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Apple Screwing With Intel’s Business Model

by: E. Werner Reschke | Apr 22, 2014

Mobile-chipWhen Apple launched the first iPhone in June 2007, it changed the cell phone industry in dramatic ways. It also changed the CPU industry as much, if not more.

Before Apple started using ARM processors to power their mobile devices Intel was the king of the hill. IBM, Motorola and even AMD tried, but all failed, in taking on the giant chip maker. IBM and Motorola’s joint venture in the early 90’s, with the PowerPC reference platform, was to be the revolutionary new architecture that would lead us into the 21st century. Intel squashed that effort within a couple of years. Then AMD was the first company to launch a 64-bit architecture for the x86 design. It didn't matter, Intel soon followed with their own version.

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Don’t Expect a 5.5" iPhone 6

by: E. Werner Reschke | Apr 21, 2014

Motorola-brick-phoneRumors are abundant with new screen sizes with for the iPhone 6. We’ve even blogged on the topic recently. That said the rumors continue to pour in that Apple will launch the iPhone 6 with a 4.7" screen and a 5.5" one.

It is that later rumor I take issue with. 5.5" is really a tweener product. It’s a tablet and a phone, or as people like to call it, a “phablet”. The problem is that it makes a really awful phone. It’s almost like holding your shoe up to your head for talking. Sure you can use bluetooth, but that isn’t always available and sometimes using the speaker isn’t appropriate. Therefore there will be times you are left with putting a shoe up to your head to talk.

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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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2015_hyundai_sonata_carplay

The 2014 New York auto show is in full swing, and with it has come some high profile CarPlay announcements, but probably none more significant than yesterday’s press release from Hyundai. 

The all-new 2015 Hyundai Sonata will be available this fall, but CarPlay will not. Hyundai mentions CarPlay will be available on models with a navigation package later in the year, and that it will be integrating the technology into its core-volume Sonata. Deciphering Hyundai's vague presser, it appears CarPlay will not be arriving in the fall on the base model Sonata, but will arrive sometime in early 2015, bundled into a $2,000 (or higher) technology package. 

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The iTunes Crossroads

by: E. Werner Reschke | Apr 16, 2014

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.

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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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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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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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WWDC14: Tim Cook’s Deadline

by: E. Werner Reschke | Apr 10, 2014

Tim Cook with Steve JobsThis year will mark Apple's third World Wide Developers Conference where Tim Cook holds the title of CEO. Apple has been under his leadership a bit longer than that, but we have yet to see anything “wow” appear during Cook’s tenure. Sure, there have been updated versions of iPhones, iPads and Macs as well as OS X and iOS — but those were all expected and were updates have been to existing product categories. What we have yet to see is Apple enter a new market with Tim in control of Apple.

If Apple is going to remain true to its nature, then we need to see Apple expand into a new product category, and soon. If Apple’s new strategy is instead to play it safe and not enter into new markets, then Apple’s magic has died, along side its founder. Apple’s brand has historically been about bringing to market “magical” products that no one thought would ever exist in their lifetime.

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Rumor - OS X 10.10 to be named: Napa

by: E. Werner Reschke | Apr 09, 2014

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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