You might say this has been a long time coming, what with Henry Blodget’s steady stream of ill-informed posts coupled with shoddy, second-rate analysis. The most recent example isn’t the most egregious, but it’s the most recent, so here we go.
A few days ago, Blodget wrote that Apple may really be in trouble. Despite fundamentals that Blodget acknowledges are still strong, the Business Insider founder expressed worry because Verizon’s iPhone sales numbers over the last quarter was 25% lower than their iPhone sales in the last quarter.
It’s endlessly frustrating to see these moronic tech writers completely unable to engage in even a rudimentary attempt of serious analysis.
Comparing Verizon’s Q1 iPhone sales to iPhone sales in the December quarter – which encompasses the holiday shopping season and the iPhone 4S launch – is completely asinine and non-instructive. What folks should really focus on is how iPhone sales have either increased or decreased from the first quarter of 2011. To that end, iPhone sales on Verizon, quarter over quarter, increased by over 50%. Now to be fair, the iPhone 4 didn’t launch on Verizon until February of last year.
In any event here’s what does matter – the iPhone accounted for over 50% of all of Verizon’s smartphone sales this past quarter. How people are construing this as a bad thing is beyond me.
So why is Blodget so worried?
First, the Apple zealots have gone silent. Earlier, we reported a fact that could be construed as negative for Apple–that iPhone sales had plunged 24% quarter over quarter at Verizon–and we weren’t immediately attacked by a band of crazed fanboys. Normally, that happens within seconds of saying anything that isn’t orgasmically pro-Apple.
Solid analysis there, Henry.
Perhaps the zealots, as Blodget affectionately refers to them, aren’t terribly taken with Blodget’s elementary analysis (apparently I’m the exception). Incidentally, does this attack on Blodget mean that Apple is actually a-ok?
But there’s something else that happens to be ruffling Blodget’s feathers.
Second, Apple is not backing off on the flawed gimmick known as Siri–instead, it is doubling down. Apple is now paying celebrities zillions of dollars to hawk Siri on TV, when even Apple fans have gotten so frustrated with the feature that they’ve basically stopped using it.
Siri is not ready for prime-time, and we suspect that Steve Jobs would have understood that, ripped the Siri product team’s faces off, and then either killed Siri or fixed her. The new Apple, without Steve, hasn’t done either. Instead, it has commissioned even more expensive advertising to hawk a product that doesn’t work.
Apple’s commitment to the current version of Siri, in our opinion, is not a good sign of the company’s discipline post-Steve.
So we’re worried about that.
Now full disclosure. I don’t really us it too much, and I’d hesitate to call it a killer feature. But that notwithstanding, the fact that Apple is advertising Siri is by no means an indictment on Apple, nor a reason why anyone should be worried. And funny how Blodget has no idea how much Samuel L. Jackson is getting paid, but apparently assumes its somewhere in the “zillion” range. What’s more, the Business Insider link he himself links to calls the ad “amazingly great.”
And just what info is Blodget using to state that Apple fans are “frustrated” with Siri and have stopped using it. The latest report I saw, from March, relays that 87% of iPhone 4S users use Siri at least once a month. Okay, so maybe it’s not that much, but people are buying up the iPhone 4S in droves regardless. Also, keep in mind that Apple’s plans for Siri remain in motion, and we haven’t even seen the extent to which Apple will flesh out its functionality.
Wait, I’m not done ranting.
It’s getting extremely annoying watching people try and imagine what they think Steve Jobs would do.
Would Steve Jobs have killed Siri? Is this seriously a question? Here’s what we know – Steve Jobs spent a boatload of money to acquire the technology and Apple (while Steve Jobs was alive) positioned Siri as one of the core features of the iPhone 4S. Something tells me Jobs would have axed it at all (I suppose now I’m imagining what Steve Jobs would do). Sue me.
Moving on, Blodget’s line about Apple’s discipline post-Steve is absolutely baseless, and perhaps not terribly surprising given that Blodget, in a former life, was charged with civil securities fraud and is now banned from the securities industry altogether. Blodget was charged, in part, with issuing public assessment of stocks that conflicted with internal Merril Lynch emails. So what’s the parallel I’m hinting at here? Blodget has a history of saying stuff just to say it.
Does Apple have reason to worry? Maybe. That is to say if iPhone and iPad sales disappoint and Apple’s earnings take a big tumble. And long term, we’ll have to see if Apple can maintain its vigorous pace of innovation and revenue growth.
In short, Apple’s future is by no means a sure thing. Hell, no company’s future is. But to say that Apple is in trouble because Apple fans didn’t respond en masse to Blodget’s concern regarding Verizon’s iPhone sales is pretty egotistical and arguably narcissistic. And Apple sure as hell isn’t in trouble because it continues to advertise Siri. Talk about laughable.
I have no idea what Blodget is smoking, but something tells me it’s something illegal.
Lastly, if you take a look at Blodget’s Apple writing, he consistently changes his tune about Apple’s future prospects on almost a weekly basis. Anything to generate pageviews I suppose, or perhaps see his name in print.