Apple

Apple iPhone 4S Siri demo

Today Apple released the new iPhone 4S which looks similar to the iPhone 4 on the outside but has a new processor, antennae, and more. It will be running the new iOS 5 which will also run on iPhone 4s and 3GS models.

I didn’t see or track today’s big announcement from Tim Cook at Apple but it seems to me that the new iPhone 4S’s power will be essential for running the Siri Assistant. I can’t wait to use Siri, it looks fantastic.

Here’s Apple’s page for Siri.

Note that Siri isn’t just about control, it also does dictation. This is extremely meaningful to the disabilities community as well as those of us who find the iPhone’s on screen keyboard tough. I can’t wait for Siri to move onto the iPad and Mac OSX.

More iPads Take to the Sky With Qantas In-Flight Trial

More iPads Take to the Sky With Qantas In-Flight Trial

A new Qantas trial pilot program will see one of the airline’s Boeing 767-300 jets outfitted with one iPad 2 for each passenger, according to the Australian Business Traveller. Each of the aircraft’s 254 seats will have its own iPad 2, and there will also be several spares kept on hand just in case. All seats pockets will carry an iPad 2, but business-class travelers will also get a flexible stand to use with their fold-out meal tray.

The pilot program is about testing Qantas’ in-flight Wi-Fi streaming capabilities, Qantas Executive Manager for Customer Experience Alison Webster told the ABT. The ultimate goal is to be able to provide passengers with access to the Q Streaming service through their own devices, be they Apple’s iPads and iPhones or Android tablets and handsets.

I love using my iPad on United PS flights cross country but I must say, gogo inflight internet isn’t the greatest (yet). I buy and use it to keep up with email and RSS and comments at this site but for anything serious like a video download it’s useless. I don’t know where the bottleneck is but no doubt this kind of deal is the beginning of working it out.

Made in the USA

Core77 has a nice post on a new Tumbler blog: Expletive-Titled Homage to American Made Goods. The new blog is FUCK YEAH MADE IN USA and it’s a brilliant idea.

More of us Americans need to attempt to do our small part by supporting and buying from companies that make products in the USA or who have decent working conditions for their workers. Good ran a piece on Best Practices: King Arthur Flour, Where Workers Are Owners and while King Arthur is a bit more expensive than Stop and Shop brand, we’ll be buying it from now on to support an American company that’s doing good by its workers.

In the early days of the Macintosh (1984), Steve Jobs built a plant in Fremont, California (east bay) that assembled Macintosh computers by robot. He did the same thing with NeXT computers. No doubt one of the reasons Apple products can be sold as cheaply as they are is the low cost of foreign production and Tim Cook’s sourcing genius, but how many of us iPhone users would pay a bit more for an iPhone that was made (maybe by robot, maybe by American workers) in the USA. I know I would.

Now that Apple is over the hump so to speak and doing very well, maybe its time to do an experiment to see how many Americans would be willing to support “made in the USA” vs low price.

Apple after Jobs

Who Needs Him?

Farhad Manjoo has written an excellent piece on Apple after Steve Jobs. Well worth reading.

But Jobs’ achievement wasn’t just to transform Apple from a failing enterprise into a staggeringly successful one. More important was how he turned it around—by remaking it from top to bottom, installing a series of brilliant managers, unbeatable processes, and a few guiding business principles that are now permanently baked into its corporate culture.

Under Jobs and Tim Cook—the former chief operating officer, now the CEO—it has mastered the global production process in a way that no other company can match. Apple makes more devices, at lower cost, with fewer defects than any other firm in the world. And it does this year after year, on a schedule so strict we follow it with the seasons (iPhones in the summer, iPods in the fall, iPads on the spring). As a result, Apple can now beat most of its competitors on price and profit.

Apple’s iPad Replacing Cash Registers at Major Retailers

Apple’s iPad Replacing Cash Registers at Major Retailers

At larger stores cash registers are connected to an inventory server either locally or in the cloud. At some point someone’s going to write an app that allows an iPad to hook into that system.

I’m reminded of what Apple does in their own stores: employees carry around small devices that allow the entire transaction (including credit card swipe and signature) to take place anywhere in the store wirelessly.

Then we have “near field communication” and the ability to pay for things with a smartphone by simply having an account and being near a terminal and saying “ok.”

This is just the beginning of a new way of transacting business, how it looks ten years from now will be quite different.