When it comes to Apple the media in general covers news in two ways: it's either cries of 'how terrible' and 'Steve Jobs would never have let this happen'... or it's helpful advice and information about how the news applies to anyone using the product in question.
At Macworld we would tend towards the latter camp, but unfortunately Apple bashing is a popular internet sport these days and sometimes it's difficult to see the positive angle of the story. There have been a couple of examples of this over the last month.
iOS 7 haters
First up there was the news that people hate iOS 7, so much so that there is even a chap in America suing Apple for not allowing him to downgrade to iOS 6. Mark Menacher has filed a suit claiming that: "Apple’s disregard for customer preferences in relation to iOS 7 is corporate thuggery."
The accusations get better (or worse, depending on your outlook): "Steve Jobs was reportedly rough on company employees in pursuit of happy customers, but Tim Cook apparently cultivates a culture of contempt for customer satisfaction in pursuit of corporate profits. It is a policy that will eventually fail."
Anyone who knows Apple, knows that using Apple's late co-founder Steve Jobs as an example of someone who believed in giving the consumer what they wanted is completely flawed. Jobs was a fan of the 'consumers don't know what they want until we tell them' theory. Apple believes it knows what is good for us, and most of the time Apple is right.
At Macworld we believe that iOS 7 is light years ahead of iOS 6 [Read our iOS 7 review]. True, if you have an older iPhone or iPad you might have a few issues, and it can be a bit of a battery hog, but in general it's a refreshing change that makes your device feel new again. Despite our love of iOS 7, we did write about how to downgrade to iOS 6 while you still could - it's too late now, but it was possible for a time. That article got a lot of traffic for us so there were a fair few people out there who wanted to downgrade. This doesn't mean that Apple should give them the choice though; any more than Apple letting people jailbreak their iPhones.
The other story that's got a ton of traffic on our site is our iOS 7 tips story. There were a lot of people who were a bit lost when they first installed the iOS 7 update, but this doesn't mean they hate it.
The fact is that a lot of people have installed iOS 7 and that means that there will be a lot of people experiencing problems, but I have an inkling that this is a small percentage of the over all number. There are more than 600 million iOS devices out there and when I was trying to install iOS 7 on the night it launched it certainly felt like a few hundred million people were trying to do the same thing. We heard stories about people in the US heading home early to download iOS 7 because their work networks couldn't cope. When was the last time you heard of that happening after an Android launch? Never. And yet, some reports focused on the fact that people were struggling to download iOS 7 – not the fact that so many people were trying to download iOS 7.
The initial download problems didn't last for long and according to market researchers iOS 7 was on 71% of iOS devices within 21 days - much faster than the adoption of iOS 6. Incidentally, estimates suggest that only about 1.5% of Android users have installed Android 4.3.
A month after the iOS 7 launch and a USA Today report claimed that the iOS 7 launch has been Apple's "Most troubled". This report is actually based on a quote from an analyst who counts Google amongst their clients, but, hey, bad news sells and all that.
iPhone popularity contest
The other piece of Apple related 'news' that did the rounds was claims that the Apple was cutting orders for the iPhone 5c because it wasn't as popular as expected, or at least that's what the Apple bashers were saying.
Apart from the fact that the whole basis for these articles was speculation about what Apple's orders had been in the first place, nobody seemed that interested in the flipside of the news, also mentioned in the original report, although a few paragraphs in - claims that the iPhone 5s had turned out to be more popular and Apple had increased orders for that model. [Read our iPhone 5s review and iPhone 5c review]
It's good news if Apple is set to sell even more iPhone 5s smartphones because the company will make better margins from sales of that phone. You can guarantee that if reports had claimed that the iPhone 5c was selling better than the iPhone 5s the same reports would be talking about how this was bad news for Apple.
Incidentally, the Wall Street Journal report that initially made the claims about Apple cutting iPhone 5c orders was later amended and toned down significantly, not before other reports had appeared repeating the original claims.
It's a long way from where Apple was just a few years ago. It's not always been like this, there was a time when Apple was the underdog and it was actually a struggle to get anyone to talk about the company (I know this because in a past life I worked at Apple's PR agency). Now everyone is writing about Apple, from Vanity Fair to the Daily Mail. If you want to get traffic to your site the word iPhone can do wonders. But the shear quality of Apple reports out there means that, more than ever, readers need to pay attention to the source and the quality of the reporting. Unfortunately, bad news does sell, but as long as the good news is there too then people will read it.