PCM009 PC Mike Podcast: Forget Wall St., What Apple’s Success Means to YOU!

Ever since becoming the company to make the most money ever during a three-month period, everyone’s been talking Apple.

But here’s the thing: A lot of the discussion has been centered on Wall Street as opposed to the view from Main Street – what Apple’s success as a business means to the consumers who actually buy Apple products and services.

That’s exactly what we talk about during this episode of the PC Mike Techcast with our special guest, Paul Sweeting, lead analyst at Gigaom Research and founder of Concurrent Media Strategies, a Washington, D.C.-based consulting and editorial services firm specializing in digital media technology and policy issues.

“Apple needs to make big, category-defining, or at least redefining moves to get a meaningful return, rather than competing incrementally for market share the way ‘normal’ companies do,” Sweeting tells us. “Thus, you get moves like the Apple Watch, or the $3 billion acquisition of Beats, both of which are pretty big rolls of the dice.”

In this all-Apple interview, we address:

– With all that money, Apple is going to have to have something huge to move that profit margin again

– If Apple has hit the “next big thing” ceiling

– Skepticism of the success of the coming Apple Watch

– Predictions on what Apple TV will be like

– Big-box retailers like Walmart, Best Buy, and Target are pushing back on the Apple Pay mobile payment platform

– Apple Pay is perhaps the most secure way to make purchases with a credit card, a huge advantage because of the growing hacking problems

– Is there anything Apple couldn’t buy?


Tech News and Trends: Net Neutrality and the Anthem Hack

I kick off the show this week by talking about net neutrality. In non-geek-speak, it means we all get the same speed and the same access to the Internet and you do not you get some of your media faster because one big company paid another big company for “special” access. I provide some background so you know more about the term “net neutrality,” and how it could affect you. (Read more)

Another big tech story this week was the HUGE data breach of Anthem Health Services (one of the largest health care providers in the U.S.), potentially exposing unencrypted health records and information about as many as 80 million people. I talk about what happened and, more importantly, why YOU need to know what’s going on. (Read more) And please, do yourself a favor and listen to episode six of the PC Mike Techcast, where we talked to one of the nation’s top cybersecurity experts who put it best: “Hacking isn’t as bad as you think…it’s worse.” (Listen to episode six here)

Free Audiobook

We have news on how you can get a FREE audiobook download and 30-day free trial by going to http://audibletrial.com/pcmike. Audible offers over 150,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player. For listeners of the PC Mike podcast, Audible is offering a free audiobook download with a free 30-day trial to give you the opportunity to check out their service. To download your free audiobook today, go here.

PC Mike Techcast listeners may enjoy “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson. Based on more than 40 interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than 100 family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing. Regular price is $34.99, but it’s free if you sign-up for a trial with Audible at http://audibletrial.com/pcmike.

Interview: Paul Sweeting, Lead Analyst, Gigaom Research and Founder, Concurrent Media Strategies

Ever since becoming the company to make the most money ever during a three-month period, everyone’s been talking Apple. However, much of the talk has been from an investor’s angle, and about the value of the company. Sweeting joins us to shed light on what it might actually mean to those buying the company’s products.

App Talk: Dine Stress-Free Using These Apps to Help Split the Bill

Dining out with friends and family can be great – until the bill comes. Then….things can get a little weird.

But forget about that with these awkward-diffusing/bill-splitting apps I talk about in the blog post here.

The Tip N Split app for Apple perfectly describes what it does. It adds in the tip automatically and then divides it up between those at the table. It splits the tip uniformly, equally among everyone. The Lite version is free. There’s also a similar Tip N Split Caculator for Android on the Google Play store.

But if some ordered more expensive stuff, you may want to instead use the Billr app for the iPhone. It splits the bill unevenly, for up to 16 people. It adds the tip, takes into account the cost of each item ordered, assigns them to a person and then gives each person their fair share amount.

The ultimate bill splitter though is called Divvy. It makes sure everyone pays their fair share like the other apps but it does so by having you snap a photo of the bill and the people at your table. It reads each item and then you just drag each item to the photo of the person who ordered it. It only works with the iPhone

We Need Your Help!

As we begin a new podcast like this, it’s very important to get a bunch of reviews to be able to show well in the iTunes listings. So if you can, I’d sure appreciate it if you’d subscribe and leave me your rating and review.

Here’s how:

First, open up the iTunes app on your computer or mobile device. Click on Podcasts on top
> From the iTunes Podcasts page, use the “Search Store” field up at the top right corner of the page. Type in PC Mike Techcast under the Podcasts category.
> Click on the logo image of the PC Mike Techcast on the search return page
> From there, you can:

1) Subscribe

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Thanks to all for the kind reviews we’ve received so far. I read and appreciate every review! If you haven’t left a review please do so. I will be so grateful!

And remember, you can appear in future episodes. Ask a question or voice your comments by clicking the Leave Voicemail tab on the right side of this page here at pcmike.com. You can then use the microphone on your computer to record your question.

Thank you!


Mike is a veteran journalist whose video "PC Mike" reports have been distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations since 1994, making him one of the most experienced tech reporters in the country. His tech stories and videos have appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, the Today Show, The New York Times, USA Today and in numerous national newspapers and magazines. In addition to the PC Mike tech blog, he also publishes the Roadtreking.com RV Travel Blog in which he travels North America in an RV reporting about interesting people and places.