Category Archives: Apple TV

Apple choose users over sold units to avoid misinterpretations

Form many years, many voices in the industry like to interpret the sucess of any given company thru the total unit sales from any given period, in some cases, just for the peace of mind of the shareholders. Apple in the other hand has always focused in earnings and so far they are making great on that part. What most industry seems not to understand is that users, not units are the most important metric, and in the Apple side of the world, this make more sense that anything. Even when Apple sells just few devices, its earnigs are the bigger ones in the entire industry, not even Samsung and the Chinese companies are close to that, money is what drives innovation and focusing only in units sold, tend to make such units cheap and bad made in general, poor software implemented, and in general perfect for the hackers to steal user data.

Enjoy this amazing analysis in the hand of Daniel Eran

Across the lasthttps://twitter.com/danieleran 20 years, Apple has shifted from selling Macs in a world dominated by Windows PCs to being a dominant global brand that services a vast installed base that’s more valuable, influential, and lucrative than Windows was at its peak. Apple wants its investors to understand that, and is now challenging the media narrative that suggests it running an unsustainable race against various manufacturers churning out ever-increasing volumes of hardware units.

Apple customers visiting its Taipei 101 flagship store in Taiwan

 

People over Units

Starting with Apple’s Fiscal 2019 —which began this holiday quarter —the company will be reporting its hardware sales only in terms of revenue, rather than unit sales. As previous segments in this series have laid out, the cynical take that Apple is doing this in an attempt to hide failure is simply false.

Conversely, Apple’s historical quarterly unit sales reporting has given analysts and pundits data that they frequently interpret incorrectly. In doing so, they obscure the company’s actual performance and distract from its real value and potential.

Going forward, Apple’s revenue-only reporting will still provide a clear picture of the overall health of each of its business segments —the same way that Microsoft, Samsung Electronics and other large companies with multiple lines of business report their quarterly performance without necessarily enumerating any units sold. The shift puts a new focus on what is really the most valuable aspect of Apple’s global operations. Today, that’s commonly understood to be iPhone sales. Just over a decade ago it was thought to be iPods, and prior to that it was assumed to be Macs.

The real value of Apple’s business has never changed. The real reason why Apple has always been uniquely able to sell premium hardware in a marketplace full of less expensive, generic commodity is its ability to successfully reach people, convince them that things are better inside the Apple ecosystem, and then retain their loyalty by delivering what Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook refers to as “user sat.”

Essentially, Apple doesn’t sell people units. It sells units of people on Apple.

Apple has successfully sold nearly a billion on Apple

Successfully selling and establishing a brand is much more work than simply selling units. But the work the company has invested over the last two decades has sold nearly a billion people on Apple. Industry research indicates that the installed base of customers Apple has built are largely not shopping around.

Apple’s massive installed base represents an Elysium of buyers that consistently generate ongoing hardware, software, and services sales for Apple. It’s also the premium demographic of consumer electronics buyers, necessitating Google to pay Apple billions for search traffic. Unit sales simply don’t reflect the true nature of Apple’s business.

Outside of Apple’s installed base of users, there are a series of PC makers who collectively sell more computers than Apple. However, Windows PC buyers are not necessarily loyal to any specific PC maker, as reflected in the constant shift in sales share between them.

The situation is similar among Android licensees, where various companies take turns selling the most phones, but none have established any strength in creating the intensely loyal base of users Apple now has.

Despite huge unit sales of phones for years, Samsung has been unable to sell its buyers on Samsung itself

As Samsung has demonstrated, achieving years of large unit sales is meaningless if it doesn’t generate sustainable income, particularly if those sales can subsequently be stolen away by lower-priced rivals. Samsung Mobile is now dragging the rest of the company down in profitability in part because it achieved unit sales without actually selling those buyers on Samsung.

Samsung buyers were simply sold Android as a commodity, and they left when they found it cheaper elsewhere.

The size of installed base “sold on Apple” is now so large that it acts independently of the industry. While overall sales of PCs, tablets, and phones are shrinking, Apple’s Mac, iPad and iPhone have been bucking that trend.

Just as importantly, the price tiers Apple can offer are also rising upward in an environment where Windows and Android licensees are struggling to prevent their already low Average Selling Prices from dropping any further.

It’s not simply that Apple is “raising its prices.” Rather, it’s expanding its offerings to include more luxurious products on the high-end, even as it now offers a $330 iPad and iPhone 7 starting at $450. What’s new is that Apple’s installed base is now so large that it can support a luxury tier that includes a $13,000 iMac Pro, a loaded iPad Pro at $1,900, and the high-end $1,450 iPhone XS Max.

Samsung also offers luxury-priced devices, but it doesn’t have an installed base that’s large, loyal, and premium enough to actually sell commercially significant numbers of those devices. That results in large numbers of Samsung unit sales of smartphones, but at an Average Selling Price below $250, according to Counterpoint Research. Luxury brands in China have only pushed up their ASPs slightly higher, but are still at or below $275.

Meanwhile, iPhone ASPs are nearly $800 across sales of more than 200 million annually—that’s a new development that analysts apparently still haven’t yet digested. Samsung and its Android rivals in China are generating unit sales but not developing a reliable installed base of users. And because they can’t sell higher-end devices in quantity, they can’t bring down the cost of expensive components via economies of scale or generate the revenues and the profits that drive the development of future generations of technology on their own, without Apple’s help.

Because this is a relatively new development—and unique in the tech industry—many analysts have no frame of reference to help them understand how Apple’s business works, leaving them stuck in the mindset that Apple is still in its desperate 1990s struggle with cheaper commodity vendors over each unit sold.

The historical scrutiny of Macs units sold

Apple’s critics love to talk about the potential of its demise, and nothing has suggested Apple’s apparent, imminent death quite like the prospect of its products being “outsold” the same way Macs were outnumbered by the collective sales of Windows PCs, starting in the 1990s.

The Apple Computer of 25 years ago was negatively impacted by the rise of commodity Windows PCs for two reasons. First, Microsoft’s large alternative PC platform attracted investment from developers that eroded away the level of interest in Macs and Apple’s unique development APIs. This impaired Apple’s ability to update or add value to its Mac platform, as many of the improvements it made were simply ignored by developers now focused on Windows, where more customers meant more money and a greater return on developers’ investment.

Secondly, large volumes of PC sales created economies of scale for Intel x86 processors and PC-related standards such as PCI, Parallel and PS/2 peripherals, and VGA monitors. The economies of scale shared by PC vendors not only helped make Windows attractively cheaper, but also made the price of Macs appear less affordable because Apple lacked the hundreds of millions of PC users that were driving down component and peripheral prices via consistent, high volume sales.

Steve Jobs worked to interrupt this vicious catch-22 by focusing Apple on fewer Mac models that could sell in higher quantities. Jobs also targeted areas where Apple could shine over commodity PCs, focusing on multimedia, education, ease of use, and the technical lead PowerPC briefly delivered during Intel’s misstep with Pentium 4.

Even so, Apple under Jobs continued to struggle to sell more than a few million Macs annually in a market of hundreds of millions of PCs, forcing it to constantly work to identify new technical advantages it could exploit to stay ahead of generic PCs. Apple directed attention to its software, integration, and industrial design, ushering in the age of translucent colorful plastics and later more serious looking aluminum unibody designs which helped Macs stand out from generic PCs.

Apple adopted Intel’s chips in 2006

At the same time, Apple also worked to adopt Intel chips, USB, and other technologies that allowed it to share some of the economies of scale that were incrementally bringing down the component costs of PCs. The number of Mac units Apple was able to sell each quarter was a closely watched barometer of how well its various initiatives were working to win over PC user “switchers.”

As noted earlier, Apple transparently documented this progress in incredible detail for years, breaking down its quarterly Mac sales by target audience, form factor (portables and desktops), and region sold. Yet over time it has increasingly published fewer details.

Apple’s installed base gains a critical mass

Apple’s dedicated installed base of Mac users have long appreciated the fact they were paying a premium for a superior experience. However, the Mac’s price premium still prevented Apple from successfully attracting large numbers of PC users who had grown accustomed to saving money by putting up with the rougher edges of Microsoft’s haphazardly managed Windows platform.

When iPod arrived, millions of new people were exposed to Apple’s “far less frustrating” experience, where layers of complexity were purposely stripped away—not to demean the user’s ability to figure out endless series of technical minutae, but to free them from having to waste time dealing with it. Jobs’ iPod taught users to pay a premium for a premium experience. That lesson was more convincing in the individual world of everyday electronics, compared to the dauntingly complicated, technical patriarchy of desktop computing.

Seven years later, Apple went from selling 3 million Macs a year to annually selling 50 million iPods and 7 million Macs. But more importantly, Apple wasn’t just increasing its unit sales —it was vastly increasing its installed base of loyal users. In 2008, the active Mac installed base had reached 36 million machines. That was still a small fraction of the PC market, but it represented a premium demographic of users capable of attracting some specialized attention from developers.

It was iPhone that really erected a walled garden of constrained experience for users, one that minimized the nature of personal computing so much that nobody thought of the new mobile computer as being a “computer” at all, but rather just an effortlessly simple device that could browse the web, listen to music, take pictures, play games, message friends and run a new class of spectacularly easy-to-use apps. In three years Apple was selling 50 million iPods, 40 million iPhones, and over 13 million Macs per year.

Apple’s growing installed base begins crushing rivals’ unit sales numbers

While the tech media obsessed itself with unit sales of iPhones —and initially smirked in contempt of its inability to execute Adobe Flash applets and regularly announced how much they hated that users were unable to compile their own kernel or side-load bootleg apps from random untrustworthy sources —none of that helped predict what was about to happen. It also didn’t stop iPhone from blowing up into a force that completely destroyed every other existing smartphone platform of the day within just its first few years.

Giant established mobile phone makers Nokia, Blackberry, and of course Microsoft’s Windows Mobile partners such as Samsung and Sony formerly had large unit sales. In fact, Nokia and Blackberry kept selling huge unit numbers of phones even as it became clear that they were completely outgunned and had no functional strategy for competing with iOS. Their unit sales collapsed suddenly and spectacularly, offering no real indication of health until it was too late to matter.

Apple’s iPhone wasn’t simply stealing unit numbers away from Nokia and Blackberry —it was building upon the installed base of its satisfied Mac and iPod users. Apple’s installed base, not merely of machines but of users—was increasingly growing more important to understanding Apple’s potential for success than just the unit sales it sold each quarter. While initially small, the unit sales of iPhones meant that Apple was attracting buyers into its retail stores, where it could sell them Macs and other products.

Apple’s installed base begins creating its own weather

By 2010, Apple’s installed base of users was large enough to be sold a new category of device. Apple adapted its iOS architecture to deliver the larger, tablet-sized iPad that year, which undercut the foundation of the conventional PC market and caused the entire Windows platform to tilt sideways as users flocked to Apple’s dumb-simple device by the tens of millions every year for a period of time comparable to reign of Windows 95 through Windows XP.

Three years after launching iPhone, Apple’s installed base had grown large enough to support an iOS tablet

The media narrative that insisted that Apple was just around the corner from once again being outnumbered by commodity was proven wrong over an extended period of time, first by iPhone, then by iPad. Additionally, unit sales of Macs were incrementally rising, but something else was also happening: its installed base was growing even faster. By 2013, Apple could announce that its installed base of Macs had doubled over five years, reaching 72 million.

The size of Apple’s installed base was now capable of launching another new product category: Apple Watch, which inherited the sports-centric, wearable functionality of iPod, and added a fashion-oriented element of exchangeable bands and customizable faces. Its tight integration with Continuity, Health, Home, Siri and App Store titles helped it to grow within Apple’s installed base of tech-hungry buyers even as Samsung’s larger unit sales of Androids did virtually nothing to launch Galaxy Gear into a functional orbit.

Microsoft’s once important Windows platform was similarly unable to drive sales of its cheaper Band, and despite its supposedly vast “leading” platform of Android, Google’s Wear efforts have flopped as well.

Over the last year, Apple sold more than 217 million iPhones, 43 million iPads and 18 million Macs. Those are the last official unit sales numbers we’re going to get. Apple also revealed this year that the Mac installed base had grown to 100 million.

That might sound small in comparison to iPhones, but this year Amazon was applauded for having 100 million Prime users. In a world of shrinking PC sales, Apple is not just bucking the trend in growing its unit sales but is expanding its core installed base of users.

This year, Amazon announced 100M Prime users and Apple announced its 100M active installed base of Macs

Rather than understanding the integrated nature of Apple’s businesses and how its product sales feed each other and launch new categories, many analysts and industry pundits have been distracted by focusing unit sales of specific categories. This is reflected in observations along the lines that Apple’s non-iPhone businesses—Mac, iPad, Services and Other—are all so small compared to iPhone in units that they are a “rounding error” or “barely move the needle.”

The reverse is actually true: Macs and iPad are collectively a $44.3 billion business, while Services and Other products generated over $37 billion and $17 billion respectively.

Rather than competing with iPhone for attention, Apple’s base of iPhone users is driving business to its other segments—which are individually about the size of Amazon Web Services or Facebook! Conversely, the hardware segments of companies that don’t have an iPhone business, like Google Pixel and Microsoft Surface (about $4.5 billion), are a fraction the size, if they can register at all.

It’s a huge stretch to say that Google’s search is driving Pixel at all, or that Windows, Office 360 or Azure are driving Surface.

Why a installed base of people is far more valuable than quarterly units sold

Apple no longer needs to desperately prove that it can entice PC users to switch to the Mac. Instead, it is increasingly leveraging its much greater installed base of iOS users to sell Macs. Beyond its 100 million Macs, Apple now has an installed base of users with 1.3 billion active devices. This installed base of users is more important than units sold for multiple reasons.

Firstly: for third party developers, the number of new Macs sold per quarter is far less interesting than Apple’s growing, premium installed base of Mac users. The Mac installed base of users is both growing large enough to support new development and is also more likely to pay for software and services—certainly more so than users in Microsoft’s PC platform who largely weren’t even willing to pay to upgrade to Windows 10. Google’s Chrome OS platform is not only tiny, but almost entirely made up of K12 schools looking for a nearly free solution.

If you combine Windows PCs and Chromebooks, various vendors’ unit sales look more significant than they really are—particularly if you compare them against only Apple’s Macs and segregate iPads into a separate category, as research firms like IDC do. But Apple’s installed base of premium users tells an entirely different story, one that’s actually true.

Secondly: the Continuity and familiarity between Macs and iOS are actually quite important, but goes missing when you break down Apple’s installed base of devices into units of products. Further, the similarities in development and coding tools between Macs and iOS means that companies that have already invested in iOS because of its size and importance can repurpose much of what they already know to bring their software to the Mac.

At WWDC 2018, Apple introduced expanded plans to drive Mac development via iOS

Apple is making this even easier in its recent initiative to enable iOS UIKit apps to run on Macs—starting this year with its own internal iOS apps including Home, News and Stocks, and expanding next year to allow third parties to bring their iOS apps to the Mac App Store. The tight integration of Apple’s huge installed base of users is not reflected in Mac unit sales alone.

Thirdly: the WinTel PC economies of scale that once worked against Apple have now virtually vanished. Instead, you can observe even more powerful economies of scale in Apple’s internal development, where features created for the more than 1 billion iOS devices can be adapted to work across its 100 million Macs. This includes services like Maps, Siri, and News, which would have been impractical to build just for the Mac.

Apple’s massive, highly profitable iOS mobile platform allows it to pay for other new technology investments that benefit Macs, including APFS and its custom T2 silicon with Apple’s custom SSD controller, encryption, support for Hey Siri, and security for features like Touch Bar and Touch ID.

Looking just at unit sales of Macs, Apple’s investment in macOS—creating a substantial new version each year, with a half dozen minor updates in between, along with related software, hardware, and firmware technologies used in Macs—barely makes any sense.

Other PC makers that maintain global unit sales of 20 million computers are largely shipping commodity hardware components packaged with Windows, with very little proprietary feature innovation. They can’t afford to invest very much into their PC business. No PC makers have a massive, wildly profitable mobile device business that subsidizes development of new technology. And the declining nature of the conventional PC market means that Microsoft is increasingly less interested in driving investment in Windows development.

More importantly, in lacking a large, loyal installed base of users, generic PC makers can’t count on anyone buying its new products, but must instead compete against other generic PCs almost entirely on price. That requires making value engineering design compromises that help differentiate Macs as premium machines.

The scarcity of high value, new unit growth

Next to Apple, large mobile device makers such as Samsung, Huawei, and Lenovo are barely making money on their mobile devices and all appear to be losing money on PC and tablet sales. None of this hardship is reflected in their high unit sales, which are increasingly unsustainable in a world where there is no more overall growth occurring in PCs, tablets or even phones.

Huge potential expansions of volume shipments into new regions are growing scarce. And the growth that is occurring is happening in emerging countries where already slim margins are being pared down even further by cutthroat pricing competition among device makers. While Apple has some near-term hurdles to jump in markets like India, its long-term strategy is maintaining iOS as an aspirational brand, so that once there’s an installed base of smartphone users, it can upgrade them to iOS the same way it upgraded Americans from Windows Phone and later Android; Japan and Europe from Symbian; and China from Linux and Android.

All of those territories were once sold huge unit sales volumes of non-iPhones for years before Apple entered and began selling them iPhones, and then sold its iPhone users on iPad and Macs, and then Apple Watch, and increasingly apps, subscriptions, and other Services.

Functional business model vs failures

It will be much easier for Apple to upgrade the world to higher-end gear than it will be for the collective commodity licensees of Windows and Android to find new markets to sell more units.

In part, that’s because Apple has a functional business model for increasing the desirability of its products in a crowded field. For the last twenty years, Apple has consistently been selling hardware at a profit that can fund investment in new technology. And rather than that model wearing out as a strategy, it is working increasingly better over time, launching new categories of products and enhancing the lives of Apple’s base in a way that retains their loyalty. The base is growing substantially and the price they are willing to pay keeps increasing.

Alternatively, commodity hardware producers have been locked in a vicious cycle of lower prices and even cheaper competition that is driving them out of business. Slim margins aren’t enabling them to invest in technology, and like Apple in the 1990s they are locked out of the economies of scale that the most valuable mobile platform is driving.

The standouts that are seeking to copy Apple’s model, including the Microsoft Surface, Google Pixel, and Samsung Galaxy brands, are spending billions on product development that isn’t resulting in high volume sales or sustainable profits; instead, they’re merely burning up resources generated elsewhere by those companies. As Zune, Windows Phone, Nexus phones, Chromebook Pixel, and Galaxy Player all demonstrated, unsustainable sales volumes will eventually result in failure, despite many assurances that these companies are invested in a long-term approach.

Vía Appleinsider

Apple’s 8 years of iPad: a revolution in iOS computing

Eight years ago today, Steve Jobs introduced iPad, positioned as a new device category between the highly-mobile iPhone and conventional Macs. Some critics were disappointed that it wasn’t a Mac in tablet form; others were upset it wasn’t a telephone, that it wasn’t smaller, that wasn’t larger–or that it effectively was a larger iPod touch. All critics have since agreed that iPad is a disastrous, disappointing problem Apple should feel bad about despite it being the most popular, most profitable, most influential new form factor in personal electronics since iPhone itself.

 

A Pad, born without a viable route to market

By 2003, Apple’s iPod was on its way to becoming a blockbuster hit franchise. The new music player had shifted the company from being a specialized PC maker into a new force to be reckoned with in consumer electronics. Internal development subsequently began on an even more ambitious project: a lightweight tablet device oriented around Apple’s new Safari web browser, internally referred to as “Safari Pad.”

Work on thin, light ultra-portable network computers had been going on in labs outside of Apple for many years, but most of these were based around the idea of a server-hosted UI displayed on a highly mobile, dumb terminal connected by a fast wireless network. By the early 2000s, WiFi was solving the problem of a fast-enough network. However, the concept of tethering tablets to a remote server doing the heavy lifting hadn’t taken off.

Apple’s approach with Safari Pad followed a familiar strategy for the company: making the local device smart enough to work on its own, rather than being just a dumb video screen blasted with updates over the wire. However, one obvious problem for Safari Pad was that Apple’s customers were already accustomed to using the rather heavyweight Mac UI, based on a precise mouse pointer and keyboard. Selling them on a feature-reduced tablet powerful enough to do some tasks but lacking the horsepower of a typical Mac was seen as a stretch, particularly at the price such a device would require.

Apple’s Newton Message Pad 2000 with expansion slots. | Source: Aaron Eiche

Apple had the failure of its Newton MessagePad (which Jobs finally canceled in 1998 after four years of unimpressive sales) fresh in mind. The state of the art in developing a “smart screen” handheld tablet that attempted to sort of be a smaller desktop computer simply couldn’t deliver enough valuable functionality and performance at a price attractive to the mainstream market. A simpler, cheaper PDA (such as a Palm Pilot) was good enough for many, and for everyone else it made more sense to buy a fully-capable notebook computer.

In parallel, Microsoft had been attempting to get its PC partners to sell Tablet PCs: essentially Windows notebooks either in a stylus-driven slate format without a keyboard, or a “convertible” notebook with a complex hinge that tried to coax a standard old laptop to jump through new hoops. But these had all repeatedly failed, wave after wave, as buyers saw too little new functionality at too high of a price compared to the basic bog-standard PC notebook.

Scaled down to scale up

Work on Safari Pad at Apple was instead identified as an ideal starting point for developing a more sophisticated mobile phone rather than a scaled-down notebook Mac in the shape of a tablet.

Prior to iPhone’s debut in 2007, “smartphones” were barely capable of running simple Java applets, playing a limited number of MP3s, sending simple text messages and pulling up the “baby Internet” of simplified mobile web pages using WML, iMode or WAP to spoon-feed content to anemic devices.

By scaling down its macOS frameworks and core OS to run well on a newly-emerging class of ARM chips, Apple was able to launch iPhone as a huge leap in mobile performance, capable of browsing and navigating actual web pages; sending and receiving standard emails with attachments; organizing, playing and buying music and videos–and even browsing Google Maps using a new mobile interface designed by Apple to make Google’s maps for the web into a flawless, multitouch experience equally impressive to its Safari, Mail and iTunes apps.

iPhone rapidly vaulted from a ballsy bet into a massive success, cloning the iPod’s successful iTunes Store into a new iOS App Store where third party, powerful mobile iPhone apps could be developed for a rapidly expanding audience of enthusiastic buyers.

After creating a platform of mobile iOS users that was significantly larger than the installed base of its Mac buyers, Apple was now in the position to sell its new iOS users an expanded tablet-sized device that its conventional Mac users initially would not have seen as powerful enough to do their familiar tasks.

And sure enough, when Apple launched iPad in 2010 it was dismissed and critiqued by many Mac users as not being powerful enough, but enthusiastically adopted by people who were relatively new to iPhones and eager to use their familiar apps on an even larger canvas.

Apple introduced iPad as a large, thin iOS canvas, not new Mac alternative

 

A success story expressed as a crisis

Sales of Apple’s new “big iOS device” were far higher than analysts had expected. They looked at existing tablet customers, mostly a small niche of people drawn to various fragments of Microsoft’s Tablet PC project, and saw very limited potential for a new tablet. They looked at existing PC and Mac users and saw audiences who expected tablets to match the features of a “full desktop OS,” including things like rendering Adobe Flash content on the web and working with application documents in multiple overlapping windows.A primary reason why analysts are so frequently wrong about Apple is that they look at the company through the distorted lens of the status quo

A primary reason why analysts are so frequently wrong about Apple is that they look at the company through the distorted lens of the status quo, expressed in the generally unsuccessful (either by lack of ambition or giddy credulity) new product attempts of its rivals, or the basic commodity offerings they’ve been selling on a runway that leads toward lethal price erosion.

iPad was broadly seen as a failed attempt to replace the Mac, something it doesn’t attempt to do, and which would be foolish for Apple to aspire to do. Apple was quite clearly familiar with the fact that it was selling far more iPhones than Macs. While it was doing everything it could to expand Mac sales, iPad offered an opportunity to sell a new type of computing device to users familiar with iPhones but not Macs.

The idea that Apple was trying to shift its Mac customers (who every few years were paying around $1000 to upgrade their device) to instead buy a tablet priced at around $500 or less is simply asinine. iPad was targeted expressly at iPhone users who wanted to expand their iOS experience.

This strategy clearly paid off. Sales of the new large iOS devices boomed and then boomed again with the introduction of iPad mini, which delivered the same “larger iOS experience” in a lower priced package. However, after reaching a peak in 2014, sales of large iOS devices with iPad branding began falling.

Apple’s latest reported FQ4 unit sales of iPad have fallen by 26 percent since the Q4 peak back in 2014. The company will announce its holiday quarter sales next week, and those numbers will clearly be far below the all-time quarterly high reached in the winter of 2014: a whopping 26 million iPads sold in just three months.

The same people who opined from their soapbox blogs that iPad needed to be more like a Mac to attract buyers like themselves subsequently congratulated themselves for outlining why iPad would fail as they predicted. But they were wrong on both accounts. iPad sales went down because Apple began offering a “large iOS experience” integrated into its larger-screened iPhones starting with iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

This wasn’t a problem for Apple because iPhone buyers tend to replace their phones faster than the typical refresh cycle for iPad. Apple didn’t force buyers to shift from using an iPhone and an iPad to a larger iPhone Plus; it simply offered a wider variety of options to attract as many different kinds of buyers as possible.

However, Apple didn’t ever scale down its Mac lineup to make a macOS tablet, or to bring windowing or other desktop Mac legacy to iOS. The most obvious reason for Apple’s one-way expansion is that the Mac users base is (relative to iOS) quite small and is only growing very slowly. There’s simply very little great potential to spawn new product categories from the stalk of that user base.

MacBook Pro is not evolving into an iPad

 

The premise of iPad

The key value of iPad is that it delivers a larger canvas for familiar iOS apps (and is easy for existing iOS developers to target). It accomplishes this by focusing on what makes smaller iOS devices great: they are simple to use and aggressively manage battery and memory use to deliver extended battery life on an affordable, highly mobile device.

Layering on the complexity of the more sophisticated Mac UI–which was designed to be dependent upon a larger power supply and the assumption of a faster processor and availability of more RAM and copious storage–is how Apple would strip value from iPad, rather than being a way to improve it.

By keeping its iPad and Mac lines distinct, Apple has set clear expectations for each, and made each very good at different things. There is some overlap; writers can type on either; musicians can compose and perform songs on either; artists can paint and sketch on either and business people can present, chart and message on either.

However, the two products are aimed at very different types of uses, without a mingling of expectations that would only complicate the decision of whether high mobility or full performance is clearly more important to a specific task. Hybrids in mobile electronics are typically worse than a product designed to be optimized for a specific task, an idea conveyed by Tim Cook using the phrase “refrigerator-toasters”

Starting at the end of 2015, Apple released iPad Pro. Rather than being a transition or convergence of iPad and Macs, it followed the same pattern Apple initiated in making a new, larger and more powerful version of its existing, popular iOS device. Apple separately enhanced its MacBook and MacBook Pro lines to focus on improving what makes Macs great, but it didn’t ever mingle the two together to create a hybrid.

That’s because hybrids in mobile electronics are typically worse than a product designed to be optimized for a specific task, an idea conveyed by Tim Cook using the phrase “refrigerator-toasters.” There are probably not a lot of hardcore Mac users who rushed out to buy an iPad Pro to replace their notebook. That product was intended to be a more powerful iOS experience, not a way to down-sell Mac users.

In retrospect, it’s hard for an intelligent and informed person to criticize Apple’s strategic course, given its trajectory. While plenty of people insist that Apple should be following their advice, the fact is that Apple’s approach has sold the most tablets and the most premium notebooks. Microsoft, which is often deluged with praise for following a different path from Apple in offering its Surface tablet-hybrid notebooks, has not come even remotely close to achieving similar sales.

At some point, if you’re advising the winner of a game to follow the tactics of the loser, you have to stop and admit that your advice is really stupid, even if you manage to deliver your ideas in a way that is influential to people who read your work and nod along with you without any capacity for critical thinking.

Contempt of competence

The volumes of irrational hatred, contemptuous derision and frothy scorn that have been sprayed in the direction of Apple’s iPad are quite incredible, given that actual buyers immediately began adopting Apple’s modern vision of highly-mobile, slate-sized computing, and that those sales have consistently maintained a lead over all other rivals for a solid eight years, the entire span of time that tablets have sold in meaningful volumes.

From its original launch, criticisms were fired at nearly every aspect of Apple’s new tablet. A review of the media’s coverage of the new iPad in 2010 makes it clear that very few members of the media (or financial analysts) saw even a sliver of the real potential of the new product, and they didn’t come around until Apple began reporting its sales figures.

Expressing a rare standout opinion, David Pogue of the New York Times noted of naysayers at its launch, “That [criticism] will last until the iPad actually goes on sale in April. Then, if history is any guide, Phase 3 will begin: positive reviews, people lining up to buy the thing, and the mysterious disappearance of the basher-bloggers.”

But by and large, the iPad was equated with Microsoft’s Tablet PC and Amazon’s Kindle and mocked as “over-hyped and under-delivered,” while pundits demanded 2.0 features a year early. Hours after the iPad’s unveiling, the phrase “iPad a disappointment” became a “spicy” trending topic as ranked by Google. Bloggers offered top ten lists of “reasons not to buy” the iPad.

Dan Lyons, then employed by Newsweek, had built a career of mocking Jobs. While he had plenty of nice things to say about free equipment Microsoft sent him to review, at the launch of the original iPad he sniped, “I haven’t been this let down since Snooki hooked up with The Situation,” adding in his “insta-reaction” that “Jobs himself seems tired and low-key. Speculation about his health, and its impact on Apple’s ability to innovate, may only increase after today’s event.”

It’s been so long, it’s hard to remember that the people who today say that Apple can’t innovate without Steve Jobs were less than a decade ago saying Apple couldn’t innovate because of Steve Jobs. The best way to convincingly lie is to incessantly repeat overtly preposterous nonsense billowing from a crowd of other aligned liars, because those people will occasionally include an endorsement of your credibility among the lies they spew.

Lavish praise for imcompentent flops

A year after iPad shipped, it had immediately become the most popular tablet computing platform, handily outselling a decade of attempts by Microsoft and its partners–including HP, Dell and Samsung–to sell Windows Tablet PCs.

Yet many of the same bloggers and journalists who had derided iPad out of the gate turned around to express giddy anticipation for Google’s Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablets in 2011, which attempted to deliver a similar form factor (albeit being heavier and thicker), promised functional support for Adobe Flash (without delivering, among a series of other sloppy software problems) and claimed to usher in new innovation and competition (although they really just attempted to drive prices higher), with devices that weren’t even ready for sale and wouldn’t be for months. Every last Honeycomb tablet was a huge flop.

Outside of Google’s failed Android tablet platform, RIM’s BlackBerry Playbook also basked in the giddy hopes of journalists seeking to find a dramatic rival for Apple’s iPad, right up until it failed to make any real impact among the corporate users it was supposed to have wooed even before being delivered, solely on the basis of Blackberry brand recognition.

Palm’s unfinished webOS TouchPad also enthralled critics, who then marveled at the potential suggested by Palm being acquired by HP. No doubt the company that had flopped around for a decade delivering tablet turds for Microsoft would be quick to pop out a wonderful TouchPad, despite webOS never making any progress as a phone.

Amazon attempted to reanimate the cadaver of RIM’s PlayBook by house-branding a refreshed version of the device (from the same contract manufacturer) as Kindle Fire. Yet Kindle Fire hasn’t really ignited anything and certainly didn’t have the intended goal of stoking an Amazon-controlled mobile hardware platform. Further efforts by Amazon to build its own iOS with Fire Phone were a disaster, and even the remaining bits it salvaged, particularly Alexa’s verbal interface, have largely delivered flash and hype without much useful heat.

More recent efforts by Google to turn Android tablets around have been profitless busywork. Intel’s attempts to defibrillate Android tablets with its Atom chips failed despite incredible billions spent on subsidies. Android tablets are now nearly as forgotten as a strategic initiative as its Android Wear watches, robots and Google TV.

With new iPad Pro models expanding the capabilities of what an iOS tablet can do, with corporate partnerships expanding the use cases for mobile workflows in the enterprise and with new attention to iPad-specific productivity features in iOS 11, sales of iPads are again on the rise. And with users increasing adopting iPhone X as a more compact phone, we may see a further expansion of users augmenting their phone experience with the larger canvas of iPad.

But at no point will iPad focus on trying to be a Mac for global iOS audiences who increasingly don’t know anything about the Macintosh.

Vía AppleInsider

Apple will only stream 4K iTunes movies, not offering downloads #HolliwoodWins

To be honest, is not a secret that Holliwood was never happy about the digital downloads on any platform, since they asume is a pinpoint to piracy, The true has proven the opossite since most times, the same studios share their movies to the P2P networks without any help – made by some angry employ that wish revenge and send a costly movie to the network – and try by all means, stoping innovation son they keep the people on the teathers and buying tickets – something the asume they can control – and asking excesive rules to stream providers – or making them pay expensive royalties for their contents – and one of those seems to kick hard the Apple TV.

Now, thanks to the News Portal Appleinsider, we know that the 4k movies iTunes were promising on the WWDC conference a few days back, will be in fact, streamed to the device and not store on it – something ala Netflix – wich will not allow offline viewing – Hollywood crap stands here – wich make a lot not so happy. The big advantage in buying HD movies from iTunes in the past was the hability to keep that big files on our iPhone or iPad -handy to keep children happy or calm in long roard trips – and now, since all HD movies are now 4K too – on the case it applies of course – this will be impossible – and to be honest also very impractical due storage limitations.

With the Apple TV 4K launching on Friday, people hoping to upgrade their desktop iTunes movie purchases to 4K may be disappointed —Apple is only streaming video in that resolution, not offering downloads, according to an official support document.

“You can download a local copy of an HD movie, and you might be able to download HDR and Dolby Vision versions, but you can’t download a 4K version,” Apple says. The same webpage recommends at least 25 megabits per second of bandwidth for 4K streaming, and notes that falling below this may automatically switch users to 1080p or lower.

It’s possible to stream locally-imported 4K video from one Mac to another via iTunes, AppleInsider can confirm, suggesting that Apple’s decision isn’t due to software limitations.

The situation could be a result of deals negotiated with most major Hollywood studios, which mean that people buying iTunes titles get 4K on the Apple TV at no extra cost. Limiting the extra resolution to streaming could be a way of deterring piracy, and/or keeping Blu-ray disc sales alive.

People have discovered a number of limitations in the run up to the Apple TV 4K launch. The set-top won’t stream 4K YouTube videos, and is currently missing support for Dolby Atmos surround sound, though that should arrive later via a tvOS update.

Vía AppleInsider