iPhone: The Core of Apple and Your 401k

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Jeff Sommer, writing for the NYTimes:

Even people who don’t buy iPhones and don’t own Apple shares have a stake in the company. I don’t own any Apple stock, for example, but I do have a stake indirectly through my 401(k) account. That’s because mutual funds in my portfolio own Apple shares as their biggest holdings. Nearly every pension fund holds some stock, and these days, there’s a good chance the biggest holding is Apple. And the most important financial lever at Apple is the iPhone.

When Apple decided to enter the mobile phone arena in 2007, Steve Jobs called the iPhone a “bet the company product“. Now, that product accounts for more than 60% of Apple’s most recent quarterly profit; 42 billion in sales, 8 billion in profit*, and 39 million iPhones sold in the last 3 months alone. And this, in only 7 years since its introduction. That’s nothing short of historic. The iPhone has not only redefined a product category and changed our daily routines (my students look dumbfounded when I ask to imagine their lives without it), but it has also become the single most valuable consumer product sold by any company, anywhere at anytime.

And it will likely help you retire.

*Note: just for some perspective, if you were paid $1,000 every day since the birth of Christ, you wouldn’t yet be a billionaire. Apple just pocketed 8 billion in the last 3 months and has 155 billion in the bank.

The iPhone 6 Plus: Tradeoffs

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After spending some extended time in the Apple Store yesterday, I immediately texted my brother, who told me he was planning to get the iPhone 6 Plus. I told him that, after some initial bewilderment (“How could anyone practically use that in place of a smaller device?”), I completely understood why he was going for the larger of the two new iPhone models. In this piece, I’ll argue why I think that instead of being merely a “fad” (as characterized by Devindra Hardawar of VentureBeat), the iPhone 6 Plus will quickly become as popular and mainstream as its smaller counterpart due to the fact that it incorporates the essential elements of two product categories in one device and provides acceptable tradeoffs in order to do so. Continue reading

Apple Introduces CarPlay

On Monday, at the Geneva International Motor Show, Apple went public with “CarPlay”, a re-named and updated version of “iOS in the Car”. Starting later this year, Ferrari, Mercedez-Benz, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar and Volvo will debut the in-car version of iOS with many manufacturers (thank you, Subaru) following suit in the future.

Users will be able to access a limited range of apps on their iPhones by plugging it into the USB port of the car. They will then have access to Music, Maps, Messages and Phone apps with further compatibility with other apps coming soon.

This will be Apple’s first venture into non-stand-alone computing or mobile devices and into the “Internet of Things”. The upcoming iWatch will be its second. With both of these set to arrive this year in addition to the iPhone 6 and improved Apple TV, Apple looks to be set for a great finish to 2014.

I doubt Pierre Teilhard de Chardin ever imagined a globe covered with smart/connected cars, but if he had, I’m sure he’d identify it as being one step closer to the Noosphere. It will be interesting what issues this kind of technology raises for theology and the work of the Church. I’m thinking about a praxis of less distracted-driving.

via Gizmodo: Mapping the Geographical Digital Divide

Jonathan Lace:

“…the more money you live around, the faster speeds you have access to.”

Communication inequality. Shouldn’t the social justice principle of participation apply to internet access as well?

Originally posted on The Human Imprint:

Mapping the geographical digital divide

This Gizmodo map of average Internet speeds by congressional district shows how disparate access to the web is.

View original

Robots and Religion

From Christian Today, Feb. 13: $16,000 robot bridges religion and technology at seminary | Christian News on Christian Today.

The seminary purchased one as a learning tool for examining questions on the intersections between religion and technology, and the ethical considerations around using such technology in everyday life…Therapeutically, the robot has been used to help in the therapy of children with higher level forms of autism, as it is found they relate better to the childlike and highly expressive face. The seminary will use the robot to explore questions like whether robots should do our jobs, care for the sick in hospital, and what benefits they might have in companies.

It’s encouraging to see some seminaries taking technology seriously as a theological issue (in robotics no less). The idea of autistic children relating more to robots than humans is absolutely fascinating.

Kudos to Southeren Evangelical Seminary.

Relax: Apple Innovation Is Fine

Relax: Apple Innovation Is Fine

Originally posted on Tech:

These days, it’s just common knowledge: Apple innovation has tanked since Steve Jobs’ death, while Samsung’s parade of split-screen apps, touchless gestures, and sexy smartwatches has propelled the Korean tech giant into the lead. Not convinced? Simply gaze upon Apple’s last three iPhones — underpowered, featureless, stuck in the past — and you too will see that Apple CEO Tim Cook is cooked.

Or is he?

We looked at four of the most common Apple criticisms, specifically those for the iPhone. Has innovation really leveled off in Cupertino?

1. Performance

The Criticism

The iPhone is underpowered. While Samsung reinvents the stat sheet with each new phone, Apple makes routine updates a year later. It just can’t compete on specs anymore.

The Reality

In recent years, Apple has done some of its best innovation under the iPhone’s airbrushed hood. When consumers see a new iPhone of identical shape and size…

View original 656 more words

Pew Research: Couples, the Internet, and Social Media

Just in time for Valentine’s Day…

How American couples use digital technology to manage life, logistics, and emotional intimacy within their relationships | Pew Internet & American Life Project.

The pros and cons of tech-infused relationships from the Pew Internet Project.

74% Internet-positive

20% Internet-negative

And “sexting” is up 5% from 2012 to 20%.

Thanks, SnapChat.