Fastest launch ever is a failure to some

Apple Watch Edition 

How to Pretend Apple Watch Is a Failure No Matter What 
[Via – The Mac Observer]

Apple Watch. Seems like Apple has a hit on its corporate hands. Or a preorder hit. The company sold a million Apple Watches in the first 24 hours—just in the U.S.—according to one piece of analysis. That would make it the most successful new product category launch in Apple’s history—so what do you do if you’ve been talking smack about it for months?

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This might well be the biggest and most successful launch ever for an Apple product. 

It appears from several estimates that over a 1 million Apple watches were sold the first day of pre-orders. One recent report said 2.3 million have been preordered worldwide. It took the runaway hit iPhone 74 days to reach a million sold. And the iPad took 28 days.

In one day Apple may have sold more smartwatches than an entire year of Android ones.

This is unprecedented for a new product category, one that requires previous ownership of an iPhone.This huge demand is what is driving shipping dates back. 

So, to some idiots, this is a bad thing. They seem to have little ability to work with numbers.

Here is how Apple could make over 2 million watches between March and May, as they ramp up production production to 2-3 million watches after about 6 months.

Have about 300,000 produced in March ready on April 10, with 1 million more ready by the end of April and another 1 million ready by the end of May.

If the trend had followed that for the iPad, the fastest selling device ever, they would have been able to easily meet demand. Even more so if it followed the iPhone trend. With a device that comes in a much larger array of choices.

Remember, it is hard to stockpile a lot of these without knowing just how many of which type are actually going to be ordered. The actual mix (estimated to be 85% Apple Watch Sport, 15% Apple watch and a very small number of Apple Edition) may be different from what Apple originally thought.

This is how we get to June before the pre-orders finally get dealt with.

Looks to me like Apple itself was caught off guard with how popular the Watch is. This is a good thing. With an average cost over $500, we are talking about $1 billion of new revenue in a very small period of time.

Well done.

I am also becoming convinced that the Apple Watch changes things

Apple Watch 

The Watch
[Via asymco]

Before its launch, I said that the Apple Watch would be as much a watch as the iPhone is a phone. Recall that when the iPhone was launched it was anchored on three tentpoles, one of which was being a phone and that when the Apple Watch was launched it was also anchored on three tentpoles, one of which was being a watch.

Realizing that on the iPhone the “phone” is but an app — one which I find populated with FaceTime calls rather than cellular calls and whose messaging history is filled with iMessage threads rather than SMS — I consider it safe to say what the iPhone is today not as much a phone as a very personal computer. And so the question is whether the Watch will quickly leave behind its timekeeping anchor and move into being something completely different.

I had the chance to use the Watch for a few days and can say that timekeeping is probably as insignificant to its essence as it’s possible to be. It feels like a watch in the physical sense, looking good in the process (as the iPhone physically felt like a phone, also without being hard on the eyes)

However it does not feel like a watch conceptually. I find myself drawn into a conversation by its vocabulary of vibrations. I find myself talking to it. I find myself listening to it. I find myself glancing at information about faraway places. I find myself paying for things with it. I find myself checking into flights with it. I order transportation, listen to news, check live data streams and get myself nagged to exercise. It tells me where I am. It tells me where to go. It tells me when to leave.

Nothing ever worn on a wrist, or anywhere else for that matter, has done any of these things before. Not only are these things mesmerizing but they are done in a productive way on a wristwatch. In other words they are done in a mindful way.

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I’ve written a few times about this – the iPhone is not a phone but a supercomputer in our pocket; the Apple Watch will be the device that interacts with the supercomputer in our pocket.

We can now use other devices to allow us to gain access to huge amounts of information while leaving the supercomputer in our pocket. And these devices can let that supercomputer service its computational needs while doing things that are easier for us.

I expect this to again change things.

Moore’s law combats authoritarians in North Korea

 Forty years of removable storage

Immovable North Korean Authoritarianism Meets Irresistible Moore’s Law: Which Wins?
[Via Techdirt]

North Korea has become a by-word for oppressive tyranny and technological backwardness. But Reuters reports on an interesting development that may begin to chip away at both:

A $50 portable media player is providing many North Koreans a window to the outside world despite the government’s efforts to keep its people isolated — a symbol of change in one of the world’s most repressed societies.

By some estimates, up to half of all urban North Korean households have an easily concealed “notel”, a small portable media player used to watch DVDs or content stored on USB sticks that can be easily smuggled into the country and passed hand to hand.

People are exchanging South Korean soaps, pop music, Hollywood films and news programs, all of which are expressly prohibited by the Pyongyang regime, according to North Korean defectors, activists and recent visitors to the isolated country.

The Reuters story reports that the device has become so popular that the North Korean government felt obliged to legalize the “notel” — but with the requirement that they had to be registered. These versions must be fixed to official state television and radio channels, but the smuggled models are more versatile:

The low-voltage notel differs from the portable DVD players of the late 1990s in that they have USB and SD card ports, and a built-in TV and radio tuner. They can also be charged with a car battery — an essential piece of household equipment in electricity-scarce North Korea.

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Technology is becoming so cheap and so small that millions can violate the law of North Korea. The VCR did something similar in Eastern Europe before the fall of the Berlin Wall – permit people to easily route around the totalitarian control of media.

Here a similar thing is happening. only technology has made it cheap, ubiquitous and easy to use.

Can North Korea allow 50% of the urban population to flout its media restrictions? 

Orginal Apple logo returning

 Apple retro

Apple resurrects original six-color rainbow logo to celebrate diversity
[Via MacDailyNews]

CUPERTINO, California — April 1, 2015 — Apple® today announced that the company will resurrect the original rainbow Apple logo ahead of Apple’s 40th anniversary of the company’s founding on April 1, 1976 and also as an affirmation that Apple, an American company, believes that America must be a land of opportunity for everyone, in a diverse rainbow of colors, including race, religion, sexual orientation, and more. Apple’s executive team and board of directors believe the company logo should reinforce that belief.

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Going back while going forward. Good for Apple.

Apple’s ResearchKit changes everything

apple 

Over 10K participants sign up for Stanford medical trial after ResearchKit debut
[Via AppleInsider]

The number of participants in a Stanford University cardiovascular study conducted using Apple’s new ResearchKit medical research platform ballooned to more than 10,000 overnight, researchers say, after the trial was featured on stage during Apple’s “Spring Forward” event earlier this week.

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10,000 people in one day signed up for the trial. It would have taken over a year to do that the ‘analog’ way.

I do not expect this to become standard but it opens up some real possibilities.

Apple may have performed some wild alchemy on gold

 Pocket Watch

Is Apple’s real watch innovation a gold case that’s as tough as steel?
[Via Ars Technica]

There’s a long piece over at the Financial Times today about Jony Ive and Apple’s watch plans. The author, Nick Foulkes, is obviously not a techie, but he does know a thing or two about watches, and the article is worth a read if you have a horological bent.

The article does contain some interesting tidbits. For example, Foulkes tells us that “Ive explains how the molecules in Apple gold are closer together, making it twice as hard as standard gold.” This claim was greeted in the office by more than a little bemusement. Gold is a metal! Has Apple finally left a reality-based existence behind it?

Perhaps the company is not entirely crazy, though. In June 2014, Apple filed a patent, issued in December 2014, for a “Method and apparatus for forming a gold metal matrix composite.” Metal matrix composites allow manufacturers to develop complex metal components in a similar way to 3D printing with polymers, and from the looks of this patent, Apple may be using this approach for the Apple Watch’s case.

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Using new technologies to create a gold watch that is harder than 18kt would be a great way to disrupt the watch industry.

It looks like they blend the gold with a ceramic powder, compress it into a die and then heat it up to create the composite.

We shal see.

Apple nails their new ad campaign – using online photos taken with iPhone 6

 Traffic lights unfocused

Apple Found Its Newest Billboards on the Internet
[Via Daring Fireball]

Brendan Klinkenberg, writing for Buzzfeed:

Last December, when the Bay Area had one of its rare rainy days, Cielo de la Paz took her kids out to play. She’s an avid photographer, “willing to wake up at five in the morning and hike 10 miles to get that shot of the sunrise,” and when she saw the reflection of her red umbrella on the wet concrete, she knew she had a good one.

“It took a few shots,” she said, “this was the last one I took, I was finally happy with how the wind arranged the leaves for me.”

She edited the shot with Filterstorm Neue, uploaded the picture to Flickr (she was taking part in the photo365 challenge), where Apple found it.

Then, they put it on a billboard.

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What a great way to show how  imppressive pictures can look when using the iPhone. And some of these are from amateurs. Discovered on Flickr might now be a new route to fame.

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