Grab your popcorn and take a seat. We might have another Silicon Valley tech feud on our hands. This time it’s Tesla vs. Apple. There have been rumors circulating for a long time that Apple is working on a self-driving car. After reports that Apple was poaching key automotive talents from Tesla, Musk told the German business newspaper Handelsblatt: “If you don’t make it at Tesla, you go work at Apple.” The Tesla CEO went on to say “They have hired people we’ve fired. ”We always jokingly call Apple the ‘Tesla graveyard.”’ When asked whether or not he took Apple seriously as a competitor in the automotive market, Musk replied, laughing: “Did you ever take a look at the Apple Watch?” He then chuckled.
This is a classic Goliath vs. David scenario. Some believe Musk is simply jealous, since the Apple Watch made more profit in three months than Tesla will in 2015. Musk has already taken a step back, as he tweeted that he doesn’t hate Apple and that he thinks it’s a great company with a lot of talented people. He’s still not convinced about the Apple Watch, as he said ”the functionality isn’t compelling yet, by version 3, it will be.” The Apple watch will bring in $4.4 billion in revenue this year. This is not a grand number, since Apple will be good for $233 billion in revenue in total this year. However comparing it to Tesla, who’s expected to achieve around $5.4 billion in revenue, it is pretty big. Especially when looking at the profit margins on the Apple watch.
Both companies have a stellar reputations in the tech space. Yet, I do get the feeling that Musk is taking Apple lightly. He said: ”Cars are very complex compared to phones or smartwatches.” ”You can’t just go to a supplier like Foxconn and say: Build me a car.” Although he has a point, one should never count Apple out. Over the past decade or so, Apple has been very successful at fundamentally reshaping the personal-computing industry.
You’d think that the car industry is very different from the personal computing market (notebooks and phones), however Tesla’s processor supplier NVIDIA stated earlier that cars are basically supercomputers that require ”parallel processing, extensive software based architectures, and deep learning technology.” Then all of a sudden it makes a lot of sense that Apple wants a piece of the automotive market. Looking at Apple’s track record of building game changing computing devices, one should not underestimate them.
Apple has not yet responded to Musk’s comments. If Steve Jobs were still CEO at Apple this could have been very different, as he was never one to mince words. He used to be feared and famous for his tech-feuds. Jobs vs. Adobe Flash, Jobs vs. RIM, Jobs vs. John Sculley, Steve Jobs vs. IBM and of course Jobs vs. Microsoft/Bill Gates, to name a few. Apple does not shy away from taking off its gloves, as can be seen during the more recent feud between Apple and Samsung, filled with all kinds of legal assault.
But let’s not get too carried away. After all, Musk has already apologised in his own way and Apple is still far away from becoming a direct competitor of Tesla. Even if they do clash, the car market is not a clear winner takes all market, so there should be room for Apple and Tesla to coexist. Right now, Tesla has other things to worry about, as its stock has dropped 11.3% in the last three months.
If you liked this blogpost and want to read more about tech feuds, check out this link: The 10 Best Tech Rivalries of All Time.
The new era for laptops would start in the Fall of 2015. At least, that is what I was hoping when I postponed the purchase of my next laptop. Why did I have such high expectations you may think? It’s because both Windows 10 and Skylake will be released. Skylake is not a new James Bond movie, it’s Intel’s 6th generation Core processor microarchitecture. In my head this would be the perfect timing for all the big companies to introduce their new models.
It seems like it was worth the wait, as the fireworks have already started. Microsoft revealed their first laptop, the Surface Book (https://informationstrategyrsm.wordpress.com/2015/10/08/the-ultimate-laptop-microsoft-surface-book/) during their event on October 6, as well as the Surface Pro 4, the successor of the very successful Surface Pro 3.
So why wait a few more days? Because many laptop companies will launch their new Windows 10-based devices in the upcoming weeks. After all, you don’t want to buy a new laptop and then see it become outdated in a matter of weeks. Microsoft offered a schedule for when and where these third-party announcements will take place:
- October 7, we’ll take the stage with HP in Barcelona
- October 8, we’ll be in New York City with Dell
- October 9, we’ll be in San Francisco, with ASUS
- October 12, we’ll be in Taipei with Acer
- October 13, we’ll be in Tokyo with Toshiba
- October 19 we’ll be back in San Francisco with Lenovo
One could argue that for those with high expectations, the desktop version of the Skylake processor series was a slight dissapointment. It offered only a five to ten percent performance increase over it’s predecessor, the Haswell CPU. However, the area in which the new Skylake structure shines is far more interesting for laptop users: power consumption and efficiency. With a Skylake processor your laptop will last longer. Also, the chips are smaller and the internal graphics card is improved.
In case I’ve just convinced you of the advantages of Skylake, let’s take a look at the new laptop models announced and quickly discuss their unique selling points. The first one on the list is HP. HP has just announced 2 new models. The Spectre x2 and the Envy laptop. The Spectre x2 is a tablet in combination with a keyboard. It is very similar to Microsoft’s Surface Pro. In short, it is a convertible with a 12’’ screen and a 1920×1280 pixels resolution. It is very light with 0,84 kilo without- and 1.24 kilos with keyboard and will contain an Intel core M Skylake processor. The Envy laptop is a 13’’ laptop, which is claimed to be the slimmest laptop the company has ever built. HP will also revamp its popular Spectre x360 with new Skylake processors.
Dell is not lacking behind. The company has just updated its full XPS line. The XPS 15 now comes with Dell’s patented Infinity edge screen. This means that while the screen is 15,6’’, the laptop will only be 14’’, due to the small bezels. This laptop however is not available for those on a student budget, as it starts at €1479 (including taxes). The very popular XPS13 now comes with a Skylake processor and different RAM and memory possibilities. Last but not least, Dell introduced a 12’’ XPS convertible. You can even configure this model with a 4k touchscreen. Personally I do not see the benefit in that, as many applications do not support 4k yet and one wil therefore experience scaling issues too often. Besides, it is debatable whether a 12’’ screen is big enough to warrant a 4k resolution.
I plan to update this blog when Acer, Asus, Toshiba and Lenovo announce their new models. For now, I’m also quite intrigued by the recently announced Microsoft Surface Book, however that one will not be released in Europa for the next 6 months, For the Apple users out there, I’m afraid you’re also going to have to wait a bit longer to enjoy Skylake. Apple has updated it’s Macbooks not too long ago.
I don’t think it’s worth it to upgrade to a Skylake model if you have a fairly recent laptop, just for the sake of Skylake. Do you plan to upgrade? And if so, share your train of thoughts here!
Crijns, K. (2015). Intel Skylake architectuur review: Intels 6de generatie Core CPU’s | Hardware.Info Nederland. [online] Nl.hardware.info. Available at: http://nl.hardware.info/reviews/6242/intel-skylake-architectuur-review-intels-6de-generatie-core-cpus [Accessed 9 Oct. 2015].
Tweakers, (2015). Dell geeft XPS 15-laptop een update met dunne schermranden en uhd-resolutie. [online] Available at: http://tweakers.net/nieuws/105685/dell-geeft-xps-15-laptop-een-update-met-dunne-schermranden-en-uhd-resolutie.html [Accessed 9 Oct. 2015].
Tweakers, (2015). HP brengt Spectre x2-convertible en 12,9mm dunne Envy-laptop uit. [online] Available at: http://tweakers.net/nieuws/105668/hp-brengt-spectre-x2-convertible-en-12-komma-9mm-dunne-envy-laptop-uit.html [Accessed 9 Oct. 2015].
Ung, G. and Ung, G. (2015). Intel Skylake CPU details revealed: These faster, more power-efficient chips can even drive three 4K monitors. [online] PCWorld. Available at: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2972823/components-processors/intel-skylake-laptop-cpus-should-use-less-power-run-faster-and-can-even-drive-three-4k-monitors.html [Accessed 9 Oct. 2015