In the final calendar quarter of 2011, everybody’s favorite Cupertino, California-based fruit company sold more than 15 million iPads, which is more than any single brand of traditional desktop and portable computers in the same period. This year Apple is expected to sell 60 million tablets, a 50 percent jump over 2011, and I think we can expect another year of double-digit Mac growth, as well. So, is the end nigh for Microsoft, HP, Dell, Acer and Samsung?
Given that Steve Jobs had told his biographer he would spend Apple’s then $40 billion cash pile, now nearly $100 billion, to stop Android from copying the iPhone and iPad, today’s rumor that a settlement, however egregious, could be in the works seems more than a little off. Nevertheless, that now appears to be the case.
In addition to being the home of a fairly tasty eponymous brew, Qingdao China is the place, sometime on Saturday, where the 25 billionth app from the iOS App Store was downloaded. And, what was the fateful app? A $0.99 kid’s game made by Disney. Hmm, let’s repeat that again — someone in China download a Disney app — not the least bit suspicious, is it?
The app-conomy is huge, but a new study claims that Apple’s economic footprint is bigger still. I don’t doubt Cupertino’s large and growing positive impact on the American economy, yet fundamental questions about the opportunities could and should be bringing home for the rest of us remain.
The ongoing iOS-ification of the Mac, the porting of iOS features and functionality to the desktop, will gain fresh momentum with Apple’s late Summer release of Mountain Lion. For better and worse, that has been the focus of media and tech press’s coverage of the operating system update. Yet, like an iceberg, much of what makes OS X 10.8 different is largely out of sight.
One of the last unfinished thoughts Steve Jobs left us with was textbooks. Walter Isaacson’s seminal biography of the Apple co-founder teased that the next textbook publishing was the next industry the iconic technology visionary was seeking to revolutionize. That was the promise and today Apple has delivered the vision, as well as the tools — iBooks, iTunes U, iBook Author — to make it happen.
Who doesn’t like a juicy palace intrigue? To date there’s no visible hint of that at 1 Infinite Loop, but the potential — a nice enough place to start — for one exists. Although there’s no question Steve Jobs wanted Tim Cook to run the company, a new book also makes it clear that Scott Forstall probably wants the job more than anyone else.
Apple has the operating system, app + gaming ecosystem and even has an excellent piece of hardware already in place — why, oh, why haven’t they let the genie out of the bottle? It would be awesome and no further proof thereof is needed than this fresh hack from Steven Troughton-Smith and TheMudKip.
Although I still don’t get the attraction, Apple’s latest effort to drive subscriptions on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad is succeeding. Newsstand is, after all, just a glorified folder, but it’s nonetheless getting users to pay for digital magazines and newspapers — the proof is in the numbers.
Christmas really isn’t a day — it’s a season. For Twitter and Wolfram Alpha, iOS 5 ties are already beginning to pay dividends, but their good cheer is only just getting started. That is, Apple looks almost certain to deliver stellar iOS sales this quarter, which will drive partner results even higher.