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Where is Apple headed?


Ron

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The upcoming developers conference is surrounded by the usual speculation regarding new developments from Apple. I recognize that most folks that post on this forum are PC fans but IMHO Apple is the one to watch if you're interested in where the related technology is heading.

 

A recent post on Seeking Alpha included a comment from a reader that IMHO did a nice job of putting a lot of bits and pieces together to make an educated guess about Apple's strategy and where they are leading the industry. The article is here.

 

The "comment" I found insightful is included in the link but is poorly formatted so a slightly edited version is attached.

 

ADC.pdf

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It will be interesting to see. I agree with the comments in the pdf. And Apple certainly has the ability to go there. The question is, in what fashion.

 

I've not been a big fan of most Apple offerings, although I do use those that are unique. My issues have stemmed around "best in class". In many cases the Apple offerings may be unique and market making but not best in class. Other providers quickly catch and exceed the Apple stuff. A perfect example is tablets. That is not true in ever case, but in many cases. Nevertheless, Apple remains a market force and if anyone can come out with a cohesive "new" market I would believe Apple could do it. Even without Jobs.

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It will be interesting.

 

Other companies are catching up with Apple and some products are no longer best in class. If I was Apple I would fix all those apple apps that don't work well!!! It is hurting their sales.

 

I use their IPAD, but I will be looking real hard at an Android tablet at replacement time. I was going to buy a MacBook laptop, but my Lenovo laptop has never crashed in the three years that I have owned it. So now I am reconsidering that. I am thinking about buying a chromebook for surfing the net and use my Lenovo laptop only for trusted sites.

 

If Apple ends up with virius and malware issues like the PC it will definitely take the bloom of the rose. Then again, I saw a statistic on Apple sales and their computer products were a fairly small percentage of revenue.

 

My daughter has been an Apple fan since I bought her a power pc almost ten years ago. She still buys and uses Apple products, but you can definitely tell that the love is over. She buys other companies products now.

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Very interesting reading! I have a son & daughter-in-law who have favored Apple products for some time because of the fact that they integrate a screen reader into their operating systems on all of their products and the DIL is completely blind so it makes life far less difficult for her that way. I have been a family Microsoft holdout but since the advent of W8 I am about to yield and join them. That won't be for a while yet so I will keep an eye out for further news on this.

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I just posted something similar before reading your post. Vlad I found a neat "gadget?" the other day that had some bad reviews from folks who thought that a touch screen would work for Windows 7, bought this item, and hated it. However it is an Android computer built into a 23" monitor. It is a Linux all in one touch? I have no experience with it but your post reminded me about it. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824116583 Since I am not into Chromebooks or Linux and am trying to find a Windows Nokia phone I can bring over to straight talk using Verizon towers like my Straight Talk Android phone does, this is not something I am interested in, and may well be junk, but I have learned that the general pubic can mess up anything technical.

 

As far as the pdf new things, Define ecosystem as they assumed Apple had the largest of. I believe with the RT Phone and tablets as looking and feeling like Windows 8, and the tablets and hybrids running the apps that RT can run in addition to being full Windows 8.1 computers, they are alone in an across the board interlocking ecosystem. And most of the things on the new list are natural progressions to make the same products lighter and faster, and with new features.

 

But you raise a good question as we all wonder where they go from here. Because it is no longer Windows, Linux, and Apple. Today it is Samsung and Android, Google and Android tablets and phones and Chrome OS. Samsung makes most of the iPhones in addition to their fastest growth Android phones and tablets. Samsung has their own OS in the wings and are testing the enterprise waters with a new desktop that is office and productivity oriented.

 

As well all the products but Apple's have SD expansion slots, built in mp3 players, full size USB ports to use the same peripherals for storage and playback, and usually an HDMI out as well. My new Windows tablet has a user replaceable battery, a USB 3 full size port to run all PC USB peripherals from hard drives to wireless full size keyboards and mouse sets. It has a micro SDXC slot for up to 128GB of storage expansion, a second micro USB port for power and charging only so the full size port can be in use and the battery draw from USB powered devices attached won't drain the battery before the task is finished. So no mp3 players needed it is in the phones, and stored on the 32GB SD cards in my old ones, that play over Bluetooth through our car sound systems and act as voice dial phones and hands free, and include navigation in just the phones. My tablets all have NFC since last year which the newer Android phones have had for a couple of years too. Isn't that what ibeacon is?

 

I think that the battle lines for market share are going to be a unified phone/tablet/notebook/desktop/music/video/All In One/networked/ ecosystem with little to no learning curve between them all. All in the Microsoft Ecosystem today already do that, and no one else has that yet, or close. To do that MS had to go half touch half desktop and make them backwards compatible to all programs essentially of the last decade. Which upset a lot of folks who threatened to go over to Apple they were so mad at having to learn a new way of doing things! (Get it? <grin>)

 

I've read Apple is trying to move that way fast. But the day of no user serviceable parts and separate devices for simple things like storage, music, camera, video, are over. USB peripherals that work on all devices, and all devices with USB ports, SD card flash storage expansion, and built in music players that can work with or without a connection to the cloud are todays standards. These have become the standards today. Even Dell, the old stodgy commodity broker has become an innovative company making their giant all in ones with SSD booting and 2 TB fast drives behind that. Nine in addition to no USB 2.0 but six USB 3.0 ports also has a thunderbolt connection. And the Dell Venue Pro 11 I just got has a user pop off rear cover, no tools needed, to replace the battery when needed so they are at least seeing what we see now from the Samsung tablets and Apple ones as well as the Windows tablets; that we want user serviceable batteries and hopefully RAM and SSD cards too in the future. There are more form factors in the past year I have seen, than in any previous year since I started doing these digital toys. I love sitting in my recliner and when nothing is on the boob tube to be able to grab the unified Harmony remote and turn the soundbar on and selecting the second fiber optic input which has a Bluetooth receiver connected, and play music from my tablet or phone while I post read or take a nap. My BluRay player has all the WiFi dual band built in so Netflix et al and Amazon prime streams are a unified remote click away.

 

I think the consumer has gone beyond brand loyalty be that Apple, MS, Samsung, or Google. If there were a significant price or security advantage in one x86 hardware set or and another with a unified system across all devices I would switch. As long as I can store locally or in the cloud later if I want, and my privacy is not intruded upon by companies that make nothing but advertising leads. I like good old fashioned companies like MS and Apple who order and sell hard and soft goods. Not my personal information. I love the claim that the information is not personally identifiable but it is used to tailor my online experience to things I am interested in.

 

Interesting piece of forward thinking.

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The Android stuff is going to get interesting too, it looks like Google is unhappy with some of the more awful stuff folks are sticking in their devices and calling Android. They sound like they are working on a new system where you can release a certified version of Android on your phone or tablet that will conform to some Google standards and get some branding assistance and possibly more Google goodies or make a hash of it (I'm thinking of the mess my Samsung tablet is compared to my Nexus) and have to call it "based on Android" or something like that.

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Stan, I agree with you on the mishmash of Android. The Android "experience" has been one of it's weak points as relates to iOS. They will fix it over time...and I agree they are up to something.

 

As a point of interest, my new Samsung 8.4 Galaxy Pro tablet is much less "mucked with" than in the past. I still like a more pure Android experience, though.

 

On the opposite end, is my Note 3 (phone/phablet). It is TOTALLY mucked with. Some of it is even an improvement.

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Well because I don't read Apple news, I now see one major reason for it's current stock market surge. I wonder, if this BIG news becomes a bust, what will that do to the stock price?

No matter the news, even if it is BIG, all the other vendors won't be far behind and then surpass whatever it is. I got back so far as to remember the days when a vendor didn't dare to get in front of IBM on the PC side as most waited for IBM to announce what it would do. Not true now of course.

With Apple's noose on it's OS and products and policies, anyone can see why it falls behind rapidly with it's products. Google and Samsung don't have to be first to be profitable, just be ready to move.

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No not really:

http://gigaom.com/2013/09/10/with-ibeacon-apple-is-going-to-dump-on-nfc-and-embrace-the-internet-of-things/

 

and:

 

"

Apple will reveal more iBeacon technology at the World Wide Developers Conference in San Francisco starting today. Virgin Atlantic has already installed beacons in London's Heathrow Airport so a smartphone automatically displays a boarding pass when the passenger comes to the gate or security. LabWerk has used the technology to create an app to alert drivers of empty spots in parking garages. Apple (AAPL) has designed the beacons to transmit the Bluetooth signal within 500 feet of a phone.

 

from article in WSJ:

http://online.wsj.com/articles/apples-latest-offering-explores-the-great-indoors-1401655436?mod=rss_Technology

 

 

…... My tablets all have NFC since last year which the newer Android phones have had for a couple of years too. Isn't that what ibeacon is? …….

 

 

 

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Yep,

ibeacon is Apple's take on NFC. I leave my phone in my car when I am shopping or involved in something. I had an electronic leash for the last 20 years of my career and if it weren't for the ability to play my music in my car without paying for Sirius, or any other service, and the Google Nav program, I wouldn't even have a smart phone, just a voice phone.

 

If store mapping was that important to a store they could add each store's aisle and shelf locations to their search engine results online and we could look the aisle and shelf location in the store up before we leave, online. As far as auto check out and no customer service needed by knowledgeable trained people being desirable, I'd like to see that put into practice by Apple at their stores first, and let's see how that works out.

 

I do not need or want a store map or to walk around looking at my phone. See if I want instant gratification and lowest price I can save a lot more time and find it on Amazon in less than a minute, one click check out in a few seconds-done! It's delivered in two days.

 

I go to stores as much for the people and the human contact as the item/s I am shopping for. If I go to Toys R Us for men, Homers, Lowes, or Harbor Freight, the best part is wandering around and seeing the odd and unusual tools and gadgets. I am going today to get a trailer dolly. I should be in Harbor Freight no more than two hours. <grin>

 

All that to say it might be great for some folks, but I like the idea of NFC better for the privacy. If I don't tap, no exchange. I also don't want to shake the hand of everyone in the store, let alone have others get into my private data and my credit card info? Or have their malware getting into my systems.

 

I suppose it' useful to city dwellers who aren't on a first name basis with their customers. No then it could be put on the website, ordered for in store pickup, and be waiting for me at customer service?

 

But if that idea and a new phone is something you want, well then get it. That's why we have our own money to do what floats each of our individual boats and as long as we are happy with our choices that is all that counts.

 

It is interesting in any event. Thanks for the update on Apple Ron.

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So far 10:30 PDT the big announcement is "Cook says the separate systems for mobile and Mac devices have been engineered to work seamlessly together.".

That leaves the PC totally out of their vision. I guess it is a good thing I am not the head of their technical business. As long as dropbox is supported by most Ipad apps that need data from the PC, I am all right.

The following information is kind of interesting, at least to me as I don't usually keep up on these things.

PC World is reporting the both Win 8 and Win 8.1 have just over 6.3 percent of the market each. That kind of compares very favorably to Mac at 4.15. But of course the leaders are Win 7 at 50 and XP at 25 percent respectively.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2310306/windows-8-1-overtakes-windows-8-in-usage-share.html#tk.rss_all

I thought that Macs had close to 10 percent of the market . It doesn't appear to me that the Ipad sales are aiding the Mac sales at all.

And now Samsung is stating they are switching to a different OS so that they aren't dependent on Google. It is called Tizen and is based on Linux and open systems (kind of) based.

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RV the basic problem is we are not the 20 to 40 year old market place.

The market places thinks that what you said you wouldn't do is what the market thinks those people will do.

So many coupons now are available only on the phone, reservations at restaurants require a SP. If you want special deals, follow whatever on facebook. Log on facebook just to get to a vendors site. etc.

Are you feeling older today?

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Duke,

LOL! Yes I do feel old! I turned 62 last month May 3rd and my first SS check should be in soon. I have a telephone appointment Thursday when I will find out if I filled out all the forms right.

 

You beat me to it Duke. I was going to come back here because the very thing they did not have that Windows did was complete interoperability between tablets, desk and laptops. My link is from a different source but with little detail they seem to have brought the two closer together. I would like to see if they got around the mobile SoC limitations and they can load and run OSX full programs like Windows tablets and Desk/laptops can run Windows 8.1. I would think it would be like the RT and Windows phones where they wrote smaller than full program apps that can use all of office now including email for POP3 and IMAP accounts. I can open a One Note Notebook, Word doc, PowerPoint presentation, and make them in RT. I can't vouch for Windows phone 8 as I don't own one yet and they appear to be in flux too.

 

I think making them compatible to cross over is a bigger step than the iBeacons. But as you said, I am old and decrepit. Much like you? :D

 

Oops forgot the link. Here is the iOS 8 feature set from another source:

http://www.zdnet.com/wwdc-2014-apple-unveils-ios-8-for-iphone-ipad-7000030071/?s_cid=e589&ttag=e589&ftag=TREc64629f

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BTW, we rarely eat out and then only when family and friends set it up. I sign up for the places I want coupons from like Toys R Us for men - Harbor Freight! Amazon Prime, Netflix, Newegg, and TigerDirect, One sale a day, and Woot are about it. I don't do Facebook either. I leave my cell in the car or truck as I do not want to be connected when I am focused on what I want to do. I think some folks think it makes them look important. I DO however like the change from blaring music to big dollar Beats and whatever ear/head/buds/phones today. Although some forget and sing along under their breath they think. Like Karaoke, there is a funny factor to that.

;)

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Oops! My bad.

 

Excerpt:

 

"Apple may be adamant about not merging its mobile and desktop operating systems, but the company certainly took a lot of notes about what works on the iPhone and iPad when it designed its latest Mac system, OSX Yosemite.

 

The system has a cleaner, flatter look than its predecessors and includes improvements to the notification center and search functions -- all taken nearly wholesale from the mobile operating system."

 

Lots more here in print as well as a two minute video for those who like videos.: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2014/06/02/meet-apples-latest-mac-os-yosemite/?wprss=rss_technology&wpisrc=nl_tech

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They were! And I'm not the target audience. But a later article talked about their answer to Windows Evosystem by having apps that mke it possible to continue a document or presentation from tablet to phone to the Mac PCs. Just like Windows RT did a year and a half ago.

I'm sorry but it isn't that it isn't new for Apple and their target audience, I know it is. But you also have to understand that we've had that in Android AND Windows for awhile. Reboxing and calling it innovation is disappointing. Regardless, welcome to cross compatibility between mobile devices and desk/laptops.

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If history is a guide Apple is just lining up the ducks for the next innovation. Those who value tight integration between hardware and software and appreciate more reliable and trouble-free systems tend to favor Apple products, those who love to tinker and do their own integration and trouble shooting tend to favor other products. That will probably not change for a long time. But it's hard to argue with success and Apple did not become the largest company in the US by selling junk, copying other products, or playing follow the leader. They did it my innovating, marketing, and developing premium products for which many people are willing to pay a premium price. I tend to agree with Mark Hibben's take on the current WWDC:

"Apple (AAPL) rolled out so many new software technologies on the first day of WWDC that it's easy to get lost in an enumeration of them, or, in the case of Apple critics, an enumeration of features that were already available on the critics' platform of choice, such as Google's (GOOG) (GOOGL) Android. Such enumerations miss the point that Apple's technology development is always very product driven, and what is previewed at WWDC is intended to prepare developers for Apple products to come."

 

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I know, just like using the hardware and tightly integrated drivers that Windows developed with Intel (Wintel) that they developed in over the 286, then 386, and now x86 hardware from 1981 until today. I remember how Apple said the weren't a PC because of their different power chipsets.

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"Those who value tight integration between hardware and software and appreciate more reliable and trouble-free systems tend to favor Apple products,"

 

Obviously Ipad users are not part of that. Since I don't know if its the App or the OS that causes problems, I can only do what Windows critics do, and blame the OS.

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It's just great to have competition and choices for the consumer.

That is for sure true....I'm not really a big fan of Apple products unless they are unique in the market and fit a need. In general, you can find just as good if not better products elsewhere, for far less money. I'm not a "value" shopper though. But I rarely buy Apple products because they simply are not as good in most cases once the "innovation" factor is removed (eg. it is not a brand new market).

 

But I LOVE Apple's past ability to innovate and drive the overall market. They have come out with some spectacular products in the past, and I suggest they will in the future. And that benefits everyone.

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Jack,

 

In other words you happy that there are people like us who buy Apple products so that they make money and go on innovating so that others follow and build something similar but cheaper? ;)

 

Apple stock splits 1 to 7 tomorrow Should be an interesting few weeks while that all shakes out.

 

Barb

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