Ah, but the Zune could beat the iPod if it had a chain saw!

SvenOnTech – “The technology resource you can’t resist!” – proves rather resistable today as he Sven Rafferty [the Macalope originally missed the byline and attributed the piece to “Sven” – it’s been corrected throughout] [UPDATE AGAIN – Jon Eilers writes to note that the piece on SvenOnTech was misattributed to him. It was actually written by Sven Rafferty.] takes the “Zune spells ‘doom'” argument for a spin and goes careening off Reality Bluff and into Fantasy Lake.

With Apple’s slipping sales for months in a row…

You mean the months leading up to a widely-expected refresh?  Those months?

First Vic Keegan wants to compare successive quarters, now Rafferty wants to look at successive months. [UPDATE: for those who don’t want to click through the link, the important point is that a serious analysis would have looked at changes year over year to avoid cyclicality predominately based on the iPod’s product cycle. Also, Rafferty’ comment is not supported with any data – we are left to wonder how many months he’s talking about.]

MacNN noted that Piper Jaffrey predicted Apple would come close to 8.6 million in iPod sales for the third calendar quarter, which would be a 33.3 percent increase year over year and a small increase in sales growth from the second quarter.

The Macalope will say it again.  iPod sales growth may have been slowing.  But iPod sales are not “slipping.”  They continue to grow.

…with the iPod and the how-hum [sic] refresh we witnessed at the Showtime event, Steve Jobs best be working on getting that full-screen iPod ready for Macworld or he can start kissing his bread winner goodbye.

The bar is set really high for Apple.  If it doesn’t provide a $50 touch-screen iPod with seven days of battery life and free movies, an event is ho-hum.

Point of fact, the event was apparently exactly what investors were expecting, as Apple’s share price saw a modest uptick since Sept. 12th (today showed a substantial jump largely driven by expected increases in the Mac’s market share).

But enter the Zune.

Removing any Microsoft bias, the Zune isn’t that bad.

The Macalope can picture the marketing materials now:  “The Microsoft Zune.  It’s not that bad!”

Rafferty then goes on to list all that’s right with the Zune without listing any of the numerous questions about it.  For, you see, a point has already been chosen and, to support it, the Zune must be rubber and the iPod glue.

The Wi-Fi sharing is great, too, and even though there’s no video support, that will be here soon like a more robust Windows was with 3.11 back in the early 90s.

Yes, Microsoft is slow out of the gate but, remember, it lumbers ever forward!  Apple, apparently, will never update the iPod ever again.

The remarkable assery of this piece is that Rafferty is not even taking the bad data points for the iPod (and you really have to try to find them!) and comparing them to the good ones for the Zune.

He’s taking the current features of the iPod and comparing them to imaginary future features of the Zune – a product you can’t even buy yet.  That’s vapor^2!

Where’s the full-screen Steve? The Wi-Fi? The Bluetooth? The meat?!

Where’s the neural interface?  The time warp feature so you can enjoy tomorrow’s music today?  Where’s the hoozifluffer with the wingjambiddler?!

If the iPod doesn’t bring on a new cool factor (and regurgatating the iPod mini via the nano doesn’t qualify,)…

And the Macalope guesses offering the first wearable digital music player ever and the ability to buy and play movies on an iPod – today! – don’t count either.

…then Apple can once again remember the days of the Macintosh Performa and try to figure out, “How did we lose all the market share…again?”

Wow.  Did the Mac really have 75 percent market share before the Performa came out?  The Macalope sure remembers those days differently.

Frankly, the Macalope prefers such articles the way John Dvorak writes them.  At least Dvorak goes out on a limb and tries to convince you the Zune has already won the battle.  Rafferty would have you believe the iPod’s vast lead is in dire jeopardy because future Zunes will be better than this one, which “isn’t that bad.”  And isn’t out yet.

The worst you can say for the iPod and the best you can say for the Zune right now is that Microsoft has announced a modest offering that they may decide to take a loss on in an attempt to gain market share.  To pretend that only Microsoft can leapfrog features is to ignore reality (Apple and Microsoft also have this whole operating system thing going on if you haven’t noticed) for the sake of tritely playing devil’s advocate.

The Macalope would advise Rafferty to save the “Apple, are you listening?” tone at least until Microsoft actually ship a Zune.