Four Apple Pundits You Should Never Read

by James R. Stoup Apr 18, 2007

If you are a long-time Apple user then you have probably heard of the four pundits below. They have written reams of bad advice, poor comparisons, unclear analysis, insane predictions, and general crap. But if you are relatively new to the world of Apple then you might mistakenly assume that these guys actually know what they’re talking about. Rest assured, they don’t. This is a simple guide to the four biggest idiots out there writing about all things Apple. They all have different styles, but in the end you can’t really trust any of them. Here they are, in no particular order: the top four pundits you should always ignore.

John C. Dvorak—Don’t mistake commentary for journalism
A lot of people think John Dvorak is just plain stupid. Given what he has written this is an understandable, if incorrect, conclusion. The confusion comes because most people don’t really understand what John is. It is easy to think he is a journalist of some description. This is incorrect. Dvorak is a blogger. The difference, you ask? Well, a journalist is (supposed to be) concerned with writing quality stories. A blogger just wants his website to get as many hits as possible. Clearly then, when you look at things in this light you realize that everything Dvorak says is aimed not at being truthful or insightful or honest but rather inflammatory because this ensures his pieces get the most traffic. Dvorak’s method of saying ridiculous crap and waiting for people to disagree with him has earned him much traffic. Please don’t indulge him anymore. Here are some of John’s best attempts at Mac-baiting:

Apple Should Pull The Plug On The iPhone
Will Apple Adopt Windows?

And, lest we have any doubts, here is Dvorak on camera admitting he only writes crazy things to drive traffic to his site.
Video of Dvorak admitting he is a fraud

Save yourself the hassle and just ignore anything that Dvorak writes. It will only make you mad.

Rob Enderle—Mr. “I-will-say-anything-for-a-quote”
Imagine for a moment you were a tech writer and you wanted a quote from an “industry analyst” to support your latest story. Well, you go out and talk to all the credible sources first, but they all disagree with you. What do you do? Well, you have 3 choices:

a) consider that your premise might be faulty and rework your piece (I include this option solely for the laughs it will generate)
b) make up sources and bank on the notion that nobody checks these things out anyway (also called the Dan Rather solution)
c) call Rob Enderle and tell him what quote you want him to make (for a small fee of course)

You would be amazed at how popular option “c” seems to be. Now, you have to realize that this is even more amazing when you consider two facts. First, when it comes to Apple, Enderle is almost always wrong. Dead wrong. Not-even-close wrong. What-were-you-smoking wrong. And second, Enderle has no real experience in the industry. He isn’t a programmer, engineer, manager, designer, or anything else that implies knowledge of this particular trade. What is he, you ask? Why, he is an analyst! What does it take to be an analyst, you ask? I don’t know, but a degree in some type of science isn’t it!

Rob Enderle is the perfect example of someone who talks at great length about something he doesn’t really understand, but because he’s an “analyst” suddenly seems more credible than your run-of-the-mill janitor, homeless person, or window washer. If you see an article that quotes Enderle, stop reading right there. The Macalope sums it up best:

Note to the media: sometimes the facts aren’t “balanced.” And any time you have to resort to calling Rob Enderle is probably one of those times.

Here is some more proof for those who need it:
Misinterpreting statistics never goes out of style
The iPhone is crap, iTunes is doomed, blah blah blah

Rob Enderle holds the record for “most predictions by a pundit of Apple’s death.”
Apple Death Knell Counter

Remember, there is no opinion so insane that Rob won’t support if it means he gets his name in print again.


George Ou—He lost his mind during the wireless-MacBook-hack scandal and never recovered
George makes ZDNet look bad just by having his name associated with their site. You see, he isn’t as blatantly evil as Dvorak or quite the link-whore that Enderle is, but he is crazy. And by crazy I mean paranoid, tinfoil hats, and vast conspiracies crazy. You kind of feel embarrassed for him at some point. You just want to ask him, “you don’t really believe all this stuff, do you?” Yeah, stunned disbelief is the trademark of an Ou piece. For those who don’t remember, Ou was the one journalist who wholeheartedly believed Maynor & Elich during the whole wireless hack-a-Mac saga. What makes him really nuts is that when Maynor painted himself into a corner (meaning even if you believed him, he made enough contradictory statements to show that he must have been lying at some point) and then refused to provide any proof, Ou was the one who stepped up and accused Apple of orchestrating a grand conspiracy aimed at discrediting Maynor. Here is some of his best work:

Who framed David Maynor? (duh, Apple!)
Vista is easier to use than OS X

This is one of those things that’s too funny for me to make up.
Ou Receives Wedgie From Apple Community


Paul Thurrott—Facts are sooooo optional
The aforementioned pundits on this list all share one thing in common: they tend to always be wrong when it comes to commenting on Apple. Dvorak does it on purpose, Enderle does it for links, and Ou does it because he is a nut job, but regardless of the reason they are all still wrong (the vast majority of the time at least). But not so exactly with Thurrott, who actually gets things right once in a while. And this, sadly, makes him even more unreliable in the long run because it gives him an air of credibility. The big problem with Thurrott is that he is either lazy or stupid. It doesn’t really matter which because the results are the same. He writes pieces that have basic facts wrong. It’s not that he is drawing the wrong conclusions from his data, it’s that he starts off with bad data. And unless you are really paying attention, his “analysis” can look quite reasonable. A perfect example of this (full link below) was when he compared a Dell Precision and a Mac Pro. He determined that the Mac was more expensive, but he compared two fairly different machines. The Mac had a 64 bit processor while the Dell only had a 32 bit one. When you actually compare equal machines the Dell is more expensive. This kind of sloppy reporting can easily fool those causal readers who assume Mr. Thurrott actually has done all his research.

Steve Jobs’ “Open Letter” was really a trick
Price comparison: Dell vs. Mac

Read him with care because he isn’t the most diligent of researchers.



  • Xapplimatic: I believe the keyboard pictured is a Matias keyboard.

    Stewsburntmonkey had this to say on Apr 19, 2007 Posts: 3
  • And no mention whatsoever of Time Machine being a rip off of Vista’s Previous Versions.

    OMG you are so full of crap.

    I like the way linking to vehement pro-apple writers is tried as an argument that the slavering-at-the-mouth anti-apple writers are just dandy.

    Can I just say, Chris Howard I agree about Mossberg. It’s like his only aim in life is to get on apple’s hot links feed.

    But at least he’s not Dvorak, the <a href=“”>card-carrying troll</a> who the uber-rational Beeblebrox, apparently, defends.

    Benji had this to say on Apr 19, 2007 Posts: 927
  • I’ve never read anything by the other two guys but I have to agree on Dvorak and partially agree on Thurrott.

    Dvorak is an idiot and Thurrott comes up with things that are not accurate sometimes. But come on, Thurrott writes for WinInfo, Super Site for Windows, Windows Weekly, etc. What do you expect? I can’t say I’ve seen a lot of posts here praising Microsoft, nor would I expect to on APPLE Matters.

    And really, this post is no less a linkbait article than the stuff these guys write. Plus, you’re giving them even more links by including the links to their articles in this post. At least put a “nofollow” tag on them so they don’t get even more credibility in the eyes of the search engines.

    blastfurnace had this to say on Apr 19, 2007 Posts: 2
  • I’d like to start an internet campaign of not linking to pageview trolls, personally. They are the major problem with web dialogue.

    Benji had this to say on Apr 19, 2007 Posts: 927
  • Xapplimatic, you really don’t believe that published specs are always correct do you? Remind me again why you think Dvorak lost all credibility. Is it because the phone is out and it lasts for several hours?

    Beeblebrox, Timemachine looks pretty original to me. Seems like a descent combination of rsync and svn.

    Ben Hall, “I like the way linking to vehement pro-apple writers is tried as an argument that the slavering-at-the-mouth anti-apple writers are just dandy.” I just can’t figure out what this means. I also agree with the, “not linking to pageview trolls,” see my previous comment.

    Looks like James R Stoup isn’t going to reply to any of this article’s comments.

    kettle had this to say on Apr 20, 2007 Posts: 4
  • OK, so your article names some anti Apple pundits to look out for and avoid but there are many writers and journalists who support Apple who spurt FUD out of their teeth about the other guys.

    Pro Apple journalists in no way are immune to this, may I suggest an article critiquing some blunders on the other side of news reporting? Don’t worry, they are not had to find.

    Although some of those guys I haven’t heard of Thurrott does a very good good and balanced job of talking about technology and you will see this if you take more than two minutes in looking at his work.

    wayne had this to say on Apr 21, 2007 Posts: 1
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