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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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Costco’s Mobile Online Store is offering iPhones and iPads with steep discounts. Below are a few screen captures of pricing deals found today. Earlier this month we broke the story about Costco selling iPhones and iPads in their club warehouses starting June 27th. However today Costco began offering Apple deals online.

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T-Mobile Test DriveThis week T-Mobile is trying to change the mobile network game by giving anyone an iPhone 5s and a free 7-day test drive on their network. According to their press release, T-Mobile President and CEO John Legere stated that it is,

“A big day for wireless. An even bigger day for wireless customers.”

Legere goes on to say that T-Mobile’s mobile network is different than the other big three in the U.S. AT&T, Verizon and Sprint are all phone companies that moved into the mobile space. T-Mobile, Legere claims, is a mobile network company period. The distinction makes a difference because T-Mobile is built with the data user in mind, not just the voice user. Matter of fact voice is no longer analog, but digital, so it is data too. Legere claims this isn’t just “marketing B.S.” but a real difference that once people try they’ll understand. This difference also allows T-Mobile to give its customers far better data plans and rates than the other three.

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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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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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Apple’s Newest Retail Store in Portland, Oregon | View Gallery >

Apple's new Senior Vice President of Retail and Operations, Angela Ahrendts, recently attended the opening of Apple's new London store. Ahrendts was in Omotesando, Japan to unveil another large-scale, two floor Apple retail storefront yesterday. While much of the media focus has been on Ahrendts herself — and the amazing retail glass architectural wonders Apple continues to erect — it is Apple’s direction for retail outlets that merits investigation.  

On the international stage Apple is loudly promoting its large, standalone retail stores. However, in the U.S., Apple is very quietly moving into ever larger spaces.

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Metal_crisis_and_riseApple’s developer conference keynote held at San Francisco’s Moscone West convention center left developers’ heads spinning. The flood of new technologies Cook and his VP’s delivered was simply staggering. Among the slew of announcements was Apple’s impressive new technology called Metal. 

Metal is a graphics API for iOS, squarely targeted at game developers. Metal’s objective is to eliminate OpenGL by giving developers more power with direct access to the graphics processor. This will allow high-end gaming developers to push the limits of Apple’s A7 (and likely forthcoming A8) processor found within the latest iOS devices. The result is Apple’s CPU and GPU will work together in “seamless harmony” as Apple says, allowing games like Ryse: Son of Rome, to look and feel like its high-end console counterpart on xBOX ONE.

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Apple Picks Up Nokia Pureview Photography Creator

by: E. Werner Reschke | May 12, 2014
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According to re/code’s Ina Fried, Apple has wooed a key player in the development of Nokia’s Pureview photography technology, Ari Partinen. The Pureview technology made its debut back in 2012 onto a Symbian based Nokia smartphone. Since then Pureview has been a part of Nokia’s Lumia series, and Nokia’s marketing team has been trumpeting Lumia’s superior photography technology as a main reason to consider purchasing its phones.

Microsoft’s Lumia spokesman responded in part that, “PureView is the work of the entire team, not any one individual.” Of course Microsoft would say that, what else can they say given the fact that they just lost one of their technology geniuses to Apple?

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Sayta_nadellaIn a surprise move just a week after the announcement of Office for iPad, Microsoft’s new CEO Sayta Nadella issued a press release early this morning,

“It has become clear to the marketplace, and also in Redmond, that mobile is the future. Since Windows has been unable to catch iOS and Android it makes no sense to continue pursuing a path where customers are not going.”

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