Unrequited disdain

The Macalope, Macworld
1 December, 2012
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Forbes is truly the gift that keeps on giving to the Macalope.

If only it knew. Alas, linking to Forbes is simply out of the question, particularly when they publish pieces like this one by Haydn Shaughnessy.

“Why Apple Is Losing Ground to Google and Amazon”

Has Apple lost its way?

Forbes, asking the tough questions.

Like, do aliens walk among us?

Where do cartoonists get all their great ideas?

What is soup?

The world’s most innovative company three years ago, its reputation for innovation did not just plateau. It stalled, now it is falling and its share price is vulnerable.

This would be the same Apple whose share price is up 57 percent over last year. That Apple. Just so we’re clear. Because it’s confusing, right? Which Apple is Shaughnessy talking about? Perhaps it’s some other Apple. Some Apple that’s sucking it up big time. No, it’s our Apple.

To add to its indignity, Apple trails Google and Amazon in the theater of public opinion.

Ah! The Theater of Public Opinion! A theater that exists only in the minds of our highly hallucinatory pundit class. Back here on Earth, Apple devices remain highly popular.

The spectacular revival of RIM’s share price is, in large measure, down to the effort RIM has put into its social reputation. The share price has nearly doubled within a month and yet there is no new product in the market.

Indeed it had! However, twice nothing is still nothing, as the saying goes, and as of this writing RIM’s share price was up just 70 percent from where it cratered at US$6.32 in late September. And how’s it doing since last year? Whoops, down 35 percent.

Call it buzz. Call it the power of social.

Call it a “dead cat bounce.”

Conversely Apple has mismanaged perceptions in a way that was inconceivable six months ago. Over the period that RIM’s social reputation has grown, Apple’s has been in steady decline.

Apple? Nobody buys that stuff anymore. It’s too popular.

So, wait, can we back up to the headline on electronic fish wrap? On what imaginary plane of existence is Apple “losing ground” to Amazon and Google? It certainly isn’t sales, revenue, profit, or any of our reality-based measurements.

Turns out it’s a couple of charts provided by an outfit called MarketPsychData (no, really) that skims Twitter, chatrooms, and other social media to gauge such intangibles as “sentiment” and “innovation.”

Chatrooms. Because you should totally base your portfolio on the valuable information to be gained from skimming chatrooms.

Investment disclosure: short or long on nothing. I don’t invest in stocks.

That’s probably a wise choice on your part.

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