AMITIAE - Wednesday 6 February 2013

Cassandra - Wednesday Review: The Week in Full Swing

apple and chopsticks


By Graham K. Rogers


Opening Gambit:

New successes for Apple. Sagging share price. Rumours on: iPad mini display; OS X Lynx. OS X Server updated: is 10.8.3 coming next? 10 Software engineers to be recruited for Apple Maps. iMac wait times slip; iPad mini times reduced: much better in the Thailand online store. Apple is still doomed of course. Hints, tips and suggestions. Dell buying his company back: Redmond chips in $2 billion. CBS interference. Stickam dead. Mobi-Lens review.

Apple Stuff

While recently Apple has hit the top spot in the number of phones sold in the USA - when there is only one model basically - there have been wider successes reported as Apple has now overtaken Nokia for global internet usage, Jordan Kahn reports on 9to5 Mac. Some of those words are important, like "global" and "internet usage" as this indicates how many phones there are out there (not just those stuck in warehouses) and shows how the iPhone is also linking to advertisers. I actually saw this referenced in a local Tweet, so sometimes Apple successes are not brushed under the carpet.

Indeed, despite the sagging share price (how much of a real indication is that?) Apple has a lot to be happy about right now, which is bound to upset someone.

Some comments from Cody Willard on Market Watch are bound to have some people seeing red as he thinks he thinks that the "retail shareholders and mindless long money managers just got complacent with AAPL" and he is predicting a $1,000 share price in a ear or so. [My source for this was MacDaily News.]

But then other analysts are also positive about Apple, "despite its lackluster earnings" which happened to be an all time record for any company and MacDaily News links to a story on a Goldman Sachs source who predicts higher share prices too.

Also now bullish is Three 28 Capital who analyse the figures (you should look at the way the stock rises and falls over the last couple of years too) and suggests that rather than dead, "Apple should see a dramatic rally at some point over the next 10 weeks." [My early morning link for this was MacDaily News.]

One of the successes this week involved a court case between Apple and several other online vendors in a class action suit bought by a person who claimed that asking for address and phone number was breaking state law in California, Electronista reports. Not so, says the Supreme Court there. Some think there are privacy concerns but the court says this is OK. With dissent in the court, however, this could go further.

One of the several rumours that appeared this week concerned the iPad mini and its display. Kevin Bostic on AppleInsider has a story that the next version of this device could have a display of 324 pixels per inch which is higher than the display on the latest iPad.

A few days ago I wrote about the way the next version of OS X is being logged by some sources. MacDaily News reports on a ComputerWorld article (broken link) in which Jonny Evans writes on this and reminds us (I had forgotten) that the name of 10.9 is expected to be Lynx.

A report from Electronista tells us that Apple has just released an update to the OS X Server app that now goes with OS X (if people want this) and it is now at version 2.21. There are some new features, including for Time Machine and the App Store, plus the usual bug fixes.

In other development news, AppleBitch reports that Apple is advertising for a large number of iOS Software Engineers to work on the iOS Maps app. There are ten jobs on offer and some of these are discussed in the article. Tim Cook may have promised that the app will improve over time, but the Bangkok Bank Bukhalo Branch is still in the middle of the river by Rama 3 Bridge, despite me having reported it several times.

There are still slow shipping times reported for customers ordering the new iMac in Europe with Jordan Kahn on 9to5 Mac among others telling us that the 21.5" ones have slipped to 2-4 weeks, while the 27" iMacs now have a 4-6 week wait time. Not so here, so I wonder if this is a problem specific to Europe as the Apple Online store for Thailand shows 2-3 weeks and 3-4 weeks respectively (half the time for Europe). Still far too long if course.

On the other hand, Dan Farber reports that wait times for the iPad mini have now been reduced to 3-5 days, but there are still some improvements to be made. There is also some discussion of sales figures with a useful chart. The Thai store does better here too as wait times are shown as 1-3 business days.

I also saw while I was browsing the iPad section that the 128 GB ones are listed. The Wi-Fi version is shown as 25,500 baht and the Wi-Fi + cellular is 29,500 baht.

Most of the devices come from Foxconn factories and Apple invests in these but because of the close links sometimes has bad press when there are worker problems. However, because of the power that it has Apple can make a difference, despite the independence of the company, and Patently Apple reports that Foxconn has bowed to demands for expanded unions so that workers have a better communication channel to voice their frustrations. This may reduce the risks of strikes.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about a student of mine who was texting while riding his bike on campus when the phone fell and the screen cracked. He still uses it OK and cannot be bothered to have the screen replaced. A luckier tale comes via Alex Cabrero on KSL in Utah who reports on a paraglider who found when he landed that his iPhone was missing. He used Find my Phone on a computer and tracked it down doing the final search with his wife's iPhone. He reports that "it didn't have a dent, scratch or broken glass." Lucky man.

To redress the balance, let's have an Apple is doomed story. Or actually, Not. Adam C. Engst writes on TidBits about his recent experiences at MacWorld and how some mainline journalists are convinced that Apple is a smouldering ruin. Engst relates his reaction to their questions and (again) provides a link to the disastrous quarterly figures that were actually record-breaking.

Like others he tries to rationalise why the income and profits are good quarter after quarter but the analysts will not see this and dream only of failure. Engst is no apologist for Apple and does explain some shortcomings, but thinks that on the whole the company is heading in the right general direction.

Over the weekend all the apps of a Chinese developer were pulled from the App Store. Steven Milward on TechinAsia explains the reasons behind this unusual decision by Apple and follows repeated manipulations of rankings as well as encouraging iPhone jailbreaking. There are reports that the CFO went to the USA to try and put things right. [My source for this was MacDaily News.]

Not that I ever watch such events but the Super Bowl is renowned not just for the sports but for the advertising. So many people watch the TV that this is a major event that advertisers must use to pitch their sales. One of the most famous of course was the "1984" Macintosh ad that was made by Ridley Scott. There are some good ones and some bad ones with some question marks about an ad this year by GoDaddy and the refusal of CBS to handle a soda ad in case it upset Pepsi or Coke.

While not making a big splash this year iPodNN and several others report that Apple had a presence in an ad for the new Star Trek movie. Inserted into that was a reference to shortened URLs for the App store. Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) is the star villain and the app is not available outside the US or Canada right now.

Well, Yes it is. I clicked on the link and there it was in the iTunes app store but the link to the StarTrek app I have still looks like the long one to me.

I like to report on tips, hints and suggestions here when I can, and this time Mike Schramm on TUAW writes of version 2 of Clean My Mac that is due out sometime this month. The utility clears up unneeded system files on your drive. The new version is simpler and more powerful reportedly and there is a good description in this article.

Also reported is the release of Mac security products from a developer called ESET, HelpNet Security reports. The information is just an outline and not a review, mentioning virus protection (that will be good with no OS X viruses), kiddie protection, a firewall and browsing security among other things. I thought Apple had all these covered. This may suit the paranoid among you.

Other Matters

Another (another?) Samsung Galaxy smartphone is reported to have exploded, injuring its owner, Patently Apple reports. If you had not been paying attention you might have missed that as overheating iPhones, even when they have had unauthorised repairs, garner scores of mentions, but hardly anyone put out a Tweet on this: is it so common? Perhaps: the article links to "a number of noted Galaxy Note 2 problems."

Michael Dell's famous quote about giving the money back to Apple shareholders has haunted him for years. It was the idea that Apple should give the money back to the shareholders and it is in the headlines of many stories this week. It is now is hitting back in a big way as he tries to regain control of the company he created as a student. Greg Roumeliotis on Reuters reports that he has managed to find some backing including $2 billion from Microsoft (interesting), but that with his own input he will be expected to control the company when the shares are bought back.

We have carried a few reports on the control that CBS appears to be applying to its CNet subsidiary. The decision not to award a prize to a dish maker as they were in dispute with CBS, cost CNet its tie-in with CES and also saw the departure of Greg Sandoval - the only writer there with the guts to walk out. He now has a new position with The Verge, he writes on a blog and expects to start contributing in a couple of weeks.

One surprising bit of news this week came from Stickam an online TV service that links individuals: live video-casting. I had information in an email to tell me that as from 1 February the service was being closed down, but the servers will stay up until the end of the month for users to download any clips that have been parked.

Local Items

A few months ago I put some money into a Kickstarter project for a new smartphone and tablet lens system that looked interesting. I heard a week or so ago that the first versions had been made and on Monday at work, the package was waiting for me in my mailbox. I had a look and my report on the Mobi-Lens accessories is online.

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.



Made on Mac

For further information, e-mail to

information Tag information Tag

Back to eXtensions
Back to Home Page