Wednesday, January 10, 2007

What did Steve Jobs ever do for Cincinnati?

Apple Computer doesn't employ anyone in Cincinnati, outside of handful of geeks at the Apple retail store in Kenwood and the usual service techs. So why did Apple's new iPhone get such big treatment across the top of the front page of the Enquirer this morning? (PS -- I would post a link to a PDF of the Enquirer's front page, but those links haven't worked for a couple of weeks. See what I mean?)

Because the Enquirer editors are stupid, that's why. They don't understand technology. They pretend to, and this is how they pretend, by putting anything Apple does on the front page. If the Enquirer really cared about technology, they's have sent a reporter to the Detroit auto show or the Consumer Electronics Show, both of which are taking place right now. Stories about both shows (the CES is the largest trade show in the nation) were buried deep in the newspaper.

I looked at two months of Enquirer front pages and no other consumer product story or technology story was featured like today's Apple news. The Enquirer couldn't even find room for the great surge in sales of big TVs this Christmas. Does the Enquirer even have a reporter who covers technology?

How big a market does the Enquirer think there is for a $499 cell phone, even if it does play music? According to today's Wall Street Journal, "at $499 and $599, prices for versions of the iPhone with four gigabytes and eight gigabytes of storage capacity, respectively, Apple will be going after a fraction of the market. Toni Sacconaghi, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, said cellphones priced above $300 account for only about 5% of the global market."

This stupid poll the Enquirer put its web site doesn't even say how much it costs, or what it does (make sure you read the disclaimer at the bottom of the poll, which says the results cannot be assumed to imply anything about what the general public really thinks). It's only available from Cingular; what is Cingular's market share in Cincinnati, and will the iPhone make any difference in that?

The iPhone might be a huge success, but the Enquirer doesn't even try to explain why (read this in Wired for an idea). The Enquirer's presentation is nothing more than gee whiz, Apple made a phone. The Enquirer editors exhibit not a bit of depth or even skepticism about anything Apple does. Here is one skeptic's view of the iPhone, and read this Wired article for a list of Apple flops. Remember the puck mouse? The Newton? The 20th anniversary Mac? All terrible flops. What about the ROKR, Apple's first cellphone collaboration with Motorola. Do you own one? Does anyboy at the Enquirer own one? Flop.

Will the new iPhone have the same battery and durability and scratching problems that the iPods have had? Check out this list of the top 100 technology products of 2006 (from May). How many of these besides the Nano have ever been on the Enquirer front page? Tivo? GPS navigators? Flickr? Has the Enquirer ever done an article about MySpace that didn't present it as a dangerous threat to children? (The answer would be no; the only adult quoted in a Feb. 7, 2006, article about MySpace is a policeman.)

This comes on a day when the Enquirer is full of old news. Paul Hackett chased a bunch of teenagers with an assault rifle on Nov. 19, and it's on the front page today, nearly two months later. This story about Ohio State "champion" t-shirts is a ripoff of this story in Tuesday's Columbus Dispatch. And this story about the Bengal's David Pollack maybe playing next season was broken Tuesday by the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, so the Enquirer is beaten on a local story by a newspaper 400 miles away.

The Enquirer gives every indication that it's just flailing around, not knowing or understanding what it's publishing every morning.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

News Ache,

What do you think about Hollis Towns' off-the-record meeting with Mayor Mallory, in which the paper's City Hall reporter was barred from attending?

10:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're correct that Enquirer editors know nothing about technology, but they think that their readers do, and are interested in whatever cool toy Apple is pushing this month. Hey, it was a slow news day! Here's a working link to the front page"

3:22 PM  

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