Welcome to the August issue of ATPM. This month we bring you yet another rendition of your favorite monthly Macintosh Internet magazine. There’s so much happening in the world of Macintosh computing that it’s a struggle to fit all of the important stuff into one month’s issue! Let’s get started and…
Let’s Get Real
This may be Apple’s attitude at press time. The folks at Real Networks have come up with a hack that allows music purchased through Real’s Harmony service to be played on Apple’s iPod digital music player.
Apple stated that it was “stunned” Real would “adopt the ethics and tactics of a hacker.” This may be just another step in Real’s efforts to get Apple to license FairPlay, the DRM solution used on the iTunes Music Store, so DRM-protected music purchased on other music services can be played on Apple’s popular digital music player. Apple is considering legal options concerning Real’s move, but one can expect an “upgrade” to the iPod software that will render Real’s efforts useless.
Will We See You in September?
In early July (the day after the fiscal quarter ended) Apple issued a rather odd press release indicating a new iMac had been scheduled for July release but that things didn’t go as planned. Apologizing for any inconvenience the delay of the new iMac may cause, the company announced that the new iMac will debut in September.
Not to say we won’t believe it until we see it, but it’s not a secret IBM has a serious chip production issue. Big Blue has fallen woefully behind in its G5 chip shipments to Apple. In the quarterly conference call with Wall Street analysts, Apple executives did confirm the new iMac would be built around the IBM G5 chip and that the lack of chips was the principal reason for the new iMac’s delay.
Meanwhile, Intel has announced a delay in the ship date for high performance Pentium 4 chips. The major chipmakers are struggling with the development and production of next generation PC chips.
And in This Quarter
Apple finished the June period with about $5 billion in cash. The company’s heavy weight cash pile has been growing steadily each quarter. The company’s world champion digital music player added significantly to the fiscal quarter’s success.
For the three-month period that ended in June, Apple reported a tripling of net income to $61 million or $.16 per share on revenue of just over $2 billion. This was Apple’s highest-third fiscal quarter revenue in eight years. In other words, it was the highest third fiscal quarter revenue since Steve Jobs returned to Apple.
Long-time Apple watchers may remember that Steve Jobs and his management team reduced Apple’s product line in an effort to eliminate money-losing products. The effort returned Apple to profitability in 1997, but also significantly cut the company’s revenue base as Steve & Co. set about restructuring the organization.
Despite production constraints and a lack of available storage drives, Apple sold 860,000 iPod digital music players in the quarter compared to Mac CPU shipments of 876,000 units.
Ring Me That Tune
In late July, Apple announced a deal with Motorola to make a scaled down version of iTunes available to users of Moto’s cellular phones. Cell phones with iTunes functionality will debut in the first half of calendar year 2005. Although Apple has moved its chip purchases from long-time partner Motorola to IBM, the two companies have found a way to extend their more than twenty-year relationship to the music distribution and cell phone markets.
4G iPod, 3D Sales
In July, Apple released its fourth generation iPod, reducing prices on the product while subtly updating its features. The ubiquitous digital music player continues its commanding position in the market while increasing the exposure of Apple products to consumers around the world.
The iPod mini has made its European debut, and the “Hpod” (the Hewlett Packard branded version of the iPod) is now scheduled for September release. The popularity of the iPod has some industry watchers looking for a “Halo Effect,” indicating an increase in Macintosh sales as a result of consumer interest in the iPod. We will be following this issue in the months ahead.
The Candy Apple: Taking a Break
Ellyn Ritterskamp considers whether being offline is a good thing.
Bloggable: Much Ado About Dashboard
Dashboard is the topic of Wes Meltzer’s soapbox for this month, complete with plenty of blog links covering all facets of the yet-to-be-released utility. Elsewhere in the Mac blogosphere: the Adium AIM client, and another reason Mac OS X is a better OS to use.
Outliners: Mindmapping Outliners
This month, Ted Goranson focuses on outliners that have a “mindmapping” function.
How To: Making a Silent Movie with iMovie
Sylvester Roque managed to coax FrankenMac through the work needed for one last article before it finally bit the bullet. This month’s topic—using iMovie to create the look of an old silent movie.
More day-in-the-life glimpses of Terry Cortland, Todd, and Angie as a new continuing story arc appears to be brewing.
The iTrolls encounter Supersteve, Wanted iPods, Apple marketing, and a trip to McDell’s.
Desktop Pictures: Reader Submissions
A potpourri of submissions from several readers makes up this month’s desktop picture collection.
Review: Just a Geek (book)
Ellyn Ritterskamp reads Wil Wheaton’s book about returning to a childhood talent and leaving behind childhood doubts about himself.
Review: Excel Hacks (book)
Gregory Tetrault reads a collection of 100 tips for experienced Excel users.
Review: Eclipse TD 307
Kirk McElhearn checks out what he says are the Rolls Royce of mini speakers.
Review: Belkin Media Reader for iPod w/ Dock Connector
Former staffer Adam Zaner shares his experience of ultimately moving more than 2,000 vacation photos from his digital camera to his iPod.