Opinion March 31

AAPL: 108.99

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My experience with using every iPhone and iPad screen size to date has taught me two things: one size does not fit all, and you can usually get used to using any screen size if you use it long enough. The tricky part is that it’s not super easy to know immediately which screen size is right for you, and using any one screen size for an extended period of time tends to make it feel normal.

iPhone displays were at first large by most standards at 3.5-inches diagonally in 2007; BlackBerry “smartphones” had tiny displays and large keyboards. Android handsets gradually raised the scope of what qualified as a phone, pressuring Apple to go bigger with the 4-inch iPhone 5 in 2012. Then even bigger and much bigger in 2014 with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

I spent just a few days with the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus before I decided I needed to exchange it for the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, but after a year with that screen size I decided to size up with the iPhone 6s Plus last September. The experience has been mostly okay as I really think we can all get used to any screen size (even 3.5-inch!), but extended use this go around has made the drawbacks for me very clear. More on that below, but as promised I’m venturing over to the 4-inch iPhone SE at least until the new iPhones come out in September. These are my day one observations after making the jump:

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Opinion March 29

AAPL: 107.68

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See italicised updates below, with statements from both the Department of Justice and Apple.

The battle between the FBI and Apple over accessing a work phone used by one of the San Bernardino terrorists started as headline news and ended in a rather anti-climactic fashion.

The high-profile congressional hearing was due to be followed by a big showdown in court. Instead, the FBI asked that the hearing be vacated, and later quietly announced that it had, with help, managed to gain access to the phone. Nothing to see here, move along.

But while this particular case may be settled, it’s extremely unlikely that this will be the end of the matter – for two reasons …

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Opinion March 25

AAPL: 105.67

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Before Apple Music even launched on iOS I knew there would be a difficulty in finding a way to balance the iTunes Store, Apple Music, and a user’s current music library. What I never expected was how long it would take for Apple to begin addressing the issues that were introduced. The most exasperating part of Apple Music on iOS has to be searching for video content. Nearly every time I search for a specific video (music video or otherwise), I end up getting frustrated and just head to iTunes on my computer instead.

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Opinion March 24

AAPL: 105.67

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Well, I did it. After absorbing the March event on Monday and unpacking it with Benjamin on the 9to5Mac Happy Hour podcast this week, I set my alarm for 1:58 am last night and pre-ordered the iPhone SE. Based on Mark’s reporting, I had an early feeling that the iPhone SE would be compelling (aside from color, the iPhone 5c never was to me) and overall Apple delivered.

The FaceTime selfie camera is a bit disappointing and the display contrast is weak, but the price points for 16GB and 64GB had a surprise and delight effect that I wasn’t expecting. So in one week I’ll make the giant leap back down from a 5.5-inch iPhone to a 4-inch one. Expect my thoughts on that experience in a couple of weeks. I’ll also share my iPhone SE review after some testing so send any questions or ideas over; I’m primarily interested in comparing it to the iPhone 5s and measuring the differences.

And now that I’ve had a few days to digest this year’s March Apple event, I have a few thoughts on everything it contained including Apple’s new Woven Nylon bands, the differences between the two iPad Pros, and a comment on tech spring cleaning …

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Opinion March 23

AAPL: 106.13

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Walt Mossberg, “Friend of Apple” and Personal Technology Columnist at The Verge, is out today with his take on the iPhone SE announcement from Monday. His not terribly hot take?

Screenshot 2016-03-23 12.01.29

Ouch. That’s not a great sign. Neither is the fact that Apple’s Chief Design Officer Jony Ive didn’t make the 2-building over commute to see the show.

We, however, thought the iPhone SE $399 price was a big deal. Its incredible power in small size was unprecedented and frankly lustworthy.

But Mossberg glossed over any meaningful discussion of the SE and instead ultimatum-ed a wishlist for the iPhone 7… expand full story

Opinion March 22

AAPL: 106.72

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I argued a couple of months ago that ‘peak iPhone’ was likely a temporary phenomenon, but that Apple might have to be willing to accept lower margins if it is to continue to grow its sales.

I think it will also need to learn to be a little more flexible when it comes to its profit margins, especially in growth markets. That ~40% markup has served it well for a great many years, but I don’t think it can necessarily expect to maintain it indefinitely.

Yesterday, the company indicated its willingness to do just that. For the first time, Apple’s entry-level phone is a brand-new device that offers close to flagship specs at a price level close to the previous-generation phone. That will hit Apple’s margins on the device for sure, but the company is looking to the long-term …

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