Are Apple products overpriced?

What we learned: Being loyal to Apple is getting expensive. Many Apple product prices are rising faster than inflation — faster, even, than the price of prescription drugs or going to college. Yet when Apple offers cheaper options for its most important product, the iPhone, Americans tend to take the more expensive choice. So while Apple isn’t charging all customers more, it’s definitely extracting more money from frequent upgraders.

Source: Are Apple products overpriced? – The Washington Post

This 17-Year-Old Has Become Michigan’s Leading Right to Repair Advocate

In 2012, Massachusetts passed a law forcing automotive companies to share diagnostic information with third party repair shops. The law set a precedent and the industry rolled out the changes nationally. Now, Massachusetts has commissioned a study to see if similar legislation should extend to consumer electronics such as smartphones and video game consoles.

Source: This 17-Year-Old Has Become Michigan’s Leading Right to Repair Advocate – Motherboard

Digital music sales on iTunes and beyond are now fading as fast as CDs.

The top 1 percent of bands and solo artists now earn about 80 percent of all revenue from recorded music, as I wrote in “The Shazam Effect.” But the market for streamed music is not so concentrated. The ten most-popular songs accounted for just shy of 2 percent of all streams in 2013 and 2014.

via Digital music sales on iTunes and beyond are now fading as fast as CDs. – The Atlantic.

Apple, IBM partnership yields first results: 10 mobile apps

The plan calls for IBM will resell Apple devices with its software pre-installed. IBM activation, management and security software are also involved in the deal. The partnership aims to give Apple the credibility it still has not quite achieved in IT departments and bring IBM into a popular mobile ecosystem.

via Apple, IBM partnership yields first results: 10 mobile apps | ITworld.

Turning Customers Into Cultists

A number of Bay Area companies have come to incorporate this insight into their marketing strategies. In 2004, shortly after launching the restaurant-review site Yelp, the founders were struggling to grow the company. They decided to convene a gathering of about 100 power-users. The get-together “was a big success,” Ligaya Tichy, who later served as Yelp’s senior community manager, told me. “Bringing users together to share what they loved about the site led to a huge spike in activity. What we realized is that people aren’t really motivated by companies. They’re motivated by other people. We needed to get the message across: you are what makes this product cool.” The number of reviewers on the site grew from 12,000 in 2005 to 100,000 in 2006.

via Turning Customers Into Cultists – The Atlantic.

The Horror of a ‘Secure Golden Key’

A “golden key” is just another, more pleasant, word for a backdoor—something that allows people access to your data without going through you directly. This backdoor would, by design, allow Apple and Google to view your password-protected files if they received a subpoena or some other government directive. You’d pick your own password for when you needed your data, but the companies would also get one, of their choosing. With it, they could open any of your docs: your photos, your messages, your diary, whatever.

via The Horror of a ‘Secure Golden Key’.

Apple will face $350M trial over iPod DRM

Last week, US District Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers gave the green light (PDF) to sending a long-running antitrust lawsuit against Apple to trial. Plaintiffs in the case say that Apple used its FairPlay DRM system to “lock in” its customers and make it costly to switch to technology built by competitors, like Real Networks. They describe how Apple kept updating iTunes to make sure songs bought from Real’s competing digital music store couldn’t be used on iPods. As a result of this lock-in, Apple was able to overcharge its customers to the tune of tens of millions of dollars.

via Apple will face $350M trial over iPod DRM | Ars Technica.

The Problem with Apple and eBooks

Apple would sell more music if they released an Android app, and the same can be said for movies and ebooks. But Apple hasn’t done so, and I think it’s time to acknowledge that the strategy is working for Apple.

That is especially true in the case of ebooks. By my estimate, Apple sells more ebooks than B&N.

via The Problem with Apple and eBooks, Redux | The Digital Reader.