Author Archives: Seth Weintraub

Apple Watch Edition at Apple Watch Sport (+can of spray paint) price?

It is what is on the inside that counts, right? All Apple Watches are the same under the skin and Casey Neistat, semi-famous for other Apple launch videos, decided he was going to turn his $399 Apple Watch into a $399 Apple Watch with gold spray paint on it. The idea is that passersby would think it was an Edition, and all that comes along with that, I guess.

Casey Neistat-gold-apple-watch

To be honest, the spray paint better matches the “Aluminum Gold” iPhones, iPads and now MacBooks but I have to imagine the button/crown and some of the sensors will take a hit.

 


Filed under: Apple Watch Tagged: Aerosol paint, Apple watch, Casey Neistat, YouTube

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The Apple Watch Edition try on experience [1st hand account & Gallery]

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Reader Mark Davies went into the Berlin Apple Store this morning to try on the Apple Watch/Sport models but got a little surprise from the employees. Here’s the first hand account…

So I go to the Apple store here in Berlin thinking I made an appointment to see the Sport and Apple Watch editions. When I get there, they check me in and tell me to wait in the line. When my turn comes a really nice Apple employee asks me which models of the Edition I would like to see. I was surprised obviously, and explained that there is no way I would consider buying one with the price. He proceeds to let me try on the Sport and Watch versions and walks me through the demos. Then he asks if I still want to see the Edition models. I say, “sure, why not”…

He tells me to wait in the corner near the accessories and says he will be back in a minute. He comes back with two boxes (blue leather) and says to follow him (with a security guard in tow) upstairs. We take an elevator and walk through a very beautiful hall to a large conference room where a small leather mat is waiting at the table. He explains the packaging. Leather box, with a magnetic lid, and built in lightning adaptor for easy charging (i neglected to get a picture of it).

He lets me try it on and it is significantly heavier than either the sport or stainless steel models. There didn’t seem to be a time limit on how long I can stay (I wasn’t rushed at all even though I had no intent of buying one). I was allowed to take pictures of the watch, room and anything else I wanted to but not the employees.

It felt strange and I can’t help but think that a serious watch buyer would be a little put off by the process. I felt special, but I seriously doubt that someone willing to spend $17,000 on a watch would feel special in the same set of circumstances. There was nothing special about the Apple employee. Just another employee who actually seemed a little nervous. Like he felt almost out of place handling this pricey item.

It was a fun day and I will be buying a Sport edition maybe with model 2 or later in the year.

Have a great launch day.

… One more thing: I also asked about the new MacBook. They did not have a demo model on hand. I was a little surprised by this. I asked why and he said it “didn’t arrive in time”. I thought that was very strange. A global operation like Apple and they can’t get it there for launch day. He said, “maybe tomorrow“. Weird.

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Filed under: Apple Watch Tagged: Apple Inc, Apple watch, Berlin, edition, Stainless steel, store, try-on

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Review: LaCie’s 4TB Rugged Thunderbolt/USB 3 portable hard drive delivers SSD-like speed at HDD cost

LaCie-Rugged-4TB-USB Plug-Thunderbolt-2

LaCie announced its new 4TB Thunderbolt/USB 3 Rugged RAID portable hard drive ($420 list, $399 Amazon) today, and I’ve had some time to take it for a little ‘spin.’ There are two speedy 7200RPM 2TB portable hard drives RAID-ed together inside to give the device very impressive, almost SSD-like speeds but with the cost savings and huge storage of portable hard drives. At the same time, the package isn’t much bigger than a regular portable hard drive and better yet, it can take a serious beating…

Key Details:

  • Ruggedized housing can survive drops, seals out liquids and dust
  • Two 2TB hard drives are inside, joined via RAID
  • Offers near-SSD speeds but with conventional hard drives
  • Thunderbolt and USB 3 are both supported
  • Thunderbolt cable is integrated directly into the enclosure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first thing you’ll notice is that the Rugged feels very similar to the rest of the venerable LaCie Rugged lineup, though it is slightly thicker and denser than previous single drive models – as you’d expect.

LaCie has incorporated a built-in Thunderbolt cable which wraps around the edges of the unit and ends up being a foot in length whenfully extracted (see image below). The cable is the thinnest I’ve seen in power-carrying Thunderbolt and the power from a MacBook is enough to power the drives.

LaCie-Rugged-4TB-USB Plug-Thunderbolt

The unit also has a USB 3 port and cable that somewhat awkwardly connects to machines that don’t have a Thunderbolt port (like Apple’s latest 12-inch MacBook and most PCs).

LaCie-Rugged-4TB-USB Plug-wishfull

My 2014 15-inch MacBook Pro’s USB port didn’t supply enough power to spin up the drives; I had to use the included AC adapter which plugs in where the Thunderbolt cable rests. Awkward. See for yourself below:

LaCie-Rugged-4TB-USB Plug

The 4TB Rugged was easy to set up with LaCie Manager as an executable. Putting the RAID together was quick and easy. LaCie also installs Intego Backup Manager for you if that’s what you are into. I uninstalled immediately because I’m a Time Machine guy.

Screenshot 2015-04-07 08.37.46 Screenshot 2015-04-07 08.37.50 Screenshot 2015-04-07 08.37.54 Screenshot 2015-04-07 08.38.13

Partition-wise, the defaults make a PC-compatible 800GB partition and a 3.2TB Mac HFS partition. That use case made some sense so I went with it for the speed tests. I used the industry standard BlackMagic disk speed test which is used to check SSDs and hard drives for video editing on Macs.

I easily saw 250MB/sec speeds when using the built-in Thunderbolt connector. That’s about half of the speed of high end, internal SATA SSDs, but still plenty fast for most regular video editing. If you use USB 3 or RAID 1 redundant mirroring, expect to see speeds in the 130-140MB/sec range.

LaCie Thunderbolt score LaCie-USB3-Blackmagic-score

For the heck of it, I dropped the drive a few times from counter height to see if the RAID configuration was any more vulnerable than a simple hard drive setup. After about five drops from counter height, the drives continued to work fine without a glitch. I wouldn’t recommend doing this on purpose with a RAID drive with important data on it, but it is good to know that you’ve got a good chance of data survival.

Wrap up:

I’ve long loved LaCie’s rugged drives because they are made to be taken on the road along with all of the bumps and bruising that comes along with it. With the 4TB RAID version, LaCie adds incredible size and speed that video/imaging professionals and people with big backups/lots of storage needs will love. The price at $400 is significant but not at all insane when you consider the SSD-class speeds combined with the big 4TB size.

Manufacturer:
LaCie
Price:
$420,$399 Amazon
Compatibility:
Any Mac/PC/Tablet With A Thunderbolt or USB 3/2* Port
Lacie_Rugged Raid_Use-Case LaCie R2D2 3-4 Right LaCie_Rugged Raid_Profile Lacie_Rugged Raid_Lifestyle LaCie_Rugged Raid_Hero LaCie_Rugged Raid_Front LaCie_Rugged Raid_Back LaCie_Rugged Raid_3-4

LaCie Doubles Capacity of Rugged Thunderbolt SSD
CUPERTINO, CALIF. – LaCie, the premium brand from Seagate Technology plc (NASDAQ: STX), announced today that its iconic Rugged Thunderbolt™ storage solution will be available in a 1 TB SSD capacity. With double the storage, the new LaCie® Rugged is just as portable with no size or weight increase compared to the 500 GB offering. Plus, it still features the lightning–fast transfer rates of Thunderbolt and is tough in the field with shock, dust and water resistance.

“My expeditions take me all over the globe so I need equipment that’s up for any terrain,” said photographer and National Geographic Expeditions expert Kike Calvo. “The LaCie Rugged is my go–to hard drive because its fast speeds help back up my work quickly, and its toughness has yet to let me down. With the addition of drones into my workflow, I’m creating more content than ever before. So larger capacity in the same reliable enclosure means I can take fewer drives and save valuable luggage space.”

The LaCie Rugged delivers speeds of up to 387 MB/s* — three times faster than a standard mobile hard drive**. With these speeds, creative professionals can transfer 100 GB in less than five minutes. The LaCie Rugged even provides enough bandwidth to review and edit photos or video in the field. With a laptop and a LaCie Rugged, a photographer or videographer has everything they need to back up footage or complete a project on location. This time savings and convenience is key for field–based professionals.

“Wherever digital content is created and wherever our customers want to travel to capture and collect it, our LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt drive will go as the ideal companion,” said Erwan Girard, Business Unit Manager for LaCie. “With fast Thunderbolt speeds that save hours in the field and now a 1 TB SSD capacity, our customers can focus on the creative process instead of worrying about transfer times or storage limits.”

The LaCie Rugged is MIL–compliant, which means that data is protected even during accidental drops of up to 2 meters (6.6 feet). With its cap in place, the LaCie Rugged is also IP 54–rated for superior protection against dust and water splashing — even during operation. Plus, it is resistant to vibration and shock and is tough enough to be shipped for reliable delivery to clients or partners.

With both Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 interfaces, the LaCie Rugged is an ideal match for Mac® and PC users. The LaCie Rugged is fully bus powered through the Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 cables. Plus, the integrated Thunderbolt cable stows neatly when not in use, ensuring that it will never get lost or left behind.

The LaCie Rugged includes everything professionals need for secure backup in the field: a backup software suite and compatibility with Time Machine® and Windows® Backup. It also includes LaCie Private–Public software, which lets users password–protect the entire drive or only certain volumes with AES 256–bit encryption.

See the LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt hit the trail: https://youtu.be/c18vI-BYwrU

WARRANTY
The LaCie Rugged features a three–year limited warranty that includes comprehensive, complimentary web–based resources, expert in–house technical support, and worldwide repair and/or replacement coverage. It is possible to upgrade this service with warranty extensions and fast product replacement.

AVAILABILITY
The new 1 TB SSD version of the LaCie Rugged, design by Neil Poulton, will be available this month for $949.99 (MSRP) through the LaCie Online Store and LaCie Resellers.

ABOUT LACIE
LaCie, the premium brand from Seagate Technology (NASDAQ: STX), designs world–class external storage products for Apple®, Linux and PC users. LaCie differentiates itself with sleek design and unmatched technical performance. Find out more at http://www.lacie.com.


Filed under: Mac, Reviews Tagged: 4TB, external storage, hard drive, LaCie, RAID, rugged, Solid-state drive, TB, Thunderbolt, USB 3

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Review: Pad & Quill’s Attaché is timeless, will stand the test of time (Discount+Giveaway)

image03

[Ed. Note: My wife liked this one so much she insisted she review it]

In many ways, my work is old school: unlike my other half, I work in an archive and write about the past. You might call my professional aesthetic “19th century schoolhouse.” Or at most “1920s Paris bookshop.” In other words, Pad&Quill. So when the Minnesota-based makers of the luxurious, leather notebook-style iPhone wallet case sent a new top-shelf work bag to our house, I claimed it. Over the past month I’ve been filling it with my MacBook, iPad, iPhone, papers, pens and books. Voilà the Attaché

The Attaché bag follows the classic standards of its namesake case: it’s boxy, with plenty of space for documents and laptops. The sturdy leather keeps my files from crumpling and my computer from getting dinged — without the bulky (unsightly) padding you usually find in a laptop case.

image07

While the exterior is a nod to the past, the interior reminds me that we live in the twenty-first century. The two compartments I use for my wallet and phone are lined in a bright orange soft suede. A free de-dust-ification every time I use it. Open the zipper pouch and it’s more orange:

image00

The only part of the bag I haven’t found useful are the top straps of the interior pouches. This is because I’m impatient. The layout keeps me organized, but I can’t be bothered to tuck in the contents of those pouches. Instead, I’ve been sticking my lipgloss into the strap loop. The Attaché is fun for a boy or a girl. :)

image09

You can carry the bag by its attaché handle or wear it like I do, à la messenger using a detachable, adjustable strap. If you’re on the shorter side (I’m 5’4”), you might want to have a cobbler add a hole to the belt-like strap. In my case, it sits just perfectly on my hip on the shortest setting.

image02

The hardware used to attach the shoulder strap on either side is extremely robust. This is one of the first things I checked on the Attaché, and here’s why: When I first started my grown-up job, I was carrying a similar, chintzier bag one morning and had the unfortunate experience of having the strap pivot break off while I was greeting my new colleagues. The strap snapped out and the bag dropped right to the floor. Was this former grad student fit for a 9-to-5? I wasn’t feeling it. Not so with the Attaché.

image05

Every detail — copper rivets, interior zipper, front button closure — is sturdy, functional, and beautiful.

image08

The Attaché bag is a welcome complement to the repertoire of Pad & Quill offerings, which began with ultra-slim wallets and sleek Moleskine-styled gadget cases and now include some of the best-looking tech bags you can find (each bag is designed to satisfy). Everything they make is top shelf, with “leaves a good impression”-type quality.

image06

P.S. This bag is truly unisex. But in case you’re not convinced, here’s a picture of a dude wearing the black version. (It’s not a purse, it’s European!)

image04

The Attaché is available on padandquill.com for $440 but Pad & Quill are offering 9to5Mac readers 10% off this bag using code 9to5M at checkout.  Tweet, Facebook Like, Plus this post or sign up for our newsletter (or do all 4 to increase your chances) for a chance to win one in our giveaway.  We’ll notify winner via DM/Facebook/G+/newsletter email and announce the winner on this post next week.


Filed under: Reviews Tagged: Attaché, bags, cases, cloth, Leather, mac case, Pad and Quill, pad&quill, Shoulder strap

For more information about Reviews, cases, and Leather continue reading at 9to5Mac.

What do you think? Discuss "Review: Pad & Quill’s Attaché is timeless, will stand the test of time (Discount+Giveaway)" with our community.

Review: Pad & Quill’s Attaché is timeless, will stand the test of time (Discount+Giveaway)

image03

[Ed. Note: My wife liked this one so much she insisted she review it]

In many ways, my work is old school: unlike my other half, I work in an archive and write about the past. You might call my professional aesthetic “19th century schoolhouse.” Or at most “1920s Paris bookshop.” In other words, Pad&Quill. So when the Minnesota-based makers of the luxurious, leather notebook-style iPhone wallet case sent a new top-shelf work bag to our house, I claimed it. Over the past month I’ve been filling it with my MacBook, iPad, iPhone, papers, pens and books. Voilà the Attaché

The Attaché bag follows the classic standards of its namesake case: it’s boxy, with plenty of space for documents and laptops. The sturdy leather keeps my files from crumpling and my computer from getting dinged — without the bulky (unsightly) padding you usually find in a laptop case.

image07

While the exterior is a nod to the past, the interior reminds me that we live in the twenty-first century. The two compartments I use for my wallet and phone are lined in a bright orange soft suede. A free de-dust-ification every time I use it. Open the zipper pouch and it’s more orange:

image00

The only part of the bag I haven’t found useful are the top straps of the interior pouches. This is because I’m impatient. The layout keeps me organized, but I can’t be bothered to tuck in the contents of those pouches. Instead, I’ve been sticking my lipgloss into the strap loop. The Attaché is fun for a boy or a girl. :)

image09

You can carry the bag by its attaché handle or wear it like I do, à la messenger using a detachable, adjustable strap. If you’re on the shorter side (I’m 5’4”), you might want to have a cobbler add a hole to the belt-like strap. In my case, it sits just perfectly on my hip on the shortest setting.

image02

The hardware used to attach the shoulder strap on either side is extremely robust. This is one of the first things I checked on the Attaché, and here’s why: When I first started my grown-up job, I was carrying a similar, chintzier bag one morning and had the unfortunate experience of having the strap pivot break off while I was greeting my new colleagues. The strap snapped out and the bag dropped right to the floor. Was this former grad student fit for a 9-to-5? I wasn’t feeling it. Not so with the Attaché.

image05

Every detail — copper rivets, interior zipper, front button closure — is sturdy, functional, and beautiful.

image08

The Attaché bag is a welcome complement to the repertoire of Pad & Quill offerings, which began with ultra-slim wallets and sleek Moleskine-styled gadget cases and now include some of the best-looking tech bags you can find (each bag is designed to satisfy). Everything they make is top shelf, with “leaves a good impression”-type quality.

image06

P.S. This bag is truly unisex. But in case you’re not convinced, here’s a picture of a dude wearing the black version. (It’s not a purse, it’s European!)

image04

The Attaché is available on padandquill.com for $440 but Pad & Quill are offering 9to5Mac readers 10% off this bag using code 9to5M at checkout.  Tweet, Facebook Like, Plus this post or sign up for our newsletter (or do all 4 to increase your chances) for a chance to win one in our giveaway.  We’ll notify winner via DM/Facebook/G+/newsletter email and announce the winner on this post next week.


Filed under: Reviews Tagged: Attaché, bags, cases, cloth, Leather, mac case, Pad and Quill, pad&quill, Shoulder strap

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‘Becoming Steve Jobs’ – Meet the Authors Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli at SoHo Apple Store [video]

Becoming Steve Jobs

Apple is clearly a fan of the new Becoming Steve Jobs book (review) by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli ($12+Amazon, $13 iBooks, Free Audible). Apple execs including Tim Cook, Jony IveEddy Cue and PR head Steve Dowling have all praised it and it is has headlined the iBookstore for over a week.  Its latest promo of the book is a 49-minute iTunes Podcast video of the authors getting interviewed at the SoHo New York Apple Store.

The interview is hosted by Daring Fireball’s John Gruber, who announced the book originally and is definitely worth a watch (or listen). Both the 49-minute video and audio are available here.

Another Meet the Authors is scheduled for April 7th at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View California.

 

Becoming-steve-jobs

 


Filed under: AAPL Company

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10 reasons why Apple is to blame for the decline of iPad sales

KGI

It has been a tough slough for Apple’s iPad since the height of its popularity in 2013. Facing its second straight year of negative growth, there isn’t a consensus on why iPad sales have declined. I believe the slump is attributable to a combination of factors.

Apple CEO Tim Cook called the declining iPad sales a “speed bump” last year before the launch of the 2014 models, but we haven’t seen what Apple plans to do to rejuvenate the product. From my point of view, Apple itself has done more to hurt iPad sales than any external factor, such as Microsoft or Google.

But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Here’s a full explanation of my theory…

1. Apple’s bigger iPhone 6 Plus phablet has made the once popular iPad mini all but pointless. That’s not entirely true – there are significant cost differences and over 2 inches of additional diagonal screen real estate – but having a huge iPhone makes having a small tablet a lot less desirable. Combine that with the fact that most people buy their phones subsidized, and a much faster, sleeker iPhone 6 Plus costs about the same as an iPad mini up front.

Below the cannibalization of the iPad is shown in a chart from Credit Suisse. Characterizing phablets as “4+ inches” seems a little out of date, but the point is clear, phablets like the iPhone 6 are eating into tablet share across the board.
phablet killing ipad

2. This year’s iPad hardware updates weren’t terribly magical. The iPad mini got Touch ID (at a $100 price premium). The Air 2 got both faster and lighter, which is always great. And both became available in gold. But for people like me who are very content with the iPad Air – discussed in point 10 below – adding Touch ID or a golden housing wasn’t a big enough incentive to upgrade. Would sales have taken off if Apple offered more storage on the lower end, more laptop-like features, or lower costs?

3. New tiny 12-inch MacBook sales will impact professional/luxury iPad users. The 2-lb light weight and super portability will bring over folks who can spend a lot to get the latest technology. In fact, lowering the prices on the very popular MacBook Air to near cost parity per GB basis also makes a MacBook Air seem like the better deal (128GB MacBook Air: $899 retail, but often lower, versus 128GB iPad w/cellular: $829).

When I go to bed at night and have my iPad Air for consumption, there is often something important that I can only do well on my Mac (like adding something important to this post). This has happened so many times that the iPad doesn’t get picked up at bedtime much anymore. If I lost my iPad Air this week, I’d probably replace it with a MacBook.

4. Split screen iPad support and other laptop-like functionality is late in coming. If those features come out this year, and I think they will, a lot of professionals will jump on board. Currently functionality that makes an iPad a better solution to a problem than a laptop is often lacking.

5. Microsoft and its ecosystem have been making inroads into the professional ranks. You have to admit some of the hardware the Windows folks are putting out isn’t bad, especially when a hybrid computer can go from a MacBook Air form factor into a tablet form factor with a swinging hinge. Yes, I know Apple’s philosophy is not to marry toasters and refrigerators, but tablets and laptops aren’t that different anymore.

Even if they aren’t right, many folks will choose a convertible laptop-tablet PC over an iPad or a MacBook for that matter.

6imgres. Chromebooks in education. Google Chromebooks have been eating Apple’s lunch in education and ironically the iconic appeal of the iPad is partially responsible. A sysadmin for a large school district tells me that the iPad trials went something like this: 100 iPads were given out to 4th graders. Within a month, over 50% of them went missing, and a few of them broke, while 10% of them were jailbroken or hacked. At the same time, with a similar Chromebook rollout, only 10% went missing, a few of them broke, and none of them were hacked (though it is certainly hackable). Give kids free iPads and they’ll have a tendency to disappear or get subverted for personal gain.

Apple has done some work in getting its iPads in schools with some noted success and other spectacular failures.  A new initiative may really help but the fact that most schools either have Microsoft or Google email/apps on the backend means it is going to be tough.

7.  Pricing. Apple could sell iPads at lower price points if it really wanted to. In fact, we’ve seen major retailers cutting as much as $130 off the price of new iPad Air 2s, and up to $200 on the high-end models. Subsidies are another option. Apple was able to stave off any encroachment from the Amazon Fire Phone because it offers iPhones at low price points (including “free” with plan). Apple, however, has no protection for its iPad line when Amazon comes in at $100 or less for a new Fire tablet. Fire tablets continue to be popular though Amazon won’t let you know any numbers.  Spotting a Fire Phone is harder than finding a Sasquatch.

Also, 16GB is not enough space on the low end. Apple can afford to pop in 32GB of storage on the entry-level iPads and I think they will go up to this amount this year. 16GB isn’t enough for even a base model iPhone in my opinion, and with the bigger display, iPad apps need bigger files.

8. Killer App? You need a smartphone for certain things. You need a computing device for other things. There are very few apps that need an iPad, especially when you have a big iPhone in your pocket and a 2 lb. Mac next to your bed.

9. Marketing and the Apple Watch. iPad hasn’t been getting the marketing spend it got in its first years for a variety of reasons. Last year Apple had the big iPhones to explain to the public. Before that it was iOS 7’s new look and feel. This year it seems Apple is focusing its attention and every extra marketing dollar on the Apple Watch.

But Apple Watch isn’t just hurting the iPad from a marketing standpoint. Those of us who have a yearly Apple discretionary fund of $500 or so bucks aren’t likely going to put it towards the iPad this year. And Apple announced the Watch right before the holiday shopping season. Sure, that was mostly to dissuade people from buying other watches, but some folks also probably held off on Apple purchases.

ipad-iphone-mac

On a higher level, it also makes me wonder if Apple’s got a new paradigm. Instead of iPhone|iPad|Mac, is Apple now promoting: Watch+CarPlay+Apple TV+Accessories|iPhone|Mac in its “3 screens” paradigm? Where does iPad fit?

10. Perhaps this is unintuitive, but Apple’s incredible build quality coupled with genuine efforts to update old iPads to the latest version of iOS has made the decision to purchase a new iPad a difficult one. My old iPads still look, feel and work great. My son can still use our original iPad and a lot of the apps he likes. I bought an iPad Air last year, and it is hard to justify the purchase of a new one (even though retailers are discounting the heck out of them). My wife uses an iPad 3, and for what she does on it, there is no reason to update.

The good news here is that much of the iPad’s sales decline can be fixed by Apple, because it’s responsible for most of the issues above. An iPad Pro, price drops, a better iPad iOS version with split-screen support, and better integration with keyboards are all ways Apple could stop the decline in iPad sales and get the platform growing again. More and more engaging marketing wouldn’t hurt, either.

Perhaps Apple can fit iPad in between the Apple Watch launch and the launch of the new Apple TV?


Filed under: AAPL Company, iOS Devices, Opinion Tagged: Apple Inc, Apple watch, decline, iOS, iPad, iPhone, Market share, Microsoft, Revenue

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