Geography Lesson for US Tech Bloggers

Since the dawn of civilization, defining the center of the world has been a Very Important Activity.  Great wars were fought to stick a flag in this spot, where ever that turned out to be at any given time.  Ghengis Khan, Alexander the Great and former US president George Bush all had different opinions on the L10N.  Various indigenous peoples have paid for its ever-changing identification by loss of land and gain of child-labored textile mills.

So given the constant confusion around this nebulous spot it’s no wonder many technically-oriented blog sites get lost… especially those in the United States suffering from a gross misconception of world view.

Never fear: this blog is here to help.

What the world really looks like

Tradition has it that the world is flat, and supported by either elephants, a big guy named Atlas, or turtles to infinity and beyond.  There are numerous problems with this theory I won’t go into; that’s why God made first-grade teachers.

As incredible as it may seem, the planet is actually round (with some bulging, flattening and irregular rooflines here and there).  It looks like this:

Earth. (hand of God shown for scale purposes only)

Specifically, below we show the continental US (outlying properties Guam, Hawaii and Iraq omitted for clarity):

By comparison, this is Finland, home of the world’s most prolific cell phone generator:

Keep those images in mind.

What this means for you

The following table provides some comparison and contrast:

  Comparison/Contrast: Finland vs Rest of the World
  Finland United States
Language Suomi Hip-Hop
Population Size 5 million 300 million
Perceived Major Gizmo Maker Nokia Apple
Actual Major Gizmo Maker Nokia Samsung
Perceived Major Gizmo Maker US Smartphone Market Share -.007% 25.3%
Perceived Major Gizmo Maker  Global Smartphone Market Share 40% 16.6%
Desperate for global gizmo success, as determined by amount of writers tripping over each other to provide free press Doubtful Obviously

Very compelling data!

Conclusion

The Earth is a globe.  Its large circular surface is covered by alternating water bodies and land masses.  Some of those land masses are home to industrialized nations which crank out electronic gizmos for your use and discarding pleasure.  Within those nations sit self-absorbed writers racing each other and their own biological clocks to deliver pungent, poignant punditry wrapped around said gizmos, striving mightily to make 15% look like 95%.  In their hard-working haste, some have labored into late hours and later slept through elective classes like Geography, Finance and Logic 101.

Is there a  need to mention Engadget and Gizmodo by name?

disclaimer: author is a semi-serious native US citizen who has been across the Atlantic Ocean and below the Texas border a few times and can verify that there is more land out there.

19 responses to “Geography Lesson for US Tech Bloggers

  1. Good post, though honestly I think it’s a lost cause from the start. I do however have to point out that Apple’s global smartphone share is definitely not 2.7%, it’s 15% (see here: http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2010/03/final-2009-mobile-phone-market-numbers-as-all-have-reported-we-have-big-news.html). 2% is their marketshare out of ALL phones sold (smartphones+feature phones).
    Oh, and one more thing: I didn’t get the Texas joke.🙂

  2. Very true. Lost cause.

    As a European living in the US… if it’s not American it a) can’t be good b) can’t be relevant.
    I keep trying to fight this perception bias and keep losing the fight.

  3. I have this fight every time I enter an idiotic higher echelon of retarded dimwits, aka iHerd, controlled territory.

    Apple makes a decent UI experience and some exceptional hardware. However, the “complete package” which is defined as “the moment following point of sale until end of life of the product”, makes their nice hardware and polished UI an utter piece of turd!

    Unfortunately, here in the US it is grand posturing and what “seems” cool that you need to have, therefor make, as a product.

    Which, for a country that is running on capitalism, seems kinda funny in my opinion.

    But what do I know? 🙂

  4. I had a good laugh, though I had just another “The world according to Americans” map in mind where “Yurop” has those great theme parks and elephants and Mexico has those people with funny hats and good food if you just put enough cheese on it.

  5. HumanPenguin

    The rest of the world would like to point out your error in indicating to Americans that we exist.

    Please do not worry this is all a figment of your imagination. Feel free to stay in your own country and please take your $800bn PA military spending back into your own borders.

  6. How is Samsung the Actual Major Gizmo Maker of the United States? I thought they were Korean. If the title means the company who designs the most phones in the US that are made somewhere else, I would (sarcastically) nominate Verizon Wireless.

    • The comment was tongue-in-cheek, but anyway not meant to indicate a US-based provider but rather one doing business in the US. The point is Apple isn’t as big as its press image. 😉

  7. Grew up and am living in Texas. I too find it sad how these blogs report so inaccurately. Whats worst is that us american consumers suffer because of it. Many believe what is said in these blogs which has led to the trend of people using “smart phones” which have been dumbed down in features in some aspects. Thankfully Nokia is still trying to progress the consumers rather then digress.

    I don’t know if you read engadget regularly, but there was a link to an editorial discouraging multitasking. MADNESS

    Anyways, love the post and love the blog. Keep it up.

  8. Great and funny article. Thanks!

    Though I have managed to curb my anger towards the iphone cult, I have managed to get banned for pointing out inaccuracies in (most of the) articles on two particular ‘gadget’ sites.

    Keep up the good writing.

    Cheers!

  9. Boy, in hindsight, it looks like the US-Centric writers were on the mark after all!

    Excuse me, the microwave timer says my crow is cooked…

    • Naw, after all if enough shit is thrown around some of it is going to stick, eventually. I can start yelling now that Apple is doomed, and it will come true eventually.

      (Even if I make it come true!)

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