Recent Articles By Bryan Chaffin [RSS]
What do you get if you take one tiny state with no sales tax, one part proximity to some of the highest population density in the U.S., and stir in the most popular smartphone on the planet? You get the Apple Store retail location that sells more iPhones than any other, and it's in Delaware.
Apple has quietly—oh, so quietly—launched the iPad mini with Retina Display on the online Apple Store. This marks the softest launch we've seen for a major new Apple product, suggesting that supply will be quite limited.
Rejoice Katniss/iPad fans, because Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games trilogy is finally available on iBooks. The books are some of the most popular books of the last five years, and were the biggest holdout for iBooks until a few days ago.
We have a complex story coming out of New York that says GlobalFoundries is going to be making at least some of Apple's A-series chips in the company's "Fab 8" facility in Malta, NY. What's interesting is that according to the story, Samsung will be helping GlobalFoundries set it up. Bryan Chaffin examines the issues.
Wired has published a couple of dozen new (to the public) renderings of Apple's so-called Spaceship HQ, or Campus 2.0. The magazine went cawling through the bowels of the City of Cupertino's website, and came up with all these new images of what this fabulous building will look like. In the example I included, for instance, we see, 1.) the bridge of an actual spaceship; 2.) a scene from a SciFi thriller set in the year 2139; or, 3.) a planned lobby in Apple's building. Your pick, but any way you look at it, it's cool. There are also new shots of the outside, lots of renderings with people and cars inserted into them for scale and placement, many shots of the outdoor parks and other landscaping through the complex, parking, and much more. It's worth your time.
Apple's TV ambitions have been "put on hold again," according to unnamed sources cited by NPD DisplaySearch's Paul Gagnon. Those sources are in the TV industry's supply chain, and Mr. Gagnon speculates that Apple could be focusing on another long-rumored product entry, wearable computers (or wearables). Bryan Chaffin argues that there's not much meat on this rumor bone.
Funny or Die has posted a hilarious video starring Dave Foley (from Kids in the Hall) called BlackBerry Meltdown with Dave Foley. He plays "Josh Fletcher," the last remaining employee at BlackBerry, who's job it is to raise revenue by selling all the iPhones found because former employees didn't have time to clean out their desks. it's a genius piece, IMO, and while it may seem that it's mocking employees who have lost their jobs at BlackBerry, it's really a statement about the role of the iPhone in bringing BlackBerry to a crisis point. Plus, Dave Foley is a brilliant comedian. Note that there are one and a half instances of profanity in the piece. Thanks to @pjpaul for the heads up.
Apple CEO Tim Cook continued his public campaign in support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). On November 3rd, Mr. Cook wrote an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal asking Congress to pass the bill, and on Friday, Mr. Cook tweeted his thanks to the Senate for doing just that, and asked that the House of Representatives follow suit. Bryan Chaffin examines the issue in this editorial.
Woojer has launched a self-titled product that it says will let you "feel the sound." Woojer is a device that sits between your mobile device and your headphones and lies against your body (pictured below with "chest magnet"). It then turns the audio signal into vibrations you feel to augment the vibrations you hear (i.e. the sound itself). The idea is to let you feel the blast of a cannon in a game or the bass in a song. Woojer said the idea is based on Perceptual Inference. "The brain knows what it’s like to feel the low frequencies from speakers. When given a similar tactile input to strategic points on the body, the brain subconsciously interprets the experience as a full body sensation." Pretty cool! Check out the video, which is silly in an entertaining way. Funding options that will get you a Woojer currently start at US$59.
Elgato announced a pure-storage product on Thursday called Thunderbolt Drive+. It's an external drive using a "server-grade Plextor Solid State Drive" that supports Apple's and Intel's Thunderbolt, as well as USB 3.0. It comes in either 256GB or 512GB configurations, and includes a Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 cable. It's bus-powered, and Elgato says it offers transfer speeds of up to 420 MB/s—that's on the Thunderbolt side—making it fast enough for just about anything. Using Plextor's controller chips and a high-end SSD means these babies aren't cheap, however; the 256GB unit is $499.95, while the 512GB model is $899.95.