Apple News & Analysis
| Wednesday Dec 4, 2013
The US Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission have given their blessing to the merger of Microsoft and Nokia. Now the European Commission has followed suit, all but green-lighting the deal.
But what will happen to Nokia once the merger is complete? And how will Microsoft manage its increasingly integrated chain of operating systems and devices? Perhaps we'll know more once the company picks a new CEO whose first job will be to integrate the two giants.
| Tuesday Dec 3, 2013
Apple bought social analytics firm Topsy for more than $200 million, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday.
Topsy is one of the few companies that has access to every tweet generated since 2006 and has the proven ability to analyze them all, both historically and in (near) real time, as they come in. While some see Topsy’s services primarily in the social realm, it’s also important to recognize its big data and analytical capabilities.
| Monday Dec 2, 2013
As the focus shifts to digital sales on Cyber Monday, you may be wondering: What products scored wins on Black Friday?
Retailers are already seeing how shopping on mobiles and tablets is changing our buying behavior. Whatever your perspective, the results make for interesting reading as stores plan for future sales to drain us of yet more cash.
| Friday Nov 29, 2013
Apple's one-day Black Friday sale rolled out from midnight around the world, offering gift cards in most places instead of discounts on major items and accessories. Europe is a little luckier with discounts on the iPad Air and iPad Mini. Major retailers, meanwhile, continue to do all they can to attract customers with big deals — for the second consecutive day.
| Wednesday Nov 27, 2013
Apple's production partners in Asia are stepping on the gas to get iPhone 5S models on the shelves by Black Friday.
Apple expects high demand for the device and related accessories — which could soar even higher during holiday sales.
With tablets likely to win most hearts this selling season, Apple has held off releasing numbers for the newest generations of iPads. Instead, it seems to be looking to its smartphone to increase revenues to a record high.
| Tuesday Nov 26, 2013
Bargain hunters are plotting their strategies to find the best pre-holiday deals, online and off. Two options to consider: the Apple and Microsoft stores.
Each one is offering potential savings of hundreds of dollars on the latest tablets, computers and software. The one-day Apple deals start at 12:01 a.m. PST on Black Friday in the United States, but Microsoft's sale is already up and running.
| Monday Nov 25, 2013
Apple finally confirmed this weekend that it acquired PrimeSense, the Israeli company that developed the Kinect 3D motion sensor for Microsoft. So what does the deal mean in practical terms?
Having miniaturized its sensors, 3D gesture tech will likely end up in future iPhones and iPads. Expect future generations of these products to offer advanced depth perception and perhaps face and feature recognition, as well as a new range of gestures available without touching the device.
| Thursday Nov 14, 2013
Apple is pretty coy about its technical failings, leaving highly ambiguous terms in the update documentation. While it is not the only company that does this, you have to wonder why. Wouldn't it be helpful if companies just told users why they needed an update?
That issue aside, if you've been having issues with iOS 7, this new update could solve them. While the software engineers are squashing those bugs, the hardware design teams are preparing for next year's models.
| Thursday Nov 14, 2013
A closely followed Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) meeting in Vancouver last week took an anticlimactic and mysterious turn. Committee members failed to reach a consensus on an important component of the new web-based communications standards called WebRTC.
RTC stands for Real Time Communication. The stakes are high because several large technology vendors with large communications businesses went into the meeting jostling for position of their respective video streaming technologies.
| Wednesday Nov 13, 2013
Two heavyweights — International Data Corporation (IDC) and Gartner — just released quarterly statistics on smartphone shipments and market share.
The consensus: Android is running away with market share, now accounting for four out of five mobile phones sold worldwide. But Apple continues to rake in most of the money and Nokia is moving up in the rankings. What could change in 2014?
| Tuesday Nov 12, 2013
Rather than announce a release date and get iFans stoked, Apple sneakily updated its online store overnight. Now available: its latest and likely most sought after mini tablet.
The starting-at-$399 iPad Mini Retina will sit alongside the iPad Air as two of this season's hot sellers, although there is even more competition than last year.
| Wednesday Nov 6, 2013
While Samsung and Sony make no noticeable impact on a nascent market with their smartwatch offerings, crowdsourced favorite Pebble continues to make headway. Boasting a new SDK and improved support for iOS 7, a major new update improves its utility as a filter for notifications arriving on your phone and adds features on the software side, including coming FourSquare support.
| Tuesday Nov 5, 2013
Right now, a bunch of nerds on the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) in Vancouver are making big decisions about the next big wave in web communications standards. And these decisions will have a big impact on some of the largest technology companies, for many years to come.
| Friday Nov 1, 2013
October saw its traditional raft of mobile device launches, but November is when the sales will really fly. It's when all those buying for the holidays enter the market.
With Black Friday looming, expect buy buttons to be clicked and registers rung at record speeds. And it is likely to be tablets all the way as second and third screens become the norm in homes and among the most requested tech gift ideas.
With so many high-class models to choose from, the field has never been more open. So which will win in the battle for sales?
| Wednesday Oct 30, 2013
Google+ has a reputation for being a bit barren for many users. But it just made several upgrades that could improve the user experience. Now there’s the ability to schedule a Hangout On Air and backup photos via auto syncing for iOS.
While we don’t see Google+ becoming the most popular place to share photos, that hasn’t stopped the company from taking dead aim at the Facebook and Instagram. Facebook has long been the go-to place for so called frictionless sharing of photos with friends and family, but Google+ updates like backup syncing of photos on iOS devices could prove to be a streamlined way to manage an incoming photo stream.