Further adventures in Apple clickbait

Headline tip No. 2: The “serious problem.”

From Forbes contributor Gordon Kelly:

  • July 13, 2017: Why Apple’s iPhone 8 Has Serious Problems
  • Apr. 27, 2017: iPhone 7S Leak Reveals Apple Has Problems
  • Feb. 24, 2017: Apple iOS 10.2.1 Admits To Serious Problems
  • Jan. 21, 2017: Apple Falls ‘Silent’ Amid Continuing iOS 10 Problems
  • Dec. 21, 2016: Apple iOS 10.2 Is Causing New Problems
  • Dec. 6, 2016: Apple Admits iPhones Have A Problem
  • Dec. 2, 2016: Apple Warned iPhones Have A Serious Problem
  • Nov. 1, 2016: Apple Confirms iOS 10 Serious Problem
  • July 17, 2016: Apple Leak Confirms iPhone 7 Serious Problem
  • May 23, 2016: iOS 9.3.2 Has A Serious Problem And Apple Knows About It

We all have verbal ticks. The first step in recovery is to admit you have a problem.

See also:


  1. Gianfranco Pedron said:

    Gordon Kelly also has “anger” issues.

    – Dec 27, 2016 :New iPhone 7S Leak Will Anger Everyone – Forbes
    – Jul 11, 2016: New iPhone 7 Leak Will Anger Everyone – Forbes
    – May 7, 2017: New iPhone 8 Details Will Anger Users – Forbes
    – Dec 14, 2015 : Galaxy S7’s Biggest Feature Will Anger Apple – Forbes
    – October 22, 2016: A Significant iPhone 7 Secret Will Anger Everyone –
    – ad nauseam …

    Jul 13, 2017: Gordon Kelly makes me angry 🙂
    Jul 13, 2017: Forbes has a nasty problem 😮

    July 13, 2017
    • Gianfranco Pedron said:


      Rocco Pendola (Tim Cook must go! – The Street) used to make me angry.

      Now, he’s a bartender.

      ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ … just sayin’.

      July 13, 2017
  2. George Knott said:

    Phil – really appreciate your postings and comments, which help to me to determine which of the latest AAPL stories are worth a read and which are just the same old authors spewing the same old nonsense….well worth my monthly subscription …..WELL DONE!!

    July 13, 2017
  3. John Kirk said:

    How about a nice rant? This is going to be long and rambling and not especially on point, so feel free to skip it.

    The largest company in the world, whether it be Microsoft or Apple or whomever, has a target on its back, and it is going to be the subject of a lot of stupid clickbait. The real question is: What would actually constitute a “serious problem” for Apple? Let’s use the fall of Microsoft as a template, although I’ll admit it’s not perfect, because every company fails in it’s own way. Still if Apple is going to have a serious problem, it’s not because of any short term issues, it’s because Apple is going to become the next Microsoft. So let’s begin.

    1) Legal problems. Microsoft got caught up in a vicious anti-trust case in the 2000s. Although they dodged a bullet — there was a serious possibility that the company would be broken up — the company was put under government oversight and insiders said it had a very real negative effect on the company. So far, Apple has avoided such legal entanglements. Oh yeah, there was the anti-trust case involving ebooks. As far as long-ranging issues goes, that was barely a blip on the radar screen. It’s come, it’s gone. It cost Apple money but little else.

    2) Loss of Purpose. Microsoft wanted to put a computer on every desktop, an incredibly audacious goal that they essentially achieved. But they shifted their focus from putting a computer on ever desktop to putting Microsoft Windows in every computer and that subtle change in focus led to some not-so-subtle changes in the way Microsoft did business. The innovator’s dilemma postulates that successful companies are in a bind because if they satisfy their best customers — which every good company should want to do — then they open themselves up to disruption. Well, Microsoft didn’t fall into the the trap of the innovator’s dilemma. They dove head first. And then, when they reached bottom, they continued to dig long after it should have become apparent that they were in a deep, deep hole.

    Has that happened to Apple? Apple is clearly an iPhone company. So have their priorities shifted to sacrifice anything that might compete with the iPhone? Sure doesn’t appear so. Apple keeps pushing the Mac and the iPad. They’re adding accessories like the watch and the AirPods to enhance the iPhone. But it doesn’t seem like Apple is obsessed with turning the company into the iPhone company. On the contrary, they seem to be always on the lookout for what comes next. Will they find it? Who knows. But Microsoft had no chance of finding the next big thing because they spent all their time protecting their current big thing.

    CEOs. Steve Ballmer. I could write a book about him. Let’s start with the good. The man wanted to make money and he was really, really good at that. Microsoft made a ton of money during his tenure.

    But Steve Ballmer had no idea where to take Microsoft. He went in every direction and always, the newest thing had to run Microsoft Windows. One of the many things I disliked about Steve Ballmer was how rudderless he was. And petty too. He just couldn’t stand it when someone else was successful. He didn’t so much have a vision as an anti-vision. Whenever anyone had success anywhere, he felt Microsoft had to take it away from them. This strategy was sort of successfully in the late 90s and early 2000s. Microsoft did overtake Netscape Navigator and several other innovative competitors. But look at how Steve Ballmer reacted to Apple. Apple came out with the iPod. Microsoft had no business being in the music business. But they saw Apple being successful, so they thought they could take that toy away from Apple too. First they tried their licensing model, which failed terribly. Then they abandoned their business mode and tried to compete with Apple by doing the Zune. A name that now stands for tech futility. That’s what I mean about Steve Ballmer being rudderless. He had no idea what made Microsoft great. He just felt that Microsoft could do anything anyone else did, and do it better. Like a very large bully, he literally thought that all Microsoft had to do to win a category was to show up. That’s not a strategy. It’s the very opposite of a strategy.

    Of course, the pattern continued with the iPhone and the iPad. Apple’s having some success? Then we’ll do what they did, only better! Yeah. Not so much.

    Now how about Tim Cook? Is he a Steve Ballmer? Not hardly. It’s hard to know if Tim Cook has Apple on the right course, but it’s very clear that he has them all pulling in the same direction. Apple is not putting out product after product trying to one-up the competition in order to discover the next big thing. Instead, they’re putting out technology piece by piece and tying it together. They did this with fingerprint ID, then Apple Pay. What they’re doing now with ARkit is astonishing. And I don’t think people have realized the long-term effect that the AirPods are going to have.

    Now Apple also has lots of misses, but lets just focus on one: The Apple Watch. Now I’m not saying that the Apple Watch is a failure. It’s not. But I do think it was brought to market about a year too early. I think Cook was feeling pressure from Wall Street. And if you look at what the Watch did, and how it was altered since, it’s pretty clear that the Watch tried to do too much. That it wasn’t a tightly focused product that existed for it’s own sake. I think Apple was fishing.

    On the other hand, I was really impressed with how Apple did an about face with the Apple Watch. They saw that some thing weren’t working and they abandoned them. That may sound trivial, but look around. You’ll find that whether you’re talking about the military, or corporations or people, that admitting and correcting our mistakes is one of the hardest things there is. We’re much better at doubling down on our mistakes than we are at admitting their existence. Now I still don’t think the Apple Watch is right. But I admire Apple’s efforts to try to make it right.

    Complacency. When you’re the biggest company in the world — as Microsoft was, and Apple is — its awfully hard to pivot. An metaphor I’ve heard used is that you’re like a very large Ocean Liner. You don’t so much as tack, like the small sailboats do, you turn, but very, very slowly over a very long period of time. Has Apple fallen prey to large company syndrome?

    Who knows. But Apple does retain a unique organizational structure. They don’t have departments, so there’s no interdepartmental in-fighting. Steve Jobs used to brag that Apple was a big company that was run like a startup. There’s both good and bad things to say about that. So I can’t say for sure that Apple is definitely going to be successful in the future. I mean, can you really say that about any company? But the one thing I can say with certainty is that Apple is not the next Microsoft. And that’s a good thing.

    July 13, 2017
    • Jonny Tilney said:

      For whatever reason, probably many, Apple has been the subject of far more unsubstantiated criticism, misinformation and ridicule, than Microsoft ever had. And probably any other business.

      Hasn’t done much harm though.

      July 13, 2017
  4. Nice rant. One quibble. You write:
    “They don’t have departments, so there’s no interdepartmental in-fighting.”
    Really? I wonder what Scott Forstall would say to that.

    July 13, 2017
    • John Kirk said:

      In most companies, you have something like a Windows group that squashes anything that might compete with Windows. Apple doesn’t break itself into iPhone, iPod, iPad, Mac divisions, but clearly people work only in specific areas and have an interest in promoting those areas. However, without a formal divisional structure, the C-level executives are permitted to discuss ideas without having those ideas directly affect their bottom line.

      However, just because there aren’t formal departments doesn’t mean there aren’t personal squabbles. When Apple was developing the iPhone, some wanted it to be like the iPod and some wanted it to be based on OS X. The latter group won and many of the former group are no longer at Apple. There may not be formal departments but ego still comes into play. How could it not?

      P.S. I don’t mind your pointing out the faults in my rant. In fact, I appreciate your thoughts. My rant was stream of consciousness. I’m sure it contains many, many errors.

      July 13, 2017
  5. Ken Cheng said:

    “For bloggers you need to be thinking about your headline before you start your article, while you write your article and before you publish. If you have less than 5 potential headlines by then you haven’t given it enough thought. No-one can read your article before reading your headline, so if you can’t create interest there then don’t expect anyone to start reading it.” – Gordon Kelly


    I gave up reading Forbes long ago, so I’m glad I didn’t have to trudge thru all of those scoops.

    July 13, 2017
    • Gianfranco Pedron said:

      Yeah, I read that on his web site. Pretty funny considering Kelly recycles his headlines. Maybe he doesn’t really expect anyone would pay attention to, even less remember, the tripe he serves.

      It’s all about the click. Headlines rule! The content is rarely of any consequence, unless one fancies gossip.

      July 14, 2017

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