Hypercritical: Apple gets an A- for the iPad, an F for not fixing TVJanuary 5, 2014: 9:21 AM ET
A year ago, John Siracusa gave Tim Cook a To-Do list. Here's Apple's 2013 report card.
FORTUNE -- What I liked most about the unsolicited 2013 To-Do List that John Siracusa gave Tim Cook at the beginning of last year was how down-to-earth and user-oriented it seemed. No talk of gross margins. No mention of China Mobile. Hardly any unannounced products (no iWatch and only a glancing reference to iTV).
Siracusa -- best known to Apple (AAPL) watchers for his blog (Hypercritical), his podcasts (Hypercritical and Accidental) and the book-length reviews of OS X he writes for Ars Technica -- is a critical guy. One might even call him hypercritical.
But he's also fair, and the grades he posted Friday for Apple's 2013 performance would, I think, agree with those of most fair-minded observers. Even that "F" for TV makes sense, when you read the final item on last year's to-do list:
Do something about TV. After years of steadily ramping up its rhetoric, it's time for Apple to put up or shut up about TV. Make an actual Apple TV set; allow third-party apps on a massively revised Apple TV box; buy Netflix; whatever—you decide, Tim. I agree, it's a hard problem and a tough market. But it's time for action.
Friday's post is classic Siracusa: Smart, blunt and chock-a-block with carefully chosen links -- including a hair-raising Wallace and Gromit easter egg that I will leave for the reader to discover.
UPDATE: Siracusa reviews his findings at some length with Marco Arment and Casey Liss in Accidental Tech Podcast No. 46: A Compromised Machine. The report card discussion comes after the follow up, before yet another dive into the Mac Pro.