eXtensions - Wednesday 31 October 2018
eXtensions - The Wednesday File (79): Announcements from Apple; Apple Watch Arriving in Thailand in Time for Apple's First Store Here - Icon Siam
By Graham K. Rogers
On the earnings front, I was slightly surprised to see an item on Seeking Alpha this week suggesting that Apple's foundation was crumbling. I mean, how many times have we read such crap? I read through it with some incredulity as several old memes appeared and a dodgy chart was used to hold up some of the assertions. In short, Apple began to fade when Steve Jobs died (have you seen the respective market valuations), there is no innovation and Samsung does a better job, with Apple buying its screens from Samsung, so there!
Actually, Apple buys a whole lot more from Samsung but the writer either missed that, doesn't know or had a specific agenda. I couldn't quite put my finger on it - partly from the tone, the use of a specific chart and some other comments - but this reminded me of Michael Blair and his constant negativity towards Apple. Indeed, when Blair said, "sell Apple"", it was a signal for many readers to buy: and they made a fortune doing just that. Almost every time he told investors to sell, the share price went up. Consistency, I suppose.
I was not alone in this feeling as when I read through the comments section (and I read it all) many others named Blair as a potential author for the article, but marked the submitter, "Long Term Tips" as a source to avoid, ignore or handle with a bargepole. If you really need to flagellate yourself, you can find it yourself. I won't provide a link to such drivel.
A more reasonable comment on Seeking Alpha came from Michael Henage who points out that this quarter may see some results at the lower end of Apple's guidance. He did not include this, but Apple suggests "revenue between $60 billion and $62 billion". I am also not sure of Henage's maths, but this can be a lower quarter. However, Apple has been known in recent years to present surprises.
There were some interesting icons at the beginning of the presentation, which were followed by a music video praising New York. Then Tim Cook came on-stage to much applause. Cook started talking about creativity and started with the Mac, introduced by a video of creative users. I found the partisan crowd a bit over-enthusiastic at times.
No doubt in my mind: the Mac mini is the one I want. . . .
The report shows a special Apple logo, which is an adaptation of the Thai character AW - this makes up part of the spelling of Apple in Thai. The store is due to open on 10 November, which is a little earlier than I expected, but plenty of time for the end of year sales period.
Despite several years of columns in the Bangkok Post, beginning when OS X was new and unknown, and including several trips to Apple events in San Francisco, I am not expecting an invitation to the opening. I have explained this previously. Apple is loyal when needed, but my usefulness as a conduit for product information has ended. I am not at all annoyed with Apple: this is a pragmatic business decision (I am more annoyed with Bangkok Post dithering and failure to adjust to new media needs).
I would like to be at the opening because this just ties up Apple's commitment to Thailand, but if not, so be it. There will be plenty of frantic and uninformed media darlings there anyway. I will watch for the report from Spin9: in Thai. Wu and (sometimes) Sue, approach this with good levels of professionalism. I am old school with text and photos; they are new wave with online video reports in a quality I could only aspire to. Unlike many self-elected experts who have appeared in recent years, these reports offer original content and opinions: not just clones of others' ideas.
The main Apple page for Thailand now shows the Apple Watch 4 with a greyed out comment in Thai that translated to, "Released Nov. 2". Thus far the Online store in English has not been changed, but I expect that will be updated. The pages should be updated this week anyway following the announcements of new products by Apple and as usual it was offline Tuesday evening.
Apple Watch 4 - Images courtesy of Apple
What is also possible is that there could be an update to iOS. With the betas of iOS 12.1 in circulation for a few weeks now, this would be a time that Apple would consider releasing the update, especially if there are new features with some of the devices to be announced. Some of these could be the delayed FaceTime Groups, and new emojis. More new features are also possible.
At the end of last week a report on 9to5 Mac Zac Hall) outlined the problem a Swiss man faced when he went down suffering from acute back pain. Having had a similar problem, I understand how this would cause him to double over and go down. His Apple Watch detected the unusual and (presumably) rapid change in position and offered to take action. His mother and an ambulance were called and he is now OK.
If the students are going to use specific equipment, they need to prepare, so I sent one off to the technician to find a cable. I knew he had one. In the end, there was a change of direction. I had my lightning-to-VGA adapter in my bag and with 3 iPads in the class, they decided to use those and a couple of iPhones. One PC was also used at the end.
What surprised me, however, was that, when I asked about the cameras used, 11 had used iPhones. Some had used Canon or Nikon DSLR, with an Olympus Pen in the mix; and one had used an Olympus OM10: a 35mm single-lens reflex camera. He had taken a roll of film. I was delighted. On the whole, some editing might have helped with many of the images presented, particularly with shadows, but most of these young electrical engineers had produced fairly honest work.
Image from Yashica Y35 using B&W cartridge
Apple's sanity was questioned by experts, but it remains one of the all-time favourites. It made good use of an older design (iPhone 5) that was much admired, and included reasonably up-to-date components, mainly from the iPhone 6, so Apple made a good profit on every one it sold.
Now there is criticism of its 3-pronged approach of the iPhone Xs (2 models) and the iPhone Xr with its several colours. Jason Snell (Tom's Guide), writes about the iPhone Xr and where he thinks it fits into Apple's overall strategy and is sure it is going to be a hit.
iPhone XR - Images courtesy of Apple
A couple of articles I saw on this mentioned Amazon, Google, Facebook and of course Apple. Several other countries and the EU have already made plans to gouge back some of what they see as ill-gotten gains and will probably pass it on to the banking sector or the military-industrial complex. AJ Dellinger (Engadget) reports that the UK wants 2%.
President Trump may want more too, as it was reported on Monday (Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider) that it is planned to include Apple products in new tariffs aimed at China. Of course we should not expect China to accept this passively.
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. After 3 years writing a column in the Life supplement, he is now no longer associated with the Bangkok Post. He can be followed on Twitter (@extensions_th)
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