Episode 27 of the Digital City, where we discuss the move towards capped Internet access, the delicate industrial design of Apple products, a proposed CrunchPad Web-surfing device from TechCrunch, and Dell's svelte new Adamo luxury laptop.Download today's podcast
A correction was made to this story. See below for details.
Updated at 2:54 p.m. PDT with with additional information about the volume of NAND chips Apple is reportedly purchasing and its effect on the number of units the company could ship.
Apple has reportedly ordered 100 million units of 8-gigabit and 16-gigabit NAND flash chips, with the bulk of its order coming from its main iPhone chip supplier, Samsung, according to a research report released Monday by a Lazard Capital Markets analyst.
The majority of the sizable order is expected to be applied toward the 16-gigabit NAND, … Read more
Updated at 9:10 a.m. PDT: correcting for refurbished Apple MacBook Air price and refurbished unit discussion.
Dell's ultra-sleek Adamo may be ill-timed and grasping for cachet that's not there.
Gizmodo summarized its review of the Adamo by saying: "Just don't dare buy this computer until Dell comes to their senses and realizes that $2,000+ is absurd for a 4-pound laptop with no graphics muscle."
Though I think Gizmodo misses the mark about "graphics muscle" (ultraportables are not designed or marketed as graphics powerhouses, or anything close to it), the reviewer is right about price--and high price implies cachet. Only Apple (and maybe the ThinkPad x301) can command the kind of cachet that demands $2,500 for a high-end laptop (i.e., the MacBook Air).
But there's a greater force conspiring against the Dell Adamo and even the Apple MBA: the Netbook.
High-end Netbooks, like the just-announced 11.6-inch Acer Aspire One, are priced well below $700, making it hard to plop down $2,700 for the 1.4GHz Adamo. Yes, the four-pound Dell is a stunning, superior design (0.65-inches thick, machined-aluminum chassis) with better hardware (Core 2 processor, 128GB solid-state drive standard, 13.4-inch 16:9 HD display with edge-to-edge glass) . But is it $2,000 better? In the age of the two-pound $500 "luxury" Netbook, definitely not. … Read more
Steve Jobs may be down, but he is by no means out, according to a report Saturday in The Wall Street Journal.
Apple's CEO has been on medical leave since January, but sources tell the Journal that Jobs is still running key parts of the company from his home.
He was, for example, specifically involved in the user interface for the latest version of the iPhone operating system, continues to review products, and is working on future projects, sources told the newspaper. He has made no public appearances this year.
To go along with my obsession with software, games, and all things iPhone-related, I also have a healthy(?) obsession for basketball. March Madness is over, but there's still the NBA playoffs coming up on April 19. A few teams are still in the playoff race, even with only a few games to go in the regular season. While my team didn't even come close to making the playoffs (Hint: We Believed), I will still be watching a few of the playoff matchups and can't wait to see who makes the NBA Finals.
This week's apps include … Read more
BusinessWeek is running a piece on Microsoft's latest attempts to fight back against Apple and Linux and its secret strategy to force unwitting Windows users to upgrade to various flavors of Windows 7.
Because of the smaller size of Windows 7, three versions of the program will come loaded even on lower-end machines. If a consumer on a cheaper PC running the "Standard" version tries to use a high-definition monitor or run more than three software programs at once, he'll discover that neither is possible. Then he'll be prompted to upgrade to the pricier "Home Premium" or "Ultimate" version.
Microsoft says the process will be simple. Customers enter their credit-card information, then a 25-character code, make a few keystrokes, then reboot. (Microsoft Corporate Vice President for Consumer-Product Marketing Brad Brooks) says pricing hasn't been determined, but upgrading "will cost less than a night out for four at a pizza restaurant."
I can't decide if this strategy is profoundly stupid or just utterly moronic.
Besides the fact that when you buy an Apple computer you aren't hoodwinked into upgrading the operating system, just think of all the simple things that can go wrong:… Read more
Apple is approaching the 1 billion mark for applications downloaded from the App Store, and plans to give out a host of Apple gear to the lucky billionth customer.
The company put up a countdown Web page Friday as it gets closer to the mark: as of this writing, about 928 million applications have been downloaded from the App Store since it went live last July, according to the counter. Whoever manages to download the 1 billionth application will come away with a pretty good haul: a MacBook Pro, a 32GB iPod Touch, a Time Capsule, and a $10,000 … Read more
According to Macnn, one of Apple's latest patents indicates the company may be looking at a unibody design for the iPod Classic--and possibly other products.
In October of last year, Apple began incorporating unibody designs into its new MacBook and MacBook Pro lines. The "revolutionary" manufacturing process creates a seamless enclosure carved from a single piece of aluminum that makes the final product lighter, thinner, and, according to Apple, sturdier. The unibody design may also help shave manufacturing costs.
It seems logical for Apple to switch to a unibody design for its iPod Classic, which currently uses … Read more
Yes, with its "laptop hunters" campaign Microsoft is going to keep punching with every possible demographic and every last letter in the extremely traditional advertising vernacular until it hears the merest whimper from those smug, designer-clad pretty-boys at Apple.
Lisa and Jackson are a charming pair. Revved up by the folks cunningly pretending to be market researchers, they scurry around Best Buy as if they're playing a sophisticated form of hide and … Read more
Microsoft's assault on Apple is continuing, as the software maker is ready with the third in its "Laptop Hunter" series of Windows ads.
This time it's a mom and kid in search of an entertainment notebook. Guess, what? They go with a PC--a Sony this time. And, instead of going to Fry's, they hit Best Buy.
Otherwise, it's pretty much the same thread as the earlier spots, though this time Microsoft once again plays the kid card.