Daniel Eran Dilger
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Posts from — January 2008

Video Game Consoles 2007: Wii, PS3 and the Death of Microsoft’s Xbox 360

NPD monthly sales Wii PS2 PS3 Xbox 360
Daniel Eran Dilger
Throughout 2007, the media consistently reported leading sales of Microsoft’s Xbox 360, dismal figures for Sony’s struggling PlayStation 3, and celebrated the long shot Nintendo Wii as a possible contender in game consoles. This portrayal of the video game market in 2007 was grossly misleading, and I have the figures to demonstrate why.

En Español: Consolas en el 2007; Wii PS3 y la muerte de 360

Traducción: Marcos Limeres Aguín
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January 31, 2008   86 Comments

Is the MacBook Air Another Cube?

Power Mac G4 Cube
Daniel Eran Dilger
Despite its reputation as a vendor of fashion-conscious products–and a resulting exposure to the risk of looking foolish to a specification centric market with fickle taste and an insatiable demand for perpetual improvement–the New Apple hasn’t made many poorly conceived concept product mistakes. In the past decade, the closest Apple has come to releasing a form over function flop was the 2000 Power Mac G4 Cube, an elegantly designed PC in a Kleenex-shaped lucite box.

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January 30, 2008   51 Comments

John Dvorak Finally Gets Something Right on Apple

John Dvorak: How Wrong Can One Guy Be?
Daniel Eran Dilger
I try to avoid reading John Dvorak, because I am the moth to his flame just as he plays the fly to Apple’s ointment. Further, what I write in response to his sticky linkbait is nearly as predictable as what Dvorak writes about any subject, and I don’t like to be predictable. However, Dvorak finally got something right in writing about Apple, and that is indeed noteworthy.

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January 29, 2008   10 Comments

Pundits Pounce On Apple in a Contest of Epic Idiocy

Pundits Pounce on Apple
Daniel Eran Dilger
Every Tuesday at noon, the entire city of San Francisco is alerted to civil defense sirens that dramatically blare for a moment, followed by an announcement that nothing really happened and there’s nothing to worry about. Only once a year, at the Macworld Expo, that warning is followed by a worldwide media announcement that Steve Jobs’ keynote disappointed and that everyone should be upset. Like the City’s weekly sirens, that predictable response by pundits makes for a bit of an attention arresting, jarring noise but is then quickly forgotten.

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January 28, 2008   36 Comments

Mike Elgan’s Moronic Tirade on the iPhone

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Daniel Eran Dilger
Who would have thought Computerworld’s Mike Elgan, the former editor of Windows Magazine and an incessantly badgering Apple complainer, would feel compelled to excitedly report on the future of Apple’s iPhone product line?

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January 26, 2008   14 Comments

Tom Krazit of CNET and Eric Savitz of Barrons Deny the Jesus Phone

Daniel Eran Dilger
According to speculation published by pundits, Apple’s iPhone sales have fallen into a mysterious time portal somewhere between Apple selling them and AT&T activating them. The conclusion reached by these wags is that Apple lied about actually selling them and really only pushed them into the channel to fake the appearance of demand, as Microsoft did this year with the Xbox 360. They’re wrong, here’s why.

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January 25, 2008   22 Comments

The Unrealized Potential of Apple’s Hybrid Platform: Mac, iPod, iPhone, and TV

Daniel Eran Dilger
Back in 2006, I wrote a series of articles looking at the iPod, the as yet unreleased Apple TV, and the unannounced iPhone, and described them all as a single platform that would grow alongside the Mac. I assumed that the three new products would make up a new platform based upon the iPod.

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January 24, 2008   28 Comments

Apple’s .Mac Mail Opened to NTT DoCoMo’s FOMA Phones

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Daniel Eran Dilger
Akihabara News reported today that “NTT DoCoMo will launch in Japan next month the ConnectMail service which will allow you to receive and send @mac.com email as well as the usual @docomo.ne.jp.”

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January 23, 2008   17 Comments

Best Quarter Ever: a closer look at Apple’s record Q108 earnings

Daniel Eran Dilger
In a conference call reporting earnings for Apple’s fiscal Q1, the quarter ending in December, Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer announced he was “very pleased to report the best quarter ever” for the company, with revenue of $9.6 billion and net quarterly profit of $1.58 billion, resulting in $1.76 per diluted share.

That’s an increase of over $2 billion from the same quarter last year, when Apple reported revenue of $7.1 billion and net quarterly profit of $1 billion, or $1.14 per diluted share.

The company reported a gross margin of 34.7 percent, up from 31.2 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 45 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

Continues: AppleInsider | Best quarter ever: a closer look at Apple’s record Q108 earnings

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January 23, 2008   12 Comments

Analysts, Investors Take Apple to Task For its Best Quarter Ever

Apple Stock January 2008
Daniel Eran Dilger
According to Dan Frommer of Silicon Alley Insider, the Era of the iPod is over. That dramatic conclusion comes from the limited new iPod unit sales increase year over year in the December quarter; this year, Apple sold just five percent more iPods that it did last winter. However, reality isn’t quite so simple, and there’s no reason to buy into the professional panic being advanced by the usual suspects.

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January 23, 2008   38 Comments

How the MacBook Air stacks up against other ultra-light notebooks

Daniel Eran Dilger
At last year’s Macworld Expo, Apple’s dramatic unveiling of the iPhone divided the world into two camps: those who were excited about the state of the art being pushed, and those who were irritated that Apple was the one doing it. This year, the role of the iPhone is being played by Apple’s new MacBook Air.

As with the iPhone, Apple wasn’t inventing a new category of product when it announced the MacBook Air. The ultra light notebook category has been steadily refined and advanced by Sony, Panasonic, Fujitsu, Lenovo, and many others; each manufacturer has delivered product lines designed to match their customers’ needs.

Sony targets high end consumers; it leverages its physical media engineering prowess to build DVD burners into most of its models, something that few other light notebook makers even attempt to do. Sony’s Vaio line is splashy and feature rich, but isn’t commonly regarded as well built or durable.

Panasonic is known for its ruggedized Toughbook line, designed to operate in rough environments. Its models commonly trade off high end performance and features for extremely light weight and compact size. That relegates Panasonic’s fans to mobile business users, and makes it less appealing to mainstream consumers.

Lenovo, which bought up IBM’s PC division, continues the venerable ThinkPad line as a highly regarded workhorse that delivers top performance in a thin but well constructed case — all work and no play. ThinkPads are also known for their long usable life and their fingertip controllers rather than trackpads, something that polarizes users for or against based on their personal preferences.

Fujitsu is another leader in light and thin notebooks, but also makes more general purpose machines that borrow from its leading edge thin designs. Its larger sized lines are powerful and economical while still remaining thin and fairly light. Fujitsu also makes Tablet PC convertible machines with the flip-around monitors that have yet to prove popular because they are gutless and expensive.

Asus, best known for its popular $350 EEE PC toy notebook, is also making inroads into the light notebook business. It’s targeting low powered thin models with small but higher resolution displays than most of the competition.

Of course there are many other makers of light notebooks. Dell and HP both make lighter notebook models, but none are really comparable to the top competitors in the ultralight market; instead, those two companies target the mass market, which hasn’t yet started chasing light thin notebooks because of the engineering tradeoffs they require to drop the pounds and millimeters and their commensurate price tags.

Continues: AppleInsider | How the MacBook Air stacks up against other ultra-light notebooks

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January 22, 2008   20 Comments

Who Was the Biggest Loser at Macworld?

Take this Job and Stuffit
Daniel Eran Dilger
There are winners and losers in life, and in accordance with the First Law of Thermodynamics, the heat and light generated by winners must result in a cold, dark shutout for an equal number of losers. Who won and lost a Macworld 2008?

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January 22, 2008   40 Comments

Apple TV Promises to Take 2008

Apple TV 2008
Daniel Eran Dilger
While 2007 was the Year of the iPhone, 2008 appears to be set as the Year of Apple TV. After languishing for a year with weak sales, derisive media scoffing, and an official designation as a “hobby” for Apple, the product’s newly unveiled software upgrade has already kick started sales, even prior to the new “take two” software being released.

As one Apple Store employee observed a day after Macworld ended, “Apple TV is crackin. We went from selling one a week to one or two an hour.”

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January 21, 2008   142 Comments

San Francisco, Muni Fall Apart For Macworld Expo

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Daniel Eran Dilger
A very long time ago, San Francisco was known as “the City that Knows How,” a slogan coined by US President William Howard Taft in 1911 on observing the monumental rebuilding work that followed the great earthquake and fire of 1906. Nearly a century later, the slogan still show up in places, but it’s hard to understand why, particularly if you’re part of the shrinking middle class minority that is wholly unserved by a political system designed only to entertain the wealthy and serve the needs of the abjectly destitute by the most inefficient and ineffective means possible.

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January 19, 2008   53 Comments

MacSpeech’s Dictate: High Quality Voice Command and Speech Recognition for the Mac

Daniel Eran Dilger
MacSpeech at this week’s Macworld Expo unveiled Dictate, its new speech recognition and voice command software currently in beta and slated for release mid February. The new product replaces and improves upon the existing iListen.

Dictate is now based upon the highly accurate speech recognition engine developed by Naturally Speaking; iListen was based upon technology licensed from Philips. MacSpeech supplies the user interface and rich integration with AppleScript and other Mac technologies. It is offering a preorder special of $149 on the $200 regular price, and also offers a $99 cross-grade price for existing users of iListen.

Speech Recognition Accuracy.
Representatives demonstrated the accuracy and intelligence of the new system by dictating live into the system. After being switched on, the system allows the user to both dictate and issue voice commands. It determines which you are doing by analyzing the context of words. Dictate only requires a 5 minute profile creation session, which profiles the mic used and then analyzes the speaker’s speech patterns and diction. In addition, the user can supply text that the software will analyze for unfamiliar words, and then speak those words to expand the system’s dictionary.

Continues: AppleInsider | MacSpeech’s Dictate: high quality voice recognition for the Mac

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January 17, 2008   1 Comment