Separated by a common language

This Guardian piece by Charles Arthur is just confusing.

I suspect that for Apple to do well out of iPads, it actually needs those competitors to do well too.

“Do well out of iPads.” Huh. Typo, poorly constructed sentence or Britishism? YOU MAKE THE CALL.

The Macalope’s going to assume it’s a Britishism. He’d call Nessie to try to confirm but it’s such a pain getting a hold of her. The Macalope can never remember how to dial internationally and have you ever tried to get a reclusive mythical beast on the phone? It’s not easy. He’ll just be further charitable and assume what Arthur means here is that competition spurs innovation.

There’s nothing worse for a company than to try to create a market, only to find yourself the only one in it.

Really? Why? If they’re selling a crapload of units, why do they care? It might not be good for the consumer, but it’s not a bad thing for the company.

My own feeling? This is going to turn into an iPod-like rout of rivals if they don’t do something better than the 7″in models on offer.

Wait, are you saying that’s a good thing or a bad thing? Because that rout was pretty darn excellent for Apple. What Arthur’s probably trying to say is that if the market doesn’t attract competition, it’s probably not a good market to be in. But what if it just attracts a lot of bad competition? It’s up to the other tablet makers to execute. Just because they suck so bad doesn’t mean the market isn’t there.

  • MadDog:

    Yes, it’s a Britishism.

  • Why, bless your frequently-waggling antlers, as Stephen Fry might say. (Then probably reject it as too twee. Not a typo.)

    1) As MadDog (is that you, Jeff the climber? Hell, it’s been a long time) says, it’s a Britishism.

    2) Because usually if you’re the only one in a market, then interest withers. Think of Microsoft’s WebTV in the 1990s: not many competitors. Not much market. Anyhow, the “nobody in the market” point is moot, because there are plenty of tablet rivals.

    3) It’s a good thing for Apple, bad for the rest. Sorry, I thought that was self-evident by giving the comparison with the iPod and what happened there. I think you figured that out.

    • Miles:

      RE #2:

      Be careful, correlation does not imply causation. It could be that WebTV was not desired by the public at a rate that would help sustain it as a successful product.

      It could also be that Microsoft does not usually do well with products it purchases from someone else and developed on a different foundation that it then changes to use its own possibly very ill suited technology stack. WebTV started out on a solaris foundation, but got converted to something windows under MS. Also see the purchase of Danger, maker of the Sidekick. The “cloud” portion of the sidekick’s nifty features were all Oracle based, that MS then converted to something windows and lost customer data.

  • Davo:

    Please learn English old boy.

  • Davo:

    I would do well to keep my comments to myself.

  • it doesn’t matter if it’s executed with a plummy british accent, a filthy hack is a filthy hack in any english dialect. all those column inches one must fill & the easiest approach is to diss apple. whatever.

    as a consumer, i’d like to see apple’s so-called rivals come up with an ipad competitor that didn’t inspire me to throw up in my mouth but so far they seem hell-bent on slapping windows7 onto an ipad-like form factor. that should be successful.

    i’d also like to see someone, anyone, come up with an ipod touch competitor.

    however it may not be necessary. apple has such a bizarre grasp of creative destruction. instead of milking a franchise until it’s encrusted with barnacles, apple seems to take great joy in blithely replacing even a successful product with something even better. strange behaviour but given the 45% return i’m seeing on my tiny investment in aapl, i ain’t going to complain ….

  • ozzit:

    “Typo, poorly constructed sentence or Britishism? ”

    Not quite as much of a conundrum as you make out, the answer is the first two, and the clue is in the first line:

    “This Guardian piece”

    I’ll chop that down some more in case it wasn’t clear enough:


    That is all

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