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    Newsletter Issue #1022: So Much for Apple Silicon Being Cheaper

    October 19th, 2021

    Forgive me for being naive about it, but I honestly expected Apple to be able to reduce the price of new Macs as a result of the switchover to Apple Silicon. You see, they no longer have to pay a third-party provider for those CPUs, and thus they should not have to concern themselves with prices that were high enough to ensure a profit for the manufacturer, Intel.

    Instead, the new 16-inch MacBook Pro starts at $2,499 for the entry-level model, $100 more than its predecessor with Intel Inside. With all the goodies, which include the 32-core GPU, 64GB of unified memory (shared by the CPU and GPU), and an 8TB SSD, it maxes out at $6,099.

    Now to be fair to Apple, there are no doubt billions of dollars in development costs to build the new Mac processor family even though it’s based on the existing lineup of A-series chips for iPhones, iPads, and the Apple Watch. So I’m not begrudging Apple’s right to cover its costs and earn profits, but those higher-end Intel chips aren’t cheap.

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    Newsletter Issue #1021: The Apple Hardware Updates We May Not Need

    October 17th, 2021

    Let me make one thing perfectly clear: This story doesn’t mean Apple’s hundreds of millions of customers no longer care about buying new iPhones. Or any other hardware from them. It doesn’t necessarily even apply strictly to Apple, although that remains the focus of this column. But it does show how tech companies have more or less surpassed what customers need to get stuff done.

    This is what I mean:

    Over the years, whenever I bought a new Mac — or a new iPhone — there would be a tremendous boost in performance over the previous model with just one exception. That was the first model with a PowerPC chip in 1994.

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    Newsletter Issue #1016: So Apple Didn’t Fail Under Tim Cook

    May 16th, 2021

    Wall Street analysts must go back to the drawing boards after Apple reported two blowout quarters in a row so far this year. With total revenue of $89.6 billion for the most recent quarter, you’d almost think they had, by mistake, released the numbers for a holiday quarter. But no, this was correct. It was 54% higher than last year, with earnings of $1.40 per diluted share.

    Most important is that Apple’s “failing” products all had significant growth. That includes the iPhone and even the “old fashioned” Mac. So maybe Apple wasn’t so crazy switching to Apple Silicon and ditching Intel. Or maybe most Mac users don’t concern themselves with the niceties of parts selection and such and are more concerned with having a computer that, well mostly, just works.

    In passing, I go with the latter. While I don’t have any polls at hand, I rather suspect that the vast majority of Mac users wouldn’t know what sort of processor their machine has. Well, perhaps the numbers will be higher for the M1 Macs, since Apple has made such a huge deal in promoting them.

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    Newsletter Issue #1014: Some Modest Expectations for Apple in 2021 and Such

    January 10th, 2021

    Many of you have read various and sundry predictions from both tech and mainstream pundits who profess to know something about the Apple and its plans for this year. It reached a crescendo, as you might expect, when the end of 2020 approached. But I wonder just how much thought was involved in putting these ideas together. A lot of it was just plain common sense, or what passes for common sense in this broken world of ours.

    So you read about what the 2021 iPhone 13 might be like, and it was about a similar product with a few more features, perhaps a better camera and maybe even a tinier notch. One story, citing rumors from the Apple supply chain, a common source of real or imagined rumors, has it that the rear camera bump might also be smaller.

    Now in the scheme of things, the camera bump is the most awkward design factor, or would be if you decided to use your iPhone — or similarly equipped Android device — without a case. But since I always have a bumper case, it’s no matter to me. I have managed to avoid most instances of damage as a result.

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