The Art of Manipulation and Misdirection

The Art of Manipulation and Misdirection

By Rob Enderle

Jun 19, 2017 10:38 AM PT

I was at Qualcomm last week, listening to an economist talk about Apple’s complaints that Qualcomm had charged Apple too much for access to patents. What I thought was fascinating was that Apple had folks focused on the 5 percent that Qualcomm had charged it instead of on the massive profit that Apple made on each phone.

The price of the iPhone 8 is rumored to be well over US$1,000 — but it could cost well under $500 to build. (Check out this WSJ video on how you can
build a decent smartphone for less than $70 in China.)

All other smartphone prices seem to be trending down, while Apple’s appear to be trending up. This near-magical behavior is an example of expert manipulation, and in a world of fake news, it’s suddenly a more interesting topic to cover. (It also suggests that Apple’s level of control over its customer base could be an anti-customer, if not an antitrust, problem.)

Oh, and that’s on top of the issues that
may prevent the iPhone from being shipped in the first place.

I’ll use Apple as an example to illustrate the art of manipulation and misdirection — although it’s hardly the only one that engages in it. I’ll close with my product of the week: a new router from Symantec that may be the perfect thing for securing your home in a hostile world.

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