When we all saw iPhone for the first time we immediately understood how much more useful and elegant it was compared to our current mobile phones. We could quickly imagine how much better and how much easier life could be with iPhone. The use cases were obvious and numerous. But for Apple Watch, while it sure looks beautiful and seems like it would be nice to own, the question that has lingered in our collective T-GAAP minds has been, “What problem does it solve?” In other words, how is it enhancing my life?
Apple Watch goes on pre-order sale April 10, and the new MacBook is available for in-store pickup on the same date. But Microsoft just tried their best to crash Apple's party, announcing a new Surface tablet/laptop product which effectively replaces the failed Surface RT. Will Microsoft's long-term endeavor to convert customers from using a laptop or tablet, to using their merged device pay off? Despite a massive ad campaign, Surface Pro 3 December quarter sales resulted in only 1 million units sold and the Surface RT product was canceled as a nearly $1 billion write-off earlier in the year. Yet Microsoft seems to be beyond stubborn in continuing to pushing their idea.
The immediate temptation is to compare the new Surface 3 to an Apple iPad Air 2 or an 11" MacBook Air, as this is exactly what Microsoft wants it to be stacked up against. Their marketing clearly positions certain strengths against the iPad and others against the MacBook Air, in an attempt to blur the lines that the Surface 3 is both a great tablet and ultrabook laptop. But is Surface 3 a great tablet and ultrabook, or something that is less than the sum of it's parts? It's time to take a look at the areas of Surface 3 that Microsoft isn't spinning.
Apple recently launched a revolutionary all-new MacBook, updated and added a new feature to the MacBook Pro and refreshed their MacBook Air line. Not since early 2011 has Apple had six distinct laptop models in which to choose from, with price points starting at $899, moving well beyond $2,500 for a custom outfitted, hot rod machine. Which MacBook is right for you?
I’m going to make this pretty simple, so I will start with the basics. If you have ever purchased a car, home, or watched Property Brothers, it all starts with a budget. What can you afford? If you do not have $899 to spend on a laptop, then you can stop right here, as Apple simply has nothing new to offer you as far as a laptop goes. However, if you are a student, the entry price starts at $849, while moving upstream generally saves $100 off any MacBook. For non-students, if your budget can fit between $899 - $2,000, you can afford every MacBook in every display size Apple has to offer.
It is 11 days until Apple Stores explode with traffic — as people line up to get their first hand look (and purchase) Apple Watch. This type of event is something only Samsung, Microsoft and Google can only dream about, where people are excited and will stand in long lines for hours to see and purchase their products. Apple has done a masterful job in creating hype, but more importantly, being able to deliver on that hype by exceeding expectations.
Looking beyond the new MacBook’s 13.1" thinness, its 2-lb weight, retina display, state-of-the-art individually backlit keyboard and solid-state multi-touch trackpad, the new MacBook for all its pizzazz is set to crush the Windows-based competition with what may be the most import specification of all for the mobile crowd — battery life.
Apple Watch hype has hit a fever pitch, but don't think the mania is over quite yet. The watch does not go on pre-sale until April 10, thus the noise should last at least another month before settling down. Meanwhile, MacBook owners – including us at T-GAAP – are embroiled in debating the merits of the latest MacBook versus the rest of the refreshed MacBook lineup. For all of Apple's efforts in focusing our attention onto the latest and greatest, it can be said the iPod started it all, and yet the product will have been without an update for 3 years come this September. Should Apple make a 6th generation iPod touch?
At the heart of the current 5th generation iPod touch is Apple's 32-bit A5 processor. To gain some perspective in how old this chipset is, it was last used in the iPhone 4S. The iPod also sports a 4" screen, while the latest iPhones have moved onto 4.7" and 5.5" displays. The iPod touch utilizes some old technologies, and yet has stubbornly remained at $199 for just a 16 GB version. Topping off iPod touch's dated appeal, sales figures for the entire iPod lineup are no longer reported in Apple's quarterly conference call or press release. The days of this diminutive little iPhone – without the phone – seem numbered, but there is a glimmer of hope.
Since last Fall, all the attention of those who carefully follow what Apple does have been focused on Apple Watch, iPhone, Apple Pay and most recently a stunning new MacBook. From all the predictions from way back in 2010 until now (including some here at T-GAAP), Apple TV has made little progress from its hobby status.
As we approach the launch of the new MacBook, with the latest Air and Pro updates already on store shelves, Apple may be preparing to make this one of the last Intel updates to high volume Macs for the foreseeable future. The only Mac requiring Intel hang around for some time to come is Apple’s Mac Pro, which is a low-volume, high-powered Mac, largely dedicated to the video and creative markets. Beyond the Mac Pro, every current Mac is open to being replaced with Apple’s own A-series of processors. Ironically, Intel’s focus on power consumption versus raw performance is aiding ARM, thus Apple, as they are catching up to Intel’s performance figures at a rapid pace.
Beautiful. Elegant. Practical. Gotta have one! These are descriptions of the forthcoming Apple Watch. But what makes the Apple Watch “Genius” is not merely its design, it is what it can do when paired with iPhone. During his most recent Keynote, Tim Cook reiterated that “Apple Watch was designed to work with iPhone.” In that one phrase is the entire philosophy of Apple Watch and why it was made.
I run a small business. I value privacy, for myself and my customers. Giving all my personal and company data to a Cloud owned by some other entity — whether Apple, Google, Microsoft or Yahoo! — has always made me nervous. Maybe I’m über-paranoid, or maybe I’m crazy like a fox.