Apple’s getting the Nokia treatment and doesn’t like it


Stop all the clocks!

Have you read what Mr Apple himself has published about Apple John Gruber has published a decent set of rebuttals relating to the Samsung launch last week. All well and good. This is to be expected and it’s perfectly good analysis provided you recognise that he’s a super-Apple-fan.

The last paragraph of the chap’s rebuttal is simply shocking though. Shocking in the reality that it clearly and accurately betrays.

Have a read:

But that’s how news reporters increasingly are treating the state of the industry. The desire for the “Oh, how the mighty Apple has fallen” narrative is so strong that the narrative is simply being stated as fact, evidence to the contrary be damned. It’s reported as true simply because they want it to be true. They’re declaring “The King is dead; long live the King” not because the king has actually died or abdicated the throne, but because they’re bored with the king and want to write a new coronation story.

This, my dear Mr Gruber, is what happens when you lose the moral authority of the marketplace. If you’d like a specific example — Maps. It’s whats-his-face standing on stage in front of millions telling us Apple Maps are the best ever. When the reality is clearly the total opposite. And when we — the waiting masses — had to find this out to our own expense.

You could have lifted John’s text from Mobile Industry Review circa 2008. When I was complaining about the fact the market wasn’t giving Nokia a chance. Or Samsung. Or anyone, really. The only show in town was increasingly Apple.

I had a good time reading the perspective over on MondayNote about “Apple Losing The War of Words”.

Here’s the summary quote from that post:

Besides its ads, Apple says very little, confident numbers will do the talking. This no longer works as others have seized the opportunity to drive the narrative


Just like Nokia.

“We ship a million phones a day,” wasn’t enough to help Nokia when Silicon Valley reviewers were opening the latest Nokia N97 handset and wondering why (paraphrasing) it sucked compared to the iPhone.

Can Apple afford another “meh” iPhone launch this year Yes is the answer. Folk will still keep buying them and the margins are likely to stay broadly similar so the company’s unlikely to tank tomorrow.

I’ve always commented that I have wanted to see Apple come under hard and sustained pressure. The Maps fiasco was a really good example of perception management when the resulting product was seriously flawed. How could they have allowed that chap to seriously tell the world that the Maps were brilliant Facetime is *brilliant*. So when you use the same terminology, I’m expecting the same results. I’m not expecting to read news stories of Australian police forces insisting people don’t use Apple Maps as it could well threaten their lives. Ridiculous. This kind of screw-up was not ideal at all and helped chip away at the company’s reputation in the eyes of the Great Unwashed.

Fast forward a few quarters and goodness me. It’s been so bad — Apple’s felt so threatened — they’re wheeling out senior executives to pop up and try and distract attention from Samsung’s launch. This… THIS… from a company that is famously too busy to even publicly attend tradeshows like Mobile World Congress because they’re “too busy making great products for their customers”.

Phil from Apple wasn’t too busy last week, was he, when he was trying to stick the knife into Samsung. It didn’t translate at all well in the media.

I think it’s fair to say that Apple is concerned by it’s mindshare position. This is good. Instead of messing around trying to criticise Samsung (or anyone else) for doing something new, it’s about time you got on with making some great products, Apple. Let the innovation, the products and the resulting delight do the talking for you.

What a fascinating time it is in the marketplace.

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