MacBreak Weekly 410 (Transcript)
Mike Elgan: It’s time for MacBreak Weekly, Leo’s on vacation but Andy, Alex and Rene are all here. We’re going to talk about Apple’s indestructible sapphire display. Now, the glass looks amazing, we’ll see if it really works on the phone itself, we’re going to talk about Tim Cook’s Apple. He’s been in charge for three years, how has the company changed in those three years. And we’re going to talk about the iWatch of course. Apple’s made an interesting hire which sort of changes the whole picture for their coming watch and, even for the marketing for the whole company. It’s all coming right now on MacBreak Weekly.
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Mike: This is MacBreak Weekly episode four hundred and ten, recorded July 8th 2014
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Mike: It’s time for MacBreak Weekly, where we cover the extremely profitable and wonderful world of Apple. And, with me is the usual cast of characters, I’m of course not Leo Laporte, I’m Mike Elgan, the news director here at Twit,(elgan(dot)com) and I’m sitting in for him whilst he’s on vacation taking it easy, while we’re working hard here at the Twit studios. With me is, we’ll start with Andy Ihnatko, Andy Ihnatko’s with the Chicago Sun Times (cwob-@andyihnatko), and he’s the technology columnist there and welcome Andy Ihnatko (Mike whispers).
Andy Ihnatko: It is very nice to be here and being welcomed by you Mike.
Mike: Thank-you so much and I was impressed by your extreme knowledge and distaste for haggis before we started the show. So, that was an interesting conversation that you all missed….. well(interrupted by Andy)
Andy: I’m proud of it because I’ve never had had haggis so it’s based solely on ignorance and arrogance which is a very American thing to do so soon after July 4th.
Mike: Thank-you for waving the flag and I guess that’s the right way to do it. Eventually we’ll have a food show here, mark my words, someday here on the Twit network.
We should have a haggis day where we all wear kilts and talk about food we’ve never tried. So, that’s something to look forward too. Rene Ritchie is with us as well, he runs imore, and he’s a serial podcaster and podcasts and hosts a lot of podcasts then with the word cast. Welcome Rene Ritchie.
Rene Ritchie: (laughing) As someone whose family hails from Edinboro’ – the fighting sect of the Mackintosh clan I’m appalled by all this anti-Scottishism on this show.
Mike: Have you tried haggis?
Rene: No, I haven’t, no I have not.
Mike: Okay, well there you go.
Alex Lindsay: I have…..
Mike: This is…….you see Canadians always try to pretend like they’re so different from Americans, but you haven’t tried haggis either so………
Rene: It’s too cold here to make haggis.
Mike: Yes, good point…..good point. It’s got oatmeal in it…..come…on.
Mike: Also with us is Alex Lindsay of he of pixelcorps fame (pixelcorps(dot)com-@alexlindsay, welcome back to the United States of America.
Mike: You were in Rwanda celebrating a very, very major event there.
Alex: Yes, it was the twentieth anniversary of the end of the genocide, so basically their independence day, which was July 4th as well. So, there’s a big event at the stadium, I mean it was quite a thing. You know events in stadiums in Africa are much different than here.
Alex: People started, it was amazing we walked out with our camera angles with our camera operators and, the event doesn’t start until 11 O’ clock in the morning. The people start coming at six…..
Alex: So, they’re all…..the whole stadium is full by eight and, then they all just start singing….like…they’re not singing like……one section will start singing something….and some-one else will start….I don’t know….some of it was religious, some of it was patriotic, some of it was probably just fun….it was like these random….you know….(cross talk)
Alex: quite literally a whole section and they’re going moving and their jumping up and down, singing and everything else just…I was just like aaaaa….they’re way cool than we are.
Mike: We’ve also got the question engine going….so today….
Mike: you’re managing that…..
Mike: so if you want to ask a question how do they do that?
Alex: Go to I believe it is twit(dot)to(slash)mbw four ten is that right. Right. Twit(dot)to(slash)mbw four ten. And, you can ask questions, comment, you can vote stuff up and down, you can let us know what you want to talk about.
Chad: Yes that link works well.
Alex and Mike: So, there it is.
Mike: So you can as he said watch the show live there as well. So, I’ve got something for us all to sing about, spontaneously, I don’t know if you’ve seen the video created by Marques Brownlee.
Marques Brownlee of course is a very well-known You Tube personality…..who….. who….he tests a lot of mobile devices, he does some really nice videos on reviewing phones especially. And, he posted a video yesterday showing what he says is an iPhone 6 screen, made with sapphire and he was shanking it with a knife pretty hard there (Rene laughing) and scratching it with a keys and the thing came…..
Rene: Is that a technical term Mike?
Mike: Yes, it is I learnt it in prison. But he did a pretty abusive test on this screen again, just the screen, not a whole phone behind it just the so-called sapphire screen and, it didn’t have a mark on it.
He was bending it, he was stepping on it, he was stabbing it with a knife…..very sharp knife and, this looked very impressive. He also in this part of the video we’re also seeing here…..
Rene: How did he get it?
Mike: I don’t know….he didn’t say…..
Rene: He got it from Sunny Dixon who is in Australia….
Mike: Yes, that’s right he did say.
Rene: The Chinese part to suppliers.
Mike: That’s right he did say. He also talked about the clarity and that was a point of controversy about sapphire of course….people were saying it’s not going to let enough light and it was inferior to regular glass or gorilla glass but this looks pretty good. What do you think about this Rene Ritchie, is this, is this going to be transformative for the iPhone assuming that this is legit?
Rene: I mean it’s a little bit like review that brand new Lego block that’s going to ship later this month….that brand new Lego set, it’s completely out of context and it can be like the magnificent Lego Block. But, like you pointed out there’s a lot of questions attached to a phone yet.
I think on the face of it, it looks great Sunny Dixon has a great reputation for getting legitimate Apple parts from the Chinese supply chain so it’s likely that it’s an authentic part, whether it’s a final part it’s hard to say.
But Sapphire glass, a lot of experts have said for a long time that is where we need to go to sort have large size, thin size strength and flexibility that we need. And, based on Marquez’s test it look like we’re getting that.
Mike: And, of course sapphire glass has been used by Apple in front of the camera and also finger print reader.
Rene: Touch ID.
Mike: Where it’s very important to have very accurate and very durable, no scratches and so and they…..they’ve been using this for a while and they’re have been reports for this it seems like for more than a year….Apple hoarding sapphire…..
Mike: In building plants and……(interrupted by Rene)
Rene: They’ve invested heavily.
Mike: They’ve got patents and so on. One of the interesting patents and, they’ve also made an acquisition of one or two around sapphire production. One of the interesting patents that they have which is a patent for sapphire laminate. Which is the idea that if you have a very thin layer of sapphire bonded to a piece of glass which enables the part to be thinner, lighter and clearer- we don’t know if this is an example of sapphire laminate or not. We really don’t know what this technology is exactly but, do we think, Andy Ihnatko, whether this is something that is going to be revolutionary and difficult to copy by other companies like Android hand set makers or something, for example?
Andy: Hard to say because as tough as that thing is the question is how tough does that thing have to be? We’re watching him bend it over the tip of his shoe right now, and essentially there are things inside the iPhone that are not as flexible as that and they’ll break long before you do that.
I’ve got my iPhones in my pocket, I’ve also got a Nexus Five that I carry usually inside my pocket with no screen protector on it and, that doesn’t have really any scratches on it after about a year of daily carry. So, it’s great that they’re choosing this to promote the product, anything that’ll will protect the product and the screen and keep the think looking pretty is going to be good for users. I’m actually….there are two things that I have been a large take for this video for me.
First, of all we’re seeing…..this is usually time of year when we would expect to kind of seeing parts slip out of security and make some of these September and October announcements more real. So, now I don’t think there’s anybody who would doubt that this is going to be the size of one of the new iPhones.
The second thing is as I kept looking closely at that video I couldn’t help but notice that the corners of that screen are not squared off, they’re covered, they’re not squared off, they’re rounded over, which made me think is this actually going to be part of the actual profile of the finished product. Are they making something so thin that they’re not going to have a band to metal that encapsulates that cover that is going to be fast, and over the actual display and that we’re going to see this sort of bubble effect that goes around the sides of it.
Who knows because as Rene said we’re seeing something completely out of context here but that really does make the mind wonder a little bit.
Rene: For what it’s worth two years ago I’d heard that the iPhone 6 was somewhere in design to iPod touch and then last year that because of all the new gestures like back gestures that they were experimenting making the corners smoother so that when you do the gestures you wouldn’t feel the sharp edges under your fingers.
Alex: Yes, I think that one the things that…..in Apple and obviously that keeps on pushing the high end…so this is more expensive to make, there’s a lot of a patents that slow people down….there’s a lot of things if someone is looking for the best phone they can possibly get, then this is something they might have to start adding, this might be a feature….a lot of us you know have scratched up our phones you know often enough that is something that people might buy again. Hence, a lot of reports out in the last week have been about how Samsung is basically getting squeezed between Chinese manufacturers and, Apple. You know where you have low end stuff coming up and Apple really looks like very focused on maintaining the top of the heap by continuing to add those technologies and, making everybody else fight for the rest of the market. (Cross talk) Which might be larger…. but a lower margin.
Andy: I just hope that this is a feature that will actually present itself to the users because phones are different. You can spend, you can spend all this time, all this money engineering a beautiful design with all this cutting edge materials but most people are still going to slip it into a cheap 14 dollars hello kittie rubber case. And, so none of that stuff is worth where you put it actually present it self to the user, so that why I get a cool demo video this is something you would expect to see from Apple. But, I wonder a year from now, are we going to see this that people actually care about this cover. Apple……one of the few things that Apple does during their keynote presentations is that I think is kind of a miss step is that they’ll spend a lot more time than is necessary talking about business or a new welding technique or talking about this material they put into it and, of course is something that is first and foremost in their minds as designers but nobody really cares what this thing is made of so long as it feels good in the hand and so long as it has a good chance of surviving a four foot drop.
Mike: But they have to feed the hard core enthusiasts and those are the people who are going to drive the excitement and stay faithful to the brand if they’re given enough detail about all the sweat that went into this technology and of course a lot of Apple’s technology, manufacturing processes and, and this stuff is just invisible to the users but, as you say end up with weird things that just kind of vaguely thrilling that is that’s possible. (Heated Cross Talk)
Andy: I’m not sure that I agree with you about the importance of satisfying the hard-core enthusiasts because we forget that….we…we..we’ve been with Apple for so long that we always think of ourselves as the lost tribe wondering through the desert. (Mike laughs)
In terms…..when you talk about the iPhone though Apple is making the Toyota Corolla, they’re making the most popular phone at least in the United States of America. So, they’re really selling to generic. ‘I want a phone. I expect to spend 200 dollars for it I will walk into the store without much of a preconception and I will pretty much buy whichever one strikes my fancy.’
So, I’m not sure that..that this thing will appeal to the target iPhone user. Apple fans will love it and eat it up. People like us appreciate things like that will eat it up, but I’m not sure the person who just,’Hey I just dropped my phone in the toilet…..what can I get now.’
Alex: Well, you know sometimes I think it’s art work with art work in general. We can all this technological art work. You know the story is about half the value behind is so the story behind it is what it takes to do is, you know…..I just saw….I don’t know if you’ve seen this documentary called, ‘Tim’s Veneer?’
Mike: Yes, I have seen this.
Alex:….and…..ummm Tim Jensen who actually invented …..started the Tricast…..you know the company that makes tricasters.
Rene: Makes video toasters.
Alex: Video toaster or figured out how or figured a possible way that Vermeer was made…..so I didn’t even know who Vermeer was……I mean I’m not very cultured…you know I’m from western Pennsylvania…..you know I can tell you a lot about (panelists roaring with laughter) rifles and pistols but not much about Vermeer. But, after watching this documentary on my last flight I was like I want to know everything about Vermeer, in fact I am going to try and do that I’m going to get my little……things out and, everything else and the value and also the fact that it took me a year and half to make one…..
Mike: Yes. Yes.
Alex:……creates an enormous amount of value of that painting, whereas otherwise it’s just a painting that I don’t really understand.
Mike: So, for those listening what we’re talking about is the theory that Vermeer who was a famous…..he was Dutch right…..a Dutch painter…..
Alex: Yes, that’s right.
Mike:…..used a contraption, potentially of his own invention, that used essentially focused the light and, paintings were essentially…..some have even called them photographs……because essentially the light is projected onto a flat surface where that could be captured by one method or another, and this totally changes the way you look at Vermeer paintings.
Alex:….It doesn’t….some people thought it would lower the value but what it does is actually increase the value, because what it does is an incredible amount of work to do that level of detail, but the… the…. point that I’m making is not so much about Vermeer but is mostly about the fact that when we understand how hard it is to make these…..these pieces I think it does change, because the rest of the phones are just regular phones.
You know like….you don’t know they just are………
Andy: I hate to say this…. so is the iPhone.
Alex: But, I think the distortion field was created by story (immense amount of cross talk)
Rene: I think Apple is really good at layering stuff up. I mean they’re very good at telling that deep story and it will resonate with the geeks but it’ll also form the back story for everybody else and, they’ll say things like’64 bit, double the registers,’ it enables authentication technology like touch ID and, you don’t have to remember that but if you’re geek you can. And, when you go into the store all you’ll hear is ’64 bit’ and that sounds like more bits and that’s better.
And, the same thing with the screen, you might hear about the manufacturing process but, at the end of the day you’ll walk into the store and go’ sapphire’ does this guy have sapphire?’ ‘No.’ Sapphire sounds better and expensive and it sort of creates a multi layered…..I don’t know if it’s Shakespeare-nism, is the right term, but it creates a dialogue at multiple levels and I think that overall benefits them. (short pause)
Mike: Andy Ihnatko, you started to say something didn’t you? Did you have a…..
Andy: Only that…..only that this is just a personal feeling that…..
Andy: I don’t think that it matters how Vermeer painted that painting. It’s a beautiful painting, if you think that you’re….if someone wants to look at that and say that this didn’t come strictly from his imagination he did use mechanical help then he don’t understand art.
Similarly, if you weren’t interested in the music lesson until you found all the technology behind it you are also not bringing anything to the art. So, that’s why…..I….I….it’s beautiful to hear the story about how Apple designs these things, and also often times when you’re inside the keynote and you’re listening to them talk about how they put this together I….I don’t denigrate them for that because it’s they….it’s an extension of the legitimate pride that they take in putting together these things. It’s just like if you ask me about a furniture I made, ‘Oh well, let me tell you how I put those dowels in, because there’s a very clever technique that allows me to do a very, very tight joint with…...’ because there’s a certain amount of pride in planning what you did to get this together.
However, none of this should really matter to the person, this is a phone it is used to place and receive phone calls, it’s used to surf the web, it’s used to keep in touch you family and used to count your calories and your steps per day and if people…and if part of the story why you should buy this phone instead of the other is that let me tell you about the technique we use to….let me tell you how thin we’ve made this, let me tell you what we had to do to for battery conservation in order to make a battery this thin that lasts just as long as any other phone….nobody should care about all we hear is that this battery lasts long as any other phone and then they should care anything beyond that.
So that’s just something I’m on guard against because I am the guy who wants to hear about the new A7, the new A80 the new A8 A9 processor, I really do want to hear about the assembly technique, that lets them do something, lets them put together something tricky but you have to focus on the things that are going to present themselves to an actual user, that’s all.
Mike: Absolutely, but I tend to disagree on one level on these switches the cumulative effect of all the different things that Apple does, all the crazy manufacturing techniques and the obsession with the materials and all that, it has an over-arching effect of superior quality. If you look at the finger print reader right out of the box, the first release of their 1.0 finger print reader has worked really well compared to every other finger print reader I’ve ever seen.
You have really nice materials, I mean you don’t have this sort of thing, this is my Moto X which I dropped half an hour before I saw that Marques video and, I though huh boy wouldn’t that be great. I mean there’s a spectrum of possibilities with sapphire.
One end of the spectrum is the bad news which is if corning is right which is how people make gorilla glass that it’ll affect the battery life, it’ll be dimmer display, create problems for the screen quality.
Alex: It nothing, it’s there.
Mike: Exactly, that’s right and (panelists laughing) it’s essentially a competitor the gor….gorilla glass theoretically. That’s one end of the spectrum, the other end of the spectrum is what if Apple is really onto something here and they have a display that will never scratch, except under the most extreme conditions and that you can carry it around in your pocket. That makes a lot of sense for Apple simply because uh….uh you know we talked about the……the Andy Ihnatko you talked about the hello kitty case---what if they make a big deal at the announcement of one of these things, what if the signature attributes of this device, this phone is you don’t need a case. Apple says flat out you don’t need a case for this, we want you to carry around the naked phone in your pocket with your keys and your change and your sharp knife like you know unfolded, and you can stab it like Marques Brownlee, and it won’t scratch ever. And, if they make a big enough deal about it, that is a signature issue. Look at how much effort they put into the design.
And then non-one ever sees these phones because they have hello kitty cases on them, or scratched up because they’re an iPhone 5, the metal scratches off, they don’t look that good in that case either.
Andy: I think that people put cases on their phones partly because of protection, but mostly because this is the most personal piece of technology that you own. You want it to look like your phone.
It’s not that you want to protect your phone, it’s just that you want people to know that you like hello kitty or that you couldn’t get the Pandaba cover when you went into the store. So, I think there’s a lot of reasons why people like to put cases on their phone. I’m saying that it’s great……the sapphire cover is a great thing if it actually extends the life of the product and, it is……adds a layer of durability. Remember again, remember we’re doing we’re seeing a video with stress tests on this flexible sapphire cover but, it’s still going to have to be bonded to a sheet of glass with a digitizer and a display sort of display and that might not be quite as, as, as indestructible as the cover that’s on it.
All I’m saying is that Apple really has to communicate this in terms of real features, instead of saying we’ve figured out why people put cases on their phones, it must be because things get scratched, guess what now you never have to put a cover on the phone again and then a year later people are still putting cases and covers on their phones and Apple’s what the hell’s wrong with you people didn’t we tell you don’t have to put a cover on this case on this phone.
Andy: But, I love the baroque and I love to see that.
Mike: That’s a good point.
Alex: In my case (cross talk) it might be batteries (poor sound) just solves that key issue for me that the phone’s too small. So, anyway that not the battery but I think with all of this Apple has to do, this is their livelihood, is that they have to be constantly coming out with three, two or three new technologies with every phone that non-body else can produce at least for the next six months. You know, that’s, that’s the market they have chosen. It’s not the only market that they could have. There’s a lot of HTC and everybody is always coming with the reason I carry around an HTC MA is because of the short-cut field. (Laughing)So I can take little pictures for blog posts that are…..that looks nice with my phone so that was enough for me to pick that as my Android test phone as opposed to something else. And, so at finding these individual features I don’t think this is the most important feature, I still think that the most important feature that Apple could add to a phone, is low light photographic support. So, that is…..I think for all of them, you know it’s hard thing to cut but being able to get low grain images that are in focus, you know in an average house at night would be difficult for anybody by any phone anywhere that number one use for a phone that is not a phone it’s a camera. It’s number one and so you and, and…….this is great but I really hope that Apple, I hope that we see something revolutionary.
Mike: Yes, right.
Andy: And that’s the end of civilization.
Mike: Right, it’s these little things that nudge the whole industry forward, look at what phones were like ten years ago, they were horrible compared to today’s phones and today’s phones are pretty awesome across the board because everybody’s nudging forward……
Mike: Everybody’s doing what you’re saying which is trying to get ahead, specially Apple, trying to get ahead of the competition who tend to copy them and so they have to get ahead of things if they can.
Rene: Also, it’s important that their own product line, because you can’t do everything every year. You can do a graphics boost one year, you can do a pixel boost one year, you know do a camera boost one year----just because technology takes a while to get here so you have to fly in every year---pick your battles and know what you can knock out.
Mike & Andy: Yes.
Andy: I’ve got a question I’d like to hear everybody talk about, do you think that we can sort of stop talking about tick and tock releases for phones, because I don’t think that ………I think that Apple’s dispensing with that and just trying to make the best phone possible that’s practical every given year.
Alex: All right.
Mike: Go ahead.
Alex: I still feel like….I still feel the S is always like not quite as good as the full release. The S is kind of like we have to something every year. I always feel that I see a bigger change between every major number than we do on the years in between.
Alex: I don’t…..I tend to skip the SSSS.
Mike: Yes. I think Apple’s under a lot of pressure, theoretically to come with a big push, I mean so much of their revenue, so much of their profits have come from iPhones and you know if they decide you know what let’s skip a release this year we’ll just do one next year we won’t have a big release in September, we’ll just wait till next July or something like that.
It would be…you know there would be months of speculation about the decline of Apple and you there would be all kinds of ax with the shareholders.
Alex: Well, they would fall behind. I mean you have the other thing you have Samsung releasing all these phones all the time. I mean technology is changing, technology is changing so fast that doing it every two years would be too slow. I think that adding small features to the….yes the design…..here’s my thing is I don’t think….I used to buy a phone every year……the new iPhone every year and then I decided that I’m going to buy every other phone and you can decide whether you’re on the S track or the numeral track. But, I think buying one every year doesn’t make sense.
Rene: I knew there isn’t a tick tock there anymore. Apple sort…..is sort what I said before they can’t do everything every year, so one year you get the case redesign and, a few other things like the screen size, and next year, last year it was an S model. But, it had the A7 chip which I could not…..if we had a twice as long podcast I could not get over how important that chip set up is, how many things it enabled and we had the new camera technology and we had the new ISP in there. There is touch ID, there is a lot of stuff internally and it’s not visible. Maybe people on the outside don’t see it. They just see this year comes in gold.
But I think that Apple as big as they are, they are resource constrained and they need to again pick their battles every year. New case designed this year, new chip set or some other new technology maybe next year.
Alex: And, I think that one the things that is important is the fact that Apple…..I was talking to a manufacturer that makes a lot of the cases, specifically and they said the fact that……..you get a lot more accessories for the iPhone than you do for the android phones because it only iterates once a year.
Andy: Yes. You know they said it’s really frustrating for us…..for an accessory manufacturer to have……you know the android market is very, very, diverse and it’s changing constantly and they’re making all these little changes to the same and that creates a lot of consumer confusion, it’s very hard for them to you build everything out, you tool everything out for all of these different phones. Whereas with an iPhone it’s easy for them, they make for both they make them for Samsung, but by far they sell a lot more because they only have a yearly cycle that they have after they make adjustments for it. (cross talk)
Andy: And, I would say one of the key features of the iPhone design is the fact that they’ve gone for this revolutionary thing where it just a…….it just a model, it’s square right angles and everything and that allows you to do accessories like these(showing accessories). Allow you to do accessories like the Ollo clip. That would be so difficult to do if you had really complicated rounded edges to it. I really hope that they stick to that because, I do think that a phone is just a frame that delivers the phone features that then put into whatever thing you want to carry it around in.
Mike: Of course the monkey wrench in Apple’s desire to stay on top as the most profitable consumer electronics company in the history is China, which presents a couple of issues for Apple. One of them is a huge opportunity there’s so many people who could buy iPhones in China and a huge amount of their growth is going to happen in China and, the Chinese handset manufacturers are coming on strong and already taking their toll on Samsung. We got the Samsung release and Samsung’s already taking about reduced profitability in the future, because of these upstart companies in China producing high quality phones that are very inexpensive.
So Samsung’s being squeezed on the high end by Apple, and on the low end by all these Chinese manufacturers and to a certain extent in the middle by the same manufacturers. So, Apple’s really got to own the high end if they don’t want to follow Samsung down the whole.
Alex: Any way a lot of us travel and one of the things, still no matter, there’s lots of people that use different phones……the cultural icon is still the iPhone. You know like the people who can get one, you know generally have one of these a lot of these in the emerging world countries, and so I think, I think a part of that is Apple continuing to tell that story and continuing to have that be it……. That they go for the high end, of course they could go for the entire market but I think it’s too hard. I don’t think Apple’s built for the low end. Only they can do that.
Mike: Right. No shit they will!
Let’s move to another story there was a really interesting story by Daisuke Waikayabedashi in the Wall Street Journal…….
Alex: Did you practice that?
Mike: Well we talked about it on the show, and in fact we interviewed the guy this morning.
Alex: I was just so impressed (laughing).
Mike: Thank you so much. I actually said that in Japanese……(cross talk)
Andy: I would like to personally come along and see the wizard behind the wall. Some people like the magic you know.
Alex: Sorry, you know everybody was thinking it. You know it.
Mike: This guy with the hard to pronounce name uhhh wrote this article in the Wall Street Journal, talking about Tim Cook’s version of Apple, and sort of addressed the question that we’ve talked about on this show before, at least we did when I was a guest on this show couple of times which is that how different is Apple without Steve Jobs, how different is Apple under Tim Cook.
Tim Cook is a completely different person, of course with Steve Jobs and Tim Cook together in the company for several years that was the dynamic duo of the visionary dictator on the one hand and the amazing thing the sort of manufacturing and operations guy on the other hand and now the visionary dictator has been gone for three years, he stepped down as CEO three years ago I think in August, and Tim Cook’s been running the show by himself and, the company seems to be changing faster as time goes on.
And so you it was a fascinating article and I wanted what you all thought about that. Rene Ritchie what do you think about this article, is he right, is this a much kinder gentler Apple friendlier to the employees, friendlier to the environment friendlier to the stock…..umm shareholders and just a warmer fuzzier Apple.
Rene: Well, I think…..I love his writing, I’ll say that upfront, I think that the biggest thing about this article to me is that the mainstream is beginning to get a story that people like you and I, Andy and Alex on this show have been talking about for a year and half, if not for two years already. Going back to when Tim Cook reorganized Apple that it was absolutely clear that this was going to be Tim Cook’s Apple. He could not have put a better and bigger flag in the ground for that. And, I think that everything that’s followed since then shows the sort of direction that he’s going with Apple. I’m happy that the main stream media is recognizing this now, I’m not sure if two years is a good amount of time or it should have been earlier thank fully it’s not later. But the biggest thing I drew from this was just I thought his comments about the board of directors was apt because given what Tim Cook has done with the management team and given with what he’s done with events like WWDC and how his managing things internally the board of directors is the last big execution that doesn’t have his fingerprints on it.
And, the people who’re currently on the board are……have been…….most of them have been sort of hanging onto the chair that they sit on for many years.
Rene: For, over a decade, yes.
Mike: Essentially they’re Steve Job loyalists, and so the idea is to sort of expand that.
Rene: One of the interesting things about that is that it was a board that Steve Jobs needs, and as much as all these articles keep saying Tim Cook is no Steve Jobs……Steve Jobs did exactly what Tim Cook’s doing. Steve Jobs was not good at logistics and he was not good at supply chain and he was not good operations, that’s why he got Tim Cook. And Tim Cook has singular skills and that’s why he’s getting the people he’s getting, because he wants them to complement him. The same way that he complemented the skills when he was at Apple that to me is a 100 per cent normal.
Mike: Yes, definitely.
Alex: Yes. Just as it says in the article, definitely……..umm……..illustrates the whole revolutionary versus leader. I mean some-one who’s going to lead the revolution, some-one whose going to lead the country, there’s two different people and I think that Apple could not have gotten to where it is without Steve Jobs pushing that envelope. But, to continue to grow and be the company it is that Cook is perfect for that.
Alex: As far as building that out, so all of us have heard the stories of Steve and so you know, he’s pretty intense guy.
Mike: He quotes a former employee saying that Quote’ Steve was a war time ceo, while Tim is a peacetime ceo’un quote. But, I’m not sure that Apple is no longer at war. I think that they’re facing all kinds of challenges and you know one of the benefits, one of the reasons is that Apple came from the brink and, rose to become the most profitable consumer electronics company ever. Is that Steve Jobs was a visionary and, he was a singular kind of personality being within the company could dictate things. Nobody can dictate things now, you know that article talks about Tim Cook as a consensus builder, and everybody likes that.
It sounds like a great think. But if you talk to anybody whose tried to do something like really really hard like create a consumer electronic device, you know hocking’s to create the original palm pilot they’ll tell you that you need somebody to just crack the whip and just say, ‘No it’s going to be like this, we don’t care……how many engineers should we have ……ten more buttons…….there’s going to be four buttons period.’ You need somebody to say that kind of thing, and you know this is the question. Is that the kind of company that can move forward…….(interrupted by Alex)
Alex: I think that part of that was an acknowledgement that there isn’t going to be another replacement. It’s not going to be that way whether we want it to be or not is to choose to not have Steve there, so the main thing is that is that you’re going to have find that even if you don’t have that singular person that people are going to follow. You have to find another you know solution.
Mike: And, it seems to me Apple is changing much quicker, more recently so that tow big things that Apple’s done recently that I think are super uncharacteristic company-the first one of course is the acquisition of Beats electronics, which I don’t know which is something that would be unimaginable a couple of years ago, at least for me. And, this second was the Pride Video that was released yesterday, of course Apple had a big presence at San Francisco’s Gay pride parade, and yesterday there were videos of heavily produced, you know very emotional of the kind of video of the kind you would expect from Apple. But those people in the video are Apple employees. When have you seen Apple employees like being presented as like get to know us we are this warm and fuzzy people, we are……we are you know….we are you know this is a very un Apple thing to do.
Alex: But the thing is that Apple has to………they have to show up for these kind of cultural things because otherwise they’re also competing not just for consumer electronics but they’re also competing for employees you know with Facebook, with Google both of whom have large presences in the Pride fest……..you know parades. And, so they don’t want to be seen as non-progressive. You know……….that affects people that they are looking for. It’s going to affect that and I……I think that he did it from a genuine perspective but those are the kind of things that Apple………Steve didn’t think that was necessary………
Alex: for them to do it, that he understands now that they don’t……..when you don’t have someone that understands who they’re going to work for you do have to think about all these other bits and pieces.
Mike: And, of course there’s the environmental aspect, I mean Apple has been criticized heavily by environmentalists groups for many years for their environmental record and again the message seem to be a few years ago from the Steve Jobs version of Apple, look, look we’re okay on the environment but the important things is that we make these great products and that’s how we help everybody, we make fantastic devices.
Nowadays Apple seems to be really pushing to become much more environmentally friendly, this was addressed in the article that we’re talking about and in fact yesterday we learnt that they are investing 55 million in a new 100 acre 17.5 megawatt solar farm to have cleaner energy for one of their data centers.
Alex: I think both Apple and Google are competing to be the first company that is off the grid. Like say we’re off the grid, we’re complete global resource. And I think that…….both of them are investing heavily in that also, a lot of other companies are too, I……. think that they’re ……….the some-one wants, it’s that notch, of saying that we’re………
Andy: Long bushy beards and we’re running our own flags. We’re stock piling weapons…….
Mike: Yes, that’s right.
Alex: Exactly. (Cross Talk) as much as they’re worried that the entire energy structure of the United States……
Mike: Space ship campus would be a great place for the Zombie Apocalypse, there’s underground bunkers, there’s all kinds of things, so that’s where I’m going.
Alex: Well, I think that you could shut all of the outside doors from World War Z…. and you could be inside.
Mike: Hope fully the sapphire is the glass around the outside that would be absolutely fantastic.
Rene: Obviously you could do your war bit.
Mike: Exactly, that’s right we’re going to find out. So, one other point in this article I thought was kind of interesting is the……he pointed out on his list of reasons why Tim Cook is a warm and fuzzy person is that he is more willing to share attention. So, one example of that is he hired, essentially as an aqua hire of peace electronics so now we’ve got these towering personalities from the music industry who are now executives at Apple, at least ostensibly…..a….a. Jimmy Iovine and Dr Dres. But the other one he pointed the most recent at the developer conference he allowed Craig Federighi to dominate the stage. And, I wonder how much of that is Cook sharing the attention, how much of that is Federighi being groomed to be a successor? Is that…….is that a possibility there what do you think about that?
Andy: I don’t really think so, Tim Cook is a young person and I think his got a lot time in that seat, if he wants to stay there. He certainly has the success that will mean that his not going to leverage out of that seat if he doesn’t want to leave it.
I think it possible…….I think he’s smart enough to have learnt the lesson of some of the bad things about having such an iconic classic figure as the CEO.
Any time that we talk about any of these articles of the post Steve Jobs era of Apple which has been going on for at least three years now……we may be…..the mainstream press should not worry so much about this anymore this old issue.
As much as I like to talk about that sort of stuff I also have to acknowledge that this is a problem of Apple’s own making because if the public and if the mainstream press have been taught that Apple was Steve Jobs and Steve Jobs was the visionary that led to every single thing that happened correctly and, nothing good would have come out of Apple, if not for Steve Jobs personally having hands on, hip deep wading into every single project. That’s the message that they were sending….correctly….truly…..correctly or incorrectly but by having front and center at every one of these presentations so that during later….Apple…..Steve notes……we would actually count the amount of stage time that Steve would get, we would be concerned when he started handing things off to other people. Is his health taking another turn now….why is he not talking about this wonderful feature about editing photos right now.
So, I think that Tim, I’m guessing that Tim, or at least people who are in charge of Apple are at least smart enough to know that they should not let that happen again because if they allow the public, investors and the other parts of the community to think that Apple computers is all about Tim Cook and Tim Cook’s vision that makes it that much harder then for the next CEO whenever he or she comes to fill those shoes again. They want to create the impression that Apple is a large vibrant company full of lots and lots of people most of them you will never hear from or see on…..on….a stage but part of the stew that makes Apple works is each one of these tens of thousands of people, 15,000 people that contribute to every single product that they make.
Rene: My understanding is that it’s actually quite simple. I don’t know if it’s 100 per cent correct, but it’s actually quite simple they want the best person on the stage for every segment and often that would have been Steve Jobs because you have Steve Jobs and you would be supposedly crazy not to see him. He is the master presenters, master presenter and now you have sort of roles and, now Cook has taken the role and he’s not the ethics works guy, he is not the one more thing guy he is the…this is what we believe. These are Apple’s core values, he comes up at the beginning, at the middle and on the end and he states why Apple is doing what it’s doing…….why it’s doing what it’s doing…..and then he hands off to someone like Craig Federighi who’s going to talk about the technology or even Chris Latiner’s going to talk about Swift, and they really want to make it about the show and not one personality because it’s no longer that one personality.
Alex: I wouldn’t be surprised if that they’re not constantly rotating who these, like people are the lead, one of these keynotes you know. I’d be surprised if……I think that they’re going to concentrate…..this happens in every company…..if we do it we do a lot of streams for a lot of big corporations (laughing) and you do end up with this thing where suddenly the CEO is not showing up as much or the CMO or someone else and, suddenly everything’s wrong. You know…..and….and it’s not just that everyone thinks that there’s something wrong that throws of the entire pace of the event by having somebody there for three or four years and disappearing and, so I think that constantly churning this and building up lots of personalities to do that I think makes a lot of sense.
Rene: If you look at the Surface Three events, if you look at some of the Samsung events….they do not have……at least they’re not presenting with their best foot forward, people presenting this stuff on stage Apple’s lucky that if you have Federighi or a Schiller you want him up there a great show case for your product.
Mike: Well, in just a sec we’re going to talk about the upcoming iWatch, I know you guys are sick to death of this topic but there’s a new wrinkle in the whole development and the whole cremology of the iWatch that I would like to talk about very briefly but, first we’re going to take a break and talk about one of our sponsors which of course is audible(dot)com. I’ve been an audible user, I like to say I think that I’ve been an audible longer than Leo. I think I’ve been an audible user since about 2000. Back in those days it was a physical device that you bought where the service was actually incidental that came with the device.
But in any event I love audible(dot)com because it enables me to read books that I would never have the time to read otherwise I do a lot of hiking, trail running and driving and just walking around house work and dishes, whatever and it enables me if I not listening to podcasts or netcasts, I’m listening to books and I’ve read many, many books that are just so wonderful because the actors who read them are…….make them really bring them to life.
Audible has more than 150,000 downloadable books, these include all kinds of things like literature, fiction, nonfiction, periodicals……you name it audible(dot)com is absolutely awesome and I was reading about this book earlier today, I think in The Times, it’s a book called ‘I said yes to everything.’
It’s a brand new book by Lee Grant, and Lee Grant is an academy award winning actress who was on the black list, the Hollywood black list for twelve years. She was in The Valley of the Dolls and Shampoo. She had quite a kind of a crazy life, having a crazy time and she wrote this book that’s all about it. And you can listen to this and this can be one of your free books so you get two free books when you sign up for audible. And, I’m looking forward to this particular book, of course I’ve been a member for a long time I’m going to get it for free, it’s part of my membership and I’m looking forward to listening to this particular book. So, if you want to download this audio book or any other audio book for free, if you’re not a member and you want to sign go to audible(dot)com(slash)macbreak.
That’s audible(dot)com(slash)macbreak and, again there’s nothing like out there like audible. This is a fantastic place for you to listen to some of the greatest books ever. I’ve personally……sometimes I am little ashamed you know what I’m going to own it. I like to listen to classics that have been around for ages and, sometimes they have revised unabridged editions that are just a joy to listen to, including books that I’ve already read in print long ago. It’s just fantastic to do that and I actually love to do that and audible has a huge number of classics and, and older books not just brand new best sellers.
So, you want to check out audible(dot)com, and even if you’re just on the fence and even just thinking about it, just got to the site, browse through their collections and listen to some of the samples and I think that you’re going to be super impressed by what’s possible with an audible(dot)com subscription. So sign up for audible(dot)com that’s audible(dot)com(slash)macbreak.
Alex: I get along with people much better because of audible.
Mike: Yes, because you’re not listening to them……
Alex: Well, yes……(cross talk)patient with them. I’ll be like at the airport and I’ll just be sitting there and, normally you would be like I cannot believe that I’m here for another hour or whatever, but instead I’m listening to something……
Mike: Can I make another confession, I’m a writer, whenever I hear and we’re all writers whenever I hear something that’s badly spoken I’m always afraid it’s going to screw up my writing somehow. I have this almost superstition about it and, so that’s one of the reasons why I like audible(dot)com, you know I think that it’s going to improve my writing if I listen to a Shakesperean , Shakesperean trained actor reading about, reading about some business book or something like that. (Alex Chuckling)
So, I want a really good voice in my head. I don’t want some,some hack in there unless they’re the author, which is okay.
Let’s talk about the iWatch……(Mike hold up wrist) I’ve been wearing this bad boy since Google IO, this is the LGG watch of the Gwatch as Chris Pal calls it.
Rene: How do you like it?
Mike: I love it, I love it for two reasons. First of all I love because notifications on the wrist is a life changing wonder. That simple fact is just you really get it when you use it. Remember when the iPad came out and everybody is like I don’t know whether I want to get it, and when they tried it they’re like Oh I get it ……I get it now.
It’s one of those things that you have to experience to really understand, and this notifications on your wrist, and of course just talking about the notifications, not talking about all the other incredible things that you can do when the app are brought into the picture, so that’s one reason that notifications should live on the wrist.
Alex: That’s kind of funny because that’s the one thing that I don’t want. I don’t even like notifications on my computer, I don’t like to be interrupted so….my….the number one thing that I was worried about was notifications…there’s lots of things….there’s two different views…..
Alex: There are lots of things that I’m super excited about in a watch, but it’s just funny that……..(unfinished sentence)
Mike: I’m a Google fan, I use Google calendar……
Mike: Lots of Google stuff and I miss things because with Google, you know you don’t(interruption by Alex)
Alex: I do love my calendars……. To slot meetings.
Mike: Yes, so if Google isn’t actually opening a tab in your browser you won’t get a notification on your desk top if you’re doing sort of like the vanilla sort of cloud version of Google calendar in Apple. So you know one-right off the bat you miss nothing, you get……
Mike:….everything on your watch and, you can just glance at it and oh I don’t have to worry about that now. You know you spend a third of a second on a process that used to take a couple of seconds. It sounds like nothing but it actually adds up to…to feeling……something that is really effective.
But the other thing that’s fantastic about this is having Google Now on the wrist. Google Now is a great service I know that we talk about a lot in comparision with Siri. But, of course what Google Now has that Siri does not is a lot more pre-emptive notifications that sort of…..sort of it rummages through your gmail and, says I see you’ve got a flight coming up and, sats you know better get to the airport because the traffic is bad so you have to leave right now, weird little things like that. There’s a new report coming out today Pro Genius talking for example about how you’ll be able to control your……all of your media no matter where it is through Google No. You just talk to it and, say pause or whatever. And, that kind of functionality the wrist is the right place for something like Google Now, it’s going to be an incredible place for Siri.
Alex: And a long battery life. Part of the reason why I can’t have something that’s constantly connected is that I’m constantly charging my phone.
Alex: You know…..so it’s……maybe I’m the only one that has this problem, but it feels like an iPhone lasts half a day so I’m constantly trying to figure out where I’m going to plug it in, always have my phone with me.
Mike: Well, the down……the bad news is that you now have to constantly charge your phone and your watch. So that (interrupted by Alex)
Alex: So that’s a question….at large people are talking for one week or three or four days of usage between charges and, I think that’s part of the key.
Mike: This thing that I wear, that’s not a wrinkle that I referenced earlier, the wrinkle that Apple has poached as they say an executive from a Swiss watch manufacturer, Tag Heuer, his name is Patrick Pruniaux-I think I’m pronouncing that right. You’re in Montreal Rene Ritchie, is that…..am I pronouncing that correctly.
Rene: Pruniaux, I think.
Mike: Okay, let’s go with your pronunciation it sounds a better. And, what’s interesting to me about this is, is they’re not hiring a genius designer, engineer who knows how to design watches. They’re hiring some body whose specialty is selling watches in the luxury market place. Not selling watches through best buy, not selling watches to gadget freaks.
Alex: I don’t know if they make any watches that cost less like than 2,000 dollars.
Alex: I think…….. I mean that watch company, everything is……
Mike: But does this hire say about Apple’s intentions if anything. (Cross talk)
Andy: Yes, it really does change……I think…..we’ve…..we’ve talked about the perspective wearables for so long that……just during the show I’ve come with the idea that I really simply want to write a column that’s Andy Ihantko talks about Apple wearables bingo card. All the squares…..that I’ll definitely hit the squares if I type long enough about it. And, one of the squares on the card is that I don’t see…..I would…..I would…. I would suspect they’re making something closer to an affordable fitness band than an expensive premium watch.
But, this hire kind of really upsets that, because as you said these….they didn’t….they didn’t hire a guy of a Swatch. They didn’t…..they didn’t some guy whose job is to import millions and millions of cheap Chinese watches and NFL logos on them. They did get someone who knows how to appeal to people who are willing to spend hundreds and if not thousands of dollars on watches.
The only that sort of tempers my confusion about this is that is this a recent hire, and, may be this…..….maybe they’re bringing them on board for phase two of watch production as opposed to whatever they’re planning to announce later this year if anything.
Yes, it is a significant wrinkle that makes you sit back if you don’t smoke a pipe go out an buy a pipe and some piped tobacco and lean back and if you don’t have a beard, grow a beard so you can puff on the pipe, while you stroke the beard and think about what this means for Apple wearables in the future.
Mike: I’m going to do all that immediately, after the show is over. (Andy laughing)
Rene: To Andy’s point, I mean Apple doesn’t release products that they…..the iPhone was not a product, it was a product line, iPad was a product line, they released the first original iPhone, iPad but they were working towards the Air, they were working towards the iPhone 5, and a lot of things that we will see with the watch is similar, why there’s all these different hires. The iPod was the original wearable, it just doesn’t run iOS it’s not connected, it can’t do anything in the modern internet of things in an environment, and whatever Apple’s working on for wearables is going to exist in that environment.
And, if there’s a range of products in a few years I would not at all be surprised, nor would I be surprised of they run the gamut from a really high end Mac pro you know, on the top of the line iPhone 5 S style device, down to more reasonable things, maybe not an iPod shuffle sort of a reasonable thing……but sort of a little bit more access able.
Mike: And, of course this hire comes as the latest in the series that hire the Burberry…..the Burb…..the Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts, some time ago the head of French fashion brand Yves St. Laurent….am I saying that right I don’t know.
Rene: Yves St. Laurent.
Andy: You didn’t say it wrong….I worked on Runway that’s the only reason why I know how to say that.
Mike: Okay, his name is Paul Deneve and so you know they’re going high end and all in all of these hires and all seems to be around the fact that you know Apple’s approaching this like this is not a gadget this is fashion, and………
Alex: And, I think a larger question is that they’re hiring all these people just for that or are they hiring them because this is the direction Apple’s going is wearable, fashionable electronics, you know.
Mike: Like Beats.
Alex: (laughing) Like Beats. (Cross talk) So, that…that….is that entire process maybe expanding the Apple universe into a lot of things. I think that Apple has a lot of people that would buy a lot of things from them. Whether they agree we should or not, whether that makes sense or not. I mean if Apple made appliances I would buy an Apple refrigerator and, a microwave and so on and so forth. (Laughing) I would I would pay 50 per cent more for it. (Cross talk)
Andy: But the fridge would be so thin you could not buy milk and possibly (lost in cross talk panelists all laughing too much)
Alex: Impossibly thin.
Rene: You would finally go metric on the heels of Apple.
Alex: But, when I think that …..how do you take one of the largest companies in the world that need to grow, I do think Apple is going to have to move outside of iPhones, iPads and computers. They’re going to have to start looking at all these…..do the same thing……carefully hopefully, but you know the same thing Samsung does, Sony does as everything else which is there’s a wide variety of things that you can buy from them. I think they’ll do it slowly, but I think bringing all these people in, they’re basically getting the mind share of some of the best marketers when it comes to upscale marketing. Their point, they’re basically hiring every one that knows how to do this well.
Rene: And that was the interesting about the article that we talked about earlier and Gruber pointed this out is that for year we’ve hearing that Tim Cook hasn’t done anything, he’s not moving fast enough there’s no new products. And, then immediately now there’s….his spreading the company too thin. He’s putting Apple into too many businesses. It’s something you don’t hear about Google, once they get into every body’s business, then there even might even be one new product. So suddenly, ‘No, no ’Slow down Tim Cook.’
Mike: There’s also an element to the acquisition of Beats electronics that has been radically emphasized, which is the fact that Jimmy Iovine is really, really into and of course Beats music and the music service that, that company has, has been intending to bring about this world of what they call 360 deals, to implement 360 deals. 360 deals being, instead of trying to sell music and to make money from music, which you would have to be crazy to try to do that these days, you can make money from music…..umm is to take music and sell other things like head phones for example. And, if you look at in detail at the marketing approach that Beat’s electronics has taken, you know there’s the Lady Ga Ga buds and that’s really how they’re going at this whole thing. You’re selling consumer electronics through content, through brand, through celebrity
through you know through association with other things and, I just can’t help but think that….you know…..you know all of these hires isn’t like what he says.
Not necessarily about Smart Watch, which is it could be about a new generation of marketing where you use sort of the branding attributes to sell consumer electronics, in the same way that Beats has done with their headphones.
To a certain extent the way Apple’s sold iPhones. I mean if you look going into an Apple store, the whole experience is not just like, ‘oh well we’re just selling these goods because they’re high quality merchandize.’ No, it’s all about being part of this…….
Mike: Yes, exactly. And that’s exactly what it is, so they think it could be just intending to churn up the…..
Alex: I think that if we ever….when we look at these…….these…..these…. hires and if we ever thought that Apple is going to go for the low end of the market, I think that is probably over, you what I mean…..(Cross talk) You know I think that Apple definitely knows that…..they’ve succeeded and their going to continue to move down that path and own that part of the market. I don’t think that there….I don’t think that you know…..I do think that we’re eventually going to see 24 bit because that sells stuff. And you know especially if you have the lightning connector and, is I think there’s I know, I think those are the kind of things that….before we think that the 24 bit is important , we’re look at the Kick Starter, you know that for is it the Pung, anyway the…..
Andy: The Pono player…
Alex: The Pono player, there’s enough people interested in that, you know that want the whatever that is….the extra, you know….and some of it’s completely ego driven, some of it’s actually useful. (Cross talk)
Mike: Go ahead (to Andy)…..
Andy: One of the enduring maxims about Apple is that their most important product has never been an iPad or an iPhone or a Mac, it’s always been Apple itself and I think that it’s interesting to think about what Apple thinks they have to do in order to get to the next level of their existence. Because there’s so few tech companies that last ten years let alone twenty. And, now they’re really are their eyes are on the prize of just being on one of those brands that always exists, and I think part of that strategy has to be not to keep….not continue to attach their success of failure to specific products, or specific product lines to make sure that logo indicates a philosophy of design and construction that people are always going to get behind.
I think that as much as we laugh about Sony’s mistakes, they’re a company that has been around the mid-fifties, and the reason why they’re still recognizable brand is because that they are now……..they make cameras, they’re into movie production, they’re into music production, anything that is related to everything that has to do with entertainment or branding they’ve got their logo on there somewhere.
I would hate…… but I would hate to think that Apple wants to become like an Omega Watch brand or like one of these high premium brands that make really cool stuff, that you don’t know anybody who owns one, because who for god’s sakes is going to spend thousands of dollars on a wrist watch. There are people out there who’ll do that, there’s a lot of money to be made there, but I think that part of Apple’s pride is in being riding on the subway riding to and from work, and seeing so many people using iPhones and iPad minis.
Mike: Yes, you also see the companies that Apple’s been traditionally associated with…..Sony’s one of them, the other’s Nike…..Nike being a company that thrives in an industry that just keeps churning out new designs and it’s just……you know you have to keep that BS is you will, but it’s just that….the….the…the…the essentially …..the image of the company is what’s driving the margins and you know that’s the business they want to be the high margin business.
Andy: Nike is a great example….because think about it there are so many……Nike actually often does ads that doesn’t that don’t even promote any products. It’s just here’s the logo, here’s music, here’s music behind the logo enjoy the swoosh, enjoy the logo. I’m not sure if Apple would ever become so empty that they would do, ‘hey look at our logo,’ rotating in forties space. Enjoy it with your 3D …..3D, perspective glasses.
But, I think that’s the sort of place where they would need to go if they want the ability to launch the products based on their logos. Again, it’s not just hype, although, they…..aside I…I…I….. that’s the second time I wanted to bring that up, that interesting that lot of us that have been to China have been into the counterfeit market, and you see the Apple logo on so many things even like flip phones that are nothing to do….you’d think that you’re going to see nothing but iPhone clones, but no you just see people just want to have a back illuminated Apple logo on whatever phone they’re going to use. And that’s the sort of strength that I think that Apple…..I don’t think that Apple’s proud of the fact that people might care about the logo and not caring about the engineering or the design. But, they definitely want people to associate that logo with whatever it is we’re about to show you be prepared for it to be very new, very exciting, very well designed, very well made and most importantly as many of those other things a product that we Apple, absolutely stand behind and believe that.
Mike: It’s not just China. I was at the farmers market locally here over the weekend, and there was a guy making hand-made cutting boards in the shape of the Apple logo.
And, by the way the..the iPad……iPad makes a great cutting board as well, it doesn’t scratch.(Panelist laughing)
Andy & Rene: The sapphire one’s going to be great.
Mike: That’s going to be fantastic, I can’t wait.
Alex: As we look at the quote on quote on Internet of things the opportunities for Apple to expand their current leadership into those markets is pretty endless.
Alex: Of course at first they’re empowering everybody else as to how they do it. But, then I expect to see them you know adding, more, and more and more things to what they’re providing.
Mike: And, I think the internet of things and the wearables mark my words is going to be flooded junk. The smart watches this time next year, or two years from now they are going to be a thousand different smart watches that you can buy. They’ll average 50 dollars each and Apple has to rise above that. They just can’t get in there and just be another device seller….they have to have a plan.
Andy: Let’s……I’ll talk after you Rene. (panelists talking over each other)
Rene: I was saying that thing about Android wears, it seems that it’s not like Android open source project at Google. Google has taken much tighter control so that it’ll be much harder to flood the market with cheap Android wear devices. Maybe you’ll get cheap Android devices but the premium experience I think that they’re trying to protect them more than they did with Android on the phone.
Mike: I think they could even be taking the….you know being influenced by Apple in this regard, because it’s not just Android wear, its Android auto, the Android TV product….
Rene: Android TV…..
Mike: Those are all locked down….put a customer interface on any of that stuff like you could on Android and I have a feeling……and also the Android one initiative for emerging markets, that’s apparently also locked down. So, I think that Google has learned that they know better than the Samsungs of the world, and really push a uniform user interface.
Rene: The illegal ones will be really terrible.
Mike: Yes, that’s right be really terrible.
Andy: But, let’s remember that everything that the Android market did to improve phones and to improve tablets, Apple said that well the reason why we made this nine point seven inches is because to make it smaller is stupid and if people say you want a smaller tablet you’re wrong.
And then Samsung and all these other companies said, ‘Tell you what why don’t we, just, we’ve got some extra cash why don’t we just put some smaller tablets on the market, and well what do you know people actually do like smaller tablets as long as it’s not running Android 2.3. Same, thing with ARCHER phones, and, experiments with different form factors for displays. I’m actually looking forward to the legendary 50s smart watches that might come out next year because 47 of them will be utter crap and, will be sold in a blister pack for CBS as pharmacy, but three of them tell you what instead of the five hundred dollar rose gold, thousand dollar rose gold Apple smart watch that does a million things, here is a 99 dollar watch with a ……..monochromatic LCD display that does nothing but receive notifications from either Android or iOS watch, it does that one thing extremely well, but not much beyond that, but guess what it’s 99 dollars you don’t have to spend a thousand dollars on a watch that you don’t know if you’re going to like, then that might be the reason why iteration number three or four of the Apple smart watches is, ‘hey guess what we’re making a 149 dollar three color smart watch. That doesn’t do everything that the thousand dollars one does, but you’re welcome. (Mike laughing)
Rene: Hey what about the Pebble?
Mike: That’s a really good point and, yes it’s going to be a crazy, it’s going to be a crazy market, and remember when Steve Jobs said that no-body reads anymore and that of course they started reading again, when the iPad came out and it had this great reading system and so on.
So, quite a lot of that…….so quite a lot of that is Apple’s attitude, very interesting. Well, it looks like iPhones could soon be built primarily by robots. There’s a chief executive of Fox Conn’s parent Honn Hai, his name is Terry Gow said at a shareholders meeting recently that the company is going to deploy 10,000 assembly line robots, mostly for iPhones, they’re going to be used for other devices as well.
And, the machines cost 25,000 dollars each, and each one of them can build 30,000 devices a year. I don’t know how legit these numbers are or how real this information is but, clearly Fox Conn said three years ago, they want a million robots installed by 2014 for which raises the question how does radical robot deployment in a manufacturing process run. Apple devices and other consumer electronics affect the whole manufacturing system that do you need to be in China for example if you build ……..you’re using robots.
Rene: Maybe they’ll be American robots?
Mike: Yes they could be American……it is …..or it’s…….is it…….are you going to need a 100,000 robot engineers which is something Honn couldn’t produce very quickly. But, that has changed manufacturing.
Alex: I don’t know if we know exactly how many people Fox Conn employs, but I doubt that if we look at typically with these robot systems I definitely doubt that they’re replacing everybody. So, it’s not like it’s a clean system, I still think that there’s tens of thousands of people that’ll be working you know, supporting these robots doing all the things that they’re doing. I mean they definitely inc…..decrease the overhead…..umm I think that we may see the delta change between the cost of the……..cost differentials of what it would be in the US and versus China. I think there’s a lot of reasons for Apple to move the robotics system back to the US some day because I think they wouldn’t have so many rumors. (panelists laughing) So, I think that there would be some advantages there, but I do think this is something this is a good wake up call for people who constantly worry about the outsourcing of jobs that eventually if you’re doing a low level job then eventually you’re going to be replaced by a robot anyway, so that…..the……from a larger job market thing this is why we need to be looking at upscale jobs. You know how do we train people for upscale jobs and, not manufacturing jobs because eventually……..and, I used to work in a manufacturing…….I mean an electronic manufacturing……I watched robots slowly replace large chunks of our factory.
Mike: Yes, it’s going to be interesting and of course dynamics in China are changing anyway even without radical robot deployment, because the work force is getting better paid and they’re slowly cracking down on environmental things which makes crazy costs and they’ll actually have something of a labor shortage in some areas……
Alex: When you look at the sheer numbers……..in that article they were talking about……still after all these robots go in they’re still adding 100,000 new workers. You know I mean, that’s in America…..the last time you……the American company said that we on average add 100,000 workers, there aren’t 100,000 people in the US that are going to be trained to do this tomorrow.
Mike: Yes, I know and the feeling that the alternative to manufacturing in China is to not necessarily manufacturing or something like that…..the alternative is that it’s going to be the Gulf of Mexico or Brazil or……..
Alex: But, a lot of what China is not specifically in that location because of Fox Conn, it’s not just because of the cost it’s because of the scale. It’s Fox Conn’s ability to add 100,000 people and, have a system for that. I don’t think that replaceable……..I don’t think that’s going to be replaceable by many other countries or anytime soon. It’s the fact that they can do that it makes them irreplaceable in that sense, it’s not just the wages.
Mike: Yes, and do we think there’s a trend towards trying to moving manufacturing…….I’ve heard people write this and I’ve always said can I……ahhhh……that doesn’t sure that’s a trend……..but yes………Mac Pros are being manufactured in the United States, Sapphire plant is in the United States is Apple increasingly building things in the United States or is that just a couple of……couple of……
Alex: I think it’s a lot of taxes……the problem is that there’s a lot of tax reasons not to build everything in the United States and, so…….you know…….so I think that…….from a purely corporate perspective it makes sense to do certain things that you want to have a lot of control with quality and everything else. So, that makes sense, these are small chunks of that. But, I’m not clear that it makes sense for Apple to make the final or to assemble the final product in the United States for…….bluntly for tax reasons.
Mike: Yes (cross talk)
Rene: I mean for a lot it depends what sort of components you’re talking about. One of the advantages of San Jen in China, is that everything is in very close proximity so famously if you have a problem with one component, you can walk next door and get it fixed, everything gets fixed much faster, as for Apple you can send a few people to China they can monitor that, but sticking to the politics the gorilla glass has been manufactured in the US, the Apple A series processors have been manufactured in the US because those made more sense there. And, I think it’s less about arbitrary geography decisions than how they can holistically make their product, they need to make you know at the yield rate. Which is as important as the cost in the right time for them to ship.
Mike: And, of course like Tessler Apple is planning to fully automate and robotize their battery manufacturing for reasons I don’t know. I don’t know why batteries are something that lend themselves to robot manufacturing.
Rene: There was a push back on that article this morning from some of the Chinese media, they were saying………they were talking about the robots like the grossest task like the fine detail tasks will still be done by human beings, but the things that could be batched processed and the things that didn’t require as finer touch would need to be moved over to the robots.
Alex: Some things that the robots can do, when you look at things like for instance surface mounting a human can’t do that(laughing). Like when you get to certain miniaturization and so on and so forth the robots allow you to things that you just simply you know can’t do with a person. I think there are some things that are final fitting and the final fittings that’ll take another decade before robots do it, but definitely we’re going to a point where a small number of people managing a large number of robots.
Mike: Yes, yes.
Andy: There’s another line that comes to mind that you know you teach a worker to install a component in a phone and you employ him for the life-cycle of that phone. He’s the person to program the robot or maintain the robot, but still installs that component and you employ him for life.
Mike: That’s the Shen Zen version of teach a man to fish, so what are you going to do?
Andy: And, you know what you don’t want to tell a fox……..a worker I mean you mean I could spend my day just fishing and eating the…….wow what am I doing working here. (Panelists laughing)
Mike: That’s right…….
Andy: Then you just tell them that you realize that you’ll be fishing in China. The air is a lot cleaner inside this factory building. (Mike laughing)
Mike: Even, though it’s toxic. Yes, it’s interesting world of building there. And, one final point is what’s a robot? You know modern factory equipment these days is robotized, is auto-mated and a lot of this is Fox Conn bragging about how
Hi-tech they are. Well, in just a sec we’re going to get our picks of the week, but first I want to tell you about the greatest place in the world to build a web site. I’m talking of course about one of our sponsors which is squarespace. I’ve been using squarespace for many years to build multiple websites on squarespace, and this is a fantastic site because they really nail all the key points of building a great website.
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Alex: My number one proof of this……
Mike: Okay, check it out.
Alex: This is my sister’s society, my sister’s a great photographer but she’s not super technical, you know she knows what she needs to know all about what she does, but she’s the best photographer that I’ve ever met. And, so she put up this thing about taking pictures of your family and friends and pennies for some reason, I don’t know why the pennies are up there for some reason, but she took like this all her putting it all together it’s not a complicated site, I understand that but it is something for some one that has no technical web back ground, just kind of threw it together and it totally works for her posting those things up without any of those really……any technology……she did it all by herself.
And she told me when it was available, she didn’t even ask for any help and,
Mike: You say that’s you sister, I will see your sister and raise you a niece. My niece’s website is joyrose(dot)com that’s j-o-y-a(dot)com and she just put this site up at squarespace(dot)com, a couple of weeks ago or something like that. She’s a designer, she’s just starting a business for different types of design, again you know again very talented with physical media.
Mike: But not a geek, her father actually is a software developer, you know she’s not really interested in messing around with a website and writing HTML code, and you know it ends up beautiful and she loves it, it’s easy, and she has control of it.
Mike: For creative people that’s very important to be able to have control without having to get you know………
Alex: It’s always the way with you figuring it out……and you can add lots to it like pixel corp website is all squarespace as well and we’ve got lots, we’ve injected custom code into it where we wanted to and where we didn’t have everything that we wanted but most of it always WSIWYG and you can change it anytime we want not that we do frequently. (Alex laughing) right but that’s another story.
Mike: Right when do the picks of the week on this show who usually goes first?
Alex: Whoever you tell to go first.
Mike: Okay, would you like to go first?
Mike: All right.
Alex: So a new version of it’s called CallOut this is made by sorry I can never remember of the company Ripple Training is the people that make it. The guys that do Mac break studios, this is Mark and Steve built this ingenious plug-in called, ‘CallOut’. Call Out does for Final Cut Pro and Noise Industries is that actually sells it for them, but what it does it may sound simple but if you’re doing training, or if you’re doing promos for your product in video one of the things that drive you crazy is making those little errors in the like this is how this works and little magnifying glasses that pop up. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had to do a lot of work to make magnifying glasses work in a video. So instead of doing all of that, this does it automatically. This is a great little thing that you can very easily move little map things around, so whether you are doing presentations or training. You can see these little bits and pieces. This may seem like a simple thing, but it is a simple thing that, there are some of you out there watching this right now that just went, “Oh I need that right now”. Because this is all the stuff that looks simple and it is a lot of work to do it well, especially if you are doing like five minutes of it. And so being able to just kind of throw this stuff out there and edit it very quickly and make it easy and make it animate is just a great value add. So for those of you who do video, or do any kind of training or any of those other things, this is like $80 or $60 or something and it is worth every bit. You will get your return in the first project. That is called Callout 2.0.
Mike: Wow. that looks really great.
Alex: It is awesome.
Mike: Andy Ihnatko, what have you got for us today?
Andy: Simple thing. This is a phone/tablet stand called stump stand. That is, believe it or not, I was given as a goodie bag item a couple of years ago, but as things tend to do in my office, they tend to go into a box or on a shelf until I am poking around. And belatedly, last month I realized this is probably one of the nicest tablet stands you can get. Is about $25, but what it is, is that it is perfectly designed. It is made out of heavy rubber, you can see that it has some weight to it. So the weight and the rubber means that it is not going to slide around. The other great thing about it is that look at the profile, it has this little notch cut out two stage thing. The other thing I don’t like about many of these stands is that they are good for the one thing that you have at the time that you bought it, but a year passes and now you switch to another phone or you put your phone in a case and switch to a different tablet, and now this thing is no good anymore. But this one is so flexible. Here it is with an iPhone 5 without a case. Here it is with the Nexus 5 with a very, very thick case. Here it is supporting a nice thin tablet without a case. Here it is with the iPad Air inside its case, so you don’t have to take it out of the case in order to stick it on your stand. Here it is on the Kindle Fire, inside its case and not even open. Believe it or not you can get it inside. The great thing is that if you are using this as a desktop thing, or even as a nightstand alarm clock, you don’t have to remove your phone or your tablet from your case in order to use this thing as a stand. It is not going to get knocked over. It is going to support the whole weight of the thing. And if you switch to a different tablet, or a different phone, or you put something into a battery case later on you are not going to have to take your phone out of your battery case in order to put it inside this. It is a very flexible solution. It is about $25, which is not a whole lot of money. Not cheap, but right in the middle of the bandwidth. I like to think of it as the cost of the four $15 stands that you will buy over the course of two or three years. Because you don’t have to keep replacing a stand every time you replace your hardware.
Mike: Fantastic. And how much was that again?
Andy: About $25. You can go to , that is where they’ve got all the fashion colors. But you can get it on Amazon and anywhere else. It’s been around for a few years. But it is still an active product. I actually check this morning before I chose this is my pick of the week. They are doing the typical Apple thing where they say, “Yes, it looks the same but let me tell you about the differences we have made in the manufacturing”.
Mike: That is fantastic. Very Apple-esque. And that is a huge problem. I have a little stand that I use for my iPad. And now I have a new case and it doesn’t fit anymore. And so then you have this piece of junk paperweight that you can’t use for a really bad reason. So that looks like a really super great product. René Ritchie. Your pick of the week.
Rene: I have a tip, rather than a pick this week. I was talking to a friend of mine and he goes on hiking trips. One of the things that he did, was because he has an iPhone 5S with touch ID is he registered one of the guides fingerprints on touch ID because he was in a rather precarious, almost dangerous area. It was a highly advanced hike. He was worried that if anything happened to him, there might be some trouble, so he wanted to make sure that whoever was there could get into his phone. They could make emergency calls, but he wanted the right contacts to be accessed and he trusted this person so he wanted to have a higher level of access for them. And, previous to this you’d have to share your four digit press code or your alphanumeric password with them. They would have to remember it, they may have several to remember, and then when you want to take away their access you have to change the pass code or password. And then you have to remember the new one. Now, it is as simple as registering their fingerprint and then deleting it when you are done. So I started looking around for similar stories and there are some families who previously did not protect their device at all because it was inconvenient in the household. If there was ever a burglary, or if it got lost, the device was completely unprotected. Anyone could get into it, and do anything they wanted with it. With touch ID they can register their fingerprints, their partners fingerprints, kids fingerprints. If they are worried about their kids buying stuff on the store, you can toggle that part of touch ID off. They could make it something that their kids could get into in case of emergency, or just to watch a video or play a game if they are traveling. I heard from somebody that uses it in business because they have a small team, and previously they would have to change the password on the device when they were using it for order processing work or order taking or something. Any time someone left or moved in the team. And now they just register and de-register fingerprints. You have a lower level of security but because of touch ID, the convenience factor has greatly increased. I think soon with IOS 8, touch ID is going to move to other devices like iPads. I think it is going to be really beneficial because you will have individual apps and also wide range of devices that will be just that easy to have security on, but grant or revoke access whenever you want.
Mike: That sounds awesome. Absolutely awesome. My pick of the week this week is the DoDo case. I know what you are thinking. You heard about this, it is an old product. This is a high quality case made with bamboo and canvas and stuff like that. I got this actually as a Father’s Day gift from my son Kevin. I originally had a DoDo case for my first iPad when it was sort of like rumored, and then you could preorder it and then a year later I got it. When I finally got my hands on it, I was one of 10 people in the universe that had one. It was a big deal. A lot of press around the DoDo case and the company back then. The hype kind of died down and a lot of other cases get in the limelight. But having revisited this for my iPad Air this is a beautiful case. I have also, in exploring this, learned a lot more about what the company has been doing in the last four years since this thing has been around. So just to review what this case can actually do. You set it up and angle it up like that if you want it. You can also tilt it back using this thing. This little plastic bit right here holds it up in a different way, if you are going to do a presentation mode. This is a super high quality case, it will really protect it and it looks really nice when you are carrying it around. What I discovered about the company, what they had been doing since, and I don’t think it gets a whole lot of press is that they have custom cases that you can just go in and pick all kinds of colors, you can do map inserts and a book down style, all kinds of really great stuff. This is made here in San Francisco in the Bay area. It is a really high-quality company. When you have a MacBook Air, I bought into the whole thing with Apple. When they came out with the MacBook Air and they said this is the thinnest tablet ever and our little case, our little magnetic case is the thinnest way to protect your iPad. I hate that case. It is just horrible. One of the reasons is that I have a metal desk and the case is magnetic so when I try to pick up the iPad I can’t. Or the iPad goes with me and the case stays behind. But the other reason is that if you want to put it up to use it for typing or whatever, if you don’t get the magnet fully engaged the thing just collapses. And I have dropped my iPad.
Alex: I gave up on that case a long time ago.
Mike: It is terrible. This feels like what you want with an iPad Air. It is high-quality, fully protected, you can carry it around. Like you, I travel a lot and some places where you have an iPad and you are walking down the street - carrying an iPad it is a big deal. You don’t want it to be a big deal. You can walk down the street with this and it looks like a boring ledger or something like that. It has a nice concealing quality to it. These range in the mid $60 to the $70. Depending on whether you get the custom or the generic. They have a lot of colors. They have metallic colors, even though they are not metal. They have copper color and things like that. Beautiful cases. High quality, and they are exactly what you want, when you have an iPad. Because you can take it anywhere. And don’t tell my wife, but I think I am going to get her that heart one. She is obsessed with hearts. If you look at that one, it is a beautiful design.
Andy: I love the book plate. That is the candle on the top of the cake. The book plate.
Mike: Yeah. Absolutely. It is a signature feature and it just gives it a classic feel. I like it. So that is my pick of the week.
Alex: I have one tip that is timely and I forgot to say it. As we travel A lot. Just a little note if you are traveling now. Make sure that you charge your iPhones and your Macs and everything else before you go to the airport. TSA is changing their rules, and they are now making you, on flights to the US, they want you to turn your electronic devices on, they want to see them actually power up. There is evidently some chatter about using mobile phones and so on and so forth for bad things. Just don’t show up with a dead iPhone, you may lose it. They will let you charge it once but if you can’t come up with it pretty quickly they will take it from you. Just definitely make sure. I've just seen it, and I was really glad that I had everything charged. Mostly because I had a long flight and I wanted everything working but anyway, something to keep in mind.
Mike: Istanbul is one certain airport. Another one is the UK - what is their airport? Heathrow. That one for sure, they are doing the same thing.
Andy: Will they take it or will they simply not let you pass with it?
Alex: No they will take it. They’ll let you charge it.
Andy: You could say, “Okay, I’ll turn around and find a power outlet. Give me twenty minutes and I’ll come back and show it working.”
Alex: They will let you charge it. I haven’t seen anyone get it taken away from them. But the reports I have seen are they will let you charge it. But if you come with something that isn’t working, it has to work before you leave. They are not going to let you wander off with it. They are going to want to see you charge it right there. And if it doesn’t come up they will take it. That is the report that I have heard. I haven’t seen that actually happen so I can’t say one way or the other. But the report is that you will get a chance to charge it, but if it doesn’t react then you are not going to get it back. Because they are going to take it apart.
Andy: What if I buy a piece of electronics overseas and try to take it back with me, as is my right, I’m giving it as a gift. I will ave to tear it apart and charge it? I can’t take a sealed box even if they are going to be screening it through the xray?
Alex: I think if you check it, you are okay.
Andy: It is the finer points that I am still trying to get answers on.
Alex: I’m not sure. I think that if you checked it, the level of xray that your checked bags go through is different than the one you go through. Because it would kill you if you did that all the time. But I think that it is checked stuff is okay, it is carry on. They don’t want you to have access to it. Obviously we can think of many permeations that would get around that but I think that is currently the issue. That if you bought something and had it in the box, you would probably want to put it in your checked baggage, which has its own risks if you are coming from the emerging world. But mostly, you should definitely research it. I’m not going to say I disagree with it, or agree with it. But I’ve already seen it happen and so you definitely want to keep that in mind.
Rene: That part is not new because I know people who have gone through metal detectors and had the metal detector go off and it was because of non-visible piercing and they had to actually prove that it was the piercing and not something else they were trying to smuggle through. They had to go and take it out and then bring it back and show it was an actual piercing and not something else. Or that you used that as an excuse to get something else through.
Andy: That is why those of you with unusual piercings, you are here to fight our battle for us. I want you to put in the full metal jacket and just really set off the detector, force them to really be grossed out with this thing you have done with that thing of yours, you will be flying the flag of retribution for all this.
Mike: And while they are freaking out, we can tip toe through.
Andy: Put it back in, go, go!
Mike: One other point from this news is that they are singling out iPhones and also Samsung phones. The chatter around this new type of bomb is that it can be placed undetected into a phone and that they are probably doing it with iPhones and Samsung phones. Specifically the Galaxy line phones. So if you’ve got an iPhone and you are traveling, make sure it is charged. That is the advice. It is dumb and I’ll tell you why. If something the size of an iPhone can conceal a bomb then you can just put that into a bootable laptop and walk right in, blow up the plane.
Rene: Now I have to charge my laptop too, Mike. Thanks a lot.
Mike: And on that bummer of a note, I would like to conclude this exciting episode of MacBreak Weekly. Andy Ihnatko, Chicago Sun Times, thank you so much for joining us today and hosting. It has been a pleasure as always. I listen to this show constantly and so great to be able to talk back to you guys.
Andy: Nice to have you in center square.
Mike: Thank you so much, I appreciate it. And René Ritchie runs iMore and again a podcaster extraordinaire, thank you so much for all of your contributions today. Great stuff as always.
Rene: Always great talking to you, Mike.
Mike: Alex Lindsay, I’m sorry we didn’t get to the question engine, I just got so caught up in all the important questions about who Apple is hiring for their iWatch program. So I spaced out on it. When is your next trip?
Alex: Later today. No, tomorrow morning. I’m going to Portland and the North Carolina. I theoretically will be on something that looks like a vacation next week. But I am going to try to connect from Cape Hatteras, North Carolina for a Mac break. We’ll see what kind of connection. I’m tempted to take our satellite just to see if it will work.
Mike: You must have some serious miles on your card.
Alex: I am stacking them up.
Mike: I want to thank all of you, Andy Ihnatko, René Ritchie, Alex Lindsay. My name is Mike Elgin and thank you, all of you out there, for tuning into Mac break weekly. We do Mac break weekly at 11 AM Pacific, 2 PM Eastern,that is 1800 UTC, I think. Every Tuesday right here on the twit network. Watch live at twit.tv if you can. Or you can subscribe on iTunes, YouTube, RSS, or whatever weight you want to subscribe. Or you can do both. You can watch live and you can get the download. Choose your favorite way to subscribe to twit.tv/tnt or wherever fine podcasts are posted. And now I get to say the signature line that I hear so much. Get back to work because break time is over!