Linked List: November 9, 2012

David Sobotta, Circa 2007 

After the iPhone announcement in January 2007, noted Apple pessimist David Sobotta:

The iPhone is without a doubt the most elegant of gadgets, but I get the feeling the reflection you see in the shiny surface might well be the high water mark for Apple. Time will tell if the iPhone will live up to euphoria that seems to have gripped the Apple world today.

Yes, it will.

The most overdue announcement was taking ‘Computers’ out of Apple’s name. There is some sadness from seeing that actually happen. At one time Apple produced the computer for the rest of us. That seems to be flipped on its head these days even as Apple’s market share grows. My guess is that in spite of the iPhone and the other i-products, history will still look on Bill Gates more favorably than Steve Jobs. Then again, “One Laptop Per Child” might surpass them both.

Every single quarter since Sobotta said the above, Mac sales have outgrown those of the PC industry as a whole.

(Thanks to DF reader Jonathan Flath.)

Is This Even Legal? 

Hedge fund manager Doug Kass trashed Apple stock a month ago, now starts buying it back after it’s dropped 20 percent.

Apple Is Doomed 

Dan Lyons talks to former Apple sales executive (1984–2004 — not that recent) and gets a scathing critique of Apple and its prospects under Tim Cook. Whole thing feels specious to me (summary: Apple is doomed without Steve Jobs) but let’s focus on just one part:

“The third is that Apple is a `next great thing’ company, and that in and of itself is unsustainable. They haven’t found the next great thing after the iPad and iPhone, and their shares in both those areas are slipping. Of course they are ignoring traditional computers to a large extent.

“I could add a fourth [factor] related to the third point, but it’s debatable. Always in the past when Apple screwed up or got too cocky, they could fall back on a core group of `prosumers’ who were dedicated to Apple’s products. I think Apple has lost or is in the process of losing those folks, but I have no way to measure that other than I know a fair number of folks like myself that are no longer Apple products evangelists.

“I got a note from [a former Apple colleague] last night that it was time to replace his wife’s MacBook and he offered to get her whatever she wanted. She chose Lenovo.”

Apple is “ignoring traditional computers” and is losing the “prosumer” market. And an unnamed former Apple employee’s wife bought a Lenovo notebook. Meantime, Apple is number one in U.S. notebook sales; they’ve released two new MacBook Pros with retina displays that blow away anything from any competitor in terms of professional-caliber display technology, thinness, and weight; and Mac sales have outgrown the PC industry as a whole every single quarter for six consecutive years.

Would be nice to see how well the Mac could be doing if Apple weren’t ignoring traditional computers.

‘More Useful and Less Horrible’ 

Joining me on this week’s episode of The Talk Show: special guest Dan Frommer. Topics include the iPad Mini, ideas for the future of iOS, Microsoft Surface, Virgin America and the state of U.S. airlines, and more.

Brought to you by two great sponsors:

  • Voila — A powerful screen capture and screen recording tool for your Mac.
  • Bossjock Studio — Podcast from iOS, no PC needed.
Eton Boost Turbine Hand-Cranked USB Chargers 

External USB battery charger with a twist: you can power it up with a hand crank. Post-Sandy, I’m thinking I need one of these.

The 16 GB Surface 

John Moltz, on the news that a 32 GB Surface only has 16 GB of user-available storage:

By contrast, my 32 GB third generation iPad has 28 GB of usable space. Of course, you could probably get a hunk of the Surface’s space back by deleting Office, but the ability to run total awesomeness like Office is the Surface’s key selling point.

Windows 8 Includes Built-in Advertising 


Mapping Racist Tweets in Response to President Obama’s Re-Election 

Sad but unsurprising results.