Long before the iPhone, the iPod was the device that helped transform Apple from computer company into a consumer electronics company.
But today, the ubiquitous music player has become less relevant to the company that essentially owns that product category. Apple still sells three-fourths of all MP3 players sold, but multifunction gadgets like the iPhone and iPad are getting the most attention from Apple customers, not to mention the rest of the electronics industry, and bringing in more revenue than iPods these days.
What is the tipping point for having too many gadgets? Well, it depends.
First, let me count the ways I can be connected: a couple of MacBooks, an iPad 3G, an iPhone 3GS, an old HP tower, and, if I need it, a BlackBerry Storm 2 (though Wi-Fi access only for the BlackBerry, as I recently discontinued service). That covers most of what I use everyday. (And I know people that add a Netbook to a similar mix of devices.)
Of course, I got to this state of excess voluntarily. Nobody held a gun to my head. That said, on most days--in myriad ways I won't go into here--this entourage of devices enhances productivity and sustains the computer-related hobbies I have.
But on the bad days it's get-thee-to-an-IT-department--at least, that's the feeling. Compounding glitches can hit critical mass in minutes.
Does the following, or a variation of the theme, sound familiar? The Internet connection goes south, freezing the browser and the 15 or so tabs that are open. And the Windows machine is pestering you about a massive critical update while a message is telling you it can't connect to the printer. The wireless printer disconnects inexplicably. Meanwhile, iTunes crashes on the iPhone. And the iPad 3G runs out of juice just when you need it. Oh, and the cable guy (in this case, the AT&T IP guy) is knocking on the door because he wants to check the fiber-to-the-node connection at your house.
And this brings us to the iPad. That is the X factor that didn't exist before. So, is the iPad the tipping point? I would say no. The iPad is actually relatively innocuous, I think. While a Windows machine can be a ticking time bomb of crash-happy applications requiring--depending on how bloated the PC is--user oversight to keep things from exploding, the iPad, in my experience, has little overhead (beyond charging the battery).
You don't need an IT guy to show you how to… Read more
What a great bit of history this is, and a nice weekend diversion. In the video embedded below, the Apple CEO introduces the company's 1997 Think Different campaign. A key quote: "[Our new ad campaign] honors those people who have changed the world. Some of them are living, some of them are not. But the ones that aren't--you know that if they ever used a computer, it would have been a Mac."
And another: "This is a very complicated world. This is a very noisy world, and we'… Read more
A PR firm accused of writing phony iTunes reviews of its clients' iPhone apps is settling the case with the Federal Trade Commission.
As part of the proposed settlement (PDF), PR firm Reverb Communications and owner Tracie Snitker must remove any iTunes reviews that were written by Reverb employees posing as ordinary customers and who failed to disclose a relationship between Reverb and its game developer clients. The agreement also bars Reverb and Snitker from posting further reviews on iTunes that pretend to be from independent consumers or that neglect to disclose any connection between the company and its clients, … Read more
Apple has ended a nearly 10-year partnership with engineering-design firm SurfaceInk, after the latter showed off a tablet prototype of its own, according to The New York Times.
SurfaceInk CEO Eric Bauswell told the Times on Thursday that they parted ways after SurfaceInk recently unveiled a 12.1-inch, Linux-based tablet--a potential rival to Apple's iPad. Bauswell said that Apple viewed the product as a threat.
SurfaceInk, which also has a turnkey business that creates and licenses products, has enjoyed success in the tech world. According to its site, the company's clients have included Hewlett-Packard, Palm, and Belkin.
Apple's big September music event, coming on the first day of next month, is less than a week away. But that still gives us plenty of time to wax philosophical on the whats and wherefores of the company's plans, as many techophiles are already doing.
This year, it's widely expected that Apple will add the "Retina" display and front-facing camera of the iPhone 4 to the iPod Touch. There's also been talk of changes afoot for Apple TV, including a scaled-down device, a much lower price tag of $99, and access to the App … Read more
Apple on Thursday released an update for its iWork suite of productivity applications, adding a new feature that enables authors to add books to its iBookstore application.
While all of the applications in the iWork suite were updated, the most significant change comes in Pages 4.0.4. The word-processing app now includes compatibility with the ePub format, which Apple uses for iBooks.
Apple published a document on its support site giving users tips on creating documents in the ePub format that covers everything from using paragraph styles in your Pages document to providing a downloadable template to use.
The popular video subscription service just updated its Apple app to support the iPhone and iPod Touch, which now join the iPad in offering streaming videos. Netflix members can download the free 1.1.0 version to watch their favorite TV shows and movies.
The Netflix app lets you access your Instant Queue to view videos you've already saved. You can browse by genre or search for specific titles from the service's growing library of streaming content. You can also stop a video and then resume where you left off, whether you're … Read more
The current version of Firefox will likely be the end of the road for people using PowerPC Macs.
A final decision will be based on usage data that's better than what Mozilla possesses right now, but technical difficulties raised by Firefox 4 improvements mean at a minimum that it's a strong possibility only Intel-based Macs will be able to run the new browser.
"I am gathering data on the number of PPC users we have, but the likely outcome is that we will not be supporting PPC [PowerPC] for Firefox 4," said Mike Beltzner, Mozilla's … Read more
That Apple September music event? It's happening earlier than anyone expected this year.
Apple sent an invitation moments ago inviting us to the event next Wednesday, September 1. It'll take place at the usual spot, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco, at the usual time, 10 a.m. PDT.
We'll be there live-blogging the proceedings, so be sure to come back here a week from today.
What exactly will Apple announce? Well, it's a tradition for the company to release new iPod hardware in September. This year, it's widely expected … Read more