Is Dan Lyons the best Newsweek can do?

Thu, Jun 10, 2010


Newsweek tech writer Dan Lyons and Apple aren’t exactly the best of friends. Apple has given Lyons, who you might also know as the Fake Steve Jobs, absolutely no access to Apple since he assumed tech editing duties at the publication in 2008. In other words, Newsweek has never gotten a pre-release Apple product to review, and you’ll never find any interviews with Apple executives in its pages. Put differently, when it comes to access to Apple, Newsweek has about as much pull as Edible Apple. Rough stuff, huh?

Meanwhile, Lyons has routinely taken every opportunity he can to blast Apple and Steve Jobs, sometimes rightly, and sometimes wrongly.

And it’s a shame, because Lyons is a talented writer. But his beef with Apple, so to speak, often taints his writing and results in non-sensical drivel not grounded in reality.

To wit, in his latest piece titled RIP, Macintosh, Lyons’ writes that the Macintosh is dead, citing the iPhone-centric nature of this year’s WWDC and the recent demise of Apple’s “Get a Mac” ad campaign.

To be sure, Apple won’t kill off the Mac. But it will keep pumping up the capabilities of iOS 4 so that iPads and other future mobile devices can displace the Mac.

Remember how Apple was always so aggressive at cannibalizing its own iPods by bringing out newer models that offered better features at lower prices? Same thing is happening here. Low-cost mobile devices powered by the iOS are going to chew their way up into the Macintosh market space.

Furthermore, Lyons writes, in characteristic fashion, that Apple is heavily favoring the iOS over OS X and the Mac because the former comes with an app store that enables Jobs to pick and choose which apps users can and can’t download. “You know how Steve is about control,” Lyons says.

As Seth Meyers might say, Really, Dan? Reallly?

The Mac is a goldmine for Apple, with some of the healthiest margins in the business. Apple might be more focused on the iPhone, iPad, and iOS for the time being, but that’s because they’re new devices with an entirely new platform. But to think that Apple is turning a blind  eye to the Mac is absurd.

TUAW writes:

The Mac is alive and kicking for one key reason: money. Last quarter, Apple sold almost three million Macs… Those sales generated US$3.76 billion in revenue over the quarter, or nearly a third of Apple’s overall revenue. Keep in mind this was during a quarter when the Mac line was stagnant in terms of features, with no updates to any Mac until just a week before Apple reported its sales results for the quarter.

Moreover, OS X is a mature platform, and over the past few years, Apple has periodically added hundreds upon hundreds of new features to the OS. Meanwhile, iOS is currently entrenched in an ongoing battle with Android for mobile OS supremacy. WIth the rise of Android, the market forces are such that Apple is focusing more intently on its mobile lineup. The Mac has been around the block a few times and then some, it can easily afford to share the spotlight with the iPhone for a little bit.

TUAW sums things up nicely:

Apple’s intense focus on the iPhone this year doesn’t mean that the Mac is a dead platform; instead, it means that Apple is comfortable enough with the Mac’s status that it can afford to let the Mac just be for now. That doesn’t sound like a platform on its deathbed to me. It sounds like a platform in its prime.

Newsweek might be a fine place to read about world news stories, but Dan Lyons’ contribution as its tech editor leave much to be desired.


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3 Comments For This Post

  1. Uri Says:

    Sort of my impressions of his coverage of Linux and OSS before. I find it to be typical style for Microsoft/Windows centric reporters, who suddenly have to pay attention to new trends of which they are clueless.

  2. Citch Says:

    Newsweek is nothing more than a hollow politically biased vessel anyhow so really…

  3. sfmitch Says:

    Dan Lyons is a link-baiting click-whore. I put him in the same category as Rob Enderle, Scott Mortiz and Jon Dvorak (among others) – I absolutely refuse to read anything they write because I know they are full of sh*t.

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