Apple tops American Customer Satisfaction Index for 11th year running despite dropping three points

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Apple has once again retained its top spot in the annual American Customer Satisfaction Index in the personal computers category – though three points down on its 2013 score. Apple has now held top billing for eleven straight years.

The ASCI continues to lump computers and tablets into the same category, so the scores reflect satisfaction with both Macs and iPads. Scores reflect customer expectations pre-sale, perceived quality, perceived value, customer complaint incidents and customer loyalty …  Read more

What are your purchase plans for the iPhone 6? (Poll)

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Last time we asked you, back in April, we’d seen only reports and alleged molds for the two different sizes of iPhone 6. At that stage, 60 percent of you planned to buy the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, with just under a third eyeing-up the 5.5-inch model. A further 8 percent were planning to stick with existing models, and two percent expecting to get a Droid.

Since then we’ve of course seen a huge number of leaked parts, and even what appear to be working versions of the 4.7-inch model. Both models are now expected to go on sale on 19th September, so we thought it would be interesting to see if and how your plans have changed

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Review: Simplicam, the Dropcam HD competitor that adds face-detection

Home security cameras that send you alerts when they detect movement have been around for a while now. We reviewed Dropcam, one of the better-known names in the business, last October.

The problem, though, is that most movement isn’t likely to be of interest – especially if you have pets or are susceptible to changes in nature from sunlight/wind. What we really want to know is when a person arrives, and that’s what Simplicam aims to deliver through face-detection software. You can thus choose to be notified about any one or more of three types of event: movement, sound and face-detection …  Read more

Hoping for a curved Apple Thunderbolt Display? Check out this LG 21:9 beauty

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I’ve never been greatly convinced that curved TV screens are anything but a passing novelty. Watching TV is a social experience, so optimizing the viewing angle for just one person seems odd. But a curved monitor makes much more sense to me, enabling more comfortable viewing from a fixed position at your desk – especially as monitors get larger.

LG has just announced that it will formally launch the 34UC97,  “the world’s first curved monitor with an extra-wide 21:9 aspect ratio,” at the IFA in Berlin next month. The 34-inch ultra-wide monitor offers a 3440×1440 resolution, and – appealingly for Mac users – supports Thunderbolt 2 …  Read more

Americans officially living in post-PC world, spending more time using mobile apps & web

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According to new data from Nielsen, Americans now spend more time using mobile web and apps on their smartphones than they do online on their PCs, reports Engadget.

That shift toward mobile is affecting how many spend their free time. Americans spent an average of 34 hours per month using mobile apps and browsers in 2013; that’s more time than they spent online with their PCs, which chewed up 27 hours …  Read more

Opinion: Will the next Mac mini be a lot more mini than ever before?

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When it first launched in 2005, the Mac mini was almost unimaginably small. The original aim of the machine was to convert owners of desktop Windows machines. Because those people already owned monitors, keyboards and other peripherals, selling them just the computer itself would enable them to switch to Mac for far less than the cost of buying an iMac.

The typical Windows desktop box of that era looked like this:

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A system unit that measured just 6.5 inches square and only 2-inches thick was an incredible feat of engineering. Today, however, it looks rather less impressive …  Read more

PC Market exodus continues as LG considers quitting, Mac prices & margins leave Apple almost immune

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PC manufacturers seem to be dropping like flies at present. Shortly after Sony confirmed it was selling its PC business and Vaio brand, LG is rumored to be planning its own exit from traditional PCs, to focus on smartphones, tablets and ‘convertible’ PCs (touchscreen Windows tablets that flip round into a laptop).

Other manufacturers are witnessing falling sales, prices and profits – with The Guardian calculating that the average profit per PC in the third quarter of 2013 fell to just £14.87 ($24.09). One manufacturer of conventional-format PCs, however, has remained almost immune to the trend: Apple …  Read more

While everyone is looking back, the analysts look forward to Monday’s Mac numbers

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While there’s plenty of looking back going on todayFortune has gathered together analyst forecasts of the Mac numbers we can expect Apple to reveal at its earnings call on Monday. This follows earlier forecasts for iPhone and iPad.

The average prediction is for 13 percent year-on-year growth, predicting that Apple sold 4.6 million Macs in the final quarter of 2013 (Apple’s fiscal Q1). This is slap bang in the middle of the growth predictions for iPads (10 percent) and iPhones (16 percent) …  Read more

Apple continues Mac’s 30th birthday celebrations with special window displays

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A tip we’ve received from an Apple Store employee indicates that Apple will be putting up celebratory LED window displays at Apple Stores, showing a stylised ‘3’ and a ‘Happy birthday, Mac’ message. iPhones and iPads in the window will reportedly be removed. The graphic came via special SD card.

Boxes of special t-shirts have arrived for the occasion (photo below the fold) …  Read more

Total Apple device sales will equal Windows PCs this year, predicts analyst

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The total number of Apple devices sold will equal the number of Windows PCs by some point this year, predicts Asymco’s Horace Dediu in an interesting piece of analysis.

The dark shaded area compares all Apple hardware – Mac plus iPad plus iPhone – with Windows PCs, and shows that by last year there were only 1.18 more Windows PCs than Apple devices. It’s of course a somewhat artificial comparison, as Dediu is including iPhones while excluding Windows Phones and tablets, but given the very limited success of Windows mobile devices to date, correcting that wouldn’t change the patterns too much.

What’s particularly interesting here, as John Gruber notes, is that the dramatic reversal kicked in well before the launch of the iPhone. Dediu and Gruber between them put forward a number of theories for this, and of these I think three are likely key …

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US Mac sales down as PC decline stablizes, but wildly-differing estimates by Gartner and IDC

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US Mac sales fell year-on-year as part of the global decline in the PC market as consumers switch to tablets, phablets and smartphones – but the two major market analysts produced wildly differing estimates of the size of that fall.

IDC has a dramatic drop of 11.2 percent, from 2.14M in the third quarter of 2012 to 1.9M in the same quarter this year, while Gartner shows a much more modest decline of 2.3 percent from 2.2M (close to IDC’s number) to 2.1M. The only point on which both agree is this is the first Q3 decline in Mac sales since 2002, a quarter usually assisted by the back-to-school market …

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In-store pickup for iPhone 5s returns to Apple’s online store, availability limited

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As we reported on Friday, the in-store pickup which appeared briefly on Wednesday last week has returned to Apple’s online store. The option allows customers to purchase a phone online and collect in a store. However, supplies remain extremely constrained with many stores already reporting that devices are “unavailable for pickup”, including Fifth Avenue.

With online orders reporting dispatch estimates of October, the in-store pickup option may prove lucrative for people still looking to get their hands on Apple’s flagship phone. It is currently unknown how often in-store pickup stock will be replenished.