It is the year 2022 and it is finally time to ask ourselves the seminal question of our time: Why do people keep saying things?
Oh, not all things that are said are bad. But an increasing number of them are and have been for some time now. Let’s go back to the year 2018. Long hair, billowy shirts and calling people “your royal dankness” were all the rage, as were dire warnings that Apple was about to miss the boat on 5G.
5G was the next wave of mobile connectivity hotness and Apple wasn’t hopping on the bandwagon fast enough. Very soon people were going to be enjoying streaming movies to and enjoying advanced online gameplay on their Android smartphones as they drove down the road and over a cliff and Apple was going to miss out on all that. 5G was “a game changer” and Apple was going to suffer “psychological and reputational damage” by being late with it.
Well, let’s see how that all turned out, shall we?
“Telecoms operators face anxious wait for 5G to pay off”
In recent years, carriers have spent hundreds of billions on spectrum and infrastructure for the fifth generation of mobile telephony — 5G. Now, anxiety is mounting about whether enough people will pay for the services they have invested so heavily in.
There were a lot of things the “Apple is late to 5G!” crowd missed, but one of them was that, oh, the carriers are going to expect you to pay for this! During a global economic slowdown! That doesn’t seem great.
Even if 5G was going to be the big deal it didn’t turn out to be, it represents a fundamental misunderstanding of how Apple does business to expect that it would ship 5G in 2018 or even 2019. The company doesn’t ship features until they’re ready to use, and 5G wasn’t even close to fully rolled out yet. If anything, the company spared itself the overly-early investment the carriers and Android OEMs didn’t.
Put simply: it was 10 pounds of hot nonsense in a bag only rated to hold 5 pounds of cold nonsense. (Or 4.5-kilogram hot nonsense/2.3 kg cold nonsense for our pals in the U.K.)
Or at least that’s as simply as the Macalope can put it.
Certainly, faster speeds will eventually win out, so it’s not like carriers are going to rip out their 5G lines and burn them in the desert. But here we are four years after Apple was supposedly botching things again and no one cares about the thing they were supposedly missing.
This kind of thing seems to happen a lot. Apple was famously told in 2014 that it needed to ship a watch in 60 days or it would “disappear.” The Macalope refers back to that prediction a lot and every time he thinks it’s 90 days and has to re-learn all over again that, nope, it was 60 days! And people like to talk about Apple’s hubris.
Apple, of course, somehow magically managed to not ship the Watch until a whole year later and still survive, if only barely. The Watch was a “flop” that ended up defining and ruling the smartwatch category to this day. But nobody cares about “wearable tech” anymore.
The company was also told in 2017 that it was “losing badly” to the Amazon Echo and needed a response. Which is hilarious because fast forward to now again and…
“Amazon Alexa is a ‘colossal failure,’ on pace to lose $10 billion this year”
$10 billion here, $10 billion there… pretty soon you’re talking about big money. Almost “buy a social media site and single-handedly drive it into the ground” kind of money. But nobody cares about smart speakers anymore.
So, is it time to call a moratorium on saying things? Maybe just until we figure out what’s going on?
Nah, it’s probably time to put some wacky deadline on Apple. A VR headset in a week or it’s curtains, Tim Cook!