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Apple

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?









Siminoff's POP Station Charger a Winner

August 27, 2012

Tech rock star Jamie Siminoff is at it again. The inventor of Simulscribe/Phonetag transcription service has a new design lab to create unique products and services called Edison Junior. The company’s first product is called POP – the company bills it as the intersection of charging and design.

It is an absolutely great device in that it helps solve a problem many families and workers have – how to keep all their devices charged all the time.

 

Not So Fast - Yes We Should Protect Innovation

August 20, 2012


The tech news of the day includes Google using its Motorola Mobility patents to sue Apple. Patent suits aren’t new but we are getting to a point where the news flow relating to patent litigation seems to be overshadowing the news relating to new products. The cost of these suits isn’t trivial and there is risk of significant distraction for all the companies involved. It seems like the industry would benefit from a tech patent truce.

Smartphone Margin Decreases versus Beats by Dr. Dre

August 16, 2012

Recently I touched upon some of the differences between the automobile and tech spaces and in the past I have mentioned how Apple’s ability to price its products without discounting implies a stronger brand and moreover helps it sell in its retail stores which offer the same prices as online.

This doesn’t mean that Apple can sit still because we can expect an almost infinite supply of focused competitors.

Sure, many of them like RIM and Nokia are in decline and are retooling their product lines almost perpetually to become competitive. But beyond these examples we also have a slew of Japanese consumer electronics companies who have seen the golden age of TV come and go… Now they are focusing on exporting mobile devices to make a living.

What the Auto Market can Teach us about Mobile

August 14, 2012

Have you ever heard from someone that they don’t like Starbucks coffee but they like the experience at the store so they go in, sit down and buy the coffee? It is quite a testament to the world’s largest coffee chain that they are able to lure in customers who don’t like their premium-priced primary product but are instead attracted to their comfortable seating areas and atmosphere replete with cushy couches and free WiFi.

The point here is people buy things for subtle reasons they may not consciously realize. But how you may ask does this translate into tech and cars?

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