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Windswept
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2008-03-05, 17:05

When I saw in the financial news a few days ago that Apple was considered the no. 1 most admired company, I decided that I wanted to start a thread for "Apple in the news" - a thread in which to take note of news articles about Apple that wouldn't necessarily merit a whole thread on their own.

I think it's interesting to read news about Apple that 'everyone' is reading, not just stuff that Apple fans follow with such care.

There were three articles that I wanted to include before they disappeared into the archives of their various news and financial sites.

First is this:

Quote:
Air outsells MacBook, iMac, Pro; sold out in Boston, NY, SF, says report

A month after it went on sale, demand for the MacBook Air is surprisingly strong, according to Ars Technica, which surveyed stores across the U.S. over the weekend and found supplies of the $1,799 notebook computer ($3,098 for the solid-state drive version) thin or nonexistent.

“No Air for you,” is the motto in and around Boston, writes Ars‘ Ken Fisher. “An employee at the Burlington store told me that demand has been extremely high, admitting that some customers even ponied up for the far more expensive MacBook Air SSD because they stayed in stock longer.”

Despite its limitations (shortage of ports, nonremovable battery, etc.) the machine was also out of stock in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, according to Ars readers. In Indianapolis there are “more than enough” Airs to meet demand, writes Fisher, but in London’s Regent Street store they are “selling out the moment they come in.”

Of course, empty shelves can be caused either by high demand or short supplies, and without any sales figures from Apple (AAPL) it’s hard to tell which it is. One sign in favor of strong demand, however, is that the Apple store’s “Top Sellers” list puts the MacBook Air at No. 1, ahead of the MacBook, iMac, Leopard, MacBook Pro and AppleCare. That’s especially impressive given that the MacBook and MacBook Pro lines got refreshed just last week.

According to Fisher, the machine sells itself once people put their hands it.


A recurring theme in our discussions with the folks at the Apple Store (who just love to gab, it must be a job requirement) is that the MacBook Air is a switcher device. The perception that this puppy is the leanest, meanest portable there is, has road warriors starry-eyed. When we feigned amazement at the product being out of stock in multiple locations, we were told time and time again that demand for the Air is increasing as people see it in action, in person. Of course, these are paid Apple employees telling us this, and they have a sales job to do. At the same time, we’ve heard plenty of similar anecdotes in the past week.
I apologize that this is news from a few days ago, and I can't help thinking that the MBA is often sold out because the stores don't receive many to start with; but still, I enjoy reading that it's doing well (partly because of the naysayers from our recent MBA thread).

http://apple20.blogs.fortune.cnn.com...f-says-report/

Second is this article on What Makes Apple Golden:
(Brief excerpt)
Quote:
The decade coincides exactly with the return of Jobs as Apple's maestro, bringing his particular mix of genius and obsession, as well as a tendency to play by his own rules. His utter dedication to discovery and excellence has created a culture that has made Apple a symbol of innovation. You won't find that word on a placard or a piece of propaganda at One Infinite Loop, Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. There innovation is a way of life. [snip]

Apple requires a special kind of workforce. The place is divided by product but also by function, along what COO Tim Cook calls "very faint lines." Collaboration is key. So is a degree of perfectionism. Apple hires people who are never satisfied. A designer has to be a borderline fanatic to care about the curve of a screw on the underside of a MacBook Air or the apparent weightlessness of the tiny door that hides its connectors.

The place is loaded with engineers, but it's not just the skills that are important, it's the ability to emote. ("Emotive" is a big word here.) The passion is what provides the push to overcome design and engineering obstacles, to bring projects in on time -- and a peer pressure so great it sometimes causes a team to eject a weak link or revolt against an underperforming boss. "Apple," says Cook, "is not for the faint of heart."
I love reading about the perfectionism and almost fanatical attention to detail. But can you imagine what it must be like to work in such an environment? I hope that Apple cares about, and does something to promote, the mental health and well-being of its engineers and designers, because I’d hate to think that these wonderfully creative people are being ground into dust in order to produce the incredible products that we all love so much.

http://money.cnn.com/2008/02/29/news...tune/index.htm

And third is that, as I mentioned, Apple is no. 1 of the ten most admired companies. I wonder what all those people who always make snarky comments about Apple think of that?
Quote:
Fortune’s annual America’s Most Admired Companies list is out Monday and Apple is No. 1 — up from No. 7 last year.

How was this determined? To quote the intro.:

To create the top 20, Fortune and its survey partners at Hay Group asked the experts — in this case, more than 3,700 people from dozens of industries — to select the 10 companies they admire most. This year’s winners all have strong records of innovation, leadership, and financial strength — and their employees know it.
http://apple20.blogs.fortune.cnn.com...red-companies/

As I mentioned, this is meant to be a long-running thread. So, anytime you see an interesting article about Apple, but you don't think it'd merit a thread of its own, here would be a good place to post it.

Last edited by Windswept : 2008-03-05 at 17:17.
  quote
pscates2.0
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2008-03-05, 17:31

Cool idea. I often see stories about Apple in unexpected places (not the usual Mac news/rumor/geek sites), like the one I posted earlier today about Jobs and how he kept his cancer secret for nine months.

If you'd had this thread up and running, I would've definitely put it here.



I'll post the link here anyway, in the interest of being thorough.

http://money.cnn.com/2008/03/02/news...ex.htm?cnn=yes

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Windswept
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2008-03-05, 18:05

Quote:
Originally Posted by pscates2.0 View Post
Cool idea.
Thanks.
Quote:
I often see stories about Apple in unexpected places (not the usual Mac news/rumor/geek sites), like the one I posted earlier today about Jobs and how he kept his cancer secret for nine months.

If you'd had this thread up and running, I would've definitely put it here.



I'll post the link here anyway, in the interest of being thorough.

http://money.cnn.com/2008/03/02/news...ex.htm?cnn=yes

And, thanks again.
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thegeriatric
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2008-03-05, 18:17

Fantastic idea. I look forward to visiting this thread on a regular basis. Nice one Windswept.
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julesstoop
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2008-03-05, 18:22

Shouldn't this be a sticky?
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Windswept
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2008-03-05, 18:30

Quote:
Originally Posted by thegeriatric View Post
Fantastic idea. I look forward to visiting this thread on a regular basis. Nice one Windswept.
Haha. You're just trying to get into my front shirt pocket, aren't you, geri? Well, it *is* reserved for my favorite pygmy marmoset, so I guess that's *you* after all, isn't it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by julesstoop View Post
Shouldn't this be a sticky?
Naw, just a free-floating thread should be be fine, I think.
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thegeriatric
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2008-03-05, 18:52

Quote:
Originally Posted by Windswept View Post
Haha. You're just trying to get into my front shirt pocket, aren't you, geri? Well, it *is* reserved for my favorite pygmy marmoset, so I guess that's *you* after all, isn't it?
In answer to your questions......................Yes and Yes.
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Windswept
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2008-03-06, 16:08

Quote:
Originally Posted by thegeriatric View Post
In answer to your questions......................Yes and Yes.
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Windswept
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2008-03-06, 16:39

Quote:
Apple Opens IPhone To Businesses, Developers

March 06, 2008: 03:45 PM EST

CUPERTINO, Calif. -(Dow Jones)- Apple Inc. (AAPL) on Thursday took its first steps to selling business and consumer-focused software for its iPhone, heightening competition with cellphone powers Research In Motion Ltd. (RIMM) and Nokia Corp. (NOK).

At an event at its headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., Apple unveiled iPhone features meant for businesses and released a set of instructions for developers to create iPhone software programs. The moves are seen helping the consumer electronics giant meet its goal of selling 10 million iPhones by 2009.

Businesses have shied away from the iPhone because it doesn't work well with their email systems. Thursday, Apple said iPhones will work with Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Exchange software, widely used by businesses to handle and secure email.

"This is exactly what businesses have been waiting for," said Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide product marketing. The company mentioned that employees at Nike Inc. (NKE) and Genentech Inc. (DNA) are using the iPhone.

The introduction of enterprise capabilities is attractive to carriers such as AT&T Inc. (T) because business customers often pay for more lucrative data and phone plans, and commit to longer contracts. The phones are also sold to large groups of employees, rather than individuals.

"By more tightly integrating software into the iPhone, and into corporations, Apple may get another full percent of all phone's sold. That's another 100 million phones, that's huge upside for Apple," Burton Group analyst Paul Debeasi said.

Apple also touted virtual private network capabilities, which allows a device to remotely access a company's internal network, as well as the ability to wipe data from lost or stolen phones.


Software Developers Kit

Apple also released a set of instructions to create iPhone software programs and introduced a way to sell the downloadable software through its iTunes online store, with Apple taking a cut of the profits.

To help jump-start the market, venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers said it would launch a $100 million fund, called iFund, to invest in companies developing applications and services for the iPhone and iPod Touch.


Analysts estimate that an iPhone software market offering add-ons like games or calendars could become a $1 billion a year business, adding a penny a share of potential profit to Apple.

The company said it intends to release the same set of developer tools that its own engineers use, beginning with a beta test today. Before Thursday, some developers had speculated that Apple would only release a limited set of tools to diminish the risk of viruses and piracy.

With the release of the kit, Apple said, developers would be able to make programs for iPhone's address book and location features, among other items.
Developers, though, won't be able to write programs that allow the phone to work on any carrier's network. Another limitation is that applications can only run over wi-fi networks.

The social network MySpace and Slingbox Media are among those said to already be developing iPhone add-ons.

At the event, Apple said Time Warner Inc.'s (TWX) AOL said it has made an instant messenger application for the iPhone, called "AIM For iPhone."

Apple thinks the potential library of thousands of downloadable iPhone programs could make the iPhone a more potent challenger to the Blackberry...
Hmm. Maybe I'll buy more Apple stock after all.


http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/...5_FORTUNE5.htm

Last edited by Windswept : 2008-03-06 at 17:31.
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MCQ
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2008-03-06, 19:17

Quote:
Originally Posted by Windswept View Post
Hmm. Maybe I'll buy more Apple stock after all.


http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/...5_FORTUNE5.htm
You've been teasing about that for months, and it's off 40% from the highs. Go buy some already.

I did like this quote off one of the Fortune blogs.
http://bigtech.blogs.fortune.cnn.com...ce=yahoo_quote

Quote:

But this time around, we could be seeing signs of a kinder, gentler Apple. In a telling moment last year, Steve Jobs said one thing he envied about Bill Gates is his ability to work with business partners. “I think if Apple could have had a little more of that in its DNA, it would have served it extremely well,” Jobs said. In the early days, Jobs said, Apple’s go-it-alone mindset was probably a mistake.

Based on the iPhone news, Jobs is clearly determined not to make the same mistake again
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Chinney
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2008-03-06, 23:24

Apple's iPhone now seen as real threat to BlackBerry

Quote:

Quote:
Other analysts sided with Balsillie's sentiment from last year, and said RIM won't be greatly affected by Apple's move into the business market because there is still lots of room for both to grow.

Only about 15 per cent of the cellphones in the United States are smartphones — or phones with enhanced non-voice features — while Canada has only about 12 per cent, according to figures from consumer electronics tracking firm Solutions Research Group.

"Both numbers are going to double or triple in the next five to seven years, so there's room for multiple players," said president Kaan Yigit. "It's fair to say that both Apple and RIM will be the serious contenders.

"Even still, I wouldn't take it lightly because nothing Apple does should be taken lightly, but at the same time there's no reason for panic."
  quote
Windswept
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2008-03-07, 14:35

Quote:
Originally Posted by MCQ View Post
You've been teasing about that for months, and it's off 40% from the highs. Go buy some already.
Oh, but guess what?

I *DID* buy... at...ugh... I feel sick...

Spoiler (click to toggle):
$170... The price had hit $198 or so, and then backed down (momentarily, I thought); so I jumped in and bought *a bunch* at $170. Within two weeks, irrc, the price began plummeting... down to, like, $119. Waaah... So, I've been depressed about that.

BUT... now that the price is *really* down, and staying there, I've been thinking about buying again, to sort of *off-set* my debacle purchase at $170.

Thing is, 'now' I would have to take money out of my home equity line of credit, which has an interest rate of 5.375%. Would *you* do that... to buy more shares of Apple... under these market conditions? Just checking.

(I'll still have cash on hand, but that's money I want to *keep* as 'cash on hand'.)
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chucker
 
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2008-03-07, 14:41

Quote:
Originally Posted by Windswept View Post
Thing is, 'now' I would have to take money out of my home equity line of credit, which has an interest rate of 5.375%. Would *you* do that... to buy more shares of Apple... under these market conditions? Just checking.
No, no, no and no.

Also: no.

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Windswept
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2008-03-07, 14:44

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker View Post
No, no, no and no.

Also: no.



I *knew* someone would say that.



(But did you see my added comment that I'd still have "cash on hand"? )
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MCQ
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2008-03-07, 15:51

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker View Post
No, no, no and no.

Also: no.

What he said.
  quote
apple007
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2008-03-07, 19:31

Add me to the "no" column.

Except in a real bull market, borrowing money to invest is generally a very, very bad idea, and collaterallizing said loans with one's home is even worse.
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cosus
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2008-03-07, 21:38

Stop-loss. The only golden rule I know.
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Windswept
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2008-03-25, 19:20

I was watching The Charlie Rose Show yesterday (on PBS), and he had a black eye, and a bandage on his forehead. I assumed he had been in a car wreck or something.

Then, today, I see 'this' in the financial news:

...Charlie Rose got his black eye because of his MacBook Air.

http://www.switched.com/2008/03/19/c...air-literally/


Oh, and the next clip is for pscates. It's Meredith *licking* a MacBook Air on the Today Show.

It's back from when the MBA was first released, but I didn't see the clip till now, so here it is, for those like me who didn't see it at the time.

http://www.switched.com/2008/01/29/t...ok-air-on-air/
  quote
veryamusing
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2008-03-25, 19:29

Quote:
Originally Posted by Windswept View Post
I was watching The Charlie Rose Show yesterday (on PBS), and he had a black eye, and a bandage on his forehead. I assumed he had been in a car wreck or something.

Then, today, I see 'this' in the financial news:

...Charlie Rose got his black eye because of his MacBook Air.

http://www.switched.com/2008/03/19/c...air-literally/
See this thread too.
  quote
Bryson
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2008-03-25, 19:59

Quote:
Originally Posted by Windswept View Post
Oh, and the next clip is for pscates. It's Meredith *licking* a MacBook Air on the Today Show.

It's back from when the MBA was first released, but I didn't see the clip till now, so here it is, for those like me who didn't see it at the time.

http://www.switched.com/2008/01/29/t...ok-air-on-air/
Pipped to the post both times!

Zing!
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Chinney
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2008-04-01, 09:11

Interesting little story about Apple's perception as a brand.

http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2...nd-survey.html

I find little things like this interesting, although a bit off-putting. I would not say that Apple's brand perception is unmerited. The company has worked hard to get where it is, paying attention to design and functionlity. At the same time, the power of brand is scary, as it can reduce individual choice to a name and symbol game.

When there's an eel in the lake that's as long as a snake that's a moray.
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Windswept
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2008-04-01, 18:56

Interesting, Chinney. I took note of these lines:

Quote:
The online magazine brandchannel.com, which studies trends on brand awareness, collected replies from nearly 2,000 professionals and students from 107 countries.

Asked to name which brand "inspires" them the most, about 22 per cent identified Apple. Following the tech giant, in order of importance, were Nike, Coca-Cola, Google and Starbucks.
I double-checked, and they chose Apple 'out of the blue', since the survey did *not* give them a list of choices from which to select. Cool, huh?

And the fact that these respondents were all involved in marketing is also noteworthy, because such individuals would likely be more brand-aware than the odd group of people just off the street. Yay!
  quote
Windswept
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2008-12-03, 15:31

*Bump*

Maybe the following article is already being discussed *elsewhere*, but since I never go there anymore, I wouldn't know about that.

I thought this article was remarkably predictive of vast future possibilities wrt our favorite company, and if I had read it a few weeks ago, when AAPL hit 80, I probably would have bought more stock - despite my general fears about the market, recession, etc.

(A note for those who have never seen this thread: it was started back in the spring and has lain dormant for lo' these many months. )

Quote:
Ohio med school prescribes iPods for students

Scalpel, forceps, iPod: Ohio State med school students to use portable media players

December 03, 2008: 09:05 AM EST

NEW YORK (Associated Press) - The iPod is going to medical school.

Officials said Tuesday that an Apple Inc. portable media player will become standard equipment for Ohio State University med students.

They'll use the devices to view videos of medical treatments and review images of the human body and organs. Students with the handheld gadgets also will be able to show patients photographs to help identify medications they're already taking before any new drugs are given.

Third-year medical student Justin Harper is credited with recognizing the potential in the iPod "touch" model, equivalent to an Apple iPhone without the telephone features.

The university says within two years every Ohio State medical student will be issued an iPod touch loaded with special medical software.
I bet more schools, in many academic and professional fields, will follow suit.

My stock portfolio says: "Yaaay!!!"

http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/...d6c868850a.htm

Last edited by Windswept : 2008-12-10 at 22:45.
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curiousuburb
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2008-12-10, 21:39

Fortune: Trouble in the 99¢ App Store

Cogent article with charts and graphs of Apps by price and genre, and excerpts and links from an Open Letter to Steve Jobs by the head of IconFactory, who details the cost of developing Apps and the challenges of cost recovery given the current App Store structure.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fortune

...
Which leads us to that “Dear Steve” letter. It was written by Craig Hockenberry, a veteran programmer who jumped into iPhone development on Day 1. His company, Iconfactory, has produced several products and two iPhone hits: Frenzic and Twitterrific.
“It hasn’t been easy,” he writes, “but we’ve learned what it takes to make a kick ass product for the iPhone.

“The problem now is funding those products.”
The sticking point, as Hockenberry sees it, is that spike by Edible Apple’s graph: the proliferation of 99-cent applications — what he dubs “ringtone apps” — as developers reduce their prices to the lowest possible level in order to get favorable placement in iTunes.
“We have a lot of great ideas for iPhone applications,” Hockenberry writes. “Unfortunately, we’re not working on the cooler (and more complex) ideas. Instead, we’re working on 99¢ titles that have a limited lifespan and broad appeal. Market conditions make ringtone apps most appealing.”
What’s causing this “rush to the 99¢ price point,” according to Hockenberry, is the way the App Store displays its products, which results in most iPhone owners buying them sight unseen:
“I see customers complaining about how ‘expensive’ a $4.99 app is and that it should cost less. (Do they do the same thing when they walk into Starbucks?) The only justification I can find for these attitudes is that you only have a screenshot to evaluate the quality of a product. A buck is easy to waste on an app that looks great in iTunes but works poorly once you install it.

“Our products are a joy to use: as you well know, customers are willing to pay a premium for a quality products. This quality comes at a cost—which we’re willing to incur. The issue is then getting people to see that our $2.99 product really is worth three times the price of a 99¢ piece of crapware.”
To illustrate his dilemma, Hockenberry spells out — in revealing detail — what it costs him to develop an app:
“Before commencing any new iPhone development, we look at the numbers and evaluate the risk of recouping our investment on a new project. Both developers and designers cost somewhere between $150-200 per hour. For a three man month project, let’s say that’s about $80K in development costs. To break even, we have to sell over 115K units. Not impossible with a good concept and few of weeks of prominent placement in iTunes.

“But what happens when we start talking about bigger projects: something that takes 6 or even 9 man months? That’s either $150K or $225K in development costs with a break even at 215K or 322K units. Unless you have a white hot title, selling 10-15K units a day for a few weeks isn’t going to happen. There’s too much risk.

“Raising your price to help cover these costs makes it hard to get to the top of the charts. (You’re competing against a lot of other titles in the lower price tier.) You also have to come to terms with the fact that you’re only going to be featured for a short time, so you have to make the bulk of your revenue during this period.

“This is why we’re going for simple and cheap instead of complex and expensive. Not our preferred choice, but the one that’s fiscally responsible.”
What should Apple (AAPL) do about the ringtone problem? Hockenberry doesn’t offer Jobs a solution. (”You and your team are perfectly capable of dealing with it on your own terms,” he says.) But he warns that pricing issues are choking off innovation and could prevent development of an app that could do for the iPhone what the spreadsheet did for the Apple II or desktop publishing did for the Mac.
“It would be great if the killer app for the iPhone cost 99¢,” Hockenberry concludes. “But given the numbers above I can’t see it being very likely.”
To read Hockenberry’s letter in full, click here.

continues...
Interesting...

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Taskiss
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2008-12-10, 21:53

Quote:
Originally Posted by curiousuburb View Post
Interesting...
Not really a big deal, in my opinion. The Apple app store is the medium for sales in the same way Walmart is the medium for sales. If folks want to write a killer app and sell it for big bucks, they can.

If a turn-by-turn GPS map app makes it to the store, I'll pay up to $100.00 for it, $.99 apps notwithstanding.

real hackers don't use sigs
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noleli2
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2008-12-10, 21:59

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taskiss View Post
If a turn-by-turn GPS map app makes it to the store, I'll pay up to $100.00 for it, $.99 apps notwithstanding.
The problem isn't a lack of willingness to pay, it's that since so many people buy the 99¢ apps just for giggles, they all float to the top of the "charts", so it's hard for more expensive apps to get exposure.
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hmurchison
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2008-12-10, 23:00

Quote:
Originally Posted by noleli2 View Post
The problem isn't a lack of willingness to pay, it's that since so many people buy the 99¢ apps just for giggles, they all float to the top of the "charts", so it's hard for more expensive apps to get exposure.
Apple should have given us a simple solution. Give us the Top 10 for different price bands. We need more than just "Free" and "Paid".
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ShadowOfGed
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2008-12-10, 23:13

Quote:
Originally Posted by curiousuburb View Post
Interesting...
Those numbers are bullshit. I don't fancy myself underpaid, and I make roughly a quarter of that. $150-$200/hr equates to a salary of $300,000 - $400,000. No average software developer makes that. I don't imagine my salary will ever come CLOSE to those numbers.

Apparently I call the cops when I see people litter.
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turtle
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2008-12-10, 23:18

While I agree that those numbers are inflated, don't forget that your salary isn't the only cost you bring the company. There's all the other things the employer has to pay out that would be included in the cost.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
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Satchmo
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2008-12-10, 23:29

Is there anything that prevents a developer from marketing their products on their own website or other channels. Provide more screenshots, or produce a YouTube demonstration?

I don't recall Apple ever promising to entirely market apps for developers. They provide a distribution centre where you can quickly and easily download and purchase product.
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