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15 Things to Know About Tim Cook's Comments

May 30, 2012

Last night Apple's Tim Cook was at The All Thing D tech conference and this is what you need to know about his comments:
  1. He says he will blow us away in 2 weeks at the WWDC
  2. There is more the company can do with Facebook he says - will there be a Facebook branded phone from Apple I wonder.
  3. iPads will be bigger than PCs
  4. Microsoft will suffer if it brings the PC "baggage" to the modern tablet which he says Apple invented
  5. We have a culture of excellence thanks to Steve Jobs
  6. We are doubling down on product secrecy
  7. He wants an Apple product made in the US - the glass for the iPhone and iPad is made in Kentucky today
  8. We need a shift in the US economy to support tool and die skills and a different educational system to bring manufacturing jobs back to the US
  9. Gives a wishy washy answer on the patent wars - he says they are a pain in the ass but it seems Apple patents are viewed as more important than others he believes should be easily licensed
  10. We will keep "pulling the string" on the Apple TV to see where it takes us
  11. Won't say if they are making an "Apple TV" a new real TV but says people aren't pleased with the current TV experience
  12. When looking at acquisitions they don't look for revenue but skills and products instead
  13. Siri will improve over the next few months
  14. Apple does not need to own a carrier or cable company
  15. Apple knows Ping "sucks"

And there you have it - a bunch of rumors have just been killed off if what Cook says is accurate. It will be very interesting to see if there is big Facebook news in the near future and if it puts a floor under the social networking company's stock. Overall Cook did a great job sharing a good amount of information but not giving away too much about the future. He walked the line perfectly and to read more check out this post from Jay Yarrow.


Why Facebook Needs a Phone

May 29, 2012

Facebook as the dominant social network is becoming the replacement for the phone. Nowadays in fact it is fairly common to use Facebook as the primary way to stay in touch with others – especially among those under 30. The point here is that the phone is becoming the Facebook communicator.

And with mobile adoption continuing ta a blistering pace – many people have multiple mobile devices in fact, Facebook should be sitting pretty, right?

Turns out Cisco Cius Can't Compete With the iPad Either

May 25, 2012

Company after company is learning what most of instinctively know already – competing with Apple head-on is like trying to tackle a freight train with your bare hands as it is barreling down the tracks in your direction. Amazon with its Kindle Fire competed on price and used its services to subsidize the device. Other tablet makers are finding it virtually impossible to compete without such advantages.

Disruption Targets Currency Exchange Kiosks

May 25, 2012

Technology has resulted in massive margin compression among industry after industry. Retailers have to struggle to make money to pay their brick and mortar overhead while consumers routinely see and touch the merchandise in their store while buying it online simultaneously. A coworker in fact detailed how he saved $30 on an iPad case buy using eBay on a computer from the Apple store he was in.

But the retail story isn’t a new one – we wrote stories at TMC in the nineties about the death of brick and mortar and certainly the loss of Circuit City was in-part caused by competition not only from WalMart and Costco but Amazon.

CableWiFi: Cablecos Offer Free Roaming on 50k+ WiFi Hotspots

May 21, 2012

If you happen to be a customer of Bright House Networks, Cablevision, Comcast, Cox Communications or Time Warner Cable, there is some really good news in the form of an official sharing agreement of WiFi spectrum allowing customers of any of these cable companies to gain access to the WiFi networks of any of the companies.

In Norwalk, Connecticut or Cablevision country, you could drive a few dozen miles in one direction and run into a Cox Cable jurisdiction and a few dozen miles in another direction gets you into Time Warner territory. Of course your situation may vary but it is great to know that as you travel around the US you will have access to lots of access points which were once off limits.

In April, 2010 some of these providers stuck a similar deal but to date I have never been able to successfully use WiFi belonging to the other providers - just Optimum WiFi provided by Cablevision.

Perhaps I will have better luck with the new network which has the SSID of CableWiFi. In a perfect world - you log onto this network and use it as you roam this vast country we call the U S of A.

The best news is as 4G providers start to become more restrictive on their bandwidth use, WiFi networks provided by the cablecos will come to the rescue meaning consumers will have to think long and hard before switching from cable to telco-based service home broadband.

Could Verizon and AT&T counter this offer with their own "bundle" of wireless and landline service? Yes, absolutely.









Intel Finally Gets Mobile?

May 17, 2012

Intel is selling its computers quite nicely into PCs and servers and although we are in a so called "post-PC era" people keep buying computers by the tens of millions. The long-term challenge is in-part ARM, the instruction-set architecture which is being turned into highly efficient chips used in most mobile devices.

The challenge of course for Intel is the typical one of disruption from below. An example is how RAID allowed inexpensive and less reliable hard drives to replace larger disks in the market.

Likewise, the ARMv8 64-bit architecture application profile was defined two months ago and at some point soon we will see these chips in the field. Moreover, expect them to rapidly go multicore if not initially.



Why Samsung Must Have a Successful Media Player

May 2, 2012

If Samsung is the anti-Apple and with their success in the smartphone space you have to consider them a strong alternative, then they have to have a strategy which allows them to emulate Apple in order to be as successful. By this I mean, Apple has the amazing ability to sell a range of products which are highly similar and yet each is in its own category.

You want an inexpensive music player for the kids? The Apple answer, an iPod Touch.

Blackberry 10 like Siri uses Productivity to Differentiate

May 1, 2012

Apple's iPhone 4S is perhaps most known for Siri the built-in personal assistant which has had mixed reviews. Still, in-part because of this feature, the company has sold iPhones by the boatload.

RIM, who is fighting to regain market share has come at the productivity game from a different angle - the predictive text technology in its soon to be released Blackberry 10 OS is much-improved and has the potential to drastically reduce the amount of time it takes to communicate on a smartphone or tablet.

For information workers - it seems the more you work, the more there is to do. Especially when you consider the huge time suck associated with social networking, watching online video and gaming and book-reading on the go using the latest crop of tablets.

Although it is soon to say that RIM has nailed it with its new OS, it does look better than previous operating systems from the company. Now the question is how long before the functionality is copied by others and the patent war over this feature begins?

See analysis from the AP, a hands-on review from CNet and comments fom USA Today.







Is Skype Microsoft's Only Chance for Mobile Success?

April 26, 2012

If you are looking for increased competition in the mobile space, Apple’s recent and seemingly constant record earnings are bad news. Worse yet for the competition, Apple has transcended its original position of a computer and electronics maker to become a major force in the publicly traded markets and even the US economy. Its phones are status symbols the world over and its tablet is so far ahead of the rest of the market the company can charge hundreds more and consumers will pay for these products with a smile.

So news of Microsoft losing share to in the mobile space should hardly be considered news.

Determining if There is a Spectrum Shortage

April 19, 2012

Those of us who have been in the wireless space for years take for granted that there is a spectrum shortage but the New York Times had a compelling story discussing how spectrum sharing and smart antennas will help alleviate the problem. They even have a quote from David P. Reed saying that radio frequencies are not finite.

TMC's Peter Bernstein disagrees with this last point and has some interesting thoughts on the matter worth reading.

To me the debate is fascinating and is similar to arguing if we have run out of space on the island of Manhattan. On the one hand it has been built up to capacity except perhaps a few parks and other areas. But on the other hand, we can continue to purchase, knock down and build taller buildings to add more capacity.

But if New York land was spectrum, whenever a taller building is constructed, some of the units would be forced to go to competing landlords.





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