Few analysts were prepared to call Apple's Black Friday performance a blowout, but in general they thought consumers responded well to Apple's products and pricing last week. Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray, Shaw Wu of Kaufman Brothers, and Maynard Um of UBS have weighed in with their thoughts on Apple's sales during the first official shopping day of the holiday season. Expectations had been muted going into the weekend, which many had thought would be dismal given the economic environment.
The only thing they forgot was a desperate attempt by old Gil to sell an iPod Hi-Fi.
Springfield got its first Apple store during Sunday night's episode of The Simpsons, allowing the show's writers to devote a good chunk of the show to satirizing Apple (Mapple), CEO Steve Jobs (Mobs), and "myPods." The show makes several tongue-in-cheek references to Apple cultural touch-points like the Power Mac Cube, the "Braniac Bar," and the famous 1984 commercial in a scene featuring Comic Book Guy, who is definitely a Mac user.
You can find the episode on … Read more
Apple has started reminding its store employees that they have the authority to match the prices of other Apple resellers.
IfoAppleStore reported earlier Tuesday that managers at Apple retail stores can honor the prices for Macs and iPods posted on other authorized outlets like Best Buy or Amazon.com. This has always been Apple's policy, according to AppleInsider, but it sounds like the company wanted to make it crystal clear ahead of a holiday season in which consumers are expected to be bargain hunters.
Apple appears to have upped the processing speed of the iPod Touch in order to help it go after the portable-game market.
Touch Arcade reports that the applications processor inside the second-generation iPod Touch unveiled in September is actually running faster than the processor inside the iPhone 3G, which runs at the same speed that the original iPhone and iPod Touch used. The new iPod Touch's ARM-based processor is running at 532MHz, while the iPhone 3G's processor runs at 412MHz.
A game developer interviewed by Touch Arcade noticed a huge difference in 3D-rendering speed as a result of … Read more
Even Apple may not be immune if consumers continue to sit on their wallets this holiday season.
Piper Jaffray, usually able to find the bright side of any Apple news, predicted Monday that iPhone and iPod sales are set to decline in the coming weeks amid what is expected to be the worst holiday season for the PC and consumer electronics industries in quite some time. Mac sales seem healthier thanks to Apple's latest crop of notebooks, but aren't growing as fast as they were last year.
Piper based its outlook on surveys it performed inside Apple retail … Read more
Apple knew full well that Mark Papermaster would have to learn his new role as iPod and iPhone chief "on the job" when it hired him.
Papermaster's former employer, IBM, filed a lawsuit against him last week, claiming that he broke the terms of a noncompete contract with IBM in accepting a high-profile job with Apple. InformationWeek spotted Papermaster's formal response Friday morning, in which he declares that the two companies are not competitors and that his experience at IBM is not the primary reason why Apple sought his services.
The court filings reveal the interesting … Read more
Apple is ready to start a new chapter in the history of the iPod with a new leader for that group.
The company's selection of Mark Papermaster as the new head of iPod and iPhone hardware engineering points the way toward a more sophisticated future for Apple's mobile computers, as Apple has been hinting for over a year. The veteran chip and system designer will be tasked with overseeing the transformation of the iPod lineup from relatively simple music players to complex and powerful mobile devices, with the iPod Touch as the first example.
Update 7:25 a.m. PST: Apple confirmed Tuesday morning that Fadell is stepping down, but says he plans to remain with the company as an adviser to CEO Steve Jobs.
One of the fathers of the iPod, Tony Fadell, is leaving Apple after seven years spent inside the division that changed the company's fortunes.
Fadell is to be replaced by former IBM executive Mark Papermaster, according to a report Monday night by The Wall Street Journal. CNET News first reported last week that Papermaster was set to leave IBM for a prominent position at Apple, although the nature … Read more
Last week some family members suffered a corrupted hard drive on their only PC. They had no backup. They're relatively light computer users--no online banking, no important business documents--but the lesson still hurts. Their e-mail contacts weren't too hard to recover--they simply called everybody they had regular e-mail contact with and told them to send an e-mail. Their digital photos are gone forever, unless emergency tech support courtesy of their son-in-law produces a miracle. And their music library?
That's one nice thing about having a large-capacity MP3 player: if you're lazy about backup, at least you … Read more
Updated at 9:33 a.m. PDT to correct navigation details. Updated at 1:29 p.m. PDT with screenshots.
Google Earth for iPhone isn't the only geographically significant news Monday for Apple phone users. It appears that the second beta version of the iPhone 2.2 firmware is out, and it includes not just Google's Street View, but also navigation instructions to give people step-by-step directions when walking or on the bus.