Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer slaps Apple on his way out the door

Today in Apple: Ballmer bashes Apple. Plus: New iPad mini in gold with touch ID, and Apple's high memory markups

By , ITworld |  Business, Apple, Microsoft

Steve Ballmer Bashes Apple
Usually when a CEO leaves a company, they try to stress their accomplishments. In Ballmer's case that would be pretty tough, given how Microsoft has stumbled during his mighty reign of errors. So he took a slap at Apple and other Microsoft competitors on his way out the door.

Ballmer also took the opportunity to take a swipe at Apple and a couple of other competitors that have largely stolen Microsoft's thunder in the new age of computing. Apple, Ballmer said, is about being "fashionable," while Amazon is about being "cheap," and Google is about "knowing more." Microsoft, Ballmer said, is about "doing more."

More at Apple Insider

Steve Jobs once said that Microsoft had no taste. They apparently don't have any class either.

New iPad mini to Have Touch ID and Gold Color Option?
9to5Mac is reporting that a chinese news site (DoNews) has photos of a gold iPad mini with touch ID.

Chinese site DoNews has posted two photos of what it claims is a champagne-colored iPad Mini 2 with Touch ID fingerprint sensor.

Dickson’s sources say that both new iPads will have the same 64-bit A7 chip and M7 co-processor as the iPhone 5s, the Mini 2 with 1GB RAM (same as the 5s) while the iPad 5 will have 2GB.

Image credit: Do News

More at 9to5Mac

We won't know if this is true until Apple does a formal unveiling of the new iPad mini. However, it certainly makes sense for them to offer the new iPad mini with touch ID, along with the same color schemes as the iPhone 5S.

It makes me wonder if we'll also see both sizes of iPads get the iPhone 5C treatment, coming in a range of colors with a plastic back? Who knows, stranger things happened. Can you imagine a fluorescent green iPad mini or a bright orange iPad?

Does Apple Charge Too Much for Memory?
Business Week looks at Apple's rather exorbitant pricing of memory in its computers and devices.

While all those new iPhone sales send Apple’s (AAPL) profit forecasts sailing past previous estimates, one big reason isn’t getting much attention: The company charges four times the going rate for extra file-storage space.

Its memory premium extends to the iPad—a 128GB version of the tablet costs $799, $300 more than a 16GB model.

The company has significant markups on other components, too. Through Apple’s website, upgrading its Mac Pro desktop with a Radeon Pro 5870 graphics card, typically priced around $200, costs $449. At an Apple store, a charger that IHS estimates costs $1.40 to make sells for $40. The company’s gross margin stood at 37 percent last quarter, compared with archrival Samsung’s 30 percent, Hewlett-Packard’s (HPQ) 23 percent, and Dell’s (DELL) 18.5 percent, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

More at Business Week

Wow. That's a pretty sweet situation for Apple. Not many other computer and mobile device companies can get away with charging those high markups on memory.

Still, you can't argue with success. The fact of the matter is that Apple is a premium brand, and people are willing to pay more for its products.

What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.

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