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Wall Street Journal blasts Apple anti-trust monitor Michael Bromwich for overcharging, malfeasance
February 18, 2015 | 7:13 am

Well, there goes the Wall Street Journal again. In a paywalled opinion piece (just Google “All Along the Apple Watchtower” to read it), the Journal once again takes aim at Apple anti-trust monitor Michael Bromwich. The editorial complains, among other things, of Bromwich’s $1,100 per hour fee being too high, that he’s ranging farther afield than his mandate should allow, that he’s in bed with the Justice Department, and, of course, that he’s a close personal friend of Judge Cote. It really is a piece of work. For example, giving Bromwich’s rates in isolation, and the $2.35...

Samsung gets innovation envy at iPad’s superior 4:3ness?
February 4, 2015 | 4:25 pm

ipad_mini4Trigger warning: Snark. Anti-Apple snark. For those sensitive souls out there whose delicate intellectual faculties are upset by double meanings or anything more than good simple honest say-what-you-mean cracker-barrel truisms, be warned: This article will engage in irony. Sarcasm. Satire. Burlesque. Word play. Invective. Double entendre (yes, and maybe even Frenchness too). Yes, it seems poor underdog Samsung may be feeling the tablet heat for not having enough 4:3ishness. That magic Apple special sauce (special Apple sauce?), like the extra .9 inch on the iPad Mini, that is so obviously the secret of the iPad's success. And needed such innovation smarts...

Latest Xiaomi sales figures push Apple even further behind
January 5, 2015 | 10:25 am

Redmi 2 The recent sales numbers from Huawei which suggested that Apple is in fact facing far tougher competitive pressures in pushing out the iPhone 6 and its ilk than others have implied have been further reinforced by Xiaomi's latest official full-year figures on sales. Hugo Barra, Xiaomi's Vice President of International, tweeted that the company had 61.1 million phones sold, an 135 per cent year-on-year increase, and nearly $12 billion in revenue in 2014. That surpasses the Chinese smartphone maker's own 60 million target and indicates that its growth plans are well on track. They also look very convincing when set against the...

Did Apple dominate Christmas?
December 31, 2014 | 6:25 pm

Quite a few stories have been doing the rounds lately of how Apple dominated mobile device activations, app purchases, and starts this Christmas, most of them traceable to a report from analytics firm Flurry, entitled "Apple and Apps Dominated Christmas 2014." And while I don't necessarily doubt its stats, I do wonder about its conclusions. For one thing, Flurry's review period that provided the basis for the key claim, that 51.3 percent of device activations worldwide for the Christmas period were Apple machines, was December 19th-25th. Now, of course that is going to cover Christmas Day itself, but is that really...

First Impressions: Macbook Air
December 31, 2014 | 12:25 pm

macbook airMy Season of Tech Upgrades concluded with the arrival of my sparkly new Macbook Air. My existing Macbook Pro is about five years old, and showing its age. I installed Mavericks over the summer and managed to eke out a few more months, but lately have been finding that it has to stop and think---for a long time---to do even the smallest tasks. So...here I am, typing my very first Teleread post on my new baby. Here are my first impressions of the Macbook Air. THE ORDERING PROCESS It could have been easier. If you want anything changed from the weak in-store...

To gain more e-book marketshare, Apple should make iBooks for Android
December 22, 2014 | 2:25 pm

appledroidCan a company give Amazon a run in 2015 when it comes to ebooks? Maybe, but the company with the best footing is Apple. Anecdotally, several authors have mentioned the successes they have had through Apple’s iBooks. This is a good new for authors who are looking for other avenues to sell their books. But keeping iBooks strictly for Apple products may not do it. iBooks has been around since 2010 when it was launched with the iPad. In 2013, iBooks became an integrated app on iOS 8. Since that time, iBooks seems to be taking more of the market share. In October,...

Kristine Kathryn Rusch, John Sargent: Major publishers learning, trying new things with e-books
December 18, 2014 | 6:30 pm

Here are an interesting juxtaposition of posts that just came to light today. In the first, Kristine Kathryn Rusch at last returns to blogging about the publishing industry with an end-of-year post that is both interesting and scary. Last year, I wrote an open letter asking the Big Five publishers if they’d learned anything from the Apple verdict. In her new blog post, Rusch suggests that they have, and it might not be good news for the authors who sign with them. Touching once more on the sales problems inherent in publishers no longer being able to schedule book...

Appeals court judges ask probing questions in Apple e-book anti-trial case
December 16, 2014 | 7:56 pm

Yesterday, the appeals court heard testimony from Apple and the Department of Justice relating to the e-book anti-trust trial appeal. To my surprise, two of the three judges seemed amenable toward Apple’s point of view. They expressed concern over why the publisher collusion was such a bad thing when it was for the sake of stopping monopolist Amazon, and hinted that Judge Cote might have erred when she ruled that Apple’s behavior constituted a pro se anti-trust violation—a violation so obvious that it doesn’t need the “rule of reason” test applied to it. Apple attorney Theodore Boutros asked for...

Apple music DRM case wraps up with final witness
December 14, 2014 | 11:07 am

The Apple iTunes DRM case proceeds apace. After finding a replacement plaintiff to supplant those who were found not to have bought iPods during the required time period, the case moved forward, hearing reluctant testimony from a former iTunes engineer who worked on blocking the interoperability of competitors’ music DRM with iPods. (The engineer basically rehashed the same arguments Apple’s made all along: Apple had to lock out competitors because the music labels demanded it.) This was the case’s last witness; it will go to jury deliberations next week. As I’ve said before, this case could potentially have profound...

Judge Cote rules DRM removal for fair use is not copyright infringement
December 10, 2014 | 8:52 pm

The Apple anti-trust case continues to have some interesting fallout. The EFF today issued a press release concerning Judge Denise Cote last month dismissing some charges in a related case, trumpeting that Cote had ruled that stripping DRM for fair use purposes is legal. I’ve read the 20-page opinion, and I’m not so sure. Here’s what I know. The case pertains to Abbey House, the operator of the “BooksOnBoard” e-book store. In March, 2014, Abbey House (and two other defunct e-book store operators) filed suit against Apple and the Agency Five alleging that their implementation of agency pricing...

Apple iPod DRM case heats up, but might still fizzle
December 7, 2014 | 12:37 pm

The wheels of justice grind slowly, and sometimes a bit of grit gets stuck in the gears. This seems to be the case with the ten-year-old lawsuit against Apple over the DRM policies it used to enforce on iTunes Music Store music and iPods. Over the last couple of weeks, it’s started moving again, and the testimony and depositions have been interesting to follow. But now it looks as though, just as it’s getting started again, it may come to a complete halt. Locking Out Competitors At heart, the case has to do with the way Apple continually...

Magazine publishers unhappy with Apple Newsstand
October 16, 2014 | 10:01 pm

newsstandDigital magazines for tablets have long had a number of problems, not the least of which being that it’s considerably easier for people to make their own “magazines” via RSS readers or other content aggregators such as Flipboard. But Digiday reports that magazine publishers are finding Apple’s Newsstand app problematic in new ways as well. In iOS 7, Apple changed the way Newsstand worked so users were no longer notified if there was a new issue of their magazine available. It doesn’t let users put shortcuts to their magazines on their home screens either. Its ability to download issues...