If you're lucky (i.e., you're named Mossberg or Pogue), you get to put your hands on one of these maybe a week before your deadline. But more likely it's a few hours before at best. So any "review" is really just a summary of features with photos and a few off-the cuff conclusions, accompanied by some snappy SEO-friendly headlines.
Which is exactly how companies like Apple want it to be. Why pay for PR when the blogosphere will provide it for free?
But since I'm spreading the blame here, part of the problem is also you and me -- the folks who read these reviews and respond to them. The sad truth is that many bloggers are paid the equivalent of a ham sandwich and a Coke per post, plus a few pennies per page view. The more traffic their stories can generate, the more likely they'll be able to pay their rent that month. (Fortunately, InfoWorld does not operate in this fashion, or I'd be living out of a Best Buy refrigerator box.)
So, which type of story is likely to get more readers? A sober warts-and-all assessment of the latest iPhone? Or one that declares not only is latest Jesus phone the greatest thing since sliced bread -- it even slices bread! The answer is the latter. Every time.
People want to read about the latest greatest thing, and they really want it to be great. So the fault, dear readers, lies not in our reviewers but in ourselves. And also Apple.
Did you buy the iHype and/or the iPhone? Weigh in below or email me: email@example.com.
This article, "Apple's Cook: Use Google, Bing, Nokia -- anything but Apple Maps," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the crazy twists and turns of the tech industry with Robert X. Cringely's Notes from the Field blog, and subscribe to Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter.