What has the New York Times -- and the rest of the tech press -- got against Apple?
FORTUNE — “There’s a nihilistic streak in tech journalism that I just don’t see in other fields,” writes Daring Fireball’s John Gruber in 2013: The Year in Apple and Technology at Large. “Sports, movies, cars, wristwatches, cameras, food — writers who cover these fields tend to celebrate, to relish, the best their fields have to offer. Technology, on the other hand, seems to attract enthusiasts with no actual enthusiasm.”
Gruber almost didn’t know where to start with what he termed “a sad pile of piss-on-everything cynicism.”
Where he settled — and where he spent 1,000 of those 1,900 words — was on the “pernicious lie” in the last sentence: The conspiracy theory promoted in the
New York Times
by Catherine Rampell and promulgated by Mims himself, that Apple has booby trapped the iPhone so that older models slow to crawl and stop holding a charge just before new ones come on the market.
“The whole ‘planned obsolescence’ thing was a pile of horse sh**,” Gruber writes, pointing readers to Brian Barrey’s debunking in Gizmodo. (“You think your iPhone 4 is slow? Try a Samsung Fascinate. Batteries degrade over time. Software capabilities improve. Saying Apple plans the obsolescence of iPhones is like saying Dole plans the obsolescence of bananas.”)
To which Gruber adds his own evidence against Rampell’s so-called Apple Trap theory: “Used two-year-old iPhone 4S’s can be sold for $300; three-year-old iPhone 4’s still sell for $200 or more. What other companies make cell phones that retain any value at all after two years?”
For a more comprehensive indictment of Apple’s press coverage this year, see Daniel Eran Dilger’s editorial in AppleInsider: 2013 was a terrible year for both Apple’s competitors and its media critics.