What is less obvious are the insidious battles that are public but less visible. Instead of reporting news and providing unbiased and insightful analysis, technology pundits appear to have an axe to grind against Apple. The question I ask is why? And who is paying for it?
Facts vs. Paid Fiction
A technology writer with good analysis skills is hard to find. Separating fact from fiction should not be the domain of the reader, but that’s the 21st century world of digital yellow journalism.
Here’s the tip of the iceberg. Rapper Jay-Z, of Beyonce fame, struck a deal with Samsung which agreed to give away a million copies of Jay-Z’s new album. All you need is the app and a Samsung Galaxy smartphone.
Good promotion? Good advertising? Or, sellout? Check out the 11 Times Jay-Z Used A Phone That Wasn’t A Samsung Galaxy on BuzzFeed.
Sell out? Totally. Obviously, Jay-Z’s only interest in Samsung is to promote his album and make money. He’s not much of a Galaxy smartphone user. Samsung seems to need to buy the allegiance of high profile customers to gain an edge against Apple’s more popular iPhone because Samsung customers just don’t love the Galaxy line the same way.
Here’s another example of what appears to be a sell out. Have you ever wondered why so many technology sites come down so hard on Apple, yet appear to to love the latest by Samsung? What’s going on? Is it a sell out? Here’s The Verge today.
The Verge. Presented by Samsung. That should be a clue. Has The Verge sold out editorial content to reap the financial rewards Samsung can bring? Based on a reading of The Verge’s recent articles about Samsung vs. Apple’s iOS 7, that would be a valid conclusion.
When a high profile technology publication seems so bent on criticizing the competitor of a large sponsor, day after day, all the while praising the sponsor’s products, shouldn’t that raise red flags about the writer’s editorial motivation?
Wait! It’s Worse!
Samsung’s marketing and promotion budget is estimated to be 10 times that of Apple. How does Samsung use that budget? To make anti-Apple television commercials which denigrate Apple’s customers. To buy off students and social media followers to engage in campaigns of fear, uncertainty, and doubt about their competitors, all the while talking up Samsung. For money.
Much of what constitutes tech media online today is a constant stream of criticism with a purpose, where the objective is to rake in as much money as possible, and where facts and analysis take a back seat to outrageous titillation and sensationalism.
Samsung, Microsoft, Google, and other technology giants have trouble competing against Apple in the market place and have stepped into the gutter of desperation to buy product reviews, to influence tech publications and writers, and giving away products at near cost to stop Apple’s marketing gravy train of satisfied customers.
Samsung is a disgrace; a company tried and convicted of blatant misdeeds in the market place. Tech sites whose articles which disparage Samsung’s competitors while singing the praise of Samsung’s products while collecting a fat Samsung check are also a disgrace. The best we can hope for is that they’ll be convicted in the court of public opinion.