What is it with pundits declaring things that are not done--and many cases haven't even started--to be over? (And what's the deal with airline food?)
What did you do in the great Wearables War, grandpa?
That's the question you should be asking, because it's all over but the shouting, according to Andy Boxall of Digital Trends.
"Sorry, iWatch! Android Wear Will Dominate Our Wrist" (tip o' the antlers to Greg).
Oooh, sick burn on ... that device Apple hasn't shipped yet and we know nothing about and could be something else entirely and, really, may not even exist.
Apple's probably salving that burn with Krugerrands or something.
By launching Android Wear, Google has staked its claim to the title master of wearable tech.
So, let us review what Google has actually launched. As John Gruber noted on a recent edition of The Talk Show:
This is not something. It's technology, it's not a product. ... "We're not going to tell you the battery life, we're not going to tell you the display technology, we're not going to tell you how the user interface and software work, and we're not even going to tell you how big the God damn thing is!" Well, what else is there?!
To hear Boxall tell it, however, we are living in a post-Wearables-War period:
Everything that has gone before should be viewed as a precursor.
Uh, thanks for the lesson in how linear time works, Dr. Who.
Taking control of a burgeoning new market this way, even when the end product looks so cool, is a brave and ballsy strategy, and a proven winner.
How do you "take control of a market" without actually shipping a product?
Eventually, as we all know, Android became the dominant smartphone OS; but if it had simply beaten Apple to the punch, things would have been much easier.
There's a reason why Google didn't ship Android first. It was incapable of shipping Android first.
Android Wear is Google's way of saying "We know this is the next big thing, and this time it's ours for the taking."
Or it's a way of saying "OH, GOD, WE NEED TO SHIP SOMETHING, ANYTHING, BEFORE APPLE DOES."
However, an OS alone isn't going to win the wearable race on its own, so Google has assembled a team of manufacturers and other companies to create some cracking hardware. So far, it's Google's besties, LG and Motorola, that have come up with the goods.
If by "goods" you mean Photoshopped mock-ups then, yes.
LG announced the G Watch, while Motorola has come up with the Moto 360. It's the latter which will have those on the outside looking in quaking in their boots.
Yeah. Take a look at that website and see if it looks like a real product to you.
What could possibly go wrong?
Actually, Boxall finally gives a nod to the vaporness of the Moto 360 and the idea that Apple could ship something better:
Provided it can live up to the promise shown in the videos, it's not hobbled by missed deadlines, Apple's iWatch doesn't redefine everything, and the buying public likes what it sees, Android Wear could become the wearable tech equivalent of a prize fighter in a street brawl.
It is a long strange journey from the certainty of the title to the caveats of the closing paragraph, isn't it?
Apple should spend its mad money
Eh, more like clinically insane money, the way Cult of Mac's Mike Elgan tells it.
"There's Just No Getting Around Apple Buying Yahoo" (tip o' the antlers to Biff Malibu).
Other than the fact that Apple continues to not actually buy Yahoo. So, you know ... other than reality.
Apple should buy Yahoo.
So guys like Mike Elgan can have something to write about.
This is neither a new idea, nor one acceptable to the Apple fan base.
Nor does it make sense. But don't let that stop you, Apple! Engage money-wasting mode!
But since people briefly talked about it last year, it's become an increasingly good idea--maybe a necessary one for Apple's continued growth and success--and I'm going to tell you why.
OK, Mike, go ahead.
Go ahead, Mike.
When Apple wanted to create community around its iPhone 5c product line, it did so on its own social site where Apple and iPhone fans gather to exchange stories, information and ideas around their iPhone 5c fandom--post pictures, recommend apps and get to know each other over their shared passion.
Wait, eWorld is back?
Just kidding. Apple doesn't have a social site.
Apple did it on Tumblr, which is owned by Yahoo.
Apple also doesn't own a television station and yet it somehow continues to run TV ads. Advertising: How does it work? Heck if Mike Elgan knows.
If only there was a social photo sharing site where both professional photographers and knowledgeable and enthusiastic amateur photographers already gather and that already has millions of users existed--that would be a great place for Apple to send iPhone pictures by default.
Oh, wait. There is such a place: Flickr, which is owned by Yahoo.
Sadly, Flickr is to Instagram as MySpace is to Facebook. The thing is, iOS has apps for all the places people want to share their photos. Apple doesn't need to acquire one, except in Mike Elgan's fantasy world where the fact that "social sites ruin photographs with sh---y filters, overly aggressive compression and awkward cropping" is a problem. Maybe these sites do ruin pictures, but the users obviously think the mobile and social aspects are more important, otherwise they wouldn't be so popular.
Bottom line: Apple needs eyeballs.
Bottom line: Mike Elgan is crazytown bananapants.
It's also worth pointing out that Apple is a laggard in the harvesting of user data. Which is great, if you're a privacy enthusiast, which hardly anyone really is.
Pff. Privacy. Booo!
What is it Elgan thinks Apple is going to do with this data?
What people really want is a better Siri ...
Mike's solution to making Siri better is buying Yahoo for something like $37 billion dollars and making a huge splash and a huge mess. Apple's solution is to quietly buy a speech recognition company for a tiny fraction of the cost. So, wait, is the point of this piece "Don't take financial advice from Mike Elgan?" Because that's what's coming across the most.
... as well as a tiny number of ads that hawk exactly the products and services we really want.
Elgan really has his pulse on what users want: no privacy and targeted ads.
Yahoo's market cap is under $37 billion, which Apple could manage easily from cash on hand.
Now, normally the Macalope would take that offhand comment about "easily" spending $37 billion as a sign that the writer wasn't really serious about what he was suggesting. But, it's Mike Elgan, so ... tough call.
Former Wall Street Journal reporter Yukari Iwatani Kane caused quite a stir in the Apple blogging world with her book, "Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs."
If by "caused quite a stir" you mean "was pilloried for her collection of trite arguments that made a grandiose conclusion supported by no evidence" then, yes, she "caused quite a stir."
Note that Feloni never once addresses the critiques of the book; he just dismisses them as coming from irrational or biased corners of technology.
Anything that even slightly hints at Apple fading from glory gets certain people annoyed.
People who require evidence for things, rather than just accepting statements made with no basis in fact. You know, those kinds of people.
But, what she's saying is not that crazy.
But we're agreed that it is crazy, right?
Now let us get to the nut of both Kane and Feloni's argument:
Apple under Steve Jobs had an unparalleled run of success. From the iPod to the iPhone to the iPad, Jobs was almost perfect in his product delivery.
But nothing lasts forever.
That's basically it.
"Apple has been very successful. But nothing lasts forever. Therefore it's dead. QED."
That may sound like a ridiculous reduction, so let's read on to see what actual evidence of Apple's demise Feloni offers.
At some point a company runs out of ideas, or the competition improves, or its execution comes up short.
Apple was going to bump up against the law of averages even with Jobs around.
[Gautam] Mukunda's theory is that businesses cannot grow forever, and that at some point they have to plateau.
Apple is reportedly developing an iWatch, which would be a health and fitness tracking device. If it's a big hit, it would prove Kane, and other naysayers wrong. ...
If the iWatch is a flop, it's really bad for Apple.
Other companies can churn out crappy wearables consequence-free, however.
The competition isn't sitting on its hands, waiting for Apple to do something.
Oh, no! Are they going to make more pieces of junk that grab market share but only make one of them any profit?!
The Macalope has heard this argument since the heyday of the iPod. Serious competition for Apple's share of the market is always just around the corner.
Facebook is investing in virtual reality headsets, and Amazon is looking into delivery drones. At the TED2014 conference, Google CEO Larry Page talked about self-driving cars and curing disease.
And Blaz Flooflux, CEO of Garnzooble Industries, is talking about wearable kittens and faxable pizzas. Imagine, if you will, a sky so full of pie that not a ray of sunlight can get through.
Every one of those products is years away from coming to market--if they ever do. These are not products; they're marketing campaigns, the equivalent of jumping up and down on the diving board yelling "Mom! Look at me! Mom! Mom! MOMMMMM!"
In an interview with Business Insider, Kane said that most of Apple's executives have been around for 15 years and that "no one can remain cutting edge forever."
So, why will Apple never be what it was under Steve Jobs? Because Kane and Feloni say so, that's why.
Not surprisingly, that is not good enough.