Tag Archives: ipod

One-year later – Apple has a new look and it’s all Tim Cook

Reuters has put up an interesting piece – calling the iPhone 5 the product of Tim Cook. Citing the Apple Maps rollout and possible blunder. “The speed of the global launch that astounded” analysts by getting millions of phones into stores with supply chain perfection. And most importantly for fanboys, his role in the Keynotes where he appears at the end and beginning with brief messages.

It’s the new Apple under Tim Cook and he is molding the company that Steve built – into his own image – again from Reuters:

He has introduced a dividend to pay out part of the more than $100 billion cash stockpile, raised salaries for a rabidly loyal but low-paid workforce in the Apple stories, and sped up product rollouts.

Not to mention opening up Apple to charities – by offering a matching gift program. These are things Steve never would have done, but the world seems okay with that. Shoppers are eagerly buying the iPhone 5, traders are buying Apple stock – it’s still going up – and  the company is still growing.

The only remaining question is can Tim Cook come out with a new product. So far he has only improved and continued the existing line. And that is always a company’s biggest challenge.

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GameStop makes a huge pivot to Apple retailer – as retail video game industry dies

One of the last holdouts retail, video games, looks like it too will disappear. The biggest player, GameStop, who controls nearly two-thirds of the market, has been able to stay alive by pushing used games and devices. Last year the company earned $9.55 billion, 46% of which came from used items.

Unfortunately, that cannot sustain the company as more games go online, available for download. Which makes paying $60 for a cartridge much less appetizing for gamers, and takes away the bulk of GameStop’s earnings. This presents the company with a challenge…what to do next?

Believe it or not, become an Apple retailer. The company has opened an expansive new refurbishment factory for iPhones, iPads, iPod Touches. They hope to apply all that used experience to the booming world of the touchscreen.

Two articles cover this, the first is a summary and the second is a full behind-the-scenes feature:

In an effort to avoid the fate of Blockbuster, Circuit City and others in the remainder bin of failed retailers, GameStop has embarked on a daring, if inglorious, strategy: refashioning itself from a console-game purveyor into a repairer and reseller of Apple gadgets, betting that its retail visibility will prove an advantage. - Summary – SF Gate

 

“If you want to understand GameStop, you must understand refurbishment,” says GameStop CEO Paul Raines. Behind the tall executive lies a 182,000-square-foot facility filled with workers who are polishing discs, piecing together video game consoles, and rigorously testing pre-owned iPads, iPhones, iPods and Android tablets. It’s called the Refurbishment Operations Center, or ROC for short, and GameStop is giving us a first-hand tour of the $7 million facility. - Behind-the-scenes – The Verge

 

 

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The growing popularity of summer camps for building iPhone, Android apps

Here is an excerpt from a Marketplace interview on computer-focused summer camps, they’re surging in popularity:

 

Queena Kim: Aw…the  sounds of summer. Families getting together for barbeques. The sound of BBQ sizzling. Dogs running around.

And 9-year-old Alex  is plopped down on a lounge chair totally engrossed in his favorite iPad game, which prompts this from his dad:

 

Gary: Alex, lose the iPad!

 

Chances are, these words are being heard across the country. But a growing number of parents are taking the opposite tack.

 

Instructor: And this is the course that uses x-code so…

 

Welcome to ID Tech Camps.  It started 13 years ago with 200 hundred campers in Silicon Valley. Today, ID Tech says it has about 23,000 campers in 25 states. One week at the camp can cost up to $1,400 — and that comes with the usual camp activities like swimming, games and nighttime pranks.

 

Read the full story: Marketplace - Summer camp for young techies

 

 

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Next Apple event for iPhone 5 set for September 12 – maybe also for iPad mini

iMore has learned that Apple is planning to debut the new iPhone at a special event on Wednesday, September 12, 2012, with the release date to follow 9 days later on Friday, September 21. This information comes from sources who have proven accurate in the past.

The iPad mini will be announced at the same September 12 event, as will the new iPod nano. We haven’t heard a release date for the iPad mini yet, but it could be the same as the iPhone 5. It seems likely the new iPod touch will make an appearance on September 12 as well, though we haven’t heard any specific information about that yet either.

Last year, the iPhone 4S was announced on Tuesday, October 4, 2011, and released 10 days later on October 14. The event included minor updates to the iPod line, notably a white iPod touch 4. This year, the iPad 3 was announced on Wednesday, March 7, 2012, and released 9 days later on March 16. The event included a 1080p Apple TV.

 

Source: iMore - Apple iPhone 5 and iPad mini event planned for September 12, iPhone 5 release date for September 21

 

And, one more rumor from 9to5 Mac about a new iPad:

Finally and probably most controversial, Apple will be updating its full sized iPad line with a thinner design less than a year after release. The new, new iPad design will be tweaked with a new back side mic and a less hot thinner design.

 

 

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The Surf Network – rent, buy, or stream your favorite surf films

If you’re looking for a surf movie that you can’t find at Blockbuster or Netflix then you will love The Surf Network. This website serves as the web home for all of your favorite surf films.

You can rent, buy, download, and watch pretty much any surf movie movie right on your computer. More from the website:

“TheSurfNetwork.com, is a simple easy to use video-on-demand service that provides access to the largest collection of premium surf video content.”

“When you purchase a video, your viewing rights do not expire. You can watch a purchased video as many times as you would like on your computer or compatible device.” (which includes computer, iPhone, iPad, Boxee, Roku, etc.)

The site is also home to snow and moto movies. Check it out.

 

The Surf Network

 

 

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Universal Music Catalog – just a few years away

With the announcement of Amazon’s new Cloud Player iPhone app, the Universal Music Catalog is one step closer. For years I have dreamed of this Star Trek-like device, where I can find any song I want and listen to it, from anywhere. Preferably this will be an app on a device I already own (smartphone), rather than a new iPod or something.

Though, I would buy an iPod that had the Universal Music Catalog on it.

You may be skeptical but let’s work through this.

First, all three major online music retailers, Apple/Amazon/Google, give you the ability to upload thousands of songs to their cloud for free or at nominal costs. Which means that each of them has the most massive music catalog you can possibly imagine. They also highly promote the “matching” ability of these mega-drives, which means that they probably already have the song you’re uploading so don’t worry, you can just use their copy.

But, if they don’t have your song then they will store a copy on their drive, a brilliant way to continue growing their catalog.

Second, the details here are awesome. Amazon just announced that if you pay $20/year you have unlimited storage space for music. Google offers space for 20,000 songs for free and Apple is charging $25/year for storage of 25,000 songs. This even includes those mixtapes you’ve been carrying around, rare CD’s, and even live recordings.

Yeah, the piracy debate is dead in the water here. Theoretically, one person could pirate 20,000 songs and then upload them to Google for free, with forever storage.

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Netflix updates video player for iPhone, iPad – adds rewind feature

We are happy to announce the release of our new video player for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch.

The updated player includes the following features:

  • Larger, more separated play controls appropriate for how people use these devices
  • Exploration during video play with thumbnail images on the scrub bar
  • Access for audio/subtitles settings and other existing player features
  • In Canada we also added easier “do not share” capability for Facebook-connected members

Stay tuned for similar updates to our App for Android.

 

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Steve Jobs Health, Forced Sabbaticals, and His Brilliance

“No one wants to die,” said Steve Jobs. “And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.”

Those words are from a famous keynote Steve gave at Stanford in 2005, nearly a year after his brush with cancer. It is well worth a listen to for it’s inspiring message of Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish (text version). A message that Steve says he wishes for himself and perhaps one he now is forced to live by.

Last week on Jan 17, 2011 Steve announced that he is taking a medical leave of absence from Apple. This is his third medical leave, with the previous two for removal of cancerous tumor and a liver transplant. One can only guess what painful problem the man is facing now. You could also guess how this changes a person, what it does to you. Facing death and triumphant returns over and over. It got me thinking what Steve has accomplished after each of these bouts with death.

To uncover this I did a little research and the story starts on July 9, 1997, when Steve was named interim-CEO of Apple. It was the first of his triumphant returns. Twelve years earlier he had been forced out of the company and watched it slowly turn into a disaster. Facing crippling financial losses, record low stock prices, and even a denouncement from Michael Dell, “I’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.”

Then in 1997, an acquisition brought Steve back into the company and he quickly took the reigns as CEO. Not long after things starting happening like small tectonic shifts. Three major products were announced and soon the world was dramatically altered:

  • 1998 – iMac
  • 2001 – iPod
  • 2003 – iTunes Store

All three were huge successes and quickly put Apple back on top. The iPod sold over 100 million units, the iTunes Store sold over 10 billion songs, and the iMac breathed life back into their computers. Together they brought the company back to profitability and, individually, they revolutionized computers, consumer electronics, and music.

Then in July of 2004, Steve was again forced to leave Apple, this time due to a cancerous tumor. After having it removed via the  Whipple procedure, Steve triumphantly returned and released the following:

  • 2005-06 – MacBook
  • 2007 – iPhone
  • 2008 – App store

Three even more successful products. Each one revolutionizing laptops, mobile phones, and, for the app store, creating a whole new paradigm. At this point the company was on the move with the stock price catapulting and revenues soaring.

Then, in 2009, Steve’s third forced sabbatical hit. This time it was a liver transplant, a common ailment arising from the Whipple procedure. Upon returning he released the:

  • 2010 – iPad

Another extremely successful product which appears to be revolutionizing computer operating systems and the entire computer industry.

This takes us back to the present day and the announcement of Steve’s fourth sabbatical. To which many are predicting not a another leave of absence but a final departure into the sunset. After all, Tim Cook is at the helm as he has been in the two previous sabbaticals. Plus, Steve has no need to keep going since he has already accomplished so much and left the company in such a profitable condition.

I can see that happening, but I can also imagine another possibility. One that is in line with the “stay hungry, stay foolish” mantra. Is it possible that Steve has come to love these vacations?

I mean look at what he has accomplished after each one, not even a delay in success or a few years for the product “to hit.” The gratification is so instant it’s like a perfect test for Dr. Pavlov.

I’m not being callous about his health either. Pancreatic cancer is one of those rare, one-in-a-million forms that is completely curable. Most patients are known to have perfectly normal, healthy lives nearly indistinguishable from any other patient. However, there can be complications like liver failure, and this latest medical leave means something else is wrong.

All of these are painful problems and I empathize for Steve, but it does point out that he could likely be poised for another triumphant return.

Why not? Sabbaticals exist for this very reason. Leave at a point of high success and/or anxiety to recover and recoup. It’s a time honored tradition that is too often derided by others. Our community spirit says to work, work to death.

In some ways the move is inspiring. A CEO taking off time to improve his health, be with his family, and then return to change the world.

That is awesome. How many other examples like that do we have?

Have you ever taken a sabbatical?

What would it take for you to take some time off and recoup?

Photo by Peter Denton