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    DOWNLOAD — Free version: On this week’s all-star episode, we feature Adam Engst, of TidBITS and Take Control Books. The main focus will be on Apple’s decision to discontinue displays, and the deal that resulted in the development of the troubled LG UltraFine 5K Display, which was announced along with new MacBook Pros. What went wrong, and why did some units fail when in close proximity to a Wi-Fi router? Adam will also discuss the possibilities for future upgrades to Mac desktop computers, and the rumored use of ARM processors to manage more Mac functions. What about replacing Intel processors with Apple’s A-series silicon?

    You’ll also hear from Adam's colleague, Josh Centers, Managing Editor for TidBITS, and author of “Take Control of Apple TV” and other titles. There will be a complete discussion of the hopes and dreams for the Apple TV, and how Apple has failed, so far, in its plans to conquer the living room. What about attempts to forge content deals with the TV networks? When does Apple TV support 4K and HDR, and where is the rest of the industry going? Can Apple find a way to dominate the set-top box market? Will the networks and cable/satellite companies let them? What about the lack of new AirPort Wi-Fi routers, and is it true, as published reports claim, that Apple moved its AirPort engineering team to other divisions in the company? Is there room for an AirPort in the current marketplace, and what about combining AirPort with Apple TV?

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    About the Installed Base

    February 23rd, 2017

    Typical of Apple’s iOS releases, users of iPhones and iPads upgrade in droves, with hundreds of millions running the upgrade within just a few months. So according to data from the App Store that’s available to developers, as of February 20, Apple reports that 79% of these devices have been upgraded to iOS 10 so far.

    In contrast, the iOS 9 adoption rate hit 77% over roughly the same period. But what’s most important about its successor is that tens of millions of devices aren’t supported. There will always be a residue of gear that cannot upgrade, which makes the numbers even more impressive.

    So iOS 10 requires an iPhone 5 or later, an iPad mini 2 or later, and an iPad 4th generation or later. Obviously all iPad Airs and Pros, more recent products, are eligible for the update.

    A third-party web tracking company, Mixpanel Trends, lists the adoption rate at 88%, but that might be pushing it.

    Continue Reading...

    Will There Be a Spring Apple Event?

    February 22nd, 2017

    Apple didn’t deliver as many product updates in 2016 as many expected. While there were new iPhones, with the surprising release of an iPhone SE to meet demand for a small handset, the Mac didn’t get a whole lot of love. The MacBook got a minor spring refresh, although the fall introduction of the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar was certainly a major upgrade as Macs go nowadays.

    It was enough for some to suggest that Macs are getting short shrift at Apple. Despite the fact that the product brings in over $20 billion in annual revenues, it almost seems insignificant compared to the iPhone. Or at least that’s the theory, that Apple cares about its most popular product, but gives the rest of the lineup mostly tepid support. Then again, the Apple Watch Series 2 was a fairly significant upgrade, with faster performance, a GPS, not to mention being waterproof.

    Continue Reading...

    Is Apple Pushing iPads Again?

    February 21st, 2017

    Now despite the fact that Mac sales are stable, and the iPhone is growing again, the iPad has remained a drag on Apple’s numbers. Profits are surely high, but sales keep dropping, quarter after quarter, after reaching a peak in 2013.

    The main question is why? Were iPads disappointing to all those millions of people who bought them? Or did they just decide that it made no sense to upgrade every year or two, so we have many keeping them three or four years before choosing to upgrade.

    But if there’s going to be an upgrade cycle, it’s not here yet, or maybe tablets are yesterday’s news.

    From time to time, Microsoft puts up an ad meant to show why a Surface is better than a Mac or iPad.

    Well, appears Apple has decided to return the favor with short ads extolling the virtues of an iPad Pro. So in demonstrating the advantages over a Windows machine, the ads explain that you can get them with LTE data access. Another advantage, that the iPad doesn’t get viruses.

    Continue Reading...

    Newsletter Issue #899: Learning From Old Apple Critic Nonsense

    February 20th, 2017

    Over the years, Apple’s critics have been busy claiming that the company should do this, that and the other thing. When the requests — or demands — aren’t acknowledged, or are shown to lack logic, they are just repeated ad infinitum. In fact, you hear the stories so often that you wonder whether they are just copying from one another, or living in a vacuum.

    A common complaint is that Apple needs to bite the bullet and cut prices. How dare they make big profits from the sale of their gear? Wouldn’t they sell more units if they just sacrificed some profit?

    I suppose they would, to some degree. But would sales increase enough to compensate for the loss of profits? I suspect not, because other tech companies are not nearly as profitable with hardware. Apple earns more than 90% of the profits in the smartphone industry, and Samsung receives most of the rest. That means that loads of smartphones, many sold at lower prices than the iPhone, aren’t generating profits for their manufacturers. You wonder why they are even making those things, since a company lives and dies by cash flow and profit.

    Continue Reading…