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During the June 2014 quarter Apple, Inc. sold 4.4 million Macs. The sales figure was surprising in that during the year ago quarter Apple only sold 3.75 million Macs, representing a year-over-year sales increase of 15%. Based on IDC’s worldwide estimates for the June quarter, coupled with Apple’s actual Mac shipments, Apple likely achieved 5.9% global PC share.

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What Microsoft’s 18,000 Person Layoff Means

by: E. Werner Reschke | Jul 18, 2014

Nadella-ballmerMost might think, and rightly so, that laying off 18,000 employees means a company like Microsoft had a bad year or that their future looks dire and therefore requires huge retooling. Those assumptions often are correct, but not always. Companies lay off employees for a variety of reasons, and it isn't always symptomatic of the whole, as a division may be suffering or shutting down, not the entire company. But huge layoffs can also mean a company needs to change direction and needs to “start over.” When Steve Jobs’ returned to Apple in 1997, and then became the iCEO, Jobs immediately slashed 4,100 employees within Apple's ranks, representing a third of the companies workforce. In Apple's case, it was an indicator Apple was nearing it's end, only a quarter (some say) from bankruptcy. But it was also the start of a new beginning.

Microsoft claims most of its layoffs are targeted towards former Nokia employees and some restructuring within the company. Is Microsoft’s CEO Sayta Nadella working to change the culture and truly turn the often rudderless Microsoft, or is he merely rearranging the deck chairs like Ballmer had done so many times before? Microsoft is facing stiff competition in mobile and cloud computing — two places they want to dominate. In order to compete, Microsoft must remain lean and nimble. Layoffs may help accomplish this goal, but so heavily in mobile where they need to win?...

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Ballmer’s Microsoft - The Lost Decade

by: E. Werner Reschke | Jul 11, 2014

Steve Ballmer

In 2004, just ten years ago, the New England Patriots were the NFL’s new dynasty with three Super Bowl victories in four years. Lost, Amazing Race and 24 were the top three hit television shows. The U.S. war in Iraq was just one year old, and Microsoft was the undisputed king of the tech world.

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T-Mobile: Trying to Change The Carrier Game

by: E. Werner Reschke | Jul 07, 2014

T-mobile-setting-data-rates-for-music-to-free

T-Mobile, the 4th largest cell phone/data carrier in the U.S., is trying to shake things up a bit by rolling out multiple offers — that do not charge for data usage. When cell phones first came out in the 90’s, it was talk-time that was restricted by cost. Each plan had “so many minutes” of talk-time in the plan. But thanks to the wonder of competition, carriers built out their networks and beat each other down with better and better talk-time offers until talk time became unlimited on most plans. Today it is almost assumed that a plan of any value will have unlimited talk-time.

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Android_fracturesIt may be going unnoticed, but Apple is quietly going about, continually gaining mobile market share, building an ever-larger iOS customer base world-wide. If anyone is noticing, it's Apple’s competitors of iPhone and iPad. Samsung, LG, HTC, Nokia, Motorola and others are doing their best to keep pace. Ironically, it is Apple’s competition that are proving to be their own worst enemy.

Maturing markets typically lead to consolidation and uniformity, but this is not what is taking place in the mobile space. In recent years, only Apple and Samsung have been profitable within the smartphone and tablet markets, leaving HTC, LG and others searching for ways to make a buck, which is leading to a massive fracturing of the mobile OS market.

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Review: Apple iPad Air vs Surface Pro 3

by: Mark Reschke | Jun 27, 2014

Ipad_air_vs_surface_pro_3Earlier this week I reviewed the Surface Pro 3 and how it stacked up against the MacBook Air as an ultrabook laptop. I wore the objectivity cape as long as possible, but it was simply no contest. From hardware to operating system, the MacBook Air delivered a vastly superior ultrabook experience. But the Surface Pro 3 claims something the MacBook Air does not – that it is the best of a laptop and best of a tablet. The former was covered, but now it is time to dig into the latter. Does the Surface Pro 3 make for the best tablet when compared against the leader of the pack, the iPad Air?

Hardware:

Microsoft has been keen to market the Surface Pro 3 against the MacBook Air, but raw processing power of the Surface seemingly gives it an advantage over the iPad Air, not the MacBook Air. Geekbench testing reveals Surface has the power edge over the iPad Air:

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Macbook_air_vs_surface_pro_3There is little doubt that you have seen the ads: Microsoft continuing to desperately promote Surface Pro 3 as the everything tablet — and — the everything laptop computer. However, there are two important problems with Microsoft’s “Best of a laptop, best of a tablet” claim:

  • Surface Pro 3 is not a great tablet.
  • Surface Pro 3 is a poor choice when compared to an ultra-book laptop.

I could make this article short and sweet by stating the Surface Pro 3 is truly flawed product, grasping at MacBook Air and iPad Air straws, but there are serious reasons why the Surface is a solution in search of a problem and they deserve, at least, some attention.

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Itunes_costcoBeginning June 27, iPhones and iPads will once again be sold through Costco Wholesale. Apple's strong march back into Costco means Samsung will no longer be going unchecked within the U.S.'s largest club wholesaler. Apple will soon be reconnected the club's higher income Americans, tp which Costco largely caters. 

The average annual household income of each Costco membership is $96,000. The typical Costco member who purchases technology at the retailer is not part of the early adopter crowd. Rather, Costco members largely tie into what is called the "laggard" segment of the market, settling on whatever Costco is offering. This is a large high-income segment Apple has been missing for the past four years.

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Amazon_fire_phone

Yesterday Amazon's CEO, Jeff Bezos introduced the company’s first smartphone called fire Phone. Taking queues from the popular fire brand Amazon had built from their tablets, it seemed a logical extension of their tablet offering. The questions surrounding the fire Phone have largely been answered.

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Costco_AppleIn 2010, Apple and Costco parted ways. At the same time  Apple’s divorce with Costco was being completed, dealings with Walmart and Sam’s Club were heating up. Coincidence? We didn’t think so then, and now we don’t believe that's the case now. But rumor is, Apple and Costco are putting aside their differences in order to team up once again.

An email that's been circulating the past week is claimed to be from the Wireless Advocates CEO (Wireless Advocates owns the wireless kiosk contract at Costco), which states:

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