On the heels of what many are describing as the cataclysmically disappointing iPhone 4S announcement yesterday, the internet is rife with tales of Apple’s inevitable post-Steve descent into oblivion. Why, the mere suggestion that Tim Cook has bungled his first big show is enough to send bloggers the web over into paroxysms of glee, breathlessly recounting every misstep, every missed opportunity, and every underwhelming demonstration onstage at that emotionally vacant press event.
But today, after the smoke’s cleared, I’m just tired. I’m tired of the outlandish expectations the media creates. I’m tired of contrarian backlash, built on incorrect assumptions about how an extremely successful company needs to operate to continue on the path to further success. There simply isn’t any way to even view Apple announcements through any lens of reality anymore, and it’s tiring.
Vultures feed on the flesh of the dead, but Apple is far from dead. We’ve stopped getting news from many of the sites we used to read voraciously every day, because what they’ve started serving up is reverse hyperbole, seemingly with the intention of portending the end of Apple as soon as possible in some juvenile effort to scream “FIRST” when it happens and link back to the post. This is a company that currently has more money in the bank than most people can even fathom, and yet people are lining up to tell them they’re “doing it wrong”. I think when you can absorb most of your competitors without breaking a sweat, you buy yourself a little latitude in your decision making process.
For every reality distortion field, there exists an inverse reality polarization portal, where all of the things we ought to be excited about are derided endlessly and deconstructed to the point where nothing is even worth doing anymore. Yet Apple still sells millions of phones, every time, in spite of both of these phenomenons.
The most annoying part, though, is that after all of the nay-saying, market comparisons, vitriolic voice of the people and such, most of these writers will buy that phone, regardless of the lack of new body type. And they might even write something about how it’s actually a pretty big step forward and start focusing on how Apple is creating experiences as opposed to glass and metal bricks with which to do things. Because that’s actually the story that gets buried under the lede right about the time Apple releases new stuff. Heaven forfend you decide to focus on THAT, in which case you’re immediately labeled as a sycophantic Apple fanboy.
If anyone were actually analyzing this at any sensible level, it would become apparent that Apple’s not playing the same game everyone thinks that they ought to. In fact, they’ve never played the same game as the rest of the market. Why in the world would they start now, when they continue to move ahead of everyone else in the game they are playing? Because an enclave of echo chambered writers thinks they should?
Here’s your new headline for the iPhone 4S: Normal people unfazed by ludicrously unbalanced narrow market perspectives; plan to continue spending untold sums of money on new iPhone and apps. If you don’t like the new iPhone, I’m totally cool with that. No one says you have to. I think we all secretly wanted to be blown away yesterday by a new phone style delivered straight from the future itself. In fact, the presentation (in my honest opinion) left quite a bit to be desired.* But when you project your irrational “analysis” onto the population at large, you’re not reporting news anymore. You’re just tiring us out, and eventually, we’ll stop listening.
Update: 10.06.11 7:47 am
*and sadly, now I know why.