back to article For Apple's latest trick, the iCockroach – allowing it to survive while the smartphone sector faces a nuclear winter

Apple was the sole top five smartphone brand to report any growth in calendar Q2 – for everyone else, sales were in free fall as shipments plummeted across the sector by an astonishing 14 per cent. In total, 284.7 million devices were sent into retailers or distributors' warehouses during the three months – down from 331.8 …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And about to fall off a cliff

    will be Mac Sales (unless they introduce some new Intel powered ones before the end of the year). Punters will be holding fire to see what their new line of Mac's with their own CPU Silicon that will be coming at the end of the year.

    Don't worry Apple Fanboi's, I'm sure that there will be some new shiny-shiny tat that will keep you faithful to the church of Apple pretty soon.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: And about to fall off a cliff

      The SoC in the iPhone has single thread performance about on par with a Core i7 running at 4.5 GHz, so with another shrink courtesy of TSMC, the usual design tweaks, and getting a bit higher power budget than a phone allows I think it is safe to say that every ARM Mac will exceed the performance of the x86 Mac it replaces.

      1. Bugsy11

        Re: And about to fall off a cliff

        Not only will the ARM Macs out power the Intel PCs but the Macs may also undercut the PC's in pricing, WinTel monopoly may be about to take a hit. New sheriff on the way soon. Of course this shouldn't affect the Fandroids and their ultra low end Chromebook market for those on minimalist budgets. Google can have this all to themselves. I'm, sure Tim Cook could care less.

        1. DS999 Silver badge

          Re: And about to fall off a cliff

          I doubt they will be priced lower. That's not Apple's way. If they are faster than Intel versions, Apple is not going to also lower the price even if they're saving money. And they may not be, especially on the first generation, since they would have sunk a lot of money modifying their architecture for Macs, especially higher end Pro line machines.

          They are not only doing Apple designed CPUs, but also Apple designed GPUs across the whole line - no more AMD GPUs on the high end. I'm more skeptical of them beating that mark with their GPUs since they haven't been designing those nearly as long as CPUs but I guess we'll see.

          1. Bugsy11

            Re: And about to fall off a cliff

            There seems to be a bit of a change in Apple's attitude towards pricing lately as evidenced by the iPhone SE's success. The CFO Luca Maestri hinted this also when analyst W. Mohan questioned him on profit margins going forward. Lucas answer was that they are not focused on margins but more so on success of the platform. The margins may be something that they worry about later on after gaining market share these days. I think they will be priced fairly competitively. There seems to be a new drive towards a "street fight" for market share as Tim Cook told Congress this week. Let's see how it goes.

            1. General Purpose Silver badge

              Re: And about to fall off a cliff

              The 2016 SE was successful too but it didn't signal a change in pricing of other iPhones. This one may be no different. Perhaps Apple will continue to bring out a "competitively" priced SE every four years. They may even have found that SEs bring in a useful number of new iPhone users who upgrade to higher-end iPhones a couple of years later.

              1. Bugsy11

                Re: And about to fall off a cliff

                Did not mean to imply that all ARM Macs will be cheap but just that Apple now has the capability to better go after the lower end mainstream consumer market since they don't have to pay the Intel tax. In another couple of years, they may not be paying any Qualcomm tax either.

                What's the difference between an iPad and an ARM Mac anyway? The ARM Mac saves on component costs by not needing a touch screen but then requires some costs for adding the keyboard. Lower end iPads these days can be pretty cheap - sub $500.

                The low end ARM MacBook Air I am guessing may be sub $1000, and prior year's model even less. Apple has a way of using previous year's models to penetrate the lower end markets. And these may still be more powerful than low end Windows notebooks.

                1. DS999 Silver badge

                  Re: And about to fall off a cliff

                  They already won't be paying a Qualcomm tax on ARM Macs, since they don't include a modem. Apple has used the Mini as the lower priced Mac in the past selling it for $499, though they increased the base price since.

                  If they wanted a low end "starter" Mac could easily go back to selling a base model Mini for $499. Or theoretically even $399 since the base iPad is only $329 and the extra RAM/flash in the Mac would be made up for by not having the 10" touchscreen. I could see them doing this with the Mini, but not a laptop.

          2. gnasher729 Silver badge

            Re: And about to fall off a cliff

            According to Apple, the transition will take two years. Common sense is that the slowest machines will be replaced first, and some high end machines left for people who need an intel chip.

            And lots of people don’t actually care about High-end GPU performance.

            1. DS999 Silver badge

              Re: And about to fall off a cliff

              The people buying a Mac Pro for $5000 and up would certainly care about GPU performance. But who knows what Apple can do if they devote 20x the chip area to GPU function in this compared to the phone.

        2. jmch Silver badge

          Re: And about to fall off a cliff

          Even if they are cheaper for apple to produce, they won't be sold cheaper. Part of apple pricing strategy is: if its expensive it must be good.

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: And about to fall off a cliff

            The first consumer ARM Mac announced is a MacBook Pro. That's a good move, using the premium name, since it distinguishes it from Microsoft's confusing Windows RT efforts which people associate with being slow and limited. A full priced, full featured ARM MacBook Pro is a statement of confidence and intent. And that's just good clear communication.

          2. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: And about to fall off a cliff

            I see Apple is advertising the series 5 Apple Watch on primetime television at the moment (first TV ads I've seen for months). It strikes me that the inexpensive iPhone SE could be largely pitched at people who want an Apple Watch but who currently have an Android phone.

            People can and do debate whether an Android or Apple Phone is better, but there is no real contender to the Apple Watch for those who want a smart watch - i.e, wealthy older people who care about their health.

            "Fifty - that's a rich person's thirty-eight"

            - Alec Baldwin's character in 30 Rock

        3. Andre Carneiro

          Re: And about to fall off a cliff

          And I’m sure he COULDN’T care less

  2. Mike 137 Silver badge


    Actually it's a myth that cockroaches can survive nuclear radiation. They're protein based just like other organisms and the proteins get scrambled just like eggs. What is true is that any cockroaches that succeed in surviving (by e.g. being protected in basements &c.) will swiftly take over as [a] they're scavengers and there'll be a lot to scavenge and [b] they breed "like flies".

    1. Mike Moyle

      Re: Actually...

      They probably won't survive us by much, IIRC; they've become too well adapted to living in our metaphorical and/or physical walls to survive in such large numbers once our dead carcasses and readily-available pantry items are consumed.

  3. Arctic fox

    Hmm, there is something not quite right with one of those sentences

    "Republicans, known for their fiscal conservatism, favour tapering off existing benefits,...."

    "Republicans, known for their fiscal conservatism known for their callous greed and love of tax breaks for the rich, favour tapering off existing benefits,...."

    There, FIFY.

    1. ThomH

      Re: Hmm, there is something not quite right with one of those sentences

      In 1993, when Clinton came to office, the federal deficit was a bit more than $200bn. This changed into a surplus in 1998.

      In 2001, when W Bush came to office, there was a federal surplus of around $100bn. This changed back into a deficit in 2002.

      In 2009, when Obama came to office, it was a deficit of $1.4 trillion.

      In 2017, after the world had gone to pot, the deficit was around $600bn.

      By 2019 it was already $984bn.

      Conclusion: the Republicans are fiscal conservatism in that they don't like the idea of change from a deficit to a surplus and will do anything they can to ensure it never happens again.

  4. Peter 39


    "Republicans, known for their fiscal conservatism..."

    That was the case decades ago. Now it's alternate conservatism and profligacy depending upon the recipient(s). So a $1.7 trillion tax cut for companies and high-rollers is fine - no offset needed. But funding for laid-off workers got the axe Friday night.

    Even the Trumpites are cr***ing themselves about this because they can see the disaster unfolding during the convention in a couple of weeks. What it means, of course, is that the GOP Senators have given up on T. If they thought he had a reasonable chance then money would be showering down like the balloons at the convention - but they won't be having that this year either.

    The Great Trumpet has not yet sounded its last but it is most certainly off-key.

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