The San Francisco Chronicle presents iPhone competitors’ talking points as ‘news’

“The iPhone was not the first touch-screen smart phone when it was introduced last year, but it might as well have been,” Ryan Kim reports for The San Francisco Chronicle. “The exclusive AT&T device and its successor, the iPhone 3G, set the pace in this trend-setting category with their ease of use, Internet capabilities and multimedia functions.”

“But now, rival cell phone carriers and manufacturers are catching up,” according to rival cell phone carriers’ and manufacturers’ PR offices, err… Kim reports. “With news of the coming BlackBerry Storm on Verizon Wireless and the G1 from T-Mobile and Google, along with the releases of the Samsung Instinct and HTC Diamond and Pro on Sprint, Apple is finding the pack has closed the gap.”

MacDailyNews Take: They have? Who (besides the PR flacks who fed you this B.S.) says, Ryan?
• RIM’s new BlackBerry Storm offers mechanical click screen, lacks Wi-Fi – October 08, 2008
• Gizmodo: Google’s Android totally lacks Apple’s ferocious attention to detail – September 24, 2008
Mossberg on Google’s G1 phone: stubbier, clunkier, thicker, heavier, less complete than Apple iPhone – September 24, 2008
T-Mobile Google Android phone as irrelevant as Microsoft Zune? – September 24, 2008
MarketWatch: T-Mobile’s Google Android phone not a game-changer – September 23, 2008
Times Online reviews Google’s T-Mobile G1 Android phone: ‘Apple’s iPhone is better’ – September 23, 2008
• Telegraph-Journal reviews Samsung Instinct: Not in same league as Apple’s iPhone – August 11, 2008
• Washington Post reviews Samsung Instinct: ‘It only looks like an iPhone’ – July 06, 2008
• Mossberg reviews Samsung’s Instinct: ‘It’s no iPhone’ – June 12, 2008
• Samsung’s ‘Instinct’ is obviously to make Apple iPhone knockoffs – April 01, 2008
WSJ’s Mossberg Solution: HTC can’t disguise Windows Mobile flaws – September 04, 2008
• PC World Test: Apple iPhone 3G battery life beats out Samsung, HTC, LG, Motorola, Palm 3G handsets – July 14, 2008
AP reviews HTC Touch: ‘A mess, HTC and Microsoft couldn’t make a decent touch-screen phone’ – December 01, 2007

The reviews simply do not support Ryan Kim’s “reporting.”

Kim continues, “‘The iPhone pushed the technology, and now the others are saying, ‘We’ll push it more,’ and that’s led to innovation and more competition,’ said Neil Strother, an analyst with Forrester Research. ‘Apple set the bar, and the others are trying to exceed it. They all seem to be getting pretty darn close now.'”

MacDailyNews Take: Neil Strother’s statement reads like a PR plant, not anything resembling factually-based, independent “analysis.” Kim and The San Francisco Chronicle are doing a disservice to — and insulting the intelligence of — their readers.

Kim continues, “‘We were asked (by Verizon Wireless) to come up with a phone that appealed to consumers, with a big screen, multimedia and a host of features, and we’ve met what we set out to do,’ said David Smith, senior director of product management at BlackBerry maker Research In Motion.”

MacDailyNews Take: Translation: Verizon begged us for a fake iPhone, since the current fake iPhone they’re trying to peddle can’t hold a candle to an actual iPhone, so we made a fake iPhone, too. Obviously, Verizon, RIM, Kim, and The San Francisco Chronicle, think people are idiots who can’t tell a real product from a knockoff or won’t notice the complete lack of major necessities like Wi-Fi.

Kim continues disguising iPhone rivals’ P.R. department’s talking points as “news” – Think Before You Click™here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “JES42” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: We encourage readers who feel that their intelligence is being insulted to contact the San Francisco Chronicle and voice their displeasure about obvious public relations talking points from iPhone rivals being presented as “news” in the Chronicle’s Business section.

Contact information:
• Ryan Kim:
• Dick Rogers, SF Chronicle’s Readers’ Representative: (415) 777-7870 or
• Letters to the Editor:

17 Comments

  1. As I always say – There is never any REAL competition, in any field. The general public hears PR statements and feels competition is good because it promotes innovation, but that’s all idealism. How often have you really seen true innovation? Almost never. The only ‘competition’ people really see is, which company can clone the ‘innovators’ the most at the cheapest price. Strange, when a big company makes a clone, it’s ‘competition’, but when a chinese company sells the exact same item on the black market, it’s a ‘counterfeit ripoff’.
    Innovator vs Copycat = No Competition!

  2. Sadly, quality of RIM stuff aside, I bet any brief they might have been give would have been along the lines of: “big screen, multimedia and a host of features” “what features?” “we don’t know, just make sure there are lots of them”

  3. Sad to say, much of what passes for news these days is junk spoon fed to the media by PR shills like me. A lot of TV news are what are called video news releases that are packaged and sent to the networks. In a day and age where news staffs are being cut, resources are chopped, it makes it easier than ever for a big PR firm to rub the leg of some slacker journalist, especially one with an axe to grind, or a pocket to fill.

    Don’t think it doesn’t happen. And in fact, it happens more than you know.

  4. For a terrifying read this Halloween, check out the book Toxic Sludge is Good For You, by John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton. It’s a history and examination of the PR industry and is truly non-partisan. You will never look at news, or advertising, or American politics, the same way again.

  5. Mr. Kim’s Response……..I guess he was not out after all

    “Thanks for your emails. I’m still a lover of the iPhone 3G and I think
    it’s the best of its kind but I do believe the field is catching up. I
    spent an hour and a half with the Storm last week and I have the G1 now
    with me. I still consider them a step behind the iPhone but they’re
    closing faster than anything has before. The other phones, yes, they are
    farther back but I do stand by what I said about the Storm and G1. I’m
    sure Apple will respond and raise the bar higher. Thanks for reading.”

  6. Well, you know that spending an hour and a half with some new device will pretty much tell you everything you need to know about it. :^

    Ad for what PR Flack descibed, he’s spot on. I can’t blame PR people or companies send out such stuff… I blame the media outlets who ought to know (and do) better and be very careful about how they present such material to their audiences. Especially when they present such material that the government (at any level) produces.

    As for aka Christian… ooookay… riiiiight. Stauber and Rampton are not exactly people who can be described as non-partisan… unless one has a very partisan description of what non-partisan means.

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