Opinion: Should Apple settle its Android disputes and move on?

battle

With Apple in the midst of its second major court battle with Samsung over alleged patent violations, and all but one of the five claims relating to Android rather than to anything Samsung-specific, it’s gotten me wondering whether further cases of this kind are truly beneficial to Apple.

I understand it emotionally, of course. It’s galling to work hard on a hugely popular hardware design or user-interface only to see someone else copy parts of it, and the desire to hit back at that is a natural one. But I’m not sure that it makes too much sense rationally …  Read more

Study examines replacement and upgrade cycles of Apple products, iPads treated more like Macs than iPhones

screen-shot-2014-03-21-at-8-03-06-am

A new report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, via Fortune, sheds some light on customer behaviour of how quickly people get their iPad, iPhone or Macs upgraded or replaced. For instance, iPhones have approximate lifespans of two years, tied closely to when people’s contracts end. If the phone is in good condition, rather unsurprisingly, most people replace their phones alongside their new contract. Macs stay around for up to four years before being swapped out for newer equipment. The report argues that iPad life cycles more closely resemble Macs than iPhones.

However, in the case of loss or damage, people are much more compelled to replace their iPhones than Macs or iPads. Eighty percent of people replace iPhones within just two days. For Macs and iPads, this stretches out a week or even more. Over a quarter of buyers surveyed said they would replace an iPad immediately compared to approximately 37% for iPhones.

Read more

You can now buy iPad Airs at the Apple Store (refurb) for $419/16GB or $509/32GB with 1 year warranty

From 9to5Toys.com:

ipad-air-refurb-apple-store

lm-tile-refurbipad_LANG_ENThe Apple Store just got filled with refurbished iPad Airs in a few varieties starting at $419 for 16GB and $509 for 32GB in both Space Grey or White. That’s $80/$90 off the new price and the lowest price we’ve seen for iPad Airs with Apple’s 1 year AppleCare warranty (we saw them new for $430 last week). Apple certified refurbished products look and act like new, come with all manuals and accessories, a new outer shell batter and come in a new white box.

Walmart still has refurbished iPad Airs for $399 but with a more dubious 90-day non-Apple warranty. Meanwhile, if you are after new iPad Airs, Staples currently has them for $50 off across the board.  Read more

Apple building support for driving 4K displays at ‘Retina’ resolution, 60Hz output from 2013 MacBook Pros

IMG_0756

4K display running at “Retina” resolution on 10.9.3

Earlier today, Apple provided developers with the first beta for the upcoming release of OS X Mavericks version 10.9.3. Apple did not disclose any new features coming in 10.9.3, but we have discovered that the update includes notable enhancements for users with Macs connected to 4K-resolution monitors. With 10.9.3, Mac users can now natively set their 4K monitors to run the Mac operating system at a pixel-doubled “Retina” resolution.

The new settings, which appear nearly identical to the settings on a standard Retina MacBook Pro display, can be seen here on a 10.9.3 Mac connected to a 4K monitor:

Read more

Wishful thinking: Why it’d be nice if Apple created a line of Ive-designed office technology products

Image: deskology.com

Image: deskology.com

I have a number of friends who can’t understand why I pay what they refer to as ‘the Apple tax’: the premium paid for Apple products over alternatives that offer much the same functionality.

I can argue about the functionality, of course. The usability, stability and (usually!) security of OS X are all things worth paying for in my view, but I’m not ashamed to admit that aesthetics also matter to me. When I’m going to spend 8+ hours in front of a computer, I’d rather I was looking at something sleek and beautiful rather than something plastic, ugly and a chore to use and understand.

I feel the same way about the other technology on my desk and in my office, but it isn’t always easy to find kit that works well and looks the part too. I can’t help thinking there’s a lot of office technology that could use the Jony Ive touch …  Read more

Apple loses key iPad, Mac operations VP Rita Lane to retirement

Screen Shot 2014-02-11 at 8.45.55 AM

Rita Lane, Apple’s vice president of operations for the iPad, Mac desktops, and Mac accessories, has retired from the company, according to her public LinkedIn profile. As vice president of operations, Lane was in charge of the supply chain and manufacturing for iPads, computers like the iMac, and Apple’s Mac accessories.

Due to her position, Lane was likely instrumental in the iPad’s rapid growth as a product and emergence in society over the past few years, making the departure a significant loss for Apple. However, the company likely has other experienced operations managers who could fill Lane’s role. Her exact successor is unknown…

Read more