The Bad-Week Edition Monday, December 18, 2017

Marketing Chief Phil Schiller Says Apple 'Can't Sit On Its Laurels', by James Titcomb, The Telegraph

Critics have questioned whether Apple is getting sloppy. Schiller says there are "no excuses" but rejects this characterisation. "We just had a bad week. A couple of things happened, that's all. The team is going to audit the systems and look carefully at the process and do some soul-searching, and do everything that they can to keep this from happening again."

The delay of the HomePod is undoubtedly a blow. The market for smart speakers is taking off, and having to release it on the other side of Christmas will hit sales. Schiller is unapologetic about refusing to hit the deadline for the sake of it.

"I'll just say that it's not ready yet, and one of the things a lot of our customers appreciate is that we're never afraid to wait to ship something," he says. "Not everyone in our industry follows that model. We're at the very, very beginning of this market of intelligent music speakers that we want in our home."

But What About The Mac Mini?, by Stephen Hackett, 512 Pixels

After all, Tim Cook said it was going to be important again! Why couldn’t Apple kill two desktop birds with one flexible platform stone?

The biggest problem is flexibility. A Mac Pro chassis has to be able to tolerate a wide range of thermal and power demands. There may be a huge gap between the entry model and the highest-end custom configurations.

Apple PC/Tablets Twists And Turns, by Jean-Louis Gassée, Monday Note

We’ve already seen hints of a U-turn with recent iPad Pro developments. With its Smart Keyboard and Pencil it’s the ultimate toaster-fridge apostasy, an alternative to Mac (and other) laptops, an unofficially acknowledged answer to Microsoft’s hybrid Surface device family.

How far will reversals go?


AirPods Sold Out From Apple & Other Retailers Until 2018, Frustrating Last-minute Holiday Shoppers, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

As we enter the final stretch of holiday shopping this week, Apple’s AirPods are again facing supply issues. After once improving to 3-5 day delivery, and even quicker in some cases, you now won’t get them in time for Christmas if you buy straight from Apple.

Rainbrow: New Eyebrow-Controlled Game For iPhone X Takes Advantage Of TrueDepth Camera System, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

The simple game requires players to use their eyebrows to move an emoji face up and down the screen to collect stars, worth one point each, while avoiding other emoji obstacles such as cars, basketballs, and ducks.

Bottom of the Page

My guess is that Apple is unlikely to release another machine like the Mac mini -- a low-cost introduction to the Mac ecosystem for switchers from Windows. That machine has been replaced -- it's all about portables, not desktops, nowadays, and it's all about iOS, not macOS.

The iPad is that machine. (And rumors are circulating now that Apple is planning to push the price even lower.)

What does that leave us? If low-cost is not a major consideration for the future of Mac mini, then having the same chassis for both the mini and the Pro will not be that far-fetched anymore.


One must always remember what Apple executives say in the public may not match exactly what Apple is actually doing out of public's eyes.


Thanks for reading.