Three Guys and a Podcast: Apple News & Analysis
The Auto Show came to Portland last weekend January 24-27, 2013, which showcased the latest cars and trucks by most of the auto industry. They also had specialty areas for green, exotic, luxury, and tricked out autos.
This year, the guys of T-GAAP went to the show to check out to latest cars and trucks, but we also wanted to see if Apple had any presence at the show. What we found was indeed interesting.
I was in the Portland, OR area the other day and at a local high-end mall. Microsoft is advertising anywhere they can these days. One place they picked was this escalator in the mall. Along the sides of the escalator the glass is covered in pink and baby blue. It says "Surface. Exclusively at Microsoft retail stores." Strange. There's only an Apple Store at this mall, no Microsoft store.
However, what was truly funny is how this made for a great Microsoft metaphor: Surface takes you down, down, down and then ends in needing repair. Typical Microsoft I would say.
Microsoft's Surface Pro with Windows 8 runs on an Intel Core i5 processor starting at $899, as is available for purchase in the U.S. on February 9. At first glance the price may seem a bit steep, but don't worry, that's only because it is. Microsoft is keen to point out that for $899 it ships with 64GB of storage, but that's only half the story. Perhaps it's better said that's only half the storage...
The iPhone can be used for many more things than just making calls. There are the other obvious uses like email, music and web browsing. The iPhone 4S and 5 also have a really great camera built-in for taking pictures, but the camera also comes with a flash for pictures in low light. This flash certainly has more uses than just night photos.
The iPhone flash can also be used as a flashlight. While the main display can be used to see in the dark, the camera flash is much brighter. It may not be as bright as many flashlights, but it is built into the iPhone which is something that people always carry around with them. To use the camera’s flash, an app must be downloaded from the App Store. There are many free flashlight apps and some apps that cost a few dollars. After testing many options, one came out a clear winner.
We've seen this before. The rabbit takes off, looks like the heavy favorite, gets distracted, and loses the race. Microsoft tears out in front of an inept Apple in the 90's, only to see the advent of the smartphone and tablet eclipse their massive lead and take over the race. And while the tortoise and the hare fable has an end, in the real world of tech there is seemingly no finish line, yet the race is anew with Apple and Android in the mobile space. Android is the rabbit, while Apple is again the hare. Sorry Apple haters, but the Fan Boys (a derogatory term for those that like, use and support Apple products) are likely to win this race too.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple is cutting some of its iPhone 5 part orders by as much as 50%. One if the main parts listed in their reduction claim is the screen. The same report also speculates that the reason for the reduction is weak iPhone 5 demand. Is that the only possible reason?
Other news sites are speculating that Apple may be getting ready to update the iPhone in a few months. This would change the iPhone product cycle from yearly to every six months. While both could be true or partially true, the iPhone update looks more plausible for the following reasons:
There everywhere, you can't escape them, and you certainly can't use them with just one hand. Large, big and tablet-sized smartphones are all the rage -- in the States that is. Apple's chosen a different path, and as a result has nailed their form factor and screen size design for a world wide audience.
The mobile industry is abuzz with the thought of Apple turning to a cheap, low-end iPhone for the Asian markets. Unfortunately there seems to be minimal analysis to such a move by Apple, nor do analysts seem to be paying any mind to Phil Schiller's interview in China, as he suggested that Apple would never go the way of cheap smartphones. What could Apple do to address the lower-end market? Or should Apple simply let Android and Microsoft battle it out for the lowest common denominator, leaving a wake of continual garbage for cheap-is-as-cheap-does consumers to haggle over?
Happy New Year. I didn't make any particular resolutions for 2013, but I did place a bet — and I'm not a gambling type of person. I don't even play when the Lottery gets to 50 Bazillion. No, my bet was of a different sort — my bet was on an AppleTV break through in 2013.
On Monday evening our DirecTV receiver died. My family was spending nearly $90/month for the service and we don't watch TV that much. During the day the set is off and at night we'll watch either sports, news or one of our recorded shows. On the weekends we typically rent a movie through AppleTV.