337: No Appreciable Gates


00:00:00   [Music]

00:00:08   From Relay FM, this is Upgrade, episode 337. Today's show is brought to you by PDF pen from Smile, Bombus and Microsoft Lists.

00:00:21   My name is Myke Hurley and I'm joined by Jason Snow. Hello, Jason Snow.

00:00:25   Hello, Myke Hurley.

00:00:26   I have a #snowtalk question for you.

00:00:28   Ooh, okay.

00:00:29   This one comes from John and John wants to know, "What is the first app that you open on your iPhone every morning?

00:00:35   Does it change depending on the day of the week or other circumstances?"

00:00:38   Interesting question that I have a frustrating answer for, which is I don't open my iPhone every morning.

00:00:45   I don't unlock my iPhone. I don't sleep next to my iPhone. My iPhone is in the kitchen.

00:00:50   Okay.

00:00:52   So I reject your premise, sir, but I do open my iPad every morning.

00:01:00   It doesn't change based on day of the week because I am a person who lives in my home, works in my home, never leaves my home.

00:01:10   I work for myself, so all the days bleed together.

00:01:14   Sometimes I work on the weekend.

00:01:16   Sometimes I work, don't work on the day, on the weekdays.

00:01:19   I don't know. It's just all blurred together, so it's pretty much the same every morning regardless.

00:01:24   Right.

00:01:26   The app I open on the iPad is either, it's usually Slack because I want to see what the people I know are talking about and what's going on.

00:01:39   And there's usually an alert where somebody has direct messaged me on Slack or oftentimes I'm awakened to Steve and Hackett posting a funny post from one of the various e-book bots that speak in our voices,

00:01:59   which is hilarious because they make no sense and are funny.

00:02:03   But I will usually do that because first thing in the morning, the last thing I want to do is check Twitter immediately and have everything that's terrible in the world reflected to me.

00:02:16   I usually wait for that a little bit.

00:02:18   So Slack is mostly the answer.

00:02:21   Sometimes it'll be Twitter or a news app or NetNewswire or something like that.

00:02:26   And it doesn't change based on day of the week.

00:02:28   And it's not on an iPhone.

00:02:29   It's on an iPad.

00:02:30   My iPhone just sort of sits there unless there's something very specific that I want out of it.

00:02:35   I don't use it routinely.

00:02:40   I mean, if I leave the house on an errand or something, I'll take it with me.

00:02:43   I don't even take it when I'm exercising outside because I just use my Apple watch.

00:02:47   So yeah, the iPhone just, it's just kind of parked on its little MagSafe charger.

00:02:53   I did think that that was your answer, but I seemed to remember that you were a phone not in the bedroom person.

00:03:04   But I wanted to use this episode as a, this question as a way to confirm that and then see where you were going with it.

00:03:09   For me, typically, I guess the first app that I would tend to open is the clock app to turn off my many alarms once I'm awake.

00:03:21   But the real answer that people are looking for is, I guess, I look at my notifications and see what is the most important thing from those to deal with first.

00:03:34   That's the real answer for me, too, is that I see notification center on the lock screen.

00:03:39   Face ID is usually fired and I am tapping on an alert from somewhere.

00:03:44   So sometimes that'll be a text message that came in overnight or it's a Slack DM or it's a headline from a news source or it's an email and it catches my eye and I'm like, oh, and it ends up being.

00:03:59   There's somebody at Apple working on notifications center who's like, yes, yes, that's the right answer.

00:04:04   If you would like to send in a Snowtalk question to help us open an episode of the show, just send out a tweet with the hashtag Snowtalk or use question mark Snowtalk in the relay FM members discord and it may be included.

00:04:21   Jason, you have been doing something with the 20 max for 2020 feed.

00:04:26   You said to listeners, to upgrade not to unsubscribe from that feed, even though the 20 max for 2020 program, I think, what would we call it?

00:04:37   Series, there we go, is over.

00:04:40   I love program.

00:04:41   I love you saying that because I know you're saying it with the extra M E at the end of it because it's British and it makes me feel very special.

00:04:47   It's English.

00:04:49   And so you have actually gone ahead and used the 20 max of 2020 feeds and are going to for some like additional commentary and deleted scenes.

00:05:00   I was not lying when I said I didn't know what would go in it, but that people should keep it around and I didn't have any plans.

00:05:06   I didn't have any plans, but I, somebody asked and I was thinking about it too.

00:05:11   Like I have all of the interviews I did that were the source material.

00:05:16   And while they weren't intended to be released as complete things, I think they're interesting.

00:05:24   And I didn't use most of the material like the, the, I did a lot, many, many hours of interviews and only portions of them are in the show.

00:05:34   So what I, I'm going to do at least a little bit, not all the interviews are worth it because a lot of them are really much like I say the name of a computer and somebody talks about it for five minutes and it's not a conversation.

00:05:46   But I have a few of them that are more like podcasts.

00:05:49   They're more like conversations.

00:05:50   And, and the longest sessions I did for the whole project were my conversations with John Syracuse.

00:05:58   And so I talked to John and I said, would you be okay with me releasing the raw conversation?

00:06:02   He said, as long as there isn't anything, you know, anything bad in there.

00:06:06   So I gave, I, I'm, I'm listening to them and taking out the parts where his dog starts barking and stuff like that.

00:06:12   But otherwise it's fairly unedited.

00:06:15   And I did four interviews with John during the course of the project.

00:06:18   One was sort of like a follow-up where I wanted to talk a little bit more about multi-processing and all of that to get a little more raw material for a very particular episode.

00:06:29   But I have four hours of John Syracuse and me talking about old Macs.

00:06:34   So the first hour plus of that is in that feed for members, for upgrade members and Six Colors members.

00:06:42   And it will reach the public feed at some point in the next couple of weeks.

00:06:45   And then there'll be a couple more hours of John Syracuse that released.

00:06:49   Beyond that, I don't know.

00:06:50   I've got to look at what else I've got.

00:06:52   And if I think there's other stuff in there worth, uh, worth going through and getting out into the world and I'll check with the people involved to make sure they're okay with that.

00:07:04   And maybe there will be some more of that.

00:07:06   So it's very much an appendix at the end of the project.

00:07:08   But, um, when I was looking at the stuff that I was doing with, uh, with John, I thought this is basically a podcast.

00:07:17   Like what people will really like this and, and I can, I can get it in a, in a, in shape where it's, even though it's, it's literally just talking through number 20 and then number 19 and then number 18, but with, with asides and tangents and all sorts of stuff in there.

00:07:32   So it's fun.

00:07:33   The first one's out now.

00:07:34   There are, there are two more episodes, uh, to be prepped and posted with John.

00:07:39   I don't know when, I don't know what the schedule is going to be, but if you're, if you deleted that feed and you're interested in hearing kind of this extra stuff, uh, it get it back.

00:07:48   You can log in to your account at relay if you're an upgrade member or at six colors, if you're a six colors member.

00:07:55   I also put a link in the show notes that you can just tap it and just log in and you'll be able to go to the feed.

00:08:01   Fantastic.

00:08:01   Is he releasing the snail cut?

00:08:03   Is that what you're saying here?

00:08:04   It's just a snow cut that you're releasing.

00:08:06   This is the, this is the raw footage.

00:08:08   Right.

00:08:09   Just the raw footage.

00:08:10   It's, it's not, it's not a re-edit or an expanded version or anything like that, but you know, with the, with the, the scripted style journalistic podcast format, which is what 20 max for 2020 was, you know, even when I let John Sirocuso talk, I'm letting him talk for a minute.

00:08:27   I'm letting him talk for 40 seconds.

00:08:29   I'm letting him talk for a minute and a half.

00:08:31   And I'm, he might've talked for 20 minutes about that particular Mac, but I only use the parts, you know, it's, it's, it's meant to be just the little highlights and weaving it together and telling a story.

00:08:44   And, uh, and yeah, so some people I hope will find it fun.

00:08:48   And if you're on the regular feed and not the member feed, that's fine.

00:08:51   Just, uh, keep it around and or, or subscribe back to it and it'll pop up there eventually too.

00:08:58   So we have a ton of stuff to get to today.

00:09:00   Uh, lots of information.

00:09:03   Q1 2021 earnings, six college report card.

00:09:06   Uh, so why don't we take our first break now, and then we can jump into talking about, uh, the Q1, the bumper Q1 earnings.

00:09:15   Uh, that Apple just posted last week.

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00:10:58   All right, so Q1 2021 earnings time, Jason Snow.

00:11:04   We would, we touched on this last week because it was coming up.

00:11:09   We were both surprised by it.

00:11:11   And one of the reasons I brought it up.

00:11:15   It was that it was expected that Apple would cross a hundred billion dollars in revenue, which was higher than any possible guidance and will be the first time that they've done it in history.

00:11:27   Their previous largest quarter was 91.8 billion, which was the last quarter, right?

00:11:31   Like that was Q4 2020.

00:11:34   And not only did they cross a hundred billion, they left it in.

00:11:40   Sorry, it was Q1 2020 was the 91.8 billion.

00:11:45   Holiday 19 last year's holiday quarter calendar 19.

00:11:50   That was always their biggest.

00:11:52   Yeah, that was 91.8 and they went to 111.4.

00:11:56   So almost $20 billion more revenue than the year old quarter.

00:12:01   Yeah, like I was digging around today, but the date would have been too far back for me to find something relevant.

00:12:07   Like I was wondering, like when was Apple's last 20 billion quarter?

00:12:11   Right.

00:12:13   You know what I mean?

00:12:13   Like just like they did an entire quarter's worth of jump over the last previous quarter.

00:12:18   $28.8 billion in profit.

00:12:22   But just to underscore, $111 billion is absolutely obscene.

00:12:29   Like it's obscene.

00:12:30   It's an obscene amount of money.

00:12:32   But they did it.

00:12:34   And there's loads of reasons.

00:12:35   Like it's not just, it doesn't really seem to be one reason.

00:12:38   So the Mac saw $8.7 billion in revenue.

00:12:42   It was the second largest quarter in history for the Mac.

00:12:45   With the last quarter of 2020 being the biggest one before that.

00:12:52   We'll dig into some more of this in a bit.

00:12:56   The iPad saw $8.4 billion of revenue as the largest iPad quarter since 2015.

00:13:03   The iPhone saw $65.6 billion in revenue, making it the largest iPhone quarter in history.

00:13:10   Where it wasn't home was at 13 billion, another largest quarter ever.

00:13:14   Services was 15.8.

00:13:17   The services quarter is always the biggest because of the way services works,

00:13:21   but it was the largest year over year increase since 2018.

00:13:24   And just as a data point, because we're going to dig into some of this in a bit,

00:13:29   there was 57% year over year growth in China for Apple.

00:13:33   Yep.

00:13:34   After a couple of years of no real China and a loss last quarter.

00:13:41   So yeah, it was a big up in China for sure.

00:13:43   And we're back to 59% of the revenue generated by the iPhone.

00:13:50   That had been shrinking a little bit.

00:13:52   But now big, you know, it makes sense for a bunch of reasons.

00:13:56   Like the iPhone story is an interesting one because look, all of the iPhones,

00:14:02   all of the new iPhones were sold in one quarter, which certainly helps.

00:14:07   Not only the iPhone year over year boost and making it the biggest iPhone quarter ever

00:14:12   also helps as being a decent reason as to why this was the largest quarter in Apple's history.

00:14:19   Because usually the opening of the iPhone sales for the year, the new models,

00:14:26   starts in the previous quarter.

00:14:28   And then it's also in their holiday quarter too as well to see the majority, but that

00:14:32   it's not all of it.

00:14:33   And that has definitely been a contributing factor this time, right?

00:14:37   Yeah, it's not, this is an extreme quarter, but it's not a bad thing to point out that

00:14:43   if you put the Mac and the iPad together and more than triple it,

00:14:46   it still doesn't match the iPhone revenue.

00:14:48   So just as a reminder why Apple is so focused on the iPhone, that's why.

00:14:54   Yeah, because it's...

00:14:56   It's not that the Mac and the iPad are not great, huge businesses, but the iPhone generates

00:15:03   just an enormous amount of revenue for Apple.

00:15:05   Now there's some intriguing stuff about what's going on here.

00:15:11   So Apple said that there was a very high level of interest in a new lineup,

00:15:15   especially the Pro funds.

00:15:17   What did you think about that?

00:15:18   Yeah, so we had these stories about how Apple was cutting back

00:15:22   and somebody actually said that that wasn't accurate, which I thought was interesting,

00:15:26   cutting back on a production of the iPhone 12 mini and everybody who likes small phones

00:15:31   was like, "Oh no."

00:15:32   And the Macalope was very upset and all of those things, right?

00:15:37   Yeah, but they did that with the iPhone 10.

00:15:39   I mean, they didn't abandon the notch, but that was the thing then.

00:15:43   It also doesn't mean it's selling badly.

00:15:45   It means it's selling lower than expectation and it's a question of whether that's actually

00:15:48   true or not.

00:15:49   I thought it was interesting though that Apple said at multiple points in their call,

00:15:53   the Pro phones especially, they kept saying that.

00:15:59   Now, part of that may be talking to financial analysts.

00:16:02   They want to make the, now that they've taken the unit sales out of their reports,

00:16:08   we don't know how many they sold, right?

00:16:09   They hide that now.

00:16:11   All we get is revenue, which means that you can't actually construct what we used to be

00:16:16   able to construct, which was an average selling price, the average price of an iPhone, which

00:16:21   tells you something about was the average iPhone down in the iPhone 12 mini range or

00:16:28   was it up in the Pro Max range?

00:16:29   Like was the average selling price of an iPhone $900 or $1,000?

00:16:34   It makes a difference and we don't know.

00:16:36   There are analyst firms that estimate, but we don't know.

00:16:40   And I think part of what Apple was doing here was sort of sending that signal without giving

00:16:44   out any details that they said the ASPs were up, right?

00:16:49   The average selling price went up, but they said especially great demand for the Pro models,

00:16:55   which are more expensive.

00:16:57   So I think they're sort of trying to tell Wall Street, trying to tell all the investors

00:17:01   that even though they make these cheaper phones, the non-Pro models, that the greatest demand

00:17:10   was for the Pro models and that they were like pumping it up.

00:17:13   Like the Pro models are great.

00:17:15   They're really fueling increased average selling price and that means more profit for Apple

00:17:20   and Yippie, right?

00:17:20   I think that's what they're doing there.

00:17:22   It strikes me that's interesting also because when people are talking about, well, you know,

00:17:27   maybe the 12 mini isn't selling that well.

00:17:29   It's like, well, nobody said that about the 12 and the 12 seems to be the mainstream phone

00:17:33   and you would think that the 12 would probably be the best seller of all of them, but Apple

00:17:37   didn't pump up the sales of the 12.

00:17:39   It pumped up the sales of the 12 Pro and Pro Max, the Pro models.

00:17:44   I don't know what it means, but it gives me pause at least that maybe some of our assumptions

00:17:50   about how we think the spread of sales of these products is not, needs to be recalibrated

00:17:55   because Apple was very much saying that the Pro models were the ones that were in the

00:17:59   greatest demand and maybe it's just trying to tell everybody, yes, we make cheaper iPhones

00:18:05   every year now, but trust us, people, more people want the Pros.

00:18:11   And that's a good message when you're not releasing your average selling price anymore

00:18:15   because we don't know, all we know is revenue.

00:18:18   We don't know units.

00:18:19   And so they're saying, no, no, it was the, we sold those expensive ones.

00:18:23   Those are the ones we sold.

00:18:24   And I'm sure that having more choice than they've had maybe ever in the iPhone line has

00:18:33   helped.

00:18:35   And, you know, they may have over forecast the iPhone 12 mini, but I can't imagine that

00:18:42   they would can it in one shot.

00:18:46   I don't, I don't either.

00:18:49   And I think it's because of people trying to attach old behavior on a new situation.

00:18:59   If that makes sense, I think the mini, the 12 mini exists in a, in a universe where there

00:19:08   are four or five iPhones, right?

00:19:12   Not every iPhone, first off, not every iPhone literally can be the best-selling iPhone,

00:19:16   right?

00:19:17   Like the more iPhones you make, some of them will sell better than others.

00:19:20   That's how it works.

00:19:21   The mini exists in a world where Apple is making enough phones that they can afford

00:19:27   to sell a phone to a niche market.

00:19:29   That's the whole point of selling five brand new iPhones, which they released five brand

00:19:33   new iPhones in 2020.

00:19:35   If you can't throw in the, the second generation SE, right?

00:19:39   Five brand new iPhones in 2020, four new iPhones in the fall of 2020.

00:19:43   It's not meant to, now, maybe it's a total flop and they're like, well, why are we even

00:19:49   bothering?

00:19:50   But I don't think so.

00:19:52   I think it's that they want a product line.

00:19:54   They want a range and they want to let people, it's not like it's a different size, but the

00:19:59   internal components are the same.

00:20:01   It's the same stuff that's in them.

00:20:03   And I would, I also do subscribe to the policy or the the view, let's say that first off,

00:20:10   a lot of the pent up demand for a small phone was bled away by the release of the SE second

00:20:17   generation in the spring.

00:20:18   And those people, if they had not had that release, they might've waited around and gotten

00:20:22   the 12 mini and two, the 12 mini people are probably as the 12 people, actually the non

00:20:29   pro buyers, probably not as likely to be the buyers who rush in first thing, a new iPhone

00:20:36   is put on sale and buy the iPhone.

00:20:39   If that makes sense, the pro buyers are the real phone nerds.

00:20:42   I would say again, not everyone, but I think more, more of a tendency to be the, the, the

00:20:47   tech nerds are like, they want the latest and greatest and they want the pro.

00:20:51   And I would probably guess that the 12 and 12 mini will sell better in the next three

00:20:58   quarters compared to the pro models than they did in this first quarter, if that makes sense.

00:21:04   And the mini, especially like, I think people who are going to buy that phone, they're like,

00:21:10   not even going to look for a new phone until spring or summer or something like that.

00:21:13   And they're going to be like, Oh, look, there's a little iPhone.

00:21:15   Great.

00:21:16   And, and so I think, you know, take it easy, uh, pent up demand for people who are like

00:21:21   the most enthusiastic iPhone buyers is not the whole market and having four or five phones

00:21:26   available means that some of those phones aren't going to sell as well.

00:21:28   Um, so I think that I, I think that it's possible that the mini is just a dog and nobody likes

00:21:35   it, but I think it's more far more likely that it is exactly what we think it is, which

00:21:39   is a niche product that is not ever meant to be the best selling iPhone, but it's an

00:21:44   iPhone in a larger collection and it has appeal to a certain market.

00:21:49   In his daily update last week, Ben Thompson focused on China with the iPhone a lot, um,

00:21:57   suggesting that this could be where a lot of the growth happened.

00:22:02   So we have a couple of key thoughts around that, which, which makes sense to me.

00:22:07   Apparently 5g is much more prevalent in China.

00:22:10   Like it's, it's more built out.

00:22:11   So a 5g iPhone is something people would want more maybe than in other markets.

00:22:16   If that's true, um, which I believe it is, I didn't know this was the case, right.

00:22:22   Uh, I can understand maybe why 5g was given the prevalence for Apple that it was if like

00:22:30   they had a hint, right.

00:22:31   Which you would assume that they did that.

00:22:34   Like if we, that 5g would get them a lot of sales in China, like.

00:22:39   Right. And everybody in America and Europe kind of roll, rolling their eyes a bit at

00:22:43   the 5g stuff, especially Europe is my understanding is even slower at this than the

00:22:49   us is in terms of 5g.

00:22:50   It depends.

00:22:51   And we all look at each other and are like, uh, and it's like, well, no, but it's China.

00:22:57   It's all about China.

00:22:58   Like every phone in China is a 5g phone and they've got, had a big 5g rollout and people

00:23:02   really want 5g and it's a, it's going to be a driver of demand.

00:23:04   And there are iPhone users in China who are holding out because they want the 5g phone,

00:23:08   which means there's pent up demand in China.

00:23:09   They're going to sell a lot of these phones.

00:23:11   And then you throw in the fact that it looks different, which has been something we've

00:23:15   talked about, uh, again and again, which is you change the look of the iPhone.

00:23:21   Externally and it sells better, especially in China, but really everywhere, because then

00:23:27   it's sort of like, Oh, it's different.

00:23:29   I can get it.

00:23:30   I can get the new iPhone look and that's a factor.

00:23:33   And you put those two together and, and, and Apple releases phones that are 5g and look

00:23:37   different and look, uh, China revenue shot shot up by 50 plus percent.

00:23:43   Like that.

00:23:44   There you go.

00:23:45   There it is.

00:23:45   It's not, not a surprise.

00:23:47   I would say not really.

00:23:48   Ben also mentioned something that I hadn't thought of before, which is, this is the first

00:23:52   big notched phone with a new design because the 10s max existed, but it was just a bigger

00:24:01   version of the 10 visually.

00:24:04   And so like bigger phones tend to sell better in Asia.

00:24:09   And this is a bigger phone, the biggest phone, and it looks new, would drive a lot of upgrades.

00:24:14   And Ben also mentioned something about Huawei, which is very interesting.

00:24:18   So Huawei, you know, they are, you may not have known Huawei were the biggest, uh, manufacturer

00:24:24   of phones in the world up until a couple of years ago.

00:24:27   They were selling more phones worldwide than anybody.

00:24:29   They took over Samsung, then Apple or Apple, then Samsung, whatever way around it was.

00:24:34   And Huawei being restricted from using Android has significantly hurt their market.

00:24:41   Yeah.

00:24:42   And so it seems like potentially Apple is taking up room left by Huawei as well in China.

00:24:51   So it's a lot of interesting stuff there.

00:24:52   There's some indication that Apple is literally, um, eating some of Huawei's market in China

00:24:59   that literally there's a transfer going on to a certain point.

00:25:03   And that's, you know, that's a, that's a recurring theme in the results and in the conversation

00:25:10   they had with analysts, which is okay.

00:25:13   I talked about it here before, you know, we all know the effect where Apple comes out with

00:25:16   record results and their stock goes down and people complain about why, why is the stock

00:25:20   going down?

00:25:21   And it's all about what Wall Street values, right?

00:25:23   What Wall Street, uh, all our expectations are already baked into the stock value.

00:25:28   So when they do something we expected, it doesn't go up because that expectation was

00:25:32   already baked into the stock.

00:25:33   But what a lot of people won't notice is did they make a forecast for the next quarter

00:25:38   and was that down?

00:25:38   They've stopped doing forecasts during COVID because they they're like, this is too uncertain

00:25:43   and we don't know.

00:25:43   And I also think Apple doesn't like doing forecasts and this is a good excuse to not

00:25:47   do a forecast.

00:25:48   But one of the things you also have to know when you look at this stuff is that the primary

00:25:55   factor, the lens through which Wall Street, you know, investment in general looks at companies

00:26:02   is growth, right?

00:26:04   It's not how big are you, how much profit are you throwing off?

00:26:07   That's great.

00:26:07   They throw out dividends.

00:26:08   You get cash back if you own an Apple, own Apple stock.

00:26:11   That's great.

00:26:12   But growth, where's the growth come from?

00:26:15   And Apple's gotten beaten up over that for a while now because of course the iPhone growth

00:26:20   was just exponential for a while, just enormous.

00:26:24   And everybody loved Apple.

00:26:26   And then after the iPhone six cycle went and everybody did that, you know, cause that was

00:26:32   a very brand new and big phone and that was their biggest phone launch ever.

00:26:36   And then the numbers came down and everybody's like, Oh no, the iPhone isn't growing anymore.

00:26:42   Doom for Apple.

00:26:44   And of course the iPhone just had its record revenue quarter.

00:26:49   So it is growing again, but it had a peak and then it kind of tailed off and it's growing

00:26:53   slower and slow growth.

00:26:55   This isn't going to happen again next year.

00:26:56   Like next year's iPhone results are not going to look like this.

00:27:00   They just won't.

00:27:01   So Apple is trying to talk more about what its growth opportunity is.

00:27:09   Cause I think Apple realizes Apple executives realize that they've gotten beaten up a little

00:27:12   bit the last few years where people look at 110 plus billion dollars in revenue and say,

00:27:19   how can this company grow more?

00:27:20   Like how is it possible that Apple can grow more?

00:27:25   It's so huge and successful and one of the biggest success, most successful companies

00:27:29   in the world.

00:27:29   How can it grow more?

00:27:31   And so, especially this time, there was a lot of effort made, I would say on the, on

00:27:36   the part of Apple executives to talk about growth opportunity.

00:27:40   And I thought that was one of the fascinating things they said.

00:27:42   So you mentioned Huawei and how that's a growth opportunity.

00:27:46   Tim Cook said, look, in most of these markets, we are not, we do not have an enormous market

00:27:53   share.

00:27:54   There's room for us to grow and take market share away from our competitors.

00:27:58   They have talked for a while now as a part of this about what percentage of their buyers,

00:28:03   especially at Macs and iPads are new to the platform.

00:28:06   That's growth, right?

00:28:08   They've started talking about their installed base, which is like active devices in use.

00:28:15   The idea there that if you buy a new iPad, but you hand down the other iPad, there's

00:28:19   one more iPad in use.

00:28:20   It's a net gain of an iPad.

00:28:22   So they're rolling all of that stuff together.

00:28:26   And then what I thought was really interesting, which is about the Mac.

00:28:31   So we should talk about the Mac a little bit more is he very specifically said, Tim Cook

00:28:37   said, the M1 and Apple Silicon essentially gives us new growth in personal computers.

00:28:46   And if you look, it's very subtle, again, very Tim Cook subtle, but very clear what

00:28:51   he was saying, which is if you look at our market share and personal computers, it's

00:28:54   not very big.

00:28:55   And we think that Apple Silicon gives us a new trajectory there.

00:28:59   Isn't that wild?

00:29:00   In 2021, we're going back to this.

00:29:03   Essentially, Apple Silicon is so good that if you think the Mac is just going to have

00:29:07   9 or 10% of the PC market, we think we can do way better than that because our chips

00:29:13   are so much better than what is available on Windows.

00:29:16   That's what he's saying.

00:29:18   And I just, first off, I laugh at that because it's like, oh yeah, get them, Tim, get

00:29:21   them.

00:29:22   But it's true, Apple is profitable and successful as it is.

00:29:26   In very few places does it have even greater than 50% market share, right?

00:29:31   It's taken a lot of the profit share of all of these markets, but like, is there room

00:29:36   for Apple to grow?

00:29:37   They're making the case that there is.

00:29:39   And we can, it's certainly debatable, but I think it's funny that Tim Cook actually

00:29:45   goes out and calls out the PC market and says, now that we've got Apple Silicon on the

00:29:49   Mac, we're going to kill it on the PC market too.

00:29:52   So watch out.

00:29:53   That's what he's saying.

00:29:54   It's just wild to me that in 2021, we're now talking about Mac versus PC market share

00:29:59   again.

00:29:59   Like, it isn't a bad thing.

00:30:02   Like, the reason is good, but it's just so wild to me that we're back here.

00:30:08   But it is a huge growth area because, you know, not, it's not complete as a complete

00:30:15   one to one, but for as many people as have smartphones in the world, there are computers

00:30:21   too, right?

00:30:22   It's not one to one and different parts of the world have a different makeup of this.

00:30:26   But there are lots of computers in the world, right, that are used by people.

00:30:31   There's a lot of potential market there, like a massive potential market there in personal

00:30:36   and business use.

00:30:37   If you want to grow the company, I mean, look, you're not going to find $60 billion,

00:30:50   right?

00:30:50   Like, you're just not going to find that.

00:30:51   It's too much.

00:30:52   But they could find two, two, three, four times the amount that they're currently doing.

00:30:58   Yeah, and I think their argument is iPad growth, and they talk about that a lot, that there

00:31:05   are a bunch of people who are new to iPad.

00:31:07   They've had great success in getting iPad into the enterprise, into large companies

00:31:11   that want to have a simpler device in a way that's easier to maintain but that they can

00:31:16   use.

00:31:17   So that's part of their strategy is to replace PCs and businesses with iPads and not necessarily

00:31:22   Macs.

00:31:23   They can do that.

00:31:23   So like, iPad has a lot of room to grow.

00:31:26   The Mac has a lot of market share it could take away from Windows.

00:31:28   The iPhone still in a lot of markets is not particularly strong.

00:31:32   They were talking about how in India, they had, I forget what it was, they had a really

00:31:37   good quarter in India, and it's still like not a drish to drop in the pocket of what's

00:31:41   available.

00:31:41   And they said there are a bunch of other developing markets that are like that.

00:31:43   So that's a growth opportunity for them.

00:31:46   And services continues to grow and they keep adding new services and wearables has done

00:31:50   really well and continues to grow.

00:31:52   Plus, they've got whatever they're spending all their money on an R&D, right?

00:31:55   And that they are putting together.

00:31:57   Now again, I'm not saying this is all true or at least all going to happen the way they

00:32:01   think it's going to happen.

00:32:02   But you can see that Apple is very strongly saying we have a growth story and it's all

00:32:11   over the place.

00:32:12   It's iPhone growth.

00:32:14   It's iPad and Mac growth in businesses and in consumer.

00:32:18   It's growth in developing markets where we aren't very good right now.

00:32:22   And it's new products that we aren't going to talk about, but we're spending a lot of

00:32:26   money to research and we're going to grow there too.

00:32:29   And the reason they're doing and again, you could look at Apple's numbers and say, why

00:32:32   are they even talking about growth?

00:32:33   They made $111 billion in revenue and generated $28.7 billion in profit in three months.

00:32:44   And the answer is because they're a publicly held company and growth is the language that

00:32:50   the people in the investment world speak.

00:32:52   So they need to talk about growth, but they do make a strong case.

00:32:55   It would be, it's a harder case to make if you're, like people talk about Facebook and

00:33:02   how Facebook's growth is constrained by the number of people on planet earth.

00:33:05   Like literally you can only be everywhere.

00:33:08   It's that kind of thing.

00:33:10   If like, if Apple had 90% of the smartphone market worldwide, it would be hard to talk

00:33:17   about growth, but it doesn't.

00:33:20   So they're making the case it's, it's really interesting.

00:33:23   And yes, Mac versus PC is part of the case because of Apple Silicon.

00:33:28   Now, a cynic would say that the way that Tim Cook finally got excited about the Mac is

00:33:33   that they put the iPhone processor in it.

00:33:35   But, but I would, you know, a more nuanced view is that Apple Silicon arriving on the

00:33:40   Mac really does give them a, uh, an advantage over the competition that they couldn't have

00:33:45   as long as they were using the same chips as the competition.

00:33:47   It could, you know, it could be argued that put in the iPhone chip in the Mac is what

00:33:56   has finally made the Mac comparable and better than what is available hardware wise.

00:34:05   From the PC space.

00:34:07   Yeah.

00:34:07   Well, I mean, comparable is funny one.

00:34:09   Like I think the problem with having Intel in the Mac was that it was too comparable.

00:34:13   It was too parallel.

00:34:16   Because it was the same.

00:34:17   They were the same chips.

00:34:18   Literally the same.

00:34:19   Whereas even with just the M1, which I'll remind everybody, it's the low end Apple Silicon

00:34:25   processor on the Mac.

00:34:26   It's these are the low end models.

00:34:28   These are the slowest Apple Silicon computers ever to be released.

00:34:32   Okay.

00:34:33   And even they kind of blow away a large part of the PC market.

00:34:40   That's where their confidence is coming from.

00:34:42   And that's something that they couldn't do as long as they were on Intel, because

00:34:46   literally you could look up the part number and say, well, that part number is also available

00:34:49   in this PC from Dell.

00:34:50   And now you can't.

00:34:52   And, and whether they're right or not.

00:34:55   And I think it's, I think there's an interesting question of who buys windows PCs and why do

00:35:00   they buy them?

00:35:01   And, you know, Apple has been saying for a long time that a huge percentage of the people

00:35:05   who buy Macs in Apple stores are new to the Mac.

00:35:08   So there's been some flow in that direction.

00:35:11   Is Apple Silicon something that changes that dynamic in a way that, that drives a lot of

00:35:18   out of Mac sales?

00:35:19   Is it something that we might not see now because it's selling a lot of MacBook Airs,

00:35:23   but that we might see in the next round when the MacBook Pro that's got, you know, some

00:35:29   serious power, more power behind it temps more people.

00:35:33   I don't know, but Apple's talking a good game that this is, this is going to change the

00:35:39   dynamic because they're no longer going to be able to be compared, you know, and be saddled

00:35:44   with the Intel processor that makes them look like just another PC.

00:35:47   They're not that anymore.

00:35:49   iPad and Mac sales, you know, they continue to grow and grow fast because of COVID work

00:35:58   school changes.

00:35:59   It's accelerated trends.

00:36:00   Yeah, the pandemic has.

00:36:02   Both of these product lines were seeing signs of improvement before 2020 and the M1 Macs

00:36:08   would have always been a help.

00:36:10   You know, I think it's fair to say that last quarter would not have been the biggest quarter

00:36:17   ever that this quarter would have been more likely to do that.

00:36:23   If in a no pandemic world, right, because there wouldn't have really been a reason why

00:36:29   the third calendar quarter would have been as big as it was.

00:36:32   Right.

00:36:33   Well, I think that, yeah, that's the feeling is that the last two quarter Mac quarters,

00:36:36   which were both great and that last quarter was the biggest quarter ever, were driven

00:36:41   by sales of people who either needed a computer at home because of the pandemic or an additional

00:36:46   computer at home because they got multiple people who need to be on their computer or

00:36:50   they had an old computer and they needed to replace it and it kicked off this replacement

00:36:53   cycle in advance of the release of Apple Silicon, which is interesting.

00:36:56   And yet still, and with that in the supply constraints on some Apple Silicon Macs, Apple

00:37:03   still had the second best Mac quarter of all time.

00:37:07   So it's back to back the two best Mac quarters ever just now, which again, Myke, I have to

00:37:13   stop us and say, you mean, you mean the year 2020 was the best year the Mac has ever had?

00:37:19   Yes. Yes, it was.

00:37:21   You're 2020 this, this computer that's been around for all this time.

00:37:25   And it's like, Nope, but in the year 2020 was the best for the Mac.

00:37:30   So, and, and the message seems to be just wait because this Apple Silicon thing is going

00:37:35   to keep driving that growth.

00:37:37   So we'll see because the, the countervailing force, the, the the tough compare the head

00:37:44   wins, whatever financial sector phrasing you want to use is that they, that they discharged

00:37:50   a bunch of that pent up demand because of the, the pandemic and that Mac sales and maybe

00:37:58   computer sales in general will be suppressed for the next couple of years because in 2020,

00:38:02   everybody bought a laptop or an iPad or both or whatever.

00:38:06   And it was really good for 2020, but going forward we're going to have a lull because

00:38:12   the replacement cycle won't begin for another two or three years.

00:38:15   That's the counter argument.

00:38:17   And, and we'll have to see what happens in 2021.

00:38:19   I'm guessing that what Apple's doing on the Mac is going to manage to keep the Mac doing

00:38:27   really well and above its previous level, whether they're going to hit 9 billion again

00:38:33   in the Mac.

00:38:33   I don't know that that's a, that's a tough one.

00:38:36   That, that one really might be a severe outlier.

00:38:41   We'll just have to see, but just keeping in mind that previously Apple was doing, you

00:38:46   know, 7 billion in, in back to school and holiday quarters and like five or six in the

00:38:53   other quarters.

00:38:53   And that's my question is, will they go back to that level?

00:38:57   Will they go below that level or will they end up above that?

00:38:59   Will they have they, will they have pushed the, the average Mac sales number higher?

00:39:06   We'll see.

00:39:09   Last thing guidance for 2021 is all over the place.

00:39:12   Like it's too, it's, there's a lot of tough.

00:39:14   I mean, Apple's not tough compares.

00:39:16   Yeah.

00:39:17   Apple, Apple's not giving any guidance at all.

00:39:19   It's like COVID, we don't know.

00:39:20   We don't know what's, what's going to happen.

00:39:22   But you're right.

00:39:24   The, the, the phrasing that they use is the tough compare and there are going to be some,

00:39:30   right?

00:39:30   They're going to be a good, the downside of having a good year is that you have to follow

00:39:36   it up the next year and you're comparing against the year ago quarter, which means you have

00:39:40   a really great quarter.

00:39:41   The next quarter, if it's good is going to look down because it wasn't great.

00:39:46   It was only good.

00:39:46   So, uh, Apple has had such a great 2020 calendar wise, which again, every time they talk about

00:39:53   it, they're very kind of embarrassed.

00:39:55   And they're like, we know it's very hard out there and it's very bad.

00:39:58   And, uh, we feel for everybody in our communities and everybody who's suffering because of the

00:40:01   pandemic.

00:40:01   And it's really bad by the way.

00:40:03   Uh, I said all that while I was rolling in money, right?

00:40:05   Like they're, they're embarrassed about it, but that's the fact is like 2020 was a spectacularly

00:40:10   good financial year for Apple and yeah, 2021 is going to be, um, harder for them when measured

00:40:18   against growth.

00:40:19   Right.

00:40:19   Which is again, that's the, that's the story here is, uh, what was it versus the year ago

00:40:25   quarter.

00:40:25   And, and if Apple next holiday quarter delivers a hundred billion dollar quarter, people are

00:40:32   going to be disappointed because it's going to be down year over year.

00:40:35   So that's what they're up against.

00:40:36   And we'll have to see, given that there's probably not a new buying cycle, given that

00:40:42   there's not going to be a new iPhone design and, uh, you know, pent up demand for five

00:40:46   G and all those things that happened with the 12, they're going to have a challenge to,

00:40:53   uh, to meet up, you know, to, to meet what they did in 2020.

00:40:59   I could argue, you know, the counter argument, which is that for everybody who rushed to

00:41:04   buy technology in 2020, because they needed it, there are also people who probably deferred

00:41:08   buying because they didn't have money because their financial situation was questionable

00:41:12   because they felt like they could get by with what they already had because they weren't

00:41:16   going anywhere.

00:41:16   So they didn't need a new phone.

00:41:18   And that if in 2021 things open up a little bit more, the counter argument is that some

00:41:24   people actually deferred their purchases in 2020 and might pick them up in 21.

00:41:29   That would be the counter argument.

00:41:31   If you, if you're looking for a case for, but I think it's going to be like the year

00:41:36   after the iPhone six, a little bit where the numbers are going to come out and they're

00:41:39   going to be down year over year a little bit.

00:41:41   And people are gonna be like, Oh, what's going on with Apple?

00:41:43   And the answer is going to be really Apple still at a really high level.

00:41:46   It's just not 2020 because of all of those extenuating circumstances.

00:41:51   But who knows?

00:41:51   Yeah.

00:41:52   Like if you compare them, if you compare 2021 numbers to 2019 numbers, ignore 2020, that

00:41:59   can be an easy, a better thing to do, which is what we were doing in 2017 or whatever.

00:42:03   That's, that's what we had to do is like, is, is, is the trend up?

00:42:07   If you take out this kind of aberrant spike is, are they still moving upward?

00:42:12   Generally is the tide generally lifting?

00:42:14   And that's something you can get, you can try to get an eye on because that's the difference

00:42:18   between is Apple after the iPhone six.

00:42:20   The question was, is Apple over?

00:42:24   Right.

00:42:24   Which people always want to have.

00:42:26   Is it peak?

00:42:26   Are we at peak Apple?

00:42:27   And it's just going to go down from here.

00:42:29   And if you, if you looked at the data and you kind of like just ignored that spike in

00:42:34   16, the trend for, for 17 versus 15 was up the quarters, the versus the two year ago

00:42:43   quarter, everything was up.

00:42:44   And so what you end up saying is that's a one-time aberration and that the tide is going

00:42:51   to keep rising.

00:42:52   And that was absolutely true.

00:42:54   So that's something to look for as well as, is how aberrant was, was 2020.

00:42:59   I'm going to, I'm going to guess it's not peak Apple because it's never peak Apple,

00:43:03   it seems, but, uh, it'll be a tough compare in, in 21.

00:43:08   This episode of upgrade is brought to you by Microsoft lists, your smart information

00:43:13   tracking app in Microsoft 365.

00:43:15   Keeping track of information is something that's in everybody's job descriptions today,

00:43:19   writing things down for simple lists, but it can get overwhelming when you need to stay

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00:44:02   and compliance.

00:44:03   I was checking out Microsoft lists.

00:44:04   They gave me like a demo of it.

00:44:06   It was super cool.

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00:44:09   They have a bunch of great templates like with, with like these are what you can do

00:44:13   with them.

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00:44:24   It's really easy to understand.

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00:44:40   can very easily turn into a tool that can very, very quickly, very simply collect the

00:44:46   information you're looking for.

00:44:47   And they also have automation functions built in.

00:44:49   So if you mark, say, for example, if you marked on it as a complete, it could fire off an

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00:45:01   Get more done with Microsoft lists.

00:45:03   Go to aka.ms/mslists for more information, videos, demos, blogs, and more.

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00:45:16   Make a list and let it flow.

00:45:18   Our thanks to Microsoft lists for their support of this show and Relay FM.

00:45:22   So Apple's reported on its quarterly results.

00:45:27   It's now time for you to report on Apple's 2020 in total.

00:45:33   It's time for the six colors report card.

00:45:35   It's report card time.

00:45:36   Everybody likes getting a report card.

00:45:38   Oh, I'm being informed that some people didn't like getting a report card.

00:45:42   Well, yes, I have compiled my annual list of...

00:45:47   I want to make this clear again.

00:45:48   I don't vote in the report card.

00:45:50   It's not my opinion.

00:45:52   It's the opinion of 55 people who I asked what their opinion was of Apple, as I do every

00:45:57   year.

00:45:57   I take a group of people, developers, writers, podcasters, stuff like that.

00:46:02   People involved in discussing Apple and technology and ask them to vote, rank from one to five,

00:46:10   how they think Apple is doing in a bunch of categories.

00:46:13   And then we talk about it here on upgrade.

00:46:16   This is the sixth time that this whole process has happened.

00:46:21   This is year six, which I got a very nice text from John Gruber the other day who said,

00:46:26   "I can't believe it's six years for the six colors report card.

00:46:29   I still think of six colors as a new blog."

00:46:32   I was like, well, compared to Daring Fireball, it is a new blog, John.

00:46:36   But yeah, this is year six.

00:46:38   So this is a project where...

00:46:40   How many people on the list?

00:46:42   You said 55, right?

00:46:43   55 answered the call this year.

00:46:45   Some people didn't.

00:46:46   It was 2020, Myke.

00:46:47   Some people are like, "I can't do it this year."

00:46:49   And I understand that.

00:46:52   It's funny because I really only just want their numbers.

00:46:53   They don't have to fill out the form with all their commentary, but people do want to do

00:46:56   that.

00:46:57   So some people didn't do it this year and that's fine.

00:46:59   The number went down a little bit, but I'm always adding people to the distribution list

00:47:03   and then it's just up to them if they want to...

00:47:05   I give them a couple of weeks, very late December and early January to fill out the form and

00:47:10   tell me what they think because I want to measure.

00:47:13   So the goal here is to measure sentiment about Apple and compare it to previous years.

00:47:21   And I think it can be misunderstood as being like, "Are we trying to say Apple is good?

00:47:28   Are we trying to say Apple is bad?"

00:47:30   I'm trying to find out what the, for lack of a better phrase, what the vibe is about

00:47:35   Apple in various areas.

00:47:36   What's the kind of...

00:47:38   And it's an average, so it is conventional wisdom.

00:47:41   Somebody who thinks that Apple is terrible and somebody who thinks Apple is perfect are

00:47:44   going to be outliers and they're going to kind of wash out and we're going to end up with

00:47:48   a narrower range of scores, but I think they can be informative, both as a snapshot of

00:47:54   sentiment at a particular time and also by looking now at the trend over six years, a

00:48:01   sense of how people's mood about various categories has changed over time.

00:48:05   So that's why I find it valuable is it's really like getting the mood in the room for what

00:48:14   Apple is doing good and bad and what things pop up as sore spots and what things pop up

00:48:21   as being viewed as successes in a given year.

00:48:24   - So I'm going to go through all the scores and we'll touch on them and expand on them

00:48:30   a little bit because I am also keen, because you don't add your commentary, I'm keen to

00:48:35   see if there are any scores that go against in any way what you would have expected or

00:48:44   what you would score yourself.

00:48:45   The highest score is the first category this year, which is the Mac, which got 4.7 out

00:48:52   of 5, up 1.1 year over year, which I expect is probably one of, if not the largest year

00:48:59   over year change probably in the scorecard's history.

00:49:02   - It might be, I didn't check that, it's the highest score any category has gotten in the

00:49:06   history of the report card, 4.7.

00:49:10   - I mean, who couldn't have guessed that, right?

00:49:14   Surely, right?

00:49:15   - Well, actually that's one of the things that surprised me about it is that I think

00:49:19   a lot of people, if you read the verbatim comments about the Mac, what you find is that

00:49:24   a lot of people gave Apple Silicon so much credit that they couldn't bear to downrate

00:49:29   it for Big Sur, but that people still expressed their discontent in some of the design changes,

00:49:36   especially in some of the security changes in Big Sur.

00:49:39   It was definitely, there was definitely an undercurrent and you saw it come out more

00:49:43   in the software quality category than in the Mac category, but there was this undercurrent

00:49:46   that was sort of like, all right, Apple Silicon, yeah, but, and then the buts were, but Big

00:49:55   Sur and also, but Apple Silicon came at the end of the year and before that it was rougher

00:50:04   and basically what they were doing is replacing the bad keyboard with the better keyboard,

00:50:08   but they did replace it so that's, in the end, the Apple Silicon just kind of won out.

00:50:12   So there's a lot of like an undercurrent of, but I've got some issues.

00:50:17   I just, if I had to predict, I think a lot of people voted five out of five and then

00:50:21   said this isn't actually a perfect score, but Apple Silicon and I think that that is

00:50:28   why it got a lot of fours and an awful lot of fives to get a 4.7 rating.

00:50:33   So that's what they were going for.

00:50:34   Yeah, it's funny really that like the M1 atoned for any of the problems of Big Sur

00:50:42   because there are complaints about Big Sur in the report card in the Mac column.

00:50:52   Um, I would like to personally, I'm not asking you to change this, I would love to see

00:50:58   how things score if people were just doing hardware and software separately.

00:51:04   It's like what they're, you know, what do you think about Mac hardware and what do you think

00:51:08   about Mac software? What do you think about iPhone hardware, iPhone software, that kind of thing?

00:51:11   I think it'd be intriguing, but I understand the thinking behind bundling them together

00:51:16   into one package. But in the comments, there are a lot of people that are frustrated with

00:51:22   things in Big Sur, but ultimately the quality of the products this year, the hardware products,

00:51:31   and the jumps that we've seen there is what's pushed the Mac up as high as it is.

00:51:36   Yeah, and I mean, you can see the reaction in people buying rushing out to buy M1 Macs, right,

00:51:44   is well, you know, because they just keep in mind they all run Big Sur, but people are like,

00:51:49   "Oh my god, I gotta get an M1 Mac. I love it. It's the best." It's like, and it's running Big Sur.

00:51:54   So clearly that's just how people experienced the whole Mac equation is like, "Yeah, we can quibble

00:52:01   about Big Sur, but oh my god, have you seen this M1 MacBook Air?" And that's, that's 2020 in the Mac

00:52:10   in a nutshell. And there's a lot of optimism as well, right? Like similarly to, you know,

00:52:16   Apple thinking they're going to sell well. People are thinking that this is like, if you are a

00:52:21   person who loves the Mac, which is I'm sure pretty much everybody on the list, you know, to varying

00:52:26   degrees, but I can't imagine there are like a lot of Mac haters here. There's so much optimism

00:52:31   going into 2021 and beyond, like over this two-year rollout now of like, wow, you've really

00:52:37   set the stage and we imagine we're only going to be further, like more, like more impressed

00:52:45   as time goes on. So it's an exciting time. The iPhone scored 4.3, which is up 0.3 year over year.

00:52:53   Overall, people were happy with the choices in the lineup. The new design ticked a lot of people's

00:53:00   boxes and MagSafe as well. People love widgets in iOS 14, but as we expected, the people in the US

00:53:06   and Europe 5G was basically seen as a bit of a dud. Yeah. I mean, we all felt it, right? The

00:53:15   5G thing was sort of like, eh, you know, most people didn't get excited about that. The

00:53:24   redesign people really did like the fact that it's got the flat sides and that you've got the

00:53:29   larger phone and the little phone and all of that. And after a year where, to talk about the trends,

00:53:34   because the Mac, I didn't even mention the Mac has been trending up since 2016. 2016 was the sort of

00:53:41   the depths of that disastrous design of the MacBook Pro with the butterfly keyboard and

00:53:47   with the USB-C only and all of that. And the Mac score has gotten better every year since then.

00:53:53   So it's sort of like Apple, you can see Apple trying to work its way back from that kind of

00:53:58   disaster. The iPhone last year kind of was flat and this year took a bump up. So definitely

00:54:05   sentiment was more on Apple's side this time than last year. The iPhone's kind of like sure, right?

00:54:11   Like the score of that is like, yeah. I mean, new iPhones, new designs, I'd say it's a good score,

00:54:20   but I think also it was not a completely, you know, super enthusiastic, like the Mac. I mean,

00:54:27   it's hard to compare it to that Mac score. That Mac score is the best score ever. So yeah, people

00:54:32   are really hyped about the Mac, but the iPhone had a solid year and it increased in the panel's

00:54:38   estimation. And I think that's meaningful. - The iPad scored 3.7 down 0.2. It seems like really

00:54:47   that this item was saved by the Magic Keyboard and cursor support for the most part. The new iPad Air

00:54:54   is a favorite as well. - I would say the iPad, because the iPad score shot up in 2017 with the

00:55:00   introduction of new iPad Pros and new iPad models and all that, and it's been drifting downward.

00:55:07   But good scores, but drifting downward. And I would say, I'd almost flip around what you said

00:55:14   and say the cursor support and the Magic Keyboard made people really enthusiastic about the iPad in

00:55:21   2020. And the new iPad Air that's got iPad Pro features, but there's confusion about the iPad

00:55:27   line because what about the iPad Pro? It's so close to the iPad Air. And there's this feeling

00:55:34   that the iPad, despite getting that accessory that was good, that it's just sort of drifting

00:55:42   a little bit otherwise. Like it had its one big hit, but beyond that, you know, the iPad Pro is

00:55:49   an open question because it got a lackluster update. Like the 2020 iPad Pro with one more

00:55:56   GPU core and LIDAR scanner. Everybody knows that wasn't really a new iPad Pro. Really? And so that's

00:56:06   the mixed message is I think people were really excited about the cursor support and the Magic

00:56:10   Keyboard and that that made a big difference. And I suspect if that hadn't happened, this number

00:56:14   would have been way down because again, the iPad Pro update just wasn't that great. And everybody

00:56:20   really expects there to be one and that there needs to be a substantial one because the iPad Air

00:56:26   really just brings it all into focus. Like, well, wait a second, if this is the iPad Air,

00:56:31   what's the iPad Pro supposed to be? I was also really disappointed with iPad OS 14 overall.

00:56:37   Yeah. I was hoping for more there. The fact that the widget stuff all happened on the iPhone,

00:56:43   the redesign of the home screen and all that, and the iPad just sort of got new widgets in the old

00:56:48   column on the page one of the screen and that's it. It definitely burned a little bit. And let's

00:56:55   also say there was definitely a trend in the conversation about the M1 Macs. That the developer

00:57:02   kit for Apple Silicon was the A12Z. So it was the iPad Pro processor. And the M1s are based,

00:57:11   are essentially an A14X. They're more than that, but that's basically what they are. This is the

00:57:16   same class that we would expect in the iPad Pro of processor. And what it does is it makes you

00:57:23   look at the iPad and say, well, wait a second, if this iPad is just as powerful as these other

00:57:28   devices are, why can't it do what they do? And it just brings the focus back to iPad OS, right?

00:57:35   All the limitations of iPad OS that are even more visible now. And definitely there was a trend,

00:57:42   and some people said it, where people who bought iPads and were trying to use them more are now

00:57:47   just buying M1 MacBook Airs or MacBook Pros and saying, I'm just going to use this again because

00:57:52   it gives me all the whizzy new power and battery life and things like that. And I don't understand

00:57:59   that because choosing to use an iPad is about iPad OS, but I totally understand the idea that when

00:58:05   you can see what an Apple Silicon Mac is capable of and what an Apple Silicon iPad is capable of,

00:58:12   it's very clear what the difference is. And the difference is that iPad OS just doesn't do a

00:58:16   whole bunch of stuff. And I think that's fair. And I think that that is one of the sources of

00:58:22   disappointment on the iPad side for 2020, even though I think it gets a big boost. If I were

00:58:28   to vote, I would definitely give it a big score boost for the cursor support and the Magic Keyboard

00:58:34   because those are big. Watch was 3.8, wearables 4.0, down 0.3 and 0.6 respectively. My feeling,

00:58:48   I mean, I was pretty down on the Apple Watch this year. I don't really, I spoke about this a bunch

00:58:54   of times on the show. I don't really think that Apple did a good job selling the Apple Watch.

00:58:58   And many people said that it seemed like it was most like a treading water year with very small

00:59:05   changes in watchOS 7 as well. When it comes to wearables, the main new product released,

00:59:11   I guess, would be AirPods Max and people like them, but they're expensive.

00:59:16   Yeah. And this is a category where I originally made this an Apple Watch category, and then I've

00:59:22   been transitioning to a wearables category. So I'm asking both numbers. So I've got some history here.

00:59:27   Yeah, Apple Watch, it was not much of a year, right? They just sort of pushed everything

00:59:35   forward. One new sensor, as you pointed out during our show about it. The explanation of

00:59:43   how the blood oxygen sensor works has never been particularly strong. At the same time, wearables,

00:59:50   Apple is doing really well with AirPods, but some people took their votes after the AirPods Max came

00:59:58   out and were skeptical of AirPods Max and all that. This is a category where Apple's still

01:00:01   doing pretty well, but definitely, I think it shows slippage for the last couple of years.

01:00:07   And I think the panel is restless for something more exciting here, for sure.

01:00:16   The Ted Lasso category, aka services, got four up 0.3 year over year.

01:00:23   Yeah, well, I thought you were going to say the Apple TV is the Ted Lasso category.

01:00:29   Well, I think people were referencing from at least the comments.

01:00:33   You're right. You're right. Apple TV Plus is not Apple TV. Apple TV Plus is services,

01:00:37   and the services scores were up. This is the biggest, the best score for services

01:00:44   ever. It was four out of five. Everybody mentioned Ted Lasso in passing, by the way.

01:00:51   And I don't know, I think it's really interesting that Apple, something we didn't talk about in the

01:00:58   analyst call, is that Tim Cook described Apple's method of creating products, and what they said

01:01:04   was a slightly different spin on what they usually say. You know, usually it's like only Apple can

01:01:09   make the synthesis of hardware and software. What Tim Cook said is, we look for products that have

01:01:14   a unique synthesis of hardware, software, and services. I was like, oh, there it is.

01:01:18   Apple feels at this point like services is part of their secret sauce. And the fact is, if you look

01:01:25   back to how terrible Apple was at services and about like .Mac and MobileMe and all of that,

01:01:30   like they've come a long way. Is there more to be done? Yes. Are their services perfect?

01:01:35   No, they're not. But they have gotten better and they have gotten more successful. And the bundle

01:01:40   happened in 2020 and the Apple One bundle, I think, has a lot going for it. They rolled out

01:01:46   Fitness Plus. Like there's a bunch of stuff that they're doing. And yes, Ted Lasso also came out.

01:01:50   So it was a pretty positive category. It was, like I said, the best that services has ever done

01:01:57   in my survey. It also makes sense too, right, that over time, as they're adding to it,

01:02:05   if they're doing the right job, this score should continue to increase, right? Like this is a growth

01:02:10   area. It's an area that's still being established. It makes sense that it's getting better over time

01:02:15   and you want to see that happening for them. You did mention Apple TV. Apple TV got the lowest

01:02:21   grade. I think it's got the lowest grade anything's ever gotten. Yeah, it was the lowest score average

01:02:27   to 2.1. The median score was a two. It's an F basically. That's what it is. It's an F.

01:02:34   It's because they're not doing anything with the hardware. Yeah, that's it. That's it. The hardware

01:02:41   is unchanged. It's still overpriced. Apple has undercut the value of the hardware by making its

01:02:49   content and even AirPlay available on other competitor devices. And the question remains,

01:02:56   like, what the heck is the Apple TV for and where is it going and what is it doing? And we got no

01:03:01   answers in 2020 and so the score just continues to drop. HomeKit got 3.1 and up 0.3. My feeling on the

01:03:16   HomeKit thing, the reason it gets better is as people add more things to the homes, you know,

01:03:21   they prefer it more. Like I know my feeling on HomeKit continues to improve because I'm finding

01:03:27   more devices that are HomeKit compatible. And the more devices I have in my home that work with HomeKit

01:03:33   the happier I am with HomeKit, right? And in theory that should continue over time. But there

01:03:39   are also calls for, and I understand this and agree with this, that the Home app could do with

01:03:44   some work. Oh yeah, the Home app is really bad. I wrote a thing about a Mac. I bought a Mac,

01:03:49   piece of Mac software last week that I wrote about on Six Colors that does all these things

01:03:56   that the Home app can't do. I couldn't even script the Home app. I couldn't automate it in any way.

01:04:01   And I finally found an app that lets me like use keyboard shortcuts to turn devices on and

01:04:06   off in my home, which is amazing. I love it. And you can choose from a menu as well and you can

01:04:11   script it and like, that's great. But like, why is that not on the Mac? And the answer is that Apple

01:04:17   doesn't care about HomeKit on the Mac enough to do anything but just port over the iOS app. And it's

01:04:22   not very good. But the iOS app isn't that great. It's not that good. No, it's not. It's just worse

01:04:27   on the Mac. HomeKit score has gone up every, well, last year when it was basically flat,

01:04:32   it went down one, one tenth, but it's been on a trajectory upward. It started at 2.1 out of five

01:04:38   and is now at 3.1 out of five over the course of this time. So HomeKit has gotten better very

01:04:43   slowly. It's a slow build. However, I think a lot of people pointed out there is this HomeKit,

01:04:49   or not HomeKit, this Smart Home Alliance that is, what do we call it? Chip?

01:04:54   - Chip or Choyp. - The connected home something Choyp?

01:05:01   - Yeah, like Puck Choy. - I don't know what it is.

01:05:02   - That's what it is. It's connected home over IP. So like Puck Choyp.

01:05:06   - Yeah, Choyp. Okay. That I think is, some people pointed out that maybe what's going on here really

01:05:13   is that Apple is not making a lot of moves on Smart Home right now because they're gonna come

01:05:20   out with the spec that basically unifies all the Smart Home devices into one standard that

01:05:25   everybody uses and they'll support that and then they'll move on with their lives and HomeKit isn't

01:05:32   a thing anymore at that point. It's just Smart Home tech on Apple platforms. - That's when they

01:05:37   will have to do even more work on making the Home app good. - Right, right. And I think that that

01:05:42   would be one theory is about why the Smart Home stuff seems to have stalled is that they're not

01:05:48   gonna put more effort into HomeKit when the new thing is coming. But that Home app really isn't

01:05:56   cutting it. So like, Dan and I were talking about this last week on Six Colors. My HomeKit

01:06:04   interaction is almost entirely through Control Center on iOS. - Oh yeah, me too. - I don't want

01:06:10   to, which is great, right? I don't want to use the Home app and part of that is because the Home app

01:06:14   isn't very good. But putting in Control Center is great. It should be in Control Center on the Mac,

01:06:18   by the way. - I like the automations. Really easy to make Home automations in the Home app.

01:06:25   But like the Home screen of the Home app is just badly designed from a usability perspective.

01:06:32   I think it was fine when it was simple but as more stuff's being added to it, it's creaking quite

01:06:39   quite significantly. - Yeah. - Speaking of things creaking, things that aren't, hardware!

01:06:47   Harder reliability, 4.5 up 0.6. It's because they fixed the keyboards and there weren't any notable

01:06:54   hardware issues, new ones anyway, I feel, in 2020. There weren't any gates of any kind.

01:07:01   Everything seemed to... - No appreciable gates. - Yeah, everything seemed to kind of move along.

01:07:08   You got to see the chart on six colors for hardware reliability. It's pretty amazing.

01:07:12   It starts out at 4.4 in 2015 and then it's down and then down and then down, reaching its bottom

01:07:24   at 2018. And then perks up a little bit in 2019, as I recall, because they replaced the butterfly

01:07:31   on that one laptop. - Yeah, it seemed like the end was near. - And then it is shot up to 4.5.

01:07:39   This is, and again we can argue whether Apple should be rewarded for releasing something that

01:07:44   was bad and then replacing it with something that was not bad, but the fact is the butterfly

01:07:50   keyboard being gone was a big part of this. You can't complain about the butterfly keyboard

01:07:54   anymore. The M1 Macs, you know, are, it's almost too early to say if they have generational problems,

01:08:01   but they seem pretty positive for now. And several people called out that Apple did a good job with

01:08:06   the AirPods Pro Recall or replacement program, the rattling sound in the AirPods Pro that people

01:08:13   reported, that although that's annoying because it was a failure of the product, I had several people

01:08:21   in the comments point out that getting them replaced was really easy and fuss-free and you

01:08:27   basically say, "Apple, I have a problem," and they're like, "Great, we'll send you new ones and

01:08:31   send those back in." So that's not a reliability, it's a reliability problem, but it's mitigated by

01:08:38   the fact that they had a good response. And that's, it's nice the butterfly keyboard is no

01:08:46   longer a part of the conversation going forward in this category. - Software quality is at 3.5,

01:08:52   which is up 0.8. This makes sense, iOS 13 and Catalina were really buggy and annoying.

01:08:59   And 14 and Big Sur, I mean, Big Sur is opinionated, but from a quality perspective,

01:09:06   from a reliability perspective, seems to have fared better, and iOS 14 especially.

01:09:12   - Yeah, I can't decide whether that's just because Catalina was so painful and the iOS 13

01:09:19   beta was so painful and a lot of these people are working on betas, either as writers or as

01:09:25   developers. - Well, 13 was bad at release.

01:09:29   Remember, it was like they didn't come out and then it was only on the new phones for a bit.

01:09:33   - It was, but the beta was also extremely painful, so it was an entire summer of pain before it even

01:09:38   got to customers. And I think that that makes a difference, whereas the Big Sur stuff was,

01:09:42   again, I think not great, but it was a better experience. And people still have their complaints

01:09:50   about iOS 14 and about Big Sur, but I think the general trend was that people felt that it was

01:09:56   better. I keep likening Catalina to the bad cop and Big Sur to the good cop, and it's like,

01:10:01   are they pulling a fast one on us a little bit by getting the bad one out and then going to the good

01:10:05   one? I don't think intentionally, but I will say, Apple very clearly has a TikTok process for

01:10:11   software updates, where one year they make a whole bunch of things that break and everybody is

01:10:16   miserable and screams bloody murder, and then the next year they're a little bit apologetic and try

01:10:21   to fix stuff and try to make it not as bad. And you can see that, the reason that I say that is

01:10:27   you can see it in the sentiment numbers for this category. Literally every year is up, down, up,

01:10:33   down, up, down. That's how it goes. It was up in 16, down in 17, up in 18, down in 19, up in 20.

01:10:41   Unless Apple changes its approach, be prepared for disappointment in 21, because that's how it's

01:10:50   gone up to now. So unless Apple, with the next version of macOS and the next version of iOS,

01:10:56   decides to take its foot off the gas a little bit and do something different,

01:11:01   we're actually up for another bad year, because that seems to be how this thing bounces around.

01:11:07   And then we have Developer Relations. 3.1 down 0.3. I can't believe this didn't go down more.

01:11:19   Maybe it's just it wasn't starting from a great place, but I think 2020

01:11:29   should have been a harsher hit than it was. I think Apple maybe got a bit of a ride

01:11:39   here because of the small business program. There's a lot of people like that, but really

01:11:45   that just felt like a band-aid over a terrible injury. Because antitrust, mistrust, problem after

01:11:57   problem after problem for like six months with Developer Relations, it feels like this is one

01:12:04   of the worst years in modern history, to my memory. You were among the most negative comments about

01:12:15   this category. Yeah, I know. You printed them. So you saying that, I'm not surprised. I think that

01:12:24   in general what people saw was the small business program, which helped a lot of developers by giving

01:12:32   them a pay raise, or as our British developers say, a pay rise. The hay thing, Gruber makes the

01:12:46   point about the hay fiasco, he calls it, is that you could see it as an example of everything that's

01:12:51   wrong with the App Store. You could see it as the system working, because Apple made a mistake,

01:12:54   and then it corrected it. It corrected it under withering feedback from the outside. Never run to

01:13:00   the press. Never run to the press. I think it's complicated. And so Developer Relations went down

01:13:10   from 3/4 to 3/1. So they cut the take for anybody who's under a million dollars in App Store revenue

01:13:18   in half, a thing that people have been asking for for a long time. And the number still went down.

01:13:24   So I think that that speaks to what you were talking about, which was there's a lot of tough

01:13:30   stuff going on. Apple's under a lot of scrutiny. There's a lot of controversy. And there's a lot of

01:13:38   praise for virtual WWDC, by the way, and that they pulled that off well, and that the virtual labs

01:13:44   were actually good if you signed up and got to talk to somebody. So it's a mixed bag. And I think

01:13:49   the fact that the score is 3/1 and that it went from a B- to a C is an indication of everything

01:13:56   you said. And it's only really mitigated by the fact that they did the small business program.

01:14:01   Otherwise, it would have gone lower, because this was a tough year for Developer Relations in a lot

01:14:05   of ways. But look, this isn't a surprise to the listeners of this show for me, how I feel about

01:14:12   this. It's been a real sticking point for me for most of 2020, because I was just becoming

01:14:20   increasingly more frustrated with the thing after thing after thing.

01:14:25   - Yeah, it was a lot too. Definitely the knives were out. And I'm going to... Well, maybe it

01:14:34   happened in the water. Blood was in the water. The knives came out in the water. I don't know.

01:14:39   But the moment that you're like, "Oh, there's regulatory scrutiny, and this vendor is speaking

01:14:43   up, and now this company is going to speak up." And it became this...

01:14:46   - And then it's like Apple started enforcing in-app purchases on companies trying to transition

01:14:52   in the pandemic. - Yeah. Well, as you and I talked about,

01:14:56   so much of this, not all of it. I mean, okay, you could argue that everything here is caused by Apple

01:15:02   because of Apple's policies. But I would say there's Apple's policies that it has very carefully

01:15:09   considered. And then there's the stupid stuff Apple or people at Apple did that brought more

01:15:16   controversy on them that was totally unnecessary. And that's the stuff that was, "Oh, some reviewer

01:15:23   at the App Store misinterpreted or interpreted properly a mention from a higher up that they

01:15:29   really want to squeeze more money out of businesses that are built on free apps, and so that they're

01:15:34   going to start shaking them all down for cash." And I'm still unclear whether that was... Well,

01:15:39   I think it was a policy. I don't know whether it was a policy from the top or whether there was

01:15:44   somewhere kind of down in the chain who decided that that was going to be the policy. But that's

01:15:49   what led to all of these companies with free apps being told, "You need to offer an in-app purchase."

01:15:55   And again, I'm still not clear on whether that was, "You need to offer an in-app purchase," or

01:16:01   whether they thought they were being helpful and saying, "You know, you could offer an in-app

01:16:07   purchase, and wouldn't that be nice?" But because of Apple's heavy-handed reputation and the fear of

01:16:12   Apple rejecting their apps, that people take it as a threat, or whether it was actually intended as

01:16:18   a threat, it doesn't matter. And it was a dumb thing for them to do that they seem to have backed

01:16:23   off of to a certain extent now. But that's the fascinating combination of what happened in 2020,

01:16:29   is that some of it was the natural outcome of some of Apple's long-standing App Store policies

01:16:34   and approaches to having its own controlled environment. And some of it was super dumb stuff

01:16:39   that they did that brought more scrutiny and more attention on their practices at exactly the wrong

01:16:44   moment to do it. And that's 2020 right there. We'll see what happens this year. But it has emboldened

01:16:52   others to use those arguments to buttress their own arguments. So with Facebook, what you see

01:16:59   now is that Facebook, because of Apple's attempt to change its privacy policy for

01:17:06   apps in iOS 14 that's coming up, this tracking limitation that they put off for a long time,

01:17:13   but they're putting into effect now. This is why Facebook is in a very public spat with Apple

01:17:19   about this that we haven't talked about a lot and we're gonna have to talk about next time.

01:17:23   It allows Mark Zuckerberg to use the specter of "Ooh, bad Apple" being mean to developers

01:17:31   and say "See, they're being mean to us too." And I would argue that that's completely bogus,

01:17:39   and it is a political trick that Zuckerberg is pulling to wrap himself in all the other

01:17:46   developers that are put upon by Apple and say "We too are a put-upon developer," when they're not.

01:17:54   But the fact is that's how it works. That's how politics works is they open the door. Apple opened

01:17:59   the door with a bunch of dumb moves and it lets Facebook press that button. And they're pressing

01:18:04   it because they're trying to get every advantage they possibly can in fighting Apple's new privacy

01:18:11   and tracking policy. And environment and social issues, 3.7 up 0.4. They did a lot during the

01:18:23   pandemic, lots of masks, lots of donations. They worked with Google on the exposure notification.

01:18:28   Charges, this is like I expect good and bad depending on where you come from,

01:18:34   right? That it's like there could be an environmental impact. We're told there's

01:18:38   an environmental impact, but obviously some people would take it as a frustrating point because Apple

01:18:43   didn't really seem to do anything for the customer in the removal of these things, because it

01:18:49   definitely seems like they may have saved some money here. And there are a lot of, I think here

01:18:55   more than anywhere else, there's a lot of questioning around Apple's reliance on China

01:19:01   and how it relates to its privacy stances and stuff like that in these columns, which is a

01:19:07   fair criticism to levy of them. And this is the place to do it. Well, I think, so this number went

01:19:12   up and I think, yeah, it's a mixed bag. That's the bottom line is it's a mixed bag. I think people

01:19:20   were impressed by the fact that, I mean, okay. So Devendra Hardawar from Engadget said what I

01:19:28   think is maybe the perfect encapsulation of this complexity, which is, he said, it's hard to praise

01:19:33   any tech company when it comes to social impact these days, but I appreciate Apple is still holding

01:19:39   strong when it comes to consumer privacy. And I thought that was, I thought that that was good.

01:19:44   That is basically saying, look, there are lots of issues with tech companies and how they affect

01:19:49   our society. And we can praise some parts of what Apple's doing while criticizing others. And I

01:19:56   think if you read these comments, you will get all of it. You will get, it's great that Apple is

01:20:01   standing up to Facebook in terms of privacy. It's great that Apple has green initiatives. There were

01:20:07   comments about that, which happen every year that they're gonna have green power and they're

01:20:11   investing in solar and they want everything to be recyclable. And they're trying to find ways to

01:20:14   reclaim more of the material so that they don't have to be mined. And like they're doing a lot

01:20:18   of stuff like that. At the same time, they're very reliant on China. It's a dictatorship.

01:20:27   It's an authoritarian government. They have issues in other countries where they follow the

01:20:31   laws of those countries, but their law is put into effect by authoritarian governments in order to

01:20:36   control their population. There are lots of other issues involved with Apple's place in the world

01:20:43   and it's complicated. So like you can praise their, oh, I should mention, several people

01:20:51   mentioned that they took the charger out of the iPhone box as a positive. Everybody thought it

01:20:57   was the end of the world and then Apple did it and it wasn't the end of the world and now everybody

01:21:01   else is gonna do it. And that is a net, yes, it saves them money, as you said, but it's a net

01:21:05   environmental gain. It's all this stuff. The truth is that there are like 50 different things

01:21:11   happening inside this category. And when I started this survey, I got pushback from people who were

01:21:17   like, why is that a category in the survey? And it's like, well, because Apple talks a lot about

01:21:23   this stuff and I think it's worth analyzing how they did, positive and negative. Apple is a huge

01:21:30   company. It has an impact on the world. It fancies itself as a company that has an impact on the

01:21:34   world. So let's look at that. And the comments in this category are always the kind of messiest and

01:21:41   most all over the place. And I love it. I think that that is, I think it's interesting every time.

01:21:46   I think it's always an interesting read. So that's the report card for the year.

01:21:53   That's it for 2020. Finally, I think we can put 2020 away. Goodbye. Out, get out.

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01:23:43   Our thanks to Smile and PDF/Pen for their support of this show and Relay FM. Let's do some #AskUpgradeQuestions

01:23:51   to finish out today's episode. Johan asks, "Do you use Twitter lists?" Oh, what a setup. I love this

01:24:00   question. Yes, I do. I love them. I use them all the time, every day. This is actually one of the

01:24:09   things I love about Twitterrific on the iPad is that it's got a sidebar with all your saved

01:24:15   searches and your lists in it. And you can actually assign lists to icons to the navigation scheme.

01:24:23   So I have lists in my nav. I have like the main timeline mentions a search and a couple of lists

01:24:30   in my Twitterrific interface. I have a list for sports stuff. So I use lists basically

01:24:40   as alternate timelines because I don't want them all mixed in my same timeline. And the ones that

01:24:45   have really stuck sports is the big one. All the sports writers and stuff that I follow, there's a

01:24:49   sports list. If I want to see what's going on in sports stuff that I care about, I look at my sports

01:24:53   list. I also have a science list. That's where all the scientists and space people are.

01:24:59   I follow a few sports people and science people in my main timeline by following them, but I have a

01:25:05   larger group in those lists. And I use those lists all the time and I love it. I feel like

01:25:10   I wish lists were a bigger part of Twitter because I feel like Twitter is better when you create

01:25:18   a bunch of different timelines by subject matter than it is when they're all poured into one thing.

01:25:26   Because I could not have all the sports writers and all the scientists and all the space people

01:25:31   and everybody else in my main timeline. It would be too much. And I don't check the sports list

01:25:37   like I check the main timeline, but a few times a day I will go and say, "What's going on in sports?"

01:25:45   And I will switch to the sports list and see the links and all of that. And it's great. So yeah,

01:25:51   I'm a big fan of Twitter lists. So these are mostly people you're not following?

01:25:58   It's almost entirely people I'm not following. That's the whole point is I don't want them in

01:26:02   my timeline. I want them in my list timeline. So it's like, I would say it's... In terms of Twitter,

01:26:09   I'm not following them. I would argue that you should think of your follower list as a list and

01:26:18   that you've got a bunch of different lists. You've got your main list that is people you follow,

01:26:22   and then you've got other lists. But I think that it's the same concept. I think I've got my

01:26:29   timeline list and my sports list and my science list and a couple other lists. That's really how

01:26:34   I use it. In fact, at one point I decided my timeline was way too full. And while there were

01:26:38   a bunch of people who I liked seeing their tweets sometimes, but it was just the volume of tweets in

01:26:45   my follow list was too great. So I unfollowed about 100 people and put them in a list of

01:26:52   other people, interesting people. Because I couldn't handle the volume, but I didn't want to

01:26:59   just say goodbye to them and never see them again, but I couldn't handle the volume in my main

01:27:04   timeline. And so I just made a list that's like the... Again, you could argue that means they're

01:27:09   the B team, but I think I called the list something like important people.

01:27:13   - Just in case. - Don't feel bad. You're on a list.

01:27:18   - They're important. - And I know it's confusing

01:27:20   because I will respond to people who are in my list and I know if they look, I'm not following

01:27:26   them. And that's weird. And that can be a negative single. Sometimes somebody who's not following you

01:27:30   replies to you and you're like, "Oh boy, what's this going to be?" But I am. They're in my list

01:27:35   instead of in my main timeline. I love it. - Interesting. Okay. So because I know some

01:27:40   people do what you're doing and then only live in lists, but you have a regular timeline and then

01:27:46   move around. - That's the other way to do it. I've been using Twitter so long that that's just sort

01:27:50   of where I am. But yes, that would be the other way to do it is follow... Some people definitely

01:27:55   do this, right? Follow a thousand people, 5,000 people. And how can you use Twitter that way? And

01:28:00   the answer is, well, they don't. They either aren't looking at Twitter, broadcast only, or they're

01:28:06   only looking at their curated lists. And I could do that. I just haven't for whatever reason. It's

01:28:10   been the subject matter stuff. I curate my follow list more as that's the main thing that I look at.

01:28:15   And I could make that a list, but I don't. - I don't use Twitter lists at all.

01:28:21   What you are saying sounds great. - Well, one of the problems is that Twitter

01:28:29   started with lists and then for a while they're like, "Nope, lists aren't good." And it looked

01:28:34   like they were maybe going away. And then recently they seem to have gotten the list religion a

01:28:39   little bit and are kind of back on that a little bit. - Yeah, the official app has proper support

01:28:45   where you can switch between timelines from list to list. - Yeah, and lists... That's why I like

01:28:52   lists is because I like having... I mean, it is true. You now have multiple views of Twitter,

01:28:56   which is like, "Oh boy, now I've got... Now there's two Twitters. Now there's three Twitters."

01:28:59   - I know all I would be doing is increasing my Twitter usage. - Twitter overheads. Yeah,

01:29:05   well, and the way I viewed it is, again, it's almost like a newspaper or something like that.

01:29:09   Right? It's like I have my sports writers list and it's great. Like if there's something,

01:29:15   an event going on, a sports event related going on, I pop into that list all the time. It's so

01:29:20   great. And when I don't want to see it, it's just, I don't look at it. And then I go back there later

01:29:26   and say, "Well, what's going on? What happened in the sports list?" I haven't been using Nuzzle for

01:29:31   a while, but Nuzzle is this service that basically aggregates all the links in your Twitter timeline

01:29:37   and creates a list of links. It's almost like turning your Twitter timeline into an RSS feed.

01:29:43   And it uses lists as well as your main timeline. And that's great because I end up with this

01:29:48   incredible curated science links list and curated sports links list that are separate from my main

01:29:55   timeline that I can read all the articles that just kind of flow in there. So it's great. But

01:29:59   yeah, if I'm watching it's baseball season and I'm watching a baseball game or it's a college

01:30:03   football season, I'm watching a Cal game, something like that, get a sports list up there and it's

01:30:08   great. And then I can go back to my regular life and not check the sports list for a while. I love

01:30:12   it. - I used to use Nuzzle, but I used to have this weird issue with it because I follow a lot

01:30:17   of people at The Verge and Polygon. - So those all float right to the top. - So basically all

01:30:24   just be cons. Again, if they have a big story or whatever, loads of the people there will share it.

01:30:29   But then it just meant that if you follow a bunch of people who work at the same outlet,

01:30:36   you end up just having Nuzzle completely monopolized by one outlet. And then that becomes

01:30:43   tricky. Zach asks, "Rosetta 1 stayed in Mac OS X for five years. By that time, it seemed like

01:30:52   most of the apps had moved over and it wasn't a huge loss for the platform. What about this time?

01:30:59   How long do you think Apple are gonna keep Rosetta 2 around? And do you think it has the potential

01:31:06   to sting more than last time when they eventually remove it?" - I kind of want to predict that it's

01:31:17   not going to go away for a long time because there's so much Intel stuff now, including

01:31:24   command line stuff, and although it will eventually all get rebuilt for Apple Silicon,

01:31:29   I feel like, I don't know, my hope... Okay, let me back up. One of the challenges with Rosetta,

01:31:40   the original, was that people were making the move from PowerPC to Intel. And they wanted to provide

01:31:49   a spur for people moving from PowerPC to Intel by saying at some point your old PowerPC apps just

01:31:56   won't work. With Catalina getting rid of the 32-bit stuff, so it's only 64-bit, and with, I think,

01:32:04   the uptake of Apple Silicon apps being pretty good already, I think that Apple is going to have less

01:32:13   of a motivation to protect or to spur the laggards to update. - They really had to push people. - They

01:32:23   did. They did, to go from PowerPC to Intel, and they're not in that position now. They're just not.

01:32:28   - Rosetta 2 could just be a part of macOS, like, basically indefinitely at this point.

01:32:34   - Yeah, and I keep thinking about, like, well, if all they're running is 64-bit apps because Catalina

01:32:40   made, deprecated all the 32-bit Intel apps, I feel like they could do that for a long time and say,

01:32:47   look, if an app was current enough to get to 64-bit, then probably the overhead of running

01:32:54   it is not as bad. That's one of the reasons they cleared out the 32-bit apps. And also, again,

01:32:59   I just keep coming back to the fact that there's probably an advantage in having an Intel-compiled

01:33:03   binary for some obscure something just work on Apple Silicon. Like, you don't even have to worry

01:33:08   about it. Like, if you want to do that. And I get that at some point Apple is going to want to say,

01:33:12   "We need to stop updating this, and we really need you to build your stuff, and we're going to break

01:33:16   compatibility, and that's going to force these people to build for Apple Silicon." I get it,

01:33:20   and it will happen. But, like, I don't know. I don't see the need for aggression on that front.

01:33:30   In the end, it's going to happen that somebody in a year or two is going to look at what's going on

01:33:33   with Apple Silicon and Intel and make a judgment about, like, do we even need to bother, or is this

01:33:40   just pointless, because everything is compiled for Apple Silicon now. And at that point, they

01:33:44   absolutely will remove it. And alternatively, if they say, "Oh, we need to provide a spur to some

01:33:51   laggards and get them on," you know, it's more important for us to sort of force them to get on

01:33:55   our platform than it is for us to coddle them with Rosetta 2. Then maybe we'll get there. But

01:34:00   I don't know. It's just my gut feeling, and I have nothing basing this on other than sort of,

01:34:04   like, my gut feeling is Apple is in a different place where it doesn't need to

01:34:06   work as hard to spur people along, and that they won't necessarily need to give Rosetta 2

01:34:13   an unnatural death. They can just sort of let it die through irrelevance over time. But I don't know.

01:34:20   >> Rajiv asks, "Would you have any interest in an iPad or Apple Watch annual upgrade program,

01:34:27   if something like that was to exist?" >> Well, I use the iPad Pro. It doesn't

01:34:33   get updated every year. So, no. >> Yeah, I mean, that is presumed -- I guess

01:34:38   we have to presume some kind of, say, like, an 18-month cycle or something or whatever.

01:34:44   I would be inclined to do this for the iPad, just because it's a more expensive purchase, you know?

01:34:52   So I would be more inclined to do it for an iPad than an iPhone, even, for me.

01:34:58   But, yeah, because, like, the iPhone is kind of something where I'm always going to get it,

01:35:04   and they have really good resale value, and there's always people in my family who need a

01:35:09   new phone or whatever. But I don't feel the same for, say, an iPad or iPad Pro. I would be maybe

01:35:15   a little bit more inclined to get an iPad Pro with Apple Care and all that kind of stuff on a monthly

01:35:20   thing, like they do for the iPhone. I think that would be the product of all of them that I would

01:35:28   be the most inclined to want to go into something like that for. >> Yeah. I'd be intrigued -- I'm

01:35:37   intrigued in general by the idea of paying an annual fee and being able to upgrade with a lot

01:35:45   less pain at regular intervals. But the question is, what are those intervals, and do they match?

01:35:51   Because I don't do the iPhone upgrade plan, but I know that some people really like it because it

01:35:57   means that they don't have to either hand down or resell. I hand down my iPhone, so actually I find

01:36:04   it valuable to just buy a new one and hand the old one down. But I know there are people who don't do

01:36:08   that, and you end up having to resell it, and with a Mac, it's like that. I'm thinking, if they do a

01:36:13   new iMac, do I get rid of my iMac Pro? And it's like, well, reselling the iMac Pro is what I

01:36:19   should do. Reselling a computer is such a pain, right? The upgrade program, it's all built in.

01:36:25   You return your old one, and you get a new one, and you pay another fee, and it's regulated over

01:36:30   time. I think for a lot of people that makes sense. I'm not sure it makes sense for the way I use

01:36:34   my Macs. I'm always wanting—this is the key, right? I am always wanting the best iPad Pro.

01:36:42   Right? Give it to me. Give it to me the best iPad Pro. So if I could be on some sort of cycle,

01:36:48   and they were committing to every 18 months or two years or whatever, giving me the latest and

01:36:52   greatest, and I could pay a fee, and I return that one, and I get a new one, I'd be interested in

01:36:58   that. He also mentioned the watch, and that's a case where I think maybe I would be interested in

01:37:04   that, because I use my Apple Watch a lot, and they come out with it every year, and so I would be

01:37:14   interested in that. I just get the, you know, the sport level, and so I look at that and think maybe

01:37:22   that would work, would actually work for me, that I would just be guaranteed that every year I get

01:37:25   the new Apple Watch, and I use the new Apple Watch for a year, and then I send it back and get the

01:37:29   new Apple Watch, and I just pay a monthly fee for that. I'd be interested in that, maybe the most of

01:37:34   any of them. So I think it's funny that Rajeev asked. I think maybe more—because I don't hand

01:37:39   down my Apple Watches. Lauren uses an Apple Watch, but she uses the smaller model, and my son doesn't

01:37:47   use an Apple Watch. So I don't have a hand-me-down issue there. I just really kind of want to get

01:37:53   rid of my Apple Watch and get the new one, and so I'd be intrigued by that. I think Apple should

01:37:57   do this. I think Apple should be much more aggressive in sort of like putting people on

01:38:01   upgrade plans, because it's, you know, you don't have to do it, but it is convenient in a bunch of

01:38:10   different ways, and I think it's good for Apple too. And yes, I know we both know you can buy Apple

01:38:16   products on credit, and they have all these things, but the upgrade program, the iPhone upgrade

01:38:21   program is a very different thing. It comes with additional benefits, and this would be expanding

01:38:26   that product offering to other products. It's not just about buying something on an interest-free

01:38:32   credit plan. You know, the upgrade program gets you, like you get one, the new one as soon as

01:38:37   possible. They even open up specific stock for you. You get AppleCare. You know, you get more

01:38:42   in the whole package. And by taking your old phone back, you know, that is built into the cost, and

01:38:49   you end up spending this sort of, and for a lot of people having a regular, look, there are people

01:38:54   who've got money in the bank, and buying a phone for a thousand dollars is not a problem, and there

01:38:58   are other people who are like, "That's a lot of money, and I don't necessarily have that in the

01:39:01   bank at any one time." And there is something to be said for regularizing your output, right?

01:39:07   - X amounts of $10 a month can be way easier to swallow than...

01:39:11   - Yeah. And I get that if you do the math, and you do the work, and you're like, "I have the money

01:39:18   in the bank. I can resell or hand down the other phone, and that's a better deal for me." It is.

01:39:23   It's not true for everybody. Not true financially, not true in terms of like,

01:39:28   mental energy and stress about getting rid of an old computer or phone. So, you know, I think

01:39:35   I would not ever advocate that Apple drop direct sales of devices and only go to a subscription

01:39:41   model, right? Like, no, that's no. But I do think that there are places, and the watch for me is the

01:39:46   one where I actually am like, "Actually, that..." Because of the way I use the watch, and I like the

01:39:51   watch, they do an annual cycle, and I don't hand it down. That one hits me kind of in the right

01:39:58   spot where I'd be like, "Maybe so. Maybe annual watch plan would be something I'd be interested in."

01:40:03   - If you would like to send in a question for us to answer on the show, just send out a tweet with

01:40:10   the hashtag #AskUpgrade or use question mark #AskUpgrade in the Relay FM members Discord.

01:40:16   You can get access to the Discord and to the pre-release versions of 20 Max of 2020

01:40:24   if you are an Upgrade Plus subscriber where you get upgrade with no ads and additional content.

01:40:30   Just go to getupgradeplus.com to find out more and sign up. Thank you to our sponsors for this week,

01:40:37   Smile with PDF Pen, Microsoft Lists, and Bombas. If you would like to find Jason online, you can go to

01:40:46   sixcolors.com, and he is @jsnew, J-S-N-E-L-L-L, and I am @imike, I-M-Y-K-E. Thank you so much for listening,

01:40:54   and we'll be back next time. Until then, say goodbye, Jason Snow.

01:40:58   - Goodbye, Myke Hurley.

01:41:00   [MUSIC]