iPod sales down

Nah, the Macalope’s just kidding! Ha-ha!

They’re up. Of course they’re up! They’re up 50 percent to a whopping (all references to first quarter iPod sales figures must include the word “whopping”) 21 million.

iPod sales growth year over year was down, however, from 60 percent.

But when the last people on the planet who still don’t have an iPod are either Amish or Jim Alchin, it starts getting a little difficult.

Revenue is up. Profit is up. Margins are up. Mac sales are up. Fries are up. It’s all good.

Hear, hear.

Alan Murray in the Wall Street Journal (paid subscriber link) has some harsh words for Steve Jobs (“arrogant”, “draconian”) and is rightly dubious of Apple’s protestations of his ignorance in the stock options scandal (the Macalope has held off on using that word, but we can rightly call it a scandal now).

But his conclusion is spot on:

If Mr. Jobs participated in backdating options, he should be punished. To let him off the hook would send a terrible signal that some people are exempt from the rules or above the law.

But any punishment that hampers his ability to continue running the company would be a mistake. That is punishing the victim, and only compounds the crime.

Sing it, sister.

If you read the analysis that’s floating around, it’s generally the mass-market publications that are breathlessly asking “WILL JOBS SURVIVE?!” From what the Macalope’s seen, the Wall Street analysts — the guys who actually have some skin in the game — are long on Jobs.

From Murray’s lips to the SEC’s ears.

The Macalope owns an inconsequential number of Apple shares.

Sex sells. Sex and Apple.

Nick Carr points out a post by Steve Rubel who links to an interview with a ZDNet blogger who says that ZDNet pays them for each click their posts get.

Take a look at the list of top stories on ZDNet which Rubel links to.

The Macalope is sure that the fine bloggers at ZDNet are above trolling for hits.


On the other hand, maybe this explains George Ou.

Well, that and lead exposure at an early age.

Cingular execs behaving badly

Cingular execs — from the the “Ha-ha, other carriers!” tone of CEO Stan Sigman’s dreadful keynote speech to the “We bent Apple” comments from president of national distribution Stan Laurie (antler tip to Daring Fireball) — sure are acting like some grade-A dickwads, aren’t they?

The Macalope would advise the “gents from Georgia” that their exclusivity lasts two years and people have long memories.

Apple made a deal of necessity and it brought the sizzle to the table. When you’re just the holder on a winning field goal, you should probably not do a big end-zone dance.

What makes a Mac?

For all those complaining about the lack of Mac-related announcements during the keynote, Merlin Mann on the MacBreak Weekly Keynote Rap nails something the Macalope’s been thinking about the iPhone:

Dude, it’s a computer. It’s a Mac in my hand.

Is a Mac anything that runs the Mac OS? It was in the middle part of the 1990s.


UPDATE: Merlin recants and Daring Fireball clarifies – all this and more in the comments! Come on it, the water’s fine!


The Macalope seconds Michael Gartenberg’s final assessment of the iPhone.

Yes, I think it’s not perfect, but let’s be clear, the innovation and design outweigh any issues by an order of magnitude, perhaps several.

Indeed. The inverse Zune relationship.

And what’s funny is, this is precisely what the rational analysts were saying it would be. It would feature several compromises that not everyone would like, but its interface will make you forget things like, oh, that you’re now paying $500 a month to Cingular for data services.

iPhone iPhud

The Macalope’s not sure why he’s bothering with this, but Robert Scoble links favorably to a list of supposed items that are wrong with the iPhone and then adds his own items.

If the Macalope may respond…

  1. “How do you operate your phone under a table at a meeting”? This is exactly why Apple’s design is better than Microsoft’s. The five jackasses who need to do that — instead of paying attention to the meeting — can keep stroking their Blackberrys under the table.
  2. A closed system is disappointing, but it does have the advantage of more tightly controlling the user experience (well, at least one could argue that) and may have been a cost of getting the Cingular deal done (not that anyone’s doing handsprings over that). So this point has some merit.
  3. Cingular-only in the U.S. is a drawback but, hey, you wan’ an iPhone or not? Eh? Apple ain’t got all day, buddy. Got decisions to make. Time’s a-wastin’.
  4. Ah, it’s vaporware. Yes, it’s nice that no other company in the industry announces products before they’re ready to ship. Cough. Like one Scoble used to work for. Cough. Quite frankly, for some of the stuff he’s written in the past, Scoble should be barred from ever using the term or linking favorably to a piece that accuses anyone other than Microsoft of announcing vaporware.
  5. Both Kedrosky and Scoble list the iPhone’s price as $599. Cute. It starts at $499, bitches, and please point to another device with the same feature set that costs less at either price point.
  6. Apple lists the battery life while playing video at 5 hours, not the 2 Scoble claims. Several commenters called him out on this and he said he’s “going off of what people are telling me here at CES” (not that they might have an axe to grind) but will correct it if someone provides a link because he can’t be bothered to go to apple.com/iphone. To be sure, it won’t really get 5 hours, but 2? Ooh, those grapes they’re serving at CES are sour.
  7. Apple went with the largest carrier in the U.S. (Cingular) and the most ubiquitous technology (GSM). It’s not an everything-to-everyone device that uses every niche technology including your personal favorite. You were expecting something else from Apple? It also doesn’t have a floppy drive, PS/2 adapter or DVD/RAM. Sorry!
  8. As David Pogue points out, the camera also benefits from the ability to frame your picture in a large screen. That’s at least a draw without even getting into what you can actually do with your picture after that.
  9. Scoble complains that at “$600″ it should have GPS. Please point to the device that has all the features the iPhone has and GPS. What about an FM tuner? A compass? Little tweezers and a toothpick? Speaking personally, the Macalope won’t buy a “$600″ device unless it has a corkscrew.

Finally, Scoble doesn’t mention the thing that kicks every other phone and the Zune’s butt up and down the street: the interface. All anti-iPhone arguments that do not mention the interface should be considered trolling.

UPDATE: In comments, Scoble says he still intends to buy an Apple iPhone, so you can temper your reading of the above with that. He also says that if Microsoft had shipped this phone we’d be deriding it as the worst phone ever shipped. Again, the sourness of those grapes, but the Macalope would posit that Microsoft is inherently incapable of shipping this product at this time. If they were, it would have (or should have) been the Zune.

Well, now…

Wasn’t that interesting?

The Macalope would like all the people who asked “But what could Apple possibly bring to the cell phone market?” please close your laptops, put your heads down for five minutes and think about what you’ve done.

Ye of little faith.

Tsk, tsk, tsk.

Looks like we’re going to have to get us some of them big Canadian-style crows so we have enough to go around.


Well, the Macalope probably can’t get away without putting some of his velvety hide in the game, so here goes.

  • Beatles-themed iPod.
  • iWork spreadsheet.
  • Little hand-held computery phone thing.
  • Tiger Leopard (Drunk fauns, indeed. These were Mexican fauns with tequila.) to be delivered earlier than expected, possibly right after the keynote.

And to raise the ante, something he hasn’t seen reported anywhere else.

  • Some large announcement for the education market that leverages wireless technology.

The Macalope didn’t entirely pull that one out of his rump, but it’s not based on a whole lot.

21 hours.


Bertrand Serlet sold what the Macalope calculates on the back of a napkin to be about $5.5 million in shares and options on Dec. 29th.

Not sure what the implications might be but he was clearly picking the last day of 2006 for tax purposes.

Or, possibly, to impress chicks on New Year’s Eve.

“Pardon, cherie, but ‘ave yoo ever seen a $10,000 bill?”