The worst thing that could possibly happen to Apple has now happened: The company has run afoul of the authoritarian government of China.
Gatekeepers of the world’s largest and one of the fastest growing markets for every product Apple makes, the Chinese Communist Party-controlled government has decided to stop and reverse Apple’s growth in the country.
Apple was caught last year selling Apple Certified refurbished hardware on eBay using the pseudonym Refurbished-Outlet. Allegedly.
The prices and details of these products were generally the same as refurbished products sold on the apple.com site. The products come with a one-year warranty and mobile devices contain a new battery.
But this week it emerged that Apple is lowering the prices on eBay, sometimes by quite a bit. For example, Apple normally charges $999 for a refurbed MacBook Air with 128 GB. But that same system with the same Apple inspection and one-year warranty went on sale in the eBay store for $899. Prices on other hardware products were slashed similarly.
(In addition, we learned, the company as been apparently working with “power sellers” on eBay to sell Apple hardware. For example, until they ran out of the 500 units put up for sale of 13-inch MacBook Pros selling for $999. These are new devices, not refurbished, and Apple is probably using the “channel” to clear out inventory.)
It seems to me that Apple is working behind the scenes to experiment with different models for selling refurbished and excess inventory. I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple was also trying other channels for doing the same thing that we don’t know about. And I also wouldn’t be surprised if refurbished gadgets vanished from the Apple site altogether, and for those items to be sold in the darker alleys of the Internet (like eBay) exclusively instead.
But I think there’s a ginormous opportunity here for embracing “used” in a big way — and it’s something only Apple could pull off.
Time to tie executive salaries to stock performance, right?
According to a newly-posted shareholder document, Apple now requires executive officers to own three times their annual salary. The CEO is still required to hold ten times his own annual salary in stock, as well.
This current move, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, comes a month after Apple’s board actually opposed a similar measure proposed by a shareholder.
The Apple iWatch and Google Glass are both coming soon, apparently.
We don’t have all the details on either product. And we can’t even be 100% sure that the Apple wristwatch is going to happen at all. But most knowledgeable tech fans are expecting both and looking forward to seeing, buying and using them.
Excitement is warranted. No, I mean serious, pure geek joy is definitely called for. But not because of the iWatch and Google Glass products themselves.
Whether all this universe denting was just Jobs’ reality distortion field or an actual change in human culture depends on your corporate loyalties, or lack thereof.
Any debate over the cultural impact of the Macintosh really boils down to how much of the graphical user interface revolution was determined or influenced by Apple, and how much of it would have happened regardless.
Because there’s no question that the shift from command-line computing to WIMP computing (windows, icons, menus and pointing-devices) radically changed the world, leading, for example, to the web, which is the dominant WIMP interface to the formerly command-line Internet.
WIMP computing also enabled powerful new tools for software programming, design (of everything), animation and a bazillion other things.
WIMP computing, and to some extent the Macintosh itself, really did make a dent in the universe, but not in the way most people imagine.
Scratch Tracks has a high-energy roller skating girl promoting speaker bags.
SAN FRANCISCO, MACWORLD/iWORLD 2013 – Like any other trade show, there are a lot of weird and cool things to see at Macworld. Even though there aren’t as many booths here as there are at CES, but there’s tons to look at.
We wandered the corridors of Macworld this afternoon to find the most fun and freaky booths at Macworld. Here’s what we found.