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  • Apple's original HomePod was overpriced, and that doesn't bode well for AirPods Max

    As a HomePod die-hard, I will say the big difference is that HomePod never sold out. The Airpods Max were impossible to buy at almost any price for weeks—some colors are still backordered. So even if high demand doesn't continue, there is a bigger market than Apple expected and that's a good sign.

    I'm not an audiophile but as someone who works in (or adjacent to) the audio field, neither product is outrageously priced—if you compare them to other audio-first offerings. Those markets are very niche—too niche in the case of OG HomePod which sold well for a wireless speaker but terrible for an Apple Product. The Max will sell well because consumers will justify the fashion statement as long as the Max is better than all (or most) other ANC, wireless, over-the-ear headphones. 

    Honestly the HomePod was too new, too innovative. It solved a problem no one knew they had, even after it was gone. The Max are a shade above mediocre. They won't be a home run, but they'll be a consistent base hit for the foreseeable future. 
  • Congressman says antitrust hearing confirmed Apple's 'deeply disturbing' behavior

    Unless this law is unfairly crafted to specifically target Apple it will have huge (and probably unforeseen) consequences. Microsoft also has an App Store. Would this mean they can no longer sell Office through that store? Or will subscriptions be considered “services” and somehow exempt? Would even Google’s office apps—which started out as web base but are now offered as apps on its own store—be considered unfair competition?

    I certainly think many of these companies need some oversight, I just think this solution as it applies to Apple (and Amazon) is going to create more problems than it solves. 

    Personally, I think there should be more carefully considered guidelines for digital-only marketplaces. Also Amazon should be broken up. I don’t know why Congress insists on conflating these disparate issues. Just because they both “involve computers” (AKA “Tech”) doesn’t mean the issue or legislative solution is the same.
  • Why the Mac's migration to Apple Silicon is bigger than ARM

    darthw said:
    Will it be possible, eventually, for Apple to make faster SoCs than the fastest most powerful intel Xenon chips?
    Yes. I just read that the new Japanese super computer, that is the fastest in the world is built using Arm chips.
    You can put enough of any CPU cores on a chip and have something with more computing power than a Xeon, but there are details required to work out there.  You can also have enough chips wired up to be more powerful overall.

    your answer didn’t answer anything in enough detail to be more than an apples to orangutan comparison and doesn’t answer the original question.

    can Apple eventually make their own SoCS to beat Intel Xeons? There are reasons that it could go either way:

    ARM ISA is easier to decode is in its favor.
    intel z86-64 ISA is more compact due to variable length instructions that reduce memory bandwidth required for a given number of of instructions that achieve the same thing.

    we shall see, but for the same process node, it could go either way.
    ...and if you keep moving the goal post you can win almost any argument. What is your criteria for "beating" Xeons? Performance-per-watt? Yes, you could make a case they do that now. A particular benchmark? Workflow? 

    The tired RISC vs CISC debate: Both ARM and X86/z86-64 are essentially RISC code when they run through a cycle—Intel & AMD translate the microcode. Yes, ARM cores tend to have more cache—Apple especially—but so what? It isn't like Xeons don't use a lot cache too. And if it works, it works. I think ARM is misunderstood by a lot of people who see it only as an embedded/mobile ISA. Read up on ARM SIMD. For example:

    Same node: Well, that's up to Intel. I'm not going to wait for them to catch up to make comparisons. I care about what happens the real-world. If that's not "fair" to Intel, joke's on them.
  • Why the Mac's migration to Apple Silicon is bigger than ARM

    sflocal said:
    narwhal said:
    rain22 said:
    Mac users will be stuck using dumbed down iOS software for a long time I feel.  
    Here's news for you, Rain. Very few new apps are written for macOS (or Windows). Apps today are developed for the web, iOS and Android.

     @narwhal: It may look that way but ALOT more programs are X86/64 The rest of the world decided to settle on x86. See that console gaming industry. Most LOB (Line of business) is x86. Real gaming on the mac is dead. Steam will not run on new ARM macs. So all those games that people bought on steam will be worthless for those who own these new ARM macs. Also when it comes to programs, There is Photoshop for ipad which is what your ARM mac will run and then there is REAL Photoshop with all of the x86/64 plugins that people have made. I wonder if they will port their plugins to the new ARM photoshop. Will the ARM photoshop even run plugins. The same is true for office will you get ipad office on ARM or REAL office that you do now? Also this is after Apple throws you out in the cold by stripping roseta2  away from you as they did is mac OS 10.7 i believe. Lets also not forget that wonderful smooth transition from 32-64 bit only apps that nearly killed Steam on the mac. Also how nice will apple play with developers and users once they have hegemony. Apple silicon is the ultimate lock in. I can see apple using gatekeeper to make their platforms only use the mac app store. That means you new $899-$10,000 mac is a glorified locked in ipad with a keyboard and mouse. At least with intel macs you can run crossover to get older 32-bit versions of windows apps and wine. Will you get that on your ARM mac. Lets not forget this is the same company that will not let you change your default web browser, or maps app in iOS because they want total control of the user experience. I bet you this will be coming to a mac near you, in mac OS 11.3 or whatever they are going to call it. This is a sad day for the computing industry indeed, if the market falls for Apple and their lock in scam.

    Funny... I heard similar things when Apple went off the PowerPC architecture to Intel.  But hey... "Apple is doomed" right?

    I'm a heavy photoshop/lightroom user and while I don't use the iPad version, many friends that do have said great things about it.  Many now primarily use the iPad Pro for their photoshop work. 

    That says something.

    As I understand it, Adobe completely rewrote Photoshop/Lightoom for the iPad and it is a huge improvement in performance compared to MacOS.  My primary reason of replacing my 2015 iMac is to upgrade to a new/faster machine in order to use Lightrooom which runs like crap on my machine, even though it's a Quad-i7 with 64GB of RAM.  It's crazy fast for everything else except this.  I hate that reason as there are no real alternatives (for me) to go to another photo editing platform.

    If performance is as good for MacOS(ARM) and not just marketing speak, I'll upgrade to it as will many others.

    Personally, I wish Apple never discontinued Aperture.  They have FCP which is for many, a market-standard for video, they could have done/kept the same thing for us photography users as "Photos" is nowhere near what Aperture could do.

    Sigh. I also miss Aperture. It had features that still aren't as well implemented in modern DAM systems. I just don't miss the RAW-photo render engine. But, yes, I agree with everything you're saying.

    This transition will be hard from some users, no doubt, but I think it will actually do much smoother than either 68k-PPC or PPC-Intel. For the first time Apple has the resources to truly maximize their hardware-software synthesis. Companies like SGI and Sun did some amazing things in the 90's but couldn't compete once Intel, with their massive resources, caught up in terms of raw power. Well, Apple of today has that old-school approach and resources that dwarf even Intel. 

    A lot of people don't like the iOS/iPhone experience, and that's ok, but I think its an accepted fact that iPhones lead performance. We will finally get that level of optimization on the Mac.  think this is a huge boost to a stagnating industry. In another 15-20 years I could see this creating some unexpected problems, but who can see that far ahead? 15-20 years ago would anyone have believed you if you said Apple would have a higher market cap than MS? That TMSC would be out-fabbing Intel?

  • Why the Mac's migration to Apple Silicon is bigger than ARM

    darthw said:
    Will it be possible, eventually, for Apple to make faster SoCs than the fastest most powerful intel Xenon chips?
    Sure. Fujistu and Ampere do it with custom ARM cores. The reference ARM N1 core looks like a contender. The (current) fastest computer on the planet runs on Fujistu's ARM-based chips.

    My understanding is that Apple has the best single threaded performance of ANY version of the ARMv8 core—and until this week it was a mobile-only processor! Even if they only clock it moderately higher, the tech to scale it up to 40+ cores is already accessible to ARM licensees. Imagine 60-80 Lightening cores running on a single SoC. How many Xenon chips would be competitive with that?

    I hear a lot of moaning about "Apple can't compete in the high end" if they transition. There's just not evidence for that. I'm less sure how they'll do it (chiplets, license HPC IP, etc.) but they certainly CAN.