It was just a couple of months ago that bloggers across the globe — including a few of us at T-GAAP — were asking whether Apple CEO Tim Cook was ever going to take Apple forward. More iPhone, iPad, an Mac updates, it was becoming an innovation snooze-fest as Apple hadn’t entered a new market category or created a revolutionary new product for years.
While WWDC gave developers an entire suite of new software tools such as Metal, Heath Kit and Swift, consumers were wondering whether the magic of creating something new had died with Steve Jobs. Don’t get me wrong, Tim Cook has done a wonderful job managing the company, but users of Apple product expect more than just good company management, they expect cool new technologies that no one but Apple can deliver.
iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launched this past Friday (Oct. 17th) in China, and while Apple is being coy about the sales they achieved, rumors have persisted that Apple received as many as 10 - 20 million pre-orders within China alone. Initial launch countries, including the U.S., notched 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sales during the iPhone 6’s opening weekend. Evercore Partners analyst, Rob Cihra, estimates 37 million iPhones to be sold during the September quarter. However, Apple’s biggest iPhone quarter is yet to come.
Will Apple’s OS X Yosemite Spotlight Search be used by the masses? Will dark mode be the default go-to look and feel? Will Continuity be a must users simply won’t be able to live without? Like test driving a car, once purchased, the owners continued long term use reveals the gimmicky sales tools versus what features are truly useful. In many respects new OS releases are much the same. Widgets once seemed like a great default tool to quickly discover weather, stock prices and flight times. Fast forward a few years and OS X Widgets are rarely developed for or used. Sherlock seemed a sure bet, then morphed into Spotlight, but was limited in only finding things on your local drive. Now Spotlight has been given a rebirth in Yosemite under its new name, Spotlight Search. Long term value of such tools will be discovered over time, thus, here are some initial impressions of Apple’s newly minted OS.
Ever since Apple TV, Roku and other internet streaming devices have been available for your television, more and more people have “cut the cord” by canceling their subscriptions to cable and satellite providers. What has been missing is the ability to get any and all content apart from cable and satellite providers, also known as a la carte programming. Instead of being forced to buy bundles — with channels and programs no one watches — a la carte programming lets people purchase only what they want. It would be like being forced to buy a meal at McDonald’s. There would be no ability to just buy a drink or just a hamburger, in order to get either item you have to buy both — with fries.
The original Apple TV graced our presence in September 2006. Originally announced as iTV, Apple was very clear that this was just a “hobby”. But step forward eight years and after two model updates and over 20 million units in circulation, we wonder is now the time for Apple to bring us a Big Apple TV?
Fresh off the rumors that Microsoft may be divesting itself from their Xbox consumer electronics, Digitimes came forward today stating Microsoft may be existing the Surface business due to abysmal sales. Abysmal sales for Microsoft hardware is nothing new, and the idea that Surface, despite a massive advertising campaign, is seeing nearly zero interest outside of Redmond, Washington should be a shock to no one, save for perhaps ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
I’ve tried using my iPad mini more now that I can quickly and easily connect to my phone for Wi-Fi. This is technology I’ve written about before, and while not perfect, connecting to my iPhone is much better and more reliable than before. However in using my iPad more it means I’m typing more. This means I’m running into an annoying bug, whether in Mail, Notes or Messages.
Here’s what happens. If you type something longer than than the screen and then go to fix something at the top (make and edit, correctly spell a word, etc), you are unable to get the cursor to the bottom of the screen again. You can drag the text so you can see the bottom of the page, but when you let go to tap your finger to the place you want to type, it snaps the text back behind the keyboard. I’ve experienced this in Messages, Notes and Mail on both my iPad mini (retina display) and iPhone 5.
We have predicted, and now it comes true — here, here and here. Apple is to hold a special event on October 16, 2014, with the teaser on the invitation stating "It's been way too long." Since the Cook-era at Apple, this is the third year in a row where the company has held a special event in both the months of September and October.
October is a special month for Apple as it is the first month in its fiscal year, which is important on many levels. Most importantly, launching new products at the beginning of their fiscal year sets the stage as to what must happen throughout the next 12 months in order to make internal projections. If a product is given 12 months to succeed, versus 6 months, less panic sets in and clear thinking can prevail. October also allows enough time for newly announced products make their way onto store shelves and into shopping carts for the Christmas season.
My Dad likes to say, “You often can tell as much about a person in what they don’t say as in what they do.” So since the launch of iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, Apple Pay and Apple Watch what have Apple’s competitors been saying or not saying? Here’s a quick recap if you haven’t been keeping score.
Microsoft: This time around this there is no Steve Ballmer at the helm to laugh off any of these products and suggest that an iPhone is just too expensive and therefore will never catch on or that paying $350 for a watch is ridiculous. Instead new CEO Satya Nadella has been quiet. Microsoft is doing the right thing by keeping its head down and saying nothing, because they have nothing to say in regard to any of these announcements, because they have no product response to Apple’s new offerings. Oh but wait, Bill Gates didn’t get the memo. In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Gates basically said that Apple is the innovator and Microsoft is the follower. Thanks Captain Obvious. Some habits just die hard.