There’s an argument in the platform wars, and also on Wall Street, that goes something like this: “Apple doesn’t innovate anymore. It moves too slowly, and is being taken over by more nimble, more innovative rivals.”
Any success Apple has is the result of slick marketing, rather than the newest technology. But now, Apple is a laggard and is being overtaken by more nimble companies.
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.
Could the iPad make the iPhone as pointless as this old rotary-dial telephone?
I have a confession to make. I have never owned an iPhone. It’s not that I don’t want the most amazing pocket computer ever made. It’s just that I don’t want a phone. Or rather, I don’t want the contract that comes along with it.
For years I carried an iPod Touch, and then the iPad came along, with its monthly, non-contract 3G tariffs. Since then, I still hankered after an iPhone, mostly for its great camera, but also its portability. But right now I use an iPad 2 for everything, even listening to music on the go.
With the launch of the new iPad, though, I think Apple just destroyed any chance of me buying an iPhone. Here’s why I’m going to buy an iPod Touch instead.
The iPhone is almost off the chart, and despite strong Mac sales, iOS is easily beating it. Graph Horace Dediu/Asymco
It’s amazing what you see when you look closely at numbers, and super-analyst Horace Dediu of Asymco looks closer than most. Parsing some of Tim Cook’s keynote speech at Goldman Sachs earlier this week, he did some digging came up with the incredible graph you see above.
Apple's product shots come from real cameras, but that's not the whole story
Have you ever wondered how Apple gets such beautifully clean, crisp product shots for its various devices? Are they real photos at all? Or are they just computer-generated images? The truth is somewhere in between, and shows that Apple’s obsessive attention to detail carries over to everything.
Confused by the whirlwind of Apple news from today’s Let’s Talk iPhone event? Don’t worry. We got a quick break down of all the new stuff Apple released today, including details on the iPhone 4S, Siri, iPod Nano and the highly anticipated Cards app.
iPhone 4S – Looks just like the iPhone 4 but the guts have been revamped for speed. The new A5 chip (Same chip in the iPad 2), has a dual-core CPU making it 2x as fast at CPU tasks. Graphic performance on the iPhone 4S will be Up to 7x faster in the previous iPhone. 8 hours of 3G talk time, 14 hours of 2G talk time, 6 hours on 3G browsing. Also of note, the wireless system in the phone has been updated to include two separate antenna. iPhone 4S can intelligently switch between antennas to transmit and receive. This will lead to improved call quality and 2X faster download speeds (Apple was calling it 4G speeds, but we’ll save you the debate on what is and isn’t true 4G).
Now apps like that one are helping people get more comfortable (or complain more quickly) in hotels around the world.
The California hotel offered guests loaner iPhones or iPod Touch devices to order room service, set wake up calls, request dry cleaning, extra blankets or replace forgotten toothbrushes, check messages or set “Do Not Disturb” notices plus shopping, eating and cavorting info.
The whole shebang runs on an app called “Hotel Evolution” from Los Angeles software firm Runtriz.