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Vector 37: State of the digital comics

Vector 37: State of the digital comics

Jason Snell, of Macworld, PCWorld, TechHive, Greenbot, and The Incomparable joins Rene to talk about Apple — and other tech companies — as entertainment, Amazon's comiXology acquisition, Marvel Unlimited, and digital comics in general. Subscribe in iTunes Subscribe in RSS...
Why would Apple raise iPhone prices when all the money is in the mainstream?

Why would Apple raise iPhone prices when all the money is in the mainstream?

This morning an analyst posted something speculative about the possibility of a price increase on the iPhone 6 when it is released later this year. The analyst in question has horrible history when it comes to making Apple predictions, so we're going to ignore the source. What we aren't going to...
There won't be another iPhone-class product, not for Apple, not for anyone, not for a long time

There won't be another iPhone-class product, not for Apple, not for anyone, not for a long time

Apple needs another iPhone-class product or they're doomed. We heard it right after the iPhone was released. We heard it right after the iPad was released. We're hearing it now. From shoddy journalists to market mad-people it's the single most consistent, most bullshit Apple narrative of the last...

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How can Apple excite investors beyond Q2 FY14's boring quarterly report?

How can Apple excite investors beyond Q2 FY14's boring quarterly report?

Today after the market closes AAPL will report Q2 fiscal 2014 results. Expectations are for a boring (read: very profitable, but no growth) quarter. Analysts forecast $43.5 billion in revenue and $10.18 in earnings per share (EPS), which is pretty much a repeat of last year's numbers. Unless...
Why all the fuss about the potential end of iPhone subsidies?

Why all the fuss about the potential end of iPhone subsidies?

With AT&T reporting its financial results this week the media is buzzing about comments they (and others) have made to the effect that smartphone subsidies may eventually come to an end. The theory being floated is that future mobile phone buyers will be aware of exactly how much how much...
On the eve of iPhone 6 carriers once again using the media to push back on 'subsidies'

On the eve of iPhone 6 carriers once again using the media to push back on 'subsidies'

Imagine a boss at a company with a really great salesperson who lands all the best, highest valued customers for the company. Now imagine that boss hates having to pay that salesperson their really high commission, even though it's the salesperson who's closing all those deals and ensuring all...
Why Tim Cook narrated Apple's new environmental video, Better

Why Tim Cook narrated Apple's new environmental video, Better

Apple recently launched a new, environmentally focused video called "Better" and what's more — it was narrated by their CEO, Tim Cook. That, having a high ranking executive voice-over a video, marketing or corporate, isn't common for Apple. Steve Jobs, famously, recorded the voice over for the...
Why would Apple raise iPhone prices when all the money is in the mainstream?

Why would Apple raise iPhone prices when all the money is in the mainstream?

This morning an analyst posted something speculative about the possibility of a price increase on the iPhone 6 when it is released later this year. The analyst in question has horrible history when it comes to making Apple predictions, so we're going to ignore the source. What we aren't going to...
There won't be another iPhone-class product, not for Apple, not for anyone, not for a long time

There won't be another iPhone-class product, not for Apple, not for anyone, not for a long time

Apple needs another iPhone-class product or they're doomed. We heard it right after the iPhone was released. We heard it right after the iPad was released. We're hearing it now. From shoddy journalists to market mad-people it's the single most consistent, most bullshit Apple narrative of the last...
Does Apple owe it to shareholders to rush out a new product category?

Does Apple owe it to shareholders to rush out a new product category?

We’re almost a quarter way through 2014, and it seems some Apple shareholders have ants in their pants. They’re impatient and want to see what Tim Cook’s team is going to do in a new product category, be it an iWatch, Apple television, or something else entirely. I guess it isn’t enough for Apple...

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"Today Apple revolutionizes—" What exactly?

30 years ago Apple announced the Mac. Back in 1977 they'd helped spearhead the personal computer revolution with the Apple II, putting a command-line interface into homes and onto desks in a way that had never been possible before. In 1984 the Mac did the same for graphical interfaces, harnessing the power of the mouse, pointer, and windows to make computers even easier to use. In 2001 Apple expanded into music, unleashing the iPod + iTunes, and kicking off the mobile entertainment revolution. 2007 marked perhaps the most important announcement in Apple's history, when they took elements of their existing businesses, personal and mobile, and revolutionized the phone with the iPhone. 2010 saw Apple bridge the gap between iPhone and Mac, and once again made the computer even more personal, with the iPad. Any of those would have been the achievement of a lifetime. All of them, the achievement of Apple so far. But after over 30 years of making the computer even more personal and mobile, what on earth could follow? What else in our digital world, what of the magnitude of the computer or the phone, could Apple revolutionize next?

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Why Google is seen as invulnerable and Apple as merely hard to kill

Though it may slowly be changing, Google has enjoyed incredibly good public and market sentiment for the last few years while Apple has seen itself beset by doomsayers. Horace Dediu has taken a crack at explaining just why that is, and why it might not be entirely bad for Apple. Asymco:

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Forget market share, here's a glimpse at Apple's poolside share!

Last week my wife and I left the kids in the fine care of my in-laws and headed to Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Practically every year we escape winter for a week, firmly plant ourselves into pool chairs at an all inclusive resort ,and soak up the sun. And when we do, I can't help but have my head turned... by the kind of devices people are using poolside. Hey, I'm a tech geek!

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Apple claims no knowledge of DROPOUTJEEP, will protect customer data from any and all attacks, regardless of who's behind them

Apple has commented on the DROPOUTJEEP program, which a security researcher claimed let the NSA and similar government agencies compromise iOS devices, enable cameras and mics, and track data with a "100% success" rate. Matthew Panzarino from TechCrunch got the statement:

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Forget the rumored iPad Pro, what 2014 needs is a better Apple TV

Rumors of a 13-inch iPad Pro were once again making the rounds this week, amped up by talk of a 4K Retina display. I have absolutely no idea whether or not it will ever become a real product, but I’ll happily go on record saying I don’t think 4k resolution makes a lot of sense for a tablet. It’s possible someone might put one out, and it’s definitely possible that there is a market for one, but I don’t think it’s possible for such a product to financially matter to a company like Apple in 2014. Personally, I think Apple could get more bang for the buck if they opened a game store for the Apple TV.

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Apple making gains in China even before China Mobile deal

Tim Cook has predicted that, eventually, China would become Apple's largest market. So far so good. According to a study by Counterpoint, which is referenced in this post by Marketwatch, Apple’s share of the smartphone market in China rose to 12% in October. This is up from only 3% in September, which is an incredible increase.

Based on the pace of growth of iPhone sales in China Counterpoint said:

This might allow Apple to even reach the No. 1 smartphone player in December or January in China.

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Forget $700. I think Apple is going past $1000. Just don’t ask me when.

Apple’s stock price has been on a tear since July. We’ve watched it climb from less than $400 to $564 as of this morning. I’m seeing plenty of articles discussing the likelihood of Apple returning to its previous highs of about $700 but it’s lot like any of this is being driven by major news. From where I sit Apple financial news hasn’t been anything terribly exciting lately. We’ve seen a couple of quarterly reports and some pretty normal announcements about how many new iPhone models sold on launch weekend. We’ve seen the new iPad Air rollout and we’re seeing analysts speculate about how many will be sold this Christmas season.

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Apple ebook bench called out as 'offensive to the rule of law and a disgrace to the judiciary'

The Wall Street Journal began the year making me wonder if they'd thrown journalistic integrity out the window in an effort to ride the Apple is Doomed train into clickbait history, and now they're ending it with about as pro an Apple editorial as possible. In the piece, which appears without byline, the WSJ calls Judge Denise Cote "abusive" and the special prosecutor a "friend" who is "besieging" Apple in an arrangement that's "flatly unconstitutional". And that's not the worst of it:

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Tim Cook's iPad Christmas starts early

Tim Cook made a memorable comment on the last Apple quarterly conference call. He said it would be an iPad Christmas. With exactly 3 weeks before the jolly holiday, iPad interest seems to be solid, and I suspect Tim Cook will be proven correct. This morning mobile analytics firm Localytics shared some interesting data. They tracked usage of a variety of tablets and smartphones from Black Friday to Cyber Monday and compared the data against the prior week. And guess what?

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Apple says overseer out of order, judge out of order, entire ebooks case out of order!

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote smacked Apple down in the federal ebook anti-trust investigation like they'd insulted her mother, she appointed former inspector general Michael Bromwich to watch them like a hawk, lest they dare offend again. Now, however, it's Apple who's claiming offense, and suggesting the court has crossed the line from judge to prosecutor. Philip Elmer-DeWitt writing for Fortune:

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Why Carl Icahn is stalking AAPL stock

Last week CNBC ran a story about billionaire investor Carl Icahn having a “good conversation” with Tim Cook. Icahn says they both agree that Apple stock is undervalued, and that Apple is still studying Icahn’s proposal for a $150 billion stock buyback. Icahn has made it pretty clear to Cook that he isn’t going away. So, why is that exactly?

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Cash-starved Italy claims Apple owes them €1 billion in taxes, Apple says figgetaboudit

Italian authorities are claiming that Apple owes them money - namely €1 billion in taxes - and they want to collect. Apple, of course, says no way. Manuela D'Alessandro, writing for Reuters:

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Apple spending over $10 billion on robots and lasers... Why aren't their competitors?

Apple is forecasting just over $10 billion in capital expenditures (CAPEX), basically on buying or improving the stuff they use to make the stuff we buy. Bloomberg:

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Apple CEO Tim Cook urges U.S. congress to pass Employment Nondiscrimination Act

Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, has written an op ed piece in which he touts Apple anti-discrimination policy, and urges the U.S. congress to pass the federal Employment Nondiscrimination Act. From the Wall Street Journal:

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Why Apple should be run like Bloomberg (or, you know, Apple)

Apple, like many big companies, gets confused for its stock. Like any public company, it's also subject to intense scrutiny, including from people who don't understand its position or business, or who simply want to take advantage of it. Felix Salmon does a great job explaining why that is, and what should be done about it. Reuters

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Why Apple is set to hit record numbers. Again.

Apple just finished reporting its fiscal Q4 2013 results, which ended in September. Overall it was a very solid quarter, with just under $38 billion in revenue, gross margin of 37% and earnings per share of $8.26 (fully diluted). Was it a record quarter? We have to keep in mind that Apple’s Q1 (December) is the big one every year, driven by holiday sales. But as far as comparable Q4 periods, this was a record setting quarter for iPhone sales, with 33.8 million units sold. They also tied last year’s Q4 shipments for the iPad (though no records were set on the Mac). So what does it all mean?

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Highlights of interest from Apple Q4 2013 conference call and Q&A

Apple has reported 33.8 million iPhones, 14.1 million iPads, 4.6 million Macs sold in Q4 2013 and now they're going to talk about it! We're listening in via Apple's investor page and will be collecting notes of interest and highlights below. Refresh for updates. Face palm for inane iWatch or Apple television questions!

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Apple Q4 2013 results: 33.8 million iPhones, 14.1 million iPads, 4.6 million Macs sold

Apple today announced their financial results for Q4 2013 and it included 33.8 million iPhones, 14.1 million iPads, 4.6 million Macs sold. That's including the first weekend of iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c sales, which, according to Apple's previous reports, counted for 9 million units all on their own. Revenue was $37.5 billion which allowed for quarterly net profit of $7.5 billion. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple:

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iPads are overpriced... compared to what?

Before the iPad launched it was rumored to cost $1000. When Steve Jobs announced it at an Apple special event in 2010, the starting price ended up being $500. Given the expectation and the presentation, the price sounded great. Now, following the latest iPad event, and the introducing of the iPad Air and Retina iPad mini, there are grumblings that the price is too high. That Apple is blowing it. In a short, but very worthwhile blog post today, independent analyst and consultant Benedict Evans published his thoughts on iPad pricing.

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The mass misunderstanding of the iPhone 5c market

In the past week there have been countless stories run about the alleged production cuts of the iPhone 5c. I say “alleged” because that’s all it is right now. Allegation. And at least one of the analysts (who I shall not name) making this allegation has a very spotty track record on all things Apple.

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