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Stratechery: The Battle for the Home

Ben Thompson:

If the first stage of competition in consumer technology was the race to be the computer users went to (won by Microsoft and the PC), and the second was to be the computer users carried with them (won by Apple in terms of profits, and Google in terms of marketshare), the outlines of the current battle came sharply into focus over the last month: what company will win the race to be the computer within which users live?

This is a great read that everyone should comb over. Ben takes a look at each of the four (Amazon, Google, Apple, Facebook) and their strengths, weaknesses, their go-to-market status,  business models, and their overall strengths and weaknesses. In general, Ben creates great content and if you agree, consider a Stratechery membership.

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Qualcomm says Apple gave its trade secrets to Intel

Ina Fried at Axios:

In the new filings, Qualcomm says that, at Apple’s request, it allowed the iPhone maker deep access to its software and tools, but with strict limits on how those products could be used. Rather than just use it to improve the performance and functioning of Qualcomm chips, the company alleges that Apple used it to understand how the modem works and to help Intel improve their chips.

I smell a company that’s just mad Apple’s not working with them anymore and now Intel has massively improved radios. The claims of theft are crazy, though. That’s a massive accusation to make. 

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The Counterfeit Apple Accessories Market

From USA Today:

The knockoff power adapters and chargers, which Apple says could cause electrical shocks, allegedly traveled from a manufacturer in Hong Kong to Amazon.com, with stopping points at the Brooklyn location and New Jersey electronics companies.

Twelve of 400 fake iPhone adapters tested in a study unrelated to those in Apple’s lawsuit were so badly constructed that they posed “a risk of lethal electrocution to the user,” U.S.-based safety standards leader UL warned.

Apple said it decided to sue after the company bought a number of its power adapters and charging and syncing cables “that were directly sold by Amazon.com – not a third-party seller – and determined that they were counterfeit.”

Reading this article, I can’t help but think that Amazon is complacent in this practice. All they care about is selling shit, sometimes literal technological shit.

This article goes into insane depth about the process and path these fake Apple accessories took to land on Amazon.com, weaving their way through a few businesses in the United States before landing on the digital storefront. 

For the majority of my accessories, I stick to first-party options. Are they more expensive? Absolutely. There are way too many no-name, probably total garbage, Chinese-made turds on Amazon and other marketplaces. There is no vouching or vetting for these brands. Amazon puts in very little effort (yes, that’s six unique articles about the problem) to make sure reviews are legitimate. I have probably a small handful of 3rd-party manufactures I buy from–Anker and Mophie are two that come to mind immediately–and that’s about it. I don’t care that I’m paying more. I’m paying for something that actually works, not something that can kill me because someone wanted to make a quick buck.

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iFixit Teardown of the iPhone XS and XS Max

iFixit has their hands on the latest iPhones (and they do): 

Last year’s iPhone X had a weird name and the most advanced internals we’d ever seen in a teardown. This year Apple turns it up to eleven with the bafflingly-named iPhone XS and XS Max. In a teardown first, we’re taking apart both phones simultaneously—so grab ahold of your Roman numerals and let’s get started.

Go go go.

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AirPower’s Continued Development Hinted in iOS 12.1 Beta

If you recall, I mentioned AirPower’s almost-dead state based on anonymous communications from within Apple. Guilherme Rambo at 9to5Mac has some new information:

The complexity of AirPower has apparently caused a slew of issues for engineers, which is why it’s still not for sale more than a year after its announcement. Originally, Apple said AirPower would be available “in 2018,” so while the company technically hasn’t missed its deadline, it’s clearly running down to the wire.

However, new evidence from the iPhone XS and iOS 12.1 suggests that, while it may be delayed, development of AirPower continues.

Looking into iOS 12.1, we noticed that the component of iOS responsible for managing the charging interface that appears when using AirPower has been updated, which means that Apple is still actively working on the project.

Furthermore, a picture of the “getting started guide” that comes packaged with the iPhone XS clearly mentions AirPower. “Place iPhone with screen facing up on AirPower or a Qi-certified wireless charger,” it reads. The image was shared on Twitter by Gavin Stephens.

Fantastic news.

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Johnathan Lyman
Kenmore, WA,
United States
 
blogging, design, technology, software, development, gaming, photography