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The Curious State of Apple Product Pricing

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Another good column from Neil Cybart at Above Avalon:

It is very difficult to find a pair of wireless headphones priced lower than AirPods. In the run-up to Apple unveiling AirPods this past September, the wireless headphone market consisted of the following players:

  • Kanoa: $300
  • Bragi Dash: $299
  • Erato Apollo 7: $289
  • Skybuds: $279
  • Earin: $249
  • Motorola VerveOnes+: $249
  • Samsung Gear IconX: $199
  • Bragi Headphone: $149

Given the preceding list, a strong case could have been made for Apple to price its new wireless headphones at $249, or even $299. The fact that Samsung priced its Gear IconX at $199 seemed to suggest a sub-$200 retail price for AirPods was unlikely. Instead, Apple sent shockwaves pulsing through the market by pricing AirPods at only $159. The action instantly removed all available oxygen from the wireless headphone space. The idea of Apple coming out with a new product that would underprice nearly every other competitor was unimaginable ten years ago.

He makes a strong case that Apple Watch is underpriced compared to its competition, too.

AirPods are still showing a delivery estimate of “6 weeks”. Either demands remains unexpectedly strong or production remains unexpectedly difficult (or some combination of both).

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joelowrance
40 days ago
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It is very difficult to find a pair of wireless headphones.... unless you go to amazon where you can get a set of bluetooth headphones for all of $14
kemayo
34 days ago
Those aren't "wireless" in the same sense as the article is talking about, though. It's listing all the ones which are earbuds without any connection between them. The $14 bluetooth headphones I've seen on Amazon have all been connected to each other.
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samuel
40 days ago
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I love my AirPods. I mean dang I didn't think losing the cord was going to be that much of a big deal but I'm now able to listen to music and move about my office with ease.

And now I don't mind having them in my pocket at all times, which is handy when I want to tune out on the bus.
The Haight in San Francisco
lukeburrage
40 days ago
I got some BeatsX and I really dig them. The price and easy connectivity and good battery life have combined to make an almost perfect product.
joelowrance
40 days ago
How well do they stay in when you exercise or are active?
lukeburrage
40 days ago
AirPods or BeatsX? I had issues while juggling but sorted them: https://youtu.be/E7wxvpQSOq0
kemayo
34 days ago
It's weird -- I never realized how subtly limiting that faint drag from the headphone cord was. Now I've experienced life without it, I never want to go back.

Republican Senate Leadership Stops Elizabeth Warren From Reading a Letter From Coretta Scott King

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Jason Kottke:

Last night, during the Senate confirmation hearing of Senator Jefferson Beauregard “Jeff” Sessions III for Attorney General, Senator Elizabeth Warren attempted to read a letter that Coretta Scott King had written to the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1986 opposing Sessions’ nomination for a federal judgeship (which he did not get).

Watch the video — it’s jarring.

I can’t help but feel this is backfiring on the Republicans. I’m seeing far more coverage of their preventing Warren from reading this letter — a letter from Martin Luther King Jr.’s widow! — than we would have seen if they’d simply allowed her to read it.

Every other Democratic senator should attempt to read King’s letter on Sessions. Make the Republicans own this.

See also: This collection of tweets by James Grimmelmann documenting the pro-slavery origins of Rule 19.

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joelowrance
76 days ago
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Wow, and on the same day she announced a new book. Amazing coincidence.
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satadru
77 days ago
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The Rule 19 discussion is BS though. More here: http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2017/02/08/elizabeth_warren_rule_19_and_white_supremacist_ben_tillman.html
New York, NY
wmorrell
77 days ago
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Sharing for the "See also" link to a twitter thread describing the origins of Senate gag rule as the Slave Power throwing a tantrum over any talk of abolishing slavery.

Ev Williams Announces Layoffs at Medium

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Ev Williams, announcing that Medium is laying off a third of its employees and somehow changing its approach to making money:

Upon further reflection, it’s clear that the broken system is ad-driven media on the internet. It simply doesn’t serve people. In fact, it’s not designed to. The vast majority of articles, videos, and other “content” we all consume on a daily basis is paid for — directly or indirectly — by corporations who are funding it in order to advance their goals. And it is measured, amplified, and rewarded based on its ability to do that. Period. As a result, we get…well, what we get. And it’s getting worse.

That’s a big part of why we are making this change today.

We decided we needed to take a different — and bolder — approach to this problem. We believe people who write and share ideas should be rewarded on their ability to enlighten and inform, not simply their ability to attract a few seconds of attention. We believe there are millions of thinking people who want to deepen their understanding of the world and are dissatisfied with what they get from traditional news and their social feeds. We believe that a better system — one that serves people — is possible. In fact, it’s imperative.

Sounds good, but with no details as to what this “different — and bolder — approach” is, it’s hard to judge.

I also don’t think the problem is “ad-driven media on the internet” in general, but rather, the specific ways most ad-driven media on the internet work — and have worked, ever since the first banner ad in 1994. Measuring clicks and page views inevitably leads to clickbait. Instead, measure attention. There’s no way to cheat that other than by producing content that is worthy of attention.

Sidenote: Does anyone actually like those “highlights from other users” on Medium? I find them distracting and gross, and the more popular an article is, the more of them I see (and the more nonsensical some of them are).

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joelowrance
111 days ago
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Medium: Neither rare nor well done.
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Photoshop Experts Revisit Photoshop 1.0

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I remember all of this. Even the ancient convention of putting the app’s version number in its file name. Great nostalgia. (Via Faruk Ateş.)

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joelowrance
774 days ago
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Selling Apple Watch

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Neil Cybart:

Over the past few months, I’ve learned to change the way I explain Apple Watch to friends and family. Instead of starting out with a list of reasons why they may enjoy an Apple Watch, I now begin with a pretty simply explanation: Apple is making a watch with customizable faces and bands. I then let that person respond, and depending on their answer, I mention how Apple Watch can serve as a communication device, a health and fitness tracker, or a mobile payment facilitator. As a result, I now get a much more open response from people that want to see and learn more about Apple Watch. That is how Apple will sell Apple Watch.

Astute. When in doubt, don’t overthink.

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joelowrance
839 days ago
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This is great. Hope he's getting a cut for being a solid salesman. No one had to sit anyone down and explain why the iPhone, iPad or iPod were great.
rmdrimmie
839 days ago
"No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame."
cftarnas
838 days ago
You haven't met my wife.
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Daniel Jalkut on Apple and ‘The Functional High Ground’

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Daniel Jalkut, with a healthy reminder that we’ve seldom been lacking for serious complaints regarding Apple’s software quality:

And now it’s 2015, and in the immortal words of Kurt Cobain: “Hey! Wait! I’ve got a new complaint.” Don’t we all. A company like Apple, moving at a breakneck speed, will undoubtedly continue to give us plenty to obsess about, both positively and negatively. I’ve been following the company closely since my hiring in 1996. Since that time, the company has consistently produced nothing short of the best hardware and software in the world, consistently marred by nothing short of the most infuriating, most embarrassing, most “worrisome for the company’s future” defects.

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joelowrance
842 days ago
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*ahem*
iTunes, iCloud
aaronwe
841 days ago
Apple Maps.
joelowrance
840 days ago
Photos vs Albums vs Camera Roll vs Photostream
mcormier
839 days ago
G4 Cube
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