Posts tagged Apple
Posts tagged Apple
This just in… The new iPad (aka iPad 3) has its share of hardware issues. Gadgets are known to ship with all sorts of “bugs” — hardware and otherwise — but the new iPad is quickly becoming notorious for two major issues:
Some (don’t) like it hot
An infrared shot points to the CPU/GPU as the culprit
The first widely reported problem was what some call “heatgate”: the fact that the new iPad seems to operate at higher average temperatures than the iPad 2.
Apple Support forums: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3810951?tstart=0
While no one has reported burns, overheating gadgets can quickly become uncomfortable to hold. It’s annoying on a notebook and/or netbook, but more of an issue with tablets since users tend to hold them with bare hands. For example: Infinity Blade 2, the Retina-ready blockbuster by ChAIR Entertainment, can take temperatures up to 116 degrees Fahrenheit according to Consumer Reports.
No one knows for sure WHY the new iPad runs hotter than the previous models, but most point to the new A5X CPU/GPU combo. Repair Labs, for example, reports that the A5 chip in the iPad 2 is ceramic (perfect for conducting heat) but that the A5X is metallic, an inferior material. DisplayMate, on the other hand, blames the new iPad’s screen for the heat issues.
(router) Can you hear me now? (new iPad) Nope!
The iPhone 4 had the notorious Antennagate. The new iPad seems to have an issue with Wi-Fi reception instead:
PC Magazine: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2401924,00.asp
Apple Support forums: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3812929?tstart=0
Wi-Fi reception is a big deal if you use your gadget at home, Starbucks and/or hotels. I often use my phone in the bedroom — away from the router which sits on top of our sub woofer in the living room. Lackluster WiFi reception would be a massive problem because it would prevent me from using my phone in bed.
(Verizon data doesn’t reach my Santa Monica apartment. I often read clients’ email messages in bed, in the wee hours of the morning, to make sure I’m on top of things)
No one knows what causes the Wi-Fi problem, but the press is starting to give this new “bug” more and more coverage. If this is in fact a real engineering flaw, it could become a nightmare for Apple.
Jobs’ absence to blame?
I got lambasted on Reddit last week for complaining about Apple’s use of the (invented) word “resolutionary” — a cheesy pun, really — and suggesting that Steve Jobs would have never allowed it. Redditors (correctly) pointed to me that Apple has used such puns before.
This, however, is much more serious. Did Apple rush the new iPad? Would another 6 months result in less heat and better Wi-Fi reception? I feel like Jobs would have NEVER allowed his engineers to ship the new iPad in the current state. Maybe he would have made sure it used a ceramic CPU/GPU combo. Maybe he would send the whole thing to the drawing board if the Wi-Fi antenna wasn’t up to snuff — i.e. achieving the same or better Wi-Fi reception than the iPad 2.
The original iPad, one of Steve Jobs’ most daring — and polished — creations
I can’t point fingers since I have absolutely no idea what goes on inside Apple. Maybe these are non-issues (like Antennagate). Maybe Apple did rush the new iPad to deal a death blow to Android tablets. Who knows? What we do know is that Apple has its hands full of new iPad hardware bugs, despite record-breaking sales over the weekend.
Apple stumbled on this one and I can’t help but think that Steve Jobs would have caught both issues and fixed them without any of us knowing about it.
new_ipad_heat.jpg / Slashgear
video / YouTube user GRE9DEL
iPad 1 / ZDNET
Before Apple versus Android there was Sony versus everyone else. Decades prior to Apple suing Samsung for copyright infringement, Apple was the one learning everything they could from Sony, from design to factory uniforms… and beyond.
We are now used to the idea that Apple offers the best product design, app store and mobile gaming on touchscreen devices. While the Cupertino powerhouse might sometimes lag behind high-end Android phones in the specs department (hello 720p and NFC), we can’t deny Apple’s commanding presence in the marketplace, from its passionate fan base to seemingly unbeatable design and usability.
Just like Sony in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.
The Walter Isaacson bio on Steve Jobs tells us that Jobs was a huge fan of Sony. He went as far as trying to implement the uniforms policy seen in Sony’s factories back at Apple. Jobs recognized Sony as an engineering and design leader, the company to beat in consumer electronics. And he knew as far back as the mid-1980s that Apple’s future was not in personal computers but on consumer electronics. That’s the principle that dictated the design of both Apple II and, later on, the Macintosh. They were made to look like appliances – which explains the presence of oversized handles on both the Mac and the iMac G3.
The colorful iMac G3
Apple also witnessed Sony’s rise as video gaming giant. They saw the value of being in control of a single, far-reaching platform welcoming developers from all corners of the world. Sony was a trusted brand with a pedigree in electronics, which allowed it to leverage disruptive technologies like 3D-accelerated graphics and CD-ROM drives to dominate console gaming for a decade. Gaming was the last thing in Steve Jobs mind (Wozniak was the gamer after all) but he would soon realize how powerful gaming would be for the iPhone and, later on, the iPad.
Founded in 1946, Sony revolutionized three industries in a row: home video (the ill-fated Betamax VCR), music (the Walkman) and gaming (the PlayStation). Much like today’s Apple, Sony was lean, fiercely competitive, nimble and home for the best engineering in the world. Sony was “Master of the Analogue,” according to Sea-Jin Chang in Sony vs Samsung: The Inside Story of the Electronics Giants’ Battle For Global Supremacy.
Sony was able to develop and successfully market three waves of consumer electronics:
Betamax: while they lost the from a consumer point-of-view (and despite inventing home video recording as we know it), Betamax was a winner with professional users. Beta SP was the most popular format among broadcasters and production companies for decades.
Walkman: it was created on a whim, at the request of one of Sony’s founders. He wanted to be able to listen to music during long transcontinental flights and didn’t care for a built-in speaker like the ones found in transistor radios. The rest is history – the Walkman was the iPod of its generation.
PlayStation: launched in 1994 in Japan and 1995 elsewhere, Sony’s first game console forever changed the industry. While not analog by any means, the PlayStation’s high-end DSPs and audiophile-grade components owe their existence to Sony’s experience in the home. Fast three-dimensional graphics, a CD-ROM drive and low media costs allowed it to take the industry by storm and severely cripple Sega in the process.
The first Sony Walkman, model name TPS-L2
Sony was Steve Jobs’ role model for what a successful consumer electronics firm should be like. They believed in “betting the farm” on new technologies, investing millions in R&D and even moving ahead of the market if necessary (with the failed MiniDisc format). At the same time, Sony’s penchant for sci-fi-looking VCRs with menacing LEDs and an assortment of functions were clearly an example of misguided creativity. Sony VCRs were anything but simple; they were designed to impress consumers and mock VHS decks, not be friendly to the touch – or welcoming. Jobs would learn from Sony’s mistaken understanding of the need for complexity to revolutionize personal computing and, later on, smartphones and tablets.
A “simple” SuperBeta deck
Samsung Electronics is part of a huge conglomerate; South Korea’s largest, in fact.
Founded in 1969, Samsung Electronics built black-&-white TVs (it didn’t have the expertise to build color TVs), microwave ovens, air conditioning systems, etc. No “halo” products, no design/engineering masterpieces like a Sony Trinitron TV set or Walkman-like personal media device. In 1984, as VHS manufacturers were about to deal a final blow to Betamax (and almost 10 years after the introduction of home VCRs), Samsung finally launched its first VCR in the United States. However, due to quality issues it was often used as a loss leader.
An ancient portable TV set built by Samsung
The Korean behemoth was VERY strong on semiconductors, however. In the 1980s, the company decided to move towards developing and manufacturing DRAM modules for PCs. This move completely changed the game for Samsung; it now had a footing in the semiconductor business, which would explode in the 1990s thanks to Windows 95 and the Internet.
The move to digital devices, where SoCs (system-on-a-chip) replace sophisticated analog boards, took out Sony’s main competitive advantage, expertise in analog engineering, allowing Samsung to finally defeat long-time rival Sony.
Samsung versus Apple
Sony is a company in trouble. The latest financial numbers point to a Q2 loss of $1.6 billion. The only bright spots are the PlayStation division and mobile – which might also lose money next quarter due to the Ericsson buyout.
Apple learned from Sony and overtook it. Samsung is attempting to do the same to Apple. The battleground is smartphones, where Android manufacturers are now on a fight to the death with Apple over intellectual property. Samsung learned about the value of marketing, premium products and advanced product design from Apple. It embraced Android. It builds the beautiful AMOLED screens that power Galaxy class devices along with the A5 SoC found in both iPhone 4S AND iPad 2. Finally, Samsung has now overtaken Apple as the world’s top seller of smartphones with almost 30 million units shipped last quarter.
Apple knows Samsung’s goal is to dethrone it as the world’s most valuable company. After all, that’s what Apple did to Sony, even before its long-awaited “smart TV” is unveiled to the public. The iPod replaced the Walkman. Macbooks replaced VAIO laptops. The iPhone replaced Sony’s smartphones, PSPs and digital cameras/camcorders.
Apple and Samsung learned from the best – Sony – and are now on relatively equal footing on key areas: technology, marketing, market penetration. 2010 was a warm-up year for Samsung with the original Galaxy S. 2011 saw the first real gains, with the Galaxy S II taking the world by storm. The real battle will take place in 2012.
The Galaxy Nexus, Samsung’s not-so-secret weapon against the iPhone
Stay tuned — and make sure to share your thoughts in the comments :)
Great analysis on the “also runs” of the smartphone revolution. Deep and well-written, even if I don’t agree 100 percent with the writer.
Ok Apple, you win this one.
Amazing feat :)
Windows Phone 7 blog “Windows Phone Secrets” perfectly describes the frustration of Windows Phone 7 users with the delay/non-existence of updates for Microsoft’s latest OS:
As it turns out, “as soon as possible” was one full week. On March 2, exactly seven days later, Microsoft announced that it was resuming the distribution of the pre-update to Samsung users.
That was one week ago today. I just checked again. No update. “Your phone is up to date.”
To recap, we’re not talking about a major update here. We’re talking about an update to the updating mechanism that will allow my phone to receive updates. (Good luck following that sentence.) And after two and a half weeks of, well, nothing, I don’t mind telling you, I’m a bit fed up.
If you read through the comments, the frustration of WP7 owners with Microsoft is palpable.
How on Earth Microsoft expects to compete against Apple and Google if its brand-new, “killer” OS hasn’t received a single meaningful update since launch?
[via Android Central]
Yep, Google’s mobile platform is #1. Nielsen said the same thing a while back.
Eagle-eyed readers will notice that Windows Phone 7 did little to change Microsoft’s fortune. In fact, things got even worse — Redmond is down to 8 percent market share.
Curious to see how this will evolve in the tablet segment, where Apple absolutely dominates right now. I also expect the Nokia pseudo-merger to play a role in Q4 2011.
With dual-core Android monsters like the Atrix going on sale right now, who would be crazy to get an iPhone 4 instead? Not to mention the near-certain existence of the iPhone 5, due in 2011 still.
According to CNET, the limitation on simultaneous data + voice on Verizon also plays a role in the (underwhelming) sales numbers.
The end of 2010 is nigh. Both Android and iPhone platforms duel relentlessly for current (and future) smartphone users.
Which one do you think is the superior mobile platform and why?
illustration credit: Gizmodo / Giz Explains: Ups And Downs Of Developing for Android and iPhone
If you’d like to contribute:
a) Please send your answer to leglevy AT gmail DOT com with the words “Holiday Face-off” on the subject line
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The post will be published about a week from now.
The iPhone 4, by most accounts, is absolutely excellent. I love mine. It’s a huge step forward, and all previous iPhones look dated and primitive by comparison.
But there’s a giant asterisk. It has two major flaws, both of which appear to be physical and unsolvable by software updates: