FORTUNE -- "There's a nihilistic streak in tech journalism that I just don't see in other fields," writes Daring Fireball's John Gruber in 2013: The Year in Apple and Technology at Large. "Sports, movies, cars, wristwatches, cameras, food — writers who cover these fields tend to celebrate, to relish, the best their fields have to offer. Technology, on the other hand, seems to attract enthusiasts with no actual enthusiasm."
"The most that Apple could think to do with the new, faster processor in the iPhone 5S," Mims wrote, "was animate 3D effects that make some users feel ill and a fingerprint sensor that solved a problem that wasn't exactly pressing. Apple's new iOS 7 mobile operating system, which felt "more like a Microsoft release," crippled many older iPhones and led to complaints of planned obsolescence."
Gruber almost didn't know where to start with what he termed "a sad pile of piss-on-everything cynicism."
Where he settled -- and where he spent 1,000 of those 1,900 words -- was on the "pernicious lie" in the last sentence: The conspiracy theory promoted in the New York Times by Catherine Rampell and promulgated by Mims himself, that Apple has booby trapped the iPhone so that older models slow to crawl and stop holding a charge just before new ones come on the market.
"The whole 'planned obsolescence' thing was a pile of horse sh**," Gruber writes, pointing readers to Brian Barrey's debunking in Gizmodo. ("You think your iPhone 4 is slow? Try a Samsung Fascinate. Batteries degrade over time. Software capabilities improve. Saying Apple plans the obsolescence of iPhones is like saying Dole plans the obsolescence of bananas.")
To which Gruber adds his own evidence against Rampell's so-called Apple Trap theory: "Used two-year-old iPhone 4S's can be sold for $300; three-year-old iPhone 4's still sell for $200 or more. What other companies make cell phones that retain any value at all after two years?"
"It's a damned if they do, damned if they don't scenario for Apple," he writes. "If a three-year-old device doesn't qualify for an iOS upgrade, one could argue that Apple is excluding it out of spite, to pressure the user to buy a new device just so they can run the latest software. But if Apple does provide an update for a three-year-old phone, and the upgrade proves problematic for some of them, then they're accused of booby-trapping it, suckering users into upgrading their iPhones to a version of iOS that makes them run worse, so that the users will run out and buy a new iPhone."
For a more comprehensive indictment of Apple's press coverage this year, see Daniel Eran Dilger's editorial in AppleInsider: 2013 was a terrible year for both Apple's competitors and its media critics.
An influential blogger takes on the three leadings arguments for why Apple is doomed.
FORTUNE -- Daring Fireball's John Gruber delivered one of his increasingly rare long-form essays Wednesday, and it's a good one.
It's structured around the three leading arguments being made these days in the media and on the Street for why Apple (AAPL) is doomed. He summarizes them as follows:
Apple bear argument 1: Superior design doesn't matter in the long MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 10, 2013 9:12 AM ET
With Potluck, co-founder Josh Miller and crew want to take the idea of egalitarian Internet chatter even further.
FORTUNE -- The way 22-year-old Josh Miller sees it, there's no shortage of ways for Internet users to blog or make comments. But a place to hold high-quality discourse? That's harder to find. "Whether it's commenting on Facebook, replying on Twitter, or mingling down in the comments section below a blog post, online MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Jun 25, 2013 1:47 PM ET
The market share vs. profit share debate rages on.
FORTUNE -- Android's Market Share Is Literally a Joke, John Kirk's provocative analysis of the smartphone wars, has caused quite a stir since it was posted Thursday on Tech.pinions.
"Scoring by market share alone and ignoring profit," he writes in one of several sports analogies, "is like saying that a baseball team won because it had more hits when the other team scored more runs."
Lines like MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 25, 2013 8:04 AM ET
Adobe's Kevin Lynch comes to Apple with deep roots and a lot of baggage
FORTUNE -- The news that Apple (AAPL) has hired Kevin Lynch, formerly Adobe's (ADBE) chief technology officer, to be its new vice president of technology, has sparked something of a civil war among Apple partisans.
Wired's Steve Levy called Lynch a "star."
Daring Fireball's John Gruber called him a "bad hire" and a "bozo."
"Now we find out," tweeted Dave MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 20, 2013 7:06 AM ET
To celebrate the device's fifth birthday, John Gruber puts his finger on what it disrupted
FORTUNE -- Clay Christensen, the father of disruption theory, was famously wrong about Apple's (AAPL) iPhone, telling an interviewer five years ago that the probability of its success was "limited."
"Being a low-end guy," Larissa MacFarquhar wrote in the New Yorker last month, "Christiansen saw it as a fancy cell phone; it was only later that he realized MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jul 3, 2012 6:48 AM ET
The equivalent, in podcasting news, of Conan O'Brien leaving NBC for TBS
FORTUNE -- On Friday, Daring Fireball's John Gruber, one of the most influential Apple (AAPL) commentators on the Internet, began the latest episode of his Talk Show podcast by launching without preamble into a riff about Andy Pettitte's return to baseball.
No surprise there. Gruber's podcast style is as idiosyncratic as his widely-read blog, and he'll use any excuse to MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 19, 2012 9:26 AM ET
It's known as a disruptor, but the secret of Apple's success may be its incrementalism
It's a bit of a shock to hear TidBITS tech editor Glenn Fleishman describe the iPhone as a "plain phone," but in many ways it is. As he explains it:
Apple released the original EDGE-only iPhone when 3G phones were on the market
It included a low-resolution camera when higher-resolution ones were available
It avoided adding 4G LTE to the MORE
How the news of the Mac's next operating system -- Mountain Lion -- got disseminated
The top tech news story Thursday, apparently, has nothing to do with working conditions in China, or who owns the iPad brand, or even the fact that Motorola (MMI) may have to remove "slide to unlock" from its smartphones.
No, the top 135 stories on Techmeme this afternoon are all about the next version of Apple's (AAPL) MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Feb 16, 2012 3:50 PM ET
One of the most fascinating panels on the Macworld stage during last week's Macworld | iWorld expo in San Francisco was a conversion about "The State of Apple" among Macworld editor Jason Snell, Daring Fireball's John Gruber and Chicago Sun Times columnist Andy Ihnatko.
We've excerpted the part that interested us most: 5:40 about what happens to Apple (AAPL) without Steve Jobs at the helm.
Our favorite bit: Ihnatko on why more companies don't emulate Apple.
"When you try to MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jan 30, 2012 3:13 PM ET
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