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The What's Going on at Apple Thread

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normal    345

Apple reported it's latest financials. Sales still seem to be going up, but profits are slightly down. That could be down to exchange rates though...

 

iPod sales have almost disappeared and iTunes is really starting to grow. The iPhone still dominates.

 

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Speaking of which, Cook said that the 5c's not supposed to be an entry phone. The 4s is. There's no figures on 5s vs 5c sales, but analytics suggest 5s sales are three times 5c sales at the moment.

 

 

 

If you look at what we've done, we're selling the iPhone 4s as our entry offer. We sell the iPhone 5c as the mid-tier and the 5s. Our goal is to have growth across the iPhone but we want each of those categories to grow as compared to what we were doing previously. If you look at the total that we're making in the low end and mid tier and high end, the sum there, we'd like to grow in each one of those. We're really please that we did that.

 

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satsuma    178

50% of Apple's business is iPhones.

They will penetrate and grow into China and then what?

 

The rate of growth for the premium experience is unsustainable in the longer term.

Ergo they need a new product category to step up and take the 'pressure' off the iPhone.

 

Sure as hell ain't gonna be iPad. Solid as the business is, it's no iPhone, the graphs demonstrate that ably.

None of the other current product categories are going to deliver that either.

 

I know we had this discussion at What Mobile ( ;) ) but interesting to carry on here.

 

TV - too fragmented, too high value an item if it's literally a TV and not replaced often enough

Wearable - would have to offer disruptive functionality and certainly not be just a 'watch'. They certainly are taking their time to craft together something special. Initially I thought Samsung would produce a boring watch that worked rather well and sold moderately. But that it would establish a platform from Samsung could go further and quicker than Apple. Unfortunately the Gear has been an unmitigated disaster. Google Glass is a rich 'geeky' man's toy.

So Apple taking time to create a solution that resonates with consumers seems to be vindicated at the moment. But we'll see. 

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normal    345

Cook did mention that there will be some new product categories in 2014. Then again, I'm sure he originally mentioned there'd be some in Q4 2013 and Q1 in 2014....

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satsuma    178

Well I am excited about the things like a potentially larger iPad, a larger iPhone and an iOS laptop.

 

I think you can take the first two as given at some point during 2014.

 

But I wouldn't call any of these new categories.

 

The wearable will be, I don't know if they'll launch by Xmas next year, they were still publicly hiring engineers in the summer.

Then there's supply of materials - if special screens and other special components are not available (in terms of functionality and volumes) then Apple will likley delay. They don't tend to launch half-completed products and then iterate - although many would argue the original iPhone was a bit beta.

 

Don't get me wrong. I am still very excited by Apple products. I think they are generally the best 'thought out' products around.

 

I just have problems seeing how they will continue to deliver stellar growth year on year.

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satsuma    178

Seen 4K tellys in John. Lewis and Selfridges from Sammy and LG.

The images are very 'hyper' realistic.

From what I understand, the amount of content available for these things is minuscule though.

Very skeptical about new tech telly TBH.

A couple of years ago 3D telly was going to take over but the content availability is still limited and the number of films worth seeing in 3D is very few and far between. Never watched 3D footy but it doesn't seem to have gone mainstream.

Streaming telly seems to have become the most successful 'innovation' in the television industry and I guess we can be sure that will form a huge part of whatever offering Apple is trying to cook up (no pun intended).

One of Apple's less high profile acquisitions this year has been a data compression company in Sweden called Algotrim.

People assume that they bought to produce some kind of data compression ability a la Blackberry as they open up in emerging markets where not everyone can afford a great data plan.

But this kind of tech can also be applied delivering multimedia content using bandwidth more efficiently for streaming TV.

So I guess an Apple TV solution that's far more bandwidth efficient than any competing solution could be a pretty decent USP. :-)

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jonmorris    184

4K TV will eventually become the norm, and I expect as time goes on people will buy an Ultra-HD TV as standard (once it becomes cost effective to produce 4K panels in sufficient quantities that most large sets, bar the very budget brands, will be 4K regardless). I don't know when that will be (a few years perhaps), and of course we have 8K which might have been forgotten about - but is hiding around the corner too.

 

Content will of course be vital, but a lot of people bought HD TVs when content was minimal. it's a good form of future proofing, and will actually benefit everyone once more films and TV shows are made for 4K. Unlike 3D which a lot of people aren't bothered about, or really don't like full stop.

 

I have always wondered how Apple could get into this market - which a lot of existing players won't easily give up.. such as the producers and broadcasters that are quite happy with their current setup.

 

Frankly, I'd see Apple better off producing an updated Apple TV that can run iOS apps (and games) and pair it up with a game controller to try and make it more of a home console that - with its opened up platform - could then let you stream content via Netflix, Love FIlm, Sky Go, Now TV, BlinkBox etc - basically you choose what you want instead of the extremely limited content available today.

 

That would do me, and most people.

 

You might then do a deal with some set top box companies, perhaps, which would mark a big change for the company - but the only way I can see it being viable to let Apple TV be able to record live TV via antenna/satellite/cable. I mean, I can't see Apple TV ever being able to compete with Virgin, Sky etc. Just as TiVo licences its software, so could Apple - and I bet a lot of companies would love to have the access to the iOS ecosystem that Google has failed to deliver.

 

As for watches - well, until Apple can make one that's sexy and can sell to more than the most loyal hipster fanboy, I doubt it will go very far as the others have all proven - and it goes back from way before the Gear. Look at what Sony has done, as well as the likes of the I'm Watch and then the LG phone from a few years back etc. Even Sony Ericsson couldn't really build traction with its early smart watch that was far more like a Pebble in simply relaying information from your phone, rather than trying to function like a smart device.

 

Finally, all the other changes - such as a MacBook Air with Retina screen, or a iPad Pro laptop hybrid that runs OSX and iOS apps, or a laptop that runs iOS - or however Apple finally merges the two OSes (and I am sure it will to a degree) - aren't new product categories, just natural progressions of existing products.

 

So what new categories can Apple likely 'invent'?

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normal    345

Interesting points about iTV and data compression etc. I'd not really thought about it. The problem with 3D is the technology. Active 3D has never quite delivered an easy experience. For example even for me, switching TV to 3D mode, pairing glasses and then closing the curtains during the day is a pain, whilst passive glasses don't give 'Full HD' in 3D mode with current resolutions (but will with 4K sets).

 

I really enjoy watching sport in 3D as it does add something, unlike most films, so I can see why most consumers don't buy into it.

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Milhouse    355

Interesting review of the new iWork (or what was iWork) over at Arstechnica. Sounds like the new 2013 versions of Keynote, Pages and Numbers are a big step backwards in terms of functionality compared with the older 2009 versions.

In short: Microsoft has nothing to worry about.

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normal    345

I thought Apple had back peddled a lot and had started putting back a lot of the missing features.

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RobM    195

I thought Apple had back peddled a lot and had started putting back a lot of the missing features.

 

It has, but only very recently. I would assume the article linked to above was penned some time ago and only published today.

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hal    120

They've started rolling outthe return of these features.Bit of an own goal to have removed them in the first place but it creditable that they've done a volte face so quickly.

I thought the purpose of scaling back some of the features was to ensure parity across web/iOS/OSX, and then to improve all, together, rapidly.

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satsuma    178

I thought the purpose of scaling back some of the features was to ensure parity across web/iOS/OSX, and then to improve all, together, rapidly.

Prob but the iOS versions are so basic, power users on OS X were having a nightmare.And in certain professions, there's a lot iWork for OS X users.

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Shock    36

One thing I did notice in Tokyo was the number of 4K tellys on offer..  Almost half the new sets were 4K ready, so it can't be long before we start seeing more 4K models in here too. (By the way none of these were Samsung/LG as the Jap stores didn't seem to stock them).

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Milhouse    355

Aren't NHK (the Japanese equivalent of the BBC) going to be broadcasting in 4K soon? I could see that making 4K TVs much more relevant, but until something similar happens here I just don't see the point of jumping in right now as 4K sources are still rarer than hens teeth. Your amp might be capable of processing 4K, your TV might even be able to show 4K, but what's the point when there's not yet any 4K Blu-Ray, download or broadcast media?

How are you getting on with that spooky little wireless charger - working out OK? :)

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Shock    36

Aren't NHK (the Japanese equivalent of the BBC) going to be broadcasting in 4K soon? I could see that making 4K TVs much more relevant, but until something similar happens here I just don't see the point of jumping in right now as 4K sources are still rarer than hens teeth. Your amp might be capable of processing 4K, your TV might even be able to show 4K, but what's the point when there's not yet any 4K Blu-Ray, download or broadcast media?How are you getting on with that spooky little wireless charger - working out OK? :)

 

That charger is just brilliant.. its so simple that is the only charger I use now, and still amusing how it hunts the phone.. :ph34r:

 

Got an extra one for me to use at work before I left Tokyo, wish I brought back a few more as nearly everyone who seen it want one.

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Milhouse    355

Got an extra one for me to use at work before I left Tokyo, wish I brought back a few more as nearly everyone who seen it want one.

Heh, I did think about asking you to get me one! :)Sadly no wireless charging on the Jolla so no real need for another wireless charger as the Nokia stand I've got works fine with the Nexus 7, but next time I'm in the market for a wireless charger one of these (or it's updated brethren) is likely to be top of my list!

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satsuma    178

Apple has been awarded a patent for Lytro-style camera element for iPhone.

 

Those 12.9" iPad  and iWatch rumours just won't go away - small tidbits here.

 

If the iWatch does indeed turn out to have a pretty decent number of sensors and a wraparound bendy-screen design like this:

 

Posted Image

 

Then it could be quite cool.

 

This wrist-wearable heart monitor from a start-up spun out of Nokia is really taking wrist-borne sensors to a different level.

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satsuma    178

Couple of interesting little tidbits for Apple watchers.Firstly, Corning have announced 3-D shaped Gorilla Glass which seemingly could be used in a curved screen iPhone and/or a wearable such as iWatch - the name has been registered in numerous countries by Apple BTW.Secondly, more analyst chatter about an iPad Pro here and here.There is a very decent analysis of what to expect from Apple in 2014 on The Next Web. Rather than just speculation it uses quotes from Apple combined with some rational analysis of the market place. Probably my favourite 'Apple 2014' article so far from all the usual blogs.

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RobM    195

That The Next Web article seems to say a lot, without actually saying anything. Very nicely written and a good read, but doesn't seem any different to the rest of the Internet. Apple may launch an iWatch, might not release a TV and will probably release a larger iPhone and iPad. Oh, and they're using existing branding and terminology.

 

That said, it does all seem about right. It's hard to imagine anything other than this happening, especially since Apple haven't ever created a brand new product category, they have only taken existing categories and worked their magic on them.

 

All-in-One PC's, tablets, smartphones and MP3 players were all pretty basic, clunky, un-sexy things until Apple rocked up and changed all that. You could say exactly the same about 'Smart Watches' today...

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satsuma    178

Seems the next iPhone is quite likely to have OIS for camera.I know Cambridge Mechatronics well, there OIS solution performed better than even Nokia's in tests. If Apple have purloined their chief tech guy then they're doing well on this front.

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