The Macalope Weekly: Some People Are Never Happy
Apple announced the iPhone 3.0 software this week, but is everyone happy? Of course not! For the Macalope's part, he was pleased to see the iPhone will, at long last, have cut and paste, but it's still totally devoid of pop and lock! Let's see what some of the other whining's about.
Not for the accounting impaired
Our first iPhone 3.0 complaint comes from ZDNet's Adrian Kingsley-Hughes--who had actually gotten quite reasonable since he and the Macalope locked horns over whether or not iTunes was a monopoly back in 2007.
Kingsley-Hughes (motto: "It's OK that I'm named this because I am, in fact, British") said Apple "crippled" Bluetooth in the iPod touch and now "wants US$10 to unlock it!"
The Macalope has long said that there's something in the water over at ZDNet that keeps them from grasping complex concepts such as cause-and-effect, fractions, and accounting. Sadly, it appears that Kingsley-Hughes's supply of bottled water has run out and he's back on the ZDNet sauce, because this is covered territory.
First of all, the $10 charge is for all the iPhone OS 3.0 features, not just the Bluetooth activation as Kingsley-Hughes implies.
Secondly, you have to admire a dogged determination not to understand the difference between subscription and non-subscription-based accounting, if not the utter lack of self-control to keep writing about it even when you clearly don't get it.
Apple's chant (along with that of their army of fans) will be that there has to be a charge because it's a new feature, and accepted accounting principles demand that there be a charge.
Actually, they don't demand it. R&D expenses for the iPod are tagged to when the revenue is recognized, so Apple has a choice. Because revenue from previously sold iPods touch has already been recognized, Apple can either open up past periods and restate expenses (investors do not like this) or charge a nominal fee in the current period and expense it against that.
Is that so hard to grasp?
But how about an acknowledgment of the fact that consumers have already paid for the hardware?
Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all lived in a magical fantasy land where accounting rules don't exist and companies could just make up their numbers out of thin air and deliver them to investors adorned with butterflies and rainbows?!
Who could possibly have a problem with that?!
Where's the pony?!
The award for the most jacktastic reaction to the event, though, must go to The Street's Scott Moritz (tip o' the antlers to Shawn King) who said "Apple Apps Show Lacks Shine". Moritz is a man known for mastery of the fine art of baiting, so don't rush to click that link.
Moritz's complaint about this week's event?
Observers wanting more information about a rumored tablet device went home disappointed.
It's true! Also disappointed were observers who wanted more information on 18th century naval battles, steampunk subculture, and where to get good Battlestar Galactica fan fiction.
All snarking aside, Scott's right. Why shouldn't we hold Apple to a standard that fits our fantasies? Why shouldn't we ask for things no one reasonably expected? Aren't unreasonable expectations what drive this economy?
C'mon, Apple! Snap to it!
(Disclaimer: all snarking may not, in fact, have been aside.)
Still better than the other options
Despite the complaints from the usual suspects, developers have a lot to be happy about. Boy, doesn't it seem like just last week the buzz was about how Microsoft's Windows Mobile app store was gunning to lure developers away from the iPhone?
Yeah it probably seems like that because it was just last week. What a difference a week and a special event make.
So, Microsoft basically said "Developers! We'll let you see where your fart app is in the approval process! Apple won't!"
And Apple said "We'll give you all new ways to collect money from iPhone users, who have a tendency to buy apps like they're drunk and only have three days to live and the apps themselves are, for some reason, going out of style."
Maybe one of the reasons the market for iPhone apps is more appealing is that iPhones are owned by actual flesh-and-blood people who really buy apps. Unlike Windows Mobile devices which are mostly owned by soulless corporations who lock the phones down and also kill kittens.
That's a generalization of course.
Some of them kill puppies.