Cook Consolidates Senior Management Team

By Alex Brooks Scott Forstall introduces the ill fated iOS 6 Maps at WWDC 2012
In a way we all liked to state how much of a mark Tim Cook was leaving upon Apple. Almost every move he made the writers and the bloggers would burst out into the open and exclaim about this was Tim leaving his legacy upon Apple, doing as Steve Jobs wanted and not leading in his shadow.
However with the largest shakeup in Apple leadership since Jobs took over from Gil Amelio in 1997 we can now really see Tim Cook leaving his mark on Apple. And under the guise of a closed stock market due to Hurricane Sandy and a distracted press a release was pushed out notifying of huge changes at the top (as was pointed out to me by a friend, when Katie Cotton is on the bottom of the PR you know it’s serious).

The release is long but the bottom line is clear. Scott Forstall previously in charge of iOS development is gone, Forstall has been around since the early days when he was snapped up in the purchase of Steve Jobs’ startup NeXT. Forstall was on the front line for Siri and iOS 6 problems, whilst he’s listed as staying on as an adviser this is just due to non-disclosure practices. Whilst not thanking Forstall in the press release Cook did however extend his gratitude towards him in an internal email to Apple employees.
In a less ceremonious exit the controversially hired John Browett is gone after little more than six months as head of retail. Cook made it clear to extend a large amount of thanks to retail staff but Browett’s head has rolled. It can be reassuringly assumed that Cook saw the error of his ways.
Some more interesting observations from the release will show that Jony Ive the famed designer behind almost all of Apple’s hardware in recent history is also now overseeing software design—or as Apple puts it Human Interfaces. Some have pointed towards the prevalence of skeuomorphism in OS X and iOS as being Forstall’s doing, Ive reportedly heavily dislikes such design decisions. It’ll be interesting to see where this leads Apple’s software design in the future, if true.
In terms of software services Eddy Cue, infamous for his work on saving MobileMe and turning it into iCloud as well as the successes of the iTunes and App Stores is now heading up Apple’s two biggest software as service challenges—Siri and iOS Maps.
On the hardware side, Bob Mansfield who earlier this year retired is back for another two years as head of the Technologies group. The press release points towards this work being in the area of semiconductors with a team “who have ambitious plans for the future.” This can be read into quite a bit, Apple continues to push the boundaries with the iPhone and iPad when it comes to how much of the silicon is designed in-house and manufactured without the help of Samsung. I’ve speculated before that Apple may not wish to be bound by Intel’s future roadmaps on the Mac and may even expand its interests in semiconductor design to CPUs for notebooks.
There’s plenty of opinion and some inside track out there already. Viticci over at MacStories remarks on the timing and the supposed political struggles at the top between Scott Forstall and other execs. Adam Lashinsky who has a great record with the inside word from Apple looks towards Forstall’s turbulent relationship with Jony Ive alongside Forstall reportedly refusing to sign the iOS 6 Maps apology letter, leaving Cook high and dry alone. The New York Times chimes in with reports of struggles at the top, some so strong that Ive wouldn’t attend the same meetings as Forstall.
The underlying thread mentioned in both the press release and internal email is that there is now a smaller management team and those that remain are closest allies of Tim Cook. This smaller, tighter management team now criss cross each other in terms of hardware, software and services. The kind of integration that Apple is famed for could well benefit from such a huge strategic move.
Whilst the benefits of this management reduction will no doubt yield results beneficial to both Apple and customers, I can’t help but fear the future of such a small, ageing and increasingly wealthy group of men. Any more departures from the top will leave a drastically small senior management team.

Source: World of Apple


Apple Announces Q412 Revenue of $36 Billion

By Alex Brooks Apple Quarterly Q412 Revenue with Q113 Estimate
Apple today announced financial results for its second fiscal quarter of 2012 which ran from July 1 until September 30. The Company posted revenue of $36 billion and net quarterly profit of $8.2 billion, or $8.67 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $28.3 billion and net quarterly profit of $6.6 billion, or $7.05 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 40 percent compared to 40.3 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 60 percent of the quarter’s revenue.
During the quarter Apple sold 4.9 million Macs representing a 1 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter. Apple sold 14 million iPads during the quarter, a 26 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter as well as 5.3 million iPods during the quarter, representing a 19 percent unit decline from the year-ago quarter.
Apple also sold 26.9 million iPhones in the quarter in which the iPhone 5 was released, representing 58 percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter

“We’re very proud to end a fantastic fiscal year with record September quarter results,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We’re entering this holiday season with the best iPhone, iPad, Mac and iPod products ever, and we remain very confident in our new product pipeline.”
“We’re pleased to have generated over $41 billion in net income and over $50 billion in operating cash flow in fiscal 2012,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO. “Looking ahead to the first fiscal quarter of 2013, we expect revenue of about $52 billion and diluted earnings per share of about $11.75.”
iPhone Unit Sales (Q412)

Source: World of Apple


Ahead of Apple’s Fourth Fiscal Quarter Results

By Alex Brooks On Thursday Apple will reveal its fiscal results for the fourth financial quarter of 2012 as well as the end of year figures. Once again Apple is expected to report a bumper quarter with a number of key product releases having occurred during the quarter.
Apple is highly likely to buck the trend that occurred last week amongst its staunchest competitors with many of the technology giants revealing less than ideal financials. Google was engulfed when an accidental press release revealed a sharp 20-percent drop in net income which caused the stock to tumble with the end result knocking more than nine percent of the company’s market value.
The news wasn’t great elsewhere with Microsoft announcing a greater-than-expected 22 percent drop in quarterly profit. The company is due to begin selling its Surface tablet in the coming weeks and release Windows 8 at the end of this week.
In the smartphone market Apple’s competitors RIM and Nokia continue to go from bad to worse. Nokia continues to cut jobs and slash spending on marketing and research. Last week Nokia revealed another quarterly loss and warned of further trouble ahead despite the impending release of the Finnish company’s Lumia handsets running on Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 operating system.

In what seemed like an unlikely turn of events RIM last week gave some moderate optimism to the market when it revealed stronger than expected Blackberry sales (7.4 million for the quarter) and managed to add to its previously dwindling cash reserves. RIM also reaffirmed a release of Blackberry 10 in early 2013, the company’s only hope to prevent its continued downward spiral. However RIM mirrored Nokia and revealed a quarterly loss over $200 million.
Apple’s fourth quarter which ran from July 1 until September 30 will in contrast to competitors be more in line with market expectations and judging by recent quarters could outgrow even the most bullish onlookers. During the quarter the third-generation iPad was released in China—Apple’s fastest growing market. It is unknown how much sales of iPhones will have been dented with anticipation of the iPhone 5 which was only available for just over a week before the quarter ended.
Apple’s Q412 estimated revenue
Apple also had two large software releases during the quarter with OS X Mountain Lion coming to the Mac App Store in July and iOS 6 becoming available in mid-September. Both will likely have boosted sales of related devices with particularly strong Mac sales during the back to school season.
Market expectations are for Apple to reveal sales of 5.6 million Macs a healthy rise year-over-year. iPad sales are expected to be around 19 million a sharp rise from 11.1 million in the year-ago quarter. iPhone units look to rise year-over-year to 28 million bouyed by strong iPhone 5 pre-orders but constrained by limited stock (Update: Since writing AT&T and Verizon have published higher than expected iPhone activation numbers, AT&T activated 4.7 million during the quarter and Verizon 3.1 million).
iPods will likely continue to tumble to sales of about 5 million but in the current quarter will likely rise with Christmas season and new iPod nano and touch models.
Overall expectations are for Apple to reveal revenue of $39 billion.
However eyes will be on the coming quarter and Apple’s estimate. Some are predicting that Apple could cross the $60 billion mark for quarterly revenue during its first fiscal quarter of 2013. To put this in perspective earlier this year I wrote how breaking the $40 billion quarterly revenue barrier was impressive, Apple eventually announced revenue of $46.33 billion.

Source: World of Apple


Apple Releases iPad Mini, Updates iPad

By Alex Brooks iPad mini | Image courtesy of Apple
Apple today announced both the new iPad mini and a brand new updated version of the larger 9.7-inch iPad. Ahead of the announcement of the new iPads Apple took the opportunity to discuss iPad sales and related content. During the keynote CEO Tim Cook revealed that Apple has recently sold its 100 millionth iPad and growth of iPad sales continue to outgrow that of the PC market 15% to 2%.
Apple also announced a new version iBooks with continuous scrolling, iCloud syncing and sharing options via Facebook and Twitter. Apple also released an update to iBooks Author to continue in the proliferation of Textbooks in the education market.

Before revealing the new iPad mini Apple surprised many by releasing an all new iPad, dubbing it the iPad 4th generation. iPad 4 includes a new A6X system-on-chip, expanded LTE compatibility and features the new Lightning connector. Apple claims that the A6X includes twice the CPU and GPU performance than the A5X found in the iPad 3.
iPad mini in hand | Image courtesy of Apple
As expected Apple also revealed the new iPad mini, a smaller iPad featuring a 7.9-inch display with the same 1024 x 768 resolution as the original iPad meaning that all apps will work on day one. The iPad mini is 23 percent thinner and 53 percent lighter than the larger iPad and still includes 10 hours of battery life.
The iPad mini has an Apple dual-core A5 SoC, FaceTime HD and iSight cameras, 802.11 a/b/g/n 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi and global LTE.
The 7.9-inch display delivers the same iPad experience in a design that has 35 percent more screen real estate than other 7-inch tablets and up to an astonishing 67 percent more usable viewing area when browsing the web in landscape mode.
Apple will continue to sell the iPad 2 alongside the 4th generation iPad and iPad mini.
The iPad mini and all models of the fourth generation iPad will be available to pre-order on Friday, October 26 through the Apple Online Store in the US, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.
WiFi models of the iPad mini and iPad will be available on November 2.
The iPad mini starts at $329 (£269) for the 16GB WiFi model and tops out at $529 (£529) for the 64GB WiFi model. Cellular iPad minis carry a $130 price increase.

Source: World of Apple


Apple Updates iMac, Mac Mini Goes Retina on 13-Inch Pro

By Alex Brooks 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display | Image courtesy of Apple
During today’s event Apple released a slew of Mac updates including updating the Mac mini, completely refreshing the iMac and releasing a brand new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display.
Apple’s Phil Schiller kicked off with the brand new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display which joins the 15-inch as the top end of Apple’s notebook range. The 13-inch model packs over 4 million pixels into the 2560 x 1600 pixel display. The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display features 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5 processors with the option to choose faster 2.9 GHz Intel Core i7 processors, Intel HD Graphics 4000, 8GB of RAM, and up to 768GB SSD. Two Thunderbolt and two USB 3.0 ports allow users to connect to multiple displays and high-performance devices, and a HDMI port.
Moving on from the Mac mini Schiller moved on the iMac which has received a complete refresh including an all new super-thin enclosure. Apple has also decided to remove the optical drive on the iMac. Measuring just 5mm at the edge the iMac is 80% thinner than the previous generation and is still a powerhouse.

21.5- and 27-inch iMac (late 2012) | Image courtesy of Apple
The new iMac features third generation quad-core Intel Core i5 processors that can be upgraded to Core i7. The latest NVIDIA GeForce processors deliver up to 60 percent faster performance for advanced gaming and graphics intensive apps. Every new iMac now comes standard with 8GB of 1600 MHz memory and a 1TB hard drive, and customers can choose to configure their iMac with up to 32GB of memory and a new 3TB hard drive, or 768GB of flash storage for ultimate performance. With two Thunderbolt and four USB 3.0 ports, the new iMac delivers even greater expandability and support for high-performance peripherals.
Apple also announced a new software and hardware based configuration called Fusion Drive which is available on the iMac. Fusion Drive combines 128GB of flash with a standard 1TB or 3TB hard drive to create a single storage volume that intelligently manages files to optimise read and write performance.
Apple also pushed a basic refresh of the Mac mini with an update to Intel’s Ivy Bridge architecture and an optional quad-core processor as well as up to 16GB of RAM.
The brand new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display starts at $1699 (£1449) for a 2.5 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of memory and a 128GB SSD.
The all new iMac is available for $1299 (£1099) for the 21.5-inch model with a 2.7 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, 8GB of RAM and NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M. The 27-inch model starts at $1799 (£1499) for a 2.9 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, 8GB of RAM and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M.

Source: World of Apple


A Preview of Apple’s iPad Mini Event

By Alex Brooks Apple’s October 23rd event invite sent out to select members of the media
Today is the day that Apple will show off its latest offering, with expectations resting on a smaller, thinner and lighter iPad. Invites went out last week to select members of the media inviting them to the California Theatre in San Jose for a special event, Apple teased members of the media and onlookers with the simple phrase “We’ve got a little more to show you”.
Whilst I’m not a fan of overanalysing Apple’s invites it’s a safe assumption based on the strength of rumours and past knowledge of Apple’s subtle hints on invites that little is referring to the smaller 7.85-inch display iPad—expected to be dubbed “iPad mini”.
However the smaller iPad might not be only smaller product Apple has up its sleeve today, many are also expecting a 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display to join its larger sibling that was released in June this year.

iPad mini
The iPad has been a rumour heavily debated for many months, unlike the iPhone 5 the number of actual product leaks for the iPad mini are few and far between. However solid sources have all but confirmed that the iPad mini will feature a 7.85-inch display with a resolution of 1024 x 768 giving a pixel density of 163ppi, higher than the iPad 2 but much lower than the Retina iPad’s 264ppi. Many have suggested that it would be stupid of Apple to release a new iPad mini with a low resolution display but it seems that for the sake of price Apple will debut the iPad mini with a non-retina display and revise it in coming years.
Details of the rest of the features of the iPad mini remain slim, speculation suggests that we’ll see the iPad mini feature Apple’s A5 processor rather than the newer A6 and only 512MB of RAM. As with the larger iPad it’s expected that Apple will ship WiFi and cellular models, purported inventory leaks in recent weeks have suggested a total of 24 models of iPad mini with models starting at 8GB ranging up to 64GB available in black and white.
Pricing has also been up for much debate, the most recent rumours suggest that the lowest end iPad mini will come in at $329 in the US and range up to $659, cellular models look to carry a $130 premium over the WiFi models. This pricing is much higher than Google’s $199 entry price for the Nexus 7 (see chart below).
The iPad mini will feature a considerably smaller case and is said to be similar in design to the new iPod touch in that it has a slightly squarer case rather than the strong bevel of the iPad. The iPad mini is also expected to have a thinner front bezel on the sides to make the enclosure slimmer in width.
Expectations are for the iPad mini to be available for pre-order on October 26 with a general sale on November 2.
9.7-inch iPad
I covered some of my thoughts last week on what I think might be happening to the larger iPad. However outside of my theories there are rumours that the iPad will get a minor refresh, some sources suggest it’ll be more serious than others.
At the low end of the scale some expect that Apple will simply refresh the iPad to include Apple’s new Lightning connection. However there are some rumours that Apple will also take the opportunity to update the LTE compatibility of the iPad expanding its reach into European countries, Australia and some Asian countries. It’s also possible Apple will take the opportunity to update the A5x SoC and battery as well.
However Apple refreshes the iPad, if at all expect it to not be a feature of the event. It’s far more likely that Apple would do such an update quietly.
Macbook Pro with Retina Display
At WWDC in June Apple announced its first Mac with a Retina display—the 15-inch MacBook Pro. Rumours now suggest that Apple will release a smaller counterpart for the 15-inch in the form of a 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display.
The 13-inch MBPwRD is expected to start at $1699. Specs are unknown but the display is said to have a resolution of 2560 x 1600.
In line with the 15-inch it’s easy to speculate that the 13-inch model will feature a fully “flash” architecture with an SSD as standard.
What Else?
Today’s event looks set to be a busy one, alongside the iPad mini and new Retina MacBook Pro it’s also rumoured that Apple will unveil new iMac and Mac mini models. Rumours have suggested that Apple will introduce a significantly slimmer iMac model, however the rumours did not pinpoint a specific date for the announcement.
For more details of what is expected in a future iMac and Mac mini refresh see this post I wrote about Apple’s Ivy Bridge updates.
Mirroring Apple’s event that it held in January to unveil a new focus on education and textbooks today’s event is set to renew this focus. Apple is said to be making the iPad mini centre stage as a tablet for education markets. Over the weekend references to iBooks 3 also started popping up suggesting that Apple will update its software and also expand the availability of iBooks into new markets.
World of Apple will not offer live coverage of today’s event. However those with an Apple TV will be able to stream the event live with the addition of the new “Apple Events” app on the Apple TV front screen today.
Today’s Apple event will kick off today at the following times:
10:00AM – Pacific
11:00AM – Mountain
12:00PM – Central
1:00PM – Eastern
2:00PM – Rio de Janeiro
6:00PM – London
7:00PM – Paris
9:00PM – Moscow
2:00AM – Tokyo (Wednesday 23rd)
3:00AM – Sydney (Wednesday 23rd)
5:00AM – Auckland (Wednesday 23rd)

For those without an Apple TV some live coverage can be found on the World of Apple Twitter account or the following sites:
The Loop
The Next Web
The Verge

World of Apple will offer news and detailed analysis following the completion of the event.

Source: World of Apple


#SquareCMD Episode Sixty: Restaurants and Siri

By brolloh Siri is a fully formed restaurant king (or queen if you live in the USA) he can help you search for restaurants, read reviews, view them on a map and book, but there’s still a Siri tip for after the meal!
First things first, we want to eat!
“Siri, what are the best restaurants in this area?”

We can now tap on the restaurants of our choice to read reviews, see where it is, call the restaurant and book. An impressive and quick way to perform this task we hope you agree.
We’ve had the meal now and it was great, the staff were fantastic, they need a tip – time to do some calculations, let’s get Siri on board to help out.
“Siri, what is a 15% tip on £86.74 for four people?”


Now that’s handy!
More soon…

The post #SquareCMD Episode Sixty: Restaurants and Siri appeared first on SQUARE.

Source: SquareCMD


#SquareCMD Episode Fifty Nine: Email Attachments

By brolloh iOS 6 has simplified adding attachments to emails for the first time since the first iPhone. Simply place and hold your finger anywhere in the main body of text to bring about the pop-up menu, tap once to the right and you’ll see the option to “Insert Photo or Video”. Tap this and you’ll be prompted to select the image or video of your choice.

Alternatively, you can continue to choose attachments in the traditional way, by first deciding what attachment you wish to email, then starting your message.

The post #SquareCMD Episode Fifty Nine: Email Attachments appeared first on SQUARE.

Source: SquareCMD


Mid-Cycle iPad Revision

By Alex Brooks The new iPad with Retina display | Image courtesy of Apple
So there we have it, we’ve got a date—October 23rd. Invitations with the inevitable subtle clues are yet to grace the inboxes of the select few that will stream into the very same auditorium that Steve Jobs took to the stage exactly 11 years ago on October 23 to announce the iPod and change the direction of Apple forever but what will it be about this time?
All bets are on an iPad mini, a smaller 7.85-inch iPad with a distinctly slimmer shape in every dimension. It’s this newer iPad, whose name nobody knows yet, that may see Apple sew up the tablet market for a long time to come. You can bet those same dollars as you’ve got on the device actually turning up on how Apple will tout the smaller sibling to the positively huge original 9.7-inch iPad. A smaller iPad has different uses: it is lighter, so makes reading easier; it’s not as wide and much thinner so easier to throw into a bag or stick in your inside suit pocket.

However it’s not as small as its nearest competitor the Google Nexus with its lowly 7-inch display. In the same way as Apple has been showing off the benefits of one-handed operation of the iPhone 5 with its perfectly sized 4-inch display Apple will no doubt exclaim that the 40% display advantage that the iPad mini would have over the Nexus 7 makes it a tablet in a category of its own.
Pricing is another sticking point for onlookers expecting the iPad mini (I like this name, can you tell?) or more precisely where will Apple price the newer, smaller iPad? It’s really a subject for another day but just take a look and see where Apple could position the smaller iPad.
Believe it or not the iPad mini is not the main subject of this piece. In fact I wish to resurrect an incorrect theory I alluded to over a year ago in August 2011. To save time trawling through the article which is primarily made up of my theory of Apple’s Mac updates I’ll put the pertinent quotes here.
[In response to year-over-year declining iPod sales Apple will] shift the normal timeline, the iPods will be refreshed but the usually music focused event in September will be an iOS focused event including the official release date of iOS 5 and the iPhone 5, as well as a refreshed iPod touch.
A scenario that played out almost to the word this year. But the point of this is the iPad, so I move onto say:
There is of course an anomaly here: the iPad. By my outlined logic if Apple is releasing a new version of iOS then surely it should have new iPad hardware too?
It is precisely this dilemma that has arrived but this year there’s rumour of a possible change to the timeline, spurred on by a number of catalysts.
The current iPad has been on the market since March and packs the A5X system-on-chip which CPU wise is not a huge improvement over the previous generation iPad with the A5. But to help drive that very high resolution display Apple packed in a GPU capable of driving all those pixels. In a change to previous years Apple has innovated with the iPhone first and just last month included the A6 SoC with the iPhone 5, double the speed of the iPad 3′s A5X in terms of CPU in a considerably smaller package and with significantly less power consumption.
Also included in the iPhone 5 and the latest models of iPod touch and iPod nano is the new Lightning connector, which will no doubt make it to the iPad mini too leaving Apple with an iPad model on the market using the archaic 30-pin Dock connector.
To help solidify my theory The Guardian have heard that the iPad 3 will be revised with LTE that will work in more regions—presumably bringing it in line with iPhone 5 levels of compatibility.
Is a faster and more efficient SoC, a major change to Apple’s universal iOS connector and an expansion of LTE capacity enough for Apple to release a second 9.7-inch iPad model in a single year? I suspect so.
The real question is whether Apple will take this update all the way through until later next year and move away from the March hardware updates and instead coincide iOS updates with new iPad models and new iPhone models? Not only is such a move risky in the fast paced tablet market but how will Apple handle the marketing of a refreshed iPad that looks the same on the surface and has no hardware version number?

Source: World of Apple