506: Legacy When? Legacy Now?


00:00:00   [Music]

00:00:08   From Relay FM, this is Upgrade, episode 506. Today's show is brought to you by

00:00:14   SaneBox, Ooni Pizza Ovens and Express VPN. It is

00:00:19   April 1st, 2024. We're no fools. My name is Mike Hurley. I'm joined by Jason Snow. Hi, Jason.

00:00:25   It's great to be here, Mike. It's great to be here on the worst day of the year. The worst day.

00:00:30   I, I, this morning I just turned to Lauren in bed while we were, uh, like having our tea and I said,

00:00:35   "Oh, by the way, it's April 1st, don't believe anything today." She's like, "Okay, great."

00:00:39   And then there's an ugh, like, "Ugh, boy, yeah, great." Everything we say here is real.

00:00:45   I like it when people just have fun. They're not like trying to trick you. That's, you know,

00:00:50   I'm not into that. No, it's a great day for funny bits, right? Funny bits are fine. Most of them are.

00:00:54   Be funny. Well, yeah, it is also a day for people who aren't funny to try to be funny and those

00:01:00   don't work out so well. But faking fake stuff is not, is my least favorite. I have a Snow Talk

00:01:06   question for you. It comes from Levan who asks, "Have you tried reading comics on your Vision Pro?

00:01:12   I see that the Marvel Unlimited app works in compatibility mode." Honestly, my,

00:01:20   I don't view Vision Pro as a reading device. I will read things in it, but that's just not

00:01:25   how I use it. I haven't tried comics. I guess I will, but I just even my, I just have no

00:01:32   enthusiasm for it. Like I'm enthusiastic about immersive video and about 3D movies and even

00:01:38   about just watching like a baseball game like I did last week. Like there are lots of things about

00:01:42   it that I'm interested in. Reading, I feel like I've got better devices. Like if I'm gonna read

00:01:49   a book, I've got a better device. It's my Kobo. If I wanna read a comic book, I've got a better

00:01:55   device. It's my iPad Pro. And I think I just prefer that. Now I have scrolled articles,

00:02:02   but even like longer articles, I don't really wanna read them on the Vision Pro. I'd really rather

00:02:06   read them somewhere else. So I have been reading this. So this is one of those cases where I just

00:02:11   kind of take the question and totally turn it sideways. That's fine. I have an answer so we

00:02:15   can come back around. Okay. But here it is. I have been reading the Amazing Spider-Man comic that you

00:02:22   recommended to me. That was in Upgrade Plus. So in Upgrade Plus I made a good recommendation for

00:02:26   Jason, I think. I hope. Nick Spencer's Amazing Spider-Man run. And I've been reading that and

00:02:31   enjoying it. I have come to realize, and I think Marvel has done this too. When I was reading comics

00:02:38   the first time, and then certainly the second time I really got into reading comics when the iPad

00:02:43   came out. The struggle is something that I think they call it the eternal present in comics, but

00:02:50   it's this idea that every comic that's ever existed, there's actually a great book called

00:02:54   All of the Marvels about this, where a guy decided to read every Marvel comic in the Marvel universe

00:03:00   in order from start to finish and tell the story. 'Cause it's meant to all have happened.

00:03:07   And the problem with that is that first off, it's way too much. It's like how the TV show M*A*S*H,

00:03:13   if you do a timeline of everything that happens in the TV show M*A*S*H, it's literally impossible

00:03:18   for it to have happened during the Korean War. Korean War was too short for M*A*S*H.

00:03:22   It's a little like that, where Peter Parker, even if he's in his 30s and married to Mary Jane Watson,

00:03:29   Peter Parker has lived too much and there have been too many lives and too many things have come

00:03:36   and gone. And it's this eternal present also where Peter Parker today is in the 2020s, and he

00:03:44   remembers events that happened to him a couple years ago, but when those events actually happened,

00:03:48   it was the 1970s. And you're like, "Well, how does it all mean?" It doesn't make any sense.

00:03:52   This is a long way of saying that one of the things that I appreciated in reading these first few Nick

00:03:56   Spencer Spider-Man comics is I feel like Marvel philosophically has gotten over the whole idea

00:04:10   that it makes sense. I feel like, I didn't even mention, the other problem is if you try to do

00:04:16   essentially a reboot and say, "Oh well, but he's actually back in school now," or "Oh, he and Mary

00:04:21   Jane weren't actually married," and you try to make him younger again. So he gets into his 30s

00:04:26   and then suddenly he's in his early 20s again, but everything happened, which doesn't make any sense.

00:04:31   So the Nick Spencer Spider-Man, it sets him in a certain age, recent events are remembered,

00:04:37   distant past events are vaguely remembered, but I feel like it gets over the hump of like,

00:04:43   "It's good enough." You get it. You get who this is. We're just telling some Spider-Man stories here.

00:04:49   And that's all that matters, which is great because the burden of trying to make everything

00:04:54   connect and make sense, which is impossible anyway, makes for worse storytelling. So I felt

00:04:59   a freedom of just saying, "Look, this is what this book is about. He's back with Mary Jane and he's

00:05:07   unemployed for a different reason. And just get over it." I liked that about it. I really

00:05:15   appreciated that I could just dive in and accept the premise of what this Spider-Man story was

00:05:20   trying to do and then just go with it. So yeah, as the series goes on, more things come up from

00:05:27   the past, but I think he does a very good job of just picking what's necessary. Yeah, and you just

00:05:31   have to accept it. I mean, I find that the "But what about this?" and "Didn't he already meet this

00:05:36   person in this?" and all that, it's like, I just am over it now. I just want to tell some good stories.

00:05:41   Like that's all that matters. I think they're getting ready to reboot everything again, right?

00:05:46   They're doing new ultimate stuff. That's fine, whatever. There's gonna be new ultimate Spider-Man.

00:05:52   It's like, I think it's already started, but it's on Marvel Unlimited in a couple of weeks.

00:05:57   So yeah, I have tried the Marvel Unlimited app on Vision Pro. It doesn't work for me.

00:06:04   The issue is you end up with this huge comic page in front of you and it's too much head movement

00:06:13   to get through the comic. What I didn't try and what might be nice is if you are somebody who likes

00:06:19   the Marvel Unlimited app, same as the Comixology app before it, does the thing where it zooms into

00:06:25   each area. I know that some people like that and maybe reading it like that would be pretty nice,

00:06:32   but I mean, you'd probably be tapping quite a lot, but no, I like the full page. Just read the

00:06:36   full page. And it is kind of cool that the Vision Pro has the "You can switch from landscape to

00:06:42   portrait." That's actually really nice for when you're reading a comic because you don't actually

00:06:47   have to physically move the iPad around. You can just look at the button. It is a good experience.

00:06:53   It is just not what I would particularly want. But what I'm happy about what Marvel did here

00:07:00   is they would just like, "Screw it. We're just gonna make it available." Because I think that

00:07:04   that is what a lot more apps should be. I think they should be like, "We'll just put it up."

00:07:11   You can use it if you want to. And if you like it, great. I really wish more people would have

00:07:14   done that. If you would like to send in a Snell Talk question of your own to help us open a future

00:07:21   episode of the show, just go to upgradefeedback.com and send in your own Snell Talk question.

00:07:27   I have a follow up for you, Jason. You remember a while ago we spoke about there was a rumor that

00:07:35   the Apple stores were going to start bringing this new technology in where they would be able

00:07:41   to update the phones in the boxes? Right. Images of this machine have appeared online. So I have

00:07:49   a link here from MacRumors. So this device is built to allow for this perfect placement. So you

00:07:54   take the iPhone boxes and you put them in and the machine lights up. Once the machine detects that

00:08:00   there's an iPhone, it is able to remotely boot up the iPhone while the iPhone is still sealed in the

00:08:05   box, update the software and turn it off. It takes about 15 to 30 minutes for a phone update to

00:08:11   complete. The device in the image looks like it can take six phones at a time and there are

00:08:16   multiple devices stacked on top of each other. So my thinking on this is this is quite an

00:08:21   interesting idea, but for the main time that this is most important, which is around iPhone launch

00:08:26   time, this feels wholly impossible as a thing to achieve from when the phones arrive to when people

00:08:33   will be taking them out of the store. It feels to me like this is an interesting idea, but that

00:08:40   needs to be much, much faster than that time period or be able to take way more of these things. You

00:08:46   know what I mean? Like half an hour per iPhone feels like a lot. Yeah, it's true. I wonder what

00:08:55   the volume is and how many of these machines they're making and all of that. And I think that

00:08:58   this is going to be limited to certain models that have an older version of software. Maybe it's less

00:09:05   for the launch iPhones and it's more for the ongoing stock so that when you hand out an iPhone

00:09:10   to somebody in March, it's not all the way back on the one when it was manufactured in December

00:09:19   or whatever. I don't know, depending on the stock in the store. I don't know. I love this idea.

00:09:26   Obviously, it's not ideal. You want it to be faster, but it's a software update.

00:09:30   It's very clever that they're doing it all wirelessly. We talked about how this would

00:09:34   be because people were like, "Oh, you can't do that." It's like, well, Apple makes the device.

00:09:39   They absolutely can do that. They have a mode where it's either looking for a specific Wi-Fi

00:09:44   or it's looking for a very specific NFC attachment and then it gets on a network or it's looking for

00:09:50   a USB attachment. They've built this thing to do this. They built the iPhone and this device to

00:09:56   work together to make this happen, which is cool. But you're right. How many iPhones move out the

00:10:01   door in a day and how many are you going to be able to do this? And also that means somebody

00:10:06   in the retail store is minding the oven the whole time. - I can imagine a scenario where you might

00:10:14   be able to request it or they might be able to ask when you're picking up your device, like,

00:10:18   would you like us to make sure this is up to date for you, that kind of thing. So there's definitely

00:10:22   uses for it, but this kind of technology would be way better if it was built into the trucks

00:10:27   that brought the iPhones. - Sure, on the planes. - Yeah, it can be done on the ship or in the

00:10:34   factory or I guess the factory is too soon in the process. - That's before they're in the box.

00:10:38   Whatever that they put on it at the factory is no longer current. And so, yeah, it may be for,

00:10:47   I would imagine that the biggest issue is early on in the shipping, where they make a lot of them

00:10:51   and they're old versions and that they need to get them up to the current version. But it's not

00:10:57   scale. I love how clever it is, but you're right saying that what's the scale of this? And the photo

00:11:03   that MacRumor has posted shows two of them stacked on top of each other. And it's like,

00:11:10   well, you are already at the point now where you were like, oh, we'll make it with six. Six will

00:11:15   be good, right? And then people are like, nope, get me more and I'll just put them in a stack.

00:11:19   It does look a little like a pizza oven, or I was thinking it's like from Dune,

00:11:24   like what's in the box? iPhones. Updates are the mind killer. Okay, all right, I'll put my iPhone

00:11:33   in the box. It's fine. - But it's a cool idea. I mean, this is kind of one of those things where

00:11:37   where could they take it, you know? And it is a cool idea. Maybe there's something in the future

00:11:42   where maybe it doesn't need to do the full update and it takes like five minutes, but then the first

00:11:47   time that it turned on, it completes the update. Like you're just like loading the package on.

00:11:52   This has come from multiple iPhones that have launched now where the software that you need for

00:11:59   that phone is not on that phone. - It's not on the phone. And you're trying to do a backup from your

00:12:04   most recent iPhone, which is already on the new version. And they've improved that, right? Where

00:12:09   they're like, ah, this is another version. It's newer. Would you like me to update my phone? Update

00:12:15   me to that version and then restore? And you're like, yes, it does it. It's better. But the goal

00:12:20   is that you walk out of the store without having to do a software update. - Yep, that's the goal.

00:12:24   WWDC has been announced. WWDC 24, June 10th to 14th, 2024. It happened in the last couple of

00:12:36   days. - It's the second week of June. Surprise some people. I did go look and see when schools

00:12:40   get out here in California and it is that week and it never fails that they do it the week that

00:12:45   everybody's got like and school things and graduations and stuff. So good job,

00:12:49   Apple. You did it again. People at Apple don't have kids in school. I'm glad. I don't anymore,

00:12:55   but I laughed. I actually went and looked up my local high school's school calendar and sure

00:13:00   enough, that's their last week because of course it is. It's just very funny. I don't know why they

00:13:05   do it that way. Also, interesting styling on the logo, right? It's more like triple V DC.

00:13:12   Just interesting. - Yeah, I think they did this on some merch last year. I think like the tote bag

00:13:20   had the W styled this way. Or maybe it didn't, but it's a fun look. It's a fun look. You know,

00:13:27   Apple is really, this is like the admission that WWDC is too long. - It is. Shorten it up there.

00:13:37   - That you can say worldwide developers conference with as many syllables, which is always fun.

00:13:42   So yeah, it's happening June 10th, 14th. I also like that Apple have now created a developer page

00:13:50   on YouTube where they're going to be uploading the sessions this year. - And they've got the old

00:13:54   sessions up there. - Yeah, from 2023. So this makes things even more accessible than they were

00:14:00   before. - And just to be clear, chances of Mike coming to California for WWDC are low? - Yeah,

00:14:06   low. I mean, it's not definitely no right now. I'll know within a couple of weeks if it's like,

00:14:13   if it's definitely no or maybe. That's where I am right now. - You got stuff going on. - Yeah,

00:14:18   I got a lot of things going on and I'm just not sure if I can squeeze it into the schedule.

00:14:21   - You already went to the US for a Vision Pro. - You already went, yep. Now we're going back for

00:14:28   podcast of thumb. And it's not like I'm not going to be seeing my friends around that time.

00:14:32   - It's true. It's true. - Everyone's coming to me for a change. - That's right. Finally.

00:14:37   I mean, I've come to London and seen you what, three or four times now? - Yeah, more than most.

00:14:44   - At least, yeah. - DMA today. - Today. - Maybe for the last time. - Last time,

00:14:51   yeah. - As thank you to the literally hundreds of Upgradients who wrote in to help us pick a name

00:14:58   for our new segment, which will be the combination of all potential regulation, whether it be DMA,

00:15:05   DOJ, and what will inevitably come. This could have encapsulated Dutch dating apps when we were

00:15:11   doing that for a while. - Yeah, any legal or regulatory proceedings involving Apple will

00:15:18   here and after have their own segment. - Yep, which is going to be called Lawyer Up.

00:15:25   That's going to be the new name. This was by far and away the most frequently suggested and also

00:15:34   the best one. So thank you to everybody who suggested Lawyer Up. That will be the new name.

00:15:39   We're having some new artwork made, which I'm very excited about, which is why this segment is still

00:15:46   called DMA today, 'cause we don't have the artwork yet, but we will soon. I think the second best

00:15:53   that I saw was Regulation Roundup, which I also love. - Also very funny. - But I don't wanna pollute

00:16:00   the namespace. - It's not all regulation. It's like it's better this way. - We can't round

00:16:04   everything up. If anything, we cannot round this up. The rumors, we can round them up.

00:16:09   The regulation, we cannot round it up. - No, we just gotta lawyer up. That's what we gotta do.

00:16:12   - I had a cool question I wanted to talk about from Francois, who wrote in to say,

00:16:17   "I'm curious to know if Apple gets fined a monstrous amount, which could be at least

00:16:21   10% of their global revenue, where does the money go? Could it make its way to social programs in the

00:16:30   EU and their countries?" So this is a question where I looked at it and was like, "I don't have

00:16:36   the answer for this." We get a lot of these kinds of questions. Should I understand? People ask

00:16:40   questions that there's just no way that me or you could know the answer. I think sometimes what

00:16:44   people are looking for is our opinion on such a thing. But for me, my opinion is like, "Yeah,

00:16:49   I mean, it probably should." So I started Googling around and I couldn't find it. So I used a tool,

00:16:55   this new AI tool that I like called Perplexity. I heard about this on the Hard Fork Podcast and

00:17:01   I've been trying it out. And essentially what Perplexity does is it uses various models,

00:17:09   but they tune the models to try and make it the best at answering questions,

00:17:15   specifically. Effectively, better than a Google search is what they're going for. That's their

00:17:21   idea. And they gave me the following, and I'll put a link in the show notes so people can see

00:17:25   what it looks like. They say, "The search results that they've done do not explicitly state what the

00:17:30   European Commission would do with the money it receives from fines related to the DMA.

00:17:35   However, typically when the European Commission imposes fines, the money collected from these

00:17:40   fines goes into the general budget of the European Union. This budget is used to fund various EU

00:17:46   programs and activities across member states, which can range from agricultural subsidies

00:17:51   to regional development projects, research and innovation programs, and more." So the idea is

00:17:56   yes, in theory, any money that they would collect from DMA fines would and could go to the European

00:18:04   people in some form. Yeah, whatever programs are being done by the EU. Yeah. So interesting

00:18:11   questions, interesting thought exercise. Maybe this makes these kinds of things more appealing to

00:18:17   EU citizens. I don't know. But there's a lot of conversation at the moment about the fines and

00:18:25   how they equate to revenue. I don't really want to wade into that right now, but there you go.

00:18:33   Thank you for the question, Francois. And hopefully next time we talk about this,

00:18:37   it will be lawyer up. Nice. This episode is brought to you by SaneBox. Having no emails in your inbox

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00:21:05   Room around up. Yeehaw. Mark Gurman is reporting that the new iPads that we did our draft on

00:21:13   last week will be launching in May. Production is now being ramped up for these devices.

00:21:19   Apparently they were supposed to launch in March or April, but there has been a delay on both

00:21:24   finishing the version of iPadOS that will run on them as well as some production delays from the

00:21:28   OLED panels. You know, some people might say, wow, you did that draft prematurely. And I'm going to

00:21:32   say no. I actually kind of like this idea that we did a little message in a bottle from a time when

00:21:37   there are fewer details that are clear, which is one of the reasons I wanted to do it is it felt

00:21:42   like nobody is entirely sure about all the details, not even Mark Gurman. And that that would allow us

00:21:50   to go in and really be uninformed when making our draft choices or only lightly informed.

00:21:57   And I liked that. I felt like that was a good competitive, surprising sort of thing. And I

00:22:02   honestly don't mind since we're pretty confident that there's going to be a big iPad release, right?

00:22:06   To take a draft and then have it be a message in a bottle, toss it in the draft ocean, I don't know.

00:22:12   It's like a time capsule. We'll open it up in May. This is something that would be hard to do

00:22:19   like other times, but it really did feel that it was specifically iPads coming, right? And so this

00:22:26   was an easier one to do. And I do like that basically this product launch will come and go

00:22:34   and would maybe otherwise not have a draft and that would be a shame. So considering that there

00:22:39   is interesting stuff with them. Right. We did this last year with one prospective draft where we

00:22:45   recorded on a Monday, we thought they would announce an event or do a product release on

00:22:49   like a Tuesday. And I forgot what it was. Was it Max? Anyway, we did it.

00:22:53   It was the October event. And it worked, right? We did that. And I like that because otherwise

00:22:58   we're missing drafts. So if we have some sort of confidence that there's going to be a product

00:23:02   announcement and uncertainty about what it is, then doing a draft in the hopes that it will one

00:23:09   day be cashed in, I think is perfectly fine. So I look, not that it's all about us. I'm also

00:23:14   looking forward to having their be new iPads and I'm sorry that they're not coming sooner,

00:23:18   but I look forward to them when they get here. Yeah, it's coming at some point, Sue.

00:23:22   So this next topic, it's not a rumor, but I think is a conversation, a news story that is

00:23:31   interesting to people who are interested in rumors. It's about what powers rumors. It's the

00:23:37   behind the scenes, the thing that makes rumors happen, which is leaks. Yes. Last week, friend

00:23:45   of the show, Joe Rossignol of MacRumors posted a report about Apple suing a former employee,

00:23:51   Austin Aude, I've looked this up like three times and I think that's how I'm going to say it,

00:23:57   Aude, for leaking confidential information to the media. This is a quote from Joe. Aude joined Apple

00:24:05   as an iOS software engineer in 2016. Shortly after graduating college, he worked on optimizing

00:24:10   battery performance, making him "privy to information regarding dozens of Apple's most

00:24:16   sensitive projects." So I'll just stop there. I have heard and spoken to people in similar

00:24:23   kind of career points as Aude was where they are not necessarily clued in on,

00:24:33   you know, they're not like on that team, like they're not on like the Vision Pro team,

00:24:41   but they are at a point in the funnel where they find out about so much stuff because of the thing

00:24:48   that they work on. And how Apple is structured, right? Where you end up with these functional

00:24:53   groups where instead of it just being the people on the iPad team who know about the iPad, it's

00:24:58   like, well, the people who work on the chips for the iPad and the graphics for the iPad,

00:25:02   you could just go through it. Well, they all know about what's happening with the iPad because they

00:25:06   had to work on it, at least to a certain degree. One of the teams that I imagine is like very

00:25:12   powerful or very late stage is the web team at Apple, right? Like people building the website,

00:25:18   so maybe they don't get like, maybe they get like, oh, you got to be ready for two weeks here,

00:25:24   and they don't know what it is until that point, but they have all the imagery, all the names,

00:25:29   all the price, like the stuff are very helpful. Anyway, so there's a lot of these computers that

00:25:32   are not on the internet that are in a locked room that they have to go in. Oh, I'm sure. Yeah,

00:25:36   yeah. Yeah. At this point, I mean, after they accidentally put things on their CDN,

00:25:40   at this point, they probably do. The saying about computers. And this is, I think,

00:25:46   one of the weird parts of this. So the lawsuit alleges that Audé used his work-issued iPhone to

00:25:54   leak sensitive information to journalists over a five-year period. This included details about

00:26:00   the Vision Pro, the Journal app, as well as policies for product development and regulatory

00:26:05   compliance. It appears that most of the leaks were given to two reporters, Aaron Tilly, who works at

00:26:11   the Wall Street Journal and was previously at The Information, and another unnamed second reporter,

00:26:16   who also worked at The Information. A lot of detail and screenshots are actually available

00:26:21   in the lawsuit, which Joe went through and wrote about, that relate to Audé leaking information

00:26:25   about the Journal app specifically. This is like one of the key parts of the complaint.

00:26:30   And a quote from Joe, "Apple believes that Audé's actions were extensive and purposeful,

00:26:35   with Audé allegedly admitting that he leaked information so he could kill products and features

00:26:42   with which he took issue." This is why I wanted to talk about this on this show today. Because

00:26:48   there have been multiple times in the past where Jason and I have been asked questions or spoken

00:26:52   about, like, where does this information come from? Why do we know about this? And we find out

00:26:59   about a lot of things. And I think that there is a consideration that needs to be taken into the

00:27:06   provenance of a leak or a rumor. And that, I think, and I think we agree on this completely, a lot of

00:27:12   the time, people, when you hear something that sounds strange or weird or like really negative,

00:27:18   it is someone who is upset about the fact that their pet project was killed, or a thing that

00:27:25   they care about was killed, or a thing that they don't like was released. They lost an argument.

00:27:30   And so they want to put it out there. And you can see, like, there are these screenshots

00:27:35   that are in the article where Audé's referencing, like, he says, "I can't wait for chaos to break

00:27:42   out before Apple corporate people even wake up." So, like, it's, he clearly had an axe to grind.

00:27:50   And maybe that was why he did this. Unfortunately, it was a company-owned axe that he was grinding.

00:27:56   So let me just get this last piece out and we can talk about that. Apple found out about the leaks

00:28:02   in late 2023. And Audé was fired during a meeting about these events during the misconduct process.

00:28:08   Audé denied leaking information and excused himself to use the bathroom. He then deleted

00:28:12   what, quote, "significant amounts of," he then deleted, quote, "significant amounts of evidence

00:28:18   from his phone," which Apple knows about, and has some access to screenshots and information,

00:28:23   because he was using his work phone, which is a managed device. So Apple issued these

00:28:28   corporate-owned phones, but it means that they can, so many businesses do this, like,

00:28:33   if you were to quit, they'll cut your phone off, right? And it was just dead. And, or they have

00:28:38   access to this kind of stuff. And it is really wild that somebody would go to the lengths that

00:28:44   Audé went to using the phone that Apple gave him. It's a very, very strange thing to do.

00:28:52   Yeah, yeah, it's, I mean, okay. It's, this is sort of amateur hour here. And, and, and that's

00:29:01   why he got caught. Because lots of people leak stuff to Mark Gurman, and they haven't gotten

00:29:07   caught so far as we can tell, right? So this is a, this is a leaker who was bad at leaking.

00:29:12   But I want to go back to that, the point about why, why he did it. Kill products and features

00:29:18   with which he took issue. And for me, that is something we should just underline here,

00:29:24   which is we don't always do it with every item, because I do think that there are various

00:29:29   psychologies involved in leaking, but one of them is trying to affect change. And this can be

00:29:36   positive or negative. You can view it however you want. But when somebody inside Apple leaks

00:29:42   something, sometimes it's because they think it's a mistake. They actually think the company is

00:29:50   making a mistake in a strange way. They think they're helping Apple by doing this.

00:29:56   That they think Apple maybe has lost its way or like that they have, um, they can see something

00:30:03   that like their, their bosses can't see, and it's going to hurt the company. Apple, I mean,

00:30:08   they think they're helping Apple because they think Apple has made a mistake. What Apple would say is

00:30:13   we know we're doing this. We decided you're hurting us because you're trying to, uh, expose what we're

00:30:20   doing to the outside. But I think it's fair to say, and, and, and we see this, um, this is actually not

00:30:26   super different, except it's in advance to what we do, right? Where, where if we think,

00:30:32   if we think something Apple is going to do or is reported to be doing is bad, we'll say it too. And

00:30:37   I've always said, you know, the goal there is really to get attention on it so that maybe,

00:30:42   uh, it gives somebody on the inside a stronger argument to say, maybe, you know, look, see,

00:30:47   I told you, here's the proof that people agree with me. I'm not just shouting into the wilderness

00:30:50   here. Uh, you know, we went, took this out to the general public and, and, uh, people are upset

00:30:55   about it, but like there, there's a manipulation thing going on here. And I think that that's

00:30:58   interesting, right? It's always, uh, this was the, the example I always like to give is that

00:31:03   expensive NBC thing where somebody was like, Oh, it's all just going to be network, uh, quality

00:31:07   content on TV plus. And, uh, it was, you know, my pet theory is still that that was a particular

00:31:13   producer on a particular show that was actually originally intended to be at a more adult audience

00:31:19   and was refigured as a younger audience show. And they were mad and felt like they blamed Apple for

00:31:24   it because they thought that, and they extrapolated that to be all of Apple shows, which turns out

00:31:28   wasn't true. It was that particular show. So always asking yourself the question as a consumer

00:31:33   of, of, of content and of rumors and of all these things is who benefits from this? We should always

00:31:39   ask those questions, who benefits and why are they doing it? Because a lot of times when we cover

00:31:44   stuff that's being rumored, um, this is, this starts, it starts to smell like this. I'll put

00:31:51   it that way where you're like, why, you know, this is a curious, as you said, kind of curious

00:31:55   rumors of like, why, why now? Why this? And the answer is sometimes to somebody is, uh, unhappy

00:32:02   with how it went inside Apple. And now they're going to, um, leak that in order to grind that axe.

00:32:07   Obviously I don't know this person. I can't get into their head. I really don't understand the

00:32:12   scenario where they were so mad about the journal app. Like, I don't know what it could have been

00:32:17   that made them so mad, you know, that they felt like this thing had to be killed.

00:32:23   I think this is a person who is, um, who has some very strong opinions and is also, I think,

00:32:28   young and, um, and naive and, uh, takes things personally that he shouldn't and,

00:32:35   and, and, uh, has ended up in a world of trouble now for, for this. But, um, yeah, it's,

00:32:42   and you kind of inherent like that in the fact that we know about this because we only know about

00:32:50   this because our day is denying a lot of stuff. So app and, and because of the destruction of

00:32:58   evidence, Apple is unhappy with the amount of information he's provided them about what exactly

00:33:03   he leaked into who. So they are now pursuing legal action to try and get more of the full scope.

00:33:08   That's why we know about this because this stuff happens often. Like I've heard about it before,

00:33:13   people that have been leaks and have been terminated and maybe it's in a similar way to

00:33:21   this where it's done on a device that Apple has some level of access to. And maybe they have,

00:33:27   you know, we've heard about the security team, right? Maybe they had like a, a, a reason to

00:33:32   expect that someone was doing something and checked in on them and it turns out they were,

00:33:37   or they gave them some information that, you know, we've heard about that before, right? Where like,

00:33:41   they give incorrect information to someone and if it gets out, they know who they gave it to,

00:33:45   but this one has gone to court because of all these things that we've mentioned,

00:33:52   it's making it worse. And that's where we're at. Well, he's, they're making an example of him.

00:33:56   Yeah. I mean, in the end, this, this comes out publicly. It's because Apple wants people inside

00:34:02   Apple to know that Apple does care about this and that you can get in big trouble and have your

00:34:07   career ruined and, and be liable for lots of money if you, if you are a leaker. Yeah.

00:34:17   So I have one other thing. I had a comment. It's actually former employee Phil Schiller,

00:34:26   actually Michael Gartenberg on Twitter, who asked the question, is it ethical for journalists to

00:34:31   repost links knowing it's confidential information and the consumer really has no right to know this

00:34:35   isn't Watergate or the Pentagon papers. And here's, here's, I, I responded to him. Here's

00:34:43   a version of that, a podcast version of that. So it's fits in more than a tweet. So talking

00:34:48   about like leaks that you get from a source or whatever, is it? Yeah. Yeah. And it's like,

00:34:53   does as a journalist if you know that they're they're passing you confidential information,

00:35:00   right? Like what's the, what's the ethics there. And from a journalism standpoint, here is where

00:35:06   generally the ethical line is drawn, which is you are not supposed to, and in fact, it illegal for

00:35:10   you to induce people to give you information that would require them to break the law or their

00:35:15   contracts or something like that. So inducement, the idea that you approach somebody at Apple,

00:35:20   who you know, or who you don't know and say, Hey, you got any info? You give me the info. I want,

00:35:25   I want the info that is generally considered unethical. If they approach you and say,

00:35:30   I have in for information for you, journalist about what's going on inside Apple. It is considered

00:35:36   not unethical because it's not your job to keep Apple secrets, right? It's just not,

00:35:42   it's their job. And they may be, you know, they're taking their own risk, but they're bringing you

00:35:46   information. And in that way, it is Watergate or the Pentagon papers in the broadest sense of

00:35:51   somebody comes with, comes to you with information and your job is information about Apple.

00:35:58   And you are confident that it's correct. You checked it, all of those things.

00:36:02   I don't really have a problem with it. However, I also, the implicit in this is the idea that this

00:36:10   isn't Watergate or the Pentagon papers that he's saying it is important stuff to the, to the general

00:36:15   important to know what Apple's doing. People are doing it for entertainment. I think that there's

00:36:20   truth in that. And I have always thought that. So the way I put it on, on Twitter, which I don't

00:36:25   spend a lot of time on, but he asked me directly and I was like, okay, I'll respond to this.

00:36:28   I think the consumers need to know about the future of tech companies is overstated. Back in

00:36:35   the day, when I started in this business, there was a weekly newspaper called Mac week. And they

00:36:43   were often referred to as Mac leak because a lot of what they did was here's what Apple's doing

00:36:49   next. Here's what other companies are doing next in advance of them announcing anything.

00:36:53   And I always thought that was curious because at Mac user, we never did that.

00:36:57   All we ever did was follow embargoes, announce things when they were announced, that was it.

00:37:02   And in fact, one of the clever things our, our parent company did was keep these

00:37:07   technology publications separate so that when Apple got mad at Mac week, they didn't get mad

00:37:11   at Mac user theoretically because we followed the rules and they would talk to us, even though they

00:37:15   wouldn't talk to Mac week for a large part because they were reporting on things before they were

00:37:20   ready. Um, Mac week's argument was always, well, our audience is it's, it's a controlled circulation

00:37:28   publication, which means that it's qualified people who read Mac week. This is in the print days,

00:37:34   had to fill out a card about how many Macs basically they were, um, they were in charge

00:37:41   of and what buying authority they had. The idea is these were volume buyers of Mac computers and

00:37:47   accessories that they, they were making buying decisions. And the whole premise was the people

00:37:54   making buying decisions had budgets and they were trying to plan their budgets and when to buy and

00:37:59   when not to buy and advanced information about when Apple was coming out with new products

00:38:05   directly impacted their buying decisions. That was the argument. And there's truth in it.

00:38:11   I'm sure some tiny percentage of Mac week's readership were those people.

00:38:16   Yeah. I mean, I can't imagine a publication being able to survive and be profitable purely with just

00:38:27   that very specific audience. That seems really weird to me. I mean, the idea was that the

00:38:31   advertisers were, and you got it for free, by the way, the advertisers knew they were reaching the

00:38:36   people with the money who bought stuff and you're advertising the stuff and like that on one level,

00:38:42   it's actually kind of a brilliant, it's an old business model, but at the time it was kind of

00:38:46   brilliant, which is people wanted to get it, but they couldn't get it. But the advertisers knew,

00:38:49   even though it was a small audience, it was a super select audience of the people who had the

00:38:53   money to buy their products in volume. And they really wanted to reach those people. But you know,

00:39:00   the truth is, and I thought this at the time I remember reading, so Mac, we would come out,

00:39:04   I forget what day it was, and we would get them at our offices. We were down in Foster City

00:39:08   on the peninsula. They were up in San Francisco. They even kept us geographically separate for a

00:39:13   very long time. I remember the new Mac weeks would come in and this is before the web,

00:39:17   or at least before they were on the web. And I would get the issue. And I remember walking to

00:39:21   lunch, I go get a sandwich across, there was like a big circle pathway with lawn in the middle.

00:39:28   And then on the other side of it was like a sandwich shop and a supermarket and stuff.

00:39:32   It was a big office tower located in the suburbs. It was really sleepy. There's stuff there now,

00:39:37   but not when I was there. And I would walk over and I would stand in line at Togo's and I would

00:39:43   order my sandwich and they would make my sandwich and they would give me my sandwich. And then I

00:39:46   would walk back. And all the while I'm reading the new issue of Mac week. It was fun. Even then,

00:39:53   what struck me about it was this is for entertainment, right? Like this is gossip.

00:39:57   This is for entertainment. And while there is a useful quality to it, and there is,

00:40:01   even today's rumors have the effect of saying, don't buy a MacBook Air M2 right now. The M3

00:40:09   is coming out and the M2 will probably go lower in price. Right? Like the Mac room is buying guide,

00:40:14   right? That's exactly. Absolutely. Don't buy an iPad right now because in May there are going to

00:40:20   be new iPads. It's absolutely true that that is a component of it, but let's also not kid ourselves

00:40:25   that a component of it is Apple won't talk about what they're working on. And when it happens,

00:40:32   there's a lot of detail and there's a lot of PR spin, and then we can talk about it then,

00:40:37   but it's more fun to have it spread out and to talk about what Apple might be doing in advance.

00:40:41   Right? It is. We have a draft. We have these rumor roundup segments. Like it is more fun.

00:40:46   I think it's sometimes interesting because it gives us more space to wonder about why they're

00:40:51   doing what they're doing because Apple will never say why, even when they come out with a product,

00:40:54   they'll never say why. It gives a little more space, a little more time to think about it.

00:40:58   And I like that. I like it. It helps me. I would even maybe make the argument that

00:41:03   self-serving though it might be a little bit that it helps me think about all the aspects of the

00:41:09   product before the product gets announced. So I can sort of like go on a little journey about

00:41:12   what this product might be and where it fits and all of those things. But I think it's also fair

00:41:17   to say it is not Watergate or the Pentagon Papers. It is in part, I mean, as much as Bloomberg will

00:41:23   say, well, and then Apple stock changed in the hours after this report when it has no connection

00:41:28   whatsoever. I do think it does. It is also about entertainment. So it's fair. It's fair, but at the

00:41:34   same time, if somebody, I'm not in this business, but like if somebody comes to me or, you know,

00:41:38   puts an anonymous thing in our feedback form, one of Mike's anonymous informants saying, here's a

00:41:43   thing that's going on at Apple, or I get these, I get messages from people who are like, I work at

00:41:48   Apple or I worked at Apple and I can explain a little bit of the backstory and that helps inform

00:41:53   my understanding of the thing we're talking about. I can find that, I find that useful.

00:41:57   I will accept it. I'm not going to be like, no, no, no, you shouldn't be talking about that friend.

00:42:02   Hands off that information. I don't, I, the onus is not on me. Like it is their job to know what

00:42:07   they can and can't say. And it's, it's not, I'm not going to go to them, but if they come and

00:42:13   bring it to me and I will say this is generally accepted as the difference in journalism and you

00:42:18   can like it or not. You could, you could argue like, Oh, one other piece about Michael Gartenberg's

00:42:25   statement that I thought was interesting is he said, this guy really screwed Apple quite a bit.

00:42:29   And this is what I would say to that. I also think Apple dramatically overstates the damage

00:42:33   that leaks do. I think leaks do in, in, in like 90% of cases, 99% of cases do no damage to Apple.

00:42:40   None at all. Apple wants to make a splash and have it be a surprise and all of that. But you know

00:42:44   what? They seem to be doing okay. And almost every major Apple announcement of the last,

00:42:49   I don't know, 20 years, 30 years has been reported in advance and it hasn't mattered.

00:42:56   It doesn't really matter. So, uh, although I, so on that level, it's also a game that's being played

00:43:03   that doesn't matter. And, and that would be my counter argument to Apple suing the guy who

00:43:07   absolutely violated his conditions of employment is I don't think Apple really wants to talk about

00:43:14   the tangible damage that was done because I don't think there really is any, I think Apple's

00:43:20   doubling down on secrecy about product announcements is just as much about theater and

00:43:26   entertainment as the leaks are about theater and entertainment. I would argue neither of them

00:43:31   really matters. And while Apple absolutely has the right to roll out their products in the way that

00:43:35   they choose, I am dubious that leaking something here and there really makes a difference.

00:43:41   So I think one of the things that Gartenberg is getting at, which I'm intrigued what your opinion

00:43:48   is on this is like this kid's career is over, right? And like he's maybe his entire professional

00:43:55   career, especially depending on what the outcome of this, um, lawsuit is, is there a responsibility

00:44:03   from the reporters or is there like, should the reporters feel, I hate to use this word,

00:44:09   but guilty in any way about this? Or is it just like, well, this is just the way that it went down?

00:44:13   No, I think, uh, look, I think this is a gray area that I think is worth considering, which is

00:44:21   if you are the reporter on the receiving end of information from somebody and they're your source

00:44:28   and you realize what they're doing is kind of, I mean, and you may not know, they may be really

00:44:32   cloaked, but there is, there is potentially a moment where as the, as the receiver of the

00:44:39   information, you have to say, am I protecting my sources or am I going to leave them hang,

00:44:46   hung out to dry and know that they're going to burn out, but that's okay. There'll be another

00:44:50   one later and this guy's going to be ruined. Um, but that's okay because there'll be another guy

00:44:56   tomorrow and I don't care. Like I, I, I wouldn't want to live like that. Right. However, how do you

00:45:02   tell? I think that's the problem is if, if I got a signal from a source, I do this now, I do this

00:45:09   now when people send me stuff and I'm like, I'm not going to even, I'm not going to even, I'm going

00:45:12   to, I'm going to obscure this a little bit because I think they were a little too specific here.

00:45:16   I'm going to obscure this a little bit. And I honestly, I think Mark Gurman probably does that

00:45:20   too, right. Where he, he's obscuring things that maybe he could get away with more specifics,

00:45:25   but in doing so it's actually riskier for the source now that's self-serving as well.

00:45:29   But like, I think that's one of the things that maybe, you know, like we've spoken about the way

00:45:32   that Mark started speaking and writing differently at Bloomberg. And maybe that might've been a

00:45:38   Bloomberg thing of like, this is our rules on how you protect your sources. Sure. So,

00:45:43   so what I would say is I think there is an ethical issue where if you're, if you are as a reporter,

00:45:50   um, in a position where you've been given something and you can report it and it's by

00:45:57   a source that you trust. And I don't know how this would come up, but that in doing so, you

00:46:02   think it's gonna, you know, if the, if not this time, then sometime soon it is going to

00:46:08   reveal who the source is and they're going to get, you know, fired and sued.

00:46:16   Honestly, I think most journalists would be motivated to protect them in the sense that

00:46:22   they want to keep getting information from them. But certainly in terms of just a human being,

00:46:27   you know, I, I wouldn't, I wouldn't want to publish information that destroyed somebody's career.

00:46:32   Right. Yeah. But how do you know? I mean, it is also one of the reasons I'm not in that business.

00:46:37   Yes. Is that it's a really dangerous game to play. And like, and I'm, I'm not saying here that,

00:46:42   that these reporters didn't do this, but like, you know, I would hope at least they learn now to be

00:46:47   like, all right, we're talking a signal, but is this your personal phone or is this your work phone?

00:46:51   Oh, 100%. Like if I were in the information.

00:46:55   I feel like if you were establishing a long-term relationship with someone, right? Like it's not

00:46:58   just a one-off leak. Surely you've got to, to have a conversation of like, how are we going to share

00:47:04   this information? Like, I feel like that there has to be like, uh, you are, you should, that is like,

00:47:10   it feels to me like the effective way in which you protect your source.

00:47:15   Certainly everybody needs to change the FAQ for anonymous sources to say, look,

00:47:22   you being on signal is not enough. Are you on signal on a device not managed by your employer?

00:47:28   Like it's like, here's, here's some tips now. So you, so you've decided to be an informer.

00:47:36   And then like, here are the ways that you don't get caught, right? That totally should be part of it.

00:47:42   And my guess is that the people at the information who don't know who this guy is,

00:47:45   presumably, or only vaguely know who this guy is. Um, I think there's probably an assumption that

00:47:50   they know what they're doing, especially since they contacted through signal and all of that.

00:47:53   How would you know that it was a managed device? Um, but that's why, that's why you're right. You,

00:47:59   you want to start. And for all I know, they do this to some people, um, they maybe even did it

00:48:03   to this guy and maybe Mark Gurman does this too. But that, that whole idea of like, if you've got

00:48:07   a good source, one way you can help is to guide them to not getting caught, which again, I don't

00:48:14   think is necessarily unethical because they came to you, but it could be argued, right?

00:48:20   It could be argued that if you're making them a better leaker. Yeah. If you're making them a

00:48:24   better leaker, let me tell you how to really never get caught. I'm not sure that that is ethical or

00:48:29   not. The more that you, cause this is the weird gray area, right? And again, when there is no

00:48:33   judgment on anyone here, we're just talking about this, but the more that you encourage someone,

00:48:39   the worse you are making it for them when they inevitably get caught. Yes. And that, and that's,

00:48:44   that's all part of the give and take. And, and it's one reason that I don't really want to,

00:48:48   and have never really wanted to be in this, this particular business, but I think you can do it and

00:48:53   be ethical. I really do. I think you can be, I don't think it's fundamentally unethical to report

00:48:57   on some businesses secrets because they are not national security secrets as Michael Gartenberg

00:49:02   says, but on the other hand, they're not national security secrets. Right? Like both of those things

00:49:08   are true. Right? They're not important. They're not, but that cuts both ways. Yeah. So it's

00:49:14   interesting. I would love, maybe one day we will chat to Mark Gurman about, not about what he's

00:49:20   reporting and not about who his sources are, but about how he handles sources. Cause I'm not

00:49:26   blaming him or the people of the information. This is hard and it's, it's really tricky. And I think

00:49:32   there are ways to do this ethically. And you know, I'm, I, I wonder about that, but, but it is,

00:49:38   there are lots of gray areas too, as you said. So anyway, my, my short version of this is,

00:49:42   it's this guy's fault. It's not the information's fault. It's this guy's fault. And the information

00:49:49   might be an accomplice or an accessory in a way, but really if it came over, unless they recruited

00:49:54   him like a spy or something, if it came over the transom and it's not really their job to make sure

00:50:01   he's not going to get caught, even though they might help, it's not their job. And, and while

00:50:07   this information, I think is, I don't think, I don't, I don't think it's wrong to publish

00:50:13   information like this. And I also question how dangerous it is to Apple and how vital it is to

00:50:21   the public interest. I think those are also both true. Like just the sham of it being like important

00:50:26   for business planning purposes, not that it can be that way, but that mostly it's about just the

00:50:32   interest in finding out what Apple's doing next. But also at the same time, I don't think it really

00:50:36   causes damage to Apple. I just don't, I don't believe that. I don't fundamentally Apple will

00:50:40   tell you, we're doubling down on security on privacy. You know, we're doubling down on our

00:50:44   product announcement security because we want to make it secret and then make a big stink. Like,

00:50:49   I get that that's their PR approach, but I would argue that there is very little difference

00:50:57   in most cases between an Apple product launch, where we know sort of what's going to happen and

00:51:03   an Apple product launch where we don't know what's going to happen. In terms of the net effect to

00:51:08   Apple, the net benefit to Apple. I, I, there's a little, but like it's overstated. It's deep. It's

00:51:14   just completely overstated. So I have two, two points I want to make to finish this up. One,

00:51:20   if you're a journalist listening to this show and you get this kind of information,

00:51:23   please make sure that you have a thorough checklist that you're going through with your

00:51:26   informants to make sure that they're not going to get caught in this manner. Two, I know we have a

00:51:32   lot of young people that listen to the show. I know we have a lot of young people who listen to

00:51:35   the show who work at Apple. Don't do this. It's not worth it. Like this guy's career is over. Like,

00:51:42   you don't want to be in that scenario. Yeah. Don't do it. I know that sometimes it's fun and

00:51:48   you want to share things with people. And like what I'll say to you is something that I've

00:51:52   experienced, which I think is super great. Like I meet people and they're like, Hey, you know,

00:51:55   that thing I worked on that thing. It's already out there. No one's going to get in trouble for

00:52:00   that. Yeah. All right. That's what I was going to say is the people I talked to who are currently

00:52:04   working at Apple, just to, just to be clear about this, they are incredibly diligent about this.

00:52:11   I absolutely do hear from them after something comes out where they're like, Oh yeah, yep. I've

00:52:16   been, I had one that was like literally vision pro got announced and like, Oh yeah, I've been

00:52:20   using that for nine months. Oh my God. Where they won't say, cause they care. Yeah. I have a bunch

00:52:25   of same as you. I have a bunch of personal friends, like good personal friends who work at Apple.

00:52:30   They don't tell me what they work on and I don't ask because I don't want that on me. Yeah. And,

00:52:35   and they, they, so generally I would say Apple employees very diligent about this. And when they,

00:52:40   when I do talk to them about, you know, shop talk, it's generally about not only is it not

00:52:46   about secrets, but it's generally ways that they allow me to be better informed so that I don't

00:52:52   make mistakes about what Apple is doing, which is incredibly valuable. And I appreciate. So they're,

00:52:57   they're very diligent and generally acting in Apple's best interests. And I, I I'm glad

00:53:03   that they feel like they're able to do that, but they are, you know, they are, are they're

00:53:09   taking care. They're, they're not trying to like, again, they have the ability to keep secrets.

00:53:16   That would be very difficult. Like it must be painful, right. To hear a podcaster talking

00:53:21   about a thing and you know, absolutely everything about it and can't say anything about it,

00:53:25   but they do it because they know that those are the rules. Just send me a note, like everything

00:53:30   you said was wrong. I'm not going to tell you what, but it was all wrong. Oh, well I'll get

00:53:34   it next time. Oh well. And if, if you're going to use upgradefeedback.com to send us anonymous

00:53:40   information, do it. Don't do it from Apple. Don't do it from inside the building or on an Apple

00:53:47   managed device. Please do not do that. Just don't do it. Kids, please just don't. Like I, I want you

00:53:53   all to have really long, successful careers. Yeah. There, there, there really isn't much

00:53:58   worth to it. It's okay. It would not bother me if Rumor Roundup went away, you know, like I like

00:54:03   this segment. I find it fun. If the rumors and leaks stopped, I'd also be okay. But it never will.

00:54:08   But it never will. It just never, it never will. It never will. The supply chain at the very least,

00:54:12   but it, it, you know, it just, it won't because people are people and, and the same stuff that

00:54:16   was feeding Mac the knife in 1992 is feeding Mark Gurman now. And that's just how it is. It's the,

00:54:21   not the same people. It's just the same dynamic. I really wish, I genuinely wish Austin nowaday the

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00:57:20   So you wrote an article about immersive, a couple actually on immersive content on the vision pro

00:57:29   sparked because we finally have more immersive video. So apple put out a selection of immersive

00:57:36   videos when the vision pro launched. There was one about high wire, there was an Alicia Keys video,

00:57:42   there was a dinosaur video, and there was like this sizzle reel video of like lots of different

00:57:47   types of things that you could watch in an immersive environment. A lot of these things

00:57:53   said like episode one. But there have been no more episodes in these shows. No, apple hasn't released

00:58:00   any more immersive content since the launch of vision pro. And so then apple announced that there

00:58:04   was going to be a, we knew about this a while ago actually, it was referenced in a press release

00:58:11   about the MLS season pass reference to the fact that they were doing a highlight reel in immersive

00:58:18   video for the 2023 MLS cup. The MLS cup, yes, which is like, is that a separate thing to the

00:58:26   season? Like it's like the playoffs? It's the postseason. It's the playoffs. Okay, it's the

00:58:29   playoffs. Okay, cool. So we knew this and then they announced it was coming. Oh great, here it is,

00:58:35   it's gonna come out. And then we found out it was a five minute highlight package of the MLS season.

00:58:40   Or of the playoffs. Of the playoffs, I'm sorry, the MLS cup. You ask a bunch of questions in your

00:58:47   article that I'd like to talk about with you. The first being, why did it take three months to

00:58:51   produce a package? Yeah. Which is a great question. More than three months to do a five minute

00:58:57   highlight package. Because they obviously have had the cameras throughout the entire thing. So like,

00:59:01   you know, is this how long this content takes? Was it not a priority? MLS cup final was like

00:59:07   December 10th or something like that. And they didn't even get it ready for the season opener.

00:59:11   Yep. So what's the holdup? And why have we not seen any other immersive videos? So the MLS cup

00:59:18   took 100 days and there have been no other releases, even though we've seen clips in the

00:59:24   sizzle reel, none of those have been released too. Yep. You and I've heard a couple of them who

00:59:30   mentioned that the video is just not good. You didn't enjoy it? Yeah. So, you know, sometimes

00:59:36   you have to make a judgment and not have talked to anybody else about it and just, you gotta be

00:59:43   out on your own. And that was the case with me when I watched that immersive video. I watched it

00:59:47   and I thought, oh, this is bad. And I was laughing because today I got Stratechery and Ben Thompson

00:59:53   wrote about the sizzle reel and I'm like, oh boy, what does Ben think? And Ben was like, this is

00:59:58   bad. And I'm like, yeah, all right. It's not just me. It's bad. It's bad, Mike. It's a bad choice.

01:00:05   Yeah, I watched it too. It's bad. And why is it bad? I think is very instructive. I think it's

01:00:11   really instructive. It is edited like a regular video highlight reel. It's lots of quick cuts.

01:00:16   It's five minutes long, first off. Lots of quick cuts. It actually shows all of the potential of

01:00:23   immersive video and fails at all of it. The moment that blew me away is there's a moment where

01:00:30   you're watching somebody move toward the goal with the ball. And it's like you're on the sideline and

01:00:38   you're seeing the artistry of the detailed technical skill of these soccer players that

01:00:43   you don't see from far off. It's actually harder on TV. And so your eyes are watching the ball maybe,

01:00:51   and then it cuts to a different angle. And you've only been there for a few seconds,

01:00:57   but it cuts to a different angle. And where the ball and the player were is now

01:01:02   some dude with an all access pass standing on the sideline behind the goal

01:01:13   watching the action. And I'm like, "Why am I watching this dude?" So my point is, every time

01:01:19   you make a cut, you have to reorient. And it takes seconds, right? Because now you're in a new place

01:01:24   and you got to look around. And you missed the goals in the highlight reel. You missed the goals

01:01:29   because they've cut from the side view to the behind the goal view, which is a better view of

01:01:34   the actual goal. But in doing so, you missed the goal because they cut and didn't give you enough

01:01:39   time to reorient. And this is the lesson that I'm very grateful that this video was released in this

01:01:43   way, because it's a lesson that I've learned. I had hoped that they would have learned this

01:01:47   while they were working on it, but that didn't happen. I have learned the lesson, which is

01:01:52   immersive video takes time. You can't quick cut immersive video. The whole idea is immersion.

01:02:00   So like, I love that shot behind the goal. I love the shot from the sideline. I love the shot from

01:02:06   the field before the game where you're looking at a full stadium and fireworks are going off in the

01:02:10   sky. I love the shot of the jacked up supporters in the stands with their wacky signs. And when

01:02:19   they're pulling the big banner up over them, right? That just looks fun. Yeah, which is the

01:02:25   Columbus fans put "Hell is real" on a banner, which is a whole story about the "Hell is real"

01:02:29   sign. You can look it up. Each individual shot is like, "Oh yeah, this is what it's good for."

01:02:37   But at no point in the video did I feel like I was at the event. Instead, I was constantly

01:02:42   discombobulated. So great for me in that I got to learn about what not to do in immersive video.

01:02:50   And great that I have now discovered that other people feel the same way. But it squandered the

01:02:57   opportunity completely, which is you got to take your time. And the other videos that Apple has

01:03:02   released, the high wire and all that, they take the time. That's the difference is they take the

01:03:07   time and you settle in and now you're there. And that's the magic of it. So I don't want

01:03:12   a highlight reel. I want to be courtside. I want to settle in and feel the excitement. And

01:03:20   the occasional cut, of course, the Alicia Keys video is a great example. It cuts occasionally,

01:03:25   but if it cut like a music video, it would be unwatchable. Because every time they cut,

01:03:31   you're looking at the wrong thing. And then you got to look around and see where everything is.

01:03:34   And part of the glory of immersive video is that you're seated in a spot and you can look around

01:03:39   and you can explore what's around you and your surroundings and you become immersed in it.

01:03:43   And you can never do that when there's a quick cut. So one, it's not very good. Two,

01:03:48   why did it take so long? And three, is there nobody at Apple who looked at this video and said,

01:03:54   "Oh no, this is bad actually." And maybe they did. And maybe the fact is the way it was shot,

01:04:00   they can't go back to the MLS Cup playoffs. They can't. The footage they've got is the footage

01:04:05   they've got. Maybe there was a technical reason why they couldn't really do something. But I

01:04:11   assumed that that MLS Cup final would be a 15 minute long kind of immersion into the final.

01:04:22   And it was actually like two minutes of the five minute video with a bunch of quick cuts.

01:04:26   It's like, it's just a mistake. Maybe they were forced into a corner with some technical issues.

01:04:31   I don't know, but I don't really want to make excuses for them. And so I don't know what's

01:04:35   going on with Apple immersive video. It's a problem, right? They have no content and

01:04:39   their latest release suggests a misunderstanding of what it's good at. - The video shows the

01:04:48   promise. There are so many parts of it where I'm like, "This looks great." - There's a moment that

01:04:53   it takes your breath away and then it's gone. And you don't get to spend time in it. - And it's not,

01:04:58   there's that sizzle reel, which is fun because it's showing the promise of the sizzle reel,

01:05:04   but I don't need to keep being shown promise. I've already seen what football can look like

01:05:12   because it was in the sizzle reel. They had a shot, right? So I don't need this particularly.

01:05:18   Oh, this would be fine if there was already more, right? If they had released another 10 videos,

01:05:27   this would be like, "Okay, this one maybe wasn't great, but it's cool. I got to see some fun shots

01:05:36   of the football. That's fine." - It still would be broken and you'd be like, "This is not how

01:05:40   you do sports." - We wouldn't be talking about it specifically. - But we're desperate for content

01:05:46   because there hasn't been any and this is what they got. So it's that double whammy of

01:05:51   they haven't had any content and then the first thing they release is not good.

01:05:56   It's funny too because I really expected my reaction to be, "Oh, okay." Either dazzled or

01:06:02   like, "Oh, interesting. There are things that work about it and there are things that don't."

01:06:05   I did not expect at all to watch five minutes of it and think, "Oh, this is just bad." Like, just

01:06:10   bad. My short review of it is Quick Cuts is the wrong format for this and while it's not unwatchable,

01:06:17   it's not good. It shows everything that's the promise and fails to deliver on all of the promise.

01:06:23   It couldn't have done a better job of delineating what's the promise of sports immersive video

01:06:31   and how not to do it. - I don't think I am as harsh on it as you or Ben Thompson,

01:06:38   but I completely understand where you're coming from, right? But like for me, I do see it. I

01:06:44   watched it and was like, "This looks good. I'm enjoying what I'm seeing," but can see that there

01:06:51   is absolutely not enough of it and it's just the wrong format. And so what my assumption is that

01:06:58   people that put this together, they are used to making that format. - Sports 2D, 16 by 9,

01:07:08   HD sports highlight reels. It feels like that. It feels exactly like that. That this is not a demo

01:07:14   of immersive video. It's a highlight reel that happens to be an immersive video, which is a

01:07:20   classic mistake, right? It is the new medium mistake. It's like saying, "Hey, television

01:07:24   was invented. So let's record stage plays with television cameras." It's like, "No, no, no, no,

01:07:30   no. That's not what television is for." - And again, just to underscore what you're saying,

01:07:35   start. Say you've got a three or four second clip and something catches your eye to the left

01:07:42   and you look at it and you want to see what's going on, but then the clip changes. Now,

01:07:46   if you're watching on something on a screen, that's fine because you're just following along

01:07:52   with whatever the director is showing you at this moment. - And your field of view encompasses the

01:07:56   entire image, right? - Yeah, but in the Vision Pro, you've moved your head. You're looking in

01:08:01   the wrong direction from what's happening. - Yeah, looking at that guy standing on the sidelines

01:08:06   instead of the goal because that's where the cut has left me. - Yeah, but when it was good, though,

01:08:13   like, "Oh, I thought it was real good." Watching goals in that scenario is fantastic. Seeing

01:08:19   the reactions, like, there's this one where you see the goalkeeper kind of slam his hands on the

01:08:24   ground. You see the guy who just scored looking back at him with a smile on his face, like, "This

01:08:29   is real good. I need more of this part." - Yeah, well, that is the contrast and that's why I think

01:08:38   it's so fascinating is I think that as a package, it blows it, but the individual elements are

01:08:45   amazing, right? Like, it is strangely a video that makes me desperately want more immersive

01:08:51   sports video and at the same time, I think it's a failure. And so what does that mean? I mean,

01:08:58   it means they did this one wrong, but boy, this is going to be great when they figure it out.

01:09:02   And I'm a little frustrated that they hadn't figured it out. Like, I don't know.

01:09:07   I don't know who watched this. And again, I don't know the backstory. I don't know who could watch

01:09:12   this and say, "No, this is how it should look in immersive video." And again, the backstory may be

01:09:16   they had to get it out. There were technical problems. They were very limited in what they

01:09:20   could do. If it's a choice, it was just desperately the wrong creative choice, but it may be that

01:09:26   there are complications here and that they're well aware of the limitations of this and on to the

01:09:32   next one. But like the individual moments, like you mentioned the goals. The goals are amazing.

01:09:37   The sideline view, the artistry. This is what I always feel about soccer is that, and I feel this

01:09:42   way about baseball too, is like they reward closer viewing. When you are an in-depth fan,

01:09:49   I think one of the reasons the NFL is popular is that the NFL is great on its surface. It's very

01:09:55   exciting. It also rewards closer viewing if you understand how the game is being played at a high

01:10:00   level. But if you don't understand it, it's just fun to watch it. Soccer is sort of fun to watch,

01:10:05   but if you go into the details, it's amazing. Pitching and hitting in baseball and the

01:10:11   confrontation between the pitcher and the catcher are fighting against the batter. The batter is

01:10:17   trying to guess and they're trying to outwit the batter. If you dial into that level of the game

01:10:23   and can see it, which TV does really well and it's much harder when you're in the upper deck,

01:10:30   baseball can be really magical. Well, soccer, my point here is, unless you're at the event or

01:10:37   you're watching real closely or in immersive video, you're right on the sideline, every

01:10:43   foot placement, every body move that these soccer players do in order to get advantage on the

01:10:49   defender, in order to move the ball into a position where they can put it somewhere else, the passes,

01:10:54   the shots. The more of that you see from close up, it's really amazing. And that's in there.

01:11:03   It's just so fleeting. And honestly, the fans, I'll say it again, the fans, the atmosphere,

01:11:08   they have the Columbus stadium, they have the LA stadium, they have the stadium in Seattle. Packed,

01:11:14   you're in a stadium, you're on the field in a stadium full of screaming fans, and then you

01:11:18   see the fans. It's awesome. Unfortunately, none of it is enough. Every shot is individually brilliant

01:11:31   and there's not enough of any of it. Plus I miss the goals because I'm looking somewhere else and

01:11:38   that's just a mistake. You can't do it. I had to back up, which breaks the immersion, and then

01:11:47   okay, I need to be looking over here in this shot, even though that's not what I want to look at,

01:11:51   so I can see where the goal scorer is coming from. You just can't. You can't do that.

01:11:55   But this isn't the only way to watch sports on the Vision Pro. The MLB app has been updated and it

01:12:03   seems like you were expecting something cool that was not delivered. So I'm taking a journey here

01:12:09   with MLB. I'm going to write a piece about some good things about MLB that I haven't written about.

01:12:14   I wrote a couple pieces about this last week because it was opening day, the start of the

01:12:18   season. They let the baseballs out. They let the baseballs out of the gate and on Friday we're

01:12:24   going to the Giants game unless we get rained out and we'll get to watch the San Francisco

01:12:29   baseballs be rolled out. Let's go Giants. Let's go Giants. Let's go Giants. Let's go Giants.

01:12:35   Let's go Snell. Let's go Snell. Yeah, exactly. Let's go. By the way, I listened to the

01:12:44   talk show. That story about Shohei Yutani, which is the first I'd heard of it, wild.

01:12:48   It's bananas, right? It's just, yeah. And who better to talk about baseball and gambling than

01:12:53   John Gruber? Yeah, incredible. So first off, I'll say the iPad app, just my iPad app of the MLB app

01:13:02   just doesn't launch on my Mac anymore. They didn't update and I heard from a lot of people who say

01:13:05   that that's the case, although I have since also heard from a couple people who say it doesn't

01:13:08   crash on their Mac. I don't know what's going on there. Anyway, so that stinks. But that was just

01:13:13   a side note to the vision pro app, which since the vision pro came out, there's been an MLB app,

01:13:18   but all it does is play like game two of the world series from last fall. It's a demo. It's great.

01:13:23   Good idea actually to have a demo on there. Well, they, they released the official live version

01:13:30   for opening day and it feels very much like it's, um, it got rushed out the door for opening day and

01:13:36   they weren't ready. So like the main window, you know how in vision pro you can put a window

01:13:42   further away and everything, the content is still basically the same size. It's just further away in

01:13:47   depth. MLB app isn't like that. If you put it further away, it gets really tiny. Like, what are

01:13:54   you doing? And the control, the little close bar and, and, and, and handling bar at the bottom are

01:14:01   like, I don't know about the length, but like they're way far below the window, which is weird.

01:14:06   It's like, what's going, it's not like any other one. Um, start a video. There's some selection

01:14:12   problems there. I had to get it really close before I could actually like properly select a

01:14:15   video to stream. It opens a new window with that video, but the main window remains visible,

01:14:20   which some apps do. Some apps don't, but I don't need the main window. I've got my video playing.

01:14:27   So I do the close on the main window, the close box, the whole thing goes away. You can't close

01:14:33   the main window, but the whole thing just quits. Okay, great. So I put the main window somewhere

01:14:38   else and I'm watching. And first off, I don't see any game day information, which is this other mode

01:14:44   that they put in. Turns out it is there, although I'm not sure it was there on the video I was

01:14:48   looking at on day one, but it is there. Um, it's, uh, uh, on the video playing. So to get into game

01:14:56   day mode, you have to be watching a video, which means that if you're blacked out on video, you

01:15:01   can't watch it. Um, let me tell you what game day mode is because it's very clever. So it's, it's,

01:15:06   it's an immersive space, which I don't like. I don't think it needs to be immersive. I,

01:15:10   it precludes other apps from running along with it, which I don't like. Um, but what you get is

01:15:17   you get like a big scoreboard that is the video and of the game playing and a bunch of information,

01:15:23   like the pitch tracking and a lot of play by play data, lots of data. And then below it is a field.

01:15:30   Well, you have two options. It's a, it's the home plate and the strike zone. And every pitch,

01:15:35   you see the ball come in with the actual trajectory and whether it was a ball or a strike.

01:15:40   But the other mode is a field, which I love. And it's the whole field, like on my floor. And every

01:15:48   player is a little disc, a little, a little circle with their number on it. And as the game and the

01:15:55   ball, like you see when the pitch is thrown, there's a little streak from the pitcher to

01:15:58   the catcher. When a ball is hit up in the air, you see the ball go up in the air and it marks like

01:16:04   the exit velocity and the apex, how high it was at the, at the top of the arc. And then where it

01:16:10   comes down, that's all in there. Pretty awesome. Um, however, it would lose players. So I would

01:16:18   frequently get in a position where like the left fielder was just gone. Third baseman was gone.

01:16:23   Sometimes the, the, it would show the base runners. Sometimes it wouldn't show the base runners. The

01:16:27   base runners were not a different color. So that was super confusing because you couldn't tell the

01:16:31   second baseman from the runner on second base. Um, occasionally numbers, it would get confused

01:16:37   and it never resolved it. So like a base runner would run down to first base and be very close to

01:16:41   the first baseman, obviously. And then suddenly they would pop. There would just be one circle

01:16:46   there. And the, and, and one of them had been, I don't know, assimilated and never came back. And

01:16:52   you can never see that, that base runner again, but first baseman again, just buggy, just super buggy.

01:16:58   Um, it's a hard, it feels like a hard thing to do because it requires, um, requires the live data

01:17:03   and that kind of stuff. Like I can see how it's complicated. They have all the live data and I

01:17:08   don't blame them. Like they're, they're trying to do cutting edge things, but it's super buggy. And

01:17:11   I think it struck me that, um, that it was really buggy on day one. Um, I don't, for something like

01:17:19   the 3d stuff, I don't blame them. That is a brand new technology that they're trying to do. However,

01:17:24   the home window being broken, isn't great. The fact that if you close it, your video stops playing

01:17:30   is bad. And then, you know how I love a quad box, Mike. Um, you can't play more than one video at

01:17:35   a time. Nobody loves quad boxes more than you. No, I love watching more than one thing at a time.

01:17:40   Right. And you can't do it. You can't say, I want to play this game and then put it over there. And

01:17:43   then I want to play this game and I put it over there. It just won't do it. First game goes away.

01:17:47   But come on guys. So hopefully they will get up to speed with it, but it was a real disappointment

01:17:52   on opening day. I love their ambition, but, um, but it's, it's buggy and kind of broken and it's

01:17:59   too bad. Um, I will say, I do want to throw in a positive note and I will write about this, which

01:18:04   is the Apple TV app got updated to support the quad box. They have their own quad box. They used

01:18:10   to be picture and picture only. Um, and it is in some ways the best quad box implementation I've

01:18:15   seen on Apple TV in that it has a lot of clarity. Uh, it puts up like what buttons you need to push

01:18:22   to change the modes, um, so that you don't get lost. Uh, Lauren was telling me how I do the quad

01:18:31   box on the Fubo app on Apple TV, but she never does because she doesn't even know. Cause you got

01:18:35   to do swipes and click and holds and stuff. And you got to become like an expert at driving that

01:18:40   app. MLB app puts up a little thing in text. This is press this button to get the audio and press

01:18:46   this button to bring it to the center. And, and there's a little strip you swipe down and there's

01:18:50   a little strip of games and you like, it says click to add or click to remove. It's really

01:18:55   well done. Um, and something that tells me about my expectations for software being bad, like it

01:19:06   does what it should. And I was surprised by it, which is I'm in quad box or double box or triple

01:19:11   box or whatever, multi view they call it. Right. And each game you can click to zoom in. And on

01:19:20   that screen, it's got the game day view as an option and game day on the Apple TV, it like pulls

01:19:28   the image back a little bit and it puts like the live pitch data and stuff around it. It's, it's

01:19:33   cool. It's a lot of data, but if you're a certain kind of nerd, it's really awesome. And I thought,

01:19:39   I can't believe I can enter game day from here, but I thought I bet I'm out of multi view now.

01:19:43   Like it probably took me out of multi view. So I press the back button and it zooms back out to

01:19:47   full screen and the game debut goes away. And I think what happens if I press the back button

01:19:53   again and I press the back button and it zoomed it back out into multi view. And I thought, huh,

01:19:58   like that's how it should work. Right. And yet I had zero expectations that it would do it the

01:20:05   right way. I figured I had, I had silently left into a different mode and I was going to have to

01:20:09   exit that and then re build my multi view and all that. No, they built it all. It's really great.

01:20:14   My only complaint about multi view is that there aren't multiple layouts. If you want to watch four

01:20:18   games at once, one of them is big. And then there are three on the side that are little,

01:20:22   whereas Fubo lets you do the four up where it's literally four screens in a rectangle, one, two,

01:20:28   three, four, um, filling your entire screen. They don't do that probably in part so that they can

01:20:33   put up their little text and like help you use this feature. But I would love that. But otherwise,

01:20:39   honestly, Apple TV app, pretty great. So thumbs up to them for that vision pro. I love their Moxie.

01:20:45   I love that what they're trying. It's broken. It's busted. And I'd also really like the iPad app to

01:20:50   launch on my Mac. That would be great. But anyway, um, I see the potential of,

01:20:55   MLB has enormous amounts of data, live data about their games and that 3d field is a,

01:21:02   is their attempt to display it. And if they can get that right, it will be amazing. Cause I was,

01:21:08   I literally, Mike, I literally just got and sat down on my floor. Like I was a kid in kindergarten,

01:21:13   like let's all get on the floor. But for me, I sat down on the floor. So I was next to my little

01:21:17   magic model baseball stadium and I could watch the little baseballs get hit up into the sky and come

01:21:25   down and the little circles ran around and stuff. And I thought, this is it's and you can look up at

01:21:30   essentially the scoreboard where the video of the game was playing. It was pretty cool. It was

01:21:35   pretty cool. There's some potential there. I had a similar experience. Uh, I tried out an app called

01:21:40   Vroom for Formula One. This is a beta. I'll put a link in the show notes to a Vimeo video as the

01:21:47   test flight link in there. It's actually developed by Chaos Tian who was the person who was the,

01:21:55   they like, make a touch ID button. Yeah. This app requires F1 TV. Um, if you have F1 TV,

01:22:06   which is a paid service, which is mostly available outside of the UK, don't ask, but yes,

01:22:13   are you as able to use it and it's amazing. So you can have, you can watch the races, you can have

01:22:20   all of the quad box kind of user on the outside of specific drivers. So you can see there on board

01:22:26   cameras, which is the thing you can do in the F1 TV app for VisionOS as well. But this app also has

01:22:33   a live track simulation. So you can see where all of the drivers are on the track at all times,

01:22:40   going around the track. It's incredible. So good. I love it. So good. There have been a few of these

01:22:47   kinds of things. I've seen a lot of mock-ups for VisionOS stuff. This is the first app that I've

01:22:51   actually been able to use that does it. And, uh, F1 need to just do this. They just need to do this.

01:22:57   This is really cool because they have all the data. F1 is very data focused and I use app,

01:23:05   another app called BoxBox, which gives me a live activity of stuff that's happening. And

01:23:09   you can know all the information in real time. It's all API based as well, especially F1 TV.

01:23:14   It's so you can get access to all of this stuff. So it's very cool. So yeah, there's,

01:23:18   especially sports with the Vision Pro, there is a lot of promise. We just need to see it realized,

01:23:24   but we're early days. This episode is brought to you by ExpressVPN. Watching services like

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01:25:48   their support of this show and Relay FM. Let's finish out with some Ask Upgrade Questions.

01:25:55   First comes from Max who says, "Do you think the Walmart M1 MacBook Air deal is the truth behind

01:26:01   of the strategy that replaces the rumors from last year that Apple was working on a less expensive

01:26:07   laptop?" I don't think so. I think, I mean, strategy that replaces maybe, but like the rumors

01:26:15   were about supply chain and they were about actually trying to engineer a lower cost MacBook.

01:26:22   It's possible, I think it's also entirely possible that what is going on is that Apple is in the long

01:26:27   run wanting to have a product in that space when the M1 MacBook Air can no longer be sold.

01:26:33   Can they roll down the M2 into that space or do they really want to create a cheaper to produce

01:26:40   laptop? The challenge there is any new laptop is not cheaper to produce because it's new

01:26:46   and that's difficult for them. So that's why they roll down old models instead. So it might be

01:26:54   related but I don't think it's what was motivating those rumors. Because the rumors were about

01:26:59   engineering a new laptop not about making the M1 go to a different place. That's an old laptop.

01:27:04   I can imagine a scenario where there were a few things on the board. One of them was making a new

01:27:13   one but they ended up going with this. Which I actually think this is a pretty good strategy.

01:27:17   Like I like this heavily discounted MacBook Air thing. I think it makes sense. Yeah, I think the

01:27:23   question is, because also this isn't the end of it, right? That rumor, it's entirely possible that

01:27:28   that's a product that even if they decided to go with it wouldn't be out for another year or two,

01:27:32   right? It's not necessarily that they like did a bunch of work and said, "No, let's just sell the

01:27:37   M1." I mean maybe but my guess is that it's a longer term kind of thing than that. But maybe

01:27:44   they put it all together and realized that it didn't make sense and that the best thing to do

01:27:49   was just to keep selling the old laptops for a while at a low price. I've got two questions

01:27:56   here. I think they're two sides of the same coin so I'm reading both. Lee asks, "Is the

01:28:01   Department of Justice case actually now in Tim Cook's legacy? Under his tenure, the actions and

01:28:07   choices from Apple have led them to these moments of conflict with regulators. So rather than a car

01:28:12   or the Vision Pro, is this Tim's legacy?" Albert asks, "Given Apple's handling of the DMA and AI,

01:28:19   do you think it's reasonable to consider it is time for Tim Cook to step down?"

01:28:23   So they're both sides of the same coin. You want me to flip a coin? Is that what's happening now?

01:28:28   You asked me to flip a coin. Well, I think you understand what I'm saying,

01:28:32   that both of these questions are of a similar thing of like, is Tim to blame for all of this?

01:28:38   Is this what's going to follow him around? Duh duh duh duh duh.

01:28:41   Yeah, I just wanted to talk about coin flipping.

01:28:43   Oh, yeah, no, we don't let you flip coins. You're not allowed to flip coins.

01:28:50   To be determined, I'm sorry to say it this way, but this is how it has to be, is what is the

01:28:58   result? If the result is a nothing or an almost nothing, minor changes to Apple's business model

01:29:03   that don't actually have major effects on Apple's future, then no, to all. If Apple ends up having

01:29:13   its business model deeply disrupted in a way that everybody views as being avoidable,

01:29:19   which is a question, right? Like it may be that if there's a deep disruption in Apple's business

01:29:24   model, we'll look back and say, how would they have satisfied these people? How would they have

01:29:29   changed their case? Because it's possible that all the things we've said, "Oh, this could have been

01:29:36   avoided if you did all these things," it's possible that wouldn't have avoided it, that it was going

01:29:40   to happen. They didn't make it better, but it's possible that this was unavoidable. If it goes

01:29:44   badly and Apple ends up being broken up or their business model is invalidated because they have to

01:29:51   start building APIs for everything that is integrated with their own products and that

01:29:56   makes everything more difficult for them, and as a result, Apple as a business is kind of broken,

01:30:02   absolutely it's part of Tim Cook's legacy. Dare I say the jury's still out? There is no jury yet,

01:30:08   but there may be at a time in the future. I think those are the questions. History is not yet to be

01:30:13   written on this point. It could be his legacy. Is it reasonable to consider if it's time for him

01:30:22   to step down? Given Apple's handling of AI, you mean the thing that they haven't announced yet?

01:30:27   Is it reasonable to say that Tim Cook should step down because Apple didn't have a large language

01:30:34   model out there last year? No, it's not. That's stupid. It's stupid. History is not written if,

01:30:42   in five years it turns out that AI completely changed how computing works and Apple never got

01:30:47   there because they were sleeping too long. Then yes, then it's a great question. I just don't know.

01:30:53   For both of these, I'd say the jury is still out. Right now, what I would say is that Tim Cook's

01:30:58   legacy is that when he took over, Apple was a fraction of the size that it is now. Judged by

01:31:05   market valuation and profits and revenue, Tim Cook's legacy is that Apple scaled up from a

01:31:13   company that had a lot of potential to a company that had all the money. If I had to guess,

01:31:22   that will be his legacy. But the truth is, legacy when? Legacy now? Legacy in five years? Legacy in

01:31:29   20 years? Because it's possible from the vantage point of 20 years, we'll say, "Oh, Tim Cook,

01:31:34   yeah, they made a lot of money then, but then they got in trouble and lost their way." Or we might

01:31:38   say, "Oh, Tim Cook, yeah, they made a lot of money and then they went out of business or were regulated

01:31:43   out of business." Or we might say, "Oh, yeah, Tim Cook, he really grew Apple to a whole new level

01:31:49   and then they just kept going from there." But in five years and 20 years, the legacy is constantly

01:31:56   being recalculated. But for right now, I'd say that people... Right now, the judgment would be

01:32:04   that he took a business that was smaller and granted, had a lot of the pieces ready to go.

01:32:09   People were like, "Oh, well, Steve Jobs got all that ready." It's like, he did get it all ready.

01:32:12   But Tim Cook's the one who took all that stuff that he inherited from Steve Jobs and presided

01:32:20   over this enormous expansion of Apple size and profitability and revenue generation.

01:32:25   So, sorry to not give a straight answer to this question.

01:32:31   - No, I actually think you've given the only right answer, which is that at this point,

01:32:38   for both of these things, and the reason I point out these things, we've had a few questions like

01:32:43   this. It is too soon to suggest that either of these things were a mistake. Currently,

01:32:51   all of the things that have led to the DMA and the DOJ, they were a scenario of the exact right

01:32:57   thing to do because Apple is massive, massive, and it makes so much money. And you can make a very

01:33:07   good argument that Tim Cook did exactly what he was supposed to do, which was make the most money

01:33:13   possible. - Yeah, and grow the company, and grow the stock price, and grow the valuation, and all

01:33:18   those things. And it may be yet that the DMA or something, again, the DMA and the US regulations

01:33:27   could break Apple. I think the most likely scenario is Apple, after protesting that a lot of the

01:33:35   changes that are wanted are anathema to Apple's entire business model and its credo of protecting

01:33:43   its customers. And we all say that it is actually because Apple wants to make more money, that the

01:33:52   concessions Apple has to make to satisfy everybody are so limited that while Apple makes a little

01:33:58   less money, they've already made that up in growth, and that no major changes to their

01:34:04   business model are instituted, and they keep on going. I think that that's actually the most

01:34:08   likely scenario, is that what changes is minor. But if I worked at Apple, I would be really worried

01:34:15   about the risk that the change is going to be major and it's going to break our business. I

01:34:18   would be. And I'm trying not to be cynical here, but I suspect that the way this will work is Apple

01:34:25   will give in on things that turns out don't actually matter as much as Apple says they do,

01:34:30   but they want a posture that they do so that they can be pained when they do it, so that it

01:34:36   limits the scope. And that in other cases, they basically deal with a US system that is generally

01:34:44   favoring big US companies anyway, so they can get away with even less. I think that's the most

01:34:51   likely scenario, in which case Tim Cook's entire approach would be more or less vindicated. But

01:34:58   it's too early for us to say. I certainly don't. If they get really, really, really, really shafted

01:35:04   by the EU or by the United States, and it breaks their business, then it absolutely would be

01:35:12   reasonable to say Tim Cook has to leave, because they're going to need to show some resignations

01:35:16   and say, "We're changing our entire approach because you're right, and we're chastened,

01:35:21   and we're going to be a different company now." But boy, we're a long way from that.

01:35:26   - I don't think we're going to get there. I don't think so. There is a scenario in which

01:35:31   one of these things could be so horrifically bad that really the only smart thing to do from a PR

01:35:38   perspective is to have a new CEO. Yes, that could happen. I do not think that's going to happen.

01:35:44   I don't think that compliance with the DMA or with the Department of Justice case,

01:35:52   I don't even think it would massively impact the company. I think you would end up with a scenario

01:35:59   where it's put to the test. What we're saying has been the case forever, which is people just want

01:36:05   to buy iPhones and use their iPhones. And that complying with all of this stuff doesn't really

01:36:12   make a material difference because people just want to use their iPhones. - Earlier in this podcast,

01:36:18   we talked about how Apple, I think, overstates the value of secrecy in product announcements.

01:36:28   I think Apple overstates the importance of lots of stuff, and they do it strategically.

01:36:35   And this is a case where I think Apple has dramatically overstated, not that it isn't true,

01:36:43   but that they overstate the impact of all sorts of things like what the EU is trying to do,

01:36:48   the EC is trying to do, and what the US alleges. I think they've actually, behind the scenes,

01:36:54   they've got a lot of stuff that they're willing to give on, and they know it's not going to make

01:36:57   an impact or it's going to make a minor impact. Losing a little control, losing a little power

01:37:04   is not necessarily something that ever shows up on a balance sheet. Losing a little money does,

01:37:10   and it's going to hurt because Apple is a public company, and they might make a little less money,

01:37:16   and that there are people at Apple who have a very strong incentive to prevent that from happening.

01:37:20   But I, as an outside observer, can say even that doesn't really matter. If the spigot's still on,

01:37:26   it's just flowing a little bit less, and it means you are a little less enormously profitable and a

01:37:31   little less enormously valuable. I have a hard time envisioning scenarios. It doesn't mean they

01:37:37   can't happen. The most likely scenario is that Apple gives up a little power, gives up a little

01:37:44   control, but not as much as you think, and gives up a little bit of revenue in competing with others,

01:37:49   and it doesn't really matter, and that they just continue steaming forward because they're so huge

01:37:56   and so profitable that in the end it doesn't matter. If I had to predict, that's my prediction,

01:38:02   is that this is not going to be the thing that stops Apple. Now, something else might stop Apple.

01:38:08   The lesson of the Microsoft case is that it turns out that it was all kind of a waste of time

01:38:15   in some ways because the next generation of stuff kind of rendered it irrelevant. We can argue that

01:38:22   point. Were they distracted? Is that why they missed on mobile? Opening up the web allowed

01:38:27   cross-platform to be better and it wouldn't have happened if IE was unconstrained? Okay, we can

01:38:32   argue it, but my bigger point remains, which is what Apple is afraid of and Google and every other

01:38:38   tech giant is missing the boat on the next big thing. That's the existential risk for Apple,

01:38:44   I think, is not being regulated. I think they're going to still have lots of money.

01:38:47   Like I said, if AI, it turns out, makes devices essentially irrelevant and apps and operating

01:38:56   systems irrelevant because everything's going to be running on machine learning and we're just

01:38:59   going to talk or tap or whatever to a model that's going to do what we want, that could potentially

01:39:05   eliminate a huge amount of Apple's uniqueness in the market and therefore destroy their

01:39:11   business model. That's a real existential threat, but I think it's unlikely that regulatory scrutiny

01:39:22   is going to blow up Apple's business. It could happen, but I don't think it will.

01:39:26   But we'll be tracking it the whole way through in lawyer up.

01:39:30   Sure, exactly. Send us your anonymous secret. Nope, don't.

01:39:34   You can if you like, but we're not going to be careful. Just be careful how you do it.

01:39:39   And be careful. Don't use a company managed device, whatever you do.

01:39:43   You can send us in that feedback or any questions you have for our various segments over at

01:39:47   upgradefeedback.com. You can check out Jason's writing at sixcolors.com. You can hear his

01:39:53   podcast at the incomparable.com and here on Relay FM, where you can listen to me too. And check out

01:39:58   my work at cortexbrand.com. If you want to find us on social media, Jason is @jsnell, J-S-N-E-L-L.

01:40:05   I am @imike, I-M-Y-K-E. You can watch video clips of this show on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube.

01:40:12   We're @upgraderelay on there. Thank you to our members who support us with Upgrade Plus. You can

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01:40:23   of this week's episode, ExpressVPN, Ooni, and SaneBox. And thank you for listening. I'll be

01:40:29   back next week. Jason will be on vacation and I'll be having a guest host. Until the next time we

01:40:36   speak to you, Jason. Say goodbye. - Bye everybody. Looking forward to that eclipse. See y'all in two

01:40:41   weeks.