CNN is reporting that Apple has confirmed their intentions to announce the next iPhone on October 4th. No word as to who will be speaking at the event, but it should be Tim Cook this time around, though this is the 5th iPhone they could bring Steve out for one final iPhone release.
In what I thought to be a gross misspelling of Monopolist or Monopoly CNN Money is running a story about how Apple now controls the supply market much in the same way a monopoly would control the consumers. Since for a lot of things made, Apple buys so much volume that these companies find themselves with a single buyer of their product. Apple has for quite a while struck deals that shut out other companies so Apple can get their products to market and in the hands of waiting consumers.
Later in the story they begin talking about Apple’s huge cash reserves and why Apple is not spending the money. Apple’s probably not spending the money because the economy has too much uncertainty to it at this moment to make any big moves. If the last recession proved anything it’s that Cell Phones are indispensable because you can lose you house, but you can’t lose your phone if you expect to find a job. iPads and everything else would fall by the wayside.
Some may ask why these companies are not expanding to fill the needs of multiple buyers, and that’s a valid point. The reason is that their profit margins are so thin in many cases they’re not able to expand. Foxconn has to make their profits through volume and the proof is in their Brazilian expansion, but we will see how that works out as Brazil has a modern economy and would expect modern wages.
Rumors are coming in that the 2011 MacBookAir refresh will bring a little light in addition to the upgrades to its processor internals. The backlit keyboard disappeared during a previous hardware refresh presumably to save on battery life or some other design reason. However, after negative feedback since then, Apple may bring back the backlit keyboard.
Apple, Google, and Others may have had approval to bid on Nortel’s patents, but it looks like the government has cried foul on Google’s part when it was shut out by a consortium of companies that included most of Google’s competitors. Google had the cash to purchase those patents and even chose not to bid the price up so I do not see where this is a problem for them. Android faces patent problems on its hardware more than it’s software, and Google needs to pay up. If Android cost money it would have not seen such a big market share. As for the anti-trust concerns, what’s wrong with it, if they license the technology for reasonable prices were not looking at a problem. IF they refused to license to bring down Android that’s an entirely different matter.
Hulu has been up for sale for a bit, and today we learn that Netflix has passed on the opportunity to purchase its competitor. It’s a smart move actually, because of the antitrust hurdles it would face, and in reality Hulu decoupled from its media giant parent would cost millions more than they paid for it just to keep up with the content licenses. The only worth Hulu brings at this point would be any patents it might have and that’s probably something that’s not included in the sale.
The recent departure of new movies such as “The Social Network” shows some cracks that are appearing in Netflix’s business strategy. Their contract with Starz which allowed them to play recent Sony Releases had a clause against too many subscribers and they hit that limit, and a similar clause for Disney is close. Netflix’s profit post taxes and expenses is less than 200 million, with revenue about 1.8 billion. Content creators want to charge more, but also want to run their own setups. This is not surprising considering that these same studios who make the content are about as smart as the music industry in selling itself that they caved on music prices when Wal-Mart threatened to replace the music section with more shoes.
The studios have a storefront that is universally available across more devices than they would be capable of building an access model. If they take their content and try their own stores, they’re not going to find any customers, and if they think they’re not getting a good deal from Netflix, good luck on getting any kind of break from Apple if it chose to enter the streaming market.
Todays ruling sent Kodak shares down 16% today when it received an unfavorable ruling from the ITC over a lawsuit that alleged patent infringement from both Apple and RIM. Although two smaller items are being reviewed this is generally a win for both Apple and RIM.
Gil has written a story over at Mashable about 5 things you need to know about Google Apps Security. If you’re using Google Apps and are a small company or someone with information to protect this is a good article to read. Feels a bit like a front to advertise their services the article does present valid points that anyone who uses “Cloud” storage to keep their data should be asking themselves. Data theft is a growing concern with many companies and threats come from many directions and thus protecting your data should involve multiple approaches.
Gil Zimmermann is CEO and cofounder of CloudLock, a Waltham, MA-based company that secures corporate data stored in Google Docs.
We’ll iFixit managed to get ahold of a new Thunderbolt cable that Apple is now selling for 50 dollars a pop. Looks like the reason is that there are some logic chips inside the cable to allow the thunderbolt signal to traverse the cable itself. Remember recently Displayport standard was updated to support active mode which is a boon to home theater users. Still we are stuck with prosumer and professional Thunderbolt uses, what people would really like is a hard drive enclosure so you could have faster external SSD’s on some machines or in the case of the Mac Mini and the MacBook Air, there’s always the possibility of an external graphics set, and of course Thunderbolt could enable some really cool docks for all of Apple’s Laptop products.
If you purchase an app for your iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch in Taiwan you have 7 days to request a refund. This is a feature that’s sorely needed stateside to deal with the hundreds of similar apps that many provide less than ideal functionality, and which sometimes have gamed ratings. For some people a dollar can still be a lot of money and for them it’s more punishment than anything. Hopefully Apple brings this policy stateside so if you try an app which does not have a free version you’re not out your money anymore. Still, if we were able to get our money back, I would want to still be able to rate that app as I see fit.
Nick Carlson over at Business Insider has a good post detailing some features that were going to be part of Facebook integration, but instead we are stuck with Twitter. It’s no secret that Facebook competes in some circles that Apple has products in. I doubt it’s enough at this time to cause any issues and Apple should be more interested in the 500 Million+ accounts that Facebook could put more iPhones in front of.