AMITIAE - Wednesday 13 February 2013
Cassandra - Wednesday Review: The Week in Full Swing
By Graham K. Rogers
Opening Gambit:Greenfield Capital: the litigation speeds up; Tim Cook replies. Rumours on the iPhone and the iWatch: another device that Apple must build according to pundits. Dual pricing: Adobe, Apple and Microsoft; differences between the US and Australia (and elsewhere). Adobe drops prices 20% in Australia: too late, you were found out. Dropbox and iCloud. Apple updates and problems. Did Samsung try and turn the world upside down? Bill Gates says Bing and Windows 8 are wonderful. He said that about the Zune too.
Apple StuffThe litigation that Greenfield Capital boss, David Eindhorn set in motion last week has taken on a larger life as comments from outside and movements by Apple have occurred. While we mentioned Jim Cramer's dismissal of Eindhorn's move on Monday, others still think there are points to this; and Apple wants it settled before the shareholder's meeting nearer the end of this month. The article adds that "Greenlight [is] expected to follow up with its comments by Friday in the US Court for the Southern District of New York."
A request by Apple to speed up the schedule for the case was granted, "given the affect an outcome could have on the company's upcoming shareholder meeting" Mikey Campbell reports on AppleInsider. Randy Nelson on TUAW later reported Apple's intention to respond to the action by Wednesday - coincidentally the day Tim Cook adresses the Sachs Conference on the Internet: a time that was brought forward for some unknown reason.
Tim Cook was due to speak at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference at 10:15 am NY Time, but as this was 10:15 pm here. I did listen to the first few minutes, but the stream began to break and the answers were not understandable, so I went to bed. However, I did hear Cook call the Greenlight Capital lawsuit, "A silly sideshow" and I wrote down a number of his comments about the reasons behind the proxy change that Eindhorn is trying to oppose. Jim Cramer last week said the same things: there seems to be a (deliberate?) misunderstanding.
In the morning I found a number of sources that covered Cook's comments, like MacNN that had a reasonable overview that included a comment concerning a cheapo iPhone: "We wouldn't do anything we don't consider to be a great product" which is neither a Yes or a No. Comments adding to this, with a lot more on the Q&A sesion were reported by Lex Friedman on MacWorld. There were positive comments on the Apple stores reported by Jordan Kahn on 9to5 Mac.
I do not see it appealing to such a wide cross section of the consumer population unless it has some Dick Tracy like properties and makes tea. There is also the problem that not everyone wears a watch. I haven't used one for years, so it is unlikely an Apple watch would find its way onto my wrist. An Apple fob watch?
The Australian Parliament's House Committee on Infrastructure and Communications said Monday that it wants the companies to appear before the committee as part of an ongoing probe regarding disparity between prices charged in Australia and in overseas markets.
Adobe appear to be the real bad boys here. While Apple charges a few US dollars more in some cases here, Adobe "announced that Australians would be paying several hundred dollars more" which is crass and bound to get the attention of politicians waiting to make names for themselves. And a bit of late news from Sharif Sakr on Engadget tells us that Adobe just cut the prices by 20% a day after being summonsed. A bit too late methinks: why have them so high in the first place? That is the question.
Another article on this by AppleInsider also mentioned that the three named companies were "just a few firms that have continually defied the public's call for answers and refused to appear before the IT Pricing Inquiry".
And that Adobe difference: Creative Suite 6 was on sale in the US for $1,299, compared to nearly $2,700 in Australia. Now chickens have come home to roost. All of which takes me back to the times when in the US software could be bought for what were called "street prices" but if applications were ever made available here, the price was full retail (and some): and you wonder were piracy came from?
It is not only iCloud that does not work as users want. I have awful problems with Aperture - probably due to insufficient RAM these days - and Mountain Lion does have some shortcomings, particularly the way it leaves me waiting for things to happen, while other processes are being run behind the scenes. Rob Griffiths on MacWorld explains why he was reluctant to move from Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6) and is particularly critical of invisible scroll bars and the "natural scrolling" which I must admit I am used to and never give a thought to these days.
Also having a reversal was the update to Airport and Time Capsule which broke IPv6 tunneling on various devices. Jordan Kahn reports that the fix is to downgrade and explains how this may be done.
Half and HalfI was alerted to an article by Daniel Eran Dilger late Tuesday who has one of his useful pull-it-apart analyses of a Bloomberg article by Jun Yang, Anand Krishnamoorthy and Jungah Lee that he says bends the facts somewhat in its praise of Samsung and dismissal of Apple: "Samsung Girds for Life After Apple in Disruption Devotion".
I wonder about Samsung and their motivations. It is rumoured that they have more power than the government in South Korea, and some from that part of the world who feel they have been wronged do not often take things lightly.
Other MattersOnce in a while, Bill Gates leaves his day to day attentions of the Foundation he runs and comes to the defence of Microsoft, which needs all the help it can get methinks. Donna Tam reports that the former CEO of Microsoft, made some comments on Reddit about Bing and about Windows 8, saying that "Bing is the better product at this point" and that "Windows 8 is "a huge advance for Windows which people will see even more as the great applications and hardware come out.""
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.
For further information, e-mail to