I personally have never been a huge fan of The Verge. I have always found that they are not opinionated enough. In reviews, they seem to list positive things about a phone, but then end it with a cop-out. I respect some of the writers there. I enjoy some of their pieces. I just have always taken issue with a lot of their work.
I also have taken issue with them having a huge bias against Apple. This isn’t something that has happened once. It happens multiple times. They always seem to be kinder to the competition. Here’s an example (thanks Dan):
Back in September, Samsung released an ad about the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S III titled “It doesn’t take a genius.” It was a pretty poor ad, seeing how they listed very few iPhone software features, and listed a bunch of Galaxy S III features. The Verge kind of dismissed the whole thing as marketing:
The cherry atop this cake of provocation is the slogan “it doesn’t take a genius,” which simultaneously pokes fun at Apple’s Genius store employees and implies that choosing the Galaxy S III over the iPhone 5 is a no-brainer. Given the speed with which Apple sold out of its first batch of iPhone 5s, there are evidently quite a few people out there who’d disagree with Samsung’s premise, but more importantly, isn’t there room for both the GS III and the iPhone 5 in the modern smartphone market? Can’t we all just get along?
I was kind of annoyed at the time for The Verge not really calling out Samsung on the ad. The same thing happened four days later, when Samsung released an anti-iPhone 5 TV ad. The Verge summarizes the ad, and then adds this:
Between this commercial and Samsung’s other inflammatory advertisements, the company’s posturing towards Apple goes beyond tongue-in-cheek prodding. We’re not sure mocking potential customers is the best way to earn them, but Samsung must think it’s doing something right if its sales performance is any indication. Maybe someday those sales figures will convince the company to step off the warpath of insults.
This really pissed me off at the time. They completely dismissed it again. Instead of calling Samsung out, they briefly mentioned the fact that they were mocking customers, and basically said, “maybe it will end one day.” Ugh. All of this would be sort of acceptable if The Verge had not written this long piece about Apple’s new “Why iPhone” page they posted today. The title of the article is this:
Apple stays on the defensive with new iPhone promotional campaign
Is Apple being defensive? It could go both ways. But they never said that Samsung was being defensive in their previous ads. Samsung was most definitely being defensive. Why didn’t The Verge call out Samsung then?
It touts a number of competitive product features, but with no new iPhone hardware immediately on the horizon it appears the company is reacting to the market rather than leading it.
The iPhone 5 is the best rated phone on The Verge. Is that not leading? The Verge then starts to fact check Apple’s page (they did not do this in any way with Samsung’s previous ads).
The 326 ppi pixel density of the iPhone 5 has been lapped by Android devices quite a few times lately — most recently by the 441 ppi display of the Galaxy S4 itself.
Really? Lapped? Once you get to a certain point, more pixels do nothing. It would be like adding one dollar bills to a stack of one billion dollar bills. It doesn’t make a huge difference. The Verge at least mentions that pixel density isn’t the only measure of display quality, but still. They never even bothered to fact check Samsung ads. Why not?
…given the influx of 1080p smartphone displays Apple’s claim that “it remains a feature found only on iPhone and other Apple products” seems more technicality than triumph.
Yes, just like how you pointed out that Shake to Update and S Voice are just a technicality? Oh wait.
The iPhone 5′s camera has been a high-water mark in the smartphone market, but its low-light performance has also faced some pressure from devices like the Lumia 920 and the new HTC One.
Why are you mentioning that? In your own review, you give the HTC One a 6 for camera. The Lumia 920 (the phone Nokia faked pictures for) received an 8. The same as the iPhone 5. That isn’t competition. That is one failure of a camera, and one similar one. You also say this of the Nokia Lumia 920′s camera:
To most eyes, the images look a little washed out and don’t “pop,” with not enough warm tones. A studied pro might say that they’re more accurate and true to life, but the vast majority of smartphone users don’t want to think about the nuances of optical imaging stabilization, they just want to take photos.
That doesn’t sound too good, does it?
The page even lists the top three cameras on Flickr — the iPhone 4S, 4, and 5 — as inferred proof of the iPhone’s superiority.
Inferred proof? You, The Verge (did you forget what you wrote?), said that the iPhone 5 camera is superior. Why are you disputing it now?
The page takes its biggest shots, however, at Android itself. Echoing some of Schiller’s comments, Apple points out that App Store apps are “all reviewed by Apple to guard against malware” (though as we continue to see, this doesn’t keep the occasional unauthorized app from making its way to Apple’s servers).
This makes me sick. They couldn’t resist mentioning that Apple has gotten one or two bad (malware) apps in the store. This is nothing compared to Android. Why don’t they point out how Android has hundreds of bad apps? Also, why didn’t they point out that while Google doesn’t really remove malware apps, they have no qualms against removing ad blocking apps? Did The Verge ever cover Google doing that? If so, I can’t find it. If they didn’t, as I think they did, that is pretty odd, don’t you think?
Taken together with the recent interviews, it’s clear that Apple’s iPhone marketing philosophy is shifting. While it hasn’t shied away from taking shots at competitors in keynotes, its advertising has traditionally focused on positively promoting the strengths of its own products — the “product as hero” philosophy Schiller has espoused in the past. However, the last week has seen the company go after its competitors more openly than ever, and while the email campaign and new page ostensibly tout the iPhone’s strengths, their timing and focus clearly mark them as defensive measures.
Yes. Apple has never, NEVER gone after the competition defensively or offensively. This is not a big change for Apple. This is business as usual. This is competing. If Apple wasn’t competing, I would be worried.
Cupertino isn’t giving up consumer mindshare without a fight.
Have they already given up mindshare? I don’t really think so. Apple isn’t in a dire situation. They have tons of money. But they did have a close brush with death in the 90s. They realize that they keep having to compete or they will decline. They are doing what they always do. Apple isn’t dying. They made a couple of mistakes last year. So what? Every company does. No company is perfect. A company would have to be magical to be perfect. Apple isn’t magical, they just make magical products.
The Verge sucks. This is not the first time they have done something like this. This is constant. Why does The Verge do this? They are losing any integrity they had to begin with. I don’t trust them anymore. I don’t think anyone should.
@zcichy has some good thoughts here and here about this.
I wanted to clarify what I am criticizing The Verge about.
I don’t think that The Verge is always biased against Apple. I enjoy The Verge reviews. I feel they usually give scores to the best products. My point was more the news side of the operation. This is kind of a pattern. Not just with advertising too. The Verge was the only news organization that got exclusive access to the Glass labs. They didn’t post about Google removing ad-blocking apps from the Play store—a major policy shift for Google. They didn’t cover the news that arose that Google was asking reporters to be nicer to them. The Verge posted an article about how Apple has a porn problem, even though the problem is much more rampant on other platforms (thanks Dan, again). The Verge received exclusive access to the Android labs with the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10. They posted an article defending the Nexus 4 having no LTE.
I am not accusing The Verge of anything yet. There isn’t enough proof, even with that above. It could just be mistakes or accidents. I am suspicious of the pattern. Patterns can sometimes mean nothing. But I think it is a string to keep tugging to see where it leads. No harm in making sure news organizations who say they are unbiased actually are.