Maccast 08.02.2013 - Show #455
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
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V News
V Low cost iPhones selling well.
* AppleInsider had a report on some interesting data from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners that I think offers a lot of insight into why Apple is very likely bringing us a "lower cost" new iPhone this Fall.
* The data showed that when the iPhone 5 was first launched it accounted for about 68 percent of all iPhone sales
* But this June the iPhone 5 accounted for exactly half, 50 percent, of total iPhone sales.
* The iPhone 4 and 4S made up 18 percent and 30 percent respectively.
* Last quarter saw surprisingly strong iPhone numbers, especially with new models looming. Apple announced sales of 31 million iPhones.
* Doing the math that means means 14.8 million of those were older lower cost devices. That's a lot of revenue.
* The study also notes that it is common for the average prices of smartphones in mature markets to decline.
V In addition low prices on older iPhone have been reported to be helping Apple marketshare outside the US.
* A new study by Kantar Worldpanel showed Apple's marketshare growing in countries like the UK and France helped by the sales of older devices like the iPhone 4S
* In the UK iOS was 5.2 percent from a year ago and in France Apple was up 4.7 percent
V Tim Cook was also recently in China talking to carriers
* Specifically their biggest carrier partner there, China Telecom
* What they were discussing was not revealed, but speculation was it might have to do with increasing sales that had gone flat in China over the July quarter
* A lower cost iPhone could help Apple in price sensitive and emerging markets like China and India
* Apple also still has yet to break in with China Mobile, China's largest carrier.
* By introducing a "low cost" new iPhone Apple can help solidify and probably grow their marketshare with price conscious consumers.
V Some may worry that they will do this at the risk of losing iPhone 5S sales to consumers who opt to save a few bucks. I think that is true, but more likely they will capture the customer who would have opted for a lower cost non-Apple alternative.
* Plus, it's been proven that capturing new customers for Apple often leads to more revenue in other areas.
* Those customers buy apps, media, Macs, Apple TVs, etc as they expand into the Apple eco-system.
V Latest on Apple's "low-cost" iPhone
* A report from a consumer watchdog group in China on Apple supplier Pegatron indicated that workers were "past(ing) protective film on the iPhone’s plastic back cover to prevent it from being scratched on assembly lines".
* The report was produced by China Labor Watch and alleged that Pegatron was not adhering to Apple's supplier code of conduct when it came to working hour limits or minimum worker age requirements.
* The report also revealed that the new cell phone had not yet been put into mass production.
V A photo surfaced supposedly showing white plastic retail packaging boxes for the new low-cost iPhone. The boxes had "iPhone 5c" on the side with many reporting that the "c" stands for color
* iLounge had originally reported iPhone 5c name back in April
* After the images surface Bloomberg separately reported the "iPhone 5C" name for the upcoming plastic iPhone.
* The new low cost iPhone will reportedly have a plastic back case an be available in a variety of colors.
V In my opinion, spec-wise, the new "low cost" iPhone is going to be identical spec wise to the current gen iPhone 5
* That's why many of the rumored specs and parts leaks match the iPhone 5
* This week we heard the iSight camera would use an 8MP module just like the iPhone 5, not shocking.
* The main board design and some of the components are tweaked in how the hook up, but beyond that the raw parts are specs I think will be identical.
V Mansfield moved to Special Projects
* It was noticed this week that the profile for Bob Mansfield, Apple's Senior VP of Technologies suddenly when missing form the executive profiles pages of Apple's web site.
* That immediately lead to a flurry of speculation on the inter-webs, but when the dust settled it was more puff than substance.
* Bob is still at Apple, but his role has been changed. He has left the executive team and will now be working on "special projects"
* Some also wanted to speculate that the move was some sort of reprimand or demotion, but in my opinion that's crazy.
V If you remember this isn't the first time Bob has stepped down from his executive duties.
* In June of last year he announced his retirement from Apple only to be brought back as Senior VP of Technologies when Apple did it's executive restructuring
* So what it says to me is that Bob isn't all that interested in being an executive. Apple wanted him back during their executive transition and paid "a lot" according to reports to get hime back.
* Now, a year later, Apple is through the transition and Bob is ready to move on again and, as pointed out by John Gruber, he is in a position to write his own ticket.
* So now he'll be running Apple's "skunkworks" and overseeing the future of Apple's technologies al without the day to day pressure of being on the executive team.
* Sound like a good deal to me.
V As for what he'll be working, we can only speculate, but Apple did say he will be reporting directly to Tim Cook
* Apple also recently hired former Yves St Laurent CEO Paul Deneve from the fashion industry to work on "special projects" and report directly to Tim Cook
* It's likely that at least one of those special projects would be wearable technology
V Apple this week confirmed acquiring a low-powered communications chip firm called Passif
* One key component developed by Passif is a "Low Energy" LE Bluetooth chip ideally suited for health-monitoring and fitness-related devices,
* Tim Cook mentioned at the D Conference he had an interest in wrist type wearable devices like the Mike fuel-band.
V Updates in iOS 7 beta 4
* The latest version of Apple's iOS 7 beta software is out.
* Beta 4 bring a number of enhancements and some new features.
V Probably the biggest news is what seems like possible confirmation of a finger print scanner in the home button
* Looking in a folder called "BiometricKitUI.axb" strings were found in the code describing an image showing a person "holding an iPhone with their right hand while touching the Home button with their thumb."
* So despite the recent patent discovery it looks like the scanner will likely be in the home button.
* So 'unlock' will become a two-step process? Could unlock, but what if you want to notification unlock?
* Also, how will it handle multiple users?
* UI changes to lock screen removed the up indicator from Control Center and the down indicator from Notification Center (now just bars). Also added a right facing "carrot" to indicate the sled to unlock direction
* Call and hang up buttons now don't go all the way across the screen. They are rounded off and look more like buttons. Still totally flat though.
* Snapshot detection API, so devs can tell when someone has taken a screenshot. Good for apps like Snapchat.
* Swipe between panels in Notification Center
* Siri has new voice suggestions and can apparently now speak back answers to the results from some Wolfram Alpha and Wikipedia questions
* Apple also release iTunes 11.1 Beta which adds iTunes Radio support
V There was also an update to Apple TV which brings the ability to browse and purchase music from the Music app
* Also discovered was what appears to be a 'touch to configure' feature.
* During set up it would use Bluetooth to automatically set up your new Apple TV
* My guess is it could pull in your iTunes account, iCloud account, and network setup
* The screen says, "not available on iPhone 4 and iPad 2," which would indicate it using low-power Bluetooth 4.0
V Playing the market share numbers game
V Google quoted sales numbers at their nexus 7 reboot event where they asserted the Nexus 7 outsold the iPad in Japan in the 4th quarter of 2012
* The numbers were from a BCN study and illustrate how careful we have to be with numbers
* Apparently in comparing them with numbers from IDC things looked a little off.
* The BCN numbers showed the Nexus 7 with a 44.4 percent share and the iPad with just a 40.1 percent share
* Here's the thing, BCN only looked at 16% of the Japanese sales channels. and ignores Apple Retail stores, carriers, and direct sales.
* IDVs numbers show Apple shipping more than twice as many iPads vs. nexus tablets for that period.
V Strategy Analytics says Samsung became the handset industry's largest and most profitable vendor in the second quarter of 2013
* AppleInsider broke it down though
* Samsung has been producing the most phones since the first quarter of 2012, not surprising
* Because Samsung doesn't report how many products or devices it sells or ships. And neither Apple, nor Samsung, report profit share for any specific product segments, it's all math that's used to determine these numbers.
* The math though is faulty, as the piece points out.
V You can read all the details in the Dilger piece, but the conclusion is basically
* Apple in Samsung make roughly the same amount of overall profit
* $9.2 billion for Apple and $8.56 billion for Samsung. Just a $600 million difference
* But Samsung has a lot more businesses than Apple.
V Latest numbers from Canaord on just smartphone profits do show that Apple and Samsung are neck and neck on industry profit share
* Apple had 53% of the smartphones profits, while Samsung had 50%.
* Why 103%, well that's because the other either break even or actually lose money.
V Anandtech found Google cooking the benchmark books
* Basically they found several benchmark tools enabled Galaxy S4s GPU to run a GPU benchmark at a higher frequency/voltage setting. One not available to all apps.
* There was similar benchmark tweaking on the CPU, but in that case the high settings are available to apps, but for the benchmark tools settings are forced to maximum (and in the case of Snapdragon, all cores are plugged in.
* The tweaks seem to be device specific and put it in a mode that is tweaked out in a way that the average consumer wouldn't have in normal operation.
* It makes raw benchmark comparisons slanted in favor of the Galaxy S4 in several tools.
V Strategy Analytics declared that 2013 Q2 global Android tablet shipments trounced iOS with a 67 percent share
* Once again AppleInsider to the rescue
* IDC's Q1 numbers (they haven't reported Q2 yet) showed Apple with a 39.6% hare selling 19.5 million. The top 5 non-Apple tablets (Samsung, Asus, Amazon, Microsoft (not Android) had 28.9 percent combined (18.7 million). Then there was 15.5 million (31.5%) "other".
* To compare same quarters, Strategy Analytics had their Q1 numbers at 3 million Windows tablets vs. IDC's 0.9 million
* It get's better though. Strategy Analytics for the same quarter counted 18.1 million branded non-Apple tablets shipped vs. IDC's 27.9 for the same quarter. How can these two be off by 9.8 million?
* Even stranger AppleInsider pointed out that Strategy Analytics posted this years Q1 2013 numbers along with their Q1 2012 numbers for comparison, but Engadget cited Strategy Analytics last year on their site. Guess what the "new" 2012 numbers magically grew by 11.2 million units (for last year).
V The answer lies in what they call "white label" tablets. A new segment of product produced by one company that other companies rebrand to make it appear as if they made it. That's the 15.5 million "other" in this years study and the 11.2 that were added to last years figures.
* So the headline of Androids tablet dominance over Apple should have happened a year ago with Apple having a 47.2 percent share of the tablet market, while Android enjoyed a majority share of 51.4 percent.
* We are also leaving out the fact that Apple is the only company to announce or break out sales numbers, Apple numbers are sales (not shipments) and that "shipment" numbers are not equal to sales.
V Canalys released what looks like similar numbers, but presented in a more balanced manner
* Show's Apple with a 43 percent share of the tablet market. Samsung with a 22 percent share.
* If you count the second top four non-Apple tablets in their study (Samsung, Amazon, Lenovo, and Acer) they account for almost a 35 percent total share.
* The "others" have a 22 percent share, interestingly the same a Samsung itself.
* The trend is clear though. The tablet space is getting crowded. So Apple's total share will decline while competitors saturate the tablet market, most of those running Android.
* Apple and Samsung are still expected to have most of the profits in the space for years to come
V And while we are showing Android's dominance of Apple, Google Play Downloads have passed App Store downloads according to App Annie
* Google Play saw 10% more app downloads than Apple's App Store in the second quarter of 2013
* But, as we have shown, one stat doesn't tell the whole story (neither does many, but we have to have something to talk about)
* The App Store apps earned 2.3 times the revenue of Google Play apps with 10% fewer downloads.
V iPad with retina display not/is back
* Not that it was ever here or left for that matter, but the rumors have been on again off again and are now apparently back off, or not?
V First 9to5 Mac reports iOS 7 references to possible upcoming iPad mini models and specs
* they say it reveals a "s5l8950x" processor, or the same A6 system-on-a-chip inside of Apple’s iPhone 5.
* They also say the references are missing @2x hooks for app images leading to the to speculate that the next mini will be non-retina
V But then, the Wall Street Journal says otherwise
* They claim Apple is sourcing Retina iPad mini display parts from Samsung, Sharp, and LG for an iPad mini to be released later this year
* They also say Apple is considering considering multi-colored back plates for the iPad mini
* Apple I'm sure wants to have a Retina based mini and now that the Nexus 7 is out with their HD display it's even more critical I'm sure. They also don't want to be left without a new model going into the holidays, so it's possible a non-retina mini is simply a plan B if they can't get the retina iPad mini out the door in time.f
V The same developer who found the iPad mini references says their are indicators pointing to an A7 processor for the iPhone and it looks like it's a Samsung part
* That would contradict recent rumors that Apple would switch to TSMC for their A7 processor.
* And not surprising we saw a leaked back case said to be for the next gen iPad and it looked like a full sized version of an iPad mini shell, but with an embedded black logo like the existing iPad back case. Then images of the new iPad mini case with the same embedded logo.
V Free iCloud upgrade come to an end
* Apple has sent out notifications to former Mobile Me customers that their free upgraded 20GB of iCloud storage will soon go bye bye
* If you remember during the iCloud transition Apple told any existing Mobile Me customers who migrated their account to iCloud October 12th, 2011 and August 1st, 2012 that they would end to them a 20GB storage upgrade for free.
* Now they are letting them know that on September 30th that extra storage will be removed and the accounts set back to the free 5GB storage level.
* If you want to keep your extra 20GB you'll need to pay US$40/yr and for US$100/yr. you can get an additional 50GB of iCloud storage.
* The additional storage is on top of the 5GB of free storage you get with an iCloud account.
* The email notices inform customer of their current storage usage and thats good, because TMO pointed at an Apple Knowledgebase article that notes if you go over your iCloud storage level that iCloud Backup, Documents in the Cloud, and iCloud Mail will temporarily stop working until you get back down below your limit.
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V Feedback, Comments and Commentary
V Report iMessage Spam
* 9to5 Mac found this Apple support article that details how you can report iMessage spam to Apple.
V To report unwanted iMessage messages to Apple, please send an email with the following details to:
* Include a screenshot of the message you have received.
* Include the full email address or phone number you received the unwanted message from.
* Include the date and time that you received the message.
* In iOS 7 Apple will be adding the ability to block Apple IDs for iMessage or FaceTime, but this let's anyone report the abuse to Apple so hopefully they and stop it at the source
V Apple Maps not getting better?
* A few of you wrote me to tell of your bad experiences with Apple Maps after I commented on Apple acquiring Locationary and Hop Stop
* The main complaint was of Maps not finding specific local points of interest or recognizing recent changes, etc.
* There were also some instances of old problems that some of you have reported to Apple that still have not been fixed.
* I finally experienced this first hand this week and turned to Google Maps
* The point I wanted to make with these recent acquires, especially Locationary, is the same one I've made since the Maps debate started.
* Apple needs to beef up their details when it comes to specific local and regional areas and what that takes is people, not just technology
* Locationary is crowd sources data coupled with technology the clean and aggregate that data intelligently.
* This week we've had reports that Apple site seriously looking to expand hiring regional "ground truth" staff all over the world.
* Basically human beings who are familiar with local areas to check, validate, and correct the mapping data
V Cleaning a work issued laptop
* Peter wrote me with an interesting question about what to do about cleaning personal data off a work issued laptop when it comes time to return the unit to the company.
* He was wondering if when he turned it back in if his IT department would wipe it clean and fresh install the OS and apps or if they'd simply delete his user account, create an new user and re-issue it.
* If the latter happened, does it leave a bunch of data bits behind?
V I'd guess the first recommendation I'd have is ask your IT department what they do.
* In most cases I think they have software and pre-built disk images that they use to set up machines. So erase and re-image with a clean OS and image that has all the software and configurations that they need.
* Typically they aren't going to give you admin access
* Now maybe you're not comfortable asking your IT department or you've been using the work laptop for personal tasks when it's not allowed?
V If you are not super paranoid about the personal info then simply copying off your personal files and trashing them from the drive is your easiest option
* remove all your personal files
* For email, use your Mail Client to backup and then delete those accounts and data. OS X Mail you can select the Mailbox and choose 'Export Mailbox' from the 'Mailbox' menu
* Similarly you can export any personal contacts or calendars and delete them from the apps
V Delete personal Applications and data
* Check the ~/Library and /Library folders for supporting files
* Specifically look at the Application Support, Preferences folders and for any Application specific folders in the ~/Library folder
V Clean out caches and history
* Do it in the browsers you use. Safari, Chrome, Firefox.
* Run a tool like Onyx or Cocktail and clean out all the System and User caches
V WARNING: You should ALWAYS follow your corporate guidelines and IT policies. In every company I've ever worked for you would not be allowed to do what I'm about to describe, so I would not do this and you shouldn't either. Hopefully your IT crew was smart enough to block your access from doing this
* They can set a Firmware password that would not allow you to boot to the recovery volume or from an external disk
V The ideal thing to do would be to:
V 1) backup all the data to an external, say using carbon copy cloner or super duper
* May or may not be allowed by IT policy
* Make two backups of critical work data
* 2) Boot to recovery partition
* 3) Use Disk Utility to erase the drive. Probably with the seven times write option (could take days).
* 4) Re-install a clean system
V 5) Restore all the Apps (assuming you've not loaded personal ones), System settings, using the Setup Assistant, but leave off the user files
* You'll want to restore the Apps from backup rather than re-install from scratch because you likely don't have access to the original installers
* They is particularly true if there are App Store apps that are tied to corporate AppStore IDs.
V 6) Re-create the user account and hand copy back your work files and data.
* You'll likely need to bring back Preferences, Application Support files, etc. in the ~/Library folder
V An idea to be more preemptive about this would be, if your IT allows it, to set up a personal user account on the machine separate from your work account.
* You could then only install personal apps for that User under that account
* And only use that account for personal tasks
* Then when it's time to turn the Mac in you could back up that User account (home folder) and remove that account from the Mac.
V Let's talk App new world order
* I have mentioned on several occasions that I feel Apple's new app eco-system has the potential to be devastating for a number of Mac and iOS developers in the long term
* My basic premise for this concern is all the data we are seeing that trends for app pricing is going down rapidly.
* On the iOS App Store 90% of apps are now Free, 6% are $0.99, meaning only 4% are over a buck
V The budget pricing is not as low for Mac apps yet. But the trend is similar.
* A VERY unscientific scan of the Mac Apps store shows average prices between $4.99 and $9.99 USD for most apps if you exclude Games and Apple's Pro Apps
* Games seem to fall in the $9.99 to $24.99 range
* Apple's iWork apps are $19.99
V A number of you wrote to say you don't think the pricing is a problem for developers
* Many, rightfully, have pointed out that programmers and App developers they know make a pretty good living
* They enjoy good salaries, benefits, etc and so they don't see a problem
* But what I'm talking about is the long term issues being created by the trend.
V We also need to group the kinds of developers I'm talking about into groups to better understand my concerns
* Mainly I'm talking about small to medium sized app developers who make the awesome software we have all grown to love
* The quality apps that are hand crafted by developers who are like us and love Apple and they way of doing things
* This not the Adobe's and Microsoft's of the world. They will be fine.
* You'll also have new powerhouses like Rovio, but those are exceptions.
* Also, the one guy doing an app part time on the side, he'll be OK making a few hundred to a couple thousand bucks on the side.
* Once you have an app that needs a small staff of developers, some support folks, etc. This new pricing becomes unsustainable. At least using the old way of selling.
* So you say, and I agree, they need to figure out the "new" way to sustain the business. I'm just saying, I'm not particularly liking the models being developed and I know developers who aren't too keen on them either.
V So what are they:
V Freemium: Give it away as crippleware. Then nickel, dime, and pester the customer until they pay what you wanted in the first place.
* In the most egregious cases, make them pay more and more
* Subscriptionware. This is where even Adobe and Microsoft are going
* Volumeware. Throw together quick little apps as fast as you can. You'll see this a lot with smaller gave developers. (this model is actually not too bad)
V Crapware. Cloneware. Theftware.
* Take a popular app and make cheaper clone using cheap outsourced labour
* In some case try and trick and confuse the buyer
* Apple doesn't offer refunds, so the consumer is out and the crook profits
V So these are some of the models I don't like, but rather than be all negative some of the new trends we are seeing that might make the new world order for apps work.
V Problem: Lack of free trials
* Solution: Free 'Lite' versions of apps or Free with in-app purchases. Demo versions on web site.
* Comments: This is still a big problem in my opinion, but developers are dealing with it and Apple does't seem keen on changing this anytime soon
V Problem: Lack of paid upgrades
* Solution: All app pricing is upgrade pricing. Each "upgrade" is a new app.
* Comments: Rene Ritchie at iMore pointed out that with the Release of Logic Pro X, Apple used and solidified their position that they believe in this model. Tweetie, 1Password, and others have done this successfully. I think currently it can be confusing for consumers and poses a marketing issue for developers
V Problem: Lower app prices
* Solution: Charge more. Put out new versions, at the lower price, more frequently and charge for them. This is really just a variation on "subscriptionware".
V When to buy an Apple TV
* Play question from Todd
V The Game controller APIs are some thing I think seemed primed for an Apple TV
* The latest Apple TV hardware has Bluetooth and the AppleTV 3rd gen out now has Bluetooth 4.0
* With OS X Mavericks and the AirPlay screen extending feature, iTunes Radio, and more services coming to Apple TV now seems like a great time to be jumping in.
* As far as I know the new features are almost all software and will work back to an Apple TV 2.
* We haven't heard any rumors of new Apple TV hardware coming out any time soon.
* Apple is selling refurbished Apple TV 3s for USD $79.00
* This close to the major new updates coming in the Fall I'd wait if you can and, unlike with Macs, I don't see why you couldn't.
V Time Machine Local Snapshots
V Doug sent me an email with an interesting dilemma. He was checking is disk usage in the Finder and the System Information window (Apple menu > About This Mac…, then click 'More Information…) and noticed a significant discrepancy
* The Finder was reporting he had 96.63 GB of free disk space, but in System Information (the one with the graph) claimed he only had 29.53 GB free
* So why did System Information think he had 67.1 GB less free space?
* The answer was actually right there in that little bar graph. There was a section of 'pink' bar claiming to be using 67.1GB of free space and it was labeled 'Backup'
* And it was actually Time Machine, or more correctly a feature of Time Machine, that was using up the extra disk space.
* I actually covered this at the end of August last year, but it's worth revisiting.
V With Time Machine in Lion Apple added a feature called "local snapshots" that comes into play on portables.
* Apple Knowledgebase article
V Local snapshots are used when Time Machine is enabled and are disconnected from your Time Machine drive
* In those cases Time Machine will use a local snapshot to store Time Machine data
* They are created in /Volumes/MobileBackups
* Just like regular TimeMachine backups they are created hourly
* They are only created if you have at least 20% free disk space
* If your disk gets 80% full or more Time Machine will start deleting the oldest local snapshots
* Local snapshots are also reduced to 1 per day after 24 hours and deleted after a week
* When you enter Time Machine you'll be able to identify local snapshots because their tick-marks in the timeline will be grey instead of pink
V To see if you have local snapshots and how much data they are using
* If you look at the Time Machine preferences pane when enabled (System Preferences > Time Machine), you'll see that in Lion or later it says "Time Machine keeps local backups as space permits"
* You can also use the Storage display. Apple Menu > About This Mac, click More Info… and then click the 'Storage' tab. Find your main HD and look at the 'Backups' value. (remember this is only on notebooks).
V You can also check the comparison of the available space in the Finder's Get Info window vs. the value you see in Disk utility
* The Finder's Get Info window ignores the Backup data and shows it was available space since if you need the space the Time Machine data will be removed.
V Now, if you don't like the idea of Time machine using local storage at all you can issue a command in the Terminal to disable the feature:
* Launch the Terminal (Applications > Utilities > Terminal) and issue the command 'sudo tmutil disablelocal'. You'll need to enter your Admin credentials
* To turn it back on use the command 'sudo tmutil enablelocal'
* To force a local snapshot you can issue the command 'tmutil snapshot'
* If you disable the local snapshot feature you can verify it's off by going to the Time Machine preferences pane. If it's off you'll no longer see the "Time Machine keeps local backups as space permits" text.
V Interestingly in Bryan's case he had never even enabled Time Machine on his Mac, yet it had local storage files. He thinks it may have been a bug introduced with the 10.8.1 update
* I checked my Macbook Air though and I didn't see that issue
* Maybe the local backups were just old and had been there from a time when Time Machine WAS enabled on Bryan's laptop.
V Closing
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