Opinion January 30

AAPL: 97.34

3.25
Stock Chart

Welcome to the latest edition of Jeremy’s 5, my latest roundup of 5 interesting little things that aren’t big enough for full articles, but are still worth sharing with you.

This week, I’m looking at Enblue’s iPad Pro upgrade kit for an excellent multi-device dock, Olloclip’s Studio accessory bundle for iPhone photographers, AAXA’s P5 video projector, Apple innovation/execution in 2016, and the likelihood of an Apple virtual reality solution in the near future…

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Opinion January 27

AAPL: 93.42

-6.57
Stock Chart

Apple has long been rumored to have an interest in the virtual reality market, but the company itself has always remained quiet on the technology. That’s not an unusual strategy for Apple, though, as it often only makes very general, or even negative, comments about a technology until it is ready to announce its own foray into a market. During the company’s earnings call for the first quarter of 2016, however, CEO Tim Cook was asked about his opinions on virtual reality.

Speaking on the call, Cook said that he thinks virtual reality has some interesting applications and noted that he doesn’t think it is a niche market, a comment often used against the technology by its naysayers. “I don’t think VR is a niche,” Cook said. “It’s really cool and has some interesting applications.”

This begs the question as to what exactly Apple has planned for virtual reality. There are a variety of possibilities, some of which companies like Google have already capitalized on. As we’ve learned in the past, however, Apple has no problem with launching its own version of a technology later in the game. So, let’s talk about some of the potential places in which Apple could implement virtual and augmented reality technologies…

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Six years ago today Steve Jobs introduced the iPad on stage in what was arguably one of the best product demos from Apple or any other tech company for that matter. The hype was tremendous but the demo was low key.

Jobs plainly explained why the iPad needed to exist and where Apple believed it fit between iPhones and Macs, then offered an almost hypnotizing demonstration of what using an iPad was like. Highlighting the intimacy of the tablet, Jobs demoed the iPad on stage while comfortably seated for a full 12 minutes. If you’ve never watched the demo or haven’t seen it lately, queue it up and see for yourself how much it stands out from nearly every other product introduction.

Six years in, the iPad has matured from a single product to a whole product line with multiple screen sizes, price points, and even accessories specific to the tablet. iPad sales peaked two years ago, though, and that peak’s clearly not temporary like many believe it is with the iPhone. Even with a whole new display size with the iPad Pro, Apple saw year-over-year declines with iPad sales last quarter.

So how exactly have iPad sales been changing over the years, what has Apple done to address the product category, and what opportunities remain for the tablet family?

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9to5toys 

After literally years of analysts claiming that we’ve reached ‘peak iPhone’ – that Apple’s year-on-year growth had gone as far as it could go – that day has finally arrived. iPhone sales last quarter were essentially flat (up just 0.4% year-on-year), and the company yesterday forecast that this quarter will see its first ever year-on-year decline in revenue since 2003.

If Apple hits the midpoint of its projected revenue for the current quarter, it will suffer a year-on-year fall in income of 11%. For the first time in 13 years, the ‘Apple is doomed’ merchants can cite real-life numbers as support for their position.

The reality, of course, is far more nuanced. There are some very specific reasons why the current quarter will be such a tough one, and why ‘peak iPhone’ is likely to be temporary, and I’ll get to those in a moment. But there’s also a bigger picture that suggests that Apple may have to be willing to think the unthinkable when it comes to the huge margins it has been able to enjoy to date …

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Opinion January 25

AAPL: 99.44

-1.98
Stock Chart

I remarked on a recent episode of 9to5Mac’s Happy Hour podcast that the rumored 4-inch iPhone would absolutely need to take Live Photos for me to even consider giving it a serious test run. I’ve taken enough really good Live Photos — full resolution still images with brief motion and sound captured as well — on my iPhone 6s Plus that it’s one feature I wouldn’t trade.

Then on Friday we had Mark Gurman’s reporting that Apple was planning Live Photos, an iPhone 6s feature, for the expected 4-inch iPhone 5se (which likely won’t be called 6c). Today that reporting was followed up with the possibility that the iPhone 5se could have the same processor and co-processor as the iPhone 6s, albeit with fewer pixels to push with a smaller display.

Suddenly the iPhone 5se is sounding less like last year’s hardware recycled and more like a serious 4-inch phone to consider. But who is the iPhone 5se for and is it really worth considering if you’re like me and run to the latest and greatest hardware? I’m still thinking through this prospect myself, and I have a few thoughts worth considering before the device is officially unveiled …

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With KGI suggesting that we could see new MacBook models as early as the first half of the year, I thought it would be a good time to expand on the suggestions we made in our 2016 roundup and speculate in a little more detail on what we might expect from those machines.

There is rather a lot of speculation involved, for a couple of reasons. First, while we tend to see a number of leaks and rumors for the iPhone – not least from our own Mark Gurman – there are notably fewer for Macs. We’ll likely see some nearer the time, but we could as yet still be six months out.

Second, it’s easier to predict what Apple is likely to do with regard to the MacBook range than when it might do it. I’ve argued before that we can at some point expect Apple to drop the MacBook Air label, leaving two ranges known as the MacBook and the MacBook Pro. But whether that will happen this year or next is, I think, harder to guess.

But let’s start with what we know about the technology available to Apple this time around …

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