Both sayings, whether from Mark Twain or not, apply to how Apple deals with the growing trend of fake news by members of the media who write for the sake of sensationalism in the digital age of yellow journalism. See if you can spot the flaw in the ointment.
All News Is Bad
Forget CNN vs. Fox vs. MSNBC, numbers don’t lie. It’s math. And math proves bad news is coming for Apple’s iPhone business. Says who? Numbers. From a company that specializes in making, storing, and retrieving numbers the way you and I would utilize suppositories. With one difference. We don’t engage in retrieval.
Kantar is a company that specializes in guessing such things and came up with an interesting chart about how Americans are holding onto their smartphones longer than in the past. Overall, we keep our devices two months longer than just four years ago. That’s more bad news for Apple.
See how dangerous a tweet can be? Mr. President, pay attention. Here’s the math– and, yes, it’s just a guesstimate because slow news day– if iPhone customers don’t upgrade to newer models as frequently as they did years ago, then that’s bad news for Apple because the company may not sell as many new iPhones.
Yeah, I know. iPhones still sell at record levels. Some of Apple’s customers hold onto their Macs for four years or more, yet the Mac sells at record levels, too, so the reality of Kantar’s math seems to flail a bit in relation to reality.
Wait. Look at the chart closely. Notice that Apple isn’t mentioned at all. Neither is the iPhone. So, how is this bad news for Apple and not just a trend that would likely impact all smartphone makers? The bad news reported as bad news isn’t really news at all, but certainly belongs in the fake news category, and that seems to be what Fortune is all about these days.
Americans are holding on to their smartphones longer than they used to, according to new data from the media research firm Kantar. But that could be bad news for Apple, which relies heavily on iPhone sales to generate revenue.
Apparently that’s not bad news for Samsung which doesn’t rely on Galaxy smartphone sales at all, amirite? Uh huh. The price of electricity went up in my last month’s bill, so that could be bad news for Apple which relies heavily on iPhone sales to generate revenue.
While this is all good for the average consumer — holding on to a smartphone for a longer period of time can reduce your monthly bill — it’s bad for tech giants like Apple that rely heavily on new smartphone sales to generate revenue. About 60% of Apple’s revenue came from iPhone sales in 2016. If smartphone users continue to keep their phones for longer periods of time, that means less iPhone sales per year, ultimately resulting in less overall revenue for Apple.
Except this trend is ongoing and doesn’t seem to have a basis in, 1) reality, or, 2) cause and effect. The analysis given by Fortune’s writer has to do with two-year upgrade cycles going bye-bye for cell phone companies except Apple and the cell phone companies are happy to give you an iPhone on a monthly payment plan, so there’s that reality to deal with, too.
Fake news is a type of yellow journalism that consists of deliberate misinformation or hoaxes spread via the traditional print, broadcasting news media, or via Internet-based social media. Fake news is written and published with the intent to mislead in order to gain financially or politically, often with sensationalist, exaggerated, or patently false headlines that grab attention. As such, intentionally misleading and deceptive fake news is different from obviously satirical or parody articles or papers such as The Onion.
Maybe Fortune is just The Onion for financial news. Whatever Fortune has become these days it is less about news and less about analysis than it is about pulling sensational headlines out of the land where suppositories dwell.