Jan 25, 2012

Ah, the tech-soap that is Apple will run and run

Just in case you stayed under your rock longer than usual this morning, there's been two huge stories about the world's richest technology company overnight.

Stilgherrian — Technology writer and broadcaster


Technology writer and broadcaster

Complete the following sentence. Apple [verbs] all the things. This morning my section of the Twitterverse reckons the correct verbs are: That's how you do technology journalism these days, right? Crowdsourcing your lede is modern and ethical. And compulsory, according to Andrew Hedge. Just in case you stayed under your rock longer than usual this morning, there's been two huge stories about the world's richest technology company overnight. One, Apple's record of breaking sales records broke its own record. Apple sold 37.04 million iPhones, up 128% year on year. That kinda puts paid to the whingers who complained that the iPhone 4S was not an iPhone 5. Add to that the sale of 15.43 million iPads, up 111% on the same quarter last year. In fact, Apple sold more iOS-based devices (that's  iPhones and iPads, as well as the iPod touch) than all of the Android-based devices put together. And we all thought Android was winning. Hah! Take that, Google! Apple's quarterly gross revenue was around $46 billion, generating net profits of $US13.06 billion, up 118% from last year. Yes, another record. Oh, and Apple sold 5.2 million Macs, should anyone still care about Macs. Reporters around the world opened last quarter's Apple story, changed the numbers, left in the word "record" and pressed "publish". OK, maybe that's not such a big story. "Rich company still rich." "We are very happy to have generated over $17.5 billion in cashflow from operations during the December quarter," said Apple chief finance officer Peter Oppenheimer. I'm sure you are, Pete, I'm sure you are. As usual, Apple had downplayed its earnings expectations, and as usual everyone acted surprised when the numbers were better than expected. This is how the quarterly Apple Ritual is played out. Did I mention we've seen this all before? Now much was made of the fact that this is Apple's first full quarter with Tim Cook as chief executive officer rather than the late Steve Jobs, but it's a bit too early to consider any of this to be Cook's work. The design of the iPhone 4S and the opening up of iPhone availability to more US mobile carriers would have all been done when Jobs was still at the helm. New models take months if not years to develop and refine. It remains to be seen whether Cook has the drive and sheer force of will to override, for example, engineers' concerns about antenna design because the purity of form of the iPhone 4's body was more important than radio reception. Or the charisma to create a reality distortion field so powerful that fanboys couldn't even see that purity of form is ruined if you have to wrap a fancy-named rubber band around your phone. Wait another year. And consider the secret attack turtles. Meanwhile, a Dutch court has found that Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet did not infringe Apple's design rights. That'll doubtless be appealed. And we still have a German court decision next week, an EU decision some time, and an Australian decision in April or May or, if the lawyers keep piling documents onto the judge as they have been, August. Before it's appealed. And then there's the counter-suit of Samsung back at Apple, because Apple has yet to pay the same sort of licensing fees for Samsung's 3G telephony technology that the rest of the industry is paying. In Australia, that decision's timeline is interlinked with the Apple versus Samsung one. Before that, too, is appealed. Ah, the tech-soap that is Apple will run and run! Readers click on links, click-throughs are converted to advertising revenue, and the world turns ... Apple story written. Can I go now?

Free Trial

You've hit members-only content.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions


Leave a comment

11 thoughts on “Ah, the tech-soap that is Apple will run and run

  1. Edward James

    I have owned a Apple for four years but kept putting it back in the box because i just could not use it. My transformer burnt out on the 26 so I took the apple out of the box again. I struggle to use it but I keep trying. I am not that impressed with it but i have paid a lot of money for me so I sort of must use it! It is certainly different but better I cant really say! As for the iphones and ipads. I lost my mobile and I don’t miss it! Edward James

  2. Blue Tyson

    Apple price-fixes all the things.

  3. mobsmith

    Trying to ascertain the point of this story.

    I can’t tell whether the between-the-lines space is full of sarcasm, envy or awe.

  4. Gavin Moodie

    I think Apple’s icons, fancy graphics and heavy reliance on the mouse are more intuitive for those who like prefer to interact visually and kinesthetically. I’m better with text and keyboard so prefer pcs, but I similarly had to resort to an Apple lap top in an emergency in the mid 1990s and got to like it after a bit of perseverance.

  5. ggm

    The bums-on-seats used to be what we gleefully self-labelled ‘the digerati’. Nowadays, these people are reluctantly embracing the post-code computer generation, and moving along the bench in their latte-sipping hipster hangouts, because every man, woman and swarovski outlet in the western hemisphere buys Apple.

    Product placement? Yew betcha. Name me a TV show which highlights HP, Sony, Dell the way Apple get that glowing Apple logo onto screen.

    Who knew for instance, that you could run an NMR machine, a pathology lab, AND a patient management system on Mac? House knew.

    Apple also figure large in the Internet standards domain. If you want your technology twist on the Internet to get traction, getting Apple to take it seriously plays about as well as getting google to take it seriously. Microsoft are, (and I say this with SOME regret, because I know some people who work there marginally, and they are nice, smart people) not getting anything like the same traction. About the only ‘sexy’ story there is the surface, and its not appearing in livingrooms anything like as quickly as Apples are.

    Android however, is going to win. Win on numbers, win on profit margin, and win on the back of China. You only have to think about why the Chinese were happy to embrace the LCD screen production process wholesale, and now own almost all aspects of physical construction of devices based on LCDs, PV cells included, to ask yourself if they have a stake in the worldwide uptake of Android which exceeds their revenue selling foxcon assembly staff to Cupertino.

    I have seen the future, and its Google. But folks, remember we’re GROWING A MARKET. Apples % of share is going to decline but its volume in absolute terms is going to RISE. Rise and Rise, until the consumer penetration in India and China and Brazil matches 78%+ in USA/Europe. Thats a few years off. Android will undoubdtedly have most of the market, but Apple will be selling a lot of SSD backed devices, off the back of a 30 year history of ‘sexy’ in design.

    PS I use apple at work, I own an iPhone. I’m trying to think beyond a narrow fanboi perspective here..

  6. geomac

    In November 2000 I bought an iMac computer. I had never touched a keyboard , mouse or used a personal computer , any computer for that matter . I bought Apple because they said I would have the computer working and online in ten minutes from taking it out of the box . Well they were right but it took me thirty minutes to sign up to an ISP because I found using a laser mouse weird and getting to understand the keyboard keys such as tab to go to the next answer in the sign up form was a task for me. Point is I never went to a course and learned even the basics but in a very short time found myself chatting in a chat room ( Aim ) which I enjoyed for a few years . Add memory , a breeze but as an all in one it limited compared to windows machines and in those days sometimes I would be frustrated at having to make sure an application would work with a Mac .
    I still use a Mac with no problems or viruses over the years despite never having purchased software to protect against it because I haven,t installed windows on my intel iMac . The other stuff except for an ipod I don,t use because its either too expensive ( iphone ) or I have no need ipad which is expensive too .
    I assume you were talking about a Mac computer ? If so I found using a windows easy and basically the basics of both are the same and three or four keys are differently named but do much the same thing . Mind you the couple of times I used a windows machine weren,t for extended periods but I was able find settings etc by using my experience with the Mac . Probably any quality computer would suit me now but I,m happy with what I,ve got.

  7. Edward James

    @ Geomac. I have a Mac OS X 10.5.8 to which I added some extra ram when I bought it. I bought it because people who owned them kept talking them up, and yes I do notice they have a big share of product placement. As the 19 volt 7 amp transformer burnt out on the acer on the 26 of December I had no choice but to take the apple out of the box and try again. My more recent purchases of computers were with high hopes of making power point items for emails and editing video. In the end i just gave up and bought pages in my local paper to get information out to the peoples. It has been very difficult to teach myself almost impossible without help from a few good friends. I agree loading windows onto a split hard drive would probably just open the door to problems, and defeat one of the reasons for owning an apple. beside I would like to learn to use an apple properly not a hybrid. Though I do miss the XP. I am considering doing an apple computer course next month. About ten years too late! Edward James

  8. AR

    The subject is meaningless to me but I object to there’s been two huge stories coz, like, there HAVE been more than one.

  9. geomac

    In your applications you will find imovie for editing video from your camera or whatever you use . I,ve never tried it because the vids I take with my ipod are short and don,t require edits . Pages is the application in iworks that is used for layouts etc that is compatible with office etc. From memory iworks will let you try it out or alternatively show MSoffice documents that are sent to you but I don,t think pages etc is free . I used to use a thing called neoffice for stuff like that because its free and open platform but not needed now . I imagine its still out there , One app I used that I liked for ease was the Mac iweb which I used to create a web page and post to my ISP web space so I could upload an ipod vid that was too big for email , enjoyed that little exercise.

  10. Edward James

    Thank you Geomac

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details