#apple

Nick Statt:

Nike is gearing up to shutter its wearable-hardware efforts, and the sportswear company this week fired the majority of the team responsible for the development of its FuelBand fitness tracker, a person familiar with the matter told CNET.

Yikes. Though the reality is that this seemed inevitable as something Apple this way comes:

As Apple enters the fray, Nike has a potential partner. Apple CEO Tim Cook, who was seen wearing a FuelBand at the company’s launch of the iPad mini in October of 2012, sits on Nike’s board, and has for the last nine years. That relationship has been fruitful over the years, helping Nike enter the wearable market as early as 2006, with the Nike+iPod shoe sensor package, with a strong brand partner.

I’ve been saying this for a while: Tim Cook remaining on Nike’s board while Apple readies its own health/fitness-focused device was awkward at best. Unless Nike decided to exit that business and instead partner with Apple on such a device…

(As an aside, Secret strikes first again on this news.)

Update: Nike has issued a fairly standard non-denial, denial. They’re admitting to the layoffs, but dismissing the notion that the FuelBand is being killed off. To which I say, as always with these types of statements: yet.

(Of course they’re not going to admit to killing the FuelBand right now, there is still product on the shelves — not to mention new color variations, long in the pipeline, about to launch. They could either kill the product and sell none of those or postpone that announcement and sell at least some of those. No-brainer.)

John Gruber, ripping apart this piece by Joe Nocera:

The iPad was “just a big iPhone” when it was unveiled in 2010; today it’s hailed as Apple’s last great new product. My guess is we’ll see the same reaction to whatever Apple releases this year. It takes years for even the most amazing of new products — the iPhone, for example — to prove themselves on the market. It’s a long game.

Even then — come, say, 2017, when Apple is reaping billions in profits from some product first introduced this year — the doomed-without-Jobs crowd could (and I bet will) just argue that the product succeeded only because it had been conceived while Steve Jobs was alive. It’ll never stop.

A fun exercise would be to write Apple critiques years in advance and see just how close they are when the stories hit in the future. I bet they’d be pretty close. It’s like paint-by-numbers for the tech press.

Jason Snell:

In other words, in four years the wearables market might grow to be one-tenth the size of today’s smartphone market—in units shipped. Presumably the average selling price of wearable items will be a fraction of that of smartphones, meaning the dollar value of the wearables market is even more minuscule compared to the smartphone market.

All of which means that wearables, while dramatic and exciting and with huge potential to change people’s lives, are never going to rival smartphones in terms of market size. Same goes for smart TV boxes. These are interesting, fun areas of technological change. But the smartphone—that boring old Internet-connected 64-bit supercomputer in your pocket that just keeps improving year after year—is going to be the big dog in the tech world for years to come. Apple’s future success or failure will be dependent on the iPhone, and to a lesser extent the iPad, not on a smartwatch.

That’s exactly right. I’ve been saying this for a while: there is no industry, save maybe the oil business, that could yield the type of profits Apple is used to with the iPhone. And that points to a lot of disappointment in the eyes of Wall Street no matter what comes — unless Apple buys Exxon.

Kim Masters:

A source with ties to the studio says Fincher potentially could re-enter negotiations but that the fee he is seeking is “ridiculous,” adding, “You’re not doing Transformers here. You’re not doing Captain America. This is quality — it’s not screaming commerciality. He should be rewarded in success but not up front.”

He apparently was asking for a $10 million up-front fee, as well as control over marketing. I say give it to him. Then get Christian Bale.

blogoculaire asked:

What is the percentage of time you use your iPad(s)/iPhone versus PC/MacBook(s). Can you make it to 100% soon?

I’d say it’s probably 70/30 on iDevices vs. MacBook. Most of the MacBook Air time is work-related. And that figure is so heavily tilted in the iDevices favor because I use the iPhone far more than any other device.

That said, when it comes to “general computing”, I much prefer to use the iPad Air (with the Logitech keyboard) for almost everything. But I suspect a rumored 12” Retina MacBook Air could tilt the numbers back in the MacBook favor, if only temporarily.

Andy Hertzfeld on Susan Kare:

One day, I came over to her cubicle to see what she was working on, and I was surprised to see her laboring over a tiny icon portrait of Steve Jobs.
Icons were only 32 by 32 black or white pixels, 1024 dots in total, and I didn’t think it was possible to do a very good portrait in that tiny a space, but somehow Susan had succeeded in crafting an instantly recognizable likeness with a mischevious grin that captured a lot of Steve’s personality. Everyone she showed it to liked it, even Steve himself.

Via Priceonomics’ in-depth look at Kare, definitely worth the read.

Andy Hertzfeld on Susan Kare:

One day, I came over to her cubicle to see what she was working on, and I was surprised to see her laboring over a tiny icon portrait of Steve Jobs.

Icons were only 32 by 32 black or white pixels, 1024 dots in total, and I didn’t think it was possible to do a very good portrait in that tiny a space, but somehow Susan had succeeded in crafting an instantly recognizable likeness with a mischevious grin that captured a lot of Steve’s personality. Everyone she showed it to liked it, even Steve himself.

Via Priceonomics’ in-depth look at Kare, definitely worth the read.

Tim forwarded your email to me. We agree with you. Our emoji characters are based on the Unicode standard, which is necessary for them to be displayed properly across many platforms. There needs to be more diversity in the emoji character set, and we have been working closely with the Unicode Consortium in an effort to update the standard.
Apple’s head of communications, Katie Cotton, responding to MTV about the lack of diversity in the iOS emoji set.

Joshua Hunt:

Commissaries often carry other, bargain-brand radios, but according to former inmates and employees of the Bureau of Prisons and the Keefe Group, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, America’s federal prisoners are most likely to own a Sony. Melissa Dolan, a Sony spokesperson, confirmed in an e-mail that selling portable radios in American prisons has long been a “stable business” that represents “sizable” sales for the company. Of the models available, the SRF-39FP remains an undisputed classic, still found on commissary lists an impressive fifteen years after its initial release, making it nearly as common behind prison walls as Apple’s iPod once was outside of them, despite competition from newer devices like digital radios and MP3 players.

Fascinating. Though I’m not sure this is a metric Sony would ever want to tout.

Update: David Ulevitch provides the goods. My response.

Ina Fried:

Indeed, Microsoft does offer Office 365 subscriptions within the just-released Word for iPad and the other Office apps and, yes, it is paying the 30 percent cut, Apple confirmed to Re/code. Microsoft declined to comment on the matter.

Microsoft is giving Apple a 30 percent cut on sales of Office 365 through the iPad apps. Let that sink in for a minute. And then realize that both sides are probably going to make a ton of money as a result.