All posts in 2010

Win: December 2010

Gamers can be so uncivilized sometimes. But we know you MacLife folk are different. You’re one of a kind. And as the Mac gets more and more games, you gamer folk are multiplying. That’s why this month we’re going to make sure at least one of you is civilized, by giving away a signed copy of Civilization V: Special Edition for Mac.

efa
The unsigned version runs for .99, but add on to that the fact that at press time the Mac version is still not available to the public, and the Sid Meier’s autograph, and you’re talking about a completely priceless collector’s item. To enter, just leave a comment on the page and tell us your favorite Mac OSX game and why it’s your favorite. We’ll select the winner at random and print the winner in a coming issue. Happy gaming!

The fine print:

Mac|Life “Civilized Gamers!” Contest rules: One entry per person. The winner will be chosen at random from qualified entries. All entries must be received no later than December 31, 2010, with the winner announced in the March/11 issue. By entering this contest, you agree that Future US, Inc. may use your name, likeness, and website for promotional purposes without further payment. Employees of Sponsor, its respective parent, subsidiaries, affiliated companies, and agents, and foregoing employees¹ household or immediate family members (defined as parent, spouse, child, sibling, or grandparent) are NOT eligible to enter Contest. All prizes will be awarded, and no minimum number of entries is required. If two or more people enter identical designs and that entry is selected as the winner, the entry received first will be awarded the contest prize. Prizes won by minors will be awarded to their parents or legal guardians. Future US, Inc. is not responsible for damages or expenses the winners might incur as a result of this contest or the receipt of a prize, and winners are responsible for income taxes based on the value of the prize received. A list of winners may also be obtained by sending a stamped, self-addressed envelope to Future US, Inc. c/o Mac|Life Contest, 4000 Shoreline Court, Suite 400, South San Francisco, CA 94080. This contest is limited to residents of the United States. No purchase necessary; void in Arizona, Maryland, Vermont, Puerto Rico, and where prohibited by law.

News

DonorsChoose 2010: Week 4. Win a fabulous on-the-go prize pack!

You guys are amazing! We have raised ,633 through right now. That’s 1,753 students affected in all those classrooms. And I’m just blown away by your generosity and general awesomeness.

But you know who else is blown away, or about to be? All of us, by those PC-using weirdos over at MaximumPC. Yep, they’re still ahead of us on the leaderboard, by just under 0, with ,724 as of right now.

This is the final week of our 2010 DonorsChoose Challenge, so let’s step it up and outgive Maximum PC’s readers, OK? Mac! Life! Mac! Life! Mac! Life! (Sorry, I’ve always been a sucker for a really good chant.)

To sweeten the pot I’ve got a really great prize pack to give away. But before we talk about what’s in it for you, how about hearing from the teachers whose projects we’ve been busily funding all month long. Our Giving Page currently has 33 completed projects that we and other donors knocked out of the park, and some of the thank-you notes from the teachers are beyond touching.

Ms. B, who teaches at an elementary school in North Carolina that’s getting new LEGOs, writes, “Our students have so much potential that needs to be tapped. Your donation to these children will give them the tools to practice expressing their own creative spirits in a safe and cooperative environment.” And they’ll have fun doing it, too!

Ms. L, from an elementary school in Upper Michigan, got a new Mac mini for her classroom, with lots of help from us. She writes, “Many of my students are looking for new connection with reading. Being able to listen to themselves and their classmates read, to edit and produce book commercials, and to take pride in their literacy is going to change their lives.”

See, you guys are changing lives!!!

So how about a little more? Give to a project on our Giving Page this week, and forward me your email receipt to susie at maclife.com by Saturday October 30 at 11:59pm Pacific, and I’ll enter you in this week’s drawing. The prize pack is huge and awesome, like the kind and generous hearts of our donors.

>> Scosche IDR655m earphones with tapLINE II controller (for controlling your iPhone, iPod touch, and the other iPods). I’m reviewing these now and (spoiler alert) I love them. You get a brand-new pair, though. Because sharing earbuds is gross. .99 retail value.
>> iDapt i4 Universal charger, which can keep your phone, iPod, camera, and other gadgets charged, up to four at a time. This iDapt is pink, too. Fabulous! .99 retail value.
>> iMainGo 2, a speaker-equipped carrying case for your iPod, iPhone, or other MP3 player. (The box says Zune, but we’re not familiar with that term.) .95 value.
>> AViiQ portable laptop stand. This is the world’s thinnest laptop stand, folding down to an astonishing 1/4 inch thick for easy portability. Improves your ergonomics and it’s good looking too. .95 retail value.
>> The Ballistic HC case for iPhone 4. This thing is hardcore, total protection, keeping your iPhone safe from almost everything except flamethrowers and X-Men. .99 retail value.


One person will get alllll this. And it could be you if you donate and enter.

All in all that’s a prize bonanza worth 9.87. We’d like to thank our friends at Scosche, Ballistic, iDapt, iMainGo, and AViiQ for donating the prizes. Enter today! Official rules in the FAQ, and feel free to email me if you have questions.

Oh yes, and big congratulations to last week’s winners! We’re sending game packs from Aspyr to Rachel F., Stephen D., and Patrick N., plus bonus prizes to a whole bunch of other nice people. Watch your mailboxes for gratitude and free stuff!

It’s the last week of October. We’ve got more kids to help. Let’s do this.

News

Highest Revenue Ever! Apple’s $20 Billion Q4 2010 Financial Results

Apple logo on glass

It’s almost hard to remember a time when Apple wasn’t making money hand over fist, especially with multiple quarters in a row boasted as their biggest yet. Cupertino didn’t disappoint Wall Street once again, racking up fiscal fourth quarter revenue of .34 billion and a net quarterly profit of .31 billion.

Apple just released the results of their fiscal fourth quarter for 2010 (actually the calendar third quarter which ended on September 30) and there are few surprises. The company had another record-breaking quarter, with revenue of .34 billion and net quarterly profit of .31 billion or .64 per diluted share, compared with .21 billion, net quarterly profit of .52 billion and .77 per diluted share for the same quarter a year ago. That’s 70 percent year-over-year growth, beating previous quarterly earning records by 0 million.

“We are blown away to report over billion in revenue and over billion in after-tax earnings — both all-time records for Apple,” said CEO Steve Jobs in a company statement. “iPhone sales of 14.1 million were up 91 percent year-over-year, handily beating the 12.1 million phones RIM sold in their most recent quarter.”

iOS Devices

Apple’s sales were up in almost every category, with the iPod line showing the only decline with 9.05 million sold during the quarter, an 11 percent decline over the same quarter a year ago — and likely because more customers are picking up iPhones and iPads. But don’t cry for Apple, because the iPod still holds 70 percent of the MP3 player market, according to the latest NPD sales data.

As Jobs noted, the iPhone shot past Blackberry maker Research in Motion with 14.1 million units sold, up a whopping 91 percent from the same quarter last year — compared to 64 percent growth for the overall smartphone market.

The iPhone is now on 166 carriers in 89 countries, and has had very strong year over year growth in Asia and Japan. Apple also noted that the iPhone once again ranked highest in smartphone customer satisfaction from J.D. Power & Associates, with enterprise adoption accelerating from 60 to nearly 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies.

Apple’s iPad sales for the quarter were 4.19 million — those sales figures were about the only thing to disappoint Wall Street, who had anticipated much larger numbers from the tablet device. Apple’s COO Tim Cook tempered that sentiment during the conference call by reminding everyone that enterprise adoption for the iPad is off the chart, with two-thirds of the Fortune 100 either deploying or piloting the device, concluding “This isn’t a hobby or something we’re doing lightly.”

Speaking of hobby devices, Jobs also divulged during the Q&A conference call that the new iOS-enabled Apple TV has sold 250,000 units, which the company is extremely pleased with.

Macintosh

It wasn’t all about Apple’s mobile lineup, either — the company shipped 3.89 million Macs during the fiscal fourth quarter, which was also an increase of 27 percent over the same period last year — and more than double the projected growth for the overall PC market.

The iMac in particular had very strong sales following its July refresh, and Mac growth was strong in every market, with Asia/Pacific and Japan showing the most growth.

On Competition

CEO Steve Jobs crashed the conference call to get in a few well-placed digs at competitors such as Research in Motion, reiterating that the iPhone has now flown past RIM’s Blackberry sales. “We’ve now passed RIM,” Jobs trumpeted, “and I don’t see them catching up with us in the future.” Considering that RIM is selling a variety of different Blackberry devices at any given time versus Apple’s two iPhone models (the iPhone 4 and 3GS), Apple’s sales figures are even more impressive.

And Jobs didn’t stop there — he leapt right into an even more intensive attack on Google, once again questioning the search giant’s recent claims that they are activating 200,000 Android devices every day. Jobs claims that Apple has activated 275,000 iOS devices per day for the last 30 days on average, although that no doubt includes the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

“There’s no solid data on how many Android phones are shipped each quarter,” Jobs lamented. “We hope that manufacturers will start reporting on the number of Android phones shipped.”

Jobs also took Mountain View to task over Google’s claims that Android is an open OS while Apple’s iOS is closed, claiming that developers have a huge challenge in supporting the 244 different Android handsets shipped over the last 12 months, while the App Store’s developers have only two — the current and previous version of iOS. The situation is likely to get even worse, with competing app markets coming from the likes of Vodafone and Verizon, which Jobs called “a mess for both users and developers.”

On the subject of the iPad, Jobs is confident that Apple will triumph over Google’s “fragmented approach” and remains committed to Cupertino’s “integrated approach” which Google paints as being closed. Noting that there are an “avalanche of tablets arriving in the coming months,” but noting that they are mostly seven-inch form factors versus the iPad’s roomier 10-inch screen — and that Google is going out of its way to tell tablet manufacturers not to use their latest Android 2.2 “Froyo,” and to wait for a tablet-specific version coming next year. “What does it mean when your software supplier tells you not to use their software in the tablets?” Jobs quipped.

Jobs was also quick to throw cold water on the idea of a seven-inch iPad, which has been widely rumored as being in Apple’s radar. “We’re not making a seven-inch tablet because we don’t want to hit a lower price point,” Jobs noted. “We just believe it’s too small to hit the user experience that people want.”

Finally, Jobs noted that there are 35,000 apps in the App Store today, while new tablets have “zero” and that iPad competitors are having a rough time competing with the device on price alone, even at the seven-inch screen size. “We think the current crop of seven-inch tablets will be DOA (dead on arrival),” Jobs concluded.

Questions & Answers

Following CEO Steve Jobs’ rapid-fire assault on the competition, the focus shifted to a question and answer session with analysts and investors, largely focused at the iPad and the iPhone. Regarding supply constraints on the iPad, Apple claims the situation is improving as their international rollout continues over the holiday season.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster queried Apple on its business for the next year or two, where Steve Jobs sees the iPad “clearly” affecting the notebook computer market. “I think the iPad proves that it’s not a question of ‘if’ but ‘when,’” Jobs noted. When asked about the iPad being Apple’s second main business behind the iPhone, Jobs added that the company is already shipping more iPads than Macs, which speaks for itself. “We’re out to win this one,” Jobs said regarding the iPad. There was also the obligatory question about Adobe Flash compatibility, to which Jobs quipped, “Flash memory? We love Flash memory.”

On the subject of the smartphone being a “zero-sum” game, Jobs noted that in the next year or two, many non-smartphone users will convert to smartphones “and the pie is going to continue to grow. It’s a battle for mindshare right now, and iPhone and Android are winning that bat
tle.”

Jobs was in a particularly feisty mood when asked about the risks being managed in taking on the likes of Google’s Android. “Our goal is to be the best,” Jobs confidently stated. “We’re not the biggest — that’s Nokia. We admire them, but we don’t aspire to be them. Android is our biggest competitor — they outshipped us in the June quarter when we were caught in a transition, and we’ll see about the September quarter.”

The CEO also didn’t mince words on low-price dominance, claiming that Apple “doesn’t know how to make great handsets” like the models offered by competitor Nokia. “Our goal is to make great, breakthrough products but also drive costs down. We’re all about the best products at aggressive prices.”

Apple wrapped up the earnings conference call by fielding a question on what the company plans to do with its billion pile of cash, noting that “We firmly believe that one or more unique, strategic opportunities will present itself to us, and we’ll be in a position to take advantage of it” rather than simply return some of that cash pile to shareholders.

Finally, Jobs noted in the company’s press release that “We still have a few surprises left for the remainder of this calendar year” — and we’re guessing that at least some of those will have the curtain drawn on them at Wednesday’s media event at Apple’s Cupertino campus.

Apple is anticipating revenue of billion in its fiscal first quarter of 2011, or .80 per diluted share, which means the company is again looking up, up up. Apple’s fiscal year 2010 fourth quarter results conference call is available as a QuickTime stream for the next week, and recommended listening just for the Steve Jobs quotes alone.

Check out Steve’s comments below.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

News

DonorsChoose 2010: Week 2. Win an iHome iP1!

Well, it’s official. You guys are awesome.

We got 9 in donations during week 1, from 24 awesome people. (24! We had 38 donors last year over the whole month, so 24 in just the first week is a great start.) Your donations have affected 675 students. And we’re just getting warmed up.


Oooh, that’s pretty close.

MaximumPC is beating us, though. At this writing, they are at 2 donated from 22 donors. So we are beating them donor-wise, but they’re still outgiving us by a bit. So I encourage you to increase our Mac-user, uh, market share, for lack of a better word, and see if we can pass them up this week.

And if you do donate this week, and forward your DonorsChoose receipt to me at susie at maclife.com, you’ll be entered to win this week’s prize! Which is the rockin’ iHome iP1, a kickass iPod speaker dock that retails for 0. This one is straight from the MacLife testing lab, where it received a 4 out of 5 and Editors’ Choice accolades. If you don’t have an iPod or iPhone, you can also connect any audio device with a headphone jack. It’s sweet. You want it.


iHome’s iP1 is thumpin’, and could be yours.

Deadline for that: Saturday, October 16, 11:59pm Pacific. Just donate or more to any project on our Giving Page, then forward me your email receipt by the deadline (susie at maclife.com), and I’ll do the drawing and announce a winner next Monday. Full rules are on the FAQ.

We’d also like to congratulate last week’s winners! Loriann won the big week 1 prize, the Kanto SYD 5 speaker system. She gave to the “I Can’t Wait to Go to the Art Center Today!” project, which has since been completed. (Click the link to read the thank-you note posted by the teacher.) Congrats, Loriann, and thanks for donating!


Loriann, from Sioux City, Iowa, won this. She said, “COOL!!!”

Congrats also go to Eric, who won the super-secret bonus drawing — this week it was for people who mentioned the podcast. Eric picked up this awesome Star Trek Enterprise Pizza Slicer from ThinkGeek.com. He donated to the “Time for Kids to Learn About the World” project, which is still 0 from completion. So how about another mini-prize? Donate to that same project by Saturday at 11:59pm (or whenever the project is completed, if it’s before then), and you’ll be entered to win another Star Trek Enterprise Pizza Slicer (as well as the normal week 2 drawing — bonus!). Boldly slice like no one has sliced before!

Eric won this. He said, “OMG the pizza cutter looks like a weapon! I hope I don’t end up with fingers in my pizza!” We hope not, too.

Thanks to all who have donated so far! Especially the rock stars who also gave last year — I recognize your names, and every time DonorsChoose pings me that another donation has been made, I do a little chair dance of glee.

You are awesome. Thank you. Keep up the great work.

 

Follow this article’s author, Susie Ochs on Twitter.

News

DonorsChoose Challenge 2010! Help Kids! Win Prizes! Beat MaximumPC!

Another year, another chance to help public school kids. This month we are once again raising money for DonorsChoose.org, an excellent charity that lets teachers submit proposals for projects they can’t get funded otherwise. Last year, thanks to generous matches from HP and readers like you, we raised more than ,000! Mind-blowingly awesome!

DonorsChoose works like this: You, the donor, gives money to DonorsChoose to fulfill part of all of the project, and when the project is fully funded, DonorsChoose buys the materials for the teacher. And the donors get thanked with emails and photos–and even actual thank-you letters if you give 0 or more.

And here’s how Mac|Life comes in. To motivate you to give to projects on our Giving Page, we’re holding contests all month. To enter, just donate to one of these projects, then forward your email receipt to me at susie at maclife.com. I will email you back a hearty thank-you and enter you in that week’s drawing.

We have tons of prizes to give away all month long, starting with this week’s biggie: a Kanto SYD 5 speaker system, which we rated GREAT and named Gear of the Year in 2009. This puppy is straight from our testing lab, and retails for 9. It works with an iPod of course, but aux and RCA inputs let you connect other music sources, and the wood cabinet’s four powerful speakers sound awesome. To enter, give any amount — even just — to a project on our Giving Page, and forward me the receipt. Your deadline for this Week 1 prize is 11:59pm Pacific time this Saturday, October 9, 2010.


Win this Kanto! Just forward me your receipt by 11:59pm Pacific on Saturday, October 9. Winner announced Monday, October 11. See the FAQ for the official rules.

Our Giving Page is also featured on DonorsChoose’s 10th anniversary leaderboard, where you’ll notice we’re battling our sister magazine MaximumPC! That’s right, it’s a Mac-versus-PC showdown, and your big chance to prove that Mac users have it going on, philanthropically speaking. I mean, we don’t have to spend money on all those virus-sniffing programs, so we’ve got that advantage already…

Want to get involved? Start at our Giving Page, and toss a few dollars toward a project you find meaningful. This class in California needs an iPod touch. This elementary class in Michigan wants a Mac mini for the library. An early childhood center in South Carolina needs art supplies. And this teacher wants to rock her classroom’s world with everyone’s favorite educational supertoy: LEGOs. (LEGOs in school! Come on now, that rocks!)

So dig deep, give generously, and email me your receipts to be entered to win the Kanto. Watch our total grow on the leaderboard. Let’s show MaximumPC that while we’ll never agree on an OS, we all want to help kids succeed in school. Leave a comment or send me an email if you have questions, a project we should add to the Giving Page, or anything like that. I’ve got an FAQ here with the official contest rules. Gooooo MacLife.com and go DonorsChoose!

News

New Details on Rumored 2010 iPod touch and nano

iPod nano 2010 leak
(Image courtesy of MacRumors and Apple.pro)

If sources close to Apple are to believed, the iPod touch may be getting a substantial overhaul with the 2010 model expected next week — and that an earlier leak of a small touchscreen device seen above may actually be the next iPod nano.

iLounge is reporting that the fourth generation iPod touch may very well change the appearance of its back when it’s introduced next week. Those who love the dome-like curved back of the second and third generation iPod touches seems to be out, according to a source “who would have reason to know.”

“Think of the top of a MacBook Pro, only smaller, which is to say flat rather than curved at the center — closer to the look of the first-generation iPod touch’s back, only with modifications,” iLounge explains. “The rear camera is there, but there is still some question as to whether what’s next to it will be a LED flash like the one in the iPhone 4, or a microphone like the one next to the video camera of the iPod nano.”

What will likely remain the same on the iPod touch is the bottom-mounted headphone port and the dock connector port. The new details seem to also be tossing cold water on the theories of a front-facing, FaceTime-enabled camera on the updated media player.

So what about the little touchscreen device seen above? “We’re continuing to hear from sources that the little touchscreen device — the one with the sub-2-inch screen — is being thought of as a nano rather than a shuffle, even though it doesn’t make much sense to us,” iLounge concludes.

We’ll all know soon enough, when Apple kicks off their media event at 10:00AM PDT on Wednesday, September 1.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

News

New Details on 2010 iPod touch and nano

iPod nano 2010 leak
(Image courtesy of MacRumors and Apple.pro)

If sources close to Apple are to believed, the iPod touch may be getting a substantial overhaul with the 2010 model expected next week — and that an earlier leak of a small touchscreen device seen above may actually be the next iPod nano.

iLounge is reporting that the fourth generation iPod touch may very well change the appearance of its back when it’s introduced next week. Those who love the dome-like curved back of the second and third generation iPod touches seems to be out, according to a source “who would have reason to know.”

“Think of the top of a MacBook Pro, only smaller, which is to say flat rather than curved at the center — closer to the look of the first-generation iPod touch’s back, only with modifications,” iLounge explains. “The rear camera is there, but there is still some question as to whether what’s next to it will be a LED flash like the one in the iPhone 4, or a microphone like the one next to the video camera of the iPod nano.”

What will likely remain the same on the iPod touch is the bottom-mounted headphone port and the dock connector port. The new details seem to also be tossing cold water on the theories of a front-facing, FaceTime-enabled camera on the updated media player.

So what about the little touchscreen device seen above? “We’re continuing to hear from sources that the little touchscreen device — the one with the sub-2-inch screen — is being thought of as a nano rather than a shuffle, even though it doesn’t make much sense to us,” iLounge concludes.

We’ll all know soon enough, when Apple kicks off their media event at 10am PST on Wednesday, September 1.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

News