Apple's announcements yesterday were, in total, stunning. Taking on the gaming front, a curated news and magazine offering, original content creation and curation solution, oh, and offering a credit card, all in a single day? All this stuff takes a gargantuan effort to pull off, and it looks like Apple is poised to be highly successful. As for the naysayers, it's the same folks that said Apple Music would be a flop, that it couldn't ever reach 10 million subscribers, yet it is now on its way to a pay-to-play 60 million subscriber base. With 1.4 billion active Apple devices world-wide, in a majority of hands that have disposable income, the new initiatives will aid in giving Apple financial balance against iPhone. But in the short term, it is Apple's credit card announcement that intrigues me the most.
Apple's credit card, aptly named Apple Card, expands their Wallet app by adding what is essentially a digital credit card. Yes, a physical card is provided, but it need only be used at locations where Apple Pay is not available (yet). If you are into cool looking credit cards, this enters the infamous "Black" credit card territory, made of titanium with only your name and an Apple logo gracing the front.
iPad Pro is not ready to replace MacBooks, or notebooks en mass. In fact, it's not even close. But first, I do need to throw out a few qualifiers, because clearly, there are valid reasons the iPad Pro exists.
iPad Pro is a great tablet. If these technologies were around when I was in high school and college, I could have taken my airbrush and creative skills to a whole new level, anywhere, anytime. iPad is also a great media consumption device. From the couch to commuter train, the new iPad Pro's edge-to-edge displays make for a great anywhere devices to consume media, FaceTime friends or catch up on a good book. Moving iPad Pro beyond its creative and entertainment environments and into more traditional MacBook use cases is where iPad Pro begins to fall short.
Steve Jobs had a simple notion. Build out a four quadrant computer offering. A pro level desktop and notebook, and a consumer level desktop and notebook. It worked like magic compared to the dozens of Mac models Apple had floating around (most of which no one wanted, or highly desired models Apple couldn't supply). Today is Tim Cook's Apple. Rather than simplify the product lineup, Cook has widely expanded Apple's options, providing choice over simplicity. The shift in direction seems to have literally paid off – but the jury is still out when it comes to Apple's notebook lineup.
I was an early adopter of the original MacBook. 2 pounds, retina display, a cool looking space gray and all-new keyboard design, which, at the time felt fantastic. The MacBook keyboard delivered accurate, short throws. I loved it. Then the keyboard issues began to arrive.
The first oddity, which I had never experienced with any Mac keyboard, was the black color of the keys literally began rubbing off. The inverted white lettering started expanding, resulting in a huge white blob. Apple simply conducted an in-store replacement for the keys with the issue. I noticed the new keys had a slightly different finish and tint to them, so figured the early runs had an issue and Apple would simply replace original keys as they rubbed out.
Many analysts and journalists alike are claiming Apple's sky is falling! Versus the year-over-year quarter, iPhone sales fell flat. Technically, sales were down 900k, from 78.2 million to 77.3 million. Thus the iPhone and Apple are now a massive failure. Android and its fragmented products are just too much for Apple. Everyone hates Face ID and "the notch." Employees at Apple Park are running around with their hair on fire! Give it up Cook, it's over!
Detractors and Apple haters are piling on, and while it makes for great click-bait, regardless of how off-base their titles are, there are other things called facts:
If you've read a number of reviews about Apple's iPhone X, at some point you may have discovered that the new OLED display Apple utilizes is made by Samsung. What you may also have been led to believe is the display for iPhone X is no different than any other OLED display, and certainly nothing different than any other display Samsung manufactures. Sadly, that's not even close to accurate.
What tends to make fake news so effective, is it typically starts with a basic truth, wrapped within layers of misinformation, ignorance or both. When it comes to iPhone X's display, it's been a potent mix of both.
If you are an Android fan boy that's great. Seriously, I have no qualms which camp people wish to reside in. Apple and Google mobile worlds are quiet different, thus it all boils down to this: If you like Borio's instead of Oreo's, Duplo Blocks instead of Legos, preferred Zune instead iPod, leave your car doors unlocked and home front door wide open, then Android phones are for you.
Daniel Bader of Android Central recently reviewed Apple's iPhone X. After reading his review I genuinely felt sorry for him. Bader had to bend, contort, or piecemeal his article in an attempt to come up with an Android outcome that could stand on the same stage as iPhone X. And what of privacy? Bader never much discussed privacy in his review. But it's not like security with iPhone paired with iOS is anything new, and Android paired with off-the-shelf pinball machine parts is something not new.
Costco and Apple haven't always seen eye to eye over the years. But under Tim Cook's leadership, Apple's reach at Costco has slowly improved. This Christmas represents Apple's largest reach to Costco's faithful in years.
Costco is fortifying their warehouses with a large Apple kiosk, which essentially contains every major Apple product, the Mac being the only exclusion. Apple's 9.7" iPad, 10.1" and 12.7" iPad Pro, both sizes of Apple Watch Series 3, and Apple TV 4K are all available at Costco.
Let me just start right off with the ugly. There isn't any. Having used the iPhone X all day and night since November 3, hitting it as a power user, there's simply no ugly about iPhone X – it's that good.
As for the bad? If you think I'm going to say "The Notch" think again. As many others have stated, to which I am also a witness, it quickly becomes invisible in the user experience. It matters not, and I simply don't see it. The notch may be marketing fodder for panicking Android hardware makers, but in reality it's an absolute non-issue, and the only thing Samsung can seemingly make fun of. Yet the technology the notch delivers is nothing short of amazing. The only "bad/gripe" I have is with iOS itself and how iPhone X shows the battery life, which displays as a battery icon only. The easiest way to see the battery percentage is to quickly swipe down from the top left corner, or swipe, hold, and push back. It's quick and easy, but it would be trivial for Apple to add a "view percentage" option in Settings. That's it. That's all I've got on anything bad – seriously!