“Bullshit spread far and wide”:
MacTalk founder slams iPhone 4S reporting


blog Anthony Agius isn’t happy about the way Australia’s technology press has reported this morning’s Apple announcements. And the entrepreneur has some experience following Cupertino — having founded local Apple community MacTalk, he’s as much of an Apple expert as they come. In a fiery blog post today, he writes:

“… as someone who knows a fair bit about the topic at hand, it’s frustrating to see bullshit spread far and wide. It’s no different to how a doctor might react to some story about the latest medical breakthrough. Irrational infuriation.

Read on to enjoy the antics of our revered tech news journalists. Whatever you do, *do not* read the comments on these sites if you value your sanity. The level of stupidity there is off the charts.”

Agius’ complaints range from regurgitation of flawed copy from international wires services AP and AFP, to the creation of “false controversy” over the lack of an iPhone 5, to stating the obvious and bizarre quotes taken from Twitter. Delimiter and similar sites have “their own brand of stupid”, according to the MacTalk founder, but for some reason we escaped the scalpel this time ;) The sole guiding light for Agius appeared to be The Australian newspaper which came in on top of the pile. “The Australian had the least shit Apple event coverage, in my opinion,” he wrote on Twitter.

What do you think about the media coverage of this morning’s Apple announcements? Fair go or flawed?

Image credit: J Miller, royalty free


  1. Apple is the victim of their own hype machine. The give basically no information leading up to a new product so the media etc start to speculate and various rumours grow to the point where people start accepting them as fact and when the “facts” dont happen they get the backlash like today.

    • That’s not Apple’s “fault” though.

      Why should they release information beforehand, so competitors know what they’re up to? You don’t see Ford releasing details of new models so that Holden can use the information to trump them.

      • Car companies often give indications of what will be available in upcoming models. A quick read of the motoring mag sites / blogs is a wealth of information on upcoming cars and/or the technology in such cars.
        eg http://www.thefordstory.com/our-articles/cuvs/c-max/breaking-news-with-details-on-new-ford-escape-big-mpg-for-c-max-hybrid/ this is Ford run site

        Ford Australia have released information confirming the falcon will offer the option of 4 cylinder direct injection turbo motors in 2012.

        • Yeah, and Apple have previously explained what will be in iOS5, some months ago.

          That doesn’t mean they’ve revealed every last detail. They claim 200 new features, but we’ve only seen a handful demonstrated.

          Plenty still hidden.

          • The point Michael, is they get the good with the bad.

            Manage peoples expectations, or suffer backlash when you announce a product below expectations.

            No information + great expectation = (an almost inevitable) massive let down.

            Not because the product is bad, simply because the product was incapable of meeting expectations (that you had spent zero effort trying to guide in the right direction).

  2. There’s certainly some faeces being flung around this morning.

    For me the big advance is the software update to iOS5 – (can’t wait for wireless sync) – but the hardware upgrade is pretty significant too, even if it looks the same on the outside.

    Generally speaking, mainstream media in Australia has very little clue about tech subjects – you only have to look at the masses of just clearly incorrect stuff they spew out about the NBN to understand that.

  3. To the best of my knowledge Apple never said they were announcing an iPhone 5. They didn’t deny it, but Apple don’t say anything ever, so that shouldn’t count.

    They released a model refresh roughly 1 year after the 3 was released then the 4 about a year later, so this announcement is totally consistent with previous behaviour.

    Despite hating the iPad I am largely neutral with regards to Apple, and yup….. I think they are getting a bit of a raw deal today.

  4. I largely agree with @Mark Muller above.

    I don’t get what the Anthony Aigus fellow’s problem is. Apple creates a pseudo-event (an event that only exists because it is going to be broadcast through the media), interest for which is in part determined by general consumer hype. The real news story is not the release of the iPhone or whatever, but whether or not Apple created a pseudo-event that sufficiently lived up to the hype.

    It did not live up to the hype, hence it was reported as such. That is actually better journalism than trying to play it ‘straight’ as a tech journalist and imagine that all the interest is not because of the slickly orchestrated Apple hype machine. The way Apple failed to properly modulate the hype is the only newsworthy event.

    Considering his obvious allegiences, in my opinion, he is experiencing a lot of sourness because precious Apple is being beat on for failing to satisfy the hype. Ranting about whether or not coverage was sufficient for his liking doesn’t do his case any favours.

    • Exactly.

      The 4s is a decent upgrade, all things considered, and Apple was under no obligation to reinvent the wheel this year.

      But this is hype they’ve made a business out of subtly encouraging and then allowing to brew on it’s own. If Apple isn’t responsible for the backlash, they certainly did nothing to reign in the hype. It’s disingenuous for its defenders like Agius to ignore this, especially after a self-important event drummed up as much as today’s was.

    • I pretty agree with everything here, yeah.

      Though personally, I don’t get all that carried away with what Apple is doing anyway ;-)

  5. I’ve been talking to die hard apple fan boys all day, and they are ALL pissed off. Obviously there was a level of expectation built up which wasn’t matched by the offering. Apple is quite capable of coming out and quashing unsubstantiated rumors if they so chose, but decided not to for the extra publicity. It’s their own fault if they now lose users due to a lackluster product offering.

    • Apple has done nothing wrong. It’s the fault of all the idiots that blew this launch to sky high epic proportions with no factual evidence to back themselves up. And then they have the gall to blame Apple for not meeting their expectations? Absolutely ridiculous.

      • They got as much free publicity as they did because of the hype. Now due to their failure to manage expectations (this is the job a marketing department is paid for), they get negative press.
        This is what marketing is all about. Marketing doesn’t start only after you officially announce your product. Marketing starts the moment you register your business name. Marketing continues every time you release a product. And marketing is required before the release of subsequent products (this goes doubly so for product refreshes like the iPhone brand is).

        Apple have chosen the: “Allow the hype to build around speculation and release absolutely no information” style marketing. It has worked for them with the market that existed for the past 4 iPhones. It didn’t work for the marketing of the iPhone 4S, and they get negative press.

        This is a failure of Apples marketing campaign. It is not a failure of the fans of iPhones. (how can the fans of a product be the ones in the wrong? In the retail world – the customer is always right – and by that I don’t mean they are always factually correct, but you always have to listen to your customers concerns and re-educate where necessary.).

        • I was interested to see what the iPhone5 was going to look like, but that wasn’t the launch I was hoping for.

          I wanted to see that IOS5 was releasing, and yes, I am disappointed as it hasn’t arrived yet.

          As for being a fanboi or evangelist, I have a preference to use apple, and have done so for a few years now. I was excited to see the win8 preview release, but that is because it is new technology, not because it is a new windows version. If I could be entirely apple based at work and home, I would do it in a heartbeat.

          The beatup for the iPhone5 was partially by the media – the today show was running ads about the telling us all about the device prior to the release, and they got stung by it, when it was apparent it wasn’t a 5.

          Apple die-hard users don’t get hyped up, they sit back and wait and see. The hype was fuelled by the media, the letdown was reported by the media, and people who expected one thing got introduced to another.

    • “I’ve been talking to die hard apple fan boys all day, and they are ALL pissed off.”

      Then you weren’t talking to “evangelists” and you really were talking to “fan boys” (and everyone knows the only “fan boys” are the Windows fanatics)… Windows people who know that the Apple stuff is good but they still haven’t “got it”. They do not understand how Apple progresses its products to keep ahead of the game without tripping over their own feet.

      Apple didn’t say they were launching iPhone 5 – and guess what, they didn’t launch iPhone 5. But just as with the 3Gs, they launched the 4s with a whole heap of stuff that has our mouths watering.

      I love it that people have such high expectations of Apple – we will make evangelists of you yet… as soon as you “get it”.

  6. Agree with Sean,also seriously premature evaluation happening too.Some people are just spoilt sh*tless :-).

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