December 2010
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Day December 15, 2010

[Sponsor] Marketcircle: business applications for Mac, iPhone and iPad

I want to thank Marketcircle for their support and for their great software.

Marketcircle develops business applications small businesses and individuals who use the Mac, iPhone, and iPad. They have two core product lines; Daylite business productivity management software, and Billings, a professional time billing and invoicing application.

I tried both products and consider them a great way to integrate your operations and improve productivity.

Daylite is a CRM solution that integrates Contacts, Calendars, Projects, Opportunities, Tasks and Email on the desktop and includes an iPhone client.

Billings Pro is the best multi-user time tracking and invoicing application for Mac, iPhone and web.

As I’ve mentioned in my stats round-up Mac and iOS users make up a majority of the audience for Asymco. As I also expect many of you are using Macs in a working environment and are either self-employed or work in small firms, Marketcircle’s applications could be a valuable addition to your operations.

Strongly recommended. They offer free trials. Read more here.

[bonus: they’re from Canada and everybody loves Canadians.]

It's time for Apple to look at owning factories again

Toshiba plant to make LCD panels for Apple: report | Reuters.

Apple will invest in a portion of the investment for the factory, the Nikkei said.

This is one of the more interesting news items I’ve seen for a while.

[UPDATE] Toshiba denies rumor Apple will invest in mobile display subsidiary

There was a time when Apple designed and owned factories. From an interview with John Sculley:

That went all the way through to the systems when he built the Macintosh factory. It was supposed to be the first automated factory but what it really was a final assembly and test factory with a  pick-to-pack robotic automation. It is not as novel today as it was 25 years ago, but I can remember when the CEO of General Motors along with  Ross Perot came out just to look at the  Macintosh factory. All we were doing was final assembly and test but it was done so beautifully. It was as well thought through in design as a factory–a lights out factory requiring many people–as the products were.

During the 90s the manufacturing function moved outside Apple’s ownership umbrella. It was more economical, more flexible and more scaleable to outsource manufacturing to Asia. The time has come to rethink this.