By Oliver Haslam on Jan 25, 2014
Time was once when Apple was infamous for not giving its users choice. Steve Jobs himself famously said that consumers didn’t know what they wanted, and that it was Apple’s job to tell them, and he was often right. It was this confidence, some may say arrogance, that made Apple so sure of its designs. So absolutely convinced that it was on the right path. And arguably, it’s why it has been so successful over the last ten or so years.
But things are changing inside Apple. Since Steve Jobs’ death and the handing over of the reigns to the unflappable Tim Cook, Apple has been going through something of a metamorphosis, and everyone has seen how the company has changed. Countless people have written about how Apple isn’t the same company since its co-founder and visionary left it to somewhat more pragmatic minds, and the evidence that they’re right simply keeps on mounting. Read More
By Jeff Benjamin on Nov 30, 2013
If you follow my rants on Let’s Talk iOS then you know that there’s a running joke about how many times I change my mind. In the last 2 years, I’ve switched from an iMac, MacBook Pro, another iMac, a MacBook Air, a Retina MacBook Pro and another MacBook Air. I don’t have to tell you that that’s insane, and probably not a healthy way to go about living your life.
But I’ve settled. I’ve settled on the machine for me. That machine is the 11″ MacBook Air. It’s the MacBook with the exceptionally long battery life due to its Haswell processor. This — and trust me I would know — is the perfect computer for me. It’s probably the perfect computer for you as well; you just don’t realize it yet. Read More
By Cody Lee on Sep 12, 2013
In just about 4 hours, retailers around the globe will begin taking online pre-orders for the new iPhone 5c. And from then until Monday afternoon, tech watchers will be holding vigilant for any kind of word from Apple confirming the handset’s success.
At least the company will have a clear picture of its performance this weekend, because as most of you know, it’s decided not to make its flagship iPhone 5s available for pre-order. Folks will have to wait until next week to purchase the device online or in-store.
Of course, Apple hasn’t offered any reason for why it’s decided to go this route. But as you can imagine, there are a number of theories floating around the web. And on the eve of the 5c pre-order launch, we thought it’d be fun to take a look at some of them… Read More
By Sébastien Page on Sep 11, 2013
There weren’t many surprises left yesterday during Apple’s iPhone event where not one, but two devices were unveiled. There was of course the iPhone 5s, the new flagship device, and also the iPhone 5c, the rumored inexpensive iPhone aimed at emerging markets and first time smartphone buyers. At least that’s what we all believed.
If we all knew early on what the iPhone 5c was going to look like, there was something we were not certain about: the pricing. With an estimated unsubsidized price tag of $450, the iPhone 5c was supposed to hit the sweet spot. It was not Samsung-cheap, but it was not iPhone-expensive either, making it the defacto budget iPhone Wall Street had been pushing for.
Wall Street had actually brainwashed us to believe that a cheaper iPhone was what Apple needed in markets where the company isn’t doing as well as it should, such as China, and other parts of Asia, Russia, etc.
Whether Wall Street is right or not doesn’t matter because, as always, Apple didn’t let the money men dictate the company what to do. As always, Apple went Apple’s way and unveiled a device that is everything but affordable. It sure is $100 less than the top of the line iPhone 5s, but starting at $549 off contract, the iPhone 5c is still $100 more expensive than our wildest expectations.
So what happened? Read More
By Cody Lee on Aug 1, 2013
At the time of this writing, Apple’s stock is hovering around $456 per share. While that’s still painfully lower than its peak of $702 back in September of last year, it’s a major improvement over the $398 per share low it hit last month. So what happened?
The truth is, APPL had a nice little July. After starting the month at $405, the stock spiked around the 23rd—the day it announced its ‘disappointing’ Q3 earnings—and has been on the rise since. But why? Are investors gaining confidence in Apple again? Read More
By Oliver Haslam on Jul 7, 2013
There’s no argument that the Mac Pro was in need of some love and in fact, we’d argue that it’s been overdue some attention for quite some time now. We’d hoped that Apple would offer some signs that the Mac Pro was still in their hearts at this year’s WWDC, but we never invisaged something like what Phil Schiller finally announced on-stage. It was a wow moment the likes of which we don’t recall since the original iPhone introduction.
Which got us thinking.
With iPhones being released each year, and with leaks almost commonplace when it comes to Apple’s suppliers, are we in danger of growing bored with Apple’s iPhone? Perhaps more accurately, are we no longer capable of being surprised by a newly announced smartphone from Apple? Read More
By Oliver Haslam on Jun 19, 2013
I was going to write this post when everything was raw, soon after the news had developed and the internet was awash with people seemingly frothing at the mouth. Frothing, apparently, for one of two reasons.
Firstly, we had the people frothing because “ZOMG, 20 dollars for an iPad game!!!!.” Apparently anything the wrong side of free is just about the developers trying to squeeze money out of their hard work. Because, well, it’s their living.
Then secondly, there were the polar opposites. People screaming back, apparently oblivious to the fact they were wasting their time, claiming that developers deserve to be paid and that free to play games have ruined the App Store, caused world hunger and possibly even kicked a kitten once.
The truth though, as is so often the case, is somewhere in-between… Read More
By Cody Lee on May 31, 2013
Earlier this week, Tim Cook turned some heads when he told folks at the D11 conference that they could expect Apple to “open up more” in the future, in regards to 3rd party developers. The company, as you well know, currently rules iOS with an iron fist.
Unsurprisingly, Cook’s comment has sparked some speculation in the jailbreak community, on what Apple’s plans might be for opening up iOS more. And earlier today, Pod2g weighed in, and he thinks it could do it by releasing alternate firmware… Read More
By Oliver Haslam on Apr 6, 2013
Without a doubt, one of the biggest differences between iOS and Android is its fundamental handling of information. Google decided to allow widgets onto a phone’s Home screen so that, theoretically, users would have the information they need right at their fingertips. Apple, on the other hand, has doggedly stuck to its guns over the years, with iOS remaining a collection of app icons rather than live widgets.
Over the years there have been plenty of arguments amongst those in the tech community as to which was the best way to go. Android users will repeatedly point to widgets as one of the main reasons they prefer their phones over the iPhone or even one of the Windows Phone handsets. Sitting halfway between iOS and Android, Windows Phone features live tiles that offer up information from the phone’s Home screen a la widgets, but that’s just not enough for some. It’s widgets or nothing, man, and that’s the way it is.
But iOS users can have their cake and eat it. They can have widgets on their home screens just like Android users, whilst still having that iPhone they so love. But the real question is: should they? Even if they should, I’d argue that fewer people actually would than we might think… Read More
By Jeff Benjamin on Dec 12, 2012
Okay, I’ll bite. Again.
Yesterday I called out the developer of “Dream JB” for promising to bring a jailbreak to the iPhone 5 when he knew good and well that he couldn’t fulfill that promise.
Understandably, a lot of readers were miffed that I had the audacity to dash their hopes for a jailbreak. We’ve waited a long time for a jailbreak for iOS 6 and the iPhone 5, so it didn’t really surprise me when I was labeled a pessimist, although I was surprised a bit that my journalistic integrity was questioned. Fair enough, I was pretty positive that in due time this “jailbreak” would be exposed for what it really was.
Due time came today.
As I stated, I too wish for a jailbreak, it’s in my best interest to have one…but I and many others saw through this for what it was — a fake. Now the developer has released a video showcasing his fake work. And although it’s a pretty ambitious job of fakery, at the end of the day it’s still fake. Read More
By Jeff Benjamin on Nov 23, 2012
I decided to go completely case-less. Most of you guys probably think I already do that, since I never have a case on my devices when I’m filming a new video.
But that, as it turns out, hasn’t been so. I used to only keep my iPhone nude for aesthetic purposes on film. As soon as I hit the shutter release on my camera to stop filming, back in the case she went.
Then I read something that changed my perspective on things. After seeing this post by John Gruber, I started thinking. Why are we so obsessed with encapsulating our devices in protective covering? Aren’t we ridding ourselves of the pleasure of using it as it was intended and designed to be used?
I decided to embark on an experiment. One that could prove costly, but at the same time provide me with a since of liberation. I was going to go case-less… Read More
By Oliver Haslam on Nov 6, 2012
A report by Strategy Analytics yesterday claims that Apple’s customer loyalty fell for the first time since records began, which may come as a surprise with huge lines and waiting lists abound for the latest releases of the iPhone and iPad.
The report tells that when asked, 88% of US customers said that they were likely to buy another iPhone at upgrade time, which is down from the 93% that claimed the same thing last time around. It’s a similar story in Europe, with a result of 75% being well down from the previous year’s 88%.
While any company should be happy with a loyalty rate of 88%, why is Apple seeing a reduction in customer loyalty? That’s the real question I think we should be asking… Read More
By Sébastien Page on Oct 30, 2012
If there’s one thing that really came as a surprise this month, it’s certainly not the iPad mini, or any other product announcement, but the executives shake up and shuffling at Apple. SVP of Retail John Browett is gone, and that’s a good thing, and really, hardly a surprise. The biggest surprise was that he was hired in the first place. The real bombshell in yesterday’s abrupt announcement is the departure of SVP of iOS Software, Scott Forstall.
Although it was the biggest kick, Apple’s press release also told us that Ive would now be in charge of Human Interface (aka everything design), iOS and OS X groups are now one, Maps and Siri are now part of the Internet Services unit, and Mansfield will lead the new Technologies group.
Now that we’ve gathered a little more information about the news and that I’ve had time to really soak it in, I’d like to share my thoughts on the situation, and what it all means for the new Apple… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Oct 28, 2012
Apple is no stranger to abandoning features it thinks are heading for the graveyard of technology. I guess you could say the company invented it. The new iMac without a built-in optical drive is the perfect epitome of such forward-thinking that, however, isn’t without its pitfalls.
With the revamped all-in-one desktop, club Cupertino risks alienating the old-fashioned types by inconveniencing their daily computing, at least until the rest of the industry catches up. Then again, every Apple customer has always been an early adopter in every sense of the word.
The question is, will other makers follow suit and remove rotating medias from their products? More importantly, what exactly does the new iMac tell us about a Tim Cook Apple?
By Jeff Benjamin on Oct 11, 2012
I never planned on purchasing a new iPod touch, but the impulse bug got me. I bought one last year for testing purposes. But despite that justification, I still had buyers remorse soon afterwards. That’s how bad the iPod touch 4th generation was. It lacked power, had a terrible screen, and the design was, well, disgusting.
But when Apple showed off the new iPod touch hardware last month, my interest was piqued. Still reeling, though, from the 4th generation product, I kept myself from getting too excited about it.
Unfortunately (thankfully?) I struggle to control myself when it comes to Apple product purchases. But that lack of control allowed me to witness first hand a marvelous turnaround to the iPod touch line. Yes, the iPod touch 5th generation shares little with the previous generation hardware, and that’s a good thing.
Indeed, the new iPod touch is — wow — it’s actually good. I mean, it’s really good. If you haven’t yet seen it in person, you owe it to yourself to check out this review… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Oct 1, 2012
News made rounds earlier today that Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey’s another startup, Square, just snapped up design shop 80/20. Square makes an awesome iPhone and Android payment solution based on a credit card dongle and it recently teamed up with Starbucks on micro-payments.
Headquartered in New York, 80/20 is renowned for its design work on user interfaces. They did a dashboard for the electric vehicle company Better Place and a sexy fitness-tracking watch for Google’s subsidiary Motorola.
Here’s why Square and 80/20 are a natural fit, why the deal makes in a greater scheme of things and why you should care… Read More
By Cody Lee on Sep 16, 2012
Designing and developing a new iPhone every year has to be one of the most difficult things Apple does. Essentially, it has to take the world’s most popular smartphone, not to mention its biggest money-maker, and make it different enough so people will buy it, but not so different that it messes up the obviously-winning formula.
That’s a tall order. And it was probably even tougher this year due to seemingly higher expectations and stiff competition from Samsung, and others.
So was Apple able to pull it off?
By Cody Lee on Aug 14, 2012
While it seems we know just about everything there is to know about Apple’s next smartphone — looks, features, launch date — there is one thing that still remains a mystery: what’s Apple going to call it?
According to our poll we conducted last month on the topic, the two most likely candidates are “the new iPhone” and the “iPhone 5.” And if you think that Apple would never call it the iPhone 5, read this… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jul 16, 2012
It’s October 4th, 2011, and Apple is hosting its highly anticipated iPhone event. SVP of Marketing Phil Schiller is on stage, and after about 5 minutes of discussing changes to the iPod line, he utters the words that everyone has been waiting to hear: “Next, iPhone.”
A sense of disappointment spread throughout the tech world as Schiller went on to unveil a familiar-looking iPhone 4S. Where was this teardrop-shaped iPhone 5 that we had been hearing so much about? With the bigger screen, and LTE? What about all of those leaked cases?
Of course, the 4S would go on to be a huge hit for Apple. But the whole experience has left a lot of consumers with low expectations for this year’s iPhone release. Well it’s time to raise them. There are actually a few reasons why you should be excited about Apple’s next handset… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jul 6, 2012
I just read this argument how anyone that thinks Apple might do an iPad mini because of the Kindle Fire or Nexus 7 should be banned from writing about Apple. Seriously? I’d wager it’s the other way round. Apple absolutely cannot afford to sit on the sidelines while Amazon and Google take over its prospective customers on the low-end and lock them into their ecosystems.
Yes, Apple knows all too well that Google’s $199 Nexus 7 is a game-changer. Tim Cook understands this thing is gonna be big and you can bet he’ll do something about it. Why else do you think Apple has started alerting the press that it’s been working on a seven-inch competitor… Read More