Tag Archives | Apple

The Apple Store’s New Chief Already Runs an Electronics Retailer. Is That Good or Bad?

Ron Johnson, the Apple retail chief who helped turn the Apple Store into a juggernaut, announced last June that he was leaving to become CEO of JC Penney. He departed Apple as of November 1st. And now he’s been replaced: Apple has announced that John Browett is its new senior vice president of retail operations.

Since 2007, Browett has been CEO of Dixons Retail, a large electronics merchant in the UK that owns two chains, Currys and PC World. It’s sort of both the Best Buy and the CompUSA of its territory.

Continue Reading →


6 comments

More About the Apple Cult (Even Though I Said It Was Time to Stop Talking About It)

Over at TIME.com, my Technologizer column for this week is about the theory that people who buy Apple products act like cult members. As the theory would have it, they snap up Macs, iPhones, and iPads not because they’re good products, but because they’re mesmerized by Apple advertising and think that owning the company’s products makes them better human beings. Or something like that.

My take is that the theory was always silly–and that it’s particularly nonsensical in an age in which truly vast numbers of people are buying Apple products. The company’s customer base isn’t made up of like-minded fanatics; it consists of a large variety of people who buy Apple stuff for all sorts of reasons. But mostly, I hope and think, because they find it useful.

Continue Reading →


42 comments

The Times on Apple’s Chinese Manufacturing

The New York Times is publishing an outstanding series of articles by Charles Duhigg and David Barboza on working conditions at the Chinese factories where Apple’s products are built:

More troubling, the groups say, is some suppliers’ disregard for workers’ health. Two years ago, 137 workers at an Apple supplier in eastern China were injured after they were ordered to use a poisonous chemical to clean iPhonescreens. Within seven months last year, two explosions at iPad factories, including in Chengdu, killed four people and injured 77. Before those blasts, Apple had been alerted to hazardous conditions inside the Chengdu plant, according to a Chinese group that published that warning.

Apple (which declined to comment for the Times) is not the only company that has issues like this: Foxconn, its principal supplier, assembles 40 percent of the world’s consumer electronics, period. And Apple may be moving in the right direction when it comes to doing stuff about this and discussing the situation openly. But if you own Apple products or other gadgets made in China–and you do–you owe it to yourself to read the Times’ stories.


2 comments

My First Few Questions About Apple’s Education News

Judging from the turnout for our live coverage of Apple’s education event–which was much sparser than for something like the iPad 2 announcement–a lot of tech enthusiasts lost interest in today’s news when they figured out that it didn’t involve any new hardware. That’s a shame. The news–a new textbook-friendly version of iBooks, a free book-creation tool called iBooks Author, and a spiffier version of the iTunes U courseware app–has as much or more potential to make its mark on the world as any new iPad or iPhone could. Everything looks really, really cool.

Continue Reading →


21 comments

Join Us for Live Coverage of Apple’s Education Event

At 10am ET this morning, I’ll be at the Guggenheim Museum here in New York for Apple’s education event, liveblogging the whole thing at technologizer.com/appleeducation. Doug Aamoth of TIME will join me with color commentary–and I hope you’ll be there, too.


One comment

Fortune on Apple’s Education Event

Wait! Philip Elmer-DeWitt of Fortune says that Apple’s education event isn’t about “a GarageBand for e-books” at all:

MacInnis also mentioned GarageBand in our interview. But what he was describing was a sample iPad textbook, produced in-house and packed with pedological bells and whistles, that would serve as a reference design for textbook publishers, much in the way GarageBand for the iPad showed iOS developers what the new platform could do.

MacInnis does expect Apple to unveil new tools for creating iPad textbooks, along with a new content repository to make e-textbooks easily available to teachers. But the tools are not a “GarageBand for e-books.” And according to MacInnis, they’re designed to support the textbook industry, not to do an end-run around it.


Be the first to comment

Ars on Apple’s Education Event

Chris Foresman of Ars Technica says that Apple’s education event–which I’ll liveblog at 10am ET on Thursday–is about a “GarageBand for e-books.”


Be the first to comment

Coming on Thursday: Live Blog Coverage of Apple’s Education Event

On Thursday, January 19th, Apple is holding a press event in New York at the Guggenheim Museum. It says that the topic involves education. Lots of folks are logically assuming that iPad textbooks are at least part of the story. We won’t know any more details for sure until the event gets underway at 10am ET, but once it does, I’ll liveblog the whole thing at technologizer.com/appleeducation–and I hope you’ll join me. (Head there now if you’d like to get an e-mail reminder when the event begins.)


Be the first to comment

Could Acer Be Any More Blatant in Ripping off Apple?

In the tech business, there are always accusations of somebody copying Apple in one form or another, whether it’s Apple itself leveling the accusations or its legions of supporters. This time, Acer has taken that to another level with the introduction of AcerCloud at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show. From the names of the components to the promotional imagery, Acer seems to have set out to clone Apple’s iCloud as precisely as possible.

Continue Reading →


Be the first to comment

The Ultimate Guide to Phone/Tablet Styluses

I’m still looking for the idea stylus for my iPad–I like to draw, and it’s way easier with a pen than it is with a finger. At the moment, I’m using Adonit’s Jot and mostly liking it, although I’m still not sure whether it’s possible to build a truly great stylus that works with an iPad. (I want one with a feel exactly like that of a good hard, pointy pencil.)

Serenity Caldwell of Macworld has spent way more time with digital styluses than I have. Maybe more time than anyone has. Here’s her amazingly exhaustive review. (The Jot scores quite well.)


Be the first to comment