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ATPM 17.10
October 2011




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by Robert Paul Leitao,

Welcome to the October issue of About This Particular Macintosh! This month, Apple is announcing the release of the next generation iPhone and the next generation operating system for all of the company’s handheld devices. Although digital devices have become smaller, the opportunities to celebrate what we call the “personal computing experience” have become bigger as each new generation of devices provides users with more uses and enhanced functionality. We look forward to fall and the product news that will set back Apple’s competition.


The release of iOS 5 later this month will provide iOS users with integrated cloud-based services across multiple devices under the iCloud name. The importance of iCloud to Apple’s product plans is so significant that the company is assigning a portion of the revenue of each iOS device (iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch) sold to represent the estimated value of each device buyer’s rights to the use of iCloud services. In other words, Apple is recognizing iCloud as an integral component of each new iOS device sold. Services that were once available for an annual fee under the MobileMe name will now be available for free to device buyers.

There isn’t a major competitor in the market that is extending to device owners the right to free operating system upgrades over the anticipated economic life of the device and rights to free cloud-based services as part of the original device purchase package.

Mac OS X Lion and Rosetta

When Apple first released Intel-based Macs back in 2006, the company provided a translator called Rosetta in Mac OS X to allow applications developed for PowerPC-based Macs to run on the new hardware. Rosetta was an optional installation in Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) and disappeared from the operating system in Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) that was released this summer.

Unsuspecting customers who continued to rely on Mac applications originally complied for PowerPCs Macs were caught by surprise when those applications would no longer operate under Apple’s latest OS. Apple discussion boards and other Mac-based forums are filled with comments from and advice for users relying on applications that have not been fully updated for Intel Macs.

While many point the finger at Apple, developers have had over five years to update their products to run without a translator on Intel chips. Macs now command over 10% of the domestic PC market, and Apple will soon reemerge among the top 5 PC vendors in the world. The Mac’s position in the market has changed dramatically since the 2006 Intel transition. Developers that desire to remain competitive in the Macintosh market must adapt their products and provide solutions for users who purchase the latest Apple hardware and desire to use the latest operating system that the company provides.

The Mac App Store

There are over 225 million iTunes customers around the world with accounts backed by credit cards. The opening of the Mac App Store at the beginning of this year allows Mac owners to use iTunes gift cards and iTunes accounts to purchase Macintosh applications.

While not every iTunes user owns a Mac, the opening of the Mac App Store is indicative of the way in which Apple approaches all of its product markets and the company’s customers. It’s more about the user than it is about the device. The pending debut of iCloud, the opening of new retail stores, and the Mac App Store’s integration into the iTunes ecosystem demonstrate that it’s the customer relationship that drives Apple product sales at least as much as smart and creative product designs.

The Mac’s market share is on the rise in most regions around the world. An iPhone owner, an iPad owner, and now a Mac owner can purchase apps and content using the same iTunes customer accounts and directly through the devices. iCloud will integrate cloud-based service across multiple devices, and each additional Apple device purchased enhances the uses of other Apple devices already owned. In the end, it’s much more about the customer than it is about the popular devices. We look forward to the big product announcement from Apple later this month.

Our October Issue

ATPM is written with our readers in mind. Technology is only as good as the ways in which it is used. We continue to chronicle the world of personal computing and the ways in which we use our devices of choice to view and interact with the world around us.

Our October issue includes:

MacMuser: iDisk Lament

Mark notes that iDisk is disappearing with the impending release of iCloud, and he’s not happy with the alternatives.

PEBKAC: Readers, Readers Everywhere, and Not a Library to Spare

What does one do if one wishes to keep track of all of one’s book purchases—both electronic and printed—under a single application?

Desktop Pictures: Easter Island

ATPM reader James Craig is back with more photos from a recent trip to Easter Island.

Out at Five

Matt Johnson’s new series, Out at Five, looks at the workplace and its boundaries from all angles, revolving around many of the same characters from his former series, Cortland.

Qaptain Qwerty: Touché

Turn off your portable devices, please.

The Spinning Beachball

After full integration with iOS, Twitter was never the same again…

Review: i-20 iPod Dock

An attractive alternative to Apple’s Universal Dock and Component AV Cable has capabilities that Apple’s dock lacks.

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