iPhone Bling

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Sam Colt gives us the rundown of all the gold, diamonds and bling you can get for your iPhone — if you have way more money than taste.

Tim Cook hired Angela Ahrendts in no small part because she knows how to turn such desires into billions in profit.

Death To Pandora!

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While the Apple Echo Chamber cheers Apple for its plan to embed Beats onto all new iPhones, I cannot join in the festivities. Partly, because I’m not a fan of the Beats service. Mostly, because I love Pandora. It’s a great service that leads the music streaming industry.

And it actually earns a profit. Yes, a meager one but a profit nonetheless.

That’s about to go bye-bye. Apple has billions to grind Pandora to dust, and controls the gateway — and the steep toll — that Pandora must pay to enter. Sad, but I don’t see how Pandora can survive once Big Apple moves in.

Everything Apple Knows About You

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The Apple Echo Chamber repeatedly decries all that Google knows about you. The latest from Jim Dalrymple:

Google is in a position of tremendous trust and responsibility. Not sure I can think of any other company that comes close.

Really? None? Like, oh…Apple?

If you have an iPhone, Apple knows who you are, where you are, what you bought, when, what you watch, read, who you call and on and on and on.

No, I do not think that makes Apple less trustworthy. The fact is, Apple makes its money off hardware. Google makes its money off selling personal data. That makes me much more suspicious about Google’s actions. Nonetheless, Apple does know more and if the Apple blogosphere won’t make sure Apple is held accountable, I sure will.

An Ubiquity Of Macs

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Few people have helped sell Apple — and Macintosh — as much as Walt Mossberg, now with Recode.

I do wonder, however, if he understands the meaning of the word “ubiquity.” His column today:

The Mac’s Second Act: From Obscurity to Ubiquity

What? Ubiquity? Really?

Indeed. You have to read a lot of words before Mossberg gets to an actual number:

Apple reported that, for its fiscal fourth quarter ending Sept. 27, it sold 5.5 million Macs, up from about 4.4 million in the year-ago quarter. Analyst firm IDC says Apple took 6.9 percent of the worldwide PC market, becoming the No. 5 vendor globally. And it reached 13.4 percent of the U.S. market, becoming the third-biggest-selling computer line here. That’s well below Hewlett-Packard, at 28 percent, and Dell, at 24 percent, but a triumph for a computer for which consumers typically spend more than $1,000.

6.9% worldwide. 13.4% US.

Ubiquity!

But, seriously. Imagine for a moment the gnashing of teeth from the Echo Chamber if Mossberg declared Windows Phone ubiquitous.

Apple Bean Counters Earn Big Bonuses

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There is a 16gb, 64gb and 128gb iPhone 6. There is no 32gb iPhone 6. Why?

Money. Big money.

Usually Apple releases three versions of the product that are separated by the storage dimension. In the past it was 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. And the versions increase in price by the standard $100. That changed with iPhone 6.

What did Apple’s “first class,” “second class” and “third class” pricing discrimination lead to?

About $4 billion in added profit.

Some bean counters at Apple will be spending the month of December in Aruba, I suspect.

Won’t Apple Think Of The Children!

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Per the Wall Street Journal:

The No. 2 official at the Justice Department delivered a blunt message last month to Apple Inc. executives: New encryption technology that renders locked iPhones impervious to law enforcement would lead to tragedy. A child would die, he said, because police wouldn’t be able to scour a suspect’s phone, according to people who attended the meeting.

Here’s the thing: This is true. Almost certainly, vicious criminals will use Apple’s new iPhone encryption for their own horrid deeds.

I utterly sympathize with the FBI here. I stand with police before with Apple.

I just don’t think this is the entire story.

I believe the US intelligence and security communities are very displeased with this encryption. More so, they are very displeased that Apple is doing this and Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has met repeatedly with leaders in China.

I’m America first. I expect Apple to be America first. This is not over, no matter what side you take.

Free To Get. Pricey To Play.

A good move by Apple to ditch the “free” label for those “free” iPhone/iPad games that wind up costing parents rather exorbitant costs when children rack up the in-app fees.

Free-to-play is the dominant business model in mobile app stores, representing 92 percent of all revenue on iOS and 98 percent of revenue on Google Play in 2013. But critics say free-to-play games can be designed in ways that hurt the gaming experience or, more seriously, manipulate players into making unnecessary purchases — a claim that has invited government scrutiny.

It’s kludgy, but it’s pro-customer.

Walking Back Apple Watch Expectations

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Apple released WatchKit yesterday, the group of software tools for developers to build apps for next year’s Apple Watch.

It was very underwhelming.

Along with the recently released Human Interface Guidelines, it’s suddenly clear that Watch will do damn near nothing and will be almost non-functional without an iPhone nearby.

Cue the Apple Echo Chamber, which rushed to assure us that, of course, a new product wouldn’t do much. But, trust us, cool native apps are coming.

John Gruber:

Good summary of WatchKit from Serenity Caldwell. Or rather, a good summary of this initial release of WatchKit. As she points out, Apple even stated in its press release yesterday, “Starting later next year, developers will be able to create fully native apps for Apple Watch.” The long and short of this initial WatchKit SDK is that the Watch acts as a remote display, with limited interactivity, for code that runs in an extension on your iPhone. Apple Watch’s system apps are not limited like that — they run natively on the watch itself. Eventually, third-party apps will too.

In a sense, this is like 2007 all over again. The native APIs almost certainly aren’t finished, and battery life is a huge concern. But with the Watch, Apple is ahead of where they were with the iPhone. This initial SDK is limited, but it’s way better than the shit sandwich we got for the original iPhone at WWDC in 2007.

Yes, Watch is pricey and will not do much. Do not waver! It’s iPhone all over again!

God Does Not Play Dice With The Brian

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A brief, comprehensible and mildly fascinating post on the many universes theory.

Albert Einstein was not a fan of quantum mechanics. The idea that a particle could exist in a haze of probability instead of a definite location did not make sense to him, and he once famously said, “God does not play dice with the universe.”

However, this new many interacting worlds (MIW) theory might have helped to put Einstein’s mind at ease. In the MIW theory, quantum particles don’t act like waves at all. Each parallel world has normal-behaving particles and physical objects. The wave-function equation doesn’t have to exist at all.