118: Missed That by 100%


00:00:00   [Music]

00:00:08   from relay FM this is upgrade episode number 118 today's show is brought to you

00:00:14   by Pingdom, Encapsula and Foot Cardigan my name is

00:00:18   Myke Hurley I am joined by Mr Jason Snell

00:00:22   Hi Myke how's it going?

00:00:23   Very good Mr Jason Snell how are you?

00:00:25   Uh good we got the we got the Christmas tree yesterday

00:00:29   It is the most wonderful time of the year.

00:00:31   That's what the song tells me.

00:00:33   That's what the song tells us. I started my advent calendar.

00:00:37   My daughter is, yeah, she's super into it, which surprises me because, you know,

00:00:41   jaded teenager, but she's super into it. Like,

00:00:43   the day after Thanksgiving she was playing

00:00:47   various Christmas song playlists throughout the house, and

00:00:53   yeah, we've got advent calendars too. This year I finally bought a LEGO

00:00:57   Advent calendar for the first time because I was so jealous of my friends who keep posting

00:01:02   pictures of their Lego Advent calendars on Twitter. And so I got the Lego Star Wars Advent

00:01:07   calendar and we've been opening that up and my son's been assembling all the little parts.

00:01:10   So, I very nearly got that. I very nearly did, but I went for a chocolate one instead.

00:01:17   Yeah, well, we also have chocolate ones for both of the kids from the highest quality

00:01:22   Trader Joe's chocolate advent calendar, but they do make them and we get them every year.

00:01:28   But we just added a little Lego to it.

00:01:31   The main reason I didn't do it was because I'm packing up all of my worldly belongings

00:01:35   now. I didn't need to bring anything else into the house, even Lego pieces.

00:01:40   You could use that as like a check-in at your new house. Every time you go there, you get

00:01:44   to open whatever advent you need.

00:01:46   Yeah, that's a good idea, actually.

00:01:47   Start the new house with Lego underfoot. That's always a good idea.

00:01:50   I did actually today break down and box up two LEGO sets including my Death Star.

00:01:58   Oh wow.

00:01:59   As I'm giving it to my nephews.

00:02:02   Oh I see.

00:02:03   I decided not to take that one.

00:02:05   I am taking my Ghostbusters firehouse.

00:02:09   Oh well yeah, god yes.

00:02:12   And the WALL-E. They're the two sets that I'm taking.

00:02:15   The Death Star, the one that I have is like the diorama Death Star basically.

00:02:20   I don't like that set so much.

00:02:22   Yeah, and you get somebody else a chance to play with it.

00:02:26   Exactly, exactly.

00:02:27   I like, I wish that they still did the one that was just like a model of the Death Star.

00:02:32   Right.

00:02:33   But they don't make that one anymore.

00:02:36   Right.

00:02:37   We, yeah, Lego, it's fun.

00:02:38   There could be a whole podcast about Lego, but not by us probably.

00:02:41   I considered it once.

00:02:43   would be, yeah, you could do that with Stephen Schapansky and James Thompson. Can you imagine,

00:02:50   there are probably lots of LEGO podcasts already, but can you imagine the ferocity of response

00:02:55   to anything vaguely controversial stated on the LEGO podcast? LEGO people take it real

00:03:01   super seriously. Like, and if you said "LEGOs," oh my god, the podcast would just explode

00:03:07   right then and there if you pluralized it, because the plural of LEGO is "LEGO," as we

00:03:10   all know.

00:03:11   especially us in the United Kingdom know that. Me and Steven considered it. Many. Well, because

00:03:18   this is a thing in the US, Legos. I don't get it. Me and Steven once were very close

00:03:22   to doing this, and the reason we decided not to do it was because we just didn't, and probably

00:03:28   still don't, have enough money to satiate what would start if you did a Lego podcast.

00:03:35   The amount of money you would spend on Lego? Oh yeah. That's why you have to find a co-host

00:03:39   who is already spending it. Good point. Talking about the most wonderful

00:03:45   time of the year, the most wonderful podcast episode of the year is fast approaching. The

00:03:51   upgrade is the third annual upgrade. Third annual.

00:03:54   Are coming up. It's an annual tradition. It is the most annual of traditions. We are doing

00:04:00   two things new this time around. So last year we asked for category suggestions to really help

00:04:10   flesh out the categories. We are keeping the categories the same this year because we have

00:04:16   a lot of great categories but we're asking for the participation of the Upgradians for the 2016

00:04:24   upgradey awards. Yes. Two things. One of our categories is favorite product. So favorite

00:04:32   tech product. Now we do Apple and non Apple. So it could be Apple related and then just

00:04:37   like general technology. We would like your suggestions for your favorite product of the

00:04:42   year. So just tweet with the hashtag upgradeys. Everybody obviously knows how to spell that

00:04:47   but in case you don't it's #upgradiess. So you can tweet with the hashtag #upgradies

00:04:54   for your favorite product of the year and we are doing for the first time we are opening

00:05:00   up the Upgrady Awards for your votes. So if you remember how the Upgrady usually works

00:05:06   is we have a short list of nominees and then me and Jason will pick our personal winner

00:05:11   of those and then between the two of us we decide on who takes home the trophy. This

00:05:15   This year you the listener will be the third pick along with that.

00:05:20   So there will be my pick, Jason's pick and the listener pick.

00:05:24   And then out of those three we will decide who takes home the upgradey award for each

00:05:28   category.

00:05:30   We will have a Google form available after next week's show.

00:05:33   There will be a link in episode 119 of upgrade.

00:05:38   There will be a link to a Google form with all of our shortlisted nominees for you to

00:05:42   cast your votes on.

00:05:44   I'm very excited about this, obviously. Yeah, it's gonna be fun. It's the Upgradies,

00:05:49   I know you get excited about it all the time. It's my favorite. I've mentioned this before,

00:05:55   and I'll mention it again before the year is over. We do two episodes that I love every year,

00:06:01   is the Upgrady Awards and Connected. We do a kind of roundup of all of the tech stories of the year,

00:06:06   month by month. I love doing those episodes because they're different and they're traditions

00:06:12   and I think they're awesome. So I'm really, really looking forward to the

00:06:16   upgrade this year, especially as we continue to evolve the upgradees.

00:06:20   Which reminds me, I should ask our wonderful designer Frank to make the

00:06:25   additions to the upgradey artwork so we can have the 2016 badge put on them.

00:06:32   And just to warn people now, you will have, when that goes up next Monday,

00:06:37   day, we will do a vote for about a week and a half, and then we'll close it. So you'll

00:06:45   have until a couple of days before Christmas to get in your votes. The upgradey episode

00:06:51   will appear in your podcast app of choice around about January 2nd this year. We're

00:06:57   going to do it right. It's going to be since the day after New Year's Day is a Monday,

00:07:02   going to drop that episode. We're going to pre-record it behind the scenes hints here

00:07:07   and then we will drop it on the second. So that will be the big upgrade these days.

00:07:10   There is indeed. Will was asking the chat, "Is there a trophy?" Maybe that's how we advance

00:07:16   it next year. We get trophies made. Although we have a lot of categories and probably a

00:07:21   lot of winners of the categories don't care. If we give the iPhone the upgrade of the year,

00:07:27   I don't think Apple will care for our trophy.

00:07:29   - No, that happened with the Eddy Awards oftentimes.

00:07:33   - Oh really?

00:07:33   - It was Apple.

00:07:34   It would be very hard to find anyone at Apple

00:07:37   who would actually take the trophies after a while.

00:07:40   And the funny, the sad thing was Apple PR

00:07:42   didn't want the trophies,

00:07:43   especially when we gave them to the MinuteMac World Expo

00:07:45   'cause somebody had to like drive them back to Cupertino.

00:07:49   But what I heard is inside Apple,

00:07:50   the people who worked on the stuff that won the awards

00:07:52   were really excited about it and wanted the trophies.

00:07:55   But the like the PR and marketing people were like,

00:07:57   yeah, we don't.

00:07:59   Yeah, it's funny.

00:08:00   That's a shame.

00:08:01   I got an Eddie Award right behind me.

00:08:04   What did you win it for?

00:08:06   For running the Eddie Awards for 15 years, I think.

00:08:10   You won Best Eddie Award Coordinator.

00:08:12   Yeah, well, you buy extras is what I, and this one somehow came with me.

00:08:16   I don't know how that happened.

00:08:18   Yeah, the main reason that I want to give the trophies is I want one.

00:08:22   Yeah, I was thinking we should make trophies and just give them to us.

00:08:25   Do you know what?

00:08:26   Maybe we should just do that.

00:08:28   We'll just get one each.

00:08:30   And then we'll, if you win one, you can ask and we'll send you a picture of us with your

00:08:37   trophy.

00:08:38   I mean, that's worth more than a trophy, right?

00:08:42   For you, honestly.

00:08:43   Picture of me and you.

00:08:44   Yeah.

00:08:45   Picture, it didn't happen.

00:08:46   We want to do a quick piece of follow-out.

00:08:48   Our lovely friend of the show, co-host of both of our hosts, Mr. Stephen Hackett, he

00:08:55   has created a book called Aqua and Bondi and it is about kind of the iMac G3 which is the

00:09:03   computer that Steven loves so dearly, what led to it and the effect that it had on Apple.

00:09:08   Yeah, and along with a hefty dose of OS X because during the same period as the kind

00:09:16   of computer transition that was led by the iMac, there was this operating system transition

00:09:21   that really transformed Apple.

00:09:24   And so both of those stories are in there

00:09:26   along with a bunch of photographs

00:09:28   and Steven living up to his reputation

00:09:30   as an Apple historian.

00:09:31   I got to read an early version of the book

00:09:34   and give him some notes, which was fun

00:09:36   because I was there, you know,

00:09:37   covering early days of OS X especially.

00:09:41   I got to drop some knowledge about obscure Mac clones.

00:09:45   That was kind of fun.

00:09:47   Yeah, so it's a lot of fun.

00:09:49   It's an ebook.

00:09:50   I hope he makes-- back at Macworld,

00:09:52   we would occasionally do a print-on-demand version,

00:09:55   and it was expensive, but some people wanted to get it

00:09:57   in their hands.

00:09:58   And it's like, you know, I bet he

00:09:59   could make a print version of this book for less than $200.

00:10:02   That would be good.

00:10:03   But we'll see if he wants to do that.

00:10:06   I heard the Apple books can go for many hundreds of dollars

00:10:09   anyway, so it's all good.

00:10:10   Yeah, I mean, I think he could make a good profit on a print

00:10:13   book while being dramatically less than what Apple is

00:10:19   just saying. If you remember last week if you listened to the Gremlins section the

00:10:25   mic at the movies I referenced that the the outdoor setting the town that the

00:10:33   Gremlins was was located in was very reminiscent of Back to the Future 2 and

00:10:38   the Hill Valley town and I was wondering if there was it was actually the same

00:10:45   set Bart wrote in to confirm that it was and he sent a Wikipedia article over

00:10:49   for something called Courthouse Square which is a backlot at Universal Studios

00:10:54   and not only was it used in Gremlins it was used in Back to the Future 2 and

00:10:59   many more movies. You can see a long list of movies and TV shows on

00:11:07   the Wikipedia article that the Courthouse Square was used in. Yeah and

00:11:12   And it's apparently that set has like caught fire multiple times. But yeah, good spotting.

00:11:22   Well spotted.

00:11:23   I just, my affinity for Back to the Future will continue. Next week we are doing our

00:11:30   second of our holiday season Myke at the Movie episodes and we're going to be talking about

00:11:35   one of my favorite holiday movies, Home Alone, which Jason has never seen.

00:11:41   is incredible and I'm very excited for you to love that movie.

00:11:49   Well I hope I do. So there you go, there is your notice, Home

00:11:53   Alone, the original Home Alone to be watched before next week's episode.

00:11:58   Today's show is brought to you by Pingdom. You can get a 14 day free trial and start

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00:13:51   relay FM.

00:13:54   you decided to stir the pot a little about the ARM Mac argument over Macworld this week.

00:14:04   Was it this week or last week? I think it was last week. I did. It was funny, so I listened

00:14:12   to the Accidental Tech podcast and they were talking about ARM Macs and there are other

00:14:17   people speculating about this. And to back this out a little bit, ARM is the chip standard,

00:14:25   basically. Too complicated to get into, but that and Apple's A whatever chips are based

00:14:33   on this. And it's Apple has an ARM license that can design ARM chips. Macs use Intel

00:14:37   chips. Those aren't ARM chips, those are Intel chips. People have been asking the question,

00:14:45   Apple make another, do another chip transition on the Mac and move Macs from Intel to ARM

00:14:53   because of this perception that one of the reasons that the Mac has been updated so sparingly

00:14:59   over the last few years is because of Intel chip delays, which is not entirely true, it's

00:15:03   also Apple's fault for. And the perception that like the 16 gig RAM limit in the MacBook

00:15:08   Pro is due to a specific limitation in an Intel chipset, then again Apple chose to use

00:15:14   that chipset. But anyway, Intel gets raised as a kind of like a problem and like Apple

00:15:18   is reliant on them and Apple's making its own chips for iOS so why wouldn't do that

00:15:23   for the Mac? So that's been the question out there. And I've heard a lot of people give

00:15:28   this question some serious thought like I think that it's a serious possibility. And

00:15:33   I just had one of those moments where I thought, "Yeah, I don't think it's going to happen.

00:15:36   I'm not saying it won't happen, but if I had to lay odds, I don't think it's going to happen."

00:15:42   Okay, I want to go into some of this with you, kind of bit by bit. So, history has shown

00:15:50   there has been a process to change for the Mac every 10 years, and it's been about 10

00:15:54   years since the last one.

00:15:56   Yeah, I was surprised by this. I hadn't really thought of it, and this goes back to, so when

00:16:01   the Mac started in 1984, it used 68000 series processors from Motorola. If you see 680X0,

00:16:08   the 68000 series. The original one was the 68000. They later used other processors, 68030.

00:16:14   The Quadra computers were 040. That was why it was called Quadra. And so that was what

00:16:22   powered the Mac until March 1994. So 10 years go by and there's a switch to the PowerPC

00:16:29   processor. I was just starting my career at Mac user when that happened and it was kind

00:16:34   a tumultuous product transition. They had emulator, 68.0.0.x.0 emulator on the PowerPC

00:16:44   so that you could run your old code for a while. And then gradually over time, PowerMax

00:16:49   became the standard. The old ones faded away and it was not a big deal anymore. But 12

00:16:54   years later in 2006, Apple started making Intel Max. They announced it at WWDC 2005

00:17:01   and in 2006, they began shipping these Intel Macs

00:17:04   at the beginning of 2006.

00:17:06   So 12 years and a new chip transition.

00:17:09   And again, Apple made an emulation technology.

00:17:12   You may remember it, Rosetta was what it was called

00:17:15   and it let you emulate PowerPC code on Intel Macs

00:17:18   so you could keep using your old software

00:17:20   as the new software was revealed,

00:17:22   it was updated to work on the new platform.

00:17:25   It's now been 11 years since that transition.

00:17:28   And I was taken aback by that.

00:17:30   I was like, oh, so I guess, you know, all things being equal,

00:17:33   time for a fourth Apple processor transition

00:17:37   and that would happen in the next, you know, year or two.

00:17:40   And it's not like it couldn't happen.

00:17:41   I think, you know, I link in my Macworld piece

00:17:44   to a piece that Deathridge wrote for the back page

00:17:47   in Macworld where he said,

00:17:50   Apple will absolutely not switch to Intel

00:17:52   and like months later, like not very many months later,

00:17:55   Apple switched to Intel.

00:17:57   It was, I edited that column.

00:18:00   I was like, wow, that we, you know, missed that by 100%.

00:18:05   - Well, I remember at the time, I mean, I said this before,

00:18:08   that was my first Mac.

00:18:09   The Intel iMac was my first Mac.

00:18:13   I decided that whatever was gonna be announced,

00:18:16   like the next iMac was the one I was gonna buy,

00:18:19   and they just went to Intel, which I don't,

00:18:21   if I'm remembering correctly,

00:18:25   it was very unexpected.

00:18:27   - The Intel announcement at WWDC was a shocker, yeah.

00:18:33   - Yeah, because you know--

00:18:34   - And then we got six months.

00:18:35   - Very different time then, very, very different time.

00:18:37   And I was reminiscing about something a few days ago,

00:18:41   and I was reminding myself of the furor that we had

00:18:46   in awaiting iPod announcements.

00:18:49   You know, we would wait for the keynotes,

00:18:52   the same way that we wait for iPhones and iPads,

00:18:54   but they were for the next iPod Nano.

00:18:56   Which when you put it in perspective is like,

00:18:59   there weren't really that much that changed Nano to Nano.

00:19:02   But we had the same level of excitement.

00:19:05   But it was different in those days though

00:19:07   because it was all surprise, right?

00:19:09   Like that was I think what made those keynotes

00:19:13   and announcements more exciting is everything was a surprise.

00:19:15   Yeah, there were part leaks.

00:19:17   And yeah, it was the same for the Intel transition.

00:19:20   And I, not really knowing enough at that point,

00:19:24   decided that I would buy that computer,

00:19:26   be my first computer.

00:19:27   And it worked perfectly fine for me.

00:19:28   But if Apple do announce an ARM iMac,

00:19:34   I will not be buying that

00:19:35   and getting rid of my current iMac.

00:19:37   You know, that's not something I'm gonna do.

00:19:40   Maybe if they had an ARM laptop,

00:19:42   I might wanna get it to see and to understand it,

00:19:45   but not replace my current work machine with it.

00:19:49   It's quite funny to think that I did that at the time.

00:19:52   But you know, I wasn't really doing heavy work then I was kind of just using photo booth

00:19:55   a lot.

00:19:57   So we are on we're on track as you say, history has shown trends have shown that we are around

00:20:03   the time for an update to occur for for a chip transition to occur.

00:20:09   And I think one of the reasons and you pinpoint this as well that so many people are considering

00:20:13   like ARM.

00:20:15   It's not just because of the inherent capabilities of ARM chips, but it's because Apple make

00:20:21   incredibly powerful ARM chips. They know how to do this. This isn't like, you know, with

00:20:26   the transition to Intel, it was like, our power PC is not getting us what we want, you

00:20:30   know, like it's too slow, we want to move to the future, we want to, you know, do bootcamp

00:20:35   and Windows like running natively. Let's transition to Intel. That's not the situation we're in

00:20:39   now. The situation we're in now is Apple knows how to make chips that they want on their

00:20:44   timescales with speed and power and performance and energy savings unlike any other. So that's

00:20:51   why people are considering that, you know, especially if you look at the death of the

00:20:56   Mac that we've been talking about for the last few weeks because of Intel transitions

00:20:59   and Intel chips and how long they take to make the delays, moving to ARM would allow

00:21:04   Apple to create these computers on their own time.

00:21:08   - Yep, that's all, it's all true, all true.

00:21:11   These are all good reasons why Apple might do it, right?

00:21:16   Independence, they have the expertise

00:21:19   and ARM chips are very good at power efficiency,

00:21:23   energy efficiency, and two thirds of the Macs

00:21:25   Apple sells our laptops.

00:21:27   These are all strong reasons why Apple would consider

00:21:32   using their expertise in making ARM chips

00:21:34   to make ARM chips for the Mac.

00:21:36   but you still don't think that this is enough?

00:21:38   - No, and there are a lot of reasons.

00:21:39   One of the reasons is, you know,

00:21:41   what's the ceiling of iOS performance right now

00:21:43   and what's the floor of Mac performance?

00:21:45   One of the problems is that they would need to make

00:21:47   an ARM processor that's more, presumably,

00:21:49   if they spread it across the entire line

00:21:51   and didn't limit it to like the MacBook

00:21:53   or something like that.

00:21:54   And I think over time it would be hard for Apple

00:21:57   to run a bifurcated platform

00:21:58   with different processor types and different systems,

00:22:02   you know, Intel over here and ARM over here,

00:22:04   although it's not impossible that they would do it.

00:22:06   seems like a lot of added complexity, but to reach the higher end, that's a level of

00:22:11   performance that Apple has not created in ARM chips. It doesn't say that they can't

00:22:15   do it, but that would be a step for them. And Macs are more complicated in terms of

00:22:18   ports. Even if, again, you go back to the MacBook and the MacBook Pro, they just have

00:22:23   USB-C ports, but they do have USB-C ports with Thunderbolt in the case of the MacBook

00:22:28   Pro, and there's a lot going on there that, again, not that Apple couldn't do it, but

00:22:34   Apple gets a lot of stuff for free, basically, when they pick up Intel chipsets that they

00:22:38   would have to work themselves. But, you know, again, they could do it. Emulation is a challenge.

00:22:44   A lot of--what's the percentage? I don't know. It might be a fairly small percentage, but

00:22:47   there are people who use Macs, and one of the things that is great about that experience

00:22:52   for them is that they can run Windows software in--basically without emulation in a virtual

00:22:59   machine and you can boot camp it but you can also run it in VMware or Parallels and it's

00:23:05   an Intel processor so it just works like an Intel processor and you would have to run

00:23:09   it emulated on ARM. Now there was a story that came out about how Microsoft is going

00:23:13   to make an effort to do Intel emulator on ARM because Microsoft still has this kind

00:23:18   of on-again off-again relationship with Windows on ARM because remember the original Surface

00:23:24   came with ARM processor and some stuff compiled for it but other stuff wouldn't run because

00:23:29   it was Intel based and yeah it's which again split platform it's kind of a

00:23:33   problem kind of a mess so they all of these are our reasons that they you know

00:23:38   they could do it they could do it it would but it would be it would be work

00:23:43   right compatibility work work to get the level of features that we expect you

00:23:49   know on a Mac you know having those many ports with thunderbolt not that they

00:23:53   couldn't do it it's just that they would be building their own system and so it

00:23:57   would be a big project and Apple is completely capable of making that project.

00:24:02   You know, the case against just it would be hard, you know, it would be hard but doesn't

00:24:08   mean that they couldn't do it.

00:24:09   It's not a reason why it's impossible for them.

00:24:11   It's absolutely possible for Apple to make an ARM Mac.

00:24:14   >> So, something I want to come back to that you said and you were talking about what is

00:24:21   the floor, like what is the performance floor that Apple are willing to go to.

00:24:27   I mean, this is the idea of like, what if ARM chips can't be as powerful, and what are

00:24:33   the minimums and what are the maximums?

00:24:34   I mean, one thing to consider is like, just from what, you know, stuff like Geekbench

00:24:38   scores, however much you want to take those into stock, the current iPhones, the iPhone

00:24:45   7 has faster Geekbench scores than a bunch of Macs, especially the new MacBook, right?

00:24:52   That's my understanding.

00:24:53   Yeah, you're looking at the ceiling of iOS and the floor of the Mac when you compare

00:24:56   them. They are comparable in that little area, but that's the problem is that's where the

00:25:00   Mac starts and it goes up from there.

00:25:02   Uh-huh, but my point at that is like the floor of the Mac is lower than the ceiling of the

00:25:10   iPhone. So that's when, okay, these points are starting to cross. So let's imagine the iPhone 8

00:25:19   scores start to rub up against the MacBook Pro. Let's just imagine. It's possible that in a couple

00:25:27   of generations, especially with the X chips, where they get even more powerful, even more faster,

00:25:33   that these lines are just going to continue to pass each other. It's possible.

00:25:37   possible, it might take some time but it's possible.

00:25:44   And also, Geekbench scores are Geekbench scores, they're not everything, it's just a data point.

00:25:49   Yeah, and you've got to think about diminishing returns that theoretically Apple's ARM performance

00:25:57   is not going to blow past Intel's performance because, you know, I think that Intel is eking

00:26:05   out more performance all the time and Apple is making a lot of big performance gains.

00:26:09   I don't know if that continues or if it's one of those things where they keep getting

00:26:12   closer and closer. Also, is Apple motivated by performance at that level? You could argue

00:26:17   that above a certain level, the kind of performance that Apple needs for an iPhone is not really

00:26:23   the same kind of performance that you need for a professional computer, an iMac or MacPro

00:26:29   or MacBook Pro and so that's, you know, the decisions they make building processors for

00:26:38   iOS are not necessarily the traits that we want in a computer. That said, I have to say,

00:26:44   and this is something that came up in the chat room just now, which is, you know, all

00:26:47   the other processor transitions were about going to a faster processor and these aren't

00:26:56   those and that's absolutely true. The caveat I would say is, is faster what Apple's looking

00:27:02   for or is, as we saw from the MacBook Pros, is power efficiency for mobile devices what

00:27:09   Apple's looking for and if Apple looks at an ARM processor in a Mac and doesn't say

00:27:14   this will give us more power but instead says this will make our computers thinner and lighter

00:27:19   and be able to use smaller batteries for longer amounts of time, that might be a persuasive

00:27:25   argument for Apple if we look at some of the decisions Apple has made recently, and that's

00:27:31   interesting, which is why a lot of people looked at the MacBook when it came out and

00:27:36   said, that was the kind of computer they envisioned being the kind of computer Apple would put

00:27:39   an ARM processor in, because it's super thin and light and doesn't do a whole lot and isn't

00:27:44   trying to be super powerful. I think the MacBook is the kind of computer that Apple could make

00:27:51   today on ARM if it wanted to. I don't know if it could make a MacBook Pro or a Retina

00:27:56   iMac or a Mac Pro today on ARM.

00:27:59   I would argue that the majority of computing users are solving for different problems now

00:28:06   as well. I think back in 2005 we were looking for faster, but I don't think people were

00:28:14   looking for faster on average. I'm not. What I have right now, like the computers that

00:28:20   I have at my disposal right now, this is as much as I need. And that wasn't always the

00:28:26   case. There have been times in my computing life where I've wanted more performance, but

00:28:32   really I don't feel that way so much anymore. And I'm more interested in the other things

00:28:38   that they can do, especially from a laptop perspective,

00:28:41   I want a 20 hour battery.

00:28:44   That's what I want.

00:28:45   And I want super thin and super light.

00:28:50   I think that there are different considerations these days

00:28:53   which ARM can provide, but what I don't want

00:28:57   is my iMac to become less powerful, right?

00:29:00   Like that's one thing.

00:29:01   In the laptop line, I'm willing to look at different options.

00:29:05   I'm willing to make trade-offs in different places,

00:29:08   which is why I have moved from the MacBook Pro to the MacBook, because the trade-offs

00:29:13   are right for me. And, you know, as a MacBook user and a fan of that product now, I would

00:29:19   like the benefits of ARM in there, because what I want is thin, light, and even longer

00:29:26   battery. That's what I'm looking for.

00:29:28   And this is, I think, one of Apple's challenges. It goes back to what I was saying about this

00:29:31   bifurcated platform thing, is some people, like Joe Steele is in the chatroom saying,

00:29:35   I am looking for faster, right? And this is the problem. And I think this is the core

00:29:39   of a lot of the discontent with the MacBook Pro is a lot of people feel like you do, which

00:29:43   is on my mobile device, it's got, you know, I don't need huge amounts of power, but I

00:29:48   want it to be thin and light and have a battery. And people, other people will say, "Well,

00:29:55   no, I need it to be, I need it to have enough battery, but thin and light isn't important,

00:30:00   and I need it to have power when I need it." And I think the challenge is if you keep the

00:30:05   these, if you keep the Mac as a single unified platform in terms of processor type, that

00:30:10   I think is harder to do. So does Apple bifurcate the platform, or does it say we're going to

00:30:17   choose one or the other, and we're going to, you know, we're going to choose one that's

00:30:22   better at X and not as good at Y, and deal with the consequences. And right now, that's

00:30:28   what Apple's doing. Apple is dealing with the consequences of choosing Intel as its

00:30:34   and not having that control and having you know it's not like Intel isn't

00:30:39   optimizing processors for for power savings Apple is also optimizing their

00:30:44   computers for you know not a lot of battery and that's a part of it but if

00:30:47   they go to ARM the opposite is true right if they want to do a single

00:30:50   platform can you know does that the high-end more powerful stuff kind of

00:30:55   lose out. So Will in the chat room is asking when you know when I'm talking

00:31:00   about wanting more battery life how would ARM do that now look I don't know

00:31:04   enough about this stuff, but I know that I get comparable usage times out of an iPad

00:31:09   and out of a MacBook, and the MacBook is much bigger and has more space for battery in it.

00:31:16   Right? That's kind of my thinking, is that energy efficiency in the same bodies, in the

00:31:21   same MacBook body, could give me more battery life. Because there's more battery in the

00:31:25   MacBook than there is in the iPad, surely.

00:31:28   Also Will is mentioning screen brightness. My understanding is that screen brightness,

00:31:32   The way Apple has engineered the displays on the new MacBook Pros, screen brightness

00:31:35   is actually a very minor part of battery consumption.

00:31:39   So that's kind of old problems that are not the current problems.

00:31:43   I think the power usage isn't happening.

00:31:48   We can hold the screen the same, but there's a lot of other power consumption that's happening

00:31:53   that's not the screen.

00:31:54   I want to go move to something else that you mentioned, because I think it's interesting,

00:32:01   which is Thunderbolt 3. Now you mentioned about that Apple would need to consider this,

00:32:11   right? They would need to consider additional input/output and Thunderbolt 3 might be part

00:32:16   of it and they would have to find a way to make that work with ARM. Now I'm putting my

00:32:20   dream scenario in here but you know there could be a way that Apple were already working

00:32:26   on this for the iPad. I mean that's my hope, right? Like it's my outside hope. It's something

00:32:30   that I wish is that we will see USB-C ports, Thunderbolt 3 ports on an iPad in the future

00:32:37   to allow for the further expansion and expandability of that line of product to push it more towards

00:32:43   being a desktop replacement. So if they were working on that, let's just say they're working

00:32:48   on that anyway, that makes moving to the Mac easier still, right?

00:32:53   Sure, although I'm skeptical. I doubt that the iPad Pro is going to add a USB-C port,

00:32:59   But if it does, I doubt it will be a Thunderbolt 3 port.

00:33:03   Just saying.

00:33:04   But a man can dream.

00:33:05   No, Jason.

00:33:06   Sure, Dream, shine on you crazy diamond again.

00:33:08   I'll just say it.

00:33:09   I'm going to carve that one out every week.

00:33:10   This week's.

00:33:11   Yeah.

00:33:12   You should dream.

00:33:13   We all should have dreams and goals and ambitions, Myke.

00:33:17   That's what we should have.

00:33:18   What about boot camp then?

00:33:19   So let's just assume it's not possible for Apple to emulate Windows efficiently on ARM.

00:33:26   Right.

00:33:27   That we can't get the same performance, right?

00:33:29   I think everyone can probably agree that like,

00:33:32   if you play video games on your iMac using bootcamp,

00:33:35   you won't be able to do that on ARM.

00:33:37   - Correct. - If they're still running

00:33:38   on x86.

00:33:39   - I think it has to be, even if you're like,

00:33:42   but Microsoft's working on emulator, sure.

00:33:44   Emulators are always a lot slower than running natively,

00:33:49   unless your processor is much faster.

00:33:51   The Intel processors were much faster

00:33:54   than the PowerPC processors.

00:33:56   So Rosetta wasn't so bad.

00:33:57   It was slow, but it was not terrible.

00:34:00   But this is a case where having emulated Intel on PowerPC before, let me tell you, it will

00:34:05   probably be very slow and not a great Windows emulation experience for people who need to

00:34:13   emulate Windows on the Mac.

00:34:16   So Apple computers existed before bootcamp.

00:34:21   Would it be that much of a loss to the product?

00:34:24   I mean, I know that there are gonna be people

00:34:26   that it is gonna be just devastating for.

00:34:28   - It's how many people do you wanna kick out

00:34:31   of your platform?

00:34:31   I mean, this is always the question.

00:34:32   We've talked about it in previous episodes.

00:34:34   Like Apple makes decisions that they think are right

00:34:36   for the largest number of people on the platform.

00:34:38   And sometimes that means that there's a portion

00:34:41   of the audience that they're saying,

00:34:43   we can't make a product.

00:34:44   We either make a product for you and your small percentage

00:34:49   or we make a product for this much larger percentage

00:34:52   and we have to choose,

00:34:53   so we choose this large percentage, right?

00:34:55   That's a decision Apple can make.

00:34:56   And they may make the wrong decisions,

00:34:58   they may make the right decisions.

00:35:00   I think that's the question here is,

00:35:02   how important is it to Apple anymore

00:35:05   for them to make computers that can boot into Windows

00:35:08   or run a Windows emulation?

00:35:10   Now, there is absolutely an audience

00:35:14   that requires some Windows program.

00:35:17   I can tell you from personal experience,

00:35:20   My aunt and uncle were Windows PC people,

00:35:23   and the way I got them to buy a Mac

00:35:25   was that they could have parallels on it.

00:35:29   And you know what?

00:35:30   They never used Windows.

00:35:31   Once they switched, they never used it,

00:35:33   but it got them across.

00:35:34   And there are people like that.

00:35:36   I feel like 2016 is a very different world

00:35:39   from 2005, 2006, right?

00:35:41   And so I'm not sure how big this audience is really

00:35:46   in terms of that.

00:35:49   I think it's more likely that there are professionals who have to have a Windows environment, but

00:35:53   they prefer the Mac environment, so they kind of keep it available for them. So there's

00:35:59   an audience here, and that's the question, is like, how important is bootcamp? I don't

00:36:02   know. I always assume Apple has research about all this stuff. Like, I think Apple knows

00:36:08   how many people even knew that you could flip out the little plastic things on the power

00:36:11   brick in order to do cord control. I suspect Apple knows how many people do that. I suspect

00:36:18   Apple knows how many people on the Mac are using boot camp and who those people are to

00:36:23   a certain degree or parallels or VMware. And so then the question is just, what's it worth

00:36:29   to you? Like, what's that trade off worth to you? And I don't know, I can't point at

00:36:33   boot camp or the ability to run Intel stuff natively and say, if Apple lost that, that

00:36:38   would be devastating to the platform. I'm not sure I can say that.

00:36:41   So my argument on this would be that they will inevitably have upset more people by

00:36:50   moving to the port configuration that they have now on the MacBook Pro than they would

00:36:55   upset people who use bootcamp. I think there are more people that would get upset about

00:37:00   the fact that they need to buy new dongles and new equipment for their MacBook Pros and

00:37:04   then as time goes on all their Macs then they would upset the amount of people who use bootcamp.

00:37:11   That would be my guess.

00:37:13   - I think that's a false comparison though,

00:37:15   because what I'm really talking about

00:37:17   is the difference between being upset,

00:37:20   being put out that you have to buy adapters or new cables

00:37:24   and being unable to do something you have to do.

00:37:26   And running Windows, running Windows,

00:37:29   this is mean to say,

00:37:33   but I'm gonna say it 'cause I think it's funny.

00:37:34   People don't run Windows because they want to, Myke.

00:37:37   They run Windows because they must.

00:37:39   - Right?

00:37:40   - If you are using Windows on a Mac, that is a requirement.

00:37:44   If you love Windows, you probably have a really good,

00:37:48   much cheaper Windows PC.

00:37:51   - Yeah, I think that's a strong point.

00:37:52   So I guess to me, that's the difference is

00:37:55   if you're Casey Liss, at his old job,

00:37:58   I believe that that was like one of the ways

00:38:00   that he was able to have a Mac

00:38:01   is that he was able to do his development in there.

00:38:05   But again, that's a very small market.

00:38:09   And so what are those markets and are they important to Apple?

00:38:13   Because those people will scream bloody murder if they lose the ability to run Windows apps

00:38:19   at any normal speed on a new Mac that comes out, that they're unable to buy a new Mac

00:38:25   without giving that up.

00:38:26   There are those people.

00:38:27   But are there enough of them?

00:38:29   I would be very willing to put some money down that there are the percentage of people

00:38:35   the amount of people that are there, Apple wouldn't be not making this decision because

00:38:39   of that. And I know you're not making that argument, but I don't think they're like,

00:38:43   "Oh, we're ready for ARM." And they're like, "Oh, but there's Windows Boot Camp users."

00:38:48   And they're like, "Oh, okay." I don't think that that's a thing, personally.

00:38:53   I do have a flip side question for you though. Okay. So we're looking at like, on Intel chips,

00:38:59   able to use boot camp and able to, you know, natively run Windows. If we were to move to

00:39:07   ARM, could iOS software be run more easily on the Mac?

00:39:12   I don't know, I mean, I think that has more to do with talking to the operating system

00:39:16   than it does with the chip that it runs on. You can compile iOS for Intel now to run it

00:39:24   in the simulator, which developers do. So I don't think that's as big a deal in terms

00:39:32   of the iOS, like iOS merging with the Mac. I think, you know, running iOS software in

00:39:39   Mac versions, I don't think that would be a big change.

00:39:42   Okay. So here's the big question, though. Does moving to ARM warrant the investment

00:39:50   from a time perspective, a marketing perspective, or a money perspective, any of those three,

00:39:54   honestly, because I think they're all equally important, to make the switch in today's Mac

00:39:59   market.

00:40:00   So this is to me...

00:40:02   This is the big question. This is the million dollar question.

00:40:05   And what I say at the end of my Macworld story is this is the reason it won't happen. Not

00:40:10   that they can't do it, because I think they could do it. I can envision them doing it.

00:40:14   It would be some work, and there would be issues, and there would be people who would

00:40:17   be put out by the changes. But it would work. I don't think Apple will do it because I don't

00:40:26   think it's worth it. I don't think it's worth their time. I don't think it's worth their

00:40:29   effort. The Mac is 15% of Apple's total business, less than 15% of Apple's total business. Chip

00:40:36   transitions are hard, and you're tying Apple's chip development group to the Mac permanently

00:40:46   at that point. You're saying, "All right, everybody, I know we're making chips for the

00:40:50   iPhone and then the iPad, but we're also going to start making chips for the Mac." And they

00:40:55   have different needs and it's going to need attention. First off, the iPhone is by far

00:41:02   the most important. Do they really want to divert time away from developing the next

00:41:06   great iPhone processor in order to do a Mac processor to get off of Intel? Do they really

00:41:12   want to do that. So that's the first thing. And the second thing is, if you're a Mac user,

00:41:18   do you really want this? Because I know that there's this feeling like, "Oh well, Intel

00:41:22   can be slow and Intel's had delays and that's been hard for the Mac." But the solution there

00:41:27   is for Apple to maybe be more attentive about just integrating the Intel stuff when it comes

00:41:31   out. Do we think that Apple's own internal chip design is going to prioritize the Mac

00:41:38   enough to have the Mac get new processors at the same rate as Intel provides them. I

00:41:46   don't see that either because I feel like 15% of the business, it's not going to be

00:41:50   a high priority. So if Apple even did it, I think it would be potentially bad for the

00:41:55   Mac in that they wouldn't be particularly attentive. And I don't think Apple will do

00:41:59   it. I think this is the number one reason is it would be a lot of effort and it would

00:42:03   take brainpower away from the incredibly important part of continuing to drive iPhone performance

00:42:10   and features. And because I think it's different enough that they can't just slap an iPhone

00:42:16   processor in a Mac. I think that would be an unlikely scenario. And so for me, that's

00:42:21   the thing that that clinches it, is why you've got Intel motoring along. They're not great

00:42:27   as a partner, but the fact is the Mac's not the core of your business, so let Intel build

00:42:32   their things, it will mean that the Mac is always more or less at parity with PCs, because

00:42:36   the PC market is all on Intel, so the Mac's always going to be there in terms of the processor

00:42:41   side, and then Apple adds their secret sauce to their hardware design around those processors,

00:42:45   and it's got the operating system stuff, and Apple's proud of all of that. And then just

00:42:49   let it percolate at 13% of Apple's revenue. That seems like a far more reasonable scenario

00:42:56   than Apple making a huge investment to take their ball away from Intel and start building

00:43:02   own processors for the Mac. I'm not saying they can't do it, they might even do it, but

00:43:06   it seems like they've got better things to do than build their own processors for the

00:43:12   Mac.

00:43:13   I agree with that. I think that the likelihood of them making a huge change like this just

00:43:22   for the benefit of the Mac is incredibly unlikely.

00:43:24   And the Mac, like what's good about the Mac? Why does the Mac exist? The Mac exists as

00:43:28   The Macs exist because people have been using it for five or ten or fifteen or twenty or

00:43:34   thirty years.

00:43:35   So it's one of the Macs, this is what I, you know, when we talk about making the Mac more

00:43:41   like iOS, I think this is one of those things that comes up.

00:43:43   It's like there's a certain point beyond which you shouldn't push the Mac, because the Mac's

00:43:47   greatest value is that it's familiar to Mac users and Mac users want to keep using the

00:43:53   Mac.

00:43:54   That's why the Mac exists, is because Mac users want to use the Mac.

00:43:57   They don't want, they'd be iPad users

00:43:59   if they wanted to use the iPad.

00:44:01   There are people who wanna use the Mac.

00:44:02   So you don't wanna break the Mac.

00:44:05   And a processor transition is just one more thing

00:44:08   that could potentially kind of provide a discontinuity.

00:44:11   You gotta, you know, at that point, you're like,

00:44:12   oh, now I've gotta make a processor transition

00:44:14   and some of my stuff's gonna need to be recompiled

00:44:16   or it's not gonna work.

00:44:17   I'm gonna buy updates and all of that.

00:44:19   And, you know, do they wanna put Mac users

00:44:22   through that level of strain?

00:44:23   Is that something they need?

00:44:25   If this was a product platform that they were really planning on driving growth in for the

00:44:30   next 20 years, it would be worth it to go through that transition, as they'd done a

00:44:35   decade ago and a decade before that.

00:44:37   But I don't think that Apple sees the Mac as that.

00:44:40   The Mac is about continuity and keeping an existing base using a product that they're

00:44:46   more or less familiar with, and a processor transition doesn't do that.

00:44:49   I think the only thing that I can think of as to why this might happen is that it benefits

00:44:55   the iPhone in some way. Like that's like my only thing. It's like, why would Apple do

00:45:00   this if putting the development of this to make it more powerful to run on a Mac means

00:45:06   that the iPhone gets better, right? That's like the only reason I can think, right? Like

00:45:10   it's it becomes an internal development team for the future of the iPhone, but they get

00:45:15   to run this stuff in the real world on Macs?

00:45:19   I think that would be the argument is if we want to press the growth of the iPhone, the

00:45:25   way to do it is to also build Mac processors because it's going to lift all the boats.

00:45:32   My gut feeling is that designing a Mac processor based on the A-series is more likely to be

00:45:40   a branch that takes them in a different direction, you know, or into a cul-de-sac versus what

00:45:46   they're doing for the iPhone. But if Apple really believes that all of their chip development

00:45:50   is going in the same direction and that the Mac will benefit from the same things that

00:45:54   the iPhone benefits from, then they could push in that direction. Part of my skepticism

00:45:59   here, I have to admit, is I don't think it's good for the Mac as I use it if Apple goes

00:46:05   to ARM because I think it's a further re-prioritizing of the Mac for thinness, lightness, small

00:46:14   batteries, maybe longer battery life, which would be good in certain circumstances. But

00:46:18   I feel like it changes the Mac dramatically and as I've been wondering about for a while

00:46:25   now, does Apple think of the Mac as the car or the truck? Steve Jobs famously said iOS

00:46:31   the car essentially and the Mac is a truck. It's a specialized tool for people in a particular,

00:46:37   you know, particular needs or they fancy themselves a computer user and they don't like thinking

00:46:43   of themselves as a touch screen device user. Fair enough, but you know, if Apple puts the

00:46:48   Mac on arm, it feels like a very much like, "No, the Mac's a car too," which seems weird

00:46:53   to me because I'm not sure that there's a lot of future in that and the people who are

00:46:57   going to be the diehards who stick with a computer for the rest of their lives are,

00:47:02   seems to me, a little less likely to be in that market, but Apple knows their market

00:47:08   better than me. So I do think my fears that an ARM Mac would not be optimized for maybe

00:47:14   the things that I think are more important for the Mac to be optimized for. It's perfectly

00:47:18   valid. I mean, you could look at the MacBook Pros and say, "That is an argument for why

00:47:22   Apple's decision-making is not... that's an argument that Apple could make an ARM Mac,

00:47:33   because what they're optimizing for is the same sort of stuff that an ARM-driven Mac

00:47:39   might offer. And I don't know. We don't have a Mac Pro to point to, right? To say, "Here's

00:47:47   a counterargument," and so it just kind of lays out there. But again, if I were betting,

00:47:52   I would not bet on an ARM-based MacBook coming in the spring of 2017, but I'm not saying

00:47:58   it's impossible. I'm not going to say that. It's entirely possible. It's entirely possible

00:48:02   Apple does bifurcate the market and make a low-end, you know, make the MacBook an ARM

00:48:06   Mac and the rest of them stay Intel for a long time or maybe ever. It's possible. I

00:48:12   just don't think it's likely.

00:48:15   So I do.

00:48:16   Alright, tell me why.

00:48:17   I think it would be because of the iPhone. I don't know when it's going to be. I think

00:48:21   it's down the line, but I think--

00:48:23   - Down the line is a stronger argument than soon.

00:48:26   - Sure.

00:48:26   - You know, if--

00:48:27   - Let's say, I'll say within the next five years, then.

00:48:30   - Are you thinking sort of, I mean,

00:48:31   one argument here would be the reverse,

00:48:33   which is the iPhone becomes so powerful

00:48:36   that there's no reason not to pull the Mac along with it

00:48:39   because the Mac is kind of falling behind.

00:48:42   - That's kind of like the road I'm moving down.

00:48:44   It's like part of that and part of just like

00:48:47   the idea of them being able to make the iPhone better

00:48:51   by having the whole company focused around the ARM chip.

00:48:54   That's kind of my thinking is that they will eventually

00:48:57   make iOS and iOS devices better by having everything be ARM.

00:49:02   I think it helps them move towards an area

00:49:07   where you can make iPhone apps on an iPad.

00:49:10   I think that all of that stuff just helps push

00:49:12   in that direction, which I think is the ultimate direction

00:49:16   of Apple becoming the iOS company as opposed to the iOS

00:49:20   OS X company. I think that that is the, I'm really sorry everyone, but I think that is

00:49:25   the future. That is the future. And this is a long way away, but I think just looking

00:49:30   at percentages, they're just going to keep moving in different areas. And I know if I

00:49:34   am Tim Cook, then I want to put every dollar I have into the iPhone and to what comes out

00:49:41   of the iPhone, what comes next from the iPhone. And if I can find a way to make that 13, 14%

00:49:47   of my business make the 70% of the business even better,

00:49:52   then I might be inclined to do that.

00:49:53   - Yeah, I could see that.

00:49:56   I don't think that will happen anytime soon.

00:50:01   I just, I don't see it right now as being,

00:50:05   I see it as a distraction and not as a way

00:50:07   to further the iPhone, but I think we agree

00:50:10   that ultimately the decision that Apple makes

00:50:13   is going to be what's right for the iPhone

00:50:16   and not what's right for the Mac if what's right for the Mac is not also right for the

00:50:21   iPhone or doesn't matter to the iPhone.

00:50:23   I think all decisions Apple makes today are what is right for the iPhone.

00:50:29   Yeah.

00:50:30   And then everything else can kind of come along if they want to.

00:50:32   And look, if you think anything different, just look at the economics and ask yourself

00:50:39   if you are running that company, what would your decision making be?

00:50:43   And it doesn't mean that what's right for the iPhone means the Mac is dead.

00:50:49   It doesn't mean that because for the iPhone to exist, the Mac needs to exist in its current

00:50:54   state, right?

00:50:55   Because without the Mac, there is no iPhone because there's no software for it.

00:51:01   But I think it is the pyramid and the iPhone sits at the very top and then everything else

00:51:06   comes out of that because look how much money it makes.

00:51:11   so I think that that is it and I think that if it ends up being that moving to ARM will

00:51:17   benefit the iPhone, they're just going to do it and my bet would be in the next five

00:51:20   years there isn't a full transition but we see the first ARM Mac.

00:51:24   There you go. Okay, we'll see. I look forward to the follow up. Yeah.

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00:52:51   of this show and Relay FM.

00:52:55   So a couple of weeks ago I saw a little story float past that kind of I didn't really see

00:53:02   go anywhere but was interesting to me. The Japanese newspaper Nikkei, N-I-K-K-E-I.

00:53:09   Yeah, it's like a news service I think. Yeah, news service, that's a better way of putting

00:53:16   it. And we see this name pop up every now and then and they seem to be a source of good

00:53:23   stuff and bad stuff but definitely a source of stuff. According to Nikkei, Apple is asking

00:53:29   its manufacturers, Foxconn and Pegatron, great names by the way, just like just super.

00:53:36   Pegatron, what a great name for a company, is asking them to investigate what it would

00:53:41   take to move their production of iPhones to the US. Yeah, it's pretty big right? And apparently

00:53:51   Pegatron is not interested because it would be too expensive, but Foxconn is looking at

00:53:57   Now, my assumption would be that, let's just say that they do this, the idea would be that

00:54:03   they continue to work with these companies, but these companies help Apple establish and

00:54:08   run factories in the US as opposed to running these factories in China.

00:54:13   Yeah, I think so. And doesn't Foxconn run a factory in Brazil too?

00:54:20   Probably.

00:54:21   I think builds iPhones for Brazil, which is actually kind of an interesting thought of

00:54:26   what if you built the iPhones for the US in the US, which is a, you know, it's an example

00:54:33   of there's a lot going on here. I think the Brazil factory exists because it became impossible

00:54:40   for them to import phones into Brazil without these huge tariffs that made the phones not

00:54:45   just ridiculously priced. And so instead they built a factory to build iPhones in Brazil.

00:54:51   There's a lot going on here with a kind of protectionist administration taking power

00:54:56   in 2017. And, you know, Trump has criticized Apple for making things overseas. Apple, of

00:55:05   course, you know, we've talked about it, the supply chains in Asia. So if you want to do

00:55:11   kind of real-time fulfillment of products, keep the supply chain humming and keep the

00:55:19   inventory at minimum, which is the most efficient supply chain. This is Tim Cook's stuff. This

00:55:24   is what he's good at. Then you want to be close to the supply chain and not have all

00:55:29   your supplies being brought over on boats because that's really slow and you can have

00:55:34   too much of one thing and not enough of another and that leads to delays and there are lots

00:55:37   of reasons for this. So it's complicated stuff. I got to think part of this is Apple seeing

00:55:47   they need to do this because it's the only way that they're going to be able to avoid

00:55:52   a confrontation with the U.S. government over tariffs or some other kind of protectionist

00:55:57   tactic. They might, like I said, they might decide to build phones for North America in

00:56:03   North America, you know, build phones for North America and the U.S. and maybe continue

00:56:09   building all the rest of them in China. So that's a possibility, China, Brazil, whatever,

00:56:15   other places that are not the US. It's also possible that Apple is commissioning this,

00:56:19   is doing this work so that they have something they can point to and say, "We can't do this."

00:56:25   Right? That's entirely possible too, that this is laying the groundwork for Apple making

00:56:30   the case to the new administration that what they're asking isn't realistic because of

00:56:36   whatever the reasons are.

00:56:38   So, I wondered about a couple of other ideas for this. Right, so could this be a way to

00:56:45   help leverage in discussions of the repatriating of funds? This is something that Tim Cook

00:56:49   cares about quite deeply.

00:56:51   Tim Cook It's politics. All things are possible, right?

00:56:54   I mean, this is, this is, it could be that this is a part of a, it's a bargaining chip

00:56:59   to say, we will, we will do, and again, sometimes it's about optics. So it may be, look, you

00:57:06   make this deal to let us repatriate our funds at a reduced tax rate.

00:57:11   And we'll make 10% of iPhones in the United States.

00:57:14   Or we will make, we will, they're not even going to care about that. If I'm reading the

00:57:20   politics of this correctly, the way it would seem to work would be, Apple is bringing X

00:57:25   number of jobs back to the US from China. And it's going to be like with the PowerMac,

00:57:31   or the Mac Pro, sorry, Power Mac, wow,

00:57:34   we talked about old things.

00:57:35   (laughs)

00:57:36   Rather than the Mac Pro factory in Texas, right?

00:57:41   It will be something kind of like that,

00:57:44   where they'll say we're assembling whatever.

00:57:46   And it may be we're assembling the iPhones in the US,

00:57:50   but there are certain parts, certain blocks of parts

00:57:52   that do get shipped from China,

00:57:55   so that they're like partially put together in China,

00:57:57   but then the final bit is assembled.

00:57:59   The Gorilla Glass is made in the US,

00:58:01   So they, you know, and the, and I believe the processors

00:58:04   are made in the US or fabbed in the US.

00:58:06   So it's not like there aren't parts of the iPhone

00:58:08   that are made in the US.

00:58:09   So they could have parts of it that are made here

00:58:11   and shipped to an American factory,

00:58:12   and then parts that are coming from the Asian supply chain

00:58:15   and maybe are even pre-assembled there.

00:58:18   And then they're put together in the US.

00:58:20   So again, in the end, it's gonna be,

00:58:22   how do we do something that makes this, you know,

00:58:25   makes it work and doesn't harm our business,

00:58:27   and at the same time allows us to declare,

00:58:29   along with the new administration,

00:58:31   "Oh yay, Apple is bringing X thousand jobs back to America."

00:58:36   And in return, Apple's getting a huge tax break

00:58:39   on all that money that they wanna bring back.

00:58:41   It's politics, it's messy.

00:58:44   And sometimes it's more about how it looks

00:58:47   than how it works.

00:58:48   But I expect all of that is probably going on here.

00:58:51   - Could this also help Apple control leaks better?

00:58:55   Maybe?

00:58:58   - Maybe. - Maybe, maybe.

00:59:00   I mean, it wouldn't be a reason,

00:59:02   but it might be a nice outcome, I don't know.

00:59:05   - You still gotta get parts from the Asian supply chain.

00:59:09   I think nobody is suggesting

00:59:10   that the entire supply chain from Asia

00:59:12   is going to move to the US, right?

00:59:15   So there's still gonna be,

00:59:17   it's a complex web of different companies.

00:59:21   So it's possible, but I wouldn't bet on it.

00:59:26   I mean, 'cause the price just gets higher, right?

00:59:29   You know? - Yeah, although,

00:59:30   I mean, there are arguments to be made

00:59:32   that as the cost of living rises in China

00:59:34   and that it's less of a difference

00:59:38   and that the cost difference between making that phone

00:59:41   in the US and China is not huge.

00:59:43   I heard somebody say it was $10.

00:59:45   I don't know if that's accurate,

00:59:47   but it's like, it's not what you'd think.

00:59:48   It's not like, my understanding is the difference

00:59:51   in labor costs and things like that,

00:59:54   between doing it in the US and doing it in China,

00:59:56   that fundamentally doesn't add a huge amount to the price of the product, the cost of making

01:00:01   the product. The challenge is, again, all of the other pieces of the supply chain. This

01:00:06   is all an intricate machine that's been built in various factories in various areas all

01:00:11   feeding through to other suppliers and manufacturers. And you can't just kind of pop out one piece

01:00:17   easily and set it down somewhere else because that's not how it's been engineered. So I

01:00:23   I will say this, if anybody can figure out how to do this, it's an organization run

01:00:28   by Tim Cook because this is what he's good at. But I would be surprised, they're not

01:00:32   going to pick up the whole supply chain. So the question is like, how much do they do

01:00:36   in the US and how much do they not? And what makes that look good as this is a, you know,

01:00:47   it's not 100% American parts but it's assembled in the US, designed in Cupertino, you know,

01:00:53   or what is it, designed in California and assembled in the United States might be a

01:00:58   thing that they're going for.

01:00:59   - Pretty nice marketing message for Apple. Just gonna say, right, like, you know, for

01:01:05   the same reason that many political things occurred in the last few months. Apple being

01:01:10   able to say, like, we make our products at home.

01:01:14   - Well, I mean, Apple, so two things are going on with Apple. One is Apple is an international

01:01:20   company. They believe that China is going to be its biggest market eventually. And Apple

01:01:27   wants to be a successful global company. The other part is Apple is an American company.

01:01:35   The vast majority of the people who are building its products day by day are in designing and

01:01:41   creating the software and all those things are in Cupertino, California. They are an

01:01:44   American company. We have a government coming into power in the US that campaigned on "America

01:01:54   First." That was a slogan that they used, was "America First." So if you're Apple and

01:02:00   you're trying to be a smart business, you want to be able to continue being an international

01:02:07   but it might be dramatically to your benefit to be seen as America's tech company in the

01:02:15   United States. I think it's kind of funny, for example, that the current president and

01:02:22   the incoming president are frequently seen using smartphones not made by an American

01:02:32   company, right? It used to be like, if you're the president of the United States, everything

01:02:36   you used was made in America, if at all possible. Like the president doesn't get, I don't believe

01:02:42   to this day, the president doesn't get carried around in a Japanese car or a German car,

01:02:47   right? I believe it's all American cars, mostly because of, again, the optics of it, right?

01:02:54   USA, USA. So if you have the ability to do that with this and say, "Oh no, we love Apple.

01:02:59   They brought jobs back to America. Apple is our company. They're the home team. Samsung's

01:03:04   is not the home team. Google is. Google is a home team, but Samsung is not. And so, you

01:03:12   know, it gives Apple an opportunity to be on the home team at a time when nationalism

01:03:16   is on the rise in the U.S. So as a smart businessman, you know, as opposed as Apple is in so many

01:03:22   other areas to things that are probably going to be policies of Donald Trump and his administration,

01:03:27   this is a case where maybe it's the smart move to do it. And the fact is, an American

01:03:34   company bringing manufacturing back to the US and questioning the conventional wisdom

01:03:40   on that is not a bad thing to do, right? I mean if Apple can actually make iPhones in

01:03:44   the US to a certain degree and have it not cost their bottom line and not lose their

01:03:51   competitiveness with other phone makers, then that's a great story.

01:03:55   I think it's kind of cool. I don't want them to take jobs away from people in China and

01:04:00   and I hope that that's not, you know,

01:04:02   that it's not to serve one, it's just to spite another.

01:04:06   But I think it would be kind of cool

01:04:08   if they could find a way to make it work.

01:04:11   It doesn't annoy me.

01:04:12   Kind of like, "Rrr, make him in America."

01:04:15   It doesn't annoy me.

01:04:16   And I know that they would make a lot of people really happy.

01:04:20   So, you know, again, we're playing CEO today.

01:04:24   If I'm Tim Cook, this is another thing that I would do.

01:04:27   I would look at what this would be.

01:04:29   know because if you can if you can do it and you can make the money work why not

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01:06:36   i'm excited about it's that it's foot cardigan season again me too and i i signed up i signed

01:06:43   up this time i did you did great yeah i did i mean look we you know we we have a lot of different

01:06:50   types of sponsors here at Relay FM, but there is a there is quite a joy that I get in talking about

01:06:56   a sock subscription service. I get quite a joy out of talking about a company such as that.

01:07:02   Well, they sponsored Clockwise again this season, but they did it last holiday season too,

01:07:07   and it sort of devolved into madness because we kept talking about sockwise,

01:07:11   clocks and socks and all that. It's great.

01:07:13   To the foot cardigan people, there's a brand integration right there, Jason.

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01:07:21   Socks, clocks, socks. It's like a Dr Seuss book. It's great.

01:07:25   Our first Ask A Breed question this week comes from Ed. Ed is considering buying the Studio

01:07:30   Neat Canopy that we spoke about last week but doesn't want to buy a second Magic Keyboard.

01:07:35   Jason, will Ed be in Bluetooth pairing hell?

01:07:41   I don't know. I have a Logitech keyboard that has multiple Bluetooth pair settings,

01:07:49   but the Magic Keyboard doesn't work like that. And I only have the one and I only use it in the

01:07:56   Studio Neat Canopy. So yeah, I think there may be issues where if you've got your keyboard paired

01:08:03   to your Mac and your iPad and they're both within view of each other Bluetooth range that you may

01:08:10   may have some issues where you're gonna have to turn Bluetooth off on one of the devices

01:08:15   in order to get the other one to or you know or de-pair. Hell is a strong word but it's

01:08:23   not super ideal.

01:08:26   I wondered if the plugging in thing might help you know that pairing. Does that work

01:08:31   on iOS that the oh no because you can't go lightning to lightning never mind there's

01:08:36   nothing you can do about it.

01:08:39   Kove asked, "Regarding iPads and keyboards, do modifier keys allow multiple selections,

01:08:46   for example, items in the mails list as you can on Mac OS?"

01:08:49   I don't think so.

01:08:50   Do you know the answer to this one?

01:08:51   I mean, I've never been able--no.

01:08:53   Do you know what?

01:08:54   I don't think that works at all.

01:08:56   Like, you know, like the idea of holding shift and then just pressing down, down, down, down.

01:08:59   Or holding down, holding down like the command key and tapping on multiple items.

01:09:03   No, because in the way--yeah, I think you have to do the old selection thing where you

01:09:08   choose select and tap on the items. I don't think that there's a keyboard shortcut for

01:09:12   that.

01:09:13   I bet someone could do it. I just don't think it's worth the development.

01:09:16   I bet Apple could do it if Apple, you know, put that on the, I think the answer is this

01:09:21   would be a nice wish list item for the iPad features update that we hope is coming in

01:09:28   iOS sometime next year.

01:09:30   Yeah, the enhancements of modifier keys, basically.

01:09:33   Yeah.

01:09:34   to kind of make them more of a thing on iOS as opposed to just using the command key to

01:09:40   hit off shortcuts. There are more and more and more applications these days that are

01:09:44   effectively adding keyboard shortcuts. And one of my very favorite things about iOS,

01:09:50   which I mean you can tell me if there's a way to do this on the Mac, I've never come

01:09:54   across it, that you could just hold down the command key and find all of the available

01:09:58   keyboard shortcuts for an application.

01:10:00   Yeah, I mean the way you know how it works on the Mac which is you go to the menu bar

01:10:04   and you look at all the commands.

01:10:05   Yeah.

01:10:06   And it shows you what all the keys are.

01:10:08   That's it.

01:10:09   It doesn't have everything though.

01:10:10   It doesn't have everything.

01:10:11   It has everything.

01:10:12   It has all the corresponding shortcuts for what you can see in the menu bars.

01:10:16   And then if you hold down like the option key you'll see like the menu changes to be

01:10:20   what the variation is.

01:10:21   It's not quite the same.

01:10:22   It's still a limited set.

01:10:23   It's a nice feature.

01:10:24   I like it a lot.

01:10:25   I like it a lot.

01:10:27   one that I'm surprised I didn't bring that they haven't brought to the Mac.

01:10:30   Interesting. There you go Apple there's a low hanging fruit for you. Greg wanted to

01:10:35   know on the new MacBook Pro when brightness is all the way down on the

01:10:40   screen on the main screen does the touch bar go dark? That's a good question.

01:10:46   Jason checks. I will I will vamp for you for a moment and say that I saw a

01:10:52   touch bar for the first time this weekend I was in Scotland with our good

01:10:56   friend Mr. James Thompson and we went into the Apple store and they had them there. I

01:11:00   hadn't seen him in any Apple store that I'd been at. It's very nice. It's very nice. I

01:11:06   like it a lot but I did a thing which I've heard many people do. I touched the touch

01:11:11   bar and immediately touched the screen to open an application. That obviously did nothing.

01:11:17   But the idea of using a touch screen on a Mac, it just makes me touch the screen of

01:11:21   Mac. I mean I'm having this problem anyway on my MacBook. I don't know why, but I keep

01:11:28   touching the screen of my MacBook. Yeah, you get over it. I found you get over it. The first time

01:11:35   you use the touch bar, you immediately think, "Oh, now I can reach up and touch the screen."

01:11:40   I think it happens to everybody, but that's not the case. That's not the case. I can answer

01:11:47   Tofe's question now, or no, Greg's question now. I can answer Greg's question now. Here it is.

01:11:51   No! That's the answer. No, it doesn't. And there are a couple reasons, but I think all is not lost

01:11:59   for Greg. There are a couple reasons why it doesn't do it. That's the brightness control.

01:12:04   So if you put the brightness all the way dark, how would you get it back up? Right?

01:12:14   Yeah. Once it goes dark, that's it. You're game over. Touch bar is off. You have no other way to do it.

01:12:20   It's like if you change the language of your phone to another language. You just have to keep hitting buttons until you find the right button again.

01:12:26   Right. Exactly. But the good news is, and I mentioned this in my review, the touch bar is aggressively power saving.

01:12:36   So after, like even before your backlighting goes off

01:12:41   on your keyboard, after a little bit of inactivity

01:12:45   on your Mac, including you're watching a movie,

01:12:47   touch bar just goes off and doesn't come back on

01:12:50   until you do something, you know, touch a key

01:12:51   or move the track pad or something, or I think maybe tap it.

01:12:55   But so the touch bar is aggressively turning itself off

01:12:58   when it thinks the Mac is not being used.

01:13:01   So it's not gonna be an issue for Greg

01:13:03   because when he watches the movie,

01:13:04   touch bar will just go off after a little bit of an activity.

01:13:09   Lucas asked, "Do you think..." Also, Greg said, "I like to watch movies with no screen at night."

01:13:16   I don't know what that means. No screen? How do you watch?

01:13:20   I think what he means is, like, no screen brightness? Maybe? Maybe he's air playing it?

01:13:25   I don't know. I don't know, but anyway, it should go off.

01:13:30   Lucas asked, "Do you think if Apple's focus on services and killing the time capsule, potentially,

01:13:37   that they are close to an iCloud-based time machine service?"

01:13:40   I don't think so. I think it's too much. I don't think Apple wants to be in that game,

01:13:46   and if they did, I would not want to pay them the amount of money they would want to charge me.

01:13:50   I think the next step for Apple will probably be something like preferences in iCloud,

01:13:59   But they have so many issues already with desktop and document syncing.

01:14:04   And then once you try to sync preferences and you get preferences out of sync,

01:14:08   I'm not quite sure whether that's a route they want to go down.

01:14:13   But yeah, so I agree with you. I think iCloud-based time machine

01:14:18   seems unlikely. It's not impossible.

01:14:21   I don't think Apple wants to be backblaze.

01:14:24   Exactly right. Is that a service that Apple really needs to build? Then again,

01:14:28   Apple is backing up iOS devices, but the data on the Mac is much more complicated. And again,

01:14:33   the Mac is different. Apple can let some of that stuff to be third-party use, which they can't on

01:14:39   iOS. Like literally, Apple had to write the backup stuff for iOS, but they don't have to do that

01:14:45   for the Mac. And there are plenty of competitors out there fighting for that. So I think it's more

01:14:49   likely that they will try to add more kind of continuity features so that if you have a new

01:14:53   Mac and you log in with your iCloud information that it will get you closer to being up and

01:14:58   running. So preferences is an example, even if they don't sync across machines but they

01:15:02   sort of store the preferences and you can choose or even migrate from iCloud when you

01:15:08   launch a new Mac, including migrating your preferences from somewhere, that wouldn't

01:15:13   surprise me if they move in that direction. And maybe even like app installation states,

01:15:18   which I don't think they honor right now, the idea that maybe not for third-party apps

01:15:23   but for Mac App Store apps, they would know which Mac App Store apps you have installed

01:15:27   on a particular system and it can offer to reload them all. I think they'll do, I think

01:15:32   they'll push more in that direction, but that's not quite the same as backup. I think, I think

01:15:38   it's more that they will do that for migration reasons.

01:15:42   And last up today, Reid asked, "If Apple is focusing now more, you know, and cutting things

01:15:47   out could logic and Final Cut meet the same fate as the routers? Can't imagine that they

01:15:54   make that much money. I think Final Cut probably does make money for them. It's an interesting

01:16:03   question. I gotta say I think it's far more likely that Apple would do a file maker on

01:16:10   their pro apps and just make a subsidiary like they did with FileMaker when it was Clarus.

01:16:17   it's FileMaker. You know, people don't even know FileMaker, and it's basically a legacy

01:16:21   product database now, but that's a wholly owned subsidiary of Apple that just runs on

01:16:26   its own, does its thing, makes a database. That's it. That's all that does. Seems weird,

01:16:32   right? But, you know, as long as they're making money, and presumably they are, I think Apple

01:16:36   just doesn't care. And that's a possibility for something like Logic and Final Cut, where

01:16:40   they could say, "I don't think they're going to kill them." They could sell them, or they

01:16:45   could just sort of like wall them off. And if you're going to wall them off like that,

01:16:50   why not just wall them off internally and not even talk about it. And it may be that

01:16:54   the pro apps have their own teams and their own budget and are just allowed to do their

01:16:58   own thing and Apple doesn't worry about them as long as they make money or serve the platform

01:17:03   in some way. But it's possible.

01:17:05   But I guess the argument is the airport team were making money, but they potentially have

01:17:13   cut them.

01:17:14   The argument there is that they would have to invest

01:17:16   in a lot of new hardware design

01:17:17   and there are other places they could use them.

01:17:19   I guess you could make that argument for logic

01:17:20   and final cut that, you know,

01:17:22   as long as there are other audio and video editors out there

01:17:25   Apple doesn't need to play this game.

01:17:27   You could certainly argue the point

01:17:29   that Apple should get rid of or divest themselves

01:17:32   of logic and final cut.

01:17:33   I hope it doesn't happen, but you could make the argument.

01:17:36   I think Apple,

01:17:38   as long as Apple likes marketing professional tools,

01:17:42   Apple likes having Final Cut as an example

01:17:45   of a professional tool.

01:17:46   Then again, you know, so like a Final Cut

01:17:48   had the Touch Bar demo,

01:17:48   but Adobe had a Touch Bar demo for Photoshop.

01:17:51   So, you know, maybe, you know,

01:17:55   if Logic and Final Cut Pro didn't exist,

01:17:57   there would be Audition demos and Premiere demos.

01:18:02   I don't know.

01:18:03   - Think that wraps up today, - That's scary.

01:18:06   - just now.

01:18:08   I think we've solved some really important things

01:18:10   as CEO of Apple.

01:18:11   I'm really proud of us.

01:18:13   - Yep, the world's a better place now.

01:18:15   - Thanks again to our sponsors this week,

01:18:18   the fine folk over at Encapsula, Foote Cardigan,

01:18:22   and Pingdom.

01:18:24   If you want to find Jason online,

01:18:25   he is over at sixcolors.com and the incomparable.com.

01:18:29   He is @jsnell onto the J-S-N-E-L-L.

01:18:33   I am @imike, I-M-Y-K-E.

01:18:36   You can find our show notes for this week

01:18:38   over at relay.fm/upgrade/118.

01:18:42   I mentioned last time that there would be

01:18:43   a special mic at the movies, potentially,

01:18:46   and that is now out over at the incomparable.com/mic.

01:18:50   You can listen to me and the arments

01:18:54   discuss My Cousin Vinny, which was a lot of fun.

01:18:57   So you can go and check that out.

01:18:58   I'll put a link in the show notes for that

01:19:00   if you wanna go and subscribe to that feed as well,

01:19:03   because we do post the occasional special in there

01:19:05   as well as the reruns.

01:19:07   Thanks again for listening. Thanks so much to our sponsors. Thank you for supporting them. We'll be back next time. Until then, Mr. Snell, say goodbye.

01:19:17   Until we're home alone.

01:19:19   [Screaming]

01:19:21   See, you know so much. You know so much about the movie.

01:19:24   That's all I know.

01:19:25   Never do that again. Same as last time. Never do that again.

01:19:28   [Laughter]

01:19:31   [ Music ]