give credit to where its due

Reading opinions after an Apple launch is always an interesting exercise. Of course, there is no such thing as an unbiased review; everyone speaks from their perspective with their preferences and preconceptions. But in such a polarising context (e.g. iOS vs. Android, closed vs. open environment), there’s bound to be extreme opinions offered on either end.

Yet I think there is still a difference between an extreme opinion and an unfounded opinion. Case in point, the analysis ‘Apple chief Tim Cook playing catchup with iPhone 6’ published by Sydney Morning Herald’s deputy technology editor Ben Grubb. For full disclosure, my reaction after reading it was extreme as well; I wondered why this guy gets paid for offering such opinion. So yes, readers beware, I’m biased as well.

I am, however, in agreement with the title and the main point of article: Apple has been slow to get on the 5-inches-and-above-screen-size-and-HD-resolution bandwagon that everyone seems to love.

Yet the bulk of article looks like its just trying to bulk up this basic argument to make an industry-recognised fact into a sensational headline.

The first such fodder states:

The technology required for contactless payments, called near-field communication, or NFC, has been around for a while. Phones like the Samsung Galaxy S II, released in May 2011, had it. Yet it’s taken three years and four months for Apple to finally arrive at the NFC party.

Whilst this is a fact that cannot be disputed, what is in contention is whether the NFC made available in 2011 was useful at all. The answer, I believe, is no. No one to date (and this is Apple included; we shall see) has made NFC anything more than a cool party trick.

Try this one for size: The 486 that I had when I was a teenager came with a parallel port. The technology has been around for more than 20 years and yet the iPhone still doesn’t have it. Apple is late to the parallel party.

And then this little doozy of a paragraph follows:

It took so long in fact that the Commonwealth Bank and Coles Mastercard had to create their own NFC sticker that iPhone users could place on the back of their phones to make contactless payments. As some found out when trying to sell their iPhone, it left residue that was difficult to remove.

A third party sticker that left a hard-to-remove-residue is all Apple’s fault. Now that is just petty. And not pertinent to the analysis at hand at all. Furthermore, how many people do you see swiping their NFC-enabled Android phones at the Coles check out? Some sort of stats or figures would not only demonstrate a modicum of journalistic integrity but also prove that Apple’s NFC implementation is really late to the utopia of phone-enabled integrated contactless payment system we all use so much with our phones (note: sarcasm).

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