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Editorial - The iPhone View From The Other Side
Thursday, June 21st, 2007 at 3:50 PM - by
Not every journalist is fawning over the Apple iPhone. Some view the gushing praise for and attention to the iPhone as some kind of trance that sucks the objectivity out of the journalist's brain. It's a seduction, according to Slate on Wednesday.
The news corps loves Apple, and Jack Shafer at Slate didn't like it. "So calculated is Apple's launch that it got news bumps early this week with the announcement that the iPhone battery will last three hours longer than originally promised and that it will play YouTube clips," Mr. Shafer wrote. "No drop of milk oozes from the Apple teat without a crowd of journalists gathering to swallowing it up."
Turning to the quantitative side, the author pointed to the Hellio Ocean which was first to market, has a lot of nifty features, and received a positive review from Walt Mossberg at the Wall Street Journal. It is also less expensive than the iPhone.
Journalists who pass over these objective and quantitative specifications must be in a stupor, the author observed. "Phone tech and design are moving so fast these days that the media freakout over the iPhone indicates a press in need of imagination—or swift kick in the ass from some editors."
What's worse, the author lamented, is that when some stories downplay the hype or point out iPhone deficiencies, they still end up increasing the anticipation for the iPhone.
What's even more interesting is that one could go through the article and replace "Ocean" with "Mac OS X" and "iPhone" with "Vista" and the article would sound a lot like Macintosh rants of the past. It seems to be fairly simple, and yet so subtle. When a product wins, the losers get very grouchy. Technical specifications get lost in the melee. Journalists point it all out. Readers generally get it.
And life goes on.
Note: Slate Magazine was founded by Microsoft in 1996, but is now owned by the Washington Post Co.
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