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LaCie introduces Thunderbolt 2 4K solutions at NAB, highlights 8big Rack full of 6TB Seagate Drives

For those who do heavy duty video editing and want to take advantage of the Thunderbolt 2 speeds offered in Apple’s latest Pro products, LaCie introduced some interesting new products at the 2014 NAB Show. Three new storage solutions are on tap: The LaCie 8big Rack, 5big and 2big feature industry leading speeds and the latest 6TB hard drives from Seagate. This combination of speed and capacity make these products ideal for 4K workflows. Built–in hardware RAID keeps data safe, while cutting–edge industrial design delivers user efficiency and stunning appearance. From LaCie:

LACIE 8BIG RACK

The LaCie 8big Rack Thunderbolt 2 is the company’s first Thunderbolt 2 rackmount storage solution. Compact and stylish, the LaCie 8big Rack features up to eight 6TB 7200RPM hard drives from Seagate, for an impressive 48TB in a mere 1U size. Delivering speeds of up to 1330MB/s*, it is the most powerful plug and play rackmount solution for 4K video editing.

view full press release

LACIE 5BIG

Now featuring Thunderbolt 2 technology, hardware RAID 5 and industry–leading capacity, the new LaCie 5big is nearly two times faster — delivering speeds of up to 1050MB/s*. Thanks to Seagate’s new 6TB 7200RPM hard drives, it boasts a 20% capacity increase, which makes it the most compact 30TB storage device on the market. With these advances, the new LaCie 5big gives video professionals huge capacity and ample bandwidth for improving 4K workflows — right on the desktop.
view full press release

LACIE 2BIG

The new LaCie 2big boasts a host of features including Thunderbolt 2 technology, hardware RAID and a new industrial design. Speeds of up to 420MB/s* along with two 6TB 7200RPM hard drives from Seagate make the new LaCie 2big the fastest, highest capacity dual–bay external storage solution on the market. It features USB 3.0 for compatibility with nearly any computer. Plus, its all–new industrial design sets a new standard for versatility and reliability.

view full press release

NAB SHOW

The new LaCie 8big Rack, 5big and 2big join the Little Big Disk (shipping since February 2014) to create the most comprehensive Thunderbolt 2 storage range on the market. LaCie will demonstrate these products at the NAB Show in Las Vegas from April 7–10, 2014. Customers attending the show are encouraged to stop by the LaCie booth (SL9927) to see first hand how these products excel in 4K workflows. For an exclusive sneak peek of these demonstrations, watch this video filmed earlier today: www.lacie.com/nab2014

AVAILABILITY

The LaCie 8big Rack, 5big and 2big, featuring Thunderbolt 2, will be available this quarter through the LaCie online store and LaCie resellers. Pricing will be announced when the product is available for purchase.

WARRANTY

LaCie professional products are protected by a three-year limited warranty. The warranty includes complimentary web–based resources, expert in–house technical support and worldwide repair and/or replacement coverage. Warranty extension and Advance Care Option can also be purchased. For details, visit www.lacie.com/warranties.

ABOUT LACIE

LaCie, the premium brand from Seagate Technology (NASDAQ: STX), designs world–class external storage products for Apple®, Linux and PC users. LaCie differentiates itself with sleek design and unmatched technical performance. Find out more at www.lacie.com.


Filed under: Enterprise Tagged: 4K resolution, Hard disk drive, Las Vegas, NASDAQ, RAID, Seagate, Seagate Technology, USB 3.0

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Seth Weintraub

April 7th

Apple

Mac

Why Apple has to make bigger-screen iPhones, in its own confidential internal slides

iPhone-4-5-inch displaysApple internal slides

There has been no shortage of rumors that the iPhone 6 will have a big screen ranging from 4.7-inches to over 5 inches. But why is Apple doing this? They just changed the display size from 3.5-inches to 4-inches and another screen size increase could present a headache for developers, casemakers and the whole ecosystem.

The answer, from Apple’s own research/presentation, shows they have to. There is no growth in the 4-inch phone market for devices that cost more than $300. In fact, that market is shrinking overall.

Apple-growth-rate-slowing

 

Why?

Below is the slide that shows how Apple ended up in this predicament. It isn’t just consumers wanting big screens for less. Carriers also have it out for Apple, according to the internal slides released (via Re/Code) during the current Apple v. Samsung patent trial.  Citing the iPhones high market share, subsidy premium, ‘Unfriendly’ policies and lack of alignment, Apple believes the carriers have a strong interest in capping iPhone sales. Finally, according to Apple, competitors are improving their hardware and ecosystems and spending ‘obscene’ amounts of money to gain traction at carriers. That is Samsung more than anyone else.

Why-bigger-iphones

So what can Apple do?

Apple can sell a 4-inch iPhone for under $300, either forgoing their historically huge margins and/or making a cheap device. Neither of which are very likely. You can currently buy an iPhone 5c at Virgin without a plan for just over $300 but  those are likely still subsidized because they are locked to Virgin. It is hard to find a 4-inch iPhone for under $500 on the open market.

The much more likely scenario is that Apple sells a bigger iPhone 6 for its current market price and margins addressing the growing market. At the same time, its current lineup could drop in price and come close to hitting that magic sub-$300 price point.

In short, Apple must make a bigger iPhone.

 

 


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Seth Weintraub

April 6th

Apple

Mac

Apple VP Greg Joswiak talks 70% Japan iPhone market share with Tokyo TV, deflects questions about iPhone 6

TV Tokyo got a quick interview with Apple VP of iPad, iPhone and iPod Marketing Greg Joswiak. In the snippit, cropped above from a longer segment, Joswiak boasts that Apple is approaching 70% iPhone marketshare in Japan – something he attributes to Apple’s  relentless focus on quality and the Japanese consumer’s desire to put quality above cost.

As you’d expect, Joswiak deflects questions about the iPhone 6 to the chagrin of the reporter.

Apple this year landed the biggest Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo which also spurred renewed pricing competition among its competitors allowing Apple’s Japanese marketshare to explode to near 70%.

via Makotakara


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Apple, greg joswiak, iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod, Japan, Softbank

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Seth Weintraub

April 5th

Apple

Mac

First Apple Store opens to public in Turkey

After a long build up, Apple’s first Eastern Europe/Asia Minor store opened up today in Istanbul at the Zorlu Center. As some other flagship stores, it is mostly subterranean with a glass upward protrusion. This one is 4 large panes of glass covered by a white roof with darker Apple logo surrounded by a fountain as pictured below.

zorlu_center_first_view_big Image via iFoAppleStore

Apple yesterday held a press event attended by one of the Apple Store leads Steve Cano. Tim Cook took to Twitter to announce the opening in Turkish:

More images and videos below:

apple4 stevecone-540x405 apple1 apple-store-istanbul-zorlu-center-scroll-81


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Seth Weintraub

April 5th

Apple

Mac

Phil Schiller testimony reveals Android marketshare threat and concerns Media Arts Lab wasn’t matching Samsung ads

Apple-vSamsung-schillerEvidence presented by Samsung

Apple SVP of Marketing Phil Schiller took the stand again today in the Samsung Patent Trial v2. Schiller was grilled on a number of emails Samsung came up with in discovery that painted Apple as paranoid about the rise of Android and Samsung’s Galaxy line in particular. CNET covered one such email where Schiller seemed concerned with the quality of Samsung’s Superbowl ad campaign:

After watching one Samsung pre-Super Bowl ad Schiller wrote an email to Vincent, commenting on the ad. “It’s pretty good and I cant help but think “these guys are feeling it” (like an athlete who can’t miss because they are in the zone) while we struggle to nail a compelling brief on iPhone,” Schiller wrote in an email, presented in court on Friday. He added: “Something drastic has to change. Fast.”

The concern was apparently so strong that Schiller wrote an email to CEO Tim Cook contemplating firing its dedicated marketing agency Media Arts Lab (MAL), a subsidiary of TBWA Chiat Day which itself is a subsidiary of Omnicom. Steve Jobs brought in Lee Clow at Chiat Day to create the Think Different campaign when Apple was teetering on bankruptcy in 1997 and the agency has been Apple’s only outside ad team ever since. In 2013, Apple’s “Designed by Apple in California,” was its first new branded ad campaign since 1997. Samsung positioned that campaign as a response to its Android threat…

Re/code notes other emails regarding Samsung and other Android players outspending Apple in marketing and carrier channels to gain traction.

“Competitors have drastically improved their hardware and in some cases their ecosystems,” a member of Apple’s sales team wrote in a document that was prepared as part of a fiscal 2014 offsite meeting. Portions of the document were shown Friday to the jury in the Apple-Samsung case. The document, which was presented as part of Samsung’s cross-examination of Apple Senior VP Phil Schiller, noted that all the growth in smartphones was coming either from large-screen devices costing more than $300 or from devices that cost less than $300, with the segment that included the iPhone showing decline. Other concerns noted in the document included the idea that Android rivals were “spending ‘obscene’ amounts of money on advertising and/or carrier channel to gain traction” and that mobile carriers had an interest in limiting iPhone sales because of, among other things, the high subsidies they had to pay on the device.

Schiller said he didn’t agree with the assessment which was made by lower level sales execs within Apple. Apple did however eventually lower the price on some of its phones and is expected to unveil a much bigger iPhone 6 in the fall.

Following Schiller, one of Apple’s iPhone Engineers, Greg Christie testified, reiterating many of the details of the genesis of the iPhone which Apple had previously detailed to the WSJ (including the room where the first meetings were held).

The trial is expected to last the entire month with each company getting 25 hours of arguments followed by jury deliberations. The Apple v. Samsung trial will continue next week.


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Seth Weintraub

April 4th

Apple

Mac

Review: $90 Kanex SimpleDock is a beautiful USB 3/Gigabit Ethernet Mac dock, without expensive Thunderbolt

kanex-simpledock

We’ve reviewed a fair bit of Thunderbolt Docks for Mac here and one thing remains constant: The starting prices range well over $200 (Belkin’s can be had for half price $150) and that’s before you buy an expensive $30 Thunderbolt cable. The question is: Do you really need Thunderbolt to have a quality/usable dock for your MacBook? Can you get almost all of what you need just from USB 3?

Kanex sent me their $90 USB 3 SimpleDock a few months ago and I’ve put it through its paces ever since.  The first thing you’ll notice out of the box is that it is made extremely well, looks very ‘Apple’ and is substantial in weight. It doesn’t move when you plug in devices because of that weight and a rubberized bottom. On top, all you’ll see is a space that coincidentally fits an iPhone perfectly with a charger cable hole through the bottom. Around back, you’ll find 3 USB 3 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port as well as a 10W high powered ‘Charge-only’ port.

simpledock_top_wired

So you are getting 3 products in one here: An iOS device quick charger, a USB3->Gigabit Ethernet adapter and 3 port USB 3 hub. The question is: Is the SimpleDock worth the $90?

Taking the 3 things the $90 SimpleDock does by itself, probably not. You can get a pretty amazing 5 port USB charger for $25. Add a nice 4 port USB 3 hub for $30. Then add Apple’s premium Thunderbolt to Ethernet adapter for $28 and you have some beer money left over.

But we’re talking about the whole package here. Kanex went out of the way to make a premium product that looks and feels pretty amazing next to a MacBook. It also moves the wires around the back and keeps things organized. Can you put a price on keeping your desk organized and uncluttered? Probably. But for me it comes in way over the $90 Kanex is charging.

IMG_0813 IMG_0814 IMG_0815

In my use, the SimpleDock works as advertized. The Gigabit Ethernet adapter requires a driver install and the USB 3 dock cable could have been a little longer in my estimation.  Other than that, what you see is what you get. The 10W port was able to charge both iPhone and iPad air as quick as native chargers and GigEthernet speeds were on par with other adapters.

As far as featureset, I would have appreciated AUX audio input and output port. Slightly more expensive USB docks often contain this feature while others offer Displaylink monitor adapters. My experience with Displaylink has been poor but an audio port would allow me not to have to plug in my speakers or headphones every time I connect.

On the high end, Belkin has been super-aggressive in pricing its competing Thunderbolt Express Dock which has a bigger featureset. For $150 or $60 more than the SimpleDock, you get a Thunderbolt pass-through port, Firewire 800 legacy support and the much appreciated AUX in and out.  You also get the same Gigabit Ethernet and USB 3 hub but no charging port and you must also have a $30 Thunderbolt cable. And it doesn’t look as good on your desk.

The $90 Kanex SimpleDock is a premium product that looks great next to your MacBook and iOS devices and work just as well. I can recommend it if you want an elegant ‘simple’ solution to plugging in your MacBook.


Filed under: Reviews Tagged: Apple, Gigabit Ethernet, iPhone, Kanex, MacBook, SimpleDock, Universal Serial Bus, USB 3.0

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Seth Weintraub

March 23rd

Apple

Mac

Virgin slashes contract-free iPhones, iPhone 5s starts at $385 and iPhone 5c starts at $315

From 9to5Toys.com:

Screenshot 2014-03-21 10.12.36

Virgin Mobile, a Sprint subsidiary, is offering the iPhone 5s contract free for some pretty unheard of prices right now.  The 16GB iPhone 5s is going for $385 without a contract in Gold (best), Space Gray and White.  A 32GB iPhone 5s will run you $455 while a 64GB iPhone 5s will run you $525.

Screenshot 2014-03-21 10.19.18

Virgin is also slashing the prices on the iPhone 5c with the 16GB model in all colors is $315 while the 32GB model is $385. Those are easily the lowest prices we’ve seen for the current generation iPhones.

What’s the catch?

The catch, if you want to call it that, is that these are locked to Sprint’s Virgin subsidiary.  While Sprint’s 3G and 4G network isn’t always rated the best, it is nationwide and Virgin Mobile also has the lowest unlimited data plans starting at $30/month.

Also a little birdie told us that you can actually unlock the Virgin iPhones for about $130 at Chronic Unlocks giving you a new, unlocked iPhone 5s for just over $500. 

For those who were considering an iPhone but hesitated at the costs, that’s around $1000 bucks for a current generation iPhone and 2 years of unlimited data. You won’t find anything lower.


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Seth Weintraub

March 21st

Apple

Mac

Book Review: Haunted Empire, Apple After Steve Jobs

Former WSJ Apple writer Yukari Iwatani Kane’s long-awaited book based on more than 200 interviews with current and former executives and insiders goes on sale today  ($12.74 Amazon/$14.99 iBookstore/Free Audible Audiobook). We got an advance copy, and I enjoyed the first 85 pages or so of background including Steve Jobs’s transitioning the company during the last bout with his terminal cancer. This area  included some interesting new tidbits (did you know Apple almost sold the original iPad for $399?).

The middle of the book meanders somewhat aimlessly into the big stories after Steve Jobs’s death, but spending way too much time on Foxconn, the Samsung trial, the DOJ ebooks trial and patent minutia. I frankly had a hard time staying involved in some of these chapters because it was like re-reading old news reports with little new information to keep me satiated.

However, over this period of the book, you start to get an idea of where the whole thing is going. Kane is clearly offended by Apple’s arrogance, and she’s not buying the same old marketing spin that Apple continues to employ after Jobs. When she talks about post-Steve Jobs events,  the on-stage jokes are not funny to her (“painful”) and the ‘forced superlatives’ and jabs at the competition are deceptive and betray a deeper insecurity in her eyes. This carries over into Tim Cook’s media appearances including a so-called “disastrous” AllThingsD.

Sure Steve Jobs and company have been telling Redmond to “start their copiers” and making Longhorn gags since forever, but now the jokes and marketing no longer ring true – without someone with the credibility to deliver them, like Steve Jobs.

And that’s the general theme of the book.  That Apple cannot be Apple after Steve Jobs. There must be a story arc here and after Steve Jobs, the company must go into decline. In fact, Kane actually says this in the epilogue (but perhaps it should have been in the prologue):

Kane

The book concludes exactly how it has been prepared to conclude (sorry, no surprise ending). Apple is in a free fall (increasing sales numbers notwithstanding). Employees are leaving for Google and other Valley startups as soon as their stocks vest, if they can wait that long. Behind the scenes, morale is low and people are scrambling to find that lost sense of purpose. There is no room to believe that Apple could, in fact, have “its most innovative years in front of it”, to use Steve Jobs’s resignation words.

All of that said, I didn’t hate this book like a lot of other Apple reviewers did. I believe it is good for folks like us who often bathe ourselves in pro-Apple news and opinion to get an alternate reality that perhaps the mainstream sees more often in the 24-hour news/entertainment cycle.  There were some interesting bits and, if nothing else, Kane’s view of Apple is somehow both cautionary and entertaining.

($12.74 Amazon/$14.99 iBookstore/Free Audible Audiobook)


Filed under: AAPL Company

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Seth Weintraub

March 18th

Apple

Mac

You can now buy iPad Airs at the Apple Store (refurb) for $419/16GB or $509/32GB with 1 year of AppleCare

From 9to5Toys.com:

ipad-air-refurb-apple-store

lm-tile-refurbipad_LANG_ENThe Apple Store just got filled with refurbished iPad Airs in a few varieties starting at $419 for 16GB and $509 for 32GB in both Space Grey or White. That’s $80/$90 off the new price and the lowest price we’ve seen for iPad Airs with Apple’s 1 year AppleCare warranty (we saw them new for $430 last week). Apple certified refurbished products look and act like new, come with all manuals and accessories, a new outer shell batter and come in a new white box.

Walmart still has iPad Airs  for $399 but with a more dubious 90-day non-Apple warranty. Meanwhile, if you are after New iPad Airs, Staples currently has them for $50 off across the board. 


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Apple, Apple Store, AppleCare, iPad, iPhone, Macintosh, Staples, Walmart

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Seth Weintraub

March 14th

Apple

Mac

As of this morning, over 70% of 9to5Mac readers were on iOS 7.1

Screenshot 2014-03-12 14.06.13

From our Google Analytics of audience views today at around noon ET, we were at just over 70% iOS 7.1 for the day. I know our audience is at the tech savvy end of the spectrum, but the number still impresses me, especially considering many of the older iOS devices that can’t even be updated.

It make’s Chitika’s numbers look a little backwards


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Seth Weintraub

March 12th

Apple

Mac
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