Opinion April 27

AAPL: 97.82

-6.53
Stock Chart

Earlier today, yet another report emerged claiming that Apple would launch an iPhone ‘Pro’ or iPhone 7 ‘Pro’ this fall. This report claimed that the device would be identical to the iPhone 6s Plus in terms of size, but would feature dual cameras on the back and Smart Connector support.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard reports of Apple perhaps adding an additional model to its iPhone lineup, either. A separate report from last month claimed that the company was planning an iPhone 7 Pro with dual camera capabilities.

While all of this is obviously yet to be confirmed and could very well change before Apple announces new iPhones this September, it brings up some interesting possibilities for the iPhone’s 2016 lineup. Will Apple replace the ‘Plus’ model with the ‘Pro’ model? Will it join the lineup as an additional, more expensive option? Let’s discuss…

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Opinion April 26

AAPL: 104.35

-0.73
Stock Chart

Yesterday, we showed you how to upgrade late model MacBooks with a 480GB or 1TB SSD. In some cases these upgrades might yield eight times the original capacity of the machine’s internal storage.

While it’s certainly nice to have the option of upgrading, such enhancements do come with downsides. First, there’s the price: it’s $600 to upgrade to a 1TB drive. Second, the upgrade breaks Boot Camp support.

But $600 is relatively cheap when you compare what it costs to score a MacBook with a 1TB SSD. MacBooks feature faster PCIe storage, but it’s still a high price to pay for something so vital — and so cheap by today’s standards.

Apple’s MacBook line has an issue with internal flash storage prices. It’s a problem that continues to worsen, especially as Apple has made it increasingly difficult for users to upgrade. expand full story

Opinion April 12

AAPL: 110.44

1.42
Stock Chart

Apple has long been about simplicity and minimalism. Steve Jobs’ philosophy was effectively that usability trumps choice. Sure, you lose the ability to customize your iPhone or iPad in the way you can an Android device without jailbreaking it, but what you gain in return is a device that is both more reliable and a lot more secure.

Jobs applied that same philosophy to Apple’s product range. When he returned to Apple in 1997, one of the first things he did was to rationalize the company’s product lineup, paring it back to the essentials. In 2008, he proudly told Fortune that “Apple is a $30 billion company, yet we’ve got less than 30 major products.”

Apple has, for the most part, maintained that approach ever since, famously saying ‘no’ to a thousand product ideas for every time it says ‘yes.’ But I still think there’s a little more work to be done in terms of rationalizing the company’s MacBook lineup …

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9to5toys 

Opinion March 22

AAPL: 106.72

0.81
Stock Chart

One remark Schiller made during yesterday’s launch event raised a few eyebrows. In noting that the majority of 12.9-inch iPad Pro customers had actually switched from Windows PCs, he pointed to the huge potential switchers market still out there for Apple. There are, he said, over 600 million PCs more than five years old.

What he said next generated laughter in the room, but may not have gone down quite so well with those owners.

This is really sad. It really is.

Now, he may be right. A Windows PC more than five years old is going to be creaking somewhat by now. But it seems to me that there are three types of owners of old PCs, and the remark may well offend all of them …

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Opinion March 17

AAPL: 105.80

-0.17
Stock Chart

When the celebrity nudes story broke back in 2014, it was headline news in the mainstream media. The story was that ‘iCloud had been hacked.’ The truth, of course, was a little different. As we suspected at the time, and Apple later confirmed, the ‘hack’ wasn’t really any such thing. A combination of two techniques were used to gain access to the iCloud accounts.

First, phishing: sending emails designed to look like they were from Apple asking the celebrities to login to their accounts, and directing them to a fake website made to look like the real thing. Second, guessing the answers to security questions – something easier to do with celebrities given the amount of biographical information available in the public domain.

That’s not to say Apple was entirely blameless. iCloud did not, at the time, offer two-factor authentication. Given that an iCloud backup is a near-complete copy of all the data stored on an iPhone, that was something which should have been included from the start. But the bottom-line is that iCloud itself wasn’t really hacked in any meaningful sense of the word.

It was this week confirmed that phishing was the approach taken by the main offender in this case. In other words, nothing whatsoever to do with iCloud security. This news hasn’t resulted in a single headline in the mainstream media. The average non-tech person out there still believes ‘iCloud was hacked’ …

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Opinion March 8

AAPL: 101.03

-0.84
Stock Chart

Well, the e-book case that began in 2012 when the US government accused Apple of price-fixing finally ended yesterday  when the Supreme Court declined to hear Apple’s appeal. That left the original ruling intact, meaning that Apple is officially guilty of anti-competitive behavior and will have to fork out $450M in compensation.

There’s no doubt in my mind that the correct result was reached in law. Apple did deliberately set out to fix prices, it did strike secret deals, and it did intend to manipulate the e-book market. Emails from Steve Jobs confirmed the government’s claim that Apple struck the deals in the belief that consumers would end up paying more for e-books.

Throw in with Apple and see if we can all make a go of this to create a real mainstream ebooks market at $12.99 and $14.99. [Up from the typical $9.99 at the time.]

So far, so good. If you’d brought that evidence to me at the time Apple did the deals, I’d have agreed with the government that the company’s behavior was both illegal and morally wrong. But I’d argue that by the time the case was finally brought to court, it was already abundantly clear that it was not in the public interest to pursue it …

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