Monthly Archives: October 2007

Apple’s Now a Cell Phone Company, and Greed May Get the Best of Them

We’ve all seen the iPhone by now — at least we’ve seen the ads. They’re everywhere. TV, the Internet, magazines. Sheesh.

As of 3rd Q 2007, Apple‘s sold about 1.4 million of them — and each and every one of them has generated revenue for AT&T as well. That’s what Apple wants, but that’s not what they’re getting.iPhone For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech))

iPhones can only be bought from Apple or from AT&T as part of a 5-year cozy relationship between the two. Apple gets revenue off the sale of each and every iPhone, AT&T gets some of the revenue off the sale of the phones its sells, and AT&T and Apple share in the monthly revenue that comes in from each cellular contract. Piper Jaffrey analyst Gene Munster said that he believes Apple receives US$18 per iPhone per month from AT&T Wireless when people are paying our friends at AT&T each and every month for their cellular phone bill.

Problem is, not everyone is playing by Apple & AT&T’s game. Some people believe that when they buy a phone, it belongs to them. Obviously, they haven’t been paying attention to what Microsoft, Apple and others have been doing for the past few years. Turns out that you can’t buy much in the computer world any more, all you can do is get a license to use the stuff which means — that’s right — they can tell you what you can do with the software, computers and now cell phones that you buy.

About 250,000 iPhones have been purchased by individuals, modified so that they can work on other networks, and then re-sold. This means that you’re not stuck with an expensive/slow AT&T contract. If you buy one of the “unlocked” cell phones, you can easily take it to most any cell phone carrier & you’re in business.

Recent updates Apple has released for their cell phones have broken this hack. Apple has “Bricked” many of these modified cell phones through their new version of software. And they’re planning on doing it some more.

So there you have it, Apple wants its monthly revenue stream coming in from your monthly cell phone bill, and they’re going to make sure they get it. I bet you didn’t know Apple was in the cell phone provider business, did you?

Apple Leopard Even Comes With “Blue Screen of Death”

Time Machine AdImage by Brnboy313 via Flickr

Like so many Apple fans, I got my copy of Leopard before it was released in the stores. I pre-ordered it and it showed up as promised – just-in-time. But it came with a feature that many people wern’t expecting.

Because the newer family of Apple’s operating system, known as OS-X, is based on a UN*X-like platform (BSD to be exact), it came with a number of built-in features. It is more secure than hacked-up bootstrap loaders (such as Windows) and is also capable of incredible contortions. It is the later that bit some users this time.

Turns out that a few applications, among them Application Enhancer (by Unsani) just doesn’t get along with the new Leopard. But fear not, it’s likely that you’re not running this “rogue” application. It doesn’t come with Apples, but it does come with some third-party applications, and is used as a kind of central clearing house for a number of different programs.

So, fear not! Install Leopard. You’re guaranteed not to have any problems. Which is why I haven’t installed the version I bought yet. I’d kind of like things to settle down for a few weeks before I bet my farm on the lot.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always found the BSOD to be a scary thing — especially when it comes from our friends at Apple!

iTunes Getting Hit Below the Belt

Apple’s iTunes service has brought in hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, and is now bringing in some very stiff competition. The service, which started selling songs and is now selling everything video from movies to TV shows, is also attracting some new competition.

NBC has decided to partner with Murdoch’s News Corp to go for the big, repeat business. Although NBC has had some failed and not-so-successful business partnerships in the past (MSNBC leaps to mind), this one ought to be a winner. NBC is going to be providing TV shows and movies to audiences for free. That’s right — for free, as in no charge — nada.

NBC and News Corp are joining together to build a new empire. Through the use of their new on-line real estate, they will be publishing TV shows and movies from their own catalogs as well as those from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Sony Pictures Television, and more than 15 cable networks, including Bravo, E! Entertainment, FX, Sci Fi, and USA. This is going to be quite a party.

Did I mention that they’ll be free? Free, as in advertiser supported.

This advertiser/advertising supported model has worked in the past when the ads wern’t particularly intrusive. Neither NBC nor New Corp are known for their innocuous, short ads — but the kind of advertising that they get away with on TV just won’t work in the on-line world where another web site is just a click away.

The new site is called Hulu, and it is currently in beta. You can go to the site and sign up as a potential beta tester. Hulu is expected to provide what you’d get via basic cable, plus a few movies.

Not sure how good Hulu’s movies will be, just how much content they’ll get from their parterns, nor how much advertising there will be on the site, but one thing’s for sure… This service will take a good bite out of iTunes, especially if they can figure out a way to make these shows downloadable for free. Sure beats $1.99!

Generation-X, the Flux Generation

Kids these days!  I think every generation has heard this from each prior generation, but now we’ve got something different.

Kids these days are texting their friends, watching TV, playing video games and sometimes driving all at the same time.  Multi-tasking is creating a generation of kids who just plain can’t deal with thinking things through, making decisions on their own or having what used to be called a “normal” life.

Today’s show Tech Talk show, number 432,  deals with the problems these youth are facing, as well  as their parents, employers and even society.