Tag Archives: apple

Apple sucks at content

Apple owes a lot of its success to Steve Jobs successfully negotiating with the record labels in the runup to the launch of the iTunes music store. That success led to the rise of the iPod, which paved the way for Apple’s comeback and eventual dominance. But though it had early success with music content, Apple has really struggled in recent years in the content wars. In this video I document how Apple has fallen behind on its attempts to distribute movies, television, music, books, and news content.

Was the iPad doomed from the start?

As many tech analysts have pointed out, the iPhone is possibly the most successful product in the history of consumer products. But then that leaves us wondering what Apple has planned for when iPhone sales plateau and then fall — something we’ve seen happening recently. The iPad, when it launched in 2010, was supposed to be that next big thing, but after some blockbuster sales right of the gate, the device has experienced steady declines. Why? Was it a product doomed from the start? Or was it never supposed to be the next iPhone, but rather just another product in Apple’s arsenal? To discuss this topic I brought on Beutler Ink president and Apple fanboy Bill Beutler. Check out our video below.

Silicon Valley’s executive cartel

Why did the CEOs of several major tech companies get away with agreeing to a no-poaching pact — and thereby suppressing the potential wages of their employees – for so long? New York’s Kevin Roose is convinced that the very tech workers who would have otherwise complained sooner were lulled into inaction by their own privilege and high pay, unable to rally the kind of outrage that would have been sparked if such anti-worker tactics had been enlisted in industries with more working class earners:

What makes tech different from other industries is that its workers are often so privileged that they don’t notice they’re getting the shaft. Even when they do, many engineers feel guilty advocating for more money, which is why events like this “Startup Equity Rally” in March almost always fall flat. (Keep in mind, also, that this guilt is partly deliberately cultivated by the executive class – the original impetus for giving tech employees over-the-top perks, after all, was to keep them from unionizing.) But high tech salaries and plentiful perks don’t make the executives’ advantage-taking any more ethical.

Are Macs less intuitive than Apple fans would have you believe?

Whenever you work in any facet of the tech industry, you’re often looked at in derision if you dare to walk into a room and open up a PC laptop. In many cases you’ll be the only PC in a sea of Macs, and you can feel your hipness level quickly fading until you’re half expecting the jocks from Revenge of the Nerds to come running in to deliver a fusillade of wedgies.

But as someone who has spent a good bit of time with both Macs and PCs (I’ve always purchased PCs for personal use while I use a MacBook Pro at work), I couldn’t help but nod along while reading of Austin Powell’s struggle to adapt to his new Macbook Air after a lifetime of PC use:

It takes a while to find your rhythm on any new keyboard, granted, but at this rate I’d have better luck tracking down Satoshi Nakamoto. It’s as if I’ve suffered a stroke and am having to learn to type all over again—slowly typing and pounding the space bar to ensure each key takes. It’s maddening. I was almost better off when two letters were broken. At least then I had both backspace and delete buttons to work with, and I wasn’t getting tripped up by this “command” function.

I’ve spent the last few days at work as a walking “Explain Like I’m Five”Reddit thread, seeking counsel on the simplest of matters: “How do I get all of this junk off of the navigation bar?” “How do I make an em dash?” “What’s the Mac equivalent of ‘msconfig’?” It’s humiliating.

What I’ve come to realize is that many of the things that millennials consider innate simply aren’t.

Why we should take any sales figures offered up by tech companies with a grain of salt

Based on documents that have emerged in the ongoing patent trial between Apple and Samsung, we know that Samsung got away with issuing an extremely misleading number concerning its Galaxy tablet sales:

It concerns a vague comment made by a Samsung executive in January 2011 that led Strategy Analytics to conclude that Samsung had sold two million of Galaxy Tab—its rival to the iPad—in the first six weeks it was available.

Asked on an earnings call about the number later, Samsung vice president Lee Young-hee dodged the question completely with a vague, elaborate, jargon-rich answer.

It turns out, however, that it actually took Samsung an entire year just to sell one million Galaxy Tabs—not the widely reported two million—according to Forbes. In other words, Samsung guided analysts toward an erroneous figure, and then let it stand instead of correcting it.

This isn’t a small deception. It made it look like Apple’s share of the tablet market fell dramatically—from 95% to 75% in just two weeks. Multiple outlets immediately ran with that figure, kicking off a trend of reporting that presumed that, as happened with phones, Apple would soon cede control of the tablet market.