Tag: apple

Apple staff are inexperienced

iconStaff at the fruity Apple Cargo cult are starting to show their inexperience at flogging wearable fashion items like the iWatch.

A viral YouTube video shows an Apple genius demonstrating how to use the iWatch to buy stuff from Amazon. But he rapidly discovers that the watch is too small an interface to carry out a complex transaction.

He had done all the right things. He had set up the Amazon’s app with the ‘one-click ordering’ to make it look like the purchase only took a couple of presses of the watch face.

The only problem is that it’s a little too easy to ‘click’ when it’s on an inch-wide screen which you’re operating with your thumb.

The demonstrator says, ”Let’s take a look at Amazon ‘It uses dictation. ‘Xbox One’. So, there we go. Xbox One – I could buy it now with one click.’

‘I am just going to add it to my wishlist. OH NO! Wait, wait, how I cancel?”

Still the scale of the potential disaster is not that apparent yet because Apple refused to supply most of its shops with the iWatch.

Angela Ahrendts has told Apple Store staff that the Apple Watch is unlikely to be available for in-store purchases before June – but they should expect the usual ‘blockbuster launches’ in retail stores for future products.

In a memo to retail store staff, Apple’s retail head thanked staff for making the try-ons “unforgettable,” told them customer feedback had been “overwhelmingly positive” and that the online-only ordering period was likely to continue throughout May.

So at least some of them have more time to practice.

 

 

 

Apple launches iWatch with a whimper

Cadburys_Chocolate_Teapot_hi_resWhile the Tame Apple Press and analysts claim that fruity cargo cult Apple is going to make billions from its iWatch, it does not seem that Tim Cook agrees.

Apple’s normal distribution plan is to release a product with a great fanfare, create a shortage and above all encourage fanboys to queue up to give the television cameras a story which makes the product look popular.

This is not happening with the iWatch. The company has not revealed how many orders it has received in the run-up to the April 24 launch, a contrast to previous launches of iPhones and iPads. And Apple stores will not have any watches to sell.

What this means is that the pre-orders were probably not as high as has been claimed and Apple could not guarantee that the watch would create the lines snaking around stores.

What this could mean is that despite the hype, the iWatch is not going to do as well as expected. This would be a surprise to many in the IT press because it would mean that customers had suddenly developed common sense when it came to Apple products. This version of the iWatch is coming with little in the way of functionality and will require a battery change every 12 hours.

Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray, who normally praises anything Apple does did his best to put some pro-Apple spin on the news/

“The smaller launch can allow them to see how it goes and it does remove some of the line expectation and risk. If they did it the old way and the lines weren’t good, that’s a bit of a problem.”

Munster still predicts more than 2 million watches will be sold in the quarter ending in June. FBR Capital Markets senior analyst Daniel Ives raised his 2015 estimate to 20 million from 17 million, based in part on online order backlogs.

Ives claims that it was not that the iWatches would sell badly but because Apple faces the question of whether confused consumers will swamp Apple Stores.

Perhaps a greater problem with Apple’s iWatch is that many consumers will release they have bought a nice looking chocolate teapot when they get it home and will vow never to buy something just because it has an Apple logo on it ever again.

Schools demand refund from Apple and its partner

Teachers-apple-on-a-desk-007The Los Angeles Unified School District wants a refund from Apple over a bungled $1.3 billion deal to supply students with iPads.

In 2013, the schools were to equip each of its roughly 650,000 students with an iPad in one of the largest educational technology projects of its kind in the United States.

The entire deal was constructed by John Deasy, a Superintendent at the nation’s second-largest school district. He resigned in October amid criticism that he “favoured” Apple and Pearson for the project over better and cheaper technology.

A KPCC investigation found Deasy and his deputies communicated with Pearson employees over pricing, teacher training and technical support — specifications that later resembled the district’s request for proposals from vendors. Pearson and Apple emerged as the winning bidders and were awarded the now-abandoned contract in June 2013.

The FBI is investigating the project, and agents in December seized 20 boxes of documents relating to the program’s purchasing process from the district’s headquarters.

The problem was that the technology was not up to the job and the built-in curriculum was often incomplete.

The Los Angeles Times said the LAUSD’s Board of Education in a closed-door meeting on Tuesday authorized its attorneys to consider potential legal action against Apple and its channel partner Pearson.

“As you are aware, LAUSD is extremely dissatisfied with the work of Pearson,” the district’s general counsel, David Holmquist, said in a letter to Apple on Monday. “While Apple and Pearson promised a state-of-the-art technological solutio… they have yet to deliver it.”

Holmquist added that the district was severing ties with both companies for future services on the project, according to the Los Angeles Times.

However Pearson said that it was proud of its long history working with LAUSD and our significant investment in this ground-breaking initiative.

IBM deepens Apple partnership

1930s-couple-620x400IBM suits are deepening their partnership with Apple to make use of health information gathered by millions of Apple devices,

Biggish Blue, is creating a unit dedicated to providing data analytics to the healthcare sector and think that the millions of Apple watches which people bought by mistake will provide them with the data.

Of course the only problem is that Apple’s watch’s are not collecting any health data because after two years of delays Jobs’ Mob could not get them to work. Instead it seems that they will run on data collected from iPhones.

This of course means that only people using Apple gear will be providing the sort of data that IBM can use.  This might mean that Android users will just die — only this seems to be a data gathering exercise more than anything.

Nevertheless IBM plans to use its new Watson Health unit plans to aggregate health information from a large number of devices and providers in the cloud and offer insights to health companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Medtronic, which can then integrate results into services they sell to healthcare companies.

IBM said it will create headquarters for the unit in Boston with 2,000 employees, including about 75 medical practitioners. IBM also said it bought two health technology firms, Explorys and Phytel, for an undisclosed amount, to add to its skills in health data analytics.

IBM already has an arrangement to work with Apple on numerous enterprise applications, but is extending its co-operation in the area of health.

Watson Health is named for IBM’s artificial intelligence supercomputer which now write’s cookbooks for Amazon. It will bring cloud services and analytics to Apple’s latest forays into the health business, HealthKit and ResearchKit, IBM said.

Apple wants to reduce noise

simonOne of the noisiest outfits in the world has decided to invest in a bloke who knows a lot about the sounds of silence.

Apple has recruited Dolby executive VP Mike Rockwell and the word on the street is that he will be working out ways to make the overpriced toys sound and look a little better.

Rockwell has been involved in Dolby Vision which has been described as “state-of-the-art color display technology” is rather interesting and like we said, could end up helping Apple to improve upon its display technology in its product lineup.

Despite what the Tame Apple Press is claiming, he can’t take that technology over to Apple when he changes offices.  Instead he will have to help the Apple genii come up with something themselves.

Apple has been hiring sound experts, including THX’s pioneer Tomlinson Holman along with some notable audio engineers it poached from Sony.

Apple is saying nothing of course, to admit it is hiring people from outside to help boost its sound quality is an admission that things are far from perfect. At the moment audio-nuts think that Sony is still running the best mobile sound and has been the leader since the Walkman.

Google buys Samsung 3D NAND

edefectoSearch engine Google is rumoured to be signing up for Samsung’s 3D NAND in its data centres in a move which is similar to its rival’s Amazon. 

Samsung’s 3D NAND is currently used in Kaminario K2 all-flash arrays and is being tipped for MacBooks.

Neither Google nor Samsung have commented but if it pans out then it means that stacking 32 layers of planar 2D NAND built using 39-30nm-class cell geometry in a die, is the way forward. It also means that Samsung must have a better price and performance advantage over other flash fabricators.

Samsung’s 3D NAND is generally available while its rivals are still at the sampling stage with GA late this year or in 2016. SanDisk is sampling a 48-layer chip, but Samsung is expected to match that soon.

Since it has signed big supply deals with Amazon, Apple and Google, Samsung clearly has its foot in the door. It also means that these big data centre operators will be buying less planar NAND than otherwise from the other flash suppliers.

Hon Hai profits soar

foxconn-tvHon Hai – a Taiwanese firm also known as Foxconn, said that its fourth quarter profits rose to $1.8 billion on the back of the success of Apple’s iPhone.

Hon Hai makes most of Apple’s iPhones and has been criticised in the past for harsh employment practices.

But Bloomberg estimates, based on yearly results filed on Taiex – the Taiwanese bourse today – is far higher than financial analysts originally estimated.

Bloomberg claims the profits have been generated by iPhone 6 phones, which saw a surge in sales since their launch in Autumn last year. It believes half of Foxconn’s revenues are generated by Apple business, although there’s no hard and fast evidence for that.

But while Hon Hai may have turned in a rather healthy profit, its operating margin was only about 4.2 percent. Generally speaking, Taiwanese manufacturers of electronic devices have very slim margins indeed – not anything like the kind of margins Apple itself generates.

Although Foxconn’s Terry Gou had forecast growth of 10 percent in its full financial year, the actual growth was only 6.6 percent, Bloomberg reports.

 

Chinese CEO calls Apple Nazis

donald-duck-funny-german-germany-hitler-nazi-Favim.com-91188Chinese CEO and billionaire Jia Yueting, has created a storm by comparing Apple to the Nazi Party.

For those who are not in the know, Jia Yueting is the chairman of Leshi Television, one of the China’s most popular online video sites. Jia’s private Leshi Holding (Beijing) invests in film and TV show production.

In a weibo post, Yueting compares the attributes of the Android and iOS ecosystems as “Crowdsourced, freedom vs arrogance, tyranny”, painting Apple as the villain.

He goes on to say, “Under the arrogant regime of iOS domination that developers around the world love yet hate, we are always carefully asking, ‘is this kind of innovation okay?'”

It might be that he is wanting a reasonable debate between closed and open source, he does not seem to want to make many friends by starting the debate by invoking Godwin.

The Tame Apple Press of course is spitting blood about the comments claiming that it must be some promotional move by LeTV to enter the smartphone industry. After all the only reason people need to criticise something as perfect as Apple is for click bait or marketing,

LeTV has already announced it will be creating an electric and autonomous vehicle as well, so to the Tame Apple Press that means that Yueting wants to be Apple.

“It is rather ironic that LeTV would use the Nazi Party as a symbolism of closed source systems, when modern day China is perhaps a more usable source, with Mainland China banned from seeing anything outside the “Great Firewall” and US companies regularly attacked by Chinese regulators,” hissed David Curry on Betanews .

He then attacks Xiaomi for copying Apple’s store layouts and TV designs, perhaps forgetting that Xiaomi is not LeTV.

Google loses over privacy settings

330ogleThe UK Court of Appeal has turned down an attempt by Google to overthrow a previous verdict that allowed people to sue it over privacy settings.

The case, according to the BBC, centres around allegations that Google got round security settings on the Apple Safari browser and threw advertising cookies on people’s websites to advertise stuff.

Google said it wasn’t pleased with the court’s decision. It had attempted to get the courts to prevent peole suing it because it claims people didn’t suffer financially.

But the judges said that the allegations raise serious problems which do merit a trial.

They continued: “The case relates to the anxiety and distress this intrusion upon autonomy has caused. They concern what is alleged to have been the secret and blanket tracking and coalition of information.”

Google’s motto is it does no evil. It claims it hasn’t done anything wrong.

But the US Federal Trade Commission has already fined Google $40 million, while 38 US states also fined the search giant.

Tim Cook will give away his fortune

Apple's Tim CookThe head of the Apple Cargo Cult, Tim Cook has said that he will do something that Steve Jobs never did – give away his fortune.

Fortune magazine cited the head of the world’s largest technology corporation as saying he planned to donate his estimated $785 million fortune to charity – after paying for his 10-year-old nephew’s college education.

“You want to be the pebble in the pond that creates the ripples for change,” Cook told the magazine.

Fortune estimated Cook’s net worth, based on his holdings of Apple stock, at about $120 million. He also holds restricted stock worth $665 million if it were to be fully vested.

He will join billionaire financier Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Larry Ellison and Mark Zuckerberg who have all pledged to give at least half of their wealth to charity.

While Cook has not made nearly as much as Gates, the Apple CEO told Fortune he hopes to make a difference.

Recently Cook has become more outspoken on issues ranging from the environment to civil rights. Cook, who recently revealed he was gay, spoke out against discrimination of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual communities during his induction into the Alabama Academy of Honour last year.

He told Fortune he has started donating money to unspecified causes quietly and is trying to develop a more “systematic approach” to philanthropy that goes beyond writing checks.

When Jobs was asked to participate in the scheme he said no.

While Forbes  claimed that Steve Jobs did not have to give a cent to charity because he filled the world with lots of nice looking gadgets made in factories were people were dying to get out, his motives for not giving money to charity was generally questioned.

The New York Times said Jobs did not have to give away any of his fortune because millionarres only did that to buff their image and Jobs was perfect .  He also was charitable in that he paid his staff a wage to work for him.

It is nice to see that Apple has finally got someone at the top who sees helping other people as being important.

Biometrics come into their own

fingerprintBiometric systems, particularly in relation to smartphones, look like they’re going to boom during this year.

ABI Research, a market analysis company, said that worldwide revenues for such systems will deliver $3.1 billion this year.

The systems will be targeted not only at home users but at authentication systems for the enterprise market, according to ABI.

Algorithms linked to cloud computing are set to give better user authentication, with applications for mobile payments, bring your own device (BYOD) systems.

The research said that the leaders in the biometric pack are Apple and Samsung but there are other players who are introducing voice and face recognition into the equation.

We reported elsewhere today that Apple is rumoured to be brining out three more iPhones this year that incorporate fingerprint recognition.

Dimitrios Pavlakis, digital security research analyst at ABI, said: “Biometry is moving rapidly into the security ecosystem and its adoption by CE devices will jumpstart this phenomenon.”

 

Apple iPhone deluge continues

novità-apple-2013It appears that Apple is set to release three more iPhones in the second half of this year.

Informed sources have leaked details of the models to Taiwanese wire Digitimes.

It reports that the phones will be the iPhone 6S, the iPhone 6S Plus and a four inch device currently codenamed the iPhone 6C.

Each of the phones will use Corning Gorilla Glass come with LTPS panels and while the 6S series will use Apple’s A9 chips, the 6C will use A8 microprocessors.  They’ll all be kitted out with NFC as well as fingerprint scanners.

Digitimes also reports that Taiwanese firms Wistron, Foxconn and Pegatron will manufacture the handsets.

Meanwhile the same wire reports that chip foundry TSMC will fabricate the chips for the 6S and 6C.

Apple creates old lamps for new scheme in China

lampFruity cargo cult Apple thinks that the best way for punters behind the bamboo curtain to keep buying its expensive products is if they can trade them in like a car.

Jobs’ Mob plans to introduce a trade-in program for iPhones in China in association with Foxconn.

Under the deal, people will be able to exchange older iPhones at Apple stores in China for credit against the company’s products starting March 31.

Chinese demand for larger-screen iPhones helped fuel Apple’s record profit of $18 billion in the final quarter last year.

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook has said China is poised to overtake the United States as the company’s biggest market, and he is working to about double the number of stores in Greater China by the middle of next year.

The only problem is that most of Apple’s potential customers will have to sell a kidney, or body part to get enough cash to buy a phone.

Under the China programme, Foxconn will buy the iPhones directly, without Apple taking ownership, and repair the devices if needed before selling them on its e-commerce websites such as FLNet and on Alibaba’s online store.

Foxconn, a key Apple supplier, is also in talks to sell the older iPhones in physical stores and may take the trade-in program online in future.

Apple has a similar scheme in the US, where the company has started accepting non-Apple devices, Bloomberg reported.

Major US wireless carriers including Verizon Communications and Sprint last year offered subscribers schemes under which they could trade in their old iPhones for new ones.

UK MPs to get free iPads

new-ipadMembers of Parliament are to be given iPad Air 2s worth around £500 apiece after the general election in May.

The Times reports that parliament’s administrative body, the House of Commons Commission, thinks that the 650 members having an Apple device “will save money”.

The total bill of £1 million will be paid for by taxpayers.

MPs without ministerial jobs get paid £67,000 a year.

In addition to the iPads, MPs will also get spanking new laptops although it’s not clear which lucky vendor will get the order.

The iPad Air 2s come with 16GB of memory, wi-fi and Cellular iPad Air 2.

But an opposition cabinet officer, Chi Onwurah, said MPs should not use Apple iOS. Most of his constituents can’t afford the luxury of an Apple iPad, he said.

 

Samsung to regain smartphone lead

samsung-hqA research company believes that Samsung will be the number one smartphone vendor in 2015, taking the lead over Apple.

Digitimes Research (DR) said the top 10 vendors this year will be Samsung, Apple, Lenovo, LG Electronics, Huawei, Xiaomi, Microsoft, TC, Coolpad and Oppo.

HTC, which only a few years ago was top of the smartphone pops, doesn’t appear to get a lookin at all. Last week, Cher Wang, chairman of HTC, took on the CEO duties too, displacing former CEO Peter Chou to head up a new products division at the Taiwanese firm.

DR estimates that Samsung will ship over 330 million units and Apple will manage to ship 230 million.

But Lenovo appears to be edging upwards in the smartphone league. This year it will ship 64 million units, while LG will ship 67 million units, just ahead of Huawei.

DR estimates that Android phones supplied by the top 10 Android smartphone vendors willl represent over 70 percent of the total units shipped this year.