TIME wag gets it wrong, worries that Steve Jobs is ‘reliving past mistakes’ (Google vs. iPhone)

“Journalists are great at pattern recognition. It’s a silly function we perform — this thing looks like that thing — and we usually do it to show off our vast institutional knowledge,” Josh Quittner writes for TIME Magazine.

“Still, with the launch of the first ‘Google phone,’ it doesn’t take a journalist to notice the obvious signs of history repeating itself,” Quittner writes. “Is Steve Jobs, whose iPhone is the toast of the telecommunications world, doomed to relive the mistakes of the past?”

Quittner writes, “The tragedy of Apple is, of course, well known. Jobs, a young visionary, and his older, nerdier pal, Steve Wozniak, created the first true personal computer in 1976. But while Apple established and dominated the early market for computers and software — creating a record for ‘fastest start-up to reach the Fortune 500’ — it rapidly lost the market. The rise of the IBM-compatible PC a decade later, which ran Microsoft’s operating system, smashed Apple. The key to the PC’s success and Apple’s downfall was that the open-standards-based IBM-compatible PC created a platform for third-party hardware and softwaremakers to ply their stuff.”

MacDailyNews Take: Josh isn’t really that great at pattern recognition or he’d have noticed a little thing called iPod+iTunes. Many “great pattern recognizers” thought the exact same thing about Microsoft’s PlaysForSure. All of those devices and online music outfits were supposed to obliterate Apple’s iPod+iTunes. Didn’t happen. Consider your pattern broken, Josh.

Oh, by the way, Apple isn’t in any way “smashed.” Apple’s Mac sales are growing at many times the growth rate of the [Windows] PC industry. In fact, PC makers are trying (and failing) to match to Apple’s vertical integration model which has proven to produce products that actually work and that people really love, not just tolerate or worse. Too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the broth, Josh. Your Windows PC is viewed as a rickety joke by those who’ve used Macs.

Also, don’t forget that Microsoft also had the one-time luxury of a poorly written contract signed by an unprepared sugared water salesbozo which allowed them to poorly rip-off Apple’s Mac ad infinitum. Google and all of the other iPhone fakers do not have the same luxury. Apple has over 200 iPhone-related patents that Steve Jobs has publicly-stated Apple plans to vigorously defend.

Now, only a shortsighted “journalist” would claim the Mac vs. Windows PC war to be over. It’s still very much in progress. Despite his self-proclaimed greatness at pattern recognition, Quittner’s clearly not seeing the full picture. In fact, he’s performing the equivalent of calling WWII over in the spring of 1940. Note to Josh: the Nazi’s lost that one, too.

Quittner continues, “Clearly, Jobs, who left Apple in a power struggle, then returned to resurrect it from a near bankrupt state, learned something from his missteps. The iPhone is more open than Apple’s computers.”

MacDailyNews Take: Once again, Quittner’s just plain wrong. Only Apple Macs run all the world’s major (and many of the minor) OSes and the world’s largest software library. No PC is more open than Apple’s Mac. Related article: Dude, you got a Dell? What are you, stupid? Only Apple Macs run both Mac OS X and Windows! – April 05, 2006

Quittner continues, “But! The [iPhone] platform is far from open. Developers and their programs must be approved by Apple.”

MacDailyNews Take: Blah, blah, blah. The iPhone is fine. It’s plenty open enough. People with more than half a brain don’t want it wide open or you’ll have a repeat of the virus/trojan/malware mess on the Windows PC platform. Recognize that pattern, Josh?

Also, please explain this, Josh:
“It’s easy to see how the iPhone could take off. Once you control the platform, you call the tune. And if that happens, it will be Steve Jobs’s magnum opus,” – Josh Quittner, TIME Magazine, June 10, 2008

The rest of Quittner’s full moronitude (we’ve excerpted most everything of interest) is here.

MacDailyNews Take: Is this really the best TIME Magazine can come up with? We thought they had access to some of the world’s best writers and analysts? Why would TIME publish some lame hack who gets everything wrong and draws all the wrong conclusions? Email:


  1. “But! The [iPhone] platform is far from open. Developers and their programs must be approved by Apple.”

    And even with Apple’s oversight, half of what is in the App Store is useless crap. Ir really makes me wonder what I’ve missed out on by not shopping in the PC software aisles the last 15 years.

  2. “The key to the PC’s success and Apple’s downfall was that the open-standards-based IBM-compatible PC created a platform for third-party hardware and softwaremakers to ply their stuff.”

    When you miss the pattern — it was IBM’s foolhardiness in handing the neophyte Gates the keys to the kingdom and subsequent monopolization — you can’t even begin to make a correct analysis

  3. “Now, only a shortsighted “journalist” would claim the Mac vs. Windows PC war to be over”.

    “If I were running Apple, I would milk the Macintosh for all it’s worth — and get busy on the next great thing. The PC wars are over. Done. Microsoft won a long time ago.”
    — Steve Jobs, Fortune, Feb. 19, 1996


  4. Apple is the new evil empire.

    With its growing dominance, there is emerging an autocratic corporate personality that stinks.

    Remember 1995 when Windows 95 came out. I don’t think Microsoft yet had the reputation of the evil empire, but 13 years later …

    We have now the seeds of what Apple could become in 10 years, a totally grotesque, ARROGANT company — totally unyielding to the requests and sentiments of its customers. And Apple could be worse than Microsoft because it controls the hardware as well as the software.

  5. Dirty Pierre le Punk,

    Throughout his life Jobs has said a lot of things he didn’t mean in order to distract competitors. In fact, HE WASN’T EVEN WITH APPLE WHEN HE SAID THAT. It’s was a tactic. He wanted something at that time: he wanted Apple to buy NeXT.

    Obviously, by the looks of Mac ads and sales, Jobs does not believe the war is over.

  6. The guy obviously has hidden motives for writing a piece like this.
    It’s getting pretty common (and sick) these days for (what used to be) major publications being used to attack companies for the sake of selling copies, and/or helping a competitor of the piece he or she is writing.

    It’s worse than you think, folks. Companies who allowed pieces of crap like this article would have been successfully sued 25 years ago.

  7. The consumer does not want what corporate america wants. An air cooled volkswagen that leaks oil and breaks down at every intersection. Herbie says I am a pc. America says I am what i am and a pc is not even in my vocabulary any more.

  8. “The iPhone is more open than Apple’s computers.”

    I don’t think you can find a single developer that would agree with this statement. The iPhone platform isn’t truly closed, but it is certainly more so than the Mac OS X platform.

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