Wednesday, October 19, 2016

In Light of Samsung's Note 7 Fire Troubles, The Timing of Apple's Suit Against A Counterfeiter Could Not Be More Perfect

Source:  Patently Apple via 9to5Mac.

The title to this post says it all. What we want to get into is why it is important that while come accessories are cheaper when you do not buy directly from Apple, at best, they could create unexpected results on how your Apple devices work and, at worst, pose a danger to you. 

Apple launched a lawsuit against a counterfeiter who sold many cables and chargers on Amazon, declaring them as the genuine items.  And for a steep discount than what you would otherwise have to pay for from Apple, it sounds like a great deal.  Except it is not.

These counterfeit items have not gone through Apple's own standards for safety testing for consumer use.  And there lies in the problem.  Uncertified chargers and cables may be more prone to overheating, catching fire, and shock users.  There are plenty of stories you there you can read if you google - people who decided to go with that $2 charger being sold on the street corner kiosk instead of the genuine stuff.

Apple's own chargers, both the 5W and 12W versions, cost $19 each. On Amazon, ones that look like Apple's own can go as low as half that.  Sure you save 10 bucks but what is the risk to you and your home if that thing melts up or worse?

Apple's lawsuit is also about protecting its brand.  I'm sure you know by now that airlines have banned Samsung's dangerous Galaxy Note 7 and that the consumer electronic giant has stopped all production of the iconic device this year.  Apple's suite against Mobile Star is about making sure its own reputation is not damaged should a bunch of faulty accessories from this company start building down homes and causing a spike in ER visits.

And it's not just on Amazon where many of these products are counterfeited and sold.  I've come across other sites and daily deal e-mails from the likes of Groupon that offer great deals on Apple accessories.  I've never bought them because I do worry about these "too good to be real" deals. 

And you should too.  Safety first above all else.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Best To let Macs Be Macs - You Know, With Intel Chips Inside

There is a lot of speculations about what Apple will or will not do with the Mac products as the level of anxiety has risen over the lack of new hardware from Apple.  Rightly so since most of the Macs on the market, the Macbook being the only exception, have been around for more than a year without any new hardware update. 

And for most of us, it does not help when even leading Apple blogs seem to suggest that Apple is no longer focusing on Macs and has shifted even more resources to the development of iOS devices and the faster growing apps and service segments of its business. 

Let me assure you that Apple will not abandon the Macs.  Apple will release new computers when it is ready.  That date will come when the hardware is ready and when marketing and the executive team believes that the time is right.  That is not to say that all the Macs will be updated.  I'm more to be inclined to believe that Macbooks will get the bulk of the attention with the iMac sharing some of the spotlight.  As for the Mac Pro and mini, well, let's keep our fingers crossed. 

With all that said, let's get to the meat of this post.  I want to see Apple stick with Intel chips for the Macs.  This is important because there seems to be a wave of speculations that Apple will abandon Intel chips in the lower end Macs and go with its own in-house developed chips - like the ones that power the iPhone and iPads.

To do this now, it would create unnecessary confusion for customers.  The Apple today is not the same one under Steve Jobs.  Under Tim Cook, Apple has done better as a company that generates immense amount of wealth and accepted a greater role as a socially responsible company (up to you to decide if you agree with them).  But I do feel a certain amount of focus has been diffused as Apple move into new markets.  During Jobs' time as CEO, Apple was a simpler company with fewer products during the beginning of the mobile revolution.  

With more to juggle today, Apple should continue to draw distinctions between iOS devices and Macs.

There may be a day when Apple's internal chip development catches up to or surpasses Intel's own development.  Perhaps, Apple can change course as far as which chip to use in the Macs.  And perhaps at that time, it may not matter as iOS developement has allowed Apple to close the functional gap between iPads and the Macs. 

Furthermore, aside from Apple's own Mac development schedules are concerned, Intel has much to offer the PC industry.  It's chips continue to offer excellent performance as well as a decent balance for what mobile users need.  As it is now, I can live with the 10-hours of battery use on the 2016 Macbook.  Would I love to have 15 or even 20 hours if Apple were to use an A-series chip in the Macbook running Mac OS?  Sure!  But that is just me and for those who performance is not an issue.

But you cannot live on iOS chips if you're a pro level user at this time.  And if Apple does use A-series chips in the lower end Macs and Intel in the Pro-level Macs, that would be just too confusing and create chaos where there was none. 

With what Apple has on the market now, iOS on iPads powered by its own chips and OS X on Macs running Intel chips, it provides customers a clear choice. 

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