Opinion pieces & commentary Overview Updated December 30, 2016

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271 Opinion pieces & commentary stories

December 2010 - December 2016

OpinionOpinion pieces are intended to provide interesting perspective on an Apple-related topic, and to be an entertaining read. They represent the opinions of their authors, and not of the site as a whole: this is the reason we don’t label them as editorials.

We use the ‘Opinion’ prefix for longer pieces, and ‘Comment’ for shorter pieces that may be making just a single observation.

We fully encourage discussion and debate on opinion pieces, and you are of course welcome to strongly disagree with both the author and other commenters. All we ask is that you apply the golden rule to your interactions: treat others as you’d wish to be treated. In particular, debate the topic not the person – it’s absolutely fine to say that you think someone is completely wrong because x, y and z; it’s not ok to call their views idiotic.

That said, we love to hear your thoughts and views, and really appreciate those who take the time to give their considered opinions.

Opinion Stories December 30, 2016

AAPL: 115.82

Stock Chart

Two further patent applications published today and spotted by Patently Apple show that Apple continues to explore the idea of bringing a Watch-style Digital Crown to the iPad and iPhone. The original patent application was published back in July, and the two additional ones published today further refine the idea.

Apple has generally been moving away from physical controls on iDevices, the iPhone 7 replacing the mechanical Home button with a touch-sensitive one, and the iPhone 8 rumored to be embedding it into the display. We’re also expecting to see a near bezel-free design next year.

It was for this reason that the idea initially seemed unlikely …

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Opinion Stories December 27, 2016

AAPL: 117.26

Stock Chart

Apple had rather a controversial year in terms of product launches. Its two new flagship products – the iPhone 7 and the new MacBook Pro – got most attention not for what they included, but rather what they left out.

Most of the press coverage of the iPhone 7 focused on the company’s decision to omit the 3.5mm headphone socket. This was despite the fact that the move had been so long rumored that I suspect Apple deliberately leaked its plans in order to give everyone time to get used to the idea.

With the year’s MacBook Pro, the headline new feature of the Touch Bar was largely over-shadowed by the company’s decision to go all-in on the relatively new USB-C standard, omitting all other ports bar (ironically) the headphone socket …

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Opinion Stories December 23, 2016

AAPL: 116.52

Stock Chart

Consumer Reports said yesterday that the 2016 MacBook Pro was the first ever Apple laptop that the organization couldn’t recommend, due to battery-life issues.

That in itself didn’t strike me as too odd. Different users have definitely been reporting very variable results in times of battery life, and some of them have been well below half the ten hours that Apple claims. Our video rundown showed as much and our poll found that the largest group of readers was reporting five hours or less.

Given that Consumer Reports was seeing as little as 3.75 hours in its own tests, that would be good enough reason to withhold a recommendation. But it was the high-end results the organization reported that puzzle me …

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Opinion Stories December 21, 2016

AAPL: 117.06

Stock Chart

When Apple launched the iPhone 5 with a new-fangled Lightning port – instead of the 30-pin dock connector that had been a standard feature on every previous generation of iPhone, as well as on iPods since 2003 – there was a great deal of outrage.

‘What about all the docks and speaker systems we own that have 30-pin connectors?’ was the question many asked. The decision was described as arrogant and unreasonable. Apple was accused of profiteering, by forcing everyone to buy new cables, docks and speakers.

Apple responded in three ways. It pointed to the undeniable technical superiority of the new port. It explained the difficulty of making ever slimmer devices with a port designed for much thicker ones. And it assured everyone that this would be the last change for a long time – that the Lightning port would be around for many years to come …

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Opinion Stories December 20, 2016

AAPL: 116.95

Stock Chart

When Apple unveiled its latest MacBook Pro models, making particular reference to their ability to drive multiple 4K and 5K monitors, some wondered whether the company was readying itself to exit the desktop market – as it has already done for displays.

Even Apple’s own employees appeared to share this concern, with one asking on the company’s internal Apple Web system ‘Are Mac desktops strategic for us?’.

Tim Cook was quick to offer reassurance, stating that the desktop market was ‘very strategic’ for Apple, and that the company has ‘great desktops in our roadmap.’ There were, though, a couple of problems with this assurance …

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Opinion Stories December 19, 2016

AAPL: 116.64

Stock Chart

Apple has finally launched its legal challenge to an EU ruling that it must pay an additional €13B ($14B) in tax after a special tax deal offered by the Irish government was found to be illegal. The Irish government had already submitted its own appeal against the ruling, stating today that ‘Ireland did not give favourably tax treatment to Apple- the full amount was paid in this case and no state aid was provided.’

On the face it, the EU case is a strong one. The deal with the Irish government – detailed in a Bloomberg analysis – meant that the vast majority of Apple’s taxes were assigned to a ‘head office’ that wasn’t tax resident anywhere in the world, and which therefore paid no taxes at all. This is how, according to the EU case, Apple effectively paid as little as 0.005% tax on billions of dollars of European sales …

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