Tag Archives: apple


Janielle Penner joins Sperry Van Ness

The commercial real estate brokerage of Sperry Van Ness, LLC has announced that Janielle Penner has joined the brokerage as a Junior Advisor.  She will be working closely with industry leader and National Council Chair of Multi-tenant Retail, Shari A. Tucker-Gasser, specializing in retail property acquisitions and disposition, as well as the leasing of multi-tenant retail properties throughout the Phoenix metro market.

Prior to joining Sperry Van Ness, Penner has represented US investors in land development projects in San Miguel de Allende, one of Mexico’s brightest, world-class destinations. Her professional experience also includes over 12 years in Los Angeles, California working with Frank Gehry Partners, the GRAMMY Foundation and Media Arts Lab for Apple.  Her role at these firms as project coordinator allowed her to learn about doing business among some of the best in their respective fields of architecture, non-profit and advertising.

Penner was raised in central Phoenix, part of a real estate family. She is an alumna of both Xavier College Prep and Arizona State University, where she earned her B.S. Finance: International Business.  She has a deep connection to the state of Arizona and sees an exciting future for the continued growth of Phoenix.


PayPal adds 150 jobs to Phoenix market

PayPal, one of the world’s largest e-commerce firms, is planning to add 150 new employees to its Chandler location this summer. PayPal’s Arizona facility was voted the Best Place to Work in 2014.

Arizonans interested in exploring a career with PayPal are invited to the PayPal Job Fair next week, where recruiters will accept resumes and schedule interviews. Attending the Job Fair positions candidates at the top of PayPal’s consideration list and provides job seekers a 3x faster application process.

When: Tuesday, June 23, from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Where: Courtyard Marriott, 1100 S. Price Rd. in Chandler, AZ

Register: http://www.localwork.com/az/phoenix/paypal

“PayPal’s decision to expand their team in Chandler is a cause for celebration in the Arizona job market. Employers like Apple, General Motors, and PayPal continue to add positions like these because of the quality of our local workforce,” says Ryan Naylor, president of LocalWork.com, an online job board that showcases company culture. “PayPal is well known for their inclusive and welcoming culture,” adds Naylor.

Among PayPal’s most popular employee benefits:

– Medical, dental, vision

– 401k with percentage of salary match from PayPal

– Paid time off

– Holiday time off

– A 1-month sabbatical for every 5 years with the company

– Company growth and opportunity

– Fun and energetic place to work

– Voted Best Company to Work for in 2014

IO President Anthony Wanger.

Tech-friendly scene makes Arizona a data center hot spot

Phoenix has its head in the clouds.

Digital information—everything from financial and medical accounts to media entertainment and social networks—is now being stored in about 60 high-tech data centers throughout the Phoenix metro area, adding to the state’s growing reputation in the technology industry.

Renewable energy, geo-stability and tech-friendly legislation are a few of the reasons why Arizona has one of the highest concentrations of data centers in the United States, second only to Virginia.

Chris Camacho, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, says one of the reasons Phoenix has seen a significant level of data center activity is power availability and competitive pricing.   

“We have very affordable power costs,” Camacho says. “Our utilities have been very flexible in supporting this industry to ensure we have dual feeds from the electrical standpoint. Having affordable power rates has been critical. The other attributes that are important to this industry as to why we have been successful are the level of infrastructure, that’s generally fiber infrastructure, and latency. We’re very favorable to the West Coast in that regard.  So our communities, as well as Cox, Century Link and others, have done a great job extending infrastructure to support this industry.”

Demand for renewable energy

As data centers continue to propagate, the demand for power increases.

A recent survey by Mortenson Construction, one of the leading data center contractors in the U.S., reported 84 percent of responding data center executives, developers and operators believe there is a need to consider renewable energy. Energy efficiency is a top concern and nearly half the survey participants believe improved technology can increase energy efficiency.

“Technology companies like Apple, eBay, Amazon and Google, all of the organizations that store massive amounts of information, tend to have leaders who are highly environmentally conscious,” explains Steven G. Zylstra, president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council,  “They would much prefer to use renewable energy to power these data centers rather than power coming from a coal-burning plant. It’s less about the economics and more about doing the right thing.”

IO president Anthony Wanger agrees. IO, one of the largest colocation data centers in North America, has created and patented energy efficient data storage modules and operating software. In 2013, APS evaluated IO’s Power Usage Effectiveness ratings and determined the modules were more efficient than the traditional raised-floor data center environment.

In February, IO announced an agreement the company made with APS to be able to offer renewable energy to its customers.   

“We had a break through,” Wanger said. “We were able to negotiate a rate with APS that allows us to buy renewable energy. We were able to get a rate that reflects the scale of our use, and the option for our customers to simply choose to go green. For about a cent and a half more per kilowatt hour they can buy energy that is 100 percent renewable. It’s solar and wind. We have had terrific customer feedback about it.

“It’s important for us,” Wanger continues. “We want to be leaders in dematerialization and we want to be leaders in giving our customers the tools and the choices they need to manage their energy needs. Our very largest customer, Goldman Sachs, is committed to zero carbon.

“We have taken great strides in moving our energy over to renewables. I’m not going to tell 1,000 customers what they have to do,” he explains, adding that if he puts it on the menu and incentivizes it, he believes they will choose it. “We are committed to renewables, we are leaders in energy efficiency, by putting it out there, it’s going to be a needle mover.”

Making it happen

IO began with three businessmen and a foldup table from Costco, Wanger said. The table, signed by the co-founders Wanger, George Slessman and William Slessman, is somewhere in the Phoenix facility as a reminder of how they began.

“I always liked to build things. I have always been fascinated by buildings and real estate and systems and machines,” says Wanger, who comes from several generations of entrepreneurs. “I was brought up in the ‘you make your job, you don’t get a job’ mentality. Sit down. Figure it out. Make it happen. That’s the only thing that works for me.

“We’ve been really fortunate we have a really solid business with terrific institutional backers and terrific institutional customers. We’ve been able to attract some terrific talent. The way we got here is people. When I say make it happen, it isn’t just the three of us, it’s the entire team.

“Make it happen. That really is the moral of our whole story here. These data centers didn’t build themselves. These folks didn’t employ themselves. The capital didn’t raise itself. The customers didn’t identify and sign themselves. This is hard work.

He suggests that in order for Arizona to continue growing its reputation in the technology arena, it, too, will take hard work.

“If Arizona wants to continue its fantastic growth it’s going to be because it chooses to, not because it happens automatically. I feel very positive about Phoenix and Arizona’s prospects, but I think we have to be careful not to take things for granted,” Wanger says. “It’s a very competitive economy. I think we would be well advised to be purposeful in our recruiting and the way in which we create a climate where risk takers can take risks.”


Wanger and his partners at IO, which now has six locations around the globe, were among some of the early risk takers in the data center industry.

“We grew up with the GoDaddy guys. If you go back 10 or 15 years ago, they were in data centers. We were in data centers. There was another guy in data centers and that’s about it,” Wanger says.

According to a market overview analysis by CBRE, today there are about 60 data centers in the Phoenix metro area, including colocation operations and those used by individual companies. An additional 21 greenfield sites have been identified mostly in the East Valley for build-to-suit data centers.

Even with the explosion of data centers in Phoenix, Wanger says he is seeing a trend toward consolidation.

“We are moving away from square footage to more power in less space with shared highly utilized banks of computers,” he says. “I think that the Internet went from 400 markets globally to 200 to 50 markets. I think it’s on its way to being in 12 markets globally. That’s mega consolidation. We are doing everything we can do in our power to make sure Phoenix is on the winner side of that equation.”

Tech magnet

Energy affordability, access and renewable options are sited as reasons for locating power-intensive data centers in Phoenix, but there are more.

Geo-stability is an important factor when deciding a data center’s location. Arizona is free of natural disasters, making it an appealing locale.

“We don’t have hurricanes, or earthquakes or tornadoes or floods or any of those things that jeopardize a data center. We are a very sound place from that standpoint,” Zylstra says.

Moderately priced real estate with relatively low property taxes and legislative incentives sweeten the pot.

“A lot of economic policies in the legislature have supported both enterprise use and colocation centers,” Camacho says. “More recently there was legislation in the last few years that provided a sales tax exemption on server and IT equipment. That was one of the last pieces of the puzzle of being a great market in terms of allowing this market to grow and making it competitive against California and these other states.”

According to CBRE, “The financial impact of this law to a 1 MW tenant’s bottom line could be as much as $6 million to $7 million in tax credit savings over a 10-year period.”

Camacho continues, “There are tax credits available for companies of a certain investment scale, so, in a certain investment threshold, when they meet that level of capital investment, they are eligible, assuming they are going to use significant renewable energy resources, to obtain a corporate income tax credit.”

(subhead)The future

Locating data centers here is often an introductory step for some of the larger companies to test the business waters and learn about the Phoenix area.

“We’ve spent a lot of time working to support colocation operations in the market that are already here,” Camacho says. “And we are working as diligently as we can as we travel outside this market and showcase Arizona marketplace to prospective users. We’ll showcase IO data centers and Digital Realty Trust and others that are in this region with the goal of inducing these tenants to come and utilize colocation space and drive new investment and job creation at the same time.

Proximity to California has made it convenient for companies with corporate headquarters on the West Coast to locate their data centers here. “It encourages them to visit and to learn more about the operating environment. Then our goal is to talk further with them about future operational expansion. It could be back office, IT, or technology centers. Data centers and data storage are generally their first foray into evaluating this market on the office side.

“Once you become a nerve center where companies store data, then you start seeing a lot of these colocation tenants that are in these major facilities evaluating opportunities for back office expansion which generally comes with more job creation,” Camacho says.

CBRE reports a high quality of life and low cost of living have encouraged back shop operations for companies such as Wells Fargo, American Express, PayPal, Yelp and others to locate here.

“Companies tend to aggregate around each other,” Zylstra says. “At some point you get to a critical mass that people recognize and they want to be affiliated with it, connected to it.

“The recent Apple announcement is a watershed moment for us,” Zylstra says, referring to Apple’s plans to locate a data center in Mesa. “Apple is the most innovative company on Earth today. It’s the most successful company on Earth. When that kind of company makes a commitment here in Arizona it suggests that we have come into our own. I believe it is an important milestone in becoming known for technology.”

As the technology sector continues to grow, it is important to attract quality talent, he says.“ The greater the reputation the easier it is to attract and retain talent and that’s your competitive asset in a digital economy,” he says.

Drawing in talent is important, Camacho agrees, but he also says it is important to provide a continuing pipeline of trained talent in IT and technical services through our local educational system.

“That’s what is going to make this industry successful,” Camacho says. “We can see that pipeline coming through our Maricopa Community Colleges and the four-year systems that can meet the demand.

“Even though they are not large employers, there’s a very significant level of indirect technology job creation associated with these data centers. On average, you can provide anywhere from two to four indirect jobs for each of the jobs created within the companies themselves.”


FirstBank offering Apple Pay payment services

FirstBank Holding Company, a holding company with 15 banking locations throughout Arizona, announced that it will begin offering Apple Pay mobile payment services for customers. Apple Pay is currently accepted at more than 700,000 businesses and retailers nationwide.

Through fingerprint sensor technology available on iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, Apple Watch, iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3, customers will be able to complete credit and debit card transactions without revealing their card information. This security feature ensures that merchants will never have access to a customer’s credit or debit card number. 

Customers can simply add their FirstBank debit or credit card by going to settings on their Apple device, opening “Passbook & Apple Pay” and then selecting “Add Credit or Debit Card.” After their debit or credit card information is added, customers can hold their finger on the phone’s Touch ID scan—near the vendor’s contactless reader—to make a purchase.

“Apple Pay is transforming how we make payments and we’re thrilled we can offer this innovative and highly secure capability to customers,” said Jim Reuter, Executive Vice President of FirstBank Holding Company. “Apple Pay represents just one way FirstBank is making banking easier through smartphones and tablets. We’re continually evaluating and integrating new digital and mobile capabilities to make banking more accessible, safe and user-friendly for customers.”

In addition to Apple Pay, FirstBank offers a Mobile Banking Application that allows customers to complete most bank transactions from their smartphone, including: 

  • Mobile Check Capture: Customers can take a mobile photo of the check, enter the dollar value and have the funds deposited directly into their account.
  • FirstGlance: Customers can see a quick summary of their account information without having to login. FirstGlance also reminds customers of upcoming bills to help them make smart purchasing decisions.  
  • Mobile Photo Bill Pay: The technology allows customers to add a new payee or pay a bill by simply taking a picture of their invoice. 
  • Person-to-Person Transfers: Customers can send or receive payments to friends and family by using a cell phone number or email address. 

The application also allows customers to view transaction history, view check and deposit images, transfer money, find ATM and branch locations and view frequently asked questions.

FirstBank offers a full range of business and personal checking and savings accounts including its eSave account package, which automatically transfers 1 cent up to $99.99 to customers’ savings account each time they use a debit card, pay a bill electronically or transfer funds. The bank also offers mortgages, home equity loans and a full range of commercial loans and business accounts and services.

First Solar

First Solar and Apple strike huge deal

First Solar, Inc. announced that Apple has committed $848 million for clean energy from First Solar’s California Flats Solar Project in Monterey County, Calif. Apple will receive electricity from 130 megawatts (MW)AC of the solar project under a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA), the largest agreement in the industry to provide clean energy to a commercial end user.

“Apple is leading the way in addressing climate change by showing how large companies can serve their operations with 100 percent clean, renewable energy,” said Joe Kishkill, Chief Commercial Officer for First Solar. “Apple’s commitment was instrumental in making this project possible and will significantly increase the supply of solar power in California. Over time, the renewable energy from California Flats will provide cost savings over alternative sources of energy as well as substantially lower environmental impact.”

The 2,900-acre California Flats Solar Project occupies 3 percent of a property owned by Hearst Corporation in Cholame, Calif. Construction is expected to begin in mid-2015, and to be completed by the end of 2016. The output of the remaining 150MW of the project will be sold to Pacific Gas & Electric under a separate long-term PPA, and the project is fully subscribed between the Apple and PG&E PPAs.

In January, the Monterey County Planning Commission unanimously approved the California Flats Solar Project, sending the project to the Monterey County Board of Supervisors, which will consider final approval of the project today.

Building on its proven record of developing, building and operating utility-scale solar power plants, First Solar has placed a strategic focus on directly providing large commercial and industrial customers with wholesale electricity through long-term agreements. This deal marks the first wholesale commercial and industrial PPA executed by First Solar.

ade statewide data system

Apple plans $2B expansion in Arizona, Ducey says

Governor Doug Ducey announced Monday that Apple will be expanding in Arizona, with a $2 billion investment in Mesa on a command center for the company’s global networks — representing one of the company’s largest investments in history.

Apple said it will invest $2 billion over 10 years to open a data center in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa that will be the company’s fifth in the U.S. and serve as a control facility for its global networks.

The announcement comes four months after an earlier Apple plan for the 1.3 million-square-foot facility it bought in 2013 failed. The tech giant had a deal with Merrimack, New Hampshire-based GT Advanced to use the plant to make sapphire glass for its products, but the company declared bankruptcy in October after production issues developed. GT openly accused Apple of using a “classic bait-and-switch strategy” with a deal that he called “massively one-sided.”

After the GT failure, Apple said it would work to find another use for the plant. It also has been working to help more than 600 GT employees who lost their jobs.

“This multi-billion dollar project is one of the largest investments we’ve ever made, and when completed it will add over 600 engineering and construction jobs to the more than one million jobs Apple has already created in the U.S.,” Apple said in a statement. “Like all Apple data centers, it will be powered by 100 percent renewable energy, much of which will come from a new local solar farm.”

An Apple spokesman said construction on the new data center should start late next year, if not earlier. GT is storing advanced furnaces it planned to use in its Apple venture at the plant while the furnaces are being liquidated, delaying the immediate use of the plant.

Apple company expects 150 permanent workers at the site, in addition to construction crews and contractors.

Apple also has committed to building and financing 70 megawatts of new solar power generation, enough to power more than 14,500 homes.

Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, who took office last month, said the quick work to seal the deal with Apple showed that Arizona is the best state in the country to work and do business and works quickly to makes deals happen.

“Apple is exactly the kind of high-tech innovative company we want in the state of Arizona and we showed them that Arizona is the place to be,” Ducey said.

He declined to say what additional incentives Apple was offered beyond a large package offered by previous Gov. Jan Brewer in 2013 and a $5 million tax credit for building solar generation the Legislature passed last year.

Ducey was joined at a press conference announcing the deal by Republican House and Senate leaders, who touted the agreement.

Minority Democrats who watched the press conference said they worried that Ducey’s proposed cuts to schools, universities and the state commerce authority’s incentive funds may hamper efforts to attract business.

“Economic development isn’t just having a low-tax climate,” said Sen. Steve Farley, D-Tucson. “Economic development means you have the people who are trained properly to actually be able to do the jobs that you’re encouraging companies to come here and take advantage of.”

GT’s October bankruptcy and ensuing effort to shut down the factory marked a surprising turn after state, local and business leaders previously bragged that the plant would be a major boost to the Arizona economy.

Then-Gov. Brewer had hailed Apple’s decision to open the plant in Mesa in November 2013, calling it a sign that the Arizona’s efforts to provide a pro-business climate were paying off. The state has cut business taxes and created several incentives designed to lure new manufacturing businesses in the past several years.

Apple’s data centers provide the computer muscle for the company’s iCloud, ITunes, Siri and other products.



T Mobile IPhone

Deal between Apple, glass maker will stay secret

Apple Inc. has reached a deal with a synthetic sapphire glass maker that will allow details of contracts between the companies and the business problems that led GT Advanced Technologies to a financial crisis to remain secret.

A Tuesday filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New Hampshire shows a settlement that will allow sealed documents filed by GT’s chief operating officer and Apple last week to be withdrawn and all copies destroyed.

Apple hasn’t commented beyond saying it was surprised by the bankruptcy filings and was working to retain jobs at the plant.

GT is shutting down a new sapphire plant in Mesa and laying off 724 workers.

Apple advanced GT $429 million to outfit the plant under a contract announced last November.

W. P. Carey School Announces Hall of Fame Members

Two technology mavens and a prominent professor focused on improving our health care will be honored for their accomplishments this month. The three alums will be inducted into the W. P. Carey School of Business Homecoming Hall of Fame at Arizona State University on Oct. 30. Previous inductees come from such diverse organizations as the American Red Cross, the Arizona Diamondbacks, Motorola, Wells Fargo Bank and XM Satellite Radio.

“The new honorees have all blazed a trail in their respective fields, making a difference in their professions, their community and society as a whole,” says Amy Hillman, dean of the W. P. Carey School of Business. “They also set a great example for our current students that there are no limits on how far they can go in their own career paths.”

The 37th annual W. P. Carey School inductees are:

• Leonard Berry – Dr. Berry, a distinguished professor and well-known author, has devoted his career to studying the marketing and quality of services, with a recent focus on how to improve health care service. He has written 10 books and done extensive work with the Mayo Clinic. He is currently examining how to improve the service experience of cancer patients and their families. Berry has received countless major academic awards and is both a fellow of the Academy of Marketing Science and a past national president of the American Marketing Association. He is a member of several boards of directors, including for Lowe’s, Genesco and Nemours Children’s Health System. He is a Regents Professor, teaching at Texas A&M University, and he received his Ph.D. from ASU’s business school in 1968.

• Brian Gentile – Gentile’s impressive tech career spans almost 30 years and major global companies, including Apple, Sun Microsystems (now part of Oracle), and NCR Corporation. He is a leader in “big data” and cloud computing, who recently built and served as CEO of Jaspersoft Corporation. After TIBCO Software recently acquired the company, Gentile became senior vice president and general manager of its TIBCO Analytics products business unit. He has also been a public governor on the board of the Pacific Stock Exchange, a public member of a New York Stock Exchange committee on ethics and business conduct, and a founding board member for several Silicon Valley startups. He earned his MBA from ASU in 1992.

• Chuck Robel – Tech legend Robel served as chairman of the board of McAfee, one of the world’s best-known computer-security software companies, prior to its multibillion-dollar sale to Intel. He now serves on the boards of directors of GoDaddy, Jive Software, and several other public and private companies. He previously helped to manage about $1 billion in portfolio investments as chief operating officer at venture capital fund Hummer Winblad Venture Partners. He has been involved in more than 80 initial public offerings (IPOs) as an adviser, investor and board member. He received his bachelor’s in accounting from ASU’s business school in 1971.

Alumni, business leaders and students will attend the Homecoming Hall of Fame event Thursday, Oct. 30 at McCord Hall Plaza on ASU’s Tempe campus. The reception starts at 5:30 p.m. Advance registration is requested at www.wpcarey.asu.edu/events/2965 or by calling (480) 965-3978.


iPhone glass manufacturer wants to close Mesa plant

A manufacturer of sapphire glass that Apple Inc. uses in iPhones told a bankruptcy court Friday that it wants to shut down a Mesa factory that was once touted as a big job creator for Arizona.

GT Advanced Technologies filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this week. In a bankruptcy court filing Friday, the company outlined its plans to wind down operations at the Mesa factory by the end of the year along with a second facility in Salem, Massachusetts — a move that would leave hundreds of people out of work.

“This drastic step is necessitated by GTAT’s liquidity crisis and the ongoing cash burn from its operations at these locations,” the company said in a court filing.

The request to wind down operations at the locations is contingent on the court’s approval. GT Advanced Technologies’ stock was down about 35 percent Friday, trading at 84 cents. The stock’s 52-week high is $20.54.

The bankruptcy and ensuing effort to shut down the factory mark surprising turn after state, local and business leaders previously bragged that the plant would be a major boost to the Arizona economy.

Gov. Jan Brewer had hailed Apple’s decision to open the plant in Mesa, calling it a sign that the Arizona’s efforts to provide a pro-business climate were paying off. The state has cut business taxes and created several incentives designed to lure new manufacturing businesses in the past several years.

At full production the companies expected 700 workers to run the plant.

Now, GT wants to begin winding down operations. In a statement, GT said it realizes the difficulties caused by a plant closing but needs to make the right financial decisions following the bankruptcy action.

“While we continue to explore all options with regards to our Mesa and Salem facilities, we recognize and regret the impact that the actions outlined in our bankruptcy court filings of this morning may have on valued GT employees,” the company said.


What companies have the worst customer service?

Ranker.com, a platform that produces thousands of crowdsourced answers to opinion-based questions, has collected nearly 14,000 votes on what people think are the companies with the worst customer service. Nearly 5,000 votes were also collected on what people think are the most evil Internet companies. Here are the current rankings for both lists:

Companies With the Worst Customer Service

1. Time Warner Cable
2. AT&T
3. Bank of America
4. Walmart
5. American Airlines
6. Comcast
7. Citibank
8. Best Buy
9. Gold’s Gym
10. Ticketmaster

The Most Evil Internet Companies:

1. Facebook
2. Comcast
3. Apple
4. Time Warner Cable
5. Go Daddy
6. AOL
7. Electronic Arts
8. Microsoft Corporation
9. Google
10. Twitter


GPEC Earns Economic Development honor

Cited as one of the Best to Invest Top U.S. Groups of 2013, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) has once again made Site Selection magazine’s annual ranking for top U.S. Economic Development Groups.

“This recognition is a reflection of our elected and business leaders working together to promote Greater Phoenix and Arizona as business friendly,” said Barry Broome, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. “The Arizona Competitiveness Package of 2011 and subsequent economic development policies have dramatically shifted our market’s competitive position towards advanced manufacturing and other high-tech industries.”

The ranking took into account four objective categories: new jobs, new jobs per 10,000 residents, new investment amount and new investment per 10,000 residents. “This year’s Best to Invest Top Groups in the U.S. all demonstrated an ability to reach new markets while reaping significant reinvestments from their existing industries,” said Ron Starner, general manager and executive vice president of Conway Data Inc. and Site Selection magazine.

The magazine also features a ranking for top North American deals of 2013, highlighting the Apple, Inc. locate to Mesa, Ariz. The collaboration included a partnership between GPEC, the Arizona Commerce Authority, the city of Mesa, DMB Associates, Maricopa County, and Salt River Project.

Several factors contributed to determining the Top Deals of 2013, including: level of capital investment, degree of high-wage jobs, creativity in negotiations and incentives, regional economic impact, competition for the project and speed to market. “Trends among this elite group of projects include a penchant for free trade zones and an awareness that sometimes facility reuse is as good as brand new,” said Adam Bruns, managing editor of Site Selection.

Broome credits the successful consummation of the project to “years of work on infrastructure, permitting, and crafting performance-based incentives.” He also cited the ability to offer a “turnkey real estate option” as a key factor in sealing the deal.

manufacturing sector expanded

Brewer OKs tax cut law for manufacturers

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on Friday signed into law a bill that eliminates sales taxes on electricity and natural gas purchased by manufacturers and mining smelters, a move she said was needed to make the state more attractive to large businesses.

Brewer signed Senate Bill 1413 at a Capitol ceremony attended by a couple of dozen business leaders, calling it “another smart tax reform that will bolster job creation in Arizona and our competitive edge.”

The tax cut is expected to cost the state general fund at least $17 million a year. Brewer also vetoed money in the state budget designed to help counties make up for the losses, saying their loss was small and would set a bad precedent.

“Since becoming governor, my cornerstone priority has been to make Arizona as attractive as possible for new and expanding businesses, particularly for our manufacturing industry, which generates quality jobs and high-wage salaries,” Brewer said. “I want Arizona to be No. 1 and be the pro-business state in the nation and we have worked relentlessly to accomplish that.”

Later in the day, Brewer also signed a law providing a $5 million tax credit many say is aimed directly at Apple Inc. Senate Bill 1484 grants the tax credit to a company that installs at least $300 million in renewable power capacity to supply its own plant.

The governor touted other tax cuts, regulatory reform and business-friendly policies that she has championed since she took office in 2009. Those tax cuts have affected the state’s revenue, but she said they are important to growing the economy.

“When we bring in these new businesses it drives our economy, they bring in construction jobs, they bring in employees, they bring in money into the state,” she said. “So in the end, everybody’s ship rises.”

Brewer called for the elimination of the tax in her State of the State address in January, saying it was needed to make Arizona more competitive and draw new manufacturing to the state.

The bill received bipartisan support in both legislative chambers, although one conservative Republican in the House of Representatives dissented when it came up for a vote earlier this week.

Rep. Brenda Barton, R-Payson, says the bill places a burden on rural counties that rely on that tax base. She and other rural lawmakers managed to get $1.3 million in the budget to make up for the cuts, but Brewer vetoed that money Friday afternoon.

“I am getting to the point that a lot of these special legislation bills that we are promoting are harming the state of Arizona, and they are harming our rural counties and our rural cities, and I don’t believe we are doing a very good job of doing what’s right for the right reasons,” Barton said during debate earlier in the week. She didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment.

Others defended the bill.

“I think anytime we can support small businesses and reduce their taxes and large businesses and reduce their taxes, and allow them to reinvest in their business and reinvest in the communities and reinvest in their employees, I think we need to be looking for opportunities to do this,” Rep. David Livingston, R-Peoria, said.

Steve Macias, chairman of the Arizona Manufacturer’s Council and the operator of a machine shop that will get a small direct benefit from the tax cut, said it could bring in more manufacturing.

“Seventy percent, 80 percent of the business we do is right here in Arizona,” Macias said of his operation. “And almost all of that is to larger manufacturers, the General Dynamics of the world, the guys who make equipment for the solar industry. So when they attract those guys, I get excited because to me those are all potential customers.”

Glenn Hamer, president of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry, said 38 other states do not tax electricity use by manufacturers and cutting the tax will help the state.

“These are jobs that pay more than the median wage. They’re jobs that every other state competes for, and we’ve done something significant to make Arizona more competitive today,” Hamer said.

The tax credit bill drew the ire of conservative House Republicans, who said say the bill is unfairly tailored to benefit Apple’s planned Mesa sapphire glass manufacturing plant and picked winners and losers among the state’s industries.

Apple said in November it will open the plant and eventually employ 700 workers to provide material for its iPhone 5 cameras and fingerprint reading sensors.

The tax credit could also be claimed by other companies that build similar facilities. Tesla Motors Inc. is currently looking for a battery plant site and often mentioned as a possible candidate.

“We as conservatives have got to step away from this crony capitalist style of development,” Rep. Adam Kwasman, R-Oro Valley, said during debate on the bill Tuesday. “We cannot afford to pick winners and losers in industry. We believe in low taxes for everybody. We believe in simple rules for everybody.”

But the bill sponsor defended it, saying it was a small amount of money to help establish a large manufacturing operation. The Arizona Commerce Authority helped seal the deal with other incentives.

“I believe that they did the right thing to bring Apple here,” Sen. Bob Worsley, R-Mesa, carried the Apple bill, saying he did it because the Arizona Commerce Authority had made a commitment to the company as part of the deal to draw them here. “And the dollars are very small in the whole scheme of things with Apple being in the Valley. They could have gone to Texas, they could have gone other places and we wanted them here. It’s a good decision.”


Apple Manufacturing Plant Brings 1,300 Construction Jobs to Valley

Apple Inc. says it will open a manufacturing plant in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa that will eventually employ 700 workers. About 1,300 construction jobs will also be created as the First Solar plant designed to make thin-film solar panels is converted. The company sold the plant last month.

“Apple’s presence in the region will be a game-changer for the Greater Phoenix area, its innovation landscape and future ability to attract other high-tech companies,” said GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome. “Between their plans to hire 700 direct employees and run completely on renewable energy, I’m convinced Apple could not have chosen a better location than Mesa and Eastmark. This deal is the result of the cooperation and support of several parties, including Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Chucri, City of Mesa Mayor Scott Smith, DMB Associates, the ACA and SRP, whose infrastructure will enable more projects to move forward in the surrounding area.”

To read more, visit azbigmedia.com


IO Attracts Top Tech Talent

IO, the leading provider of next-generation modular data center technology and services, today announced Alan McIntosh, former chief information officer at Groupon has been appointed senior vice president of global technology delivery and Apple marketing veteran Anne Wolf has been appointed senior vice president of global marketing and communications. Additionally, Bob Butler has been promoted to chief security officer (CSO) in charge of global information security and privacy.

These executive appointments follow a blockbuster quarter for IO with the Goldman Sachs adoption of IO Data Center 2.0 technology, the award of the Underwriter’s Laboratories first ever certification for a modular data center product, and a $90 million funding round. IO’s solutions enable organizations to shift from real estate-based data center infrastructure to efficient, sustainable, and software-optimized IO.Anywhere modules. These highly experienced additions to the management team will better enable IO to manage the rapid growth at IO due to the accelerating adoption of Data Center 2.0 by global enterprises, governments and service providers.

McIntosh will help drive this growth and apply his deep knowledge in cloud infrastructure to IO’s global technology delivery strategy and implementation. He has a proven track record in designing and operating web scale global Internet infrastructure at Groupon, CBS Interactive, CNET Networks and Oracle. McIntosh brings both the operations and technical experience that is essential for successfully managing the day-to-day operations at a company that is moving as quickly as IO.

Wolf brings more than two decades of Fortune 500 technology industry experience that includes a ten-year product and solution marketing tenure with Apple. She most recently held the position of Chief Marketing Officer for 41st Parameter, a leading fraud detection solution provider for the world’s top financial institutions and e-commerce companies. At IO, Wolf will drive the global brand, strategic product marketing, corporate communications and Data Center 2.0 market education.

Formerly Vice President of Government Strategies at IO, Butler has been promoted to Chief Security Officer at IO, where he will oversee internal information security, privacy and cyber security readiness for our products and among our global customer base. Butler has over 32 years of multinational experience spanning Defense, Intelligence, National Security and Information Technology positions. Prior to IO, Butler served two years as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Cyber Policy, where he was responsible to the Secretary of Defense and senior Defense leaders for recommending and implementing policy strategies to improve the Defense Department’s cyber position.

“At IO you are the average of your team,” says George D. Slessman, CEO of IO. “As we approach the tipping point for Data Center 2.0 globally, IO is succeeding by attracting, developing and nurturing world class talent like Alan, Anne and Bob. “



Apple’s iPad Mini priced at $329

Apple Inc. is refusing to compete on price with its rivals in the tablet market — it’s pricing its new, smaller iPad well above the competition.

On Tuesday, the company revealed the iPad Mini, with a screen that’s about two-thirds the size of the full-size model, and said it will cost $329 and up.

Apple starts taking orders for the new model on Friday Oct. 26, said marketing chief Phil Schiller at an event in San Jose, Calif. Wi-Fi-only models on Nov. 2. Later, the company will add models capable of accessing “LTE” wireless data networks.

The price fits into the Apple product lineup between the iPad 2 at $399 and the latest version of the iPod touch at $299. But company watchers had been expecting Apple to price the iPad Mini at $250 to $300 to counter the threat of less expensive tablets like Amazon.com Inc.’s Kindle Fire, which starts at $159. Barnes & Noble Inc.’s Nook HD and Google Inc.’s Nexus 7 both start at $199.

Apple shares fell $14.83, or 2.3 percent, to $619.20 when the price was announced. Shares of Barnes & Noble Inc. jumped 91 cents, or 6.3 percent, to $15.35.

Shares of Amazon.com Inc. were down 12 cents, or less than 0.1 percent, at $233.66 while the rest of the stock market was in retreat.

T Mobile IPhone

Release of iPhone 5 gives retail a boost

The new iPhone 5 goes on sale in retail stores later this week, but buyers went online early last Friday to gobble up the latest Apple offering.

Apple opened online pre-orders of the new smartphone at 3:01 a.m. last Friday and sold out of its available stock within an hour.

According to Apple’s website, people looking to order the iPhone 5 now will need to wait two weeks before getting the new device.

“Our online systems have performed flawlessly. We have seen significant volume since we started to accept the pre-orders at 3 a.m. There is clearly strong interest from our customers,” said Michelle Gilbert, spokeswoman for Verizon Wireless.

Gilbert said customers were asking questions about their account to see if they were eligible to upgrade to the new phone, its costs and what would be the correct rate plan for them.

“We’re very pleased with our customers’ initial interest in the iPhone 5 on Verizon’s 4G LTE network. Our stores will be open early at 8 a.m. [Friday] when the iPhone [officially] launches,” Gilbert said

The iPhone 5 will cost $199 for a 16 GB version; $299 for a 32 GB version; and $399 for a 64 GB version.


Phil Schiller

New iPhone 5 will be taller, skinnier

For the first time, the iPhone is growing. After sticking for five years to the same screen size, Apple on Wednesday revealed a new phone that’s taller, with a bigger screen.

The iPhone 5 will go on sale in the U.S. and eight other countries next Friday, Sept. 21.

Even though it’s taller than the iPhone 4S, it’s lighter, thanks to a new screen technology that makes the whole phone thinner.

The bigger screen — 4 inches measured diagonally — creates room for another row of icons on the screen and lets widescreen movies fit better. Previous iPhone models carried 3.5-inch screens.

In another big change, the iPhone 5 will come with the capability to connect to the fastest new wireless data networks in the U.S. and overseas.

There was little in Wednesday’s announcement that surprised Apple watchers. Despite the pains the company takes to hide its plans, the rough launch date, the new screen and the capability to connect to so-called LTE networks had been reported for months by blogs and analysts.

“There was nothing unexpected in terms of the new features of the iPhone,” said Tavis McCourt, an analyst with Raymond James.

That’s a contrast to last year, when Apple watchers were first surprised by a delay in the launch, and then by the fact that the phone that was revealed was the iPhone 4S rather than a more radical update.

One thing that did surprise McCourt this year: Apple is launching the phone in so many countries so quickly. On Day One, the phone will be available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the U.K., besides the U.S.

A week later, it will go on sale in 22 more countries, including Italy, Poland and Spain.

It’s the year’s most anticipated phone. The number Apple can sell, analysts believe, is limited mostly by the production capacity of its suppliers. There had been concerns that supplies could be tight. Even so, analysts were expecting Apple to sell tens of millions of phones before the year is out.

Another surprise was that the phone will be 18 percent thinner than its predecessor. The company was expected to use the space freed up by the new screen technology to expand the phone’s battery, not make the phone thinner.

The bigger screen moves Apple somewhat closer to competing smartphones, but the iPhone is still small compared with its main rivals. Samsung Electronics Co., Apple’s biggest competitor, has increased the screen size of its flagship phone line every year, and it’s now 4.8 inches on the diagonal, about 45 percent larger than the one on the new iPhone. The new iPhone is lighter than Samsung’s new Galaxy S III.

Among devices with even bigger screen — tablet computers — Apple is dominant. This summer, Apple watchers were expecting the company to trot out a smaller version of its iPad when it launched the iPhone 5. But those expectations have been adjusted recently, and that launch is now believed to be next month.

The phone will cost the same as the iPhone 4S did when it debuted, starting at $199 with a two-year contract in the U.S. Meanwhile, the price for the iPhone 4S will drop to $99 for new contract signers and the iPhone 4 will be free.

In the U.S., advance orders will start this Friday.

With the new model, Apple is ditching the connection port it’s used for iPods, iPhones and iPads for nearly a decade in favor of a smaller, narrower one. That means Apple is still the holdout in an industry where other manufacturers have settled on a standard connector for charging and computer backups.

There will be adapters available so that the new phone will be able to connect to sound docks and other accessories designed for the old phones.

The camera on the back of the iPhone 5 has the same resolution as the one on the iPhone 4S, but takes pictures faster and works better in low light, Apple said.

The front-facing camera is getting an upgrade to high-definition, letting users take advantage of the faster data networks for videoconferencing.

The iPhone 5 will arrive with a new version of Apple’s operating system, iOS. It will be available for download to older phones on Sept. 19.

One feature missing from the new phone is a chip for near-field communications, or NFC. Other top-of-the-line phones are incorporating such chips, which let phones work as credit cards at some store payment terminals. They also enable phones to share data when “bumped” into each other.

Apple also announced a new iPod Touch model that brings over the changes applied to the iPhone 5, including the bigger screen and smaller connection port. For the first time, Apple’s voice-controlled personal assistant software, Siri, will be available on the iPod. Apple is also updating its iTunes software for the Mac and PC, with what it says is a “dramatically simpler and cleaner interface.” It will be available as a free download in October.

In another audio-related update, the white earbuds that ship with all of Apple’s portable devices are getting an update. Now called EarPods, they’re tube-shaped, which Apple says will help meld them to the shape of your ear. The EarPods took three years to design, Apple said. They’ll go on sale Wednesday as a stand-alone accessory for $29, but will be included free with new devices out in October.

Since Apple’s main announcements were largely in line with expectations, investors registered a tepid response. Apple shares rose $9.13, or 1.4 percent, to close at $669.72. The shares have been on a tear as expectations rose for the iPhone 5, rallying 16 percent since Apple’s latest earnings report, in July. On Monday, they hit an all-time high of $683.29.



Could Apple’s $1B patent verdict help it corner market?

It was the $1 billion question Saturday: What does Apple Inc.’s victory in an epic patent dispute over its fiercest rival mean for the U.S. smartphone industry?

Analysts from Wall Street to Hong Kong debated whether a jury’s decision that Samsung Electronics Co. ripped off Apple technology would help Apple corner the U.S. smartphone market over Android rivals, or amount to one more step in a protracted legal battle over smartphone technology.

Many analysts said the decision could spell danger for competitors who, like Samsung, use Google Inc.’s Android operating system to power their cellphones.

“I am sure this is going to put a damper on Android’s growth,” New York-based Isi Group analyst Brian Marshall said, “It hurts the franchise.”

The Silicon Valley jury found that some of Samsung’s products illegally copied features and designs exclusive to Apple’s iPhone and iPad. The verdict was narrowly tailored to only Samsung, which sold more than 22 million smartphones and tablets that Apple claimed used its technology, including the “bounce-back” feature when a user scrolls to an end image, and the ability to zoom text with a tap of a finger.

But most other Apple competitors have used the Android system to produce similar technology, which could limit the features offered on all non-Apple phones, analysts said.

“The other makers are now scrambling” to find alternatives, said Rob Enderle, a leading technology analyst based in San Jose.

Seo Won-seok, a Seoul-based analyst at Korea Investment said that the popular zooming and bounce-back functions the jury said Samsung stole from Apple will be hard to replicate.

The companies could opt to pay Apple licensing fees for access to the technology or develop smarter technology to create similar features that don’t violate the patent — at a cost likely to be passed onto consumers.

Apple lawyers are planning to ask that the two dozen Samsung devices found to have infringed its patents be barred from the U.S. market. Most of those devices are “legacy” products with almost nonexistent new sales in the United States. Apple lawyers will also ask that the judge triple the damage award to $3 billion since the jury found Samsung “willfully” copied Apple’s patents.

A loss to the Android-based market would represent a big hit for Google as well. Google relies on Android devices to drive mobile traffic to its search engine, which in turn generates increased advertising revenue. Android is becoming increasingly more important to Google’s bottom line because Apple is phasing out reliance on Google services such as YouTube and mapping as built-in features on the iPhone and iPad.

Some experts cautioned that the decision might not be final, noting the California lawsuit is one of nine similar legal actions across the globe between the two leading smartphone makers.

Samsung has vowed to appeal the verdict all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that Apple’s patents for such “obvious” things as rounded rectangle were wrongly granted. A Sept. 20 hearing is scheduled.

The $1 billion represents about 1.5 percent of Samsung’s annual revenue. Jerome Schaufield, a technology professor at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute said the verdict wouldn’t upend a multibillion-dollar global industry.

“Samsung is powerful,” Schaufield said. “The company will regroup and go on.”

Samsung engineers have already been designing around the disputed patent since last year.

“We should never count out Samsung’s flexibility and nimbleness,” said Mark Newman, a Hong Kong-based analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein. “This is merely an embarrassment and annoyance to the company that they will have to find ways around.”

The dispute centers on Apple’s dissatisfaction with Google’s entry into the phone market when the search company released its Android operating system and announced any company could use it free of cost.

Google entered the market while its then-CEO Eric Schmidt was on Apple’s board, infuriating Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who considered Android to be a blatant rip-off of the iPhone’s innovations. Apple filed its patent infringement lawsuit in April 2011, engaging the country’s highest-paid patent lawyers to demand $2.5 billion.

The verdict didn’t faze some iPhone users, who said that they already know Apple phones are superior.

The rivals are “modeling phones based on what they see with the iPhone,” said David Green of Wareham, Mass., finishing a call on his iPhone while waiting to catch a train.

He switched to Apple from a BlackBerry about a year ago, after becoming disenchanted with the reliability and technological features of non-Apple smartphones.

“When I got the iPhone, it worked so well that I told my friends, ‘Now I have a REAL smartphone,'” Green said.

ShopKeep POS

Business Makes Technological Leap With Shopkeep’s iPad POS System

Stacey Barnes, owner of Scottsdale GoodyTwo’s, shares the benefits of using Shopkeep’s cloud-based, iPad POS System for easier transactions and manageability.

Bulky, noisy and generally unattractive, cash registers are not particularly glamorous, and by today’s standards have limited functionality. And local businesses, including GoodyTwos Toffee Company, have upgraded to a much more economical, manageable and accessible point of sale (POS) system for the tech-savvy age — ShopKeep’s cloud-based POS.

ShopKeep POSLike many business owners, Stacey Barnes and Donna Gabrilson of GoodyTwos Toffee Company (founded in 2004 by the mother/daughter duo) decided to make the upgrade and switched to the sleekly-housed, web-based program, which delivers the cash register’s essential capability, while also providing data that informs smart, timely business decisions.

ShopKeep POS not only receives your payment, it simplifies and automates the complicated process of reporting on sales, which permits business owners to track up-to-the-second sales data and inventory. This data can be segmented and presented in multiple formats, enabling business owners to make better decisions. This same data can also be accessed from any device because all of the intelligence is stored in the cloud.

Shopkeep created an app for the iPad,” Barnes says. “The iPad was more affordable compared to the other hardware you would have to buy with traditional POS.”

With iPad registers and a streamlined back-end portal, ShopKeep utilizes tools that assist small businesses to grow more cost effectively, minimizing time, labor and the risk of the unknown.

I can see daily, monthly, annual, top selling items and what time of the day is the busiest for GoodyTwos,” Barnes says. “You can generate reports, manage your inventory and control your employee access ― all of which helps us run our business smarter.”

Chris Pace, managing principal of Congruity Solutions, is an authorized reseller partner for ShopKeep for the Phoenix area, and he personally installed ShopKeep at GoodyTwos.

Pace encourages owners and managers of businesses small and large to make the switch.

ShopKeep is simple in design; young and old alike use Apple technology, so the learning curve is quite simple for most people,” Pace says. “Large companies benefit from having data outside of their walls, with tighter security and redundant backup, all with no incremental hardware investment. Cloud-based systems mean you only pay for what you use.”

Barnes and Gabrilson say they are confident that the switch to the cloud-based POS represents their dedication to a quality product with an innovative twist.

The system allows us to show our brand in a new, exciting way,” Gabrilson says. “GoodyTwos has always been about our wholesome products showcased in a modern, fun light, and this adds an element of technology.”

For the ladies of GoodyTwos Toffee, Shopkeep has made managing their business and checking out customers not only more efficient, but also a bit sweeter.

For more information about GoodyTwos or ShopKeep, visit goodytwos.com and shopkeep.com, respectively.

Mint.com screenshot

Five Great Apps For Mobile Finance

Mobile finance is about to boom (some say we’re already there). You may have dabbled a little with your own bank’s mobile app for easy money transfers and to check balances. Or you might be quite savvy with Google Wallet and PayPal on your phone. There are a myriad of new apps to help you with all of your financial needs and are great for both personal and business use.

Most of these apps are available across Apple, Android and Blackberry platforms, and new ones are coming out every week. They help with everything from debt reduction, to managing how payments, to investing.

Here are five mobile finance apps to check out:

Debt Tracker

Most Americans are carrying some debt right now, and businesses are no exception. Debt Tracker helps you store all of your debt information in one place, plan how to pay it off quickly, and it calculates how long it will take you to pay off each debt. This app subscribes to the popular “snowball theory” of debt-repayment — where you aggressively pay off one debt at a time, while paying the minimums to the rest — and has tools to help guide you through. Free and paid versions are available.


You’ve probably heard of Mint.com, as one of the first free and easy-to-use budgeting tools to hit the Web. This app is free and connects your phone to your bank accounts. It helps you track spending, and stick to a budget. The features in both the online version and the app make it almost a no-brainer, doing all of the hard work for you. If you’re trying to stick to a budget, this is a dependable way to go.


This company claims to manage all of your financial data, and lets you pay bills, from one simple app. They also claim to take security quite seriously, which is important for anyone accessing financial data online. Keep in mind that the payment card industry hasn’t kept up with mobile transactions, in terms of security standards. Anyone who accesses financial information via a mobile device should heed this. However, Pageonce makes a point of touting security as one of the best values of this application.


Sometimes you just forget to pay a bill. It happens to even the most responsible of us. BillTracker keeps you in line and lets you know when bills are due, so you’ll never suffer from a late fee again.


Wouldn’t it be nice to have a little financial planner in your pocket? That’s the point of this nifty app. iExpense does more than just help you budget and make payments, it actually gives you advice on how to achieve financial goals — whatever those goals are. This app was designed by financial advisors. While it can’t quite replace a real professional, it can act almost like a coach to keep you in line between that annual visit with your planner.

Just keep in mind that mobile finance apps like these are only as good as the person using them. They won’t suddenly make you a financial guru or do all of the work for you. But they can help keep you in line to achieve your financial goals — whatever they may be.


The New iPad Vs. iPad 2

I heard a colleague pondering out loud the other day about the new iPad. He felt that because this tablet is now three generations in, it’s probably time to get one. So I asked him, “Why get the new one when you can get an iPad 2 refurbished for half the cost?” (In case you haven’t been following, I’m a sucker for second-hand). In truth though, even a new iPad 2 is still cheaper than the most recent iteration, and it’s almost as good.

So this was an honest question. The iPad 2 is incredible — beautiful display, fast, sleek, dual-core processor and a camera. My colleague looked at me like I had grown another head. For him, it was the new iPad or nothing, though I’m not sure he had a valid reason other than it was the new, shiny toy on the market.

For those of you wondering what you can get from the new iPad and if it’s worth the cost, here’s a run-down of its key features:

5MP iSight Camera

Well there’s that. Rabid iPad fans have been waiting for this feature, especially as people turn to their tablet to store pictures and create amazing-looking online scrapbooks. For those not into manual camera tinkering, this camera has features like auto focus, tap to focus, and tap to set exposure functions. In other words, it’ll be hard not to take amazing photos. You can also record 1080p HD video on this iPad, which is great for those who like to record and store stills and video all in one place. But unless you’re a camera junkie, you may not even notice a difference between this and the camera on the iPad 2.

Improved display

Apple is making a big hubbub over the retina display in the new iPad, claiming that it makes images, movies and text remarkably more clear. I’m not entirely sold. Again, to the average, not-terribly-geeked-out eyes, the difference is minimal. The iPad 2 was a substantial improvement over the first iPad. While Apple says it has done it again, and the technical data is there, I’m not calling this as a game changer.


The new iPad is built for speed. That is, it’s built for the 4G network. It claims to work beautifully on both AT&T and Verizon, and can even support a SIM card. Something else kind of nice, especially for the executive who uses an iPad for work, you can use the iPad as a hotspot. If your carrier supports it, iPad can connect wireless for up to five devices over Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or USB. Not too shabby.


The iCloud was one of the best releases for Apple in the last year. For business executives who are nervous about storing content on mobile devices, the iCloud can be seen as a lifesaver. I recently lost my iPhone and was able to quickly track it down using iCloud, then swipe all of the content off my phone, remotely, when I saw that the phone had been picked up by an evil thief. Restoring everything to a new device took mere minutes. And aside from the 20 minutes I spent watching my phone drive through Scottsdale via Google Maps, the iCloud saved me from a lot of anguish. Mostly, I wasn’t concerned that confidential data would be taken from my phone because I had total control, remotely, to save that data and plant it on a new device. Because so many more people are taking the iPad to work, this is absolutely a must. Of course, you can get this with your iPad 2.

To conclude, the third generation iPad is a beautiful device but may not be worth the cost for the first time iPad buyer. Instead, I would recommend it for folks who bought a first generation iPad and are ready for an upgrade. There are significant differences between these two versions. But if you were smart enough to purchase the iPad 2 last year, my advice is to hold on to it and get your money’s worth for another year.

iPad connection to computer

Apple’s New iPad 2 ~ A Faster And Efficient Upgrade

The iPad 2 — It’s thinner; it’s lighter, and it’s faster.iPad 2, released March 2011, Flickr: Robert Scoble

Apple’s new toy was released to the public in early March and with it came several much-anticipated features that makes its predecessor look like a relic.

So what are some of the differences in Apple’s newest project?  Is the hype deserving of the product? Yes, and here’s why:


Slimmer than the previous iPad, the iPad 2 dropped from 13.4mm to 8.8mm — a 33 percent drop in weight, making it significantly lighter and easier to manage on the go.  Its flatter back design makes carrying it an easier task and mobility of it as easy as possible for those who enjoy the ease of online news feeds with your morning cup of coffee.

Battery Life and the Case

Running off the same style of lithium-polymer battery, the new iPad gets an astounding 10 hours of life!  That’s 10 hours to surf the web, check sports scores, edit video from your family vacation, FaceTime with friends, and the endless fun that applications provide you with.

As an optional feature, Apple is offering a new magnetic case. This new case offers valuable protection to a fragile product while doubling as a fold-able stand for viewing.


In addition to larger RAM capability, Apple offers arguably its most significant upgrade in the iPad – a Dual Core.

Applications and screen resolution have taken much of the spotlight when judging a tablets value by consumers, but the addition of a Dual Core A5 chip to the iPad is something that has been considerably underrated. Aiding in nearly all aspects of the iPad’s performance, processing will run faster, smooth, cleaner and more efficiently than any competing product by far.

Cameras, HDMI, and FaceTime

FaceTime was a major selling point for the iPhone 4 – as it is for new iPad.

With the addition of two cameras (one rear facing and one front facing), the iPad 2 allows users to access FaceTime and video chat at blazing fast speed.

Back Camera: Video recording, HD (720p) up to 30 frames per second with a 5x digital zoom
Front Camera: Video recording, VGA up to 30 frames per second

In addition to being able to record and stream HD video, the iPad 2 offers an HDMI output for your home television.  HDMI allows the iPad to connect and play any recorded or online video in high definition – a must-have for those Netflix addicts out there.


This powerful new addition to Apple’s arsenal provides for an amazing look into emerging mobile technology.

It seems that just a few years ago the iPhone was a marvel unto itself, and now with the second edition of the iPad, HD video recording, mobile video conferencing and multitasking online interaction is easier than ever.

Apple's iPad 2

Apple is notorious for its sleek style of user-friendly products and machines that make navigation an ease.  Multitasking, apps, pictures, video/music editing, and FaceTime will all occur at mind-blowing speed and make the mobile online experience with Wi-Fi and 3G quicker than ever.

With several important and significant upgrades, Apple is dominating the tablet industry (by no surprise) and is continuing to push for an increasingly mobile device with powerful user capability.

There seems to be a notable trend in technology to become faster, sleeker, mobile and overall more efficient than its precursor – and the iPad 2 is no exception.


For information on the iPad 2, check out Apple’s website www.apple.com.

Provided By Flickr

Five Monopolies, Methods of Communication Losing Their Hold



According to CITA, an International Wireless nonprofit organization, 91% of Americans carry a cell phone as of 2009, and those numbers have continued to expand.  Now more than ever, with the growing popularity of the iPhone and Droid, cell phones have become both a necessity and an addiction.

In past decades, landlines were an essential part of the home, but with cell phone giants like Apple, wireless communication is quickly eliminating the need for both a home phone and cell.  Now, phones do much more than dial, and let’s be honest — landlines don’t have Angry Birds or Restaurant Finder Apps.

Landline Phones No More


“Snail” Mail vs. Email

Once a monopoly on long-distance communication, mailing letters to friends or loved ones has been virtually phased out of everyday conversation and proven to be the least efficient means of interaction.  What was once a necessity for love notes, bank statements, and college acceptance letters, “snail” mail is quickly becoming replaced with the popularity of social media platforms and widespread use of email.

Since cell phone’s and the internet explosion in the early 1990’s, this generation’s lack of composition skills have been harshly scrutinized.  In 2009, The United States Postal Service stated that 177 billion pieces of mail were delivered in the US, compared to 14.4 trillion by email.  Now, young people rely heavily on a keyboard, 140 characters and auto-correct spelling.

"Snail" Mail Replaced by Email



Electronic tablets, such as Apple’s iPad, Samsung’s Galaxy Pad, Amazon’s Kindle or the BlackBerry Playbook, have been 2010’s newest toy.  According to the Washington Post, “average daily circulation of all U.S. newspapers has been in decline since 1987″ and “has hit its lowest level in seven decades.”

Newspapers have been undoubtedly hit hard — as major stations are reporting record losses, cuts and even closures across the country.  Despite the change in the medium which news is delivered, there will always be a desire and need for the public to be informed and educated on current events.  It’s just that now news is viewed on a 9 x 5 LED screen — not paper.

Physical Newspapers Moving Online


Video Rental Stores

Some of my fondest childhood memories include “Power Rangers:  The Movie” and the newest Nintendo 64 game — both of which were rented from the local Blockbuster.  Video rental stores, like Blockbuster, have been slowly declining in business over the past 6 years as online sites such as Netflix and RedBox have stolen much of the business which these stores once had.

Having closed over 600 stores in just the past three years and reported record losses in the hundreds of millions, it’s no wonder Blockbuster is struggling to stay afloat.  According to an article by MSNBC.com, “Blockbuster Inc. may close as many as 960 stores by the end of next year,” primarily in response to appeal and ease of online streaming — in a society glued to their computer screens.

Video Rentals Like Blockbuster Replaced by Nexflix, Flickr, Scott Clark


In-Person Classrooms

As a current student at ASU, I recognize that most classes still meet in a physical room with a paper syllabus and wooden desks from the Jimmy Carter administration.  However, as technology of educational tools increases, so does the medium with which it is taught.

Arizona State University offered over 700 online classes this spring, which range from Managerial Economics to History of Hip Hop.  It’s not just ASU, but virtually all major universities across the country offer online classes and degrees, and sites like Blackboard allow professors to post assignments and readings for the week online.

Classrooms Moving Online
Apple Banner

Apple Now Worth Over $300 Billion

As of January 3, Apple’s market capitalization passed $300 billion, making them the second most valuable company in the world (just behind Exxon Mobil).  Since the bump that put them over the $300 billion mark, Apple’s value took a slight dip with the news that Steve Jobs, CEO and public face of the company, would be going on medical leave. However, the company is holding on to its second place position for now.  Check out the infographic below for more information.

Apple Worth $300 Billion