Apple ARKit Ahead of Curve, Apple Shipping iPhones Made in India, Pearl Automation Shuts Down

Today's Above Avalon email includes the following stories: 

  • Apple ARKit Ahead of Curve
  • Apple Shipping iPhones Made in India
  • Pearl Automation Shuts Down

We kick off today's email by discussing how Apple's ARKit is ahead of the curve when it comes to bringing AR to the masses. The discussion includes a look at how the major debate in the smartphone industry is moving away from being about market share versus profit share. The email then turns to news of Apple shipping iPhones assembled in India. We go over four observations regarding Apple's prospects in India. The email concludes with my thoughts on Pearl Automation shutting down. Pearl was a three-year-old start-up in the auto industry founded by former Apple employees. The company was intriguing due to its goal of recreating the Apple Way outside of Apple. We look at Pearl's strategy to be like Apple and the company's fundamental problems. 

These stories are available for Above Avalon members. To continue reading, click here.


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Apple Has Not Partnered with Hertz, Alphabet Partners with Avis, Apple Acquires SensoMotoric Instruments

Today's Above Avalon email includes the following stories: 

  • Apple Has Not Partnered with Hertz
  • Alphabet Partners with Avis
  • Apple Acquires SensoMotoric Instruments

We kick off today's email by discussing Bloomberg's latest report of Apple working with Hertz to manage a self-driving car fleet. There are conflicting accounts as to the Apple/Hertz relationship. The discussion then turns to Alphabet's Waymo subsidiary partnering with Avis. After quickly discussing the business model behind a car rental company, we look at how the Alphabet/Avis partnership may begin to show the possibility of a new kind of business model emerging in the self-driving car space. We then look at why Apple is likely leasing rather than buying cars for testing autonomous systems in California. The email concludes with my thoughts on Apple acquiring SensoMotoric Instruments, a specialist in eye-tracking technology.

These stories are available for Above Avalon members. To continue reading, click here.


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The Niche Mac, A Tesla Music Streaming Service, Imagination Tech Looking to Sell Itself

Today's Above Avalon email includes the following stories: 

  • The Niche Mac
  • A Tesla Music Streaming Service
  • Imagination Tech Looking to Sell Itself

We kick off today's email by continuing the discussion kicked off in my latest weekly article, "WWDC Clues Hint at Mac's Future." In particular, we focus on the Mac's bright future at Apple and the product's evolving role over time. The email then turns to news of Tesla thinking about launching its own music streaming service. We go over my thoughts about the news and why it isn't too surprising given where the auto industry is headed. The discussion concludes with Imagination Technologies looking to sell itself. We go over whether Apple would be interested in acquiring the firm.  

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Microsoft's iPad Pro Frustration, Virgin Mobile Becomes First iPhone Exclusive Carrier, Thursday Q&A

Today's Above Avalon email includes the following stories: 

  • Microsoft's iPad Pro Frustration
  • Virgin Mobile Becomes First iPhone Exclusive Carrier
  • Thursday Q&A

We kick off today's email with a closer look at why I think Microsoft is becoming increasingly frustrated by the iPad Pro. Microsoft Surface executives continue to publicly comment on how Apple is copying Surface. We go over why this line of thinking makes little sense and why Microsoft keeps saying it. The discussion then turns to news of Virgin Mobile becoming the first carrier to sell just iPhones. We go over my thoughts on the development and what it may mean for Apple. We end the email with the latest installment of member Q&A, and I answer the following questions from Above Avalon members: 

  • Would Apple ever adopt a bundled service model combining Apple Music, streaming TV/movies, iBooks, iCloud Storage, and the iPhone Upgrade Program into a monthly or annual subscription?
  • What do I make of Apple Pencil in light of Scott Forstall's commentary regarding tablet styli?

These stories are available for Above Avalon members. To continue reading, click here.


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The Scott Forstall Interview, An Apple with Scott Forstall, Apple's War on Leakers

Today's Above Avalon email includes the following stories: 

  • The Scott Forstall Interview
  • An Apple with Scott Forstall
  • Apple's War on Leakers

We kick off today's email by discussing Scott Forstall's first public comments about his time at Apple since being fired by Tim Cook in 2012. Forstall, former SVP of iOS Software, had a few things to say about iPhone development during an interview with John Markoff at the Computer History Museum. The discussion then turns to my view on what would happen if Scott Forstall ever returned to Apple in a position of significant power. We look at Apple's culture, Forstall's motivation, and his relationships with other Apple executives. The email concludes with a closer look at The Outline's report detailing Apple's war on product leakers. There were a number of interesting tidbits regarding Apple product leaks discussed in the piece. 

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iPhone Sales Share Bottoming in China, PayPal Downplays Apple Pay Cash Threat, Apple Working on Medical Data Depository

Today's Above Avalon email includes the following stories: 

  • iPhone Sales Share Bottoming in China
  • PayPal Downplays Apple Pay Cash Threat
  • Apple Working on Medical Data Depository

We kick off today's email by discussing the latest Kantar data regarding iPhone sales share. There are signs of iPhone sales share bottoming in China. We go over my thoughts on the numbers. The email then turns to recent comments from PayPal CEO Dan Schulman downplaying Apple Pay Cash as an upcoming headache for Venmo. We go over why Schulman is in a tough position and the primary reason Apple Pay Cash is an issue for Venmo. The discussion concludes by going over CNBC's latest report about Apple researching a new type of medical data depository for iPhone. 

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Apple Poaches Sony TV Executives, Tim Cook's Strong Businessweek Interview, Spotify Discloses User Count

Today's Above Avalon email includes the following stories: 

  • Apple Poaches Sony TV Executives
  • Tim Cook's Strong Businessweek Interview
  • Spotify Discloses User Count

We kick off today's email by discussing my thoughts on Apple's big Hollywood news. The company poached Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg from Sony. The move fits in with our ongoing discussion around Apple and original video content. We go over the major implications related to the hires. The discussion then turns to Tim Cook's latest interview following WWDC. In what was one of his strongest interviews to date, we take a closer look at two of Cook's answers to Businessweek regarding Apple motivation and competition. The email concludes with a closer look at Spotify's new disclosure related to the total number of users (free and paid tiers). We go over two streaming media implications found with the data point. 

These stories are available for Above Avalon members. To continue reading, click here.


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HomePod and Augmented Hearing, The Smart Home Is Wide Open, Google Poaches Apple SoC Architect

Today's Above Avalon email includes the following stories: 

  • HomePod and Augmented Hearing
  • The Smart Home Is Wide Open
  • Google Poaches Apple SoC Architect

We kick off today's email by continuing the discussion kicked off in my latest weekly article, "HomePod." In particular, we go over how HomePod ends up being a great example of where the technology world is headed. The discussion then turns to an extensive survey published by Morning Consult regarding smart voice assistants in the home. We go over why I remain skeptical about surveys and how this particular survey ends up showing that the "smart home" war hasn't even begun. The email concludes with my thoughts on news of Google poaching an Apple SoC architect in order to build chips powering its Pixel smartphones.

These stories are available for Above Avalon members. To continue reading, click here.


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Tim Cook Confirms Autonomous Systems Interest, WSJ Goes After Siri, Siri Usage Numbers 

Today's Above Avalon email includes the following stories: 

  • Tim Cook Confirms Autonomous Systems Interest
  • WSJ Goes After Siri
  • Siri Usage Numbers

We kick off today's email by discussing Tim Cook's latest comments about autonomous systems to Bloomberg. Cook provided the clearest commentary to date regarding Apple's interest in self-driving cars. The email then turns to the WSJ's deep dive into Siri. The publication did not hold anything back in dismantling much of Apple's Siri strategy. We go over my thoughts on the WSJ article. The discussion concludes with a closer look at Siri usage numbers and why usage tells a completely different story about the digital voice assistant compared to how Siri is depicted in the press.

These stories are available for Above Avalon members. To continue reading, click here.


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WWDC's Tech Focus, Apple Addresses Tipping in App Store, OLED iPhone Supply Fears Subsiding

Today's Above Avalon email includes the following stories: 

  • WWDC's Tech Focus
  • Apple Addresses Tipping in App Store
  • OLED iPhone Supply Fears Subsiding

We kick off today's email by discussing how this year's WWDC keynote had a more tech-oriented feel compared to previous years. Does this change imply some kind of priority shift within Apple? We address the question and the broader topic of Apple's unique approach to machine learning, augmented reality, and other core technologies. The discussion then turns to the growing controversy regarding tipping within iOS apps. Apple unveiled its official response to the issue. We take a closer look at the topic and related implications resulting from Apple's stance that tipping is an in-app purchase. The email concludes with a look at the latest reports from the iPhone supply chain signaling decent OLED display supply for the new iPhone later this year. We go over the impact this may have on iPhone unit sales. 

These stories are available for Above Avalon members. To continue reading, click here.


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Apple Executives Talk to Developers, Apple Music Subscriber Count Update

Today's Above Avalon email includes the following stories: 

  • Apple Executives Talk to Developers
  • Apple Music Subscriber Count Update

We kick off today's email with a closer look at Apple SVPs Phil Schiller and Craig Federighi's chat with John Gruber on his "The Talk Show" podcast at WWDC. We discuss my observations about the interview. The discussion then turns to the latest Apple Music subscriber count total. We take a deep dive into the number to see how Apple Music is performing. We also go over a few takeaways regarding the broader music streaming space.

These stories are available for Above Avalon members. To continue reading, click here.


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Tim Cook Talks HomePod, The iPad as a Crossover Vehicle, Thursday Q&A

Today's Above Avalon email includes the following stories: 

  • Tim Cook Talks HomePod
  • The iPad as a Crossover Vehicle
  • Thursday Q&A

We kick off today's email with a closer look at Tim Cook's commentary regarding HomePod. He sat down for an interview with Bloomberg following the WWDC keynote. The discussion then turns to Apple SVPs Phil Schiller and Craig Federighi talking with BuzzFeed about the new iPad Pros. We go over their comments, as well as revisiting the car analogy used by Steve Jobs to describe the post-PC era. We look at why Apple thinks the iPad is more like a crossover vehicle. We end the email with the latest installment of member Q&A, and I answer the following questions from Above Avalon members: 

  • What are some examples of AR features that will be part of the iPhone's evolution?
  • If I were an Apple executive, what would I be most concerned about?
  • Will Apple allow custom Apple Watch faces?

These stories are available for Above Avalon members. To continue reading, click here.


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WWDC 2017 Review: Full Notes

Today's Above Avalon email is focused on reviewing Apple's WWDC 2017 keynote. The email covers my full notes from Apple's presentation. This is the second half of my keynote review. The first half (major themes from the keynote) is available here.

This email covers 36 different topics pertaining to Apple's WWDC 2017 keynote. 

My full WWDC review is available for Above Avalon members. To continue reading, click here.


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WWDC 2017 Review: Major Themes

Today's Above Avalon email is focused on reviewing Apple's WWDC 2017 keynote. The email covers five major themes from Apple's presentation: 

  • Attending the Keynote
  • A New Kind of Apple Watch
  • A Mac Event
  • Apple's AR Push Has Begun
  • iPad's Big Day
  • HomePod Intrigue

The second half of my earnings review (available here) includes my full notes from attending the WWDC keynote. 

My full WWDC review is available for Above Avalon members. To continue reading, click here.


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Apple WWDC 2017 Preview (Growing Anticipation, My Expectations, Wildcards)

Today's Above Avalon email includes the following stories: 

Apple WWDC 2017 Preview

  • Growing Anticipation
  • My Expectations
  • Wildcards

Today's email will be dedicated to previewing Apple's upcoming developers' conference. We first go over why anticipation is much higher for this year's WWDC compared to previous years. We then go through all of my expectations regarding new hardware and software announcements. The email concludes with a few possible wildcard announcements for Monday's WWDC keynote.

(I will be attending the WWDC keynote next week. The daily member emails from next Tuesday and Wednesday will be dedicated to reviewing the keynote.)

These stories are available for Above Avalon members. To continue reading, click here.


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