It’s that time of the year. Stress from holiday shopping. No iPods at the stores. Journalists stay out too late and drink too much.
Add it all up and you’re likely to start a rumor that will affect my stock portfolio. I’ve got AAPL when it was affordable and I don’t want a monkey-brained journalist spreading rumors like Apple should “buy Palm.”
Why? Because it makes no sense for anyone except Palm. Palm is dying, the iPod is thriving, and Apple’s got a Macworld around the corner. Let the dead bury their dead.
Brett Arends, writing for the Boston Herald, shows what happens when journalists engage in crystal ball reading during the stressful holiday season.
Two words. Calamity, Jane. Arends starts off well by comparing Apple CEO Steve Jobs to Santa Claus. No, he actually says Santa has a new look (hint: it’s the same look as Steve Jobs sports at Macworld Expo keynotes):
“He’s swapped the old red suit for black jeans and a roll-neck. He’s lost weight and trimmed his beard. Oh yes, and he’s moved. New address: One, Infinite Loop, Cupertino, California.”
Santa’s elves? Those are the folks in China who make the iPod with video and the iPod nano. There. That’s the correct way to say it and spell it. It’s an iPod with video. And it’s the iPod “nano.” Lowercase.
That’s the way it is unless you’re a highly stressed journalist working for a dinosaur newspaper: “This year the video iPod and the slimline Nano are on everybody’s list.” See the difference?
The article goes on to state the obvious. Apple will sell thirty gazillion truck loads of iPods this season. Apple’s stock is up around Jupiter. Oh, and Apple needds to buy Palm.
Why? “The reason? IPods are not quite as invincible as they look.” I don’t remember seeing “invincibility” in the iPod TV commercials, but, whatever.
Obviously, Christmas came early for writer Arends who received an electronic hyperbole machine and a case Johnny Walker’s best. You know, for when he writes.
What’s wrong with the iPod that’s causing 10-million of them to be sold this holiday season? “They’re no longer clearly the best digital music player. They’re heavy and the battery life isn’t that great.Rival products the size of your thumb include a radio.”
Oh, that radio thing again. Let’s see, 27 non-iPod music players were sold so far this holiday season and they contained an FM radio. 10-million iPods were sold and they don’t. Maybe users are NOT interested in FM radio. Anymore.
In an odd sort of way, Arends makes some sense about customers and Microsoft, but takes forever to get to the reason why Apple should buy Palm (are they still in business?).
“Consumers demand freedom and choice. Microsoft offered more of both and won the computer war, even though its technology was worse.”
See? Freedom and choice means customers get to buy the product they like best, not necessarily the best product. And, Microsoft’s technology was worse than Apple over ten years ago. What’s that say about today?
The whole gist of this ridiculous argument about why Apple should buy Palm (are they still making those things?) is Arends thinks he’s representative of an American electronics customer.
He says, “I’m fed up with carrying multiple devices. I don’t want a cell phone, an electronic organizer, a music player, and a radio. I want one device that does it all. I suspect I am not alone.”
In that, he speaks truth. He’s not alone. There are at least a dozen others just like him. Unfortunately, they’re journalists, too. Fortunately, they’re also working for dinosaur publications, so it won’t matter.
Now, why should Apple buy Palm?
“The cultures would fit well: Palm is an entrepreneurial, creative, design-led company that hates Microsoft. Palm organizers already work with Macs.”
If memory serves me well, some of Palm’s founders and early engineers came from Apple. They’re long gone and so is Palm’s value.
On the logic of all this, Arends writes, “Palm’s net value today is just $1.1 billion. Investors are worried because the company is too small to take on Microsoft alone. Merging it into Apple would solve the problem.”
What’s the problem? You want one device that does everything? Since when does a cell phone with a camera and PDA and computer and music player take good digital photos? Or do anything else well except play cute ring tones?
Palm’s stock has done reasonably well over the past few years. It’s only a little below the Dow, and pond scum compared to AAPL.
This would be a marriage only a journalist or writer would love because it makes more fodder for the daily dinosaur rag.
Tera Jean Patricks
Won’t happen. Apple can morph the iPod into a PDA that does “everything” and not spend any money for Palm.
Palms are a dying breed. At best they’re a niche product which is reflected in Palm’s stock price since the surge a few years ago.
Brett’s cute. He’s kinda bald. I like that in men. Especially science fiction writers.