Ever since the App Store launched and the first app developer complained publicly about having his app rejected, Apple’s received a lot of criticism about how it’s run the App Store. Developers have been angry that rejections occur without clear reasoning and are impossible to appeal.
Recently, more developers got up in arms about a change to Apple’s developer guidelines that banned all app development outside of Apple’s Xcode system, shutting out not just Adobe’s Flash, but other tools such as RealBASIC and Runtime Revolution, and throwing into question the status of many apps that use scripting languages as a part of their construction.
We’ve just launched Macworld Insider, a new club that grants members access to special features on Macworld.com that go beyond anything you can get here for free.
Before I explain a little bit about what Macworld Insider is and why we’re introducing it, let me tell you quickly what it isn’t: It isn’t a scheme to wall off the stuff you’re used to reading on Macworld.com so that you can’t see it unless you pay. We’re not throwing any of our news, reviews, opinion pieces, how-to articles, or tips and tricks over the wall. Everything that’s already on the site will remain here, for free.
What we’ve done is create some new site features and package them together into the new Macworld Insider.
Creating a Macworld magazine cover is a complicated process. We editors have to come up with topics worthy of the cover, of course. But then it’s up to our creative team to get down to details, coming up with the right words and images to grab a potential reader’s eye.
The primary job of a print magazine's cover is to grab the attention of a potential buyer on the newsstand. (While we love our print subscribers, our relationship with them is more of the long-term variety, and they judge us by the content of our issues over the course of a year. The cover itself is evidence of a much more shallow relationship: we’re trying to snag some of the roughly 30,000 people who don’t subscribe to Macworld but pick up an issue on the newsstand from time to time, in airports and Wal-Marts and everywhere in between.)
One of Macworld’s greatest weapons in print is our contributing photographer, Peter Belanger. Peter has shot almost every photograph in the pages of the magazine over the past few years. (While we are one of Peter’s most faithful clients, he also works for plenty of other big names, including HP and, yes, Apple.) One of the great advantages of print as a medium is that it is so graphically rich, and Peter’s photographs are a joy to behold on the pages of our magazine. (The “iPad Test Drive” cover and feature story in our June 2010 issue contain some of my favorite Macworld images ever.)
Apparently I was in serious danger of having my geek card revoked, because early Friday morning I hopped a train for San Diego and spent a day at Comic-Con International for the very first time.
“This is the Comic-Con Express,” came the announcement over the station PA system as the train pulled in. You didn’t have to tell me. I could have figured it out just from the little girl in the Supergirl outfit in the seat right behind mine.
Ever since Apple introduced the App Store, someone or other has written weekly (perhaps daily) about why Apple’s tight control over the App Store is a bad idea. Every time an app is rejected or delayed, the teapot is stirred again.
This isn’t going to be one of those stories where I accuse Apple of being overly controlling and inconsistent with its App Store rejection policies. Nor am I going to demand, as many have, that Apple needs to stop filtering the App Store out of some free-floating sense of fairness and righteousness.
No, I’m here to say to Apple that while I understand very well the reasons for the company’s walled-garden approach to native iPhone OS apps, the strengths of that approach have now been surpassed by the bad publicity and reputation that Apple and its products are now getting in the market as a whole.
Another Apple quarterly financial report, another set of broken records. For a non-holiday quarter, this one was as good as it gets. But beyond the $13.5 billion in sales and the $3.07 billion in profit, there are a bunch of smaller numbers that are worth calling out.
Staggering revenues. But wait—before I get to the smaller numbers, let me revisit that big one. $13.5 billion in revenue is Apple’s second-biggest quarter ever. The biggest, of course, was the previous quarter, which covered the 2009 holiday season. This was not just a good quarter for Apple, it was huge.
iPhone success beyond expectations. When Apple sold 8.7 million iPhones during the quarter encompassing the 2009 holiday season, I don’t think people were entirely surprised. Apple traditionally sells well during the holidays. But how many people expected that this quarter, the company would sell more iPhones than it did in the previous quarter? Yet that’s what happened—a staggering 8.75 million iPhones, at an average selling price of $622. (You read that right — Apple’s figures include the money that carriers such as AT&T pay them for the phones, which they then sell at a discount to users in exchange for signing a two-year contract.)