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Macworld 2011 Shines Despite Apple’s Absence

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer, Computer Accessories, Device, iPad, iPad | Posted on 02-02-2011

Tags: , , , , , , ,


Macworld 2011At this year’s Mac Expo there was a lot to enjoy including iPhone cases encrusted with crystals and iPad apps for star-gazing. However, everything seemed to be muted considering the fact that the patriarch of all of these products was absent at the annual gathering of Apple enthusiasts.

The crowd was down to 25,000 from the 40,000 to 50,000 people that are usually there when Apple itself is heavily involved and the company’s CEO Steve Jobs stars in presentations that include unveiling new devices like the iPhone. Unfortunately, Apple pulled out of the show in 2010 but engineers from the company still make pilgrimages to Macworld in order to see what entrepreneurs and fans are making of their products.

According to Anna-Marie Pardini, who is in charge of maintaining the relationship between HP and Apple, “The energy is still really high. The nature of the show has definitely changed. Eleven years ago there were no iTunes, no iPhone and, until recently, there was no iPad.”  Pardini went on to say, “You’ve seen Apple expanding and changing markets and changing the way we do things. It is like never stepping into the same river twice.”

The expo floor had anything and everything from data storage devices and computer security services to applications for playing or working on Apple devices. SouthernStars.com showed off something known as Sky Safari software which essentially turns your iPad into a “window into the night sky.” A newly launched Sky Wire cable allows people to use their iPhone to command telescopes to automatically find celestial objects.

There were a whole slew of iPhone cases which included one coated in Swarvoski crystals glued on by hand in tiger, parrot, skull, frog and other patterns with prices ranging from $300 to $350. A rhinestone covered Luxmo iPhone case was also on display, priced at $75. According to David Fung of Luxmo, “Apple people enjoy making a statement.”

US+U claimed to have the most functional iPad case that included a cuff on the back as a handle allowing you to hold your iPad single-handedly in a fashion similar to a paint palette. A Waterproof Dry Case was created to vacuum seal smartphones in plastic while at the same time allowing users to plug in headsets and listen to music.

“You could be in a sandstorm or out in the water and not have to worry about it,” Jordan Messick of Dry Corp told AFP. “If nothing else survives, at least your iPhone is going to.”

A Boom application which pumped up sound coming from Macintosh or iPad speakers was among ten products awarded “Best of Macworld” honors. Another winner was Ten One Design, a startup that invented Fling joysticks which stick onto iPad faces in order to provide video game console controls.

A lot of great products were on display at Macworld but the overall feel of the show was seriously dampened with the absence of Apple and Steve Jobs. With Jobs’  health issues and no new products from Apple it’s unclear when Apple may return.

Source: Canada.com

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First Retail Store from Apple Considered Pilgrimage for Fans

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer, Computer Accessories, Device, iPad, iPad | Posted on 10-12-2010


Apple's First Retail StoreWhen Apple opened their very first retail store in Glendale, California, nobody believed that it would attain the cult status that it has. Passionate fans of Apple have consider it a pilgrimage to travel to the store solely for the reason that it is Apple Store #1.

The Apple Store located in the Glendale Galleria was actually opened at the exact same time as another Apple Store in Virginia though the California store is listed in the Apple books as the first store. What is considered an unassuming and uncool location still attracts large attention from Mac fans.

According to author Sarah McBride, “Some visitors return home and brag online about purchasing gear at the Glendale branch, part of a vigorous game of one-upsmanship about the number and quality of the Apple Stores they have visited.”

McBride went on to say that “To find the Glendale store, customers navigate past a crowded food court, ascend your average, everyday escalator and look for the familiar silver Apple hidden among stores like a discount men’s suit shop and a teen-fashion retailer.”

The contrast between Apple’s first Glendale store and their new megastore in Shanghai is intense with the Shanghai store containing a massive cylindrical glass entrance which houses stairs that take customers  below ground into the store. Another contrast is the Apple store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan which is Apple’s most profitable store.

Employees of Apple’s retail stores often ask for transfers to the store in Glendale due to the incredible popularity and distinction of the store. Customers of the Glendale store also remark about how the employees there seem more knowledgeable about Apple and its products.

The first Apple Retail Stores opened on May 19, 2001 in McLean, Virginia at the Tyson’s Corner Mall and in Glendale, California at the Glendale Galleria. The retail stores for Apple have become an important part of the growth of the Mac as Apple reports about every quarter that nearly half of the Macs sold in retail stores are to customers who have never owned one before.

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Apple Sues Sanho Over MagSafe Power Cords

Posted by jlong | Posted in Computer, Computer Accessories, iPad | Posted on 28-09-2010


To say that Apple is protective of their products would be an understatement.  Throughout the years Apple has been very secretive with their products and very reluctant to let third party accessory makers in on the action. Apple has no problem taking companies who they feel have infringed on their copyrights to court, and their latest victim is Sanho Corporations, makers of the incredibly popular HyperMac batteries. MacBook users have always been fans of the HyperMac batteries because of their ability to extend battery life anywhere from dozens to hundreds of hours. Is this convenience about to end?

While Apple is not happy with Sanho overall, their biggest problem is the use by Sanho of Apple’s trademark MagSafe power connector. The MagSafe power connector has been around since the introduction of the MacBook back in 2006 and has never been licensed out to third party accessory makers in all of that time. The MagSafe power connector is essentially like any other power cord except that it connects to the laptop through a magnet. By using magnets instead of fasteners, Apple guarantees that if the MagSafe cord is tugged on or tripped over it will release without harming the computer. Since it was clearly against the law to produce their own MagSafe connectors, Sanho took another approach and instead repurposed pre-existing MagSafe connectors.  When Sanho says repurpose, what they really mean is that they buy used MagSafe power cords and splice the connector onto their HyperMac batteries. For quite awhile this ingenious tactic kept Sanho flying well under Apple’s radar, but when Apple discovered what Sanho was really doing, they were quite upset.

Apple is also suing Sanho over their use of the 30-pin dock connector which Apple uses on a wide range of their products, including the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and various other iPods. While the 30-pin connector is licensed out to some third party accessory makers, Sanho is not one of them.

It is clear that Apple is probably in the right for this case, at least in a legal sense, but they may have a difficult time nailing Sanho for the use of their MagSafe connector. Since Sanho purchases used MagSafe power cords for their products, the power cords may be protected under the doctrine of first sale, meaning that since the product in question is used that Apple cannot protest it being sold. Either way the court case goes, it would be unfortunate to lose HyperMac batteries overall. They are incredibly useful devices that can power a MacBook for a whole day or charge an iPhone over long trips. It may be in Apple’s best interest to leave well enough alone in this case, but with a court track record like Apple has it is unlikely the monster of a company will back down.

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