Lotf Allah Mosque, Iran. Photo: Quixotic54/Flickr CC
With China, India and Korea all representing growing markets, Apple’s expanding into more countries than ever here in 2014. One place you’d be forgiven for not expecting Tim Cook and co. to show up in, however, is Iran.
It seems that this assumption may be wrong, though, as according to the Wall Street Journal, Apple is in preliminary contact with U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, as well as Iranian distributors, about possibly entering the country should Western sanctions ease sufficiently.
Android is still king in market share. Photo: Google
Android has yet again increased its lead in U.S. market share as its rivals give up precious points, according to the latest data from Kantar WorldPanel. Google’s popular platform now commands an impressive 61.8 percent share of the smartphone market, which is close to double the 32.6 percent now held by iOS.
One of the many, many things that Apple does right is trackpads. Not only is the trackpad hardware that Apple uses in the MacBook lineup the best in the world (seriously, I’ve never used a non-Apple trackpad that even came close), but the software backing it up is world-class.
A lot of that has to do with the library of consistent trackpad gestures Apple has built into OS X over the years. Compared to OS X, Windows feels downright schizophrenic when you’re using gestures. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. But it now appears that Microsoft is putting an end to the trackpad schizophrenia by borrowing Apple’s approach to gestures.
Net iPhone sales up up by 12%, with global earnings of $102 billion in 2014 versus $91 billion last year. iMac sales are up by the same 12%, too, with 24 million units sold this year compared to 21.5 million in 2013.
The iTunes Store is doing its bit as well, with a total of $10.2 billion in net sales, up from $9.3 billion in 2013. Apple says that app sales are up, but also acknowledges that this increase is partially offset by a decline in digital music sales.
Although he gets most of the blame for it, skeuomorphism wasn’t really Scott Forstall’s fault. He was just following the orders of his boss and mentor, Steve Jobs. The man who gave the world the first skeumorphic consumer operating system, the Macintosh, loved computer interfaces with gaudy textures that made them look more like real-world things.
In fact, if it were not for Steve Jobs’s love of skeuomorphism, Apple’s design language might have been a lot flatter a lot earlier. When Steve Jobs came back to Apple in 1999, the company was moving away from skeuomorphic design… but Jobs bought it back, with the famous brushed metal texture in the Quicktime app.
Can you see how Apple has improved the typography in OS X Yosemite? Photo: Reddit
Apple pays more attention to the details then anyone else. Sometimes the details they pay attention to are so small, you don’t notice them at all for a long time… but once you see what they’ve done, you can never unsee it, or accept anything less.
Here’s a great example from OS X Yosemite. Compare the two images above. The top is from OS X Yosemite, the bottom from Windows 7. Notice anything? One of these images has much better typography than the other. But can you tell why?
The only handcuffs that presumably come with a free Apple Watch and iPhone 6 thrown in. Photo: H. Michael Karshis/Flickr CC
Apple will be holding on to its top executives until at least 2019, if the granting of new stock options by the Apple board has anything to do with it.
Angela Ahrendts, Eddy Cue, Phil Schiller, Craig Federighi, CFO Luca Maestri, VP of hardware engineering Daniel Riccio, lawyer Bruce Sewell and COO Jeffrey Williams all received stock grants potentially valued at a total of $27 million, based on the high closing price of AAPL stock Thursday.