Apple is one of the most popular companies on the planet, and it is also one of the most profitable. Everyone knows that with the success of products such as the iPhone and iPad, Apple has earned more than $156 billion in net sales in 2012 alone. So what does the company do with all of its money? Read more
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Apple is generally regarded as one of the smartest technology companies. New Apple products are lauded as great successes, but they have made some mistakes in the past. Here are a few Apple ideas that never panned out.
When it comes to complaints about Apple operating systems, Apple’s one-button mouse is near the top of the list. While Windows popularized the two-button mouse, Apple determined that users were better served with a single button. Unix and Unix-like operating systems primarily use three buttons to enable more functionality, but Apple stripped these features when they used BSD. Later, Apple finally admitted their mistake, and multiple buttons are now common on Apple computers.
In 1995, Apple teamed with Bandai to release the Apple-Bandai Pippen game console. The console is widely regarded as one of the biggest flops in video game history. Few people remember the Pippen, and the console sold less than 50,000 units. Since that time, Apple has avoided the console market entirely.
Every year, we anticipate the release of the new iPhone. The iPhone 5 sold more than 5 million units in the first three days alone, which is a 25% increase on last year’s iPhone 4S sales in the same period of time. From the major hype that the latest generation gained, you would have thought that the iPhone 5, fully equipped with the new iOS 6, would have had all the kinks worked out. Unfortunately, it is the Apple customers who are coming across these issues.
Wi-Fi connectivity issues
This isn’t just limited to the new iPhone 5 – it’s affecting all the Apple product owners who have updated to the new iOS 6 operating system (which was released the same time as the iPhone 5). Many users are now complaining that they cannot connect to Wi-Fi networks, or even turn the Wi-Fi on! Around 60% of Apple users have upgraded to iOS 6, which could cause some widespread problems. With discussion threads on Apple’s support page currently at 124 pages long, there doesn’t seem to be a plain and simple answer in sight just yet.
Another snag to the supposedly great update to Apple’s operating system was Apple Maps. This was made to be a main competitor to Google Maps, but they have missed the mark. Locations outside of the US are some of the worst, seeing landmarks and towns being mapped in the wrong places, bad graphics, and businesses that have not been around for years are spontaneously re-opened. It doesn’t help matters that the alternatives that you can download from the App Store do not include Google Maps. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, has even apologised for the bad quality of their Maps and improvements are being made.
iPhone 5’s camera
One of the more recent complaints with the iPhone 5 has been a purple flare that occurs when photos are taken under certain circumstances. When there is a strong source of light just off screen, a large purple flare turns up on the picture. It’s caused by a minor design fault, where the light off-shot reflects off the inside of the camera, causing a flare. Apple has replied, saying that it is normal for that to happen with smaller cameras and that users should ‘reposition the camera’ when they take a photo.
Doesn’t this sound awfully familiar to two years ago, when Apple support claimed that the iPhone 4 signal issues were caused by the user holding it wrong? But hopefully, there should be an update coming out to remedy this.
The new ‘Lightning’ dock
When the iPhone 5’s design was released, one of the biggest physical changes was the dock connector. Since the iPod came out 7 years ago, the dock connector has always had 30 pins. Now, it has been reduced to an all-digital, more durable 8 pins. This means that your dock connector, that you’ve had all this time, as well as the multiple others you have lying around your house, will become obsolete. All new Apple products will carry this new connector style as well. To use your new iPhone with your old speakers, or old iPhone with new speakers, you need to purchase a $30 adaptor. This has not gone down well with the price conscious population of Apple consumers.
There are also problems behind the scenes as well. The documentation hasn’t been as wide, but the staff at the factory where the iPhone’s are built are on strike due to their working conditions. The new operating system does have its positives and improvements, but slowly, Apple is losing their image as the most innovative mobile phone creator in the industry.
Beth O’Brien is a Bournemouth University student, currently working for Visopix, who are the forefront of technology with Android TV dongles. She is passionate about technology and gaming.
The tech industry holds several important events in a calendar year that attract the faithful and the enthusiasts from all corners of the world. Such events are an excellent way for consumers to learn about the latest technologies, get their hands on gadgets and gizmos still in prototype stage, and hobnob with others sharing their interests. At the same time, companies get a chance to showcase their products, connect with potential customers, and build a sense of community around their products. A good show at a major tech conference can build up substantial media goodwill around a product which ultimately factors into consumer buying decision.
Let’s take a look at five must-attend tech events each year:
Venue: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
The CES (Consumer Electronics Show) is the biggest consumer electronics event in the world. Held in the first half of January each year at the Las Vegas Convention Centre with over 140,000 in attendance, the CES sees hundreds of manufactures descend in droves to the deserts of Las Vegas to showcase their new products. The event is not open to the public but is heavily attended by industry insiders and journalists. Notable electronic products such as the world’s first Plasma TV (2001), the original XBox (2001), Blu-Ray Disc (2003) and 3D TV (2009) were first announced at the CES before being revealed to the rest of the world.
Venue: Austin, Texas, USA
The South by Southwest (SXSW) conference sits at the intersection of film, technology, interactive arts and music. It is held in Austin in early March each year. The conference is organized over 9 days, with equal space given to tech launches and announcements, trade shows, film screenings and music concerts. Over 200,000 people attend the conference each year. SXSW is a unique conference as it attracts everyone from tech industry leaders to film makers and musicians in equal numbers. Case in point: Evan Williams revealed Twitter at SXSW 2007 and gained massive traction, while 2009 Oscar winner <i>Hurt Locker</i> held its first screening at SXSW as well. The Foursquare app was also revealed at SXSW 2009 for the first time.
3. Google I/O
Venue: San Francisco, California, USA
Google I/O is the mecca for all things Google. It is held in early May each year and draws a developer heavy crowd (not surprising given the leanings of the parent company) which can often number up to 5,000. The stage is usually reserved for Google product announcements such as Android, Chrome, Google Maps, etc. Tickets to the conference cost $900, though Google gives out plenty of free hardware to all attendees (a Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Asus Nexus 7, Nexus Q, and Samsung Chromebox were given away to attendees). Every developer interested in Google’s platforms is invariably drawn to this conference, which saw the Jelly Bean and the Google Nexus 7 being unveiled for the first time.
4. Apple WWDC
Venue: San Francisco, California, USA
The Apple World Wide Developer Conference attracts Mac developers from all corners of the world. It is one of the most eagerly awaited tech events of the year among Apple users. While earlier iterations of the conference were limited only to software updates and conferences, beginning from 2002, the WWDC became the site for most major Apple announcements. The conference is held in early June each year and participation is capped at 5,000.
Some of Apple’s most iconic products were first revealed at WWDC, including the first iPhone, the Xeon-powered Mac Pro, and OS X Mountain Lion announcements.
The Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3) is one of the gaming industry’s premier tech conference and trade fair, drawing a crowd of 46,800 attendees in 2011 alone. Held in the first half of June each year, E3 sees announcements from major game publishers and hardware manufacturers. With major games such as Assassin’s Creed: Liberation, Star Wars 1313, and hardware announcements such as Wii U Pro Controller, and XBox Smartglass at E3 2012, the conference is a must visit for every video game enthusiast.
Whether it is gaming or consumer electronics or innovative technology, there is a conference for every interest. Not only can you take a look at what’s in store in the future of technology, but also the meet like minded people. Tickets for these conferences often sell out very early, so it is best to book your tickets well in advance!
I recently read an opinion piece in Wired that I couldn’t put out of mind. The title seemed loud and controversial enough to suit the mood of the magazine: “If Design’s No Longer the Killer Differentiator, What Is?” I know, every third article in Wired prophesies the end of technology as we know it, along with the imminent rise of the Next Big Thing. But this one was different. The brief piece, an argument for a renewed investment in artistic values in the marketplace by RISD president and former MIT Media Lab researcher, John Maeda, couldn’t be easily written off as the usual futurist speculation.
Maeda knows his stuff. From his perch atop the nation’s most elite art school, he’s in an exalted enough position to make pronouncements like, “…designed objects and experiences have become the norm—some would even say boring. Design is no longer the killer differentiator.” Nothing too outlandish in this statement, although it struck me as a bit smug. Anyone designing hardware, devices and UX after Apple has to think about design and ease of use. But when good design is done formulaically by everyone, it recedes into the background. I’m with him so far. Maeda takes the next logical step and asks, what’s next? Here’s where his bird’s eye view of things could benefit from a little nuance.
Good design is not enough, Maeda argues. To be competitive products need to impart values, particularly, the values he associates with the artist—integrity, an experimental, probing nature, an unwavering pursuit of “truth”—values Maeda locates in the late Steve Jobs, whom he hails as the “iconic CEO-as-artist”. Furthermore, we’re willing to pay a little more for products made by a company that imparts these values, which he refers to playfully as a “tithe”. Apple is that company, a company with vision and integrity, a company guided by an irascible, visionary artist. You don’t have to be a philistine to reject this weird rhetoric.
Blinded by Apple’s success, Maeda seems to have taken the company’s public image to heart. One idea pushed by Apple is that Creatives gravitate to their products, while bland corporate types prefer their competitor’s merely functional products. Another idea circulating in the wake of Job’s death is that the man may have been a “mercurial asshole”, but he refused to compromise his vision of the future of technology at the service of mere profits. Jobs gave technology the human touch, the artist’s touch. If nothing else, both of these half-truths are examples of Jobs’ marketing genius. Suppose Apple hadn’t ballooned into the most profitable company in the world? Would Jobs still be remembered as a visionary “CEO-as-artist”, or as an also-ran? How will Apple evolve without Jobs’ strong, micro-managing hand? These questions may turn out to be inconsequential, but Maeda fails to raise a more important question: What other factors may have contributed to Apple’s record profits? And how do these factors resonate with the “values” of the typical consumer?
It’s well known that Apple’s supply chain in China has a few “awkward links”. Unfortunately for Apple, Foxconn has by now become a household name. I should think that a company banking on its professed values would do more than just admonish a supplier that has had to put up nets to catch workers attempting to commit suicide at a factory where its products are manufactured. At the risk of sounding passé, I won’t even bring up the divestment in American manufacturing and job creation that this arrangement with Chinese suppliers represents. Maybe I’m too near-sighted to see that Jobs made those decisions for the greater good, after all, an artist, and by extension a CEO-as-artist, is “someone who often exchanges his own welfare and even his life for a cause that may have no meaning to anyone else, but means everything to him or her.” Not only is this outrageously messianic stuff, it’s also conflated with the most clichéd myth in art history. Yikes. Now you see why I couldn’t let Maeda off the hook, considering his elite stature and influence.
To suggest that we’ve become so jaded with designed experiences and products that we now look to our selfless CEOs for salvation is clearly absurd. But it does help illustrate how we’ve been lulled into taking our high standard of living—including our design and technology standards here in the US—for the norm. This is most apparent in places like San Francisco and Cambridge, where iPhones far outnumber factory workers, hack-a-thons spill over into cafes, and zero emissions buses glide noiselessly through it all. Perhaps this is the present Maeda imagines all of us to be experiencing. It’s certainly not the reality in the factory towns where Apple products are made. I agree with the basic premise of Maeda’s article, that companies shouldn’t be resting on their design laurels alone, but I’d put the emphasis on a different set of values: Sustainability, social equity, and good global citizenship. I don’t think that’s too grandiose to ask of companies, and of ourselves. Let’s acknowledge that we all play a role in designing this thing.
The iPhone caused a revolution in the computer and cell phone industries. While cell phones had progressively become more capable in the early and middle 2000s, it was the iPhone that combined the necessary ingredients to create a must-have platform. Shortly after the iPhone was introduced, Google released its Android platform, and cell phone manufacturers began releasing competitive devices. While online fans will endlessly debate which platform is superior, both are remarkably similar in terms of performance, capabilities and selection of apps.
Apple’s fan base credits the “Apple experience” with their reason for such loyalty. The OS X operating system is widely hailed as an innovative platform and the system generally performs better than most computers loaded with Windows. Because Apple sells their own hardware and develops the operating system, they can thoroughly test all hardware combinations before it makes it to market. As a result, they detect problems and fix them quickly. PCs that run Windows, on the other hand, run on a far more diverse range of hardware. It is up to computer manufacturers to ensure that everything runs smoothly. Apple’s vertical integration is a key asset used to forge the Apple experience. This experience has been successful at converting some Android users who were unsatisfied with previous iterations of their Android phones.
In the realm of smart phones, the Android operating system is similar to Windows. It requires a touchscreen and motion sensor but little else. It has been successfully ported to a number of phones, including the iPhone, by amateur developers. Unlike Windows, however, manufacturers typically craft their hardware and software together closely. Further, the open source nature of the Android codebase makes it easier for manufacturers to tweak the software to perform correctly. As a result, Android smart phones tend to perform more reliably than Windows PCs; this has helped keep Android users faithful to the platform.
On a world-wide basis, there are far more people who use Android than people who use iOS. In the United States, however, the Apple fan base is stronger. The conventional thinking is that Android users are less faithful to their platforms, but Samsung’s fan base, in particular, is starting to use the same language as Apple’s fan base. While the iPhone 5 offers worthy upgrades to the iPhone 4S, many Android fans point to the customizability of the Android operating system and their larger screens. While the iPhone 5′s 4-inch screen makes it the largest iPhone yet, die-hard Android fans are unlikely to be persuaded unless Apple releases a 4.8-inch or 5.5-inch screen like the one’s currently being offered by Samsung.
Author Bio : Jennie is an independent business owner who helps her clients lower their long distance plans while also helping them save money on their home phone service. When not assisting her clients, Jennie can be found hiking the mountain ranges of the great Northwest with her beloved Alaskan Malamute.
We all love Microsoft software. Even the Mac users among us love using Microsoft Word so much that we want it on everything from our iMacs to our iPads. Many people buy PCs pre-loaded with the software because they know they’ll be using it. People around the world love the functionality of Word, PowerPoint, Excel…the list goes on.
Of course, not all of us can love Microsoft software – there are bound to be a few people with quarrels over pricing, functionality, and other issues that are difficult for Microsoft to address. For those brave few who dare to live a Microsoft-less world, there don’t seem to be many options at first. But you just have to dig a little deeper…because there are plenty of open source alternatives to Microsoft software available. Here arefour of them.
For many people, the usage of Microsoft software starts and ends with Microsoft Office – this is why it’s so important for many people to have a feasible alternative to the handy software. Enter OpenOffice – available at OpenOffice.org – a suite that includes a word processor, a spreadsheet alternative to Excel and alternatives to Microsoft PowerPoint. Really, this is one of the most important tools to have in your arsenal if you don’t want to use Microsoft software, because you’ll end up needing all of the above at some point.
There may be a few issues when using OpenOffice interchangeably with someone using Microsoft Office, but you’ll be surprised at how much you can get away with this popular open source alternative.
2. Mozilla Thunderbird
Microsoft’s software influence isn’t limited to its publication of Office. It also has a very useful email management program known as “Outlook” that many people would like to emulate, but not use directly. One suggestion is Mozilla Thunderbird, a free option from the same people who bring you Mozilla Firefox (itself a great alternative to Internet Explorer). Some suggest using add-ons to Thunderbird in order to get a full effect, and that’s fine because those add-ons are free as well. It’s a relatively glitch-free and hassle-free option for handling your email…and you’ll never have to deal with Microsoft to get it.
This notebook software is a better version of Microsoft’s OneNote in many peoples’ minds. In fact, many people who have the option of using OneNote actually prefer to use Evernote. Considering how Google Notebook has gone the way of the Dodo bird, Evernote has become the go-to option for people who want extensive note-taking software without any hassle.
4. ThinkFree Office Online
Okay, we didn’t want to only offer OpenOffice as the singular alternative to Office – so have a look at ThinkFree Office Online, a great way to use a web-based tool to replace the functionality of Microsoft’s flagship software package.
No matter which options you check out, it’s important to know that if you have a software problem, there are probably people out there who’ve experienced the same thing – and found solutions. You don’t have to use Microsoft to get work done on the computer anymore.
James Cofflin is a marketing strategist for Arcisphere Technologies, providing consulting for the IBM Rational product line, among other services. Learn more: http://softwarelifecyclepros.com
Can you imagine a life without computers? We sure can’t! They have become an important part of every single day and every aspect of life. You can’t go anywhere without seeing some sort of internet access or computer along the way to help your life be that much easier. Computers have taken the world by storm and they are capable of doing more and more things all the time.
We thought it was about time that we paid tribute to these wonderful creations by letting you in on a bit of their history. There is a lot to know so we have decided to just cover the basics. We hope you step away from here today with a new found respect for these amazing devices.
Back to the Beginning
If you think about it, math has been a part of life as far back (if not further) than 300 BC in Babylon where the Abacus used pebbles as a way to add and subtract. The very first actual computer on record was known as the Z Computer and it was created in the 1930s. Then you have the Mark 1 which was created during WWI.
It wasn’t until about 1953 when IBM made their very first computer called the 701. They then created the 704 in 1956. We don’t want to bore you with all the names and dates, but from there we had the IBM 7090 which was released to the public in 1960. Remember, these computers were black and white and not exactly small. They took up large portions of a room and were definitely not what you could call portable.
Computers as We Know Them Now
‘Computers’ as we know them now did not come about until the 1980s. This is where things started to get more technical. IBM PC was released in ’81. Graphics came about around this time as well and this is also when Apple was founded by Steve Jobs. Mr. Jobs enjoyed the GUI system that Xerox had built and used that idea in order to create Lisa. While this computer didn’t do very well because of its high price, it definitely helped pave the way for computers today.
Apple decided to take a different approach that was also much more affordable with the Macintosh. Around this time is when Bill Gates actually founded Microsoft. As you can imagine, the competition alone was enough to fuel the fire and keep technology and computers on the forefront of everyone’s minds. With each company trying to beat the other, changes were constantly being made and this was something that was very beneficial to the world of technology helping businesses and your everyday consumers alike.
In the late ’80s is when Microsoft started releasing their very first versions of windows. At this point, everything was still in black and white and there weren’t many graphics; graphics that did exist were very simple. There are plenty of photos available online if you are ever interested. Seeing screenshots of today and then side by side is pretty interesting.
Apple’s Turnaround Year
2001 was a big year for Apple. This was when they released their Mac OSX system. For the next 10 years Apple and Microsoft battled it out with their new systems, which were updated regularly. You’ve probably heard of Windows Vista from 2007, for example. Each update allowed both Apple and Microsoft customers to use their computers in brand new ways, simplifying life with each coming year.
Still a Long Way to Go
Technology, especially when it comes to computers has changed more drastically within the last 10 years than ever before. It has changed more during that short period of time than it had in the previous 100 years. These amazing and fast paced advancements in technology allow us to do things we never could have dreamed of in the past. We can make movies clearer and more realistic than ever, make 3D videos that come to life right before our very eyes, create amazing music and play video games that are so true to life is can be a bit scary.
We are capable of doing just about anything on the go these days. We can call people from anywhere, upload photos to our websites and keep in contact with our bosses no matter where we are. We can keep up with our homework and turn in our school work with the click of a button.
The number of things we can do seems endless. It’s amazing that all of this started with your most basic math. Can you imagine where we would be today without computers? If those people way back in the day hadn’t used pebbles and other items to count, we may not have all the technology that we do today.
Author :- Regina Perrie is a business techonology consultant and also owns business blog. She suggests some efficient IT consulting companies in Orlando through her blog.
While seeing the growth of the best mobile operating system Android on some local channel and then seeing its comparison with other major OS like Windows and iOS, a random question struck into my mind that which one is biggest threat to Android. Is it Microsoft or Apple. This curiosity let me to search for it and after reading the various blogs about I came to one conclusion. Today, in this post I am going to write about the biggest threat to Android with proper reasons. So let’s have a look on it.
Apple was at the no.1 position is the smart phone industry before the Android come. Android has no doubt grabbed its no.1 position. But still it’s Android tough competitor. The Apple seems to be biggest because it is the only major OS which is no too many phones. It just launches iPhone in the yearly periods and then catches the attraction of all mobile users. This is the power of iPhone that only one smart phone has made its manufacturer to stand along the best. iPhone is too widely used that 1 out of every 11 mobile users have iPhone in their pockets. Apple is not offering other smart phone and is only stick to iPhone and giving a tough competition to Android, who is offering thousands of smart phones. Can you think what will be the sales graph of Apple if it only launches one more product similar to iPhone. Only two or three launches from the iPhone can leave the Android market behind without any doubt.
Microsoft is also giving tough competition to Android by constantly new and well featured smart phones. But still the success train of Microsoft is far behind than that of Android or iOS. Although it has many gadgets to its credit but still the customer area is very less as compared to Apple or Android. The Windows phones are not too successful to be in the news like the Android or Apple do. Microsoft launches new gadgets in the timely manner and then promote it a bit and then sell some units of that particular smart phone. It has been regular trend going by the Microsoft in its mobile industry. But who knows the future plans of Microsoft. It’s also possible that the train of Microsoft gets acceleration and then Apple or Android will be far behind. Nothing can be claimed with full guarantee. But as of now, Microsoft is far behind.
Well, you guessed right. It’s Apple which is the biggest threat to Android. It’s not Microsoft as of new. But in the future it can be better than both. But as of now if any OS is giving tough competition to Android is the Apple’s iOS.
What do you think?? Which one is the biggest threat to Android? Share your views about it in comment section below.