Too Late?

Apple Store EmployeesAugusta’s finally getting an “official” Apple Store, but is it too late?

ifoApple Store reported yesterday: “All of Georgia’s Apple stores are clustered within a 27-mile circle north and east of Atlanta, but not for long. Apple will open a retail store at the Augusta Mall in that city, 125 miles east of Atlanta. The 1.1 million square-foot mall along Interstate 20 is operated by General Growth Properties, and features 134 shops. The mall completed a Main Street-type expansion and renovation (The Augusta Promenade) last month, where Apple could open by July 2009.”

Additional confirmation can be found on the Apple US Jobs site where it lists Augusta, GA has a new store.

peachmac_homeI talked about the Apple Retail Void in this region almost two years ago. But it wasn’t Apple that stepped up to fill the need. PeachMac saw an opportunity in the Augusta, GA area and opened up an awesome store in Columbia County just a couple of months ago. Darryl, who is – I assume – an employee of some degree at PeachMac, wrote in a forum regarding the Apple Store news:

“Just wanted to point out that Apple is already in Augusta. PeachMac is one of the country’s largest Apple dealers, and recently opened a store on Washington Road in Evans. We stock more than twice as many items as an Apple company store and no appointment is needed for service. “

I’m glad to see Apple finally taking notice of our community, but I hate that it’s coming so soon after PeachMac has setup shop here. I think the two stores can and will coexist. But I wonder how many people who are looking to buy an Apple product will go directly to an Apple Store instead of buying from a retailer that is more invested in the community they are serving? We’ll see… The new store could be open as early as July 2009.

Why I Still Won’t be Getting an iPhone

iphone PCWorld offered up 5 Reasons to Buy the iPhone 3G and I’m here to tell you why I won’t be buying into the hype. Before I go on, I should note that I own an 8GB iPod touch and use a Motorola E815 on the Alltel network. This article specifically addresses the points made in the PCWorld article. I recommend reading it first.

  1. Price. Yeah, the price drops on the new iPhone are nice, but the rate plans suck. 3G service will now cost folks an additional $10/month. Nevermind the fact that everyone who’s already bought an iPhone and wants to upgrade will essentially need to break their contract and pay a penalty to get the latest and greatest. Oh, and did I mention there’s a two-year contract?
  2. 3G Browsing Speed. Yes, 3G is faster than what the first-generation iPhone is capable of, but I’d imagine that for most people, the load times are tolerable. Also, the switch to 3G comes at a cost: According to reports, iPhone activation will now need to happen in-store.
  3. Great International Support. Seriously? The only reason for this “push” is because iPhones are being unlocked everywhere.
  4. Applications Galore. All of which can be had on the first-generation iPhone and iPod touch (for a $9.95 fee). The App Store is going to be a great thing for Apple mobile users, but it’s not something you HAVE to upgrade to 3G (or ditch your iPod touch) for.
  5. iPhone: Still at the head of the Class. The iPhone is not the best phone out there. It still can’t record video. It can’t handle MMS. It promises the “real” web, but ignores popular plugins such as Flash which are a part of the “real” web and aren’t going away.

Where the iPhone gets things right is that it puts things together in a nice, user-friendly package, but nothing about it is truly groundbreaking. Upcoming smartphones, such as the Blackberry Thunder, Samsung Instinct or Omnia, or the HTC Touch Diamond will do more, offer greater expansion capabilities, better quality camera optics and much, much more.

I love Apple products but there just isn’t enough of a difference in the new iPhone to make me run out and buy it on July 11.

Amazon takes on Apple with DRM-Free Music

Amazon takes on Apple with DRM-free music.

I’ve used iTunes since it was first released in 2001. When music was first sold via iTunes, I bought into the idea right away and stopped buying CDs altogether. I didn’t care about DRM and I didn’t care about bit-rates. When they started selling TV shows, I didn’t hesitate to buy shows like Heroes, Lost, South Park and Lil’ Bush. When they started selling iTunes Plus tracks, I bought those too. The idea of paying a little more for better quality, unprotected music made sense to me.

Then Amazon started offering DRM-free tracks, and they started offering them for less than copy-protected, lower-quality tracks on iTunes were selling for. Initially, I resisted. I told myself that nothing could work as well as iTunes. But then I tried AmazonMP3. Yeah, there’s a couple of extra steps involved in buying and downloading a track, but it’s worth the extra quality and cost savings.

I haven’t bought from iTunes since. It’s still my player of choice, and I still get TV shows from it fairly often, but now that there’s a viable alternative for buying music, I’m not sure I can go back.

WTF Apple. srlsy?

WTF Apple. srlsy?
So… in order to get functionality that probably should have been included with the iPod touch to begin with… you’re going to charge me $20 for it. Are you out of your effing gourd, Apple?

This is in bad form, especially considering this product is only around four months old, and today’s update was software only and available for free to people who buy the iPod touch today.

I can only hope that the decision to charge for these wasn’t Apple’s idea. After all, if you had an iPod that could almost everything the iPhone could, what motivation would people have to get get the iPhone?

iPhone owners to get $100 credit

Fact: Early adopters always pay too much for new technology. Yesterday’s announcement that the iPhone would be receiving a $200 price drop created a pretty strong backlash. Enough so that an Open Letter to iPhone Owners from Steve Jobs was posted to the Apple website today. Long story short, if you bought an iPhone anytime in the past two months, you’re entitled to a $100 Apple Store or Apple Online Store credit for use towards any Apple products. Sure, it’s not the $200 extra you paid on the iPhone, but heck… it’s a down payment on one of the new iPod nano’s you’ve been drooling over since yesterday.

Why I won’t be getting an iPhone

Sorry for the light posting as of late. I’ve been swamped at work, and trying to spend less time online at home. That, and I didn’t really have anything to post about…


My wife asked me last night why I didn’t want an iPhone. And as soon as I came in this morning, coworkers were asking to see mine. (I had to inform them, that they aren’t available until 6pm tonight…) I’m not going to get an iPhone… not now anyways. It’s a beautiful piece of hardware, and I’d love to have one at some point, but for now, I’ll pass. There’s a couple of reasons for this:

  1. It’s a first generation product, that’s bound to have some issues. Don’t get me wrong. Apple makes some sweet products, but their first gen stuff has issues from time to time.
  2. PowerServe, the company I work for, takes care of my cellphone for me.
  3. The largest capacity iPhone isn’t big enough. If and when I were to get an iPhone, I want one that’s going to easily replace my 80Gb iPod that’s nearly filled to the brim with movies, tv shows and music. 8Gb just doesn’t cut it.

At some point, I might be in the market for one, but for now I’m saving up to get a Digital SLR, such as the Nikon D40 or Canon Digital Rebel XT.

Safari on Windows

Safari 3 Installation Welcome Screen

I think that it’s pretty safe to assume that by this point you’ve either used Safari on a Mac or you haven’t. I’ve used Safari for a number of years, but it has never become my browser of choice. Why? Quite simply: Firefox is more extensible and Camino is quicker on a Mac.

The introduction of Safari 3 to XP and Vista definitely changes the playing field. It’s tough to say whether Safari will enjoy the same sort of growth that Firefox has experienced over the past couple of years, but being available on both Mac and PC now certainly can’t hurt.

Browser Testing

Safari 3 Beta on Windows is going to make browser testing that much easier. Seeing as the iPhone will use Safari as it’s browser du jour, Windows designers/developers will be able to develop and test applications for it without having to own a Mac. I own two older Macs, and will test sites in Safari from time to time, but it’s never been a high priority for me. (Heck, even my site has some issues with the footer in Safari… which I hope to address soon.)


Because it’s not heavily integrated into Windows, you breathe a little bit easier knowing that the browser (probably) isn’t going to suffer from the same problems/exploits that Internet Explorer has to deal with.


Safari’s also going to change the way you view things on the web. Seriously. Have you seen how gorgeous typography looks in Safari? Microsoft ClearType can’t touch it. Neither can any other browser on Windows. I can only hope that Microsoft and Mozilla see Safari on Windows and work to improve how type looks in the browser. Aliased type is easier to read, and gives sites more of a printed-word feel, in my opinion.

Gateway Drug

Oh, and did I mention that Safari is yet another Apple gateway drug? Between Quicktime, iTunes and now Safari, Apple is attempting to bring part of the Mac experience to PC users. The best thing Apple ever did was open the iPod up to Windows. It makes sense for Apple to release (free) software for the PC as long as it serves as a mechanism to get PC users to buy Mac hardware.

All in all, the introduction of Safari can only be a good thing for users. It probably won’t become the browser of choice for a number of them, but having a choice is what’s most important.