In technology, it seems as if everything is about Apple. The Mac is doomed. iPhone 8 will fail. Apple is ditching the Lightning connector. Shame on Apple for a Mac with only USB-C ports. The forgotten iPad. Touchbar is a gimmick. Beats headphones suck. You get the idea, right? Everything is about Apple and all we hear from are the nattering nabobs of negativism ad nauseam.
So, what is it about a headline with “an affordable alternative to the iPhone 6” that should raise your eyebrow or set off your Spidey sense?
I see two issues with that portion of the headline. The first should be obvious. Every smartphone is an affordable alternative to an iPhone, right? Apple’s iconic device owns that end of the product spectrum lock, stock, and barrel. The second may not be as glaring but it’s there. Apple does not sell an iPhone 6, so the affordable alternative is to what can only be described as a used iPhone 6 on eBay or Craigslist or from a neighbor or friend. Based upon the iPhone’s excellent resale value, wouldn’t pretty much any smartphone be an affordable alternative?
Here’s a recent headline from a major online tech publication.
Hands on with the Meizu M5s – an affordable alternative to the iPhone 6
The Meizu M5s was introduced in February. Last year. As in 2016. It’s a mid-range smartphone at best, with decent screen resolution, fast charging, aluminum alloy case, cameras, the proprietary Flyme OS (a version of Android), and a variety of colors. Just like iPhone 6. Which you can’t buy new.
The article rummages through the M5s specifications, and points out the little company has more than 30 smartphone models. That compares to the iPhone which has fewer at five (iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE). The company sold 22-million smartphones last year, or put another way, about what Apple sold in iPhones last month.
The Meizu M5s price tag is about $200 but falls in between an iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, as do the storage options. A vanilla iPhone 6 with comparable storage sells for $299 on Gazelle (note than an iPhone 6 will run iOS 10, while the Flyme OS uses Android 6 as the base).
What all this tells me is that major technology websites are hard up for interesting articles so anything that can be compared to Apple or an iPhone generates page views, even if it’s comparing used smartphones. It also tells me that some Chinese manufacturers work the Samsung model more than the Apple model and manufacture as many smartphones as they can so see what sticks on the wall (apparently, not too much).
One needs to question why such an article comparing an old iPhone with an old phone from a minor Chinese manufacturer is noteworthy. Can I generate webpage views if I compare my cheap Bluetooth earbuds from China with Apple’s AirPods and declare the $10 earbuds the winner in a comparison?
That’ll work, right?
Today we have news, fake news, analysis (opinion or op-ed; often considered fake news but it’s not), and what I’m going to call drivel fluff. This one is drivel fluff.