Wednesday, 4 May 2016
Bloomberg, “Apple to Revamp Streaming Music Service After Mixed Reviews, Departures”:
Apple is altering the user interface of Apple Music to make it
more intuitive to use, according to people familiar with the
product who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t
public. Apple also plans to better integrate its streaming and
download businesses and expand its online radio service, the
people said. The reboot is expected to be unveiled at the
company’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June. The changes
will be accompanied by a marketing blitz to lure more customers to
the $10-per-month streaming service.
This is a good test for today’s Apple on two fronts. First, will they actually succeed in streamlining the interface to Apple Music? I still think the most obvious solution is to make Apple Music its own standalone app. “All your music in one app” sounds like a great idea in theory, but in practice, I believe that is what has led to the confusing UI. It’s yet another major feature added to iTunes on Mac and Windows — an app that everyone seems to agree already has too many features and responsibilities. What do you see when you open the Spotify or Pandora apps? Just the streaming music you have access to. That makes them less complicated, by definition. “Everything you see is in the cloud, and you have access to it because you are a subscriber” is easy to understand. “Some of this is in the cloud, some of this you own” is more complicated.
A big aspect of iOS’s success, from day one in June 2007, is that it emphasized smaller focused apps that do less over larger monolithic apps that do more. The monolithic style leads to desktop iTunes — a single app for managing your personal music collection, buying music from the iTunes Store, buying and playing TV and movies, podcasts, iOS app purchases, and device syncing and backups. The iOS style leads to dedicated separate apps for music playback, video playback, podcasts, and store purchases. Maybe there’s a way to design “all your music in one app” that is completely clear, convenient, and obvious. But the bottom line is that a music app shouldn’t be confusing. I think that’s held Apple Music back.1
Second, it’ll be a test of Apple’s presentation skills. Last year’s Apple Music announcement in the WWDC keynote was the worst segment in an Apple keynote in modern history. It was rambling, awkward, left important questions unanswered, and went on way too long. I don’t break out my “This wouldn’t have happened if Steve Jobs were still around” stamp very often, but I broke it out for that one.
I believe these two things are related. Coherence in product design leads to coherence in product marketing. And vice versa: incoherence in product design leads to incoherence in product marketing. If the product isn’t logical and consistent throughout, how can it be marketed in a logical and consistent way? That’s what we saw with Apple Music last year, and the meandering music segment of the WWDC keynote exemplified it. It will be telling to see if that was a one-time blip, or the beginning of a trend. ★
Follow Apple’s Suppliers ★
Bloomberg’s Tim Culpan has an interesting bull take on iPhone sales — their two major Taiwanese suppliers, Hon Hai and Pegatron, took their stock hits months ago and have now leveled off:
The short-interest chart hints at what’s really going on.
Bearishness on stocks of both suppliers peaked in January and
February, with the 159 million shorted shares of Hon Hai on Feb.
16 being the highest in at least five years. […]
A wise investor would avoid making decisions based only on such
correlations. But it’s worth at least asking why the companies
that rely the most on Apple seem nonplussed by the bad news out of
(That’s the modern informal nonplussed, of course.)
If You See Slowness, They Blew It ★
Here’s the problem with the Apple Watch: it’s slow.
It was slow when it was first announced, it was slow when it came
out, and it stayed slow when Watch OS 2.0 arrived. When I reviewed
it last year, the slowness was so immediately annoying that I got
on the phone with Apple to double check their performance
expectations before making “it’s kind of slow” the opening of the
Posit: The things on Apple Watch that people actually like and use are the things that aren’t slow (notifications, activity tracking and goals, Apple Pay, complications, maybe Glances) and the things that are slow are the things people don’t use (apps, especially). Apple should have either cut the slow features from the original product, or waited to launch the product until all the features were fast.
I would vote for launching when they did, with the slow features cut — there is value in what Apple Watch already does well.
Apple’s Plan for Refurbished iPhones Is Rejected in India ★
Speaking of Apple and India, here’s Saritha Rai, reporting for Bloomberg:
India has rejected Apple Inc.’s request to import and sell
refurbished iPhones to the world’s second largest mobile
population, a telecommunications ministry official said Tuesday.
The U.S. company’s application has been turned down, the official
said, asking to not be identified, citing official policy. Apple
has been seeking permission to import and sell used phones to
court price-conscious consumers with a similar proposal rejected
in 2015 by the environment ministry.
Apple’s new phones are too expensive for most Indians, and they’re not allowed to sell cheaper refurbished iPhones.
Apple’s Prospects in India ★
I think Tim Cook’s outlook on the Indian market is a little too
Firstly, iPhone sales in India were never really hampered by the
unavailability of LTE (or 4G as they call it here in India).
Anyone who can afford an iPhone in India has access to a fast
broadband internet either at home or at work, probably both. The
LTE rollout speeded up only this year here in India (earlier, only
one network operator, Airtel, offered LTE), but LTE support is a
standard feature among high-end devices being sold here for a
while. At present, LTE is supported by even sub-$150 devices from
big brands. The spread of LTE in India is not going to suddenly
make iPhones more desirable, nor is there any significant upgrade
cycle coming because of LTE. […]
Third, India is indeed looking a bit like how China was in 2005
in terms of GDP per capita, but India has far less number of
people who can afford an iPhone than China does. The addressable
market for Apple in India is tiny, and is growing quite slowly. Of
that, those who can afford the current year flagship will
constitute a minuscule number compared to China.
Under-Promising and Over-Delivering ★
Shira Ovide, writing for Bloomberg:
Here’s what Cook didn’t say: 1) Apple has been misjudging its own
business, and that makes it tough to believe what executives say;
and 2) The company failed to prepare investors for an inevitable
slowdown in growth — even if that slowdown proves temporary. If
one duty of public company executives is to under-promise and
over-deliver, Apple has flopped in that job.
This is fair and astute criticism of Cook and Apple’s executive team. The problem isn’t the drop in iPhone sales so much as forecasting them accurately.
Inside Facebook’s ‘Trending News’ Team ★
Michael Nunez, reporting for Gizmodo:
But if you really want to know what Facebook thinks of journalists
and their craft, all you need to do is look at what happened when
the company quietly assembled some to work on its secretive
“trending news” project. The results aren’t pretty: According to
five former members of Facebook’s trending news team — “news
curators” as they’re known internally — Zuckerberg & Co. take a
downright dim view of the industry and its talent. In interviews
with Gizmodo, these former curators described grueling work
conditions, humiliating treatment, and a secretive, imperious
culture in which they were treated as disposable outsiders. After
doing a tour in Facebook’s news trenches, almost all of them came
to believe that they were there not to work, but to serve as
training modules for Facebook’s algorithm. […]
That said, many former employees suspect that Facebook’s eventual
goal is to replace its human curators with a robotic one. The
former curators Gizmodo interviewed started to feel like they were
training a machine, one that would eventually take their jobs.
Managers began referring to a “more streamlined process” in
meetings. As one former contractor put it: “We felt like we were
part of an experiment that, as the algorithm got better, there was
a sense that at some point the humans would be replaced.”
If news curation can be automated, there’s nothing inherently wrong with it. Progress in the industrialized world has always involved previously labor-intensive jobs being replaced by automated machinery. We’ve gotten to the point now where some of this work is white collar, not blue collar, and some journalists seem offended by the notion. Their downfall is their dogmatic belief in not having a point-of-view, of contorting themselves to appear not to have a point of view — which, as Jay Rosen has forcefully argued, is effectively a “view from nowhere”. The irony is that machines don’t have a point of view — they are “objective”. Over the last half century or so, mainstream U.S. journalism has evolved in a way that has writers and editors acting like machines. They’ve made it easier for themselves to be replaced by algorithms. Most readers won’t even notice.
I do two things here at DF most days: find interesting things to link to, and comment on them. An algorithm may well beat me at finding interesting links. My job then, is to be a better writer — smarter, funnier, keener, more surprising — than an algorithm could be. When I can’t do that, it’ll be time to hang up the keyboard.
Update: Kevin van Haaren:
@gruber Computers algorithms aren’t objective they reflect the
point of view of their creators. It’s a reason diverse teams
should make them.
I didn’t mean to imply otherwise, but this is a good point. What I’m saying is more If what you do can be replaced by a robot (whether hardware or software), it will happen — and modern U.S. news journalism’s brand of “objectivity” feels algorithmic.
The App Store Educational ‘Discount’ ★
Michael J. Tsai has a collection of links regarding the App Store issuing refunds to educational customers after years of using hundreds of copies of an app.
Luma Loop 3: Special Edition ★
I’ve been a happy customer of Luma Loop camera straps for years — it really is one of the nicest, most rugged, most comfortable pieces of kit I’ve ever owned. Every single detail is considered, and this new special edition model sounds even better. Once I got used to the over-the-shoulder style, I could never go back to wearing a traditional around the neck strap for an SLR-sized camera.
Climate Scientists Tell Jimmy Kimmel: ‘Why Would We Fuck With You?’ ★
Great piece on Jimmy Kimmel last night.
Daring Fireball RSS Feed Sponsorship Openings ★
Two notes about the DF RSS feed sponsorship schedule:
First, the sponsor originally scheduled for this week needed to reschedule at the last moment. If you can pull the trigger quickly, let’s make a deal.
But the ebb and flow of the schedule still surprises me. Back in January I was only sold out a week or two in advance. But in February I pretty much sold out through the end of April in a three-day stretch. Now, the schedule for May and June is pretty much wide open. (Some years June sells out before April and May do, in anticipation of WWDC.) So, as I always say in these reminders: If you’ve got a cool product or service you want to promote to the DF audience, please get in touch.
Bob Lefsetz Calls for Apple Board to Fire Tim Cook ★
And what does society want?
Something new and different that not only titillates its fancy,
but demonstrates extreme utility.
Unlike the Apple Watch, which was good in theory yet dead on
arrival, or after twenty four hours, when it ran out of juice. You
had to recharge it, was it worth the effort, or were you better
off just putting it in a drawer? And like a cult band from the
eighties which hits a wall and goes no further, there was no word
of mouth on the Apple Watch, some owners testified, but the rest
of the populace just ignored it.
Tim Cook needs to be replaced. Apple doesn’t need a traffic cop,
it needs a visionary. Execution is important, but it’s secondary
to inspiration. The idea is king, never forget it.
Lefsetz has been banging the “Apple is doomed without Steve Jobs” drum ever since he died. Either he was right all along, or he’s fitting the facts to his narrative. Time will tell. But he’s a pretty high profile columnist (in the music and entertainment industry, specifically) to go so far as to call for Cook’s ouster.
This reads like reactionary crazy talk to me. He speaks of the Apple Watch as though it’s been pulled from the market, and equates current iPad sales (10 million units and $4.4 billion in revenue in the just-completed “bad” quarter) to those of the iPod:
Kind of like the iPad, replaced by the phablet, the large phone.
The iPad was killed by the phablet the same way the iPod was
killed by the iPhone. What did Cook and company do? They
doubled-down on the iPad, creating a Pro version with a stylus
that was a marvel of technology but is something most people just
don’t need. Meanwhile, there was this canard that the device was a
desktop replacement when the truth is it’s nothing of the sort.
Here’s an interesting fact: the iPod never generated more than $4 billion in revenue in a quarter, including holiday quarters. The iPad generated more revenue for Apple last quarter than the iPod ever did, even in its heyday. Lefsetz has a point — one contributing factor to decreased iPad sales is the rise of large phones. But to go all the way to “killed” is a hell of a stretch.
GoPro vs. Phone Cameras ★
Georgia Wells and Jack Nicas, reporting for the WSJ (paywalled, alas; a referral from Google search results might let you through):
Now GoPro is trying to expand into the mainstream. But the trouble
is most people already have smartphones that are nearly as small
and light as GoPro’s devices and come with cameras just as good.
Last year, GoPro bungled its attempt to reach mainstream customers
by setting the price too high on its first everyman camera and not
resolving kinks that make it difficult to use. It is now trying
again, urging other companies to integrate GoPro cameras into
products from cars to baby bouncers.
The stakes are high: GoPro expects its sales this year could fall
by as much as 17% after rising to $1.62 billion last year, its
first decline since it started selling its flagship product in
2010. GoPro could swing to a $167 million loss this year after
reporting $36 million in profit last year, according to S&P Global
Market Intelligence analysis.
Remember the Flip camcorder? That’s what’s happening to GoPro. Don’t bet against the phone, in any product category.
The Economist: ‘Craig Steven Wright Claims to Be Satoshi Nakamoto. Is He?’ ★
This mystery may finally be solved: Craig Steven Wright — a
45-year-old Australian computer scientist and inventor who was
outed against his will and with dubious evidence as Mr Nakamoto in
December last year — now claims he is the real Satoshi. On May
2nd he published a blog post offering what he says is
cryptographic proof that he is indeed the creator of bitcoin.
It’s an intriguing mystery, but I’d heavily emphasize the may in “may be solved”. Wright’s story still seems fishy to me.
Still, questions remain. Mr Wright does not want to make public
the proof for block 1, arguing that block 9 contains the only
bitcoin address that is clearly linked to Mr Nakamoto (because he
sent money to Hal Finney). Repeating the procedure for other
blocks, he says, would not add more certainty. He also says he
can’t send any bitcoin because they are now owned by a trust. And
he rejected the idea of having The Economist send him another text
to sign as proof that he actually possesses these private keys,
rather than simply being the first to publish a proof which was
generated at some point in the past by somebody else. Either
people believe him now — or they don’t, he says. “I’m not going
to keep jumping through hoops.”
Such statements will feed doubts.
I don’t understand why Wright won’t sign another text, provided by The Economist. And there’s still no explanation for the backdated GPG key that was exposed last year. The backdated key doesn’t prove anything conclusively, but it sure is suspicious.
Update: Security researcher Dan Kaminsky cries foul:
Yes, this is a scam. Not maybe. Not possibly.
Update 2: The Economist is now backpedaling.
Wednesday, 27 April 2016
Some much needed perspective on Apple’s first year-over-year quarterly sales drop since 2003, from Daisuke Wakabayashi for the WSJ:
Apple’s revenue and profit for the fiscal second quarter ended
March 26 both missed analysts’ expectations. The company also
projected that revenue in the current quarter would fall far short
Worth noting that Apple’s actual results were very nearly in line with the company’s own guidance for the quarter, given three months ago. (Revenue was within guidance, but gross margins were slightly low.) A year-over-year decline is never good news, and is a possible harbinger of a sustained decline, but these numbers, along with Apple’s guidance for the June quarter, should not have been a surprise to anyone paying attention. Certainly not enough to justify today’s 6.25 percent drop in the company’s stock price, which knocked about $40 billion off the company’s market cap. That’s more than the value of Netflix. Welcome to the casino.
But for all of the concerns about Apple’s growth, the company
still generated profits in the March quarter that are expected to
exceed the combined earnings of technology peers Alphabet Inc.,
Facebook Inc., and Amazon.com Inc.
Amazon isn’t expected to announce results until Thursday, and they famously strategically forgo profit for the sake of revenue growth. So let’s take them out and replace them with a company with a history of enormous profits, Microsoft. It’s still true: with $10.5 billion in profit, Apple earned more in the quarter than Alphabet ($4.2B), Facebook ($1.5B), and Microsoft ($3.8B) combined. That’s what happens after an almost unfathomable streak of over 50 consecutive quarters of year-over-year growth — you reach an altitude at which even an indisputably very bad quarter still leaves you with enormous, industry-leading profits.1
A concerning quarter? Yes.
Surprising? Shouldn’t have been.
Alarming? Not even close.
What explains the hysterical response — both from investors, and from the business and tech news media? I long ago gave up trying to understand it. But I am reminded of the Stanford Marshmallow Experiment. Wikipedia:
The Stanford marshmallow experiment was a series of studies on
delayed gratification in the late 1960s and early 1970s led by
psychologist Walter Mischel, then a professor at Stanford
University. In these studies, a child was offered a choice between
one small reward provided immediately or two small rewards (i.e.,
a larger later reward) if they waited for a short period,
approximately 15 minutes, during which the tester left the room
and then returned. (The reward was sometimes a marshmallow, but
often a cookie or a pretzel.) In follow-up studies, the
researchers found that children who were able to wait longer for
the preferred rewards tended to have better life outcomes, as
measured by SAT scores, educational attainment, body mass index
(BMI), and other life measures.
I think an awful lot of investors and members of the news media are like those kids who couldn’t wait: no ability whatsoever to look past the next few months.
Dr. Drang, writing three months ago:
But look at how things were going before the iPhone 6. Had the
trend of 2012–2014 continued through 2015, iPhone sales last
quarter would have been 65–70 million. Instead they were just
under 75 million. It’s only in comparison to the huge holiday
quarter of 2014 that last quarter looks dull.
I’m reminded of the devotion climate change deniers had to the
year 1998. Because of an intense El Niño that year, global
temperatures rose well above the trend line, and it remained the
hottest year on record for several years. Deniers hit upon this
fact, and claimed that global warming had stopped, even though
the overall warming trend had continued. The iPhone 6 was Apple’s
If sales don’t improve with the iPhone 7, I’ll be willing to
believe we’ve reached “peak iPhone.” Until then, the only problem
I see is that the iPhone 6 was too successful.
His post has a good chart, too.
I think Dr. Drang nails it. We might be seeing “peak iPhone”. But it could just be a statistical blip, caused in large part by the iPhone 6’s exceptional popularity, along with other factors like the economy in China and currency exchange rates. There’s simply not enough data to know. (It’s worth focusing on the iPhone here, because it accounts for two-thirds of Apple’s revenue. For the next few years, at least, as the iPhone goes so goes Apple.)
The iPhone has always been a seasonal product, but the seasonality changed with the iPhone 4S, which debuted in October 2011. The first four iPhones debuted in June/July, and the Verizon/CDMA iPhone 4 debuted in January 2011. Let’s call the 4S the beginning of the modern iPhone seasonality era — those released in September or very early October, with support for more carriers. October through December is “Q1” in Apple’s financial calendar, and in this modern era, that’s the biggest selling quarter. First, because it’s the quarter in which the new phone arrives, and tens of millions of people want to buy them immediately. There is no product in the world that generates “opening weekend” sales like the iPhone. I can’t even think of another product where people even talk about opening weekend sales, other than other Apple products like iPads and the Watch. The second factor is that it’s the holiday quarter.
Q2 — January through March — has always shown a decline from Q1. Here are the numbers for Q2 iPhone unit sales in the modern era (and 2011 thrown in for comparison):
||Unit Sales (Millions)
|Q2 2011 (iPhone 4)
|Q2 2012 (iPhone 4S)
|Q2 2013 (iPhone 5)
|Q2 2014 (iPhone 5S)
|Q2 2015 (iPhone 6)
|Q2 2016 (iPhone 6S)
The same numbers (minus the pre-modern-era 2011) in a chart:
In chart form, you can see what an anomaly last year was with the iPhone 6. But given that you can almost draw a straight line connecting the other four points in the chart, I’m not willing to call it a peak yet. But even if we see a return to growth, it might take several years before we see another Q2 with over 60 million units sold. ★
The Encryption Farce ★
Scathing editorial from the WSJ in the wake of the Department of Justice dropping another last-minute “never mind”, this time with an iPhone in a drug case in Brooklyn:
Such assertions were as false in Brooklyn as in San Bernardino.
Two hours and a half before a deadline on Friday night, the
government withdrew the case after “an individual provided the
passcode to the iPhone,” according to legal filings. This second
immaculate conception in as many months further undermines the
FBI’s credibility about its technological capabilities. Judges
ought to exercise far more scrutiny in future decryption cases
even as Mr. Comey continues to pose as helpless. […]
Yet forgive us if this “conversation” now seems more like a Jim
Comey monologue. The debate might start to be productive if the
FBI Director would stop trying to use the courts as an ad hoc
policy tool and promised not to bring any more cases like the one
The Obama administration does not escape their attention:
Meanwhile, the White House has taken the profile-in-courage stand
of refusing to endorse or oppose any encryption bill that Congress
may propose. If the Obama team won’t start adjusting to the
technological realities of strong and legal encryption, they could
at least exercise some adult supervision at Main Justice.
The Talk Show: ‘The Greatest Mic Drop I’ve Ever Seen’ ★
New episode of America’s favorite three-star podcast, featuring special guest Guy English. Topics include Ben Thompson’s argument that Apple’s functional organizational structure is hindering their efforts in online services, recalling our first Apple computers and the elegance of the classic Mac OS’s conceptual design, Prince (and his early use of Macs for creating music), WWDC 2016, and yours truly’s youthful foray into on-the-job vandalism.
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Casey Chan on Abandoning His Apple Watch ★
It’s Gizmodo so there’s a heavy dollop of clickbait in the headline, but Casey Chan’s critique of the Apple Watch makes several salient points:
First, I still don’t know what the buttons do. This is ridiculous
(and probably very stupid on my part) because, well, there are
only two buttons, the digital crown and the side button. Most of
the times, pressing the digital crown acts like an iPhone home
button. But sometimes it’s a back button (like when you’re in the
Favorites contact screen). It gets more confusing because you can
scroll through a list with the crown but you can never select, you
have to tap the screen for that to work. Most of these things you
eventually figure out, but these little inconsistencies just add
to the frustration of using it.
“When do I use which button and what do the buttons do?” needs to be obvious for the Apple Watch to truly feel Apple-y. And it fails. The longer I own mine the more obvious it is that Apple dropped the ball on the buttons:
- Single-press on the crown takes you to the app screen. I almost never launch any apps from the “home screen”.
- Single-press on the bottom button takes you to the “favorite contacts” screen. I almost never use this.
My hope is that Apple does more than just make the second generation watch faster/thinner/longer-lasting, and takes a step back and reconsiders some of the fundamental aspects to the conceptual design.
A Rolex-Sized Flop ★
Last year, Rolex did $4.5 billion in sales. A solid year for the
premium watchmaker. Of course, it was no Apple Watch. That
business did roughly $6 billion in sales, if industry estimates
The point here isn’t to compare the two devices — an Apple Watch
is just about as comparable to a watch as an iPhone is to a phone.
But it does provide an interesting context for Apple’s fledgling
business — a new product category which has come under a lot of
scrutiny since its launch a year ago. Many have called it a
“flop,” which, again, is interesting in context.
Apple Watch, One Year In ★
Daisuke Wakabayashi, writing for the WSJ:
Apple Inc. sold twice as many Watches as iPhones in each device’s
debut year. Yet the smartwatch is dogged by a perception that
seems premature given the history of Apple’s most popular devices:
As the Watch marks its first anniversary on Sunday — two days
before Apple’s quarterly earnings announcement — the product’s
fate is critical to the company. It is Apple’s first all-new
product since the iPad and a test of its ability to innovate under
Chief Executive Tim Cook, when sales of iPhones are slowing.
So far, the numbers appear solid. Apple doesn’t disclose sales,
but analysts estimate about 12 million Watches were sold in year
one. At an estimated average price of $500, that is a $6 billion
business — three times the annual revenue of activity tracker
Apple Watch can’t be neatly summarized with a one-word description like “hit” or “flop”. It has some serious, deep flaws, but it has sold well — especially considering those flaws. And the people who own one tend to really like it.
It’s a misconception that what Apple does best is unveil mind-blowing new products. What Apple does best is iterate year after year after year — exactly what Apple Watch needs.
On that front, Wakabayashi writes:
There are relatively easy fixes for some concerns. Apple is
working on adding cell-network connectivity and a faster processor
to its next-generation Watch, according to people familiar with
LeEco CEO Jia Yueting Says Apple Is ‘Outdated’ ★
Apple is “outdated” and losing momentum in China, billionaire
entrepreneur Jia Yueting told CNBC in his first international
Jia is chief executive and chairman of Chinese conglomerate LeEco
(formerly LeTV), which is best known for being the “Netflix of
China,” but has a product range that includes smartphones,
televisions, mountain bikes and, most recently, electric vehicles.
As Michael Simmons quipped, that’s pretty rich coming from “the guy wearing gray sneakers, long-sleeved black t-shirt, and jeans.”
Panic’s Lost 1982 Artwork ★
Worth a re-link, in light of the aforelinked The Art of Atari — Panic’s “alternate-universe, time-warped re-imaginings” of their Mac apps.
‘The Art of Atari’ ★
I dare you to keep me away from this upcoming book. I dare you.
Thursday, 21 April 2016
Marco Arment has a good piece today on last week’s Bloomberg report about a “Google-like” (Bloomberg’s description) paid search results program.
I’ve been meaning to write more about this. Perhaps comparisons to Google search are a red herring, and the right comparison is to Amazon, and retail co-op. Pay for placement, just like in grocery stores. Amazon has done this forever, and in the markets where they’re dominant (like books) they really turn the screws on manufacturers and publishers with the co-op fees. Think of search terms as being like the aisles in a grocery store, and the paid promotions are the endcaps. The retail co-op argument also fits better with the purported 100-person team size. Most of them would be sales people, not engineers or designers.
If Apple does it right, I think it’s just a new thing in the App Store that won’t make anything worse — but won’t address any of the longstanding problems, either.
If they do it wrong, they’ll allow shitty things like buying your competitor’s app’s name.
Also, Arment raises a good question, wondering about the motivations of whoever leaked the story to Bloomberg:
Either to warm us up to the idea so we’re not so mad in June, or
by someone inside who doesn’t think it’s right and wants ammo to
win the argument internally.
I’ve been wondering about this too. I don’t think it makes sense that it’s a trial balloon from someone in favor of the program. Apple doesn’t care about “warming us up” to changes. They don’t care. I think it makes more sense as a leak from someone opposed to it, and who foresaw that it wouldn’t go over well. Damn curious either way, though. ★