Please don’t trust reporting about Apple, particularly by “analysts”.

I recently posted that 90% of what is written about Apple is Crap! but it seems it’s worse than that. Two recent articles make the point about just how bad reporting about Apple really is.

In the original piece I referred to:

Over at The Mac Observer, John Martellaro writes what I’ve been wanting to say for a long time: almost everything written about Apple by “analysts” is either completely worthless because they know nothing; or is being written to manipulate the stock price.

Now we can add to that Ian Betteridge‘s article Just How Did Apple “Journalism” Get This Bad? After several examples of how “analysts” post articles that are linked to no sources, not based in fact, but rather:

To these guys, you’re not people anymore: you’re insects they can manipulate at will, for cash. Personally, I think it’s time we all stopped letting them manipulate us – and started getting the kind of journalism real human beings deserve.

Look at the examples that lead up to this conclusion. They’re just sad, particularly as one analyst posted how developers were abandoning Apple’s iOS and OS X when a week later the WWDC sells out in 2-3 minutes. There’s a complete reality disconnect there.

The excellent Asymco site (where you’ll find a lot of deep factual analysis of Apple and other companies) featured an Interview with Chosun Daily of Korea about Apple where Chosum answers the question “What are the truth and false about the ‘Apple shock’ currently? In what perspective should we see this?” Here’s part of his answer:

Second, I’d point out that the number of people watching and commenting on Apple has grown almost as fast as its sales and earnings. When Apple was small the people who studied Apple were few. (You could see this today for other, modest tech companies. There aren’t 50 analysts writing reports every day and 2000 bloggers tweeting about Lenovo even though it’s a successful and growing PC company.) Because of this growth, I would guess 80% of the observers have not observed Apple’s prior painful episodes first hand. For them this is the first time a “dominant” Apple has slowed. The amplification of so many voices raising alarm makes it seem truer, but it isn’t.

Both articles are well thought out, and enlightening reads. Bottom line: Apple still has close to the most profitable business on the planet. By every metric the business is sound and growing. Clearly they’re not out of ideas, with Tim Cook stating during the  Q2 investor call  “the potential of exciting new product categories”. A new product category is not a new iMac (or MacPro) but a new category like iPod, iPhone and iPad.

My only speculation is that Apple is an experiences company more than a hardware or software company. It is trending toward being a sales and services company, with good revenue from media sales and rental, and a great business in App sales commissions. Every $6 billion sent on to developers is another $2.5 billion for Apple. There’s the potential for Siri to move on to booking tables or travel (etc) and Apple taking a cut on that in the future. Or (please, please) a rethink of the Television (type content) distribution model. Maybe Netflix has the best approach, but I’d sure like to see what Apple could do.

4 thoughts on “Please don’t trust reporting about Apple, particularly by “analysts”.”

  1. All of the above is well and good but the real reason for this is that Apple is the Fight Club of companies. The first rule of Apple is don’t talk about Apple until a product demo. Secrecy is job one inside the loop and interest is high outside the loop, so the above rubbish articles is a consequence of that.

  2. Whereas I agree completely that most “Apple Analysts” couldn’t find their way out of a wet paper bag with a map and compass, the fact that the WWDC sold out so fast is really a red herring.

    It’s a simple supply and demand issue. Apple’s dev market is immense and even if half the current developers were to drop out it probably wouldn’t change the “how fast did we sell out of tickets” metric, but would sure show up in the number of apps developed.

    All in all though there is a lot of fear mongering and strife generated by the media surrounding Apple, and IMHO the biggest reason is that it’s bound to generate page views hence driving revinue.

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