And the iPhone Gets Criticism for 3 Years
Apple has taken huge amount of criticism for letting the iPhone go a third year without a visual design change. Prior to the launch of the iPhone 7 all the analysts were predicting doom and gloom since they assumed that the iPhone 7 was being setup for failure by ensuring weak upgrade sales. It’s too soon to say how this will turn out for Apple. But I saw my old accounting chief, Herman Miller CEO Brian Walker, on Jim Cramer’s Mad Money talking about his icon’s first redesign in...wait for it... twenty two years. I couldn’t help but chuckle at how much faster tech moves than just about anything else. I know you can't compare tech to furniture but indulge me for a minute.
Retailers Need to Predict the Future
I had written a post this morning about how Twitter could make for an interesting acquisition target by a large retailer. My thinking was that you could predict the future by eavesdropping on millions of conversations. Then it occurred to me later while I was out on a run, Amazon is already eavesdropping on millions of conversations. Literally, listening to real people speak to each other.
Forget Advertising and Focus on Managing Supply
In the novel The Great Gatsby, an eccentric millionaire buys a mansion across the river from Daisy and starts to throw huge parties. It was all fun and games and everything was free for the party goers. But that’s because they were simply a means to Gatsby’s end. Which was luring Daisy to his mansion.
Apple unveiled their new MacBook Pro yesterday, which revealed that secondary touchscreens are coming to a laptop near you. Well, $1700 and up laptops anyway. The Touch Bar looks like a welcome step into the future of laptop evolution.
Fixed Costs Are a Two-Edged Sword
When people think about large corporations, they think that everything must be easier when you have all that volume. Big companies get better prices on raw materials, and they can spread their fixed costs over greater volume. But leveraging your fixed costs is a two-edged sword that can swing back and cut you just as fast as it can help. No one realizes this part.
The Mac Pro Is Apple's Corvette
It’s arguable that the Mac Pro deserves the most prominent spot at Apple’s event this Thursday. Even though it’s a small slice of the revenue pie, it’s a big part of the prestige pie. When Apple introduced the Mac Pro three years ago, I was encouraged at how it looked like Apple was doubling down on their top-of-the-line Mac and turning it into an engineering masterpiece in the same vein as world class automakers with their super cars.
Mobile vs Homebound
If I see any writers who are on the Amazon Echo bandwagon come out and praise Nintendo’s Switch my head is going to explode. Either you are onboard with a mobile landscape where your information is tied directly to you or you are for the old paradigm where it’s tied to your house. Pick one, because these two ideas are at odds with each other.
Security Should be a Factor
Apple has taken a fair share of criticism from tech writers lately because their HomeKit ecosystem hasn’t grown as fast as Amazon’s Echo ecosystem. But doing something right takes time. With the news of a massive internet outage yesterday carried about by a botnet of internet connected devices, this may get more visibility going forward.
Apple’s Rumored e-Ink Keyboard Could Change Everything
Rumors started coming hot and heavy this week that Apple may be thinking about moving their 2018 MacBooks to a dynamic keyboard with keys that are little e-ink displays. This would allow for custom key changing on-the-fly.
The Wall Street Journal of Apple Podcasts
Apple has more podcasts dedicated to it than Hillary Clinton has scandals and that’s saying something. But if you’re looking for a podcast with good business sense there aren’t many to choose from. One of the best, however, is The AppleInsider Podcast. If podcasts were newspapers, this one would be the Wall Street Journal. The Wall Street Journal tries to offer relevant news and analysis for busy professionals without the fluff.
Anyone Remember That Blurry iPhone Super Bowl Pic?
In February when Tim Cook tweeted the blurry Super Bowl celebration picture that he took from his own iPhone, it became a worldwide joke. A pretty funny one too. I couldn’t help but smile every time the “Shot on iPhone 6” meme popped up. It seemed like everyone was having a lot of fun with it. Except maybe Tim Cook.
Should Apple Build a Household Device?
I’ve heard the rumors that Apple is looking at offering a new product this fall in the mold of a household assistant. I don’t know if this is true or not, but I have to admit, I’m a little skeptical about it.
Assistants are by nature personal When you have an assistant, you speak to him or her in the first person. You never speak to your assistant in the third person. You simply say what you want. Bring me my mail, set up a meeting for next Tuesday, or make a list of the following items. Your assistant understands that you are the subject of the command because they work directly for you.
Ever since I laid eyes on Apple’s new AirPods I’ve been wondering just how necessary it is for Apple to ship a physical remote with their next generation Apple TV. Already, in our household we mainly use the remote for the microphone to tell Siri what app or movie to open. We even use Siri for fast forwarding or reversing in videos. It works pretty good. It’s one of those things that you never consciously decide to do but one day you notice that you’ve been doing it that way for a while.
AI Is Nice, But Is It Consequential?
I love intelligent assistance. I wrote earlier about my favorite features in Apple’s new iOS 10 which both involve learning how I operate. Having my iPhone automatically categorize my e-mail and suggest playlists is pretty cool. But lets get real about how earth shattering important this is. There’s a lot of hyperbole floating around right now about how AI is the next frontier in device evolution. Is it? If automating menial tasks is changing the world then I suppose the Roomba is leading the way.
Let the Android Civil War Begin
,So Google debuted their new Pixel phone this week and the tech press has exploded with articles written about how this may impact Apple. That’s ridiculous. While this may impact Apple somewhat in the future, everyone is ignoring the fact that it’s going head-to-head with Samsung’s Galaxy line first and foremost. Sure, they took shots at Apple's iPhone on stage. But that was just a smoke screen intended for the Android hardware makers who would be watching.
If You Can’t Remember It, It’s Not For You
In the business world all processes and routines are geared towards maximum efficiency. If the people involved can’t master those routines, the people are replaced, not the routines. Corporations have little choice because the business world is a competition where the least efficient teams are eliminated. But the real world isn’t always like that.
Manufacturing and distribution analysis since 1993.