What Caused Low Demand for iPads?

Posted by Kirhat | Friday, July 25, 2014 | | 0 comments »

iPad Demand
Yesterday, we featured a story about how Apple’s income and profit has surge in the last quarter, but failed to stop the declining demand for their iPads.

Apple said it sold 13.3 million iPads in the second quarter of 2014, down more than 9 percent from the same period last year. It was the second consecutive quarter that Apple saw a decline in its iPad figures: Three months ago, the company reported a 16 percent decrease in sales.

So what is going on? Are consumers losing interest on Apple iPads?

One of the reasons could be the pricing. Apple simply doesn’t want to make any price adjustments, said Tero Kuittinen, managing director at Frank N. Magid Associates, a consulting firm. Compared to other tablets, iPads are more expensive, and that's a sticking point.

The least expensive full-sized iPad starts at US$ 399, while the most expensive model – the iPad Air, with 128GB of storage and cellular connectivity – will cost nearly US$ 1,000. The iPad Mini starts at US$ 299.

On the other hand, a decent Android tablet will cost consumers a little under US$ 200, and both Amazon's Kindle Fire HDX and Google's Nexus 7 (which CNET calls "the best Android tablet") start at US$ 229. Samsung even has 10-inch tablets – the same size as the iPad's screen – starting at US$ 299.

According to the technology research firm IDC, the average cost of tablets in the U.S. has decreased over the last two years, from US$ 476 in the first quarter of 2012 to US$ 378 in the first quarter of this year.

"They literally would rather let the volume decline than get competitive on pricing," Kuittinen said of Apple. "Even a year ago nobody thought that iPad sales would tank like this. It really has hit a brick wall."

Apple can afford to price iPhones way higher compared to iPads, but it doesn’t make sense apply premium pricing strategy for both gadgets simply because people upgrade their phones more frequently than their tablets.

"People don't seem to feel the need to upgrade [their iPads]," Jan Dawson, chief analyst at Jackdaw Research, wrote in an email to The Huffington Post. "So the number of people who have an iPad is still growing every quarter, but there aren't many people buying their second or third iPad."

Unlike smartphones, which nobody can really share, a family may buy just one tablet for the entire household. If they do buy another – perhaps – they will likely buy a cheaper one, said Kuittinen.

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Apple's Last Quarter Profit Soars, But ...

Posted by Kirhat | Thursday, July 24, 2014 | | 0 comments »

Apple Money
Notwithstanding the eventual release of new Apple gadgets later this year, consumers still continue to drive the company’s sales and profit in the last three months. However, there is one glaring trend that is worth noting: demand for iPad is declining fast.

The iPhone, Apple's flagship product, continued to gain significant traction. Apple sold 35.2 million iPhones in the last quarter, up 13 percent compared to the same period last year.

Meanwhile, Mac desktop computer was the biggest contributor to the company’s growth, up 18 percent with 4.4 million sold – well above Wall Street analysts' forecasts.

The iPad, on the other hand, was a disappointment. The gadget’s sales fell by 9 percent to 13.2 million last quarter. Another factor hurting Apple's bottom line was the fact that customers are buying cheaper iPads – the average selling price of an iPad fell by about US$ 20 since last year. It means the iPad mini continues to outshine the larger iPad, including the new iPad Air, released in October 2013.

CEO Tim Cook blamed "market softness" in some parts of the world, but he said a turnaround might come from Apple's recently announced deal with IBM to sell industry-specific Apple devices later this year. He also noted that currently, tablets haven't quite caught on in the office. IBM will help change that with a better entry into the business realm.

"We think our partnership with IBM (IBM, Tech30)... will be one such catalyst for future iPad growth," Cook said. "We're very bullish about the tablet market."

The company's profit grew 12 percent to US$ 7.7 billion, or US$ 1.28 per share, during its fiscal third quarter, which ended in June. Apple's earnings per share was nudged up partly because of the company's ongoing stock buyback program, which has lowered the number of shares held by investors by about 7 percent since last year.

Apple posted US$ 37.4 billion in revenue, up 6 percent. Profit exceeded Wall Street's expectations, but sales missed forecasts.

For the current quarter, Apple said it expects sales between US$ 37 billion and US$ 40 billion, also falling short of analysts' forecasts. That sent shares of Apple lower in aftermarket trading.

Even if the company is still swimming in cash, at the end of the quarter, Apple had more than US$ 164 billion on hand, the next period may be a little bit more challenging. All eyes are already on the next few months, because many customers are holding out for the iPhone 6 – assuming that's the name. The phone, expected out in September, will likely have a screen much larger than the latest model's 4-inch display.

Now that Apple has deals with major Chinese mobile carriers and government approval, the iPhone 6 is slated for a blockbuster release around the world – the largest yet.

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The iOS 8 Beta 4 Control Center

Posted by Kirhat | Wednesday, July 23, 2014 | | 0 comments »

iOS 8 Beta
On 21 July 2014, tech-giant Apple released the iOS 8 Beta 4 in limited form to get the public's general sentiments. It was the company's fourth developer preview release of its iOS 8 software, which will be fully available sometime in the coming months, likely just before the next-generation iPhone 6 launches.

In the meantime, developers can use Apple’s iOS 8 betas to update their apps and build new ones that take advantage of all the new APIs Apple has provided. For the rest of non-tech user, iOS 8 gives a look at all the great new things to come or is it?

Those who have sampled the taste believes that not all of those iOS 8 changes are actually great, especially when they saw how the new Control Center look like.

Apple’s new iOS 8 beta 4 update includes tons of changes, bug fixes and new features. The list is available in Apple’s official iOS 8 beta 4 release notes. Many of the changes in beta 4 are refinements that add stability, bug fixes that address nagging issues and feature additions that bring iOS 8 a few steps closer to being ready for release.

However, changes in the Control Center were not received well despite the fact that this is a just a public version and several changes will probably be implemented before Apple’s new mobile platform launches. The new Control Center design might not be final, or it might even go back to the old design. There is simply no way to tell until Apple releases the iOS 8 Gold Master build, which is a developer preview that is identical to the version of iOS 8 that will be released to the public.

For now, check out the two versions above and tell us what you think.

(iOS 7.1 Control Center is on the left, iOS 8 beta 4 Control Center is on the right)

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Things You Want in an iWatch

Posted by Kirhat | Tuesday, July 22, 2014 | | 0 comments »

iWatch Features
We reported before that the rumoured Apple iWatch may be released in three variants on the third quarter of 2014. The first version comes with a 1.6-inch screen, while the other two will feature 1.8-inch displays.

There's no reason to doubt the reports, really. Apple's top brass have all gone on the record suggesting a new product from Apple will be released by the end of this year. The next question is what most people would like to see from the gadget.

Smarter Than Smartphone
The first recommended feature would probably be that it really should be 'smart.' Some critics believed that smartwatches are not really as ‘smart’ as smatphones and the same is probably expected from iWatches.

The current offerings from Samsung, Sony, LG and the like have operated as extensions of a smartphone, linking up via Bluetooth or wireless to, for the most part, serve you notifications that you could have seen by pulling your phone out of your pocket.

Apple may do something along those lines as well and could still make a successful product. However, given their close ties with app developers, the wishful thinking of many is Apple makes the first smartwatch that lets you leave your phone behind.

Wireless Charging

Somebody who has several gadgets in their homes knows that competition for socket space is a regular phenomenon. Smartphones, tablets, e-readers and the like usually are charged up at the same time creating a tangled mess. Does anybody want one more device to fit in there?

Whether it's a wireless charging pad or some new tech whipped up by Apple especially for its smartwatch, almost everyone would love to be able to just set the watch down on the nightstand and have it powered up and ready to go the next morning.

Battery Life

Full charging doesn’t mean squat when the user had to charge the iWatch more often as they do their phones. At least for now, these things are nice extras, not essential communication tools, and if they become more trouble than they're worth, the love affair won't last long for even the most dedicated fanboys and fangirls.

Both Android and iPhones already on the market average somewhere around two or three days on a charge as long as appropriate settings are used. The ones that do more, like Samsung's Galaxy Gear, are on the low end of that and those that do less tend to be higher.

Apple is surely planning on releasing a feature-rich device. If it can somehow do that while figuring out how to jam a powerful battery into a tiny watch, it will be a nice selling point.

Affordable Price

This is Apple. So, there's no reason to think it will depart from a model that's always worked for them.

Unfortunately for budget-conscious consumers, the approach is to roll out finely crafted products at premium prices even while devices with similar features can be had without the Apple logo for less.

However, some are hoping that iWatch will be different. Nobody needs a digital watch and, as mentioned above, there's a decent chance that it won't even work unless you already own another, presumably pricey, Apple device. Some people would like to see it is priced as an affordable accessory for iPhones in an effort to pull in customers who want, not need, one.

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Apple & IBM Are Working Together on iOS

Posted by Kirhat | Monday, July 21, 2014 | | 0 comments »

Apple and IBM on iOS
The once bitter rivals now realized that they not only look good working together, but are also productive doing it.

This is what both Apple and IBM realized after they have decided to teaming in bringing iOS to more enterprise customers than ever before. Re/code reports that Apple and IBM have agreed to an exclusive new partnership that will "help companies deploy wireless devices and business-specific applications to run on them" using iOS as the primary platform.

Why made the two arc-rivals in the personal computer market in the '80s decide to take the plunge and team-up? It was just not long ago when Apple co-founder Steve Jobs used to trash IBM publicly on a regular basis.

According to the new Apple CEO Tim Cook, the two companies really have strengths that compliment one another well and that the two companies are no longer competitors in any sense of the word.

"We're good at building a simple experience and in building devices," Cook said. "The kind of deep industry expertise you would need to really transform the enterprise isn't in our DNA. But it is in IBM's."

CNBC reports that as part of the deal IBM will build more than 100 enterprise-centric iOS apps and will exclusively sell iOS-based smartphones and tablets to its customers as wireless enterprise devices.

IBM took itself out of competition with Apple last decade when it spun off its PC business and decided to focus solely on enterprise-centric products. At the same time, Apple emerged as the most valuable tech company in the world by similarly looking beyond desktop and laptop computers and making its fortune selling mobile devices such as the iPod, iPhone and iPad.

The combination of the two companies will put some added pressure on Microsoft, whose hugely profitable enterprise business has been its biggest strength even as it's struggled to gain a hold in the mobile device market with Windows Phone devices and its Surface tablets.

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Three Variants of Apple iWatch

Posted by Kirhat | Sunday, July 20, 2014 | | 0 comments »

iWatch
Are you waiting for Apple to launch their much-rumored iWatch? Well, I guess you have to choose wisely what variant you are planning to buy because reports revealed that the will release three different variations.

According to a new report from Chinese media outlet Economic Daily, the three variants will be released later this year or in the third quarter of 2014. The first version comes with a 1.6-inch screen, while the other two will feature 1.8-inch displays.

One of these 1.8-inch models will also feature a sapphire crystal display, the same material Apple is rumored to use for the iPhone 6's display.

Since sapphire crystal is expensive to manufacture in large quantities, it would presumably be much easier to create a 1.8-inch screen for the iWatch than a 4.7-inch screen for the iPhone 6. Sapphire crystal is already used for some luxury watch faces.

This isn't the first time that anybody has heard Apple planning to release different versions of the iWatch. In June 2014, The Wall Street Journal reported that the there is a possibility that iWatch could come in three different sizes. From Economic Daily's report, it's unclear if the actual watch band will be available in different sizes or if it's just the screen that varies.

Economic Daily's report also conflicts with previous rumors we've heard about the iWatch's screen size. A report from Reuters previously suggested the iWatch would have a 2.5-inch rectangular screen.

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