As Apple's developers begin to use HomeKit to create smart home products controlled by your iPhone, we'll have a lot of choices to consider. One such product is the August smart lock. The August Smart Lock is a neat way to enter and leave your home securely without reaching for your keys. Walt Mossberg gives his verdict on the digitalization of the humble home door in a brief video review as noted above.
It's Really Starting to Stink: An executive from bankrupt GT Advanced Technologies who oversaw its troubled sapphire production facility set up a plan to sell part of his shareholdings after the company failed to meet Apple's technical milestones on time.
When the late Steve Jobs first introduced the first Apple Store, the critics were out in force reporting that it was bound to fail because Gateway tried it and failed. Over the years the original vision of the Apple Store has been nothing shy of a raging success for Apple. When new products are being introduced, Apple Stores become a marketing companies dream come true with line-ups around most stores. Now Microsoft is racing to get into the game and is even set to develop a new store near Apple's Glass Store in Manhattan. Now it looks like Amazon wants get in on the action and open a store in New York as well as experiment with a new "pop-up" retail store concept in San Francisco later this month.
Scotland recently held a referendum on whether to stay or separate from England. Although the people of Scotland narrowly voted to rebuff independence for the time being, it was a divisive election. For the people of Edinburgh, there's a way to bring everyone together for a positive common cause this weekend. That cause is celebrating a new Apple Store opening. The evening news in Edinburgh reported that the Country's Capital is set to experience "Apple-madness at first hand," as the flagship Princes Street store opens its doors at 10am this coming Saturday.
Last night's part two of a CBS 60 Minute segment with FBI Director James Comey revealed his views about internet surveillance in general and in context with Apple and Google's latest encryption technology specifically. Around the 7 minute mark of the interview, CBS's Rich Handcock teed up the segment this way: "Apple and Google will have the power to upend the rule of law. Until now, a judge could order those companies to unlock a criminal suspect's phone. But their new software makes it impossible for them to crack a code set by the user."
Last July we posted a report titled "Finland's PM Blames Apple's Success for their Financial Crisis." I had received a few private emails telling me that the Prime Minister's comments got lost in translation. I didn't buy it then and today we hear it directly from the Prime Minister in English during a CNBC-Euro interview as noted above.
Apple's new iPhone 6 comes with the next generation Wi-Fi that could deliver speeds up to 3 times faster than the previous generation when used with the new AirPort Extreme or equivalent device. We don't even have time to really appreciate this recent leap when news of the next gigantic leap is already being announced. The next generation 802.11ad standard is reportedly up to 5 times faster than the newly released 802.11ac and could make it to market as soon as next year.
In a new Financial Times report that was posted today, they note that the abrupt bankruptcy filed by GT Advanced Technologies last week has brought the confidential deals that Apple strikes with its suppliers into the spotlight. Details of Apple's non-disclosure agreements, which suppliers are not even allowed to acknowledge – have already emerged in court filings by GT Advanced Technologies, including the $50 million dollar penalty that Apple maker imposes for any leak of product information. Report Updated October 14, 2014
In September, Apple set a new record for pre-orders, with the iPhone 6 clocking in at 10 million. That number covered the first ten countries that the iPhone 6 was selling into. Today we're learning from China-based QQ that pre-orders for iPhone 6 in China have reached 20 million during the pre-order period from October 10-13. Early signs indicate that the larger iPhone 6 Plus is slightly in the lead.
The Romans had a phrase for it: Ars est celare artem. That is: "The art is to conceal the art." When you're doing something really difficult in public with the intent of gaining attention, don't let on how difficult it is to do. You don't hear guitarists saying "OK, this riff is really hard" ahead of the hit song. Actors don't say "it's hell learning these lines, watch this" before they appear as Hamlet. That's because people generally don't want to know how difficult it is to do something; they just want to see the results. This is what came to mind when Charles Arthur of the UK Guardian considered the contrast between Google Glass and the Apple Watch.
Avi Reichental, CEO of 3D Systems spoke at TED recently talking about the coming 3D printing revolution where scanning-and-printing in ways never imagined will be an everyday act. A revolution that will allow all of us to create and manufacture clothing, objects and even custom tailored food in the comfort of our home. The presentation includes a tiny segment on Google's Project Ara, the block-styled smartphone that's in the works, which is only possible because of the development of high speed 3D printing. For the very first time project Ara will make functional, usable modules that will go into it a real moonshot product, powered by 3D printing. Our report presents you with this video which makes you wonder if this revolution will be a threat or opportunity. All of a sudden, Apple's acquisition of PrimeSense is seen in a whole new light.
Yesterday Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter interviewed Jony Ive at a San Francisco event called the New Establishment Summit – The Age of Innovation. Carter first asked Ive about what life lessons he took away working with Steve Jobs. The first thing that I've revealed was that Steve Jobs had incredible focus. "Steve was the most remarkably focused person that I've ever met in my life. What focused means is saying no to something that you know … with every bone in your body you think is a phenomenal idea and you wake up thinking about it … but you say no to it because you're focusing on something else."
An IDC report published yesterday revealed the top five Global PC vendors for Q3 2014. It showed that Apple had inched past Asus for fifth spot with 4.9 million units. Unfortunately Gartner's top five PC vendor list came out hours later clearly showing that Asus had actually won fifth spot by shipping 5.7 million units. Chuck Jones, a wealth strategist for Northern Trust and a respected Forbes contributor supported Gartner's accounting. Yet beyond the top five list, both research companies were found trying to prop up the PC sector over tablets as if the ten ton gorilla (Apple) in the room didn't exist. I think that their arguments, to a large extent, will be torn to shreds next week when Apple introduces new Mac and iPad products. While the war might get a little more interesting next year when Windows 10 arrives, for now, a PC revival is a little premature.
Interbrand has just released its 15th annual Best Global Brands report, the definitive guide to the world's most valuable brands. For the second year in a row, Apple claims the top position. Valued at USD $118.9 billion, the company increased its value by 21% year-over-year. Apple has appeared on Interbrand's Best Global Brands since 2000, when the report first debuted. In 2000, Apple ranked #49 and had a brand value of USD $5.5 billion.
Yesterday a Reuters report stated that "The financial implosion of Apple supplier GT Advanced Technologies Inc. this week offers a dramatic illustration of how the iPhone maker can put the screws to suppliers willing to take a short-term risk for future riches." Today, Reuters is reporting that even Apple was surprised by supplier GT Advanced Technologies' bankruptcy filing this week, and is now considering its next steps.