Mountain Lion released a day after disappointing Apple earnings

July 25, 2012

Apple finally released the newest version of its operating system for Macs on Wednesday, the Associated Press reports :

Dubbed Mountain Lion, the new software narrows the gap between the PC and phone software packages, making Mac personal computers work more like iPhones and iPads.

It’s similar to what Microsoft Corp. is doing with its forthcoming Windows 8 system. That system, to be released Oct. 26, will bring the look and user interface of Windows Phone to PCs.

Mountain Lion will cost $20 and will be sold only as a download. Only computers running the two most recent versions of Mac OS, Lion and Snow Leopard, can be upgraded.

Macs bought on or after June 11 can be upgraded for free.

The Post’s Hayley Tsukayama rounded up what people were saying about Apple’s Mountain Lion:

Shane Richmond of the Guardian said that the additional iCloud integration from the Mac works smoothly and makes it very easy for users to share information between their Apple devices. This is particularly true with iCloud’s new Document in the Cloud feature, he said.

“Make a change to a presentation on your Mac and it will be pushed to your iPad in seconds. It’s one of those delightful, Apple ‘it just works’ features,” Richmond wrote.

At Time, Harry McCracken also highlighted the convenience of being able to sync across devices, but said that the voice dictation feature is far from perfect.

“The results aren’t flawless. Even though the feature asks permission to peek at your contacts so it can recognize their names more accurately, it still got befuddled by some of mine,” he said.

He also noted that some voice commands, such as telling the computer to write in all caps, aren’t working yet.

Still, overall the feature works pretty well. In McCracken’s words: “You’re not going to use it to compose your master’s thesis, but you might well find it worthwhile for e-mail or text messages.”

The release of Mountain Lion comes just a day after Apple reported disappointing earnings. Tsukayama reports:

Apple disappointed analysts Tuesday with its earnings report, missing on estimates across the board. Revenue and sales were below Wall Street’s expectations, which sent Apple’s stock tumbling as shareholders wondered how the technology giant will stay on top of an increasingly competitive smartphone and tablet market.

The Cupertino, Calif., company reported a quarterly revenue of $35 billion — boosted by a record 17 million in iPad sales but far less than analyst estimates of $37 billion. Sales of the iPhone were also lower than expected; Apple sold 26 million iPhones against analyst expectations of about 29 million. Shares fell $30 in after-hours trading to about $570 within minutes of the report’s release.

A number of factors contributed to the company’s lighter quarter. On the company’s earnings call, Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer said that the economy in Europe as well as in Brazil and Australia had an effect on the company’s quarter, in addition to the fact that Apple did not add any major countries or major carriers to its fold. The company has also been lowering the prices of its older devices, which is a good for consumers but not necessarily for the bottom line.

Given the weaker iPhone sales, however, it’s hard to ignore that Apple has been facing stiffer competition in the smartphone market. The firm recently lost its spot as the world’s largest smartphone maker to Samsung, whose phones run Google’s Android operating system.

As for the iPad’s chances in an increasingly competitive market, Cook said he was not concerned by competitors such as Google’s Nexus 7.

“We’ve all seen many different tablets, hundreds of them come to market over the last year and I have yet to see any of them gain what I would call any level of traction at all,” Cook said. “We’re going to keep innovating in the space and keep making great products.

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