Tag: apple

Tame Apple Press tries to hawk the failed iWatch

dell boy The Tame Apple Press is flat out trying to flog the iWatch this Christmas, even though no one has been interested in the lame duck product all year.

Apple’s favourite new agency Reuters, once famous for printing credible stories, has run an advert as a news story where Apple’s Tim Cook making the extraordinary claim that the iWatch is going to be a sell out this Christmas.

He claimed, without a shred of proof, that sales of the Apple Watch to consumers set a record during the first week of holiday shopping, and the current quarter is on track to be the best for the product. Cook said the gadget’s sell-through reached a new high.

However, that all flies in the face of an IDC report that the tech giant sold 1.1 million units of the Apple Watch during the third quarter of 2016, down 71 percent from the year-ago quarter. Given that the Tame Apple press claimed that the gizmo would sell 40 million of them in the first year, the iWatch has been a total failure.  And yet Reuters seems to be spinning this failure as “a glimpse of the gadget’s performance during the holiday quarter”.

“Our data shows that Apple Watch is doing great and looks to be one of the most popular holiday gifts this year,” Cook claimed.

Reuters admitted that Cook did not respond to a request for specific sales figures for the gadget because that would have shown how bogus the whole story was.

Apple drones on

orvillecopter-bart-jansen-cat-droneThe fruity tax-dodging cargo-cult Apple is considering drones as a possible money spinner to help it improve its rather disappointing maps product.

Apple is putting together a team of robotics and data-collection experts who will use drones, and “new indoor navigation features”. The big idea is to try catch up with Google, the long-time leader in the mapping field.

The drones can capture and update Apple Maps at a far quicker rate than Apple’s collection of GPS data-collecting minivans, which began appearing in the United States in early 2015. That is, of course, if they are not bought down by US citizens demonstrating their right to arm bears to protect their property. [Are you sure you have got that right? Ed]

Apple wants to bring in a new feature which will let users view the insides of buildings, thanks to its Indoor.io and WifiSLAM acquisitions, and overall improvements will be made to navigation within the app.

Apple wants to fly drones around to do things like examine street signs, track changes to roads and monitor if areas are under construction, the person said. The data collected would be sent to Apple teams that rapidly update the Maps app to provide fresh information to users, the person added.

Apple already filed for an exemption from the Federal Aviation Administration to be able to fly drones for commercial purposes, and was granted approval to “operate an unmanned aircraft system to conduct data collection, photography, and videography”.

Under current rules, Apple’s drone fleet would be restricted from flying over people and buildings, would be designated to operate only in daytime, and could only be flown by licensed pilots.

Lenovo Moto gives up on smartwatches

WatchOnce touted by the Tame Apple Press as the next big thing in technology, the smartwatch has been a huge disappointment, and now Lenovo Moto has announced that it is throwing in the towel.

Lenovo Moto confirmed that it will not be releasing a new smartwatch for the launch of Android Wear 2.0, due early next year. It had previously said it was not going to bother with another smartwatch in 2016, but it is now saying that it doesn’t plan to put out a new device timed to the arrival of Google’s newest wearable platform.

Shakil Barkat, head of global product development at Moto, said the company doesn’t “see enough pull in the market to put a new smartwatch out now”.

It has not discounted ever making another smartwatch but it will take improvements to the existing technologies before it is considered worthwhile.

“Wearables do not have broad enough appeal for us to continue to build on it year after year,” Barkat said, and indicated that smartwatches and other wearable devices will not be in Moto’s annual device roadmap.

Few companies have updated their smartwatches. Google itself delayed the launch of Android Wear 2 from this autumn to next year. The Moto 360 released in 2015 is expected to receive an update to the new software, but the original model launched in 2014 will not.

Barkat said that wristwatches still have value and there will be a point where they provide value to consumers more than they do today.

Microsoft gives its most successful program to Android and iOS

ANDROIDSoftware giant Microsoft has shared its most successful program to Android and iOS users.

Since the 90s there has been one program which has seen heavy use by Windows customers –  Solitaire.  It has been responsible for much wasted time and has historically been viewed as bad for business.  However moves to take it out of Windows have always been in vain and it seems it will be part of the Windows furniture for future decades.

But fewer are sitting in front of large desktop computers at home and Vole has not done so well at getting into the mobile market, so it has now sent its Solitaire Collection to Android and iOS stores.

Paul Jensen, Studio Manager of Microsoft Casual Games said Microsoft Solitaire was one of the most-played games of all time on Windows for more than 25 years.

“Microsoft Solitaire Collection, has reached more than 119 million unique players in the last four years alone. Now, those on iPhone, iPad and Android devices can play the popular card game for free.”

You can download Microsoft Solitaire Collection from the App Store, Google Play, and Windows Store and be run over while playing.

Samung’s brand undamaged by Note 7 fiasco

samsung-galaxy-note-5The global recall of Galaxy Note 7 smartphones has not hurt US consumers’ willingness to buy Samsung products, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll.

Of course, opinion polls are not considered accurate these days but it is nice to know a survey has suggested that Samsung is still OK.  It revealed that Samsung smartphone users were as loyal to their brand as Apple customers, only without the psychological need to evangelise.

Those who knew about the recall were as interested in Samsung phones as those who did not.

Among those aware of the recall, 27 percent would first consider a Samsung smartphone if they were to shop for a phone, the poll showed. Among those who did not know about the recall, 25 percent would look first at a Samsung device.

The poll found that Samsung’s customers were fiercely loyal to their brand. Some 91 percent of current Samsung users would likely buy another Samsung smartphone, and 92 percent of current users would probably buy another Samsung product in general.

There is a similar brand loyalty among current iPhone owners –  92 percent would likely buy another iPhone and 89 percent would likely buy another Apple product.

So basically it looks like the Samsung recall was a problem which existed in the mind of the Tame Apple Press and not in reality.

Jan Dawson of Jackdaw Research said the recall was mostly limited to early adopters rather than the majority of Samsung’s customer base, which limited negative user experiences.

“Your own personal experience trumps what you read and what people tell you,” Dawson said.

Samsung has said that customers chose another Samsung model as a replacement for the Note 7 in many instances, without giving more detail. It has said nearly 85 percent of the recalled Note 7 devices had been replaced or returned through its refund and exchange program as of Nov. 4.

Apple finally releases cure for touch disease

poison-appleThe fruity tax-dodging cargo cult also known as Apple has finally released a cure for “a problem” in iPhone 6s which forced users to upgrade to the new iPhone 7.

Just before Apple released its iPhone 7, iPhone‘s started to get a mysterious illness which bricked them.  Apple refused to acknowledge that the fault existed, presumably because it meant that people were simply upgrading to the new phone rather than requiring it to be fixed.

All that changed this week when the Chinese government started to complain about the fault and was threatening a recall. Suddenly Apple admitted the fault and offered to fix it.

Of course, the problem is still nothing to do with Apple. Jobs Mob claims that some iPhone 6s exhibit Multi-Touch issues after “being dropped multiple times on a hard surface,” causing damage to the device. Under its repair program, Apple will fix affected iPhone 6 Plus devices for a service price of $149.

Of course, if users don’t want to stump up $149 there is always the chance to upgrade to a nice, but identical iPhone 7. We are not sure if that move will satisfy the Chinese and personally we hope not.

iFixit thinks that the problem is caused due to the wonders of Apple’s design. For some reason Jobs’ Mob has started soldering the touch screen controller to the phone’s logic board making repairs difficult.

Third-party repair outlets speculated that the issue could be linked to the same structural design flaw that caused the major “Bendgate” controversy. Of course Apple denies that there ever was a structural flaw.

Apple makes its MacBook Pro even less upgradeable

MACBOOKPROThe MacBook Pro is fast turning into the chocolate teapot of laptops. Not only is it packed with last year’s chips, Apple has designed it so that if you want to upgrade it you have to buy a new one.

The Touch Bar model, which has arguably the only bit of new technology in the range, has no cutout in the logic board for removable flash storage and a non-removable SSD.

Basically, Apple, in its wisdom, permanently soldered the SSD to the logic board, meaning that users will be unable to upgrade the Touch Bar MacBook Pro’s flash storage beyond Apple’s 512GB to 2TB.

Apple is hoping that users will back up data using Time Machine or a similar solution in case of logic board failure, but that sort of defeats the purpose of having a laptop over something more net based.

Jobs’ Mob has been doing this a lot lately. The 12 inch Macbook lacked a removable SSD. There is no advance for the user but every advantage for Apple. After all, if you want a better SSD you must buy a new computer.  However, it is yet another nail in the coffin for the laptop which had few good reasons to buy.  Of course, it has an Apple logo on the back, and that is enough for fanboys, but when it comes to spec, price and usefulness the beast is lacking.

Apple releases bible for fanboys

bible-sunlight-fireNarcissistic tax-dodging cargo cult, Apple has released a book which contains nothing but 450 photos of its products.

The book costs $299 and is a hardcover edition, bound in linen, and is available in two sizes: $199 for a smaller 10.20″ x 12.75″ version, and $299 for a larger 13″ x 16.25″ edition.

The book is titled Designed by Apple in California which is so incredibly pretentious it makes us wonder which ego signed off on it. Our guess is that it is chief designer Sir Jony Ive who described the book in the press release as “a gentle gathering of many of the products the team has designed over the years,” and hoped that it would serve as a “resource for students of all design disciplines”.

The photos inside are all new images shot by Andrew Zuckerman, and will show off 20 years of Apple design “in a deliberately spare style”.

So basically, it is a pictorial bible for fanboys who think advertising photographs are something they want on their shelves.

In the foreword to the book, Ive writes:

“While this is a design book, it is not about the design team, the creative process, or product development. It is an objective representation of our work that, ironically, describes who we are. It describes how we work, our values, our preoccupations, and our goals. We have always hoped to be defined by what we do rather than by what we say.    We strive, with varying degrees of success, to define objects that appear effortless. Objects that appear so simple, coherent, and inevitable that there could be no rational alternative.”

The book is published by Apple itself, we doubt that any sensible publisher would have gone near it. It is dedicated to the memory of Steve Jobs, which sort of hints at where this tome is coming from.

The Tame Apple Press is enthusiastic about the book.  The Verge said that while the book is pure corporate vanity, “Apple deserves to get away with more than pretty much any other tech company. No one denies that when it comes to industrial design, Apple earns the praise it gets”.

Only because the press lets it get away with having style over substance and turning a blind eye to its narcissism.

Tech companies ask Trump to backtrack on encryption

orangeUS internet companies including Facebook and Amazon have penned a letter to president elect Donald “Prince of Orange” asking him to be a little more accommodating to their policy priorities – particularly strong encryption.

Trump took an anti-encryption stance during the election, demanding tech companies provide spooks with back-doors. While some tech-companies are visibly upset about Trumps election, it appears that Facebook and Amazon hope they can get him to change his mind with a nice letter.

The letter sent by the Internet Association, a trade group whose 40 members also include Alphabet’s Google, Uber and Twitter, represents an early effort to repair the relationship between the technology sector.

Michael Beckerman, president of the Internet Association said that the internet industry looks forward to engaging in an open and productive dialogue.

Some of the policy goals stated in the letter may align with Trump’s priorities, including easing regulation on the sharing economy, lowering taxes on profits made from intellectual property and applying pressure on Europe to not erect too many barriers that restrict U.S. internet companies from growing in that market.

The association seeks immigration reform to support more high-skilled workers staying in the United States. Trump made tougher immigration policies a central theme of his campaign, but he has shied away from arguing against more H-1B visas for skilled workers. In March, he said he was “softening the position because we need to have talented people in this country.”

Trump has also urged a boycott of Apple products over the company’s refusal to help the Federal Bureau of Investigation unlock an iPhone associated with last year’s San Bernardino, California, shootings, threatened antitrust action against Amazon, and demanded Apple manufacture its products in the United States.

In a statement, Beckerman said the internet industry looked forward to working closely with Trump and lawmakers in Congress to “cement the internet’s role as a driver of economic and social progress for future generations.”

Android rules the world

ANDROIDAlthough you would not know it judging by the amount of press it gets, Android is on nine out of ten smartphones.

According to market researcher Strategy Analytics Android captured 88 percent of all smartphone shipped in the third quarter of 2016.

Its growth came at the expense of every major rival platform,” Strategy Analytics’ Linda Sui said in a press release.

“Apple iOS lost ground to Android and dipped to 12 percent market share,” primarily because of “lackluster” sales in China and Africa, she said.

BlackBerry and Microsoft Windows disappeared during 1 July  and the end of September.

So, the question is, why is Apple still being pushed as the archetypal “smartphone” when it clearly isn’t? We did a quick survey of the news feeds this morning and more than 80 per cent of smartphone stories were about the iPhone. What is the point about writing about a phone brand that less than ten per cent of your readers own?

Android’s leading position faces challenges in a market filled with phones made by hundreds of manufacturers, few of which turn a profit. That’s not helped by Google’s new Pixel phone, which competes against the companies that made it popular in the first place, Strategy Analytics said.

About 375 million smartphones shipped in the third quarter of 2016, up 6 percent from 354.2 million units in the same period last year. Shipments of Android-based phones rose 10.3 percent, while Apple’s iPhones fell 5.2 percent.