00:00:08 ◼ ► From Relay FM, this is Upgrade episode 233. Today's show is brought to you by FreshBooks,
00:00:15 ◼ ► Luna Display and Instabug. My name is Myke Hurley and I'm joined by Jason Snell. Hi Jason Snell.
00:00:21 ◼ ► Hi Myke Hurley, how are you? I'm very well Jason Snell, very well indeed. We have a #SnellTalk
00:00:26 ◼ ► question from Connor and Connor wants to know, Jason, when you're wearing only one AirPod or
00:00:33 ◼ ► when you take an AirPod out of your ear, which one do you take out? Is it the left or is it the right?
00:00:41 ◼ ► Okay that's a very specific... I don't know why. Does this make me left-brained? I always,
00:00:50 ◼ ► when I'm holding a phone to my ear or if I've got one earbud in, it's always in my right ear.
00:01:02 ◼ ► whenever I am holding a phone to my left ear it feels completely wrong. Okay. So my right ear,
00:01:19 ◼ ► I, my ears are itchy and I hate it that if I have to scratch one of my ears and take out one of the
00:01:27 ◼ ► AirPods that the podcast I'm listening to stops. I should probably do something about that. But it's
00:01:31 ◼ ► such a good feature all the rest of the time. But are those moments where I'm like, no, I don't
00:01:35 ◼ ► want to scratch, I don't want to scratch because I don't want to stop listening to... Oh God,
00:01:38 ◼ ► I got to take the ear, I got to scratch my ear now. So I don't like that, that's an issue. They
00:01:44 ◼ ► should have like a anti-itch plastic on it or something. Anyway, right. Right is the answer.
00:01:55 ◼ ► No, no, they just itch anyway. But then I have the AirPod in there. I wonder if I should get
00:02:00 ◼ ► some sort of like a technique where I like bring my finger up and like touch the proximity sensor
00:02:05 ◼ ► and then carefully lift it away. But I don't think that'll work. I think it'll know that the jig is
00:02:13 ◼ ► So I take out my right AirPod and I think I know why this is. Because the right side is where the
00:02:28 ◼ ► Yeah, like the volume and the buttons and stuff. So I think I'm used to when I want to change
00:02:32 ◼ ► something, my right arm goes up to my ear, you know, or like it goes up towards my ear. So that's
00:03:09 ◼ ► we spoke about in #AskUpgrade at the end of last week's show. We had an upgrade in right in to say
00:03:15 ◼ ► why are there no audiobook streaming services? And we were like, hmm, that seems like there
00:03:23 ◼ ► our upgrade is due. So we had some suggestions come in. Peter wrote in to suggest Scribed,
00:03:35 ◼ ► Yes, well, they used to be much more of a place where people could post copyright violations.
00:03:42 ◼ ► I don't have a Scribed script, whatever it is. I don't have a very positive relation with that
00:03:47 ◼ ► brand, mostly because my entire relationship with them was sending cease and desists about
00:03:51 ◼ ► people posting whole issues of Macworld online. Because it used to be Scans, right? They used to
00:03:56 ◼ ► Okay. So now they also do unlimited audiobooks and such. And then another company called Plaster,
00:04:03 ◼ ► who have a whole bunch of services that I don't feel like I fully understand. Movie streaming
00:04:16 ◼ ► Lessden sent that one in. And then last one's from Corey, who sent in HyBooks as another option.
00:04:25 ◼ ► Oh, and Lorenzo said that in a few countries you can go to Storytel, S-T-O-R-Y-T-E-L.com.
00:04:34 ◼ ► So they're out there. It seems like there's no dominant player. And I am a little skeptical about
00:04:39 ◼ ► whether the catalogs are very good, but it's worth investigating if you're somebody who is
00:04:47 ◼ ► looking for a Spotify or Netflix for audiobooks. So they are out there. But it seems like it's a
00:04:57 ◼ ► It's interesting to me that it seems like, I mean, we're assuming that these are all 100% above board
00:05:05 ◼ ► these services. But let's just assume that they are. They have all of the right deals that they
00:05:12 ◼ ► If they can exist, it's surprising that a company like an Apple or an Amazon are not doing this.
00:05:19 ◼ ► That just seems like a surprise to me. If it can exist, then it's surprising to me that there are
00:05:26 ◼ ► And I have heard that there is some audio content, some spoken word content on Spotify,
00:05:32 ◼ ► at least two, which seems weird. But they've been put in the system even though their audio content,
00:05:38 ◼ ► they've been put in the music system. So if you're a Spotify user or even an Apple Music user,
00:05:42 ◼ ► I don't know, search around, maybe you'll find something. But yeah, it is a little bit weird.
00:05:46 ◼ ► But I think it is the economics, like I said last week, the economics of the publishing industry
00:05:49 ◼ ► that publishers are really reluctant for books and audiobooks to give up the purchase model to a,
00:05:58 ◼ ► you know, it's like we talked about with Apple News, right? Do you want to give that up for a
00:06:04 ◼ ► promise of a portion of a big pot of money? And I think publishers have done the calculation and
00:06:13 ◼ ► I guess I'm expecting that Audible plays you more because people are specifically choosing your book.
00:06:22 ◼ ► Yeah, they are purchases, right? The Audible subscription is giving you credits to make
00:06:25 ◼ ► purchases. And that's their way of creating a subscription model, quote, unquote, subscription
00:06:46 ◼ ► are paying, by and large, are paying full price for those audiobooks. So maybe there is an incentive
00:06:54 ◼ ► there on the part of the bigger publishers to not want to rock that boat because, you know,
00:07:06 ◼ ► Talking of which of all this stuff, we have some upstream news. So WarnerMedia's new streaming boss,
00:07:10 ◼ ► Kevin Reilly, who we spoke about a few weeks ago, he's recently put in place, had his kind of first
00:07:16 ◼ ► press junket. And one of the biggest headline tidbits that Reilly was talking about is saying
00:07:24 ◼ ► that it is not a good model to share. So he's talking about when, before he came on board,
00:07:30 ◼ ► WarnerMedia did a deal with Netflix for $100 million to renew their Friends contract for
00:07:36 ◼ ► streaming. This was before, as I say, Kevin took the role and he seems to not be in the mindset
00:07:43 ◼ ► that that is a thing that WarnerMedia should be doing going forward. When talking about
00:07:52 ◼ ► Reilly says they should be exclusive to their upcoming service. They don't think this about
00:07:59 ◼ ► all of their content. I think that they're taking a slightly different stance to Disney here because
00:08:04 ◼ ► Reilly says that he feels WarnerMedia has such a large portfolio that they can do some deals,
00:08:09 ◼ ► but they need to be more strategic about it and not be giving away their big stuff. And Friends
00:08:14 ◼ ► is obviously a very big thing for them. But I think that Friends deal was just one year. So
00:08:19 ◼ ► considering Warner are not going to be starting even a beta of their service until 2020,
00:08:27 ◼ ► - Yeah, it makes sense. This is the way video stuff is panning out here is people want to,
00:08:36 ◼ ► at this point in the game, people want to use their content to set exclusives to force you.
00:08:43 ◼ ► If you want to see it, you need to pay. And yes, this is like the decision CBS made with putting
00:08:50 ◼ ► Star Trek on all access instead of just putting it on Netflix. They could have made more money
00:08:54 ◼ ► upfront putting it on Netflix worldwide instead of just outside of North America. But they wanted,
00:09:00 ◼ ► in the US, they wanted to use it to build a new service. And this is what Reilly is saying here,
00:09:12 ◼ ► it's more valuable to us as part of the content of our service to make people find it more appealing.
00:09:19 ◼ ► - I just checked. It turns out it was a multi-year deal. Nobody knows how long it is between Netflix
00:09:24 ◼ ► and WarnerMedia for Friends. - Yeah, it's a multi-year deal. It's a non-exclusive deal,
00:09:28 ◼ ► which means that the WarnerMedia service will probably launch with Friends, but it will go for
00:09:34 ◼ ► a few more years. It's unclear how long also being on Netflix where WarnerMedia is not going to have
00:09:40 ◼ ► the exclusive, but Netflix won't have the exclusive either. - Yeah, but it doesn't make it a selling
00:09:45 ◼ ► point for Warner specifically. - Not right at first, but you can see what Reilly is saying here
00:09:49 ◼ ► is in the long run, this is very much like Marvel and Netflix where you could see the writing on the
00:09:56 ◼ ► wall. Have I set you up for our next story right there? - Yeah, you have. This was announced just
00:10:01 ◼ ► before we went live today on the show. Coming from deadline, there will be no more seasons
00:10:07 ◼ ► of Punisher or Jessica Jones. - These were the last two Marvel Netflix shows that hadn't yet
00:10:12 ◼ ► officially been canceled because they were still rolling out their final season. And obviously,
00:10:16 ◼ ► everybody knows the jig is up because they did this even before the Jessica Jones season
00:10:26 ◼ ► we've talked about it before, Marvel Netflix on both sides. This is a deal that was made in a
00:10:30 ◼ ► different era five years ago, and that era is ending. And Marvel stuff is gonna go on Hulu,
00:10:37 ◼ ► and it's gonna go on Disney+, but it's not gonna go on Netflix. And Netflix is not gonna give its
00:10:42 ◼ ► competitor money. It's for shows that are built on intellectual property it doesn't control.
00:10:47 ◼ ► So that model is over. And so these shows are over. And there is, if you're a fan of those
00:10:53 ◼ ► shows, it's really sad. There's probably not a big chance that they will ever come back in any form
00:10:58 ◼ ► elsewhere. It's not completely impossible, but there are several years where Netflix gets to
00:11:01 ◼ ► sit on them and have them be exclusive on their service. - Yep. Season three of Jessica Jones is
00:11:07 ◼ ► coming out soon. That's gonna be the last of both of these. - And that's it. Apparently, that one
00:11:12 ◼ ► they knew enough about what was going on with all the other shows that that is, what I've heard is
00:11:17 ◼ ► that that series ends with some more finality in terms of storytelling, because I think they had
00:11:27 ◼ ► the heads up that this was gonna be the end of Marvel on Netflix. - Going back to WarnerMedia,
00:11:34 ◼ ► they did call out specifically that they would have some shows set within the DC universe.
00:11:42 ◼ ► 'Cause that's something that they have at hand. And if they do a good job of it, they can really
00:11:46 ◼ ► make some cool stuff. - Yeah, the real mystery is what this means for the DC universe service,
00:11:52 ◼ ► which is DC video content and movies and comics. My guess is that like HBO, the Warner streaming
00:12:01 ◼ ► service will be a super set. 'Cause I think that's another thing that Riley said is that HBO content
00:12:08 ◼ ► will be in the Warner streaming service. It's unclear whether all of it will be or not, but I
00:12:12 ◼ ► have a hard time believing that it won't be, you can get HBO for this low price, you can get DC
00:12:18 ◼ ► universe for this low price. And for this slightly larger price, you can get Warner streaming service
00:12:23 ◼ ► with everything, but we'll see how they do it. Because why do you wanna make DC shows for just
00:12:31 ◼ ► this one niche streamer? It seems like that's not a decision they would make today. They would say,
00:12:36 ◼ ► we don't need DC universe streaming. And they may fold the whole thing up and put it inside
00:12:41 ◼ ► at some point. And the plan is to get this out early, I think sometime in 2020, but the content
00:12:47 ◼ ► for this and the NBC universal streaming service that's coming in 2020, it sounds like,
00:12:52 ◼ ► it's everything we talked about about Apple, which is it takes a long time to make content.
00:12:56 ◼ ► And that means that they're gonna start with a small amount and then they're gonna have to build
00:13:00 ◼ ► it over time. Now they'll start with catalogs, both of these, because they have catalogs of
00:13:04 ◼ ► content that they own unlike Apple. But it takes a couple of years to roll out a full slate of shows
00:13:11 ◼ ► for a streaming service and they're both behind. So it'll be a, what he called it like a beta
00:13:17 ◼ ► version in 2020, which is really like, yeah, it'll be, I don't think it'll necessarily be
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00:15:31 ◼ ► event, an Apple event on March 25th. This news kind of rolled out slowly over the last week.
00:15:38 ◼ ► It started with a report from John Paksowski of Buzzfeed. Paksowski reported an upcoming event
00:15:46 ◼ ► on March 25th at the Steve Jobs Theatre at Apple Park that would be focused on streaming,
00:15:51 ◼ ► well on services I should say, sorry, focused on services. Paksowski spoke about pretty much
00:16:04 ◼ ► rumour that came out that Apple wanted to take a 50% cut for publishers who want to work with
00:16:10 ◼ ► them on this service. Jason, we've spoken about this news service, we've spoken about the hesitancy
00:16:15 ◼ ► of news organisations wanting to work with Apple. Now we maybe know a little bit more about why that
00:16:22 ◼ ► is, right? Well, the 50/50 cut, which is rumoured to be what they're doing is they want 50/50,
00:16:32 ◼ ► which seems to be maybe the deal that a lot of the magazines who are kind of desperate are taking,
00:16:38 ◼ ► because Apple has obviously sold them on the idea that this is going to be huge and there's going to
00:16:43 ◼ ► be a lot of money and we're just going to be... It doesn't even matter that we're taking half of the
00:16:47 ◼ ► money for your content because we're all going to be rolling in dough because everybody's going to
00:16:52 ◼ ► pay money for this. And, you know, it's not... Ben Thompson wrote a great piece about it on
00:16:58 ◼ ► Stratechery that basically if you're a premium subscription model company like the New York Times
00:17:05 ◼ ► or the Wall Street Journal or the Washington Post, this deal doesn't make sense. I don't think it
00:17:09 ◼ ► makes sense at 30%. I don't think it makes sense at 15%, quite honestly. But it certainly doesn't
00:17:17 ◼ ► make sense at 50% for them. But if you're a smaller publisher and you're really desperate
00:17:22 ◼ ► for more incremental revenue, maybe it works. This report makes me think that it will be a
00:17:29 ◼ ► work in progress when it launches and that Apple is going to have to make some recalibrations.
00:17:34 ◼ ► And I don't have a really good vibe about this service. I remain open to the possibility that
00:17:44 ◼ ► which means it's going to be a limited number of publishers. And maybe I get... I don't know,
00:17:51 ◼ ► I just get the feeling that this may suggest that Apple has an unrealistic opinion of what this is,
00:17:58 ◼ ► that they think that they've solved it and that a lot of their partners don't agree and are not
00:18:05 ◼ ► willing to sign on to this. And without a good selection of partners, it's hard to sell something
00:18:11 ◼ ► like this. You could throw it in a bundle, which is I suspect now what they're going to do. Having
00:18:17 ◼ ► gotten the... Adding this to the list, and we talked about this I think last time, that makes
00:18:22 ◼ ► me feel like the bundle is really going to happen. And if you bundle it with music and video, maybe
00:18:27 ◼ ► that's part of the calculation there. Although what is the bundle? It's 50% of whatever they assign
00:18:33 ◼ ► the value of the news percentage of the bundle at that point. I don't know. - And also dependent on
00:18:40 ◼ ► people actually reading your content, right? Because it seems like from the rumors that
00:18:45 ◼ ► they're going to be paying out the money based on engagement in Apple News. So you can go in on this,
00:18:50 ◼ ► but you might not make anything. - It also means that if you are somebody who gets paid by readers
00:19:01 ◼ ► by the number of pages viewed, guess what? It's clickbait time. This is a model that unless they've
00:19:08 ◼ ► come up with some very clever ways, which I doubt to beat it, it means that there'll be clickbait
00:19:14 ◼ ► within Apple News because you want to drive engagement with your story so you get a bigger
00:19:18 ◼ ► percentage. And I don't think that's good. - You won't believe what happened next, Jason. You will
00:19:23 ◼ ► not believe. - You won't believe it. Just check in Apple News and you'll find out. So we'll see.
00:19:27 ◼ ► But I think what's interesting is that Pekoski's story was followed up by Germin, right? And Germin
00:19:35 ◼ ► said, "Yeah, it's the Apple video launch and also news will be there," which it makes much more
00:19:39 ◼ ► sense, right? I can't really imagine the tap dancing on stage. - I felt like I was losing my
00:19:43 ◼ ► mind a little bit because Pekoski's source, he says in the article, his source said he had no
00:19:51 ◼ ► details on whether the video service will be shown. - Because his source is somebody in a magazine
00:19:57 ◼ ► somewhere. - It could be anything, right? Like, we don't know. I mean, that's probably the case.
00:20:04 ◼ ► - Really? Somebody who's only been briefed about what they need to do to participate in the news
00:20:08 ◼ ► part of the event. - Well, he did say that he's claiming no hardware, no AirPods, and no iPads.
00:20:14 ◼ ► - That's true. Although that seems very separate and not surprising. - That could be a secondary
00:20:20 ◼ ► thing. - But he has a separate hardware source that said that. - And so this led lots of people
00:20:24 ◼ ► to believe that, oh, well, there's not going to be a video service launch. And, you know,
00:20:28 ◼ ► I'm sure you agreed with me. Actually, you did from reading your article on Six Colors,
00:20:33 ◼ ► kind of your link to Pekoski's point on this, like his report. It seemed madness to me that
00:20:41 ◼ ► you would have an event like this and not show off the streaming service stuff because that's
00:20:46 ◼ ► the crown jewel, not this weirdo magazine service, right? - Yeah, exactly. - So, Mark Gorman and Anusha
00:20:53 ◼ ► Sokoy of Bloomberg, they had a report that Apple has invited many of the stars that they are
00:21:00 ◼ ► working with to this event, as we have spoken about many times in the past, because they will
00:21:06 ◼ ► indeed be showing the first information of the video service. Apparently, this list includes
00:21:11 ◼ ► JJ Abrams, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Jennifer Garner. I saw on Variety as well
00:21:17 ◼ ► that Variety is saying that they have heard this will include the first trailers or clips,
00:21:23 ◼ ► if there are any, will be shown. But this is still like a summer to fall thing. - Yes, that was really
00:21:32 ◼ ► interesting. And I wonder, obviously, they're going to have footage to show, right? I think it might
00:21:38 ◼ ► even turn into something kind of like the up-fronts, where it's literally Apple saying,
00:21:42 ◼ ► "Here's what our lineup is," or it may be, "Here are some samples of the shows we're doing
00:21:47 ◼ ► with the people who are involved with them." And it wouldn't shock me if they even release
00:21:53 ◼ ► pilots, right? Or release a handful of things to people on Apple Music as a teaser for the whole
00:22:01 ◼ ► thing that's coming in the fall. That's a possibility. Certainly trailers. But the Variety
00:22:07 ◼ ► note is interesting in that it contradicts other reports that have said that they told them that
00:22:13 ◼ ► the service is launching in April, which what does that mean? What Variety says is, it's literally
00:22:19 ◼ ► March, April, they're going to do a rollout, which may be this event, and then maybe they drop some
00:22:24 ◼ ► sample episodes or something. But Variety says the bulk of the content at least is going to launch
00:22:37 ◼ ► Variety and the Bloomberg reports mention multiple times again the idea that Apple will be selling
00:22:45 ◼ ► other channel subscriptions through their service like Amazon Prime does. So maybe that's what comes
00:22:50 ◼ ► before the content, right? That like, "Oh, we're doing more with the TV app, and now you'll be
00:22:57 ◼ ► able to buy this channel and this channel and this channel right within the TV app. Maybe that comes
00:23:01 ◼ ► first, we don't know." But that could be something that Apple does if they don't have enough of their
00:23:05 ◼ ► own content to put forward. The new service is slated to be shipping with iOS 12.2 in the summer.
00:23:14 ◼ ► Maybe some of this TV stuff comes with that at the same time. - Who knows? - This is going to be
00:23:20 ◼ ► a real interesting draft. - Yeah, you're right. - The pics are going to be super weird, right? Like
00:23:24 ◼ ► JJ Abrams appears! - Almost like an existential draft of like, what an imaginary weird Apple
00:23:32 ◼ ► event we haven't seen before. Yeah, absolutely. I think JJ Abrams is an enormous Apple fan. So I
00:23:39 ◼ ► think I can really see him like running up on stage and being like, "I just am so excited to
00:23:45 ◼ ► be at an Apple event!" kind of thing. Would not surprise me at all. But yeah, that's an event like
00:23:51 ◼ ► no other, Myke. And so that'll be interesting. - Yeah, upgrade listeners. Let's see if we can
00:23:57 ◼ ► do you the service that we train and help you out with sometimes. This is probably going to be a
00:24:02 ◼ ► really boring Apple event, right? Like there's going to be a lot of celebrities come out. Remember
00:24:06 ◼ ► when Drake came out? Right, imagine that five times in a row, because that's what this one's
00:24:11 ◼ ► going to be like. You know, a bunch of stars are going to come out, or directors are going to come
00:24:15 ◼ ► out, and they're going to talk about their shows. Like, you're not going to get anything exciting.
00:24:19 ◼ ► They're not going to sneak a one last thing new iPad in there on you. They're not doing that,
00:24:23 ◼ ► right? Like, here's someone from the Wall Street Journal. Probably not the Wall Street Journal,
00:24:27 ◼ ► but like, here's someone from Vogue. Here's JJ Abrams. And here's Eddy Cue to talk about it all,
00:24:31 ◼ ► right? Like it's going to be a bit of a slog, this one, I think. So just bear that in mind.
00:24:43 ◼ ► That's the analog, right? That's the closest analog. They brought Drake out to talk about,
00:24:47 ◼ ► I don't even know what he was talking about, because like, it wasn't, he didn't have anything
00:24:51 ◼ ► specific with them. And so I think it's going to be a very kind of regular press event,
00:25:01 ◼ ► typically the type of thing that we don't see from Apple, right? But like, you'll get a lot
00:25:04 ◼ ► of companies do these types of things. You mentioned the up-fronts. If you don't know what
00:25:08 ◼ ► they are, this is when a bunch of media agencies and advertising agencies will come together in
00:25:14 ◼ ► rooms. And then the media agency say, well, here's our new shows. They are podcast up-fronts. There
00:25:19 ◼ ► are TV up-fronts. Here's our slate of content coming out this year with the provisio that you
00:25:24 ◼ ► hopefully want to buy it. Yeah. The president of NBC goes out on stage and lists all the shows that
00:25:28 ◼ ► are coming in the fall and say, now you want to buy ads on all of these. And it's going to be like
00:25:33 ◼ ► that. And once they're not Apple, Apple kind of spinning it in a slightly different way and just
00:25:38 ◼ ► sound like, hey, press, here's our new shows. And maybe you want to buy all of these and as in
00:25:44 ◼ ► buy into all of these. And it's going to be a very direct and a very, very, very different guest list
00:25:48 ◼ ► to normal. A lot more entertainment journalists, right? Would be your expectation. It's going to
00:25:55 ◼ ► be, it's going to be an interesting one for us. I don't know if the Apple fan base at large
00:26:01 ◼ ► is going to have a lot of warm words to say about this event. I feel, uh, people will be sitting
00:26:07 ◼ ► down to expect one thing and they're probably going to get another. We'll see. It's just a
00:26:12 ◼ ► different thing. Right. And I should say as the specter of Drake hovers over us both, uh,
00:26:17 ◼ ► this is what the event should be, right? Like it's not an Apple. This is no criticism from me.
00:26:21 ◼ ► Like this is 100% what it has to be. Bringing the celebrities is really important. I'm still
00:26:26 ◼ ► surprised that they're doing it in Cupertino and not doing it in LA. Like I, I felt like they'd
00:26:31 ◼ ► really want to glitz it up, but maybe they feel like the, the stamp of the big fancy theater
00:26:36 ◼ ► in Cupertino is a better way to do it. But I'm a little surprised that they didn't do this as like
00:26:41 ◼ ► a, you know, full on Apple embraces Hollywood kind of thing, but maybe they were uncomfortable
00:26:46 ◼ ► with that. I don't know. Yeah. Maybe, maybe as you say, they're trying to add a bit of importance to
00:26:51 ◼ ► it. Only iPhones have been introduced, right? Like the Steve Joseph, that's what it's been
00:26:55 ◼ ► useful so far as September iPhone keynotes. I don't think it's been used for anything else. So
00:27:00 ◼ ► like all the cow special come out to our beautiful spaceship and we'll treat you real nice. Oh yeah,
00:27:05 ◼ ► that's true. That's true. They could, they could treat them, treat them really good. I, um, I guess
00:27:09 ◼ ► we will all have to choose whether we want to draft JJ Abrams comes out wearing a vintage Apple jacket.
00:27:16 ◼ ► I think genuinely we have, we're going to have to think about going a little bit esoteric with this
00:27:21 ◼ ► one, uh, cause I think it's going to be a, there's not going to be a ton of stuff. And we also know
00:27:26 ◼ ► a lot more than we typically would know. Um, so this, this draft is going to be a really
00:27:31 ◼ ► fun one to put together. I think it's gonna, that'll be, that'll be a lot. That'll be wild.
00:27:36 ◼ ► So it'd be towards the end of March. So we'll probably know here in the next two or three
00:27:40 ◼ ► weeks, I reckon if this thing's, if this thing is going down when the reports say it suggested it is.
00:27:44 ◼ ► All right, let's take a second break and thank our friends over at FreshBooks for their support
00:27:50 ◼ ► of this show. Everyone loves to save time, but this is especially important when you're a
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00:28:53 ◼ ► to here to here to get everything done. FreshBooks is absolutely amazing. I use it every week to send
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00:29:39 ◼ ► FM. Friend of the show, Ming-Chi Roger Kuo, as we call him. Roger, codename Roger. Codename Roger.
00:29:47 ◼ ► Not his actual name. Not his actual name. Not his actual name. This stems from a few new
00:29:51 ◼ ► listeners. Stems from a time when for some reason Jason randomly called Ming-Chi Kuo Roger. Because
00:29:56 ◼ ► I went to college with a guy. That was it. Yeah, guy named Roger Kuo. Yeah. I don't know,
00:30:10 ◼ ► Roger. Okay, go ahead. Dropped an absolute bombshell of a report on everybody yesterday.
00:30:16 ◼ ► And there's a lot of stuff here. It's kind of unclear at some points, as these things tend to be,
00:30:22 ◼ ► because Kuo is an analyst, how much he knows, how much he is expecting. But this list rings true to
00:30:33 ◼ ► what I would expect to see over Apple over the next year. So let's go through some of this and
00:30:38 ◼ ► we'll stop and talk about some parts along the way. So, some details about the current... Well,
00:30:43 ◼ ► the current upcoming, I should say, 2019 iPhones. Sizes and kind of basic specs remaining as you
00:30:50 ◼ ► expect. They're not gonna change any of the sizes of the phones. They're gonna keep lightning ports.
00:30:55 ◼ ► They're not gonna go to USB-C. The Qi charging will go bilateral, which means the iPhones can
00:31:02 ◼ ► charge stuff as well as getting charged by Qi. So your AirPods, for example, if your AirPods
00:31:14 ◼ ► which I think will be a really, really wonderful feature. But I bet we'll make the cost of
00:31:20 ◼ ► replacing that back glass even more expensive than it currently is. In talking about that,
00:31:25 ◼ ► the glass will be frosted on the new iPhones. So that would give it a slightly different look.
00:31:30 ◼ ► I'm intrigued to see what that ends up looking like, if it maybe means some different color
00:31:34 ◼ ► changes to make that show through. But that's a different look, an interesting look. We'll see.
00:31:40 ◼ ► The Pixel line is glass and has this weird texture to it. It makes it look very different. So
00:31:47 ◼ ► might be nicer to hold, might be more grippy. We'll see. Upgraded Face ID, a bunch of new
00:31:51 ◼ ► internals in Face ID, hopefully making it faster, maybe making it work from further distances. We'll
00:32:05 ◼ ► of trade-offs is size and thickness, but also battery and capacity and trying to extend the
00:32:13 ◼ ► life. So yeah, that would be nice. Always. - And Quo also echoes the rumor of triple cameras,
00:32:18 ◼ ► but does not say where we will see those. Like if it's gonna be one phone or the phones.
00:32:27 ◼ ► pretty logical to me. I like the bilateral charging, I think, maybe the most out of all of that.
00:32:32 ◼ ► - It's not a huge update cycle, and people will probably howl constantly between now and when
00:32:38 ◼ ► they're released and after they're released about the fact that iPhone sales are flat and this year's
00:32:44 ◼ ► models are not gonna necessarily be an enormous change. It's also not surprising and not new.
00:32:49 ◼ ► This is sort of, you know, it takes Apple a long time to make changes in their planned iPhones,
00:32:56 ◼ ► and these iPhones were already on the way. So these are the kind of logical, not super exciting,
00:33:02 ◼ ► but continuing to be available versions of what we got this year, or last year. It's next year's
00:33:10 ◼ ► half step kind of thing. - This is a surprise to me. Upgraded processes with two new iPad Pro models.
00:33:17 ◼ ► That seems strange, seems different, right? To take the current iPad Pros, put new processes in them.
00:33:23 ◼ ► Apple hasn't done that for the iPad Pro line. They've waited until they've been able to make
00:33:28 ◼ ► bigger changes to the models. That would be interesting. I'm keen to understand why that
00:33:35 ◼ ► would be so needed, and if that's all that there really would be for them. - Yeah, I guess it's them
00:33:43 ◼ ► treating them more like laptops. - I guess. - I wonder if there's more here in terms of things
00:33:51 ◼ ► they're doing for new versions of iOS or something like that, where they want to put different
00:33:57 ◼ ► hardware in there, but it does seem a little bit... I mean, I'm not going to complain about a new iPad
00:34:01 ◼ ► Pro model in 2019, but I really didn't think that they would bother doing a yearly cycle for them.
00:34:07 ◼ ► So that was a surprise. - Here's something that I've been trying to think through this. So the
00:34:13 ◼ ► Smart HDR, right? That required the most recent chip, and so the devices could do it. So there
00:34:23 ◼ ► might just be some software thing that requires these new chips, and it might be an interesting
00:34:29 ◼ ► part of the new iPhones that gets added to iOS. So maybe they decide to put it in the iPad Pros as
00:34:34 ◼ ► well? I don't know, but that's the only thing I can think of, if that's all they're going to do,
00:34:38 ◼ ► right? That there might be something that is going to be a cool feature, and they would like it to be
00:34:48 ◼ ► iPad Pros are so powerful. It's not like... I don't think we're going to need a speed bump. That seems
00:34:53 ◼ ► unlikely, but again, we don't know what iOS 13 is going to bring in general. - Yeah, right, right.
00:34:59 ◼ ► And there may be something like that is not part of Quo's sources that are like explanations why
00:35:06 ◼ ► they're doing this. But it may just be that they just decided, "Why don't we keep cycling that
00:35:11 ◼ ► processor every year as we cycle it for the iPhone and just keep them on the same page?"
00:35:15 ◼ ► I don't know. - Sticking on the iPad train, a 10.2 inch version of the base iPad, so taking the
00:35:22 ◼ ► current kind of regular iPad and taking it from 9.7 inches to 10.2, so making the bezel smaller,
00:35:28 ◼ ► plus a new iPad Mini which Quo states of just having a new processor. I expect to see the
00:35:35 ◼ ► iPad Mini with a new processor. He also mentions the iPod Touch kind of getting the same treatment.
00:35:40 ◼ ► This feels like, potentially, that the processors that are currently in these devices won't be
00:35:49 ◼ ► supported anymore. And if they want to keep selling them, they have to update them. - This
00:35:56 ◼ ► is the thing that we talked about with the MacBook Air at some point too, which is like,
00:36:00 ◼ ► at some point you can't keep making that thing. You can't. You just can't. It's too old,
00:36:05 ◼ ► and you can't move ahead with your product line and sell a product that doesn't work with your
00:36:09 ◼ ► product line. So it is the... I'm fascinated by it because there's just the basic idea that
00:36:18 ◼ ► we have to make a decision about this product that we kind of don't care about. And the easy
00:36:22 ◼ ► decision is to stop selling it, but there's somebody inside Apple who's like, "Wait, no,
00:36:26 ◼ ► don't. You've got to keep selling it for some reason." And you're like, "All right. Okay,
00:36:31 ◼ ► fine. We'll just put another processor in it and put it back out there." Which is a little
00:36:36 ◼ ► bit like the Mac Mini story, right? It's like, "You need to do something. What are you going
00:36:41 ◼ ► to do?" And they're like, "All right, we'll do it, and then we're going to let it sit there
00:36:44 ◼ ► again for five more years." Then the really big story, the wild story, is a 16-inch MacBook Pro.
00:36:52 ◼ ► So I think the easiest thing to assume here is we're talking a 15-inch MacBook Pro with thinner
00:37:00 ◼ ► bezels, right? To give it a bigger screen as opposed to a brand new form factor. Yeah, I...
00:37:08 ◼ ► -So what he says is it's a redesigned... -Yeah. He says redesigned, and I take that to believe
00:37:15 ◼ ► that maybe this is the first in what will be a series of replacements for the existing MacBook
00:37:22 ◼ ► Pro line. That this is the next generation of MacBook Pro, and it's starting with this model.
00:37:37 ◼ ► I think the 15-inch is a real question, right? Which is we know that Apple has had success
00:37:45 ◼ ► in just pushing the bezels in, right? Like to... I mean, I guess out, but making them super thin.
00:37:54 ◼ ► And that's a trend in the laptop world in general, PC laptops as well. So when we say 16 or... I think
00:38:01 ◼ ► he said 16 or 16-plus inch. -Yeah, somewhere between... I think somewhere between 16 and 16.5
00:38:12 ◼ ► 15-inch MacBook Pro, but what it is is thinner bezels and maybe a wider... Maybe the laptop gets
00:38:23 ◼ ► a little wider, but they will make some claim about it being thinner or lighter or better by
00:38:30 ◼ ► volume or whatever it is, right? But I don't think what we used to think of as the step from the 13
00:38:37 ◼ ► to the 15 to the 17, which was an enormous distance in size, I don't think that's the kind of size
00:38:43 ◼ ► difference you would get from this one. That's my gut feeling, is that this isn't like the new
00:38:47 ◼ ► lunch tray of 17-inch laptop, that what they're trying to do is create a 15-inch model, a mega
00:38:57 ◼ ► 15-inch model with more screen space without it being enormous. And that in the end, yeah, in the
00:39:04 ◼ ► end, maybe the product line is the 16-inch MacBook Pro, a 14-inch MacBook Pro instead of what we have
00:39:11 ◼ ► now with the two 13-inch models. And then you have the 13-inch Air and the 12-inch MacBook. Maybe
00:39:17 ◼ ► that's where they're headed. -I mean, that would make a lot more sense, right? That would start to
00:39:22 ◼ ► differentiate the whole lineup again. -Yeah, like the iPads, right? -Yeah, just like the iPads. -Like
00:39:28 ◼ ► the iPads, your Pro models have bigger screens and some fancier tech, and they're up at the high end
00:39:33 ◼ ► in those small bezels. Like, it is, it starts, whether it's the right story is an open question,
00:39:43 ◼ ► to differentiate them, which is they've got the technology now to really slim down those bezels
00:39:50 ◼ ► and use that space for screen. And that means that they make a choice. Do I want to make the
00:39:57 ◼ ► laptop smaller, or do I want to make the screen bigger? And for a Pro, given what they've talked
00:40:02 ◼ ► about, about the Pro users on the Mac, for a Pro laptop, why would you not, on the big Pro laptop,
00:40:08 ◼ ► why would you not give those people more screen space? Like, they value more screen space. So,
00:40:18 ◼ ► nobody has talked about before, to my knowledge. This is a new one. And it opens, because he says
00:40:24 ◼ ► new design, it really does open the question of, like, do we get face ID for once? Because you've
00:40:29 ◼ ► got to fit all those sensors into that smaller bezel, little hatch thing. But the iPad has it,
00:40:35 ◼ ► but the iPad is thicker than the screen part of a MacBook. But they could, or they could do it with
00:40:42 ◼ ► a combination of different sensors and machine learning. They could put that sensor, they could
00:40:47 ◼ ► shoot up from, by the keyboard, and shoot up into your face from there to look at you. I mean,
00:40:51 ◼ ► I don't know, there's stuff they could do with optics and, like, sensors in different places.
00:40:55 ◼ ► I want to be open to that. But, and then the big one, of course, is they could rethink the keyboard.
00:41:00 ◼ ► They could. I think they probably would. I mean, I'm intrigued to see what a fully new design.
00:41:07 ◼ ► So here's my thing. If you put these, if you put this laptop next to a 15-inch current MacBook Pro,
00:41:16 ◼ ► would you, would you see, how much difference would you see? That's what I really wonder,
00:41:20 ◼ ► because, like, I feel like laptop design has been, is a solved thing now. Like, they look how they
00:41:26 ◼ ► look. And I would be super intrigued to see what a new design looks like. Like, what could they do
00:41:32 ◼ ► that, that I'm not seeing? Or will it mean, or does new design mean it has a bigger screen and
00:41:38 ◼ ► we've re-engineered it in these certain ways to make X, Y and Z better, right? Like, a fully new
00:41:44 ◼ ► design could mean we had to go back to the beginning to make the keyboard work and keep it
00:41:49 ◼ ► thin. You know? Well, I, it could, it could. My guess is that, and this is just a guess, is that
00:41:58 ◼ ► it'll look more like the iPad Pro, which it already kind of does, but more like that. More, more,
00:42:03 ◼ ► less rounded corners. More sharp edges. Try to make it thinner. But more, more of those,
00:42:08 ◼ ► yeah, more of those right angles and, and a little less of the curves. But that's just a guess that,
00:42:15 ◼ ► again, I'm trying to place that iPad Pro parallel and think. I always feel like Apple is always
00:42:19 ◼ ► striving to have their whole product line kind of work in harmony. And it doesn't, because that's,
00:42:24 ◼ ► it's very, very, very hard to do that. And like the iPhone, for example, he doesn't say in this,
00:42:29 ◼ ► the iPhones are going to look different and they're going to look more like the iPad Pro,
00:42:32 ◼ ► which is something people have commented on. It's like those iPad Pros look great. What if the
00:42:36 ◼ ► iPhone looked like that? And, you know, Kuo says no. He says that's not going to happen.
00:42:41 ◼ ► I almost called him Roger again. It's fine. Codename Roger. But I think they try, right?
00:42:48 ◼ ► I think they try to have harmony between their products. They want, Apple really wants Apple
00:42:53 ◼ ► products to feel of a kind, which is a challenge when you have two completely different operating
00:42:58 ◼ ► systems, which is why they're also pushing the operating systems closer together. So that if they
00:43:02 ◼ ► do a hardware redesign here, it might only be internal stuff like keyboards and all of that.
00:43:08 ◼ ► But I think they might take the opportunity to take whatever this design language is that they
00:43:13 ◼ ► use in the iPad Pro and also apply it to this. You know, normally I would say, what's their most
00:43:18 ◼ ► recently released laptop and what does that tell us about where they're going with laptop design?
00:43:22 ◼ ► But what it tells us is nothing because it's a retro design. It's literally just the MacBook Air
00:43:27 ◼ ► design updated. So it tells us nothing. So we're left just guessing until they release one of these
00:43:33 ◼ ► things. And then with this one, we will read the tea leaves and say, oh, this is going to be what
00:43:37 ◼ ► all the future laptops look like. But I think, you know, the chances are good here based on what
00:43:42 ◼ ► Kuo is saying that this is going to be that laptop where it's the model and all the rest of them will
00:43:49 ◼ ► follow it for the next three years or whatever. - Allow me to start the speculation train, Jason.
00:43:55 ◼ ► - Oh, okay. All right. I'll put some fire in the engine, some coal in the engine of the locomotive.
00:44:08 ◼ ► - Oh, boy. Intel. Intel. I think ARM transition is going to happen, but boy, I think putting it
00:44:18 ◼ ► but I just wanted to say it. You know, I just wanted to say it because it's a thing, right?
00:44:22 ◼ ► Like it is a thing that is, it's floating out there. We don't know what it's going to look like.
00:44:27 ◼ ► We don't know when it's going to happen, but you know, like we would expect this product
00:44:32 ◼ ► will probably not replace the 15 inch for a while. It will probably be too expensive and it will sit
00:44:38 ◼ ► alongside it. So, you know, I never know. - Okay. So here, here, I'll throw something in.
00:44:45 ◼ ► I'm going to be the, I'm going to do the most wild speculation of all, which is it's going to have an
00:44:51 ◼ ► ARM processor in it because the T2 is in most of the new Macs now, all the new Macs now. What if
00:45:00 ◼ ► it has an ARM processor that's more like an iPhone or iPad processor in addition to Intel? And you
00:45:05 ◼ ► have the ability to target software to it because we're entering marzipan land. And also these are
00:45:10 ◼ ► used by developers and they're iOS developers. So having it run on the actual hardware is kind
00:45:15 ◼ ► of an interesting idea. - Maybe this is the machine that if you want to do this type of
00:45:19 ◼ ► development, this is the one that you should be buying. - And I'll just throw on top of that,
00:45:24 ◼ ► at that point, if you're going to be, because again, wild speculation, wild speculation.
00:45:28 ◼ ► Why would that new nice screen not be a touch screen? - Oh, damn. - I'm an iOS developer.
00:45:47 ◼ ► interact with it as it's supposed to be interacted with. - Hey Jason, what if that new design... - Let's
00:45:52 ◼ ► start a rumor. Let's start a rumor right now. Let's do it. - What if Jason, that new design
00:45:57 ◼ ► includes a hinge that allows you to flip the screen all the way around to the back, Jason?
00:46:03 ◼ ► - You lost me. You lost me. Now we really are in Fantasyland. It was just increasingly bizarre.
00:46:10 ◼ ► The train is so far off the rails now, Myke. It's off the rails. It's in the canyon. - Disclaimer,
00:46:15 ◼ ► these are not our official predictions. Merely wild speculation. - No, but I do. I mean, I think
00:46:22 ◼ ► if I'm... We are only able to view what Apple is doing from the outside, obviously. They're the
00:46:28 ◼ ► ones who know what their strategy ultimately is with Mac OS and iOS and where they're taking all
00:46:32 ◼ ► this. But if the speculation is right about like more iOS apps on the Mac and bringing them much
00:46:38 ◼ ► closer together in terms of their interfaces and in terms of their app platform, and touch is such
00:46:42 ◼ ► a big part of mobile and Apple has not done touch on laptops for reasons involving like Mac OS's
00:46:49 ◼ ► suitability to it, but now we're bringing in all these apps from iOS. I keep asking the question,
00:46:54 ◼ ► like, I don't know whether that's a good idea or not, but I would imagine that if you're somebody
00:46:59 ◼ ► inside Apple talking about the future of the MacBook Pro and your audience, a huge part of
00:47:05 ◼ ► your audience is graphic designers and iOS developers, that having touch for an Apple Pencil,
00:47:17 ◼ ► for marzipan apps, or just in Xcode for doing app testing and previewing on your laptop is...
00:47:26 ◼ ► I mean, it's worth asking the question if... And everybody freaks out when you talk about Macs.
00:47:38 ◼ ► zombie arms, all of those things. The fact is, it's not a primary interaction method. It's not.
00:47:44 ◼ ► Even on the laptops that have touch screens, people don't spend all their time with the
00:47:48 ◼ ► zombie arms up touching the screen. But as an extra thing, it has applications. And so I think
00:47:54 ◼ ► it's... I just want to put it out there because I think I would be surprised if Apple never
00:48:01 ◼ ► adds touch support to the displays on Macs. I would be surprised, but they might not. Anyway,
00:48:09 ◼ ► I think it's worth going down that road of what other iOS tech could they put into these things.
00:48:14 ◼ ► And Apple Pencil support is one of them. Touch support is one of them. ARM processors that can
00:48:21 ◼ ► actually run software, like run apps, is one of them. And that would also create a transitional
00:48:29 ◼ ► developer machine if the platform is going to ARM, right? You expect at some point some or all of
00:48:35 ◼ ► these things are going to happen. This could be the beginning of some of it, right? That's the
00:48:42 ◼ ► thinking. 31 inch 6K external display. I saw this and I was like, "Sure, why not?" 6K. Actually,
00:48:54 ◼ ► we've heard a lot from people and on other podcasts about how the 5K that we use in our
00:49:02 ◼ ► iMacs and that Apple has talked up is not really a thing in the broader computer industry. 5K
00:49:07 ◼ ► displays are not really what people are doing. They are pushing further out into 8K displays
00:49:14 ◼ ► and all that. So the idea of a 31 inch 6K display is... I could see that. Why stop at 5 when you can
00:49:22 ◼ ► have 6? Why stop at 27 when you can have 31 inches of display, especially if the bezels are really
00:49:28 ◼ ► small as opposed to our iMacs which have huge bezels? It's quite a jump from "we don't make
00:49:34 ◼ ► monitors anymore," isn't it? "We don't make them anymore." Oh, by the way, here's a 31 inch 6K.
00:49:40 ◼ ► Here's the best monitor of all time. Mini LED backlight design. I don't know what that means.
00:49:46 ◼ ► I'm going to wait for John Sukuso to tell me in a bit more detail. It's a different kind of LED
00:49:51 ◼ ► backlighting that's supposed to be better. That seems to be what it is. With "outstanding picture
00:49:56 ◼ ► quality." Of course. Of course. I'm sure we'll have all the colors. It will literally run the gamut.
00:50:00 ◼ ► Haha. See what I did there? Anyway, yeah, all the colors. Here's what I think. I think June,
00:50:06 ◼ ► WWDC, we get the laptop and the monitor, and then they say, "Here's what the Mac Pro looks like,"
00:50:11 ◼ ► and it will be out later this year. That's what I think we're going to get. Yeah. Yeah. I think
00:50:14 ◼ ► that's about right. That's going to be... Some one of us will get to draft that, but that's my gut
00:50:20 ◼ ► feeling is that they will mention the Mac Pro and do like they did with the iMac Pro. They will
00:50:26 ◼ ► unveil it. And the Mac Pro. The trash can. They did it for both of them. Oh, yeah. Yeah. So you
00:50:31 ◼ ► can see it, and then it'll be available later. But the monitor could come out now. One of the
00:50:37 ◼ ► reasons I think that it's just based upon the information that Kuo gave, he references the Mac
00:50:42 ◼ ► Pro but doesn't really say anything new about it, which makes me think that the MacBook Pro and the
00:50:47 ◼ ► external display are closer to production because everybody knows that Minqi, Kuo's sources come
00:50:51 ◼ ► from the production line and the suppliers. So maybe these two products, which are new products,
00:50:58 ◼ ► right? Nobody has spoken about either of these two things at all anywhere before now. So if
00:51:05 ◼ ► Kuo's on the money, which a lot of the time he is, it would make you think that these things are
00:51:11 ◼ ► closer maybe than the Mac Pro is. So, yeah, we'll see about that. Last couple of little parts. A new
00:51:17 ◼ ► ceramic casing for the Apple Watch and ECG to roll out to more countries. AirPods 2 will have wireless
00:51:24 ◼ ► charging case and upgraded Bluetooth connectivity. So I guess maybe the Bluetooth stuff will be
00:51:29 ◼ ► better in some way. And obviously it needs the wireless charging case if the phone can charge
00:51:33 ◼ ► them. And believe it or not, I don't, but believe it or not, AirPower to ship during the first half
00:51:40 ◼ ► of 2019. Believe it or not, indeed, I think it's going to happen. I think it sounds like,
00:51:50 ◼ ► of it is that this is almost certainly a completely different product that they've engineered because
00:51:54 ◼ ► they had to go back to the drawing board. And I've heard there was a story about how it's going to be
00:51:58 ◼ ► like way thicker than they showed and stuff like that. But it sounds like it's in the works and
00:52:06 ◼ ► AirPower and the AirPods 2. And I've heard, you know, I heard from somebody in, I'll say,
00:52:27 ◼ ► skeptical that what this means is that they have ceased production of the old AirPods and have
00:52:32 ◼ ► begun making the new AirPods. And it may be that the way this works is it just stock is reduced.
00:52:38 ◼ ► So if you run out, you can't get more from the factory. So instead they kind of like take it out
00:52:42 ◼ ► of wherever there is stock and they move it around. So it may not be imminent, but it feels like the
00:52:48 ◼ ► AirPods are coming sooner rather than later because they're having all of these issues with keeping
00:52:55 ◼ ► them in stock. That's not a run on AirPods. It is that they may be preparing to turn it over and
00:53:01 ◼ ► sell AirPods number two instead. - So Roger, Roger, thank you Ming-Chi Kuo. - Thank you Ming-Chi Kuo.
00:53:09 ◼ ► - There's a lot to go on there. And I'm really intrigued to think more and hear more people
00:53:18 ◼ ► talk about this MacBook Pro. - I like Mac rumors. This is like, you know, iPhones, yeah, they'll be
00:53:25 ◼ ► new. iPads, yeah, there'll be upgrades. Oh, now let me tell you about all the new Macs and external
00:53:31 ◼ ► devices and stuff. Like, okay, cool. That's cool. Yeah. - I am still most interested though in
00:53:44 ◼ ► You know, I would really like a Mac Pro that I could assume I could keep for 10 years and
00:53:51 ◼ ► keep upgrading. I'm on my 2015 Retina iMac at the moment. No desire to change it. This machine is
00:54:02 ◼ ► brilliant. Like, I don't feel the requirement to get an iMac Pro. I don't need it. But I'd like the
00:54:12 ◼ ► idea of a Mac that I could just beef up and leave for a long time, but to provide that I could then
00:54:18 ◼ ► change graphics cards and change RAM more easily in the future, right? So like, I buy a 10-year Mac
00:54:24 ◼ ► instead of a three-year Mac, you know? So I've got my eye on that, but it might be more than I need.
00:54:31 ◼ ► Probably is more than I need, but we won't know until we see it. - Yeah, yeah, this year. This year.
00:54:37 ◼ ► - This year. All right, today's episode is also brought to you by Lunar Display. Our friends over
00:54:44 ◼ ► at Lunar Display are helping many of us and hopefully helping some of you and can help some
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00:55:23 ◼ ► on new screens. It's even better when you travel as well. If you travel with a laptop and an iPad,
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00:55:39 ◼ ► smaller screen than my iMac. So it's nice to have that extended screen real estate. Or you can do
00:55:43 ◼ ► like what I do. I have a Mac Mini sitting here and I use Lunar Display to connect to my Mac Mini.
00:55:48 ◼ ► My Mac Mini runs about a display attached to it. I can have Mac OS as like an app on my iPad,
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00:57:08 ◼ ► is hesitant. You would need to make some changes to how macOS works for it to make sense as a
00:57:21 ◼ ► Like, it's trickier with the—I mean, it works. The touch works, but the Apple Pencil makes it
00:57:41 ◼ ► events continue to occur. So we haven't had a chance to do our mega Ask Upgrade episode,
00:57:46 ◼ ► but we can clear out a bunch today, I think. We most certainly can. Our first question comes
00:57:50 ◼ ► from Frank today. Frank says, "In regards to the rumors of a 50% commission on Apple News
00:57:55 ◼ ► description revenue, which we spoke about earlier in the show, what if the rumors were leaked
00:57:59 ◼ ► strategically to manage expectations? Remember how relieved we all felt in 2010, when the first
00:58:09 ◼ ► I think it's—I think it's somebody leaking that information strategically. I think this is
00:58:19 ◼ ► negotiating in the press. My guess is that there's somebody who's so outraged by the 50%
00:58:29 ◼ ► that Apple wants to charge somebody probably for a newspaper that they leaked it because they want
00:58:35 ◼ ► Apple to look bad. And, you know, it's possible that it's Apple playing a game where they, you
00:58:43 ◼ ► know, set a high number and then they change, but I doubt it. I think it's more likely that it's
00:58:48 ◼ ► somebody who's kind of outraged and is hoping that Apple will be—this will put more pressure on Apple
00:58:53 ◼ ► from other publishers to not make a deal with them so that they back down and they change their
00:59:00 ◼ ► percent commission. But it does definitely feel like—like I said one of the last times we talked
00:59:06 ◼ ► about rumors like six months ago, always ask yourself why it got leaked. Always ask yourself,
00:59:11 ◼ ► "Why did this information come out?" And for something like Ming-Chi Kuo, it's people in
00:59:16 ◼ ► his production—he's got sources in the production line and he's reporting on the supply chain and
00:59:21 ◼ ► he's saying which companies are building what and the people there are motivated probably by just—
00:59:25 ◼ ► possibly by money and if not that, then they like that they're feeding this analyst that information.
00:59:33 ◼ ► But for something like this, I think it's very clearly motivated by something that caused this
00:59:37 ◼ ► to leak and beyond just, "Oh, I know a percentage number." It feels more like it probably was
00:59:44 ◼ ► tactical of, "This is ridiculous. Let's leave this to the press and Apple will get roasted."
00:59:48 ◼ ► I agree with you. Yeah. Like Apple, I feel probably do strategic leaking from time to time,
00:59:56 ◼ ► but this wouldn't be one of the things that they would care—like they care to tell the public
01:00:01 ◼ ► about. This is not general public information. This is—why would you leak to the public a 50%
01:00:06 ◼ ► number and then go back to the people you've been negotiating with for the last six months and say,
01:00:10 ◼ ► "Okay, we'll make it 30% now that it's leaked." That doesn't make any sense. So yeah, that's
01:00:15 ◼ ► right. The audience here isn't really the public because it's the people they're negotiating with.
01:00:19 ◼ ► So I think it's far more likely that this is the negotiations on the other side where they're
01:00:25 ◼ ► saying, "This is outrageous. I'm going to shame you in public and then maybe you'll get the word
01:00:31 ◼ ► from everybody that everybody thinks that you're—this is ridiculous." I'm not saying it'll
01:00:36 ◼ ► work, but that feels more what it is, is somebody who's frustrated that Apple is sticking to this
01:00:41 ◼ ► number that is bananas. It's just I can't believe it. I mean, I kind of believe it because it's
01:00:48 ◼ ► Apple, but it doesn't make any sense to me and I wouldn't take that deal for—if I was—again,
01:00:55 ◼ ► maybe there are some businesses that it makes sense for, but I have a hard time conceiving
01:00:59 ◼ ► of what those would be. So our next question comes from Eric. Eric says, "With the 'other'
01:01:03 ◼ ► category being renamed to wearables, home, and accessories, what is a new product in that area
01:01:10 ◼ ► that you think could be profitable for Apple? Like with their privacy stance, Eric would love to see
01:01:15 ◼ ► home cameras or security systems. Are there any areas that you think Apple is likely to move into
01:01:21 ◼ ► when it comes to home technology?" I would say right now, no. Apple seems to have decided they're
01:01:28 ◼ ► just not going to bother making smart home products. I think—I mean, what do they make?
01:01:34 ◼ ► They make—the HomePod. They make the HomePod and they make Bedit, right? The sleep sensor,
01:01:41 ◼ ► which they bought and they still sell, and I have one. One of these days I'm going to write about
01:01:46 ◼ ► it. But it's a weird thing, and like why is that product there? And I think it's to feed home kit
01:01:53 ◼ ► data and because they wanted it, but my bigger—my overarching question here is I'm a little bit
01:02:00 ◼ ► mystified why Apple has decided they're just not going to bother competing and they're going to let
01:02:05 ◼ ► Google—I mean, you look at the Eero acquisition by Amazon. Like you're letting other tech giants
01:02:11 ◼ ► build infrastructure in smart home tech and you just don't care. Like you got out of the Wi-Fi,
01:02:20 ◼ ► they're in the—with the HomePod and that's about it. On one level, it allows them to say,
01:02:31 ◼ ► But on another level, I think you're letting your competitors buy out everything and you're not
01:02:38 ◼ ► going to choose to compete. And when Amazon owns Eero, I do have that moment where I think
01:02:42 ◼ ► if I were at Apple, I would be like, "Wait, everything that happens on a network is going
01:02:49 ◼ ► to be seen by our competitors potentially. Like why would we not want to—why did we stop making
01:02:56 ◼ ► AirPort? Why did we not make our own mesh networking where we guarantee that your data is
01:03:00 ◼ ► secure?" We live in an era where our competitors are—the people who are using Wi-Fi are often using
01:03:07 ◼ ► it from either their cable company or they're using it from like Google or Amazon now. Why would we
01:03:12 ◼ ► not want to do it? But they obviously made a decision. They can reverse themselves. They've
01:03:15 ◼ ► done it in the past to just say, "No, we're not going to bother. Unless it can be an enormous hit
01:03:20 ◼ ► or as an accessory to one of our enormous hits, we're just going to walk away." It's weird.
01:03:25 ◼ ► It's weird. I don't think I agree with that approach. I feel like it would be more Apple-like
01:03:33 ◼ ► for them to make these products. But at the same time, I'm really sensitive to the fact that
01:03:39 ◼ ► it really seems like Apple can't even reliably update and develop the products that it has.
01:03:46 ◼ ► That the way that company works, their attention has to be focused on a very small number of
01:03:52 ◼ ► things. Maybe somebody inside Apple said, "You know what? We could build Wi-Fi routers or a
01:03:58 ◼ ► smart thermostat or whatever, but it's going to be a super distraction for us, and we don't need
01:04:04 ◼ ► that kind of distraction." For a company their size with the money they've got, I'm a little
01:04:08 ◼ ► surprised that they just haven't built a smart home division and put everything inside of it and let
01:04:13 ◼ ► their speakers and thermostat and Wi-Fi and all sorts of other stuff like that go in there and let
01:04:20 ◼ ► them compete. But it is possible that they've just decided philosophically they'd rather
01:04:26 ◼ ► get everybody to use HomeKit, and then you can use anybody's stuff with Apple stuff. The Wi-Fi is the
01:04:32 ◼ ► one that gets me, though. That like, that Eero being bought really made me think, "Hmm, Apple,
01:04:37 ◼ ► maybe you should have not punted on Wi-Fi after all." Because it's a market, right? It's a market
01:04:44 ◼ ► people want the products. Right, and your competitors are among the leading manufacturers,
01:04:50 ◼ ► of that stuff. It was reported over the weekend by CNBC that Apple hired a guy by the name Sam Jadalla,
01:04:58 ◼ ► who used to work on Microsoft and started a company called Otto, which ended up not working out.
01:05:04 ◼ ► It was like a smart lock. And CNBC is reporting that Jadalla is going to be revamping the smart
01:05:12 ◼ ► home business, whatever that means. Could be Apple branded products, could be different stuff for
01:05:17 ◼ ► HomeKit, we don't know. But they did hire somebody who has experience making smart home hardware.
01:05:24 ◼ ► I don't know the details of all of Apple's business and their culture on the inside, but
01:05:31 ◼ ► I will say it feels like a missed opportunity for Apple not to play in some of these smart
01:05:35 ◼ ► home spaces and not to have maybe bought up some of these smart home companies that are now going
01:05:41 ◼ ► to be guided by their competitors among giant tech companies. **Aaron asks, "I have a mid 2011
01:05:52 ◼ ► iMac and I'm considering a new Mac Mini. My understanding is that with the right adapters,
01:05:56 ◼ ► I can use target display mode to just display the Mini to the iMac. Is this a viable long-term
01:06:13 ◼ ► which means you've got an iMac running in target display mode with a new Mac Mini that's capable
01:06:21 ◼ ► of retina and the iMac can't display retina. And so you're going to get a nice picture,
01:06:26 ◼ ► but it's going to be a low resolution picture. I don't consider that a long-term solution,
01:06:31 ◼ ► but maybe you don't care. I would buy a new monitor because at this point, I don't want
01:06:36 ◼ ► to use a Mac without a retina display. But if you want to save money and don't care about retina,
01:06:44 ◼ ► then it's viable. I think I have not used an iMac in target display mode for any length of time at
01:06:51 ◼ ► all. So I can't say just how annoying it would be over time to have to be putting it in target
01:06:59 ◼ ► display mode. So I would say in the end, I'm skeptical of its ability to be a long-term
01:07:06 ◼ ► solution. It's a solution, but because of the fiddly nature of it being an iMac in target mode
01:07:18 ◼ ► Stephen asks, "Do you think that Apple's new subscription news service will be limited to
01:07:22 ◼ ► existing Apple news countries, currently the USA, the UK, Australia, and I think Canada,
01:07:27 ◼ ► as you've just launched, are just about to? Or do you think it's going to roll out more broadly
01:07:31 ◼ ► than that?" Apple news is so slow to roll out that I think it's going to be limited. I think it'll be
01:07:37 ◼ ► limited. It may be even USA only at launch. I know they're going into Canada, finally. They announced
01:07:42 ◼ ► they're going into Canada and the weight there was that they wanted to go into Canada multilingual,
01:07:47 ◼ ► so that they'd have French and English versions. You go to Europe, you got to make a deal with
01:08:04 ◼ ► a US only rollout. Maybe US and UK, but they're still struggling to negotiate with the US. And
01:08:11 ◼ ► then once they're done with that, yeah, then they'll have to go to the UK and negotiate there.
01:08:14 ◼ ► And when they're done with that, they'll have to go to Germany and negotiate there. And that's what
01:08:17 ◼ ► they're going to have to do. And that's a lot. I don't envy them because they have to approach
01:08:27 ◼ ► every single publisher and talk to them one on one and have those arguments about 50% are you crazy?
01:08:32 ◼ ► And they're like, "Every time. I don't want to be that person. I feel for that person who has to
01:08:37 ◼ ► get yelled at about what Apple's terms are." So I think it's going to be a slow rollout.
01:08:42 ◼ ► And I think, like I said earlier, I think it's also going to be something where the product is
01:08:46 ◼ ► not quite fully formed at launch and that they continue to tweak it. They may get there with it,
01:08:52 ◼ ► but I think I'm really skeptical that it is not going to be kind of broken when it launches.
01:09:00 ◼ ► "Do you think there is or could be a viable market for a second HomePod device? Different size,
01:09:07 ◼ ► different focus?" So my question is kind of in twofold to you, Jason. One, do you think there
01:09:19 ◼ ► and I'm far from the first person to have this idea. But I think just as Sonos has done this,
01:09:24 ◼ ► I think Apple should make a soundbar. I think Apple should make a Siri enabled soundbar.
01:09:31 ◼ ► I'll go further and say, I think Apple should make a Siri enabled soundbar that's also an Apple TV.
01:09:35 ◼ ► And you plug it into your TV and it makes nice sound and gives you surround-ish sort of sound
01:09:41 ◼ ► and will also plug into your TV and let you have stuff on your TV menu and do all the things that
01:09:48 ◼ ► an Apple TV does. And it'll look good and it'll sound good. And it'll do Siri, whether the TV's
01:09:57 ◼ ► on or not, and play music that sounds good. That's the one that I keep thinking of, is an opportunity
01:10:04 ◼ ► for Apple to get people. Why attach an Apple TV to your TV? Well, if it's a soundbar that's also an
01:10:13 ◼ ► Apple TV, then you're getting good sound on your HDTV. Plus, you pick up all the Apple stuff. And
01:10:20 ◼ ► I feel like there's a product there that maybe would give people more reason to buy an Apple TV.
01:10:26 ◼ ► And with the HomePod tech, it could also be functional all the time. You can talk to it.
01:10:30 ◼ ► You don't need to even hold up the Siri remote and talk into it. You can just talk and the
01:10:35 ◼ ► speaker will hear you and control your TV or play music or do whatever. So that's kind of my pitch
01:10:44 ◼ ► Like, bottom line, I think the HomePod's not bad. I think the problem with the HomePod,
01:10:50 ◼ ► and I feel like as I look at my iPod Hi-Fi that's right here, I think it's the same story, which is
01:10:54 ◼ ► people say like, "Oh, well, the iPod Hi-Fi, that was a really bad product." It wasn't a bad product.
01:10:59 ◼ ► It was a misguided product that was overpriced and kind of oversold for what it was, but it's
01:11:04 ◼ ► a perfectly fine speaker. The HomePod is good, and two of them is kind of great, but the price
01:11:10 ◼ ► is just completely out of whack with the rest of the market. And so, borrowing a soundbar,
01:11:18 ◼ ► I would say, I just think that the HomePod should be cheaper and that they should sell it,
01:11:24 ◼ ► and they should really aggressively sell it in a bundle, make the bundle of two of them cheaper,
01:11:29 ◼ ► because everybody I know who's gotten two HomePods has said, "Oh, yeah, it's so much better now." Like,
01:11:36 ◼ ► in a stereo pair on different sides of a room, and it fills the room, and it goes from being
01:11:41 ◼ ► a curiosity to being the go-to music player in the house. But that's $350 times two. No,
01:11:48 ◼ ► it's too expensive. So, my feeling is the product's okay. They could hang a screen on it or
01:11:55 ◼ ► something, but at that point, it's basically like an iPad attached to a speaker. I'm not sure that's
01:12:07 ◼ ► - I had never thought of a soundbar. I think that's really cool. I would like that a lot.
01:12:14 ◼ ► My thinking was the same that you were, that they should just make the current one maybe a bit more
01:12:24 ◼ ► integrated Apple TV is a genuine product that could exist without them needing to touch the
01:12:30 ◼ ► current one. It's got enough new and cool about it. I like that, Jason. I would like that a lot.
01:12:36 ◼ ► I find it frustrating that I always have to remember to change my audio outputs to the HomePod
01:12:43 ◼ ► from my Apple TV because I have the two and we have them kind of in a position that it's nice.
01:12:51 ◼ ► it's perfect for us for watching TV through the Apple TV. But it never seems to lock to it. I have
01:12:58 ◼ ► to keep remembering to change the audio output. And if it was a device like a soundbar, it's more
01:13:03 ◼ ► in tune to actually doing what it's supposed to do. And that's where the sound's going to naturally
01:13:28 ◼ ► He's also @jsnell on Twitter and Instagram. I am @imike. I-M-Y-K-E. You can find this show
01:13:38 ◼ ► and many other shows at really the FM/shows. There's tons of great content there for you.
01:13:49 ◼ ► If you'd like to send in questions for the show, #snelltalk for something fun to open with.
01:13:54 ◼ ► If you have any questions you'd like to hear us answer at the end of the show, #askupgrade,
01:13:59 ◼ ► where we can get into some good detail about those. Thank you so much for listening to episode