Robert X. Cringely is one of the finest, smartest commentators on technology with the inside track on almost everything of note in the world of technology and an unbelievably deep understanding of all things geek, from the most arcane algorithmic processes or hardware designs to the most fuzzy social ties and political manoeuvrings. I have loved his blog for many years because he sees things that others don’t notice and, even if they do, his powers of prediction verge on the uncanny so he is nearly always worth listening to.
In this post he comments on the unlikely discovery of the next generation of iPhone in a bar at a time when Apple might benefit considerably from such a leak. No big surprises, just Apple doing the usual thing of giving us what they (deliberately) left out last time and should have provided in the first place if they weren’t such a nasty but brilliant money-grabbing organisation – a front-facing camera, in particular.
However, perhaps the most interesting observation for those of us in academia is that Apple’s higher education sales and support division is going to close down after 25 years, with the funds going into Apple Stores and telemarketing. I guess it was inevitable and it’s not a huge loss. Apple don’t need it any more – they are sufficiently entrenched in HE and every other market, and their special-purpose computers like the iPod, iPhone and iPad don’t need that special educational slant or pricing to get well used. Plus, lest we think they have forgotten us, iTunes U is way more high profile, successful and glamorous than sales and support ever were.