Three Guys and a Podcast

Three Guys and a Podcast: Apple News & Analysis

April 23, 2014 at 9:07am Pacific Time
by: Mark Reschke 1 Comment

Wwdc_feverWWDC fever is at an all time high, and there is no wondering why. By the time WWDC arrives it will have been nine months since Apple’s top brass has taken to the stage and introduced something new, or even a scant product update. That’s a long time in technology time. Fans, developers and even Apple’s competition are all waiting to see what surprises Apple has in store.

Newer versions of iOS and OS X will be the foundation to the conference. What is yet unknown will most likely revolve around hardware. What Apple will do to   surprise and delight developers and conference attendees is always what drives the show.

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April 18, 2014 at 10:39am Pacific Time
by: Mark Reschke 1 Comment

Macworld_iworld

Macworld/iWorld 2014 came and went this past month. No one noticed. No one remembered. Perhaps sadly, no one cared.

Official attendance figures for the 2014 show have yet to be released, but estimates are for flat or a continued decline in attendance. IDG World Expo estimated that 25,000 attendees visited the three day all-things-Apple event in 2013. However, that pails in comparison to 2007 when Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone where show attendance was 45,572. Since Apple’s departure in 2009, Macworld/iWorld has seen a massive decline in attendance with companies constantly shrinking their booth size, and major players, such as Microsoft, no longer attending. Macworld/iWorld may not be long for this world.

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April 16, 2014 at 10:53am Pacific Time
by: E. Werner Reschke 0 Comments

iTunes has been with us for over a decade now. It’s hard to remember life when “portable” music required physical media (CD, Cassette, Record, 8-track). While the video (see details to the right) is clever and funny it does bring home the point that things change, and change quickly. A decade is a long time for any technology and iTunes is no exception. While iTunes has grown to include movie and TV shows, iTunes Match and iTunes Radio, the fundamental push of iTunes is to buy something — after all it’s really an online store, somewhat disguised as a media browser.

However, the problem is that today’s youth don’t browse and buy, they stream. Streaming is the new way music is consumed, not purchasing. Pandora and Spotify were two entities that figured this out and have led this paradigm shift. Apple tried to respond with iTunes Radio, but if you do much searching or try it yourself, you’ll find that iTunes Radio is still a second place step-cousin to a quality streaming experience.

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April 15, 2014 at 10:38am Pacific Time
by: Mark Reschke 3 Comments

Apple_steve_jobs

Apple’s stock price currently hovers in the low $520’s, a far cry from the days of AAPL closing just over $700. Where Apple’s stock price may be headed is up for huge debate, and if you want to believe AAPL is moving to $800, then believe this. If you want to believe Apple is in a free-fall, go here. There seems to be an abundance of Kool-Aid for everyone of any persuasion. Underneath all of the pop culture of stock predictions lies a fundamental question: Did investors ever believe in Apple, or was it only Steve Jobs that they saw someone worth investing in?

Steve Jobs led Apple out of its dark past to make Apple the largest financially solvent tech company in the world. Investors were quick to take note and eagerly followed along. AAPL rose from $10 a share in 2004 to over $350 per share by the time of Jobs death in March, 2011, rising to over $420 a share (which included two stock splits). Apple’s stock price continued to march happily north, peaking at $702.10 on September 19, 2012, nearly a year after Tim Cook had begun to act as full-time Apple CEO. Nothing had seemed to change between Jobs or Cook, just more product market share and financial success. But it wasn’t long after Apple’s dramatic rise to just over $700 that Wall Street began to sour on Apple.

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April 14, 2014 at 11:40am Pacific Time
by: Mark Reschke 0 Comments

Ue_boom_versus_1Logitech’s UE (Ultimate Ears) division is on a roll lately. Their UE mini Boom portable bluetooth speaker puts out a solid sound with minimal distortion — even when the volume is set to the highest level. But its sound was one direction, best suited for personal travel and use. UE’s Boom is a different story.

Logitech’s UE Boom can best be described as a full-sized 360 degree sounds system in a can. Its shape highly resembles as 16 oz / 24 oz beverage bottle, but its enjoyment goes well beyond any beverage container.

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April 11, 2014 at 9:23am Pacific Time
by: Mark Reschke 2 Comments

Iphone_6_phabletIn January the Wall Street Journal provided data suggesting larger screen iPhones. A string of rumors and conjecture have been reported ever since in an attempt to portray a undeniable truth – a larger screen iPhone is coming.

Assume for a moment the rumors, the analysts' expert analysis, and the "upstream supply chain" informants are correct, and that Apple is going to deliver a larger screen iPhone 6. Shouldn't the question really be about whether Apple will ship a larger screen device beyond a big screen iPhone, such as phablet device?

In 2003, Steve Jobs made fun of tiny screen devices, telling Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg, "I’m not convinced people want to watch movies on a tiny little screen." Two years later, the 2.7" screen iPod video arrived. On September 7, 2005, Jobs also introduced the iPod nano, sporting a 1.5" screen. 

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April 09, 2014 at 9:10am Pacific Time
by: E. Werner Reschke 5 Comments

Napa Valley, California - OS X 10.10As we are all getting settled into the latest release of OS X Mavericks 10.9.2, the Cupertino tribe is busy working away on the next major release of OS X. Our Bay Area source has just informed Three Guys and a Podcast that the official name will be derived from the internal code name which is “Syrah” — a type of red wine. Therefore, the official OS X name for the next major release is to be “Napa Valley”, or “Napa” for short.

Our source also noted that there have been internal discussions at Apple concerning whether to use future OS X names to promote all of California or just locations surrounding the Bay Area. If you’ve ever been to California there is a big riff between No-Cal and So-Cal. Most of Apple’s talent lives or is from the Bay Area, and while the new OS X naming convention is supposed to reflect “Made in California”, there is no love loss for only picking Northern California destinations for the next several OS X releases.

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April 08, 2014 at 9:02am Pacific Time
by: E. Werner Reschke 1 Comment

Students-test-examRemember when you were in school and there was that über smart kid who finished their test first — and early. That kid would scoot their chair from their desk for all to hear, slowly stand up, walk forward, drop their test into the teacher’s inbox and turn to smirk at the classroom as if to say, “Good luck dumb dumbs.” For everyone else still taking the test, the emotions that would immediate ensue were lead by fear and panic. “How’d he/she finish so fast!?!? I’m behind. Hurry up! Gotta finish!!” would flood the mind.

And that’s when mistakes would be made. When against the clock, people make mistakes they normally wouldn’t. They do things they know they shouldn’t. In business it’s no different. Mistakes are made all the time by really smart people at industry leading companies because of the rush to market by competition and the fear of being left behind. The Set Top Box market is a great example. AppleTV is in the lead and we see the competition trying to catch up — in a panic.

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April 06, 2014 at 11:05pm Pacific Time
by: Mark Reschke 3 Comments

Pirates_searchGoogle, Bing, Yahoo!, Ask Network, AOL, DuckDuckGo, and even Dogpile. Do we really need another search engine, especially since no one has proven they can touch Google's dominance?

According to comScore Google’s February 2014 share of search was a very steady 67.5%, with Microsoft’s Bing search engine light years behind, holding onto 18.4%. Yahoo! was the only other search provider to reach over 10%. Why would Apple ever choose to enter such a mature market? The only way to obtain market share is to steal from a competitor — a space Google is laser focused on never relinquishing.

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April 04, 2014 at 12:46pm Pacific Time
by: Mark Reschke 3 Comments

Earlier this week Amazon stepped into the set top box market with Amazon fireTV. This is a direct competitor to Apple TV, with a few extra features such as a gaming option and a voice control remote. 

Digging into fireTV’s specifications became a difficult task, and it reminded me of a similar problem when Amazon launched their Kindle Fire HD against Apple’s iPad mini. Amazon cherry picked the Kindle Fire HD specifications in a big way, so as to present their tablet as being superior, and cheaper — to the iPad mini. Amazon, receiving negative press, soon capitulated 

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