A Fundamental Disparity

Reading through Ben Bajarin’s recent article on Tech.pinions, it reminded me of the incredible disparity between those who inhabit the Apple sphere and regular people with regards to knowledge of Apple’s intended direction. This lack of understanding leads uninitiated reporters and laypeople alike to frame Apple in the same way they would a much more familiar business such as Target or Walmart: one expands into groceries, the other follows suit; Samsung makes bigger phones, Apple must do so as well in order to survive. Such wildly off-base associations stem from this apathetic incomprehension and betray a fundamental misunderstanding of the very different ways these two companies design products, yet those same people who cannot grasp these truths we hold to be self-evident nevertheless feel compelled to write their trite opinions concerning Apple’s future. I cannot understand why anyone spends time discussing those articles.

Last month I wrote about the incredibly high levels of discourse Apple watchers enjoy as a community, where I pointed out that while we speculated as to whether the iPhone 6 would ship with sapphire glass, many continue to wonder if Apple will even make another iPhone. This community enjoys such widespread aptitude and intelligence that we both forget how little everyone outside our privileged bubble knows about this industry we follow so closely and jump on anyone purporting to be one of us who goes out on a limb to propose something divergent from the widely accepted narrative. In saying all that I did not mean to justify or defend the ridiculous, completely unfounded rumors invariably preluding a major hardware release, but to suggest that we perhaps recognize the good thing we have for the exceptionally high standard it is, and back down, if even slightly, from the notion that one must always make correct predictions.

More important than focusing introspectively on aspects one could only arguably categorize as issues within this thriving community though, I feel we ought not hold those either on the fringes or completely removed from this circle to such grueling standards as we may one of our own. Whereas John Siracusa’s predictions and eventual retrospections do deserve scrutiny, do Value Walk’s? I say no: while we still should not make allowances for shoddy reporting and inept writing, excusing poor work because someone unfamiliar with our culture and the status quo wrote it, poking fun at such articles serves no wholesome purpose. In this respect we may take a cue from app reviewers who, when criticized for only publishing about apps that “they have been testing out for a while and really like”, questioned why anyone would write a negative review with such an incredible number of amazing apps clamoring for their attention. I feel such a mentality would go a long way towards improving the underlying narrative within the Apple community: rather than wax on about the entertaining ramblings you find ultimately useless, try ignoring that work and instead focus on your own, because I guarantee you still have room for improvement. Ironically, “disparity” and “disparagement” are two words just one incorrect conjugation apart.