445: Headwinds


00:00:00   [Music]

00:00:08   From Relay FM, this is Upgrade episode 445.

00:00:13   Today's show is brought to you by Rocket Money Electric in Capital One.

00:00:18   My name is Mike Hurley, I'm joined by Jason Snell.

00:00:20   Hi, Jason Snell.

00:00:22   Hi, Mike Hurley.

00:00:23   I have a Snell Talk question for you. It comes from Wes.

00:00:26   Wes wants to know, Jason, are you on Mastodon?

00:00:29   And which of the six accounts is Jason?

00:00:31   - I don't know why search on Mastodon works the way it does

00:00:36   where like your accounts that are redirected

00:00:38   to other accounts still show up in search.

00:00:41   You'd think that they would like say, no, no, no,

00:00:43   you can't find me here, I don't know.

00:00:45   And I don't need to be written, nobody write in

00:00:47   with an explanation of why this is good actually.

00:00:50   Anyway, as it says on all the pages that refer to me now,

00:00:56   basically it's jsnell@zeppelin.flights.

00:01:00   I brought it back yesterday or Saturday,

00:01:04   inspired by Stephen Hackett,

00:01:05   who created eWorld.social.

00:01:07   Jerk, so good, so good.

00:01:10   - All these good server names, I'm like,

00:01:12   "Ooh, do I wanna, do I have a good, you know?"

00:01:15   And like, I like the joke of it all.

00:01:16   So it's like, it's tempting me, but.

00:01:18   - You might have to get on social media.

00:01:20   Well, you could also do, I will say,

00:01:21   you could also get on and make your own little novelty

00:01:24   domain and all of that, and then just set up automation

00:01:27   to auto-post for you and you wouldn't actually be there.

00:01:31   That would be some YouTube bots.

00:01:33   But anyway, I'm there.

00:01:34   I was on maston.social.

00:01:35   I decided that I was gonna revive zeppelin.flights,

00:01:37   which was in a weird, I shut it down,

00:01:40   but the Fediverse doesn't seem to know that you're dead.

00:01:44   So it still listed zeppelin.flights,

00:01:49   even though it had been shut down since 2018.

00:01:51   So when I turned it back on and created my account,

00:01:54   and hadn't redirected anything for mastodon.social yet,

00:01:57   I started picking up all these followers.

00:01:59   And it was literally, I think,

00:02:01   servers had been asking Zeppelin.flights

00:02:06   to talk to it since 2018.

00:02:08   Mike, I didn't just shut it down,

00:02:11   'cause it was running on Masto Host, which it is again.

00:02:14   I didn't just shut it down.

00:02:15   I shut it down, I let the domain expire.

00:02:18   - Whoa.

00:02:19   - I repurchased the domain like a month ago.

00:02:23   - Uh-huh.

00:02:24   - I turned on Masto Host again

00:02:26   for zeppelin.flights on Saturday.

00:02:28   It's, and remember they nuke the configuration.

00:02:30   So it's like a completely empty server.

00:02:31   I create a new user with my name

00:02:33   and suddenly the Fediverse is like,

00:02:37   you have 73 followers.

00:02:39   Like what?

00:02:40   Amazing.

00:02:41   So I guess that's how resilient it is,

00:02:43   but also pretty funny.

00:02:44   - There is a iMike on zeppelin.social

00:02:49   or zeppelin.flights I should say.

00:02:51   - Zeppelin.flights, is there?

00:02:52   - I must've signed up at some point on zipline.flights.

00:02:55   I don't know when that was, August, 2018, apparently.

00:02:59   - Well, what you should do, I'll say,

00:03:00   I can send you an invite link.

00:03:02   What you should do is reclaim that name.

00:03:04   And then if you ever set up a Mastodon,

00:03:08   something somewhere else, you can then forward that.

00:03:10   Because right now it's, those are all like ghost users

00:03:13   because they have to be recreated.

00:03:15   Ooh, ghost users.

00:03:18   Anyway, it's super easy to use this Mastodon.

00:03:21   (laughing)

00:03:24   Not complicated at all.

00:03:25   Also, I will say the process of transferring,

00:03:27   people are like, oh yeah, you transfer your followers

00:03:30   and it's not a problem.

00:03:31   Like, okay, well, when you've got whatever,

00:03:32   I had 10, 11, 12,000 followers, I don't know.

00:03:35   It's not so easy 'cause I do the transfer

00:03:38   and it's like, you have a thousand followers.

00:03:40   And I'm like, what?

00:03:41   And then I spend the weekend watching the activity view

00:03:45   and it's like a whole bunch,

00:03:47   like everybody at this server is now following you.

00:03:50   Everybody at this server is now following you.

00:03:51   So obviously the way a transfer works

00:03:53   is the server checks Mastodon.social.

00:03:56   Mastodon.social says, "Oh, Jason moved."

00:03:58   And then it looks for Zeblon.flights, an asset.

00:04:01   And so then the server got real slow

00:04:03   because although I'm not paying for the cheapest Masto host,

00:04:05   I'm not paying for the most expensive Masto host either.

00:04:09   And it got slow.

00:04:12   And then, but I kept checking and it was like,

00:04:14   now you've got 3000 followers.

00:04:15   Now you've got 7000 followers.

00:04:16   Now I've got about 10.

00:04:18   So it's sort of caught up.

00:04:19   But in the meantime, Dan also transferred his stuff.

00:04:22   Dan Morin transferred his stuff,

00:04:23   and that slowed the server down again.

00:04:25   So we're going through it again, but it's working.

00:04:28   And in the long run, I decided that, yeah,

00:04:31   it feels to me, and this is what Steven Hackett told me,

00:04:34   it feels to me like our community,

00:04:36   generally just sort of this community of Apple and tech

00:04:40   and stuff like that,

00:04:41   that stuff seems to have moved to Mastodon.

00:04:44   All our engagement on Twitter has dropped to nothing,

00:04:46   and people seem to be on Mastodon.

00:04:48   it's funny because there are other aspects of stuff

00:04:51   that I follow on Twitter like that sports list

00:04:53   I talk about that it's just going on

00:04:55   like nothing happened to Twitter, seriously.

00:04:57   It's kind of amazing.

00:04:58   - But they don't care, why would they care?

00:05:01   It's just us that cares 'cause we care.

00:05:02   - But our community cares and has moved

00:05:04   and I thought, well, you know what?

00:05:06   Steven's right, I think our community is here.

00:05:10   I do kind of wanna own my own place in this,

00:05:16   universe of alternate socials. I already had Zeppelin flights.

00:05:23   It still appears as a ghost. I'll just bring it back. So I brought it back.

00:05:27   So it's for any of my collaborators at The Incomparable and Six Colors, which

00:05:34   are all part of the same corporation, we have a Zeppelin. It's Zeppelin.flights.

00:05:39   And that's where I am.

00:05:42   Yeah, it was over the weekend, like, seeing Stevens and seeing you.

00:05:45   I was like, oh, this looks like fun, but.

00:05:49   - Right.

00:05:49   - I don't really know how realistically

00:05:51   how fun it is to move it.

00:05:54   - The bots, I mean,

00:05:55   Steven's using a different method than me.

00:05:56   I'm using make.com.

00:05:57   He's, I forget if he's using if this, then that,

00:06:00   or something else.

00:06:02   We were using make.com for a bunch of automations

00:06:04   on the incomparable and six colors,

00:06:07   and adding Mastodon to those automations was really easy.

00:06:11   And that's why I suggested if you really wanted to,

00:06:14   you could set up an instance and a user

00:06:16   and just create an auto-post thing that posts the,

00:06:20   it's essentially like,

00:06:21   if you'd like to see what I'm doing,

00:06:23   follow this account, and it's not you really,

00:06:27   it's your podcast, when your podcast goes live,

00:06:30   and when your podcast posts, and when you're, right?

00:06:33   It would be that stuff, when you're selling a new something,

00:06:36   and it wouldn't be so much interactive

00:06:38   as sort of a live stream for Mike Hurley.

00:06:40   You could do that if you wanted to.

00:06:41   - Do people want that though?

00:06:43   I don't know.

00:06:44   I don't know.

00:06:45   I don't know.

00:06:46   People want that, to be honest.

00:06:47   Well, I mean, they wouldn't follow you if they didn't want that, but I guess that's

00:06:50   the question is would they follow you?

00:06:52   Yeah.

00:06:53   But the issue for me, though, is if I have an active presence like that, I am going to

00:07:00   be reading it more and stuff, and that's kind of what I'm trying to not do right now because

00:07:04   I just get sucked in forever.

00:07:06   So I don't know.

00:07:07   I need to think about it, but where I am right now, I'm happy where I am right now.

00:07:12   I don't have an active presence on any text-based social media.

00:07:16   - Sure. - Maybe it will change

00:07:17   because I'm starting to get like, I don't know,

00:07:20   I'm like looking, you guys are doing listening to app stories,

00:07:23   they're talking about all these cool new apps

00:07:25   and it's just like feeling a little bit left out,

00:07:27   but one way or another there's something I'm not gonna like,

00:07:30   I just haven't decided which one it is yet.

00:07:32   - That's okay, I mean, it's all part of a process, right?

00:07:35   And there's no right or wrong process.

00:07:38   I am using Mastodon, but way less than I use Twitter,

00:07:41   and I'm almost, I'm not essentially posting

00:07:44   on Twitter anymore, but I am reading mostly that sports list

00:07:47   and that's about it, maybe occasionally a mention

00:07:50   or something, so I'd say my net brain space

00:07:54   devoted to social media has gone way down,

00:07:57   which I think is a good thing.

00:07:59   - If you would like to send in a snow talk of your own

00:08:01   to help us open an episode of Upgrade,

00:08:04   just go to upgradefeedback.com and submit it,

00:08:06   or you can click the link in your show notes to do so.

00:08:10   I have some follow up for you, Jason Snell.

00:08:12   Most of this, as usual, coming from the wonderful upgrade-ians

00:08:16   who write in to upgradefeedback.com,

00:08:19   which I very much appreciate.

00:08:21   We get so much great follow up these days,

00:08:23   more than we used to.

00:08:24   So I'm very thankful for people sending that stuff in.

00:08:27   Anthony wrote in to say, regarding the entry level Sonos

00:08:30   speaker recommendation from Ask Upgrade last week,

00:08:35   Anthony says, I got started with the $119 symphonisk that

00:08:40   is a Sonos and IKEA collaboration I had forgotten about these products.

00:08:45   Anthony says they sound great and work with the Sonos app, though I just use them via

00:08:50   Airplay.

00:08:51   So IKEA and Sonos have a selection of products.

00:08:54   Some are lamps, some are speakers, some are picture frames with speakers inside them.

00:08:59   It all works with Sonos and it's kind of maybe to try and make these products a little bit

00:09:03   more integrated into your home stuff.

00:09:06   So I haven't used these but it's a good recommendation if you're looking to get

00:09:10   started with Sonos.

00:09:11   This is an even easier, cheaper and maybe less intrusive way to bring Sonos into your

00:09:17   home.

00:09:19   Steve wrote in regards to the AR headset and controllers and says a lack of controllers

00:09:26   would limit the headset but also keep developers focused on the end goal of glasses worn in

00:09:31   public throughout the day, not a gaming device.

00:09:34   What do you think about that as like a reason to not have controllers?

00:09:38   Okay, so what I would say is you don't buy a product for the end goal.

00:09:44   And one of the things that we know that actually is good about VR and AR right now is gaming.

00:09:52   So if the goal is everybody keep your eyes on the prize of what it's going to be like

00:09:59   in five or 10 years and nobody do anything

00:10:02   that would work today, I mean, that won't work, right?

00:10:06   That won't work.

00:10:07   And what you need to do is make a product that appeals

00:10:09   and then evolve it over time

00:10:11   and let the appeal evolve over time.

00:10:14   But what you can't do is say,

00:10:16   we're gonna make this as bad a gaming device as we can

00:10:20   because we want people to be using,

00:10:23   toning the right muscles for where we wanna be in 10 years.

00:10:26   Like you can't do that.

00:10:28   So that's why when we talk about controllers,

00:10:30   they don't have to be in the box necessarily,

00:10:32   although that might not be bad.

00:10:34   There's a lot of things you can do with controllers

00:10:36   that are very precise in ways that I am skeptical

00:10:39   that camera-based hand tracking is gonna be as good at.

00:10:43   Ready to be proven wrong?

00:10:44   I'm sure Apple's implementation of this

00:10:46   will be very impressive,

00:10:47   but you can't keep developers focused on the end goal.

00:10:52   Developers don't get paid by the end goal,

00:10:56   they get paid now.

00:10:57   And to convince developers to work on something

00:11:00   for what's gonna be in five or 10 years is not good enough.

00:11:03   So that's why we talk about it.

00:11:07   It would limit the headset, limiting the headset,

00:11:09   which Steve says would limit the headset.

00:11:12   That means it's gonna limit sales of the headset,

00:11:14   which is gonna limit motivation developers have

00:11:16   to develop for the headset.

00:11:17   That's exactly what Apple doesn't want.

00:11:19   - Like ultimately it would be incredible, right?

00:11:22   Like if the hand tracking was flawless, right?

00:11:24   It's gonna be unbelievable.

00:11:25   It's gonna open and unlock so many new things.

00:11:27   it would be amazing. - Absolutely.

00:11:29   - But it's still not, even if it was flawless,

00:11:32   it's still not gonna be good for all types of video games,

00:11:35   for example, right?

00:11:36   So just having controllers is an additional good thing.

00:11:41   Like prioritize hand tracking for everything else

00:11:44   if you want to, and you'll still get to that end result.

00:11:47   Like if, you know, you're not gonna necessarily

00:11:49   need a hand tracking, sorry, a game controller

00:11:53   for your calendar app, like just use hand tracking for that.

00:11:55   and people can then advance that for apps, utilities,

00:11:58   that kind of things.

00:11:59   But for some games, controllers will always be

00:12:02   really helpful.

00:12:04   So why not do both, I guess?

00:12:07   - Right.

00:12:08   - And we spoke on last episode about a potential

00:12:12   of a folding iPad that Ming-Chi Kuo was talking about

00:12:16   in 2024.

00:12:17   There were a few stories that came up afterwards.

00:12:19   Mark Gurman and Ross Young said they hadn't heard anything

00:12:22   about folding iPad in 2024. - They're like,

00:12:23   "No, whoa, whoa."

00:12:24   - This was the rumor reporting equivalent

00:12:27   of somebody saying, "I hear it a thing,"

00:12:28   and everybody else being like, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait,

00:12:30   wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.

00:12:31   No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.

00:12:33   We didn't hear that thing.

00:12:34   We didn't hear about that thing."

00:12:35   Fascinating to see that in action, right?

00:12:37   Mark Herman's like, "Nope, haven't heard a word about this."

00:12:39   Which doesn't mean it isn't gonna happen,

00:12:41   but I think the implication there is that

00:12:43   if he hasn't heard a word about it,

00:12:45   it's probably not quite right.

00:12:48   - And Ross Young says that he heard

00:12:49   that there was a 20.5 inch screen being prepared

00:12:53   for a foldable notebook on the cards for 2025.

00:12:57   - I just pedantically like to point out

00:12:59   every notebook is foldable.

00:13:01   - Yes, Jason.

00:13:03   - Every notebook folds.

00:13:07   - A folding screen notebook, how about that?

00:13:11   - Yeah, I think that's the idea here.

00:13:12   So his idea is it's a 20 inch screen that folds up into,

00:13:16   and I haven't done the math of exactly what that would be

00:13:20   when you folded it, but imagine folding it into something

00:13:22   that looks like a laptop configuration.

00:13:24   What would that be like?

00:13:26   And I had that same thought,

00:13:30   which was like, I had a moment where I'm like,

00:13:33   oh, this is a Mac, not an iPad.

00:13:36   And I wonder if that's what Ming-Chi Kuo has gotten wrong

00:13:38   is assuming based on his supply chain sources

00:13:41   that this product is being tested.

00:13:43   And that's what's going on here, right?

00:13:45   Is this product's being tested?

00:13:46   And you might have some guesses based on like

00:13:49   when they're expecting to ramp up production

00:13:51   that that suggests late 24 and Gherman's like,

00:13:53   "That's not gonna happen."

00:13:55   But right now what's going on is that Apple is getting tests

00:13:58   from manufacturers to try things

00:14:01   and see if they wanna do it.

00:14:02   And so maybe he just saw this screen and was like,

00:14:06   "Well, that's an iPad."

00:14:07   Whereas Ross Young says,

00:14:10   "No, it's gonna be a laptop

00:14:12   and it's gonna be later than that."

00:14:14   Would Apple make a weird convertible laptop thing,

00:14:19   tablet thing?

00:14:21   Well, a couple of weeks ago, we talked about this idea

00:14:23   that one, if Apple does touchscreen Macs,

00:14:26   it gives them the ability, if they choose, to get weird.

00:14:29   And this would certainly be a weird product, right?

00:14:32   And I was talking at the time about like convertibility

00:14:35   and how you could create, essentially,

00:14:37   call it an iPad mode, but it's a tablet mode for macOS.

00:14:40   There's so much work that they've done

00:14:42   on the iPad side here that I think it's something

00:14:46   that they could do if they really wanted to do it.

00:14:49   and there are lots of arguments against it.

00:14:51   And I've heard a lot of arguments that are like,

00:14:53   well, but how would it work?

00:14:55   I was like, well, yes, I'm not saying it wouldn't be hard,

00:14:59   but I'm saying that I don't appreciate the arguments

00:15:04   that are, oh, it's too hard, Apple will never do it.

00:15:07   Because if Apple wants to do it and thinks it's important,

00:15:09   Apple will do it.

00:15:11   And most of the people who say, oh, it's too hard

00:15:14   are the same people who think that Apple

00:15:15   never makes a wrong step.

00:15:17   It's like, well, what are they?

00:15:18   Are they the greatest company ever

00:15:19   that can do whatever they want?

00:15:21   Or are they incapable of solving a problem?

00:15:23   Which one is it?

00:15:24   So, you know, maybe this is evidence

00:15:27   that Apple's gonna get weird,

00:15:28   because honestly, if that's an iPad or a laptop,

00:15:30   - Still would. - If it's iPad OS

00:15:32   or Mac OS, it's still a weird product, right?

00:15:33   It's weird either way. - Still would.

00:15:35   - It's weird either way.

00:15:36   So, and then Mark Gurman was like,

00:15:38   "I don't know what they're talking about."

00:15:40   Like, nope.

00:15:41   So, 'cause the report I think Mark Gurman made

00:15:44   was that touchscreen MacBook Pro

00:15:47   just a more conventional thing in 2025.

00:15:51   So it's all kind of out there,

00:15:53   but I love the idea that Apple's maybe

00:15:57   essentially thinking of getting weird.

00:15:59   Like, yeah, let's do it.

00:16:00   Let's honestly, like I like Apple.

00:16:03   Apple's in a great product place right now.

00:16:04   They don't need to destroy the products they've got.

00:16:06   The products they've got are very successful,

00:16:08   but it's been a while since Apple did something

00:16:11   really different.

00:16:13   And I would love to see them try to reinvent

00:16:16   some category in the next few years.

00:16:19   - Well, I mean, they're gonna do it with a headset.

00:16:21   It's the plan, right?

00:16:22   Like that's-- - It's true, that's true.

00:16:24   - That's the expectation.

00:16:26   That's obviously what they're going for.

00:16:28   Otherwise, don't bother, so.

00:16:29   - Maybe this is just like a hat set you wear,

00:16:32   like a hat, like a hat set.

00:16:33   - A hat set.

00:16:34   - You just fold it up and put it on your head.

00:16:36   - Yeah, notebook hat.

00:16:37   - And walk around.

00:16:38   Yeah, hat book.

00:16:40   - In Upgrade Plus today, we're gonna be talking

00:16:42   about our results on the latest Upgrade Plus challenge.

00:16:45   Jason and I have been using the Arc browser

00:16:48   from the browser company for the past week.

00:16:51   We're gonna be giving our thoughts on that.

00:16:53   If you are not a member supporting Upgrade Plus,

00:16:55   go to getupgradeplus.com

00:16:57   and you will get longer ad-free versions of the show

00:17:00   and you will hear all about our experiences

00:17:03   with the Arc browser.

00:17:04   And also, probably by the time you're hearing this,

00:17:08   sometime on Monday, the Six Colors Report Card for 2022

00:17:12   will be published.

00:17:13   This is where Jason goes out

00:17:15   and talks to a bunch of people in the community and asks them to grade Apple's year in various

00:17:21   categories.

00:17:22   We're going to be talking about this on next week's episode.

00:17:29   This episode of Upgrade is brought to you by Rocket Money.

00:17:33   Trying something for free for 30 days is enough time to try and completely forget about the

00:17:38   subscription or service you signed up for.

00:17:40   Before you know it, you're paying for something you don't use every single month.

00:17:46   Well with Rocket Money you can change that with just a few quick taps.

00:17:51   Rocket Money, formerly known as Truebill, is a personal finance app that finds and cancels

00:17:56   your unwanted subscriptions, monitors your spending and helps you lower your bills all

00:18:02   in one place.

00:18:04   Over 80% of people have subscriptions they have forgotten that they ever signed up for.

00:18:09   You notice that streaming service that you bought to watch that one show you were hooked

00:18:12   on and then the season ends and then you just forgot to cancel it and you never use it for

00:18:16   anything else?

00:18:18   Rocket Money will quickly and easily identify these subscriptions for you so you can stop

00:18:22   paying for the ones you don't want.

00:18:24   Simply find the subscription you don't want, press cancel and Rocket Money will cancel

00:18:28   it for you.

00:18:29   No more long hold times with customer service or tedious emailing back and forth, Rocket

00:18:34   money cancelling subscriptions is as easy as a click of a button. Over 3 million people

00:18:40   have used Rocket Money saving the average person up to $720 a year.

00:18:45   Them cancelling for you? That's the best thing ever. No longer having to try and go

00:18:51   through some telephone tree thing to get through to the person you want to speak to to cancel

00:18:57   an online service? Come on. This is what's so awesome about Rocket Money. Not only are

00:19:02   helping you save money, they're also helping you save time and aggravation by going through

00:19:06   this hard stuff for you. Stop throwing your money away, cancel your unwanted subscriptions

00:19:11   and manage your expenses the easy way by going to rocketmoney.com/upgrade. That's rocketmoney.com/upgrade.

00:19:25   Our thanks to Rocket Money for their support of this show and Relay FM.

00:19:30   Room around uptime, saddle up Jason Snell, we're going to go back to our friend Mark

00:19:36   Germin over at Bloomberg who is reporting that Apple has decided they will not be continuing

00:19:43   with the role of industrial design chief after Evans Hankey departs the company.

00:19:48   This is something we spoke about last year that Evans Hankey was going to be leaving

00:19:52   Apple and there was a conversation of like, well what's going to happen?

00:19:56   A quote from Bloomberg, "Instead, the company's core group of about 20 industrial designers

00:20:02   will report directly to Jeff Williams, Apple's chief operating officer.

00:20:07   The company will also give larger roles to a group of Apple's longest-tenured designers."

00:20:12   So this will ultimately be linking design, industrial design and operations even further.

00:20:20   Alan Dye is going to remain as head of software design.

00:20:25   Do you have any, like, I mean, a lot of people will say,

00:20:27   "This is doom and gloom."

00:20:29   Like, "This is a big change."

00:20:31   "This is bad."

00:20:32   Like, what do you think about this when you hear this news?

00:20:34   - "I will sold its soul, sold its soul."

00:20:37   Look, it's a black box, right?

00:20:40   We don't know what's going on in there.

00:20:42   Unless you're one of those small number of people

00:20:43   who understand the situation,

00:20:45   you don't know what's going on.

00:20:47   My read on this,

00:20:49   putting on my,

00:20:51   taking off my rumor roundup cowboy hat for a moment

00:20:53   putting on my senior vice president and editorial director hat that I wore for a little while,

00:21:02   my corporate hat, I would say my best guess is Johnny Ive and a bunch of his people leaving

00:21:10   with Johnny Ive left a bit of a vacuum, right? A bit of a vacuum in terms of leadership.

00:21:18   And they ended up with a situation where they have Evan Tanki and she seemed like a good

00:21:22   choice to run this group, but that clearly when she said she was going to leave, it looks

00:21:27   to me like what's going on here is that they didn't have anybody.

00:21:31   And Mark Gurman, in fact, in his newsletter, we referred to this as a failure of succession

00:21:37   planning.

00:21:38   Maybe?

00:21:39   I mean, he's got sources inside who might tell him that.

00:21:44   I do wonder if some of the succession planning involved lieutenants of Johnny Ive who left

00:21:48   with Johnny Ive, right?

00:21:49   Which they were a lot.

00:21:50   - There's a situation where you've got like a bunch

00:21:52   of people who like Johnny want to do something different

00:21:55   and Evans Hankey agrees to or decides to stay for a while,

00:21:59   but she decides to leave too.

00:22:01   And you haven't necessarily had time

00:22:03   to cultivate somebody who steps up.

00:22:05   So that's my initial read on this is that

00:22:07   there was no clear choice as a successor

00:22:09   or that there were multiple sort of shaky choices

00:22:14   as a successor.

00:22:15   And maybe they decided,

00:22:17   'cause this line about also give larger roles

00:22:19   to a group of Apple's longest tenured designers,

00:22:23   sounds to me like maybe there was a group of people

00:22:26   who were kind of qualified,

00:22:29   but none of them at the level where management thought

00:22:33   we could put this person in charge,

00:22:35   or potentially we could put this person in charge

00:22:37   without losing all the rest of them, right?

00:22:40   'Cause that also happens.

00:22:41   That's a dynamic where you've got peers

00:22:43   and then one of them gets promoted

00:22:44   and the other ones get out.

00:22:46   So, and this is super important, critical to Apple.

00:22:49   So, you know, my guess, yeah,

00:22:51   people talk about them reporting to Jeff Williams.

00:22:53   Reporting to Jeff Williams is primarily

00:22:55   because there's nobody, they can't elevate somebody.

00:22:58   I think this is less about an operations control thing

00:23:03   than it is about personnel.

00:23:07   Like, bottom line, this reads to me as personnel,

00:23:10   which is there are a lot of personal dynamics there,

00:23:12   and maybe it's true that they have not been training up,

00:23:16   you know, Evans-Hankey didn't train up her replacement,

00:23:19   or none of them, or tried and they were found wanting,

00:23:23   or all of them seem to be about equal,

00:23:25   but that seems to be, to me, what's going on here.

00:23:28   Now, my guess is that as a part of this process,

00:23:33   those larger roles people are going to be prompted

00:23:38   and watched as potential leaders of the design group.

00:23:44   This also doesn't read to me as necessarily a group

00:23:47   that will never go without a leader,

00:23:49   but, you know, and if this is the case,

00:23:53   I think it's actually, I hope this is the case,

00:23:55   'cause that's the good management scenario, right?

00:23:57   The good management scenario is nobody gonna step up,

00:24:00   best thing for the organization is to put more power

00:24:03   into these individual teams

00:24:04   that have these long-tenured designers as their leaders

00:24:07   and let them continue to do their jobs

00:24:09   without a person at the top level.

00:24:12   And sorry, Jeff, you're gonna have to, you know,

00:24:17   you're gonna have to check in with a bunch of people

00:24:20   instead of one person now.

00:24:22   The thing about this that makes me tilt my head a little

00:24:25   is not, oh, operations has taken over design,

00:24:28   it's how many people are reporting directly

00:24:32   to Jeff Williams at this point?

00:24:33   It's not 20, right?

00:24:35   But it's the, presumably the larger roles

00:24:38   people are gonna report to Jeff Williams directly.

00:24:40   It's like, is Jeff Williams really gonna supervise them?

00:24:44   How's that gonna work?

00:24:45   Are they giving free reign?

00:24:47   Are they trying to deal with a boss who's being,

00:24:49   I mean, I've had that where I've reported to a boss

00:24:51   who has a bazillion reports,

00:24:53   and that can go two ways, right?

00:24:56   Actually, even with the same boss, this happened with me,

00:24:58   where he put tremendous amounts of authority in my hands

00:25:03   and let me do, make decisions.

00:25:06   He was like, he didn't wanna sweat the small stuff at all.

00:25:09   But when he rolled in and wanted to have an opinion,

00:25:14   he had to get up to speed, I had to manage him

00:25:17   because he didn't really know the context of it.

00:25:19   And like, that's the problem with that situation

00:25:24   is you get autonomy, but you still have a boss

00:25:26   and the boss doesn't understand what you're doing.

00:25:28   And so when the boss decides that they wanna roll in

00:25:31   and do something, you've gotta get them up to speed,

00:25:34   which can be really hard and they can make,

00:25:35   they can have an incomplete understanding

00:25:38   of what you do because of it.

00:25:40   So that part is a little bit of a red flag here,

00:25:43   but I think the answer is that, yeah,

00:25:46   we can ding Apple for lacking succession planning here,

00:25:49   but this is a group that had a very longstanding leader

00:25:52   who left with a lot of his lieutenants.

00:25:55   I'm not surprised that they're in this situation,

00:25:59   especially since Evans Hanke was identified as this,

00:26:03   and then she has left fairly quickly,

00:26:06   leaving them presumably with a solid design group

00:26:10   that doesn't have anybody who looks like the manager

00:26:12   or anybody who looks so clearly like the manager

00:26:15   that they aren't gonna suffer even more loss of people

00:26:18   if they promote them.

00:26:20   That's my take on it.

00:26:21   - It is, I think, worth considering,

00:26:24   like what I was thinking about when I read this,

00:26:26   is these roles, the industrial design chief

00:26:29   and the software design chief,

00:26:30   where Alan Dyer's remaining in,

00:26:32   these roles were created when Johnny was on his way out,

00:26:36   when they were trying to keep him,

00:26:37   but he didn't wanna work there anymore, right?

00:26:40   - Right.

00:26:40   And so they created these two job roles

00:26:43   to basically be him.

00:26:46   Maybe Apple just doesn't want these job roles anymore.

00:26:48   They would create for a specific purpose

00:26:50   and they're not gonna remove Alan Dye from the position

00:26:53   because he's doing a good job, they feel.

00:26:55   But maybe when Alan Dye does move on,

00:26:58   he wouldn't be replaced either.

00:27:00   - Maybe, I mean, it's possible.

00:27:03   My guess is that if you've got somebody

00:27:06   who's capable of running the design group

00:27:09   and reporting to Jeff Williams,

00:27:10   rather than having a group of people

00:27:13   reporting to Jeff Williams, everybody would prefer that.

00:27:18   I would think.

00:27:19   I would think that you would not,

00:27:23   unless the goal is, I mean,

00:27:25   for the people who are out there

00:27:26   who are convinced that this is the case,

00:27:28   unless the goal really is to sort of like

00:27:29   depower the design group

00:27:30   and make them all just sort of like individual groups

00:27:34   that all report separately to Jeff Williams

00:27:36   and they don't have any power

00:27:38   because they're all just sort of like down in the trenches

00:27:41   and there's nobody speaking up for design in general.

00:27:43   And maybe that's the plan,

00:27:44   but my guess is it's more about the people.

00:27:46   It's that, and we should say,

00:27:48   because I don't think it's come up today,

00:27:51   you don't hire outside for somebody like this.

00:27:54   You don't, you don't.

00:27:55   Like it or not, Apple is not a company that's capable

00:27:59   of bringing in somebody from the outside

00:28:02   for a role like this.

00:28:03   They just aren't.

00:28:04   We've seen it time and again,

00:28:06   bringing in senior people who are not from Apple to Apple

00:28:10   doesn't work well.

00:28:11   The only exception would be if there was somebody

00:28:12   who had worked in this group and then left

00:28:15   and wanted to come back in that role.

00:28:17   And who knows, maybe they talked to people about that too,

00:28:19   but that obviously didn't happen.

00:28:21   So it's hard, all speculation, right?

00:28:24   We don't know more than these basic reports,

00:28:26   but I would think personally, I would,

00:28:30   if I were Jeff Williams,

00:28:31   I would prefer to have a head of industrial design

00:28:33   instead of having a whole bunch of the former lieutenants

00:28:36   now reporting to me directly, right?

00:28:37   Like that's happened before, right?

00:28:39   A senior person leaves and suddenly you're like,

00:28:41   "Okay, I guess all their reports are my reports

00:28:44   until we hire a replacement."

00:28:45   Well, this is them saying,

00:28:47   "All of Evan Sankey's reports

00:28:48   are now Jeff Williams' reports, I guess?"

00:28:50   Like that's not ideal.

00:28:52   So there must be a real, like, again,

00:28:54   either they're trying to eradicate all the strength

00:28:56   of the design group, which I doubt,

00:28:58   or they just don't have that person

00:29:00   and maybe they will someday.

00:29:01   I don't know.

00:29:02   I mean, most likely scenario there, Mike,

00:29:05   is that they tried this way and they're like, "Oh God,

00:29:07   we can't do it this way."

00:29:11   And somebody steps up,

00:29:13   and that may even be the implication right now, right?

00:29:15   It's like one of the people in this group

00:29:17   who are getting the larger roles,

00:29:19   like somebody steps up and Jeff's like, "You know what?

00:29:21   I like the cut of your jib, you're now in charge of this."

00:29:25   And that may happen, who knows?

00:29:27   If you know something about this, let us know.

00:29:31   If you're inside an Apple, send us the skinny.

00:29:35   - You can send in feedback via the anonymous feedback form

00:29:39   or upgradefeedback.com and you can let us know.

00:29:42   Somebody did actually send something in

00:29:44   and it was under anonymous and they were like,

00:29:46   I'm an Apple engineer and I really like listening

00:29:49   to the show because I can talk back to you

00:29:51   and tell you if you're right, wrong, or.

00:29:53   (laughing)

00:29:55   - I'd rather be right.

00:29:56   I'd rather be right.

00:29:58   I had somebody say, I need to send you a message

00:30:01   on Signal.

00:30:02   It was good, it was like background,

00:30:05   it was a former Apple employee,

00:30:06   but it was on background,

00:30:08   and in that case it was very much a,

00:30:11   you guys are pretty right,

00:30:14   given that you don't know anything, so that's cool.

00:30:16   - You don't know what we don't know.

00:30:17   - I like that too.

00:30:18   - No, we don't know anything.

00:30:19   - Oh.

00:30:20   - You can send in completely anonymous to that form.

00:30:22   It is also, as well as the feedback,

00:30:24   it is a tips line.

00:30:25   - What if, what if, Rumor Roundup,

00:30:27   what if we start breaking things on Rumor Roundup?

00:30:29   could you imagine? It's going to happen at some point I'd hope.

00:30:32   No I don't think so. I doubt it.

00:30:33   Mark Gurman is also reporting that Apple is considering adding an Ultra phone to the iPhone

00:30:38   lineup in 2025 starting with the iPhone 16. The iPhone 15 Pro Max will be named that.

00:30:46   It will not be renamed to Ultra as some believed it would, including me. But the 15 Pro Max

00:30:54   will start this trend of further differentiating the product line with features like the periscope

00:30:59   lens.

00:31:02   Mark says Apple will also further differentiate the product's tiers of a range of materials,

00:31:07   processors and cameras.

00:31:25   is reporting that Apple is considering adding the ultra as another phone at the top end.

00:31:32   The pro max remaining. Now I found this fascinating because what it says is Apple

00:31:38   really thinks that having four phones or whatever is the right way to go, five phones, whatever it's

00:31:44   going to be, my expectation here is they just drop the plus. Yeah, right. And so they still have four

00:31:52   but they have iPhone, iPhone Pro, iPhone Pro Max, iPhone Ultra, because I think

00:31:58   what they've maybe come to realize is cutting features in the mid-range is not

00:32:05   as exciting to people as adding features at the high end.

00:32:10   Yeah, also I would say they seem to have learned that there is a finite number of

00:32:14   people who want to buy the iPhone model, and splitting it into two models

00:32:21   doesn't really net them more sales.

00:32:24   So why would you not take that effort

00:32:26   and then push it up to the highest of the high end?

00:32:28   I would say, Mike, that although the rumors are

00:32:31   that this is not the case, this is the kind of place

00:32:34   where you would do a folding phone eventually,

00:32:37   would be ultra, it is the cutting edge,

00:32:41   the super expensive,

00:32:43   just like those Samsung folding phones are expensive,

00:32:46   but at the highest of the high end.

00:32:50   interesting idea, right? Because, and we're gonna get to the, we're gonna get to the the

00:32:56   earnings report in a little bit, but one of the things, and Mark Gurman noticed it, which is good,

00:33:01   somebody asked Tim Cook about the ability for the market to bear increases in iPhone price,

00:33:08   and what that says about their possibilities. And Tim Cook was like, "We haven't seen any trouble."

00:33:15   Like, he, essentially what Tim Cook said is, "Look, we raise the price on these iPhones and

00:33:19   and people keep buying them.

00:33:20   - Doesn't matter what they cost.

00:33:22   - And if you're a business person,

00:33:24   the next step is raise them again,

00:33:28   or come out with another one that's even more expensive.

00:33:30   Because I think there is truth,

00:33:32   and we don't like to hear it.

00:33:33   I'm the guy who always says,

00:33:34   you gotta find the price you want

00:33:35   and then raise it and then round it up, right?

00:33:37   Like none of us love it,

00:33:40   but clearly in Apple's customer base,

00:33:43   and it's not everybody, it's not even,

00:33:46   It's a smallish maybe portion of Apple's customer base.

00:33:50   But what Tim Cook said was,

00:33:52   "This is the most important device that they own."

00:33:55   And they rely on it for everything, for payment.

00:33:57   I mean, this is also actually a great way

00:34:00   of detailing Apple's whole philosophy about the iPhone

00:34:03   and services around it.

00:34:04   It's like, it's the most important device they've got.

00:34:07   It does their payments.

00:34:09   It keeps their calendar.

00:34:10   It does their email.

00:34:11   It does, it literally does.

00:34:12   It opens their car door.

00:34:13   It opens their front door.

00:34:14   It does everything.

00:34:16   And so people are willing to spend a lot of money

00:34:21   on this device that is the most important device for them.

00:34:25   And the message is clear, and it makes sense, right?

00:34:29   Which is, if you keep raising the price

00:34:31   of the highest end iPhone

00:34:32   and sales just keep percolating along,

00:34:35   clearly there are people out there

00:34:37   who are probably willing to buy

00:34:38   an even more expensive iPhone if you let them.

00:34:40   Which is not the same as saying

00:34:41   we're gonna take the existing iPhone and raise its price.

00:34:44   And so we're gonna keep that there,

00:34:45   and then we're gonna put another one above it.

00:34:47   And you know what?

00:34:48   Some percentage of those people

00:34:49   are just gonna buy the more expensive phone.

00:34:51   And that is why there will be an iPhone Ultra,

00:34:54   no doubt about it.

00:34:55   - Ming-Chi Kuo is reporting that the periscope lens

00:35:01   that would allow for better optical zoom

00:35:03   will be exclusive to the Pro Max until at least 2025.

00:35:07   You know, assumedly, if there was a Ultra in 24,

00:35:10   this would also get that,

00:35:11   but it's like Pro Max and above.

00:35:14   This is interesting, this is clearly a feature

00:35:16   that will give another jump in camera performance,

00:35:19   but it's something that requires physical space, right?

00:35:23   - Yes, yeah.

00:35:24   - So putting it in the Pro Max instance.

00:35:25   - Having it on a big phone is logical, yeah, totally.

00:35:29   - Also in his Power On newsletter,

00:35:30   Mark Gorman suggested that it may be some time

00:35:33   until we see an update to the Max Studio.

00:35:35   I wanna read this quote in full.

00:35:37   - Yes.

00:35:38   - I wouldn't appreciate,

00:35:40   I appreciate that, Mark said I wouldn't anticipate the introduction of a max studio in the near

00:35:47   future. The upcoming Mac Pro is very similar in functionality to the max studio and adds

00:35:52   the M2 Ultra chip rather than the M1 Ultra, so it wouldn't make sense for Apple to offer

00:35:57   an M2 Ultra Max Studio and an M2 Ultra Mac Pro at the same time. It's more likely that

00:36:04   Apple either never updates to Mac Studio or holds off

00:36:08   until the M3 or M4 generation.

00:36:10   At that point, the company may be able

00:36:12   to better differentiate between the Mac Studio

00:36:14   and the Mac Pro.

00:36:16   This is unclear to me as to whether this is speculation

00:36:19   or information. - Yeah.

00:36:21   Yeah, it's hard to say.

00:36:22   He doesn't, he doesn't, right?

00:36:24   'Cause Mark does some plundered stuff too.

00:36:26   And he says, "I wouldn't anticipate."

00:36:27   I mean, I think what is going on is a little bit of both,

00:36:29   right, where he hasn't heard about it.

00:36:32   So therefore it probably doesn't exist.

00:36:34   and then he speculates a little bit about it.

00:36:36   I'm a little, I don't know, I'm a little skeptical.

00:36:40   I could see that it happens,

00:36:42   but I'm a little skeptical about the idea

00:36:44   that Apple is afraid that if they do an M2 Ultra Mac Studio

00:36:49   and an M2 Ultra Mac Pro at the same time,

00:36:52   that they're cannibalizing sales from the M2 Ultra Mac Pro.

00:36:55   I guess I can see it,

00:36:56   but like, why are we building a Mac Pro then, right?

00:36:59   Like they are actually very different products.

00:37:02   I think more likely is a scenario,

00:37:05   and I'll be clear here, I have a Mac Studio.

00:37:07   I want to believe in the Mac Studio,

00:37:09   and they made a new Mac, they should keep making it.

00:37:12   I'm wondering if what we're seeing here,

00:37:14   and this goes to the iMac as well,

00:37:16   is we're starting to see the shape

00:37:17   of Apple's Apple Silicon strategy for the Mac,

00:37:20   which is some products get every generation and some don't.

00:37:24   Right?

00:37:25   So M1 iMac, M3 iMac, no M2 iMac.

00:37:28   Why not? - Yep.

00:37:29   They're just, it's not an every 18 month

00:37:32   or every year priority.

00:37:34   So they're just not gonna do it.

00:37:35   - I think it's just like desktop laptop.

00:37:37   Like I think that's gonna be what we see.

00:37:39   Like desktops get an update every couple of years,

00:37:41   laptops every year.

00:37:42   - Laptops get it every year.

00:37:44   I think that's perfectly reasonable in fact.

00:37:46   Mac Pro and Mac Studio,

00:37:49   maybe the answer is to alternate, right?

00:37:51   - I think so.

00:37:52   - Maybe it's M2 Ultra Mac Pro and an M3 Mac Studio.

00:37:58   Also, I think what Mark is dangling here is the idea that for the M3 or M4 generation,

00:38:02   they will eventually go back and do that quad, you know, whatever it's called, M4 Extreme,

00:38:09   whatever it is, chip that will really push the Mac Pro out in terms of performance.

00:38:15   Because I actually think that having the Mac Pro out there and then still having the Mac

00:38:18   Studio is a good thing.

00:38:20   Otherwise we're gonna get in a situation

00:38:23   where we don't have an M2 Max on the desktop, right?

00:38:28   'Cause the desktop only has the M2 and the M2 Pro

00:38:33   and the Mac Mini.

00:38:35   And then I don't think they're gonna make

00:38:37   an M2 Max version of the Mac Pro.

00:38:39   To me, that would be really sad, right?

00:38:41   Because that would be a very expensive computer

00:38:43   that's not very fast 'cause it's just the M2 Max.

00:38:46   It's not even the Ultra.

00:38:48   We'll see about that.

00:38:49   And that's also why I think that the Mac Studio is viable

00:38:51   because it's a good place to put the Macs

00:38:53   or the Macs and the Ultra.

00:38:54   It makes most sense if there's an Ultra

00:38:56   and then something above Ultra.

00:38:57   'Cause then it's like, well,

00:38:58   Mac Studio will do Macs and Ultra,

00:39:00   Mac Pro will do Ultra and beyond, right?

00:39:04   But maybe this is the answer is that these are desktops,

00:39:07   the volumes aren't worth redesigning them,

00:39:10   or even revving them every 18 months,

00:39:13   and that they're gonna do some alternation.

00:39:15   And so the iMac goes every other,

00:39:17   the Mac Studio goes every other.

00:39:19   The Mac Mini got an update faster,

00:39:22   but I wouldn't put money down on the Mac Mini

00:39:25   getting an M3 version now that they've got

00:39:26   the higher end version. - They had to tidy

00:39:27   that up, like the Mac Mini was messy

00:39:30   and they were dragging along the Intel.

00:39:33   They had to take care of that.

00:39:35   - Exactly, but now that business is settled,

00:39:37   so maybe no Mac Mini until M4.

00:39:39   I think it's not an unreasonable scenario

00:39:41   to say that, especially since three quarters of the Macs

00:39:44   that they sell are laptops,

00:39:45   that that should be their priority.

00:39:47   Every time there's a new chip generation,

00:39:49   there should be a new MacBook Air and a new MacBook Pro,

00:39:52   and if you do other laptops, great.

00:39:54   That's what should be the priority,

00:39:57   and then the desktops will take care of themselves

00:39:59   every other year or so.

00:40:01   - I mean, if you think about it,

00:40:02   so if we're saying that the desktops are 25% of Macs, right?

00:40:06   There are more desktop models

00:40:08   than there are laptops right now.

00:40:11   - Right.

00:40:11   - Which is, that is a very strange balance.

00:40:14   That to me feels like the balance of a company

00:40:19   who the people inside it really care about Desktop Max,

00:40:23   so they keep making new Desktop Max, which is great.

00:40:26   I care about Desktop Max, we all do, right?

00:40:28   It's good to have, but you've gotta be sensible

00:40:33   about the amount of R&D and development

00:40:36   that goes into these products, and so it means that,

00:40:39   all right, we'll have a bunch of options in these things.

00:40:41   They do different things,

00:40:43   They're made for different use cases,

00:40:45   but we can't rev them every year,

00:40:47   or in some cases every two years.

00:40:49   But with some of these, especially at the higher end,

00:40:52   even the iMac where it is placed,

00:40:55   it actually, you know, obviously all the desktop Macs

00:40:57   can handle it based on where they fit.

00:41:01   So like the iMac, the M1 iMac,

00:41:05   doesn't need a new base chip every year

00:41:08   because of where it's gonna be used.

00:41:11   Similarly, something like the Mac Studio and the Mac Pro,

00:41:13   those chips are so powerful

00:41:15   that you don't need to do one every time.

00:41:18   - Yeah, I agree.

00:41:19   And nobody's replacing them right after 18 months

00:41:22   or anything either. - 'Cause it's expensive.

00:41:24   - It depends on how you look at it, by the way.

00:41:26   It's four and four.

00:41:27   There are four laptops and four desktops.

00:41:31   But again, it's 75, 25, laptop to desktop.

00:41:34   So it's still too much, right,

00:41:37   to take these four and those four.

00:41:40   The four desktops should probably not require anything compared to the attention of the

00:41:44   laptops.

00:41:45   And we also know that the rumors are that there are more laptops.

00:41:47   How would you go four on four?

00:41:49   Is he doing it by size?

00:41:51   There are 13 MacBook Pros and a... there are three MacBook Pros and a MacBook Air.

00:41:55   Oh, okay.

00:41:56   See, I was just thinking, like, brands.

00:41:58   But sure, I get you by, like, models, right?

00:42:00   You got MacBook Air, MacBook Pros, too.

00:42:02   If we leave the chips out of it, the physical hardware, there are four laptops.

00:42:06   - And there are four desktops, Mac Mini, iMac,

00:42:10   Mac Studio and Mac Pro.

00:42:12   It's still there and it will be there presumably.

00:42:15   So it's four and four, but still, I mean, again,

00:42:17   and that leaves aside that engineering that Mac Pro

00:42:20   is a huge amount of work because it has to do things

00:42:22   Apple Silicon's never done.

00:42:23   And while that may have some nice spinoff benefits

00:42:26   for the Mac and maybe even the iPhone, who knows, right?

00:42:28   Who knows?

00:42:29   With the iPad, I don't know.

00:42:31   But in the short term, they're spending a lot of money

00:42:34   on a product that very few people are gonna buy.

00:42:35   So yeah, I think that they feel responsible

00:42:40   to curate and keep the desktops alive,

00:42:43   but it does kind of make,

00:42:45   as a person who uses a Mac desktop,

00:42:47   it makes me sad to say this,

00:42:48   but it's absolutely the case

00:42:50   that they should be spending more time on their laptops.

00:42:53   And this is why when there are all those rumors

00:42:55   of the larger MacBook Air coming out,

00:42:56   it's like, please, Apple should be devoting

00:43:00   even more time and thought to laptops,

00:43:04   because the Mac, the definitive Mac is a MacBook Air, right?

00:43:09   It's not a MacBook Pro, it's not an iMac,

00:43:12   it's not a Mac Mini, it's not a Mac Pro,

00:43:16   it's the MacBook Air.

00:43:17   That is the definitive Mac

00:43:18   and has been for more than a decade now.

00:43:20   That is the best-selling Mac model.

00:43:22   It's still the best-selling Mac model.

00:43:24   It doesn't mean that the only Mac is a MacBook Air,

00:43:27   but like, if you're starting to think about the MacBook Air

00:43:30   and you're like, well, could they do more with that?

00:43:32   Maybe they are, maybe they're making a bigger one, but like absolutely their focus should

00:43:37   be on the 75% of the market and not the 25%.

00:43:41   This episode is brought to you by Electric.

00:43:44   When leading your small business, it's not all glitz and glamour.

00:43:48   In fact, sometimes it's a matter of spending hours trying to find a laptop lost in the

00:43:52   mail for a new hire, or dealing with an untold list of potential technical emergencies.

00:43:58   Which you're well equipped to deal with, right?

00:44:01   you've worked it out on your own, but maybe you just don't have the time. The team over

00:44:07   at electric knows small businesses, maybe like the one you run, face these challenges.

00:44:13   That's why they've solved this problem by operating as your IT department. Instead

00:44:17   of spending your time sorting through unused application licenses, setting up employee

00:44:22   laptops and answering never ending IT questions from your team, you can build that empire.

00:44:26   With electric acting as your IT department, you can get back to doing what you're good

00:44:31   Plus you get a really cool IT platform to see and manage everything.

00:44:36   You can take it from me, this has been incredibly important in the years that I've been running

00:44:39   my own companies, finding people who can take on work for you or finding companies like

00:44:46   electric that can take on work for you, it frees up your time but it also frees up your

00:44:50   mental energy.

00:44:51   It's just like a weight off your back.

00:44:53   You never have to think about like, oh what if something's going to break?

00:44:58   You just don't have to worry about it because Elektrik take care of it for you.

00:45:01   And that is a true gift that you can give yourself as a business owner.

00:45:05   For upgrade listeners, Elektrik are offering a free pair of Beats Solo 3 headphones for

00:45:09   taking a qualified meeting.

00:45:11   Just go to elektrik.ai/upgrade.

00:45:14   That's elektrik.ai/upgrade.

00:45:17   Go there right now to find out more and get your free pair of Beats Solo 3 headphones

00:45:22   for scheduling a meeting.

00:45:24   Our thanks to Elektrik for their support of this show and Relay FM.

00:45:27   Money, money, money, money, money, money, money.

00:45:32   It's that time again.

00:45:34   - Money.

00:45:35   - Apple's Q1 2023 earnings.

00:45:39   The one we were waiting for because of--

00:45:40   - You love it.

00:45:42   - The bloodbath that was going to occur

00:45:45   that we knew about in advance where Apple had put out

00:45:48   a kind of investor press release, I guess,

00:45:52   to say that they were expecting a big decline

00:45:55   because of shutdowns in China and their factories.

00:45:59   We spoke about this some time ago.

00:46:01   It was going to restrict iPhone sales.

00:46:05   And if your Apple and iPhone sales are restricted,

00:46:08   things are gonna be bad for you.

00:46:09   So, it turns out this wasn't all that was bad.

00:46:12   And also there was some good.

00:46:14   So let's do the top line and then we'll dig in

00:46:16   kind of product by product as well.

00:46:18   Revenue, $117.2 billion, down 5% year over year,

00:46:24   Just as a note, can you imagine $117 billion

00:46:28   in a quarter and it's a bad quarter?

00:46:31   I know we talk about these things a lot,

00:46:32   but when you tether these things back to reality.

00:46:36   (laughs)

00:46:38   - $30 billion profit, $30 billion profit, what a disaster.

00:46:42   Also, I'll also point out, 'cause again,

00:46:44   it does get distorted by Wall Street

00:46:46   and the search for growth,

00:46:48   Apple's second biggest quarter of all time.

00:46:53   only last year's holiday quarter was bigger.

00:46:55   - Yep.

00:46:56   iPhone, here it is, $65.8 billion down 8% year over year.

00:47:02   The Mac, 7.7 billion down 29% year over year.

00:47:09   But don't worry everyone, here comes the iPad

00:47:13   at $9.5 billion up 30% year over year.

00:47:19   Services at 20.8% up 6% and wearables, home and accessories 13.5 billion down 8% year

00:47:28   over year.

00:47:29   I'll read a quote from Jason's Macworld column.

00:47:32   During Apple's hour long quarterly conference call with Wall Street analysts, the word "headwinds"

00:47:37   was used 11 times, slightly edging out the 10 times we heard the word "macroeconomic".

00:47:45   Can you explain a little bit, this is very helpful to me, again, to get this like recontextualization

00:47:51   of why these numbers are even worse than they would have been otherwise?

00:47:56   Sure, I'll give you an example.

00:48:02   So you're selling iPhones in China, and you look at these numbers and the iPhone is down,

00:48:08   and the iPhone is down in China.

00:48:09   And you say, "Oh, they sold fewer iPhones in China.

00:48:12   They made less money in China."

00:48:13   They didn't.

00:48:14   make less money in China.

00:48:16   If you counted up all the Chinese money last quarter

00:48:18   and counted up all the Chinese money

00:48:21   at the year ago last quarter,

00:48:23   this year's was more.

00:48:27   So how could it have gone down?

00:48:28   Well, the answer was the way these earnings reports work

00:48:33   is you convert it to US dollars.

00:48:35   So year ago quarter converted to more dollars

00:48:39   than the current quarter did

00:48:42   because of foreign exchange headwinds, as they call it,

00:48:45   because of a strong dollar.

00:48:46   And that happened all over the world.

00:48:49   They said, you know, it's like basically 8% of everything

00:48:51   got eaten by foreign exchange.

00:48:54   Now, I don't believe Apple brings all the money

00:48:58   back to the US, right?

00:48:59   Like I think that part of the game is they keep,

00:49:02   if it's an unfavorable foreign exchange environment,

00:49:07   they might keep it in the local currency

00:49:10   until there's a better time to move it back to the US.

00:49:13   I don't know all the details there.

00:49:15   - Of course, I mean, especially,

00:49:16   they don't need the cash, right?

00:49:18   Like it's not like they're like,

00:49:19   "Oh, we're gonna bring it back

00:49:20   'cause we need it." (laughs)

00:49:22   - In fact, famously, they didn't bring the cash back

00:49:24   because they were gonna pay taxes on it for a while

00:49:26   until there was sort of a tax deal

00:49:27   and then they brought the cash back.

00:49:29   So this is all about the reports, right?

00:49:33   So what they say is, look, actually the sales were strong.

00:49:35   Ironically, they stopped reporting unit sales

00:49:38   a few years ago, and that would allow them

00:49:40   to make that clear, but they hid that,

00:49:43   and now it's all in revenue.

00:49:45   And so the US dollar revenue is a shortfall,

00:49:49   even though they say that this was hugely impacted

00:49:52   by the foreign exchange headwinds.

00:49:55   And then the other issues they said is like,

00:49:57   obviously COVID shutdowns affected them,

00:49:59   and generally the global macroeconomic climate,

00:50:03   which is sort of like people really worried

00:50:06   about a recession and not spending money,

00:50:08   and the war in Ukraine having all sorts of follow on impacts.

00:50:13   They threw out a bunch of other stuff there.

00:50:17   But I think there is truth in the fact

00:50:19   that foreign exchange makes their business.

00:50:21   Look, I saw somebody on CNBC,

00:50:24   'cause I watch CNBC for half an hour every quarter,

00:50:27   just because it's fun and weird and another world.

00:50:30   And I saw somebody there say,

00:50:32   "Everybody's got foreign exchange problems.

00:50:33   They should stop talking about foreign exchange."

00:50:36   It's like, okay, here's what I think.

00:50:39   If the goal, what do we get out of these things?

00:50:45   One of the things we get out of this

00:50:46   is to understand Apple's business.

00:50:48   But what Wall Street types want is they want to get a view

00:50:53   of where Apple's business is going, right?

00:50:55   For Wall Street types, it's all about

00:50:57   where's the growth coming from.

00:50:58   They want signs that wearables is slow

00:51:01   or services is slow or something like that.

00:51:04   or whether iPad is as a one-time and why,

00:51:07   and we can go into that

00:51:09   because it is kind of a one-time bump for reasons.

00:51:12   But the goal of Wall Street is like to look at these facts

00:51:16   and get a better idea of where Apple's business is going.

00:51:20   I would argue that if you're freaking out about the numbers

00:51:24   and not taking into account the foreign exchange

00:51:27   and going, "Ah, everybody's got foreign exchange problems,"

00:51:29   you're like losing information

00:51:31   about where Apple's business is going

00:51:34   because it is super relevant about whether a drop

00:51:38   in iPhone sales is, instead of it being flat,

00:51:42   it wasn't gonna be up, but instead of it being flat,

00:51:44   is because of foreign exchange

00:51:47   or is because people don't want the iPhone anymore, right?

00:51:50   Those seem like really different scenarios.

00:51:53   And if you're a Wall Street analyst,

00:51:54   you kinda wanna care about which one of those it is.

00:51:58   But I think maybe some Wall Street analysts don't care

00:52:01   'cause they've got their,

00:52:03   I don't know what they're doing, but they're like,

00:52:05   they're obviously the people who are in the bag for Apple

00:52:07   and the people who are out to get Apple.

00:52:08   And that seems to be part of the game that everybody plays.

00:52:12   Anyway, I think the foreign exchange thing is interesting

00:52:14   because what it suggests is that it would be,

00:52:17   I actually would find it really valuable

00:52:18   if we could take the foreign exchange out

00:52:21   and look at the pure sales figures,

00:52:23   but they don't show us those anymore.

00:52:24   We have to kind of rely on them to use,

00:52:27   to mention it when it serves them,

00:52:29   which in this case it did to say,

00:52:31   iPhone sales would be flat,

00:52:33   which is okay.

00:52:34   It's not, you know, the iPhone has been sort of flat-ish

00:52:37   for a while now.

00:52:39   Also, as we've talked about on Upgrade a lot,

00:52:41   they go in macro cycles where there's a new, new iPhone,

00:52:45   and then there's a huge sales spike.

00:52:46   And then there's a couple of years where it's kind of quiet

00:52:49   because the iPhones are out there

00:52:50   and they're still selling a lot of them,

00:52:52   but they don't get that growth spike that happens

00:52:55   and has happened the last like two or three times

00:52:57   they've done this, where there's a new, new iPhone,

00:53:00   and then there's a huge spike of growth.

00:53:02   - Which is probably this year.

00:53:05   - This fall.

00:53:06   - Yeah, will be one of those.

00:53:07   - Quite possibly.

00:53:08   Because the iPhone, what was it?

00:53:11   The iPhone 6 that had the larger?

00:53:14   - That's the classic.

00:53:15   - And then the iPhone 10.

00:53:16   And then the iPhone 12.

00:53:19   - 12 or 13, one of those two.

00:53:22   And you may think to yourself, right?

00:53:24   'Cause we've mentioned it a couple of times,

00:53:25   well, to solve the issue of Wall Street,

00:53:28   why don't they just for this time,

00:53:30   say what the unit sales were, right?

00:53:32   But the reason they won't do that

00:53:34   is the reason they got rid of them

00:53:35   is they don't actually want people to know

00:53:37   how much money they're making per product.

00:53:40   - Yes.

00:53:40   - This is the thing that Apple just don't want.

00:53:41   - That would give away the average selling price

00:53:44   and they consider that, you know,

00:53:45   that's information that other people could know

00:53:47   and they don't want them to know that.

00:53:48   But when it serves them, they will say,

00:53:50   "Oh well, iPhone sales were actually flat."

00:53:53   That's all they're gonna say.

00:53:54   But they'll say it because it serves them

00:53:56   'cause it makes their business look better.

00:53:58   But in this case, so there's a lot of headwinds,

00:54:00   there's a lot of macroeconomic,

00:54:02   one analyst used the phrase soft macro,

00:54:05   which I never wanna hear again.

00:54:07   (laughs)

00:54:10   Anyway, yeah, there was a lot of talk about that.

00:54:12   The fact is it was a weird quarter.

00:54:14   I actually, I mean, my overall feeling is that

00:54:17   given what we were warned about them not,

00:54:20   for those who don't remember, the bottom line was,

00:54:24   Apple came out in November and basically said,

00:54:26   "We have a factory that makes iPhone Pros

00:54:29   and it's shut down and we're not gonna be able

00:54:31   to fulfill demand for the iPhone Pro

00:54:33   during our most important quarter of iPhone sales."

00:54:36   Given that, I think they did okay, right?

00:54:38   I mean, given that, revenue down 8% when sales were flat,

00:54:43   flat from their best quarter ever,

00:54:46   if you take foreign exchange out of it,

00:54:50   given the lack of supply,

00:54:55   And Tim Cook said they're back

00:54:56   and they've got the supply now.

00:54:58   And we cited how all the ads came back, right?

00:55:03   As the sign where it's like, aha, they have iPhones again,

00:55:06   because they're advertising the iPhone Pro again.

00:55:09   When they had switched to the iPhone

00:55:10   and not the iPhone Pro.

00:55:12   So, you know, I look at this and I think

00:55:15   it's a weird quarter, it's an unusual quarter,

00:55:18   but I wouldn't, I mean, I wouldn't overreact anyway,

00:55:23   but like it's their second best quarter ever.

00:55:26   And there were positive signs and there were negative signs.

00:55:29   And I think their business is incredibly healthy.

00:55:31   And I do think that we're seeing a little bit of,

00:55:34   in the Mac, especially,

00:55:36   there may be a little bit of a hangover

00:55:38   from people buying Macs during the pandemic.

00:55:41   But at the same time,

00:55:42   a lot of this stuff is more about what they did last year

00:55:47   at the same time, right?

00:55:48   'Cause the iPad figures are up so much

00:55:51   because the iPad was, they couldn't make enough iPads

00:55:54   last holiday quarter, if people remember that.

00:55:57   And this holiday quarter, not only could they make enough,

00:56:00   but they had the new low-cost iPad

00:56:02   and they had the new iPad Pro, the M2 iPad Pro.

00:56:05   And anecdotally, I feel like I've heard from a lot of people

00:56:09   who bought that 2018 iPad Pro,

00:56:11   who updated to the M2 iPad Pro,

00:56:13   that that was enough of a time.

00:56:14   - It's always just natural updates,

00:56:16   no matter what we say about the year over year, right?

00:56:19   like the people will always do it.

00:56:21   - Right, but that's the best compare, as they say, right?

00:56:25   Which is, it was a really lousy iPad quarter,

00:56:28   and now there's been a great one.

00:56:30   And the Mac went the other way,

00:56:31   where the Mac didn't have anything, right?

00:56:33   They obviously, they deferred the announcement

00:56:36   of those MacBook Pros and the Mac Mini until January,

00:56:40   and they had the quietest Mac quarter

00:56:43   in terms of announcements, and the sales were down,

00:56:47   which is unsurprising 'cause new models

00:56:49   definitely help drive sales.

00:56:51   So that's not that surprising.

00:56:53   And I don't think necessarily,

00:56:54   whereas the year ago quarter, they had new MacBook Pros.

00:56:56   So I don't know if this,

00:57:00   sometimes I think that the black line in my charts,

00:57:02   which is that four quarter moving average

00:57:04   is the best line to look at.

00:57:07   'Cause it smooths out a lot of the drama

00:57:11   of year over year change and seasonality

00:57:15   and just kind of flattens it out.

00:57:16   So yeah, it was the worst Mac quarter in quite a while,

00:57:20   but it mostly, it was still, again,

00:57:23   if you had gone back a couple of years,

00:57:25   it would have been the best Mac quarter ever.

00:57:26   It's just that then they had a run during the,

00:57:31   right after the pandemic started,

00:57:32   they had an Apple Silicon came out.

00:57:34   They had a huge run of Mac sales.

00:57:36   And it's not unreasonable to say that some of those sales

00:57:41   were to people who are now,

00:57:45   you would have waited longer.

00:57:47   And that there's a little bit of a hangover

00:57:49   after they do that big blob of sales.

00:57:52   And the good thing is people don't buy a Mac

00:57:55   and then never buy a Mac again.

00:57:56   It's just that we may have like a bulge.

00:57:58   There may be some weird kind of mega seasonality now

00:58:01   where due to 2020, there's gonna be every three years or so

00:58:06   there's gonna be a bulge in Mac buying

00:58:08   because everybody bought a new Mac in 2020 and 2021.

00:58:12   And now, you know, that we might see an echo of that

00:58:16   down the road too.

00:58:17   - Yeah, I would expect that their Q2

00:58:21   will probably be their biggest Q2 ever by a nice chunk

00:58:26   because the laptops slipped into it, right?

00:58:28   Which otherwise wouldn't have happened.

00:58:30   One of the reasons that this quarter's Mac sales were down

00:58:34   and if you say there was a bunch of reasons,

00:58:36   like one of them is that there weren't any laptops,

00:58:38   like the MacBook Pros missed 22.

00:58:41   - They missed it, yep.

00:58:42   So they're into the 2023 Q1 and there will be,

00:58:45   you know, there will be a lot of people

00:58:46   whose iPhone sales are lost forever,

00:58:49   you know, are lost for years, right?

00:58:51   Because they went with somebody else over the holidays.

00:58:53   - Yeah.

00:58:54   - But there'll be a large selection of people

00:58:56   that will have waited to buy their iPhone

00:58:58   so they could get it and they can get it now.

00:59:00   - Exactly.

00:59:01   Yeah, they'll put up their order and wait

00:59:02   and they got it in January and that'll show up

00:59:04   and it'll be, yeah, I think you're probably right.

00:59:06   I think that that's the,

00:59:08   Apple said that they thought that the next quarter

00:59:11   would be kind of in line with this quarter.

00:59:14   But right, like, look, sometimes I feel like

00:59:19   we overread this stuff.

00:59:21   I think clearly the biggest value we have

00:59:23   in looking at this stuff is to understand

00:59:25   sort of like the shape of Apple's business

00:59:26   and how it drives them and how it affects

00:59:29   the decisions they make and can be an early warning sign

00:59:32   of something going wrong.

00:59:34   This isn't it, right?

00:59:35   Like this is a company that can throw it away

00:59:40   can throw out a 30 billion dollar profit and have people think that it's not a

00:59:46   very good quarter. This is a machine built to make enormous sums of money. All

00:59:51   of their businesses look in pretty good shape. You know, the Mac is

00:59:57   shaping up to be a, what, 36-ish billion dollar a year business? That's the, you

01:00:05   know, the Mac is at a level it's never been before. The iPad seems to have

01:00:09   settled in. A few years ago, we were thinking that the iPad was going to settle in at 5

01:00:13   billion a quarter, essentially, so a 20 billion a year business. Now they're more like a 32-ish

01:00:21   billion dollars a year business. So the iPad is the best it's ever been. And that iPad

01:00:28   quarter, by the way, I had to look it up. It's like seven years since the iPad sold

01:00:33   more revenue than the Mac and nine years since the iPad had a quarter this big.

01:00:38   This is, I believe the second largest revenue quarter the iPad has ever had.

01:00:42   Only that one huge quarter that they had very early on that was over 10 billion.

01:00:48   So the iPad's got the best business it's ever had.

01:00:50   The iPhone is, you know, honestly, you know, when after it's not throwing off

01:00:57   those, um, those 66, 50, 47% year over year growth, but like the following

01:01:03   "Quiet year" was 9, 5, 3, 10, and then this is down 8%.

01:01:08   I think it's fair to say,

01:01:09   because even smaller growth is still growth,

01:01:12   that that little black line

01:01:13   that shows me the four-quarter moving average,

01:01:15   like this is about the best the iPhone has ever been.

01:01:18   Services, and this is where I think

01:01:22   it is a little more debatable about Apple's future,

01:01:25   services revenue seems to have slowed,

01:01:27   although again, Apple would say

01:01:29   it's really affected by foreign exchange,

01:01:32   because they don't change what you pay.

01:01:36   You know, they don't charge all their customers worldwide

01:01:39   in US dollars, right?

01:01:42   And so if you're paying X amount a month

01:01:45   and the dollar gets strong, you know,

01:01:48   you're still just paying that in whatever country you're in.

01:01:50   - Yeah, I don't know about that one.

01:01:52   I think they might be hiding a little bit there personally.

01:01:55   - Well, no, I just, like services clearly

01:01:58   need some attention, I think, from them

01:02:00   because the days of the 30% growth are over.

01:02:03   But I guess what I wanna say is that when we see five

01:02:06   and 6%, it's probably more in line with what we saw

01:02:09   the two previous quarters, which is in the teens

01:02:11   in terms of the actual like services

01:02:13   with the financial taken out of it.

01:02:15   But it certainly is the case.

01:02:17   It certainly is the case that they're not

01:02:20   in the 25% every quarter growth.

01:02:22   I think they're more in the 10% ish

01:02:25   in terms of what did they say?

01:02:27   The constant currency.

01:02:28   It's probably that's what it is, 10, 15%.

01:02:30   And so that's where you point and say,

01:02:33   maybe not as dramatic as it looks on the charts,

01:02:35   but services growth has slowed.

01:02:37   And then wearable home accessories

01:02:39   is another one of those examples where they,

01:02:41   it was kicking off 20, 30, 40% growth year over year.

01:02:46   And then it slowed down to in the teens.

01:02:50   And we've had two out of the last three quarters

01:02:52   where the growth has been down 8%.

01:02:55   So some questions about wearables.

01:02:59   They said that the Apple Watch Ultra did really well,

01:03:03   AirPods Pro did really well,

01:03:05   but this feels a little bit like a category

01:03:10   where they did, again, maybe because of pandemic sales

01:03:14   or something like that,

01:03:15   that maybe they had some explosive growth

01:03:19   and now there's not as much room for them to grow.

01:03:21   - Yeah, the wearables one is the biggest question mark

01:03:23   for me because the Ultra is more expensive and it's new and AirPods Pro are more expensive

01:03:30   than the regular AirPods and they're new both in the quarter leading up to the holidays

01:03:35   right? That's a surprise to me I would have expected that those two products would have

01:03:41   been quite hot ticket items like I understand that we've got the you know the many reasons

01:03:47   why things can go down I just wasn't expecting a year over year decline on wearables with

01:03:52   those two products. Let's say that maybe it was flat, but still, I mean, I, the counter

01:03:57   argument would be maybe it was flat and it's still the second highest wearables home accessories

01:04:02   quarter ever. And one of the, not to bring out the old tough compare, but their last

01:04:07   holiday quarter, they blew it out. And so you, that can hide a very good quarter. That's

01:04:12   just not the, but the fact is the holiday quarter grew 1920, 21, 22, and then in 23

01:04:19   didn't grow. And so it's one of those things where again, I think you can overreact to

01:04:25   this, but what it does suggest is that they're certainly, they seem to have exited their

01:04:33   big inflationary growth period of 30%. And why is that? And that's hard to say, because

01:04:41   like you said, the Apple Watch Ultra seemed to do pretty well and is an expensive product.

01:04:46   presumably also very profitable, but definitely going to generate a lot of revenue. You know,

01:04:52   they also talk about like how they brought in a lot of people who, you know, a huge number

01:04:56   of the Apple Watch sales they got were to people who've never had a smartwatch before.

01:05:01   So that's a good sign, you know, that is a tidbit that they're sharing with Wall Street

01:05:06   because it is a good sign. I don't know. I think if I was somebody who was only concerned

01:05:12   And with growth in these categories, I would be looking at this saying, the days of the

01:05:21   40% growth are over and now these are going to be more incremental categories from here

01:05:24   on out.

01:05:25   Unless Apple rolls out a wearable that can drive revenue and different services offerings.

01:05:35   Those are the places where they could goose this more.

01:05:39   This episode is brought to you by Capital One. At Capital One, technology makes direct

01:05:45   deposits available up to two days sooner, improves fraud defense with machine learning,

01:05:51   and helps businesses manage data challenges in the cloud with Slingshot, the first solution

01:05:57   from Capital One software. Search technology at Capital One to learn more. Our thanks to

01:06:02   Capital One for their support of this show and Relay FM. Capital One, what's in your

01:06:07   wallet?

01:06:09   Let's finish out today's episode with some Ask Upgrade questions.

01:06:15   Matthew wants to know, do you frequently use universal control?

01:06:20   I have an iPad Pro sitting out here on my desk and I guess I would say yes because I

01:06:28   have this iPad Pro out here.

01:06:29   I will open it up.

01:06:32   Sometimes I'm controlling it directly but a lot of times if it's sitting next to my

01:06:37   studio display, I will just control it using universal control. So yeah, I would say sure,

01:06:43   frequently, not all the time, but frequently. - Yeah, I don't. The status board iPad that I had,

01:06:50   you know, like I spoke about on the show, I had widgets and stuff on it. This iPad has actually

01:06:55   gone back home. It is now a media iPad, 'cause in our new house, in our old apartment, you know,

01:07:04   sometimes we, most days we want to eat and watch TV right at the same time and

01:07:10   we could do that very easily in our old place but in a new place the way the TV

01:07:15   is and where our dining table is that just doesn't match up so I was like well

01:07:20   an iPad would be really good for this to like watch something for 10-15 minutes

01:07:24   before we go sit on the sofa. I have an iPad at the studio it's 11 inches the

01:07:30   iPad air I'm just gonna bring it home so it is now a media iPad it's now just

01:07:34   full of media apps and we use it for that

01:07:36   when we're sitting at the dining table,

01:07:39   catching up on an episode of something while we eat dinner.

01:07:41   So I also now don't have an iPad here at the studio,

01:07:46   which is interesting to me.

01:07:49   I did today have a thing where I wanted to mark something up

01:07:52   and I was like, an Apple Pencil would be great for this.

01:07:55   I don't have one here.

01:07:57   So I had to do it in text.

01:07:59   I had to annotate something

01:08:01   and we're using just a different color.

01:08:03   It was just like, this is not the way I want to do this,

01:08:08   but I didn't really have another way to do it.

01:08:12   But yeah, just again, I don't have one here now.

01:08:15   This isn't like a thing.

01:08:17   I use my iPad mini, I adore my iPad mini,

01:08:20   use it all the time, love that thing.

01:08:22   But I just keep it on and it wouldn't do

01:08:25   for what I wanted anyway.

01:08:26   But yeah, just an interesting thought.

01:08:28   But universal control, I wasn't a super big fan of it anyway

01:08:32   Mark asks, Regarding Phil Schiller on Mastodon, do you think Apple should have their own Mastodon

01:08:51   instance? Should any large tech company that could have more control over their content

01:08:56   and it would also serve as a sort of

01:08:58   automatic verification as well.

01:09:00   What do you think?

01:09:01   - I'm surprisingly going to say yes.

01:09:06   - Okay, that's not what I thought.

01:09:07   All right, go on.

01:09:08   - That's why I said surprisingly.

01:09:10   Here's why.

01:09:11   If you as a business decide that Mastodon

01:09:15   is worth supporting, which I think is an open question,

01:09:19   right, but let's just say it,

01:09:21   that if like in addition to Twitter and Instagram

01:09:23   or whatever, like, oh, well, we've got people on Mastodon,

01:09:24   let's try that.

01:09:25   and you're using it for your corporate voice,

01:09:30   I think you should own your own instance

01:09:33   because then you control your own instance.

01:09:36   And it's clear to anything that gets posted on there

01:09:39   that it is in the voice of you as the corporation

01:09:42   as an authorized representative of the corporation.

01:09:45   Now, there are people who have those, you know,

01:09:49   opinions are my own accounts,

01:09:51   and those should not be on,

01:09:52   if you have an account like that,

01:09:54   you should not have that on your corporate instance, right?

01:09:57   But there are also those accounts

01:09:58   like JAWS's Twitter account

01:10:00   and Colleen Novielli's Twitter account, right?

01:10:03   Where it's just like,

01:10:04   the only posts are really about Apple products.

01:10:07   And it's very much a, I work at Apple

01:10:09   and this is a very friendly, you know,

01:10:12   here's the thing that we're working on at Apple thing.

01:10:14   Like if you find from a PR and marketing perspective

01:10:17   that having that sort of thing is valuable,

01:10:20   I would say you should own it, right?

01:10:23   you shouldn't be relying on somebody else.

01:10:25   If you're gonna have an official-ish presence of employees

01:10:30   on Mastodon, own it.

01:10:34   And that makes it clear that it is the business of Apple,

01:10:39   let's say, and that if you're posting there,

01:10:44   it's very clearly you're under the aegis.

01:10:47   Otherwise, it shouldn't be there.

01:10:48   I'm not sure any company would want this,

01:10:51   But if I as a company decided it was strategic,

01:10:54   that we wanted to do marketing on social media

01:10:56   that included Mastodon, I would want my own instance,

01:11:00   I think, because it would be mine.

01:11:03   - I agree with that.

01:11:04   I think the issue is where the line is drawn

01:11:07   as to who gets to use that instance, right?

01:11:09   Like, if Apple set up an instance,

01:11:12   and well, they only let C-level executives

01:11:14   sign up on that instance, right?

01:11:15   'Cause like, what if like an engineer

01:11:17   wants to sign up on that instance,

01:11:18   but now you're responsible for anything

01:11:20   this person says in public, right?

01:11:22   Like there is more of a link to it there.

01:11:25   So I think it's complicated.

01:11:26   - But if you're, so again, I am James Thompson

01:11:31   in the discourse, this is a rank and file employee,

01:11:34   it's a bad deal.

01:11:35   It is, but as a company, right?

01:11:37   Which is the question here, as a company,

01:11:39   I would, Mike, I would like that engineer to know

01:11:44   that if they get an account on this service,

01:11:48   that they gotta keep it to business.

01:11:49   and they gotta follow the social media rules

01:11:52   and social media policy and say like,

01:11:54   we'll let you tweet about the work you're doing

01:11:56   under this, like you do on Twitter,

01:12:00   we'll let you post about it on Mastodon,

01:12:02   but you gotta follow the rules.

01:12:04   Or maybe, yeah, maybe it's just an instance

01:12:07   that has a C-level account on it or not.

01:12:09   Or maybe you say, oh, no, no, no,

01:12:11   we're part of the community, we're on mastodon.social.

01:12:14   You could do that.

01:12:15   But I guess what I'm really saying is,

01:12:18   whatever it would be, it's not what you're thinking, right?

01:12:21   It would just be a PR vehicle.

01:12:22   It's not gonna be a thing that they set up

01:12:24   and they're like, "Hey, everybody join

01:12:26   and talk about whatever."

01:12:27   And again, if you're an employee

01:12:29   and you wanna talk about whatever, really whatever,

01:12:32   then the last thing you wanna do

01:12:33   is have it tied to your employment

01:12:34   because then if you leave that company,

01:12:36   you are going to lose your social media identity.

01:12:40   So as a personal account, I would not recommend it,

01:12:43   but as a PR strategy by a company,

01:12:45   I would absolutely recommend it

01:12:47   because it gives you complete control over it.

01:12:49   - Do you think they are going to join Masterbahn?

01:12:52   - I doubt it.

01:12:56   If it happens, it will be because the Apple

01:13:01   or another company, Microsoft,

01:13:03   developer-focused companies,

01:13:05   if their audience is among the people

01:13:10   who have sort of left Twitter

01:13:11   or a big chunk of them have left Twitter

01:13:13   and gone to Mastodon,

01:13:16   I would put a presence there. I'm not sure that there's anybody. Like, I think it's more

01:13:21   likely that there'd be an official Apple Mastodon account for developer relations than for selling

01:13:29   iPhones, right?

01:13:30   Tim Cook or whatever.

01:13:31   Yeah.

01:13:32   Yeah. Because here's the thing.

01:13:33   No, that's what Twitter's left with. That's what, what is Twitter for today, if anything,

01:13:37   is broadcast pronouncements from Jaws and from Tim Cook and all of that. Absolutely.

01:13:43   Not, you know, the conversational stuff necessarily, but like, and a lot of us have turned the

01:13:50   dial down or off, but for those broadcast elements of Tim Cook saying, "It's great to

01:13:56   be in London today.

01:13:58   We visited with people at the Battersea Apple offices."

01:14:04   Like, that's a Twitter thing, right?

01:14:06   That's where that goes.

01:14:07   I think all of the main accounts,

01:14:10   it doesn't necessarily make logical sense right now

01:14:13   to just bring them to Mastodon, right?

01:14:15   Like, yeah, that's who the community is,

01:14:17   but Tim is not like tweeting John Syracuse.

01:14:21   You know what I mean?

01:14:23   That's not happening.

01:14:24   - Yeah, and that's actually different with Phil Schiller,

01:14:26   right, 'cause I feel like Phil Schiller actually used Twitter.

01:14:28   - Exactly, yes, he did, right?

01:14:30   So Phil is making that choice, right, as an individual.

01:14:34   that is a pure, 'cause he would tweet people

01:14:37   in our community, right?

01:14:38   It's a thing Phil would do, right?

01:14:40   'Cause he was maybe the most engaged in that way,

01:14:45   or is most engaged in that way.

01:14:47   And I just feel like Tim Cook's big tweets

01:14:49   and the Apple account is basically just used

01:14:52   for Twitter advertising, well that's not on Mastodon.

01:14:54   You know, all of these things,

01:14:57   and they're not going for the people in our community.

01:15:00   They're going for the every person, right?

01:15:04   Who's not on Mastodon also?

01:15:06   I don't know, right?

01:15:08   I think as things as they are right now, I would say no, they probably don't have some corporate presence on Mastodon.

01:15:18   But I couldn't have imagined what the last three months were, so who knows what the next three months will be.

01:15:26   will be.

01:15:27   Rob asks, do you use photographic styles

01:15:32   with your iPhone camera?

01:15:33   And if so, which one?

01:15:34   So this is where you can make choices

01:15:36   as to how you want your images to look

01:15:38   just as they straight come out of the camera.

01:15:40   Do you use a photographic style on your iPhone?

01:15:44   - I believe I have it turned on and it's,

01:15:48   I don't remember which one it is,

01:15:50   worm, something warm, VibrantWarm?

01:15:53   - I use VibrantWarm, which VibrantWarm for me

01:15:56   is I adapted the Vibrant style and it named it Vibrant Warm.

01:16:01   So I think it does that sometimes too,

01:16:04   'cause you can change the style.

01:16:06   So I started with Vibrant and I changed the warmth.

01:16:10   And so I use Vibrant Warm.

01:16:12   And it's always turned on to that one

01:16:13   because I like my images to be a little more vibrant

01:16:16   and a little more warm.

01:16:17   - There you go.

01:16:20   - And Carl asks, "What do you think the chances are

01:16:23   that the next iPad mini has an M series chip,

01:16:26   so it could gain features like full external display support.

01:16:30   It seems like the iPad mini has the potential

01:16:32   to be the Mac mini of the iPad lineup.

01:16:34   Bring your own display, keyboard, and mouse

01:16:35   for a full desktop experience.

01:16:38   - I don't think the chances are, I'm gonna say 72%.

01:16:43   - That's good, so you're feeling pretty positive on it.

01:16:49   I am mostly because all attempts to make the iPad mini

01:16:54   a low-end iPad have failed.

01:16:57   It's not that, it's a small iPad mid range.

01:16:59   It's a small iPad air essentially.

01:17:02   And if that's the case,

01:17:03   it would have an M series chip on it, wouldn't it?

01:17:05   - Yep.

01:17:07   - So that's why, you know, 72%, those are the chances.

01:17:12   - I think they'll do it because I think eventually

01:17:15   all of the iPads will be M series chips.

01:17:18   Will they do it?

01:17:19   don't think they will necessarily do it for this, the idea of external display

01:17:23   supports being the thing. I just think that like M series is coming for the iPad

01:17:28   in general. I don't know, I mean if the A series is cheaper and you can put it in a

01:17:33   low-end iPad why wouldn't you do it? The whole goal there of that thing is to make

01:17:36   it as cheap as possible, but the iPad mini has never been the goal to make it

01:17:40   cheap as possible. I don't know, I mean the the additional percentage there is

01:17:44   that they decide that the iPad mini going forward is just the low-end iPad

01:17:48   and that's just how it's gonna be.

01:17:50   But I just don't, I don't feel like they view it that way.

01:17:52   I kind of feel like they view it as being a smaller iPad Air.

01:17:56   - Yeah, well, I mean, it got that design

01:17:58   and all of those kinds of aesthetics way before the iPad did,

01:18:02   which is just the way it looked.

01:18:04   I just, for me, I don't care.

01:18:05   I just want them to keep doing things.

01:18:07   Like I don't care what they do.

01:18:08   With the iPad mini, just keep doing something,

01:18:10   keep it around.

01:18:11   I want a better screen more than I want

01:18:13   external display support.

01:18:14   make the internal display better before we move

01:18:19   to the external display.

01:18:20   Thank you so much to everybody who sent in a question.

01:18:24   You can send in your own by going to upgradefeedback.com

01:18:27   and you can send in an Ask Upgrade question

01:18:29   for us to feature on a future episode.

01:18:31   And that was this episode of Upgrade.

01:18:34   You can check out Jason's work, including the report card.

01:18:38   Big thing, I've already skimmed through it.

01:18:40   I'm looking forward to reading it in full

01:18:41   over at sixcolors.com.

01:18:43   So many words, so many words.

01:18:46   You can also hear Jason's podcast here on Relay FM

01:18:49   and at the incomparable.com as well.

01:18:51   You can hear me here on Relay FM

01:18:54   and you can go check out my work at cortexbrand.com.

01:18:57   You can send us your feedback, follow up and questions

01:19:00   by going to upgradefeedback.com.

01:19:02   Thank you to our members who support us with Upgrade Plus.

01:19:05   Thank you to our sponsors to find folk over at Camp 1,

01:19:08   Electric and Rocket Money for their support of this episode.

01:19:12   But most of all, as always, thank you for listening, and we'll be back next time.

01:19:17   Until then, say goodbye, Jason Snow.

01:19:20   Goodbye, everybody.

01:19:21   [MUSIC]