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  • 热度 27
    2017-8-23 19:40
    3410 次阅读|
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    一般提到苹果公司,大家脑海中最先浮现的几个关键词肯定是Mac、iPhone、时尚好用。的确,作为消费电子领域的先驱,苹果固执且神奇地将科技与优雅相结合,重新定义轻薄笔记本;用触屏代替按键,用大块玻璃屏结合金属机身,击败诺基亚,强势收割手机市场超过九成的利润,霸占手机市场长达10年之久,让一些看似难以实现的黑科技走进现实。 但是,大家习惯性忘记1990年前后,苹果公司衰落多年,几乎处于崩溃的边缘。 之后,苹果公司调整了战略,完成了一系列的收购促成了公司的极大成功。其中,有两个转折点式的收购事件,其一,是收购NeXT公司,此次收购为乔布斯的回归铺平了道路;其二是收购Emagic公司,此次收购标志着将苹果公司的MAC定位为专业产品。 1. NeXT INC.:创始人乔布斯的回归及操作系统技术 Steve Jobs 曾一度被迫离开苹果公司,在被苹果解雇后,乔布斯于1985年创建了NeXT Computer公司,并开发可替代Mac和Windows PC的NeXT。NeXT公司的软件吸引了苹果的关注,也就是我们现在所知道的苹果OS X和iOS系统。2001年,苹果推出了Mac OS X,一个基于乔布斯的NeXTStep的操作系统。 NeXT 公司在1988年推出了第一台NeXT电脑,但从生产角度来看,NeXT的产品销售量很有限。该公司大约只卖出了50000台电脑。1997年,苹果于1996年斥资4.29亿美元收购NeXT,此举为乔布斯重返苹果铺平了道路,这一收购也意味着Steve Jobs重新回到他在1976年创立的苹果公司。 回归后的乔布斯在2001年10月23日,苹果推出的iPod数码音乐播放器大获成功,配合其独家的iTunes网络付费音乐下载系统,一举击败索尼公司的Walkman系列成为全球占有率第一的便携式音乐播放器,随后推出的数个iPod系列产品更加巩固了苹果在商业数字音乐市场不可动摇的地位。 2005 年6月6日的WWDC大会上,CEO乔布斯宣布从2006年起Mac的产品将开始使用英特尔(Intel)所制造的CPU(Intel Core)。 2006 年,史蒂夫·乔布斯发表了第一部使用英特尔处理器的台式电脑和笔记本电脑,分别为iMac和MacBook Pro。 2007 年,苹果推出了iPhone,一个结合了iPod和手机功能的科技产品。它也是一个上网工具和流动电脑。 这些产品的发布,奠定了苹果的经典产品线,以及发展的步调。 2. Emagic:将MAC定义为专业产品 2002 年苹果以3000万美元收购了德国这家名为“Emagic”音乐制作公司,在当时这家公司的产品“Logic Pro”音乐制作软件几乎所有音乐爱好者皆知。Logic Audio由Emagic公司出品,是当今在专业的音乐制作软件中最为成功的音序软件之一。它能够提供多项高级的MIDI和音频的录制和编辑,甚至提供了专业品质的采样音源(EXS24)和模拟合成器(ESI),它的应用将使多媒体电脑成为一个专业级别的音频工作站。不过,它的操作非常复杂和繁琐,不太适合入门级的个人音乐工作室选用。以此,将苹果MAC产品定义为专业级。 之后,收购Emagic后推出了GarageBand,能够让用户以极为轻松且“傻瓜式”的方式制作自己的音乐。 另外,再说两个比较重要的收购案,这两个直接促使苹果手机的成功。 3. FingerWorks:多点触控与手势控制 在iPhone出现前,一般智能型手机须空出约40%的空间来容纳键盘,若功能增加,功能键就必须增加,限制屏幕大小,更增加使用者负担。虽然当时也有少数的触控技术手机,但是那时候的触控技术其实不怎么成熟,开始都是电阻屏,单点触控,不灵敏,而且还需要配合手写笔,属于鸡肋产品。电阻式触控屏幕每次只能判断一个触控点,但电容式触控面板是电场感应原理,可同时判断二个以上的接触点,像二个手指同时放大缩小相片、定点放大缩小、手指拨动浏览网页等复杂的程序操作。 苹果用iPhone重新定义手机,最吸引人之处是革命性的操作方式。Multi-Touch译为多点触控,这项技术是苹果取消手机键盘的基石。虽然此前许多手机、MP4等都配备有触摸屏,但基本上是单点触控、反应迟钝的电阻屏,这和多点触控相差甚远,多点触控无疑更便捷和人性化。完美的多点触控技术,让所有的手机用户发现,原来手机还可以这么用! 时间回到大约12年前,此时第一代iPhone还未发布,2005年4月苹果以不明价格收购了FingerWorks,这是一家手势识别公司,主要因其多点触摸产品出名。这家美国公司原本专门研究手势操作/手势识别,在当时并不为人们所看好,也没人猜到苹果买它来做什么。但后来看来,这项技术,显然是为了给以后iOS的多点触摸交互打下基础,而如今多点触控已成为一款智能手机必备的功能。 多点触控技术始于1982年由多伦多大学发明的感应食指指压的多点触控屏幕。2007年,搭载多点触控技术的第一代iPhone诞生,掀起了智能手机革命,苹果手机一跃成为世界最受欢迎的手机,其他厂商纷纷效仿推出类似产品。 4. Retina屏幕 所谓“Retina”是一种显示技术,可以把更多的像素点压缩至一块屏幕里,从而达到更高的分辨率并提高屏幕显示的细腻程度。这种技术由摩托罗拉公司研发。最初该技术是用于Moto Aura上。这种分辨率在正常观看距离下足以使人肉眼无法分辨其中的单独像素。也被称为视网膜显示屏。发明创造有两种,一种是革命性创新,另一种是组合式创新,可以看出苹果公司非常注重组合式创新,购买很多技术,组合起来就能发挥巨大的能量。iPhone 4首次配备327PPI视网膜屏幕,同样是3.5英寸大小,960x640的分辨率却是iPhone 3GS的四倍。 Retina 显示屏的普及让我们远离了那个满屏颗粒感的手机时代,超高精细度成当下的发展趋势,各大手机厂商也为了迎合市场推出了2K甚至4K分辨率显示屏。 第三代iPad发布会上,苹果给出了Retina设计标准的公式:a代表人眼视角,h 代表像素间距,d代表肉眼与屏幕的距离。符合以上条件的屏幕可以使肉眼看不见单个物理像素点。这样的IPS屏幕就可被苹果称作“Retina显示屏”。将通常使用距离代入上公式可知:行动电话显示器的像素密度达到或高于300ppi就不会再出现颗粒感;手持平板类电器显示器的像素密度达到或高于260ppi就不会再出现颗粒感。 苹果收购不知名的小公司已经成为了获取技术和人才的一个手段,这些技术很多已经应用于苹果的手机或者电脑中,还有一些可能即将应用于苹果未来的产品中。库克在此前的财报会议中曾经透露,仅仅在一年中,苹果就收购了15家公司来加速和发展苹果的产品和服务。 而这样的收购事件现在以及可以预见的将来还会持续上演。
  • 热度 17
    2014-2-6 19:02
    2680 次阅读|
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    When you talk about technology innovation, you don’t often think of India. Of course, the nation’s big IT companies have performed well on the global IT stage, but as Supriyo Chaudhuri commented in his article, ‘The End of Indian IT Industry?’, that is because it has been driven largely by a business model based on creating huge pools of qualified programmers and other IT workers at low cost, and modelled around a process-driven industrial culture.  Not necessarily technology innovation. You could also argue that there are many multinational tech companies with their design centres in India – in Bangalore, Noida, Gurgaon and other cities.  It is true that these design centres might have contributed to the latest technologies, but they haven’t necessarily been the originators of the ideas – they are often just outsourced processing centres for large scale designs, with the design ideas and requirement specifications coming from places like the USA and Europe. So when ministers and political advisors make bold visions or initiate schemes to enhance technology innovation, one always hopes that it will trigger some change in India that will create great thinkers who are capable of creating new technology innovations – and improve India’s position in global innovation rankings. This month, both the chief minister for the state of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, and chairman of the National Innovation Council , Sam Pitroda, made announcements which they hope will enable this change for India. Narendra Modi outlined his ICT industry vision for the country, and Sam Pitroda announced that 100 innovation hubs would be established throughout the country by 2017, to encourage school children to explore scientific discoveries. Speaking in a recent interview, India’s Narendra Modi said, “My vision for IT sector is that it develops the capacity and capability to become the engine of innovation and the driver of growth in the years to come. I see the IT industry as an engine for making India the knowledge superpower and an agent of change that touches lives of the poorest of the poor, for their empowerment.” Like every tech aspirational nation, he talks about wanting to create an environment where India becomes the home of the next Apple, Google, Facebook, Twitter and Amazon.  In particular he believes that India could become the next hub of cloud infrastructure, exploiting the synergistic opportunities from co-locating non-conventional energy projects and massive data centres in areas where there is little scope for agriculture or manufacturing. He talks about the internet being paramount, with e-governance and m-governance being key drivers in empowering the public. In the telecoms sector, the tele-density in rural areas is still too low he suggests, at 40 percent (compared to 145 percent in urban areas). Hence there is an urgent need to conclude the national optical fibre network (NOFN) project that would help bridge the urban-rural digital divide. He cites the example in his own state of Gujarat where he is taking broadband connectivity to all villages using satellite infrastructure in order to provide citizen-centric services and quality long distance education to rural areas. Modi also says in the interview that he wants India to be an innovation hub in ICT, creating a stronger collaboration between industry, academia and the venture capital industry. He believes that more synergies need to be created between the country’s national security needs and its technology incubation system, with greater participation of the private sector in defence manufacturing and research. Some of Modi’s words reflect what’s already happening in industry. At the recent TiE Entrepreneurial Summit in Hyderabad, there was much talk of the cloud being a big business opportunity for Indian firms large and small, especially with a government focus on the use of cloud for implementing public services.  Other areas that would drive opportunities for cloud businesses include e-commerce and healthcare.  Also, India’s HCL Technologies (India NSE: HCLTECH) has announced a strategic partnership with Computer Sciences Corporation (NYSE: CSC) to address the substantial market opportunity created by the need for enterprise clients to modernize their applications and transition to the cloud.  HCL and CSC will create an application modernization delivery network to enable enterprises to shift from legacy technologies to a cloud-enabled platform. The first delivery centres will be launched in Bangalore and Chennai, and will focus on the banking and financial services verticals initially. Sam Pitroda, who is also adviser to the Prime Minister on public information infrastructure and innovations, emphasised his innovation hubs initiative is focused on schools creating their own innovation labs. He said, "The school principals and science teachers will have to take the lead.” The innovation labs would be equipped with multimedia kits, tech labs for robotics and microprocessor programming. Students are encouraged to identify real-life problems, investigate projects and work for solutions under the guidance of experts. The Indian minister’s vision points to a focus on innovation related to cloud and internet, with a key attention to cybersecurity, public services, and public citizen empowerment. These are not very different to many emerging countries’ agendas, but in India, these public statements demonstrate the higher place on the political agenda for technology and innovation. Added with the innovation hubs planned for schools, if this scales up in any way, in a few years India itself might be driving the ideas for global technology innovation. This article is based on a report first published in The Next Silicon Valley.
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