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  • Microsoft acquiring Activision Blizzard in $68.7B gaming deal

    YP101 said:
    Well, Apple just buy Nintendo will solve the problem. Nintendo gets M1 CPU will resolve the current hardware limitation.
    Apple will receive all retro games on Apple TV.
    We went through this 5 years ago when people thought that NIntendo was dead (couldn't keep up with Microsoft and Sony in specs, their "family-friendly" focus meant losing out to the iPad etc.) so people claimed that Apple should buy Nintendo in order to bring the Mario, Zelda etc. games to the iPad and iPhone. Nintendo said: "We are not for sale and never will be" followed by "even if we are sold it will never be to a foreign company." 

    As for Sony, yeah as if the antitrust regulators would allow that. It would give Apple:
    A. a smartphone and tablet manufacturer (Android)
    B. a TV (again Android), DVD and premium audio manufacturer 
    C. the world's #1 gaming console platform
    D. the Columbia movie studio (Spider-Man, Ghostbusters, Jumanji, Bad Boys, Karate Kid, Men In Black and a bunch of other franchises, and that doesn't even include Sony Japan's extensive film, TV, music etc. properties)

    So the Japanese government is going to let the company that killed off the Walkman (and indirectly the Blu-Ray by creating the streaming era) and mobile gaming (seriously degrading Sony, Nintendo, Sega etc. in the process while creating a boom for competing Chinese and South Korean tech companies like Tencent, Xiaomi, LG and Samsung) buy Sony? Yeah, totally not going to happen. 
  • Apple's Mac Studio launches with new M1 Ultra chip in a compact package

    About the Intel comparisons, it really looks like you guys need to realize that the current leader in this sector is AMD. By a significant margin. And when their Zen 4 Threadripper comes out in 2023 it will be even worse. Between the AMD Threadripper and the M1 Ultra, it is safe to say that Intel's strength is going to be laptops and low end to midrange desktops. Their options perform better than AMD and are cheaper than Apple. But workstations are going to be Apple #1 and AMD #2 for pure performance as well as power per watt. 

  • Microsoft acquiring Activision Blizzard in $68.7B gaming deal

    techconc said:
    This is the type of acquisition that Apple really needs to make.  Apple just doesn't get the gaming market or simply has no interest in it.  Small indie games in Apple Arcade are fine, but Apple's platforms need A list games.  Apple has great hardware with the M1 Max but a poor gaming selection.  Ironically, Mac sales are at record levels now, but gaming on the Mac is worse than any time in history.  Sad.  
    The M1 Max is not "great hardware" for gaming because the GPU only performs between the level of an Nvidia 3060 and 3080, which are available in x86 machines that cost under $1000. Yes Mac sales are at record levels ... but at a market share (depending upon whether you believe Gartner, IDC, Canalys) that 7.5% to 8.6%, making it third in share behind Windows and ChromeOS. 

    The only path into AAA gaming for Apple is to emulate Microsoft and create their own gaming console. The problem: the AAA console gaming market is in turmoil right now, which is precisely what Microsoft is taking advantage of by snapping up beleagured studios left and right. And - as I mentioned above - currently if you combine the efforts of Microsoft, Nvidia, Google and Amazon and you have 42-45 million cloud gaming subscriptions. It would take Apple 3 years at minimum to launch a console gaming platform; who knows how many cloud gaming subscribers there will be in that time. 
  • Microsoft acquiring Activision Blizzard in $68.7B gaming deal

    When Google and Microsoft first launched Stadia and xCloud and were not allowed to put their apps in the app store, an Apple Insider pooh-poohed the development stating "cloud gaming is going to fail anyway." Well now xCloud alone has 25 million subscribers. Nvidia GeForce Now had 12 million subscribers at last count. And at last report - which was way back in 1Q 2020 - Amazon Luna and Google Stadia had 2.5 million subscribers apiece. (Plus you can simply buy Stadia games without bothering with a subscription.) By comparison the streaming service Hulu has 43 million subscribers, and in mid-July Apple TV+ was estimated to have less than 20 million subscribers (which Apple does not dispute, and they state that they HOPE to have 36 million subscribers in 2026!). 

    Not saying that Apple should have allowed game streaming apps into their app store. But the idea "who cares: game streaming isn't going to catch on anyway" was a very bad take. If Microsoft wasn't happy with the initial response to xCloud, there is no way that they would have doubled down by spending $70 billion on Activision Blizzard. And no, the antitrust types aren't going to block it. 
  • Mac Studio review roundup: Incredible speed, that not everybody needs

    The Verge - a very pro Apple site - did mention this (in an otherwise glowing review):

    It was a different story with graphics performance, however. Apple, in its keynote, claimed that the M1 Ultra would outperform Nvidia’s RTX 3090. I have no idea where Apple’s getting that from. We ran Geekbench Compute, which tests the power of a system’s GPU, on both the Mac Studio and a gaming PC with an RTX 3090, a Core i9-10900, and 64GB of RAM. And the Mac Studio got… destroyed. It got less than half the score that the RTX 3090 did on that test — not only is it not beating Nvidia’s chip, but it’s not even coming close.

  • BlackBerry sells mobile patents to patent troll for $600M

    No use arguing with this crowd. For them, "patent troll" means "anyone who sues Apple" even if Apple is actively, knowingly using the vital IP of a major, practicing competitor without paying for it i.e Qualcomm LTE modems without which iPhones would be worthless as mobile devices and NPEs can include entities that certainly perform original research but actually cannot legally manufacture and market their IP such as ARM CPU IP owned by the University of Wisconsin's engineering program. For them, any IP that Apple wants to exploit is only worth what Apple is willing to pay - including nothing - because Apple's decision to include the IP in their products is what gives  their IP any value in the first place. If the same IP is in billions of products sold by Apple's competitors? Then why are they bothering Apple in the first place! They are making plenty of money already so just trying to get more money from Apple is just being greedy. 

    But Apple's IP? The hard-earned result of decades of expert engineering. No one should be able to use it or any version of it under any terms or circumstances. Apple should be encouraged to come out with their own versions of competitors' products because said products are generic and bad anyway and Apple improves them in ways that are useful to consumers and the industry. But anyone who comes out with a version of Apple's products, even if the implementation is completely different AND there are major differences in design, appearance and functionality? Block them from being manufactured and sold. Sue the companies that did it to the hilt - and their managers and investors into financial ruin - as a warning message to everyone else.

    A rational perspective - such as the fact that Blackberry deserves to be compensated for the IP that they developed even if the only method of doing so is by selling it and that the owners of any IP have every right to license it - is beyond what Apple diehards are capable of. Instead, they want an IP system that maximizes the benefit to Apple and screws everybody else, even if the obvious result is no one - including Apple - having any incentive to innovate.
  • Microsoft's new app store pledge preserves its walled garden on Xbox

    So don’t sell at a loss, and produce enough of them? (Instead of artificial shortages that are obvious ploys to boost desirability.)

    The “robust and viable ecosystem for game developers" argument is such horseshit if you look at where indie developers are actually making money (or rather not making money…) Does anyone buy the idea that MS is soooooo into gaming that it loses billions of $$ on a passion project? (Or that that would be legal, given it’s duty to shareholders.) 

    I’d argue that MS and others like it intentionally create the economic circumstances that make working for AAA studios the only sad “viable” option for most developers. The only people that are benefiting here are investors.  
    If consoles weren't sold at a loss, they would cost 50% more and far fewer people would buy them. You folks don't understand: not very many people buy consoles. About 50 million XBox One consoles were sold over 7 years. That is probably about the number of Google Pixel phones that sold in that timeframe. And no, these shortages aren't artificial. First off, these shortages did not exist with the PS4, XBox One, PS3, XBox 360 etc. These shortages are due to TSMC being the only foundry capable of making an integrated SOC for these devices that don't overheat. This is the same TSMC that also can't fill all of Apple's orders, forcing Apple to prioritize iPhones over iPads, remember?
    AMD's Zen 4 chips were supposed to launch in November 2021. At this rate AMD will consider themselves lucky if they launch in October 2022, and they have even had to shift some orders to Samsung, just as Intel - who will use TSMC's fabs for some orders in 2023 - considered doing and Nvidia did last year for Ampere GPUs.

    The console business model is totally different from the mobile device one. Samsung alone sells more smartphones in 1 year than the entire console industry - Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft and the minor players - sells in an entire generation. Yes, the Nintendo Switch sells at a profit. But do you know why? The Nintendo Switch is actually the Nvidia Shield K1 Android tablet from 2015 running the Nintendo 3DS operating system (based on FreeBSD) along with some Android components and Nvidia software. The Nvidia Shield K1 tablet was $200 when it originally launched! 

    I can see you bashing Microsoft - decades of hate I guess - but you realize that by doing this you are also trashing Sony, whose console costs the same, whose shortages are even worse, and who has nothing to do with these app store battles with Epic Games and regulators. The PlayStation is their last big money hardware product left. The iPod and iPhone killed off the Walkman, boom boxes and the other consumer audio products that were massive for them in the 80s and 90s. Streaming - and streaming boxes - killed off their VHS, DVD and Blu-ray line. They so badly botched their attempts to make Android devices that they don't even bother to distribute more than a few units outside Japan (iPhone 70% market share) anymore. Their TV line is being battered by South Korean and Chinese competition. They are also only "one among many" when it comes to selling headphones (where they get crushed by AirPods) and speakers (getting devalued by smart products from Amazon, Sonos, Google and Apple). And they ditched their PC line ages ago because they could no longer compete with HP, Dell, Lenovo and Apple (Toshiba made the same decision). 

    If you have some business plan or strategy where Sony could make $200 per unit on the PS5 and still sell enough to make money selling $70 copies of the Spider-Man game go ahead and share it. My guess is that you don't, and you don't care what happens to Sony or the console market so long as Apple gets to keep doing whatever Apple wants. You are probably ROOTING for the console makers to fail so Apple could take their place. Just as pretty much everyone on this site was rooting for Nintento to fail 5 years ago so Apple could buy them and make Mario, Link, Pokemon etc. exclusives on Apple TV (so that people would actually start buying them), iPads and iPhones.
    You say that the console business is different from the mobile business.

    So.. Why do we have to listen to Microsoft then??? Microsoft clearly tried to launch smartphones with their own Window OS, which failed. Their fault. Not Apple´s fault. 

    Microsoft is giving a lot of BS this time because Microsoft is jealous that AAPL and GOOGL are so successful with their smartphones and smoothly running OS, which Microsoft wished to have. 

    Not only did MS wait too long, missing the boat on mobile, they failed even with Apples example in front of them, just like with Zune. 

    And so they decided to BUY NOKIA. And they KILLED NOKIA. It basically died. So sad. 

    And that’s what they are doing now. They try, they struggle, so they buy. And we know what happens next. 

    Xbox is their saving Grace. But they pump a ton of money into Xbox. And the 70 BILLION acquisition is a very desperate move. There are a lot of nervous folks at Microsoft over that one. It HAS TO succeed. If not, there will be big trouble. 

    Microsoft still has no real mobile platform no matter how much they try. 

    And that’s why you hear the thick, bitter jealousy wafting out from Redmond now. 
    Microsoft is the #2 company on the planet in valuation (that isn't a state-owned petroleum concern), is raking in record profits and they are desperate? Nervous? Struggling? Please, read a tech magazine for once. You have no idea what you are talking about. 
  • Microsoft's new app store pledge preserves its walled garden on Xbox

    You say that the console business is different from the mobile business.

    So.. Why do we have to listen to Microsoft then??? Microsoft clearly tried to launch smartphones with their own Window OS, which failed. Their fault. Not Apple´s fault. 

    Microsoft is giving a lot of BS this time because Microsoft is jealous that AAPL and GOOGL are so successful with their smartphones and smoothly running OS, which Microsoft wished to have. 

    You don't have to listen to Microsoft. Why did Apple Insider choose to post this article? Ask the editors. Microsoft has long written off not having a mobile ecosystem. They doubled down on cloud, surpassed Google in market valuation and haven't looked back. They are #2 to Apple and the gap between them and #3 and #4 - Google and Amazon - are huge. Microsoft only joined the Epic Games lawsuit because Epic asked them too. Otherwise, they have little interest in or anything to do with Apple. Google - thanks to search, ads, cloud, Chrome and ChromeOS - is a bigger threat to Microsoft than Apple is, which is why Google pulled their Android Office 365 apps off ChromeOS but hasn't done the same for the iPadOS apps. And which is why Microsoft used Chromium to build a competing browser to Chrome - Edge - and not whatever Safari uses to build a competing one to Safari. Microsoft hasn't tried to compete with Apple TV+, Apple Music or anything really that Apple does, but they did turn Office into a Google Suite competitor, positioned OneDrive as a Google Drive competitor, has released the Surface SE to compete with Chromebooks in education, you name it. 

    Microsoft launched their missive to get regulators to approve their purchase of Activision Blizzard. Regulators are concerned that the studios that Microsoft has bought, XBox and their huge presence in PC gaming and xCloud could allow them to dominate the market. This is Microsoft getting out ahead of the regulators by addressing their most logical line of excuses to prevent the merger in advance. Had Nvidia done the same, they might actually own ARM Holdings by now. If you wait until the regulators voice their objections and THEN try to answer them you have already lost because the regulators have already made up their minds at that point. In the time that it would take the regulators to come up with a new line of attack - if they even want to - Microsoft will have likely closed the deal. 

    Microsoft only mentioned that consoles have a different business model than everything else in order to justify not opening it up at this time. Still has nothing to do with Apple because unless the Apple TV explodes in market share, like increases it 20 fold, Apple is not in the console market. They are in the general computing market selling devices - macOS, iPadOS, iOS - that have the ability to play games. Like the iPod Touch ... primarily a music player but its ability to play games is a byproduct. 
  • Apple Watch remained king of the smartwatch market in 2021

    Beats said:
    I think 30% is little for Apple. Hope they reach 50% soon. Would love to see WearOS or whatever name of the month, go down. 
    This guy again.
    1. You think that 30% is little for Apple when:
    A. they didn't invent this category (Google and Samsung were there first)
    B. their share in phones is 15%
    C. their share in computers - can't call them PCs anymore I guess - is 8% and has actually fallen behind ChromeOS
    D. their share in TV boxes (Apple TV), streaming subscriptions (Apple TV+) and smart speakers (HomePod) is so low that most analysts don't even listed
    E. the only areas where their market share is bigger is wireless headphones (declining) and tablets (barely)

    2. Wear OS has had its name since 2018. But you are one to talk since Apple changes the name of its platforms all the time too (iPhone OS, iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, watchOS, OS X, macOS) etc. But OK when you guys do it right? 

    3. Market share is unlikely to decline. It went up because Samsung and Google finally signed a truce resulting in Samsung ditching Tizen and their Galaxy Fit RTOS trackers in order to be Wear OS exclusive. Also, Google is FINALLY going to come out with a Pixel Watch this year. https://www.royalsblue.com/pixel-watch-could-be-controlled-without-touching-the-screen/ ;
    There are some Android/Google enthusiasts who will never buy a Samsung product (don't ask why but they have a host of reasons) so yes it will sell. 
  • Apple TV app stops video rentals & purchases on Android TV, Google TV

    Like the App Store, Google charges a 30% commission fee on in-app purchases for apps running on its platforms, including Android TV and Google TV. It is plausible that Apple would be subject to such a fee, or a discounted rate if one was agreed with through Google, for content sold through the Apple TV app.

    A key difference is that all other movie and TV purchase and rental platforms - Google, Amazon, Disney, Vudu, FandangoNOW, RedBox, Microsoft etc. allow you to purchase and rent movies and TV shows through the browser. Apple is the only one that forces you to own their hardware - a MacBook, iPad, iPhone, Apple TV or (for as long as they are still being made) iPod - in order to purchase or rent TV shows. There is absolutely no technical reason for not having a web storefront as literally everyone else has offered it from day one and in some cases for approaching 15 years. 

    Don't get all up-in-arms, I am not saying that Apple is doing anything illegal or unethical here. After all, plenty of alternatives - the 7 listed above and more - do exist. And I would propose that the primary reason for Apple TV on a Google TV device anyway is to watch Ted Lasso. I am just pointing out that the result of avoiding the 30% means that one is now required to own Apple hardware to purchase Apple content, a requirement that other platform providers do not impose.