Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, recently lashed out at Apple, calling the iPhone maker a "Tesla Graveyard," where the only employees Apple had of poached from Tesla were the one’s who hadn’t made the cut at Tesla. Musk has also bashed Apple’s Pencil and new iPad Pro, noting they were not relevant enough. With Musk’s logic, the newly unveiled Tesla Model X SUV is just a bigger Model S electric car — not so relevant.
Anyone remember this bad boy display? The original 15" LCD Studio Display, complete with a translucent frame. Well times have certainly changes since its introduction in 1998, but it seems the display department at Apple is stuck behind the times. It is almost as if Apple does not want to sell their current display or even play in this market, which is a lost opportunity for additional revenue.
I know, I know. We are still digesting the massive updates from September’s special event: iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, a new Apple TV with new remote and Siri and a totally new iPad Pro with Apple Pencil and refreshed iPad lineup. Add to that the releases of iOS 9 (with already two bug fix updates) and Mac OS X El Capitan. And now I’m wondering about more? Of course!
According to Bloomberg, Amazon will no longer be selling Apple TV or Google Chromecast starting October 29, siting vague references that these products are not easily “compatible” with Amazon’s Prime video service. A big shift in Amazon is taking place within the online retail giant by refusing to sell what look to be popular forthcoming retail products.
Control within Amazon seems to have shifted from its online retail division, to that of the Prime team. This shift is similar to the power Microsoft’s Windows team yielded for decades, and continues to do so, stifling anything in their path for the sake of maintaining power. What is good for Windows is good for Microsoft is the Redmond mantra. In Amazon’s case, subscriptions are now king, running over any physical hardware sales gains. Amazon has taken on a somewhat Orwellian-Marxist viewpoint that all products are equal, but some are more equal than others. In this case, Fire TV is sold along side any other competing product, that is, unless other products threaten the power of Fire TV.
New iPhones, a new iPad Pro and a new Apple TV, were all unveiled last month during Apple’s Bill Graham Auditorium special event. Beyond iPhone it is difficult to gage exactly which product is garnering the most attention. Now that the iPhone has launched the magic behind the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil has yet to be fully discovered. However what is least known is Apple TV and what it will truly be capably of once it begins shipping late October.
The mysteries of Apple TV are numerous, and one unknown begins to pile atop the next. Why does Apple TV’s A8 processor have such a massive heat sync? Why is the unit thick enough to support Optical Audio Out, but it is no longer included? Why is 4K (UHD) and HDMI 2.0 not supported? Why did Apple not release their own optional game controller to kick things off? And of course, why no silver, space gray, gold versions? Did the crew that built the MacBook with one port also lend their hand with Apple TV? It is almost as if Apple is launching their very own Area 51 product. Here’s to trying my hand at unraveling some curious areas of Apple TV.
As many know I’m a big supporter of Apple's technologies. The hardware, the software and their interfaces, more often than not, just work right. But the one thing I dread is having to visit any of Apple’s online stores. Whether it is the Mac App store, iTunes store or App store for iOS — I dislike them all with a passion. Apple even made getting to and using their Apple.com website store difficult to find and use. First, Apple removed “Store” from the list of categories in their main menu bar. A user must now dive into a product category, then a specific product, and then click the Buy button (bad move Apple, never get in the way of shoppers who just want to buy something).
First there was “Antenna-Gate”, with the iPhone 4 allegedly having signal strength issues. Then there was “Bend-Gate”, with claims the iPhone 6 bent far too easily. Now we wait for for the anti-Apple-anything crowd to concoct their latest FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt), claims about iPhone 6s and 6s Plus — and it may have just arrived.
Hot on the heels of the iPhone 4’s arrival, Consumer Reports issued a review of the phone, claiming it had serious antenna issues. Then, CEO Steve Jobs cut his family vacation short to host a special media event, showing how truly stunning Apple’s antenna testing was, while showcasing that virtually every smartphone in the industry would suffer signal strength issues when held in any number of ways. Jobs named the dust-up “Antenna-Gate” while exposing Consumer Reports as desperate company, glomming onto Apple's massive iPhone popularity in a search for relevance.
On Friday, Apple launched the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. While both phones may look like their predecessors, let me suggest, there is more than meets the eye. While the external shape is the same, Apple did add a new color. They also moved to a stronger aluminum used to construct iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, so that pocket bending should be a thing of the past.
What I was particularly interested in though, was not the new aluminum, new color, extra memory or faster processor. What piqued my interest was 3D Touch. Over the weekend I visited the Fashion Island Apple Store in Irvine, CA to give the new iPhones a spin. What I experienced was impressive. 3D Touch is more than a gimmick, it is something that is quite useful, and I wish my iPhone 6 could take advantage. Whether at the home screen level or within an App, 3D Touch a quicker (and more fun) way to access more detailed information. For example, below are a few screen shots of 3D Touch in action.
Apple’s new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus officially begins arriving today for those who have put in pre-orders, and a lot of those orders figure to be purchased via Apple’s new iPhone Upgrade Program. But exactly how does it work, and what are the details of the program?
Apple has set of a firestorm of activity in the cellular carrier space. Apple’s $32 a month iPhone Upgrade Program has carriers in a panic, and for good reason. For $32 a month, a new iPhone 6s can be had now, and every year, the latest and greatest iPhone can be had. All one needs to do is agree to continue the payment program for a 24 month period. At some point, for those that want to move away from an iPhone can do so, they'll just need to pay off the stream of payments to Apple and turn the iPhone back in, or just ride out their iPhone for 2 full years.
The reason carriers are busy countering Apple’s offer is simple. Apple’s program is about to turn carriers into dumb pipes, the likes we have not seen since the original iPhone. Apple uses unlocked iPhones. Thus, anyone signing up with Apple’s iPhone program can join month-to-month carrier programs, and jump ship to whomever they want, whenever they want. Maybe it is AT&T today, but tomorrow T-Mobile delivers a cheaper monthly program with more data and unlimited music streaming. No problem. Next month just jump onboard with T-Mobile. Six months later Sprint offers an unlimited everything plan? Go for it.