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Apple

Is Apple's New Lightning Connector a Dead End?

September 13, 2012


Apple fans will view the introduction of the new Apple Lightning Connector with mixed emotions because while the new plug enables their gadgets to continue the march towards minuteness, all existing Apple plugs and accessories have been rendered moot. If you are a hotel chain with thousands of alarm clocks and treadmills which have the old Apple connectors in place you have a huge choice to make… Do you upgrade the devices or provide adapters at $29 apiece? The Wall Street Journal has an article today which details how a hotel chain called NYLO just upgraded its hotel rooms with almost 600 iPhone-dock clock radios which are now potentially obsolete.

One company taking advantage of the situation is Jawbone who has a creative new video out showing how the dock is dead.

The iPhone 5 is Missing This Crucial Feature

September 12, 2012

I am just going to come out and say it – the iPhone 5 is yet another incremental upgrade to the iPhone line of products. Yes, Apple deserves great credit for making smartphones ubiquitous – they have turned mobile devices into web-surfing gadgets and so much more. But this doesn’t mean that Apple is innovating as fast as it could be.

In fact, TMC writers have discussed with me in private that Apple may be purposely holding back on their phone upgrades to ensure people will keep buying new devices on a regular cycle.

Google's New, Free WiFi - Not For iPhones or iPads

September 11, 2012

Just before the launch of the new iPhone, Google Play has inked a deal with Boingo to give free WiFi access to virtually all devices – just not the mobile ones from Apple. The over 4,000 sponsored Wi-Fi locations include 15 airports as well as Boingo-enabled Manhattan subway stations, and thousands of hotels, shopping malls and cafés.

Google has sponsored free WiFi in airports and other locations so this isn't necessarily a new strategy. To date however, I am not aware of them excluding other devices. 

Is Anyone Really Surprised Unpaid Student Workers Make iPhones?

September 11, 2012

It is commonly understood that working conditions in China are quite inferior to those in the US so I find it interesting that the New York Times once again has come out with an article which seems to be designed to embarrass Chinese contract manufacturer Foxconn with a story which says students are forced to work there for free in an effort to pump out iPhone 5 devices. The article tells us Foxconn says the students are able to leave while some students say they are required to work there by their teachers.

We need to take a step back and look at the situation objectively. Life in China is difficult – there is no social safety net, no Medicaid, no food stamps, etc.

Apple to Launch a Pandora Competitor Next Week?

September 6, 2012

Apple is said to be getting into the music streaming business and there’s a chance we’ll hear more about it at the iPhone 5 launch event next week. As you may recall I surmised Apple would get into the home streaming market when it purchased LaLa in December of 2009. At the time I thought they would likely compete with Sonos and moreover mentioned there would be obvious implications for Pandora and the rest of the group.

Integration with iOS and possible tight links with iTunes were some of the areas of differentiation I pointed out we may see.

Amazon Rockets Upmarket with Kindle Fire HD Devices

September 6, 2012

Amazon has shown the world it is possible to compete against the iPad if you offer a smaller device and charge a lot less for it. When the Kindle Fire was released it cost $199 while the equivalent WiFi-only iPad cost $499.

Since that time, Apple has released the New iPad with a Retina Display at $499 and the iPad 2 saw its price drop to $299.

Now, Amazon has taken a page out of the Apple book and dropped the price of the Kindle Fire to an impossibly low $159.

Does the iPhone 5 have the Wrong Form Factor?

September 5, 2012


We all know that in the past many iPhone and iPad rumors have been wrong so we shouldn’t get overly excited about leaked news regarding the form factor of the new iPhone 5.

But since there are photos and videos which back the rumor up this time and they do seem authentic, let’s assume they are accurate.

I will start my analysis of the new phone by saying it absolutely stinks. I hate the form factor.



Songza is a Solid Music Streaming Service

September 4, 2012

I've been testing Songza's music streaming service for a few weeks now and it seems to be the best place to listen to real hits all the time. It competes with Slacker, Pandora, Sirius XM and Spotify and lately I have found it is so consistently plays good music that I need to skip songs less than on rival services.

Part of the reason for the service's success in matching my musical tastes may be the granularity of the choices it provides. While rival services may offer a category like "dance music," Songza will give you "Today's Progressive House Hits" which is a dead-on great station.

Speaking of dance music the service also gives you access to music from various events such as the Coachella Valley Music Festival.

There are lots of other types of music as you would expect and even eclectic genres like Hawaiian.

Although I haven't had lots of time to experiment with it there is also the ability to select and listen to music based on your mood. For example, if you are energetic some suggested playlists consist of Massive Pop Hits: The Remixes, Cardio Hip Hop, Crowd Pleasing Dance Pop and Pajamas to Party Dress.

The user interface is very good as well and the price is free.









Are Apple's Patent Lawsuits Dead Right?

August 30, 2012

I have often referred to patents between large tech firms as mutually assured destruction as any of these companies can sue others with a slew of patent infringements at once, counting on a few to be upheld by a court. And this is what happened with Apple and Samsung where the Korean phone maker and tech giant was found to have willfully copied Apple’s trade dress meaning the look and feel of the device – among other things like pinching to zoom.

Jason Perlow at ZDnet points us to a good video from Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman, on the topic of patents and trademarks in the food industry. It is boring but useful if you want to learn more.

Google Leverages Home Page to Promote Nexus Tablet

August 28, 2012

Google has been "different" for over a decade because the company always resisted overt advertising seen throughout the web. Through the entire pop-up era where so many websites capitulated and ran ads for security cameras and other items, Google stood almost alone.



But as you can see from the page above - click to enlarge, Google has now decided to use its premium real estate - the home page to run ads. The first ad is for the company's Nexus tablet.

Sure, the company has been making sponsored links look more and more like regular ads over the past few months and years - this trend isn't new for the company. Moreover, we have seen the company promote Chrome and other software products in the past - most of these however have been free products.

For those people who said the company would become "evil" shortly after becoming a public company - you may be right (assuming you consider this sort of behavior to be bad." For those of you who said the Motorola Mobility acquisition was "stupid" well perhaps you are wrong if the company rings up massive sales as a result of perhaps the best marketing strategy on the internet.

Will public backlash be so great that the search leader is forced to change course?









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