All Ashore That’s Going Ashore

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Doubt around the headset, a wish for a corporate marriage, and make way for “Big Beasts.” 

Ming-Chi Kuo Casts Doubt on Near Future of MR Headset from Apple

Throwing uncertainty into Apple’s mixed reality headset mix — ladies and gentlemen it is TF International analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Really using the Twitter Blue badge for which he paid good money, the analyst hit Twitter with a seriously long post on Thursday. Short enough that I can read it to you, though long by Twitter’s previous standards. 

Remember when Twitter had standards? Good times. 

Anyway, quoting the English portion of Ming-Chi Kuo’s post:

Because Apple isn’t very optimistic about the AR/MR headset announcement recreating the astounding “iPhone moment,” the mass production schedule for assembly has been pushed back by another 1-2 months to mid-to-late 3Q23. The delay also adds uncertainty to whether the new device will appear at WWDC 2023, as the market widely expects. Furthermore, due to the delay in mass production for assembly, the shipment forecast this year is only 200,000 to 300,000 units, lower than the market consensus of 500,000 units or more.

The main concerns for Apple not being very optimistic regarding the market feedback to the AR/MR headset announcement include the economic downturn, compromises on some hardware specifications for mass production (such as weight), the readiness of the ecosystem and applications, a high selling price (USD 3,000-4,000 or even higher), etc.

And to give you an idea of how long that Twitter post was, the analyst repeated it all again in Chinese. 

I know he knows his job, but I would remind Ming-Chi Kuo that Apple showed off iPhone six-months ahed of its release. Apple showed off iPad four months before its release. Apple showed off Apple Watch six or seven months ahead of its release. Did anyone think that just because Apple’s expected to show off the headset at WWDC it was going to release then as well? 

Sounds like at least one person did…

Needham & Co. Analyst Wants Apple and Disney to Get a Room Already

Dreaming the same dream over again — a piece from MarketWatch has an analyst of note saying what Apple really needs to do is buy Disney. The analyst is Needham & Co’s Laura Martin. She thinks the two companies would be worth more as one company than they are as two companies, and that Apple — the most valuable publicly traded company on the planet — would be worth 15% to 25% more if it merged with the house the Mouse built. Quoting the analyst:

We believe that great content and a strong distribution footprint are complementary networks… That is, both are worth more if they have the other.

She goes on to say:

We argue that the best way to think about AAPL’s valuation, pricing power, competitive advantage period and barriers to entry is through the lens of 1.25B of the wealthiest consumers in the world, using 2B active AAPL devices an average of 4 hours per day…

Could it happen? Sure. Apple’s got the money and has said repeatedly that it’s not afraid of mega-merges, it just hasn’t found any yet that make sense. Certainly recently returned Disney CEO Bob Iger’s not afraid of big deals, having spent billions of dollars for Pixar and Marvel and Star Wars. Of course, he was always on the side doing the acquiring there, not the side being acquired. 

There is no reason to think that this couldn’t happen. That said, aside from Wall Street’s love affair with the idea, there doesn’t seem to be reason to think that it will. 

More Software Releases from Apple

Apple’s big week of software updates continues. After new operating systems for everyone on Monday, new betas for developers on Tuesday, and an update of iTunes for Windows on Wednesday, it’s time to throw a bone to the public testing bunch. A couple of pieces from MacRumors put that crew on alert. One says iOS and iPadOS 16.5 have made it out to Apple’s public testing program, while another says the same for macOS Ventura 13.4. If you’re in the program, you know what to do. If you’re not but wanna be — point your browser to

Thursday also saw an update to Apple’s answer to Office. Another post from MacRumors says Pages, Numbers, and Keynote got updates Thursday for iOS, iPadOS, and the Mac. The iPad update got the most virtual ink, bringing with it support for hover with Apple Pencil. Other improvements for iPad, as well as iPhone and the Mac, include “bug fixes and the ability to export and send a copy of a document, spreadsheet, or presentation in a different format from the Share menu.”

The updates are free. They’re available now in their respective App Stores.

Ad-Supported Netflix Now Supports Apple TV

If you’ve been waiting for the ad-supported version of Netflix to be available on Apple TV, get ready to be happy. While the lower cost, ad-infused offering launched four-months ago, it has not been available on Apple’s digital hockey puck. Now — a piece from TechCrunch says it is. 

I hope you were ready for your current level of happiness.

Apple TV+ Announces Nature Docuseries ‘Big Beasts’

News of another Earth Day offering from Apple TV+. The Cupertino-company issued a press release Thursday, announcing a new nature docuseries. Called “Big Beasts,” the release says the show:

…features some of the world’s most massive species filmed across 17 countries, including the gray whale, the elephant seal, the giant otter, the gorilla, the hippo, the brown bear, the ostrich, the orangutan, the tiger and the polar bear. Viewers will see that it’s not easy being big — the larger the animal, the greater the challenges they face — as the series captures rare and first-ever footage using specialized equipment and next-generation filming techniques.

Somewhat amusingly, it’s from the same people that made the Apple TV+ docuseries “Tiny World.” And just like “Tiny World,” “Big Beasts” brings a bit of Marvel magic. While the thing about small things was narrated by Ant Man’s own Paul Rudd, “Big Beasts” gets its voice from Tom Hiddleston — Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He’s also done the docu-thing for Apple, having narrated the Apple TV+ series “Earth at Night in Color.” 

As for the big show about bigger things, that starts its run on… Earth Day Eve? Apple’s press release says the series “will debut on April 21, just in time for Earth Day, with two new episodes premiering each week until Friday, May 19.” Earth Day is on Saturday, April 22.

Another Unopened Original iPhone Sells at Auction

And finally today, how long before people realize these things aren’t really that rare? AppleInsider says yet another, unopened, original iPhone has hit the auction block. This one is a tiny bit different though. It’s got a sticker on it. According to the report:

The iPhone packaging has a red sticker featuring an Apple logo and the words “Lucky you.” Although the origin of the sticker is unknown, and AppleInsider does not recall nor have any record of it being an official promotion, perhaps the first owner received the iPhone as a prize in a contest of some sort.

So — unopened. Got some kind of sticker on it. X-rays show everything that’s supposed to be inside is inside. The thing can not be considered “mint,” though. AppleInsider says that’s because “part of the package’s plastic wrapping has a small hole…” 

But it’s got a sticker! Of unknown origin. 

I can’t help thinking this auction was handled poorly. The AppleInsider piece was written on 30 March. That is also when the auction ended, it seems. The device had been expected to go for between $40,000 and $60,000. It just squeaked into that range. The phone sold for $40,320. 

Today on The Mac Observer’s Daily Observations Podcast

TMO Managing Editor Jeff Butts joined me to talk about Ming-Chi Kuo’s mixed reality rumors and Needham analyst Laura Martin’s corporate wedding dreams. That’s all today on the last Daily Observations Podcast from The Mac Observer.

Editor’s Note: That’s right, folks. The last episode of this incarnation of The Mac Observer‘s Daily Observations podcast is available for download. With that coming to an end, so does this Observation Deck column. It’s been a blast, but sometimes good things have to come to an end. Keep watching The Mac Observer for more great, helpful and informative content. And keep listening to Mac OS Ken for your dose of daily Apple news.

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