A free iPhone 3GS in fall?

CNET reports on an analyst’s prediction that Apple will offer a free 3GS with contract in the fall. It sounds great on paper, but there are several reasons this will not happen. Apple hates outdated hardware. The 3GS is old, bulky, has a low-resolution screen, and a slow processor. Above all, Apple wants a quality experience, which the 3GS currently cannot provide. Also, the 3GS will almost certainly not support the full iOS 5 and any advancements it may provide. It’s currently listed as a compatible device on Apple’s site, but so was the 3G with iOS 4. We all know how well that turned out. Apple wouldn’t sell a totally non-upgradeable phone that is already 2 years old. Most importantly, analysts talk about crazy possibilities all the time. Mostly, they make up things off the top of their head and get them published. I doubt this guy has an sources at all other than his own twisted logic.

Edit: Yup, I was totally wrong. Apple did exactly this and now I see how wise a decision it was. I unfairly lambasted the analyst and apologize. Rational thought was not on my side this time.


Apple in Cork

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Apple is leasing the top two floors of a new office building in Cork, Ireland and creating 350 new jobs in the city. That doesn’t sound like much, but Apple already has a presence in the Hollyhill area of Cork. It’s likely due to the lower corporate taxes in Ireland, but the country also does have a strong tech sector. Either way, it’s good to see such a major company giving the nearly bankrupt economy a boost.


Apple obviously can’t survive

I would call this as flagrant link-bait, except it came from a speaker at a Ford Motor Company conference.”Leading tech expert” Paul Hochman (He works for NBC) pulled out all the stops and declared Apple to be doomed. What a radical point of view! I’ve certainly never heard that one before. Choosing a decidedly unique stance, Hochman asserted that Apple’s closed product strategy was doomed to fail. His reasoning is quite simple. Closed systems always fail.

It’s all so clear to me now. How could I miss the impending doom of the second most valuable company in the world, superseded only by Exxon Mobile? Obviously it’s in trouble – the company has reported nothing but record sales and profits for more quarters than I can remember.

Too bad that Apple has already bounced back from an extremely close near-death experience in 1997. Apple fans know what “doomed” looks like, and today’s Apple does not fit the bill. Their entire comeback has been based on the phenomenal success of their closed systems, not despite them. The iPod, iTunes, the iPhone, the iPad, and even OS X are all “closed” in varying degrees, and Apple likes it that way. Will people ever stop complaining that “this isn’t how tech companies do things?” Probably not, but Apple won’t stop eating the other companies’ lunch either.

Of course, he didn’t stop with technology. According to him, closed systems always fail in nature too. Unfortunately, the planet Earth happens to be a closed system with regard to matter. I’d say that Earth gets along fairly well without swapping bedrock for asteroids more often. In fact, it seems to perform best with as little input from outer space as possible. (This does not hold true with light and other energies, but it absolutely does with mater).

His main topic wasn’t Apple, of course. At a Ford conference, he elaborated on how GM’s new in-car tech systems are locked to the phone you own when buy a new car. Of course that’s a bad idea, since almost everyone switches phones more often than they buy a car. If he actually thought about his analogy, he would realize that it doesn’t apply to Apple at all. If this sort of strategy occurred in tech, Apple would only allow you to sync one iPod per Mac, for the lifetime of the computer. That’s a pretty horrible strategy, but thankfully it’s never going to happen.


Star Wars Dioramas

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This is simply incredible. Dutch Moonbase put together some fantastic dioramas for Legoland Germany that just blow me away. The sheer scale, detail, and accuracy of every diorama is noteworthy, but the Death Star is the highlight. So many pictures, yet nowhere near enough to take it all in.

– via Eurobricks


Brickworld 2011 wrap up

This looks entirely too awesome. I absolutely HAVE to make this next year, so I don’t feel like quite so horrible a fan. So much happened, so many great new MOCs, and the Super Star Destroyer was released. Definitely sounds like a good year to me.


Super Star Destroyer Officially Announced

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I knew I should have gone to Brickworld Chicago. I had to miss it due to little inconveniences like work and Father’s Day, and now LEGO releases this.
The longest set ever made, the Super Star Destroyer certainly has poise. It still seems strange that they include minifigs (and they fit inside?) but hey, its a Super Star Destroyer! I should stop complaining and be happy that such an amazing ship is available for purchase.

– via fbtb


Why Apple Should Use Its Billions to Crush Hollywood

An interesting perspective from Cult of Mac’s Mike Elgan. I’m not sure if I agree with his suggestions towards the end, but he nails the nightmare that is cable TV. I can’t think of a more unappealing area of tech, but I’m not sure even Apple wants to turn this one around. I get the feeling that instead of taking over Hollywood and cable, they’d rather just eliminate the TV completely.

On the other hand, there’s no doubt in my mind that Apple could make a much better DVR and internet-enabled TV. If they do decide to go for it, they will surely revolutionize yet another market. Whether they feel such a massive undertaking is worth their time is another story entirely.