Three Guys and a Podcast: Apple News & Analysis
If you think the new MacBook Air is just a minor update with a slightly new Intel processor and stingy battery life, think again. The MacBook Air is more than the sum of it's parts, it has become Microsoft's biggest nightmare.
The new MacBook air is absolute perfection for the dollar, and nothing in the market of Ultrabook's can touch it. It's a marvel of engineering and takes the truck vs car metaphor to task, as the new MacBook Air seems more like some new breed of Transformer: All the utility of a truck in the body of a sports car.
The question of whether Best Buy will eventually go out of business has shifted from “if” to “when” over the past year. The big box retailer is losing money quarterly, has very little cash available and continues to spiral into debt. There are signs it may experience a renaissance with UHD (4K) TV's entering the market in earnest this fall, coupled with the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 launching in time for the western holiday season. However, this will this be a short-lived adrenaline rush, and does Apple stand to gain or lose once Best Buy closes down their last location?
Best Buy’s stock is bouncing back, and analysts are predicting great things for the company. Samsung is in the midst of its Best Buy store-within-a-store build out, while Microsoft recently announced it will be doing the same, with other big name players likely to follow suit. The hope for Best Buy is that companies like Samsung, Microsoft or even HP building their own pavilions inside Best Buy to reap the success Apple has achieved with their own store-within-a-store concept.
Apple's Mac Pro is arriving later this year, but there are many unanswered questions. How exactly can the Mac Pro be configured, what will be the pricing, and perhaps most importantly, what accessories will exist for the blazingly fast Thunderbolt 2 ports that expand the Mac Pro?
Intel's Light Peak technology, marketed by Apple and Intel as Thunderbolt, bests USB 3 speeds by a theoretical 2x. With Thunderbolt 2, USB 3.0 is bested by 4x, as the newest high speed technology throws around 20Gbps. It would be a shame to own a new Mac Pro, but be unable to get one's hands on Thunderbolt 2 SSD drives and perhaps even a few 4K displays with Thunderbolt built-in for daisy chain capabilities.
It has been a week and a half since the Apple Keynote came in like a lamb and roared out like a lion. Many items were of great interest: the next generation OS X, now called Mavericks, iOS 7, a new MacBook Pro sporting the energy saving Haswell processors, iWork for iCloud and the all new Mac Pro.
As a professional marketer and technologist it is the Mac Pro that interested me most in last week's Keynote. While Phil Schiller showed us a lot of glitz and glamor, talked specs until we were green with envy and even hinted when this bad boy will be released into the creative wild (sometime in 2013), the one item Schiller avoided talking about was price.
Sky Gamblers - Storm Raiders is a World War II area combat flight simulator. Players can participate in dogfights, protect fleets or cities, and attack land targets. Planes fly in many different areas of War World II like Pearl Harbor, Midway, Germany, and France. It is available for the iOS and Mac. The Mac version’s normal price is $4.99, but it does come on sale for as little as $0.99.
Storm Raiders can use a joystick, gamepad, or a keyboard for controls of the Mac version. The keyboard does take some getting use to, but it works well for those who don’t have a game controller. Flight simulation is fairly complicated, but the developers did a good job simplifying the controls as much a possible. The heads up display works well by showing what is needed, but not taking a lot of screen space up so the player can see what is happening in the game.
Is Apple’s stock being manipulated by major players heading into Apple’s earnings report? That's the question, as AAPL took a beating today, falling below $400 a share after Jefferies Investment Bank noted Apple may slow it's iPhone production. The investment bank created a self fulfilling prophesy with investors, as the firm cut Apple's target from $420 to $405.
The qualifier term “may” could not be more timely, as Apple's third quarter is nearing its end, and pricing of the stock needed no more than a shove to send it spiraling downward. What better time than for an investment bank to release a negative statement regarding potential iPhone production?
Google Reader has been the dominant RSS reader for more than five years. Even though it is the top RSS service on the Internet, Google announced in March that it is shutting it down as of July 1. For those who are still using Google Reader, the July 1 shutdown is almost here. The time to look for a replacement is now.
When Google first made the announcement, an alternative was hard to find, as most RSS readers used Google Reader as their back end. A lot has happened in the past three months as services are coming online to compete for the Google Reader users. Among those that are ready, one is standing out above the rest.
Apple, Inc. is selling products cheaper than its competitors? Not possible many might say, but the truth is Apple has slowly shifted into the price leadership position with many of its product offerings.
Apple waded into the smart phone market with iPhone starting at $599, but within two months it was reduced by $100. The price reduction didn't last long either, as Apple quickly jumped into the subsidized game.
Remember 1995, when everyone didn't have a PC, tablet or smart phone? It was a time when people were getting excited about the summer launch of Windows 95. Many people bought Windows 95 because other people were buying it, and one guy even purchased a copy just to be part of the craze — he didn't even own a PC. Yet this seems to be the way that Microsoft and its partners still think advertising works.
The AppleTV is a nice device for the living room. Right now, it can play music and movies from a number of sources like iTunes, YouTube, Netflix, or an iOS device through Airplay. Through Airplay, the AppleTV can also mirror the display of an iOS device and a Mac Computer.
Mirroring a Mac display on the AppleTV is nice, but it is limiting. Users can’t watch an Internet movie on the AppleTV and still use their Mac at the same time. This limits the usefulness of not only the AppleTV , but also the Mac. This is all going to change this Fall.