AMITIAE - Wednesday 30 January 2013
Cassandra - Wednesday Review: The Week in Full Swing
By Graham K. Rogers
Opening GambitMore fallout from the weekend share fall. Apple is not broken: the support team arrives. Most analysts show how little they know. Why would a Korean company like LG ramp up negative pressure? Not all Wall Street analysts are down on Apple. Even Jony Ive is under attack. iOS 6.1 released: more support for LTE; code for 128 GB device. Rumours about a 128 GB iPad: true, fake, fake, preposterous. Apple releases 128 GB iPad. Tips and hints. Philips leaves consumer electronics. Google must practice what it preaches and not steal data: UK users sue. In contrast to Apple, Amazon profits fall, sales rise, and share prices jump.
Apple StuffI was watching TV on Monday evening looking for information about Apple shares and there were some comments on Bloomberg, most notably that Apple was "the buy of the century". Also worth thinking about (I write these down) were the idea that Apple would have to make a statement or someone is going to have to sue them for excessive hoarding of cash; and that Apple would have to come up with a low-cost phone. I am incredulous about the first and yawned when I heard the second
These are ideas that have been aired before, but in the last 12 months Wall Street and its talking heads have been wringing their hands over that cash. In the articles I wrote at the weekend I mentioned the NYTimes and their implied demands that the money should be used to pay workers more and improve conditions (in factories that Apple does not own), but I also remember that Greenpeace was also wittering about the cash when it came to green products.
Maybe they will have to use some of it (see comments on Shanghai below), but I do not expect Apple to bow down to the demands of Wall Street just like that: and that was another comment on Bloomberg . . . to the effect that these West Coast people think they do not have to play by the same rules. That was said as a giveaway line, but it expresses more arrogance from the East Coast than is possible on the West.
Within a short time of the market opening Apple stock had jumped $8 and continued its rise hitting just under $450 when I checked Tuesday morning. When trading opened it was up to $458 at the next day's close: creeping up. The selling at the end of the week may have been triggered by computer algorithms and this method of adjusting stock holdings has caused a number of market problems in the last few years. About time real people used their brains to make decisions.
Kate has an item on Mac360 in which she takes a similar line to the one I took in my weekend articles with a nice comment that "Apple is and always has been a lightning rod for negative energy". I shall link to my articles again as the hits are useful:
Patently Apple includes a link to an item by Philip Elmer-Dewitt who is also commenting on the way so many appear to be "piling in on Apple of late". I am apparently not alone (of course).
This view dovetails neatly with comments from Daniel Eran Dilger on AppleInsider regarding iTunes software that is now reported in a different way. As I have mentioned in the past about this constant flow of income, he reports that it shows what were hidden billions of dollars in revenues. And with the locked in users (stickiness) this is likely to continue.
In addition a Barclays analyst (Ben Reitzes) suggests that the Apple quarterly earnings call. . . "deserves another look" Neil Hughes reports on AppleInsider. He cites, "strong cash flow, and a conservative margin outlook" as well as expected new product releases.
iOS is updated iOS to version 6.1, adding LTE capabilities to 36 additional iPhone carriers and 23 additional iPad carriers around the world, so even more iPhone 5, iPad mini and iPad with Retina display users can experience ultrafast wireless performance to browse, download and stream content at blazing fast speeds.
There are two links in the page to carriers that have LTE for the iPhone and the iPad, but Thailand is not shown. After the iPhone I updated the iPad and saw that the download was some 76 MB.
Despite being told by Randy Nelson on TUAW that there was an update to Xcode, I did check but on my Mac there were no updates reported as being available. However, at the office the iMac did have the Xcode update.
Along with the other updates to iOS the version that runs on Apple TV (that little box thing) also had an update and Josh Lowensohn reports that as part of that version support for Bluetooth keyboards was included. Whatever next? . . .
However, a later posting by Josh Lowensohn suggested that the pictures might be fake. Or maybe not.
There is also the wonderful article from Adrian Kingsley-Hughes on ZDNet (note another ZDNet article referenced in this Cassandra) who writes, "There are rumors circulating that Apple is preparing to release a 128GB version of the iPad, but given Apple's past track record, this is highly unlikely."
Late Tuesday evening there was a press release from Apple confirming a 128 GB iPad with Retina display:
. . . a 128GB version of the fourth generation iPad with Retina display. The 128GB iPad with Wi-Fi and iPad with Wi-Fi + Cellular models provide twice the storage capacity of the 64GB models to hold even more valuable content including photos, documents, projects, presentations. . . .
This will be available starting Tuesday, February 5. 9to5 Mac had the prices exactly right (above).
I wonder just what track record Kingsley-Hughes was referring to, and if this is why so many others get Apple so wrong, so often? [An update in the article at least notes that the iPad 128 GB was announced.] Preposterous indeed!
A speculation from Scott Stein suggested that the days of the 64 GB MacBook Air are numbered, although comparing the Air and iPad with a Surface is not wise, especially considering that device's massive loss of space for system files. Brooke Crothers for example explains that the 128 GB Surface has actually only 83 GB of space (and that is from Microsoft). Others report more space for Windows 8; and then you need software. On that Surface/Air comparison, Scott Stein misses a couple of minor details: the MacBook Air uses a full version of OS X, has more space available for data and is aimed at a different type of user.
Another useful hint comes from Topher Kessler concerning user switching. Although I have looked at the way key combinations can be used with OSX, he has a new one for us: quick user switching. I usually do this with the menubar item, but for those not wary of Terminal, this can be set up to work by key commands and Automator.
Half and HalfThe Dutch-based company Philips that has been one of the consumer giants for years and recently produced the interesting Hue lighting system has pulled out of the consumer business entirely, Sam Oliver tells us on AppleInsider. It is reported that Funai will handle that side of the business, including Hue.
Other MattersA while back it was reported that Google had been naughty concerning the way it had misused cookies in Safari. Google denied the suggestion that it was acting in anything other than good faith (do no evil, Oh yeah?), but still managed to collect much private data. Simon Duke in the UK Sunday Times writes that "Apple customers in Britain have begun to seek compensation": Google is being sued. Full access to the article needs a subscription.
I later found a better link that covers the same story from Josh Halliday in the Guardian who quotes a lawyer as saying, "It is particularly concerning how Google circumvented security settings to snoop on its users. One of the things about Google is that it is so ubiquitous in our lives and if that's its approach then it's quite concerning." Do no evil? Oh. Yeah.
It was interesting to find another article citing Google, and Twitter, from Daniel Terdiman that examines the revelation that when faced with government requests for data about users, Google complies with 88% of these (Twitter with 69%). If these companies are complying with the laws, then the laws are seriously wrong concerning privacy.
However, to ease the problem a bit, he now has a number of job offers including from the company whose security hole started the ball rolling.
I really do not understand this.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs.
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