(You're reading all posts by Leander Kahney) Leander Kahney is the editor and publisher of Cult of Mac. He is the NYT bestselling author of Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest Products; Inside Steve’s Brain; Cult of Mac; and Cult of iPod. Leander has written for Wired, MacWeek, Scientific American, and The Guardian in London. Follow Leander on Twitter @lkahney and Facebook.
About Leander Kahney
Editor’s note: The iPod has enjoyed a good long run as one of the world’s most revolutionary music machines, but the time has come to bid adieu to the click-wheeled wonder.
Apple quietly removed the iPod Classic from its website this week, so now is the perfect time to wax nostalgic. Cult of Mac is republishing this illustrated history of the iPod — put together to celebrate the device’s 10th anniversary, and originally published on Oct. 22, 2011 — to mark this solemn occasion.
An Illustrated History of the iPod
The iPod grew out of Steve Jobs’ digital hub strategy. Life was going digital. People were plugging all kinds of devices into their computers: digital cameras, camcorders, MP3 players. The computer was the central device, the “digital hub,” that could be used to edit photos and movies or manage a large music library. Jobs tasked Apple’s programmers with making software for editing photos, movies and managing digital music. While they were doing this, they discovered that all the early MP3 players were horrible. Jobs asked his top hardware guy, Jon Rubinstein, to see if Apple could do better.
There are a lot of Apple skeptics out there. CNBC thinks the new iPhone 6 models are nothing special, and dis the Apple Watch because it doesn’t work with Android. Watch Cult of Mac editor and publisher Leander Kahney set them straight in the video above. See also our report card for Tim Cook’s first three years as CEO.
CUPERTINO, Calif. — This is the first group photo of Apple’s new Industrial Design team — the men and women behind the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and a long string of other hit products.
The group is super-secretive and rarely appears in public together. In fact, they’ve only been pictured once before. This picture was taken at the end of Tuesday’s launch event, when many of the journalists had been ushered out. In the middle is Jony Ive and the team’s latest and highest-profile hire, star designer Marc Newson.
The Industrial Design team is Apple’s idea factory. This is where Apple’s innovation comes from. They design and develop all of Apple’s products, and many of them were working at Apple before Steve Jobs returned in 1997.
CUPERTINO, Calif. — One of the big questions about the Apple Watch is how Apple will prevent thieves from ripping it off your wrist and using it to clear your bank account.
Because the Apple Watch is connected to Apple Pay — making purchases as easy as a quick swipe — what’s to stop miscreants from abusing it?
The answer wasn’t addressed at Tuesday’s unveiling, but an Apple staffer at the hands-on demo told me how the watch will be protected against fraud.
CUPERTINO, Calif. — The iPhone 6 is about the only phone that can make your iPhone 5 look fat and schlumpy.
The first thing you notice when you get your hands on one is that the iPhone 6 is pleasing to the touch: The aluminum feels great, the screen is big, bright and beautiful. This is the total package, possibly the best smartphone ever made, and definitely the best in class. I’m not ashamed to say I tried to sneak out of Apple’s demo tent with one.
CUPERTINO, Calif. — The Apple Watch doesn’t look like it comes from some distant future, where cars drive themselves and we never have to go through airport security again. Instead, it’s clearly the best smartwatch Apple could design based on knowledge gleaned from today’s experts — including those in arcane arts like metallurgy and horology.
And you will absolutely want one.
It may not look like it yet, but after trying out the Apple Watch, I’m convinced it will become an essential piece of kit – as important as your iPhone.
Bad news for anyone in the cellphone repair business!
A full list of the iPhone 6 specs we’ve received from a source in China says not only is the iPhone 6 water-resistant but that the screen is shatterproof.
Not “scratch-resistant” or even “scratch-proof,” but “shatter proof,” which suggests the new iPhone is nearly indestructible and could put a few repair shops out of business.
As far as we can tell, the spec list below is the most comprehensive list of features published to date.
With less than 24 hours to go, security precautions for Apple’s big press event Tuesday have been taken to unprecedented levels.
Apple has wired the entire event auditorium — the Flint Center for the Performing Arts — with a brand new, state-of-the-art security system to lock down access and prevent leaks.
The auditorium is crawling with 24-hour security personnel. Anyone working at the massive show, from caterers to construction staff and technicians, is required to submit their phones to Apple’s security team. The phones’ cameras are being covered in special tamper-proof tape, which changes color if removal is attempted.
“If it changes color, we’ll be fired on the spot,” said one person who is working at the show but asked to remain anonymous.
Want to buy some iPhone 6 parts?
To prove he had an actual iPhone 6 screen in his possession, a repair company owner who contacted Cult of Mac took this photograph, which confirms the component's size.
iPhone 6 screen
This iPhone 6 screen measures 4.7 inches diagonally, the widely rumored size of the "smaller" smartphone that will be unveiled Tuesday by Apple.
iPhone 6 LCD front
We were offered this iPhone 6 screen -- which is "definitely" made from sapphire glass says the seller -- for $500.
iPhone 6 LCD back
The seller -- a repair shop owner -- said we could pay for the screen on delivery to make sure it was genuine. He was going to throw in the cables too.
iPhone 6 hard case
This is a non-functioning iPhone 6 dummy the repair shop owner made for a U.S. case manufacturer. The accessory maker wants to get the jump on its competitors by putting iPhone 6 cases on store shelves as quickly as possible.
Rear shell of iPhone 6
This is the back of the new iPhone 6. It is also available from Apple's Chinese suppliers -- for a price.
This is the new sapphire glass that will front the iPhone 6. This picture was sent to the repair shop owner from his suppliers in China. He hasn't tested the screen for strength but sincerely hopes it can be broken. "More business for me," he said.
iPhone 6 displays
Another picture from China showing the iPhone 6 screen assembly compared to the iPhone 5c. This is the smaller iPhone 6 (4.7-inch diagonal screen), but it still dwarfs the current iPhone.
iPhone 6 displays
Another view of the iPhone 6 screen compared to the current iPhone 5, this time showing the back.
Charging dock flex cable
The remaining pictures in this gallery are sent from China showing the various repair components that are readily available.
Sensor flex cables like these are easy to come by.
True Tone flash cable
A look at the front and back of the updated True Tone flash for the iPhone 6 with four LEDs.
The iPhone 6 home buttons come in gold, silver and space gray.
iPhone 6 home button
A backside view of the iPhone 6's home button cable.
Speaker assemblies for the 4.7-inch iPhone 6.
Touch ID flex cables
This is the wiring magic that makes Touch ID possible.
This Lightning port flex cable is ready to go into a brand new (or broken) iPhone 6.
Apple’s iPhone 6 is supposed to be a big secret in this part of the world, but in China, parts are readily available.
Although the iPhone 6 hasn’t been announced and won’t be in stores for a couple of weeks, everything from the new aluminum case to the sapphire-covered LCD screen is available on the Chinese gray market.
Cult of Mac has been contacted by a U.S. smartphone repair company that offered to sell us a bunch of iPhone 6 components — almost enough to assemble our own device.
“I can get all the parts except the motherboards are very rare and very expensive to purchase,” said the owner of the repair company, who asked to remain anonymous. “The display assemblies alone are $500 per piece right now.”
The repair company owner claims iPhone 6 parts — especially for the upcoming 4.7-inch model — are readily available in China from suppliers to the repair industry.
“All the parts needed for repairs they acquire shortly before release — this is normal,” he said. “Usually they have no need to sell the parts because there’s no demand this early but I’ve bought samples from them … so I can buy parts in the future.”
Many people routinely avoid spoilers for TV shows and movies, but some also steer clear of clues about Apple’s upcoming product announcements.
Next Tuesday, Apple is expected to reveal two new iPhones and an iWatch. While the long-rumored wearable remains shrouded in mystery, many details of the next-gen iPhones are all but confirmed, thanks to an avalanche of rumor reports and parts leaks. So comprehensive are the leaks, some have even managed to build a working iPhone 6 from parts — and the device is still weeks away from shipping to customers.
But some Apple fans remain blissfully ignorant of the details.