News Roundup: What Do You Get When You Cross the iPhone with a Mac? (And More)

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News Roundup: What Do You Get When You Cross the iPhone with a Mac? (And More)

iPhone + Mac = Love? UBS analyst Ben Reitzes released a research note this week stipulating that Apple may shake things up a little next year by integrating iPhone technology into other products…like Macs. Of course, Reitzes said, Apple would have to get the price of this fantastic hybrid device down to around $500 or $600. Which bodes well for our fantasy of a $200 iPhone by, say, late 2008. (According to a survey of 379 U.S. residents released by Compete Inc., only 1 percent of those who said they were likely to buy an iPhone said they'd pay $500 for it. But 42 percent said they'd pay $200 to $299. That's probably just fine with Apple, since Steve Jobs has already said that all he wants is 1 percent of the cell-phone market.)

 

In his research note, UBS analyst Reitzes also expressed optimism about sales of Macs throughout 2007, forecasting a year-over-year unit growth of 34 percent to 1.5 million units. Next year's lookin' bright too, with Mac sales expected to grow by 25 percent to 8.4 million units for fiscal year 2008.

 

Oh, yeah, and Reitzes also mentioned that he expects Apple to host an event at which it will unveil Leopard in April or May, but we're still holding out for end of March.

 

Euro iPhone to feature 3G by early 2008. When a Swedish firm threatened to drop a huge wireless service contract because it was worried it would make it impossible to move up to the iPhone, its contact at the wireless company assured the firm that the iPhone would be available in Europe by September. But, reports AppleInsider, even more surprising was the assurance that a 3G version of the iPhone would be available in Europe by January 2008. Those lucky Euros!!

 

Pondering a Jobs-less Apple. As much as we'd like to ignore those stock-related allegations that keep dogging Apple, the Wall Street types refuse to cooperate. TheStreet.com today looks at what Apple would be like if Steve had to leave. Some analysts interviewed took a dire view: "Steve Jobs is Apple's No. 1 asset." Others figure, eh, life would go on: "If Jobs leaves, it's not necessary that Apple falls apart. The perception might be that."

 

Predicting Apple TV's impact. In a PC Magazine column, Creative Strategies analyst Tim Bajarin weighs in on why the Apple TV matters in the landscape of media convergence. He concludes, "Apple will be the one that finally gets customers to understand what it means to move their content around the house." All the while, the days in February are slowly running out...and the Apple TV hopeful are on pins and needles. (Ouch. Ouch. Ouch.)

 

Start getting pumped for the WWDC! Apple released topics for six session tracks at the Worldwide Developers' Conference to be held June 11-15 in San Francisco. Most of the excitement centers around the Leopard Innovations track, which tempts developers with the prospect of learning "how to use these technologies to revolutionize" their applications.

 

Microsoft loses to Lucent. As Steve basks in the glow of the iPhone agreement with Cisco, he might also be gloating over the federal jury decision yesterday ordering Microsoft to pay $1.5 billion to Alcatel-Lucent in a patent dispute over MP3 audio technology used in Windows. The jury arrived at that whopping fine based on the number of Windows machines that sold in 2003. Meanwhile, a company that you've never heard of is also suing Microsoft. And the Brits are demanding that Microsoft lower the price of Vista in the UK. (Think that would work with the iPhone?)

 

It's almost Saturday… If you tend to enjoy rough-and-tumble leisure activities and you bring our iPod along, you'll soon have a way to keep your 'Pod scratch-free. Here's something to give the kids so they'll leave you in peace for a few hours: a high-tech terrarium that lets them "play God." Or, if you prefer less wholesome entertainment (not to mention dining), take the rugrats to McDonald's for Happy Meals, which are now packing WowWee robots. (Yeah, we'd never heard of 'em either, but the kids love 'em!)

 

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Quayzar

I know that people have speculated what might happen if he left but I think a trip back in time would shows us what cold happen. Let's look at the first time Apple was sans Jobs. Apple made some serious mistakes Jobs probably would not have done. Firstly they raised the price of certain computer models. Nothing says hate the consumer more than charging more for a product that had been much cheaper before. Another flaw was research into a new OS. Now while they certainly did this they didn't do this well and in a way that could work well with legacy equipment. There was the 680x0 to PowerPC transition which was very messy and made 680x0 more desirable than PowerPC a year after their incarnation. The licensing of the OS. While I would love to be able to put OS X on anything that runs lets be serious, Apple couldn't do this viably and the closest they came was the Mac Clones of the 1990's and like all the IBM clones cutting into IBM's final line so to were the Mac Clones that often were cheaper and faster than the Macs Apple was selling themselves even after the Cloner was paying all the license fees. Then there was Apple trying to do many things and not doing anything particularly well. They made the Newton a giant leap in portable computing with the first viable PDA but with high price point and low reliability the product became a money pit and even when it became good it was still costing the company too much. And finally there is that old fashioned compatibility issue. Apple was creating all these ports that no one else was using and back in the 1990's this confounded many of the new computer users that were frustrated by trying to find so many mac specific components including monitors, (though any monitor would work with an adapter but then again these people are new to computers). This brings up developers which was not really something Jobs was even able to fix when he introduced the Mac and when he was at NeXT but Apple had this problem too and that is considering an already sizeable install base of Apple ][ users. Apple could have tried to reach out more to developers but Apple didn't embrace them like they should have and with that many developers that were being given a cold shoulder to Apple transferred their resources to develop for the IBM clones soon to be called PCs that ran DOS or Windows. This is another arena that Jobs should have looked at but Apple never gave enough of a shot at was to create an emulated environment on the Mac for legacy Apple ][ software. Even though that may have not stopped the IBM onslaught one of the reasons people went from DOS to Windows and not OS/2 which Microsoft was also selling was because of Windows DOS abilities. If Apple did something more than just the whole Apple // GS thing and make the ][ and Mac work more in harmony I think they could have retained more market share and saved the loss of some developers. Another thing the Mac needed but Jobs knew the importance of was interoperability with DOS and Windows. Apple just wasn't cutting it with its options as they were clumsy at working with IBM clones for a long time.

So anyway that gives you the history of a Steve-less Apple and while today they are in a much better position to deal with this such as having hind sight. I still fret that like so many other businesses they will not learn from previous mistakes but unlike Apple of 15 years ago I think Apple should stay out of major problems for at least 10-20 years past Jobs departure and his leave will not be for some time still. And even if Apple does a great job without Jobs we all know that the stock is going to nose dive when he leaves, but that's nothing but short term side-effects.

Hears to Apple in hopes that they will not go all daft again. Cheers!

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Anonymous

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what is 3G?

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Rik

Stripped down to its basics, 3G refers to "third generation" wireless phone technology that provides kindasorta broadband speeds over a mobile phone network. Unfortunately, Apple announced that the iPhone won't be a true 3G phone, but will, instead, use Cingular's EDGE technology, which might most kindly be referred to as "2.5G." Hobbled by EDGE, using the iPhone to access the Web will be, shall we say, "suboptimal."

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Mark F

An iPhone + Mac merger?

Think about these price points.

$250 for say a 30 gigabyte model.
$350 for an 80 gigabyte model.

WiFi and bluetooth included or maybe as an installed internal module for another $50.

And for another $200 you get one with phone capabilities.

Sounds like next generation iPod to me.

Right now I've got an iPod mini with a six gigabyte hard drive. I'm in no hurry today to upgrade to a video iPod, but I'd buy a $250 or $300 iPod that could surf the net, get email, and manipulate documents.

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