Apple’s stock price is down about a third over the past six months, Apple has lost its designation as the world’s most valuable company and margins are on a downward trend. Apple’s share of the worldwide smartphone market is 20% vs. 70% for Google’s Android. Apple still has a commanding lead in tablets, but, if the fate of the iPhone is any guide, then the iPad’s lead should also winnow away over time.
In other words, Apple is a company that — at least for the moment — is managing its decline rather than continuing its torrid growth of the past few years. Apple is maintaining its business about as well as can be expected. If the company didn’t introduce the iPad Mini, then it would probably be losing more overall share. The iPad Mini may be dragging margins down, but half a loaf is better than none. The same situation is playing out with the iPhone 4S, which presents a credible “better” to the 5′s “best.” Apple did a great job anticipating the price erosion in the market and did its best to gracefully ride the downward wave.
If Apple doesn’t come up with another new product category like the iPhone or the iPad, though, it’s hard to see how that will change. Right now, the company appears to be betting on a smart watch. Yet for once Apple has been one-upped in the hardware arena by Google whose Glass will make a smart watch superfluous and comparatively timid. The advanced buzz for Glass rivals that of the iPad in 2010 and it appears to have a similar shot at establishing a new consumer segment. Investors have noted the shift in momentum, which is why Google’s stock is up about 20% in the last six months.
During his call with analysts, CEO Tim Cook noted that Apple’s stock price decline has been “very frustrating to all of us” and blamed comparisons with the stellar 2012 fiscal year for Apple’s comparatively tepid results. Cook said some “amazing” new products are on the way, though, this fall, which means that it will be a year or so between major product launches. Let’s hope the new products are as amazing as advertised. Otherwise, these Apple’s strategy going forward looks more like a company that’s coasting than one that’s still charging ahead.
The war between tech and networking giants is getting interesting with social networking and messaging apps acquisitions entering the fray. With Facebook acquiring the photo-sharing app Instagram it was only time before eyes turned to the biggest thing in social messaging – Whatsapp.
While reports state that both; Google and Facebook were vying for a Whatsapp buyout, Google seems to be getting the upper hand. Google executives have been in talks with Whatsapp over the past few weeks and Whatsapp has been valued at one billion dollars by the search giant.
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Compiling the perfect song playlist has a well-known reputation for being a transcending, yet agonizing, form of art. But what if we could could delete the agony of finding the perfect song and tap into the ecstasy of having it chosen for us?
That’s where Mico headphones enter the picture. Developed by Neurowear
, the headphones feature a protruding electroencephalograph (EEG) sensor that scans brain patterns to match a person’s mood with an appropriate song.
When plugged in to a smart device running Mico’s app, the headphones detect the wearer’s state of mind and select a “neuro-tagged,” mood-fitting song from Neurowear’s database. The sides of the ear pieces illuminate when music plays and even show symbols — such as Zzz — if the user is sleepy, stressed or focused.
While the headphones are definitely an intriguing concept, they do seem to ignore the possibility that a person might not want to listen to a song that reflects their mood. If you’re steeping in depression, no use piling on more sad-bastard music…that is, unlessSteve Carrel is at the helm.
Currently, the bulky white headphones are still in the prototype phase, having debuted at SXSW, but Mico’s inventor was optimistic they’ll be on the market in “the near future.”
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Teens combined paints and pastels with sensors and triggers Sunday, as they learned the fundamentals of digital design in New York City.
AIGA, the professional association for design, launched a series of free tech and design workshops for teenagers. The first Inspire/Make program in Harlem drew inspiration from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Participants created drawing machines, Androidapps and posters based off a previous field trip to the museum.
The three workshops, “Making a Mobile App,” “Be a Graphic Designer” and “Electronics Prototyping with littleBits” catered to high school students, with the latter also open to young children.
Though there are similar programs available for students, many come at a cost. Providing free workshops is key to giving teens access to the skills necessary for their future, said Carla Echevarria, an AIGA board member.
“We thought it would be good to expose these kids to cultural instituions and getting them to think about design and art at an early age,” Echevarria told Mashable. “It’s a good idea to start them off even before they get to college so kids can start to understand that this is fun and not intimidating.”
The prototyping workshop on Sunday received help from LEGO-like electronics company littleBits. Children as young as six used colorful wires, triggers and sensors to create their own drawing machines that respond to motion or sound.
In an age where iPads are more commonplace than traditional toys, parents at the workshops stressed the importance of learning what goes into making everyday technology.
Commuting can be an extremely stressful and frustrating experience. No matter how many times you travel to the same destination, there are often unexpected obstacles. Road delays, train traffic — even a crying baby in an overcrowded subway car can disrupt your trip.
But it’s nothing a few handy apps can’t handle, right? A recent study
shows that commuters who use connected apps tend to have a better time getting from point A to point B. Don’t you deserve the same?
We’ve rounded up 10 apps that will make commuting life a little easier, from choosing the best route to finding cheaper gas. Check out the gallery above, and let us know which apps you use to get around.