FORTUNE -- Tech pundit John Gruber, best known for his Daring Fireball blog, launched a mobile app last summer, and it seems to have given him new perspective on the smartphone market. Or at least a new metaphor.
The terms most often used to describe the competition among Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOG), Microsoft (MSFT) and Samsung are drawn from the military. The smartphone and tablet wars. The battles for control.
The problem with such analogies is that they assume the combatants are playing on the same field. Describing iOS v. Android as an "app war" for example, doesn't explain why iOS users spend more money, install more apps and browse the Web more, even though they're outnumbered.
"The elephant in the room," writes Gruber, is that "people who choose iOS devices are better customers than people who choose Android. Or inverted: iOS (and iOS devices) are designed to attract better customers."
Or to put it still another way, one that seem to have turned into a meme over the weekend:
"It's not fair to say that Apple is playing chess while Google, Samsung, Microsoft, and the rest are playing checkers. It's more like they're all playing chess, Apple is winning, but there's a large contingent of the tech and investor commentariat who think the game is checkers and thus are deeply confused."
What has the New York Times -- and the rest of the tech press -- got against Apple?
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 MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 29, 2013 1:23 PM ET
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
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