steve jobs

6 posts

Why Unlocked iPhones are Good for Consumers and Apple

Today Apple began selling unlocked iPhone 4 phones in the Apple Store. I’m not an industry insider and certainly no fan-boy but that’s not going to stop me from shooting my mouth off about this. Lance Ulanoff over at took a very strong stance that Apple will NOT do this and his reason is simply: “Apple isn’t stupid. Well I beg to differ and we now know just how wrong he was.

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Apple’s iCloud is Not the Phonograph

replica of the original phonograph

I was listening to NPR yesterday on the drive home and they were discussing Apple’s latest press release of what they call iCloud. Someone referred to Steve Jobs as “The Thomas Edison of our day.” I threw up in my mouth a little bit, then I yelled ‘pftthh!’ out loud to nobody in particular, feeling the need to make sure my disgust was registered. Please take heed that I want this duly noted in the log.

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Why the iPad 2 is like the Cabbage Patch doll

So the iPad 2 was released Friday, and people have gone completely apeshit-bonkers. For some it appears to be literally like divinity in 9.7-inches. You would think no other invention in the last 200 years has rivaled that of the iPad 2, I’m talking electricity, television, Nick Cage’s hair system…nothing. And like the flock of sheep we are, people slept outside for days braving torrential downpours in some areas, and waiting for hours with lines wrapping around entire city blocks in others — some not deviating from the plan even when the moderately priced iPad 2s sold out, undeterred, they proffered up the big bucks and paid for the more expensive versions — all to say they “got it,” like Veruca Salt clutching desperately to her goose with the golden eggs.

According to CNET, there is an art to waiting in line, and it has become a business. There were “runners” from other companies who were paid to stand in line and procure one of the hot items, as well as a group who planned to buy the devices for a single individual who would then sell them on the “gray market,” where they would be sold at a premium and in places where the device is not yet available. Nifty? Cheating? Both?

And all this for what exactly?

The iPad 2, which CNET has given a four-star rating in its review, is a refinement of the first-generation device. It’s thinner, it’s got a faster processor and better graphics chops, and it’s the same price. It’s also got new features like dual video cameras and compatibility with new accessories like a neat cover that attaches to it with magnets and an AV cable that can mirror whatever you’re doing onscreen to anything with an HDMI plug.

For many buyers though, this second-generation device is something they were waiting for before pulling the trigger on the original iPad. That’s what many buyers CNET talked to mentioned as being one of the big attractors. They know Apple’s cyclical product release schedule by now and were counting on a refresh of a few key things, even if they didn’t necessarily need them.

There are things Apple could have added, but didn’t. Though with lines like this on opening day, it seems the revamp offers enough.

Um, okay. If you read the review you’ll find something incredibly interesting. The new features, the front and back facing camera, its one-third thinness, the additions of FaceTime video chat, and a slightly faster processor, don’t seem to be huge leaps and bounds ahead of the first generation iPad. Sure, if you really want that camera than, yes, that’s an improvement, until you find out “the iPad’s screen resolution hasn’t budged, [and] photo quality is mediocre.” So, yeah, you could actually probably take better pictures with your smartphone, or just use your newest model digital camera, and you wouldn’t have to hold up a 1.3 pound, 9.7 inch device to take a photo.

Otherwise, with the exception of the faster processor on a device that was already eons faster than most similar options, “the iPad stays the same: size, price, capacity, and features all carry over.”

So, why all the fanfare? Is it just about being at the top of the tablet heap? Probably. Apple knows that every tech company is working their collective asses off to come up with something that could rival the iPad. And competition could be a very real thing. The Motorola Xoom, while pricier than the iPad at a $799 price point, and run off of the Android system, is the closest contender. It has new software, formidable hardware, 3G, dual cameras, HD video capability, and 1GB of DDR2 RAM, 32GB of internal storage. In short it’s a rising little monster.

For now, though, nothing is beating the iPad in sheer notoriety and “must have” credibility — exactly the way Apple wants it. You’d be hard pressed to find the device stocked anywhere, despite more Apple retail stores, and a handful of retail partners on board to get what is likely to be more units out the door in a shorter amount of time. Oh, you crafty Apple-dudes. So, you actually want us to never, ever, get one, until well, you’re good and ready to release more, eh? And they also really want you to walk into one of those stores and pony up the money in person, since online sales were non-existent until the day it went on sale, increasing the hype. All of this in itself is a perfected marketing ploy — and quite genius in its maniacal madness. We are all so screwed.

Apple is leading us by the nose, and we, yes, we are eating it up! Helpless, we are. Utterly helpless. But let’s keep one thing at the forefront, shall we?

All in all, despite all the filler, and a land full of Apple streamers and celebrations, it’s a functional upgrade. And if we think about it hard enough, an upgrade that could have been released for the original iPad months ago — or perhaps now, but realistically called the iPad 1.5 instead. So get your iPad 2 if you must, but if you decide to forgo it and continue to enjoy your first-generation iPad original-sauce — you’re really not missing all that much.

They think we’re all children. Yes, seriously. They think all we do is wait around looking for the best new toy, like we’re perpetually stuck in 1983, and if we don’t stampede that store, Mary-Beth the hawk-eyed PTA president with the bad perm and clogs will get the last Cabbage Patch doll. We can’t let that happen. No sir. That manufactured marketing bastard of a dumb toy will be ours. There’s really no other option. It will be ours or people will have to die. They will all just simply bend to our will or fooking disintegrate, because not to have the newest and latest is a fate worse than listening to Gilbert Gottfried say Aflac. We will have it dammit, and you can’t stop us.

[Photos via: CNET, Technorati]

Apple Hates Your Freedom

Tomorrow Apple is going to announce some BS about iTunes, probably streaming and probably the Beatles catalog.  No matter what they say just remember that Apple doesn’t care about music they care about money.

Streaming audio services have a history of living for a short time and then leaving their users in the lurch.  Apple is a big company but they can choose to exit the business at any time if it’s not making money.

The moral of the story is to own your music and have it free of digital rights management.  Rip it from a CD you own, buy it from Amazon MP3 store or even from Apple’s DRM-free tracks on iTunes.  The catch being that the Beatles probably won’t be available DRM-free.  I’m not saying to do anything illegal, just don’t get caught in the DRM trap.  Buy music, pay artists, but be free to listen to your music how you want, on the device you want at the time you want.