Ben Lovejoy


Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer who started his career on PC World and has written for dozens of computer and technology magazines, as well as numerous national newspapers, business and in-flight magazines. He has also written two novels.

He is old enough to have owned the original Mac, and still has his Mac Portable in a cupboard as he can’t quite bear to part with it, despite the fact that he has no idea where the power supply is. He is occasionally tempted to turn up to a Genius Bar with it.

He currently owns a rather upgraded MacBook Pro 17 which he will reluctantly replace with a 2016 MacBook Pro 15, a MacBook Air 11, 9.7-inch iPad Pro, iPhone SE and Thunderbolt Display 27 – and suspects it might be cheaper to have a cocaine habit than his addiction to all things anodised aluminum.

He thinks wires are evil and had a custom desk made to hide them, known as the OC Desk for obvious reasons.

He considers 1000 miles a good distance for a cycle ride, and Chernobyl a suitable tourist destination. What can we say, he’s that kind of chap.

He speaks fluent English but only broken American, so please forgive any Anglicised spelling in his posts.

If @benlovejoy-ing him on twitter, please follow him first so that he can DM you if appropriate. If you have information you can pass on, you can also email him. If you would like to comment on one of his pieces, please do so in the comments – he does read them all.

Ben Lovejoy's Recommended Gear


AAPL: 115.09

Stock Chart

With around two-thirds of our readers expecting to buy a brand new MacBook Pro, and others looking to upgrade to a refreshed MacBook Air or iMac, we thought it would be useful to provide a quick guide to preparing for the upgrade.

We recommend a seven-step approach …

expand full story

Apple Store Mestre Venezia – one of 16 Apple Stores in Italy
View Comments

The European Union isn’t the only one to consider Apple’s Irish tax arrangements illegal – Reuters reports that a senior Apple exec came close to being jailed for alleged tax evasion in Italy.

Back in 2013, the Italian government accused the company of failing to declare sales revenue from sales in Italy, instead funnelling it to Ireland. The Italian tax authorities said that undeclared sales from 16 Apple Stores in the country totalled more than $1.3B, and sent Apple a tax bill for $347M.

Apple paid up, but that wasn’t the end of it …

expand full story

I wrote an opinion piece last month entitled macOS Sierra’s new storage-management tools are a bit of a mess

Effectively you are switching from a belt-and-braces system, where you have three copies – one local, a second in your local Time Machine backup, a third on iCloud – to just a single copy. That’s way too risky for my tastes, especially given the somewhat flakey reliability record of Apple’s cloud services.

But Mac users may also be running that same risk without even realizing it. Because that first option – to ‘Optimize Mac Storage’ for files stored on iCloud – is on by default in my experience. This means that, for any file on iCloud, your Mac could be deleting files from your Mac without your knowledge or permission. That should never be the case.

I was wrong. Sierra’s storage-management aren’t a ‘bit of a mess’ at all: having just seen what they did to my MacBook Air, seemingly prompted by the update to 10.12.1, they are a complete and utter disaster … 

expand full story


We’ll of course be bringing you all the news from today’s Mac-focused keynote presentation as it happens, but many also like to watch the live presentation. The ‘hello again’ tagline suggests Apple thinks it’s announcing something pretty special.

The keynote kicks off in the morning in Cupertino, and the start time of course depends on your time-zone:

  • 10am PT
  • 1pm ET
  • 6pm London
  • 7pm Western Europe …

expand full story


AAPL: 115.59

Stock Chart

Quite a few people have been commenting on Apple’s use of ‘hello again’ as the tagline for tomorrow’s MacBook event. ‘Hello’ featured twice in the launch of the original Macintosh back in 1984: it was displayed on the screen in ‘handwriting’ to show off the graphics capabilities of the machine, and of course the Macintosh famously introduced itself by speaking the words ‘Hello, I’m Macintosh. It sure is great to get out of that bag.’

It was 14 years later before Apple again referenced the greeting, when the first iMac – the colorful cube variety – displayed ‘hello (again)’ on the screen. That was the machine credited with turning around Apple’s fortunes just a year after the company had to be bailed-out by Microsoft. The ‘industry-altering success of the candy-colored iMacs’ as Forbes put it.


So it’s no surprise that Apple’s use of ‘hello again’ as the tagline for tomorrow’s event is being taken as evidence that the company thinks it’s going to be showing us something pretty special …

expand full story

I usually travel hand-baggage only as it saves time on arrival and removes the stress of wondering whether your luggage will arrive, but if you can’t avoid hold baggage, Delta now lets you keep an eye on it via its Fly Delta app.

Delta started attaching RFID tags to bags back in April, but at that stage it was purely for use by the airline itself. It’s now making that same data available to customers, so you can see whether your bag made it onto the plane and then track it all the way to the carousel on arrival …

expand full story


Update: AAPL opened 3.59% down at exactly $114.

Despite Apple announcing Q4 earnings which lined-up almost perfectly with analyst expectations, the company’s shares price fell 3.26% in after-hours trading. After closing at $118.25 before the announcement, they were trading at $114.40 at the time of writing.

Although the company did report its first full-year decline in revenue since 2001, this had been predicted. Comparing the pre-announcement analyst consensus with the actual results, it’s remarkable just how close they were …

expand full story

Apple’s Services category covers everything from paid iCloud storage tiers to Apple Music subscriptions, and it’s been clear for some time that this recurring revenue is becoming increasingly important to the company’s bottom-line. Just how important was revealed in yesterday’s earnings report: in Q4, Services revenue was larger than each of iPad and Mac sales …

expand full story

October 25

AAPL: 118.25

Stock Chart

We’ve been seeing concept images for a near-bezel-free iPhone 8 for some time now, but there’s a big difference between a purely visual concept and a real-life product. Concept images can completely ignore the engineering challenges, along with the practicalities of such things as earpieces and front-facing cameras.

But Xiaomi’s latest phone, the Mi Mix, shows just what is possible in a real-life phone …

expand full story


Being woken in the early hours by your iPhone bleeping for some trivial reason is one of life’s more irritating experiences, so I’m a great fan of the Do Not Disturb feature. Set the hours you usually sleep, turn off the phone and you can relax in the knowledge that you won’t be woken by any calls, messages or other assorted audio alerts until a civilised hour.

But the scheduling of the Do Not Disturb hours isn’t exactly sophisticated: you simply get to specify the start and end times, and those same times apply 365 days a year unless you change them manually.

There’s one improvement I suspect we’d all like to see, with more sophisticated options likely to also appeal to many …

expand full story

Apple Store, Zorlu Centre, Instanbul
View Comments

Apple is due to announce its fiscal Q4 (calendar Q3) earnings today at 2pm PT/5pm ET, and the news isn’t expected to be good.

The company’s own guidance calls for a third consecutive quarter of year-on-year declining revenue. That would mean total revenue for its 2016 fiscal year of around $215B, 8% down on the previous year – making it the company’s first year-on-year decline since 2001 …

expand full story

Alongside the introduction of iOS 10.1 and watchOS 3.1, Apple has switched on support for Apple Pay in Japan. This makes the iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 2 compatible with the FeliCa contactless payment system used by almost two million payment terminals in the country.

Supporting Apple Pay in Japan was not a trivial undertaking for Apple. Although FeliCa is an NFC-based contactless payment system, it’s not compatible with the systems used in most other countries. Apple had to equip Japanese devices with a different NFC chip to support FeliCa – also used in Hong Kong and Singapore – which is bad news for the rest of us when travelling to the region …

expand full story

October 24

AAPL: 117.65

Stock Chart

A quiet update to Apple’s website earlier revealed that the Apple Watch Nike+ edition would go on sale this Friday, October 28 – and Apple has now further confirmed the date with some additional details.

You’ll naturally be able to buy the special edition Watch at Apple Stores and ‘select’ Nike retail stores, but it will also be available at a number of specialty and department stores. Macy’s is no surprise as the Apple Watch has seen availability there already, but Apple says you’ll also be able to pick up the new Watch at DICK’S Sporting Goods stores …

expand full story


An analyst round-up by Philip Elmer-DeWitt shows clear expectations of the fourth quarterly year-on-year decline in a row of Mac sales. Most of the estimates are very strongly clustered around the 5M mark, with the average suggesting a 10.79% fall from last year’s 5.7M to 5.1M this year.

The sales estimates among the 19 analysts surveyed ranged from 4.65M at the low end to 5.8M at the top end – but it’s notable that just two companies are predicting sales growth …

expand full story

I’ve always loved music, and am old enough to have lived through every generation of portable music player, from the original cassette Walkman on. The transition from cassette to CD made little difference: you still only had one album loaded at any one time, and carrying others was a pain. The same was true of the very first mp3 player, the MPMan, which I bought in 1998.

The first hard drive-based mp3 player was the Personal Jukebox in 1999. It beat the iPod to market by two years, but was large, heavy and hard to use. Even as an early adopter of technology, I was only briefly tempted.

It was the launch of the iPod fifteen years ago yesterday that changed everything for me. That tagline of ‘1000 songs in your pocket’ said it all: you could now carry a substantial proportion of your entire music library on you at all times. And that changed the way that I – and millions of others around the world – listened to music …

expand full story


October 21

AAPL: 116.60

Stock Chart

A report from French site Mac4Ever claims that Apple is planning to close a high-profile Apple Watch store-within-a-store in the famous Galeries Lafayette department store in Paris. This is one of three department store initiatives Apple opened for the launch of the Watch back in 2015.

The Apple Watch area in the store is a large one, spanning the width of four full balconies in the upmarket store, sitting alongside fashion brands Chanel and Hermes …

expand full story

There have been predictions for years that China would eventually be a larger market for Apple than the USA. The weak Chinese economy means that it hasn’t yet happened in hardware, but the latest App Annie data says that it’s already got there on the software side.

The highlight of this report is certainly China overtaking the U.S to become the largest market in the world for iOS App Store revenue — earning over $1.7 billion in Q3 2016. We predicted in Q1 that China’s rapid iOS revenue growth would drive it right past the U.S well before year’s end — China is now leading the U.S by over 15%.

The rapid growth in Chinese spending – a 500% increase in two years – is in line with earlier predictions. The stats also illustrate the importance of games in driving App Store sales …

expand full story


Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) reports that the iPhone 7/Plus accounted for 43% of all iPhone sales in Q3 despite being available for only the final two weeks of the quarter. The research company estimates that the iPhone 7 notched up 31% of sales with the larger Plus model at 12%, reports … 

expand full story

Submit a Tip


Submitting a tip constitutes permission to publish and syndicate. Please view our tips policy or see all contact options.

Powered by VIP