CategoryMacintosh

When facts and narrative collide: Apple’s double-digit Mac growth calls out analysts’ flawed estimates

From AppleInsider:

Apple reported “strong double digit growth” in its Mac sales in the U.S., directly contradicting the earlier estimates published by IDC and Gartner that stated Apple’s U.S. Mac sales fell year-over-year in the June quarter and calling into question the legitimacy of market estimates that the tech media uncritically presents as factual.

Writing for Fortune, Philip Elmer-DeWitt shines some light on how those “estimates” are made (or made up): (via The Loop)

“So, the mantra became, preserve the growth rates; to hell with the actual numbers. Even the growth rates are fiction. The fudge is in the ‘others’ category, which is used as a plug to make the numbers work out. In fairness, we did do survey work, calling around, and attending white box conferences and venues to try to get a feel for that market, but in the end, the process was political. I used to tell customers which parts of the data they could trust, essentially the major vendors by form factor and region. The rest was garbage.”

‘Welcome to Swift Blog’

From a new Apple blog dedicated to its new programming language:

This new blog will bring you a behind-the-scenes look into the design of the Swift language by the engineers who created it, in addition to the latest news and hints to turn you into a productive Swift programmer.

Who would ever have thought we’d see the phrase “behind-the-scenes” in anything coming from Apple?

Could be a very interesting blog to follow.

Also—Xcode is now available to any registered Apple Developer—even the free level.

RandomMaccess LookBack: On the 30th anniversary of the Macintosh, a look at the 20th

On the 30th anniversary of the introduction of the Macintosh, RandomMaccess takes a look at how we covered the Mac’s last big milestone — its 20th anniversary. A lot has changed since then: The iPod and iPad were still top-secret projects somewhere deep in the bowels of One Infinite Loop (or its Area 51 equivalent). Apple was enjoying the explosive success of the iPod and the company’s resulting resurgence. And of course, Steve Jobs was still alive.

Although the article is now 10 years old, I think a lot of the analysis still applies to this day — although perhaps one result of Jobs’ absence is an executive team that allowed the retrospective Apple is hosting on its site today. It’s hard to imagine Steve permitting such an emotional walk down memory lane.

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RandomMaccess LookBack: On the 30th anniversary of the Macintosh, a look at the 20th

On the 30th anniversary of the introduction of the Macintosh, RandomMaccess takes a look at how we covered the Mac’s last big milestone — its 20th anniversary. A lot has changed since then: The iPod and iPad were still top-secret projects somewhere deep in the bowels of One Infinite Loop (or its Area 51 equivalent). Apple was enjoying the explosive success of the iPod and the company’s resulting resurgence. And of course, Steve Jobs was still alive.

Although the article is now 10 years old, I think a lot of the analysis still applies to this day — although perhaps one result of Jobs’ absence is an executive team that allowed the retrospective Apple is hosting on its site today. It’s hard to imagine Steve permitting such an emotional walk down memory lane.

Continue reading

RM Flashback: How we covered the introduction of the iTunes Music Store

decadeOn the 10th anniversary of the iTunes Music Store, we thought it would be fun to turn back the clock and take a look at how we covered Steve Jobs’ introduction of the service. The event also introduced iTunes version 4 and the third generation iPods, with what turned out to be a short-lived redesign and a capacity of up to 30GB — “up to 7,500 CD-quality songs,” according to Jobs, in an analogy that might not have much meaning for today’s music buyers.

Read on for our “as-it-happened-coverage” of the birth of a music industry sea change.

Continue reading

RM Flashback: How we covered the introduction of the iTunes Music Store

decadeOn the 10th anniversary of the iTunes Music Store, we thought it would be fun to turn back the clock and take a look at how we covered Steve Jobs’ introduction of the service. The event also introduced iTunes version 4 and the third generation iPods, with what turned out to be a short-lived redesign and a capacity of up to 30GB — “up to 7,500 CD-quality songs,” according to Jobs, in an analogy that might not have much meaning for today’s music buyers.

Read on for our “as-it-happened-coverage” of the birth of a music industry sea change.

Continue reading

‘Remembering Steve’

Apple dedicated its homepage to a beautiful video tribute to Steve Jobs, to mark the first anniversary of his death. Listening to the video, I was struck by how many of the great moments I was fortunate enough to witness in person.

Following the video is a message from Apple CEO Tim Cook:

Steve’s passing one year ago today was a sad and difficult time for all of us. I hope that today everyone will re?ect on his extraordinary life and the many ways he made the world a better place.

One of the greatest gifts Steve gave to the world is Apple. No company has ever inspired such creativity or set such high standards for itself. Our values originated from Steve and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple. We share the great privilege and responsibility of carrying his legacy into the future.

I’m incredibly proud of the work we are doing, delivering products that our customers love and dreaming up new ones that will delight them down the road. It’s a wonderful tribute to Steve’s memory and everything he stood for.

– Tim

‘Remembering Steve’

Apple dedicated its homepage to a beautiful video tribute to Steve Jobs, to mark the first anniversary of his death. Listening to the video, I was struck by how many of the great moments I was fortunate enough to witness in person.

Following the video is a message from Apple CEO Tim Cook:

Steve’s passing one year ago today was a sad and difficult time for all of us. I hope that today everyone will re?ect on his extraordinary life and the many ways he made the world a better place.

One of the greatest gifts Steve gave to the world is Apple. No company has ever inspired such creativity or set such high standards for itself. Our values originated from Steve and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple. We share the great privilege and responsibility of carrying his legacy into the future.

I’m incredibly proud of the work we are doing, delivering products that our customers love and dreaming up new ones that will delight them down the road. It’s a wonderful tribute to Steve’s memory and everything he stood for.

– Tim

About those Apple Genius ads

They’re not cool; they’re not “Steve” ads; I don’t like them. But they may be appeal to “non-Apple” folks, and if that works, that’s fine. They’re also the first Mac-rather-than-iOS-device-ads I’ve seen since the “I’m a Mac” spots, and that makes them a good thing.

Read more in my latest article on The Mac Observer.

On over-the-air updates and other iOS magic

[I neglected to link to this post I wrote over at The Mac Observer, but as I watched my son synching his new iPod touch over WiFi this Christmas, these thoughts came back to me; I figured they should be here as well. – Editor.]

Apple released iOS 5.0.1 yesterday, mainly to address battery issues and add multi-touch gestures to the original iPad. The most remarkable feature of the update, though, had nothing to do with what it contained and everything to do with how it was delivered: the update was the first to be delivered and installed over the air (OTA), with no tethering to a computer (indeed, no computer at all) required.

This is not new to Android users, but it was a welcome event for iOS users. Since I heard about the update on Twitter before my devices notified me, I didn’t get to see how the update might have announced itself (it at all.) Once I knew about it, though, it was a simple matter to go to Settings: General: Software Update, where my iPhone 4 — and, later, iPad 1 — dutifully notified me there was an update available. Both my devices were almost fully charged, so I ignored the warning about plugging into a power source, and the updates downloaded and installed without a hitch.

Another new update method got considerably less attention yesterday. Apple released version 7.6 of its Airport software. Just for fun, I fired up the new iOS Airport Utility on my iPad, and sure enough, the app informed me of the available update and allowed me to install it without having to go to my Mac at all.

I suppose the Airport update shouldn’t have seemed all that amazing — after all, it’s a remote update whether it’s done from the iPad or a Mac. But this is the one that gave me the bigger “living in the future” feeling. One that reinforced the notion that my iPhone and iPad are not just satellite device for my Mac. They are peers, and in more and more instances, provide a better experience than those “real” computers.

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