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Apple's Shrewdly Radical iPhone Trade-In Program
September 05, 2013
Apple's new iPhone trade-in program has the potential to radically amp up Apple's control of its iPhone customer base and even has the potential to change how iPhones are sold. On the surface, it's just a play for customer convenience, a move to get a customer to walk back into a retail store and buy something. Fair enough. Definitely smart.
The Waxing of Apple While Windows Wanes
September 04, 2013
Just who killed the PC, anyway? For if it's not dead yet, it surely will be in a few years -- at least according to IDC, which now projects that worldwide PC shipments will fall by 9.7 percent this year, representing the largest market contraction on record. The market is expected to decline through 2014. Then, in 2015, IDC projects it will shift into single-digit modest growth.
Ramping Up Retail in the Run-Up to Release Season
August 28, 2013
Apple's retail operations can be counted among Steve Jobs' "babies"; the stores' slick design and sales techniques are legendary in the industry for their per-square-footage sales. In 2012, Apple retail store sales outpaced Tiffany's by 40 percent. Apple is in no danger of following in the footsteps of, say, J.C. Penney or Sears, but its retail operations have shown some worrisome signs of decay.
Apple Stores May Soon Kick Your Old iPhone's Tires
August 27, 2013
Apple is preparing to debut a trade-in program that will allow customers to swap an old version of their iPhone for the latest version of the company's flagship smartphone, according to reports. Talk of the trade-in program for Apple's U.S. retail stores has been circulating since June. Staff training for the initiative is now apparently under way at some of the company's retail locations.
Rumors Running Wild as Sept. 10 Draws Near
August 23, 2013
Apple fans are gearing up for the Big Event on Sept. 10 and -- drumroll, please! -- the introduction of its next iPhone. By now company watchers have agreed that the following is the likely go-to-market blueprint for Apple this time around: The company is introducing two devices -- one with its usual high-end features, sleek design and iterative upgrades; the other, a cheaper device.
Is There Gold in Them Thar Cupertino Hills?
August 21, 2013
"They just gotta have that gold," warbled Jose Feliciano in the theme song to the 1969 movie Mckenna's Gold, but those very same lyrics might well be the theme for recent media coverage of the forthcoming line of iPhones. Speculation is rife that Apple will include a gold-colored iPhone, or at least one with champagne-colored trim, among its new lineup.
Apple's Not-So-Good Week
August 14, 2013
Uh oh, Apple. Carl Icahn -- the activist shareholder and spoiler of many corporate deals, the latest being Dell's attempt to go private -- has announced to the world that he has amassed "a large position" in your stock. This news came via a tweet from Icahn on Tuesday afternoon, touting not only his position in Apple but also his belief that the company is "extremely undervalued."
Poor Patch Management Makes CMSes Low-Hanging Fruit for Hackers
August 13, 2013
Content management systems like WordPress and Joombla have become popular targets for hackers in recent times because flaws in those systems can be leveraged for mischief across literally millions of websites. WordPress is running on some 73 million websites and Joomla some 35 million, so if you're a cybercriminal with a fresh vulnerability in your satchel, you can do some serious damage.
What if Apple Holds a Launch Event and Nobody Cares?
August 12, 2013
Sept. 10 reportedly is the day Apple will unveil its latest iPhone. Although there have been some apparently well-founded leaks, Apple has not confirmed anything. It hasn't said whether it will be launching an iPhone 5S or a 5C, as rumored. It has not even confirmed the Sept. 10 launch date. Despite the radio silence on Apple's part, there's been no shortage of speculation.
T-Mobile Turns the Tide With Wave of New Customers
August 09, 2013
T-Mobile stock hit a five-year high Thursday on a better-than-expected second-quarter earnings report and news that it added more than 1 million new customers in the period. Shares continued to trade above the $25 mark on Friday. Investors seemed most energized by the company's strong customer growth. The 1.1 million net new customers included 688,000 contract customers.
Nokia's Apple-Bashing Video Speaks to My Heart
August 08, 2013
Nokia saw an opening to attack Apple through the world's most-used camera, the itty bitty unit on the iPhone. The attack? A politely sarcastic ad on YouTube that parodies the generally excellent Apple version, which brags that every day, more photos are taken with the iPhone than with any other camera. While Apple won't feel the sucker punch, the Nokia version was speaking to my heart.
Jackie Chan Pummeled on Chinese Social Media
August 07, 2013
Movie star Jackie Chan, the Chinese kung fu aficionado who has appeared in more than 150 films, is taking loads of flak for posts on Chinese social media. Chan first riled Chinese netizens when he posted a photo of a picturesque Beijing skyline with the caption, "I took the picture myself. Who says Beijing doesn't have blue sky? Look how blue the sky is and how green the land is."
Desperately Seeking Innovation
August 07, 2013
Apple may have won the battle, but it is in danger of losing the war. The battle was last Saturday's veto by the Obama administration of the International Trade Commission's decision to ban certain Apple products that it found to have infringed Samsung's patents. As for the war, that would be Apple's long struggle to preserve its reputation for delivering startling innovation.
11th Hour Veto Saves Older iPhones, iPads From ITC Ban
August 05, 2013
The Obama administration has overturned a decision by the International Trade Commission to ban the import of certain older Apple products after it found that they infringed on certain Samsung patents. The administration made the announcement on Saturday, one day before the ban was set to take effect. U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman supplied several reasons for vetoing the import ban.
The Technology Mysteries of 2013
August 05, 2013
There are a number of interesting mysteries in the technology world. Somehow someone in China was killed by an iPhone, and someone made up a nasty story about Lenovo and the Chinese government and got folks to pick it up during the U.S. NSA scandal. One of the most powerful and highly paid people in Apple quietly stepped down last month, possibly to lead a search for the next iPod.
The iPhone 5C Is Shaping Up to Be the Scariest Product Apple Ever Created
August 01, 2013
As I follow the rumor mill surrounding the fabled low-cost iPhone, aka "cheap iPhone," and more recently, "iPhone 5C," I'm starting to get worried. What's wrong with me? Isn't an inexpensive iPhone important to help Apple fight freaky robot things threatening to take over the world? There's nothing out-of-the-ordinary wrong with me, but there's a problem with the iPhone 5C.
iOS 7 May Bring Fingerprint Scanning to the Mainstream
July 31, 2013
The next iPhone will likely have a fingerprint scanning feature through iOS 7, iOS developer Hamza Sood has tweeted. Fingerprint scanning "adds another factor to the authentication process ... [which is] a net good thing" because this makes accounts more secure, said Tom Kemp, CEO of Centrify. "This is, of course, assuming the scanning technology works."
Apple Hit With 2 Shameful Allegations
July 29, 2013
Pegatron, which is reportedly making a new, less-costly plastic iPhone, has become the latest Apple supplier to be accused of labor violations, in a report published by China Labor Watch on Monday. Pegatron has denied the allegations, and both it and Apple have announced they will investigate the claims. "CLW has uncovered myriad violations," maintained CLW Executive Director Li Qiang.
Tech Industry Closes Ranks Behind Apple as ITC Ban Looms
July 29, 2013
The Business Software Alliance reportedly is pushing to overturn the U.S. International Trade Commission's ban against older iPhones and iPads, maintaining that it would set a dangerous precedent. When the ITC makes a decision to ban a particular product for import into the U.S., it is fast and usually final. That, after all, is what companies like about the ITC.
Apple Searches Haystack for Product to Move the Needle
July 24, 2013
Apple's upcoming new products will be the key to the company's emergence from its current doldrums, CEO Tim Cook told analysts during its third-quarter earnings call Tuesday. Asked by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster if there were any product categories big enough to move the growth needle for Apple, Cook responded: "We'll see, Gene. We're working up some stuff that we're really proud of."

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