The first thing you notice about iPad Pro is the size. The tablet is ginormous. Its 12.9-inch screen lays before you like a chalk slate -- a blank canvas demanding typed text or drawings made with Apple Pencil. Yet something also feels wrong about the thing. During the so-called Steve Jobs era, refined designs were smaller -- like iPod nano. Apple is no stranger to larger; 27-inch iMac today or 17-inch MacBook Pro of yesteryear are examples. Perhaps. But there's big, and BIG.
The giant tablet arrived around 2:50 p.m. PST on Groundhog Day 2016, marking a bold computing adventure for February: Using iPad Pro as my primary PC, and hopefully only one. Perhaps you read my recent obituary to Apple love lost and might wonder why buy anything Apple? I like to experiment and am paid to try out new things (so you won't have to). By sheer size, PC replacement -- not companion -- is the only sensible use for iPad Pro. Can it meet the demands? I want to find out.
For a while, it seemed like everything Apple touched turned to gold. iPod, iPhone, iPad -- all changed the computing landscape. Unfortunately, the more recent products such as the Apple Watch and iPad Pro were viewed by many pundits to be weak. Heck, some have called the iPad Pro a failure.
But what if iPad Pro wasn't a failure? What if those pundits were wrong? Microsoft's Surface line has been viewed as a success -- part of the company's turnaround story. With that said, would you be surprised if I told you that the iPad Pro significantly beat the Surface during the holidays? Well, it is true. The perception of weak iPad Pro sales was exactly that -- perception only. The reality is, iPad Pro destroyed Surface in Q415.
For as long as I've used computers, I've always owned desktops. Sure, I've also leveraged laptops when on the go, but I had the reliable tower at home waiting for me too. Unfortunately, not everyone has the luxury of owning two computers. Some folks must leverage a laptop as a desktop.
There are many ways to create a solid desktop experience using a laptop, such as a monitor with a docking station. Of course, a secondary display and dock costs money. The most cost-effective option is a simple monitor stand that can raise your laptop, making its display more appropriate for on-desk viewing. Today, Satechi announces its unimaginatively named Aluminum Monitor Stand, which is absolutely perfect for Apple's MacBook, but iMac owners should take a look too.
When it comes to supporting older operating systems (or not), it is usually Microsoft that we are talking about. But this week Apple took its users by surprise by releasing an update to Snow Leopard -- the lengthily-named Mac App Store Update for OS X Snow Leopard.
If you are wondering why an OS update should come as a surprise, it is because support for Snow Leopard came to an end in the latter half of 2013. It is an update that is ostensibly about ensuring continued access to the Mac App Store, but it also helps to give Snow Leopard users an easier path to upgrade to El Capitan.
Last week Microsoft issued a voluntary recall for AC power cords for its Surface slates, after reports they could overheat and potentially catch fire.
Today, Apple follows suit, issuing a voluntary recall for certain AC wall plug adapters which could break and potentially "create a risk of electrical shock if touched".
IDC has released its report on smartphone shipments in 2015, revealing record numbers for both Q4 and the whole year. In the last three months of 2015, vendors moved just shy of 400 million units, out of a total of 1.43 billion units. Samsung and Apple lead the pack, but rivals like Huawei, Lenovo and Xiaomi are coming strong from behind.
"Usually the conversation in the smartphone market revolves around Samsung and Apple, but Huawei's strong showing for both the quarter and the year speak to how much it has grown as an international brand", says IDC senior research manager Melissa Chau. "While there is a lot of uncertainty around the economic slowdown in China, Huawei is one of the few brands from China that has successfully diversified worldwide, with almost half of its shipments going outside of China. Huawei is poised to be in a good position to hold onto a strong number three over the next year".
To industry pundits and casual observers, it came as a shock this week when Apple projected that growth for its iPhone sales would hit the slowest pace since 2007, the year of the iconic phone’s release. At the same time came the first forecasted decline in Apple’s revenue in the last 13 years. Currency fluctuation and the cooling of China’s economy notwithstanding, Apple’s predicament is a reflection of tough times across the board in the mobile phone industry.
Back in 2011, a Beijing startup mobile phone maker named Xiaomi, developed a social media platform to engage millions of Chinese, turning young consumers into casual programmers to enhance its mobile phone’s operating system. In less than four years, Xiaomi saw its revenues soar, surpassing Samsung and Apple’s market share in China; it became the country’s largest mobile phone maker, and the world’s third.
The demise of the tablet seems inevitable, as shipments percentage dropped in double digits for the first time ever. Market intelligence provider TrendForce reported that in 2015 a total of 168.5 million units were shipped, representing a 12.2 percent drop year-over-year.
Notebook analyst for TrendForce, Anita Wang, confirmed what we all already knew -- smartphones, phablets and two-in-one devices were interfering too much with the tablet market, and with the devices having a somewhat longer lifespan, the results are a decrease in new shipments.
As an iPhone and iPad user, I spend a fair amount of time in Safari. Today, however, the browser has been crashing for me every time I carry out a search via the address bar.
I first thought it was a problem with my iPhone, but then I had the same problem with my iPad. It turns out to be a problem that's affecting a lot of users.
Three questions buzzed among investors and around the Interwebs ahead of today's Apple fiscal first quarter 2016 earnings report: Would iPhone momentum remain; how big could be revenues; and what would be guidance for the quarter in progress? Wall Street consensus was 76.54 million handsets sold and $76.582 billion in sales. Actual: 74.78 million iPhones and $75.872 billion revenue. More unsettling: Apple forecasts its first sales decline in 13 years; guidance is lower than analyst estimates.
After the closing Bell, Apple answered these questions. Revenue rose 2 percent year over, while net income climbed the same to $18.4 billion from $18 billion. Earnings per share of 3,28 nudged ahead of $3.23 consensus estimate. Gross margin reached 40.1 percent, up from 39.9 percent a year earlier.
The golden days may be over for Apple when it comes to the iPhone. While rumors may be circulating about the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 5se, it's the sales of current devices that are of interest to not just Apple, but its investors. Today, Apple announced its earnings for Q1 of the 2016 fiscal year -- and it seems as though the iPhone is starting to lose its shine.
While sales have continued to grow, growth has slowed so dramatically that this is slowest period of growth since the iPhone first appeared in 2007 -- rising from 74.5 million a year ago to 74.8 million. And this is not the end of the bad news for Apple; revenue for Q2 is expected to be lower than last year, and we could even see a drop in iPhone sales.
For many of us, a web browser is our window to the world. It is how we get news, send emails and access social media to stay in touch with friends and family. Modern browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox and Safari, are very mature and stable, lending to a positive overall web-surfing experience.
Unfortunately, today, a malicious website has been going viral. If you visit this website by either typing in the URL or clicking a link, the browser will crash by consuming huge amounts of RAM.
In the smartphone arena, Apple and Google are rivals -- but that doesn't mean they can't have a symbiotic relationship. Longstanding rivalry in mind, many people have questioned why Apple has retained Google as the default search choice on iPhones. The reason is that money talks.
Transcript of a copyright case involving Google and Oracle show that the search giant paid Apple $1 billion in 2014. An agreement is in place that sees Google paying Apple a percentage of the revenue it generates through iOS devices. This is something that has been rumored for some time, but neither Apple nor Google has commented on.
A third of the people who read this column don’t live in the USA so maybe this prediction isn’t interesting to them, but I think Apple will buy Dish Network, the American direct satellite TV broadcaster. It’s the only acquisition that will give Apple the kind of entry point they want into the TV business, allowing Cupertino to create overnight an over-the-top (OTT) Internet streaming video service -- effectively an Internet cable system.
Buying Dish would be a bold move for Apple because all the benefits Cupertino seeks aren’t obviously available. True, Dish has 14 million U.S. subscribers (I am one of those) who get 100+ channels of TV from the sky. True, Dish has an existing OTT streaming service called Sling that already offers a subset of the company’s cable channels. But it doesn’t necessarily follow that Dish could simply transfer its satellite content to the Internet, at least beyond what it does already with Sling.
The original iPad is one of the most disruptive products in the history of personal computing. Its popularity caused the entire industry to shift -- it made Microsoft go bonkers with Windows 8 (retrofitting a touch UI to a mouse and keyboard OS), while countless manufacturers tried to copy it with Android. Yes, many have tried to duplicate the magic, but ultimately, nothing has ever truly matched it.
The iPad Pro, however, has not seen the same consumer interest, and for good reason -- its not intended for personal use (although it can be). Actually, the "Pro" moniker seems to be quite intentional; it is more appropriate for things such as business and education. Speaking of the latter, today, Lynn University announces that it is giving an iPad Pro to all undergraduate students and some members of faculty. Unfortunately for Microsoft, its Surface line was not chosen.