AMITIAE - Friday 18 December 2015
Cassandra: Weekend Review - Apple News and Comments on Management, Sales, Music and Products
By Graham K. Rogers
Ordering begins at 4pm UK time (11pm here, 8am Cupertino) from the Souled Out Studios site.
Johny Srouji, previously responsible for chip engineering, including the A-series, is now Senior Vice President Hardware Technologies. Apple also announced that Tor Myhren who is currently Worldwide Chief Creative Officer of Grey, and President of Grey New York. will join Apple in 2016 as Vice President of Marketing Communications. Myhren replaces Hiroki Asai who is retiring. He headed graphic design and communications roles.
The full details are in an Apple Press Release.
I wrote about this briefly on Thursday and wondered if there were more to it than meets the eye, but noted Eddy Cue was still in his management position. It seems there may well have been some more, and Daniel Eran Dilger puts forward the comment that issues with developers (long criticised) may have been behind some of the change. Dilger's article has a good amount of history concerning both Eddy Cue and Phil Schiller, especially on their respective roles before they joined Apple, and how they have influenced the company. The depth of his research and knowledge put many others in the shade.
Apple Music is expected to have 8 million subscribers by the end of the year, Mitchel Broussard reports on MacRumors, with an analyst predicting a growth to some 20 million subscribers a year later. The article has a number of other useful speculative comments on the potential of the service.
One of the fruits of the Apple-IBM collaboration has been a number of apps aimed at the enterprise market. Ben Lovejoy on 9to5Mac tells us that there are now more than 100 IBM MobileFirst for iOS apps, covering some 14 industries and 65 individual professions. He writes, "Among the companies using the apps are Air Canada, AXA, Bosch, Coca-Cola Amatil, Japan Post, Rimac, SAS Airlines and Vodafone," adding "Bosch equips field engineers with an app designed to enable them to more quickly diagnose issues with home appliances" and also includes examples of how SAS flight attendants have information about regular travellers.
IBM is currently working on an app for the iPad Pro that uses the Apple Pencil, "for tasks as diverse as room designs and annotating maintenance logs." Other examples of how this partnership is working are also shown on the page.
In a comment on this new service, Ben Bajarin (TechPinions) sees this as a pivotal moment in online commerce. His actual comment is that "an inflection point of mobile commerce is upon us" and that this is the time when there is to be a switch to mobile: commerce, banking, and financial services.
This behaviour adjustment is not only about finance. I have seen how the iPad Pro has focused my own behaviour with regard to working. I choose the device I need (or the one closest to hand) that does the job I want. Those who get this are approaching the time when we are task-driven and not program driven. I had problems trying to explain this evolution to colleagues at work who are set in their ways and use one machine for everything they do, despite having several devices available.
The slow uptake of this type of approach here, may be because some in Asia are reluctant to switch from what they know: tried and tested ways work best. Unfortunately, the same most certainly works for banking and witchcraft like Apple Pay may see considerable resistance here and in other countries, despite China's lead.
Steinberg writes about the Surface sales falling "from $908 million last year to $672 million in this year's September quarter. That is not too promising. Apple still sold $4.276 billion worth of iPads in the same quarter despite falling sales." No retraction from Blair, but a highly-entertaining Comments section. Find it yourself if you must. . . .
Needless to say, a lot of users were unhappy and they announced they would provide a new update, Cory Doctorow writes on BoingBoing. The problem for consumers is that the firmware was behind an access control system. Any attempt to reconfigure it is a potential felony under section 1201 of the DMCA.
The reason for the original update was because some lights are not wholly compatible and there are performance problems, but Doctorow is critical of how Philips went about this, comparing the actions to "the inkjet printer business model"; and comments on how they might proceed in the future.
We recently had an example of the first, when Katy Huberty reported figures suggesting a reduction in orders from a supplier, which meant that iPhone orders would reduce, which meant that sales would fall, which obviously means Apple is doomed. Daniel Eran Dilger, referring to similar reports in 2012, tore that one to shreds earlier this week. As a nice surprise, one of the Wall Street analysts, Piper-Jaffray's Gene Munster pointed out the lesson learned in 2012 that it is "unwise to read into supplier data" Neil Hughes reports on Apple Insider. My link for that article was MacDaily News who have some sharp comments of their own and a link to Tim Cook's warning on just this point.
Now, Dilger has a look at that Big Thing question that disturbs so many would-be commentators and makes the point that I have also commented on before: analysts look at growth, sales, market share, and share price; Apple looks at profits. Digers comemnt is, "The core of Apple's commercial success is pretty simple: Apple is focused on profits, not sales volumes." The article uses the word "profit" or a derivation, 54 times.
The Apple Watch is an odd device in that it has no real function of its own, apart from telling the time and other related complications. Where it gains its advantages is in the way that information is communicated from the iPhone to the Watch thus simplifying some actions. For example, if a message arrives, I do not need to drag the phone from my pocket, look at it and put it back. At a pinch, I can take or make a phone call from the Apple Watch too.
As with many watches it is a luxury accessory although most are far less than the top range watches which may go for hundreds of thousands of dollars (or usually, Swiss Francs). With the number of watch-bands I have, I can mix and match with shirts, ties or even my socks on some days. I had an all red day this week.
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. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life.
For further information, e-mail to
Back to Home Page