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Don Lehman Interprets the Apple Executive Lineup

Published on October 31, 2012 by in Apple, Commentary

This seems pretty dead on.

You get the sense that though each may recognize they are the best at what they do, they aren’t angling for more power inside Apple or elsewhere. Amazingly, they seem to know that they can do the best work of their careers and make the biggest historical impact by working together at Apple. Their individual talents and demeanor perfectly compliment each other and I think could be best summed up in this way: the Head, the Heart, and the Voice.

Read the whole piece here.

 
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Amazon forced to pull Kindle Fire ad … Ooooops!

Published on October 31, 2012 by in Apple, iPad, News, Rumors

Amazon thought they would put up an ad to fight against the Apple  iPad mini and do a comparison of the Kindle Fire HD and the Apple  iPad mini.    Unfortunately for Amazon they made the mistake of stating that the iPad mini only has a mono speaker set up and their Kindle Fire HD has stereo speakers… well Amazon was wrong.

Like many of the early reviewers of the iPad mini we also have confirmed that it does indeed include stereo speakers.   We will be posting our unwrapping of the iPad mini later this week so stay tuned.

 

 
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Apple Shakeup Sees Exit of Forstall, Browett

Published on October 29, 2012 by in Apple, News

 

This Fall has been a busy one for Apple. In just a few short weeks, we’ve seen the release of the iPhone 5, the iPad mini, the fourth generation iPad, new iPods, refreshed Mac minis, MacBook Pros, and a newly designed iMac.

And now, the corporate lineup that brings us all these great products is changing too. Out is retail (or reFAIL) chief, John Browett, infamous for attempting to fire half of Apple’s retail staff, and Scott Forstall, the creepy looking guy that looks like he got picked on way too much as a kid, who usually demos iOS updates. Apple’s press release:

Apple® today announced executive management changes that will encourage even more collaboration between the Company’s world-class hardware, software and services teams. As part of these changes, Jony Ive, Bob Mansfield, Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi will add more responsibilities to their roles. Apple also announced that Scott Forstall will be leaving Apple next year and will serve as an advisor to CEO Tim Cook in the interim.

I love that Jony Ive is the leader for Human Interface — an appropriate designation if ever there was one.

 
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Google’s Stupidity: Releases Nexus 4 with No 4G LTE

Published on October 29, 2012 by in Commentary, News

News of one of the greatest missteps in the history of smartphones (exaggeration mine) has spread throughout the Web as most tech journalists have weighed in on Google’s latest attempt to sell a worthwhile communications device.

Google’s misstep was not adding 4G LTE capabilities to the Nexus 4. Which, if it were two years ago, or even one year ago (I’m looking at you iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S) might have been understandable, though certainly when the iPhone 4S was released, LTE was pretty much ready to go. But now? In 2012? When your biggest competitor and the industry leader in profit and mind share (Apple) has LTE on its flagship product?

Inexcusable.

But wait, there IS an excuse! Google gets a pat on the butt from The Verge, that, for some reason, decided to run with the subtitle, “Sometimes the only winning move is not to play”. So, forfeiting on account of stupidity equals winning? The Verge continues it’s Google-y eyed reporting by trying to make the decision fit into a sly and sort of creepy sentence:

It is a disappointing omission, driven by both Google’s complex philosophical desire to build open devices as well as the fairly simple economics of building a halo product for a small niche of early adopters.

In other words, Google is trying to sell us a turd, telling people its like a yam, then telling us we can’t make candied yams out of it, because it’s actually a turd. In other, other words, Google has ruined my Thanksgiving.

First, Google devices are not “open”. Being carrier unlocked at the outset is a slight convenience for a few nerds and not many others. Unlocked does not equal open. Second, the philosophical desires of Google have nothing to do with openness or the user in general. What does Google care about? Squeezing dimes.

And when you squeeze dimes, you lose dollars.

Next up, in the sentence of over-used tech jargon, “halo product”. Fairly simple economics, as The Verge points out, is about creating a halo product for a small niche of… You know what? Lame. THIS IS THE NEXUS 4! As in, there are three previous models, right? Why would Google decide that its fourth generation flagship product should be the worst smartphone on the market?

I’ll give you some “simple economics” on this — if you make the worst product on the market, you lose. Simple.

Andy Rubin has an excuse answer for that:

Android head Andy Rubin calls the lack of LTE a “tactical issue,” and cites cost and battery life as major concerns with devices that have to support multiple radios. “A lot of the networks that have deployed LTE haven’t scaled completely yet — they’re hybrid networks […] which means the devices need both radios built into them,” he said. “When we did the Galaxy Nexus with LTE we had to do just that, and it just wasn’t a great user experience.”

Yes, not a great user experience. So Apple, famous for user experience, is not doing it right because it did included 4G LTE in the iPhone 5? Because it has multiple antennas, right? And what’s the battery life comparison of the Nexus 4 and the iPhone 5, I wonder? And how is Apple selling millions of these iPhone 5 units with LTE all over the world? It’s like, people actually want LTE!

If Rubin is so concerned about “tactical issues” shouldn’t he understand that Apple and Samsung are completely running away with the worldwide smartphone market? Shouldn’t he know that 4G LTE compatibility is now a deciding factor for smartphone buyers?

I hate writing so many questions in articles, but this is so incredibly perplexing. Every network is boasting about their LTE speeds and coverage. Any ad for AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, or even T-Mobile is 4G LTE-driven. But Rubin has decided that LTE hasn’t scaled completely yet. There’s a saying in hockey — skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it is.

If Rubin’s strategy is to wait for LTE to be totally rolled out before the Nexus supports it, Google will never get a phone worth a damn on the market. I have an iPhone 5 on AT&T and the user experience is incredible. The data speeds I have seen (some greater than local Wi-Fi hotspots) have been tremendous, transforming the way I use my phone. I hear the same thing from other 4G smartphone owners (Apple, Samsung, or otherwise).

The fact of the matter is, Apple is crushing the top-end of the smartphone market. Samsung is mopping up the middle, and a bunch of companies are collecting the scraps at the bottom (Nokia, HTC, maybe a Blackberry or two). Google, is skating full-speed into the smartphone market of 2009.

Not only that, it seems to be intentional. It’s like Andy Rubin was sitting in his office and said to himself, “I need some advice on the mobile space. Let’s see, I could call my buddy Tim Cook over at Apple. No. I could shell out for an international call and hook up with Kwon Oh Hyun at Samsung. No.” Then he went for a walk, saw some guy pop a cassette tape into a Walkman, stopped, and asked him for advice.

Is the Nexus 4 even remotely worth considering as a smartphone purchase? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

 
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Steve Ballmer Claims Microsoft Surface Will Trump Apple’s iPad

Published on October 27, 2012 by in Apple, Commentary, iPad, News

— Image Courtesy of GizMag

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer stated during a Microsoft Surface event on Thursday that, unlike its competitors, the Surface would allow consumers to do work and be entertained. He went on to say that the current tablet offerings on the market are not products that he sees customers wanting. Ballmer states (via CNBC):

“Windows 8 is really all about enabling new, creative, imaginative devices. PC Notebooks, PC desktops, PC laptops and now PC tablets as well, that you can touch and interact with and that are alive with information in a way, that frankly, no other device is available on the market today.”

I can’t stand this. Ballmer, and by extension Microsoft, has been in denial for years. Once the grandest of technology companies, the skeleton that is stomping around today is barely worth mentioning (with the exception of the XBox 360).  And for Ballmer to sit there and claim that the Surface is anything but an iPad knock-off running a bloated piece of crap Mac OS X knock-off is completely absurd.

No one cares about PCs (or Windows 8), as evidenced by the puny 3% growth (and dropping) sales numbers compared to the Mac’s 16% (and growing) sales numbers. We’ll see how the Surface does this quarter going head-to-head with Apple’s best (and newest) products, but I’m predicting an outright domination by the 4th generation iPad and the iPad mini.

If you want to get a great side-by-side comparison of the Surface and the 4th generation iPad, check out GizMag’s article. In my opinion, it’s not even close. A junky screen that fails to give its user full HD capabilities, a junky OS, and a junky $120 add-on keyboard that is being advertised as a “key feature”. C’mon, it’s like Ballmer is trying to punk everyone.

Apple, meanwhile, teaches the course on interactivity through touch screens — and every other company is failing the class miserably. Put this in the books — the Surface won’t last through its third iteration and Ballmer might go even sooner.

 
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