from May 2011, Predictions
Is it June already? Well not quite, but certainly close enough to really start sinking our teeth into what we will find at the WWDC in 2011.
Having personally attended several Mac trade-shows back in the day (not any recently since Apple has canceled such events), the anticipation for Steve or "JobsCo" to reveal something new is no different this time around. Matter of fact one can argue the stakes are even higher with so many more irons in the fire.
A group calling itself Apple Retail Workers Union picked up some nice press yesterday when they sent out their own form of a press release to some major media outlets. The goal? Simple. Unionize Apple retail stores. The chances of this happening? None to, well, none.
There are any number of reasons why Apple retail stores won't ever form a union, such as Apple's overall pay being much higher than the average mall store (you won't find any Genius salaries in The GAP), and benefits are good. But there are two key reasons any union effort for Apple retail employees will fail. First, Apple retail employees are a happy, satisfied bunch, because the atmosphere Apple has created for them is top of the class. Secondly, Steve Jobs has no love for unions (so it appears). In 2007 Jobs told a school-reform conference in Texas "I believe that what is wrong with our schools in this nation is that they have become unionized in the worst possible way..." Jobs also added "This unionization and lifetime employment of K-12 teachers is off-the-charts crazy." As a result of Jobs public stance it would appear Unions have no love for Jobs either.
Working at an Apple retail store in the past, I felt compelled to share some thoughts on the rumors hinting of a major event coming this weekend at the Apple retail stores. Computerworld's Jonny Evans shares some additional thoughts along these lines, but also shares information from ifoapplestore.com, which has been a faithful follower of Apple retail stores since they opened nearly 10 years ago.
Taking in the smoke from the rumor mill, don't get excited about Apple launching some form of anniversary Mac hardware, or delivering some surprise Apple HDTV product, that just isn't happening. Apple does not waste hundreds of millions of dollars in free press when launching into new markets, and pulling some surprise Mac launch over the weekend would be doing exactly that. What's more likely is a software/cloud initiative.
Based on BGR's claims, it appears Apple will actually be revealing pre-announcement information to a select group of Apple retail staff 12 – 24 hours ahead of a major announcement. This would be a first for Apple, and a bold move from the Cupertino machine. But this may be an Apple litmus test, and if successful may lay the groundwork for how future product launches roll out.
It appears Apple corporate does not trust their retail employees (smart move), in that BRG's source claims the 10-15 employees that will be pulling an all-night-er in the stores, must not only sign an NDA, but also lock their cell phones in the managerial office.
"Stay Tuned" says Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon. Stayed tuned for what? A tablet. But before diving into that topic, I want to make one thing perfectly clear. No one in the tech industry is better positioned to take on Apple in the mobile computing space than Amazon – no one.
Scott Moritz of The Street, believes the next generation iPhone is delayed, which may result in sales losses to Android-based 4G LTE smartphones. Moritz builds his thinking upon an analyst who is claims to have inside information on the forthcoming iPhone.
How a product can be "delayed" when a company has never given a launch date it could be delayed from is logically impossible, but we all understand how this works, right? First, the rumor mill builds some mythical launch date for an Apple product, then rumors and analysts claim a different date, thus the launch of the product is late. Brilliantly ridiculous.
According to the UK-based V3 publication, market research firm Context is claiming 3G iPads are a disproportionately large chunk of overall iPad sales figures. In fact, Context claims the 64GB 3G iPad totaled a third of all iPad 2 sales in Europe since its launch. The surge in 3G iPad sales is likely to have pushed Apple's average selling price (ASP) north, but to what extent?
The last known ASP for iPads came during Apple's January financial conference call, where Apple COO, Timothy Cook and Apple CFO, Peter Oppenheimer revealed a $600 figure. But Apple's figure was from the Christmas quarter, when entry-level $499 iPads were likely high volume sellers (when compared to other quarters). If Context figures hold true beyond Europe's boarders, iPad 2's ASP for the June quarter will land somewhere around $680. How much revenue does equate to for the June quarter? Mr. Cook gave us an idea last month.
Microsoft's latest pursuit is yet another sign that Apple is tearing them up. The company from Redmond is rumored to be in pursuit of buying out (or heavily investing in) Skype. If you are a user of Skype you may have noticed their latest updates are pretty much deplorable with regard to user interface, and their video quality typically stinks when compared to Tango or Apple's Facetime.
Based on Microsoft's track record, I can only assume they will purchase Skype, repurpose it for "Windows Phone 7 Extreme Plus Home Edition" and market it as: Windows PeopleTime – The Windows you love, now with video chat... Please.
Cnet's Scott Stein comes up with five creative areas where he'd like to see Thunderbolt deployed. Scott has some creative – and some not so creative – ideas:
- External Storage
- External GPUs
- iPhones, iPads and iPods
Hmmmm... We take a quick look at each area to see what makes sense.
Apple's Steve Jobs seems to be the wunderkind reborn after his return to Apple in 1997. His first stint with Apple led to the design and launch of the original Macintosh and the original Mac OS. During his second time behind the wheel he brought us the iMac, Mac OS X, and the i-Series of products and iOS operating system.
There's not much that Apple has done under Jobs' leadership that hasn't been a success. One of guiding principle Jobs has used is during his second term is, "Keep Your Friends Close; Keep Your Enemies Closer". There are three examples of this from the recent decade: Intel, Google and Facebook.