Jack March's Tech Blog http://jackgmarch.com Mon, 18 Apr 2016 14:45:23 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.3 http://jackgmarch.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/cropped-compressedfurther-32x32.png Jack March's Tech Blog http://jackgmarch.com 32 32 Apple Has Probably Killed the ‘Air’ Brand http://jackgmarch.com/2016/04/11/the-end-of-apple-macbook-ipad-air-brand/ http://jackgmarch.com/2016/04/11/the-end-of-apple-macbook-ipad-air-brand/#comments Mon, 11 Apr 2016 20:27:37 +0000 http://jackgmarch.com/?p=989 Read More]]> I think it’s pretty obvious at this point that Apple will never release a new 1 product with the ‘Air’ branding again.

For starters, the words ‘Light’ and ‘Professional’ are no longer a dichotomy, though they were when the original MacBook Air was launched in 2008. For Apple to achieve the the title of ‘World’s Thinnest Notebook’ they had to compromise on performance and expansion slots. It was a very niche and expensive product, only for people with the primary priority of portability. In 2016 – where nearly all products from Apple and competitors are thin and light – Apple’s distinction of ‘Air’ is redundant.

It’s also obvious that buyers of the MacBook Air no longer have weight as their primary priority, otherwise they’d buy the 12” MacBook, or a thinner Windows laptop like the HP Spectre. Most people are buying it either because it’s a cheap Mac, for the slanted keyboard 2, or because it’s halfway between the 12” MacBook and the MacBook Pro in terms of performance/portability. 3

Though the launch of the iPad Pro 9.7” a few weeks ago was the last nail in the coffin for the ‘Air’ branding, it has exactly the same weight & dimensions as the Air 2, but Apple renamed it to the ‘Pro’. But why did they bother with the ‘Air’ branding in 2013 if the ‘Air’ brand had been redundant for so many years? And if they knew they’d release the Air-less 12” MacBook less than 2 years later? I have a probable explanation:

Way back in September 2014 I reported that Apple was planning a new 12” ‘MacBook Air’ with a USB Type-C port and multiple colour options, but a few months later I heard that Apple would actually market it as an entirely new brand – which turned out to be true. It’s possible that within that timeframe Apple realized that ‘Air’ historically signals compromise to the customer. By removing the ‘Air’ brand, Apple can contrast their MacBook lineup as Good vs Better (MacBook vs MacBook Pro) rather than “Meh” 4 vs Good (MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro).

Although Apple have been rumoured to launch new MacBook Air’s this year, I’ve been given strong indication from a source that’s not going to happen. It’s more likely that Apple will launch new MacBook Pro’s that are thinner (at thickest point) and lighter than the current MacBook Air models. Therefore, the 2016 13″ MacBook Pro will be the equivalent of the Retina MacBook Air that everyone was waiting for.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments! Or via Twitter:

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The iPhone 6s got more hardware changes than most 2015 Android flagships http://jackgmarch.com/2015/09/11/its-the-same-as-last-year-no-difference-iphone-6s/ http://jackgmarch.com/2015/09/11/its-the-same-as-last-year-no-difference-iphone-6s/#comments Fri, 11 Sep 2015 18:58:04 +0000 http://jackgmarch.com/?p=866 Read More]]> If you go to any iPhone 6s hands on article/video right now on the internet, chances are that a bunch of Android fans will be telling you that it’s exactly the same as the iPhone 6, and that the latest Android phone is better:

People on YouTube saying that the iPhone 6S is the same as the iPhone 6

The problem I have with these comments is that if you think the iPhone 6S is the same as the iPhone 6, why don’t people say the same about the 2015 Android flagships? It seems that people are so distracted by the mostly-sideways design changes that Android flagships get every year that people forget that almost nothing else has changed.

So let’s put aside mostly-minor design changes and focus on significant hardware changes in Android flagships since 2015, data is shown by the table below:

A table showing all the new hardware changes in the 2015 Android Flagships compared to the iPhone 6s

This is the second version of this table, footnotes on data: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

The iPhone 6s beats 6/7 Android flagships in hardware changes since 2015 and draws with the phone it didn’t beat (Moto X Style). This doesn’t mean the iPhone is a better phone, but it’s a bit rich of people to say it’s the same thing as last year when there are more hardware changes than most Android flagships.

So why doesn’t this mean the iPhone 6s is a better phone? For example the Galaxy S6 has 4K video but it doesn’t get a point for it as it’s been there since the S5, the same way the iPhone doesn’t get a point for NFC as it wasn’t added this generation. I’m only showing why the iPhone 6s is not “the same as last year”, just because it’s had many changes it doesn’t mean it’s better.

If you think the table is rigged, fine. But bear in mind the Moto X Style did just as well as the iPhone, and I could’ve easily made the iPhone 6 win by adding features such as “Vibration Motor Upgrade” if I really wanted to be biased.

And sure, I didn’t list new software features like Samsung adding the ability to do a quick note as soon as you pull the stylus out, but if I included that I could’ve also included the new “Live Photos” feature on the iPhone 6s. Most phones add an equal amount of new software features.

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Why Apple invited a YouTuber to their March 9th Event http://jackgmarch.com/2015/03/06/why-apple-invited-a-youtuber-to-their-march-9th-event/ http://jackgmarch.com/2015/03/06/why-apple-invited-a-youtuber-to-their-march-9th-event/#comments Fri, 06 Mar 2015 19:46:57 +0000 http://jackgmarch.com/?p=572 Read More]]> Apple has invited a YouTuber to a Special Event for the first time. His name? Marques Brownlee, he has millions of subscribers and focuses his channel on reviewing technology. But why has Apple invited a YouTuber? And why have they only invited one?

I want you to remember a key word here, and that word is “Influence”. This word is exactly what Apple PR are looking for when deciding who to invite to their press events. Influence does not correlate with page hits, but rather how much you change people’s opinions.

Put it this way; MacRumors is a news site, an incredibly objective one. They have literally no influence even with a large readership number as their articles offer little subjective opinions, and they never publish editorials.

Compare it to another Apple site like Macworld or iMore, both are largely subjective. These sites sway the reader opinion one way or another which is why they get invited to events every single time. MacRumors gets undoubtedly way more hits than both of these sites, but Apple clearly doesn’t care about that as they’ve never been invited to an Apple Event.

Influence is so important to Apple that some publications can get away with incredibly negative coverage of Apple, for example the New York Times & BBC have both exposed Apple’s bad supply chain conditions. Both publications are too important to lose for Apple so they will get invited to Apple events no matter what, the same treatment wouldn’t apply though to a mildly influential tech site like The Verge though due to their readership demographic.

Any publication that will have top search results for reviews of Apple products is probably also too valuable to lose as they will massively affect sales. If a consumer is going to buy a phone, chances are that many will watch or read a review before making their mind up. And even if they don’t then the criticisms in reviews will spread fast through the public. If they don’t hear something about a product themselves, they will hear it through somebody else who has looked at a review.

There is a new form of reviews though, and that’s YouTube. I’m going to assume Apple doesn’t invite several YouTube reviewers to events unlike their competitors because they are unprofessional and not influential. They make videos in their bedroom and their reviews often contain far less words than a publication, in other words the public is far less likely to take a YouTube review more seriously than one of a major publication due to the nature of them.

Marques Brownlee fits this description perfectly, I saw him at the HTC event the other day and he was wearing incredibly casual clothing compared to the rest of the audience. But there’s one thing that’s very strange about him, this doesn’t stop him from being the most influential reviewer on the planet.

Every single recent Apple product he has reviewed is pretty much the top result or most viewed video on YouTube, he wasn’t even at the September Apple Event but his impressions of the Apple Watch video without hands on is the most viewed video of the Apple Watch on YouTube, beating Apple’s own official video and the videos of any publication.

He is also the top result for Beats by Dre, which is now an Apple company. The whole video is dedicated to bashing their product. He also bases his iOS reviews from the perspective of an Android user which means he will be less favourable. Although views don’t matter much to Apple, they certainly do if they’re influential, and especially if they’re influencing people against Apple which is exactly what Marques is doing.

But what makes Marques stand out? Why aren’t other Vloggers influential? Firstly, Marques makes his reviews sound like the truth, he has the right voice and the right speaking style to make people agree with him. His points are concise and clear, and he doesn’t whine on about things. He is an incredibly likeable personality.

Secondly, He also doesn’t (appear to) sell himself out. Marques claims he’s never been paid to do any reviews by a company and he doesn’t accept complimentary review units. As far as I am aware, Marques is the only tech reviewer that has never accepted a paid sponsorship in a video either. These characteristics are very attractive to any audience. It makes you look like you take your work seriously, even when you make videos in your bedroom. You definitely feel like you can trust his opinion.

I’m not just making up what people think of him, watch any review video by The Verge and all you will see is “I will wait for Marques Brownlee’s review”. In fact, Marques has such an incredible brand image that although he said exactly the same thing as The Verge in his Nexus 9 review, their review to got a bag of dislikes and Marques’s review gets very little hate. Here’s a comparison of both their reviews that I mocked up:

This is why Marques Brownlee is getting invited, and the only YouTuber to get invited. Many other tech reviewers will have a higher reach than other publications getting invited, but Marques is the only influential one. They really need to get on his good side and he is probably already feeling the urge to cover them favourably by making him feel special as the first YouTuber ever to be invited to an Apple Event. After all, he did seem pretty startled about getting an invite on Twitter.

Apple probably should’ve started inviting him a year ago, but I think his influence has only just occurred to them. He’s probably been asking a long time for them, but something has twigged at Apple. They have realised that he is not just another Vlogger, he is the most influential person when it comes to tech opinions, and I would place bets on him being invited to every future Apple event, even the ones at Apple HQ with barely any seats.

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Macbook Stealth is not a compromise, it’s meeting the target market http://jackgmarch.com/2015/01/06/macbook-stealth-is-not-a-compromise-its-meeting-the-target-market/ http://jackgmarch.com/2015/01/06/macbook-stealth-is-not-a-compromise-its-meeting-the-target-market/#comments Tue, 06 Jan 2015 22:03:12 +0000 http://jackgmarch.com/?p=515 Read More]]> So it turns out my original report a few months ago about the 12″ MacBook being noticeably thinner, coming in different colour options, and having the USB-Type-C without MagSafe is probably accurate as Mark Gurman has corroborated my report:

The upcoming 12-inch Air has the fewest amount of ports ever on an Apple computer, as can be seen in the rendition above. On the left side is a standard headphone jack and dual-microphones for input and noise-canceling. On the right side is solely the new USB Type-C port.

Reading the reaction to this article just makes me think people have forgotten about what the MacBook Air is actually made for.

The new “Macbook Stealth” is not a compromise, it’s just meeting it’s target market. The people who buy the MacBook Air need it because it’s incredibly lightweight, not for performance or productivity. If they want that then they should buy a MacBook Pro.

Right now the MacBook Air has lots of competition, it’s not the thinnest laptop in the world anymore and that’s losing them sales. The Primary USP of the MacBook Air is how thin it is, and that should be Apple’s main objective.

The average commuter really isn’t going to care that he has to unplug his charger to use his USB Drive for 2 minutes, it’s a non problem, MacBook Air users have already made a performance compromise by not choosing a MacBook Pro which arguably costs them loads more time.

You can also still use a bluetooth mouse with the charger in, and yet again MacBook Air users will most likely only want the smallest form factor so they shouldn’t be using a mouse in the first place, they bought the wrong product if they’re using peripherals.

I believe this product will be liked by the target market, if you want a thin package without compromise then Apple will still be selling the MacBook Pro & the MacBook Air, the MacBook Stealth will be marketed as an entirely different product.

And just remember that Apple has analytics into how often the ports are used with MacBook Air owners, they wouldn’t have made this decision if it was a feature that was essential to the MacBook Air, lots of ports are only essential to the Pro.

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Exclusive: Apple is planning to launch a 27″ 5K iMac with AMD Graphics http://jackgmarch.com/2014/09/29/exclusive-apple-is-planning-to-launch-a-27-5k-imac-with-amd-graphics/ http://jackgmarch.com/2014/09/29/exclusive-apple-is-planning-to-launch-a-27-5k-imac-with-amd-graphics/#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2014 13:25:31 +0000 http://jackgmarch.com/?p=186 Read More]]> There’s been a rumour that Apple might be planning a Retina iMac for quite some time now, today I am able to confirm that report with some disappointment.

A source familiar with Apple’s plans tells me that Apple is indeed planning to launch a Retina iMac at their next press event, however the 27″ Model will be the only model that gets this feature. The source says the new 27″ iMac will use a 5120 x 2880 panel as leaked in the OSX Yosemite code a few months ago. This resolution is quadruple the current resolution of the 27″ iMac which is 2560×1440.

The source says the iMac will keep exactly the same design/dimensions as its predecessors and won’t have USB Type-C port that they told me the 12″ Macbook Air will include, the only difference is the display panel and the processor.

The source says the new iMac’s top processor configuration will be the Intel i7-4790K which has a base clock speed of 4.0GHz, the source also mentioned that Broadwell CPU’s will “likely be added in an update next year” but Apple is sticking with Haswell for now as powerful Broadwell processors are not available to the market.

The source also said the new product will include AMD graphics like the Late 2013 Mac Pro, the current iMacs use Nvidia GPU’s.

The source is almost 100% sure the 21.5″ model will not get a Retina display and will keep at 1920×1080, it will also keep the same design like the new 27″ iMac. The source says that its likely that the 21.5″ model will get a Retina display when powerful Broadwell processors start shipping.

The source says that Apple is “incredibly likely” to announce the product at their next press event.

Please follow me on Twitter () to keep up to date with my reports.

UPDATE: Let’s just say I’m not too confident there won’t be a 21.5″ Retina iMac anymore, Mark Gurman and John Paczkowski (both very reliable) have both used the word “iMacs” signalling a 21.5″ Retina is in the works too, so that’s two against one.

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Exclusive: 12″ Macbook Air Design Details http://jackgmarch.com/2014/09/22/exclusive-12-macbook-air-design-details/ http://jackgmarch.com/2014/09/22/exclusive-12-macbook-air-design-details/#comments Mon, 22 Sep 2014 14:03:50 +0000 http://jackgmarch.com/?p=151 Read More]]> A source familiar with Apple’s plans describes the 12″ Macbook Air as having a noticeably thinner design, which may sacrifice the standard USB port. The source says that Apple will move to the reversible USB Type-C with this product.

The source also believes that the MagSafe port as we know it has also been sacrificed and that the new Macbook Air charges in a different way to what we’ve seen in current Macs, however the source wasn’t too sure whether this had been finalised or not.

The source also told me that the product is completely fanless which has helped it gain a thinner design, it is assumed that Intel’s Broadwell processor line will allow this change as they can keep at low temperatures and high performance without a heat sink.

The source also said that the display bezels are noticeably thinner on the product, “quite similar to the current MacBook Pro Retina lineup”.

The source also gave details on the design for the keyboard saying that it “it leaves almost no space on the side”, the source also mentioned the speaker location as being “above the keyboard and visible”, this design change is different to the current MacBook Pro with Retina Display lineup which has the speakers on the side of the keyboard, and the current Macbook Air which has speakers under the keyboard.

As I reported last week, the product is planned to arrive in Space Grey, Silver, and Gold to launch in Mid 2015.

Follow me on Twitter (@jackgmarch) to keep up with further information as I receive it.

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Exclusive: Apple is working on a 12″ MacBook Air for a mid-2015 launch in Space Grey, Gold and Silver http://jackgmarch.com/2014/09/11/exclusive-apple-is-working-on-a-12-macbook-air-for-a-mid-2015-launch-in-space-grey-gold-and-silver/ http://jackgmarch.com/2014/09/11/exclusive-apple-is-working-on-a-12-macbook-air-for-a-mid-2015-launch-in-space-grey-gold-and-silver/#respond Thu, 11 Sep 2014 08:56:09 +0000 http://jackgmarch.com/?p=253 Read More]]> A source familiar with Apple’s plans has told me that Apple has been working on a new MacBook Air measuring in at a screen size of 12 inches.

Apple currently has the MacBook Air in screen sizes of 11 and 13 inches, so this size would fit perfectly in between.

The source says that Apple is aiming for a Mid 2015 launch for this product, however they do note the release date has been pushed back several times already so plans could change.

The most fascinating part of this report is that Apple is also planning to change the colours for the first time with an Aluminium MacBook, the source says that Apple is planning to add Space Grey and Gold colours to their MacBook lineup, which would be consistent with the colours on the iPhone 6.

Follow me on twitter () to keep up with information I receive regarding future products.

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