Explaining Southern California's economy

UPDATE: Apple announces new iPad mini

Apple Introduces Latest iPad

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide product marketing Phil Schiller announces the new iPad mini during a special event at the historic California Theater Tuesday morning. The iPad mini is Apple's smaller version of the popular iPad tablet.

UPDATE: $329, for the 16GB WiFi-only version. Shipping early November. Pre-orders October 26. And it will have cellular capability.

UPDATE: It's the iPad mini. Apple has spoken. It's going to be 7.9 inches (the ipad Maxi is 9.7 inches — neat, huh?). Apple has also rolled out a new MacBook Pro, a new Mac mini, something about textbooks that seemed to greatly excite CEO Tim Cook, and a new iMac.

PREVIOUSLY: Apple is live-streaming today's much-anticipated but not exactly all that secretive reveal of the iPad mini. BUT the company is only livestreaming it through Apple's Safari browser! So switch now, Chrome and Firefox people! I'm not even sure what you Opera and Rockmelt folks are supposed to do. Explorer? Yeah...

If there is a big surprise in store, it could be that the iPad mini won't be called the iPad mini, but rather something like the "iPad Air," to ally it with the MacBook of the same name.

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Steve Jobs: A year after his death, still a symbol of the California way of business

Apple CEO Steve Jobs Delivers Opening Keynote At Macworld

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Steve Jobs passed away a year ago. His legacy lives on, at Apple and in California — and beyond.

It is the one-year anniversary of Apple co-foudner Steve Jobs' death. Last year, I tried to situate Jobs' achievements in the context of a unique California way of business. Here is my blog post from last year. Please note that in one year, that $350-billion market cap has doubled.

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs' death at 56 has provided ample opportunity to reflect on his life and his status as an American visionary, a character out of one of Apple's "Think Different" ads. But Jobs was also a Californian, and it's worth asking whether he represented a California way of business.

Gov. Jerry Brown certainly thought so. This is from the Wall Street Journal, and includes Brown's reaction to Jobs' death:

California governor Jerry Brown, who knew Apple Inc.’s Steve Jobs since his first governorship when Mr. Jobs sat on a innovation commission he created, said Wednesday of the Apple co-founder’s death: “Steve Jobs was a great California innovator who demonstrated what a totally independent and creative mind can accomplish. Few people have made such a powerful and elegant imprint on our lives…"

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5 million iPhone 5s in 3 days? Not good enough, Apple!

iPhone 5 launch at AT&T Glendale

Jason Georges/KPCC

Customers line up in the early hours on Friday, September 21 at the AT&T store in Glendale, California, hoping to get a new iPhone 5. Apple wound up selling million, but Wall Street didn't care.

Apple absolutely killed it this weekend, selling over five million iPhones in three days. But for Wall Street, it wasn't enough. The company's stock, which had risen above $700 a share, fell to about $690 today.

Expectations for iPhone 5 sales may have gotten out of hand. They fell a million shy of what some analysts seemed to think was possible. 

Worse, as the Wall Street Journal suggests, Apple may have hit a sort of "speed limit" on production:

Another theory is that Apple may have reached a theoretical limit to how many products can be produced in a specific window of time. Tom Dinges, an analyst at IHS iSuppli, said Apple historically began production of new iPhones in mid-August, a little more than a month from the release date. But, he said, the company may have shortened that production schedule to control information leaks that could come from suppliers.

"For the major opening weekend, we're close to the limit," Mr. Dinges said. "Unless they're willing to widen the manufacturing window, maybe we have seen" the limit for how many units Apple can deliver without more production lines.

Mr. Dinges noted that Apple would need to have roughly half a million iPhones produced per day at a minimum to meet some analyst expectations of 50 million iPhones to be sold during the holiday quarter.

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3 reasons why the Apple iPhone 5 is creating capitalism on the street

Hotly Anticipated iPhone 5 Goes In Sale In Stores

Mario Tama/Getty Images

Customers take photos while waiting on line to purchase the Apple iPhone 5 outside the Apple Fifth Avenue flagship store on the first morning it went on sale. An entire shadow economy has emerged around the iconic device.

Today is Apple iPhone 5 day. At Apple stores across Southern California, hopeful shoppers have lined up in the hundreds to obtain the glistening new gadget. 

These folks will part with money, but they're also engaged in an ad-hoc iEconomy that's using the iPhone — versions both current and past — to generate profits. Here's how it goes...

It's all about real estate. According to LATimes, people who've lined up outside the Apple store at the Grove shopping complex are selling their places on line. Ten kids showed up at sunrise with the goal of selling five spots in line for $300 a pop, for a neat take of $1,500, pretty much all of it profit (they opportunity cost of standing in line at 6 a.m. when you're 19 is pretty much nil). But they miscalculated their market and could only sell the spots for...$100. Still, that's $500 in coin for...standing. In line. In warm and sunny L.A.

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3 reasons why the Apple iPhone 5 will still fail

US-IT-INTERNET-TELECOM-APPLE

DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images

Buyers wait outside an Apple Store in New York to get their iPhone 5s before everyone else. The new smartphone notched 2 million in pre-orders in its first 24 hours.

I got a very robust response to my pre-iPhone 5 launch post, "3 reasons why the Apple iPhone 5 will fail," in which I detailed some reasons why the miraculous new device wouldn't be a triumph. I prefaced it all by stressing that I was taking a contrarian position, but I got called out big time for my contrarianism, both in the comments and, more recently, by the Macalope over at Macworld.

Here's a taste:

The Macalope understands that during this bad economy times must be hard at our nation’s public radio stations, with donations falling due to a deficit in our strategic tote-bag reserves.

But that doesn’t really excuse Southern California Public Radio from publishing Matthew DeBord’s “3 reasons why the Apple iPhone 5 will fail” (tip o’ the antlers to Warren Bowman).

Just three? The Macalope thinks maybe you’re not applying yourself, Matthew. The horny one himself can easily make up 15 or 20.

Still, most observers settled on the conventional wisdom that the iPhone 5 was a total snooze-fest that, because of a collection of really boring reasons involving contract lengths, Apple fanboi-ism, marketing, and reality distortion, will sell very well. “Fail” is really putting a stake in the ground. A dumb, dumb stake.

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