The Apple bias is real

“If there’s one constant on the consumer tech calendar, it’s iPhone reviews day,” Vlad Savov writes for The Verge. “Happening sometime between the announcement and the release of the latest iPhone, it manifests itself with glowing accounts of the latest Apple smartphone at the top of the page, and irate accusations of Apple-favoring bias in the comments at the bottom. This is as reliable a phenomenon as today’s autumnal equinox.”

“he funny thing is that everyone’s right. Readers are right to claim that the iPhone is treated differently from other smartphones, and reviewers are correct in doing so,” Savov writes. “The iPhone is reviewed like a transcendental entity that’s more than just the sum of its metal, plastic, and silicon parts, because that’s what it is.”

“Accessory makers are biased in favor of Apple products… Retailers are biased in favor of Apple products… Content producers are biased in favor of Apple products… App developers, too, are biased in favor of Apple products,” Savov writes. “The next time you read an iPhone review, keep all these biases in mind. The iPhone is the favored tech product of a vast swathe of our planet’s population, serving both utilitarian and aspirational purposes. It is the catalyst for and sole supporter of entire ancillary industries. It is the nexus where communication and commerce blend most easily, and it is the surest harbinger of the future that is to come. Any review that doesn’t account for all of these factors might be considered technically objective and ubiased, but it would also be frightfully uninformative. Assessing an iPhone against a blank canvas is akin to describing Notre Dame or Sagrada Família as old, large, religious buildings.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: All humans are biased. All reviews and news reports generated by humans are biased – regardless of intent. Whatever bias exists for Apple is earned, extraordinarily hard-won in fact, and pales in comparison to the torrential deluge of delusional, irrational anti-Apple hatred from FUD-spreading wannabes and those consumers who’ve made remarkably bad technology choices which they consciously or subconsciously feel compelled to defend due to severe cases of Stockholm Syndrome.

Apple invented and defined the modern personal computer (three times: Apple ][, Mac OS, OS X).
Apple invented and defined the modern personal media player.
Apple invented and defined the modern music sales and distribution system.
Apple invented and defined the modern smartphone.
Apple invented and defined the modern tablet.
Apple invented and defined the modern contactless payment system.
Apple invented and defined the modern smartwatch.

Rightly so, the rest of the world is therefore judged by how their derivative wannabe products measure up to Apple’s achievements.

Google made a crucial mistake: They gave away Android to “partners” who pushed and continue to push the product into the hands of the exact opposite type of user that Google needs for Android to truly thrive. Hence, Android is a backwater of second-rate, or worse, app versions that are only downloaded when free or ad-supported – but the Android user is notoriously cheap, so the ads don’t sell for much because they don’t work very well. You’d have guessed that Google would have understood this, but you’d have guessed wrong.

Google built a platform that depends heavily on advertising support, but sold it to the very type of customer who’s the least likely to patronize ads.

iOS users are the ones who buy apps, so developers focus on iOS users. iOS users buy products, so accessory makers focus on iOS users. iOS users have money and the proven will to spend it, so vehicle makers focus on iOS users. Etcetera. Android can have the “Hee Haw” demographic. Apple doesn’t want it or need it; it’s far more trouble than it’s worth.MacDailyNews, November 26, 2012

Those who settle for Android devices are not equal to iOS users. The fact is that iOS users are worth significantly more than Android settlers to developers, advertisers, third-party accessory makers (speakers, cases, chargers, cables, etc.), vehicle makers, musicians, TV show producers, movie producers, book authors, carriers, retailers, podcasters… The list goes on and on.

The quality of the customer matters. A lot.

Facile “analyses” that look only at market (unit) share, equating one Android settler to one iOS user, make a fatal error by incorrectly equating users of each platform one-to-one.

When it comes to mobile operating systems, all users are simply not equal.SteveJack, MacDailyNews, November 15, 2014

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

26 Comments

  1. And dont forget the bias of apple being doomed constantly.. Picked on and trashed on every little issue while other maufactures get off the hook so easly while making disatutouse choices and design flaws.

    1. Those of us who have been Apple users for many years, me since the Apple IIe expect the best from Apple. Its not happening now, anyone who tries to be all things to all people end up disappointing most of the people. They are not there yet, but heading that way.

      1. My first computer was a 1st edition iMac, paid £120 for a 4MB graphics card upgrade.

        Been hooked ever since. Latest purchase is a 4mm Black Sport Watch. Just paid for a meal with my Mum using it.

        I accept nothing less than incredible. Which is why I choose Apple

  2. Again another not too bad article that focuses on the product(s) Apple creates without considering the process that Apple does to create those products.

    The result, yes coat tail followers and “me too” products and slavish copiers.

    All the while the process is the real gem, and that can be used at any time by any other company.

    Integrity, morality and ethics. Apple has them.

      1. Thanks Derek, I guess I suffer from the Cassandra effect or rather many people suffer from the herd affect, take your pick. I haven’t been posting too much these days, I’m trying to cool down from reading a recent New York Times article that you can find “U.S. Soldiers Told to Ignore Sexual Abuse of Boys by Afghan Allies”.

        I’m sure anything I’d have to say on the topic would be shot down, censored of whatnot and I guess I’m trying to keep MDN in a good mood.

        Still one bitch of a karma headed the way of the US.

        I hope you have access to a good cave, and stay away from the coast.

        As always Derek a pleasure reading your stuff. Frankly I think you should write a regular column here.

        1. I’m trying to cool down from reading a recent New York Times article that you can find “U.S. Soldiers Told to Ignore Sexual Abuse of Boys by Afghan Allies”.

          Same here! Reading it, I realized one reason why citizens might find the Taliban preferable. It also helps explain, historically, the repeated and absolutist nature of radical Islam movements/revolutions. Child sex abuse goes way back to BC Persia and Greece.

          When I’m in Cassandra mode I think back on the ‘end of mankind’ experience I had and notice that within that scenario, the USA is nowhere to be found. So for me, watching all this karma build up is an explanation of why. Also, the ongoing dispersal of Islam across Europe explain quite a lot of my scenario as well. *sigh*

          I don’t exactly have a cave, but next week I will be moving into a nice apartment with a great landlord/friend running it. I’ve had post-collapse dreams since I was a kid with all the desperation mode human migration ramifications. I’ve been one of the migrants in countless dreams. If I really get to experience this, I’m not keen to living out the dreams. *sigh*

          I do write a few blogs, although the only one I do regularly is the Mac-Security blog. I’ve got fiction stories piling up and ripening. I’m hoping to get the first of one series out this coming year.

          We really should chatter more directly, and bring along Hannagh.

  3. Compete, Compete, Compete with Apple! Don’t get all sad and accusatory when your company or favorite AlternaTech doesn’t bother to compete or can’t compete, but merely imitates, steals or falters.

    Apple, like all companies, requires competition. Stepping on Apple is NOT a sane response to their success.

    1. “Apple, like all companies, requires competition.” Really?

      What competition lead them to make the Apple ][, the Mac, the GUI, the iPod, OS X, Apple TV, the iPhone, the iPad or the Apple Watch? Apple strives for excellence and that is the only motivation they need. If you really think that Apple needs competition with other companies, then you don’t get Apple.

      1. History is littered with the business casualties resulting from the lack of competition. My usual line is that competition is the father of innovation. That applies to Apple as much as any company. But one of the many reasons I love Apple is that they are, at their core, a collaborative company the knows the point of innovating and inventing for the sake of collaborating with their customers. That spirit is the core of capitalism at its best. I simply don’t want Apple to fall into the hell that is the monopoly mindset. Think about cable TV & ISP companies if you want to understand what happens to average companies when they’re handed a monopoly. They ROT and ABUSE. I’d never want that garbage for Apple.

  4. for tech reporting the bias is AGAINST apple

    Tech reporters make a LOT more money reviewing dozens of android phones than the single iPhone launch a year. It’s in their financial best interest to slant reviews to the positive for android phones to keep android Alive , Gruber calls it “grading on the curve”. The smallest flaw on an iPhone is picked on while GIANT ones like crazy amounts of malware on android is never mentioned. One statistician a few years back counted the lines in a prominent reviewers take on the iPad and the Xoom tablet. His result: one third of the iPad review was criticisms and only 10% for the Xoom. How is the Xoom doing now?

    For reviews, if fours stars for iPhone ADD one star, for android review minus 2 stars for every review

  5. Sorry, there were lots of computers comparable to the Apple II prior to the Apple II’s arrival. Apple once tried to claim they invented the personal computer, that claim did not stand very long.

    What Apple has done in personal computers is survive the longest. AFAIK, they have no contemporaries from the Apple I days (circa 1977/78) left around. Radio Shack, Commodore, IBM, Osborne, Cromemco (and all the other S-100 bus machines), Compaq, etc., etc., are all gone or absorbed by someone else.

  6. As MDN admits, everyone has a bias. On these forums, there are certain regular posters that worship Apple rather than objectively evaluating and providing guidance on how to get the most out of Mac products and accessories. Non-Apple fanboys may be in the majority, but there are undoubtedly some fervent Apple fanboys that embarrass the rest of us who are merely users interested in learning more about what’s coming.

    1. Everything you said is true. But recognise that a class of fervent admirers and apologists exists to counter their opposite number, waging a public relations war in geek-space. They may annoy aloof consumers who stumble upon these skirmishes, but so what? It isn’t 1960 any more, when there existed a minority of geeks who read Popular Mechanics, and everybody else. The tech landscape expanded and became political, like it or not.

  7. Don’t confuse preference for bias. A lot of people prefer Apple products because of their design, build quality, and functionality. This does not make Apple product owners biased.

    1. Exactly. Bias is a magic word, like “racism” that is thrown around to shut down debate and prevent others from speaking. It is a convenient term used to absolve the speaker from having to analyze competing truth claims in any depth.

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