FORTUNE -- The image Tim Cook, Craig Federighi and Jony Ive on the cover of Bloomberg Businessweek yucking it up behind the big red headline "What, Us Worry?" stirred a lot of questions -- and a few dozen follow-up stories -- among the chattering classes of the tech world.
Was the sly reference to Mad Magazine deliberate? Was Bloomberg laughing at Apple (AAPL) or with it? With all the free publicity the company gets, why did Apple PR go shopping for it? Why now? Why Businessweek? And, really, why USA Today?
Sam Grobart's Businessweek piece wasn't bad, if you ignore the rookie errors. (Android does NOT run on nearly 80% of the world's smartphones, as Grobart had IDC reporting. Peter Burrows, who has been covering Apple for the magazine since 1995, would not have made that mistake.)
Grobart's bigger problem is that he missed a chance to break some real news, or at the very least show readers what Apple at the crossroads looks like from the inside.
Instead he gave Cook et al. the space to spin their message of Apple exceptionalism without ever challenging the unspoken assumption that somehow the usual market dynamics -- slowing sales growth, shrinking market share, tightening margins -- don't apply.
"I don't get this idea of how caring about product and putting out the best thing trumps sales," says a reporter who followed Apple closely for years. "It's a good message when the company's trajectory is going up, but when it's falling, it just comes across as inflexible and stubborn -- like the captain of a sinking ship who insists all the way down that it's okay because they've got a better ship than everyone else."
A report from Bloomberg's Tokyo desk makes the rounds.
FORTUNE -- In the wee hours of Aug. 28, Bloomberg's Tokyo desk reported that Apple (AAPL) was planning to open a store in the city's upscale Omotesando district, its first store in Tokyo since 2005.
That was a story of only passing interest to anyone who doesn't live in the neighborhood.
But buried in the piece's B-matter, almost as an aside, was a paragraph MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 29, 2013 9:19 AM ET
Maybe the "D" in AllThingsD should stand for "Deal."
By JP Mangalindan and Dan Primack
FORTUNE -- The future of influential tech website All Things Digital is close to being decided.
Reuters reported in February that AllThingsD co-executive editors Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg had begun discussions with owner Dow Jones, a subsidiary of News Corp. (NWS), about either ending or extending their partnership, which is set to expire on December 31.
Since then, Fortune MOREAug 27, 2013 8:41 AM ET
As if Apple's bonds were the only ones whose price fell as interest rates climbed.
FORTUNE -- As John R. noted in the comment stream of Mary Childs' latest story on the Bloomberg newswire, she is not an idiot: "She knows using a sensational headline containing 'Apple' will attract readers."
Thus a rise in interest rates across the board is reported on Bloomberg as Apple (AAPL) news:
Apple Bonds Stick Buyers With $280.6 MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 22, 2013 3:42 PM ET
First Bloomberg, now Reuters, have boiled Apple down to a two-word editorial formula.
FORTUNE -- How do you describe a company that grew like gangbusters but has entered a patch of slower growth?
Some desk editors at the business news services have hit on what they seem to think is the perfect phrase: Apple (AAPL) is "losing steam."
Last week it was Bloomberg News with this headline:
Harvard Liquidates Apple Stake After IPhone Sales MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 14, 2013 11:13 AM ET
You can almost hear the reporter -- or maybe the editor -- saying "Gotcha!"
FORTUNE -- Student activists at Harvard University like to pore over the quarterly filings of the Harvard Management Company for investments they find politically incorrect -- like Smith & Wesson (gun manufacturer) or Vale S.A. (Brazilian mining).
But when someone at Bloomberg News opened Harvard's latest SEC 13F what jumped out at them was the first line of MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 11, 2013 6:33 AM ET
The CEO of a key Apple supplier says the reporter tried to put those words in his mouth.
FORTUNE -- Most Asian journalists covering Pegatron's investor conference Wednesday focused on the fact that the Taiwanese electronics manufacturer's first quarter profits were up more than 80% year over year.
The theme of Thursday's second-day headlines in the U.S. was that Pegatron is on a hiring spree, boosting its workforce 40% and anticipating that communications MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 9, 2013 8:50 AM ET
Don't Bloomberg's brainiacs know the difference between an RSU and a pay check?
FORTUNE -- Remember the stories in the tech press last year that named Apple's (AAPL) Tim Cook the highest-paid CEO of 2011? Remember the headlines a year later announcing that Cook had taken a 99% pay cut?
The problem with both narratives is that they treated the 1 million RSUs (restrictive stock units) Cook was granted in August 2011, MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 16, 2013 10:33 AM ET
David Einhorn's battle with Tim Cook is on the cover of Bloomberg Businessweek
FORTUNE -- Hedge fund billionaire David Einhorn is best known for, in Bloomberg TV anchor Stephanie Ruhle's infelicitous phrase, the "activity in his shorts."
That goes a long way to explaining why the man who famously torpedoed Allied Capital and Lehman Bros. got nowhere last May when he told investors tweeting his every call at the annual Ira MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 21, 2013 10:58 AM ET
Bloomberg does the math and says an iWatch would be a better bet for Apple than an iTV
FORTUNE -- Led by Peter Burrows, a veteran tech reporter with more than two decades under his belt, Bloomberg has taken a second crack at the Apple (AAPL) iWatch story that the New York Times and Wall Street Journal broke three weeks ago.
Bloomberg's contribution that first week was a report, sourced by two people "familiar with the MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 4, 2013 7:30 AM ET
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