Explaining Southern California's economy

3 reasons why the Apple iPhone 5 will still fail

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Buyers wait outside an Apple Store in New York to get their iPhone 5s before everyone else. The new smartphone notched 2 million in pre-orders in its first 24 hours.

I got a very robust response to my pre-iPhone 5 launch post, "3 reasons why the Apple iPhone 5 will fail," in which I detailed some reasons why the miraculous new device wouldn't be a triumph. I prefaced it all by stressing that I was taking a contrarian position, but I got called out big time for my contrarianism, both in the comments and, more recently, by the Macalope over at Macworld.

Here's a taste:

The Macalope understands that during this bad economy times must be hard at our nation’s public radio stations, with donations falling due to a deficit in our strategic tote-bag reserves.

But that doesn’t really excuse Southern California Public Radio from publishing Matthew DeBord’s “3 reasons why the Apple iPhone 5 will fail” (tip o’ the antlers to Warren Bowman).

Just three? The Macalope thinks maybe you’re not applying yourself, Matthew. The horny one himself can easily make up 15 or 20.

Still, most observers settled on the conventional wisdom that the iPhone 5 was a total snooze-fest that, because of a collection of really boring reasons involving contract lengths, Apple fanboi-ism, marketing, and reality distortion, will sell very well. “Fail” is really putting a stake in the ground. A dumb, dumb stake.

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The iPad and long-form blogging

Apple Unveils Updated iPad In San Francisco

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

In the first product release following the death of Steve Jobs, Apple Inc. introduced the third version of the iPad.

Regular readers of the DeBord Report know that I'm a big fan of/occasionally exasperated by Fred Wilson, a prominent venture capitalist and avid blogger. Fred is a partner at Union Square Ventures in New York, with investments in companies like Foursquare, Disqus, and my new favorite search engine with a silly name, Duck Duck Go.

But Fred also blogs every single day without fail. Recently, he tackled the question of whether mobile devices can replace laptops for workers on the go. For some folks, they already have. I ran into our CEO in the elevator a few weeks back and somehow got to discussing my new briefcase. "This is my briefcase," he said, brandishing his iPad. 

It used to be inconceivable that you'd leave home without your laptop, especially if you had heavy content production on your agenda. I've heard tales of bloggers who can do their thing on tablets and even smartphones, but for the majority, I don't think the adoption of laptop alternatives has been that aggressive.

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The Great Tablet Distraction Debate grinds on

Amazon Introduces New Tablet At News Conference In New York

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 28: The new Amazon tablet called the Kindle Fire is displayed on September 28, 2011 in New York City. The Fire, which will be priced at $199, is an expanded version of the company’s Kindle e-reader that has 8GB of storage and WiFi. The Fire gives users access to streaming video, as well as e-books, apps and music, and has a Web browser. In addition to the Fire, Bezos introduced four new Kindles including a Kindle touch model. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The Atlantic's Alexis Madrigal weighs in, cleverly, on a micro-debate spurred by this New York Times article about how people are too distracted while reading on a tablet — an Apple iPad, an Amazon Kindle Fire — to actually, you know, read.

Madrigal attacks the NYT story at three levels:

•You can just as easily be distracted while reading a book on paper as you can while reading a book in a digital format

•Reality is far more distracting than what's going in that magical little gadget in your hot little hands: "If the e-reader engages you more with the thing in your hand, even though the gadget itself is more distracting, that could be a net distraction win."

•We will evolve into an undistracted, tablet-using species: "Humans respond to the novel technologies they encounter to reshape their experiences of them. If distraction is really bothering all these people, and they really want to read books, then they will find a way to do so."

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