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Rich Tehrani
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Apple

Google Currents Crashes Newsreader Party

December 9, 2011

Flipboard calls itself the pocket-sized social magazine and this is an apt description for a social newsreader so popular that this week when it launched an iPhone edition, it was overwhelmed with traffic and crashed. Obviously there is tremendous interest in this category which explains why in April of this year the company raised $50M at a $200M valuation.

Another player in the space Yahoo! has Livestand, an app which has improved over the months but still has a somewhat non-intuitive user interface.

Using Amazon to Compare Kindle Fire to iPad

December 5, 2011

Apple customer loyalty is the stuff of legend as anyone who visited an Apple store this holiday season can attest to and to delve further into this issue Philip Elmer-DeWitt at CNNMoney did some research on Amazon to see which device customers liked better. As the Kindle Fire has only been out a short while it may be unfair to compare the devices as Apple has had some years to improve the tablet’s software. Then again, running on Android, the Kindle Fire does benefit from software updates which have been issued to solve problems faced by other tablet and smartphone makers.

The bottom line is the Kindle fire has 47% five-star reviews and 13.3% one-star reviews.

Altigen's iFusion: Fuses the Desk Phone & iPhone

December 2, 2011



The smartphone and tablet are taking the world by storm and this information isn’t lost on Altigen Communications the company who literally revolutionized the communications space in the nineties by merging the best of the PC and telephone into an office phone system for small companies. I remember meeting the company’s VP of Marketing Gary Andresen in 1996 as he showed the fascinating concept of merging the best of the PC and telephony worlds. For the next ten years or so Altigen evolved and went upmarket but in the past few years they’ve been very quiet. Part of the reason for the slowing in PR and marketing has to do with the company retooling its portfolio and evolving its strategy.

Slacker on Sonos Review

November 30, 2011

After waiting for over a year for Slacker to come to Sonos - I am now one very happy camper. First off Slacker provided me with a Premium Radio subscription a while back - prior to that I had a paid subscription called Slacker Radio Plus which was helpful as it allowed me to cache 25 radio stations for offline use.

What is great about Slacker Premium is the combination of algorithm/human selected radio which allows you to discover music similar to songs you like combined with on-demand radio - basically songs you search for and select. Basically the best of Pandora and Spotify but with the added bonus of immediately listening to any song which you see on any playlist.

When I got home I opened the Sonos app on an iPad and upgraded all the components in my system. the software asked me not to shut it down or close the app and it took about 15 minutes or so for six components connected to the system to be upgraded.

The Sonos remote control now called the Sonos Control (it was the CR200) had me press a button to upgrade - a painless process which took a few minutes.

I then logged into Slacker and all my favorite stations and other information was immediately available.

An added bonus - in some ways the Sonos interface is better than the PC or iPhone version.









iPhone to Get 4 Inch Display?

November 29, 2011

Two weeks ago I discussed my smartphone envy after using the Samsung Galaxy S II smartphone which sports a dual-core 1.5 GHz processor, 4G and a bright Super AMOLED Plus Display. I suggested that Apple needs a 4.5 inch display as well - and interestingly the latest iPhone rumor says the next iPhone will have a 4 inch display. Sure, this is a nice step up from 3.5 inches but I prefer the larger screen in part because it is easier to type on.

One hypothesis I have about why the Android tablet market hasn't taken off (Amazon Kindle Fire aside) is that the latest crop of Android smartphones are similar enough to tablets to keep users from needing both devices. If you use the Kindle Fire as an example, it has a 7 inch screen - just 2.5 inches larger than the aforementioned Samsung - not such a huge difference.

In fact Apple is probably afraid if it makes the iPhone too large - it will not only make it less portable but eat into iPad 2 sales.

One other point I need to clarify is the iPhone 4S does indeed render web pages a bit faster than the Samsung Galaxy S II based on my testing but then again, every page I tested had Flash and iOS doesn't have to deal with it while the Samsung does.





Will Rockit Redefine Social CRM?

November 18, 2011

What happens when you merge social CRM, location based marketing, mobile marketing, loyalty rewards and targeted social marketing? The answer is Rockit – a new company whose goal is to prove to the world that managing customers in the new multichannel, multimedia world is far from “rocket science” (get it?).

The company provides a loyalty-enabled platform allowing customers to sign up for offers in categories of interest or by company and these companies can use the platform to track customer loyalty, communicate and push out special offers and incentives.

Drop the Phone in a Toilet and Still Use it!

November 18, 2011

Many of us have been there – you walk into the bathroom, the phone rings, you see who is calling and the phone slips – whoops, there she goes, right into the toilet. Then the agonizing second when you contemplate whether you are going to stick your hand in the toilet to retrieve it. Then you do and now the interesting part begins.

Microsoft Surface Update Available. It's an iPoffee Table

November 18, 2011

The new Samsung SUR40 for Microsoft Surface is now available for $8,400 or approximately the same price as 42 Kindle Fires or almost 17 entry level iPad 2s. A giant tablet-in-a-table, the super-sized 87 pound gadget runs Windows 7 and Surface 2.0 and leading edge processors from AMD. Obviously the market for this device is quite different than your traditional tablet customer – but it isn’t clear exactly who needs these things in any appreciable volume.

Do Apple and Google Need to be Carriers?

November 15, 2011

Some might argue Apple is so dominant in-part because they are control freaks. Supply chain, software, hardware, OS, CPU, you name it. Ditto for Google - with proprietary cloud-based systems which are hyper-efficient and scalable, their operating system is the one you want to emulate. In fact, you could argue much of the move to the cloud is an effort to emulate the way Google does business.

And this brings us to control of the wireless experience.

Apple Screwed Again?

November 15, 2011

As a disclosure – I am an Apple shareholder and without a doubt understand the magic the brand and its devices have created. Furthermore, I know many Android users who are unhappy and looking to get rid of their smartphones for the latest iPhone.

Yesterday though I had a chance to use the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket and was blown away by the fact it had a dual core 1.5 GHz processor, 4G and a 4.5 inch Super AMOLED Plus display. It was gorgeous, light and the specs say it is fast.

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