Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Posts Tagged ‘apple

iPhone X Making Moolah

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I’ve not upgraded to an iPhone 8 or X yet, but someone out there in the ether has.  Maybe even quite a few.

MacRumor reported yesterday that, according to Counterpoint Research, the iPhone X accounted for 35 percent of total worldwide handset profits in the fourth quarter of 2017.

They also reported that the X generated 5X more profit than the combined profit of more than 600 Android OEMs during the quarter, and this despite the fact that the X was available for purchase only during the final two months of the year.

iPhone X Sales

The story indicated other Apple iPhones, including the 8, 8 Plus, 7, and 7 Plus accounted for a second large chunk of global handset profits.

And that Apple was the most profitable brand with 86 percent of total handset market profits.

Yeah, just a little bit.

So excuse me for a moment if I kid about this story that appeared in The Wall Street Journal about folks wanting to go all retro with “candy bar” and “banana” and so-called feature phones because their smartphone had too much to compel them to use it.  

Uh, isn’t that the frickin’ point?  A computer in our hands?!

I waited 20+ years to get a smartphone!

I use it for all kinds of things — writing, reading, watching stuff, playing games, navigating, travel, communicating via video and text, etc.…and you want to go back to a feature phone?  

Are you ——ing kidding me?  

I’m sorry if you’re so addicted to your smartphone that you can’t control yourself.  

But that’s your problem.  

Me, I’ll be perfectly find if I never have to send another T9 text for the rest of my adult life!

Written by turbotodd

April 18, 2018 at 1:56 pm

Posted in 2018, apple, iPhone, iphone x

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Summoning Siri

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Apple apparently thinks it can improve upon its extremely popular wireless AirPods headphones. 

Bloomberg is s that the company is working on a new version for release as soon as this year which has an upgraded wireless chip, and another model next year that makes the headphones water resistant.

This year’s update will allegedly allow one to summon Siri’s digital assistant without physically tapping the headphones by instead saying, “Hey Siri.”

To which I would say, can I ask it to refer me over to “Google Assistant.”

I’m all for improved hardware, but IMHO, Apple needs to be focusing much more attention on the software side of things, and specifically, having Siri continue her education to train up to better respond to what are increasingly table stake queries.

Don’t get me wrong — I love me some AirPods, and don’t know how I got along without them for so long.  All those wires, all those times I was on my bike tangling up and dropping my phone. Love me no wires!

But Apple, please, do yourself a favor and make Siri smarter before worrying so much about whether or not I have to tap my AirPods to summon her! Because if she doesn’t get smarter and soon, there won’t be any reason to say, “HEY, SIRI!”

Written by turbotodd

February 22, 2018 at 9:47 am

Posted in 2018, AI, airpods, apple, siri

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Apple: Biggest Watchmaker in the World?

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Apple hasn’t exactly been forthright about the sales volume of its Apple volumes.

But with a little digging from industry researcher Canalys and IDC, and some publicly released shipment stats from the Federation fo the Swiss Watch industry, we’re seeing a little more sunlight on the Apple Watch sundial.

According to a report from Business Insider, Apple is, in fact, now one of the biggest watchmakers in the world.

Canalys’ most recent sales estimate suggests that Apple sold more watches than the entire Swiss watch industry last quarter, about 8 million during the holiday quarter.

Apple CEO Tim Cook did have this to say about Apple Watch sales volume on February 1:

“It was our best quarter ever for the Apple Watch with over 50% growth in revenue and units for the fourth quarter in a row and strong double-digit growth in every geographic segment.”

Time to put to rest the notion that the Apple Watch has no momentum (sorry, couldn’t help myself…too much time on my hands!)

Written by turbotodd

February 12, 2018 at 10:54 am

Posted in 2018, apple watch

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Bronze, Silver and Gold

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Happy Monday.

Congrats to our U.S. Olympic medalists in Pyeonchang (thus far), with Red Gerard and Jamie Anderson leading the way in men’s and women’s slopestyle snowboarding events, respectively, with each garnering the first U.S. gold medals of these Winter Olympics.

In men’s luge, U.S. team member Chris Mazdzer grabbed a silver medal Sunday night (apparently unexpectedly), while Adam Rippon and Mirai Nagasu won bronze medals in the team figure skating competition.

Well done all around!

If hacking’s more your sport, though, you may want to check out Sam Kim’s feature about North Korean hackers on Bloomberg. According to Kim’s report, their mission is to use their hacking skills to make money by any means necessary, and they, too, seem to be going for the gold…admittedly that of a different variety.

Meanwhile, Apple has intimated some changes in its software development lifecycle, according to AppleInsider. According to the story, Apple will move away from annual “zero day” releases” as the company works to minimize software bugs while giving its engineers more flexibility in scheduling.

As an example, the company will focus on the next two years of iPhone and iPad software updates, rather than “cramming features into a single update,” reports Apple Insider.

New improvements to iOS could still come later this year, including Animoji characters in Facement, enhancements to Do Not Disturb, deeper integration of Siri into Spotlight, and a revamped Stocks app (yawn).

But a big update in 2018 could see the ability to run several windows in one app on the iPad, one that would allow users to switch between apps just like tabs in a web browser.

AppleInsider also suggests the company is still on track with project “Marzipan,” which will help developers port iOS apps to the Mac more easily and run a single, unified code base.

If you’re looking for a shorter term fix, AppleInsider also reports the company is working on an iOS 11.3 update that will give users the ability to check the health of their device’s battery (especially important after the Apple battery scandal), and choose to enable or disable automatic throttling of older devices to prevent random shutdowns.

That update is also expected to include four new Animoji, support for Messages in iCloud, ARKit 1.5, and tweaks to Apple Music and Apple News.

Written by turbotodd

February 12, 2018 at 9:13 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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A Drop in Tablets

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Whatever you do, don’t look at the Dow. Again.

Trading just started here in the U.S., and the Dow is already on the way down again (but only 1.68 percent, as of press time).

Stairs on the way up, elevator on the way down.

Me, I want to turn my attention back to some positive technology news. Okay, er, uh, well, some technology news, anyhow.

I’ll start with a report from IDC as reported by VentureBeat on the subject of tablet sales. IDC’s latest report indicates the tablet market has now declined YOY for 13 quarters straight, with Q4 2017 witnessing a 7.9 YOY decline.

IDC’s estimates count both slate form factors and detachables (tablets with keyboards included).

In terms of market share, Apple led the way with 26.6 percent share, followed by Amazon at 15.6 percent, and Samsung at 14.1 percent.

If you, too, aren’t in the market for a new tablet, perhaps the Apple HomePod might strike your fancy.

The Verge got their hands on one, explaining that whether Apple likes it or not, the HomePod "is the company’s answer to the wildly popular Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers."

So what’s the skinny? The Verge writes that "while it’s true that the HomePod sounds incredible — it sounds far better than any other speaker in its price range — it also demands that you live entirely inside Apple’s ecosystem in a way that event Apple’s other products do not."

So, Apple HomePod is like Wilson the Volleyball — it lives on an island, like Tom Hanks in "Castaway." Got it.

For an example, consider this headline from the review: "Siri Can’t Compete with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant."

You can’t ask Siri to look up a recipe. You can’t ask Siri to make a phone call. (You have to start the phone call on your phone and transfer it to the HomePod to use it as a just-okay speakerphone.) Siri also can’t compete with the huge array of Alexa skills, or Google Assistant’s ability to answer a vast variety of questions.

In other words, if you’re living on Apple’s island ecosystem, have at it.

Written by turbotodd

February 6, 2018 at 8:49 am

Posted in 2018, apple

Tagged with , , , ,

Apple Earnings

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Apple announced its fiscal 2018 first quarter earnings this afternoon, posting quarterly revenue of $88.3 billion, a 13 percent YOY increase and all-time record. International sales accounted for 65 percent of its quarter’s revenue, according to a press release put out by Apple.

We’re thrilled to report the biggest quarter in Apple’s history, with broad-based growth that included the highest revenue ever from a new iPhone lineup. iPhone X surpassed our expectations and has been our top-selling iPhone every week since it shipped in November,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We’ve also achieved a significant milestone with our active installed base of devices reaching 1.3 billion in January. That’s an increase of 30 percent in just two years, which is a testament to the popularity of our products and the loyalty and satisfaction of our customers.

9to5 Mac helped break Apple’s unit sales down by product line:

  • 77.3 million iPhones
  • 13.2 million iPads
  • 5.1 million Macs

The company earned $20.1 billion in profit.

But Engadget notes that this was “the first time iPhone sales have declined during a holiday quarter since the phone launched, best as we can tell,” suggesting an iPhone market saturation.

Yet even if Apple overshot its forecast for iPhone X sales and is ramping down production, “Apple says the iPhone X has been the top-selling iPhone every week since it shipped in early November.”

One other bright spot: The “other products” category, which includes the Apple Watch, AirPods, Beats hardware, and other products, where revenue increased 70 percent YOY up to $5.5 billion.

Perhaps AirPods have finally hit their stride, with supply now starting to finally match demand (they appeared 6-week backlogged for the better part of a year!).

Written by turbotodd

February 1, 2018 at 4:01 pm

Posted in 2018, apple, earnings

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Apple Loses a Signal

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TechCrunch is reporting that the Telegram messaging apps appear to have breached Apple’s App Store guidelines and are currently unavailable for download on iOS. 

According to TechCrunch, it’s not apparently clear what the problem is, but Telegraph founder Pavel Durov tweeted that it related to “inappropriate content.”

“We were alerted by Apple that inappropriate content was made available to our users and both apps were taken off the App Store. Once we have protections in place we expect the apps to be back on the App Store,” he wrote.

Journalists, human rights activists, and terrorists everywhere are likely shaking in their boots.

As The Verge writes:

Due to the secretive nature of messages on Telegram, it has been widely criticized by governments around the world for becoming the messaging “app of choice” for terrorists. Telegram was forced to create a team of moderators in Indonesia to remove “terrorist-related content” after the Indonesian government threatened to ban the messaging app.

Written by turbotodd

February 1, 2018 at 11:00 am

Posted in 2018, encryption

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