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    Newsletter Issue #1020: The Old Apple Complaints Mostly Fade Away

    September 23rd, 2021

    I wrote part of this article ahead of the September 14th media event where Apple introduced the iPhone [lucky] 13 and the Apple Watch 7. Although the former, days from shipping, garnered the usual favorable reviews, some were not so impressed. To them, the changes were largely “incremental” compared to the iPhone 12. It has a beefier battery, better camera performance, a slightly smaller notch and a little faster performance. It looks nearly the same, but will require a different case because it’s a tad thicker and has a larger camera bump.

    Except for battery life, I rather doubt most of you would notice much of a difference, and it’s likely people upgrading will be switching from Android or replacing a much older iPhone. Otherwise, paying more for some models may not make a whole lot of sense with discounts to be had on the iPhone 12.

    Some might suggest that this is an example of Apple losing its competitive edge. But it’s more about the fact that such a high level of performance has been achieved that it becomes harder and harder to improve things. Compared to all the expected possibilities, the complete elimination of the still-controversial notch would be the most effective move. Apple could sell an iPhone without one and it would probably succeed as much or more than most any other improvement.

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    Newsletter Issue #1007: Apple’s Tricky Pricing and Suspicious Claims Mar iPhone 12 Rollout

    October 13th, 2020

    Nothing about Apple’s rollout of the iPhone 12 series and a smaller, cheaper HomePod was surprising. It was a typical overproduced sales pitch that came across as cold, over-rehearsed.

    The final scene, of CEO Tim Cook walking towards the camera, was especially artificial. He speaks well, and has a calm, reassuring demeanor, but his delivery is stiff almost as if he’d practiced too much. He should avoid the flourishes, and perhaps speak from his desk to give it more of an aura of credibility.

    On the other hand, none of that diminishes the value of the new gear. Indeed, Apple can make a compelling argument for you to upgrade your iPhones, especially if the unit you have — from whatever company — is getting long in the tooth. That’s where the value of the new gear is front and center.

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    Newsletter Issue #1005: Looking at Apple’s Totally Boring Media Event

    September 21st, 2020

    For months, it was a given that Apple would announce the rumored iPhone 12 at its annual September media splash. And, in the days before it happened, it was rumored that it wouldn’t happen, which essentially took much of the meat out of the event.

    Indeed, Apple’s 65-minute infomercial last week was decidedly predictable and not terribly impressive. The new products and the new features may be useful, but there was nothing so compelling that you should throw away your recent Apple gear and invest in something new.

    Well, I suppose there’s the blood oxygen sensor in the Apple Watch Series 6, but it seems to be sensitive to the type of band you wear to make it reliable. All right, the display is brighter and the battery charges faster, but such improvements aren’t game-changers. If you want one, the main decision is whether to save $120 and buy the Apple Watch SE and sacrifice the blood oxygen and ECG apps.

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    Newsletter Issue #1000: Stuck at Home? Consider These for Binging

    July 12th, 2020

    Except for some reports of the form of future Apple products — the iPhone 12 and the first Macs with Apple Silicon — that hasn’t been a whole lot of important news to cover about our favorite fruit company. Whether you have time on your hands — or are working at home — no doubt you are running the family TV for more hours than usual.

    Now there’s so much content available for streaming from the various services, you should be able to find some material that’s worth watching.

    As most of you know, Barbara and I are very pop culture oriented, and we found enough good shows on the family TV from traditional broadcast networks to keep us occupied most evenings, at least until seasons ended prematurely because of production shutdowns. So we were left looking for alternatives.

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