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Amazon's Evolving Views on Patents

October 18, 2012

In the 1990 patent suits in tech were quite infrequent but today, there is more news on international patents than just about any other tech news category. That’s why I thought this research note from the Yankee Group was worth sharing. Bezos is certainly not the only person to have a concern about a behavior he once espoused but he certainly benefited from such behavior in a spectacular way.

Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, isn’t keeping it a secret that he isn’t a fan of the seemingly constant patent lawsuits happening today.

Banks, The Latest Threat to Groupon and LivingSocial

October 18, 2012

If there is one constant these days it is that your competitors tomorrow are going to come from the most unlikely of places. Apple came from nowhere to unseat RIM and Nokia in mobile phones, Amazon is becoming a major force in tablets, Google’s Chrome and Android products have made it a major force in software and operating systems.

But the examples above are technology-based so they shouldn’t be too surprising as we have come to expect tech companies to be quick to enter new markets. What could portend a future trend however is Bank of America’s move into the deals business.

Best Buy Tablet Doomed?

October 17, 2012


The common sense analysis of Best Buy’s new Android-based tablet is it is doomed because if only Amazon is able to pull a tablet off by breaking even or even potentially losing money and even Samsung isn’t making a dent in the market, how can Best Buy do any better? The reality is the success of this strategy is a long shot but by the same token you can think of this tablet as a generic product or store brand.

In other words when you go to Costco and buy a Kirkland product you are essentially buying a “store brand” not necessarily manufactured by the retailer, just resold. So Best Buy’s Insignia Flex tablet expected to sell between $239 and $259 can simply be considered a new product in the house-brand category.

Simultaneous Voice & Data: AT&T's Big iPhone Advantage

October 16, 2012

Walmart To Go is Webvan 2.0

October 9, 2012

Have we finally broken the barrier to same day delivery?

During the dotcom boom, Webvan and Peapod were going to change the world and when things went bust and both companies had to deal with the realities of massive infrastructure and overhead with little to no sales by comparison. Peapod got picked up by Stop & Shop and Webvan imploded, and is now just a Wikipedia page.



Fast forward over a decade and Amazon has made lots of noise about same delivery service.

Microsoft Hopes Free WiFi Will Persuade Developers

October 8, 2012

Google has been a steady sponsor of free WiFi in airports and subway stations for some years now but Microsoft has decided such sponsorships make sense for them as well. Specifically, the company is paying Boingo for the privilege of supplying free wireless access in parts of San Francisco and Manhattan.

The reason for the generosity has to do with Redmond celebrating Windows 8 and looking forward to introducing the new Windows Store for Windows 8 to the app builder community.

"At Microsoft, we know that amazing apps are being built in New York and San Francisco, and we want to give talented developers the chance to launch their businesses through the Windows Store," said John Richards, Senior Director at Microsoft Corp. "We hope our Boingo Wi-Fi sponsorship will introduce the Windows 8 opportunity to app builders in NYC and San Francisco, while providing folks with Wi-Fi connectivity on-the-go."

LBS Needs Trust

September 28, 2012

For over a decade the communications industry has been waxing poetic about the potential for location based services or LBS to change the world. The idea was mobile commerce would be unleashed as coupons would be flashed in front of users as they walked near a coffee shop or fast food restaurant.

That future is here to a certain degree but the one missing ingredient is trust. You see users more than likely want curated offers.

With Fabulous Gorilla Glass, Why Does Corning Stock Lose Value?

September 25, 2012

Corning is a fascinating company and recently the news about how they collaborated with Steve Jobs to build the glass for the first iPhone became public, making them that much more interesting. Believe it or not but the ancestor of the now famous Gorilla Glass in the iPhone and hundreds of other devices was invented in 1952 and by accident. The product was waiting decades looking for a market and the company started to experiment with it just before Steve Jobs came knocking.

Tom Keating alerted me to a fascinating article done by Wired which gives you all the details of how the glass is made and its evolution.



The challenge for the company seems to be getting ahead of itself. After all the famous Future Made of Glass video was made for potential investors over a year-and-a-half ago and since that time the company has seen its stock price drop by about 50%.





I am not going into the financial analysis of the company in this space but I do find it incredible that Corning can see its market capitalization decrease so greatly at a time when the world can't get enough glass covered gadgets.











Will the $35 Aakash Tablet Transform the World?

September 21, 2012

The iPhone 5 is selling at retail stores today to millions of people who are obviously wealthy. After all an unlocked 64GB model which is unlocked runs $849! Some people are so bent out of shape about how much money Apple is making from the launch of this phone, they are protesting.

While most of the world is focusing on Apple, what may be interesting to note is in India there is a new and usable tablet which starts at just $35. As Gary Kim points out, the DataWind Aakash UbiSlate 7Ci is a super-cheap tablet that will attempt to connect every student in India to the Internet.

The tablet has a 7.5 inch display, a front facing camera and surfs the web about as fast as an iPhone - probably not as fast as the iPhone 5 though.



Galaxy S3 Ad Mocks iPhone 5 Lines

September 21, 2012

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