Snow Leopard, Mac OS X’s latest arrival which hit consumers in August, apparently carries a large-scale bug that has his some users extremely hard. The chatter on Apple’s forums, as well as other networks Web-wide including Twitter, is publicizing the dismay and, in some cases, outraged betrayal felt by Mac users.
Greg Keizer wrote a story for Computerworld describing how some users of Snow Leopard first upgraded from Mac OS X 10.5, also known as Leopard, then logged in as a “Guest,” and suddenly found that all their personal information had been lost. Keizer’s report wasn’t the first, either; the problem’s been around for weeks, according to Cnet’s MacFixit column, as has been the rumor of a solution. Apple marginally substantiates the rumor when contacted for more information, responding with an automated “We are aware of the issue, which occurs only in extremely rare cases, and we are working on a fix.”
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Nothing stinks more than owning a piece of equipment that you paid for, have to maintain and; depending on the damage, fix if anything goes wrong yet, you do not get to decide how you use it. If you are an Apple customer then this sounds very familiar. Take for instance your iPhone, although it is yours, Apple calls the shots. They choose which apps you use and who you do business with, which does not always work out in your pockets’ best interest.
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Apple has always been criticized for its costly products line. But now apple has decided to bring down the prices of iPhone 3G and the Macbook lines. Now it is to be seen if apple is going to reduce the size of its ‘Apple Tax’ to an extent where a Republican can also think of using the Apple products.
There is no doubt that as far as the quality and the features are concerned, there are only a few companies out there, who could give a competition to Apple. But the thing that bothers customers is the high price tag of the products of Apple. The term ‘Apple Tax’ has been hounding people for a long time and this has been in practice for so long that it is now taken as a legend. But it can also be said for certainty that this high pricing of the product is the one that has saved Apple from going in loss even in the times of global recession.
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ChangeWave, a market research firm, said on Thursday that there is good news for Apple Inc. in the last 17 months in the form of first uptick in the confidence of the consumer. The research Director of ChangeWave, Mr. Paul Carton, suggested that the April Survey of 3,200 consumers by the company indicates that there is an increase in the number of people by two points (6% to 8%) who have planned to purchase a laptop within the next 90 days and this is the first good news for the Company since November 2007.
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If the inclination of the people towards purchasing laptops gains momentum then it will be an even greater news for Apple. In a conference call on Thursday Carton told to all that the Apple will witness a favorable economy turning towards it. It seems that the sell of laptops is going to see an upward trend, which will definitely prove to be a boon for Apple.
The reason behind this hope of Carton is that it is most likely that at least 29% of the people who are going to buy a laptop within 90 days would have been set Apple laptop as their preferred target. Although the number is less for one point if compared with the number of February, but it is definitely two points ahead if compared with the number of January. This is really good news for Apple, as it has only seen a downward trend recently in the sell of Apple laptops with selling only 2.2 millions Macs systems, including 1.4 million laptops, in the last month and this has been its first decline in the sales of computer in the last six years.
Carton stressed on the importance of a different version of the laptops, netbooks, that are lighter, smaller and cheaper than their conventional counterpart, which are giving some relief to Apple. The proportion of people decided on to buy a laptop, among those who have planned to buy a system within 90 days, is one fourth and that is not a meager proportion to be ignored. Besides, the number of people, saying they have planned on buying a machine in the next three months, has increased (23%) if compared to the number of people saying the same words in February (18%) and January (14%).
There is a setback for Apple that it doesn’t have any laptops on offer at a cost that could attract the people of lower income group. The least costly laptop it provides is the last generation MacBook costing $999. But as the netbooks are known for their lower cost, mostly under a range of $500, so Apple needs to roll out a product that could compete in the market under the same range. However, there is a rumor doing rounds in the market that perhaps, Apple is thinking on this line. But there is no official validation of this rumor from the side of Apple, as till yet.
Apple is facing some contradictory trends these days; these were the words directly from the mouth of Carton and anyone could say that these words were referred to the downside of the spreading trend of the netbooks in the market. He further added that this world also has to deal with different shades of grey.
Mike Abramsky also suggested a brighter future for Apple in the same conference hall in which carton took part. Mike Abramsky’s indication can’t be taken lightly as he is a Wall Street analyst with RBC Capital. Mike Abramsky further added that market is eagerly looking up to the companies to roll out the products that are comparatively lower in price and this is why Apple need to pay attention to lower priced products too. This step of Apple will in no way reduce its value in the market, but yes, this measure will certainly prove to be a boost for the Company. With the last statement, Wall Street tried to make it clear that rival company of Apple, i.e. Microsoft Corporation, is using this high pricing policy of Apple in its own advantage by catering to the need of lower income group. But still there is hope for Apple, as was said by Abramsky.
Abramsky vindicated the suggestions of other analysts by saying that even though Macs will always be a large revenue source for Apple, yet he thinks that Apple’s future largely depends on the iPhone and the App Store Business. He told that perhaps at WWDC [Worldwide Developers Conference], going to be held in June, Apple will release a pro-version of the existing iPhone as well as lower the prices of the existing iPhones. Though it is to be seen that pro-version could be able to illicit same response as the iphone 3G attracted last year, still there is no doubt that it will have the same advantage as Apple use to have in the smartphone market.
Abramsky told that it is nothing but a rumor that Apple is going to launch a cheaper and smaller version of the iPhone, which is also being called as iPhone Nano, while indicating towards the small iPod. He further said that Wall Street is not at all in this impression that a nano iPhone is going to be launched by Apple this year. The only thing that is sure is the dream of Apple to launch such a product in next year or so. He said that a product like nano iPhone will look great in the hands of customers as a pre-paid phone or it can also sell like hotcake in the countries like China thanks to its lower cost.
Abramsky concluded with these words that according to the data collected by ChangeWave it is clear that consumer’s sentiments are going to help Apple sustain the current value proposition in the market, without any doubt.