Particle Debris (wk. ending 4/22) A Caboodle of What Ifs?

Dice - all question marksBecause it’s Good Friday, this will be a somewhat abbreviated edition of Particle Debris.

Mac OS X 10.7. “Lion” will launch this summer, according to Apple. Whenever a new OS ships, some Macs get left behind. Which ones? Here’s a list from FairerPlatform that shows the list of Lion-compatible Macs. Speaking of aging Macs, I’ve been seeing rumors that inventory of iMac is drying up, and that means new Sandy Bridge iMacs with ThunderBolt may be imminent.

Along those lines, there are also rumors of Sandy Bridge MacBook Airs to ship in June. Good-bye Core 2 Duo. Apple, now your MBA has my attention.

What would be the impact if Apple were declared a “Common Carrier”? At Forbes this week, Bill Davidow asks the question and it could have serious consequences for Apple.

What, exactly, is a common carrier? It is any vendor with a monopoly advantage in a market. And because of that advantage, the carrier must provide access to customers without discrimination. A common carrier is legally bound to carry all passengers or freight as long as there is enough space, the fee is paid, and no reasonable grounds to refuse to do so exist. A common carrier that refuses to carry a particular person or cargo without sufficient justification may be sued for damages.”

Does Apple qualify in some modern respects? It’s something to think about.

A jury in Texas has determined that Google has infringed in a Linux patent and awarded Bedrock Computer Technologies US$5M. Florian Mueller, after describing the basis for the suit and the verdict, ponders the implications for other Linux distributions as well as Android. As always, Mr. Mueller takes his time and lays out the important legal details for you.

How did the bloggers and the professionals do when it came to forecasting Apple’s earnings on Wednesday? Philip Elmer-DeWitt made a list of all the amateurs and professionals and showed their performance. He points to some winners — and hall of shamers. Special mentions went to Turley Miller and Horace Dediu who had spot-on forecasts.

As for me, well, my loyal readers will no doubt recall that I forecasted 9+ million iPad sales, and Apple fell well short of that. Now, in hindsight, I think I understand what happened, and I explained it in an editorial on Wednesday. No matter. I guess I won’t be getting that job with Goldman Sachs after all. And now… this is your cue to dump on me in the comments as I promised you could.

Go ahead. I can take it.

Okay. I’m back, chastened. Moving on.

You know I love sand charts, and here’s an update from Business Insider showing the latest Apple Revenue by Segment. What’s interesting here is the upward trajectory of Apple’s iPhone sales. Apple’s revenue from the iPhone has “gone from zero to half of Apple’s revenue in less than 4 years.” This is a hallmark of a great company.

Here’s a neat news tidbit. Pingdom recently reported that iPads alone now account for more usage share on the Internet than Linux. The numbers come from Statcounter and are averaged from over 3 million websites. There’s an informative chart you’ll want to look at that also compares Mac OS X to various Windows editions.

Have you been wondering what’s happening with Apple’s iWeb. It hasn’t been getting much love from Apple lately. Steve Sande, who has written a book on iWeb, thinks he knows what’s going on, “Three reasons iWeb may be doomed.” Basically, Apple believes that customers no longer need iWeb because Facebook now serves the same function of serving up family data, photo, videos etc. If Mr. Sande is right, this is alarming because everyone knows that websites are under the user’s absolute control and there’s some measure of security and privacy. You pay for that. On the other hand, Facebook is a hive of scum and villainy that completely compromises your privacy for bucks under the counter. So for Apple to explicitly make this move, Apple would have to be saying, we don’t care about providing valuable tools for the web savvy. We’ll cut our costs and throw you to the Facebook wolves. More or less. We’ll see if they do it.

Have a great holiday everyone.


Teaser image: thanks to