Does anyone really like to be bullied? Is arrogance something most people aspire to achieve, or behavior socially embraced? You know the answers. But these qualities too much describe Apple since its sudden success starting in 2010. The company continually sticks a middle finger in the face of competitors, judges, partners, the patent system and pretty much anyone or anything else. The corporate attitude is a disaster underway that, unless checked, will ruin reputation long in the making.
The Cupertino, Calif.-based company makes many of the same mistakes Microsoft did during the late 1990s. Apple's most valuable commodity is its brand, which is being squandered at alarming pace. For a company for which so much stock share value derives from perception, the risk is huge.
In a statement announcing an executive reorganization, Apple on Monday announced that its senior vice president of iOS software, Scott Forstall, and its head of retail, John Browett will both be leaving the company.
The executive shuffle is being done to "encourage even more collaboration between the Company’s…hardware, software and services teams," according to Apple.
According to a story on the Russian Interfax news site, some Russian Christians have taken to defacing, or replacing, the logo on their Apple products because it’s "anti-Christian" and insults their faith.
While to you or I the logo just looks like a Golden Delicious that’s had a chomp taken out of one side, to some radical Orthodox Christians, including some priests, it apparently represents the original sin as described in the Bible, where Adam and Eve disobey God by noshing on some forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden.
Apple is on my mind again, with the company hosting a big media event tomorrow presumably to unveil iPhone 5. I'm not seriously thinking about buying the smartphone, certainly not sight unseen. I'm super satisfied with Galaxy Nexus -- if not, I'd move to a LTE Android, perhaps HTC One X or Samsung Galaxy S III. Rather, iPhone 5 is good time to assess my personal Apple boycott, where I sold off all my fruit-logo gear in protest of patent bullying.
Until July, I was a long-time Apple user, starting with the December 1998 purchase of the original Bondi Blue iMac. Then about six months ago, Apple's persistent competition-by-litigation tactics finally made me mad. I also had grown sick of Apple media bias that borders on the insane. How crazy? Yesterday, Washington Post explained "How Apple’s iPhone 5 could singlehandedly rescue the US economy". Bad is worse -- today, extending this economic lift to US presidential elections, Nextgov (a product of the National Journal Group) asserts: "How the iPhone 5 could help re-elect Obama". These are people I really don't want to associate with. (Say doesn't the president use BlackBerry?)
Uncertainty hung over Apple's fiscal third quarter coming into today's earnings announcement. Gulfs widened among analysts for overall revenue estimates and about how many iPads or iPhones were sold. No one expected poor performance, there was just more uncertainty about what and where than more recent quarters. Fiscal Q3 will be remembered as sea change coming, as Apple missed Street consensus for the first time in years and iPad sales surged against iPhone.
For fiscal third quarter, Apple reported $35 billion revenue and net profits of $8.8 billion, or $9.32 a share. A year earlier, the company reported revenue of $28.57 billion and $7.31 billion net quarterly profit, or $7.79 per share. Apple announced fiscal Q3 results after the market closed today.
The last thing Google needs following its exciting developer conference (ending today) is for something sharp to pop its big fun beach ball called Chrome. The search and information giant scrambles to fix a bug that sends the newest MacBook Air into kernel panic. That's "crash" to you Mac layfolk.
Starting just shortly after the release of Sandy Bridge-powered Macbook Airs earlier this month, troublesome reports appeared on Apple’s support communities where, owners complained their slender machines crashed to the point of kernel panic -- and frequently.
For as much emphasis as Apple puts on its mobile ecosystem, the company's Mac business continues to grow. At WWDC 2012 in San Francisco on Monday, Apple unveiled its latest upgrades to the Macbook line of personal computers, bringing out new versions of the MacBook Pro and Air lines, and introducing a new subset of MacBook Pros that carry the higher resolution Retina display.
Aiming to fight Apple's MacBook Air on one of its primary advantages -- its size -- Lenovo on Thursday introduced its Ultrabook, claiming it is thinner than Apple's signature ultra-thin laptop.
Indeed, at .6-inches thick, the Lenovo Ultrabook U300S comes in slightly thinner than the Air's .68 inches. The laptop is part of a broader effort introduced by Intel in May to revive interest in laptops overall. The chipmaker is rightly worried about tablets, a device category Intel does not have a strong foothold in. Thus pushing these ultra-thin laptops has become a major part of its current business strategy.
Intel has a big problem, and senior executives know it. Ultrabooks running its processors and Windows cannot compete with MacBook Air on price. There's a strange offing coming, when Macs, which for so long cost more than Windows PCs, will be the value choice -- that's assuming Apple chooses to pass savings on to customers rather than be extra greedy about margins.
Wintel OEMs can't compete on price because Apple realizes cost advantages inherent to its end-to-end development, manufacturing and distribution model. These smaller powerhouse laptops aren't cheap to produce, but it's two secret ingredients in Apple's recipe that will prove decisive.
Rumors about an impending MacBook Air refresh engulfed the web this month. If you believe them, Apple is poised to make the thin-and-light laptop its flagship portable. Oh yeah? So why not grab some market share, too, by lowering the price where mere mortals could afford to buy one? With Intel bringing on UltraBook as clear MacBook Air competitor, it's reasonable to wonder about Apple's response.
I asked two analysts, Roger Kay and Stephen Baker, for their response to the headline's question, but I was more interested in Baker's opinion. In the past, he strongly advocated Apple releasing a $799 Mac.