Last week a "story" made the rounds concerning Apple's iPhone 5 being the "most hated" smartphone on the market, and Samsung's Galaxy S4 being the "most loved". Given the relative sales and satisfaction levels, the "story" didn't pass the smell test (unless you were testing for the smell of bullshit, that is), but disappointingly, if not surprisingly, it picked up mainstream media attention anyway. So, Philip Elmer-DeWitt decided to dig into it and see where, if anywhere, it originated. From Fortune:
But there was no such study on their website that I could find, and no way of determining whether the research was theirs or someone else's. (A call to their New York office went unanswered and their phone number had not yet been set up to receive voice mail.)
His best guess, to paraphrase, is that someone at the Daily Mail made up an Apple bites man-style headline and U.S. television ran with it.
They had one job. If the iPhone 5 really was the "most hated smartphone", they had every reason to inform their audience so they could make better educated buying decisions. If it wasn't, if they couldn't trace back the source of the study and verify its methodology, results, and the reputation of the firm behind it, they had every reason not to run it, or to inform their audience it was garbage.
They failed, damaging Apple's reputation to those who know no better, and their own to those who do.