair enough, you’re a super techie and can handle Android. Apple is designed for regular people who don’t want to worry about technology. By adopting Android, and helping Google succeed, you are hurting the regular folks who want to use Apple. Somehow.

* Vaporware. Android 2.2, aka Froyo, does not even exist yet. Unlike iPhone OS 4.0, which has already been demonstrated in public.

* Multitasking. You don’t need it. It’s a total red herring. When was the last time you did more than one thing on a phone? Also: Apple will have multitasking soon, so the point is moot.

* Music. You realize that playing music is one of the most important things a phone must be able to do, right? Well, Apple invented this thing called iTunes. Have you heard of it?

* Fragmentation. I’m trying to remember, how many versions of Android are there? Like sixty? And each one has a different user interface, and they’re always updating and changing and you have to go look up to see if your phone will run the new OS and it’s just so confusing and you’ll be tearing your hair out. With Apple, just one system. Simple. Ahhh.

* Google is big and evil and wants to steal all your personal information. Apple is all about freedom. And magical, childlike wonder.

* Flash. Apple won’t support it, Google will. Guess what? Flash drains your battery, and makes your phone so hot that it will set your hands on fire. So, yeah. You’re welcome.

* Porn. Did you know that Android was created by Google to help porn merchants sell dirty filthy porn on mobile phones so that porn-loving perverts could look at their smutty porn 24 hours a day and probably molest your kids?

* AT&T actually much better than Verizon. Faster 3G. Talk and surf Web at same time. As for dropped calls, all I can tell you is it has never happened to me or anyone I know, and the media has blown that issue way out of proportion.

* Browser. Forget the benchmarks that Google provides and just trust your own eyes. Safari is the fastest browser in the market. It’s 5-10x faster than any other browser.

* Ads. Ours are made by Apple. Theirs are not. Enough said.

* Spyware. You won’t get it on Apple. Android is crawling with it. Also, viruses. You’ll get viruses just by turning on your phone. If you’re on your home network, the virus could jump from your phone to every device on your network, even your WiFi router, and you will never get it out. The virus will spy on you and take pictures of you as you’re working and post those pictures on Facebook along with your credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, and a list of everything you’ve ever bought online. So, good luck with that.