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    Coming September 5: On this week’s all-star episode, we present Bryan Chaffin, co-founder and co-publisher of The Mac Observer. He’ll discuss predictions about the fourth generation Apple TV. What new features can we expect? Will Apple raise the price, and what about 4K (Ultra HD) support? You’ll also hear a debate about a recent report from columnist Jonny Evans, a friend of the show, who suggested Apple ought to consider making a version of OS X that’ll run in a virtual machine on a Windows box for enterprise use. Would that endanger sales of high priced Macs? And what about the admission, from an Apple executive, that they are working on fixes for Apple Music problems?

    You’ll also hear from Avram Pitch, he Online Editorial Director for Laptop magazine. He’ll also discuss what might be expected from the next Apple TV. The discussion will also focus on Apple’s rumored plans for a subscription TV service, and the potential pitfalls of cord-cutting. What about cable and satellite companies offering a la carte, where you pick just the channels you want? There’s also an extended discussion about ad-blockers, which are designed to shield you from ads on web sites. But is there a downside — the large potential loss of income by online publishers? Avram will also briefly discuss the possibilities for a larger version of the iPad, subbed iPad Pro by the media.

    Click to hear our latest episode: The Tech Night Owl Live — August 29, 2015

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    Newsletter Issue #822: Apple TV Revisited

    August 31st, 2015

    The media long ago got over the obsession with the prospects of an Apple TV set. It’s clearly not going to happen any time soon, though I suppose it could arrive eventually if Apple can find a marketing scheme that works in a highly saturated marketplace. With the iPhone and the iPad, Apple entered markets that had not been well served with existing gear. Smartwatches had gone nowhere until Apple Watch arrived and sucked the air out of the room, though it’s ultimate prospects are still uncertain.

    Some published reports suggested that the aging Apple TV would be revived for the WWDC last June, in part because Apple was expected to unveil a software development kit to allow third parties to get into the act. As it stands, Apple fully controls what few apps are released and when.

    So it didn’t happen, and now there are renewed predictions that it will be the “one more thing” product introduced at the September 9th event, which otherwise will focus on the next iPhone and iOS 9. That seems eminently possible, though other rumors suggest that Apple TV won’t debut until October, perhaps at an event that will also launch the next iPad, including a larger version to be known as the iPad Pro.

    Continue Reading…

    Yet Another Tricky Survey from IDC

    August 28th, 2015

    We don’t know the official Apple Watch sales numbers for the second quarter, but there were broad hints during the quarterly conference call with financial analysts. So we heard that Apple sold more of them than the iPhone in its first nine weeks, or the iPad in the comparable period.

    But we do know that IDC doesn’t always deliver accurate or relevant numbers, and predictions for the future can be way off base. So we should have seen a huge growth in Windows Phone market share at the expense of iOS by now. But it hasn’t happened, and it appears it will never happen. Microsoft’s moves to unwind the results of the acquisition of Nokia’s handset division, and the platform’s pitiful share of the market, make that abundantly clear.

    Continue Reading...

    Believing Failed Industry Analysis

    August 27th, 2015

    If you can believe what some industry analysts have been saying, Apple should now be playing third fiddle in the smartphone wars. Android and Windows Phone would be ahead of iOS. Apple would, I suppose, be destined to fall back into niche status.

    Have you looked at the Windows Phone and BlackBerry market shares lately? Have you noticed how Microsoft is quickly unraveling the failed Nokia handset division purchase? Have you noticed how thousands of brand new Microsoft employees are being consigned to the unemployment lines?

    So do you believe those predictions?

    There’s one more. IDC, part of IDG, which used to sponsor the now-discontinued Macworld Expo, and, some time back, consigned Macworld magazine to digital, claims that Android will continue to gain share against iOS. But have you noticed that Android’s share is stagnant or falling slightly in the U.S. and elsewhere compared to iOS? That’s hardly gaining share. It goes back to the theory that Android, being open and partly open source, is destined to devour Apple.

    Continue Reading...

    About Slim Cable Bundles

    August 26th, 2015

    So the story goes that, someday, but maybe not very soon, Apple will debut a subscription TV service. Let the world hold its breath, because it’s going to turn the entire industry on its ear.

    But first, Apple has to make the proper deals with the TV networks to provide a different experience, so the stories say. One rumor suggests that Apple, sensibly, wants to include your local stations. But to do that, they’d either have to negotiate with hundreds of U.S. stations, or directly with the networks with which they are affiliated. Some stations, however, have no network affiliation, so what about them?

    In any case, it’s nonetheless true that the growth of cable has slowed, and that’s blamed on so-called “cord cutters” who want to do without. One key reason may well be that younger people, millennials, are no longer interested in subscribing when they finally leave home and move into their own places. They may seek out free streaming services, such as YouTube, or low-cost alternatives, such as Netflix and Hulu. If they aren’t wedded to appointment TV, or attached to any particular shows, they no longer have traditional TV fare on their radar.

    Continue Reading...