I still own an original iPad, but it’s hidden away in a drawer right now. It’s running the latest iOS version it can run (that’s iOS 5.1.1) and has 64GB of storage that’s filled with apps, books and other content. Even though the last time I used that iPad was more than a year ago, to me it’s the best tablet Apple has ever made. That’s right; I’m not looking forward to the brand new 9.7-inch iPad Pro at all.
For a long time, we’ve dreamed of the day that Apple would launch a radically redesigned iPhone that will ditch all physical buttons, pack a wraparound curved display, and incorporate Liquidmetal into its hardware design.
Liquidmetal has long been seen as a mythical material that we had once expected to see used more widely in Apple products. So far, however, Apple’s engineers have, only used Liquidmetal as the primary material for the iPhone’s SIM ejector tool. Even so, Apple is still interested in the material, and the company just won a patent that details how it could be used.
For all of the claims that Apple’s software has been on the decline and that the company downright ignores user complaints, a recent saga involving Apple Pencil functionality underscores that Apple does, in fact, take the opinions of its users into account.
A few days ago, a number of iPad Pro users who had been using a beta version of iOS 9.3 began reporting that the software frustratingly removed Apple Pencil functionality that was previously available in earlier incarnations of iOS. Specifically, these users discovered that the latest iOS 9.3 beta limits Apple Pencil operations to scenarios where drawing is supported or digital buttons can be pressed. In earlier versions of iOS, iPad Pro users were able to use the Apple Pencil to scroll through webpages, swipe between apps, and even select and manipulate text. In other words, the Apple Pencil was being used as a digital finger of sorts.
You’d think the news emerging day after day from Mobile World Congress would be the most important thing happening in tech right now, but that’s hardly the case. The Apple vs. FBI battle over hacking one single iPhone is probably one of the most-covered tech news stories of the month, casting a long shadow over anything else going on in mobile right now.
The outcome of this particular duel will impact the business decisions of every other major tech company when it comes mobile devices, Internet services and apps. Furthermore, regardless of who wins, all mobile users – including the “bad guys” such as hackers and terrorist organizations – will change their mobile habits to deal with the fallout.
That’s why I think the FBI has already lost this battle, even if it eventually prevails over Apple and forces the iPhone maker to build a backdoor into the iPhone. More →
Samsung has amazing home-grown mobile chips powering its flagship devices and it’s one of the companies that Apple has depended on for years for mass producing iPhone chips. But even so, Samsung’s chips last year were not able to offer the same performance as Apple’s in benchmark testing.
Why does that happen? A new report looking at Apple’s iPhone chips perfectly explains it. And it also answers one other question: Why does Samsung have to keep copying the iPhone? More →
Earlier this month, a familiar narrative about Apple software – namely that it ain’t what it used to be – took shape after Walt Mossberg penned an article effectively decrying the entirety of Apple’s software suite, from OS X to iOS. Indeed, there were only a handful of apps that were spared from Uncle Walt’s polemic.
“In the last couple of years,” Mossberg wrote, “I’ve noticed a gradual degradation in the quality and reliability of Apple’s core apps, on both the mobile iOS operating system and its Mac OS X platform. It’s almost as if the tech giant has taken its eye off the ball when it comes to these core software products, while it pursues big new dreams, like smartwatches and cars.”
It might sound like a wild theory, especially considering where it’s coming from, but a well-known Apple analyst has just predicted the death of the iPhone. No, this isn’t a story about Apple’s impending doom, which some people continue to warn us of even while Apple is the most valuable company on the planet. Instead, it’s a possibly reasonable but potentially outlandish prediction of when the iPhone will die and what Apple will use to replace it.
Another Apple earnings report is in the books and we still have no clue as to how well the Apple Watch is selling, a notable curiosity given Apple’s affinity for sales figures. In typical fashion, Tim Cook last week described the Apple Watch in broad strokes, simply stating that sales during the company’s 2015 holiday quarter set an all-time sales record. Encouraging? Sure, but without any additional information about previous sales figures, a record-breaking quarter doesn’t really tell us a whole lot about its overall popularity.
The takeaway here, I think, is that the Apple Watch is doing well, but not so well as to warrant the release of specific sales figures. Admittedly, this is hardly a controversial or original sentiment. Nonetheless, a looming question remains – will the Apple Watch forever be marked with the ‘accessory’ label, or might it someday become a sweeping global phenomenon and impressive money maker a’la the iPod?
A recently published article from the Harvard Business Review takes the position that Apple’s influence in and impact on the smartphone industry is waning. Whereas Apple once set the tone for the smartphone industry at large, Professor Juan Pablo Vazquez Sampere now argues that Apple “has begun to compete on the same terms as Samsung and the other smartphone providers.”
The evidence? Apple’s iPhone 6 lineup featured bigger screens, something other handset manufacturers had already brought to market. As a result, Sampere asserts that Apple and other manufacturers are currently “stuck in a battle of sustaining innovations, which is about classic competition on who makes a better phone.”
Apple finds itself in a rather unique position; it just delivered the most profitable quarter in corporate history and all anyone can focus on is what Apple can do to generate even more revenue in the future. Of course, heightened expectations are not wholly unwarranted given Apple’s track record for innovation.
Consequently, it’s not uncommon to hear analysts talk about what’s next for Apple and what the company needs to do to keep investors happy and its cash hoard growing. While some believe upcoming iPhone innovations will drive future revenue growth, others take the position that a big and bold acquisition (i.e Tesla or Netflix) is needed.
But hiding in plain sight, right there on the face of Apple’s quarterly report, is a growth vector that’s curiously being ignored by analysts and pundits alike – services.
Imagine for a second seeing Rey pushing back a slew of attackers with her lightsaber and Jedi powers, just as Captain American throws his shield at them. On a planet far far away. Would you want to see such that movie? More →
2015 was an interesting year for Apple, to say the least. While the company sold more iPhones than ever before, and delivered record-breaking profits in the process, Apple in 2015 was seemingly a company in transition, endlessly on the prowl for the next big thing.
Over the last 12 months, Apple released a number of new products and services that had many proclaiming that the company had lost its innovative edge. Nilay Patel of The Verge, for instance, went so far as to categorize Apple’s 2015 as a “year in beta.”
And truthfully, it’s hard to disagree.