Friday, February 20, 2004

Money, money, money!

According to this BusinessWeek article, Apple saw the biggest surge in sales in all of the tech industry last year, with profits jumping an astonishing 552 percent.

Can you say iPod?

One music player, hold the WMA!

According to this DanceFrontDoor.co.uk article, the chip used in the iPod is natively designed by its manufacturer to play WMA files as well as AAC and mp3.

This simply confirms what we already assumed, that Apple could make the iPod WMA-capable, but chooses not to for (obvious) strategic reasons.

What's also interesting about this article is how several people in its comments have noted that the chip supports AAC. This suggests that other companies might intentionally disable AAC support similarly to Apple's disabling WMA support.

There are a lot of PeeCee people out there who keep insisting that Apple's going to add WMA support to the iPod and iTunes, but it just isn't the cards. Both Apple and HP have said there's no plans to support Windows Media on either company's 'pods.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Huzzah!

99mac.se has published a newly released memo from Mr. Jobs himself today, revealing some exciting news.

Team,

Today is a historic day of sorts for our company. When I arrived back at Apple in mid-1997, the company was burdened with $1 billion of debt. Through everyone's hard work we turned Apple around, paid off the majority of our debt and began to amass a war chest of cash in the bank which has grown to about $4.8 billion! But there was still $300 million of remaining debt, which we decided to hold to maturity.

Today we used $300 million of our cash to pay off this remaining debt.

Apple is now a debt-free company – for the first time in over a decade!

It sure feels good.

Steve

Yes, Apple is now debt-free! Whoo! And the company's war chest of "rainy day" cash is nearing five billion dollars!

Congratulations, Steve.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Mini nation...

Apple's homepage has been updated to feature the iPod mini. The official launch is set for Friday at 6 p.m.

Meanwhile, Phil Schiller says that the response to the mini has been off the charts, with over 100,000 preorders. See what pretty colors do to people?

Monday, February 16, 2004

Dell gets dirty...

So, you're innocently watching an episode of Seinfeld when, all of a sudden, a Dell ad comes on and claims: "Nearly double the battery life of iPod."

Yes, there's a new ad for the Dell DJ out that makes such a claim in the hopes of selling more of the not-really-that-popular mp3 paper.

But, um, what's the number one mp3 player in the country?
Nice try, Mike Dell (not really!).

AppleInsider has a new article up. Of note:
- No new eMacs until April
- AppleCare video? (and other mysterious happenings between Quicktime and iChat)

I'll have a full update on these later today (Happy President's Day!).

One rumor sandwich, hold the G5!

According to a new series of blurbs at Think Secret, even though Apple has been receiving new G5s for a few weeks now, we won't see any new Powermacs this month.

The new Powermacs, which are expected to be speedbumps to hold us over until the magical 3 GHz G5 is released this summer, will be powered by the 90-nanometer PowerPC 970FX. The chip is designed to allow more speed while consuming less power, and IBM only officially announced it last week.

Think Secret doesn't answer any questions regarding why the Powermacs have been delayed, but they claim to be dealing with a very reliable source here. It looks like, for now at least, we're going to have to settle for a pathetic Dual-2 GHz machine on the top end (and nnnnooooooo, I'm not being sarcastic!).

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Cheat the legal way!

Sure, you can download free music legally if you drink Pepsi, but why deal with one-in-three odds?! Folks are noticing that there's a pretty easy way to substantially push the odds in your favor by just paying attention to those special yellow caps.

Now a loser (or, to be politically correct, non-winner) caps have three lines of text. BUT winner caps have four lines of text. See where I'm going with this? Just take a good long look at the top of the cap and you'll probably be able to see the difference.

So, it might be legal, but it sure ain't fair! And that's fine by us!

Ain't the mini great?

Well, this Washington Post article says someone's actually outdone the iPod. Or, to be specific, Apple has outdone Apple. The Post's Rob Pegoraro claims that the iPod Mini actually outdoes the current iPod, despite the price.

In other mini-related news, apparently new recorded messages at Apple Stores confirm a February 20 release date for the cell-phone/business-card/phaser-sized gadget. The messages also mention that there could be supply-issues with the high-demand mini (supply and demand, no?).

And, if you're totally mini-crazed, you can head over to the new CDW-owned Mac Warehouse and download a do-it-yourself mini. And if you can actually get a piece of folded paper stuffed with business cards to play music, CDW will buy the idea from you and use it to produce a new line of hard drives powered by corporate networking and synergy.

And damn, that thing's small.

Chip chip cheerio!

Disclaimer: Most real British people don't talk like that, but they all have bad teeth (just kidding!).

According to new reports, Apple's preparing its second international flagship store to open in London later this year (in time for Christmas).

While this sounds like great news for Brits craving some ?ber-Mac shopping, not everyone's thrilled with the idea. This MacMinute blurb notes that Darren King, the CEO of a London-based Apple reseller, is just a little upset by the news. He mentions that he's "disappointed" and that he wasn't consulted first (and why would he be?).

Bottom line is that this is good for Londoners, and bad for Darren King (I vaguely remember someone famous saying "The needs of the many outweight the names of the few" just before saving the U.S.S. Enterprise).

The mini's are coming...

The latest reports have limited quantities of iPod mini's arriving for display purposes at Apple Stores tomorrow, with the first real shipments arriving around 6:00 p.m. on February 20 (possibly suggesting an "event" of some sort).