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Gassée: Apple attracting and then unhinging the fragile minds of journalists, bloggers, and analysts

Prior to Q2 2018, the financial market makers and media once again painted a doom-and-gloom picture for Apple. Then, when earnings came out, Apple once again proved them to be wrong. So, what, are they just terrible at their jobs?

Former Apple executive and Be founder, Jean-Louis Gassée, writing for his weekly column, Monday Note:

Apple must be a psychotoxic company, attracting and then unhinging the fragile minds of journalists, bloggers, and analysts. The contingent of bloviators sound like a gaggle of eunuchs circling the king's bed, stomping their feet and bawling in high-pitched voices: 'You're doing it wrong!'. Unconcerned, the monarch continues, enlarging the scope of his dominion.

Great opening. Gassée also gives an example of why, as Tim Cook has previously pointed out, using supplier reports as a way to divine Apple's product orders or production levels isn't possible or wise:

How important is the MPO? Legend has it that the LG phone operation that manufactures handsets once went to their sister division to get displays…only to face a closed door. Why? The entire display production had been bought and paid for by a single client: Apple.

Apple could be reducing orders because they bought more than enough when the price was lower, or because they switched to a different supplier, or for other reasons.

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I don't entirely buy this rationale, though, and precisely because everyone from Tim Cook to Horace Dediu have explained it — in some cases repeatedly — following previous quarters. If I'm familiar with it, you can bet analysts whose job it is to cover Apple are familiar with it. In other words, they should know those reports are likely meaningless and report them in that historical context. Instead, they report them as disaster.

That's why I have another theory as well.

○ Video: YouTube
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Rene Ritchie
Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

8 Comments
  • In addition to Rene's commentary, The Macalope is indispensible...and hilarious!: https://www.macworld.com/column/macalope/
  • Let's face it, these analyst don't have a clue about what they are talking. They are honestly just trying to manipulate the public.
  • Great job on the YouTube video, Mr. Ritchie. Talk about a 2X4 between the eyes of those analysts. You hit ‘em square on.
  • using ignorant analysts to debunk ignorant analysts. classic
  • There are people who would (1) love to see Apple fail but, more importantly (2) BE THE FIRST TO REPORT IT. They could then gloat about it, pad resumes, move up in salary, etc. They have been reporting "Apple is doomed, DOOMED I TELL YOU" for about 20 years now. Just like the weirdos predicting "the end of the world" every year for the last 1,000 years. All have been wrong, every time. But the lure of "what if I am THE ONE to get it right?" is just too much for them to resist. So in 3 months, we will go thru this again. Lather, rinse, repeat.
  • They're the most valuable company on the planet, of course there's going to be a multitude of analysts queueing up to give their opinion. The trouble in this internet age is that the ones that hit the headlines and garner all those lucrative clicks are the ones at the extremities of the bell distribution curve. Moaning about them only adds to the clicks and encourages them further. However what nigh on every analyst saw as a worry, and what even Tim Cook addressed, was that the iPhone X hasn't sold as well as they anticipated and there are far too many sitting in inventory, hence the reduction in supply chain forecasts. The iPhone range is selling phenomenonally well, just not the flagship.
  • Awesome video. Not being a super savvy investor, I just thought all the analysts were somehow mentally deficient based on my observations of Apple success and the doomsday media coverage. I should have known there was a profit driven motive. Further supports my overall opinion of the media being just a bunch of headline whores who have no interest in actually doing research and writing the truth. Investigative journalism is now an oxymoron.
  • Apple isn't the only, um, apple, in this basket. We focus on it here since it's Apple-centric, but these "analysts" **** it up everywhere, in every industry. They're akin to the sports "experts" that tell you how teams like the Philadelphia Eagles have zero chance of beating the Pats in the SB. It's just a bunch of noise that you're better off ignoring.