Mark Glassman:

As a business unit, the iPad is huge. The device accounted for $31 billion in revenue in Apple’s most recent fiscal year. That’s more than the annual sales of 84 percent of members of the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index.

It’s easy to cast aside the iPad because the iPhone business is so much larger. But it’s also easy to forget that the iPhone business is one of the best and biggest businesses ever. Period. Bigger than all of Microsoft, for example. But the iPad, at any other company, would be the marquee product. And I’m sure we’ll hear more about that next week.

John Gruber:

When the iPhone 5C came out last month and was not “low cost”, many took it as a sign that Apple was somehow ignoring China. I would say it’s just the opposite: they’re skating to where the puck is heading, not where it is, and positioning their products to thrive as China’s upper class grows.

The most simple observation that as usual, most everyone overlooked.

Darrell Etherington seems to really like the Nintendo 2DS overall, but:

Does that mean they 2DS screens are great? No, and the low resolution relative to today’s modern smartphones and tablets is really beginning to show. Plus, that bottom touchscreen is still resistive, which means that even though it’s tempting to want to tap buttons with your fingers, especially in settings menus, you’ll still need to break out that stylus to get good, consistent results in terms of registering taps.

Both of those things sound inexcusable to me nearly seven years after the capacitive-touch iPhone was unveiled and well over three years since the first retina iPhone launched.

dimestoresandbustations asked:

Re: the Fred Vogelstein post on the build up at Apple to the unveiling of the iPhone in 2007... " And the rest of the day turned out to be just a [expletive] for the entire iPhone team. We just spent the entire rest of the day drinking in the city. It was just a mess, but it was great.”... What is the expletive the times left out? I can't figure it out?

I was wondering the same thing. My best guess is… wait for it… SHITSHOW.

Speaking of Steve Jobs, I too will share the Fred Vogelstein post on the build up at Apple to the unveiling of the iPhone in 2007. A few of my favorite parts:

Jobs wanted the demo phones he would use onstage to have their screens mirrored on the big screen behind him. To show a gadget on a big screen, most companies just point a video camera at it, but that was unacceptable to Jobs. The audience would see his finger on the iPhone screen, which would mar the look of his presentation. So he had Apple engineers spend weeks fitting extra circuit boards and video cables onto the backs of the iPhones he would have onstage. The video cables were then connected to the projector, so that when Jobs touched the iPhone’s calendar app icon, for example, his finger wouldn’t appear, but the image on the big screen would respond to his finger’s commands. The effect was magical. People in the audience felt as if they were holding an iPhone in their own hands. But making the setup work flawlessly, given the iPhone’s other major problems, seemed hard to justify at the time.


Shrinking OS X and building a multitouch screen, while innovative and difficult, were at least within the skills Apple had already mastered as a corporation. No one was better equipped to rethink OS X’s design. Apple knew LCD manufacturers because it put an LCD in every laptop and iPod. Mobile-phone physics was an entirely new field, however, and it took those working on the iPhone into 2006 to realize how little they knew. Apple built testing rooms and equipment to test the iPhone’s antenna. It created models of human heads, with viscous stuff inside to approximate the density of human brains, to help measure the radiation that users might be exposed to from using the phone. One senior executive believes that more than $150 million was spent creating the first iPhone.


The second iPhone prototype in early 2006 was much closer to what Jobs would ultimately introduce. It incorporated a touch-screen and OS X, but it was made entirely of brushed aluminum. Jobs and Jonathan Ive, Apple’s design chief, were exceedingly proud of it. But because neither of them was an expert in the physics of radio waves, they didn’t realize they created a beautiful brick. Radio waves don’t travel through metal well. “I and Rubén Caballero” — Apple’s antenna expert — “had to go up to the boardroom and explain to Steve and Ive that you cannot put radio waves through metal,” says Phil Kearney, an engineer who left Apple in 2008. “And it was not an easy explanation. Most of the designers are artists. The last science class they took was in eighth grade. But they have a lot of power at Apple. So they ask, ‘Why can’t we just make a little seam for the radio waves to escape through?’ And you have to explain to them why you just can’t.”

And, of course, launch day:

By the end, Grignon wasn’t just relieved; he was drunk. He’d brought a flask of Scotch to calm his nerves. “And so there we were in the fifth row or something — engineers, managers, all of us — doing shots of Scotch after every segment of the demo. There were about five or six of us, and after each piece of the demo, the person who was responsible for that portion did a shot. When the finale came — and it worked along with everything before it, we all just drained the flask. It was the best demo any of us had ever seen. And the rest of the day turned out to be just a [expletive] for the entire iPhone team. We just spent the entire rest of the day drinking in the city. It was just a mess, but it was great.”

The iPhone seems so obvious and inevitable now. But it’s really the ultimate testament to the incredibly hard and complex work that so many at Apple did while being pushed by Jobs. This entire post is a great reminder of that.

Derek Thompson on some data put together by Eric Chemi, showing that the iPhone isn’t only a bigger business than all of Microsoft:

The iPhone alone outsells Coca-Cola and McDonald’s, perhaps the world’s two most famous brands, combined.


Put differently, but no less dramatically, a product that did not exist in May 2007 is now a bigger business than 474 companies in the S&P 500.


In other news indicating just how doomed Apple is, BlackBerry has signed a letter of intent to be acquired by Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited for $4.7 billion. In other words, less than the revenue Apple made from selling iPhones over the weekend.

Man, that clog got cleaned up quickly over at BlackBerry. The flush went right down on the second try!

The rush is on to spin this into bad news in some way. Two possible angles:

1) It wasn’t quite double the weekend sales of the iPhone 5 last year!

2) In three days, Apple wasn’t quite able to triple the number of smartphones BlackBerry shipped — shipped, not sold — for the whole quarter!


Back in reality, 200 million devices updated to iOS 7 in just a few days is insane.

Update: And we have a winner — Sandy Cannold, arguing the old this-iPhone-isn’t-really-new-because-it’s-still-an-iPhone angle:

To me though, all this over-the-top fanfare and even the record-breaking first weekend of sales could actually be cause for concern. Now before Apple lovers pillory me and say that I have no idea what I am talking about, hear me out. I fully concede that Apple is going to make billions in profit from the sale of these new devices and the company is in no danger of becoming Blackberry or Nokia. But the reason I am voicing a bit of doubt is that it seems like Apple is now trying to squeeze every last bit of profit it can out of an aging, shall we call it, iStone.

Sandy, luckily you’re extremely lame puns distract from the fact that you have no idea what you’re talking about.

Christopher Mims:

For five years, researchers have toiled over an obscure bit of fundamental internet infrastructure that promises to make the connections to our mobile devices faster and more reliable than ever, and if you’ve already downloaded Apple’s iOS 7 to your iPhone or iPad, you could be using it already.

It’s called multi-path TCP, and here’s why it matters and how it works: At present, if your phone or tablet is connected to Wi-Fi and a cellular network at the same time, it can only use one or the other connection to transmit data. But what if your Wi-Fi connection or your 3G connection drops? Whatever data was being transmitted—data for an app, a webpage, an iMessage—will fail to arrive, and you have to try again, usually after getting a frustrating error message or a blank page. Just as importantly, if one of your connections to the internet slows down, or speeds up, your phone has no ability to use its other connections to its advantage, leading to a poorer and slower experience overall.

Makes sense: the pipe shouldn’t matter, the connection should.

Timothy B. Lee:

BlackBerry eventually realized that it would need to compete effectively in the consumer market if it wanted to survive. But building consumer-friendly mobile devices wasn’t its engineers’ strong suit. And by the time BlackBerry released a modern touchscreen phone in 2010, three years after the iPhone came on the market, it had a huge deficit to make up.

While Microsoft was just far too late to the market (though you can argue they shouldn’t have been given the relative success of Windows Mobile), BlackBerry was right in the thick of it as a leader in smartphones when the iPhone hit. And they still couldn’t use that strong market position to figure it out until it was too late.

Yet another case of a strong market position actually being a weakness because it blinds and/or binds you.

Wayne Ma:

Lian Jiyu, 25 years old, said he wanted the 5S over the 5C because the 5S is the first phone to be offered in a gold color. “I don’t care what’s inside the device,” said Mr. Lian, who works at a local TV station. “Chinese people like gold,” he said. Mr. Lian was in line at 4 a.m. but ultimately was turned away four hours later because he hadn’t pre-ordered the device.

Remember all those folks who scoffed at the gold iPhone? It seemed to be everyone but this guy.