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  • Microsoft Surface sales boom amid tepid iPad demand

    "According to Microsoft's official numbers, Surface revenue came in at $926 million."

    My back-of-the-envelope calculations assume a retail selling price of $926 per unit. That way, Microsoft's revenue figure translates into one-million Surface units sold: not anywhere near iPad sales, nor iPad Pro sales, either. If average Surface selling price is 25% higher than my assumed $926 figure, then Surface sales fell short of one million units.

    In other news, Apple has sold large numbers of MacBooks and iPads to IBM in recent months, and a large share of those sales were likely attracted away from Microsoft's portable Surface. With Macs compared to PC's, IBM reports spending far less on internal support staff and achieving higher user satisfaction. That's why unit sales of Surface are lagging. A million units sold to diehard fans is easier than selling a second million units to customers without a Windows commitment.
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  • Apple rival Samsung posts high Q2 profits on rebounding phone division

    Samsung 'buys' conpinents from one of its own divisions to manufacture phones. That means if it gets a great 'bargain' on components, the phone division will be more profitable and the components division will be less profitable. Now, I'm sure that Samsung execs are too ethical to manipulate its earnings report, but this week's news has reported that profits from Samsung's components division are weaker than expected, while earnings from phones have been stronger than expected.
  • President-elect Trump says Apple CEO Tim Cook phoned him after victory

    "First of all Apple should give the security for that phone, okay?" Trump said at a rally in South Carolina. "What I think you oughta do is boycott Apple until such time as they give that security number. How do you like... I just thought of that."

    The Donald and his followers can turn over their computer and smartphone passwords to the NSA today, without waiting for an act of Congress. So let's begin with that, and see how many True Believers put national defense ahead of their personal privacy and security. "I just thought of that."
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  • Apple having trouble syncing audio between wireless AirPods - report

    John Gruber at Daring Fireball:

    My prototype AirPods have no trouble staying in sync. They’ve never once been out of sync, in fact. There have been a small handful of times when one of the two buds turns off, and audio only plays through one of them. But I’ve only seen that three or four times, tops, and in each case it was fixed by putting the AirPods back in the case for a second or two.

    If Apple could mass produce AirPods that worked exactly like my review unit pair does, it would be great. Not perfect, but totally great. These AirPods are my favorite new Apple product in years — exactly as they are. It makes more sense to me that Apple has run into a manufacturing problem, not that they discovered a design defect after they were announced.
  • Apple to argue First Amendment rights in FBI decryption battle

    Political free speech has more protection from the courts (Bill of Rights) than other speech. I think the judge's order to Apple violates the Takings Clause (5th Amendment) by requiring Apple to provide resources for public use without just compensation. Just compensation may require not only that Apple be reimbursed for its out-of-pocket expenses in writing new software for the FBI, but also damage to its reputation and lost earnings. It seems little doubt the FBI is asking the judge to override the Takings Clause. The actions of the terrorist left the iPhone 5c in a state where Apple was able to render assistance (legally) to the FBI, but after that the owner of the iPhone -- under the FBI's direction -- changed the iPhone's password and placed it in a different state where Apple was no longer able to render assistance. Therefore, the FBI insists that Apple hack a device neither owned, nor possessed nor password-protected by a terrorist, but by the FBI. Thus, the judge's Writ empowers the FBI to commandeer Apple resources to aid in a programming problem of its own creation.
  • Samsung tells Galaxy Note 7 users to turn off, stop using device

    "Reports have indicated that Samsung rushed the Galaxy Note 7 to market in an attempt to capitalize on what officials at the company believed was Apple's 'boring' iPhone 7 ... update."

    Samsung has a point. Next to the Note 7, every other smartphone is boring. The Note 7 has captured headlines around the globe. It is simply the hottest consumer product of the year -- by hundreds of degrees!
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  • Hands on with Apple's ornate gold Milanese loop for the Apple Watch

    “The only downsides to a loop-style band are the limitations when it comes to docks. It can't lay flat on a dock, and instead must have access for the remainder of the band to wrap around behind the charger.” Check again. You can pull the magnetized end of the strap all the way out of the loop (attached to the Watch). Then, the Watch will lay flat, with the entire band (minus the solo loop) all on one side of the charger.
  • Apple's Chinese retail growth stalled by fraud & competition, forcing repositioning

    Although the overall Chinese market for iPhones is potentially as large as American or European markets, size is not the key factor in marketing. The marketing relationship between Apple and its Chinese customers cannot be managed in the same way as it is here. In addition to patent laws that aren’t enforced by Chinese authorities, relatively poor workers may earn far more in a day systematically gouging Apple than they can in regular jobs paying only $2-$3 per hour. Apple is frequently harassed in China for discriminating against Chinese “consumers” when the company cracks down on these professional scams. Longer term, Apple should make arrangements to shift iPhone assembly to robots in factories outside of China. Any tangible asset in that nation is a potential hostage to Beijing’s policies, which have been optimized to control others and plunder their wealth.
  • Apple's Siri-based Echo competitor rumored to borrow design cues from Mac Pro, could arriv...

    It should have a flexible OLED display wrapped around its exterior so that it can display messages, images and video.
  • Apple begins selling 18W USB-C power adapter separately for iPhones & iPads

    Bundling a slow (5W) charger with a premium iPhone is a design error.