iPhone X doomsayers lack basic reading comprehension skills (or they're purposefully disho...

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 26
Assorted media venues lit up when AppleInsider, based on actually reading an analyst's note, reported that the current iPhone X may be discontinued after one year. Unfortunately, many of those reports failed to accurately convey the substance or context of the rumor, instead opting to weave a narrative they seemed intent on telling.




Sensational headlines based on AppleInsider's reporting of a research note from Ming-Chi Kuo sprouted up in the days after the report. We aren't going to delve too deeply into the gross mischaracterizations that were spewed forth, but the basic assumption was that the iPhone X is a failure, and Apple is doomed.

Stop us if you've heard this before.

They all linked back to AppleInsider's report. However, it was clear as the story progressed through the internet that various publications only read (or possibly skimmed) the last report they saw, wherever they saw it. Along the way, "hot takes" were added with links back to AppleInsider, without accurately reporting what AppleInsider had written.
What do you say to somebody whose seen a piece on the failure of the iPhone X and the fate of Apple because of it on the mainstream media network of their choice?
When I was a child, we played a game called "Operator," sometimes known as "Telephone," depending on where you grew up. In the game, child would come up with a phrase, and whisper it once to the one next to them. Memorably, about forty years ago in a church gathering room in Massachusetts, a phrase that started as "may the Force be with you" ended up 20 kids later as "dead camels make good gravy."

As it turns out, iPhone X "failure" reports make good gravy, too. Or at least good internet traffic fodder.

The truth of the matter is, every large Apple-specific venue reported on the note that we all saw. We all said essentially the same thing. But, one mainstream media venue latched on to AppleInsider's account whispered in an ear 18 times.

Rather than checking the original report, they were happy being the next kid in line, telling a far more fanciful story than the original. They didn't mind not seeing the analyst note in question, nor do they seem to have attempted to check what other sites -- who actually had the note -- wrote about it.

Symptom of a larger problem

At one point, the internet landscape was dotted with Apple-specific news sites. AppleInsider, a staple of the community since 1997, is one of the last of its kind.

Years later, with Apple's success has come the regular media's attraction, leading, in part, to the demise of specialty media, because of the ease of finding news about the company.

But, the mainstream media still relies on sites like us -- and that's part of the problem. Instead of getting some notes themselves, they use our reports to try and suss out what the original report said. Frequently, they then write their own interpretation, once removed -- or more.

As you can expect, this almost never ends well, for anybody involved.

Jack of all trades, master of none

Mainstream media can't cover Apple the way that AppleInsider and its cohorts do. Sure, they see the value in rudimentary coverage by somebody who may have used an iPhone or iPad once, but other than a few exceptions, they aren't generally that interested in context.

A number of factors have led to the Apple-specialty media consolidation, and Apple faithful have suffered for it. Because of the barely-accurate mainstream media drive into Apple news, and the side-effects of that push leading to closures, there are fewer examinations of what makes Apple products fun.

So, now, there are fewer deep-delves into eGPUs and similar technologies. Far fewer discussions of USB-C hardware and licensing matters than there could or should be. No looks at why the iPhone 7 Plus took longer to get to market than it might have outside of some mythical Apple mishandling of the situation, and it would have taken far longer for them to suss out where "Project Titan" was based -- if they bothered to look at all.

What about that note?

Here's how the process goes with research notes from stock analysts, and other market watchdogs.

Generally, we get research notes at the same time as everybody else. What we don't do is report on them second-hand -- we'll ask for them, and then write about it, even if it means we're later than other venues. Simply, if we don't have the note, good or bad, we're not inclined to write about it.

KGI Research predictions for the fall of 2018
KGI Research predictions for the fall of 2018 -- note no iPhone X


This isn't a hard concept to grasp. It's a basic tenet of reporting.

We do periodically get some things wrong. In the piece in question, we said that if the iPhone X was removed from the line after one year and not retained as a lower-cost option, it would be the first time it had happened. It was later pointed out that the iPhone 5 was axed from the lineup with the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c debut.

While that's not entirely correct (you could buy an iPhone 5 new from Apple for about six months afterward) they did strike it from the main page as an option. You had to click the "buy" button to get offered an iPhone 5 for $50 more than the corresponding iPhone 5c configuration.

Tie goes to the reader. We'll take the hit, but I remain curious if the venues who interpreted our report badly will do the same.

Voice of the resistance?

In the late '90s, when AppleInsider was formed, it was hard to find news about the company or its hardware. The term "beleaguered" was thrown around a lot. Of course, this was before the second coming of Jobs, and all that entailed, good and bad.




That was hundreds of billions of dollars of sales ago, and about two decades past. Apple is in a different place now, making arguably the most popular and most profitable line of smartphones after essentially inventing the market.

If you've gotten this far, you might have been asked about the report about the iPhone X being discontinued, and why Apple is doomed. We never said that. The analyst who was the source of the rumor, Kuo, never said that either. Why the other venues took that from the report is, frankly, baffling.

What do you say to somebody whose seen a piece on the failure of the iPhone X and the fate of Apple because of it on the mainstream media network of their choice? You tell them to go to the source.

We're still here -- and we had the original note.
macseekershark5150lolliver
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 51
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,102member
    Hmm. I expected this to be a DED article. 
    SpamSandwichmacseekerbrakkenksecjony0
  • Reply 2 of 51
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,224administrator
    asdasd said:
    Hmm. I expected this to be a DED article. 
    Nope. Just another annoyed AI staffer catching crap for what other venues wrote.
    nhughesmuthuk_vanalingamStrangeDaysracerhomie3macseekerfotoformatmacsince1988ClarityToSeeappleismymiddlenamefastasleep
  • Reply 3 of 51
    #FakeNews (the "Apple is doomed" narrative)
    SpamSandwichanton zuykovwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 51
    Surely anyone with a bit of common sense can see these rumours are fake.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 51
    aricbaricb Posts: 27member
    I didn't read any of the doomsayer reports on other sites, but i'm willing to bet they are layered in "could be", "possible", "likely", "maybe", and other words liars regularly use. Fox news has used this journalistic loophole to its maximum potential by stating a two minute article and finishing it with "maybe" as the last word.
    montrosemacswatto_cobrapalomine
  • Reply 6 of 51
    aricb said:
    I didn't read any of the doomsayer reports on other sites, but i'm willing to bet they are layered in "could be", "possible", "likely", "maybe", and other words liars regularly use. Fox news has used this journalistic loophole to its maximum potential by stating a two minute article and finishing it with "maybe" as the last word.
    Sure they qualify in the story copy, but they just toss crap into the headlines. 

    Newsweek: “Is Apple About to Cancel the iPhone X? Poor Sales Mean Device Faces ‘End of Life

    Forbes: “
    Apple Leak Reveals Sudden iPhone X Cancellation” (every word false in this one)
    racerhomie3anton zuykovScot1jony0lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 51
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,115member
    mavemufc said:
    Surely anyone with a bit of common sense can see these rumours are fake.
    LOL. Where have you been for the last few years? Common sense? We live in a post-factual world.

    And stop calling me Shirley. 
    anton zuykovfotoformatflashfan207mmatzlostkiwilolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 51
    eightzero said:
    mavemufc said:
    Surely anyone with a bit of common sense can see these rumours are fake.
    LOL. Where have you been for the last few years? Common sense? We live in a post-factual world.

    And stop calling me Shirley. 
    I heard someone comment years ago that we shouldn’t use the term “common sense” and instead use “rare sense”, since so many people seem to lack common sense. 

    The sad part about this particular article is it won’t be picked up and spread around like the ”doomsday” article was. 
    dacharlolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 51
    aricb said:
    I didn't read any of the doomsayer reports on other sites, but i'm willing to bet they are layered in "could be", "possible", "likely", "maybe", and other words liars regularly use. Fox news has used this journalistic loophole to its maximum potential by stating a two minute article and finishing it with "maybe" as the last word.
    Sure they qualify in the story copy, but they just toss crap into the headlines. 

    Newsweek: “Is Apple About to Cancel the iPhone X? Poor Sales Mean Device Faces ‘End of Life

    Forbes: “Apple Leak Reveals Sudden iPhone X Cancellation” (every word false in this one)
    Have you noticed how many ADs in the tiny Forbes article? Seems they are much more interested in selling AD than make accurate reporting.

    Maybe there is too much pressure from “editors”. Maybe the guy just want to make extra few bucks, after all he is not reporter or someone in news business. He is just a content generator, who works in a click bait website.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 51
    This misreporting also leads to stock movements. People can make a lot of $$$ from that.

    i.e. Read this site, see a post with information from Kuo stating that xxx is going  to be dropped and short the stock knowing that 4 out of 5 times this will lead to 'xxx' is a failure and even Apple going to post a loss and their shorting can make them shed loads of mulah.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 51
    YoSamCapsFanYoSamCapsFan Posts: 9unconfirmed, member
    The second coming of Jobs was underway in late 1996, shortly before AI got going, but otherwise points well taken.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 51
    Unfortunately, AI shares some responsibility for yelling "fire" in a crowded theater; along with the other media sites that thrive on clicks. Reporting on sketchy rumors emanating from the oft-wrong Ming Kuo is simply engaging in gossip. For you to now stand on your soapbox to criticize the lazy, shoddy reporting of other media outlets is pretty hypocritical. You did no independent investigation to determine whether Ming's reporting was credible, but you were quick to seize on his rumor mongering for a headline on your site. Unfortunately, this gossiping is not as harmless as the childhood game of telephone; it had real world consequences, i.e. a loss of $7/share for aapl. In my case that translated into a $30k hit to my Apple investment. SEC regulations forbid Apple--or any other publicly traded company--from commenting during the 30-day quiet period prior to their earnings report. But unfortunately, there is no such prohibition on media sites and anal-ysts from engaging in damaging, self-serving speculation. Stick to just reporting on Apple products AI and leave the gossiping to the National Enquirer and TMZ.
    YoSamCapsFanmontrosemacsteejay2012MuntzStrangeDays
  • Reply 13 of 51
    asdasd said:
    Hmm. I expected this to be a DED article. 
    Nope. Just another annoyed AI staffer catching crap for what other venues wrote.
    How about either providing direct quotes or links to the incorrectly reported takes by these venues? There's nothing wrong with calling out bad reporting.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 51
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,224administrator
    Unfortunately, AI shares some responsibility for yelling "fire" in a crowded theater; along with the other media sites that thrive on clicks. Reporting on sketchy rumors emanating from the oft-wrong Ming Kuo is simply engaging in gossip. For you to now stand on your soapbox to criticize the lazy, shoddy reporting of other media outlets is pretty hypocritical. You did no independent investigation to determine whether Ming's reporting was credible, but you were quick to seize on his rumor mongering for a headline on your site. Unfortunately, this gossiping is not as harmless as the childhood game of telephone; it had real world consequences, i.e. a loss of $7/share for aapl. In my case that translated into a $30k hit to my Apple investment. SEC regulations forbid Apple--or any other publicly traded company--from commenting during the 30-day quiet period prior to their earnings report. But unfortunately, there is no such prohibition on media sites and anal-ysts from engaging in damaging, self-serving speculation. Stick to just reporting on Apple products AI and leave the gossiping to the National Enquirer and TMZ.
    Welcome to the forums! 

    Did you even read the original story? It doesn't seem like you did. You're also not in a position to say that we didn't do fact-checking of our own, as I don't recall you in our work Slack. Also, you may note that we reported on the note an hour after some of our competitors did -- given that we all got the note at the same time, and I had some questions, I thought it fit to make some calls and check some sources before I wrote.

    In any event -- sorry for your loss, I'm sure you'll be fine. However, we will continue to report as we see fit.
    edited January 26 gatorguy2old4funeightzeroClarityToSeefastasleepmuthuk_vanalingammmatzlostkiwimacguilolliver
  • Reply 15 of 51
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,224administrator
    asdasd said:
    Hmm. I expected this to be a DED article. 
    Nope. Just another annoyed AI staffer catching crap for what other venues wrote.
    How about either providing direct quotes or links to the incorrectly reported takes by these venues? There's nothing wrong with calling out bad reporting.
    Strangedays has a few up there ^. Gruber's got another.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 51
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,900member
    mavemufc said:
    Surely anyone with a bit of common sense can see these rumours are fake.
    These are for stock manipulation. you see AAPL dropped from $180 to close to $170 over that last few days?
    Muntzteejay2012watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 51
    Unfortunately, AI shares some responsibility for yelling "fire" in a crowded theater; along with the other media sites that thrive on clicks. Reporting on sketchy rumors emanating from the oft-wrong Ming Kuo is simply engaging in gossip. For you to now stand on your soapbox to criticize the lazy, shoddy reporting of other media outlets is pretty hypocritical. You did no independent investigation to determine whether Ming's reporting was credible, but you were quick to seize on his rumor mongering for a headline on your site. Unfortunately, this gossiping is not as harmless as the childhood game of telephone; it had real world consequences, i.e. a loss of $7/share for aapl. In my case that translated into a $30k hit to my Apple investment. SEC regulations forbid Apple--or any other publicly traded company--from commenting during the 30-day quiet period prior to their earnings report. But unfortunately, there is no such prohibition on media sites and anal-ysts from engaging in damaging, self-serving speculation. Stick to just reporting on Apple products AI and leave the gossiping to the National Enquirer and TMZ.
    For your first post let me congratulate you on your good grammar and punctuation. But your post was completely devoid of substance. 
    nhughesmacky the mackyronnmacxpressmacguilolliverradarthekat
  • Reply 18 of 51
    Thumbs up Mike.  Go get them.  Great article.
    lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 51
    thttht Posts: 2,815member
    News-tainment is bereft of much sense. They only try to create acute drama with every single word possible. I basically ignore all this crap and only start believing after some checking.

    It really behooves everyone to realize what they are watching or reading is not fact or news, and realize that it’s a kind of communal gossip writ large.
    SpamSandwichlolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 51
    What was the point of this article? AI: I like your site, I use your app often, but I’m “just not that into you” ...not enough for me to want to read articles about how pretty and wonderful you are. Stick to the facts, not the sympathy requests. And the fact remains that the iPhone X is underselling. Doomed for failure? No, but too expensive and too ugly? Consumer spending is saying “yes”. There’s your story, sans pity.
    kseceliangonzal
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