The Apple Market Share Myth

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Date: Monday, July 24th, 2006, 08:00
Category: Opinion

Market share is often used in spreading FUD. It has been used against Apple’s Macintosh since its introduction over twenty years ago. Professional nay-sayers have long insisted that the Mac’s limited market share would prevent it from benefiting from the hardware economies of scale that were driving PCs cheaper, as well as the widespread software development forces that were introducing a wide range of diverse PC applications.
Ironically, those making the biggest stink about Apple’s historically low share of the overall PC market have started attacking the iPod’s majority share of the music player market. They gleefully preach the imminent demise of the iPod because its reported market share fell to 75% of all music devices. If market share is so critically important, why aren’t the same analysts advising people to march out and buy the market leading iPod?
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Contributed by: Daniel Eran, RoughlyDrafted

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The Apple Core: Merom to replace Yonah in MacBook Pro

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Date: Monday, July 24th, 2006, 08:00
Category: The Apple Core

merom-for-mobile.jpgRemember Yonah? It’s the code name for the Intel Core Duo chip found in the iMac, MacBook, MacBook Pro and Mac mini, and it will soon play second fiddle to a faster cool chip arriving from Intel: Merom.
Merom is “a mobility-optimized, dual-core processor based on the new, state of the art, Intel Core microarchitecture” according to the company.
Intel’s next generation notebook chip is due to be announced today

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The Apple Core: Say hello to HoverPod

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Date: Friday, July 21st, 2006, 10:08
Category: The Apple Core

ipod-proximity-patent.jpgRemember all the rumors about Apple’s “true video” iPod? The one with the full-screen display and the virtual click wheel that appeared and disappeared as needed? My problem with that concept was something that has been the scourge of the iPod nano – scratches.
I originally dismissed the early “all-screen” (or button-less) iPod mockups as fantasy because of the overwhelming potential for scratching. How on earth could Apple release an iPod that required users to drag their fingers across the screen in order to change the volume or to switch tracks? It would have more scratches that a dog with fleas.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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The Apple Core: Apple Q3 profit up 47 percent

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Date: Thursday, July 20th, 2006, 08:00
Category: The Apple Core

Apple yesterday reported a fiscal third-quarter profit that rose 47.5 percent from the same quarter last year on increase iPod and Macintosh sales.
Apple experienced the second highest quarterly earnings and revenue in Apple’s history in the third quarter with US$4.37 billion in revenue and 24 percent year over year growth. Apple enjoyed the best Mac unit sales in any 13 week quarter in company history. Net income was US$472 million or 54 cents per diluted share.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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Speck Products MobileTune

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Date: Wednesday, July 19th, 2006, 10:24
Category: iPod

mobiletune.jpg
Being somewhat of an audiophile (read: snob) I’m not a big fan of FM transmitters for iPods. The sound quality is sub-par and you end up having to hunt for open stations far more often than is safe while driving at 60 MPH.
That said, it’s not always possible to have a direct iPod connection to your car’s stereo system. Heck, even auxiliary inputs are still somewhat rare on most head units. And if you have the factory radio that comes in most cars, you’re pretty much out of luck.
Enter the FM transmitter – the only economical solution for using an iPod in most cars. FM trannies come in every shape and size but the new MobileTune from Speck Products takes the cake in terms of design:

Soft leather, chrome details and a glowing, blue dial indicator give a distinctive look while the transmitter offers seamless iPod integration through your car stereo for the ultimate in-car experience.

At US$59.95 Speck’s MobileTune may strike you as a bit spendy, but you have to pay a little more if you want better materials. And hey, it’s better than another piece of black plastic in your car.

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MacBook Pro on the Cheap

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Date: Wednesday, July 19th, 2006, 09:37
Category: MacBook Pro

macbook_pro_ports.jpgMacMall has some great prices on the MacBook Pro.
- MacBook Pro 1.83GHz – US$1,649
- MacBook Pro 2.0GHz – US$1,844
They appear to be trying to clear out 1.83GHz models since Apple upgraded the base model to 2.0GHz (which is also a great deal at US$1,844). Both configurations also come with a free Samsung SCX-4200 multifunction printer and carrying case.

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The Online Music and Movie Rental Myth

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Date: Wednesday, July 19th, 2006, 09:00
Category: Opinion

Think Secret reported yesterday they had “learned exclusively” of a surprise announcement at Apple’s WWDC: iTunes would begin renting movies.
Of course, they didn’t exclusively learn anything; if such an effort was really underway, a lot of involved people would also have to know about it! Perhaps they meant to say they were “exclusively reporting” the idea. Then again, by reporting it, it prevents it from being a WWDC surprise, so there are multiple problems with their story.
Despite that, there is a general perception among industry analysts that Apple, by showing up late to the subscription rental party, faces the threat of losing their majority ownership of online media sales. We’ll have to wait a few weeks to find out if Think Secret invented their rumor, or if it is based on any real information, but the underlying myth of the holy grail of media subscription rentals can be taken apart right now.
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Contributed by: Daniel Eran, RoughlyDrafted

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The Apple Core: Apple to announce Q3 2006 financial results today

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Date: Wednesday, July 19th, 2006, 09:14
Category: The Apple Core

aapl-stock-dock.pngApple’s conference call Web cast discussing Q3 – 2006 financial results will begin at today at 2pm PT/5pm ET.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster and American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu expect the company’s revenue for Q3 2006 to be at the upper end of Wall Street’s consensus estimate of US$4.2 to $4.4 billion, with $0.44 EPS.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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REVIEW: STM Alley is a Perfect Fit

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Date: Tuesday, July 18th, 2006, 08:00
Category: MacBook

Looking for the perfect fit for your new MacBook? Look no further than the small Alley shoulder bag made by STM and distributed by RadTech. I like to keep my mobile load light and this bag weighs in at a svelte one pound six ounces. More than just a laptop sleeve, the Alley has a nice zippered compartment in the outer flap, the ability to hold letter size documents and a small phone pouch on the strap.

Priced at only $39.95, the Alley is as much a bargain as the MacBook itself. This vertical shoulder bag reminds me of the similarly bargain priced TiBag, designed specifically to fit the Titanium G4 PowerBook a few years back. While STM does not deliver the high style of fellow Australian bagmaker Crumpler, they provide a trim understated solution that protects your MacBook with a minimum of fuss. It is available in black or green and my only suggestion would be to replace the green with a light gray or silver color and to provide a contrasting lighter color fabric for the bag interior.

Combine the small Alley case with a BT510 mid-size Bluetooth mouse, to keep your MacBook mobile and light. Available in black or white to match the MacBook I find the size and simplicity of this mouse a perfect compromise between portability and useability. In fact, this mouse and bag combination seem tailor made for the new MacBook and it would be hard to find a better fit for what may be the best Apple value ever in a notebook computer.

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The Apple Core: The Real Apple Media Center

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Date: Tuesday, July 18th, 2006, 08:00
Category: The Apple Core

media-central-ss.jpegAlthough Apple’s included Front Row software is adequate, MediaCentral takes the definition of Mac home theater to an entirely new level. MediaCentral (US$29) is a Swiss Army Knife media center application from Equinux (of iSale fame) that plays virtually any media format.
Hook it up to a Mac mini and a plasma display and you’ve got a killer Mac media center setup. MediaCentral will play back everything from IP TV, to online clips (from Google Video and YouTube), to IPTV, to movie trailers. Oh yeah, and it plays just about every other media format on the planet, including VIDEO_TS folders (locally or on your network), AVI, DivX, DV Files, Xvid, MPEG1/2/4, DVD, MP3, AC3, Internet Radio stations – and the list goes on.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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